Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to work we go ...

Are the week's not flying by? Middle of February already! Second week of school back and things are still going along great. Chonky got a bit teary after school last Thursday, just tired and nothing loads of hugs from Mum could not fix ;)

After nine years of being a “stay at home Mum” that all came to and end this past week. With both children now at school, it was time for me to take the plunge and dip my toes back into that workforce pool. I had weighed up all my options and gone for the one I thought to be most 'family friendly'. For my babies are still - and always will be - my number one priority. So I elected to do some casual replacement teaching. After issuing a few letters to schools, I was surprised to be quickly booked up in both one secondary and one primary school in the first full week back! While I knew I would be okay, it was the children I was worried about. I had to try and fit this in with minimal disruption. So on these two days I dropped them off half way to school so they could walk the rest of the way thus not arriving too early. Katie was to stay with Hugh until the music went and then he would take her to class. At the end of day he was to go to her classroom and together they would start walking home where I would soon be along to drive them home the remainder of the way. The first afternoon as I sat in the school traffic for what seemed like an endless time but was in fact five minutes, I looked up at the sky - school’s out so of course the heaven’s opened up! Racing along at the speed limit I came down the hill and saw the two of them - both had raincoasts on (good listening guys) and Hugh had an arm around Katie as an almighty thunder clap had just occured. I got closer expecting the worst but saw big smiles. Second afternoon as one child in my class that day took forever to leave, I once more raced along their path home to see both struggling up the hill with Katie sipping on Hugh’s water bottle. Once more - no arguing and just smiling faces. My heart just burst with pride on these two afternoons and I am so proud of all of us that we worked together to make this new transtion and routine such a successful one. Could not have done it without the amazing kids I have. I count my blessings!

Speaking of pride ... my girl got "Student of the Week"! YIKES! She was tickled! Not to mention her parents ;) She has done the most amazing job, slotting in, finding friends and LOVING school. As I was working on Friday I was unable to go to the assembly/presentation. So BIG THANK YOU to Jodie who took some photos for me and I felt I did not miss out too much.

Photo challenges this week.

Firstly my P52 - as I returned to work I had to dig out my old pencil case and thought this occasion momentus enough to warrant the shot for this week. Especially my favoured pen of choice "Ariel" so my girl would always be close!

PCF challenge this week I set as repetition. I saw some fabulous examples, dragged out all Hugh's goodies like marbles to arrange and take. I finally decided on his Yu-Gi-Oh cards and upped the saturation and light in Picasa for a bit of fun.

Develop on Fridays this week we had to shoot one thing from at least FIVE different angles. Consider and pay attention to what each angle "feels" like to you - and what it's saying about the subject. I chose to photography the Buddha statue in our back garden.

This week I want to explain why I love "The No.1. Ladies Detective Agency" books so much. I have tried others Alexander McCall Smith has written but could not get into them. So what do I find so compulsive about this series? These mysteries aren't the standard stuff of detective novels but rather mundane concerns by the standards of most mysteries. Much of the charm of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency lies in just this quality of ordinariness—the problems that ordinary people confront in the course of their everyday lives. There are several things that make The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency entrancing. There is Precious herself, who is human in her uncertainties and doubts and has a background and skills quite unlike any other fictional detective. There's the author's lively prose and his understated but effective humour. And there's the fascination of the setting — Gaborone and the Kalahari, witchcraft and crocodiles, and the rhythms of ordinary Botswanan life. I am addicted.

When I discovered the cookbook I thought to borrow it and have a look even though I HATE cooking LOL! Well what a book and recipes are not what this book is all about! It is a celebration of the series with favourite recipes of our ‘traditionally built’ heroine and her friends, accompanied by lavish photography with traditions and culture of Botswana included. I just did not realise how prominently food featured in the books and it was wonderful the way the excerpts bought it all together. The all time MUST have coffee table book!
I was really inspired by the photography of this book as well. I am guilty of striving for the 'perfect' shot and discarding anything with blur. The photos included here were colourful and captured so much ... I learnt much from it. If you are interested here is a link where a few pages can be found: LINK

Scrap pages this week, click on images for credits:
Firstly Oscraps goodies:

Another page with Natasha's awesome kit:

Some fun with Sue Cummings designs:

New frames from Leiko:

A great new kit from Dawn Inskip at Catscrap:

Finally what a treat! A collab with Ange and Fei Fei's Stuff! LOVE IT!

Have a wonderful week everyone!


margote05 said...

Oh, I am satisfied to read that everything takes place well with the children and the resumption of your work! Still of very very beautiful pages! I like very much that of the Hugh in the water! And congratulations to " Student of the week "! Good week! I am on holidays all week!

Sue said...

WTG Katie for getting student of the week award!!! WTG Hugh for looking out for your little sister on the way home!!! WTG Helen for going back to work!!! Hugs, sue.falstaff

Nancy said...

sounds like a good week for you. good luck with the new job, and yes your kiddos are fabulous! i started reading No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency years ago, but never finished it. Not because it wasn't interesting, it was. You know, I just got on to something else! I'll have to finish it someday. Amy told me the other day that you're blogging once a week now. I guess with the new job and everything else you do (which amazes me) it's a good thing for you. Have a great week!

Val said...

NEVER ever let anyone tell you anything else than " YOU ROCK"
look at you, back to work, when YOU want, look at them : perfectly happy, straight and confortable in the (new) life.
I wish you that all things will get even better... And yes, you are right, let add hours to our busy schedule ;-)

Take care

MariaT said...

How are you finding time to get the kids off to school, go to work outside the home, scrap, photograph, and read? Wow! Love the photos you took and I just checked out the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency from the library last week after seeing your review of the cook book. I am finishing up another book before I start but I can't wait to get into them.

Leah. said...

I have tears in my eyes just reading it, because I can picture you frantically trying to get to the kids and to find them smiling! They are so sweet those two and Katie will never have to worry with Hugh as her protector. *sigh*

Good for you for having such a successful first week. It must be a tough transition for you.

Love the scrapping and the photography! I better get to work on mine!

What did you think of Benjamin Button? I really loved that movie.

Leiko said...

i just love reading you blog posts. makes me smile every time! sounds like the family is adjusting well to everything. how you find time to do everything that you do, i'll never know! :)

Yummers! said...

I love your description of Katie and Hugh walking home together. So darn cute! Indeed a memory for a scrap page!

What you call "a replacement teacher", we call "a substitute teacher". I tried it for a year after my divorce. A really interesting experience! Are you enjoying it??

Love the photo of your darling's little shoes! Soooooooo sweet!
Grammy J

Nini said...

WhoooHooo Katie!!! Didn't I tell you she'll do just fantastic?!
... And like Val said, you definitely ROCK Helen!! Amazing mom, super-duper talented scrapper and now back to work too!!!
Love the page of your self-portrait at the computer & the one about your always put your whole YOU into them... they always inspire me!
Oh! and I love that Buddha figurine in your garden too!
My very best of wishes for you.

Amy said...

Keep on juggling, girl! You're doing great!

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