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Following up from a blog post I wrote nearly 2 years ago(!), I’ve just been putting together some suggested prayers for our church primary school. I used some of the suggested ones in the blog post and some others I sourced from around the web. This is the selection I’ve given them for first thing in the school day:

Good morning Lord
This is your day.
We are your children.
Show us your way. Amen.

God bless the sky that is above us
the earth that is beneath us
your image deep within us
the day that lies before us.
Amen.

Lord, teach us how to keep your day
And lead and bless us all the way. Amen.

For this new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends.
For everything your goodness sends,
We thank You, dearest Lord.
Amen.

Jesus, gentle Shepherd,
Bless your lamb today;
Keep me in your footsteps,
Never let me stray.
Guard me through the daytime.
Every hour, I pray;
Keep my feet from straying
From the narrow way.
Amen.

(Sung)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning,
New every morning.
Great is your faithfulness O Lord.
Great is your faithfulness.

I found a lovely but very amateur clip of the Calvary 1st Nigerian choir singing this – the singing is gorgeous but the video is rather out of focus so I suggest you look at something else in your internet browser whilst you listen.

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If you are a parent with a child in primary school, you may today be panicking about World Book Day tomorrow. This is the occasion when many schools encourage kids to come in dressed as a literary character. My three are going as:

  1. Violet Baudelaire from the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events. This involves her wearing a purple dress and tying her hair with a purple ribbon. She is currently not keen on wearing the long black wig I bought because it isn’t quite as she imagined Violet’s hair looks (‘too long and curly’ apparently).
  2. Dr Who. Not very literary I’m afraid, but the Joker is obsessed and has been reading the annuals repeatedly. We obtained a second hand tweed jacket for him to accompany his sonic screwdriver and the bow tie he was given for Christmas.
  3. The Engineer’s outfit was trickier, involving the use of fun fur and a sewing machine. He is going as Mr Munroe from the Ottoline stories.

However, for those panicking this afternoon (as I usually do – this year is completely out of character for me), I give the following suggestions of easy outfits to cobble together before the morning, if your children are persuadable, as, alas, mine often aren’t.

  • Roald Dahl characters. Charlie (from the Chocolate Factory) just needs a golden ticket and normal clothes. Or Mrs Twit involves a headscarf and walking stick. George could go in normal clothes with a bottle of medicine and James could take a picture of a peach. Matilda can just take a pile of books!
  • Narnia children who could go in anything looking vaguely 1940s/50s eg shorts and knitted sweaters.
  • Horrid Henry characters (sorry) – Moody Margaret or Henry himself, for example. They will need to wear a scowl.
  • [Late edit] Captain Underpants. All you need is a cape (or piece of cloth) and undies worn over trousers. Would mainly appeal to 8 year old boys.

That’s a few off the top of my head. Any other top last minute outfit tips?

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Our kids are happy in our church school here in the parish. The teachers are kind and dedicated and are working hard to make it better and better. The school is in a disadvantaged area and it can be hard to ensure that all the children learn to their full potential. But the staff are tackling difficulties one by one and making a real difference. One of the obstacles that our current school faces is a building built for a smaller school (2/3 of its current size) and built at a time when open plan classrooms were all the rage.

Our building isn’t bad – it’s clean and well maintained. We’ve recently had a refurbishment of the Foundation Stage area which is fantastic. We have a wonderful school allotment and many other great outdoor facilities. I am thankful for many blessings there.

But the thing is, our old school just got a new building. And today I saw this wonderful video of it. If you manage not to blink, you can see a clay tile made by the Queen just before we left (at around 7 minutes in). This is the building that I am praying for our current church school. We are thinking long term here…

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At least I'm not a tangerine. Not today, anyway!

My kids have come back from school at the beginning of the new term with a new counting rhyme. They count the buttons you have on your clothes and chant

Lady
Baby
Gypsy Queen
Elephant
Monkey
Tangerine

Then you are pronounced to be one of these. Today I am (thankfully) a Lady. Happy was declared to be a Monkey on the morning he left. Oddly accurate, these counting rhymes. What are you today?

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More than a year ago I blogged a video of the Queen and the Joker reciting one of their favourite playground rhymes. This has attracted a few comments both on the blog and on YouTube, so I thought I’d share another favourite Wolverhampton rhyme here.

Here they are reciting Ribena, Sassatina (full lyrics below the video). I’m not sure what it is with soft drinks. And what is Sassatina, anyway? And apologies for the Queen’s stripes/flowers combo. She has her own fashion sense…

Ribena (clap, clap,clap), sassatina (clap, clap,clap).

Big boy (clap, clap,clap), crazy girl (clap, clap,clap).

Ribena, sassatina.

Big boy, crazy girl.

Statue, baby.

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New School Hats

Half term has just begun and I am very relieved to have a few days ahead where I can spend a few more minutes in bed of a morning. Plain Lazy is not my favourite t-shirt company for nothing. So this week I am going to gather myself together to prepare for what I am expecting to be a busier time ahead. Oh, and take the kids to London to stay with Nanna and Grumpy Grandpa and visit some museums, obviously. I may be lazy but I have an organised mother.

Last week I managed to add a couple of extra responsibilities to my life. Since the Engineer has started full time school, I have been wasting too much time faffing about. I always seem to get more done when there’s more to be done. So I am now officially a school governor and, following much red tape and council bureaucracy, I am also – ta-daaa – a school volunteer.  So now I’m Vicar’s Wife, Parent, Governor and Volunteer. I only need to start supervising dinners and I’ll have a full house.

I shall be going into school for two mornings a week to read with Year 6 and Year 2 pupils. I’m sure there’ll be much fodder for blogging, but I’ve signed the school’s paperwork agreeing to confidentiality. So I’ll not be able to share anything with you guys. Sorry. I’m looking forward to helping out in a school which has 35% pupils with special needs and some from difficult home situations.

I know a bit about the governors, because the Vicar is already on. I’ve been reading his stuff a bit so I’m already vaguely in the loop. Sadly my school gate pal Neatnic didn’t apply – she’d wanted to but couldn’t face writing the 75 word manifesto that I struggled with.

I’ve often heard local parents talk about wanting to get involved at school but they then seem to find the actuality too hard. It’s obviously not helped by the ridiculous bureaucracy that seems to have grown up around volunteering – CRB forms, council applications etc. But I think others are still nervous around teachers, seeing them as the grown ups, as if they themselves were still at school.

One of my aims in helping out at school is to help some of these parents make the step into school. I’m not sure how – any tips would be very welcome.

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I’ve been struggling this week to put together a 75 word spiel in support of my candidature to be a parent governor at our church school. Grumpy Grandpa has gone rather over the word limit with his suggestion, but otherwise I’d be submitting this:

Hi parents, I’m the Vicar’s Wife,
Follow my blog (or get a life),
I’ve managed things, well, more or less,
A sewage site at Inverness,
Then I worked in Pakistan
Fighting corruption with my charm,
In Kuala Lumpur, curing pong,
When drainage systems went all wrong,
I’ve three kids now at Holy T,
Tall, short hair, at the gate, that’s me,
Chatting away with the rest of the bunch,
Hoping they’ll help with the old peoples’ lunch,
Or hoping, too, they’ll come to pray:
But’s that’s all for another day.
I want to help, please vote for me,
And unlike your MP, I’m totally free!

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