Friday, 31 December 2010

In between Christmas and New Year

I enjoy the few days between Christmas and New Year. For me it is a time to reflect on the year almost ended and the opportunity of a New Year beginning.

January- Home

February- Allotment

March- Iceland

April- London

May- Preparing for the arrival

June- She arrived!

July- Back garden


September- Fruit leather

October- 'Our whole family in a boat!'

November- Hatfield Forest

December- Christmas with family

2010 has been a real mix. What stands in the front of my mind is the happiness of Ljs birth, the sadness of two family deaths and the frustration of potty training!

As I plan for the year ahead I'm making exercise, meal and bible study schedules. If I can make a daily habit of these three things then I believe I will feel balanced and have the strength to face whatever comes my way in 2011.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Since I last posted.

What has been going on in our world since I last posted-

:: I celebrated my birthday.

:: Lots of walking in the woods.

:: My family has been to stay.

:: I found MJ knitting with a piece of string and a lego fishing rod. Look at the concentration on his face...priceless.

:: MJ contracted chicken pox, so lots of Calamine being applied and not much sleep being had!

:: I've been employed to do some freelance CAD work.

:: Two pairs of slipper socks are finished, one pair on the needles and last years attempt at knitting long gloves are almost finished too.

:: Lilyjean is still smiling.

I wonder if the next two weeks will be as diverse.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Knitting and listening.

This week I have been enjoying knitting slippers while listening to all sorts of podcasts and radio programmes.

My new past time when the kids are tucked up safely in bed is to grab my knitting bag. Two weeks on and I am still enjoying knitting, I can't believe it. I finished a pair of slippers for myself and am almost finished a pair for my mum, a surprise for when she arrives on Tuesday for a short visit. My husband and his friend have also ordered a pair so I need to source some manly wool! While knitting I can multi task and listen to something on the radio or a podcast which I am loving. I'm especially into Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church. Tonight I am listening to him speak about Women and homemaking! What he says is a bit controversial but encouraging to me as a stay at home mum.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Our day.

We had little planned for today so LJ was able to catch up on some sleep in her cot, while MJ was busy creating his own fun. He has a fascination with boats at present. It is ever since M took him on a boat trip for his 3rd birthday.

Pink watering can aka boat, mud bath aka river with waterfall. He played for an hour in this until the ground got so muddy that his feet kept sinking and I had to be called to pull him out twice.

This is his chalk drawing of a boat. The green circles are portholes. In each porthole is a person. Mum, Dad, MJ, LJ, Granddad and Nana. There are a few dots as eyes and a few sad looking mouths but he assures me we are all happy! The zig zag line at the bottom is water. I was so impressed I wished he had drawn it on paper so I could frame it. His imagination is really working overtime at the moment.

Being inspired by the women at Craft and Coffee yesterday I started knitting again. I am not a patient person, therefore I am not a knitter but I really want to knit beautiful things. So I'm trying again. This time I am knitting some cute slippers out of wool I got in Iceland at the beginning of year. The pattern was recommended and can be found at Drops design.

Now the kids are sleeping and M is still at work so I think I will pick up the needles and keep knitting while the enthusiasm is still there.

I'm glad we had a quiet day today!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Tragedy, Fear and Hope

This past week has been one of tragedy, fear and hope.

I will explain.


On Thursday 29th September my 36 year old cousin died giving birth to her third child. A husband is left to care for and raise a 4 year old girl, 1 year old boy and new born baby. How is he to understand this sudden tragedy which had filled his world?


Last night we watched the film, ‘the girl with the dragon tattoo’. It was originally a book written by Stieg Larsson. Although it was a well made film I would not recommend anyone to watch it. I don’t believe it is profitable to fill our minds and thoughts with such evil ideas and imagery. It left me feeling fearful for my own children. What if they grow up to be influenced by the evil in this world and therefore walk an evil path? What if they are the victim of evil? How would I ever cope if anyone hurt one by my babies?


Thankfully this morning as I was sitting alone, talking to God about some things on my mind and reading the Bible (Gods words to us) I came across this verse.

‘Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.’ Proverbs ch 3 v 25,26.

These words jumped out of the page at me. It summerized just what I was feeling and filled me with calm for the future of me and my family. If tragedy or evil should come to us I hope that I will trust these words and know a confidence that only God can give. What else can we hold onto in this life?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Our very own, home grown pumpkin.

We came back home on Wednesday evening to find a large pumpkin on the table. M is so proud of his first ever home grown pumpkin. He had to take the car to the allotment to transport it home. I think we will be growing a pumpkin every year from now on.

Trying to give you an idea of the size of our pumpkin...a little bigger than mjs head!!!

Mjs painted version of our pumpkin.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Here and now

Our babies are sleeping so I'm chilling and doing what I enjoy. Let me share with you.

:: Eating freshly made cookies. A new recipe...easy and yummy. They contain oats so that makes them healthy too!!!

:: Teaching myself to draw Manga. I love these figures and have been wanting to learn how to draw and colour them for awhile now. On friday I spotted a new book in our library, 'The practical guide to drawing Manga'. Tonight was lesson two- drawing 3/4 view and side profile. My aim is to be able to design my own Manga characters for MJ and Lj...that is alot of lessons away. But so far these are my attempts at Manga.

:: Listening to a podcast by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church on 'Praying like Jesus'.

The challenges for this week are to

:: Not eat all the cookies myself
:: Do another two lessons on drawing Manga
:: Pray continually, about all things, no matter how small or trivial.

Friday, 24 September 2010


For a few weeks I have been thinking that MJ needs a bin in his bedroom. Buy a bin...easy you would think. But not so, for me anyway! I looked all round town. There were stainless steel bathroom bins, wicker bins, large plastic office type bins, tv inspired kids bins...but none really fitted the brief of a bin for MJ's room. I almost bought a bright red with green lid, plastic bin but as I took it to the checkout I realised I didn't want this cheap, tacky and plastic thing in MJs room. I'm so glad I put it back. Just a couple of days later the 'Created' magazine arrived through our door. In it I spotted a bin that I liked the look of and so I ordered it. It is perfect! It looks good, is the right size and best of all it is supporting the employment, at a fair price of people in a third world country. It even provides a good illustration for being able to talk to MJ about people who financially are not as well off as us.

Our new bin

Not only did I get the perfect bin, I also ordered some tea towels and was so impressed by these too. In fact I think they are to beautiful to be used in drying dishes so my mind is working overtime wondering what I could turn them in to.

Beautiful woven tea towels

Have a look at the 'Created' website. It is full of beautiful, ethical things which could make Christmas shopping a breeze!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Free food

I love this time of year because I love free food!

On thursday my friend let me help myself to her plum tree. Yesterday we arrived home to a bag of pears sitting on our door step. This afternoon we went foraging for blackberries and tonight I was given a bag of cooking apples. Free fruit...awesome!

We made plum fruit leather

and blackberry pancakes.

Let me introduce you to Mr Puppet. MJ and Mr Puppet love fruit, so they too loved this weekends fruit abundance.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Columbia Road, London

A friends baby shower took me into London today. As I had a few hours to kill before the party started I thought I would visit Rob Ryans shop, Ryantown. It is only open at the weekends and I am rarely in that part of the city on a weekend so it was the perfect opportunity. Little did I know that in finding Ryantown I would also discover a street full of beautiful shops, filled with beautiful things. That is Columbia Road, London.

I purchased some fabric from beyond fabrics. I just couldn't pass it by. It was filled to the rafters with amazing prints and was just the shop I would love to own and run.

Now I am back home and my head is buzzing with new ideas but my body is too tired to fulfill them so I think I will take my sketch book to bed and note them for another day.

Finally I found Ryantown.

Friday, 17 September 2010

{this moment}

From Soulemama a friday ritual {this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Autumn beckons

In order to stay positive about the changing seasons I feel I need to get back to blogging.

Blogging helps me
:: look for the beauty in everyday life.
:: stop and consider what I have done with my day.
:: increase my learning.
:: share my findings with others.

I know blogging will help me to embrace Autumn postively and cease to mourn the passing of summer.

I am totally in awe of the colour of these beans we have grown at the allotment. What inspiration comes through nature!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Parenting cards

Recently I came across the idea of 'parenting cards' which are little daily reminders of how to understand or treat our children. I decided to make some so I can randomly choose one each morning and try to remember it and act upon it throughout the day.

They have challenged me to slow down and think about ...

:: How I spend my time at home with my children
:: How I react when something goes wrong
:: How I physically and verbally show them how much I love them
:: How I am affecting the way my children see the world
:: Whether I am a positive or negative influence on their lives...and so much more.

I certainly haven't got it sorted...just this morning I had to hold myself from getting frustrated at MJ for making a mess with the muffin mixture when really he was being a two year old who was trying hard to be helpful.

My aims for becoming the wife, mother, daughter and friend that I desire to be are to...

:: Be gentle and not pushy
:: Be slow, thoughtful and considerate
:: Bring comfort and happiness
:: Listen without being distracted.

I have alot of work to do!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Just now...

Sorry I haven't been blogging for awhile. Life with two kids is double the fun but takes away any free time I had before! The thoughts of crafting are still there but the reality of crafting has yet to take place.

Just now I am...

:: looking at birthday cake recipes for M

:: inspecting my post pregnancy stretch marks : (

:: drinking a hot lemon and honey in the hope it will cure a sore throat

:: wondering if there is anything urgent I should be doing while my babies sleep

Oh dear I spoke too soon...little eyes are open and peeking at me.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Lilyjean has arrived

Words can't express the wonder, joy and priviledge I feel when staring at this precious gift of life.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Today we are...

:: still waiting for baby to arrive

:: enjoying goodies from the allotment...only a few strawberries made it home...they tasted too good to wait!

:: excited that baby Jamie has popped into the world safely

:: stealing chocolates while MJ has a nap

:: about to meet friends at the park.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Giving and receiving.

Last week was a week of 'giving and receiving'.

Bunting for baby Amelia.

Bean bags for Coulsons third birthday.

Purple mangetout for me : )

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Back to blogging.

What we have been up to...

Lots of baby girls have been born into our world in the last few weeks so we have been making cards and gifts.

Everyday MJ seems to surprise me with something new he can do. Today I caught him jumping around the kitchen with a ball between his legs...thankfully I had my camera to hand.

The sun is giving us oranges on our orange tree.

I can't believe we have peppers growing outside.

First pickings from the allotment...purple mangetout...looks even more amazing in reality.

My rose bush blooming, reminding me of my grandmother.

We are eating salads everyday...salad leaf glut in the back garden. Would like a salad recipe book for more inspiration.

Establishing a better bed time routine with MJ has meant that we all have a little more personal time and space. MJ decided one day when we had friends for dinner that the only place he would get some personal space was to sit in the front garden!