Friday, 29 January 2010

The sun did shine this week, in more ways than one!

With a little sun on Tuesday and a trip to our local forest park with friends, my mood soared. The children seemed oblivious to the cold but rejoiced in the freedom of being together and outside. I too felt a weight being lifted from my shoulders as I laughed at their antics.

Even the ducks stopped and stared as three freedom bound two year olds were let loose among the trees and mud.

Mjs new found passion for stories also gave me a glow this week. I came home on sunday evening to find M and Mj curled up in bed reading...they were on their 14th story in a row!!! Ever since he keeps bringing me books to read. Thank goodness for some inspiring authors, talented illustrators and free I am kept amused too. Below is our favourite of the week.

I finish with a quote from the life of Alice Sommer Hertz (currently an inspiring documentary on i player), 'Everything is a present'.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Why I love our home.

It was a bath or a blog post...I'm going to try and achieve both in the next hour.

I have been wanting to do another blog post and was going share with you a new recipe which Mj and I baked yesterday. Mocha Cake, given to us by our friend. But, as I went to type the post I realised that I didn't have the memory stick in the camera when taking the photos! So, that is for another day.

Instead I noticed the things in our home which make our home just that...our home. So with a few photos I will share.

Crazy photo I know, but it is Mjs twinkle twinkle stars so I feel the photo captures a little of that too!

My chalk board which I add quotes or verses to to help remind me of the person I want to be.

My spotty bowls...I just love spots.

My charity shop plate...not really useful but I couldn't pass it by. It says 'Love, is the little things we do for each other.

And what I love most about these things is that where ever we live I can take them with me, making any house my home.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Until the sun shines again

I have 30mins to create this blog before I am timed out (a restriction M and I put on our computer to stop us sitting up all night browsing!). Not only do I have a time restriction but I am also really struggling to write these days. That was until I came across the blog of Buttons Magee 'when winter gives me the blahs' today which totally summed up how I was feeling. Just like 'Buttons Magee' I am feeling a bit flat, uninspired and lifeless. I think it is caused by these cold and grey days and exaggerated by the fact that I am pregnant and continually tired.

Each morning I try to spend some time alone doing stretches, writing in my journal, thinking and praying for those in need and planning the day ahead. This has certainly helped but hasn't permanently lifted me out of my slumber.

I am grateful to have Mj who makes me keep going even if I don't feel like it and has meant that the past week hasn't been totally fruitless.

This is what we have been up too.

An unplanned trip into London which lifted my spirits for a whole day.
Above is the current installation in the Tate Modern by Miroslaw Balka, How it is. A real treat to watch as Mj explored the dark space, asking that I turn the lights on and afraid that the 'Gruffalo' was lurking in the shadows.

As we prepare for Mj starting Pre-school in Feb I am reading this book and am feeling scared at the influence we have on his little life.

My present to myself, inspiring me to talk freely to Mj about the subject I enjoy so much.

Leaflets I have been designing for our upcoming church events. I'm so thankful for these tasks as they make me be creative when I'm feeling uncreative.

Wow, 15mins left.

And what I would be doing if I had all the energy and enthusiasm in the world.

- baking bread
- trying a new recipe
- creating a home made cleaning kit
- finishing a cushion and picture for a special friend
- taking more photographs
- teaching Mj more about nature, the bible and the world
- hanging out our newly filled bird feeder!

I look forward to the day when the sun shines brightly. But, until then I will keep plodding on and enjoying the little flickers of light on our way.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Messy play

This post is for all you Mamas who need some inspiration on how to spend your afternoon with your little ones. If you don't have a little one but need to release some tension then it is also for you!

We have just been to 'messy play', as part of our local Sure Start scheme. Sure Start is a fantastic government funded initiative. If you are not already part of it you should find out if you have one in your area. Ours is amazing!

I'm so disappointed I didn't bring my camera along as we had such a fun time.

To re create messy play at home you will need a washable area in which to play. I am going to invest in an Active products multi purpose mixing tray, from B&Q at just under £20. They are big enough to be used for all sorts of activities and have a lipped edge to keep the messiness contained (as much as possible!) and useful for indoor and outdoor play.

This morning we had one of these trays filled with loose tea, another with custard and another with soggy noodles. Mj could have spent all day just playing with the loose tea, pouring from one jug to another, drawing circles in it, sprinkling it over his toes and sieving it. He was not so keen on the soggy noodles but when some got contaminated by the loose tea and began to look like worms his interest increased dramatically. The custard he also loved. Just sliding his hands around in it, writing in it and flicking it at his Mama. However, being the cautious little man that he is, I could not tempt him to get his feet in it...I don't actually blame him, I'm not sure I would have done it either! But you never know maybe another week he will dare to walk in the tray of custard.

I hope to remember my camera next week and illustrate the fun we had today.

Happy experimenting and above all...go get messy!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Shiny new baby

My nephew Jack received a beautifully simple hand painted name plate as a birth present (see below). It inspired me to try something similar for my friends new baby. I didn't want to simply copy it but thought I would use the materials and style that I am comfortable with and enjoy using. I considered making it out of fabrics but having received some cute and girlie scrapbooking papers I thought I would use them instead. Also I am keen to resurrect my university pantone letraset pens and so this seemed a good opportunity to revive them. Finally, I love Mjs book 'Whoosh around the mulberry bush'. The illustrations are fantastic and they too have informed my name plate.

Jacks name plate by overthemoondesigns.

Check out the great illustrations in this childrens story book. Inspiring even for an adult!

My attempt for baby Evie...I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Hope for 2010

I love the beginning of a new year. The chance to start afresh. To set new goals and aims.

I was struck by the words of the hymn 'From the squalor of a borrowed stable' by Stuart Townend.

Verse 2

King of heaven now the friend of sinners,
humble servant in the Father's hands,
filled with power and the Holy Spirit,
filled with mercy for the broken man.
Yes, He walked my road and He felt my pain,
joys and sorrows that I know so well;
yet his righteous steps give me hope again-
I will follow my Immanuel!

My New Year message to myself is...'there can always be renewed hope'.

Happy new year to you all.

Christmas is past but memories remain.

The view from my parents kitchen window means that you could never tire of peeling brussel sprouts.

Possibly the warmest and costiest room in Ireland and so we didn't dare leave it for more than a few hours at a time.

I ventured out in my pyjamas and slippers to take this pic. It is a scene I would love to paint one day as it always reminds me of the joy I feel on returning home.