Sun, sand and paddling pools

The last few days have dawned sunny and warm so it’s out with the paddling pool on with the sun cream and out into the garden!!

I have been waiting for these moments all summer.  And waiting and waiting… I mean come on it’s been a very rainy summer, and before you say what do you expect in the UK stop! I know! but just a couple of days a week isn’t too much to ask for is it!!

Anyway back to the topic.  The kids are so much happier when the sun shines, and I can get them out the house, expending energy which = better sleep!!! Yes please!

Unfortunately paddling pool and sandpit = MUD!!! Everywhere!! On my sofa’s, all over my floors (newly cleaned floors I might add; by a cleaner I might add)!! In the paddling pool on my outside chairs and patio on the trampoline – GRRRR!

But lets put it on the scales; happy, sleepy children vs sandy floors? Gotta say the sand wins hands-down! So out with the hoover to clean it all up only to do it all again tomorrow! Yippee (said with just the tiniest bit of sarcasm)!

Mommy’s helper

So Jenna asked today what the laundry basket was for (one of her silly questions)?  I told her I was going to collect all the dirty washing and she continued to munch down on her Pita bread and cottage cheese lunch!

After finishing she grabbed the basket and toddled upstairs to start “helping”. After I finished feeding Carter and Tamsin I took them upstairs for their nap and my handy helper had put all the clothes from her room, Carters room and the bathroom in the basket. She then ran up to our room to bring down some of other clothes.

It made me wonder how often I underestimate how much the children understand and are capable of.  So here is the start of chores! It’s not that they don’t help out but I think it’s time to formalise it! Chore charts at the ready and here we go!

After all if the Obama children have to tidy their own rooms, make their beds and do their laundry I think mine can too!

Sacrifice??

As much as I love my kids sometimes I look at all of them and think how different my life would be if “life” hadn’t happened the way it had.  We’d have WAY more money and more time which would mean more travel and holidays and evenings out. I’d have no stretch marks and wouldn’t need a boob lift! My couches wouldn’t be filthy and the walls need constant washing down from little hand prints! All the mission trips we’ve missed out on and the lack of time to serve as much as we would like.

Then I’ll look at them again and think of all the funny moments, the cuddles, smiles and precious words that come out of their mouths. I think about the future and teaching them to grow into loving, responsible, kind adults. Maybe this is our mission field at the moment? Maybe I won’t see the fruit right now but looking to the future as my children grow maybe I should focus on how many people might be ministered to by our ministering to them.

I’m gonna choose to think about these sacrifices as offerings, my small contribution. Let’s hope that just like the loaves and fish God will multiply it!  I’d still love more time and money but really in the grand scheme of life how important is it really?!!? I’m gonna say not at all!!

Being Family

There is nothing better than a morning spent with great friends, in the sun just relaxing, chatting and watching the kids enjoy themselves.  Such is life in the Explore family! Our unofficial extended UK family!

We are so blessed to be part of such a generous, friendly and loving community.  Who love having fun together. Today was our “end of year/Dave Jones party” fully equipped with no less than 3 bouncy castles, coffee and biscuits followed by picnic snacks. AND the Lord heard our prayers and the weather cooperated making a blissfully sunny morning spent with some special people.

I love knowing that our children are loved and supported by our Explore family and that everyone looks out for everyone’s little ones making church such a safe place.

My hope and prayer is that everyone manages to find a “home” where they feel as loved and settled as we do!

mmmmm…. honey comb!!

Wondering what to make when the cupboard is bare – honey comb! What to make if you’re short of time – honey comb! Need something super sweet – honey comb! Want something to do with the kids – honey comb!

Ok but let me be honest my first attempt was not so successful – don’t think I had the sugar on the heat for long enough!Think I might have lost a few fillings! Jenna has loved helping with this and watching the “magic” when the bicarb makes it bubble and grow (possible chemistry lesson in there somewhere)!

But here it is:

100g Castor sugar

2 spoons/forkfuls of syrup

1 teaspoon of bicarb of soda

Put the sugar and syrup in a bowl and give a good mix. Put over a low heat and melt until golden brown and passes the crack test (put some on a spoon and dip into cold water and listen for the crack!).

Take it off the stove and add the bicarb, whisk it quickly with a spoon and pour out onto some grease proof paper.  Allow to cool for about 2 hours and then smash it up with something hard (great for getting rid of frustration)!!

Seriously yummy and great sprinkled over ice cream or as an after dinner snack or gift!

Give it a go and let me know what you think, or rather what the kids think!

Patience… please!!!

Today is obviously going to be just one of THOSE DAYS!! Where everything seems to end in argument and the naughty step is permanently occupied by someone!

How can some days be so peaceful with everyone sharing and getting along and then the next it’s like world war 3 has erupted and no negotiation is going to end it! The only way to end it is by putting on the TV which creates its own drama’s! Seriously sometimes I wish I could climb into their little brains to figure out exactly what is going on inside there.

Jenna is the middle of a full on strop!!

It’s on days like today when I have to really remind myself of the reason’s why they actually deserve me to keep my cool and deal with it like an adult and not like the impulsive 5-year-old that is sometimes trying to get out to retaliate and fight back when I get frustrated!!

On that note I found this verse today:

Proverbs 15:18

A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.

Wow there truly is a verse for every occasion! OK p

So today my prayer is for patience, to focus on the positive and try remember all the lovely little things that my children do and say!

Get out the blooming boat

The whole concept of trusting in  God and stepping out in faith has been one which has been on my mind for a while lately and strangely enough (not really) has been the message that has been spoken on at Explore lately.

I suppose that’s part of what this blog is about, stepping out, trying new things and trying to find new ways to make share my God with others and hopefully the things He is speaking to me about might touch someone elses heart. That being said; it is a really really difficult thing to do. Sometimes I really just want to kick my own butt out the boat!!

To put yourself out on the line and make yourself vulnerable to others comes with the risk (sometimes BIG risk) that it might be tossed back in your face or even worse that someone might think it’s really stupid or lame! Some people love or don’t mind making a fool of themselves; I’m not one of them!

Matthew 14:28-31

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.  

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I keep thinking one day when I die will I really care what people thought or would I prefer that God remembered all the things I tried in His name and what He thinks of me.  It’s a process “baby steps, baby steps” and one day we’ll (I’ll) get there.

So I’ll keep trusting that is His hands I am safe and that God’s plans are ” for good and not for disaster, to give me a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

What is God challenging you about, what is your “water”?? Leave me a comment and let me know!

num num num

Well we have a little lady in the house who is getting very interested in food, watching the fork go back and forward and starting to moan every time we eat in front of her! And starting to chew chew chew on her little lip! Man it feels like yesterday I was going through these same motions – oh yeah wait it was, well almost! It was exactly a year ago Master Carter started doing the same thing and picking up food that Jenna dropped and popping it in his mouth.

Jenna-May’s first taste of food!

Carter started off a messy very independent eater and still continues!

I’m hoping to hold off for another 2-4 weeks until just after the 4 month mark to give myself at least a little time to get organised and start the endless rounds of pureeing – grrrrrrrr!! Need to empty out the freezer too to make some room!

Seriously time – SLOW DOWN!!!

I do love seeing them trying to figure the whole thing out and their different likes and dislikes however after vacuuming the floor under Carter’s high chair this evening I am not looking forward to accumulating even more mess under the table – not really sure it is possible either!

Oh well here comes the next chapter of food for our not so little anymore Tamsin Jayne – fun times ahead!

Wish me luck!

Chicken Liver Pate

I have had so many requests for this simple simple recipe (all credit to my mom) that I decided to add it for easy access!  It is really delicious and my kids absolutely love it – and it’s a great source of iron to boot!

250g butter or good marg

2 medium onions

1 large or 2 small packet chicken livers

2 bay leaves

5 tablespoons of brandy

pinch of mixed herbs

3 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoons of pepper

4 cloves of garlic

Throw it all together in a pot and simmer for about 30 minutes, allow to cool and then pour into container of your choice!

It also freezes really well and is great for either dinner parties or just on toast!