On safari

Good old Tesco vouchers managed to get us 2 adult tickets for Woburn Safari Park for £13 (normally £19,50 each). We managed to get ourselves organised and get there before 10am for the Lions breakfast!

After getting some good tips about putting the kids in the boot (aka back seats all flat – which is possible in our Zafira!) we stripped the car of all seats and buggy and into the back I hopped with the kids. It was brilliant for them to be able to move around for a 360 degree view and also for Tamsin to be able to get out her chair a bit.

Man what a great day! There are so many different things to do from the drive safari, on foot animals, indoor play area, train ride, outdoor play area, Australian walkabout and monkey enclosure! The kids had an absolute ball! And besides a bit of attitude from Madam Jenna at about the half way point; they were so well-behaved! It always make me feel better as a parent to see how badly behaved (I know it’s awful!!!! but it does!!!) other kids are!

We eventually dragged ourselves out of there at about 5:30 after feeding the kids the last of the packed food for dinner. We arrived home, unpacked and managed to wrangle 3 very tired babies into bed by 6:15! All in all a great day and a big thumbs up from us! The whole trip in total only cost us less than £20 for the 5 of us – excluding petrol but including a much-needed cuppa coffee at half time!!

Treasures

Now to live a simple life of praise
In every way
Letting go of treasures on the earth
Holding on to You

I love these words of Beth Croft’s song “Found in you”. It once again reminds me of what is and isn’t important in my life! Everyday is another day to give it all back and refocus, and man I feel like I’m no good at it!

I know life’s not about things and yet I can’t stop looking at and wanting lovely things (even though I know I don’t really need them) – what’s wrong with dreaming right? But is it just dreaming is what I’m starting to ask myself; or is it coveting? I’m not a big fan of being overly “religious” about life, I just want to live my life in a way that glorifies God. Sometimes though we need to stop and examine our motives. I don’t think it’s wrong to want nice things or live in a nice house but it’s about knowing where to draw the line and how to stop from crossing it.

I’ve searched this world for something that endures, Only you, whose days will never cease can satisfy.

I think that’s the key, if we get what we are dreaming of and are never satisfied is that not crossing the line? Permanently wanting more and more of things in this world (the newest gadget/iPhone/kindle/furniture/kitchen/clothes…) is that not crossing the line?!

I keep trying to find the time and energy to “examine” myself to find those things I can improve on. I’m a work in progress… one day I’ll get there!

Have a listen to her song it’s awesome!

I love my JM …

Everything to her is magical!

I love that she believes she is a princess! And that being a princess means only wearing a dress/skirt and having her hair down. That she needs to dance with her prince (preferable William if you ask her!).

The her imagination can create food, houses and people out of ordinary things!

That she adores her little brother and sister even though she occasionally gets a little over enthusiastic about it! And they occasionally annoy her!

I love that she is such a strong-willed little madam who knows exactly what she wants – and always has! Ever since she was born!

I love her energy and that given a chance she will keep going like the energiser bunny until way after I need to go to bed!

I love her honesty! “mommy you’re breath smells”, me “thanks Jenna, I’ll brush them when I get out of bed!”, Jenna “gross”!!

I love they way she say she loves me back! The whispered “i love you’s” at night, the sincere thanks I get for doing something mundane for her like filling up her water bottle.

Most of all I love the fact that the reasons why I love her far outweight the reasons why she annoys me
and even that the things that annoy me are in fact some of the reasons exactly why I love!

Love a lick of paint


I love our little house, however I hate the fact that the developers used crappy watered down paint straight on the plaster board which mean any little bump shows! And you can’t wipe it down or the paint comes off and you can see the plaster board!

Anyway there’s this little area above the stove which has managed to get it self very dirty and splattered by flying oil and fat! Us South Africans like to fry our boerewors!!

This little area has been annoying me for the last 2 years, I really wanted to get a piece of glass for this area but it was outside my budget! I finally found something in my budget tho! A tester pot of paint at Wilkinson’s! £1!!! Whoop!!! What a difference it has made… and I think it’s made the bug bite me… Grand ideas… just need the budget to put it into practice!!

One day! When my children are old, graduated and left home maybe!

What a full day

So yesterday was a bit of a hectic day! A lovely day but a hectic day!

We started off having a cuppa with some lovely friends – which in itself is a bit hectic with 10 children belonging to 4 mom’s and a gate crasher dad! It was just a great time catching up with some beautiful friends and some lovely special news!

Off home we trundled for lunch and nap time which didn’t really happen as the kids had naps in the car on the way home instead – boo to no time off for me! Oh well! Martin who is currently on 2 weeks of leave at the moment organised to play a game or 2 or 3 of top golf. At about this time our neighbour asked if she could take me up on my offer to look after her 4 and 3-year-old for a couple of hours whilst they finish some decorating.

So off went my husband and in came 2 more children, I decided to borrow a friends 9-year-old for some moral support and to try even out the numbers!

Got to love 9-year-old baby sitters – obstacle courses made, trampoline games organised, paper airplane races run and picture drawing supervised! I really think I should get me one of these!

Next granny and paul arrived with dinner in anticipation of some baby sitting! Next Aunty Lee Lee and Dave arrived for dinner with load of lovely pressies from her South African trip over the summer holidays!

Some gorgeous dinner was consumed (cottage pie, stuffed marrows, cauliflower cheese, sweet potatoes, spinach and peppers – WOW) – thanks Paul!

Then it was time to put 2 little ones to bed before we hurried out the door for life group!

And this is the point of the whole post… I got to life group and started explaining how hectic my day had felt. But during the course of the evening in just spending time with God, I started to think of how lucky I was.

My day wasn’t hectic, it was FULL. Full of friends and family and beautiful children and great food. How blessed am I to be able to fill my day with these special moments and times.

I’m going to choose to think of my day this way as FULL and NOT hectic.

How about you?

Day on the farm!

Today with a decent weather report we decided to check out a local Pick Your Own Farm.  They have over 30 types of fruit and veg and you just wander around with your wheel barrow and help yourself!

Jenna loved looking for ripe fruit and veg whilst Carter just enjoyed sitting in the mud and running around! He did help with the collection of onions and potatoes! And the eating of strawberries and raspberries off the plants!

Due to some poor timing on our side and forgetting our wallets at home we managed to arrive at bottle time for Tamsin! Poor little girl just had a bottle propped in her mouth whilst we ran off enjoying ourselves!

Lunch time happened right in the middle of picking so sandwiches were handed out for eating on the move and in the wheelbarrow.  TJ loved her butternut, apple and potatoe lunch on the run too!

Time to head home for naps via the till! Our nearly full wheelbarrow full of courgettes (5), potatoes (2kg ish), onions (2.5kg – Carter couldn’t stop collecting them), raspberries, strawberries, 2 garlics, 2 cauliflowers and a huge cabbage all came to a grand total of £8!! A deal I think so!

Such a super idea for a healthy educational and fun day out for the kids – and you walk away having filled up the fridge! Next time we’ll pack a picnic and make use of the tables and play area too!

Day 2

Since yesterday went so well I decided to go whole hog and do 3 meals – small meals!

Breakfast was rice cereal with pears, lunch was rice with butternut and supper was rice with apple puree. She loved it. All of it! And after her dinner was done screamed until I fed her another 2 ice cubes of rice cereal!

I still can’t believe we are at this stage… it all seems to be going so quickly! And every time I look at Carter I get a picture of where Tamsin will be in a years time! It’s crazy having that constant reminder around! I just keep trying to live in the moment and enjoy the moment!

So fingers crossed we’ll keep going as well as we started… Tamsin AND me with the ever tedious pureeing!

Weaning day 1

So after some prep work of pureeing up some apples, pears and carrots the big day arrived.  Oh and scrubbing down the high chair that has been stored in the shed. Obviously I hadn’t cleaned it too well after Carter as it was disgusting and covered in mould. A lot of bleach, anti bacterial spray and scrubbing later it looked better than new!

I had decided to wait until Martin was on leave for 2 weeks to make life a little easier even though Tamsin has been champing at the bit; literally, to get going!

So breakfast consisted of baby rice cereal which involved a lot of mess and pushing out of the mouth. Supper time arrived and with the addition of some apple and pear puree seemed to slip down a lot easier.

It’s amazing how quickly they seem to get the hang of eating and moving stuff to the back of their mouth – well maybe we’re lucky.
T ate a little earlier than us and then joined us for our pizza supper in her high chair.  Much moaning and staring later she was handed a crush to chew on… man oh man was she excited!! Yeah I know it all seemed to be moving a little fast! But I believe you have to follow their lead in these things and she did so well with it, even managing the few little crumbs she gummed off!

So tomorrows a new day …  Day 2… updates to follow!!

Challenge for the week…Pray

Above all — and this I regard as most important of all — always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with the text. I would make an absolute law of this — always obey such impulse.      Martyn Lloyd-Jones

If we all did this all the time what would happen, how different would our lives be and our impact on other be!

As much as I wish I had hours to spend doing this it generally happens in short little one line bursts! I wish I had the discipline to “pray constantly or pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17, for now though I will pray as often as I can, an pray for discipline to pray more!

So take your opportunities where you can, a CD in the car, a verse on the toilet door or just a one liner when the Spirit prompts you! Prayer can change lives! It can change mine, and it can change yours so lets see what God has in store for us when we learn to obey His prompting and impulse!

Here’s my challenge, what’s yours?

Memory Boxes

I have so much junk aka precious memories lying around that I decided it was time to organise them!

Both the girls were given little memory boxes when they were born but the poor little guy hasn’t so time to remedy the situation.  The little boxes are great but just aren’t big enough! Jenna’s is already bursting and that doesn’t include any of her “art work”.

So hubby got instructions to find me an old printer paper box from work – instead he came home with something better! Old file storage boxes – bigger and stronger!!

I have this thought that I will add all those special little things that sometimes land up in the bin – the special pictures, birthday cards, post cards etc etc

In my mind i store them all beautifully and KEEP UP TO DATE with it and when they finally leave home I can pass them on and we can all sit and go through the box smiling, laughing and crying at all the old memories!

Boxes made up, pretty wrapping paper weeded out the boxes were all wrapped up! Unfortunately we had no boys paper so as usual poor Carter had to wait until I could manage to get to the shop and find something special for him! Just need to put their initials on them and they’re all done!

How do you all keep your little treasured memories safe?