My way or…

I read something today that made me think. Well actual I read it three times, in three different ways.  I always find that is the way God works with me.  He knows I need to hear things multiple times to belive them, I need have time to think things through, forget about them and then get made to think them through again before they stick.  This was one of them…

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I don’t know about you but sometimes I get so caught up with wanting my children to do things my way that I think ;I forget; that they are as entitled to an opinion and way of doing things as I am.  The battle of meal times, bath times and bed times can feel so wearing.  What happened to the joy? Where does it go? Where does the acceptance and love and gratitude go?  I don’t know but I’m starting to think that the way to getting it back  is putting others above ourselves, it’s not about enforcing our wills over others but living together in relationship and in love.

And I’m not for a minute saying I think children should get their own way all the time, discipline is important, very important. But maybe there is a different way, with less confrontation and head banging and frustration.

At the moment there seems to be an awful lot of whining and not listening in my house… and it’s been frustrating. Frustrating not knowing why it seems to happen on this rotational basis in my house, not knowing how to fix it without causing even more tension and frustration.  Maybe it’s due to the change of roles in the house and not spending as much time with the children as I’d like to.  Maybe it’s them spending more time at school and being more tired.  And then I read this…

It seems like such a simple solution.  A solution I can do. A solution I’d actually enjoy doing.  A solution the kids would enjoy.
Just this afternoon I spent time playing cars and building roads with the kids. I spent time doing homework with Jenna and then time just drawing people and vests and shorts and surf boards and waves…  This was before I read these. You know what; no fights this afternoon.  That mights just be coincidence but I think it’s true.  The more time and effort you put into a relationship the better it will be. The more time we spend with God the more time we want to be like him and be obedient to Him. Why wouldn’t that transfer to obedience in children?

I’m sure this isn’t a new concept, but I think it’s something I need to work on in my life.  I think I need to remember the blessings and precious moments, concentrate on those and forget about all the moaning about the early mornings, washing and toys left lying around (yes that was a little moan – I’m not perfect!!).

I found this quote on DesiringGod about a year ago and it really sums up what I’ve been feeling…

“Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.”

I’m not a hard-core as this lady, but I’d love to be.

Romans 12:2   Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

Psalm 118:24   This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Create in me a glad heart Lord.

Gift tags #pinaddicts

I’ve had this tagged for quite  a while on my Pinterest page and decided to use them as an activity with my 4yo…. she loved it besides the waiting between stages.

But lesson learnt – if you want them to be perfectly cut out and stamped – don’t allow the 4yo to do it!

Some of them cracked a little which is I think due to not kneading them enough and getting all the air out. I also baked the first batch on my ceramic tray which I think made the temperature a little hot so the second batch I lowered to under 100 degrees which seemed to work better. I think the celcius thing threw me  a little!

I love them, they’re going to look so good with my brown wrapping and twine under the Christmas tree.

This year I will be prepared for Christmas, no more last minute running around trying to find presents and wrapping paper and food!!  My husband thinks I’m crazy and keeps telling me I’m driving him mad with it…  he will thank me later… I hope.

I’ve even stocked up on gold coins for the children’s stockings and I’ve got some presents delivered …you started buying yet?

I’m joining up with the Pinaddicts this month so go along and check them out!

Butterfly world

I love family days out, days that cost us less than £15 for all 5 of us are even better!

We have been wanting to go for ages and you know what I’m not sure why we havent, but isn’t that the way it always goes!

Today broke sunny – for a change, and we decided to bite the bullet and the 9 degree weather and do it!  And of course it was fab.  The kids loved it, I loved that it got them outside running around and seeing and exploring new things.

They loved butterfly house (even though we thought there could be more of them) and loved the ant house even more (no extra ants needed here)!!! They loved holding giant snails and looking at the roaches, praying mantis and stick insects. There is a fab play area that is so nicely spaced out that you don’t feel on top of other people as well as different things to do (rope bridges, 3 different slides, climbing frame, sand pit and wobbly bridge).  There are walks and willow tunnels. Different gardens with giant pots and forks, recycled gardens, water gardens, urban gardens as well as a pond.  There is enough to keep you busy for a full morning and actually the kids really didn’t want to go home and wanted to stay playing!

To be honest we thought the gardens were looking a little worn, but I think that’s due to the time of year and that really did not take away from a super day out!

Prices are £5 for adults and over 3’s at the moment which is really reasonable and there always seem to be vouchers out there for half price entry if you look.  They also do toddler mornings, craft days, hold the bug sessions with stroy time and the list goes on!  Next year autumn the new biome should be done – the world’s biggest butterfly walk through which will be amazing… an annual pass might be needed!

Have you been, what did you think?

Upcycled lamp.

I was given 2 old lamps by my mother-in-law not too long ago.  One I really liked the look of it’s base and decided it would be perfect to update a little.

I had a can of white spray paint lying around so gave it a good ol go with that which got rid of the yellowy cream colour that it was. Next I tried to buy a new shade for it… impossible… I didn’t realise that there are different fits (the whole around the bulb) in different countries, or else the light is so old that the standard size has been changed. So after buying and returning and checking other stores I decided to buy some material and cover it myself.

I read a few tutorials to get the general idea (see my Pinterest pages) and had at it!

Getting the material cut correctly was the hardest part as I only had 0.5m and when tracing out the shape it does a big half circle so a couple of tries later I eventually got it to fit. But that could just be me being a little simple!

I used my glue gun to fasten it, first the top and then the bottom – I used some big paperclips to keep it in place whilst the glue dried.

I think it turned out pretty well although I still need to do a little neatening inside with some small scissors.

Next to tackle 2 big wingback armchairs I have been given. Anyone got some tips??? Think I might have to find something smaller to practice on first… maybe

Priceless sunny memories

On rainy miserable days like today I sometimes dream I was back on the beach back home in Port Elizabeth!  Not that the weather has been much better there this weekend with some crazy flooding with roads washed away… say a little prayer for those left homeless and destitute and be thankful for the roof over your head!

But back to dreaming of sunnier days 2 months ago on our holiday…

There really is nothing better than spending time with family and reconnecting with them.  And nothing better than 30 minutes spent playing on Picmonkey going through them and editting them, you gotta love digital technology… as a side note we have just moved all our photo’s to an external hard drive and since 2006 have taken and saved 39 000!! Seriously… that is a crazy amount! Memories, priceless memories!

Ikeaitits

I have a little problem. It starts with an I.  I’m sure I’m not the only one, maybe you’ve had it too… Ikeaitis – heard of it? I can’t seem to stay away, or keep my wallet in my pocket and even when I’m not shopping I’m dreaming and internet planning!!

How can you not love an all in one shop that has everything from plants and candles to beds and sofa’s, and good meatballs to boot! I go in wanting one thing and walk out with an extra 5 things that I didn’t know I desperately needed until that day! This weekend we went for a wok, didn’t get the wok and instead got curtains, a blind, a pan, candles, a frame, 2 bed side lights for the children and a packet full of food! See what i mean????

If you’ve found a cure, short of emptying my bank account, please could you let me know and please beware Ikeaitits is contagious!

Helpless but not without hope.

We had a moment a few Sunday nights ago when I realised just how helpless we really are sometimes.

A friends husband had gone missing.  He had played a sports match then gone for a drink at the pub with the team.  Last he was seen he was outside at closing time at 1am waiting for a taxi.   He didn’t make it home.

He has a wife and 3 girls who were all understandable distraught.

People were out searching the area for him the next morning, hospitals etc were called and nothing.

We only found out about it at 6pm on Sunday after the police had been called.

It is in moments like this that you realise that sometimes the only and best thing you can do is pray.  Get down on your knees and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  Why does it take until everything practical has been done before you pray?

I’m glad to say he was found at about 9:30pm on Sunday, nearly 21 hours after he was last seen.  He was found on a bench in a park 25 miles away confused.  He had received a knock on the head in his game and they think he had concussion.

The relief we felt was huge.  The relief we felt on behalf of his family even more so.

God has plans for this man.  Anything could have happened, but it didn’t.

A bus driver found him on a park bench and helped him figure out who he was and his address then called him a taxi to take him home… thank goodness for the honest and good people who are out there. What he was doing the whole of Sunday we might never find out as he still has no memory of it.

There are lessons to be learnt, I’m not going to spell them out or put blame anywhere all I’m thankful for is a good outcome and a God we can run to and lean on when we feel helpless and out of control. Why does it take times like this to remind us! He is there always and always there to lean on we just need to do it!

Lord Poxalot

So after a year of waiting for the Chicken Pox to arrive in our house with 27 children in Jenna’s class having it last year and her seemingly missing it every time; eventually it has arrived on poor little Carter.

And boy did it choose a doozy of a week to do it… firstly it’s my long week at work and secondly the hubby has the man flu.  Add to that me coming down with a sore throat that seems to be morphing into something more.

The poor little fella started off mildly but over night they turned into nasty looking big red and swollen bumps.  They’re everywhere – hair, ear, eyelids and bum.  He’s even got one under his foot. Thankfully his eczema seems to be under control at the moment or I think we’d have issues.

He’s been great about not scratching which is good because he is not a fan of creams so thank goodness of Eurax cream that lasts up to 10 hours. Oat baths have helped soothe him too and together with some Piriton syrup he seems to have been coping pretty well and sleeping pretty well at night too.

But he does look like such a sad sack, boys are good at feeling sorry for themselves aren’t they… man flu sufferers in training… but he is cute.

Do you have any tips for surviving the pox?? We might be going through this again in a couple of weeks … oi vey!

Counting down…

Months to Christmas – 2

Days to Christmas – 82

Minutes to Christmas – 1957

It’s coming and this year I want to be organised! 

My Pinterest board is brimming with ideas and things I want to do, make and eat!

Like these…

cornstarch and baking soda recipe - looks better than salt dough

I just bought all the ingredients for them and can’t wait to try them!

I’ve also bought all my wrapping paper, twine and Christmas ink pads, I might not have the presents but at least I’ve organised the wrapping! I do admit to circling things in the toy magazine as ideas… not to do some searching for the best prices!

You organised yet??

Bargain bonanza

Man we all love a good bargain and I’ve managed to nab a few lately!! Most are things I’ve been wanting for a while and finally managed to get for a good deal!!

I got this heart frame for £2.50 at the charity shop.

Composter – free on freecycle!!

Bunk bed – £50 on gumtree.  The kids love it! I might spray it white…

And just collected a memory foam mattress from ebay for £2.21, used for a few months and selling due to moving house and needing a smaller bed! It’s amazing… like sleeping in a marshmellow or a big comfortable hug!

Don’t you just love it when you find what you’re looking for and you find it for a good price!

You nabbed a bargain lately?