Boring Lunchboxes?

We've got easy ideas that take seconds to make!

Looking for some Summer Fun?

We've got lots of ideas!

Thinking about Summer?

Why not kick back and relax?

Having a Family Movie Night?

Why not take a look at what we've been reviewing and what we thought?

Don't know what to cook?

Why not take a look at what we've been eating?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

An Evening Ramble

The children and I were back to our normal routine this week, with Thursday coming round and a return to Beavers for Big Boy. As I may have mentioned once or twice (hehehe), because of Big Boy being a Type 1 Diabetic I hang around outside of Beavers in case of an emergency. The lovely ladies that run Beavers are aware of what BB's hypo signs are etc, and it's just an extra "layer" of security for them and me. Luckily there is a lovely park outside the centre where Beavers is held, a cricket ground just opposite and a lovely lane to walk down which leads to a Canal, so Top Ender and I have plenty to do if we get bored of reading in the car, whilst we wait for BB to finish at Beavers.

This particular week, Top Ender and I decided to walk down the lane to the canal. She wore her new jacket from Muddy Puddles, which was rather handy as it was blinking cold! Luckily unlike Top Ender I have a layer of natural protection against the cold aka Fat.

Top Ender jumping around in the trees

As we were walking down the lane, we were stopping at various plants and shrubs and looking at their berries whilst Top Ender told me how they had used similar berries found on the grounds of the School earlier in the week to make Cave Man type paintings. I surprised myself by actually knowing the names of most of the plants, even doing a quick google to prove some of them! As we carried on down the lane we found a rather large supply of Blackberries and so we decided to help ourselves... after all they were for personal use and so it was all nice and legal.

A picked blackberryTop Ender picking Blackberrys

The blackberries were delicious and Top Ender may have helped herself to a few more than was strictly necessary, but I couldn't blame her. They really did taste great.

Eventually we made it down to the Canal and Top Ender went off to explore under the bridge, leaving me up top to keep an eye out for... well I'm not sure really what I was supposed to be looking out for!

Top Ender bounding up the Canal Towpath in her Muddy Puddles jacket

At this point, my natural protection was starting to not work, so we quickly took a couple of pictures of Top Ender (who was lovely and warm) and headed back to the car for me to warm up. There is a much more detailed review on Top Ender's blog, but from a Parent's point of view the jacket is warm, well made and the cut is excellent.


Top Ender sitting at the Canal in her Muddy Puddles jacket

After Beavers, one of the other Mums mentioned how much she loves Muddy Puddles clothing because it lasts well and most importantly washes well in low temperatures. We've not had to wash the jacket yet, but this bodes well for when I finally do.

We were sent the jacket to review. I'm quite jealous, I want one.
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Monday, 15 September 2014

Being A Role Model

This week, it was pointed out to me by a very lovely young lady (that I'm not related to), that I was her favourite adult. She likes that I can laugh at myself, that I'm caring and funny, that I say prayers and that if she needs me she knows I'll be there. She ended the conversation, by letting me know that when she grows up she wants to be just like me.

Top Ender and PippaD selfie

So apparently I'm now a role model. Who would have thunk it?

I never thought it would be something I'd have to worry about, I mean my kids know not to have me as a role model because they live with me and so see that I occasionally do stupid things like trip up the stairs, talk to myself, pour drinks down my T-shirt instead of into my mouth, burn my mouth by eating food that is too hot, fall over despite their being nothing to trip on and maybe once I've locked myself out of the house...

I'm not the sort of person that other people would have as a role model. Who wants to be an overweight, sometimes amusing, scatter brain, always asking questions on facebook, spends far too much time on the internet in general, self-righteous weirdo?

Be quiet, you at the back.

The point is that nobody ever says to their teacher/career guidance counsellor/diary/parent they want to be the above, they say normal things like a Vet, a Journalist, an Author, a Priest, Harry Potter, a Chef, an Animator, a Fashion Designer, a Fire Engine, a Doctor, a Nurse, an Archaeologist, a Food Taster, a DJ, Doctor Who, an Actor, a Singer, an Accountant, a Teacher.

You know, Normal things.

And yet somehow by being myself I've managed to get myself in the position where I'm being looked up at and emulated.

You'd all better start praying, because I honestly don't know what the world is coming to.
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Friday, 12 September 2014

Being Normal

Big Boy wants to be normal.

Big Boy scooting outside

I know this, because he told me. He even explained to me what normal is. According to him, normal is going to your friends house without your Mum also going. Just like when his friends come to his house, or his sisters friends come to our house or just like when his sister goes to her friends houses.

And I cried.

Right now it just isn't possible, I mean sure when he was popping in and out of our neighbours house and playing with the boys that lived there it was fine, because in an emergency I was ten seconds away, but his friends from School and Beavers live a few miles away and in an emergency I'm a car ride away.

That's just too far for me to know he's safe.

BB is unable to take care of his own blood testing and administering of insulin at the moment. He's tried, goodness knows how much he has tried. He just hasn't the strength to prick his own finger and get the right amount of blood on to the little testing strip. Heck, when I try to do my own blood sugar tests, I get in a pickle. I hesitate to prick my finger knowing it's going to hurt (even if just for a second), I don't squeeze enough blood out and so I have to do it again or I squeeze too much and end up covering the testing strip, the monitor and myself in blood.

Luckily I don't pass out anymore at the sight of blood.

If there is one thing the struggle with School over the last year has taught me it's that people see this as serious (which of course it is) and worry about the consequences. Too much insulin and BB is seriously ill and could die. Too little insulin and BB is seriously ill and could die. I don't think it's fair to put that responsibility on to a parent of BB's friends (And yet Yes, I do believe that the School should have that responsibility!).

But today I bit the bullet and explained to the parent of BB's best friend (who moved back hooray!) that BB wanted to stay at their house on his own.

Without me.

And you know what? BB's best friends Mum understood perfectly and together we worked out a plan for BB to have the best of both worlds. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that it works.
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5 Things To Do Before Bed For A Better Morning

When Daddy and I first talked about him staying in Birmingham during the week and coming home on a Friday night there were a lot of things that I didn't think about, that I now realise my wonderful husband took care of so that I didn't have to. Now, several months later it's got to the point where I'm thinking of doing the small things during the week so that when Daddy is home, he doesn't have to worry about them and can just get on with spending time with the family.

Daddy spending time with the family (He isn't running away honest!)

It was because of this and because I'm a naturally lazy person that I decided that what I really needed to do was share my five things to do before bed for a better morning, as that way I have no excuse for not doing them in the future as you can all hold me accountable.

1) Pick up the Living room/Kitchen/Den/Room you use most.


When I used to head to bed, Daddy would head up about ten minutes after me. In those ten minutes he'd put the throw cushions back on the sofa and put the TV remotes near the TV, put glasses or plates that had been missed during the day into the sink and generally just tidy up after the rest of the family.

Now it's my job and I've grown to love making the living room and kitchen just look tidy ready for the new day ahead. Plus it means when I come stumbling down in the middle of the night that I'm not tripping up over all the mess in the dark.

2) Check the Calendar for tomorrow.


Yup, so simple and yet how many of us actually check the calender for the next day before bed? For me it's a lifesaver because even though I know that I have a hospital appointment for BB coming up this week and the Missionaries coming round for dinner or a school meeting and the friend who can't eat fish coming for lunch or even the agreement that I'll babysit my Niece and feed my MIL's Cat whilst she's away I may forget what day this is exactly supposed to be happening. Checking the calendar just helps me get a better start in the morning and helps me make sure I'm wearing something appropriate.

Oh and whilst you are checking the calendar for you, do the same for the children and if needs be write a note in the childrens home contact book or homework diary or even a note to the teacher if needed. Teachers appreciate a heads up when you're stealing away a child for a medical appointment!

3) Write a list.


I work so much better from checklists and I love that I can print one off my printer without even having to turn the PC on, but that's beside the point. Yes, I do put on things such as get breakfast, get dressed, take the children to School and only because I like to be able to tick things off but it also helps me focus on what I should be doing instead of what I am doing, which is normally turning on the PC to see what has happened in the world overnight.

Plus you know how you always remember something right at the last minute and think I'll remember that tomorrow? I never do remember, so my list saves me!

4) Lay it out.


For some this may mean actually putting knives and forks and things on the table ready for a cooked breakfast (which it does for us a couple of times a week) but it could also be projects for work that are needed the next day, school bags, PE Kits and musical instruments, lunchboxes and water bottles and something we always have laid out is our clothes for the next day... it sure makes it a lot easier getting dressed if everything is in a nice neat pile!

5) Pray/Meditate/Give Thanks/Write in your Journal


I actually do all four, but that's because I'm me, You're you and you'll do it differently because you are you; and that's why I like you. I pray thanks to my Heavenly Father because I believe that it is because of him that I have everything in my life. I meditate after prayer because I find it a good way to normally hear the answers to my prayers and it's a great way to mentally switch off from the day (especially if I've written my list) and be ready for bed. I then write in my gratitude journal what I'm thankful for and write in my normal journal.

Then with the lights being switched off I slip down the bed under the duvet and am in the land of nod in minutes. Which is useful when you get up several times a night to do blood tests on your youngest child.

Anyway those are my 5 things to do before bed for a better morning. What are your top tips for smooth running in the morning?

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Summer of GoPro Adventures #GoProAdventures

As you may have guessed from our daily Summer Holiday posts we didn't actually go away anywhere this Summer, but we managed to squeeze a lot of fun in doing the things that we love to do as a family and yes that does include a day where we didn't do anything other than lay in bed! The thing was we'd been challenged, along with some other lovely bloggers, to have a summer of adventures by GoPro. Yes, that's right those of the fantastic little go anywhere camera fame.

GoPro Accessories and camera

To help us, they sent a parcel of the GoPro Hero3+ video camera along with a lot of mounts and a couple of cases and a memory card and then they gave us ten themes or suggestions for our challenges and let us get on with it! Only there was one thing, an incentive of sorts, the "best" video gets a trip to the GoPro Mountain Games in Colorado next Summer... I know right?!

Now, since we got the GoPro's the bloggers working on this project have been chatting what seems like daily, swapping tips and giving each other support and ideas for future projects and we've all been sitting waiting for today (the deadline to publish our posts is today!) and waiting for someone else to press publish first!

Now that someone else has, I present to you... The A Mother's Ramblings Go Pro Adventures!


So what did you think? I personally think that you're going to see a lot of GoPro adventures from us, and there will be a proper review post coming up soon. Oh and just in case you couldn't see from BB's angle, this is a panorama from the top of the trees, just click it to make it bigger.

Panorama from the top of the trees

We were given the GoPro for the purpose of this competition and a review, which as I said is coming up soon!
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