A Mothers Ramblings: 2017

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Pippa, What On Earth Does *That* Mean?

When I said in my recent blog post about the Faith In God programme, that I would write a bit about my calling and what I get up to at Church on a Sunday, I expected it to be this post that you are reading right now. Then whilst I was sitting in Sacrament, focusing on the words of the prayer a thought came to me and because I am trying very hard to listen to Spiritual Promptings that I may be given, I knew that this idea was something I should write about sooner rather than later and so this post became an explanation post!

Our Ward Building

Within all religions there is a particular parlance and if you haven't been initiated into understanding so to speak they can be a little confusing. As I sat there listening to the prayer I realised that you might not know what some of these words mean in the way that I do because of my immersion in the religion and so I thought I'd do a little post about some of the ones I use most frequently, if there are any others just leave them in the comments and I'll try to explain those too!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 21st October

With this week being Half Term and the children going back to School Meals when they go back to School, we're having a bit of a change around and having a main meal at lunchtime and out evening meal will be something lighter and if I'm honest a bit boring after the first week... we're going down the plain and simple route of having Toasted Sandwiches, Soup and the occasional Pasta dish. I guess I'm going to have to start working out what I want to eat at lunch time when they have gone back to School!

Anyway, here is this week's plan.

My shiny new cooker is still shiny!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Frisbee Golf

Ages and ages ago, Flyfour and I talked about wanting to go to Lee Valley (It's on the border of Hertfordshire, London and Essex) not just to see the White Water Course that we spent hours watching on the Telly during the 2012 Olympics, but because they had something that sounded great fun, so much so that because we hadn't gone to do this in the past five years and I really wanted to, I added it to my Birthday Bucket List, so that we would have to go.

It was of course, Frisbee Golf.

The Family ready for a game of Frisbee Golf

Thursday, 19 October 2017

My Kids Make Miso Happy

Sometimes I look at my children and I'm amazed at them. I mean look at them. They look like me, they sound like me, they act like me, they smile like me, they love cake and the internet like me...

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr looking adorable, just like their Mum

And then at other times I have no clue about them at all. I mean, take for example the latest reason I've had to raise one eyebrow at them. With half term coming up, I've been busy organising different events and activities for them and me to attend or do during the half term and one idea that was suggested to them that they flat out refused was making Sushi; Because apparently they hate Sushi, unless it looks like this.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Importance Of Play

I was listening to some of the new Mums at School the other day as they were talking to their children on the way home. They were asking questions about what they had eaten for lunch and what they had done whilst at School and it pleased me that not one of the parents that I was listening in on got upset about their child answering that they had played with various items all day.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr, off to School where I hope they will play as much as they want!

You see, a few years back, I did overhear a parent who, as they talked with their child got increasingly angry about how their child hadn't done any work at School. They hadn't had a maths lesson, or sat and learnt to read, they hadn't even practised writing! The parent decided enough was enough and they were going to go and talk with the teacher. School was for learning not playing!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

PIE Night

On a Tuesday night, after Orchestra, helping out at Rainbows and having something to eat, Top Ender heads out to a youth Church night which is known as Mutual. On these evenings, the young women and men who attend (and their leaders) do things together. Sometimes it might be a Murder Mystery event, or a competition between the two groups, or a party, or an art evening, or a cooking experience... it's just a time for them to get together and do things that help them become more rounded, like I explained in my Faith In God post the other week.

PippaD and Top Ender

Well, last Tuesday, Top Ender and the other Youth girls were going to have a PIE Night and after a bit of googling, I've come to realise that PIE stands for Personal Progress, Interviews and something Extra. So, Personal Progress I'll explain about in more detail in another post but for now it's a bit like the Faith In God award.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Taking Time Out

I've noticed a worrying trend when reading peoples Facebook status updates over the last few weeks. No, it's not that everyone has been getting ill (that's normal this time of year!), it's not the lack of clothing several of my "younger" friends have been wearing (I hear myself say things to Facebook photos like "Put on some clothes, you'll catch your death out!"), no it's the lack of self care that is so evident that has had me worrying and an answer came to me when I saw a friend post this.

In case you can't read the status it says;
"Saw this picture on Pintrest. First thought oooh pretty autumnal photo. Second thought, look at all the nice peaceful things this person had time to do, pick apples, read a book, arrange conkers decoratively and take a hot drink out etc.... last thought nope probably doesn't have kids. I love my girls but wish I could steal more moments like these for myself. It's been a difficult month."

Now, the lady who posted the photo (who can name herself, but we're going to give her some anonymity!) is utterly amazing. She gives her whole life to serving others, to her children, to her husband, her family, her job and still manages to keep a smile on her face and look amazing every time I see her.

Oh and the lady who took the picture? That's Christina Loewen of The Scarlett Door and her Instagram is amazing and she has a daughter and another baby on the way, she likes Cats and of course would totally be my best friend if we lived in the same country and I wasn't quite so erm, Me.

Also, on a sort of separate note, how come when I "run to the shops" in a stained t-shirt to grab a forgotten essential I bump into the world and his dog, but when I'm looking good I see NOBODY?

Saturday, 14 October 2017

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 14th October

Another week, another meal plan. There isn't so much Pasta this week, (in fact none at all!) so I'm not sure if I'm feeling too well, but as it was really cold when I wrote the meal plan (because I refuse to turn the heating on!) there is lots of warm filling food.

My resolve is being weakened by the groans of my husband about getting out of the nice snug warm bed and into the coldness of our bedroom in the morning however, so the heating may (SHOCK HORROR!) be switched on sooner rather than later. I'm still wanting to hold out for November!

Lit Candles on the Fireplace

Friday, 13 October 2017

Fuse Boards and Bonding

The problem with knowing a little about everything, is that sometimes you don't know enough to stop people from unnecessarily scaring you. Which is what happened when Electricians in the past have been to our house and looked at our fuse board, which was installed back when the house was built in 1960.

The Old Fuse Board and Electricity Meter in a Cupboard

You know that sucking teeth sound that people make before they give you bad news? That's the noise they'd make, before telling us that they would need to rewire the entire house if they were to replace the fuse board and of course that's before they'd done the bonding, which required a lot more teeth sucking.

Flyfour and I couldn't afford for the whole of my house to be rewired, nor the making good and redecoration expense afterwards. So we did what everyone does, we ignored it and pretended that it didn't matter.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Top Ender's New Room

When we worked out the order of the things we were doing in our home. Top Ender's bedroom was supposed to be the last thing that we did. We thought that because of the wood panelling that was lining the lower half of the walls in her bedroom that it would probably need re-plastering and we thought seeing as she was going away to camp for a week with Church that we'd do it then.

An empty room would be perfect right?

Top Ender's Bedroom before the make over

Then we got a quote on how much it would cost to re-plaster the whole of Top Ender's bedroom and we knew that unless we really had to, we didn't want to re-plaster her room! So armed with a screwdriver I took part of the cladding off and discovered that her wall didn't need re-plastering! Sure enough, there were a couple of holes that needed patching but her walls were quite good quality and not for the last time this past summer we thanked our lucky stars that someone was watching over us.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Our New Rangemaster Oven!

When Flyfour and I were designing the Kitchen we wanted to get a new oven, and not just because the old one was green and starting to play up a little! We had initially thought it would be easier to just get an oven from Ikea along with the rest of the Kitchen, but we realised that we didn't want an Electric Hob and main oven, we're a gas oven family and we're also a double oven family!

Our Old Green Range Master

So, Flyfour and I started looking at Ovens. There is so much choice out there!

Luckily Flyfour and I had a few different stipulations over what we wanted in our oven and it narrowed the field down somewhat.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The New Garage Door

When we moved in to our current home, we were full of the hope and optimism that anyone moving into a new house has. One of the things that we hoped to sort out straight away was the garage door, which was broken and had been fixed by someone with perhaps less DIY skills than someone who should probably have been allowed to fix the garage door.

To stop it from being able to be opened, they had put a nail in the lock at the top.

Yeah, I know.

The Old Garage

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Slightly Boring Update on the Soffits, Facias and Guttering!

The first thing we ordered when we were starting the works in our home, was the guttering, the soffit and the facia and the other bits that adjoin the roof. Which is why of course, it makes perfect sense (Yes, you note a hint of sarcasm here!) that it was almost the last thing that happened in the scheme of works.

And not just because they cancelled it on the day they were supposed to turn up the first time.

Great graffiti at Bicester Village

Yeah, that was not a great day.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Faith In God - Err, What's That Then?

This past week I mentioned the Faith in God programme a few times and mostly everyone was really accepting of it, but I did get asked a question in my email asking what the Faith In God programme actually was, as they couldn't work out if it was a youth club, a religious thing or a thing I just made up!

The answer is, it's actually a mix of the first two. As much as I'd like to think I was that clever, there is no way I could have made up the programme. To explain properly I need to give you a little background. Stay with me if you already know this and if you don't, well read on!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka Mormons

Saturday, 7 October 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 7th October 2017

Well, hopefully if everything goes right, I should by now have a new cooker installed and have my kitchen tiled. I don't want to think about the possibility of this not having happened, so if everyone can will positive thoughts to me that would be great...

Also, you know having your kitchen completely ripped out is a great way to find out what you have in your cupboards and needs eating; Apparently I buy a lot of canned tomatoes and different varieties of pasta! With that in mind, here is my meal plan for the next week.

Pippa's partially refurbished Kitchen

Friday, 6 October 2017

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Spiritual Promptings Like Me

Do you ever get that feeling, where you think you should do something? You aren't sure why, but the feeling nags and nags at you, until you either finally give up and do the thing (or something close enough to it that you feel satisfied) or you manage to bury the feeling deep, deep down inside and forget all about it?

Well, I get that feeling all the time.

For me, that feeling is what I recognise as a Spiritual Prompting. A prompting, or a warning, or a reminder from the Holy Ghost just for me and I thought I'd share one of the most recent times that I felt it and sort of ignored it, so that you can have a giggle over it with me and maybe next time you get a similar feeling you won't sort of ignore it like I did!

So imagine a wibbly wobbly time fade effect and let's go back to the last Thursday of September!

PippaD being happy

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Last Weekend

Last weekend was one of my favourite weekends of the year. No, it wasn't because my Kitchen was finally fitted, but because it was General Conference weekend and in our home General Conference weekend generally means I get to spend hours watching TV and when I'm not concentrating on the talks that are being given, I spend time with my family.

The new tradition that Top Ender and I have is that on Saturday morning we travel to the Northampton Stake Building to watch the Women's Session of the General Conference with other women from our Stake. Plus we get to eat Breakfast and Tops and I like Breakfast!

Top Ender, however, had volunteered to help out at a Rainbows and Guides camp and so I made my way to the Stake Centre on Saturday morning on my own.

Top Ender in her Guides Hoodie

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

No Gas and a Power Cut

Saturday was one of those busy family days.

I'd been to Northampton in the morning to watch the Women's Session of General Conference with other women and girls from our Stake and had only had one minor heart attack moment when the rubber strip on my windscreen started to detach as I was driving along the M1! The conference was great and after a drive back home (more sedately along the A5) and a trip to not one, not two but three local hardware stores and a quick stop at the Supermarket with Dan Jon and Flyfour to grab some lunch (Top Ender was at the Brownies and Rainbows Birthday Sleepover and Party) meant that we didn't have long at home before Dan Jon and I, had to head out to a Faith In God event at a local Rock Climbing Centre.

Dan Jon Rock Indoor Climbing at Big Rock

Monday, 2 October 2017

Bicester Village - A Family Visit

One of my unspoken (and unwritten) September Resolutions, was to spend a bit more quality time together as a family. I mean sure, we spend a lot of time together, but I don't mean the time where we're in the same room and talking but each of us doing our own thing. I don't mean the time where the children bundle into my bed and annoy me until I end up wrestling them into submission and ordering them back to bed, I mean REAL time together.

The "Spend-all-day-together-as-a-family" time, like the time we spent at Margate.

PippaD, Top Ender, Flyfour and Dan Jon Jr at Margate beach

Luckily Flyfour and the children felt the same and so we were able to think up some plans for different things that we wanted to do together, which is why a few Saturday's ago we went to Bicester Village.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 30th September

Wow! What a week. The Kitchen is finally in, although it's not quite finished as we're still waiting on the tiling to go up, the new oven to be delivered and installed and I still need to put everything back into the Kitchen! I think that because of this our meals this week are a little hotchpotch.

Saturday - Burgers (but we actually had sandwiches)

There were so many things going on today, that when the oven wouldn't work we just rolled our eyes and started working out a new plan about what we were going to eat. Which seeing as we had no food in the house meant a quick trip to the Supermarket!

We ended up doing the weekly shop and eating Sandwiches when we got home... in a power cut!

I knew I kept candles on the fireplace for a reason. They provided plenty of light during the power cut!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Midway Through a Kitchen Refit

So, if you're reading this then you are probably going to have a Kitchen Refit soon and so you should read the preparing for a Kitchen refit post if you haven't already. Of course, you could just be here to find out about how stupid I am, because well I am. Anyway, whatever reason has you here welcome and read on!

I was so excited for our kitchen refit. I had organised our plumber to come and fit a new radiator, I'd got a plasterer in to replaster the ceiling (and got my husband to paint it afterwards!). I'd ordered a new cooker and even managed to get them to get it to me quicker than they had told me in John Lewis when Flyfour and I purchased it. We had the Kitchen Fitter all booked in and then Flyfour went away for a business trip.

The Old Kitchen When it Looked Clean and Tidy!

I thought it would be useful whilst he was away to pack up the kitchen.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Preparing For A Kitchen Refit

When I was preparing for our Kitchen refit, I did the one thing that EVERYONE does. I googled for the suggestions that other people had made and well, I couldn't find any blog posts about it! So I had to live the old fashioned way and think about what would be best for me and my family. Luckily I also know I have a HUGE amount of friends who have great advice, so I asked on Facebook for suggestions.

And boy did they deliver.

So here is the benefit of my wisdom for those who are also going to live through a Kitchen Refit and also provide a laugh for those of you who have either already lived through one, or who just want to laugh at my expense!

PippaD looking smart for a change!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Baptism Talk - Kit Kat Edition

Since being called as the Primary President for my ward, I've been asked to give a talk at several Baptisms and a few of them at the last minute! I've been trying to build up a cache of talks that I can use in the future as to be honest, I hate writing talks and prefer to speak off the cuff!

As I'm just a child at heart, the talks that I like to give are a little bit more fun than the ones that are sometimes given and on top of this I try to make them super simple as they are aimed at the child who is being baptised. The adults who are there? Well, sure I want them to enjoy the talk too but really the important person in this all is the child!

Top Ender at the Temple

A few months ago I gave a talk at a Baptism to a child that I had met just one week before. The Primary President from the other ward in our building also gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and (she knew him a bit more than I did as she'd had him in her Primary for a couple of months before they moved again in to our ward!) they were similar, so I knew I'd hit on the right talk!

Just in case you wanted to use the talk, here it is! By the way, I was inspired by the talk by Pam at Strong Armour.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Dan Jon Jr's New Bedroom

When we discussed the plans to decorate the children's bedrooms we told the children that when we decorated their bedrooms they could pick whatever colour scheme they wanted, within reason. That caveat was there for a reason, the reason being I knew that Dan Jon Jr had inherited my wackiness and I knew I might have to step in.

Dan Jon thought long and hard and decided he wanted Green Curtains, a Blue Carpet and Orange walls. There was no way, the kid was having a giant pumpkin of a bedroom! So we explained to him that how this was going to hurt our head every time we walked into his room and so he thought about it some more and decided to have a blue feature wall and somehow that changed to having a pure white bedroom. All Dan Jon really cared about was that he wanted a bed that wasn't 5ft in the air!

Dan Jon in his cabin bed, back when he wanted it!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The New Garden Seating Areas

A few weeks back, we were trying to think of how to differentiate between our three seating areas in the garden, mainly because if one of us says we are going to be out in the garden, we need to know how loud we need to yell, so that the person outside can hear us!

The family enjoying the garden together

We decided that what we really needed was to have different names for them and so we all decided to come up with a few that we could pitch to the others. Flyfour, however, managed to come up with what we think are brilliant names for them on the spur of the moment (well possibly he'd been working on this for months, but who knows) and so we're adopting them as the official names.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

What We Are Eating 16th September 2017

This is the week that my kitchen is going to be started work on. It's also the week the man is coming to start on the fascias and guttering and I think it's also the week the man is coming to do the garage door. Although those last two might be next week... I just can't remember. The point is, that it's a busy time here and the meals for the next two weeks are actually terrible, terrible meals so please don't invite yourself round to eat with us, but feel free to invite me and the family round to you!

Soon to be seen no more!

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Completed Garden

I can't believe that I haven't updated you all about my garden! I guess, with Summer I just got a little carried away with actually enjoying my garden rather than talking about it and so I hope you'll all forgive me and if you can't forgive me, well then just invite yourself round for a barbecue or something. Also this post has a lot of pictures in it, so it's long. It's also pretty!

So, we asked a company called Golden Gardens to come round and talk to us about our garden and the plans that I had and what they envisaged for the space. We had a few other companies come around too, but well, it was Golden Gardens that we went with because when we met with Zane he understood what we wanted and was able to put a unique twist on it that would mean it matched our quirky family. Yup, he had our number right from the first meeting!

Now, in order for you to fully appreciate the transformation, I need to show you the horror that was my garden before any work took place.

An Overgrown Family Garden before Transformation

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Alarm

Flyfour and I had headed out to B&Q one evening last week, to buy some needed DIY "stuff" and on the way back Flyfour suddenly remembered something that he had wanted to speak to me about, something that had apparently been troubling him for a few days.

"Is it possible, that you can get your morning alarm in line with mine?", he ventured. "You see, my alarm goes off at 6:25 and then yours goes off at 6:30 which interrupts my ten minute doze."

"Why don't you change your alarm? Make it go off at 6:20 and then my alarm at 6:30 will be the end of your dozing time and time for you to wake up. Or why don't you only have a five minute doze?" I replied.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 9th September 2017

I can't believe how fast this past week has gone. I mean I know we were back to School and back to our almost normal routine, but it really has flown by! Luckily this week should take a bit longer to go past because we're used to the whole back to School thing and probably a bit bored of it. I'm also slowly trying to sort out the kitchen because it's nearly time for the refit!

Bye Bye old Kitchen, you've served me well!

Friday, 8 September 2017

A Holiday In A Day!

Flyfour and I decided that we needed to do something with the children before the end of the Summer Holidays as a family. Our Summer had been a little disjointed with the works that had taken place, and both children with their normal few days away with Flyfour and various camps that they had gone on and it felt like we hadn't actually done anything together.

So, we decided to finally go as a family to Hop Farm in Kent, for our last Summer Hurrah and we'd pair it with going to Margate to have a holiday in a day! We decided to keep it secret from the children and it wasn't until we were almost there that Top Ender twigged where we were heading.

A Family Selfie at Hop Farm

The children of course had been here with Flyfour when they had holidayed in Kent last year and the year before that too. They had loved it so much and wanted to take me and we just hadn't had a chance to take me! Until now of course.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

New Glasses and No More Glasses!

The last optician's appointment I went to, had me finding out that I no longer need to wear glasses. It wasn't that much of a shock, to be honest as, despite an increase in headaches over the last few months, I found that I was able to see better when I wasn't wearing my glasses and doing things such as reading or watching TV.

The Ophthalmologist that I saw explained that it was probably because I was wearing my glasses so faithfully when reading, using the PC and watching TV that I was developing headaches! The very thing I had got just two years ago to help me, was actually causing me pain!

So I left the Opticians, with my glasses in my handbag.

PippaD with her tongue out

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Why I read Y.A. Fiction

A few years ago, Top Ender had been reading a book at School that she knew I would love and wanted to discuss with me, so she asked her teacher if she could take a copy home for me to read. The teacher agreed that she could but on the one condition that she should bring it back the next morning as it was one of only a few copies that the School had and they were using them in guided reading for multiple groups, on different days. Top Ender knowing that the size of the book was one I could devour in a matter of minutes, readily agreed and brought the book home. The book was Wonder by R J Palacio (the pen name of Raquel Jaramillo) and come bedtime I sat in bed and started to read the book.

Wonder by R J Palacio

A couple of hours later and I'd read it and sent it back to school with Top Ender the next morning with strict instructions to tell her teacher that I had loved it so much I had purchased a copy on Amazon for our personal library and also the follow-up novel! As you may have guessed, I am and always have been a voracious reader and read around 1000 words a minute when I'm in the "zone", much to the annoyance of my parents and husband who have to keep supplying me with new books...

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The New Hall, Stairs and Landing Carpet

Thanks to the countless TV shows I've watched, where someone has been trying to sell a house, or do up a house, or something to do with a house and decorating I know that if you want to make an impression you have to start from as soon as you walk into your home.

Which is why, the changes we wanted to make to our Hall, Stairs, and Landing were so important as they are the first thing you see when you come in our front door and the red carpet? Well, I've never been a fan of it.

The Old Red Carpet in the hall and on the Stairs

Flyfour and I decided we wanted to continue the same colour theme of our living room into the hallway, which we had already started with our choice of wall paint colour. It's not quite the same, but it tones together nicely.

Monday, 4 September 2017

September Resolutions

I love September when the weather starts to turn and everywhere you look A4 lined notepads are piled high. It gives me the back to School feeling that is ingrained into those who have been part of the English School system. It's a chance to start afresh, to be the person your parents and teachers want you to be - organised!

This year is no different. Apart from as usual instead of teachers and my parents putting pressure on me, it's me putting pressure on me. In order to help me, (or rather try to help me!) with my quest for perfection, I have a few resolutions that I thought I would share with you.

Top Ender and Dan Jon ready for School. Well Dan Jon is, Top Ender has two more days off!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 2nd September 2017

Well, it's back to School this week, although I think I might give myself another week or so off, depends if we get one of those Indian Summers everyone always dreams about at this time of year! As always I make a few different resolutions and one of them is about food this year, but see the blog post Monday for more details.

Friday, 1 September 2017

The New Bathroom

I have mentioned at least 10,000 times that I hated my bathroom. There are greek ladies, and a leaky toilet that wobbled and yes, we did manage to have a shower that fed off the taps installed back in July of 2015, but it wasn't at all how I imagined our bathroom. I imagined a sanctuary, somewhere that I could go and shower and not have to worry about the bath filling up with soap scummy water!

The Old Tiles in the horrid Bathroom

So, when we were talking about doing up our home, it was unsurprising that it was our Bathroom that was at the top of the list. I knew exactly what I wanted and after a little bit of a conversation with Flyfour, we arranged to get a few different chaps out to quote for the works in our bathroom. We ended up going with a chap called Mick, who agreed he could do the work at the end of August if that was okay and so we went ahead and got it all booked in.

I am not going to lie, living for a week without a bathroom was a NIGHTMARE. We ended up going swimming to shower a couple of times, strip washing in the kitchen, having a lot of water gun fights, using dry shampoo before we went anywhere that required us to look slightly respectable and the chemical camping toilet in the garage became our best friend during the day!

The Ripped Out Bathroom

However, now look at my BEAUTIFUL BATHROOM!

My Beautiful Bathroom

Sunday, 27 August 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 26th August 2017

I'm a bit late in posting what we're having for our meals this week as Top Ender and I have been rather busy having fun together on our Staycation. We weren't able to do quite as much as Dan Jon and I did, but it didn't matter because we did the important things that Top Ender wanted to do.

It was a brilliant Staycation.

Top Ender on 12th Street

Sunday, 20 August 2017

A Wild Swimming Family Afternoon

After having got up entirely too early and then spent an absolute fortune on new School uniform and shoes, I thought that we needed something fun to do as a family and so I suggested that we go Wild Swimming at a spot that wasn't too far from home. Luckily, Flyfour and the children were up for a bit of an adventure and so after a quick change of clothes into swimming costumes and our quickest drying clothes/shorts we were off.

The River Great Ouse

The day was one of those annoying British Summer days, where it couldn't make-up it's mind if it wanted to be sunny or cloudy and as we arrived at the steps the sun decided that it wanted to stay hidden behind the clouds.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 19th August 2017

This is going to be the week that I'm not looking forward to and that I AM looking forward to in equal measure. My bathroom will basically be out of bounds for the week (and at the rate Dan Jon and I drink water this could be a HUGE issue) but at the end of the week, I will have my brand new sparkly, drip free bathroom. I AM SO EXCITED!

This week also sees Dan Jon and Flyfour off on their Camping Trip, Top Ender and I start our Staycation and Dan Jon is also off to Tech Camp! It's going to be a great week if everything goes to plan!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


I was talking with Top Ender the other day and we were talking about the future and where we see ourselves in five years time and if where we are now is where we saw ourselves five years ago. It was a really deep conversation and it allowed me a chance to reflect, more so than the reflection at the end of each year.

Top Ender and PippaD

At one point, when we were talking Top Ender asked why I say "Just" so much when talking about myself. I thought back over what it was that I said and realised I use he word "just"to describe myself all the time.

I'm just a Mum.

I'm just a Stay at Home Parent.

I'm just volunteering.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Five Mother Son Date Ideas

With Top Ender having been on Youth Camp and then having gone Camping with her Dad, Dan Jon Jr and I have spent a lot of time together alone. We have loved our time together and we came up with a few different ideas for spending our time together, that we thought other Mother's might find useful for sparking their own ideas in the future.

PippaD and Dan Jon Jr

Saturday, 12 August 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 12th August 2017

I'm such an idiot.

I forgot last week that Top Ender and Flyfour were going camping during the week and so some of the meals that I had organised were too much for Dan Jon Jr and I alone! So we kind of rescheduled a few meals and ate scraps of bits and pieces that we had in the freezer and cupboards, made other meals from the bits and pieces I had remembered to buy and well Dan Jon and I may have accidentally fallen into a couple of supermarkets to buy supplies for meals that we like, whilst Flyfour and Top Ender were away.

Luckily the boy has cheap tastes and so we were well fed and happy!

Dan Jon and PippaD pulling faces

Friday, 11 August 2017

Gel-A-Peel #Review

This Summer Top Ender isn't off to a dozen different camps as she was last Summer. This Summer Top Ender is only off on camp two or three times (once with the Youth from our Church, once with her Daddy and possibly once with me) and then after that, she is also off to Disneyland Paris with her Guides group.

It's her Guides group trip to Disneyland that I'm the most excited about as it isn't a backpack or holdall that she is taking, but a hard suitcase and with the need of a hard case is the need for a way of working out which is hers and which is another passengers with a quick glance.

Which is why I was glad when Gel-A-Peel asked if we'd like to review them!

Pearly Pastels Gel-A-Peel Set Review

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Dan Jon Jr's New Bed

When we had gone to the Ideal Home Show, we saw a bed that was also a desk and knew this would be perfect for Dan Jon's bedroom, because his room is quite small and combing furniture would help with the space.

We knew in the next few years that Dan Jon is going to be getting more homework and that he is going to need to somewhere to do it. With Dan Jon making his own video games and spending more time working on his PC, we needed a space for that too and of course we needed a space for his consoles too. Dan Jon needed more space for his books and his collections and everything else and with this in mind we planned the rest of the room around this rather large piece of furniture and Dan Jon Jr was almost beside himself with excitement!

Dan Jon exhausted after a day at the Ideal Home Show

So we called the company and placed an order.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

My Doodle Designed Shoes

I had wanted to design my own shoes as part of my Birthday Bucket list, it seemed like a fun task to do and something which everyone could join in on. Well, everyone apart from Flyfour because he's a stick in the mud for things like this!

The problem that I had was, I didn't know what I wanted to draw on my shoes! I had all sorts of ideas but my drawing skills really aren't that good, despite me remembering some of my learnt skills from my teenage years. In the end I decided to take some inspiration from one of the postcards I drew a few months ago for the Primary Children.

Postcards drawn by PippaD for the children in Primary

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Smiggle School Supplies #Review

Dan Jon Jr and Top Ender love Smiggle. They are often at our local store looking over the items and working out what they want to add to various collections, checking out what the new items are and of course purchasing items that they deem essential. I don't mind because I love looking round Smiggle myself and am responsible for a lot of the items that they own... just don't tell Flyfour because he thinks they buy the items they own themselves!!!

Top Ender and Dan Jon doing a Smiggle Review

Smiggle asked if we'd like to receive a few bits and pieces to help us get ready to go back to School and of course knowing how great the items are, we said yes! The parcel arrived whilst Top Ender was on camp, so we had to wait until she was back before we could look to see what was sent, the suspense nearly killed poor Dan Jon!

Monday, 7 August 2017

The "What is your favourite" Game

A few nights back, Flyfour and I went out to the Supermarket to pick up a few different snacks and a few bits that I may have forgotten to get when doing the main shop earlier that day. Whilst we were there, I decided to play a game with Flyfour so we could make this a kind of date night trip to the Supermarket!

PippaD and Flyfour at the Supermarket

I explained the rules to Flyfour, which were really simple basically, I will ask a question and then you answer but giving the answer you think I would give and I would answer giving the answer I think that Flyfour would answer.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 5th August 2017

Food glorious food! Dan Jon, Flyfour and I loved the meals we had last week because they were fun meals and so I'm hoping to recreate that in part this week now that Top Ender is back from Camp and before the children all run off to camp with their Dad over the next couple of weeks and Top Ender goes off to Disney Land Paris!

Here's what we're eating this week.

PippaD and the A Mother's Ramblings Crew!