A Mothers Ramblings: 2018

Saturday, 18 August 2018

What We're Eating W/C 18th August 2018

I'm starting to think that my family and I need to start having different meals again, purposely pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. Did I tell you that whilst Dan Jon was away with Flyfour he tried a Blue Cheese Sauce and loved it? Maybe it is me who is the one keeping us in the same meals... hmm I'll have to think about that during this week.

My thinking place on the deck in the garden

In the meantime, here is what we are eating this week!

Friday, 17 August 2018

A Walk Around Intu Lakeside

When Top Ender and I had finished our time at the Temple, there was really only one place that she wanted to go to.

Naked Dough.

Neon Naked Dough Sign

Now, for those of you not in the know (basically anyone that doesn't live within the boundary of the M25), Naked Dough is a cookie shop with a difference. It's a Raw Cookie Dough Shop, and you can buy a scoop or two of different flavours and... well it's just delicious okay?!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The London Temple Trip

A few weeks ago, Top Ender and I headed down to the London Temple with the Youth from our ward. It was a really lovely day, on the way down the two young women and two young men I was in charge of, entertained us all with conversations that ranged from one obscure subject to another via stories of school friends, events they were looking forward to over the summer and of course how good it would be to finally get out of my car to stretch our legs.

The England London LDS Temple

Monday, 13 August 2018

My Quiet Place

At the last General Conference, there was a talk given by President Russel M. Nelson where we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, were encouraged to receive personal revelation, as in, we should regularly talk to God in prayer and then listen for what God wants to tell us and we should practice this regularly so that it becomes easier for us to understand the revelation that we are being given.

Quote by Russel M Nelson "Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort."

President Nelson suggested we find a quiet place to go and at the time I was filled with thoughts of finding a special place, somewhere in the nearby woods, or a local park that for some reason nobody uses. Somewhere private and off the beaten track. I didn't think about how practical it would be, I just wanted somewhere in Nature and somewhere private. Until I found that special place then, my bedroom floor would just have to do.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

What We're Eating W/C 11th August 2018

Another week where I'm sure that I blinked and missed half of it! The meal plans for this week are quite simple, mainly because on Monday we're dragging Top Ender kicking and screaming to FSY, which is a Church Camp and she'll love once she gets there... it's just she has to remember to not let her fears and anxiety get in the way of her having a great time!

GREAT graffiti

Saturday - Baked Sloppy Joe

We haven't had this for AGES and it is one of our favourites, so I'm sure it will be met with a lot of grins from the family! I might attempt to make two because I know that after we've eaten one, we always ask if there is more!

Friday, 10 August 2018

The Gyosei Art Trail

If you know two things about my family, the first is probably that we like to go on walks as a family and the second is that Top Ender is a Japanophile. Actually, so am I and Dan Jon, whilst Flyfour has an appreciation that has been cultivated because he lives with the three of us!

A piece of art on the Gyosei Art Trail

A few months back, Flyfour suggested that we might like to go for a walk that combined our love of things Japanese, Art and of course walking, It happened to be Father's Day and so we headed off to where the Gyosei International School UK used, which has since been knocked down and a Retirement Village and some houses built in what was once its grounds.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Accidental Extra Shopping

Since having become the Young Women's President for my ward my life has got busy. Like super busy.

Hear me when I say this, I am not complaining.

PippaD, Flyfour, Top Ender and Dan Jon at Church

I love that I get to hang out with the Young Women and I love that I get to do so many things with them. It's just that I'm trying to keep all my old promises that I made to my family and myself, all whilst working in my calling and of course, it's now the Summer holidays which means I have two mini me's wanting me to feed them every day and I still need to do things like, clean, study and I don't know whatever else it is that I fill my days with!

Monday, 6 August 2018

A Walk at Waterhall Park

Back at the start of May, we were having a blast of nice weather and decided to make the most of it by going for a family walk. I had been playing about on Google Maps trying to see if I could work out where a picnic table I could see from the Road was and why it was in the middle of a field, and discovered that there was a walk in this field, and it was called Waterhall Park.

A sign in the Parks Trust Waterhall Park South Car park

We arrived at Waterhall Park and have since discovered that we didn't park in the "official" car park at the North of the park, but the smaller one by the allotments at the south of the park. Honestly, the small one only takes about three cars, don't make the same mistake we did!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

What We're Eating W/C 4th August 2018

I swear it can't be Saturday already, but it is. Here is what we are eating this week and a little look into what goes on during our week too!

Saturday - BBQ Chicken and Salad

I have a lot of Salad in the fridge that needs to be eaten and I figure if I sprinkle it with lots of BBQ Chicken the rest of the family won't complain!

Chicken and Salad

Friday, 3 August 2018

GITA The Battle of the Worlds Book Tour!

GITA The Battle of the Worlds Book Tour Banner

I have mentioned numerous times, that here at A Mother's Ramblings we are a house of readers. Top Ender at her recent Parent's Evening was called a Bookworm by her Maths teacher, that's how often she has her nose in a book.

Poor old Dan Jon has to suffer the embarrassment of being singled out in Assembly when he reaches a new reading milestone (the same ones each year) with the Headteacher normally saying something like; "And who can guess who is the first person to have read X times this last School year?" and all the children raise their hands to volunteer his name, as they know he is the only one to have read so much to have reached the target so quickly.

And me? Well, Books are like air to me, I need to read at least one chapter a day (who am I kidding, it's more like one book a day) and am well known, in our house at least, for reading shampoo bottles in the shower if I've been in there too long and am starting to get withdrawal symptoms.

Putting Things In Place (Part 5)

Since Top Ender's first meeting at CAHM's, Flyfour and I have read everything we can about ASD. As we've been reading we've occasionally pointed things out to the other that we have found interesting or useful or in the case of one book written to the library and suggest they no longer issue it as it was so stupid and completely contradicts everything else we've read (I shan't bother repeating the rubbish that was in there, sufficient to say the Library pulled the book and if they hadn't I was prepared to accidentally ruin it by spilling something on it).

PippaD and Top Ender

I've taken a course, I've joined Facebook Groups, I've reached out to friends, I've spoken with countless teacher friends, medical professionals, I've read websites, blogs, watched TV Shows and most importantly we've spoken as a family. We've discussed what helps Top Ender, what doesn't help, what makes her feel safe, what doesn't.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Period After (Part 4)

After we had left the Hospital, the Nurse explained that after he had discussed Top Ender in his next meeting with his colleagues, we'd get a letter in the post and the next steps would be explained in the letter depending upon what he and his colleagues felt.

I joked to Top Ender, that the way things take forever in Hospitals to filter through to the right department, we'd be lucky if we got the letter much before my birthday in May, which was about six weeks away. And I was right.  Just a couple of days before, the letter came through, confirming what the Nurse had said and asking us to speak with Top Ender's School about some information that they could gather together to support (or disprove) the Autism diagnosis.

Top Ender looking all cute

I had already emailed the staff members that would be involved, I'd let them know what the Nurse had told me and told them I would keep them updated, so an appointment was made where the SEN spoke to me just as the Nurse had done and asked 100's of questions.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Enlightenment (Part 3)

Suddenly things popped into my head.

PippaD when she has had a thought

Like, how a SEN teacher who knew Top Ender had said to me one day that when she first met Top's she assumed she was on the Spectrum.

Like, how one of the teachers at Top Ender's senior school had said to her one day that when she first met her, she assumed she was on the Spectrum.

Like, how I had painstakingly made face plates of different emotions when Top Ender was a toddler because somehow I had noticed she didn't seem to see the difference and I had to physically teach her what different faces looked like.

Like, how Top Ender couldn't seem to follow more than one conversation at a time and seemed baffled by those (me) who could.

All I managed to say however was, I thought you were going to say OCD.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Appointment (Part 2)

The appointment with CAMHS was in the middle of a School morning, so after picking up Top Ender from School, we drove to the hospital. We weren't as nervous as we might have been as we'd done a little research about what would happen in this appointment and knew that someone was going to talk to us and be nosey and ask a million questions.

We sat in the waiting room side by side making silly jokes and trying to relax, when the Nurse, a rather handsome chap, came up to us and invited us into one of the rooms. After reminding Top Ender to say Hello, we sat down and started.

Top Ender about to go to School

The Nurse told us that at some point, he might ask me to leave the room and talk to Top Ender alone. We were ready for that, but it turned out that I didn't have to, but it was a fair warning and I thought I'd leave it here in case you are reading this looking for information about what could happen at a similar appointment.

Monday, 30 July 2018

The Build Up (Part 1)

I wrote this post a little while back, ready to be published when, well now.

Two days ago, Top Ender and I went to our local hospital to meet with the CAMHS service. In case you don't know CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and to be honest, I was half expecting them to tell me that I was wrong. That my instincts as a mother were wrong. That my teenage daughter was just a bit of a drama queen and testing her boundaries. I thought this, because, well Top Ender is Top Ender. She's perfect. She's funny and caring and loving and all her little quirks, are just that. Quirks.

Turns out that I was right and those little quirks? Yeah, they aren't just quirks.

Really though, to tell this story I need to go back to the start. Well, the start of recognising that those quirks that made my daughter unique, might actually be a condition.

Top Ender, possibly part cat

Saturday, 28 July 2018

What We're Eating W/C 28th July 2018

Is it just me or has the first week of the holiday flown by? Luckily, I am fairly up to date with what is happening in the world (Alexa give me the headlines every morning) and so am still aware of the day and date... Hopefully, I won't lose this ability by the end of the School Holidays!

Lots of Family Fun ahead!

Saturday, 21 July 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 21st July 2018

I almost can't believe that the first week of the School Summer Holidays is here, but here it is. We have so much planned for the summer, that doesn't cost very much, that between Mummy Home School and our trips, I'm not sure we're going to have much time to eat! This week is all about chilling at home however, so I've prepared a meal plan just in case we do want to eat... who am I kidding we always want to eat!

Giant Fluffy Pancakes

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Watermelon and Feta Salad Recipe

In a couple of weekends, we are going to have a BBQ for my Mother in Laws birthday and I've been trying to think of some lovely grown-up dishes to have with the obvious BBQ'd Meats, that is a bit different from the usual Salads, Corn and other normal Side Dishes.

Luckily, Sopwell House’s Executive Head Chef Gopi Chandran has shared a recipe that is perfect in this weather and it will be perfect to accompany our BBQ as a side dish to blow all other side dishes out of the water!

I know that we are going to love this (well I may have to ignore the olives) and can't wait to make it.

Watermelon Salad at Sopwell House by Executive Head Chef Gopi Chandran

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Evening Meals W/C 14th July 2018

Oh my gosh, I swear this month is just gathering speed! How can it already almost be the end of the month and the English Children breaking up from School? I swear this is the quickest July we've ever had and I still haven't got round to buying myself some blooms to cheer me up!

Some pretty flowers from last year that brightened my hall

Right, on to the food before it's next Saturday and I'm thinking about feeding my children several hundred times a day!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Football, A Secret And Yummy Brioche!

Dan Jon and I have a really big secret to let you in on, but you have to really keep it a secret and not tell anyone else okay?

We're not Footie fans.

Some of the little children I read with at School, will tell me all about their latest football accomplishments, and I've learnt some of the right noises to make (mostly by a trial and error) and I've given one of the children the nickname Mr Football Legs. I'm really not sure what it means, but he seems to like it!

Dan Jon is really struggling this week, as the project they have been working on this term is all finished and so they have a short project to see them to the end of term... The World Cup and he is fuming! He has no clue about Football other than players try to get the ball into a goal and he hasn't yet watched a single World Cup Match (I've managed at least three!).

Dan Jon at the MK Don's Stadium

Saying that some things we do know about Football is that our local Football Club is the MK Dons, that Dele Alli is a Milton Keynes lad and of course we fully understand the offside rule thanks to one of my Sister's Ex-boyfriends and the use of the Salt and Pepperpots.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

A New Calling

Normally I post at 7am in the morning, on the A Mother's Ramblings blog, because I like to have a post up and ready for the day. Today, however, this post won't go live until around 11am, because I'm keeping a secret, and at some point between 10am and 11am, if all goes to plan, then my secret will be revealed.

A couple of weeks ago, I was released as the Primary President in our ward. (That isn't the secret.)

PippaD having fun as the Primary President

The reason for the release was that the two wards that met in our building were merged to create one ward, our boundaries were slightly changed and this meant, for the most part, there were two people in every calling. Everyone in our ward with a calling and the ward we were merged with was released and the only callings put into place that weekend was those of the Bishopric.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 7th July 2018

This week has come round so fast! I was so ready to be full of the joys of summer, but somehow it is Friday already and I'm needing to work out what we are eating next week so I can go shopping in between visiting with a friend, going to School for a Curriculum assembly to see Dan Jon as John Logie-Baird and cooking our Mexican feast!

Dan Jon as John Logie Baird at the Curriculum Showcase

So with that in mind, here is my meal plan for next week!

Saturday, 30 June 2018

What We're Eating W/C 30th June 2018

Just so you all know, I wrote this incredibly quickly last Sunday, just before I started my Social Media Fast. Why? Well, funny enough Blogs are considered Social Media because of the community that builds up. Now, I know that writing a blog post wouldn't be breaking the rules, but I wanted to ensure I wasn't tempted!

Pippa is on a Social media ban header image

Anyway, here is what we are eating this coming week and please forgive any mistakes you spot, I had five minutes to write this, because I only just remembered!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A Visit to Kensal Green Cemetery

For some time I have been planning a trip to Kensal Green Cemetery in North West London, for the family, admittedly not a "normal" family outing, but have you met my family? When running an hour early for a meeting last week and found myself practically on the doorstep of Kensal Green Cemetery, I managed to take some time to take a look. A pre-visit if you will!

This cemetery is the largest, in terms of size if not in numbers of burials, of London's 19th Century "Magnificent 7" cemeteries. It was also the first, opening from 1833 to alleviate overcrowding in existing parish burial grounds. Over 250,000 people are buried here in this 72-acre site, and it is still open for some burials and interments today.

Kensal Green Cemetery in North West London

Now, the thought of being fascinated by the opportunity to visit a cemetery may be rather unusual to some readers, but this is a very special site for a number of reasons.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Packed Lunches W/C 25th June 2018

Another week, another set of lunches almost identical to the week before! This is the last of the "freezer" sandwiches so next week will be a whole new range of ideas, like the Sunshine Yellow Summer Solstice Lunch Box Idea!

Sunshine Yellow Summer Solstice Lunch Box Idea

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Evening Meals W/C 23rd June 2018

I was so out of sorts yesterday that despite working out what we were going to eat for the week, I didn't properly write it down or even go shopping to buy the food... So this morning I'm doing those jobs as well as preparing for a slightly impromptu hang out session that Dan Jon has organised at our house for his friends later today.

Dan Jon being all cute and one with nature

With all that in mind, here's what we're eating this week.

Friday, 22 June 2018

A Rainbows and Brownies Trip to Pets At Home

Top Ender has been volunteering with a local Rainbows and Brownies group as a young leader for over a year now and I have to say it has been amazing seeing how confident she is, how great she is with the small ones (and not so small ones) and how much the Leaders properly trust and love her.

Recently, a trip was organised (on two successive nights) for the Rainbows and Brownies to visit Pets at Home, where they would learn about Animals, get some hands-on experience and of course the all-important, finish off some work that would qualify them for a badge.

Top Ender at one of our local Pets at Home in Milton Keynes. We're greedy we have two and another just about fifteen minutes from our house in Buckingham.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Dan Jon's Adventure To The Phlebotomist

Once a year Dan Jon has an annual blood test done at our local hospital. It's to do with his Diabetes and is just to check that he hasn't developed any other auto-immune diseases and I'm sure other stuff that I've forgotten since we were first told we needed to attend these appointments each year. Our most recent appointment was scheduled for 4pm on a Thursday afternoon, a couple of weeks ago.

Now; If you have been reading my blog posts over the last few weeks, you will have seen that Flyfour's car was off the road for a few days when he ran over some metal in the road and it caused a massive rip in his tyre. In order to go to work, you know so we could pay the bills to buy a new tyre, Flyfour needed to take my car to work.

Not a problem, but when you suddenly realise that you are responsible for a tiny human who has an appointment at the hospital that afternoon, you have to go on an Adventure.

Dan Jon before School

Monday, 18 June 2018

Packed Lunches W/C 18th June 2018

I did think that the Packed lunches were going to kill me, but the weekend before we started having lunches again, I made up a months worth of Sandwich Sushi and Wraps, so that I can easily pull them out of the freezer of a morning and have lunch ready in just a few seconds.

Top Ender and Dan Jon having a hug in the Morning School Run Photo

The other benefit of this, is that I only have to think of two lunches a week and this week one of those lunches makes a batch, so we'll be good next week for lunches on three days, leaving me to just think up one new lunch and then I'll come up with even more ideas for July.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Evening Meals W/C 16th June 2018

I actually cheated and made this meal plan when I made last weeks meal plan. I did it because I was trying to be smart and reduce the amount of time I spend meal planning and because I was planning on my friend having her baby this weekend... it didn't work! The baby came early, and even though all the meals this week (During Monday to Friday) are able to be made by Top Ender in case I was not here and looking after my friend or her daughter I've decided that this week I'll just sit back and relax and let Top Ender take the strain this week whilst I drink all the fruit tea I want!

Fruit Tea in the Garden

Friday, 15 June 2018

The Roundabout Date Night

As is usual in our household, there are times when we work together like a finely oiled machine. There are other times, when, well, when we don't.

One Tuesday evening as I was taking Top Ender to her Youth group, Flyfour gave me a call and let me know that he had a flat tyre, well actually it was a ripped tyre not a flat tyre and he was going to be late home. He didn't have a spare tyre and so was waiting for a Recovery Truck to come to rescue him. The worse news for him was he was just over a five-minute drive from home.

Flyfour's Ripped Tyre

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Doing Too Much?

Twice within four hours, isn't a coincidence is it?

Twice within four hours, is someone telling you something that you need to possibly take a second look at. A few months back, two people told me that I do too much and as it was within a four hour period, and it made me think.

Was I doing too much?

In fact, now that I thought about it, over the last few weeks before the two people infour hours there had been three or four comments made by different people about how much I do and if I do too much.

PippaD sitting on the sofa not doing very much at all

Monday, 11 June 2018

Packed Lunches W/C 11th June 2018

A few months back, (I just checked it was October 2016 that I last did it, so more than a few months ago!) I provided both Top Ender and Dan Jon with a packed lunch every day. I loved doing it for them, working out the number of carbs in a meal for Dan Jon, ensuring that they both got the different sandwiches or other carb based foods that they liked and you know sneaking in the occasional treat. When Dan Jon swapped to Hot Lunches at School I was so upset, but it was his choice and I'm a firm believer in letting the children have responsibility for themselves!

I did suggest to the children, however, that for the last part of the term they swap back to packed lunches so that they could make the most of the weather. At Dan Jon's Primary School, the children can eat their packed lunch on the School field during nice periods of weather and well, it was also a bit cheaper!

Everything is GREAT

Last week, was the first week and I bulk made a few lunches for the freezer for them and purchased a few weeks worth of "extras" like pudding pots, sweet treats, popcorn etc. Mainly this was just in case I wasn't here one morning, as I'm currently on standby for looking after one of my friend's daughter when my friend goes to the hospital to have her baby!

Anyway, here is what they are eating this week.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Baptism Talk - Candy Floss Edition

Sometimes I think I'm going a little bit crazy because I write a blogpost and swear that I've had it published, but I look over my published posts and it is missing. Which is what happened when a friend recently asked for a copy of my Candy Floss talk that I gave what seems like ages ago and I couldn't find this here post! Apparently, typing the title of the talk was enough for me, well until now! I based this talk on the object lesson Meck Mom talked about in her video back in 2016 and have it here in case you want to give something similar at a Baptism you are asked to speak at.

John the Baptist baptising Jesus Christ colouring page

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Evening Meals W/C 9th June 2018

Every week when I think about what we are eating the next week, what plans we have for various clubs and activities etc I am always shocked at how soon each week is coming round. I'm not sure if it is because we are busy, because we are happy or because of the speeding up of time but whatever the reason here is my meal plan for the coming week and you can imagine me with a shocked face!

A Home Made Nando's with Chicken, Wedges, Coleslaw and Potato Salad

Friday, 8 June 2018

June's Holiday In A Day

When we started doing the Holiday's in a day, the idea was that other than for Flyfour and I, it would be a surprise, where we were going and what we were doing. The children loved this and were happy for the surprises as long as they knew that we would follow a certain routine (Activity 1, Lunch, Activity 2, Activity 3, Supper) so they would know what to expect, without knowing what exactly we were doing.

Then of course came the idea, that they wanted to plan something. We managed to get them to agree to plan a trip with one adult, so Top Ender picked Flyfour and Dan Jon got left with me to help organise a Holiday in a day trip. Dan Jon and I got to go first and we decided our trip would be in June and so quickly started planning together. Dan Jon wanted to do a sort of treasure hunt, which luckily doubled up with something I had been thinking of doing and so, everything came together quite quickly.

Family Fun in Oxford

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

The Brilliant Friend

As with most of the children in the world right now, Dan Jon loves playing on his computer with his friends. Some of them live on the other side of the world, some of them used to live locally and have since moved away, some are the children of other bloggers whom he has met at blogging events we've been to and some, well some are children he sees almost every day at School!

One Saturday afternoon, Dan Jon was playing online with a friend who lives about a ten-minute walk away and they were having a great giggle together.

I had been out for most of the day, and popped in to check the family was all still alive before popping back out again to take my Mum home and do a quick top up shop of everything I had forgotten the day before (mainly salad, for some reason I forgot to buy any salad and it was on my list like four times!).

Dan Jon playing on the Consoles

Monday, 4 June 2018

Dan Jon's Fidget Spinner Phone

There are lots of reasons I love my husband, I listed some of them just the other week when I told you all that I was a Lucky Lady, but there is another reason. It's because sometimes, Flyfour finds things which are just AMAZING and perfect for our family.

Dan Jon's birthday was one of those times.

Dan Jon Jr being all cute

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Evening Meals W/C 2nd June 2018

So the meal plan this week has the children back on Packed lunches, with the exception of Top Ender having a Curry on a Tuesday and Dan Jon having Fish and Chips on a Friday.

I can't say I'm unhappy about this, I love making packed lunches for the children!

A Pasta Packed Lunch

Friday, 1 June 2018

Leighton Buzzard Children's Trail

I grew up in Leighton-Linslade. I know the High Street as well as I know, well as well as I know anywhere I guess and so when I heard about the Children's trail, I knew that eventually, we'd get round to doing it, I just didn't know it would take so long!

The plan was that Top Ender and Dan Jon would follow the map to work out where each clue was and that Flyfour and I would just be the back up as we went quite late on a Saturday night and the pubs were full of people.

The route starts at the Leighton Buzzard library and finishes...well just up the road from the Leighton Buzzard Library, which is handy when you park at the Library end of town.

Top Ender On the Leighton Buzzard Children's Trail

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

May's Holiday In A Day

Our May Family Day saw us heading to Grand Designs Live show, at the ExCel London. We had my Mum with us (because what's a family day without extra family?!) and because we were showing off a little we decided to pack a lot in...

We drove to Westfield Stratford City and walked through an almost deserted shopping centre, although the boys did see some men washing their socks in the toilet and the "children" sat in a boat outside the toilets.

The children being silly on a boat ride

And this was all before hopping on a tube to Greenwich (home of the O2 arena) and walking towards the Emirates Air-Line London where of course Top Ender and Dan Jon had sworn they would never set foot again...

Monday, 28 May 2018

April's Holiday In A Day

Each month, we are trying to spend one day together as a family. It can be as simple as Orienteering, a whole day out at the seaside, an act of service as a family or as complicated as organising a whole itinerary of a day for us to follow! April, saw us visiting the "We the Curious", a science centre in Bristol.

Outside We The Curious Bristol

The whole place was AMAZING. Everyone else had been before (back when it was called @Bristol), but this was my first time and I couldn't get over how interactive it was, how accessible it was and how everyone young or old learnt something or was able to join in with the fun.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The Primary Gravitational Pull

When I was first called to be the Primary President, a friend from another Stake who had held the calling a few times in her life asked if I knew about the secret. A confused look from me confirmed that I had no clue what she was on about, And so she explained a well-known phenomenon witnessed amongst those with this precious calling that I will share with you.

The secret is, that as soon as you are set apart in this calling all children will be attracted to you.

I, of course, laughed when she told me this, but she insisted that this was serious and if I remember correctly she said something along the lines of:

"It's like someone turns on your child gravitational pull."

Saturday, 26 May 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 26 May 2018

Aww, the magical time of year where the children realise that it's nearly the Summer Holidays. That this half term will be the last of the School year for them. That in just a few weeks, Dan Jon will be a Year Six, Top Ender will be a Year Ten and me? Well, I'll be me doing what I need to do and panicking that Dan Jon will be in year six and Top Ender will be in year ten and I'm not ready for my Baby to be about to leave Primary School.

Top Ender and Dan Jon ready for School

Well, enough melancholy, on with the food. Oh, and this week we're going to have Sandwiches for lunch (probably ham, occasionally cheese) and it'll be accompanied by some snack like Crisps, or Crackers and some fruit or veg... it's going to be great!

Monday, 21 May 2018

I'm A Lucky Lady

Flyfour is one of those ridiculously romantic husbands, that according to my friends mean I'm a lucky lady because men like that actually only exist in romance novels, rom-com films, or catfish profiles on the internet. I have been accused several times of making him up and yet, they all seem to want to steal him off of me because of his romantic gestures.

Whenever we (my friends and I) get together for lunch or we meet up for a not coffee coffee, (well they have coffee, I have a Hot Chocolate or maybe some Fruit Tea) one of them will inevitably bring up something that they have read on Facebook, or seen pictured on Instagram or even something that was mentioned in our WhatsApp group and then they, mostly politely, request that I give them the details.

All the details.

PippaD and Flyfour having fun

Saturday, 19 May 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 19th May 2018

Last week came and went so quickly! Sometimes I love that life seems to speed by as it makes me think I have things under control if I've done most of the jobs I need to do by the time I've sat down to make the meal plan for the following week.

This week, despite being really productive, I'm also at a bit of a loss but I'm not here to bore you with my existential crisis, I'm here to bore you with what we're eating this week!

Dan Jon taking some time out to smell the flowers on a neighbours tree

Friday, 18 May 2018

I Let My Children Play With Knives

I let my children play with knives.

Well I say play, I mean use but trust me Baby Boy thinks this is a game and at almost three I am pretty sure that this isn't something that should be taken lightly. The thing is though when you are teaching children to cook and to do things for themselves they want to do things for themselves and you have to let them. How are they going to learn if they never get any hands on experience?

So when Baby Boy was making dinner with me last night I let him grate the cheese with the sharp metal grater.

I let him use the Knife to cut up the  pizza spiral in to circles.

Baby Boy with a sharp knife

And I let him hold the tray up for me to take a picture without worrying that it would fall to the floor, leaving us starving.

Baby Boy showing off his Pizza spirals

It's important that Baby Boy learns that not only do I trust him, but that the things in the kitchen whilst dangerous are also tools that he has to learn to master. It would be no good wrapping him up in cotton wool to prevent accidents as one day the wrapping will have to come off.

So I let my children play with knives... Do You?

Funerals and Celebrations of Life

I went to a funeral recently. It sounds horribly crass of me to say that it was the nicest funeral I've ever been too, but it honestly was a beautiful service, full of love and life and although I didn't know the man who died as well as some who were there, I found solace in the words that were spoken and I believe his other friends and his family did too.

I think what made it different, was it wasn't a morbid mourning, it was a tender adulation in celebration of life.

And it made me think.

It made me think about what I want for my funeral, or rather what I want for the Celebration of my Earthly life.

A Sunset over Dunstable Downs

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Miracle Morning

A few weeks before my birthday, I was doing my usual Pinterest pinning and reading of blog posts searching for ideas for my not bullet journal, bullet journal (I'll tell you about that another day). When I found a few references to something which caught my interest. The references were about living a Level Ten Life and at first glance, I was pretty certain, that this was something I wanted to learn more about.

So I started searching and I found a book called "Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod and knowing my love of self-help and motivational books (the latter is what I think this is classified as) I decided to order it for my birthday. And then I tried to forget about it so that I wouldn't be tempted to open it before my birthday. And I was so successful at forgetting about it, I didn't pick it up until the 8th of May, almost a full week after my birthday!

And as soon as I was halfway through it (I spent a couple of hours reading it at Church whilst Tops was at Youth) I knew that this was something I was going to give a try.

So on the 9th May 2018, I got up early and was in my living room ready for my new morning routine by 5:47am.

PippaD Ready for her first Miracle Morning on Day 1

Now, as you may have noticed, this blog post is just one week after that first early get up. Surely I haven't learnt anything in a week from this process?

Tuesday, 15 May 2018


Today my baby turns ten... that's Double Digits Baby!

So I thought I'd share a few pictures of some of our recent adventures whilst sharing tales of this boy who steals my heart every day. Seriously, every morning when I go to wake him up and every evening when I go to tuck him in, He is all snuggly and warm and he tries to steal my heart so I'll hug him a little longer. It only works 100% of the time!

Dan Jon is always up for a giggle, a bit like me I suppose. So when we saw this display of Gnomes in Asda, we knew Dan Jon had to pose in front of it. I guess Asda will say it's a complete coincidence that their cheeky gnomes look just like my little lad eh?! I guess they just saw someone who was as handsome as DJ and knew that they had to capture his likeness.

Dan Jon and his Doubles!

Monday, 14 May 2018

When My Mum Met Kevin McCloud

On Bank Holiday Monday, we were having another Family Fun Day, or as the children have started to call them "A Holiday in a Day", which I think is more to do with how much we squeeze into one day rather than the fact it's a relaxing day out with the family!

One of the activities we had planned was to go to Grand Designs Live and we had invited my Mum along. We had managed to get some free tickets and all was good, apart from well, we prefer the Ideal Home Show as there just seems to be more to see and do.

Okay, I mean there is more free food samples at the Ideal Home Show. Don't judge me you know you love free samples as much as I do!