A Mothers Ramblings: August 2018

Monday, 27 August 2018

Giant Teddies and Happiness!

When I was organising the car boot for the Youth of my local Church, someone very kindly donated three MASSIVE Teddies. I happen to know that the monkey cost £60 to buy brand new and the Youth totally wanted to buy them to keep, but I managed to persuade them all that they didn't need huge Teddies to be happy, and also that their parents would never forgive me for letting them buy them because nobody has that much room in their house that a giant teddy wouldn't take up too much room!

Sad Giant Teddies

Saturday, 25 August 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 25th August 2018

FOUR MONTHS TODAY WILL BE CHRISTMAS DAY! Oh my goodness, that has sneaked up on us, right? Flyfour and I, when on a "Pippa forgot to get on the weekly shop" trip, saw that Tesco is already stocking tins of Christmas sweets (Yes, we did buy one) so I'm officially starting stocking up on Christmas goodies this week!

Christmas Jumper Biscuit

Yes, I'm a tiny bit excited.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Emily Veg Crisps #Review

When I was younger, my Mum would often (well it seemed often to me!) take a bowl of crisps to bed. I always thought that it was special and something I couldn't wait to do when I was old enough. As I got older, occasionally my Mum would share her snack with my Sister and I as we sat on her bed watching TV, and it was there that I got a love for different crips. When Emily Veg Crisps asked if I'd like to try their new Sweet Potato Sticks seasoned with Sea Salt, I said YES PLEASE, because A I love sweet potato and B I love free food.

Emily Veg Crisps Sweet Potato Sticks Packet

The packets are rather snazzy looking, I mean look at them! They are funky purple and they just look really appetising!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Wanted: One Enemy

I've been feeling a little stuck recently. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my life and every single crazy thing that goes on in it. It just felt a little like I had stagnated. I wanted to be doing better, I wanted to be stretching myself, I wanted to... I didn't know what I wanted which is probably part of the reason I had stagnated if I'm honest.

So I had a think.

PippaD having a think

What did I need to get me moving forward again? What did I need to get me out of the rut? The answer came to me whilst I was in the shower.

An Enemy.  I needed an enemy.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Family History: More Than Just A Family Tree

What did my Nan's Christmas cake look like? What did I eat for breakfast most mornings? What was my favourite drink? What did I want to be? What did I accomplish? What did my Gran want to be when she was younger? What did my Grandfather think about the internet? What will my Dad be remembered for? What is my Mum's earliest memory?

All these are questions that I've pondered on over the last few weeks, as I've been filling in more memories on FamilySearch about my family, whilst simultaneously searching records to complete more genealogy work for my family and finding out who I'm related to thanks to a DNA test I did with Ancestry (currently 128 4th cousins or closer and around 21162 others!) and discovered that I am for the most part Northern/Scottish with a hint of Scandinavian, Iberian and Western Europen thrown in for good measure!

PippaD's DNA Test Results


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.