A Mothers Ramblings: 2019

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Sowers of Faith

A few weeks back at Church, we were discussing the Parable of the Sower. It's one of my favourite stories, ever since I found a video on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints website called The Sower, which I've embedded below for you to watch if you want. It really is fun, so do if you have time!


In Dan Jon's class, his teacher thought it would be fun for the children to be given a few sunflower seeds so that they could sew the seeds at home and try to recreate the environments mentioned in the parable, so that they could truly understand what the environments were and how it could be "translated" from a parable into what Jesus was teaching.


Saturday, 25 May 2019

Weekend Meals and Family Time 25-27 May 2019

I can't believe that we have another Bank Holiday weekend. It seems so soon, but I love that we do because for our family, the weekends are a chance for us all to relax, to hang out together and reconnect and the activities we take part in and the food we eat during this time normally reflects that. and having a Bank Holiday means we are able to spend an extra day together, so it's way more fun.

The A Mother's Ramblings Family having fun!

Friday, 24 May 2019

An Art Trail Walk Around ROCLA

Easter Weekend for us involved a lot of walking, which is good seeing as the weather was amazing and as a family, we enjoy going for long walks. We had decided to go to Redland Park, a newish housing estate (built in 2013/2014) just north of Milton Keynes, outside of Newport Pagnell. Flyfour had once again heard of an Art Trail Walk (I think that makes five in Milton Keynes now) that he thought we'd like to walk, plus it was a great excuse to have a nose at some houses so we could play which house would we buy and see more of the art that we could see from the road.

Cycling Friends on ROCLA Milton Keynes

The art walk goes right through the estate, which is actually really lovely as to make it more "fun" there are various insects attached to 36 lamp posts across the estate, with a sheet you can download from the local Parish Council website to identify and record the ones you find, there is also a map of the walk and a guide letting you know a little about each of the Artists who have been involved. And, Yes I am planning on going back with the children to find all 36 bugs at a later point and if they don't want to come with me, then I'll just do it alone!

Bumble Bee on a Lamp Post

Thursday, 23 May 2019

A Walk Around Nettlebed

Absolutely ages ago, Flyfour had suggested a walk that he wanted us to do as a family that he had read about online. The walk would take us around the village of Nettlebed and as it wasn't too far away (just over an hours car ride) and it wasn't particularly long for a family walk (just two and a half miles) everyone agreed we'd head off on Easter Monday to tackle the walk.

Of course, Easter Monday was a beautiful day and so with plenty of sun cream applied, everyone wearing suitable hats and footwear and of course four bottles of water in a backpack along with all of Dan Jon's Diabetic bits and pieces such as fast-acting glucose, his blood test monitor and other bits we always seem to need, we set off.

Nettlebed Mosaic

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Curly Tails Pig Sanctuary

One of the great things about being a School Governor and generally being a big kid is that occasionally you get asked if you can help out on a School Trip, which is why I found myself putting on my see-thru boots and Pig Socks one day last week, as I thought it would be fitting to wear Pig Socks to a Pig Sanctuary.

Piggy Socks in See-thru Boots

It was quite spooky timing, as a friend of mine had mentioned the Sanctuary to me just a few days before as a possible recipient of a Service project for the Young Women of my ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and so I thought I could check out the sanctuary, see what help we could offer as well as hang out with a bunch of four or five-year-olds who are uber cool and know it.


Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Surprise Birthday Party

Top Ender has been lucky enough to go to Spy Missions several times, thanks to her involvement with the Girl Guiding programme. It's sort of an Escape Room type set up, where you have a mission to save the earth, for example, and have to complete several challenges in different rooms and are guided around by a helpful leader, who if you get into too much trouble will help you out.

Dan Jon has wanted to go for ages, and for one reason or another has never made it.

So a plan formulated in my mind. Dan Jon had said that he didn't mind if he had a Birthday party or not, and was erring more on the "or not" side, which was fine by us, but he didn't say he didn't want a party and so I set about inviting his closest friends to surprise him at Spy Missions!

The Front Desk of Spy Mission Milton Keynes


Monday, 20 May 2019

All Meals W/C 20th May 2019

I can't believe we are nearly at the end of the month already! It's nearly Half term, it's nearly Summer and the entire family is ready for a bit of a break and a chance to hang out, relax and do not a lot! Plus I'm getting really good at the computer game I got for my birthday and I kinda wanna show off to the children.

The A Mother's Ramblings Family having some fun

On with the week!

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Weekend Meals And Plans 18-19th May 2019

This weekend is actually the first weekend in May where we will actually be together and to say we are excited is such an understatement it's not funny! Of course, Tops and I have been together and we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and Flyfour and Dan Jon have had a great time together, they had lots of fast food and even went swimming together!

This weekend, we are also having a little bit of a surprise, Dan Jon has a surprise Birthday party today (Sssh, he still doesn't know and he'll not find out until after lunch) and we just can't wait! I'm truly so excited!!!! After we've finished with Dan Jon's party we're off to a meal out for my Mum's, Mine and Dan Jon's Birthday.

Dan Jon looking uber cute

Thursday, 16 May 2019

The Hot Chocolate Run

I know from experience of all the Beaver camps I went on with Dan Jon and from talking with the Brownies and Guides that one of the "best bits" of a Brownie/Guides/Scouts holiday, is that before going to bed, the unit (and leaders) get a nice mug of Hot Chocolate and sits together to relax a little after a looooong day and it's a great way to get everyone just a little extra ready for bed.

You know, the whole "Please fall asleep within a couple of hours, so that we can get a couple of hours to sleep ourselves before someone wakes up because they are homesick pretty, pretty, please?"

It just so happened that on my first Brownie Weekend (to PGL Liddington), that we hadn't brought any Hot Chocolate and so I was asked to go on a Hot Chocolate run to a local supermarket to grab a few bits that we had forgotten.

So I drove the ten minutes to the shop, purchased Rich Tea Biscuits, and Marshmallows and even remembered to buy some sticks to toast the marshmallows on (as well as making a purchase of some headache pills for myself) and made the journey back to the PGL location.

It wasn't until I was back in my room, that I remembered I'd forgotten to buy the Hot Chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Powder

So I drove all the way back again, purchased the Hot Chocolate powder and drove all the way back again and yes I did make it back before Bedtime and even before the end of the Camp Fire so that I could help make some Smores!

Seriously though, am I the only person in the world who can go on a Hot Chocolate run and forget to buy the Hot Chocolate?

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Happy Birthday Dan Jon Jr

Today Dan Jon turns 11.

Dan Jon Jr on his way in from School

This young man, who is honestly the sweetest and kindest person I know, is going to do great things with his life. This isn't just some proud Mum speaking, this is because I can see the hunger in him to change the world, to make it more just, to give others a helping hand, to ensure all feel loved and welcome and to not feel the pain and sufferings of the world.

Dan Jon was missing from Church due to illness a couple of weeks ago, and three of the Primary workers came to hunt me out after Church to check all was well with him. They had missed him. They had missed his kindness to others, his opinion, his thoughts and his normally good behaviour.

I had a teacher stop me, she doesn't normally teach Dan Jon but had been covering his class. Is he always like that, so kind, encouraging and laid back? she asked. I had to admit, that yes he was for me, that, of course, like all young men he occasionally wasn't, but that for the vast majority of the time he is the sweet and considerate young man she had met.


Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Moores Gluten Free Fish and Chips

When Flyfour was diagnosed as having Celiac disease, we didn't really think much about it. We had lifestyle changes to make and so we made them. Who cared that Gluten-free Bread tasted like Cardboard? Who cared that it wasn't so easy to get a Take-away any more? Who cared that we would make almost everything from scratch now?

Actually, we didn't care. We got used to the bread (and then some genius improved the recipe and now we aren't just used to it, we LIKE it) and the pasta and the lack of takeaway options. We got used to making everything from scratch and came up with a few copycat recipes so that we wouldn't miss out on our favourite dishes. Flyfour even worked out how to make the perfect gluten-free batter so we could have Fish and Chips at home.

Gluten Free Fish and Chips from Moores Fish and Chips Milton Keynes

Sometimes though, sometimes what you really want is to be able to eat a meal from a takeaway and to not have to cook yourself.


Monday, 13 May 2019

All Meals W/C 13th May 2019

This week sees Dan Jon turn 11, he takes his SATs and finally, I'm around for a whole weekend. This week is going to be great... just so long as we all remember to eat right, get plenty of sleep and occasionally do some exercise!

We may have exercised all we needed to for our life when we were in the Netherlands!

On with the week!


Sunday, 12 May 2019

To All Those Taking SATs This Coming Week

Hello, Year Six Students,

I doubt you normally read my blog, maybe your Mum or Dad or a Grandparent sent you a link to my blog or a screenshot or you did a google search and somehow ended up here because like hundreds of other children, this coming week you are taking your SATs.

Right, let's talk about the Elephant in the room.

a picture of PippaD

I know you know it already, but yes, I'm old but I beg you don't let that put you off listening to me.

The good thing about being old is that as well as knowing how to fix computers, cook a roast dinner and where the good biscuits are hidden is that you get all this knowledge about stuff and some old people, like myself, want to pass that knowledge on.

And I don't mean knowledge like what a pronoun is or what a great sentence structure is.


Saturday, 11 May 2019

Weekend Meals And Family Time 11-12th May

This weekend, I won't be at home and neither will Top Ender. Together we are on a PGL with our Brownies (I'm Brown Owl, she's Little Owl at the same unit) along with three other Brownie leaders and several of Top Ender's old Guides Unit (she is now in the Senior Section and a Young Leader hence the Little Owl name) and we are leaving Dan Jon and Flyfour at home for a boys weekend.

Top Ender and I know what our weekend is going to be full of; giggles, girls who won't go to sleep, missing socks, forgotten toothbrushes, food, fun, water, more fun, campfires, more food, exercise and the odd bit of homesickness. The boys? Well, their weekend is going to be similar and full of video games, food, swimming, more food, TV and the odd sensation that something is missing...

So with that, here is what the boys will be eating this weekend.

Flyfour eating a Gluten Free McDonalds

Friday, 10 May 2019

Sending Thank You's

For my birthday, I received many beautiful and wonderful gifts from my friends and family and I was honestly overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness that went behind each and every gift and card given. How could I show my appreciation for these gifts, for the thoughtfulness and the kindness that was shown?

Well, obviously by saying thank you in person, as I did, and then later sending a Thank You card.

Thank you card designed on Canva by PippaD

It took me a few days, as I designed the above card in Canva and then printed them out at home, Before writing a note on the back to the friends who had taken time out of their day to think of me and to thank them for the gift they had given me and explain how I intended to use the gift/what it meant to me.


Thursday, 9 May 2019

Hatching Baby Chicks At School

I love hanging out with the Squirrels at the School I'm a Governor at, the Early Years Class is one of the best places to be because the children are so naturally curious and full of questions, ideas and come out with the best statements. I guess, what I'm trying to say is that the class is a lot of fun and at the moment they are learning a little about animals... which means they have CHICKS in the class!

I'd been in a few days back, and the Incubator was full of 11 eggs, and the Staff were a little concerned that they weren't hatching just yet and if they hadn't hatched before the end of the week, the incubator had to be turned off... They were coming up with crazy plans of how to get around this but they need not have worried because of course, those little chicks were hatching, they were just taking their sweet time about it!

Hatching Chicks in the Incubator and one who just hatched

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Career Advice

Over the last few months, Top Ender has been having fairly serious discussions with Flyfour and I about her future. Conversations about where she sees herself in ten, fifteen, twenty years time. What career she thinks she might like. What university could be like for her. What she needs to do after her A-Levels and GCSEs. What she needs to do now to ensure she is ready for her GCSE's.

We've been serious and discussed various careers we think will suit her. Like maybe she could work in Air Traffic Control, or maybe she could be an Accountant or something else that deals with numbers. There has also, of course, been some slightly not serious discussions. Top Ender suggested where she could become either an Ancient Emperor's Concubine or a Vestal Virgin. We pointed out however that we don't live in ancient Rome and she doesn't speak anything other than English so these careers may not be for her.

There was one bit of advice in all the conversations that we had that she did take seriously. Get an Appointment with the Careers Advisor and see what they have to say.

Top Ender looking as smart as she is!

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

All Meals WC 7th May 2019

For my family, this week is all about economical meals. Yup, as usual, I'm trying to be cheap and frugal and provide meals that are filling and healthy all at the same time. There is no huge push to do so in our household budget (beyond what is normal), but I'm just trying super hard... plus I want to run down the freezer and get rid of all those odds and ends!

The A Mother's Ramblings Family

So, on with the week!

Monday, 6 May 2019

Last Week I Turned 40

Last week I turned 40.

You probably know this, because not only did I post about it yesterday and a few weeks ago, but I have also mentioned it once or twice on Facebook, Twitter and I think just a few times on Instagram. It is/was a milestone birthday apparently, but the plan for my birthday was really simple. Vote, Eat, Play Computer Games, Visit with my Mum, Take 30 Brownies to the Cinema, Eat Again, Eat Birthday Cake, Go To Bed. Yet, that's not quite what happened and I'm really happy that it didn't as I can't imagine spending my day any other way.


The day started as any other birthday in our home would, with all of us getting up super early and crowding on to mine and Flyfour's bed to open gifts and sing Happy Birthday before he went to work. As the children were up so early, we decided to also go to McDonald's for breakfast because well, why not?!

Dan Jon looking all handsomeTop Ender looking all beautiful

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Fountain Pens, Letters And Love

There is a rather smart man that I know that for notes, or correspondence or anything written uses a fountain pen. I had noticed this a while back, but it wasn't until recently that I had questioned him about it. He gave a slight grin as he spoke and I doubt he noticed, but his fingers stroked and curled protectively against one of the fountain pens he had hanging from a lanyard draped about his neck, as he explained that writing with a fountain pen forces him to slow down.

To write more crisply.

To think about what it is he is writing.

To enjoy the physical sensation and sounds of a pen scratching over a piece of paper.

He spoke about the different colours of ink you can buy these days, of feeling the weight of the pen in his hand and knowing that what he had just created may not be viewed as special by anyone else, but for him?

That act of writing was special.

The Fountain Pen Stabilo sent

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Weekend Meals and Family Time 4-6th May 2019

This weekend, Top Ender is a busy bunny. Last night, she and I drove down to the London Temple to be ready for doing Baptisms with the Youth of our ward this morning (in fact depending on when you wake up we have probably already completed the Baptisms and are on our way home!) and she has plans with Flyfour tonight (Saturday night) and that's on top of her normal weekend family things!

Luckily it is a bank holiday, so we have an extra day to hang out together. As I've said before, for our family, the weekends are a chance for us all to relax, to hang out together and reconnect and the activities we partake in and the food we eat during this time normally reflects that. Which includes the fact that the children have been told that they are being expected to cook with us Adults on the weekend, to increase the amount of time we spend together and to increase their cooking skills too.

It's kinda working!

Top Ender, Dan Jon and Flyfour on a family walk

Friday, 3 May 2019

A Free Birthday Costa Hot Chocolate

I have heard rumours of Baristas in Costa giving free drinks to members of the public. I seem to be drawn to them on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram and they are normally linked to stories where totally beautiful people post a picture of them being so surprised that they got a free skinny-non-fat-green-mocha-pumpkin-water-with-extra-cream or something just as ridiculous that beautiful people seem to always drink when there is me always ordering a:

"As large as you can do it, Hot Chocolate please."


Normally, in these stories, the totally beautiful person has also been given the Baristas number (written on the cup of course) and the totally beautiful people have no clue why they were given the free cup of whatever it was that they ordered, but they will totally call the Barista because they were totally hot, even though the original totally beautiful person doesn't consider themselves to be all that.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED TO ME.


Although, mine wasn't because I was beautiful, or maybe it was. I'll tell the story and let you decide.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

Today I turn 40, which actually I'm really okay with.

PippaD looking very small next to a MASSIVE piece of Art. And technically standing on it too.

I'm not worried about it, nor have I ever been worried about it, despite a few of my friends being all "Oooh it's a big one!" because age is just a number and if you ask me how old I am, I'll answer anything from 26 to 63 depending on how I'm feeling, how cheeky I'm feeling and what I think I'll get away with.

In fact, answering I'm older than I really am is really fun. I'll say "I'm 45" and most people then say "You don't look it!", or "I had you at 35!" or similar and I get all pleased and smug and it's the easiest way to get a compliment; Although one person did once say, "I thought you were older" and now I don't talk to them any more.


Wednesday, 1 May 2019

It's My Mum's Birthday!

Today is my Mums *muffled noises* birthday and she doesn't look a day over twenty.

I mean look at her. These were taken on Easter Sunday, where we were mucking about in my garden and just having fun together and of course, enjoying the sunshine and the post "I've just eaten my own body weight in Roast Potatoes, Vegetables and Lamb" haze you get every Easter.

Dotty Maw Maw in the gardenDotty Maw Maw in the garden

I'm really lucky. I know I am. My Mum is that weird combination of friend, parent and not too dodgy that we all wish our parents were. She has a wicked sense of humour, a fabulous wardrobe and doesn't mind that before she eats anything when we are out and about, that I like to take a picture of it so I can throw it up on Instagram.

I am so grateful for my Mum and I know I don't say it enough, so hopefully, as she reads this blog post (Actually she probably won't, she only stalks me on Facebook!) she'll know that I love her so much that today I'm saying it out loud.

MUM, I BLOOMING LOVE YOU, BECAUSE YOU ARE FABULOUS!

Happy Birthday xxx

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Personal Progress, Pie and Young Women

I'm just back from Mutual, (Okay so by the time I post this, I've been home an hour because I kept chatting with my husband instead of writing!) where the Young Women have spent the evening working on Personal Progress, eating Pie, having a chat and just hanging out together.

IT WAS BRILLIANT! Oh, and four of the Young Women said they loved my Pie and a fifth Young Woman followed me home and hugged me before going to bed saying that they loved the pies I had made, okay you guessed it, yes it was Top Ender!

When I got a Secretary for Young Women's I wanted to give her responsibility for Personal Progress, so that she would be working with the Young Women more closely (because they and she are amazing) and because of the changes where Personal Progress may look different at the end of the year we wanted to make sure that the girls had every help that they possibly could in being able to complete the programme.

Individual Puff Pastry Pies - tasty and portable!


Monday, 29 April 2019

I'm A Stapler, What Are You? #Review

So, we recently were in the process of hiring a new Head for the Primary School I'm a Governor at. We had asked some of the children to take part in part of the interviews, and I got to go and hang out with them and get them to suggest some questions they would like to ask.

Now, you know me. I'm a bit of a clown where children are involved and so when they were asking the questions, I answered most of them as if it were me they were interviewing. And one of them asked;

If you were an item of Stationery, what would you be and why?

I knew straight away and blurted out "A Stapler! I like holding things together!"

PippaD being a Governor at a local School

All Meals W/C 29th April 2019

It's a busy month that's coming up for us, I'm so excited about it, not just because I'll be celebrating my birthday, my Mums birthday, Dan Jon's birthday and hopefully a couple of personal achievements but because I'm also going away three times!

PippaD on the beach


Now, on with the week!


Sunday, 28 April 2019

Our Family Playbook

During our last General Conference, one of the talks that I was really taken with was given by Elder Gary E. Stevenson, titled Your Priesthood Playbook, who suggested to the Priesthood holders that they create a Playbook. You know what a playbook is right? It's the book a team keeps, which details the strategies and plays a team may use during a game and it's important that all team members know what it details, because when they are out in the middle of a game they need to know what they are doing.

Well, Elder Stevenson noted how a sports team and the Priesthood (but it applies to the Women too) are quite similar. We have a goal of returning to our Heavenly Father rather than winning a game, we have teammates (our fellow Church members, or our families) who need our support and we have a playbook in the form of the Gospel and counsel given by our leaders.

Top Ender, Dan Jon and I pretending to be Prophets of Old

It was a really great talk, and I recommend if you haven't read it you go read it, or watch it, and all of the other talks that were given during this last Conference too... anyway.


Saturday, 27 April 2019

Weekend Meals and Family Time 27-28th April

This is a little late, as yesterday I was super busy doing something super important and when I got home, after almost twelve hours of super intense importance I may have thrown up and gone to bed feeling sorry for myself. I think it was just a case of stress/relief that it was over rather than actually being ill, but a good sleep had me feeling better and ready for the weekend.

Top Ender and Dan Jon painted in light

For our family, the weekends are a chance for us all to relax, to hang out together and reconnect and the activities we partake in and the food we eat during this time normally reflects that. It's family meals, I guess what most of us would think of as comfort food and of course some new favourites, which I think the children will think of as comfort food in the future.


Thursday, 25 April 2019

I Amsterdam City Cards

When Flyfour and I first started thinking about going to Amsterdam, we did it with the idea that we would do it as cheaply as we could. Cheap because, well we're a family of four living on one wage and we try to do almost everything frugally (apart from gadgets, we do spend a lot on gadgets). We found a fairly cheap, but decently reviewed hotel, booked it and then started on a list of things we wanted to do and working out if we'd drive or fly. We decided to drive as it was cheaper, and well Flyfour loves a road trip.

There was a long list of places that we wanted to visit, to stand outside of, to eat food at, to walk around, to shop at, to look at, to soak in the atmosphere of and of course to take selfies at. Then there were the places that you can't miss if you are going to Amsterdam. Things like the Museums, going on a Canal Cruise, and of course stereotypical Netherlands stuff like Windmills and Clogs and Cheese and people on bikes and Tulips!

Amsterdam and a Tulip Display

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Gluten Free McDonald's!

I have to point out before I say anything in this post, that the fact that McDonald's has Gluten Free options (Hamburger, Cheeseburger and Quarter Pounder) in Amsterdam is not the reason we decided on Amsterdam as this past Easter's holiday destination. Okay, so it wasn't the only reason...

The Gluten Free Quarter Pounder at McDonalds in Amsterdam

Flyfour has a hard time of it when we are out and about on our day trips, or on holiday as despite Coeliac Disease being something more and more people are becoming aware of not everywhere caters for people who have the disease. Sure, he could always pick up a salad (as long as it doesn't have hidden croutons or pasta in as a lot of them do) or eat ready-to-eat meats such as Chicken or Bacon, but sometimes it would be great to have something like a Mcdonald's, without having to ask for it without the bun, as the food looks terrible when deconstructed!


Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Dan Jon And The Girl in a Kimono

When we went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, we all sort of split up to look at the art ourselves, looking at pieces that interested us rather than forcing everyone to look at the same piece for the same amount of time. We all stayed in the same room, and Flyfour and I ensured that we had a view of each of the children. It's a tactic we use quite often in Museums and Art Galleries, as we've been taking the children to them since they were tiny and know that all four of us have different tastes, opinions and interests.

We had barely got into the museum when Dan Jon came to take me over to appreciate a piece of art that he had found. Or rather, he didn't want me to appreciate it, he wanted me to look at it and tell him what it reminded me of.

"Girl in a Kimono" painting by George Hendrik Breitner


Monday, 22 April 2019

All Meals W/C 23rd April 2019

A short week this week, because of the bank holidays, but I don't mind! We had so much fun together as we were able to go on a couple of walks and we were able to have a lot of family time, which will hopefully keep us "stocked up" as we aren't going to see much of each other this May! It's going to be a busy month, but we don't mind especially as we'll get to celebrate not only my birthday but Dan Jon's too!

Dan Jon, my proud to be of Scottish heritage son

On with the week!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Easter - The Day That Changed Everything

Most people today are celebrating that they finally get to eat their Easter Eggs. Today, I'll be celebrating that Jesus lives.

I believe that Jesus was, is the Son of God and that today I'll get to remember that he overcame the bonds of death, which means that I too will live again.

Easter The Day That Changed Everything quote Dieter F Uchtdorf

I believe that our Heavenly Father had a plan, a plan where his children would be able to learn and grow and return to him and that Jesus volunteered to take upon the sins of the world so that we would be able to return to him.

Easter really is the day that changed everything.

If you'd like to join me, you can find a Meeting House near you by clicking that link and entering the town or city you live in.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

The Change In Eating Habits

When I first started doing random food challenges in February, it was because I wanted to change the way our family ate. I wanted our family to be more healthy, to eat a wider range of foods and because the odd occasional change up means that I focus much more on what we as a family are eating and I can sometimes knock some of my unhealthy habits on the head...

It generally works. Now, for example, we eat a wider range of Fish dishes, a wider range of vegetables (even if Flyfour still occasionally moans about them!), the whole family are more willing to try new things (rather than going out to a restaurant and picking the same three dishes our whole lives or the same sandwich fillings) and I may have accidentally given the family an addiction to Salad.

Seriously. They are addicted to Salad.

Lunch Top Ender made of Salad and Quiche

Friday, 19 April 2019

Weekend Meals and Family Time 19-22 April

With this weekend being a little longer thanks to the bank holidays either side, we have more Family time and more fun planned together. Not only do we have a couple of walks planned, a family meal, an Easter Church service, we also have our usual game evening and a movie night planned. On top of that, I've nearly cracked a top score on a computer game that Top Ender and I have a friendly rivalry going on in and to me, that is what is important!

The A Mother's Ramblings Family hanging out together

We're actually really pleased to be able to spend time together again, we got so used to spending time together whilst we were in Amsterdam, that we're missing all of us being together now that Flyfour is back at work. I'm sure in a month or two we'll be at each other's throats again, but for now, we're enjoying being together.

So food wise, this looooooooong weekend we're having;

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Time I Said I Ate Cat Food

Whilst I was doing the weekly shop in Aldi, the woman in front of me at the Checkout was looking at some of the snacks they had for sale and I could see was having an internal debate over if she should buy some crisps or not. Knowing that these particular crisps are very nice, I leant over and said:

"If it helps, I really like them! In fact, I have a large pack in my trolley!"

The woman then told her husband and together they agreed to try them. The lady behind them in the queue had vouched for them after all. A conversation started between us then, about various items in the store that they had selected for purchase and if I'd had them and liked them or if there was anything I could suggest they might like the next time they came in. Luckily there were several items I was able to suggest, including some items my Mum had purchased and had said she loved and they were eagerly writing them down and having a joke that maybe I should move in with them.

PippaD with Tulips. Look how cute I am. Who wouldn't want me to move in with them?

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Children Are Growing Up

Whilst we were away in Amsterdam, I was able to look at my children in a new light because we spent every hour of every day together. There was no alone time, we all slept in the same room, we ate together, we prayed together, there was no alone time, there was no other room to escape to (well apart from the bathroom, but we didn't spend much time in there really!), no other commitments to be kept, no work to go to, we went to sleep at the same time, we woke up at the same time.

Of course, this is not too dissimilar to our home life. I see the children every day, eat with them, tuck them into bed, wake them up each morning but here at home, I see them through the lens of a Parent making sure they get to School, that they complete their homework, get to their various after-school clubs and activities and perhaps most importantly ensure they don't become slaves to their electronic devices and computers just like their parents!

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr on a Bridge over a Canal in Amsterdam

The time we spent together meant that it was easier for me to see how the children had changed. How they have grown up whilst I've basically not been looking because I've been busy being their Mum,


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A Few Days In Amsterdam

I have wanted to go to Amsterdam FOREVER! Flyfour has gone a few times for work, (no seriously there is this huge trade conference there every year that he goes and meets suppliers and clients at, it really is work!) and each year I am majorly JEALOUS. When the idea came up that we could go during Easter Break, I was really excited, especially as we were going to drive and stop in France and Belgium on the way.

So we stopped in France.

PippaD on a beach in France

And can I just say, how fab and curly does my hair look? I'm a proper Curly Girl Convert!

Monday, 15 April 2019

All Meals W/C 15th April 2019

After having spent time in Amsterdam, my family and I are pleased to not be moving far from home this forthcoming week! We are treating our sore and tired feet to some well-deserved rest and relaxation, whilst helping Top Ender with her Film Studies revision (watch some films and discuss them!) and enjoying time together.

Top Ender and Dan Jon after a long day of walking in Amsterdam

This week, I'm including Friday with the weekend's meals because it is a bank holiday and Flyfour will be at home for a nice long four day weekend. Now, on with the week!


Saturday, 13 April 2019

Weekend Meals and Family Fun 13th April 2019

After our trip to Amsterdam, this weekend is needed to relax, regroup and of course catch up on all the things we have missed. Which is mainly General Conference, Chores and Housework, a bit of Homework and of course backing up all our photographs to a shared folder so we can all see them and decide which ones we want to print out in a photo book to bore family members with as we remember our holiday!

Top Ender looking tiny on a climbing frame in Amsterdam.

Top Ender has been put in charge of our meals this weekend, I'm not sure why, but she has made some great choices so we shall have to try it again in the future!


Friday, 12 April 2019

Isn't That The Kid From The Movie?!

The first night of our holiday to Amsterdam had us following Flyfour around, as he knew the city having been there four times before, me bringing up the rear, with the children holding hands and walking between us. We were all just drinking in the sights and sounds and trying to avoid the smells (honestly I didn't realise that the Cafe's were so pungent!). Everyone was being a little protective of Dan Jon, because he's the smallest out of all us and our baby and well we are all a little protective of him because of his Diabetes.

As we were approaching a crossing, I overheard part of a conversation between some teenagers who I had noticed had been following us for a while, or maybe just coincidentally taking the same route as us.

Top Ender and Dan Jon walking around Amsterdam

Thursday, 11 April 2019

The Kid The Police Were After!

A few months back, Flyfour found a trailer for a film that we hadn't heard anything about. The film looked really great and Dan Jon, Top Ender, Flyfour and I all wanted to go and see it. The film was The Kid Who Would Be King, and by a strange coincidence, we were sent a backpack and hoodie for Dan Jon which bore the name of the film.

Dan Jon was planning to take the hoodie and backpack with us when we went to Amsterdam and so I asked if he'd mind if I took a picture or two in the garden. Dan Jon, of course, was up for that and started pretending that he was in a training montage, running around the patio and up and down the steps to the lawn. 

Dan Jon wearing his The Kid Who Would Be King Hoodie

It was really funny, and we were both in fits of giggles over it all and were singing the Rocky Theme music. I was leaning against the wall of The Folly because I was giggling so hard and couldn't stand up straight. We were joking that the Police Helicopter we could hear above us were watching us, but didn't think much of it, after all, they were after some evil doers and we are good doers and they weren't really interested in a photo shoot going on in somebody's back garden.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Dan Jon's Younger Fan

Dan Jon has been a Playground helper on the Key Stage One Playground since the start of the current School year. He loves it because he loves being helpful, he likes doing a bit of weekly service and he, like me, loves hanging out with younger children because they are generally really cool and don't even realise that they are.

Dan Jon at School

Every Wednesday, Dan Jon eats his lunch quickly before heading out to the Keystage One playground and playing with the children, or being a door monitor and opening the door for the children who need to use the bathroom, or something else that the lunchtime supervisors ask for him and the other Wednesday helpers to do.

There is just one little thing that has caused a little bit of an issue for Dan Jon. He's caught the eye of a rather lovely little lady, who is kind of determined that Dan Jon will be hers... She's even tried kidnapping him after School and this little lady is STRONG, I almost couldn't keep ahold of him!

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

The Wrong Way Home

Last Friday evening one of Top Ender's friends asked if I would mind giving him a lift home. I didn't mind because he is a great friend, a great young man and he only lives five minutes away. In fact, if we hadn't of moved from the home we lived in before the home we are in now, we would have practically have been neighbours living just a minute walk away and probably would have been able to wave to each other from various bedroom windows!

Top Ender and I had planned on visiting her Nanny after School, for a few minutes to say hello and to drop off some of her artwork which we had at our home. She too had moved on to the estate we had previously lived on and again, had we not moved we would have been able to have seen her home from our previous home! She, however, wouldn't have been able to see us as she is in a bungalow!

It's actually a great estate as one of my best friends also moved onto it a year or so back. Again, had we not moved, we would have been able to see her home from ours... in fact, you can see it from my Mother-in-laws home!

Top Ender at our old front door at our current home!

Monday, 8 April 2019

What To Do On My Birthday?

My fortieth birthday is coming up and according to my friends, who for the most part have all had their fortieth birthdays, I need to do something special, because a big birthday like this has to be marked as it is a special occasion.

I spoke with Flyfour about it, he reminded me that back when we met my Mum had not long celebrated her fortieth Birthday and I said that I wanted to do the same as she did, a huge party for family and friends. I don't want that now, mainly because I've realised that Parties are not my thing, I prefer to go for a little while then quietly sneak away and let the Party animals keep on partying. I couldn't do that if it was my own party!

PippaD on her birthday with a giant candle

Sunday, 7 April 2019

The Right Place At The Right Time

Last week, I kept reminding myself that I needed to contact a fellow School Governor, but I kept forgetting. Eventually, I remembered, so sent him a quick Whatsapp message, to which he replied and we agreed to meet up that morning. The fellow Governor offered me a couple of times to meet and as it wasn't going to be long, ten minutes or so just really a chance for us to touch base, I opted for the earlier time. We met up and our conversation took way longer than the ten minutes we had allowed and as the fellow Governor had a meeting he needed to go to at the School, I agreed to hang around for an hour or so in the Staff Room so that when he had finished in his meeting, we could finish our conversation and then we could have another conversation with a member of the School staff.

I didn't mind, hanging out in the Staff Room isn't a bad place to hang out, even if I don't have the key to where they hide the good biscuits.

PippaD hanging out at School on a Previous visit

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Weekend Meals and Family Time

This weekend is going to be brilliant, we're having one of our special holiday in a day weekends! I can't really share where we are going or what we are doing, because the children will cheat and use this blog post to find out, but we are planning on having a lot of family time together and so watch out for posts on Instagram and Facebook of what we are up to and where we are!

It's going to be a very early start, so a breakfast of cereal bars whilst the children and I probably sleep in the car on the way to our destination. We have Music ready to play, a few games to play with wipeable markers and laminated pouches and a tonne of sweets and other treats for when we get bored!

The A Mother's Ramblings Crew out on an Adventure!