A Mothers Ramblings: 2019

Friday, 20 September 2019

My Favourite Parking Space

Our local Tesco store has been doing some refurbishment works over the last few weeks in their car park. We don't actually go to Tesco that much so we didn't really know about it until one day when I stopped off to get a key cut and saw they were taking away the trees between spaces. Normally, I'd be very unhappy about them taking trees out, but these trees were slowly being murdered by being in the car park, with not enough space to grow properly and fairly often being hit by drivers who should be looking a lot more carefully where they are driving!

Tesco Car Park renovations going on at night

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Late Night Shopping

Every so often, there is a need to go shopping in the middle of the night. It might be that Dan Jon and I have decided we need a snack when Top Ender and Flyforu are away. It might be that Flyfour has a sudden urge to make something and so runs off to buy whatever ingredients he needs. It might be that Top Ender remembers the night before her English lesson that she is supposed to be taking in biscuits for her class to share. It might be that we've run out of something we need for the morning or something important, like cat food, or really important like chocolate.

Very important chocolate

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Banned For a Year!

I went to give blood last week. It's something that I've been doing since going to University and is actually really important to me and has been since I started giving blood for two, well three reasons.

The first is, as many of you know I have a blood phobia, to the point where I often pass out if I see blood. Giving blood is my way of not letting that control me, and yes I may close my eyes and distract myself every time and have to warn the lovely team that help take my blood, but it's my way of having control over my phobia.

PippaD reading the Welcome pack and ready to give blood

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Swedish Name Days

A friend of mine is Swedish and recently, she posted on Facebook that it was her name day. I had no clue what this was, so decided to look it up, so that when I wished her a happy "name day", I'd know exactly what it was I was wishing her.

My very basic level research (aka I googled it) told me that in Sweden, all but six days are allocated names, on which people who have this name (or similar) are able to celebrate. They had originated as with most things with the Catholic Church and their Saints days. Sweden changed some of their name days in the 18th Century to add some popular names and ones that didn't have religious links and then the Swedish church encouraged people to celebrate name days because they thought birthday celebrations were a bit too pagan. 

I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to traditions, picking ones that I think look fun to adopt for my family and so I was eager to find out if my families names were on the list.

PippaD all excited and Snapchat filtered!

Monday, 16 September 2019

The Bad Feeling on Friday The 13th!

Walking into School on Friday the 13th, I was ready for something bad to happen. Not because of the date you understand, but because it was the end of my first two weeks at work and almost everything had gone smoothly and I was, dare I say it, happy and so of course, I was ready for a bad thing to happen to end this happy streak.

I mean, that's not normal is it? Being happy at work.

The children had got a lift with me to School, and as we parked in the Staff carpark, two teachers were parking up at the same time. In the last couple of weeks, I've got used to the teaching staff looking at me with a bit of suspicion, when parking with students in the staff car park. Yet, one of the teachers recognised Top Ender and called out Good Morning to her, which meant the other teacher looked at us and recognised Dan Jon.

Top Ender and Dan Jon ready for School

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Never Giving Up

During Mutual a few months ago, one of the boys, threw a ball to me. Actually, that isn't quite true, he didn't throw it to me, he threw it at me, by lobbing it in the direction of my head. The expectation was clear, he was acting the fool and was hoping to amuse his fellow Young Men, and maybe impress a few of the Young Women at my expense. Knowing this young man as well as I do, I could tell that he had envisioned the ball sailing over my head or perhaps even better in his mind, hitting me in the head and for my embarrassment or shock to add to his comedic timing of having thrown the ball whilst I was getting everyone's attention and asking all to settle down.

He isn't a bad kid. He made a decision in the heat of a moment and it was the wrong one.

His plan to humiliate me failed, because of one tiny detail that he forgot to factor into his plan, mainly because he didn't know me as well as he thought he did. He didn't know that I used to play Netball and still have pretty good hand, eye coordination, even for an overweight forty-year-old!

PippaD and family playing with air and a ball!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 14th September 2019

Is it just me or has this week flown by? Don't get me wrong, I am 100% fine with the year flying by, but could we all possibly have just one week where we can all catch our collective breath and have a Hot Chocolate before we start the next chore/event/moment etc?!

Yeah, didn't think the world was going to stop just for me.

A Costa Hot Chocolate

Friday, 13 September 2019

Buffalo Wings And A Blue Cheese Dip

Flyfour has had a few meals in restaurants attached to Hotels in the last month or so, because he has been working away from home and it's about the only perk of being away from the children and I and of course our very comfortable bed!

Flyfour is celiac, which means that he can not eat gluten or wheat without triggering an immune response in his body, which causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine and this causes him a lot of pain, discomfort and doesn't smell too good either. Luckily, one of the restaurants he was eating at, had a good menu with each of the dishes that was gluten-free being marked and allowed Flyfour to pick something he knew he could eat.

a bad photo of the menu

Excuse the bad photo, but Flyfour took it just to show me, it wasn't for a blog post!

Thursday, 12 September 2019

A Little Bit Of Gardening

Yesterday we were supposed to have had a little more work done to our garden, with the same team who did the massive overall a couple of years ago. We asked them back to do a couple more sets of raised planters down the lawn (so I can keep them tidy more easily) and they've agreed to stake the plum tree for us so that it isn't practically laying down. They had to change the date they were coming and now next Monday the team will be with us, bright and early!

With them originally having planned to come mid-week this, of course, meant that this past weekend, the children, Flyfour and I did some work in our garden. It was normal autumn things, pruning back the sweet peas, weeding, picking up leaves, deadheading etc. Things that we would have done eventually this Autumn, but with having our fab garden team booked in gave us a more urgent deadline!

Flyfour sweeping after mowing the lawn

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Avenue Q #Review

We had two tickets to go and see Avenue Q thanks to Milton Keynes Theatre and Top Ender agreed that as she went not that long ago with Flyfour, in Northampton as a Daddy Daughter treat, that it was time for Dan Jon Jr to go and see it and to finally understand some of the quotes that our family seem to have ingrained into our consciousness, as Flyfour and I originally saw the show a good eight years ago and immediately added some words and phrases to our vocabulary.

Just in case you have no clue about Avenue Q, it's a musical comedy featuring both Puppets and Human actors... it's basically a very famous Kids TV show for grown-ups and teenagers and kids like Dan Jon who are a little bit more mature and ready to hear songs about porn, depression, sex and alcohol... I know it's not the sort of thing you'd think I'd go and see with an eleven-year-old either.

The touring cast of Avenue Q

However, I've never been one to be accused of being sensible, so off we went. Even saying to the lovely lady at the Theatre who said the show had an advisable age of 14, that we had discussed this as a family and having seen the show a few times before, I was happy to be taking Dan Jon to see the show.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Babysitting And Ragers!

Many years ago, I used to babysit for what seemed like the entire town I grew up in. Seriously, I babysat almost every night, sometimes even babysitting for multiple homes in one night. And I loved it. Those young children that I looked after for a few hours, whilst their parents were out were like my little brothers and sisters, in fact, three of them were my bridesmaids because they meant so much to me and my family.

Recently, one of the little girls I used to babysit for has moved near to where I live now. Of course, she is all grown up, married and has several young children of her own, but it is great to see her every so often out and about in the community and at Church and just being the fabulous woman that she is.

It's made me a little nostalgic however, I mean look how cute I was!

PippaD at Church in 1998

Monday, 9 September 2019

Five Things I Learnt In My First Week

Last week was my first week in full-time employment in about eleven years and as I spent time over the weekend thinking about how I did, what I could do better and what my plan of attack for the next week would be I realised that I learnt five things and I wanted to share them with you.

Now, these five things might not be groundbreaking, they might not even be things that I should have taken from my first week but they are things that I feel that I learnt and things that I know will stick in my memory too.

Pippa on her first day of her new job

Saturday, 7 September 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 7th September 2019

Writing the meal plan for this week was like pulling teeth! It was hard, it was painful and at the end of it, I didn't want to eat anything, do anything or even get up off the sofa. However, after a lot of consultation with the family, a few eye-rolls from me and not helpful suggestions from a google search I finally decided upon what we'd be eating.

September is a super busy month for us as a family, so I wanted some meals that we all love, that are relatively easy to make, will fill us up and as always aren't going to break the bank with their cost. I think I picked well, especially as for four of the seven nights, it's just the children and I!

PippaD, Dan Jon and Top Ender

Friday, 6 September 2019

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

Many years ago, I learnt that if I wanted the children to tell me something all I had to do was ask them. Well, not ask them directly but ask them in a way that inspired them into answering me. The way that I got around this was by asking them to;

Tell me something I don't know.

Normally, Dan Jon and Top Ender will then tell me something that they think I might not know. It might be something that they have learnt at school, something that they have read in a book, something they saw on the Internet, or on TV or learnt at Church or read in their Scriptures or even something that their Dad told them.

It's a conversation opener and one that I love to use, and normally only allow the children to stop after they have told me three things. Which is why one Sunday morning as Dan Jon and I were on our way to Church, I asked Dan Jon to tell me something I didn't know. Dan Jon claimed he knew nothing new and so asked me to tell him something that he didn't know. In fact, he'd like to know something about Elephants.

PippaD and Dan Jon

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Dan Jon The Insult-er!

When Top Ender, Dan Jon and I were having our meal out last week the server had asked if we wanted a couple of children's menus, which I declined. Top Ender at nearly 16 is most certainly old enough to have a grown-up menu and Dan Jon at 11 could probably eat a small horse by himself if he wanted.

As we were talking during the meal, Dan Jon started to explain a thought he had had to Top Ender and I, that was amusing him.

He started by looking at me in the eye and claiming;

"I can't wait until I'm really old, like you".

Top Ender and Dan Jon, my two precious angels

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

First Day Of School

The children are both back to school today.

Top Ender and Dan Jon on the First Day of School

In previous years, I've dropped Dan Jon off at his Primary School and then walked back to an empty home, waiting for time to pass and for me to get used to them not being here every minute of every day again.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

The Entertainer #Review #Gifted

When I heard that Shane Richie was going to be coming to Milton Keynes in The Entertainer, I was really excited. I knew about The Entertainer as it was a play I'd read when doing my Theatre Studies A-Level as it was by John Osborne (he of Look Back In Anger fame) and I read everything I could to try and give me a wide knowledge... also I think Shane Richie is lovely and so couldn't wait to see him in the role of Archie Rice. I was even more excited when I was given two press tickets to see it too.

As always, my theatre companion for the evening was Top Ender who was looking forward to this updated version of a play and had even gone online to research it a little as she knew nothing about it and was excited to see how a play was shown in three Acts.

A Scene from The Entertainer - Pip Donaghy (Billy Rice), Shane Richie (Archie Rice)

Monday, 2 September 2019

It's The First Day Of My New Job

It's the first day of my new job today and I'm worried.

I'm worried that I'm not good enough (imposter syndrome sucks am I right?).

I'm worried that I won't fit in.

I'm worried that I'm going to forget all the names of all the people I'll be working with.

I'm worried that my first-day outfit is wrong.

I'm worried that they made a mistake hiring me.

PippaD taking Selfies (Again!)

It's the first day of my new job today and I'm excited.

I'm excited that I've got an opportunity to grow.

I'm excited to see how I will adapt to new people.

I'm excited to meet new people and learn all about them.

I'm excited to wear something other than my "Mum" uniform.

I'm excited to prove they were right to hire me.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Called Out At Church

Before I start this post, I need to tell you a little about one of my closest friends. She is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is in my ward and is also one of my counsellors in the Young Women's presidency. Our friendship is the sort of friendship where everything is on the table. She can tell me to my face if I'm being an idiot or overthinking things and I can tell her the same. I can tell her about any issues I'm having with my children or ask her the most stupid of things and she doesn't judge and she can do the same, although without the stupid questions as she's rather smart.

I seriously love this woman so much.

So my friend was taking the lesson one particular Sunday, the topic was "How can I be in this world, but not of it?" and she had a talk, titled Overcoming The World which she had cut into pieces and the Mia Maids were to decide if it was a snippet that represented "Overcoming the world" or one that represented "Overcoming the world results in".

Whilst they had been discussing some of them, a quote had been shared and the Young Women were busy writing down this quote, and so whilst they were doing that I had been asked to read out the snippets of the talk so they could do two things at once. Some of our Young Women are so talented, that one of the young women created this graphic in her notebook for the quote. It is so beautiful, but I'm not surprised as she is very talented.

It's not one defining moment in a life time but a life time of moments that define eternity

Saturday, 31 August 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 31st August 2019

I actually can't believe what is going to happen this coming week. My new job, the children going back to school, the end of Summer, the end of an era... I'm so excited and ready for this new challenge and chapter in our lives.

The three most important people in my world. Dan Jon, Top Ender and Flyfour

Friday, 30 August 2019

A Meal Out Instead Of A Night Away

The children and I were going to go away for a night.

We'd spend the day having fun, maybe hit up a museum or two, a picnic lunch and just have fun together. We decided we would stay somewhere near the Seaside and not too far from where Flyfour was working, so that he could meet up with us after he'd finished work and as a family we'd go to the amusements and have chips looking out to Sea and spend time playing on the beach as the sun went down. We'd have breakfast together the next morning, along with an early morning walk along the beach before Flyfour headed back off to work and we'd spend the day having more fun, before meeting Flyfour at home that evening.

And then we didn't.

PippaD, Dan Jon and Top Ender at the Beach

Thursday, 29 August 2019

I Could Have...

I didn't know what to write.

A PippaD selfie

I could have written something about the amazing places I've been recently, or I could have written something about the amazing experiences I've had recently, but it seemed a little odd talking about these wonderful things when I'm not feeling all that wonderful.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Ashland Lakes

On Bank Holiday Monday, Dan Jon and I were having a bit of a lazy day. We'd both got up when we had wanted to (although my wake up time was a few hours before Dan Jon's) and after we were both dressed and ready to go we had an equally lazy breakfast at McDonald's before heading off for a walk at Ashland Lakes. Really, it was just so we could say we at least did one thing, rather than just sit at home all weekend whilst Flyfour and Top Ender were away camping.

Sign at Ashland Lakes

We used to go to Ashland Lakes quite a lot when the children were small, it was fun to walk across the stepping stones and try to not get our feet wet, but as they started to get more involved with clubs and activities after school, we eventually had no time to go.

Even the occasional picnics that my Mum and I would have at Ashland Lakes has dropped off as her balance has become more of an issue. I don't want her falling into the lake as I don't think I'd ever be able to get her out of the lake if that did happen!

The view of Ashland Lakes from the carpark

Dan Jon and I thought the lake looked beautiful, well apart from the odd bit of rubbish and a lot of algae in the lake. There is a bacteria problem or something in the lake and a disease that the fish have and together they are causing issues for fish, humans (so don't go swimming in it), cats and dogs. It was something to do with the heatwave last year, and from what my local fishermen friends told me the lake is going to be closed for fishing for some time.

Luckily, some of the lake is still beautiful and not overrun with the algae and Dan Jon and I spent ages standing on the bridge looking out at the view and admiring how beautiful it was. I think it helped that we were in the shade and that there was a little duck family to swim around keeping us amused with their antics.

A view from a bridge at Ashland Lakes

It wasn't just the three ducks on the top lake. We saw several ducks, geese, swans and a lot of seagulls who seemed to be laughing each time Dan Jon told a joke, so we weren't sure if they were actually listening to our conversation, or if they were just brilliant with their timing!

It was a lazy walk and as it was so warm, we didn't worry about walking up far enough to see the wave/snake sculpture that is between the lakes and the woods instead, going back to the comfort of the air conditioning in the Car.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

An Allergic Reaction

I was sitting in the garden having lunch when I heard a weird cracking or popping sound. I immediately realised that the pods on my Sweet Peas were ready to be harvested, as they were harvesting themselves! So I did what any normal person would do, I picked as many of the pods that were ready to be harvested as I could, found an envelope and popped the seeds from the pods into the envelope. It was a lovely afternoon, sitting in the sun and doing something that reminded me of my childhood.

A couple of hours later and I felt like I had something in my eye. So I gave it a rinse and hoped whatever it was in my eye would wash away and I'd feel more comfortable. It didn't work and my eye was still just as uncomfortable. Not long after, I started sneezing and my nose started running and both eyes started watering and my face was just uncomfortable.

When Flyfour got home, he took one look at me and asked what was wrong with my face. Which at any other time would NOT be the way to greet your wife, but was really the only question he could ask as looking in the mirror, I did not look right!

PippaD looking very uncomfortable from an allergic reaction

Monday, 26 August 2019

Dan Jon's Eye Appointment

As if there wasn't enough to worry about with Diabetes, at our last appointment with the Diabetic team, they mentioned they wanted Dan Jon to start going to annual eye checks too. We knew it was coming because with my Mum being a Type One Diabetic for so much longer than Dan Jon she has all the various appointments that one day Dan Jon will have too.

The appointment came. It was the last appointment I'll be able to take Dan Jon to for a while, with my new job starting, and so to me, it was a big thing and so Dan Jon and I sat together in the waiting room, cracking slightly inappropriate jokes, playing I-spy and having a good old chat.

Eventually, the nurse called Dan Jon's name and after a quick eye test put some drops into Dan Jon's eyes, and came back a few minutes later to put the dilating drops in too.

Then after a few more minutes of waiting, we got to meet with the Doctor.

Dan Jon having his Diabetic Eye Appointment, excuse the weird face he's pulling he'd just had drops put in his eyes!

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Why Did Your Church Change Its Name?

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend who was a little confused. For as long as my friend has known me, I have been a member of a Christian church, I've not drunk alcohol and as well as the Bible, I also have an additional book of scripture called The Book of Mormon. To her, I was a Mormon or a Latter-day Saint, abbreviated to LDS on my social media profiles and a member of the Mormon Church.

My friend had met some Missionaries in her town and had been chatting with them and it was at this point that she had said something like "My friend Pippa is a Mormon" and they said something like "Oh, really? What ward does Pippa live in?". They had a nice conversation and that evening she called me, to have a chat and she mentioned she'd met her local Missionaries, but they hadn't belonged to the same Church as me and she was confused because she had thought they looked like they did.

Typical Missionaries, White Shirts, Ties and Smiles!

Saturday, 24 August 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 24th August 2019

Top Ender and Flyfour are off on their annual camping trip this weekend, leaving Dan Jon and I to fend for ourselves and enjoy our time having a holiday at home! We might decide to order in every meal (or go find a robot to deliver some food to us) or seeing as how Dan Jon and I quite like a Salad we might be healthy and have a weekend of Salads!

Sandwich and Salad

Friday, 23 August 2019

A Day at the Auction Centre

I have a list of things that I would like to do. Some things are expensive, like have a hotel room which you can swim up to or one with a secret hidden pool for my own exclusive use and gives a great view of some amazing vista. Others are less expensive, like having a posh afternoon tea or making an item of clothing from scratch and some could be expensive... like going to an Auction and placing a bid, or rather placing a bit and winning!

And that last one? Well, I've done it and it only cost me £3!

A few weeks back, Flyfour and I went to an Auction house in Bedford. We'd spent the evening before looking at the online catalogue for all the lots that were up for auction and noted several items that we were interested in, and several more that we were interested in seeing how much they would go for because I'm so nosey!

Thursday, 22 August 2019

A Starship Robot Delivered My Picnic Lunch!

In some areas of Milton Keynes, there is the ability to order food from local shops to be delivered to your home, by Robot.

No, seriously.

A Starship robot delivering our lunch in Milton Keynes

You just need the app to be able to order from Starship, and to live in one of the areas for delivery. The problem is that we don't live in one of these areas and so we can't order food to be delivered to our home! Instead, when we are out on our walks or driving in the areas that have the robots, we lookout for them making it a bit of a competition for who can see them first, or who can see the most.

Of course, we also keep a close eye on the app, to see if they have finally started delivering to homes in our area and if it takes much longer (which it will), we might have to move, so we also keep an eye out for houses we like in the areas where the Starship Robots do deliver to and I found a great one... now I just need to win a lot of money so I can afford it and all the deliveries I'll be accepting!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Broughton Brook Park

Flyfour and I love going for walks, sometimes I don't remember this and when he asks me I decline his offer to go but he had found a new park that he wanted us to walk around and it sounded fab and I was in a great mood and so didn't say no and I am so glad I didn't!

We went at about Sunset, which meant we got some beautiful photographs of the setting sun over the lake, and what you can't see, thanks to some clever positioning of the camera is the warehouse unit right by the lake... actually on three sides of the lake.

Broughton Brook Park

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The Mousetrap #Review

We were gifted tickets for the show and two J2O's.

I always found that the bucket at the end was the hardest part to balance in the game Mousetrap and when the performance of The Mousetrap at Milton Keynes Theatre was running late due to some technical difficulties, I guessed that this was the problem the production was having too. Of course, that was all a joke, I knew really that it wasn't the case, but it was a good giggle and the older couple sitting in front of Top Ender and I thought it was hilarious!

Now, there are a few things that I knew about The Mousetrap.

It is the longest-running play.

It's in its 65th year in London.

There's a twist ending.

The audience is requested not to share whodunnit, so as to keep the mystery alive for other people.

It was written by Agatha Christie.

The cast of The Mouse Trap

All I really knew though, was that I was really looking forward to see the show, as was Top Ender!

Monday, 19 August 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 19th August 2019

I'm in a much better mood now and can more easily work out what it is that we are eating this week for our evening meals! Plus Flyfour has confirmed, what days he is going to be home late, what days he's not coming back home and more importantly (for me anyway) what he would like to eat too!

The A Mother's Ramblings Family hanging out in Amsterdam

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Scripture Song Game

Since camp, my scripture study one day a week has been a little different to how I normally study. It was at camp that I was introduced to a game of sorts by a member of our Stake Presidency. The game, as the title of the blog post suggests, was a Scripture Song Game and we were encouraged to find references in the scriptures for every line in a hymn. The point of the game, other than having fun, getting to read different Scriptures, getting used to reading the Scriptures and using things like the Topical Guide was to show how even the hymn we sing each week in our meetings or in our Family Home Evenings or our family Scripture study sessions teach doctrine.

Dan Jon reading The Book of Mormon in a drawing PippaD drew

At camp, the song we attempted to find references for was "I Am a Child of God". You can follow that link to hear a sung version, but the lyrics to the first verse and chorus are;

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Meals For This Weekend!

There are just two weeks left of our Summer Holiday and I'm intending to make every day count! Saying that I am so ready to be thinking about Christmas, especially with the rain yesterday evening making me think of Autumn and Winter and everything that needs to be snuggly and twinkly!

Snuggly and Twinkly Hot Chocolate!

In other news, I'm only planning meals for the weekend, because I've got a meal block. Hopefully, I'll get some inspiration before I go shopping on Monday!

Saturday - Steak and Jacket Potatoes

Dan Jon isn't too keen on Steak (he doesn't like the texture), so we'll give him something like Sausages but the rest of us are very excited about having Steak with Jacket Potatoes and a bit of salad. Okay so maybe excited for salad is a step too far for Flyfour and Top Ender!

Oh scrap that, Flyfour made chips, so I revolted and had a HUGE salad with the Steak and the children and Flyfour had beans. Heathens.

Sunday - Honey Mustard Chicken with Mash

I love Honey Mustard Chicken, I love it with Mash even more. Flyfour said that I could pick, our meals this weekend, without his input, so I picked my favourite!

I'm going to do a supper of Toasties or get Flyfour to make some Rock Cakes!

Friday, 16 August 2019

Pippa, Are You Ready For September?

A friend asked me this last week;

"Pippa, are you ready for September?"

I honestly didn't know what they meant. There is a lot happening in September, but what was she referring to? My wedding anniversary? We're going away but she knows that and knows I'm ready. My cousins birthday and anniversary party? She knows I have a family thing and am dead excited as I've not seen my cousin for a few years now. Dan Jon starting School? Well, funny I had been thinking about that earlier...

I'm sure you've realised, that was she actually was asking was if I was ready to return to employment out of the home after such a long gap. Funny enough, I'd been thinking about that too. My life and the lives of my family are going to change and quite dramatically too. I poured out a few of my worries to her and she listened, like a good friend would.

a wrinkle free selfie (thanks to a filter!)

Thursday, 15 August 2019

The Big Clear Up Of Clothes

At the start of the Summer holidays, I explained to Top Ender and Dan Jon that with my new job starting in September we had just six short weeks to get the house in order to allow everything to run more smoothly. I knew that they weren't happy, mainly because they vocalised it, but they also knew that I was doing the same thing and that I had the entire house to contend with, whilst they just had their bedrooms!

It was the Marie Kondo moment from three years ago, all over again.

Bags of Clothes from 2016

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Post-it Of Wisdom!

I saw this post-it recently and thought that you all deserved to see it too, after all, it is a Post-it of wisdom!

Post-it note on a mirror stating that You are Beautiful

Just so you know, it's totally true.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Help Me Name My Car!

You might be aware that recently I got a new car, (a Citreon C4 Picasso), thanks to a gentleman not seeing my big huge silver Citreon Xsara Picasso and reversing his car into it, and causing enough damage to mean it was a write-off.

Flyfour found me a brilliant replacement and honestly once I get used to the new handbreak all will be well but Flyfour and I are having a little argument sorry disagreement over the new car and no, it's not because he wants to swap cars and have this one and give me his C4 because I think the death stare I gave him when he suggested that warned him not to bring it up again.

The thing is, Flyfour says that all cars are girls and I say that some are girls and some are boys and that I'm pretty sure that my new car is a boy. I mean look at it.

My new car

It's so a boy.

The real problem is that I'm trying to think of a name for my new car and nothing is fitting and I'm really worried that Flyfour is right and the reason I'm not finding a suitable name is that it is a girl car.

So help me. What would you call this car if it was yours?

Monday, 12 August 2019

The Anti-Snore Pillow!

I snore.

I'll admit it, I'm not ashamed although I am a little worried because as far as I can tell it means that my breathing whilst I am sleeping is being obstructed and is an even bigger sign than all the other ones that I should really be working much harder on losing weight.

PippaD looking happy and overweight

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Testimony S'mores

When we were on camp one of the sessions that had the most impact on me, was when we were creating Testimony S'mores. The idea of the session was to help the Young Women to understand what a Testimony is and how it is created and I thought I'd share it here too because you all might understand a little more about what it is when I say Testimony and also because I wanted to share my totally cool looking Testimony S'more!

A Testimony S'more made at camp

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Family Meals W/C 10th August 2019

I love the Summer holidays and think that starting my job in September the Summer holidays are going to be the huge highlight of my year! It's funny, I was talking with some teacher friends who made me laugh when they were saying that the reason teachers have so many holidays is just so that they forget how hard working in a school can be! It's sort of a reset for all staff.

So, here's what we are eating this week.

Salad and Chicken in the garden

Friday, 9 August 2019

Princess In Training

During Young Women's Camp, one of the activities that the Young Women were doing in their groups, was titled Princess Training. The idea was to help the Young Women to learn some skills and to remind them that they are the daughter of the King.

Pippa D and Top Ender after a hike, and not feeling like a Princess

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Two Trips To The Beach And Free Chips!

Whilst the family and I were away in Dorset, we decided to visit the beach and so headed down to Lyme Regis. We spent ages sitting on the beach that first night, paddling and just walking around enjoying being on the beach. We chatted, splashed each other, looked at the Seagulls and wrote lots of weird things on the beach, remembering the punctuation (Dan Jon's old Primary teacher if you are reading, you'll be pleased to know he was the one who was checking out punctuation!) and finding a few shells too.

Dan Jon using punctuation on the beach

After an hour or so, we started getting a little hungry and so decided to hunt out somewhere that sold gluten-free Fish and Chips so that we could have a chippie tea sitting looking out at the Sea and enjoying more time together before having an Ice-cream and heading back to our campsite.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Young Women's Camp

Last week I was on Young Women's Camp with the Young Women from my ward and all the Young Women and their leaders from my Stake. It was an amazing week, full of Spiritual moments, fun and laughter, food (oh so much food) and tents. Yeah, tents. We all know how I feel about Tents, but you know what? This camp was different and I'm pretty sure that this was because of who we were sharing the camping experience with, not that my family aren't great to camp with, but getting to hang out with so many beautiful young women who are so confident in who they are? That was pretty awesome!

Tents at Camp, before the decorations went up!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Pringle S'mores

I love Top Ender. I mean of course I do, she's a genius and she has amazing curls and she loves singing and camping and random things that only she seems to understand, then there are the things that she explains to me and ends up making me care about too and then there are times where she says totally crazy things that make me look at her all confused and I realise that she is more like me than either Flyfour or I thought possible and I realise I should support her.

Which is why I ate a Pringle S'more.

So how did it come about?

A Pringle S'more - Salty and Sweet!

Saturday, 3 August 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 3rd August 2019

Well, I'm back from camp and despite having slept in a tent, stayed up far too late, got up far too early and stinking of lake for far too long, I was also totally spoilt as one of my amazingly lovely friends was in charge of preparing all the meals for the camp, which meant I really didn't lift a finger all week and now I'm home I'm kinda sad because I have to A Go Shopping to get the food, B Prepare the meals and C Serve the food!

Chips and Salsa

Well, seeing as how I need to do all of the above, here is what we're eating this week.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Serving Others

When you are baptised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints you make a promise, well actually you make several promises, but there is one part of the promise that you make that says;

"Bear others’ burdens, that they may be light; mourn with those that mourn; and comfort those in need of comfort"

What that means is that just like Jesus Christ, we should help others around us. We call that helping of other people Service.

Top Ender painting a fence as an act of service

It is always great to serve, and our family feel it is best when there isn't a reward, although if we're painting your fence in some of the hottest weather we've ever experienced an ice-lolly is always welcome!

Opportunities for service are everywhere.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

No Meal Plans This Week!

This coming week, I'm at Camp with the Young Women from our ward and all the other young women and their leaders from across the Stake. My living room is slowly being overtaken with tents, as it seems the entire ward is lending us equipment so that the girls will be able to camp in luxury... Do the words luxury and camp go together? I'm not so sure that they do.


One of our tents, not the height of luxury, but it keeps us dry!