A Mothers Ramblings: 2019

Monday, 4 November 2019

Three Trips to The Opticians

It was time for Dan Jon, Top Ender and I to have our two yearly eye test, and for some unknown reason I couldn't book all three of us together, so I had to book appointments on different days and at times that were suitable for us all!

Mine was first and so after having dropped Flyfour off to at the airport one Saturday morning, I made my way to my local Opticians for my appointment. As they did my eye scans, I warned the person that my eyes aren't "normal" and that he shouldn't freak out or let the Optician freak out because it was something that the hospital had investigated after my last eye appointment and the one before that and all was well, and I didn't really want to have to go back to the hospital again if there were no changes!

Pippa D, Dan Jon and Top Ender having fun together

Saturday, 2 November 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 2nd November 2019

I'm so excited! A month of sandwiches, although we don't have to have a different one every night like with the Salads back in February, so I might just end up repeating a few of the sandwiches as the children tell me what they like the most/what we seem to have in the house because for some reason despite me always buying all the things we need there is always something we are lacking by the end of the week thanks to some overzealous portion sizes, or more likely  snacking from the family between meals!

I'll make sure that I have a lot of good snacks available in the house, fresh fruit, cut veggies, cold cuts, bits of cheese, crisps and salad for Dan Jon and I... hopefully, this will mean we won't go hungry but that we will all eat healthy snacks if we are hungry!

Sandwich and Salad, tasty, healthy and makes me happy!


Thursday, 31 October 2019

The November Food Challenge!

Flyfour, the children and I were having a family chat, about nothing in particular just some family fun and during a long car journey, when we started a conversation about our diet. We all talked a little about how we could reduce our monthly shopping bill, our monthly cost for school lunches or food when we aren't at home, be more mindful about what we were eating when we weren't at home and doing a couple of little things that we hoped would be better for our health. Little things like eating less meat and processed foods, eating more fish and vegetables and of course a lot more exercise!

The A Mother's Ramblings Family having some fun!

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Kinky Boots The Musical #Review

My favourite radio station, (Encore Radio) would often play songs from Musicals that I didn't know, but very quickly grew to love. One of the songs that I would often sing, along with Flyfour, was The History of Wrong Guys from Kinky Boots The Musical, and so when I was offered press tickets by Milton Keynes Theatre to see the musical, I knew that I had to take Flyfour so we could sing along and yell out "He's got a girlfriend you knob!". However, we almost didn't go thanks to Flyfour having to work and me being ill... I have never willed myself well so fast before!

Tops was most grateful for Flyfour's ticket, and thanked me by wearing my boots to the show. I didn't mind though, because she was rocking them and she really did look after me the last couple of days whilst I've been so poorly.

Kinky Boots The Musical Programme

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Addams Family Inspired Creepy Halloween Treats!

My family and I aren't normal. We like that we are different from the norm, that we're more like The Addams family than the people that live on our street and we were going to celebrate this and hang out together during the half term by going to the cinema to see the new animated Addams Family film (see the trailer here), coming home via the supermarket (I had a voucher to buy some bits from a lovely PR company) and making a few snacks together to share together and with some of our neighbours whom we haven't seen for a while.

And then I got sick.

The children were fantastic, looking after me whilst I dozed, giving me bottles of water and coming to chat to me and check I was okay every so often. They made lunch and supper together and after one trip downstairs to make sure they were okay in the early evening, I realised that they had even had some fun without me.

Addams Family Halloween treats

Whilst I'd been dozing Top Ender and Dan Jon had gone to a local supermarket and purchased the few items that I'd written on a shopping list for us to get on the way back from the cinema. Top Ender had even worked out how to use the voucher that had been given to me to buy the bits and pieces and then discussed together how to make what we'd chatted about, trying to remember the rough instructions I'd given when I said what I thought we could make. They even raided the Halloween bits and used some of The Addams Family bits we were sent to make the cakes look better in the photos!

Saturday, 26 October 2019

All Meals W/C 26th October 2019

It's half term! Whoop whoop! I'm very excited because there is a lot to celebrate, there is a lot to rest from and there is a lot to use this half term as a base to launch new plans from.... yup we have new plans for the family, for our home and for our education and work lives! Of course, on top of all of this, we are also going to be eating our favourite foods, spending plenty of time together and enjoying some free time.

It's going to be so busy, but so great.

Dan Jon, Top Ender and Pippa D ready for some FUN!

Friday, 25 October 2019

Faces Everywhere!

When Flyfour, the children and I were away I kept giggling when I was walking through a doorway in our hotel. It wasn't until the last walk through the doorway that I told the rest of the family as to why.

Faces on the wall

Yup, it was because of that face up there.

I see faces all the time, in fact, humans see faces in things all the time. It's called pareidolia apparently and so I thought I'd share it with you, as he was such a friendly little chap!

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Yes, Another Post About How Great My Child Is.

Sorry, but also I'm not sorry that this post is going to come across as a little braggy, but then again if you had a child a fab as Dan Jon, (and that's not just me saying that), then I'm sure you'd want to brag a little (well a lot) too.

We had a combined parents evening/meet your child's tutor last week for Dan Jon. It was something that they do for all year seven children and parents, towards the end of the first half term to see how the new year sevens are settling in and to help them focus a little more on things that are important.

It was great to meet with Dan Jon's tutor, I mean Flyfour knew him from when he was a student at the school, I knew him from when I was a governor at the school and of course from my current job working at the school, but this was different.

This was Flyfour and I meeting him as parents.

Dan Jon and Pippa D

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

My Brilliant Husband

Last week, I was in the sort of mood where everything looked tasty, I didn't know it but my cycle was at the point where my hunger was up but thanks to my self-control I wasn't about to eat everything as I wanted! I went downstairs to see if there was anything that I could eat in the kitchen, that was healthy (there wasn't) or maybe persuade Flyfour that what he really wanted to do was make us some of the gluten-free mini pizzas that he often makes the children for lunch at the weekend.

As I'd gone downstairs and I saw a leaflet for a local pizza company sticking out the letterbox and exclaimed to Flyfour how I really fancied pizza now that I had seen the advert and then as I was looking at the advert a bit further saw there were chicken wings on sale too and decided that I fancied those too.

Of course, I wasn't going to buy them and as Flyfour said that he wasn't hungry, I gave up on the idea of Pizza, got a glass of water complained to Flyfour that I was annoyed that I was hungry when I should be not overeating and went back to bed to read my book and feel sorry for myself, as I was on the edge of a bad mood thanks to lack of pizza, the craving for pizza, the oncoming (although I didn't know it) period and because I felt like I had a cold coming.

About thirty minutes later, Flyfour came up the stairs, carrying something with him that he was trying to hide from the children and something that smelt rather yummy.

IT WAS PIZZA AND CHICKEN WINGS!

Gluten Free Pizza and Chicken Wings

Honestly, there were no words to describe how awesome it was to sit on the bed eating gluten-free pizza and chicken wings together and just knowing that my husband loved me so much, so deeply and so completely that even though he hadn't originally fancied pizza, he was willing to order the things that I needed and share them with me.

I have a rather brilliant husband.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Let Me Brag A Second Okay?!

When Dan Jon was first starting at his senior school, there was an assembly for his house, where they explained about a few different opportunities available to the students, including being Sports Captains and House Captains and the process of how the students should apply to be considered.

Dan Jon was rather taken with the idea of becoming a House Captain and so wrote a letter to the Head and Assistant Head of House to support his application for becoming a year seven House Captain. I didn't actually know he had done this, until after his application had been given to the Head of House, so I had no input into what he wrote and really, I have no clue what his letter said other than what Dan Jon half-remembered later.

Dan Jon in his School Uniform

Monday, 21 October 2019

The Follow Up Blood Test And Results

Do you remember that about a month ago I was banned from giving blood due to my low iron count? Well, this is the update you may have been waiting for if you wanted to know what was going on.

So.

The day after I was banned from giving blood, I phoned my Doctor's surgery and arranged to have a telephone consultation as there is a rule that you can't book a blood test without having spoken to a doctor first, which makes sense, but also means I had to wait longer to book in the blood test and I wanted to give blood, so I needed to know as quickly as possible that this was a mistake and all was well!

PippaD being all normal...

Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Primary Presentation

It was the Primary Presentation in our ward today, which apart from meaning I got to sit next to my husband for an hour and together we got to watch our son sitting on the stand and giving his talk, also means that I got to listen to some of my favourite people in the ward give their two cents about whatever subject they had been given to talk about.

It was a little emotional for me because this was the last time I will have an actual child of mine in the presentation, there are still several young people in the ward who feel like they are my children because I have known them all of their lives and I love them unconditionally, but this was sort of the last official primary thing at Church that Dan Jon will do before he is a member of the youth programme and means that he is growing up and growing up fast!

Dan Jon handsome as ever


Saturday, 19 October 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 19th October 2019

Oh my goodness! Do you know how good it is to write a blog post? I have honestly been sitting at home at times this last week, with my fingers over the keyboard and the words just wouldn't come out. Normally they come out at a million miles an hour and I can't quite keep up, but this has helped me to actually write and I'm hoping that now my other blog posts will come out! Keep an eye out this week!

PippaD being all awesome!

Monday, 14 October 2019

My Type 1 Superhero

It is World Diabetes Day today, so I thought I'd speak a little bit about my Type 1 Superhero because as we all know Dan Jon is a superhero of epic proportions!

Dan Jon is seriously the most wonderful child I know. I mean really, he is. Dan Jon comes to see me every day after school and gives me a kiss goodbye (he initiates it!) no matter who is in the reception (there are normally a few students waiting for their parents). He sends me little text messages saying "Hi" or asking what I'm up to, or if I'm okay and cute little gifs.

PippaD and Dan Jon Jr

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Meal Plans W/C 12th October 2019

I'm running out of food ideas again and asking the family is useless! They just say things like "I don't know" or "whatever you pick is fine!" and that means that I get to pick all the food that I want to eat, even if it means that the rest of the family don't particularly like what it is that I've picked! Still, I'm happy and as I keep telling the children and Flyfour, if Mum is happy then they'll be happy!

PippaD being happy!

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

I'm A Genius!

There are many things that I can do whilst doing something else. Use my phone and pee, tell the children to clean up whilst hiding a cookie that I'm eating, watch TV and knit (although I can't follow a pattern at the same time), make dinner and load the dishwasher, answer the phone at work whilst also spinning on my spinny chair... you know normal things.

Then there are other normal things, at least I think they are normal.

PippaD when I thought I was looking cute!

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Fruit Salad... Yummy Yummy!

One thing that Dan Jon has been excited about when going to Senior School, is taking part in weekly cooking lessons. Whilst he loves cooking and frequently does with me or his Dad, he is getting to the point where just helping isn't enough, and he wants to be making things on his own.

Of course, with having Food Tech lessons, it is all down to him.

The first dish he made, was Fruit Salad, which is why all weekend we have all been singing the classic Wiggles tune "Fruit Salad".

Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy!

Monday, 7 October 2019

Our New (to us!) Piano!

For what seems like years now, I've been looking to buy a piano. It needed to be quite good quality, it needed to sound nice and it needed to be in a price range that we could afford. It honestly felt like it was never going to happen and so I'd sort of given up a little when my sister sent me a message. Due to a few circumstances changing for her and her family (all good stuff!) they were needing to pass on their piano and if we wanted it, it was ours.

WE WANTED IT!

Our new (to us) Piano

Sunday, 6 October 2019

The Gospel Is The Gospel

When I was at University, I read this great thing that Jewish people used to do to try to "prove" that someone was Jewish and also to make someone feel more at ease, knowing that they were in a community that held the same values. They'd ask them about where they were from, and because the community was close, would then ask about someone who lived near there that they knew. If they knew them, then they were really Jewish, if they didn't then they may be pretending and not Jewish.

As I was tweeting about General Conference last night (well actually really early this morning), I realised that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do something similar.

I am a Child of God sewing sampler I designed

Saturday, 5 October 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 5th October 2019

Another week over, by this rate it'll be Christmas before we know it and thinking on it I'm actually really excited by that thought! We were teasing the Principal at work this last week, about how I'm going to be celebrating Christmas from December 1st as he believes it should be celebrated between December 24th and 26th... Maybe I'll start this week!

PippaD and Top Ender in Christmas jumpers

Right, what are we eating this week?


Friday, 4 October 2019

Thank You For Existing!

Twenty years ago today, Milton Keynes Theatre opened and I am so thankful that it exists. Not because of the press tickets I get, but because of what I've come to realise about myself and about you. Okay, I also love the press tickets.

Cup Cake celebrating Milton Keynes Theatre turning 20

When it was first being built, we talked about it in my Theatre Studies group, about how we could get jobs there if we were lucky, how we could work backstage, or in the sound booth or maybe we could work on the lighting, or even work front of house.

Dreams. They are the fuel of our lives.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Paladone Sent Me Harry Potter Goodies! #Review

This blog post is about some great Harry Potter stuff, that I was gifted.

Many years ago, my Mum accidentally introduced me to Harry Potter. My Mum, a childminder, asked me to wrap a gift for one of the children whose birthday it was. Instead of wrapping it straight away, I accidentally read the book and got it wrapped in time for the family to take home.

I was hooked and purchased all the books and films as they were released. I read the books to both the children whilst they were in the womb, small babies, small children and have even managed to force encourage them to read the books themselves, once they were old enough to read and of course,  they both watch the films with me on repeat, because who doesn't love a bit of a Harry Potter Marathon, when the weather is a bit gloomy?!

Which is why when Paladone asked if I would like some Harry Potter bits and pieces I was all over it and quickly picked some items with the £30 that Paladone had gifted me.

Paladone Harry Potter themed gifts

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Brownies And That Feeling You GEt

There is something brilliant about being a Brown Owl, that I can't quite explain, because I'm not sure what it is.

It isn't the fact that I'm adored by 30 small children, although to be fair that is a huge draw.

It isn't that I get to do fun things, again huge draw.

It isn't even that I'm allowed to do things, like light a fire. I mean come on, FIRE!

Camp Fire at the Brownies Bush Craft Night

It isn't that I get to spend time with Top Ender and a few women, two of whom have become very close friends.

I think, that it's that I'm proud.

I'm proud when I with these girls and they achieve something that they thought they couldn't. I'm proud when they are given compliments for their excellent behaviour. I'm proud when they trust me with very important information such as which boy is cute or which teacher is funny. I'm proud because I can see how these wonderful young girls are growing up into amazing young women and I know that the world is going to be in safe hands.


Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Priscilla Queen of The Desert #Review

Milton Keynes Theatre is nearly 20 years old, and you can read more about this later in the week (I know, it means nothing to you, but trust me you'll love how I make it relevant!) but this post is all about Top Ender and I going to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert, after Milton Keynes Theatre were kind enough to give us two tickets and make Top Ender's night by saying if she wants them, she can have some posters from the foyer for an upcoming show that we are going to see (Six, it's going to be brilliant!). which happened just as I took this picture, hence the slightly crazed look on her face!

Top Ender excited and off to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Monday, 30 September 2019

A Little Reminder

I think a lot of people need to hear this today, it's a grey old day as my Nan used to say and I think that everyone is just thinking about the next job they have to do, the next person they want to help, the next change they need to make to help this world survive. 

If you want to give light to others, you have to glow yourself quote by Thomas S. Monson

Take care of yourself, let yourself glow and then you can help the world by shining your light around.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Marriage Is Awesome!

Today is mine and Flyfour's 18th Wedding Anniversary.

I can honestly say that meeting Flyfour and managing to somehow be charming enough that he fell in love with me was the best thing I've ever done in my life. Genuinely, whilst there wasn't any real trickery involved, I am so happy that Flyfour and I managed out of the billions of people on Earth to meet each other, to realise that we loved each other and on top of all that and that we then managed to work out we both wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, well actually not just all our lives, but all of eternity together*.

Flyfour and PippaD getting married

Saturday, 28 September 2019

What We Are eating W/C 28th September 2019

It's nearly the end of September, which is amazing because that means I've almost had a job for a month, I'm about to celebrate mine and Flyfour's 18th wedding anniversary and it's nearly Halloween. I mean come on, it's fab right?! Time is flying and I'm totally okay with that.

Chicken and Salad - it'll be featuring later in the week!

Friday, 27 September 2019

A Pre-Anniversary Date Night With Noughty! #Review

This coming weekend is mine and Flyfour's 18th Wedding Anniversary.

We are planning on being up north for our anniversary again, and then possibly at a Fireside if we return home early enough so Flyfour and I won't have a chance to sit together and just enjoy each other's company. Well apart from the very long car journey back to Milton Keynes, but that doesn't count as the children will be in the car too!

We decided because of the lack of time we'd have alone together, we'd spend some time together one night the week before our anniversary and share a bottle of Noughty, an organic, vegan, alcohol-free sparkling wine that I'd been sent to review.

A bottle of Noughty in the garden

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Apparently I'm Too Nice!

I was told off at work this week.

It wasn't a real telling off, but one of the visitors to the school told me I was too happy, upbeat and positive to be a receptionist in a school and that they'd never met a receptionist quite like me. Another visitor to the school overheard and agreed and then a discussion over my demeanour between the two took place. I took this not real telling off as a compliment because I like to be happy and so purposely smile and act upbeat so that every interaction I have with Staff, Pupils and Visitors is positive.

PippaD off to work

It's working, I know several of the parents (so really only the ones who come in regularly, or who were parents at my local primary school too) and I know a lot of the students... I mean a lot. I've got a little "gang" who come to tell me what they've been up to and how many house points they've achieved.

I've mostly managed to memorise the entire staff's names and faces (this is a large senior school, that's an achievement!) and each morning will have a short conversation with them about what they have been up to, or what they are going to be up to and then I follow it up a few days later asking how a certain event went for example.

There was just one member of staff that I had been feeling a little worried about.


Wednesday, 25 September 2019

9 To 5 The Musical #Review

I first saw the stage version of 9 to 5 The Musical, six years ago and fell in love with it, so when Milton Keynes Theatre offered me a ticket to go and see the latest touring version of the show, I was very much in favour of attending!

9 to 5 The Musical

Again, it was a fabulous show from start to finish and I'm so glad that I got to see Brian Conley as Franklin Hart Jnr, as he played it so brilliantly it has to be seen to be appreciated. Then again that little crush I have on Brian Conley probably also has something to do with it.

Brian Conley at Franklin Hart Jnr

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Charity Cold Callers

I don't know if this happens all over the country, I assume it does, but around here it seems every weeknight there is a knock at the front door and standing there looking expectant is a Charity Cold Caller.

You know who I mean right?

A young person who is paid to knock door to door to get people to sign up to give a monthly donation via direct debit to the Charity they are working for. Actually, that's not true I assume they aren't paid directly by the charity, but a company paying minimum wage or maybe even no wages at all and they are paid on commission of the people who sign up. I don't know.

The point is, we get them a lot and I try hard to be nice to them, but we have our chosen charities and I'm not able to support all of the ones who knock on my front door and the scripts they have work at making you feel guilty about not supporting them, so I kinda hate them.

PippaD looking all wild eyed and with the grin she'd have if she was a Charity door to door cold caller.

Monday, 23 September 2019

The New Garden Beds

Since having the garden done two years ago, we have loved spending time in our garden. We have loved sitting on the deck, we have loved eating on the Patio and to be honest, I've loved having my three little raised beds outside my kitchen window, even if they aren't always fully weeded or devoid of cat poop...

Raised beds outside the Kitchen window... excuse the cat poop!

It was all that we wanted, but as we lived with it, we realised that we had further dreams for our garden, to make it great for how we use it, how we wanted to use it and more importantly how to help us to keep it neat and tidy.


Sunday, 22 September 2019

Renovating The Temple

Every month, the Young Women in our ward have a discussion with each other and us leaders based around a talk from our most recent General Conference session. I've talked about what General Conference is before, and even included a video that gives a sort of taste of what happens at Conference and honestly I can't tell you enough about how much it means to me and just how much I get from the talks and from listening to the Spirit whilst I'm listening to the talks.

It's a really spiritual thing and honestly, I think if you'd watch you'd get it and want to know more, so I'll remember to invite you to join me the first weekend of October!

Last month, I was leading the discussion with the Young Women, and I picked a talk which to be honest the girls had mostly overlooked, as it was the closing remarks of our Prophet and from what the young women had said, they thought this was just where he said it was a great conference and talked about the new Temples that were being built.

It was so much more than this.

The London England Temple in Autumn

Saturday, 21 September 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 21st September 2019

I'm really excited for this week to be over! Well, that's not quite true, I'm just really excited because next weekend is my anniversary and we're going away and I'm excited for that and because it's nearly Halloween and Bonfire Night and CHRISTMAS!

Anyway, my anniversary first.

The A Mother's Ramblings Family having some fun

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