A Mothers Ramblings: 2019

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The Last Sports Day

Ten years ago, Top Ender had her first Sports Day at her Primary School and every year until Dan Jon went to school, we trundled along to watch, cheer and take pictures so that in years to come we'd be able to remember the great fun that sports days are. Dan Jon joined the school four years later, and whilst the tradition of attending sports days continued, I no longer had my little pal to keep me company. Then four years ago, Top Ender left the School and it was a countdown until Dan Jon's last sports day...

Top Ender and Dan Jon on their last joint Sports Day

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Hair The Musical #Review

I'm not sure how I was first introduced to the musical Hair. I think I had picked up a song or two from my parents, and there was most definitely a song or two on some of my "Hits of the Musicals!" albums, but however it was, I knew that this was the one musical that I wanted to see... and not for the nudity, but because it was about standing up for your beliefs, about not being conventional, about the peace protests, about the freedom... everything teenagers probably will always be thinking about and fighting against their parents for.

Little did I know, I'd have to wait until I was 40 to see it at my local Theatre thanks to the great Press team, allowing Tops and I tickets!

Hair The Musical 50th Anniversary Tour

Standing in the foyer, Top Ender played the "Am I the youngest person here" game with me, which I thought was really odd. I didn't expect Top Ender to be the youngest person there, but from looking at the other patrons, she really was. We were trying to decide if this meant that I'm really liberal or a terrible parent, the answer of which was confirmed when we saw one of Top Ender's teachers and one of the teachers from Dan Jon's school (the latter whom I think is fabulous and would, if I could, force her to be one of my closest friends!).

I'm liberal and a terrible parent!

Top Ender with her Flower Power Hair and Trippy Programme

Monday, 15 July 2019

Five Guys - Maybe My Favourite Restaurant Ever!

Top Ender and I decided, to have a sneaky meal out before we went to the Theatre a couple of weeks ago and we knew that the one place we had to go was Five Guys.

We love Five Guys, yes here in the UK it is EXPENSIVE, but for us, it's worth it as an occasional treat. Although Top Ender and I went not that long ago with Dan Jon and erm, we're kinda planning on going again in a couple of weeks. That's not that occasional, is it?

Why do we love Five Guys?

One of our local Five Guys (Yes, we have two!)

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Being Honest

The Church I belong to has 13 Articles of Faith, sort of a summing up of what we believe. The 13th Article of Faith states;

"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul— We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

It's that first bit that I want to talk about. "We believe in being honest" It's something we all believe in right?

I had to go bra shopping the other day, mainly because I had been putting it off and was down to my last bra (and my faithful sports bra) and then it broke, whilst I was doing a fist pump. So I booked an appointment and at the fitting, decided to wear one I was about to purchase and take the others that I wanted to the payment desk. I had a nice chat with the lady who was serving me and pointed out I was wearing one of the bras and ensured she had the tag to scan.

The price she asked me to pay, was not the price I was expecting. It was £30 less and I realised that she hadn't scanned the bra I was wearing, so I pointed it out.

"Wow! You're so honest!" she exclaimed and then spent a minute or two extolling my honesty to her colleague and a fellow shopper.

Err, no.

PippaD at the Beach

Saturday, 13 July 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 13th July 2019

It's almost the end of term and it's showing, everyone is ready to sleep forever and be finished with School for a few weeks. Well, Dan Jon is. Top Ender has a bit longer to wait until she breaks up! Of course with Flyfour working from home and me starting work at the end of the summer, this is the end of an era for us all and we are going to make this Summer EPIC!

The A Mother's Ramblings Family

Thursday, 11 July 2019

The Abbott Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System

A few weeks ago, at one of Dan Jon's regular Diabetic check-ups, we were asked if we thought that Dan Jon may want to try the Abbott Libre. It's a flash glucose monitoring system, that Dan Jon would wear on his arm continuously. It would mean, that every minute it would take a reading of his glucose levels, meaning that we'd have much better data to work with, to try to keep Dan Jon's levels more... well, level!

We'd also be able to find out what his glucose level was by scanning his arm with either a reader or his mobile phone. The benefit of using a mobile phone? As soon as he had taken a reading, it would ping up on the phone of whoever he had added to his list.

It would be great, we said.

So, they applied for funding, Dan Jon and I got online and did some pre-emptive training, and we were scheduled to attend a course to learn more from the Abbotts team.

Dan Jon and PippaD

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

A New Chapter?

A few months back, Flyfour and I were talking about me. I know that sounds conceited, but it was a serious talk. I was talking to Flyfour about how I feel bad because he is this amazing Father, he works hard, he cooks on the weekends, he supports the children with problems they have, he supports me, he does chores, he does so much and what do I do?

Well, I feel that compared to my husband I do nothing. He, of course, being the wonderful man that he is, vehemently denied this but he also understood that we weren't talking facts and figures here, we were talking about how I felt, and feeling like I don't contribute as much as he did isn't something that facts and figures would change.

So we talked about what we felt the next steps would be and realised that I wanted a job. It had always been the plan that when Dan Jon went to Secondary School, I'd look for something. It wasn't that we need the money, it's just that this would give me something to do and allow the children and me a little bit of independence.

The Snapchat filtered face of someone who wants to work!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

The Old New Shirt

I was hunting in my wardrobe for a particular top that I wanted to wear over the weekend. I couldn't find it, but I did find a shirt that belonged to Flyfour amongst my clothing. Flyfour had purchased the shirt from a Chinese website, at some point last year and despite having been advertised as being the right size for Flyfour, it just wasn't big enough for him and somehow ended up in my wardrobe.

As I looked at it, I realised it was such a nice shirt and I wanted to get some use out of it, so I asked the children to try it on. It was too big for Dan Jon, but just the right size for Top Ender and it has now become a favourite of her's.

Top Ender in the garden in her new Shirt

A few years back, Top Ender used to wear a checked shirt and jeans, almost as her out of school clothes uniform and I'm so glad that she has got back to that style as it really does suit her!

Monday, 8 July 2019

My Boy is home!

Dan Jon had an amazing time on his School residential, spending quality time with friends, enjoying the various sights and attractions of the Isle of Wight. He was very happy that they spent time at the beach every day and was able to dig a sandcastle city (that kept getting destroyed by the incoming tide each night) and he was able to enjoy his time away from the family thanks to fantastic staff helping him with his blood tests and carb counting and keeping his blood sugars in check in general.

I think it is such a rite of passage to go away without your parents. I did it, Top Ender did it, Flyfour did it and I'm so glad that Dan Jon was able to join his friends and enjoy his time... even if we all missed him terribly!

Dan Jon back from his Residential hugging PippaD

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Family Baking

Every Sunday afternoon, after we've had lunch and we've done the dishes. After we've had a quick nap (Okay, I've had a quick nap) and the children have spent time playing some games together, Flyfour and Top Ender do a spot of baking together.

It started a couple of months ago when Top Ender asked Flyfour to make some scones with her.

Gluten Free Scones, yummy and yummy!

Saturday, 6 July 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 6th July

This week has gone too fast. Top Ender, Flyfour and I were looking forward to enjoying some time together, whilst Dan Jon was on the Isle of Wight with his School for his last residential and to spend time with all his classmates before they all go off to senior school. It's the end of an era for him and his friends. We did get some time together (actually Tops and I spent every evening together), but it really did go too fast and we are making sure we schedule in more time together each week!

Anyway, here's what we're eating this week.

Tulips in Amsterdam

Friday, 5 July 2019

A Day In Bed

I joked with Top Ender as we came home from Youth on Tuesday night that I was going to spend the following day in bed. Flyfour was leaving early to travel to Bristol and Top Ender had picked some breakfast options for this week (as Dan Jon is away) that meant I really didn't need to do anything, as Top Ender could easily serve herself and at 15 is more than old enough to get ready for School in the morning without me!

In the end, I did get up and Top Ender and I shared a Scripture Study session whilst Top Ender ate breakfast and then she went off to School informing me that I needed to go back off to bed to enjoy my day.

So I did.

PippaD all happy and calm

Thursday, 4 July 2019

They Make The Milk Turn... White?!

Dan Jon has always been one who will eat just about anything. There are, of course, some things that he doesn't like to eat such as red meat and milk chocolate.

Yup, the kid can't be related to me.

To make matters worse, he calls milk chocolate, dark chocolate, which I keep telling him only evil people, those who are crazy and his Father eat, but whatever it is called the only chocolate he really likes is white chocolate.

Dan Jon looking super smiley

Which I also love, so maybe he is related to me.


Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Are You Dan Jon's Mum?

On the Monday that Dan Jon was off on his school residential, I was helping out with an Anglo-Saxon day that the lower Key Stage 2 classes were having. The staff at the School have known me for years, and know that I am unable to turn down any chance to dress up.

Which is why I was found dressed like this.

PippaD dressed as an Anglo-Saxon

We had a right blast, as I managed to get onto the Candlemaking table, which is my favourite Anglo-Saxon activity and I've done it every time we've had a candle making opportunity in the last five years.

An Anglo-Saxon candle I made


Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Annie The Musical On Tour! #Review

I was supposed to take Dan Jon to the Theatre last night. Out of all the shows that Milton Keynes Theatre had offered me (I get to go as Press, which makes me feel very lucky and means I get to write this review and not have to pay for the ticket, other than promising to provide a review) Annie was the one that I was sure Dan Jon would love. And then he reminded me that the night I was supposed to be taking him, he would be on his School residential, four hours away and there was no way he was going to be in two places at once, so I'd better take Top Ender.

Top Ender was thrilled to be going because as I have said at least twice in the last couple of weeks, she loves watching live Theatre and would probably sell me for parts to ensure she had enough money to go and see all the shows she would like to see.

Anyway.

PippaD and Top Ender at Annie at the Milton Keynes Theatre

Monday, 1 July 2019

And He's Off!

This morning, after a very early start according to the children, we waved Dan Jon off, on his week-long Year Six residential.
Top Ender was lucky enough to go on the very same trip four years ago, so we knew the drill. Of course, that didn't mean we were any more prepared for waving Dan Jon off and Flyfour, Top Ender and I all feel a small sense of loss, even though Dan Jon hasn't even been gone thirty minutes! It was the same when Top Ender went, one less in the house for a week feels like part of me has been cut off!

Dan Jon ready to go on his trip

Saturday, 29 June 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 29th June 2019

Dan Jon is away this coming week on his School residential. Top Ender is excited because she doesn't remember what it is like to be an only child (It's like she forgot the residential he went on last year!) and so she's hoping that the full attention of both parents will be on her! I say it's more time for me to give her food that she's not keen on and not have her brother eat it for her... not that she would do that of course.

Top Ender and PippaD

This week for breakfast, Top Ender and I are having a variety of breakfasts. One day we're having fish (not Top Ender's favourite) but I'm giving it to her with lots of other favourite foods (she's asked for those that contain chocolate) so hopefully, I'll convert her to someone who LOVES fish for breakfast. Yeah, it's so not happening.


Friday, 28 June 2019

The Second School Residential

Dan Jon is going away on another residential soon.

This time, I'm not quite as calm as I was last time, but of course, I've not let him know that. The problem is last time, last time he was only an hour down the road, and happened to be just five minutes from where Flyfour worked.

This time?

This time he's over four hours and a ferry ride away.

Dan Jon looking super cool and suave

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Sweet Pea Tears

I cried on the phone to my friend today, and all because of Sweet Peas.

Sweet Peas in the garden

The phone call had been fine nothing triggering and right up until I started crying, I had been fine. We were talking about booking holidays and about our children, about upcoming social events we were both hoping to attend and the reason why I was having to cancel us meeting up for lunch in a couple of weeks.

We talked about some works that we were having done in our homes over the summer and how fabulous my flowers were because she had seen a few pictures I'd sent to another friend of the roses I had on display on my fireplace, that I had cut from my own garden.

We talked about the sunflowers that I'd never grown before, and how I was in love with them and would be growing them again in the future.

Sunflowers in the garden

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

It's UPSIDE DOWN!

For years I have told anybody who would listen, that one of the classroom numbers at Church is upside down.

Classroom door with an upside down 8

I mean look at it. It is clearly upside down right?

Well, I've managed to convince several of my friends that it is upside down too and they will often find me standing in the corridor silently fuming at the number. I'm not really one to stand there and shake my fist, but on occasion, some of my close friends have seen me shake my fist at the door.


Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Fame At Milton Keynes Theatre #Review

Fame is one of those musicals that EVERYONE knows. I mean if I were to stand out in my street right now and shout/sing;

"Remember my name, FAME!"

I can guarantee that somebody would shout/sing back;

"I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly, high!"

In fact, I bet you did it too. It's impossible to resist and has to be in our DNA or something. It's not like we all grew up watching the film and the TV Series... oh wait we did!

Fame 30th anniversary tour banner

Top Ender and I went to see the touring musical at Milton Keynes Theatre last night (We got the tickets from them for the purpose of this review) and we were so pumped up when we left, talking about how we wanted to go and join a Performing Arts School and which department we think would take us (Acting, Dance, Music) and if either of us was a triple threat.

Top Ender with the programme at Milton Keynes Theatre

Monday, 24 June 2019

The Butter Compartment

As many of you know, over on Facebook, when the mood strikes I post a random question. The question, of course, is never actually random if you follow my thought process. You can see how thinking about children, fizzy drinks and the position you sleep in, lead me to ask something like What colour is your toothbrush right?

Just me eh? Well, it's normally something I've been thinking about for a day or two and want other people to weigh in on too because my brain is, well as you can see it's a little random and I'm never sure if people think the same as me and I'm also super nosey!

This last week I wanted to know what people kept in the butter compartment of their fridge as in ours there is Insulin.

Insulin in the butter compartment

It's what happens when you live with a Type One Diabetic, every spare bit of space is given over to the equipment that they need, which is why in my handbag, the glovebox of my car, in Top Ender's handbag, my church bag and a million other places there is Dan Jon's diabetic equipment.

Anyway. I wanted to know what other people kept in their butter compartments and so asked.

I was shocked by the replies.


Sunday, 23 June 2019

What Happens After Death?

A friend of mine died this last week.

It was expected, she had known for several years now that she was going to die and all her friends and family knew too, but knowing what was going to happen doesn't make it any easier. We are all still sad about our loss. We are all still sad that a friend has died. We are all still sad that a husband has lost a wife and his best friend. We are all still sad that a child has lost her mother.

My friend and I had spoken many times about what we thought would happen after death; if we were frightened of dying and even what we wanted to happen at our funerals. We talked about funerals we had been to, ones that were big celebrations of life, ones that were terrible and dismal and hard.

I Am A Child of God cross stitch

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Meal Plans and Family Time W/C 22nd June

It's amazing what a week of "real" food can do. All members of the household are feeling much better and whilst we aren't thinking about doing a no buy challenge again just yet, we have realised that we are what we eat and we like to eat things that make us happy!

So, here is what we are eating this week!

Family Time

Friday, 21 June 2019

Seminary Graduation!

Last Saturday, Dan Jon, Flyfour and I set off with Top Ender to our local Stake Center (see here for Church-related phrases I use that you might not know) for Seminary Graduation.

We are so proud of you banner

We were all really proud of Top Ender for having worked so hard this year to complete her Seminary course despite the many challenges she has faced this year and we wanted to show her this in a physical manifestation, by all being there as she received her certificate.

The thing was, none of us had ever attended a Seminary Graduation.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Dan Jon's Annual Blood Test

Dan Jon had to go to his annual blood test appointment this week.

It's the one that we dread because the first time that it happened Dan Jon claimed that it felt like someone had dug around in his arm with a rusty nail and had left him suffering, all for a measly vial of blood. Dan Jon's descriptions were so vivid and colourful none of us can forget and neither has he.

Dan Jon in Space with a jetpack


Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Phantom Game Player!

A few weeks back I was sitting in the living room watching TV when the sound suddenly cut out and was replaced by tinkling music. I immediately realised that it was a mobile phone game and somehow one of our neighbours had accidentally connected to our soundbar via Bluetooth and I was hearing them play a game.

I disconnected them and had a bit of a fight when they then reconnected, I disconnected them and they continued to keep connecting to our soundbar, so in the end, I turned the soundbar off and listened to the radio instead.

A Picture of our TV and Soundbar


Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Top Ender Taking Her Mocks

Top Ender is starting her last set of Mocks of Year Ten today.

It's hard to believe that in a years time, this portion of her life will be over and she'll be ready to start the next phase of her education, and before I know it that will be over and the phase after that and before I know it I'll be thinking about my grandchildren taking their exams.

That's not what I'm thinking about today, however. Today I'm thinking about Top Ender.

Top Ender all beautiful, smart and ready to take on the world

Monday, 17 June 2019

Holding Hands On The Way To School

Whilst walking Dan Jon to School the other morning, I let him know that I might not be able to pick him up that afternoon as I had agreed to help a friend and timings were a little tight. Dan Jon was totally fine about this because he is what is called a free walker, it means he doesn't actually have to have a parent at the School to walk him home, but it's a tradition that on a Friday night I'm there and we walk home together.

I let him know that when he gets back from a residential in a couple of weeks time that I will probably walk home with him every night until the end of the School year. It'll only be a couple of weeks and Dan Jon asked why I felt I needed to do this.

I explained, in a couple of weeks, I'd no longer be able to walk him to School holding his hand as he was going to Senior School.

ippaD and Dan Jon holding hands whilst walking to School

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Thanks For Everything Flyfour

Flyfour won't read this until he is on the train on his way to work. You see, like the good husband he is, he ensures to keep up to date with what I've written and not just because he wants to know what we have for our evening meals or to see if I've been talking about him!

Today was Father's Day. I had plans to write a whole post about how he is actually the best Father, Friend and Husband in the world, but germs prevented me. So I just wanted to put something up quickly to show him how thankful I am for him and for his many talents.

Flyfour aka my very handsome husband

Friday, 14 June 2019

Meal Plans and Family Time

We were trying a new food challenge this month, but with the weather and everyone being super tired (we have no idea why! Everyone is sleeping well but waking up just as tired as when they went to bed. We are blaming it on the weather!), at least half of us are coming down with an illness (or have one) and us all just being ready for the end of the School term it just wasn't happening.

Yesterday morning I knew I had to go shopping because if we carried on we would all just freeze to death, miserable and hungry. So I made a quick meal plan based upon what we needed to consume and what we had in the fridge, freezer and store cupboard and didn't care if we spent more than I wanted to. In the end, it was only about £50 that I spent, so I think that is fairly good!

PippaD as a bunny

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Thriller Live #Review

Top Ender and I haven't been to the Theatre together in ages and so we were really pleased to be able to go to see Thriller Live last night, courtesy of Milton Keynes Theatre who gave us two tickets and a complimentary drink each too. We were excited as we headed to the theatre and not just because we had a pack of sweets in my bag!

Growing up, my sister and her best friends were huge fans of Michael Jackson and so, I grew up hearing his music, even if I wasn't particularly a fan myself. I mean, of course, I knew who he was and could sing along to his hits, and for Top Ender it's the same as it is almost impossible to not know some of his or the Jackson Five hits as they were practically played non-stop on every radio station until very recently and we have that Michael Jackson Wii game that we do actually still play every once in a while.

Thriller Live On Tour At Milton Keynes Theatre

Top Ender has performed a few Jackson songs as part of the School Orchestra and even in some of the Choirs that she performs in too, so we knew that whilst this production wasn't a life story that we'd know some of the hits and would probably be able to have a bop along to the songs and an enjoyable time together.

We weren't wrong. In fact, we may have underestimated just how much fun we would have.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Mum.... Can You Help?

Every few months or so, Top Ender gives me a look. A look that is probably more commonly known as a puppy dog face, as she looks at me with big wide eyes and a slightly sad, pleading stuck out bottom lip that I just know means;

"Mum, I need your help and I know you have your own things to be doing, but could you possibly drop them all and help me pretty, pretty please?"


And I do.

I drop everything that I'm doing because I know that whilst the thing that Top Ender is going to ask me to do is something that she is perfectly capable of doing herself, she is asking me for a reason. She is reaching out for my help and I'll be darned if I'm going to teach her that I'm not there for her in her time of need.

Top Ender looking beautiful

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Weekend Meals and Family Time 8-9th June 2019

This weekend I was supposed to be out with the Brownies, but Flyfour has had to work and so the children and I are hanging out together. We're quite excited as we have a lot planned, we may visit a local Carnival or we might go to Town, or we might even just stay at home and play a few computer games because the weather looks to be a little bit dodgy!

As Flyfour is off out, we're having a little bit of a treat today with regards to what we are eating and we are eating some of my special favourite food because I'm in charge and nobody can tell me otherwise!

PippaD being all in charge and grown up like


Thursday, 6 June 2019

Proper Grown-Ups Would Have Said Right?

I needed to be a grown-up yesterday.

I needed to look presentable and grown-up because I was doing Governor things and meeting with real proper grown-ups and real proper grown-ups seem to like grown-up Pippa a bit more than not grown-up Pippa, especially when she is doing Governor things.

So, I got ready for the day, had breakfast with the children and went to the School.

Everything went relatively well.

At least, I thought it did until I returned home a few hours later, looked down and for the first time that morning saw my cleavage and saw that the chocolate spread I had spread on toast for the children and I, at breakfast that morning was quite clearly also spread across my cleavage.

PippaD looking like a grown up, but not being a real one all the time!

I just have to hope that all the proper grown-ups didn't notice that I had chocolate spread in and on and around my cleavage... I mean proper Grown-Ups would have said if they saw me covered in chocolate spread right?

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Pocket Money

A couple of months back, whilst we were on a School Trip, Dan Jon was chatting with some of the other students in his year and somehow the subject got on to pocket money, how much each child got and what they were expected to do chore wise for the money they got. I should have, as the grown-up walking with these children shut that conversation right down. Instead, I found it interesting and so was listening quite intently to what was being said I just didn't find it as interesting as Dan Jon who was listening even more intently than I was.

When we walked home that evening, Dan Jon raised the subject with me, because in our house, we don't do pocket money. We don't get paid for doing chores.

Dan Jon being cute in the School Playground

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

June's Fitness Challenge

I made the mistake of saying something about a challenge for fitness near my phone and so now I'm being bombarded with "Personal Challenges" adverts on Facebook and to be honest, it was driving me crazy. So crazy, that I clicked on one of the adverts to see what it was about and saw that for a smallish fee, you could join a challenge where you walk or run or swim or cycle a certain amount of miles (that you have decided you could do from a preset amount) and then after submitting your data they send you a medal, if you reached your challenge goal.

I was kinda impressed and wanted to sign the whole family up, which would have cost about £34. To be honest, the cost really isn't that much, but I thought it might be more sensible if to start with the family and I did a challenge to see that we would actually follow through before we started rewarding ourselves with medals and spending out money that we could be spending on other things.

A Family Walk

Monday, 3 June 2019

Packed Lunches

I wanted to include this in the Food Challenge for June post, because I think it is important but realised that it is so long, you'd probably all fall asleep reading all about the Food Challenge and this as well. So I thought a second post about what I include in packed lunches would be in order and it could also help out anyone who is struggling with what to include in a packed lunch.

So here we go!

A young Dan Jon with his lunch box

June's Food Challenge

I don't think I've ever done a June Food Challenge before and to be honest I don't think this really counts as being a food challenge either...

I think I've mentioned before that I feel guilty for being a fairly useless stay-at-home Mum when my husband works hours on end to support us. I mean I'm terrible at keeping the house clean and tidy and doing the other things that I'm supposed to do. I can't contribute to the finances by getting a job, because who would be here during the holidays to look after the children or on sick days, or inset days or take them to their hospital appointments?

There is one thing I can do.

PippaD on the Beach

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Sunday Best

A couple of weeks ago, my Mum and I had a few minutes spare after we'd popped into her local High Street and so we visited a Charity shop that she used to volunteer in and found a dress that was so breathtakingly beautiful, we knew that Top Ender would want it. It honestly looked like it had never been worn, it looked about the right size and so for a grand total of £2.99 it was ours.

"Oh, this is nice!" said the lady in the shop
"It's for my 15 year-old-daughter" I answered
"Oh, for her Prom?"
"No, this will probably be a Church dress for her."

Top Ender wearing a Charity Shop bargain


Saturday, 1 June 2019

Weekend Meals And Family Time 1-2 June 2019

This weekend is again one of those busy ones that seem to be happening more and more frequently for me. This weekend is Stake Conference, which I'm excited about as I love getting together with other people in my stake and I love the time I get with Top Ender in the car. Luckily this is one of only two "busy" weekends that we have planned for a few weeks, so I'm hoping that means it is plain sailing for the rest of the summer!

Yummy yummy dinner

Friday, 31 May 2019

A Quick Visit To Willen Lake

During a recent visit to Willen Lake, Top Ender, Dan Jon and I were having a quick little photo shoot. Flyfour likes to keep his computer desktop up to date with pictures of the children and as they keep growing, I try to take suitable pictures at least every six weeks or so. Our images at home are backed up to the same place, so Flyfour is able to just pick through and use ones he likes the look of, not that it always happens.

We picked a nice little spot and I snapped a few shots when suddenly we heard a loud honk coming from behind the children. Both children immediately looked behind them, just as I was taking another picture.


The result was the above photograph, which is now the background of my phone screen. I just love it so much!

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Playing games

For my birthday I purchased myself something I had been promising myself for ages, no not a magazine subscription to my favourite fiction magazine (but take a hint Flyfour!), but some additional content for the Wii U game Pikmin 3, which I love playing.

I mean really, I would have liked to have been able to purchase Pikmin 4, but you know that's been in the works since 2015 so I've long stopped holding my breath for the release! Anyway. I didn't play often but I liked the game and in particular, the optional extras of collecting Treasure, Killing the Bosses etc and so thought that it would be a good gift for me, and the family seeing as Top Ender plays it too.

Playing Pikmin 3 on the Wii U

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Bookmarks

A few months back, Dan Jon lost his bookmark.

This was a huge deal because unlike Top Ender and I, who will use a receipt or a train ticket or a chewing gum wrapper, Dan Jon can only use a bookmark to mark his page in his book.

So, I quickly made one for him using his favourite drawing of mine and Dan Jon has quite happily been using it to mark the pages in his latest read.

Dan Jon's Cereal and Milk Bookmark drawn by me, PippaD

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

All Meals W/C 28th May 2019

Half term, of course, means lots of fun for our family! There is a little extra month left at the end of the money and so we are trying to be frugal by eating as much as possible from home and from what we have in our fridge, freezer and store cupboard and sure enough, there is always something that can be made from seemingly nothing!

Chicken and Salad

Top Ender is deep in revision, with just a year to go until she will be sitting her exams she has taken the advice that Flyfour and I have told her at least a zillion times, that we regretted not having put in more work with our studies and she is taking that on board and studying hard! We're going to intersperse her studying with a few local trips to places like the library, some Orienteering and some other local places of interest.

Now, on with the week!


Monday, 27 May 2019

*That* House

Do you know *that* house?

The one where you go and even if they aren't expecting you they still manage to make a full meal for you within minutes of you arriving? Or maybe you don't know from personal experience, but you know that house because it is in every film, tv show and book you seem to watch or read.

I've accidentally become *that* house.

a plate and table full of food