Showing posts from January, 2019

Twenty Eight Salads

With the news that we're going to be eating Salad every day in February, came the challenge to make 28 different Salads that would be good for all four members of my household (Gluten free, Crispy and filling) and wouldn't break the weekly budget either. Let me repeat that TWENTY EIGHT different Salads to please four very different people, two of which believe Salad isn't really all that great and two who could quite easily live on Salad and Pasta for the rest of their lives.

It was a BIG Challenge.

So, I did what I always do and asked the family what they thought I should include. Together with their answers and a lot of internet trawling I came up with the following 28 Salads, which we'll eat this coming month. They aren't in order, they are just here for my memory's sake and I'll eventually write blog posts and link them to them, letting you know how to make them too if you are interested!

Dan Jon's Super Sonic Hearing

Dan Jon has always been polite. I mean SUPER polite. He is known as the child who bows to his teachers (and a couple of teachers even had a little thing going where they would try and bow before he did so that they'd beat him to the punch although they never did), he checks I'm okay and I've had a good day before he tells me his news, he takes other peoples plates to the dishwasher, gets other people drinks before getting one for himself, asks after others, always wants to Serve.

He honestly is super polite and thoughtful, goodness knows what I did to deserve this child, but it must have been something super excellent.
The problem is that sometimes his politeness drives us crazy. Or maybe it has driven us crazy. You see, Dan Jon has developed some Super Sonic Hearing and combined with his politeness there is a something he does that is just... well super polite, incredibly endearing but also a tiny bit spooky at times!

Hot Chocolate Solves Everything

Is there anything that Hot Chocolate doesn't make better?

The answer, in case you were wondering, is No. Hot Chocolate, honestly makes everything better.

All Meals W/C 28th January

Squee! I am so excited for the February challenge, which is starting in just a few days, but also I'm rather excited about exciting prospects on the horizon, some new challenges and I'm going to need a few days to decide how my plan for the next five years or so is going to change. based on these exciting times and challenges. I did say I wanted Balance this year, looks like I'm going to be working hard for it!

The February 2019 Food Challenge

I tend to do a food challenge in February, even if I don't blog about it, because it is the shortest month, and I figure my family will happily go along with what I have suggested knowing that in just 28 days (29 in a leap year!) they will be eating "normally" again. Although that doesn't always happen. After our month of fish a couple of years back, our consumption of fish on a weekly basis went up and I'm hoping that this challenge will have the same effect on our diet.

The challenge this year is to Eat a Salad as our main meal each day.

Top Ender, isn't too fond of the idea, but my assurances that the Salads will be tasty and not boring wet limp things seems to have swayed her slightly. She is still giving me the side eye when she thinks I'm not looking though!

Pool Noodle Unicorns

Top Ender is the real reason that I'm a Brown Owl. Seeing her example and her joy as she volunteered each week with the Rainbows and Brownies made me realise that when there was a need, I was, of course, going to volunteer to fill that gap. And I'm so glad that I did volunteer and that Tops had set that example, because if she hasn't, then why on earth would I have made Pool Noodle Unicorns?

They were amazingly simple and such great fun to make too! Everything was in either my craft supplies or easily printed (the eyes!) and I made them without following a plan, just how I thought they should look.

The "Not Snooker" Snooker Table

Flyfour and I were watching The Masters (it's a Snooker tournament) when we decided that we really wanted a half-sized snooker table. We would never be able do anything in our Living Room ever again, but that doesn't matter when we could possibly be raising the next great Snooker player right?!
Following our discussion, Flyfour disappeared with my car for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon and when he returned, well, Flyfour decided that what we should probably do, was buy something a little smaller than a half-sized Snooker table, which was probably a good idea as those things are HUGE.

All Meals We Are Eating W/C 21st January 2019

I'm so excited for this week, the end of January! I mean next week I get to start my February Challenge with the family... Oh wait! I've not told the family about it yet! Oh well, Flyfour will read about it on the train (Hi Sweetie, Love you!) and go along with my plans because I'm a genius who he loves the most out of all other grown-up women!

It's Flyfour's Birthday!

Since Flyfour came into my life, my best friend has been him. Instantly the connection we had was more than just attraction, it was like the way Plato said. We were are two halves of one whole.

And today is his birthday. A day, where we get to celebrate him with gifts and Cake and blog posts.

Happy Birthday, Flyfour.

Dan Jon's Diary

Dan Jon has always liked writing, and like me likes to write down things which are important and he'd like to remember in the future. The boy is a blogger in the making I am sure. Normally he writes things down in notebooks that he keeps about his person or hidden in or on his desk or one of his many other hiding places in his bedroom. I noticed just before Christmas that Dan Jon was taking one of his notebooks to School and found it was because he was wanting to make notes about his day as he was going along.

There was just one problem, of course, a notebook without a lock is very easy to be picked up, opened and read and Dan Jon was finding that several of his classmates were picking up his notebook and starting to flick through it, before he could quickly ask them to stop and explain why it was that he didn't want them to read his writings.

Top Ender's January Date

The first person to get a date in January was Top Ender, just because with all the volunteering she and I do, I knew as soon as they started back up we were going to have issues with getting time together! So after picking up Flyfour from the train station and leaving him and Dan Jon at home, we went on our first date of the year.

Oh sorry. Outing. Top Ender told me it isn't a date, it was an outing.

I know that Top Ender loves going to Ikea, she loves walking around and examining the different products, eating in the Restaurant or the Bistro and of course I love it too. So that is what I organised for her first outing.

We started off in the restaurant as it was already late and we were hungry. We sat and we ate and we talked and we giggled and we caught each other up with what was going on and what was coming up over the next few weeks and we were having fun.

All Meals We Are Eating 14th January 2019

January is moving so fast! I'm actually a little glad because I hope we are rushing to a beautiful Summer! We were totally spoiled last year, with a wonderful Summer and so I'm hoping that this year will be just as special. And if not, then I'm just going to sit in the garden with a rain hat on and pretend it is Sunny.

Families Can Be Together Forever

I think one of the main things that most people know about members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is linked to families. Either they have big families, they put families first, they are family orientated, they do a lot of Geneology work or they may think something like "they all call each other Brother and Sister at that Church... they must all be related!". It's generally always something to do with families.

And yes, a lot of members do have big families. Yes, we do put our families first. Yes, we do like spending time with our families. We do, do a lot of Geneology work. Yes, we do call each other Brother and Sister, but we aren't always related, it's just a way of reminding us that we are all God's children and we should treat each other that way.

Top Ender Has Magic Luck!

I'm starting to think that Top Ender has some magic in her.

Over the last month or two, Top Ender has had a rather lot of luck when it has come to buying clothes for herself. I didn't notice it at first, but now looking back, I can see that she seems to be very lucky, almost as if she has cast a magic spell over herself. It all started back in November when Top Ender was told she was unable to wear her jumpsuit to the School Christmas Concert.

Costume Fun

I love being crafty but because I honestly believe I have no skills in the department I don't tend to sit around thinking up ways to do things unless I've been given a bit of a challenge. Halloween is one of those times of course, as is any time I'm asked to dress up and that is the only reason I have a Princess Anna dress, Victorian Maid, Mike Wazowski and various other costumes (that if I listed would mean this blog post was a mile long), hidden away in my wardrobe.

The problem is my friends seem to think that because I can use Pinterest and have a slight craft ability I'm the person to turn to when they need something. Like the time a friend asked if I could make a judges wig for him to use as part of an object lesson that he was teaching a group of teenagers. That was fun, and the end result was... endearing?

Good Reads Challenge 2019

I decided to join the Good Reads Challenge for 2019, as I wanted to read more this year. I wanted to spend less time watching TV or doing nothing and I thought if I was reading that I would be relaxing, learning and doing one of my favourite hobbies all at the same time. How's that for balance?!

I set myself a small challenge to start with, just 52 books, one a week, because I knew that was possible, it was what I read last year without a challenge, it was what I was comfortable with... it wasn't replacing the time I spent doing nothing, however. This was just the time I would normally spend.

It was only after I was asked how it is that I read so fast, on one of my Facebook/Instagram posts that I realised that I hadn't been taking the challenge that seriously. I mean, it's true. I do read fast. I read around 450-550 words per minute depending upon what test I'm taking.

Giving Blood #GiveBlood

Ever since I've been able to, I've given blood. Yes, despite my fear of it, despite passing out if I see my own blood and despite the fact that if I'm perfectly honest the idea of draining blood out of me creeps me out.

However, I'm very civic-minded and feel it is my duty as my Mum isn't able to give blood as she is a Type 1 Diabetic, and here in the UK, there is a rule that anybody who would be put at risk giving blood is unable to do so.

Which also means that Dan Jon Jr can't when he is old enough either. There are just two years for Top Ender to wait until she is old enough. Do you think would it be wrong to schedule her first appointment for her Birthday in 2021?

Flyfour's New Glasses

For a few weeks, Flyfour has been complaining about his eyesight failing him. Not when driving, or watching TV, but when he's doing close work, things like reading or looking at his phone. One evening, just after Christmas, Flyfour once more said he needed to book an eye appointment, so I told him to book one there and then, rather than waiting until the New Year to make one as he was planning for some reason.

Which is why, the children, Flyfour and I found ourselves at the Shopping Centre rather early one Saturday morning, wondering why we had booked such an early appointment, especially after our late night the night before when we'd been to London to see Bat out of Hell. Top Ender and I went off to do a bit of Girly shopping, whilst Dan Jon wisely hung out with Flyfour, watching the various tests that they did and sitting super quietly, to the point that the Optician wanted to take him home because he was so well mannered, quiet and was the complete opposite to what she sai…

All Meals We Are Eating W/C 7th January 2019

The children are back to School today, and I think that means that I am finally back into my normal routine... although I'm hoping to change it up a little this year and do all those chores I keep saying I'm going to do and then never do. I've tried to pick meals for the next week, that are healthy balanced nutritious meals, as well as cheap (as apart from about three things it has all been from the pantry!), fairly quick and easy to make and most importantly all the family like!

The Still Small Voice

I was driving home, a few weeks ago, when I heard a still small voice tell me to go to a shop that was slightly out of my way. "No," I said eager to get home. I thought to myself/the voice there is a shop with better parking closer to my home. There is a better selection of cakes at this other store. I know where everything is so I'll be in and out. The still small voice just repeated the previous instruction. Go to this shop before you go home. There was no argument, no increase in volume, or change in tone. It was just a calm voice telling me to do something.

I knew better than to argue with the still small voice. I've tried that before and trust me, arguing with a voice nobody else can hear gets you weird looks, so I went to the shop. I purchased some cakes and bumped into a child that I know. A child who was being bullied. I stopped the bullying for that moment, discreetly let the staff in the store know so they could look out for the child in the future and gave…

Dates of the Year

Before New Year's Eve, I was trying to think of a way to achieve a better balance in 2019. Last year, as a family we spent some real quality time together, I think that Flyfour and I grew closer (which I would have told you was impossible as we were already very close!) and the relationships that I had with the children changed for the better. And I didn't want this development to slip away, but to continue.

So, I thought it would be fun to organise 12 dates with Flyfour for him and I to do stuff together. Not that we won't spend other time together, but these 12 dates (one a month) would be time for us to be goofy together, to work on projects, to develop new skills, to spend time together without one of us having to worry about coming up with a plan or something fun.

DIY Plans 2019

At the end of 2018, the radiator in our bedroom developed a leak. We didn't notice for a few days, not until one evening when Flyfour walked into our Bedroom and felt the carpet go Squelch under his feet. Yeah, yum. The radiator was repaired quite easily thanks to our Home Care agreement, almost a week later, and in the meantime, Flyfour and I started discussing in earnest about how we would like our bedroom to look and ran the dehumidifier to attempt to suck up the water that had leaked.

We eventually agreed upon what we'd like the bedroom to look like. Which funnily was the exact thing I had wanted two years ago and had finally worn Flyfour down managed to find enough ideas and images of other people who had a similar size bedroom and layout with the colour scheme too.

This was where the fun started.

Top Ender is 15!

Today Top Ender turns 15.

I almost can't believe that not only have I managed to keep her alive for this long, but I've also managed to raise the sort of young woman who is kind, loving, generous, thoughtful and super talented too. Recently, she did something super amazing and I didn't get a chance to brag about how talented she is, but I think today is a suitable day to tell everyone. I mean, it is her birthday!

The New Years Day Walk

For several years, the Church Ward that the children and I belong to has organised an informal walk on New Years Day at one of the many lakes that are dotted around Milton Keynes. This year, Flyfour and I decided that we were going to join them. Even if the start of the walk was at 10 am, which after a late night seems extremely early!

As a family, we've walked around Willen Lake many times and so knew it was a bit of a joke when our Bishop announced that the really fit people could jog around both lakes and make it back in an hour for soup and everyone else could just do one lake and make it back at the same time. We've made it around both lakes, with diversions in an hour plenty of times, no jogging required and I'm definitely not one of the fit members of the ward.

A Surprised Bat Out of Hell

Flyfour works in London and so if he wants to, of an evening he can pop to a Theatre and watch a Show. There are, if you look hard enough, plenty of bargains to be had with tickets and as we both love the Theatre (and I get to go fairly often to our local Theatre thanks to the Press Team) it makes perfect sense. One of the productions that Flyfour had been itching to see was Bat Out Of Hell and not just because he knew somebody to do with the production. So, one evening he went. He was so enthused with it, that he took Top Ender to see it just two weeks later.

The two of them would not stop singing along with the soundtrack album that Top Ender found on Spotify. They spent hours quoting parts of the script together until eventually I relented and told Flyfour to book tickets for the family to go and see it, but it was to be kept a secret from Top Ender. Top Ender was going to think it was just her and I going, an early birthday gift, and Flyfour and Dan Jon were going to say they were…