A Mothers Ramblings: July 2019

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.

Still.

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

Friday, 26 July 2019

Swimming Fun

Right at the start of the Summer, Dan Jon went to a friends birthday party and was very excited. Not just because it was his friend's party, but because it was a Swim party.

Dan Jon LOVES Swimming.

Normally, with Dan Jon going swimming, I freak out a little bit. I'm never quite sure what Dan Jon's sugar levels are doing because I can't see if he is having a low or a high, or if he is rebounding or what is happening because unless we did a finger prick blood test every minute, we wouldn't get an accurate picture.

Dan Jon collecting up some swim floats and toys after the Swimming Party

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of The Moon Landing

Flyfour and I are far too young to have watched the Moon Landing, seeing as how we wouldn't be born for another ten years, but it was an important moment for the world and so when the anniversary came round on July 20th, we decided that it would be great to do something to celebrate it. It was decided that we would watch the International Space Station fly overhead and see if we could see the soyuz spacecraft that was docking with it later that evening.

The children also thought it would be fun, so after donning jumpers, finding some blankets and some cushions they set up an area in the garden ready for us to sit or lay and just stare at the stars.


Wednesday, 24 July 2019

The Thank You's

I mentioned last week that two of our Brownies had left our Unit at the last meeting. One as she and her family were moving abroad during the Summer Holidays and one because she has a lot of other extra-curricular activities and something had to give. I honestly was gutted that these particular Brownies wouldn't be part of our unit any more because they are honestly such lovely young women and always polite and friendly and they laughed at my jokes too!

As the Brownies were leaving, the two who weren't coming back in September came to find Top Ender and I. One Brownie, came and gave us a small gift of Matchmakers each and expressed her thanks to us for having been there each week and for the fun she had. The other Brownie came and gave Top Ender (aka Little Owl) and I an envelope each.

Top Ender and PippaD aka Little Owl and Brown Owl

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The Summer Concert

For weeks, some of the chats between Top Ender and I have been about what she is going to sing at the Summer Concert what the Orchestra was rehearsing, what the string group was rehearsing, what the choir that she is part of was rehearsing and a possible group number that she and two friends were thinking of singing. At some point in the discussions, Top Ender had asked if I had any suggestions for some musicals for her to listen to on her walk to and from School. We are going to see a few in the next couple of months that she isn't familiar with, so I suggested she listen to one of those and the Musical Six was decided upon. You can guess what happened next, she fell in love with the musical and it was decided what she would be singing. Yes, you've guessed it, it was something from Six, in particular, the song that Jane Seymour sings "Heart of Stone".


Monday, 22 July 2019

I Didn't Want To Cry

Last Friday it was Dan Jon's last day at Primary School.

We'd had a week of final things and I'd been so close to tears so many times, just thinking about how my baby was growing up and how the headteacher was going to be leaving and how I was no longer going to have a primary aged child and how this building, a building that I had visited almost every single day for the last eleven years was no longer going to be a daily visit.

It's never going to pop up as a suggested place of work for me again in google maps.

I don't need to be sad though. Whilst I no longer have a child in the school, I still have a connection to the school as many of my friends work there and I'm the chair of governors. I will be visiting the school, I will be seeing people and our families connection isn't over because I am that connection and I will be there again!

PippaD at the Primary School

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Singing Our Praises

A few years ago, I realised that I didn't know many of the hymns in the hymnbook that we use at Church and so decided that I would learn them and the children thought it would be fun to join me. We agreed that the best way for us to do this would be to go through the hymnbook one at a time, ensuring that we knew the hymn before moving on to the next hymn.

We started off great.

Each week, I would play the new hymn on repeat. I would read the lyrics, I would look at the scriptures that the lyrics referenced or were based on. We would sing it together at Family Home Evening and before our Scripture Study. We would sing it in the car and we managed to memorise quite a few hymns!

Then of course, as always the good habits were lost. 

The corridor in our chapel... it's the only picture I could find!

Saturday, 20 July 2019

What We Are Eating W/C 20th July 2019

So I had a few days at my new job this week and realised that I have so much to get used to now that I will be working full time. This summer I'm going to try and build up some meals in the freezer to throw into slow cookers before going to work or the oven when I get home at night for those nights where I am just not wanting to cook. However, this week I'm focusing on the end of term things happening as we have Top Ender finishing School (Tuesday) and we have plans to kick off the Summer!

GREAT sign because that is what Summer is!

Friday, 19 July 2019

Brown Owl For A Year

I have been Brown Owl at a local Brownies unit for a year now and honestly, I did not realise when I agreed to help out, just how great it would be.

I kind of started being a Brown Owl, because I wanted to spend more time with Top Ender. She helps out at a Rainbows Unit on a Tuesday evening, a Brownies Unit on a Wednesday evening and a Guides Unit on a Thursday evening. The former Brown Owl was leaving and they needed an adult to step in to be a leader or at least a weekly volunteer or there was going to be problems with the number of girls to leader ratio.

Little Owl and Brown Owl aka Top Ender and PippaD

Thursday, 18 July 2019

The Leaver's Assembly

Every year, the School that Dan Jon goes to has a Leaver's Assembly for the Year Six students. For most of them, and their parents it is an emotional evening. Despite them having seen it once already in the whole school assembly, earlier that day. The teachers get misty-eyed, special guests appear (normally staff members who have taught them for several years but have left in the last couple of years) and everyone is thinking of how they have seen these children grow and mature and turn into the wonderful young people that they are.

They hand out certificates for what each student will most be remembered for and Dan Jon was given one for;

"His amazing determination and never letting anything faze him"


He seriously is so laid back, he is almost horizontal.

Dan Jon getting his certificate

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