Monday, 21 January 2013

My Blogging has moved

Hello my lovely readers

I have moved my writings over to another blog found at:

Hope to see you over there!

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Baby Pool Winner is...

Our new little baby is here!  

Baby Boaz Oliver Short was born on the 5th of November at 8:23pm, at home, weighing 7lbs 9oz

Our baby pool winner is:


The winning guess was: 

1 - Boy
2 - 7lbs 12 oz (loss of 3 points)
3 - 5th of Nov  
4 - 11am  (loss of 9 points)

Total of only 9 points!  SO close!  Well done Jodie!

A £10 amazon voucher will be coming your way!  

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

32 Weeks - Time to Vote - A Prize to be Won!

Let's have some fun!

£10 Amazon Voucher to be won!
($15 Amazon Voucher for my U.S. readers)

We have just 8 (ish) weeks to go until baby makes his/her appearance and I thought it was about time I give you the chance to vote - is baby a boy or a girl?

Here's a poll to get us started:

Now for the real fun..

A Baby Pool
(of sorts)

I'm sure you've heard of 'Baby Pools', where someone collects guesses of what baby will be, along with a few other details, for a small fee and the winning guess wins the pot of money! Well I've come up with an alternative idea and I'm hoping you'll 'play' along....

Most of you will know that my husband and I are passionate about children (if not from knowing us personally then by knowing how many children of our own we have so far). Perhaps what less of you know is that my husband and I are passionate about adoption. For various reasons we have been unable to adopt to date, but we hope that adoption is in God's plan for us in the future. In the meantime we would like to help raise awareness and support for a wonderful ministry and charity called Reece's Rainbow, a charity we both love.  Reece's Rainbow aid adoptions for special needs children around the world by raising support for their adoptions (international adoption is very expensive!). I am therefore 'dedicating' this blog post to this charity and am hoping for some fantastic support from you. 

This is Constance

Isn't she just the cutest!!
Believe it or not she is 6 years old, but very small for her age.  She needs an adoptive family asap!
I would like the donations for this baby pool to go specifically towards her adoption which will make it easier/possible for her adoptive parents, whoever they may be, to afford the adoption.

Please take the time to read about Constance here:

So with all that said, I invite you to take part in the 'baby pool' and make a full guess on our baby, but I ask that if you make a full guess that you please donate to Reece's Rainbow via the set up link at the bottom of this post (which is tax free giving).
Your donation must be a minimum of £1 / $1.50

Take a moment to make a difference to a child who is longing for their forever home.

The winning guess will receive the prize.

How to make your guess and donation:

To make your guess please leave a comment in the comment box (which you will find at the very bottom of this post underneath my signature) with your full guess.  

A full guess needs to include:
  1. Baby's gender
  2. Baby's weight (lbs & oz please)
  3. Baby's arrival date (our EDD is the 30th of Oct.)
  4. Baby's arrival time (24hr clock - on the hour guesses only)
Please make sure to make all 4 guesses (or your guess won't count), only one guess per person and please make sure you add your name to your guess so I know who to send the prize to and who to announce as the winner when the time comes. 

To make your donation
Please either:

  1. Use the ChipIn link below
  2. Give me the money to donate for you

For the ChipIn - please click through the following ChipIn box link and then follow the quick and simple directions. To make sure your donation goes to Constance you need to add a 'note to seller' and simply write her name.  You'll find the 'add note to seller' at the bottom of your address during confirmation of payment.  Thank you!
(The ChipIn link will give you  the option to donate by the following methods: paypal, debit or credit.)

(This charity is based in America hence the total is in $ not £)

This 'baby pool' will close on the 9th of October.

Thanks!     and... Good Luck!

How will the votes be calculated?  

We will be using a points system that works against you.... so you do not want points! 
It will works as follows with the lowest point score winning:

12 points for the wrong gender
1 point for each ounce 'out'
1 point for each day 'out' 
1 point for every hour 'out' 

(previous baby history to consider when making your guess: We have had 4 boys and 1 girl, the weight range so far has been from 5lbs 4oz to 6lb 8oz, the arrival dates have varied from 4 weeks early right up to the actual due date (have yet to go over due), and time of day has been all over the clock!)  

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Excitement at the Short's House!

So what is this excitement at the Short's house all about?  Well the excitement began on Saturday morning but didn't reach it's climax until yesterday evening when we could bring it home.

At 4:45 I set about preparing an early dinner so that the children and I would be right ready to go when Daddy got home!  Things got rather delayed when I suddenly noticed I was cooking dinner without a toddler hanging off my leg or hip...  I deemed the absence of her presence necessary to investigate.  I crept into the lounge so she wouldn't see me if she was happy playing with something sensible, but she was no where to be seen...  in fact.... it was frighteningly quiet (all those with toddlers will know why is say frighteningly quiet).  She wasn't about down stairs so up I went and I found....  evidence of where she'd been:

O NO!  That's not good!  Rosina found my lipsticks!  :/
I turn into my bedroom and see more lipstick over the bed and the gym ball.  I go into the en suite and find my darling little artist sat on the floor trying out some eye shadow.  I was feeling so overwhelmed at what I'd just seen, but when I saw Rosina I had to cover my mouth so she wouldn't see me smiling - she was such a sight!  My smile quickly turned to flooded eyes though as the reality of cleaning up the mess sank in.  In the following picture Rosina shows a face of sadness as she realises that she's been naughty.

After turning off the dinner, throwing Rosina in the bath, turning the dinner back on and finally sitting to eat we managed to still be 'nearly' ready for daddy when he arrived.

And we're off....  to Chichester.... to pick up....


A Mercedes Vito

The boys eagerly transfer over their car seats!

and they are just a tad excited! haha

Rosina said she wanted the front seat please!

We got it home safely - my goodness it's a different drive to our Zafira!  Felt like I was driving a coach!

The kids get SO much more space now and there is plenty of room for baby when he/she arrives!  :O)  And there is plenty of room for the double buggy too, which wouldn't have fitted in the old car for love nor money!  This beauty of a car comes with a fold away table! (makes me want to be a kid again!) and a built in DVD player!  O those longer journeys are going to be so much easier in this giant of a vehicle that we have been blessed with!

This car is a direct answer to prayer and I feel totally overwhelmed at how God chose to give us so much more than we needed.  This is the type of car we intended on, but it is in so much nicer condition then we thought we'd end up with and has so many extras that we would not have paid extra for. (but so excited to have!)  
This car was priced to sell and we 'just so happened' to see it advertised only hours after it was listed.  We snapped it up quickly after both of us feeling that this was God's chosen car for our family.  We were amazed to hear later on that despite it's short listing on the web they had lots of enquiries and it almost certainly would have sold that first day even if we'd not bought it.

'With God things don't 'just happen', everything by Him is planned'

Friday, 10 August 2012

Freedom to Choose - A Christian Perspective

Last week I read a book called, 'The Shaming of the Strong' by Sarah Williams.  It is an inspiring read.  It is about parents that chose life for their special child that was unlikely to survive birth.  It was an extremely gripping book, especially as I have walked that road myself....  I cried many tears reading it through.  

There was one particular paragraph that I thought was especially inspiring and I wanted to share it here.

The paragraph comes after a colleague of Sarah's questions her decision to keep her baby and not choose abortion (or termination as some would rather call it).  The colleague probed at how awful it would be if the child were to live (against the odds) as the child would have been severely disabled. 

This is what the mother and author, Sarah, wrote in her journal after the confrontation:

"Rather than being a liberty of autonomy, freedom from obligation or the power to mobilise resources for our own ends, biblical liberty is first and foremost freedom from the consequences of sin, the freedom to enjoy the space to choose to serve others and most of all to choose to serve the living God.  Biblical liberty is the Spirit empowered ability to choose to fulfil our obligations, to lay aside comfort for the sake of another, and to use all our resources to honour and fulfil our created function."

'Quote taken from The Shaming of the Strong by Sarah Williams.'
(underlining is my addition)

I love the way this was written!  As a Christian I posses the 'Spirit empowered ability' to choose the things that Christ calls me to.  When I'm struggling to lay aside comfort, to fulfil my obligations, to honour and fulfil my created function, I just need to remember that I was not called to do it on my own. When Jesus returned to heaven after His resurrection, He did not leave us to fend on our own, He left us the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live the life that God has called us to.  When I am struggling with laying my life down to love, honour and serve my husband, to mother the children I have been given, to bring a new life into the world, ....  when I am struggling to serve in my community, to give time I don't think I have, to use gifts I have been given when I'd rather rest - I just need to remember that I am empowered by the Holy Spirit...  I just need to remember to pray and ask for the help that I have been offered.

For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

'biblical liberty is first and foremost freedom from the consequences of sin' - The least I can do to thank the God who saved me is choose to live my life serving and honouring Him, which is in fact my created function; what I was created for.  There is no greater satisfaction, no greater delight, no greater meaning to life, than fulfilling the purpose for which you were created.

Thinking back to the book and the situation that prompted such thoughts - Sarah choose life for her unborn child because it was the life that God had given her to take care of for as long as God determined.  It wasn't an easy choice for her physically as the pregnancy gave her many physical challenges, but she choose to 'lay aside comfort' for the life of another.  As is always the case when we do things the way God intended, Sarah was greatly blessed by choosing life for her baby.  

Society is scared by new life that is 'unique' in some way or 'different', but aren't we all unique?  Aren't we all different?  Aren't we all created with our own God given purpose?  Who are we to decide who should and shouldn't be born based on what society deems as 'normal' and/or acceptable.  Is it impossible to believe that God would create a soul who's entire earthly existence would be in the safety of his or her's mothers womb?  God decides our paths and some are very long, some very, very short, but each soul has as much purpose as any other.  The meaning of ones life is not determined by how long you live - you ask a mother who's child has died, most will tell you that their child's life had more meaning and achieved far more than most people who live to 90 yrs old.

Here is a quote that Sarah quoted in her book when she touched on the above subject:

In reality there is no such thing as a non-handicapped life.  But ideas of health set up by society and the capable, condemn a certain group of people to be called handicapped.  Our society arbitrarily defines health as the capacity for work and a capacity for enjoyment, but true health is something quite different.  True health is the strength to live, the strength to suffer, the strength to die.  Health is not a condition of my body, it is the power of my soul to cope with the varying conditions of the body.  ~ Jurgen Moltmann

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Pregnancy - 2 down 1 to go!

Time has flown and yesterday I reached a massive landmark - 28 weeks!  This marks the beginning of the last trimester - 

'2 down 1 to go'

Baby is very active - such a comfort to this here mummy that dreams frequently of still birth at the moment.  :-/  

I'm so excited to find out who it is that's causing my belly to grow and grow.  I so enjoy pondering over if baby is a boy or a girl and what he/she will be like!  One things for sure and that is that this baby likes to be awake at 11pm for a good exercise session - every night, without fail!  :O)  I wonder if this pattern will continue on after s/he is born!?

There is nothing like new life - what a gift!

The children are so excited about the new baby and even Rosina has started to take an interest in the ever expanding waist line.  I tried to explain to her one day that there was a baby in mummy's tummy, but she's so little and I knew that the concept was beyond her so I told her that the baby was hiding (a game she loves to play). Ever since then she randomly pulls up my top to try and find baby!  :O)  So cute!  She has taken such an interest in babies lately, she seems awestruck by them!  What good timing for such a development.  :O)

Cravings - Trout & orange juice w. sparkling water
Waist -  36 inches (8" gain)
Feeling - Good... tiredness is not too bad (yay!).  Feet are giving me pain, along with my back, but my spd (that was so painful during my pregnancy with Rosina) has remained very mild for which we are very thankful to God - is making a huge difference!  I am struggling with still birth thoughts at the moment and all the things that could go wrong.  It's pretty normal I guess, even without my history, but it makes the emotional journey hard some days.  God is so merciful though and despite these plaguing fears, I have a peace I know is from Him.  My heart feels on the line, but I know I can trust God whatever the outcome of this pregnancy is.

He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.   Psalm 40 v 2s

Lilypie Maternity tickers

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Spontaneous Excitement

Last Saturday our little family made an outing to Pets at Home to top up our fish tank that had diminished in fish over recent months.  While we were there, we noticed some rather cute little rabbits that were in the adoption section of the shop.  Naturally we had to enquire about them!  We had been planning on getting rabbits again at some point in the future, but certainly hadn't gone to the shop with the intention of getting some that day.  We asked the shop assistant if we could give them a hold and.... well that was that, we were smitten and we just 'had' to have them.  
It just so happened that there were 3 of these little bunnies, which is what we wanted to get when the time came so that each boy had his own rabbit to care for.  They were also all boy rabbits, which is also what we wanted, so it all felt kinda 'meant to be' and the spontaneity of it all made it all the more exciting.  
So after a few hours of shopping for crafts and fish we came home with 3 rabbits!  

We already had a hutch from rabbits we've had in the past so when we got home it was time to get the elbow grease out and clean it up to make a lovely new home for our lovely new pets. 

Rosina checking that the rabbits are okay in their boxes.

Getting the (now clean) hutch all cozy

And the rabbits start making themselves at home.

The boys name the rabbits themselves:

Coco (brown rabbit), Nibbles (white with grey ears) & Peaches (white with pink ears).

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Pregnancy - 23 Weeks

23 weeks today and I'm excited to be so close to V-Day.  For those that don't know V-Day is short for viability day and that occurs 'officially' the day you turn 24 weeks.  The reason for this is because that is the gestation a baby is considered old enough to fight for life outside of the womb.  There are actually many cases now of babies that have survived from 23 weeks and in fact the youngest preemie to have survived was born at 21 weeks 6 days gestation.  Isn't that so amazing!  We are very blessed to live in a time of such medical advancements and knowledge!

According to internet resources our smallest short is now weighing in at about 500g and measures approximately 29cms from crown to heel.  Baby's hearing is now established and around about now baby will be able to make out a distorted version of my voice and the beating of my heart.  Baby can now feel his/her own face as well as anything within his/her reach, including the umbilical cord.  Baby will keep experimenting with and refining his/her sense of touch. Baby can also swallow now and I'm pretty sure I've already felt baby with the hiccups a few times!  Apparently it is normal for them to get the hiccups a few times a day!  I certainly remember Rosina getting them all the time!

Cravings - honey, white stilton cheese with apricots, dark chocolate.  (thankfully not together!!)
Waist - 34 inches (6" gain)
Feeling - Exhausted, but otherwise great! :O)

Lilypie Maternity tickers

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Home-Made Tagliatelle

After watching Masterchef a few times, I developed a desire to make pasta from scratch.  It didn't look too complicated and I know it has a superior taste to it's dried cousin.  Having expressed my new founded cookery interest to my husband, I was very excited to find my birthday present this year was a pasta machine (roller).   I was 10 weeks pregnant at the time and well...  I was a long shot from feeling upto the exciting task, but finally a few weeks ago I made my first attempt.  Sadly it was a complete failure and it had to be thrown in the bin.

After such a miserable first attempt I did what any modern young woman would do and 'youtubed' it.  After watching a few videos (Jamie Oliver's being the best) I was all excited about it again and set to task one evening when the kiddlets were all tucked up in bed.  This time it was a complete success and was surprisingly quick to do.  Hubby and I enjoyed taste testing and I felt I was ready to embark on making a proper pasta dinner for the whole family.

And here we are today!  
Home-made tagliatelle with home-made cheese sauce.

Ingredients at the ready
First we decided to make the sauce so it is ready just to re-warm and pour over the pasta.  Didn't want to risk spoiling our fresh pasta waiting on a sauce.

Measuring milk for the cheese sauce
Whisking in the flour
Grating the cheese
Charlie carefully turns the hob on ready to cook the sauce
So first job was to melt the butter and then when fully melted add in our milk and flour mixture.
We then added some salt, pepper & about half a tsp of whole mustard. (we forgot the parsley)
Once all those ingredients were stirred through we continued to stir frequently until the sauce thickened at which point we added our cheese and garlic.  Once that was all melted and stirred through we put the sauce to one side and started making our pasta!  :O)

Here the boys poured 200 grams of flour on the table and made a hole in the middle.
Then we broke 2 eggs and added them to the centre of our flour
Next job was to mix it carefully together.  We started off using a fork and then when the mixture was not too wet we brought it together into a dough using our hands.
Charlie takes a picture of me kneading the dough.
And now for the fun bit everyone had been waiting for!!!!

Caden started us off by putting the dough through on the largest setting.  We continued to put the dough through this setting about 8 times.  We then reduced the gap by one notch and put the dough through about 4-5 times, occasionally dusting the dough with flour so it didn't stick to the machine.
Eventually the dough became too long so we cut it in half.  We then carried on in the same manner, reducing the gap and putting the dough through about 4 times.  Our machine has 6 setting and we stopped at setting 3, thinking that the dough was thin enough.  As it turned out it would have been better to do one more setting and stop at 2.  (At least that would be our preference.  I've made tagliatelle before going right down to setting 1, but we decided that we'd prefer it a tad thicker.)

Here we go using the cutter setting on the machine - definitely the most exciting part!  :O)
Rosina was determined to try some before it was cooked! (Charlie doesn't seem impressed with her!)
Next we boiled the pasta for about 3-4 minutes in heavily salted water. (sea salt mind - none of that table salt stuff)

And here we go - the finished dish:

Rosina had to give in her vote too!  :O)

We use a 100g to 1 egg recipe for making our pasta.  You can use regular plain white flour.  My next job when it comes to pasta is to tackle ravioli and then white pasta alternatives - ie spelt pasta!  :O)