Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 24

Here we are at the end of the month and the last day of my counting blessings here on the blog.  So here we go for the final 10.....
  1. Girl Talk - What more do I need to say??  So blessed tonight - thank you girls!!  It was a privilege to spend the evening with you.
  2. Watching development - today Quinn read lots of words to me and man I felt so blessed watching educational development unfold right before me.  Can I just say that home educating is unbelievably fulfilling!  I love being the one here to answer any of their questions whether they be educational or spiritual.
  3. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He is all of His awesomeness all of the time.  We can trust Him and depend on Him always - no matter what!!
  4. Hairdressing Skills - In my teens I trained as a hairdresser and am thankful for the money that saves me now as I trim the families hair. (not as regularly as I should admittedly) Shame I can't do my own.
  5. Wooden Train Tracks - isn't it fun to be a kid again for a while?  I love wooden train tracks and the children and I can have such fun making massive tracks running all around the living room floor. 'Choo Choo!'  
  6. The Moon - o it's so beautiful and so informational!
  7. Slow Cooker - I actually don't use mine anywhere near as much as I should.  The recipes I do use it for come out so tender and so yummy!  And aren't they just wonderful when you have a busy afternoon or are going to be out of the house at 'cooking time'?
  8. Kind Comments from strangers - Alex popped to Waitrose for me Monday and took Quinn & Rosina with him. When he went to check out, the lady behind the till said... "and here are two of my favourite children!" then looking at Quinn she asked "where are my other two favourite children?"
  9. .Counting Blessings - I have been blessed by this little project, especially on the days when I wouldn't usually sit back and consider the blessings of the day because it had been such a struggle.  Thanks for sticking with me through these 24 days!  :O)
  10. Home Pregnancy Tests - I have used many of these over the years and have been blessed with 7 positives until last week when I got my 8th positive!  I am very excited and feel very blessed to announce that Alex and I are expecting another little Short in the beginning of November.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 23

  1. Puzzles - this afternoon the children and I tried to make enough puzzles to go around our living room rug.   For Christmas they were given a mega puzzle box containing 12 puzzles.  We managed to get 11 done!  :O)  Was a really fun afternoon just being on the floor playing with my kiddies.
  2. Beth Moore - I have a little book called, Praying God's Word Day by Day and it's written by Beth Moore.  It's a lovely little book.  She has written some very encouraging works.  I am thankful for her.
  3. Playmobil - I absolutely loved playing with this when I was a kiddy and my boys really enjoy it too - can be source to hours of imaginary play.  
  4. A Ladies Conference - In just 3 days I'm off on a weekend retreat to be encouraged and inspired.  I'm really looking forward to it, although will miss my little family.
  5. Bananas - I think bananas are just marvellous!  They are already packed ready to go if you're on the run, they are perfect baby food and when they're old you can bake with them. O and they're cheap nutrition! :O)
  6. 27 Million song - LZ7 & Matt Redman are doing their best to raise awareness on human trafficking. Our world needs people like these doing all they can to make a difference.  I have downloaded a copy of this song from Amazon to show support and to help bring this song to the UK charts top 5. Would you show support for this cause?  help us reach the top 5!  It costs less than £1 to download. Click HERE to download from amazon.  You can also download from itunes but I cannot provide a link for that as I don't have itunes downloaded on my computer.
  7. Diary - I've kept various diaries over the years, but recently I started one where I write a brief summary of things, listed not even in proper sentences.  It is proving a blessing to look back at these 'notes' and see what I and the kids have been up to.  We forget so much don't we!!
  8. 30 minute head start - Today I had 30 minutes before Rosina woke up.  I managed to have some time reading the Bible and even shower before my mothering duties called for me.  
  9. Toaster - I'm sitting here crunching on some toast to satisfy those late night munchies!  I'm so thankful for the ease of cooking toast with a simple push of a lever.  
  10. Taste - have you ever wondered what it would be like to not be able to taste?  Can you imagine the bore and chore it would be to eat if we couldn't taste!?  And the sense of taste and smell are linked together so imagine not even being able to smell that gorgeous cup of coffee brewing away or that freshly baked loaf.  These are pleasures in life we take for granted.  Aren't we fearfully and wonderfully made!!  Thank you God for the gift of taste and smell.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 22

  1. Sing Song Time - As part of our morning Bible study together before we start our schools books we have a time of singing and we all really enjoy it.  We sing songs with lots of actions and even Rosina is trying to sing and sign along with us.  Very cute!  :O)
  2. Giraffes - well it's Monday again so it was a day to study a library book, have a quiz and do some crafts.  Today we studied Giraffes. Did you know that if a Giraffe needs to flea danger it can run faster than a lion! I wouldn't have guessed that - is fun learning with my kiddos. 
  3. Fudge - we had a ago at experimenting with raspberry fudge today.  Tasted yummy
  4. Paper & Crayons - So many children don't even have the basic craft supplies of paper and crayons which we take for granted.  
  5. New Schedule - Over the last few days I've felt God encouraging me to start a new morning schedule.  Today I got going on it and it went really well and I look forward to continuing on with it.
  6. Hand Me Downs - every now and then a friend will offer me a bag of clothes that their child/ren have finished with and we get a stack of new to us items to enjoy.  We are blessed that people would share with us in this way.
  7. Raising Real Men - this is an awesome book, so glad I came across info recommending it.  A Christian book written by a couple who have 6 boys (on the trot) and then 2 girls.  Highly recommend parents of boys read this book.
  8. Fan - to aid with sleeping while the little one is little we use a fan blowing away while they sleep as a gentle back round noise to help fuse out the noise of the rest of the house.  Has proved to be a great blessing.
  9. MP3 Players - I love music and I love that I can have all my music on one device and play a mix of whatever I'm in the mood for.
  10. Great Hero's of Faith - there are so many and their stories astounding and so encouraging.  I'm thankful to hear of their testimonies/stories and to in-turn be inspired by them.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 21

  1. New books - last week when we visited the library we picked up some books in their 10p sale!  10p!!  We found some fun stories for Caden and even a board, flap book for Rosina.  :)
  2. Guests for lunch - we enjoyed a fun afternoon with friends from church.
  3. Screen Saver Pics - I just love, love, love to watch my family pictures pop up on the computer screen when it's not in use.  Such wonderful memories.  :O)
  4. Local Park - We are blessed to be able to walk to several different parks for the children.  Such a lovely thing to do on a lovely sunny afternoon like today.  Isn't the weather mild!  Doesn't really feel like February at the moment. :)
  5. Skype - free calls! Free face time calls!  Love it!
  6. Boys Brigade - ah the boys just love going to this club!  Caden gets to go on his first camp with them this year and at the end of May Quinn turns 5 so he will be able to go too.
  7. Chocolate Brownies - Thank you Laura Barker for making them - yummy!  :O)
  8. Rosina's Toy Kitchen - we have a lot of imaginary fun with this awesome toy.
  9. Biro's - Aren't you glad we don't have to write with quills anymore! lol  I love biro's because the ink doesn't bleed and is never wet.
  10. Candles - I just love the atmosphere that candles bring to a setting.  I find them soothing and calming.  

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 20

  1. Charlie is treated to gardening - this afternoon a friend of ours from church asked if Charlie would like to come and help him in his garden planting seeds, feeding chickens and collecting the chicken eggs. Charlie LOVES gardening and when he grows up all he ever talks about doing is becoming a farmer, so needless to say, he was absolutely over the moon to have this special treat.  Apparently he planted carrots, kale, broad beans, parsnips and more and he collected 6 wonderful eggs, which he brought home with him.  Our friend tells me that he took several pictures of Charlie, so I look forward to seeing those soon.  :O) 
  2. A successful works day at the Church - Alex organised a work day for the church to get some of the menial task dones like - cleaning the upholstery, gutters and kitchen units.  Putting up blinds and fitting feet on chairs etc.  It all went really well and we had a good turn out of helpers.
  3. A surprise cuppa - we had some friends drop in this evening to do us a favour and we were blessed that they had time to stay for a little chat and a cuppa.  Always love an opportunity to catch up with friends.
  4. Time to read - I had a lovely afternoon getting stuck into a good book today. 
  5. Blue Skies - Wasn't it glorious today?
  6. Crafts - The children made a collage today with saved up sweetie wrappers - they looked great!  :)
  7. New Soup - I tried out a new soup today, which turned into my own creation as I went along, and it was scrummy - so we now have a new recipe for our family recipe book.
  8. Inspiration - don't you just love to be inspired?  I do... it spurs me on.
  9. Electricity - now wasn't that just a marvellous invention!
  10. Fish - beautiful to look at!  We have a large fish tank in our living room and sometimes it can be entrancing just staring in.  I also happen to think certain breeds are rather yummy!  :O)  Haddock, Salmon, Trout, Tuna etc etc!  Delicious 

Counting Blessings - day 19

  1. My PAL friends - after I lost my son Uzziah, pregnancy was never to be the same again.  When I became pregnant with Rosina I felt vulnerable, scared, fragile and basically an emotional mess.  In one of my moments of distress I sought after an on-line forum that would help me to meet women going through the same thing.  It was just over two years ago that I started to get to know some of my PAL friends and I just want you (and them) to know that I love them dearly - they have been a wonderful support to me over these last few years.  I have heard tragic story after tragic story of how these friends of mine lost their baby's and I have had the privilege of walking the road of grief with them.  A few months after getting to know some of these ladies the first birth announcement in our group came and then some more - birth announcements from these wonderful ladies bringing into the world their 'rainbows'.  Us mummies who have a baby after a loss call our baby a rainbow baby.  PAL, for those of you who are wondering, stands for Pregnancy After Loss (which is a group for women who have had a late miscarriage or a still birth), which our group of ladies has now re titled - Parents After Loss.
  2. Alpha & Omega School Curriculum - This is the school book curriculum that we buy in and I count it a great blessing to be able to buy such wonderful Christian material.
  3. Our hand made, personalized fruit bowl - For our 8th wedding anniversary Alex and I worked with a local potter and had our fruit bowl made with, what was at that time, each of our children's names written on it.  It is a beautiful item and is precious to me.
  4. A new phone - my contract was up for renewal and I received a new phone yesterday.. technology comes on so fast and it's quite the upgrade from my under-performing previous phone, that was probably under-performing due to the large dent my darling daughter so kindly put in the middle of the screen for me 10 months ago!
  5. Bonjella - wonderful stuff for those teething bubbas
  6. Orchard Toys - don't they just do some fantasticly educational games?  Love them!  :)
  7. My Juicer - a tasty way to get down all those really healthy raw fruits and veg.  
  8. Coconut Oil - This is a fantastic oil, has extremely wonderful health benefits and is one of the few oils that is good for cooking at high temperatures with.  Most oils become very unhealthy for the body when they reach smoking point, but not so with coconut oil - it remains stable even at high heat.  I'm not a fan of coconut, in fact I really, really don't like it, but strangely I really like the subtle flavour that using this oil leaves.  It is also very beneficial to eat raw so I add some to my fruit/veg juices.  Why don't you google it and see for yourself the amazing health benefits of coconut oil.
  9. Bible Highlighters - I love to do my Bible studies with my special highlighters at the ready.  There are certain books in my Bible which are now very colourful! lol  It works as a great quick reference though, for example, when I am low and need comforting/encouraging words I turn to the Psalms and look for my highlighted passages. The ones that have spoken deep into my heart in the past.
  10. Narnia Movies - I think these movies are absolutely fantastic and I LOVE how they point to Jesus. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 18

  1. Date Night! - Alex and I were blessed with an evening out tonight.  Alex treated me to a Michelin Star restaurant down in Emsworth and it was absolutely divine!  A beautiful evening - such a treat!
  2. Babysitter - thank you so much Robbie for giving of your time to give Alex and I the opportunity to have a date night and go out for dinner.  
  3. Egg Timer - I have this great gadget that I throw in with my eggs when I'm boiling them and it works 100% of the time telling me when my eggs are soft or hard boiled etc.  It's an awesome little thing!  Love it!  :O)
  4. Daffodils - a sweet friend of mine gave me a couple of bunches of daffodils on Tuesday and they are an absolutely ray of sunshine sitting on my kitchen table - stunning!  The children have been in awe watching how the buds started off so tightly shut and then so quickly opened up and brought such beauty into our room.
  5. Soapnuts - I'm not a fan of regular clothes detergent as they are harsh on clothes and skin.  I'm so thankful for natures little cleaner - the soapnut... these little nuts do a wonderful job cleaning, are gentle on skin and the environment and are super cheap to buy!  :O)  perfect.
  6. A new frock - so enjoyed wearing out my new dress to tonights meal.
  7. Fun Pool/Public Swimming Pools - my kiddies just love to go to the pool.  Great exercise - great fun!  Aren't we blessed to have pools around our country with slides, lazy rivers and jacuzzi's where we can have great family fun in clean water.
  8. Chess - My boys love this game.  I love that they love it!  We are so blessed to have such cheap and easy access to such fantastic and educational games.
  9. A noisy house - because that means I'm surrounded by family
  10. Dreams - I know that dreams can feel as much of a curse as a blessing sometimes, but aren't the happy dreams wonderful!  I dreamt of angels the other night and even in my sleep I felt comfort. :)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 17

  1. Deep bonds - there are some people in my life to whom I feel a very deep bond, people who enrich my life, people who love me for who I am, people who give a lot of themselves for me and I to them.  I am thankful beyond words for these friendships. Some of the friendships are with family members, others are not - but to all of you, and you know who you are - I love you and thank you for loving me.
  2. Time to socialize - I had a blessed afternoon today hanging out with a dear friend.  The kids had a great time playing together and my friend and I enjoyed a cuppa and lots of nattering - perfect!  :O) 
  3. Cluedo - it was one of my sister's birthday today and I went over to join her and a few of her friends for a mini party.  We had a game of Cluedo.  Was fun and - I won!  :O)
  4. Porridge - what an awesome, cheap, healthy food porridge is!  Perfect for these cold mornings!  Just drizzle some honey in and you're in for a hot, tasty and satisfying breakfast.
  5. Wireless - isn't it bliss getting rid of lots of cables! 
  6. Porch lights - ours isn't working at the moment - realise now what a blessing it is!!
  7. Long armed bibs - Our little Rosina can make an awful mess.  She insists on feeding herself, so I am very thankful for her plastic, longsleeved bib!  Need to buy more!!
  8. Trees - these towering beauties play a key role to our very existence.  In God's magnificent design for Earth He planned for trees to absorb in the carbon dioxide that we breath out and produce oxygen for us to breath in.
  9. Floradix - this is an amazing natural drink which boosts ones iron (without the constipation issues that the doctors pill will give you), along with many other health benefits and it's wonderful.  
  10. Spiders - o I do find it VERY hard to feel blessed by spiders, but don't they create just the most amazing & beautiful little homes for themselves?  Spiders (although creepy) are utterly amazing insects and give God so much credit for his handiwork.  Have you ever watched a spider spin a web?  It's absolutely fancinating.  I just wish they didn't choose to take shelter in my home.  :S

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 16

  1. Mentors - I'm so thankful to glean wisdom from those older and wiser than I.
  2. Pancakes - such a tasty treat!  :)
  3. Top Cashback - I have earnt back well over a hundred pounds on this free website - it's wonderful.
  4. New life - Spring is coming and with it will come the birth of many new animals, a flooding of flowers and the baby shoots of the crops that will come in the fall.  Beautiful
  5. Stars - I love to gaze up on a clear night sky and look at all the beautiful stars!
  6. A letter from Tong - Today we had a little card from our sponsored child who lives in Cambodia!  It is always such a delight to my heart to find a letter or card from him and see his little drawings. We sponsor Tong through an amazing charity called - World Vision. If you'd like to check out this ministry please click HERE
  7. Prayer Diary - I can't remember how this started, but years ago now I began a prayer diary and it has been a huge blessing to me.  Is absolutely amazing to look back and see how much God has worked in my life and the prayers He has answered
  8. Massage - hubby gave me a foot massage this evening... bliss!
  9. Blueberries - these little round fruits are fantastic little health nuggets.  Did you know that they are among highest anti-oxidant value fruits!  Research also suggests that they help lower blood sugar levels and control blood glucose levels in type II diabetes millitus condition.  They boast a long list of vitamins and minerals - to see a list of their full health benefits click HERE and scroll down the page to 'health benefits'.
  10. Hair Dryer - love this little invention!  :)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 15

  1. Freebies - ok so most freebies are usually rubbish, but we get free, free range eggs and goodness that is a huge blessings.  Eggs aren't 'cheep' these days and we are very thankful for the saving!  
  2. Cookie Dough - A sweet & thoughtful friend of mine gave me some cookie dough today - YUM!
  3. Prayer Triplet - Thanks girls enjoyed our time this evening
  4. Entertaining - It is a real blessing to be able to have people over to our home.  We love visitors.  :)
  5. Giving - We all know the saying that it is better to give than to receive and it is so true.  Being able to give, whether that be of ones time, money and/or talents, is a great blessing.
  6. Iron Sharpening - I had a wonderful conversation today where it felt like that verse in Scripture - 'As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend' Proverbs 27v17
  7. Elephants - We studied elephants in school today - fascinating creatures.  I think they're fantastic!!  I'm so pleased we can learn about the wonderful animals of the world.
  8. New shoes - Charlie needed a new pair of shoes and we darted off to shoe zone after a trip to the library today and came out with a lovely pair at a lovely price.  Job done!   :)
  9. Cookery Monday's - I really enjoy doing these scheduled cookery days with the children.  :)
  10. Electric lights - beats having candles ay?

Cookery Monday - Banana & Chocolate Bread

I took one look at our banana's today and knew that Cookery Monday had to be a banana bread!

Thought I'd try something new and go for a banana AND chocolate bread

We started off by measuring out the butter.  
We ran out and ended up 1 oz short!  :S

Mush away

 While Quinn was mushing I quickly mixed together the 
sugar & butter and then added the eggs & vanilla essence.
Then it was time to pour the mush into the batter

We gave it a good mix and added the flours.  The recipe called for 2 cups of 
plain flour, unfortunately my cupboard held almost every kind of flour but,
so I improvised and added 1 cup whole wheat bread flour and 1 cup
whole wheat self raising flour.  No idea if this is going to work.... 
but worth a try.

Next came the exciting job of adding the chocolate - was supposed
to be chocolate chips, but since I had none, again we improvised and used
up some of the Christmas chocolate stash.

 Then we poured our mixture into a greased & floured tin 

Popped it in the over at 180 degrees for one hour.  It was supposed 
to be covered with foil for the first 30 mins, but going with the
theme of today's cooking session - we didn't have any!  :S  So
I popped a tray on a shelf above the bread to give it some protection
in the oven.  And... it seemed to work ok

Here's our result!

I popped out this evening for some wonderful fellowship and
so did not get a pic of the boys taste testing, but I had a taste when I got home
and have to say - a BIG thumbs up!  Was really yummy!  :O)

If you would like the original, un-improvised recipe:

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 14

  1. Encouragement - I have felt blessed to have had much encouragement this weekend.  I braved the stage yesterday evening to sing for charity and I was very nervous.  I sang with an awesome band (thank you band!) and really enjoyed half the performance!  :)  The first half I was just too nervous to enjoy hah!  I am so thankful for those that have encouraged me since my performance... had helped build some confidence.
  2. Panto Fun - also for the charity event, people from our lovely congregation rehearsed a panto and did an excellent job - what fun!  :O)  What a blessing it is that we can come together and just have some fun together like this in honour of a fantastic cause - Love Russia.  Click HERE for the charity's webiste.
  3. Inspiring Sermons - fantastic day at church today.
  4. Culture - Cultrue is a fascinating thing - I just love learning about other cultures around the world.  I was privileged to hear today some of how life growing up in Africa is.
  5. Mango - LOVE this fruit!  Thank you God for creating it.  :O)
  6. Passions - I'm so thankful that God has wired us with passions in our hearts.  They make life so interesting and exciting.
  7. Energy - I don't have much of it personally, but it is fantastic watching it flow out of my children.  We had friends over for lunch today and the children were just 'bouncing off the walls'!  Ahh they make me laugh!  (and our friends!)
  8. Conversations - I do love to have a good natter!  :O)  I so enjoyed some conversations I had with friends today.  Thank you!  
  9. C.D. Stories - O my kiddies LOVE these!  We were given some Jonathan park stories for Charlie's birthday.  They are Christian adventure stories and they are ACE!  Thank you Mitch & Melinda! Click HERE for the website to Jonathan Park.
  10. Dolphins - aren't these just magnificent creatures??  Stunning to look at and so intelligent.  They always seem so friendly and playful.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 13

  1. Exciting Anticipation -  Isn't it wonderful to look forward to something?  To have the excited buzz in your tummy when you think about something that's going to happen in the near future. Aren't we blessed to have things to look forward to!  :O)  The next 7 days hold some exciting events for me and I love that feeling of looking forward to something!  Tomorrow I sing with a band for the first time at a charity event (actually I'm not sure if I'm more scared/nervous than excited, but I'm looking forward to it.) Monday my mobile contract is renewed and I get a new phone on Tuesday and finally on Thursday my hubby is taking me out for dinner!  :O)
  2. A hubby who can cook - I am so blessed that my hubby can not only cook, but enjoys it.  It is lovely to have a break from cooking on the weekends.
  3. Surprises - don't you just love it when a parcel arrives that you weren't expecting - someone has sent you an unexpected gift!?  Doesn't that just make you feel so blessed?  Or maybe it's an unexpected letter or flowers or hubby arrives home early from work etc etc
  4. Disposable nappies - we use cotton nappies usually, but I am very thankful for disposables when we need them.
  5. Ebay - I'm glad to have ebay - a great place to buy 2nd hand (or new) and a great way to make money from the things you don't need any more.  I know they charge a lot in fees, but I've sold stuff on there for great money that I wouldn't likely have otherwise sold.  And I have bought many, many super bargains.  One way or another ebay has saved us a lot of money.  :O) 
  6. Another mild day - the boys played outside for hours today - it was wonderful to see them playing out there and letting their imaginations run with the wind.
  7. A long nap from Rosina - after some exciting play outside, Rosina took an amazingly long afternoon nap today, so while the boys played for ages outside, I had some peace and quiet to rest, enjoy listening to some audio Bible and get some work done on Charlie's x-stitched stocking.  A very rare treat for the middle of the day.  (I even dozed off for a little while to recharge the batteries a little.)
  8. Jessops Photobooks - have you ever checked out Jessops photobooks?  They are awesome!  I collect all my favourite photos for the year and then organize them into a Jessops photobook using their fabulous program.  I absolutely love having my photobooks - they are the modern photo album and you can get SO many more photos than you ever could in one traditional album.
  9. Medical advancements - If it wasn't for the medical advancements of the last 60 years, my son Quinn would not be with us today.  When he was 10 months old he had a severe case of intussusception and needed emergency surgery. For 24 hours he lay limp, his body badly dehydrated, he was pooping blood, vomiting green vomit and I was terrified. I knew I could loose him. We finally had a dianosis - I sobbed in the waiting room while the life saving surgeon worked his skill on my tiny sons body.  Was one of the hardest things I've ever done - handing my son over to the nurse to carry him off to surgery.  The song 'blessed be the name of the Lord' came to mind and the line, 'He gives and takes away' was playing over and over again.  I prayed... LOTS!  I tried to bring myself to the place where I could accept it if it was God's will to take my son home to Glory.  I was at peace.  It felt like an eternity and I can't even tell you how long he was in surgery for, but when I saw him being wheeled back to the ward my heart leaped for joy but at the same time was heavy laden to see all the tubes coming from his fragile little body.  We were in hospital for 4 days and he made an amazing recovery!  Thank you God for modern medicine that saved my sons life.  
  10. Family traditions - I guess at this stage in our life we are still building on these, but we have a few and one of them has become 'Pizza Night'.  We home make pizza, spread out a blanket on the lounge floor and watch a movie together.  Is special.. a night of the week we all look forward to.  :o)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Counting Blessings - Day 12

  1. Garden - I got the kids ready for a play outside this afternoon and much to my pleasant surprise it was quite mild today.  We ended up spending ages outside.  I was sorting the garden out a bit, Rosina was playing with some warm, fresh water I bought out for her (well actually it was to clean with, but she decided it was for playing - naturally) and the boys were playing games on the trampoline.  Was a blissful afternoon and not what I had expected at all.  We are very blessed to live in a house that has a private garden to the rear and a little garden in front.  The children just LOVE it out there and it makes our house feel a lot bigger to have that outside space.  
  2. Mr Fix It - My washing machine broke down on me today! :S  I started playing up on me yeterday, but today I just couldn't get the thing to complete a cycle... it was just stop 15ish minutes into the wash.  I'm very thankful that my hubby is a 'mr fix it' and he got it going again!  YAY!  Those cotton nappies can get their wash now.  
  3. Trampoline - my boys love their trampoline and what a great way to get some good exercise!
  4. Wellies - what would we do in this wet country without our Wellington boots?  Rosina had hers on today while she pottered about in the garden and she looked very cute in her little size 3's.
  5. Girlie Time - Rosina had a late nap today, so after the boys were all tucked up in bed and daddy had gone out to a meeting, Rosina and I had some lovely girlie time!  It's so quiet when it's just her and me! She has developed oodles of patience for shaper sorters and delicate games like hanging monkeys.  She amazes me.  Love her to bits.  (love all my kids to bits... I'm one very blessed mumma)
  6. My Parents Car - we are not in a position to be able to afford 2 cars. With Alex working 40 mins from home he has to take the car.  Usually this isn't too much of a problem as we don't go out all the time, but there have been times in the past when it has caused some challenges.  Last year my parents offered us use of their car (which they don't need for the time being).  We have been very blessed by the use of this car and that we only have to pay fuel on it.
  7. Hearing - it occurred to me today how challenging it would be to be a parent without hearing.  We rely so much on what we can hear.  I know my ears are always listening for that cry, or argument that needs sorting, or bang that needs checking and that doesn't even touch on the communication side of hearing... listening to my sweet children's voices, listening to music, listening to the sounds of world around us - be it animals or the ocean.  I am blessed to have good hearing.
  8. Travel - if you have the money for it you could visit the world.  Travel in the 21st century is amazing. We'll have to stick to the UK for now, but maybe one day we'll be in a position to explore more of God's amazing creation.  I'd love to visit Switzerland one day.
  9. Decon - I feel blessed that my husband has been honoured by being asked 18 months ago to be one of the deacons for our church.  It is a privilege to serve in our church in this way.
  10. Sleep - G'nite!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 11

  1. Laughter - o what a blessing it is to be able to laugh!  Yesterday my husband had me giggling on and off all day. I came downstairs in the morning to find a large red envelope lying on the kitchen table for me.  No guessing needed for what was inside... or was there?  I opened my card with a smile on my face and read the words on the front.....   To My Husband, with all my love.    !!!  Husband??  O boy did I have a laugh at that!  Every time I looked at the card I just couldn't help myself but to have another giggle!  Whatever must have the clerk at the store thought when he bought it?!  hah
  2. Alex has a new phone! - Perhaps on the surface that seems like more of his blessing than mine, but his phone was at a very limited working level and badly needed replacing.  It made for more challenging contact and I'm very thankful that he now has a phone in good working order.  :)
  3. Seasons - aren't the seasons so beautiful, each one capturing it's own unique beauty.  I'm thankful to live in a country that experiences each season so completely.  Is stunning to watch.  I always used to say that Autumn was my favourite season, but now I realise that I have a love for each season and the particular beauty it brings.
  4. Living on a cul-de-sac - I feel to blessed to live on a cul-de-sac.  It feels safe, the road is rarely used and it's so quite.   :)
  5. Our 'Long Story Short' book - in the mornings before we start our book work we sit down together and study God's word.  Recently we have been using the book 'Long Story Short' as a tool for this time and it has been excellent.  We're really enjoying it.  :)
  6. Dress up clothes - O my boys LOVE to dress up.  We have a beautiful, large box (from TKmax) which is home to lots of dress up items and clothes. So much fun!  
  7. Roses - Coming down to my beautiful bunch of roses this morning was lovely - they are SO beautiful.   God has blessed us with such huge variety of stunning flowers hasn't He! 
  8. Baby Listeners - the house (dormer bungalow) that we live in has 2 bedrooms upstairs and 1 downstairs.  This means that we have kids on a different level to us and having my baby listener has been so useful and helpful for this situation.  It is a comfort to me knowing that I'm listening in in case anyone needs me.
  9. You! - my readers... you are such an encouragement to me and bless my heart!  Thank you. 
  10. My Comfy Bed - I have been very blessed to have been given a high quality memory foam, pocket sprung mix mattress.  My husband took pity on me when I was laid up in bed week after week while I was pregnant with my son Uzziah.  I was very poorly for the last month of his life and Alex decided to secretly buy me a new mattress as our old one was rather naff.  I was completely overwhelmed and when I sat on it for the first time it felt like I was sitting on a cloud.  O it was so comfortable and certainly did make the world of difference to me for those weeks I remained there.  It still is an incredibly comfortable mattress and I'm SO thankful for it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 10

  1. Sweet Notes - It always warms my heart and makes me smile when one of the children write a note to me.  Today Caden gave me the following note:  To Mummy,  I love you Mummy so much that I will give you ten more kisses this time and a present for you mummy. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (he then drew a picture of our faces and 2 hearts between us and an arrow pointing the kisses to my head.
  2. CHARLIE!  I'm so blessed by you my cheeky little chap!  You are a ray of sunshine and a constant source of laughter.  You have one of the most fabulous laughs I've ever heard.  I can't believe you're six years old today, my how the time has flown.  You're such a special little boy and I love you TO BITS!
  3. The Holy Spirit - I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit and the work it does in me. 
  4. Chickens and their glorious eggs - which came first?? lol just kidding... Chicken eggs are amazing power foods, jam packed full of goodness.  They supply all the essential amino acids for humans, and provide several vitamins and minerals, including retinol (vit A), riboflavin (vit B2) folic acid (vit B9) vitamin B6, vitamin B12, choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.  They are also a single-food source of protein dishing out 6 grams of protein per large egg.  Did you know that due to their protein content, the United States Department of Agriculture categorizes eggs as meats within the food guide pyramid.
  5. Home-made Cottage Pie - My hubby told me to write this one down because he really enjoyed his cottage pie dinner today.  :O)
  6. Valentines - it's lovely having a day where love is celebrated!  :)
  7. Literacy - I'm so thankful for my education and the world that that opens me up to.  There are SO many adults, even in the UK, that cannot read.
  8. A Tumble Dryer - My tumbler is a life saver during the winter months, I'm so blessed to be in a position to have one.
  9. Internet - I was chatting away with one of my sisters today who lives in the USA and is in hospital at the moment.  O it was such a blessing to be able to freely chat with her, which would not have been possible without the awesome invention of internet.  Thank you Mr Internet Inventor(s)!  :O)
  10. God's patients with me - I'm so thankful that God is patient and doesn't give up on me!  I'd have given up on me years and years ago!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 9

  1. Bees - I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with bees.  I'm actually allergic to them... or at least it would seem to be that way, as I discovered when I was about 10 years old.  It happened while on holiday...  I'd rather carelessly plonked my backside down on one one day.  Needless to say the blasted little thing stung me in the proverbial!  Ouch!  I started to get the shakes pretty quickly and shortly after my leg started to go numb and a little while after that I started loosing use of the leg.  I was taken to a medic and given a shot and all resolved itself.  I'm thankful to not have been stung since and I hope there are no stings in my future.  Having said all the above I adore honey and this is where I just love bees!  So glad God decided to create them. We did a school learning day on bees a few weeks ago, was fascinating.  :O)
  2. Bread Machine - I used to make my bread from scratch myself when I could, but I never did manage to get into a very regular pattern of turning them out.  For Christmas my generous hubby bought for me an awesome bread machine!  Now there is a cooking loaf aroma flooding the house almost daily and it is divine!  One of the best smells in the world!  Of course it tastes amazing too and is hardly any hassle at all... a few quick steps and I'm done and the machine does the rest.  Bliss
  3. Portable Hand Sanitizer - I'm so glad to have my little hand sanitizing spray in my hand bag. Not sure how much sickness we end up preventing by using it, but I'm glad to have it and do my best in the prevention department.
  4. Wii - we are blessed to own a wii console... it's an unnecessary item, but has been the source of some great fun.  The children love to have a little play when they're allowed and we've had some awesome adult games night on it.  :) 
  5. Job Security - can I tell you what a blessing it is that Alex finally has a stable job!  and in this financial climate too!  It is such a relief to not have to be wondering if we'll get our next pay-check on time or not and not have to be wondering if this could be the last week of work etc etc.
  6. Food Vouchers - Got some excellent savings this week.  :)
  7. x-stitch patterns - I so love stitching away for my children.  I'm on a VERY long term project of making each of my children a x-stitched stocking with their name on it.  So far I've completed one and about 1/3 of the way through the 2nd.... 2 more to go after that + one for however many more children I should be so blessed to be mummy to!  ;o
  8. Religious Freedom
  9. Bible Society - I know I've mentioned them before, but they are a fantastic charity and I have been SO blessed by their on-line audio Bible that is spoken by several actors - sounds amazing!  :)
  10. My kids triple bunk!! - my awesome husband made my children a triple bunk and it is ace!  We have so much extra floor space than we otherwise would.  We even managed to get 6 children spaced out in it a few nights ago for Charlie's sleep over!  Such an amazing bed!  :O)

Cookery Monday - Play Dough

You gotta love play dough and it is even more lovable to play with the home made version than shop stuff.  
Home made is so much softer and lasts ages if you keep it in the fridge.  

So here we go

All our ingredients at the ready

Caden pours the table salt, Quinn holds the 1/2 cup

Rosina stirs!

She was very fascinated by the process

 Mummy got the pan on the stove
and Rosina decided it was chill time.  :O)

After mixing all the ingredients into the pan we put
it on a low heat and stirred continuously.

This was before any heat was added

Warming up now

Getting thick

Getting really thick.
Becomes a bit of an effort at this point to keep stirring.

And here it is finished 'cooking'

Dumped out on the table

After a quick knead

The boys get ready to add their colours
to their 1/3 of the play dough mixture

Knead away... mix in those colours

 Put some muscle into it!

And hey presto - Play Dough!  :O)

Now the hard work is all done it's time to play, play, play!

Quinn sets to work on making some vanilla ice cream

Rosina is still deciding what to make

Charlie makes some pastry

and Caden makes some blueberry ice cream!

If you have kiddies at home, why not have a go?
Is very simple and the kids are sure to love it!  :O)

Here's the recipe:


Water                      1 cup
Plain Flour                1 cup
Cooking Oil              1 Tbsp
Cream of Tartar        2 tsp
Salt                          1/2 cup
Food colouring         optional


Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and cook on a low heat.  Stir continuously until the mixture thickens to form a dough texture.   Knead.   Play!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Counting Blessings - day 8

  1. Seeds to plant - It doesn't feel like it, but spring will soon be here.  Charlie had a mini green house stand and some things to plant for part of his birthday pressie and he can't wait to get everything planted.
  2. Tissues - not a hanky fan myself!  
  3. DVD's - Love to sit down to a good movie. 
  4. The NHS - I know it's a long way off being a perfect health care system and there are times I can get very frustrated/upset over issues with lack of care, poor care, waiting times etc etc, but we are SO blessed to all have access to a free health care system.
  5. Our Fellowship Group - our church has several different small groups that meet up weekly to build each other up, learn more about God and just get to know each other better.  We have been very blessed with the group we attend and we are thankful for each member.
  6. Marriage - what a great plan of God's that was!  :)
  7. Democracy - We are blessed to live in a nation that is not governed by dictatorship. 
  8. Car Ferries - We are looking forward to hopefully visiting the Republic of Ireland this year!  Will be our first ever visit to Ireland.  :)
  9. Draft Pillows - we have quite a draft in our house from the hall into the lounge, so I'm very thankful for our draft pillow.
  10. Cling film (plastic wrap for my U.S. readers) - Such a handy invention!  Has kept Charlie's birthday cake nice and moist the last two days.