Spring has sprung!

Here in jolly England we are feeling much brighter and enjoying longer days as spring is finally here! As a family we celebrated this at the weekend by heading into the countryside for a gentle walk. We chose a gentle walk between a few villages, only 4 miles or so it should have taken a couple of hours at the most. However hubby let me bring the camera (add on 45 mins) and we let Junebug walk a bit (add on 20 mins) which meant not only were we going to finish a lot later than planned but we had to stop in the middle to have lunch. Best made plans…

It was a gloriously sunny morning and warm, especially when walking along with a toddler on your back. We really appreciated spending time together, away from all the jobs at home, and being able to show Junebug more trees and animals. She loved it!

I took advantage of the scenery and happy family to take some photos, you’d think we were never short of family photos but there aren’t that many of all three of us. This field of purple and green stood out to me, and I love the way the tracks run across the scene.

Luckily the tiny village halfway round had a great pub where we stopped for lunch. Junebug managed to entertain the entire clientele for a good hour playing peepo, grinning with her mouth full and jumping up to dance on her chair every time an upbeat song came on. “Dance Daddy, let’s dance Daddy!” She is such a little showoff and seems to know that people of the older generation will reward her cuteness with plenty of attention. It was hard to drag her away.

The final surprise on our trip was the appearance of this feller who just wanted to pose prettily in the sun for me – I had to oblige.

We are so thankful that we are heading into better weather and sunnier days, hopefully there will be many more family days out like this one. I’m so lucky to be part of this happy trio!

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Everyday life.

Hi all. I am working on a blog post of all the fun activities Junebug and I have been doing recently. I promise it will be up soon.

But for now this is another entry to the I heart faces photo challenge competition for March. The theme is ‘everyday life’ so I have gone for more of the feel of it rather than a great quality photo. This is Junebug pinching her Grandad’s toast at breakfast one day while we were staying with them. Junebug loves spending time with all her Grandparents, partly, I’m sure, because she enjoys being centre of attention and there’s always plenty of cake and biscuits around. We don’t live near by so unfortunately it isn’t possible to see them a lot but recently I showed her a photo of Grandad (my Dad) and she said “Papa” – my heart melted! So this photo is maybe an ideal of what I wish everyday life was like, more sweet moments with Grandparents.

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Everyday life with Papa.

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge – www.iheartfaces.com
Read more at http://www.iheartfaces.com/how-it-works/grab-a-button/#eO8Ux6oEc5lzhUwc.99

Thanks for looking – Hxx

Can I do New Year over again?

I find New Year really difficult. This year in particular. There’s so much pressure, and there’s not enough time.

I spent December 2014 gearing up for Christmas; shopping, decorating, advent kindness elves with Junebug, deciding to quit my job, more shopping, wrapping, and eating way too much. Then Christmas was here and it was beautiful. We spent time with family and really enjoyed Junebug’s excitement.

Junebug was a star in our church nativity.

Junebug was a star in our church nativity.

Opening gifts from her stocking on Christmas morning.

Opening gifts from her stocking on Christmas morning.

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But then, all of a sudden, it was New Year’s Eve. And I had made no resolutions. Not even one.

So can I do it over please? Now I’ve had time to think about it? Although now I think I’ve had too much time… I now have so many resolutions I have to split them into categories!

Family (This comes first as it’s the most important thing.)

1. And that’s the first resolution, to always put my family first.

2. I want to make sure I’m teaching good habits and manners to Junebug so, now she’s getting older, this year I’m going to be more dedicated to that.

3. Allow Luke to persuade me to try for another baby.

4. The Blessings Jar. I am going to fill this jar with notes, pictures, tickets, anything which happens which is a blessing or reminds us of blessings so that next New Year’s Eve we can empty it out and look through it and realise just how amazing God is to us. (I’m really excited about this one)

I painted a season on each side with the words "Let's count our blessings".

I painted a season on each side with the words “Let’s count our blessings”.

Work

1. Really get Photography by Helen taking off and put real effort into learning more so I can be better for my clients.

Driving

1. Be more confident driving on the motorway.

2. Drive into stationary objects less.

Me

1. Lose weight and get fit – no extremes just be healthier.

2. Keep on top of things more, be organised and prioritize jobs.

Me.

Me.

So here’s to 2015 – I am finally ready!

31st October.

Ah the 31st October… a date I have dreaded ever since I moved into my own home. I hate Halloween 😦 It genuinely upsets me to see children dressed up as devils and and celebrating demons and death. I know people see me as a killjoy and most think it’s all just a bit of fun but I can’t agree, especially after having my own child. Jesus is the light of the world he has saved, He has defeated hell and Satan and yet they now seem to have their own holiday I’m supposed to be OK with. Unfortunately the evil one has a very real grip on this world and tries to steal people away from the God who loves them. I worry that by trivialising all the darkness and dressing up as evil things we are inviting him to creep in. I want to teach Junebug to stay away from these things, to draw close to the God who loves her and promises all of us light and love in this world and in his heaven.

I have always ummed and ahhed about answering the door to trick or treaters on Halloween. I don’t want to condone this celebration but I don’t want to be the stuffy neighbour that doesn’t give out sweets, or miss the opportunity to reach out to my community. Every year it’s a big dilemma. Some years I’ve hidden in the dark, others given in and others I’ve made plans to go out to avoid it. However with the arrival of my own child this has become impossible and the need to make a long standing decision became more pressing.

Then a wonderful friend wrote a blog post which could have been from my own mind – she felt the same way about Halloween and her children. And she had an idea, Thanksgiving. In the UK we don’t celebrate this holiday, we don’t really share the history behind it, but a holiday where we count our blessings and are thankful for love and family and all God has given us? I’m in! My friend’s idea was to replace a Halloween party with a Thanksgiving one; decorations, games, food, everything.

Luckily I saw this post in just enough time to join in, I bought some lovely food, invited friends round and Junebug and I made decorations for the window.

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DSC06768DSC06794 Making stained glass leaves for the window and sticking decorations on our leaf wreath. Excellent fine motor skills practise too.

Unfortunately our family was struck down by a horrible sickness bug the day before Thanksgiving so the food, party and company part of our plans had to be cancelled. But we still gave sweets out to the children who knocked on our door and asked if they wanted to write on a leaf to go in the window; something they were thankful for. Several wrote sweets!

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Our window on Thanksgiving. The neighbourhood children added to the leaves saying what they were thankful for.

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DSC06811  Our window on Thanksgiving and the decorations Junebug helped make.

I am now really looking forward to the 31st of October each year. Especially as Junebug gets older and can understand more and make more decorations. It felt really nice to celebrate the goodness and blessings of which we have so many!