Thursday, 2 October 2014

Autumn Decorations: Savouring the Season

One of my favourite things about the changing seasons is reflecting that in our home. There is something extra special about bringing the season indoors... and I think Autumn is my favourite season to do it in (perhaps excluding Christmas...) Autumn provides so much raw material for decorating at home - conkers, pine cones, acorns, pumpkins, gourds, nuts and berries, colourful leaves!

And then there are Autumn candles.

Autumn candles deserve a whole post of their own.

Anyways, here are my top autumn candles and all of them are amazing...!
* Our Own Candle Company - Hot Apple Pie
* Yankee Candle - Blissful Autumn

and my absolute favourite of all time...

* 1803 Candles (Soy) - Pumpkin Cornbread

I am not being sponsored for this post... I just genuinely love them!

A little bit of autumn brought into the house is what savouring the season is all about.

Little pieces of the outdoors brought in to celebrate, and be thankful for.

And remember the Maker.

Autumn always has been, and remains, my absolute favourite season.

Savouring the Season is all about celebrating the season we find ourselves in...whether it be recipes, crafts, outdoor adventures or reflections on life, link up and share some comment love! And don't forget to grab a badge!

Anything autumnal goes!

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="ClarinasContemplations" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Your Greatest Contribution: Life Lessons from the School of Motherhood

Image courtesy of Media Cache
I remember as a young teen, lying on my bed and dreaming of all the things I was going to achieve one day. I was always a big dreamer... I was going to be an actress, an author, a missionary and a teacher... all at once! I was going to have a huge impact on so many lives. I was going to change the world.

And then I grew up a bit and went to university, and trained to be a teacher. I was going to be outstanding. To be the teacher these children never forgot. I was going to be the one who made a difference in their lives. I was going to be the one who heard the voices of the struggling children, who somehow showed the difficult children the right way to go. Who didn't forget the children who just quietly get on with it and never get noticed. And I was going to change the world one classroom at a time.

And then I had children. And became a stay-at-home Mum. My horizons aren't actually that huge anymore. There's not a lot of big dreams you can have in piles of laundry, boxes of toys and an ironing pile. There aren't that many miles you can travel when you're tied down to a 9am drop-off and a 12pm nursery pick-up. There aren't that many books you can write when you're up to your eye-balls in potty-training, tantrum-controlling and shepherding little hearts.

Sometimes you wonder where all those dreams about changing the world went to.

And then you realise that you are actually in the privileged, God-ordained position of having a profound impact on two little lives. It may not be millions of readers, thousands of theatre-goers, or hundreds of school-children. But two little lives. Just two.

What an honour.

And perhaps it is possible that I may never have an impact beyond these two little people. That actually the greatest thing I may ever do is bleach the toilet, cook meals and model to these two little girls what it means to live a life of sacrifice.

That the greatest thing I can offer them is the Gospel.

And if, with God's help, I can do that? There is no greater adventure I would want to be on...

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Me and Mine: September

We are falling headlong into Autumn now... the days are getting shorter, dark evenings are closing in, raindrops are falling and we are beginning to enjoy woolly socks, blackberries and apples and warm mugs of hot cocoa snuggled up on the sofa.

We enjoyed a lot of time together as a family over the summer, and this month has been all about spreading our wings a little. Papa is back at work, and for the first time, my eldest has flown the nest. So our Me and Mine time has become all the more precious.

This past weekend was Dave's birthday, so we hit Zizzi's for a delicious meal with enough mistakes to make it fairly disastrous, but a waiter who was just so fabulous about the whole thing, we couldn't be mad at all. We laughed our way through the whole evening, and it was precious time with our wider family.

But we still managed to capture a little picture of our little foursome....

After a few failed attempts of course!

Me and Mine in September!

dear beautiful

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Wonder of Darkness...

We have had a wonderful weekend celebrating Dave's birthday. Cinema trips and meals out... we have been spoilt rotten (thank you Tesco vouchers!) On Friday night we went to the cinema for the first time in literally years and saw "The Hundred Foot Journey"... we were the youngest in there by about twenty years, but it was an amazing film ... highly, highly recommend it!

On Saturday night we headed out to Zizzi's with the family and enjoyed a yummy meal (that ones another story!) and the girls enjoyed a bit of a late night! We headed off a little earlier than the others as it was WELL past bed time, and bundled the girls up in their coats before heading out into the cold.

We were not prepared for our littlest lady's reaction.

As we stepped outside, streetlights beamed down, candlelight from nearby tables flickered, and there was a buzz of chatter around us. But all of that was not enough for me to notice the little lady in my arms who went completely still as we exited and gasped through a whisper...


I looked at her, and was greeted by a look of total wide-eyed wonder and amazement. She was drinking it in, her little head turning to see, and just gazing, gazing, gazing at the sky - she was utterly mesmerized by the darkness.

And then it struck me... she probably doesn't ever remember being outside in the dark before. As far as this little lady is concerned, outside is always light!

After a long summer, a lot of which was spent in Norway, a 7am wake-up time, and a 7pm bedtime... I realised Heidi probably hadn't seen it dark outside since about February... at which point she was only 11 months old!

We drove home, she giggled in her seat the whole way back calling out "DUNKEL!" (dark!" around every 30 seconds, and just relishing the big black sky outside the window.

It was just one of those magic moments you want to box up and keep. One of those things that I take so much for granted, but for our youngest, was utterly magical.

The wonder of darkness.

mummy daddy me

Friday, 26 September 2014

A Special Day...

Today we are celebrating the birthday of a certain gent who means the world to us three ladies. He doesn't get a tonne of coverage on the blog, but he is so supportive and encouraging of this little online corner.

We love you Papa... you are an amazing husband, daddy, leader and friend... and we are so blessed to have you as our special man.

We thank God for you!

Happy Birthday from your girls. xxx

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Five things to do with Conkers: Savouring the Season

When I was a little girl, our neighbours had a huge conker tree that stood over our garden. When autumn came, we would scurry out into the garden and collect conkers by the bagful. They would sit in our garage looking pretty, but probably feeling pretty useless as the odd one was selected for conker fighting purposes.

So when Ava and Dave returned home from a local football match last week with a bag full to the brim with beautiful shiny conkers, I determined that those conkers were going to be used for all they were worth.

And so, for the past couple of weeks, we have been getting creative with our conkers...

1: Make a Conker Sensory Station
Just a big old bucket of conkers, some spoons, whisks, egg boxes, plastic saucepans... You name it, and the kids will be whipping up a conker storm. Sensory stations are a lovely opportunity for children to play with the shape, texture and weight of conkers and have a lot of fun at the same time (do not leave toddlers unaccompanied with conkers... They may attempt to eat them!)

2. Write Conker Letters
In our house, everything is all about letters at the moment. Ava is writing at every opportunity - we are spotting letters, hunting down letters and forming letters in lots of different ways. Conkers and street chalk are just another medium for a bit of spontaneous letter-writing!

3. Create Autumn Decorations
Conkers HAVE to be part and parcel of your autumn decorations, don't they?! Free and versatile... What more could a girl ask for (yes, autumn has arrived in our house - more on that next week!)

4. Make Conker Snakes...
This is a really cute idea that was added to the linky by RedTedArt  last week. Please pop over to Maggie's blog to find out how to make them... Such a cute idea which we are hoping to try early next week!


5. Do some Conker Maths...
Like giant, natural conkers - perfect for counting, making patterns, ordering, weighing and measuring. So much potential here for a full on maths lesson for toddlers! These girlies had fun counting them and making patterns... But there is so much more you could do with slightly older children!

So there you have it! Five ideas for all those conkers you have coming out of your ears!

Time for some conker fun!

Savouring the Season is all about celebrating the season we find ourselves in...whether it be recipes, crafts, outdoor adventures or reflections on life, link up and share some comment love! And don't forget to grab a badge!

Anything autumnal goes!

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="ClarinasContemplations" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Adjusting... Life lessons: From the School of Motherhood

I shed a few tears last night.

I was just feeling a bit overwhelmed, I think.

At all the tooing and froing to school, and the realisation that things will never be the same again...

Those long, quiet mornings, that at times used to drag, are now a distant memory. And I miss them.

I am a home bird, I love nothing more than us three girls pottering around the house, playing in the garden, and being us. Our life sometimes feels busy... It IS busy... But those home days are my absolute favourites, and I cherish them so much.

I have one more year of my little girlies at home together every afternoon, then next year Ava will go full time. I'm going to make a concerted effort not to complain about being tied down to naps, or dragging afternoons, or children following me round like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn because the above is so very, very true.

The days are long, but the years are short.

So let's go and squeeze every drop out of them.