Monday, 30 March 2015

Me and Mine: March 2015


The staple part of any family's day. We are old traditionals when it comes to food. Dinner is round the table without the television. An opportunity for us to talk, share about our day, enjoy each others company (for the most part)...

Our mealtimes start with Heidi. She is our table-layer and chief food lover, so she is always the first to the table. Some days she sits happily and waits, chatting as I finish getting the dinner ready, or playing with her fork and spoon. She repeats the same old stories. Like the time Nanny flushed her pants down the toilet and said "Goodness Me!" (Yes! That did happen this week!), or the time Ava bumped into her. Other days she is a little more demanding.

It's hard waiting for your dinner when you're two.

And then dinner is ready, and Papa will arrive home, and there will be a flurry of activity as food is served, aprons are donned and drinks are poured.

And then the meal will begin. Every meal begins with the ritual announcement from Ava; "OH! This is my favourite dinner!!" regardless of what it is. There will be a time to thank God for his provision for us again. And then we tuck in!

There may be things to fill Papa in on as he's literally just through the door from work.

There may be school tales from Ava.

There may be potty training clapping and cheering for Heidi.

There may be giggles for no reason between the girls.

There may be battles about pudding without dinner, or wanting to stand up in your high chair, or play with your food.

There may be jokes from three-year-old humour, like how funny it is to stick your drink up your nose.

There may be just sitting quietly and listening and enjoying your dinner.

 Each mealtime is different. Some are a joy and a pleasure. Some are a battle and hard work. Whichever way it goes, I realise mealtimes are a training ground for the girls. They are learning to be grateful for what they have, they are learning how to listen, they are learning how to communicate, they are learning to share with the people they love, they are learning manners and self-discipline.

Most of all, they are learning what it means to be a family.

Our little family. Me and mine in March...

dear beautiful

Saturday, 28 March 2015

We're off to Wales...

... with 50 others from church, where we'll join a couple of thousand others! We're excited to learn lots, have tonnes of fun and soak in the beautiful welsh coast (as long as we're not washed out by the promised hideous weather!)

This is our 12th consecutive "Word Alive" and I'm no less enthusiastic than I was as an 18-year-old first year at university. This week leaves me feeling refreshed every year. It's where I've had some of my most broken moments, asked some of the biggest questions in my faith, its where I've had those deep in the night meaningful conversations, its where Dave and my romance began, its where we served on youth team for five years before bringing our own little people.

You can read why I can't wait for Word Alive every year here.

It is a precious week in our yearly calendar. And I'm so excited to be heading back there today!

My 21 year old self at Word Alive  back in 2007...

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Spring in the Huette...

Our house is not the only residence on our little piece of property that likes to have a seasonal makeover... our little ladies house also enjoys a seasonal spruce-up, and this spring is no exception. So yesterday, while Heidi napped, Ava and I headed down to the playhouse to give it some TLC...

We took down the remaining Christmas decorations (cringe... yes, the odd few had escaped!) and put some little springtime touches onto the Huette.

Of course, a bit of spring cleaning was the order of the day too!

And then Ava decided to concoct some soup before her little sister woke up...

... to very great excitement! Heidi was thrilled at all the changes in her little house and sat down to eat her soup straight away!

They spent the whole afternoon playing down there, popping their heads in and out of their little house, visiting friends, playing restaurants, travelling to Norway (yes, apparently they fitted that in too!) and looking after their babies. I'm hoping for lots of quiet hours in the summertime adjusting to baby number three while these two occupy themselves whiling away the hours in their own little cosy home.

Spring's greatest joy
beyond a doubt,
is when it brings the children out!
- Edgar Guest -

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Spring's in the House!

I make no secret of the fact that I love a little seasonal decoration. Our walls are a pretty blank canvas, which gives me the opportunity at the turn of every season, to inject a little seasonal something into the decor... (you can find out how and why we do that here...)

... Spring has been a little late coming. By the start of this week, my winter decorations had had enough; the white stag was eyeing me suspiciously, the candlelit houses were looking a little forlorn and the lanterns have ceased to be lit. Somehow in the cold sunlight of early spring, the reminders of winter seem out of place, lonely and lost, and yesterday, I finally had the chance to transform it into a little spring wonderland.

A few chicks, some eggs, a little wooden cross and daffodils, daffodils and more daffodils... all helping little hearts and little minds to prepare for the most important season of our family calendar.

Easter is coming!

Let's Talk Mommy

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Making Easter Meaningful...

One of the thing that's really hit me since having children, is how little a deal I have made of Easter in the past. As a christian, Easter is the big celebration - remembering Jesus death and resurrection stands at the heart of my faith, and yet so often, the day would creep up on me unexpected, a couple of chocolate eggs would be exchanged, and the day would be over in the blink of an eye.

When I began to think about the time and effort I have put in to preparing my family for Christmas, I began to realise that somehow the balance had got a bit skewed. We spend a month building up to Christmas, preparing our children's hearts to remember what its really all about, and yet Easter got next to no preparation at all.

And so we became convinced that we needed to change that; that somehow, our girls should be as excited in the run-up to Easter as they were to the run-up to Christmas.

And so we have started some traditions. This will be our fourth Easter with Ava, and our third with Heidi. Gradually, we are building up a set of traditions that help our girls understand what Easter is really all about.

So here are some ideas if you're seeking to make your Easter meaningful this year!

1. Resurrection Garden

The idea here is to make a little garden with you children and place a tomb in it, covered over by a large stone (the tomb is a cut out potato), on the night before Easter Sunday, you can roll the stone away, and transform the garden into a flurry of life, using little flowers etc. It's a beautiful visual of the miracle of Jesus resurrection... and that through his resurrection, life comes! You can see how we made ours here.

2. Countdown Eggs

The idea, similar to our family Advent Calendar, is to unfold the Easter story bit by bit as the week goes by, and to hopefully help the girls to understand that Easter is not just about spring chickens and bunnies (cute as they are!) An egg is opened each day from Palm Sunday, and inside is found a verse and an item which tell the next part of the story... If you'd like to find out more, you can read about them here. They really helped build up to the big day last year!

3. Easter Breakfast

This was something we started two years ago. A special meal is central to any celebration. We wanted to have a meal together as a family where we could enjoy each other's company, make the day a bit special and share the Easter story. Of course, boiled eggs and soldiers were a must, and a little treat in everyone's place... little easter baskets filled with chocolate eggs and Easter biscuits... Of course, you could have an Easter lunch, or dinner... but we wanted to celebrate in the morning the fact that Jesus had risen!!

4. Telling the Story

 The telling of the Easter story is a key part to our Easter breakfast. We highly recommend "The Beginner's Bible" or the "Jesus Storybook Bible" by Sally Lloyd Jones for little ones. Its wonderful to be reminded of the story behind this celebration... and if you've made a Resurrection Garden, it makes a great set for any playmobile or little characters to reenact the story!

5. Easter Nature Hunt

This is a really cute idea which we are going to try for the first time this year. Each child gets a list of items to find on a walk, or in the garden, each of which can be used to tell the Easter story...

1. Something pointed and sharp to represent the crown of thorns
2. Something made of wood to represent the cross
3. Something dead to represent the Saviour's death (a leaf or something?)
4. Something darkness to represent the darkness
5. Something hard and round to represent the stone rolled across the tomb
6. Something alive to represent Jesus' ressurection

I'm thinking Ava's just about ready to give that a go this year!

6. Bake Resurrection Bread

This fabulous book from the Good Book Company has some resurrection bread that we're going to give a go this year... we'll keep you posted!

What Easter traditions do you have? I'm always up for new ideas!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Funny Phrases and Silly Sayings...

It is a truth universally acknowledged that kids say the funniest things... they do. They say what they think, they have no concept of what is socially acceptable or politically correct. They will say the very thing that pops into their head and those of us listening get a rare insight into the mind of a toddler/preschooler.

And with two little ladies now fully fluent in three languages, we certainly get our fair share of funny phrases and silly sayings...
 Heidi while humming a tune to herself... "Lovely singing, Heidi!"

"Goodness MEEEE.... I'm a little rascal!" (Heidi!)

Ava, while helping Heidi out of her cot... "I find that I am just the best little helper in the world, don't you think so Schnucki?"

...and sometimes, just downright cute!

"OH! THANKyou Ava my best friend"

These little sayings keep us chuckling away to ourselves anyway... though it looks like both girls could do with a healthy dose of humility!!

mummy daddy me

Friday, 20 March 2015

Our Little Week: Little Loves

A busy little week, but a lovely one. Birthday parties, potty training, group holiday organisation and photography have made it a busy one, but fun nonetheless. I have been up to my eyeballs, but managing to stay afloat thanks to my trusty notebook. I instagramed my little homemade planner yesterday and got quite a response... I'm thinking there's a blog post in the pipeline there!

Watch this space!

In the meantime, here's what we've been up to this week!

While I am nearing the end of "Memoirs of a Geisha", Ava and I have started our evening routine again of reading a chapter of a "big girl" book together most nights. Right now we are ploughing through that gem of a children's classic "My Naughty Little Sister" and she is lapping it up! She grins and giggles and gasps her way through every chapter, and is just such a fun little reading buddy to have! If you have little girls, you must get hold of these books in any way you can... they are just such fun, innocent, hilarious little stories and we are devouring them!And to be honest, if you have little boys, "Bad Harry" is a pretty fun character too!

Is anyone else loving Poldark?? We started watching it at a friends recommendation last week, and are now totally hooked! Loving all the drama on TV at the moment... I don't think I've been into this many programs at once since I was about 12!

Photo courtesy of

Shirts... yup... I'm loving the open shirt over white long-sleeved top at the moment. I think I've gone for three different varieties this week... denim, checked and cowboy(/girl)... it's also nice to be able to wear some of my nice non-maternity clothes again, as wearing another top underneath means it doesn't matter that it doesn't do up over my ever growing bump!

I've also thoroughly enjoyed wearing clothes hung out to dry and collected in by my three year old. She is becoming quite the little homemaker, and I'm not going to pretend I discourage her... its lovely to have a helping hand when I'm hanging out the washing... although she's clearly learning from her Mother. When collecting in the washing yesterday she called Heidi over and said "You can collect the pegs little Heidi... that's right... you're my little helper, aren't you Schnucki?"

Kind of made my heart melt!

I've not listened to much this week... aside from the usual children's accompaniments! My car CD at the moment is "No Other Name" by Hillsong which I'm loving...

We have been hosting a lot this week, which has had the girls and I spending our afternoons in a flurry of flour and up to our arms in cake-mix, but who's going to complain about that?!

And finally...
Earlier on this week, one of my lovely friends popped over with a "just because" present and a cute little card... I am so thrilled to bits with this little pressie and can't wait to use them for our newest addition! I'm sure there will be plenty of Instagram evidence of their use! *apologies in advance for the babyspam* She got them from this gorgeous little independent company called "Little Maldod"... why not go and check them out??

Wishing you all a wonderfully relaxing weekend!