Sunday, 31 January 2016

Unexpected Time On Our Hands

 
Starting with last night....we watched The Great British Sports Relief Bake off and my eagle eyes spotted the winning apron was an Orla Kiely design!
Having googled it I discovered they are available from TKMaxx for £12.99
I just happen to have a gift voucher for £12.99 (a returned gift last year) so guess where I am headed in the week!
 
 
 
 
The lap top problems are still not sorted...so hubby took it apart even further last night...the problems haven't gone...but they haven't got worse...its always rather nerve wracking having it in pieces!
 
 
 
This morning was of course church as usual....
 
 
 
...followed by a roast dinner.
For dessert I did something different, in a rush....apple cobbler...made with Elijah bread instead of a scone mix.
It worked really well and was very light.
I will be making that again for sure.
 
 
 
Teen Two had been given a box of cake mix for Christmas,  so today he set to and made them for our tea....
 
 
 
...they tasted great!
 
 
 
 
This afternoon was of course spent giving Grandma not one but two games of Scrabble.
Grandma is always delighted when she wins...but then feels bad that she did...so she was keen to play another game and did her best NOT to win....she succeeded, Teen One had the Z and the Q and managed to make the word Quiz across a double word score tile...which put her seriously into the lead and none of us were able to catch her up.
 
 
 
 
When we arrived at church for our evening Gospel Service, before we had got out of the car, another member of the church came and told us the service had been cancelled as the boiler had broken down.
The temperature in our old building was too low for the service to go ahead, it had been decided.
We couldn't help thinking of Christians in other countries who have far greater issues to contend with and yet still manage to hold their services...however the decision had already been made and the doors were being locked up.
So with the unexpected time to ourselves...we headed off to a local beauty spot to admire the lights of the city.
Its a place Grandma used to like to go to with Grandad, in those days they would take a flask of tea and some sandwiches, then together with their binoculars they would search for familiar buildings. 
We spent a pleasant half an hour up there and then headed back home.
Teen One was glad of the time as she has some complicated process to work out on her ipad for her role as Apple Ambassador at college....like everything techy..it doesn't appear to be going to plan!
 
Daily Blessing
Sunday January 31, 2016
Today's Promise:
   Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Teen Gamer's Heaven!

 
This morning started in my favourite way...waking leisurely and then a cuppa and a ginger biccie in bed.
We had no specific plans for the day, other than Teen One wanted to do some clothes shopping for her up and coming Uni interviews...did I say she now has two?
Whilst doing some surfing of what friends have been up to on FB,  I noticed one had been to a new Retro Gaming Café.
Having never heard of it before, but knowing just the Teen who would love it, I checked out the website and bam....our day had a plan!
 
 
 
Just check out this cool place! It is in the basement of a large property and the décor is brilliant!
With umpteen dozen games consoles of all kinds, comfy chairs, soft drinks and snacks available...it was seventh heaven for our game loving Teen Two!
 
 
 
 
 
To say he was spoilt for choice is probably an understatement!
 


 
 
For just a fiver for two hours it was excellent value as well.
Needless to say, whilst he and Hubby did some father son bonding...electronically of course...Teen One and I went clothes shopping.
 
 
 
It has to be said, the boys probably  had the more relaxing option...and after an hour of traipsing round the busy shops we were ready for a coffee break!
With my M&S Sparks card I was able to get any cake and any hot drink for £3....bargain!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Teen One has got some lovely clothes...but she has read that bright colours should be avoided, stick to black or beige or maybe a black skirt a white blouse and jacket.
That seemed rather waitress like to me but the dresses we saw weren't quite what we were looking for...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whilst Teen One has the figure to match the smart dresses that are around at the moment...she is going to an interview to be a student, not a company director or air hostess!
My sister in law had said wear something that reflects your personality, whilst keeping within accepted interview standards...not too short, not too high, not too frivolous etc.
We had seen a black dress with yellow flowers in Primark...which was going to be a back up...it was very "Teen One" , smart and yet feminine, but she wasn't 100% about it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We had almost given up hope of finding anything today when we saw this in New Look...less than half price as well.
We just now need to find a smart little jacket or pretty cardigan (which we understand is quite acceptable) to go with it.
 
 
 
 
Lunch was our current favourite soup again...butternut squash and lentil....I really need to branch out a bit more and try something different...but when you have hit on something everyone likes its easier to stick with it!
 
 
 
With the sun shining...albeit the wind lowering the temperature quite a bit, I thought I would spend some time in the garden
This area was full of weeds and the debris from last years attempt to grow some veggies.
There is now a large sack full of rubbish ready for a dump trip and I have decided to abandon the idea of growing anything there again, so covered it over with wood chippings!
I will put some pots on maybe, just to brighten the small patch up.
 
 
Whilst I was in the garden, Teen Two cleaned out the gerbils, and Teen One recorded their antics on the floor using the slow motion setting on her phone...the results gave us all quite a laugh!
They move so fast you just don't see a lot of what they get up to!
 
 
 
Hubby went and collected a car load of free wood from a friend, so our wood burner supply is nice and full again.
 
 
I am hoping for a relaxing evening and just enjoying the company of my family, a rich blessing for which I am always grateful
 
 
Daily Blessing
Saturday January 30, 2016
Today's Promise:
   But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 



 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Don't You Just Love INSET Days!

 
Call  me crazy...but I have always loved INSET days.
I am sure they didn't exist in my day!
When the Teens were little, they only were in the same school for a few months, so their INSET days never ever coincided...which mostly was good, because it meant I could focus on some fun for each of their particular needs, rather than have one just tagging along.
Teen One's INSET days are very few now and usually entail revision/homework, but today was Teen Two's time for fun.
Before Christmas a new trampoline centre opened and we have been eager to try it ever since.
I thought if we waited for an INSET day, rather than go on the weekend, it would be quieter....wrong!
This is how it looked before the long line of eager bouncers were allowed on...
 
 
 
...but pretty soon there were queues and kids running everywhere. Teen Two is on the third trampoline in the grey t shirt
 
 
 
for a very short time he was able to bounce from one trampoline to the other, but this didn't last long.
 
 
This was his favourite area...you jump from the trampoline into a pit of giant sponges
If you like playing the "spot the panda" type games...try "spot the teen..." I haven't found him yet, but he is definitely in there somewhere!
He said it was incredibly hard to get out!
 
 
It was very tiring ( literally after 5mins he was worn out and came out for some water!)
When the hour was up we went to the Tesco nearby and had a Costa...he also took a fancy to some sushi, which he hasn't tried in this form before, so we bought the taster boxes of duck hoi sin and salmon, he like both, so once in a while I will give them to him in his packed lunch.
I don't mind sushi...but its not very filling!
I was due an eye test and was surprised to be fitted in more or less straight away.
No change on reading glasses...border line for long vision, but can get away without them at the mo, so thankfully no big expenditure this time round.
 
 
The afternoon was spent catching up on some housework, cooking dinner (Mexican burritos tonight) and then going to Kids club of course.
Just before we left my neighbour's son came in with some flowers for me...he really is a sweetie!
 
Last week you will remember we made clay "jars" for our Gideon story....
 
 
....using air drying clay and tea lights...
 
 
...the kids moulded the clay around the tealights...
 
 
 
...then used the end of a paintbrush to create different designs...
 
 
...then this week they painted them!
 
 
Daily Blessing
Friday January 29, 2016
Today's Verse:
   Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
 
 
 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Blooming January!

 
Being Thursday it was of course Mother and Toddlers.
We had one of our grandmothers come back with her two great grandchildren, it was lovely to see her again and she was so happy to be back amongst the chaos of toys and tots!
 
 
It was then back home, a bite to eat and next door for some cleaning.
 
 
 
 
Next it was time to prepare dinner, tonight we are having a pasta dish called Pasticcio.
If you like pasta, but are not keen on the usual tomato based dishes, this is a great alternative.
The recipe calls for over a dozen ingredients, but over the years I have whittled it down to just a few.
Savoury mince...made however you usually would make it
Add some veg of your choice...carrots, sweetcorn, peas etc ( frozen mixed veg is good in this)
Cooked pasta ( recipe calls for macaroni...I use whatever shape I have)
Mix the cooked meat, veg ( cooked if using fresh) and cooked pasta.
Add to a dish then cover in white sauce.
Sprinkle with grated cheese then bake until bubbling hot.
It's a great make ahead dish.
 
 
 
 
I have been itching to get out and sort the garden out for a few weeks, but when I have the time the weather has been atrocious and when its sunny I don't have the time...today it was neither excuse... the sun was out....I had some time....but not the energy!
So instead, I  surveyed the rather sorry scene and hoped for some weather and energy colliding in the near future!
However, I was surprised to see so many splashes of colour....
the geraniums  (or are they pelargoniums ?) were still flowering...
 
 
...the "orange blossom" tree was still in flower here and there....
 
 
 
 
...the deep red flowers on this bush ( I really need to gen up on my horticulture!) are not usually out at this time of year...
 
 
 
..and if you have good eye sight you will be able to pick out a pink rose in the centre of the picture!
January really is blooming!
 
 
 
Daily Blessing
Thursday January 28, 2016
Today's Verse:
   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The End Of A Long Journey

 
Starting with last night....hubby bravely took the laptop apart to see if fluff was the cause of the (continuing) problems we are having with it.
Replacing the old battery sorted the constant crashing, but spraying the can of air ( anyone from years gone by would laugh at us buying a can of fresh air!) didn't seem to make any difference to the other problems.
However, the fact I am able to update today's blog is testimony to his ability to take something  complex apart and put it all back the right way!
Maybe Teen Two's Lego building passion will have the same effect one day
 
 
 
In the middle of this delicate operation my mobile rang.
As hardly anyone ever rings me...all my family and friends generally facebook/text/email, I had a good idea it was going to be a family friend...and true enough it was.
Her mum....my Recycled Teenager in the Dementia home had finally passed away.
It has been a  long, hard and painful journey for both her and the family, as dementia slowly took her away from us all.
Last week I mentioned she had deteriorated and since Friday we had not expected her to live more than a few hours.
I normally visit her on a Tuesday or Wednesday and had realised things were not good on Tuesday, so was not surprised to receive the phone call Thursday saying time was short.
I went in to see her Friday morning and was surprised to see her being fed porridge!
However the carer said it didn't mean anything, other than her tummy would be full and comfortable.
When the carer left I held Auntie's hand and tried to see if she was able to focus her eyes on me...but there was nothing there.
I read some comforting Bible verses with her, prayed with her then spent about fifteen minutes quietly singing some hymns....she seemed to be aware I was there and when ever I stopped she would give a little moan, then stop when I started singing again.
This is the second time I have had that experience with someone close to death, appearing to be  unresponsive...but singing seems to register with them.
When it was time to leave I gave her a final kiss, told her I would miss her but looked forward to seeing her again one day.
I knew that was the last time I would see her, here,  and of course my heart was heavy.
But not for long...for her it is the end of a long journey, but a journey where she knew where her destination was going to be....she is now absent from her body but present with her Lord who she has loved and served for so many years.
How can we be heavy hearted knowing she will never know the suffering she has experienced ever again.
 
 
I can't say I felt particularly tearful, or upset even...but when I got to bed, sleep would not come.
I got up eventually and came down to watch some TV and went back around 2am....still no sleep....but I seem to have survived the day with out any...that's what having babies does for you I guess!
 
 
When the day had started properly I set to doing a few spring cleaning chores.
As today was the day I would have visited Auntie, I wanted to achieve something with the unexpected time.
So I washed the top of the kitchen cupboards, which always collect so much grease and dust.
Last year I lined the top with newspaper, so all I had to do was replace that, then wash the wood and doors.
Its one of those jobs that only I know has been done, but I am glad to have done anyway!
 
 
 
With the weather being absolutely foul, I decided I would spend the rest of the day at home catching up on jobs I had been putting off.
The first...and ultimately the only one...was to declutter the filing cabinet.
It has become rather a struggle to get anything in these days...so it really was overdue a clear out.
I have only managed two of the four drawers, but had a floor full of unwanted paper....
 
 
....which I used for some free fuel.
I don't usually bother burning paper...its so messy and clogs up the burner, but as much of the paper had personal details on, I thought rather than using energy to shred it, I would create some we could benefit from on this chilly day!
 
 
 
Around lunch time a friend came in for her lunch break and after a catch up mentioned she wanted to pop into  The Range.
I went along to keep her company and came away with these two large Lego storage boxes.
They were the last two, in the sale, and had a further 10% off as one was  a display box.
Teen Two will now be able to store some of his huge collection in here.
 
 
 
As I was collecting some firewood from the shed, I noticed what a lovely colour this bush has gone.
I don't remember it ever being so pretty...it must be something to do with the warmer weather this winter.
 
It has been an unusual day in many ways, and the middle of the week won't be the same without my usual visit to see Auntie...but I know something or someone else will be just around the corner!
 
 
 
Daily Blessing
Wednesday January 27, 2016
Today's Psalm:
   Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.