Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Me and Mine 2015 - March

dear beautiful me and mine

I can hardly believe that we're a quarter of the way through the year already! The girls are growing so quickly. M's hair has grown a ridiculous amount since last month's picture; she's getting curls, which I'm quite excited about, because it's something we can share. B is getting taller - her long legs come from my side of the family - and it's getting difficult to find clothes that fit her in the body without being too short in the arms and legs. I'm pretty sure I'll end up being the shortest in the family one day.

Family Photo

March has seen us trying out Forest School and Theatre Bugs, getting outside more often, celebrating various birthdays, some family days out and a trip to the Ideal Homes Show where we met up with my sister and an old friend. We've read Bible stories and had family prayers every night at bedtime. I've made several cakes and we've done some art. M did her first painting, which I've photographed to immortalise; B has got the paints out of her own accord, which is a new development; even the Hubby and I have joined, painting some Easter scenes.

This month:

The Hubby has enjoyed...
M's increasing independence
Family days out
Taking some holiday
His parents getting back from New Zealand
The weather starting to warm up
Reading Mockingjay

I have enjoyed...
The Ideal Homes Show
Making a carrot cake look like sushi for my mum's birthday
The Hubby having some days off
Stroking an elephant
M making us all laugh
Reading and watching The Hunger Games

B has enjoyed...
Going to Ikea with Grandma
Theatre Bugs
Crossing her eyes
The eclipse
Pointing out the letter 'B' everywhere she sees it 

M has enjoyed...
Walking backwards
Learning to climb the steps to the slide
Stroking some dogs
Deliberately falling over

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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Thankful Thursday - Myself

Self praise is difficult for me. I struggle -  as many do - with my self esteem. So, it's about time that I thought about myself and what about me I am grateful for. It has taken a lot of thought, but I've managed to select 5 things about myself that make me thankful.

1: My body conceived, grew and birthed two beautiful little girls. If I'd had to write this 5 years ago, I would have been unable to be feel grateful for my body. I hated it. Passionately. I considered myself ugly and my body to be a failure. Becoming a mother gave me a whole new view. How could my body be worthless when it could produce such marvels? When it could stretch and mould and contract in such amazing ways? When it could accomodate a growing baby and then push it out into the world? Women become mothers every day. It's hardly a rarity. I'm not unique. And yet, the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth was - for me - not just the new lives blossoming, but the realisation that, despite appearances to the contrary, I really am "fearfully and wonderfully made!"

2: I am organised. I like knowing what's happening, when and where, and this desire enables us to be much less stressed. There isn't so much running around at the last minute as there would be if I wasn't so good at organising. Oh, there's always some panic as we try to get out of the house, but we have two children now - they're not organised. Yet!

3: I get passionate about things I believe are important. I'm thankful for my passion and eagerness because there are changes that need to be made in the world. We are called to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves," and that's a gift I have in abundance. My passion has helped a good number of people. Friends and aquaintances have thanked me for articles I've shared and advice I've given; others have asked me for help for themselves or their friends, because they know my passions have led to knowledge that can assist. I'm so grateful that I can be passionate, because I'm making a difference, even if it's only in my tiny corner of the world.

4: I make really delicious cakes. Seriously. I'm my own worst critic, and my decoration is never at the high standard I aim for, but the cakes? They taste amazing. I can't even eat shop bought cakes now, because my own are a million times tastier. Shop bought cakes taste bland to me, with artificial flavours and strange textures. I'm proud of my ability to make great tasting cakes, even if people are running away from sugar these days. I'm hoping that my delicious cakes will be a great way of keeping my kids and their friends hanging around our house!

5: I have a way with language. I'm capable of being straight to the point and diplomatic at the same time. I know how to use big words correctly. I have always been a big reader, and that has given me a large vocabulary. I love that I can influence others with what I can say and write. I love writing letters to my MP, writing blogposts, holding my own in discussions, being able to give clear explanations. I'm so grateful for the opportunities my language skills have given me.

There. Not my easiest post ever. But a necessary and important one. It's so hard to think well of myself at times. And I know I'm not the only person in the world who struggles in this way. So it has been hard, yet rewarding, to really look at myself and pick out the things that I grateful for, that make me who I am.

What do you love about yourself?

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

52 Weeks of Memories | 12: Playing

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

Oh, I know! It's a dreadful photo. A picture is supposed to paint a thousand words, but this one needs some explaining. The Hubby and I have designated Thursday evenings as Games Night. This is a shot of the 24 DVD Board Game that we are trying to complete. Some friends gave it to us as a gift before B was born, and we've only just got around to playing it - she's 3 and a half! It's great fun to be doing something other than watching TV though, and besides, why should the kids get to do all the playing? Thursday nights it's our turn to play.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

52 Weeks of Memories | 11: Hug

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

My parents snuggled up with B and M, reading The Gruffalo's Child. It warms my heart to see the love my daughters have for my mum and dad, and how comfortable they all are together. 

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Siblings - March 2015

dear beautiful
The kisses and cuddles have decreased a little, with hitting and shouting filling the gap. There's still a great deal of laughter, but I find myself having to intervene and entertain and facilitate more often. As M's confidence grows, so does B's frustration. Where she's been able to be the boss of the toybox, she's now finding that sharing isn't so much picking out a toy for M as it is having a toy snatched out of her hand. It's not all theft and violence though. They do play together and watch TV together and egg each other on. M still finds much of what B does to be hilarious; she follows her around and wants to copy her, though M's increasing independence doesn't sit well with B's desire to have her do what she's told! The Hubby and I are doing what we can to face the challenge of making sure these two stay friends.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

52 Weeks of Memories | 10: Outside

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

M's first trip to the park near our house since she learned to walk. 
She loved every minute of it!

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Thankful Thursday - World Book Day

I love reading. There is nothing quite like getting lost in the pages of a book. I get so engrossed in the action and feelings expressed, that I can feel quite disappointed to be dragged back to reality! I don't get to read as often as I used to. There was a time when I could get through a few novels a week, but I am attempting to read one a month this year - not including the books I read to the girls.

I am so grateful to parents for instilling in me a love of reading. Being able to read well at an early age opened up an amazing number of worlds for me to escape into. I hope I am able to instill that same love into my children.

So, in honour of World Book Day, here are five books that I am most grateful for:

Red Sky in the Morning by Elizabeth Laird
This is the first book I can remember making me cry. I am in awe of authors who can weave words together in such a way as to cause my emotions to overflow. I recall lying in bed, reading this, and my dad coming in to turn off my light and seeing that I was crying. I must have been no more than 10. 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

52 Weeks of Memories | 9: Fun

Finding Myself Young 52 Weeks of Memories

We had fun in the forest: getting muddy, making new friends, exploring, and swinging in hammocks at Forest School. This was organised by a group of Home Educaters, and was a great way for us to get to know some other families who already home educate. Just one way in which B and M will socialise in the future is by mixing with other children - of all ages - who learn at home instead of in school.

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Wishes for 2015 - Update 2

How have my New Year Wishes been panning out? I'm quite pleased with myself so far.

1) Blog more - Look back through the last few weeks and see for yourselves :)
2) Bible study - Not as good as it could be. Prayers for means, motivation and opportunities are most welcome.
3) Meal planning - It's been a struggle this month, but I've managed to use more of the ingredients already in our cupboards, which is encouraging.
4) Date nights - We've enjoyed some great films together. And we've got plans to go to the theatre this month.
5) Read - I read Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Recommended by my dad, who led me to believe it was going to be a tad more lighthearted than it was! An extremely dark book. Worth reading if you like murder mysteries and the supernatural. It was compelling. Despite scaring me a bit and making me feel quite sad in parts, I wanted to know what was going to happen and had to keep reading. If you want a slightly less dark version, watch the film.
6) Walk more - We've enjoyed more fresh air this month, though still not quite as many walks as I had hoped. Now that M is walking, she is keen to practice, so going for walks is much slower! 

7) Declutter - We've fallen behind this month, but are picking it up again.
8) Create an app - The Hubby has found a series of YouTube videos for us to watch together, to learn the skills needed for this.