Monday, 30 January 2012

Taking the sea air

A day later than I normally write but with good reason.  We have been away for the weekend.  I know in the middle of term and with exams going on!!....but it was good to get away.

We went with friends and it was a bit of a house party with ten of us sharing the house, the cooking and the child care.  We relaxed, we drank wine, we talked, we walked on the beach and we even tried to fly a kite (not enought wind - in January!!!).  Saturday was the best day at the beach we have had for a long time, clear blue skies, warm sun on our backs (even if there was a chillness to our fronts but that's what coats, hats and scarves are for).  We even managed to get Josh to squeeze in some revision (and line up a revision retreat for next year when the exams get serious!).

On the beach in January
 The loft insulation is now complete round the edges so once all the stuff is relocated  we can fill in the middle area and have a warm and snuggly house.  We also found it why the hall is always so cold.  The very small window under the stairs was letting in cold air, so we have blocked that up and now you can feel that the radiator is working!!!

I even managed to find time this week to make some invitations to celebrate my birthday and while the papercraft was out I made a quick birthday card to stash away for a later birthday.

So my bible inspired craft for this week was based on Romans 10:9 and it is a work in progress at the moment but I thought I would share the mock up using clip art of it as it may have to wait until the half term holiday for completion by my own fair hand.  I thought I might frame it and display it on the sideboard.

Romans 10:9

The bible verse we have as a family this week is from Psalms 37:1 and is:

Do not fret because of those who are evil
   or be envious of those who do wrong.

So another week has began and Josh has his final exam of this set, Jacob is off to represent his scout troop at a cooking competition, Andy is celebrating an 80th birthday (a friend's mum, not his!!) and will just be ensuring they all get to the appropriate place at the right time on the right day (oh and a girly night out for a candle party).

Our prayer this week is one of thanks for those who were lost returning and for God's faithful promise to hear and answer prayer.

With God's blessings from my famil to yours,

Jo x

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Blessed not lucky!

This week we have been getting ready for a town wide children's church event that takes place every other month: X:Site!  Working with a team Josh and I deliver the craft and teaching session to small group leaders.  As we were looking at Noah, we prepared rainbow coloured bookmarks for 50 children for the prayer time and, thanks to our good friend Amanda (Every church needs an Amanda!) we also had Jesus plaques for each child to take home.
This book mark has a blank back to write a prayer on
and remember God's promise to us, shown by the rainbow

Josh's first GCSE went well and now he knows what to expect, a scary exam hall where an eery silence falls over everyone and one small sneeze can echo round the room with surprising speed!

To show we were thinking of him I made him a card as any shop bought card always says "Good luck in your exams".  We don't believe in luck, we talked about that Josh needed to have put in the study, God would be with him and help to recall the answers.  So the card was an exam blessing card, inspired by last week's Bible passage.

Not a clear copy but the verse reads
"Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will feel no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and staff, they comfort me.

I mention in the purpose for starting this blog that we are planning major improvements to the house this year and last week I told you about being a list girl.  Well a major house project requires a major list and to that end we have a spreadsheet of lists!!!  Having ticked a few jobs off the spreadsheet, this week Andy added another job to the list, insulating the loft, so we are surrounded by rolls of insultation, loft floor boards and polysterene sheets, ready to keep us warm.  I'll show you the results next week.

As well as planning that through we have a very poorly apple tree in the garden, which has been shedding its bark for some time.  Andy treated himself to a new bowsaw (Boys and theirs toys!) and set about cutting back the tree to see if this breathes new life into the tree or whether we will just have to incorporate it into the furniture of the garden as a possible table!

Before work started

Starting to feel better
Apparently, its very tiring cutting down a tree by hand so the remaining branch will be tackled at a later date.

So this week brings another exam, a trip to the dentist (I think I should have my own parking space there by now!) governor meeting at school and time with friends.

The Bible verse for this week is from Romans 10:9 -
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.

which interestingly was part of the passage we looked at in church last week.

Our prayer this week fits with the story of Noah that we looked at with the children yesterday and the mess that people had got the world into.  We pray for all those who find themselves in a mess with seemingly nowhere to turn to, that they will find their way home and that God will protect them on their journey back.

With God's blessings from my family to yours

Jo x

Sunday, 15 January 2012

He's behind you!

Well I can't believe it is Sunday evening again already!  We have had a very busy week and having been to church and shared tea, it is nice to sit down with a cup of tea and reflect on the week that has flown by.

We started the week with church children's work preparation, getting ready for an event next weekend.  Then we had panto rehersals, we have been providing the backstage team.  Josh is in his element (no pun intended) working the lighting and Jacob is operating the sound system.  They had great fun after finding an app for the IPod with sound effects on.  Andy was scene shifing and stage light operator and I was the prompt.  We had a great time with a Friday evening performance, Saturday matinee and Saturday evening.

We also found time to fit in dentist appointments, orthodntist assessment for Josh to have braces, parents evening to discuss GCSEs, a gym session, babysitting, tennis, guitar and piano lessons.

With all that going on I did what I do best when it came to crafting this week, fitted it in somewhere!!!  With four birthdays this week I made some cards to get ahead and then I put my mind to some planning.  Taking inspiration from the Christmas planner I made (details on I have pulled together a set of lists into one place to record all the craft, cards and blogs I intend to make this year.  Not only does it allow me to plan ahead (I am a list girl at heart, like to have it written down and planned out, it's one of the ways I make it all fit!) but it will give me a way to look back over everything at the end of the year.

Craft organiser
I've made calendar and dates to remember pages, list of present ideas as thoughts come to me for people through the year, a section to keep templates, pictures and instructions as I collect them and one to record everything that I make this year.  It has given me time to reflect on last week's bible verse and I have been resting in the Lord while making plans.  I often find that my best plans come together when I am not actually thinking about or undertaking a particular task but in the quiet moments in between (this week that has been while folding the laundry to put it all away - why does that task never seem to end, one pile gets put away and another seems to take its place!)

After a late night at the panto yesterday clearing everything away after the final performance Andy spent some time in the garden today.  It seems that the local fox population like my new veggie patch but we aren't too keen on their contribution.  So a multi purpose fence has been constructed.  At the moment we hope it is enough to keep the foxes out and then once we start planting we can add a lid to it and keep the birds out as well.
Anti-fox pen
Not sure the detail come out in the photo but the canes are supporting the mesh.  Having been reading up on veg growing, one thing we want to try is having a compost trench to plant the beans into. So Andy has dug two trenches and the wheel barrow carries the contents of last year's compost bin as a start so we can add to it on the coming weeks.

Another thing I wanted to share on my blog was the cooking I get upto.  This week while babysitting for my youngest God-daughter and her big sister we made cakes.  Having two boys, pink doesn't feature much in anything we do so having the girls was a good excuse to go all out on the pink (Andy wasn't too impressed).  However we made fairy cakes and decorated them, and here are the results:

The bible verse for this week is from Psalms chapter 23 verse 24 (I am using Daily Bible guide to chose the bible verse and I am thinking it might have been easier to chose my own to try and link to a craft, but God and his mysteries ways has this word for me to work with this week):

Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

Our prayer this week is with Josh and all those taking exams, that God will guide them through their revision and be with them in the exams (Josh has his Physics paper on Friday), so maybe this week's verse is for Josh (craft thoughts are starting to form already).

With God's blessing from my family to yours,


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Back to it!

So the first week of the year has finished and we are settling back into normal family life.  Tennis coaching has restarted for Jacob (our youngest) and Josh (our eldest) is deep into revision for his first GCSE at the end of the month - Chemistry!

The veggie patch required some fine tuning this week and Andy has been sifting through the soil to remove the stones (or should that be small rocks), the problem of having located the patch over an old path.

Sifting in progress

The stones that need removing
With the boys not going back to school until Wednesday, I found time for crafting this week before I too returned to work. Using inspiration from last week's bible verse that "In the beginning was the word" I made some notecards.  Also the boys designed their letter paper to send their thank you notes, using their favourite picture of themselves from last year at the bottom of each letter.

I am thinking of developing the notecards so I can sell them to friends in small packs and thought it would be good to add some post it notes to the back so that after they have been used to send a message they can continue to be used as a note block.

Notecards ready to be sent.
Onto this week.  We are helping a friend with a pantomime production at the end of the week, we are the back stage team, so we are busy with rehersals which we need to fit round a series of dentist appointments for everyone except me (I had enough appointments at the end of last year to last me a least one year if not two!).

Our bible verse for this week is Isaiah 11 verse 2
"The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
   the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and of might,
   the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD
which seems quite apt for us in a busy week. 

Our prayer is that everything that needs to be done, will be done to the Glory of God and that the pantomime will go off smoothly.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,


Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year

Well as this is the start of a new year, I thought I would take on a new challenge - a blog.

I can hear my friends already saying where will I find the time, but as this is about something I enjoy doing, I know that I will make the time to keep it up to date.

I wanted a way to record the crafts I make (and a prompt to make sure I get round to doing some), changes in our family home and the influence of God working through our lives.

So the first thing I wanted to share was the new vegetable patch my husband, Andy, has built me for Christmas.  It doesn't look much yet but once the winter has done its work we hope we will have some homegrown vegetables to feed ourselves with.  Having tried an allotment a couple of years ago we are hoping that having the patch at the bottom of the garden we will be able to get out there more often and tend the area.

 The vegetable patch

The bottom of the garden

What you can't see is the great big pile of rocks he dug out, just off camera, but that's for another day and another project, I'll tell you more later.

So now we wait and make plans and preparations for the vegetables and while we wait there is time for craft and cooking.  The first "craft" of the year has to be thank you letters and so the boys and I will sit down tomorrow and make cards and write notes.

As we reflect on John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." so shall we use our words to thank those who blessed us this year with gifts.

My challenge to myself this year is to use a bible verse to influence my craft for the week (well nearly every week) and to share it with those who choose to follow my blog.  I will share my crafts based on this bible passage next week.

Our prayer as a family this week is that God will show us the new beginnings he has for our lives and that we will follow where he leads.

with God's blessings from my family to yours