Monday, 19 March 2012

Mothering Sunday

I decided to make the most of my day of rest, so my blog is late this week.  However, both boys made me lovely Mothering Sunday cards and bought me flowers and chocolates.  I even had some help with the Sunday lunch!!

Cards made by the boys
We have had a busy weekend with friends over for dinner on Friday night (Nigella's chilli recipe was a great meal and as it feeds 20 we have some leftovers for another evening) and then two different trips for the family on Saturday.

Josh went to London with his Explorer Scout Unit to take part in the Monopoly Run.  As a team, they had to visit as many of the places on the Monopoly Board as they could and get their photo taken with a playing piece they were carrying round with them.  Having spent weeks working out his best route, Josh was not happy to find that some of the crucial tube lines were closed this weekend!  It's all good preparation for life!!  They had a great day and saw lots of London, even if they were just flying visits.

Andy, Jacob and myself went to The Big Bang Science fair in Birmingham.  It was a chance to have a hands on go at lots of science experiments and find out from different businesses how science is used in the real world, once they leave school.  Josh had sent us with lots of questions to ask about A levels and degrees and we came home armed with information and freebies to share with him.  One of the exhibits was a mock TV programme about how the body reacts to exercise and so Andy & Jacob took part, which means we have not heard the end of the fact that Andy beat Jacob in the jumping and cycling event; Jacob does however have a much better reaction time than his Dad!!

After church on Sunday we visited both our Mothers and dropped off cards and presents.  I made the cards myself using the same theme but each card was different.  In fact the same papers have inspired all my cards for March events.  As the end of the month approaches I must make time to make all my April cards as this has saved me lots of last minute rushing around this month.

We are starting to see the first shoots appear from the seeds we planted last week.  The sunflowers are peeping through the compost in their little boxes of elephant poo and I am not sure we are going to be able to eat all of the brocolli that has started growing together, but our God-daughter and her sister had such fun planting the seeds, Andy didn't want to stop them and explain that we need to plant a few each week.  Never mind we will just have to invite them round to help us eat them.  We have some more seeds coming at the start of April together with some seedlings to plant out, so soon the vegetable patch should start to show signs of life (keep an eye here for vegetable patch helpers!).

Sunflowers (and brocolli under the cover)
Last week's bible verse has inspired me to make a poster art and I am trying to decide how to display this.  I may add it to the display of the word of the month which is now at home in one of the new cupboards.  This week's bible verse is Galatians 5:22-23 The Fruit of the Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is
 love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,
 goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.

I have made a craft of this bible verse of a couple of times before, so I will share this with you next week.

Our prayer as a family this week is rooted in football, not for a result next week at Wembley but instead for a player and his family.  We know first hand the shock of a young family member being struck down by a heart attack and so our prayers are with Fabrice Muamba and his family at this distressing time and we pray that God will heal him.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that others players' first reactions on Twitter were to turn to prayer, so many of their messages stated they were praying for Fabrice and one message urged everyone, whoever they support, whether they follow football or were religious or not, to pray.  What a refreshing sign of God's power at work in the world today.

With God's blessing from my family to yours, Jo x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Signs of life!

Another week full of contrasts, with my Gran's funeral which was a sad event, but it was good to be together as a family.  Later in the week Josh received his exam results and we had a high point, he achieved Bs in his three papers, so we are all very proud of him and the work he put in to getting these by himself.

Craft this week used last week's Bible verse and inspiration from another blog (the girl who had crafted a word of the month from an on line etsy shop called " well good". As this lady does not ship to the UK, I set about making my own word of the month.

Word of the month for March
It is currently just paper mounted on card (hence the strip at the bottom) but Andy has decided it will look better if the letters are cut out of balsa wood and the paper mounted on the front.  It was fairly quick to make and the hardest part was choosing the font to print the letters out in to cut round, but once I had made that decision I cut the letters out from my scrap book paper stash. 

The Bible verse last week reminded my that as spring starts to make an appeaance, we were given life to live to its fullest.  We have been able to spend some time out in the garden this weekend and noticed the first signs of life returning; leaves budding, flowers poking up through the ground and an abundance of bug life.

How many ladybirds can you spot?
We had friends round for lunch today and it was so nice to be able to sit out in the sun before and after lunch.  We even got to use both lawns as the adults (and Josh) sat on one and the younger children played down by the vegetable patch (which is still just a piece earth waiting to warm up and be planted).

In my thinking for starting my blog I wanted to share some of the things we cook as a family and for my birthday my parents bought me Heston Blumenthal's new cook book.  So armed with the new book and assisted by Josh (who apparently has a reputation in science for wanting to blow things up!) we made chocloate puddings with gooey middles.  This receipe however was by Heston so rather than just cooking gooey chocolate cake, we made a ganache, which we froze, then cut into discs and placed in the ramekins before adding the cake mix and refreezing.  This meant that when we cooked the cake mixture the frozen middle defrosted so that they had a runny centre.  Very nice!

Andy spent some time with Jacob passing on DIY skills as he taught Jacob how to paint a window frame.  Jacob took on the task by himself after instructions were given and here is the window waiting to be rubbed down:

Not the biggest window in the world!
I'll post a picture of the finished article next week as we didn't go back with the camera!

This brings us to this week's Bible verse, which comes from Psalms:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
Pslams 73 verse 25

Psalms 73 is a lovely Psalm for those times when we find ourselves struggling with faith and is also a reminder that at the end of this life we are to be "taken into glory" or to use the words from my Gran's funeral (and the Salvation Army) "Promoted to Glory".  I don't think I could have chosen a better Psalm for us a family if I had gone looking for this week's Bible verse myself.  Sometimes you just have to wonder at the plan God has for our lives and appreciate that he can even use an internet search engine sometimes to point us in his direction!

Our prayer this week is that as the world around us springs back into life, that we may appreciate all that God has given and do what we can to take care of it.  We may be only a few but a few good steps taken together can make the world a better place (Amen).

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x

P.s Did you manage to spot all 5 of the ladybirds?  No have another look, there is one hiding behind a leaf, between the two at the top!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Ticking off the to do list!

We have had a busy week this week, putting together cupboards for the lounge make over.  Josh and I had made a trip to Ikea the week before and as Andy had finished puting those cupboards together, Andy and Josh made another trip to collect the remaining items needed to complete this part of our grand makeover.  So with lots of measurements, dummy runs and final cuts I am now sat at our new computer cupboard, with customer made mouse table that neatly folds away into the cupboard and is hidden from view when the doors are shut.
Custom made mouse table
We still have some decorating to do to the plain wall, but we are really pleased that we can start to tick off the jobs on the to do list.  We started the week with 99 jobs to do and in total we have ticked off 21 to date.  Another set of jobs already ticked off are relating to Josh's room.  We have installed a cupboard into his wall which, as it has mirrored doors has made his room feel a little bigger and gives him some where to hide all his stuff and make it appear tidier.  Here is the before and after of the view at the foot of his bed:


Even though we had a busy week I have found time to craft inspired by last week's bible verse.  I have taken the verse quite literally and used the bless part of the verse as the main part of the craft.  I am quite pleased with the outcome and hope you like it as well.  I thought I might put on the instructions during the week showing how I made it in case anyone wants to make their own.  So here it is....

Tissue box cover - made to match Josh's surf themed bedroom
My original inspiration is to have "Bless you" on the box using the inspiration of Romans 12:14 and the one I put on during the week will include these words, but Josh's room has a surf theme (with a bit of James Bond thrown in!) so this one is for him!

As part of this blog is dedicated to recording the changes we are making to the house this year I thought I would show you the before and after shots of the lounge, now we have the cupboards installed...

I am sure you can work out which way round they are!

So that brings me to ths week's bible verse which is John chapter 10 verse 10 and is one of my favourites.  Last week in church we talked about the importance of carrying bits of the bible around with us and when asked, do you think I could remember any?  I had fragments of verses but not whole ones and certainly not whole books like some persecuted church members do.  But this is one I have in my memory even if I can't recall where it is from, but I will try to add that part to my memory as well.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.
John 10:10

Our prayer as a family this week is for all our family as we prepare for my Gran's funeral.

With God's blessings from my family to yours

Jo x