Thursday, 22 March 2012

Zip Code

OK, so this has nothing to do with street locations.  I am going to a Ladies Conference at the weekend in a place that has a beautiful staircase.  This year is 25 years of the "Know your Bible" (UK) Organisation which is hosting the Conference.  So with these components combined it was thought a good idea to have all the delegates dressed in Ball Gowns, and float majestically down the stairs like movie stars in an old film.  I am sure the reality will be very different but we should have a great time especially as we are having a special meal afterwards.  (Note to self: Don't forget you are going for spiritual retreat as well. :))

Anyway, I have been looking for a suitable dress that didn't break the bank.  I finally found one and after trying it on I broke the zip instead.  This dress was on loan to me (with the view of buying) from a friend who runs a Charity Shop.  So I paid for the dress and hoped I could salvage it.  Instead of sewing in a new zip I decided to put a new panel down the side of the dress which gave me a little more room.  I will need to hem the dress and then decide whether I will have the courage to wear it as it is quite different from the things I am usually seen in.

So while it isn't Scarlett O'Hara I am proud of the small changes I made.  Here is a photo (I added a section down the left hand side where the zip should have been - hidden under my arm!)

NB:  Another positive side effect of not being on Facebook so much.  

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Word

We are a family of words.  We all like to read in varying degrees.  My husband and eldest daughter would do so all day and night if life didn't get in the way.  I love books and my youngest daughter loves to be read to.  We also love songs.  I am often on the look-out for different artists that I can listen to.  Some are successful and pass my filter and others get blocked for a whole load of reasons.

A few years ago just after I moved to my present location a friend pointed me towards a Sarah Groves' song; one which got me through many a difficult time and that I couldn't listen to without crying for well over 18 months!

I haven't exercised for a few weeks because of a cold.  This morning I felt better so put on Leslie Sansome on Youtube and started walking.  I have done this video so many times so I muted Leslie and plugged myself into my MP3 Player.  I listened to another Sara Grove song which struck me.  Here it is:  http://youtube/0ofE-GZ8zTU

I have been a Christian since I was 12 years old, was brought up in a Christian home and have been surrounded by Christian doctrine forever.  However, sometimes hearing something old in song helps me to say 'Wow, I get that.'.   I love the following verse and the chorus.

I think it's time I rediscover 
All the ground that I have covered,
Like seek ye first what a verse
We are pressed but not crushed
Perplexed but don't despair
We are persecuted but not abandoned
We are no longer slaves
We are daughters and sons
And when we are weak we are very strong
And neither death nor life nor present
Nor future nor depth nor height
Can keep us from the love of Christ
And the Word I need is the Word that was
Who put on flesh to dwell with us
In the beginning

The Word was
The Word is
And the Word will be

Jesus is that Word.  I will end this post with the following verses from the opening chapter of the Gospel of John in the Bible:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.   In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Are we there yet?

At the beginning of Lent I put Facebook and some of my favourite websites into my Safe-eyes programme as blocked sites.  So far I have thoroughly enjoyed the time away from the constant nagging to 'just check'.  I can't, so therefore I don't.  I am thinking of only looking at these sites once a week when this period of time is over.  I will search out ways of doing so either in Safe-eyes or via my Internet provider.  I know that I am not strong enough to do this without that little help!

God knew that I would need to be away from the screen as we have had a crazy time over here in the real world.  A lady who started attending our church on New Years Day has died; she was very young.  We attended her Funeral yesterday and some of it I found so sad.  I didn't know her well but was looking forward to getting to know her better.  She was a bright, intelligent lady but also someone who had suffered many different things immensely during her short 36 years.  Her sister spoke about her during the Thanksgiving part of the Funeral; it made me think about my girls and the need for them to remain friends.  We have to do what we can to help that as far as we are able.  Also, I thought of my youngest sister and the friendship we have shared over the years.  It was another reminder to work on friendship because we do not know what time there is left.

We have also had cases at church which have required our help, the details of which I cannot write on line due to confidentiality issues.  I do believe that God is using these things to challenge my own prejudices about myself and other issues that I have long held.  I am a 'black and white' person and life isn't always like that.  I am learning that no matter what happens or who we have to help, the grace of God is sufficient.  It doesn't always look like we imagine and sometimes it is hard.  For many years I was a person who could be hard and then I moved to my present location!  I have learnt to feel more and sometimes it hurts.

During my break I have written down my thoughts at the end of each day.  There is something wonderful about using my proper Ink pen and watching the words flow on the page.  I was given the pen by my granddad more than 20 years ago.  At the moment I have blue Ink but will look around for some purple or maybe some green.

I am enjoying the time I have with my family and realise that some of our long held traditions which may seem quaint to others are so important.  They are also ones that I need to build on and not allow slip for the sake of a 'quick look' at Facebook.

And on that note I must go and join the others in the garden.  It is a beautiful day and one of my daughters is asking skipping advice through the window.  I better go and oblige.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Killer ducks, horse manure and 2 red-headed ragamuffins.

I have been a parent for nearly 9 years, and the more I walk that path the less sure I feel about my naively-held theories on the subject.  Some of my long-thought out dictates on parenting still hold, some are wavering on the brink of extinction and others have bitten the dust long ago.

One thing I am learning recently is that children need to achieve something regularly.  My youngest daughter has recently had a change of teacher as her regular teacher is off long-term sick (again); the supply is amazing.  The class is now taught by 2 lady teachers and a teaching assistant and the combination is doing wonders for my child's enthusiasm for reading.  They seem to set her small targets and encourage her to reach them.  It is lovely to see her attitudes change.

My other daughter is having semi-regular horse-riding lessons and she is doing incredibly well.  She looks a natural on the horse (unlike me who has never fully recovered from the childhood trauma of a horse sneezing over me whilst eating grass!)  For some reason she seems to get the slow, lazy horses but her teacher is always impressed with how well she gets them to trot along without much help from her leader.  My heart swelled with pride when another mum commented on how well she thought my daughter was doing.

We had a Cupcake Event at church the other evening and they were able to attend.  I am not known for my great abilities in cake decoration; butter icing and a few chocolate buttons is about all you will get from me.  However, my girls were rather good.  Here are the cakes that they decorated:

Number 1 daughter's cake creations.

Number 2 daughter's cake creations.

The teddy bear and ducks are made out of fondant icing.  I think the ducks were slightly adapted by the lady  supervising them to do away with the killer duck aspect that my number 2 daughter had added to the cake!!!

And finally the great joy I had, when visiting a local library my husband has a subscription to, coming around the corner to see both my girls sat on the floor with a book in hand reading almost oblivious to the fact they were blocking the corridor!  Nobody minded though as this was a library and there were children in it reading. 

Thank you for allowing me to share a few moments of pride and joy that my girls have given me over the past few months.  It feels good.