Sunday, 30 September 2007

Flowers for the 100th Post!!!

As a celebration of this milestone in my blogging life, here is a little treat for you all (and myself too) - Just click on this link and feast your eyes!!

(The pictures you will see were taken with a new camera which has a macro setting on it, and I must say I am rather proud of this collection of shots, most of which were taken in my garden. Please feel free to use them as long as it's not for commercial purposes, but do make sure you quote the source!!)

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The Toddlers' World of Words: what is normal??

My Health Visitor, who has known us for 7 years, and whose judgement I respect and trust, has today informed me that a child of 2 and a half should have a bank of around 200 words and be stringing at least 3 words together in a sentence...
Which is NO WAY near what my Benji is doing!
He has quite a few words, and will say things like "Mummy nose" - but nothing much more eloquent.

Should I be worried? Is there cause for concern here?
Is there something wrong with this child too?

I mean, what is the norm these days??

I really, truly, honestly don't know anymore. Right now, I feel confused, and a little upset...
Your (honest) answers would be extremely valuable to me. I need reassurance, but I also need to know where to go for help if help is needed!

Monday, 24 September 2007


Just a little 'update' for those of you who might be concerned about our state of mind since our 'incident' of last Thursday.

Thank you one and all for your prayers. We are still feeling a little fragile and I don't think things will ever be quite the same - our perspective on everything has been changed, sharpened, enhanced... and so in fact, we are better for it.

We are more alert, but also a little more nervous and paranoid about what could happen to one of us at any time. I guess God still has a lot of work and healing to do on that front! One dear friend reminded me yesterday that there is nothing and no-one to fear apart from God; that's GOT to be good news!!

I will say that I am gratefully savouring every minute with Ben, and indeed so is Mark. Something unlocked in him on that Thursday morning, and since then they have instantly bonded and become extremely close; it brings a lump to my throat each time I see my lovely husband leaning over his youngest son and gazing at him in love and wonder. This didn't used to happen quite as much, 'before'!

And so this is what I feel the Lord would say to me, to you, anyone who has the priviledge and responsibility of raising kids:

Each of your children are precious gifts from God; don't forget to treasure them NOW, and stop wishing they were older, quieter, wiser, tidier!! Review your expectations of them on a daily basis; praise them; parent them wisely, lovingly, patiently, discipline them - But above all pray without ceasing, love and forgive much.

As for us, we will be copying this amazing psalm and sticking it on Ben's bedroom door...

"I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you, the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going ,both now and for evermore

(Ps 121 - NIV)

Friday, 21 September 2007

Pray for us?

Ben had an accident yesterday...
Mark found him hanging from the blind cord in his bedroom and he was completely lifeless. We immediately called the emergency services and he had to be rushed into hospital by ambulance - although Mark had managed to ressucitate him very quickly first.

They kept him in for observation the whole day as his eating and drinking needed to be monitored, and he had to be watched for any changes in behaviour, any swelling, etc. He perked up very very fast and was soon running around the ward and wreaking havoc everywhere! He is now totally back to normal, for which we praise God.

We, on the other hand, are not back to normal, yet. It may take us a little while to process and digest what was a very 'close call'. As you can imagine it was quite a trauma as we really thought he was dead! We are trying to recover slowly today and come to terms with what happened; Mark has taken today (Friday) off and we're taking it easy.

Please dear friends, pray for us after this awful incident.
* We are very shaky and upset.
* Our son Samuel was the one who raised the alarm when he heard Ben scream in an unusual way. He is a sensitive and sharp little guy, who takes everything in and is easily affected by situations.
* We are now having to rethink about the whole safety aspect of our home, which we thought WAS safe until yesterday! We need wisdom for that.
* Pray for peace and protection. I am absolutely terrified of losing one of my children...
* Praise God with us, that He decided it wasn't yet time for Him to take Ben home with Him, and that Ben is alive and (very) well!!!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Five years and thriving...

Today we have celebrated Thomas's birthday with much gratefulness that we have come this far, pretty much unscathed considering how tough the first couple of years were. So here's to my little boy with a gi-normous heart ...

Darling Thomas, I love you and I am so proud of you. You are my constant sunshine. You have amazed me by the progress you have made in the last 5 years, and your love of life and others around you is infectious. I praise your Creator God, that He made you exactly as you are, and that His hand is firmly on your life. He knew you before you were even formed within my womb, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, I know that full well. And to those who would say to me: "oh you poor thing, you have it so tough! You've had such a rough deal! I'm so sorry you have a child with Down Syndrome", I want to say...: "I am sorry for you, that you do not realise what a gift, what a joy it is to have such a child in my life!!" I also praise God for all the amazing people He has brought into my life through you, and for all the eye-opening moments we have been afforded because of you. I will always be there for you, with you, hand-in-hand with Jesus, and Daddy, to see you grow big and strong, and become an awesome man of God...

There is much more to be said. But for now I bow the knee once again to my Lord and Saviour, and acknowledge that "He does all things well" - To Him be the glory, great things He has done!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Corners of my home

This amazing piano was a gift from my mother-in-law, and we pretty much designed the garden room with it in mind! In fact it even figured on the architects initial drawings...
Here is where I am slowly being taught by God to worship Him in a new, freeer way, letting go of inhibitions and self consciousness - little step by little step. I am so grateful to Jane for this gift, and fairly undeserving. And when she visits is when the piano really comes into its own, as she plays it with such ease and grace!

Something to strive towards, albeit in my own way.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Wise Fun

Some experiential (slightly cynical) wisdom ... courtesy of Smootherprince. Some of these made me literally laugh out loud, others made me think and nod my head, and I couldn't resist posting them on here... Enjoy :o) !!

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
3. It's always darkest before dawn. If you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.
6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
11. If you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.
14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them .
15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Passion 2007 - From The Inside Out

I have recently discovered this amazing song and wanted to share it here. Both the lyrics and music (tune, guitar riffs, male vocals, etc) send shivers down my spine, I only wish I was able to find the version I have on the Soul Survivor 2006 CD, sung by Ben Cantelon, which really is the best in my opinion. Failing that, Chris Tomlin will be a more than adequate replacememt!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Good to be home - I'm back but busy, busy

We returned from holiday on Saturday evening, sun-tanned, and refreshed for the most, although exhausted after a 15-hour journey.
I will post properly when the children are back at school, and the rythms of life are back in place!
But for now, I just wanted to say 'hello'; I've missed it here and I'm back - but busy washing, cutting hair, tidying, keeping my little ones entertained and generally getting used to being home again.
I do love September, it is so full of promises of new things and it invigorates me...
It's harvest time!!!!

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.