Friday, 31 July 2009

Now What???

I really no longer know what to think anymore. Except that God is asking us to trust in Him.
We are also pretty sure of His 'calling' to Devon.
And having lost 2 buyers for our house then recently secured a third one, we thought we were finally on the home stretch.

Only to find out today that the lovely house we had set our hopes on..., this one: now to be someone else's home after all.
I wanna cry.

I am not surprised at all, because it had recently been put back on the market as per our own instructions to the estate agents. We did this in faith that, if we released it, it would be a sign to God that we were really commited to doing His and only His will. That we were surrendered to whatever His plan was for us. Therefore it should really not phase me or upset me that this has happened. I'm supposed to be 'surrendered' after all; aren't I??

Still the reality of it has come as a bitter blow. And now my commitment to being surrendered is really being put to the test.

So, God.
'...What now??'

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Sleepless and Wakeful

I am spending too many hours awake at night for my own good these days.
I'm really not sure why.
There's a combination of factors which aren't helping.

1.I'm probably too sensitive to caffeine to be having even one coffee a day, let alone a double shot in the morning (enjoyable though it most definitely is) plus a cup of filtered later on in the day. And that on top of my necessary 2 daily cups of tea, of course.

2.Habit is an annoying friend. It sticks around when it's not wanted, unable to 'take a hint' and insensitive to needs other than her own; I have never been a great sleeper. And even when I have no good reason to be awake, my body is frustratingly slow on the uptake, and emerges from a sleep cycle just that little bit too enthusiastically around 3:00 a.m pretty much e.v.e.r.y night. I then stay awake for an hour or three... I read, I pray, I cry, I make myself a milky drink on very bad nights, then fall asleep exhausted at the break of dawn, knowing I'll be awake again about an hour later!

3.My busy little mind doesn't do me any favours. My body wakes up out of habit - and then the thinking takes over. And they're not even panicky thoughts, or upset thoughts. Just, you know, 'life' thoughts... They tend to snowball at this time of night. Just because they can, I guess. And because I indulge them, too?
Ah to be a straightforward, down-to-earth, practical girl that just gets on with things! But no, I'm a thinker. And not even the productive sort either. It's not like I'm going to find a cure for cancer or anything...

So anyway, 3 possible vague reasons for being awake at night. I hate it. But actually, a tiny warped part of me kinda likes it, this little bit of time in the dead of night which belongs to no-one else.

Although I have a strong feeling God would probably say it ought to belong to Him... One day, I hope I'll be graceful enough to give these wakeful hours to Him, but mostly these days, being awake at night makes me a bit cross.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Cake-Making in pictures

While this pile sat there untouched...(ahem)
...I went in search of some ingredients
...and a tin
And got busy
Anyone guess what's cooking??
(...and while you're busy doing that, I'll get on and put that laundry where it needs to be, shall I?...)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A Good Day

This morning I made cards during a rare two1/2-hour window of blissful solitude...

I know, I probably shoulda been reading the Bible and praying, but my hands needed to create. And so did my brain!! And I feel so blessed, rested and fulfilled from that...
Ah. God knows me well. And He is so patient, graciously waiting His 'turn' when I should be putting Him first.

Somehow, making cards recharges my batteries.
...somebody please explain this to me??

Anyway. With Ben at nursery for the day, and my two eldest at Bible Club for the morning, I chose not to rush around and clean or do my grocery shopping, or cook; I also decided not to sleep; unusual for me...

And I think I made the right choice: somehow, I sense God's approval.

So it's been a Good Day.
Following my 'me-time', I picked Sam and Tom up from HBC, we went to McDonalds, and then we bought shoes ready for the new school term.
Then Sam had an hour of trampolining which afforded me some precious one-to-one with Tom.
We picked Ben up, I cooked meatballs and then we all had baths; and I disappeared off to my pilates class while the babysitter put my boys to bed.

Yes. It was a Good Day

Monday, 27 July 2009

It's warmer in Cape Town than it is here...

...and it's WINTER over there, for crying out loud!!!

Our normal British Summer temperatures are lower than theirs are in winter.
I'm sitting out at every opportunity in the little bit of sun we are blessed to have, wearing a vest, and actually finding it quite pleasantly warm.
So why do my lovely South African friends call it 'freezing' at 21*C...?!?
I'd gladly swap their winter for our summer.
I am seriously missing this:
And this:
And this:
And this:

...Is hot weather too much to ask for in SUMMER?!?!???

Coffee time!

Ben and I are the perfect team. I make the cappuccino and drink it, he licks my cup clean.
That's my boy!!
...maybe it's time I made him his own...?
Decaf. Obviously.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

A beautiful rundown French Farmhouse in need of much TLC...

Isn't it 'quite a pad'...?!
Don't know about you but it gets our seal of approval.
(photos shared with permission from NBP, aka 'excited potential buyer of above property', aka 'Bonpapa/Dad' and first-class photographer...think that just about covers it!!)
Well let's see what happens.
The winds of change are blowing in our 'parts'; the Good Lord is at work and I like it...!

The Elusiveness of Patience

Somehow, today, She is nowhere to be found.
I'm sure there are reasons - including those that women frequently (...indeed monthly...) use as handy excuses - to explain why today She eludes me.
Today, the word 'Mummyyyyyyyeeeee' is not falling onto particularly gracious ears.
There is not one single demand today which seems a reasonable one.
And so we are here:
To allow them to let off some steam without me strangling them. And to get at least a little perspective; things always appear worse within the confines of one's own 4 walls.
Then back home to finish the day off with pancakes and a 5 minute dip in the paddling pool. Surely then, Patience will be so kind as to make her presence known, albeit very tentatively?
"There for the grace of God I go..."

After the rain

I went for a walk before sunset tonight.
The sky was sublime, great big fluffs of pink butter icing floating just above the horizon.
And on the other side, the roof of the woods and the fields below were gently silhouetted against an intensifying orange-tinged heaven...
(...The photos really don't do it justice - they never do, do they?)

And the highlights of the day until then, were as follow: Thomas became the proud owner of his first ever bicycle
My parents called and we, the boys, the grandparents and their daughter, spoke for at least 1 hour and 1/2, as is our wont.
They found a house, you see, and wanted to share their news :) - will maybe post a couple of pictures tomorrow, if permission is granted by the master photographer, aka NBP.

So, all in all, not a bad day.
To God be all glory.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Discuss Disqus

I am trying out a new comment system.
To find out more about it, go here
And lemme know what you think!


This is what Sam uses my phone for when I'm busy doing my daily exercise classes
...Guess there are worse things he could do with it right?
...Guess that was what the stiffled giggles were all about while I was trying to keep my pelvic floor lifted, my abs locked in and my shoulder blades back.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Holiday wings #2

I love the sense of freedom that comes with saying goodbye to term-time stresses for 6 weeks.

No more lunches to prepare and pack, no more rush to get to the school gate on time (ie. 8:58am...ahem...yeah...*embarrassed grin*); and no more apprehensive waits AT the school gate later on in the day, hoping against all hope that Sam might come out telling me he had a 'brilliant' time - yet knowing that, mostly, he will be grumpy, sullen, unpredictable, irritable and incapable (or unwilling?) to give me even the briefest account of what he did that day.

No more spoonfed Weetabix in front on Cbeebies. Tom can eat his breakfast on his own, AND TAKE HIS TIME...!! He can also stay in his jammies all day - as can we all (oh the bliss), instead of being manhandled into some clothes that are not of his choosing, and that he never had any intention of wearing in the first place. Oh and while we're at it he can stay in nappies for all I care! I am no professional when it comes to toilet-training a child who has NO desire to do so...and who soils himself every 5 minutes and has no real awareness of doing so. (...that's a mental not a physical thing by the way. He definitely feels it when it comes... Erm. I know. Sorry - that can wait another time...!)

This is not to say there is absolutely no routine or structure to our days during holidays. That would be hell on earth in a household where ASD and other 'challenges' are present. But instead of the rigidity of a school timetable there is flexibility . And flexibility is, believe it or not, an important skill to learn for a person with Aspergers like Sam, or even mild ASD like Ben. They have to learn to function in an environment where they have to bring in a bit of their own structure. I do not spoonfeed them ideas of activities to do, games to play, etc... I largely tend to encourage them to just 'play' and watch nervously! Most of the time, there are usually fights, tears and angry words in the end. But it's all part of life and so I believe valuable lessons are learnt here too.
'Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare for TAKE OFF!!'

Holiday wings

The summer holidays have begun!!!
The boys are FREEEEE...!
And to mark the occasion, we bought shoes. Summer shoes. For hot weather. For beach days.
Shoes bought in hope and anticipation of less grumpy skies...
(yes that IS a terrible photograph, it was taken in haste with my iPhone before another downpour... During which said iPhone was indeed left outside)
Hmmm. No rain??
That's asking a lot. And then some.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Catch up

We had a bit of rain...
And some very hot weather:
Have a guess which we had more of. And have a guess which was enjoyed more.
Doesn't make sense does it?!?!
Moving on...
Michael Jackson died...
and this...
...was Tom's tribute to him, strumming enthusiastically to 'Beat It' on Daddys old tennis racket.
Sam decided at some point recently, that Mummy's clothe fit him rather well, to her utter dismay and disbelief:
Oh well, it was the wrong 'colour' for me anyway! However now it's his, he doesn't actually wear it. Ben, meanwhile, posed. Again

And again
And again

More later!
Believe me there are plenty of pictures from the last few weeks to keep the blogosphere entertained for another while to come.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Making a Beef stew come alive

Wanna know how to make the perfect beef stew...?
( the way I hasten to add this terrible picture is a picture of a picture....taken in 'Jamie's Dinners' p.238 in case you have it on a bookshelf somewhere!)

Well coat some chunks of beef (500g of a good-ish cut if possible) in some flour then brown on a high heat for 5-10 mins in a thick-bottomed oven-proof pot.
Add chopped onions, carrots (approx 5 medium-sized ones) and celery, some salt and pepper, and pour some veg stock (about 1/2 litre) over the beef and veg.
Cook in a warm oven (120 degrees C) for at least 3 hours.
THEEEEN comes the amazing, exciting bit.
And that is Jamie's idea, for he is a genius like that!
Take the rind of 1 lemon, 1 clove garlic, and 1 handful fresh rosemary/thyme/oregano; chop up together and sprinkle over the top of your stew before eating.
It really, truly makes your stew come alive, and is seriously stunningly delicious!!
Try it.
(Serves 4. Or 2 if you're greedy.)

Monday, 20 July 2009

Afternoon treat

Cardmaking and cappuccino...

My boy wins!

Sam is usually not first, not second but neither is he usually last. Winning is a big deal for him and a big confidence booster. I have never seen him win a race before. With his Aspergers, he can be a little clumsy when he runs, or slow, or just unwilling to put in any effort when he is persuaded he will not win anyway. But run he can! Boy can he outrun me!!
Anyway. Today is sports day at his school. And guess what? He won the obstacle race!! That's right, he didn't get put off by his mates alledgedly being better than him. No, he went and won it.
Me proud mama.


Folks, do not tumble-dry your child's crocs. Trust me; they don't come out looking their best...
(...don't know how they got there! I do put them through the wash and they come out as new. But the dryer? Uh-uh. Never doing that again)

Sunday, 19 July 2009


I am trying out a feature on my iPhone which enables me to post to my blog from my mobile and while I'm away from my computer, which I seem to be most of the time at the moment!
I have neglected this poor little blog of mine for too long and feel it's time to come back.
It would seem Blogging is in my blood; I have put my Facebook account on hiatus at the moment but am missing not being able to write my thoughts down which is one thing I love about FB (where, as anyone who follows me on there knows, I am 'Update-Queen'!!!).
So hopefully this way, I can blog a little more regularly, organically, and keep at least a couple of 'readers' (well -more 'friends' really...) satisfied, as well as myself out of mischief...

And, in case you were wondering... This still very much on the radar... But more soon.