Thursday, 28 January 2010

Firstfruits of faith

It goes without saying that I'm very proud of my children.  But yesterday when clearing up pieces of paper from the study I found a draft letter my 9 year old daughter had written.  When I read it, I must admit it was a strange feeling to be proud yet incredibly humbled at the same time.

Simple, but powerful.  Sometimes us adults need to be reminded.  This puts me in mind of Luke 6:35-38.

Dear REInspired

I am writing to thank you for a great afternoon at your church.

My favourite part was when I went into Julie's group and watching the Narnia clip because when Julie read out the statements she found on the website about victims of crime it really gave me the knowledge of how important forgiveness is.

I learnt that forgivness is very important because when someone has done something to hurt you although forgiving is hard we will get nowhere if we try to hurt them back. 

Yours sincerely


The miracles of Haiti

When reading these stats today tears filled my eyes.  Tears of joy for their rescue and tears of sorrow for the fear and terror they must have been going through.  Tears for their loneliness and desperation, but also tears of hope for their future.


Darlene Etienne, 16 - rescued after 15 days

Rico Dibrivell, early 30s - rescued after 12 days

Wismond Exantus, 24, found after 11 days

Emmannuel Buso, 21 - rescued after 10 days

Marie Carida, 84 - saved after 10 days

Mendji Bahina Sanon, 11 - trapped for eight days

Lozama Hotteline, 25 - pulled out after seven days

Elisabeth Joassaint, 15 days - buried for seven days, half her life

Ena Zizi, 69 - rescued after seven days


Monday, 11 January 2010


Walking in the snow with a four year old in a buggy is surprisingly good exercise and should help keep one trim.

Shovelling snow from your road is good exercise and should help keep one trim.

Going to aqua when you've done the walking and shovelling is good exercise and should help keep one trim.

Now, where's that doughnut?

I've no idea where I'm going wrong.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Winding up the kids

I love winding the kids up with a goofy tale now and then.

This evening while sharing a tray of cheesy salsa nachos I entered into a conversation with Andy about how years ago, did he remember the scientific experiment held on a group of cows who were fed cocoa beans with their usual diet to see whether they would ferment in their udders to create chocolate milk?

Quickly catching on, he embraced the joke and heartily agreed it was a great experiment.  The children were fascinated.  Seeing them being gullibly drawn in I then extended the story  to include the cows that were found munching in a strawberry field, and how scientists were so impressed with the results of the cocoa bean batch they wondered if strawberry milk could be yielded from this group.

I was doing well, I was keeping a straight face.  It was a struggle.

I crumpled when I told them the banana experiment went wrong because the cows couldn't peel them with their hooves.

I adore their faces when they realise they've been pulled a fast one.

It was so much fun we went out again!

After the children's friends had been collected by their Dad, we donned our wellies and headed out again. Walking through the Close to the back of the house we could hear the fun and very soon we were knee deep in the field with other families enjoying their day at home and making the most of sledging, snowballing and having fun.

It truly is a beautiful area and just spectacular in the snow. The lake next to it was previously frozen over and is now covered in a smooth layer of smush but still breathtaking all the same.

The snow was hard going for Sam.  Every ten minutes or so we had to stop, take his wellies off and empty them as the snow was so high on him it was going over the top.  The two pairs of socks we put on to keep his feet warm eventually surrendered and after an hour and a half we headed home - he did really well to keep going for that long.

But even though the children were starting to get wet, weary and cold, it still didn't dampen their enthusiasm to have fun.  On the way home they made faceprints in the snow and we caught snowflakes in our mouths.

However, the last little stretch home was just too much for Sam.  Completely wiped out and unable to take another step further he hitched a lift on Daddy's shoulders.

School is shut again tomorrow and I'm unsure whether the trains are running, so whether I get to stay home from work another day is a mystery.  I have accounts here to do when the kids are asleep.  Our children have two working parents and it's not often we have spontaneous days where we're thrown together and able to have so much fun.  In fact, it's not often that any family gets to spend a day like this.  I can imagine there were lots of Dads at home really enjoying an extra day with their kids and lots of Mums and wives who are usually working hard at home really cherishing the time too.  News reports are already forecasting what it costs the economy - but to young families a price can't be put on this kind of day.

And the snow came tumbling down

With yesterday's weather warning indicating we were in for another session of major snow Andy took the precaution to come to work slightly earlier to pick me up. What a Godsend that was, as had we been delayed by half hour or more then we would have been stuck in the awful traffic build up that so many poor commuters have had to endure.

So, last night, safely ensconsed in our lovely warm home we watched the snowfall arrive.  All the children, apart from Maddie wanted school shut.  She had a school trip today which has surprisingly been cancelled!  But the woe didn't last long as this morning was heralded with whoops of delight at the overnight accumulation.

We never made it out of the Close.  Plans were afoot to join a large gathering in the park, but the children were happy playing near the house.  With Joshua scooting round the corner to pick up his friend and his little sister, the creation of Hercules the Giant Snowman commenced.  I considered it a triumph when the snowball was so heavy even I couldn't push it and we had to call on the services of Dave opposite to push it onto the front lawn.  Our stranded location was smack bang in the middle of the road and I didn't fancy being responsible for the damage our structure would cause an unsuspecting car hotfooting it round the corner when the road had cleared but our snowball was still intact!

The children are all inside now nice and warm watching a DVD together, enjoying hot chocolate and popcorn.  What a wonderful day!

Friday, 1 January 2010


For my first post of 2010 I'd like to think I can write something worthwhile, but at the moment life is just so hectic my time for reflecting and posting on said reflections is limited.

2009 was a difficult year.  Not only for me, but for my family.  Broken marriage, fixed marriage, heartbroken children, happy children, financial strangulation, financial aid, broken friendships, strengthened friendships, trusts broken, trusts established.  A real roller coaster of a year.

So I enter 2010 with caution.  Not a pessimistic half glass empty type, but more of a slower paced, take everything in and evaluate it as I go along type of caution.  I enter it with a hope of strengthening my family.  Having us spend more time together larking around, parenting them wisely, watching my eldest son start senior school, watching my youngest son start infant school and watching my girls spend another year blossoming into beautiful young ladies.

I enter 2010 with a renewed vigour for my faith.  I swept a lot of cobwebs away last year and it's time to open the windows and let a bit of sun shine in. 

As for resolutions - I don't go in for them now.  In the past I've made the usual list of getting fit, losing weight, reading more, start this, give up that, blah blah blah.  But now, for myself, I find them foolish.  Waiting until a certain day of the year to establish something I should have started when I first thought of it seems a little pointless.  If something is worth starting, changing or ceasing, I'm erring towards feeling I'll be much more successful if I do it when it's appropriate.

Therefore today I started the year no different to any other day.  Time home with my family, bit of housework, watching tele and generally pootling about.  I have no hopes or dreams for 2010.  God will lead me through it, give me what I need and what will be will be His will, not mine.

I feel peaceful.

I feel good.

Happy New Year