Pumpkin Hearts

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Tonight we carved hearts on pumpkins as part of World Vision’s Carve a Heart project raising money to make sure that no child lives in fear. And we had lots of fun too!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

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Nothing is Wasted

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I have finally finished the last Angel painting from the online course I’ve been taking since last October, which was a 40th birthday present from The Vicar. I really enjoyed creating this canvas. It’s all about embracing the journey and learning through all that life brings, both the rough & the smooth.

This theme was echoed in the chapters from A Confident Heart by Renee Swope that we read for the Mums bible study I lead each week. This week we were thinking about changing our thinking to be in line with what God says & finding the gold in others. I made these little jars of golden glittery things for each lady to take home & remind them to dig for gold even when things are difficult.

 

Resolutions

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It’s that time of year again when I think about the blank pages of the year ahead that are yet to be written upon, yet to be seen or experienced. I usually come up with lots of goals for the year which are sometimes achieved, sometimes not. This year I thought along different lines.

During Advent I thoroughly enjoyed participating in The Bible Society’s Advent Challenge. Each day during December there was a different task to complete in order to focus oneself on the true meaning of Christmas & other people. I did all kinds of things like sending Christmas cards to neighbours we don’t know, baking gingerbread biscuits with the kids to give out as thankyous to people (including the post lady!), buying a meal for a homeless person, sending surprise gifts to friends, smiling lots, having a clear out & my personal highlight, paying for the person’s order behind me in the coffee shop queue (scary but so much fun!). We also enlisted the help of The Kindness Elves (google them to find out more) who the children loved! Ours were little wooden peg dolls that I made from a kit. We named them Holly & Christoff. They helped us to be kind & thoughtful during the build up to Christmas.

Anyway, I decided that it would be good to carry on in this vein during 2016 so my New Year’s resolution is to try to spread joy, peace, love & light this year. Not sure how that will work out practically but I’m sure we’ll think of something! The kids are keen too!

Happy New Year everyone!

A Week in Pictures

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Porridge with seeds & berries washed down with Earl Grey Rooibos

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An organised & cleaned office space.

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Tendonitis in my dominant hand equals reduced productivity.

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Piles. A result of organising.

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Rainbow Lego Mixels. A result of dusting & procrastiation.

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After school walks in the park, and on this day, watching a chatty fisherman catch fish which the kids stroked!

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Lots of reading this week. Some for work, some for pleasure.

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Early morning walks in the nature reserve.

Other things happened this week too but not all are worthy of a photograph or indeed a mention!

Autumn Sunshine

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Saturdays in the vicarage begin earlier than most of us would like because there are dance classes to attend which start at 9am. Today the walk home (or scoot) was beautiful. I do love seeing sunbeams especially when they show up on a photograph too.

The rest of today has been much more mundane with tidying, organising & other chores. It makes a change to have an at home Saturday after several crazily busy weeks.

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Unexpectedly a parishioner popped by this afternoon with a huge bunch of floral sunshine for me just because. How lovely!

Hearts

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Another day in the vicarage, another random task! This morning after dropping the kids at school I came home to find the Vicar preparing for an assembly at the local primary school. He was lacking in visual aids but I quickly came to the rescue. And so that is how I came to be cutting out an abundance of giant tissue paper confetti hearts to stuff into a heart shaped tin first thing on a Tuesday morning. 🙂

Normal Service?

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Phew! What a summer we’ve had! We have all decided it’s been the best school holidays we’ve ever had as a family. I’m not sure why really. It hasn’t been perfect; there’s been a fair few tantrums & meltdowns and quite a bit of bribery & nagging to get the kids to tidy bedrooms & the like, but even with all that it’s been good.

I think perhaps it was a good holiday in part because it began with the holiday bible club at church. The Vicar and the four smaller vicarage inhabitants were all part of that in one form or another, which meant that I had a whole five days between 9am & 2pm alone in the house. It just gave me breathing space to do a few chores, spend time with God & do some fun things like read or crochet at my own pace (I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that I have ME). It was very restorative!

anyway, six weeks have passed & we’ve done all kinds of fun things like sailing for the first time, visiting Legoland (also for the first time), going to London to see a West End show (Wicked, which was awesome!) & visit the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaurs, open air swimming & so much more! One of my more mundane highlights was sorting my wardrobe out & finally getting the bedding & towels in order! Sometimes, these little things just get on top of me so folding towels so they’re not in danger of precariously toppling on anyone who opens the wardrobe door was a big achievement for me! (We also gave six huge bags of outgrown clothes to charity which always feels good).

So now we are into the second week of the new term & the early starts & new routine are still a shock to the system but all is good. The sun shone gloriously today & the vicar & I enjoyed a wonderful early brunch out followed by a delightful semi aimless amble along the river, a peruse of a second hand bookshop & a little nap before school pick up. It’s what days off are for, in my humble opinion.  🙂

Sunshine

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Many years ago I had an autograph book. I collected lots of signatures from friends, family & famous people. Somewhere down the line, I lost my book. The autograph I miss the most is my Grandma’s. I remember vividly what she wrote though. She wrote, ‘Turn your face always towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.’ Recently I have discovered its a Maori proverb. It also reminds me of the hymn by Helen Lemel which says;

‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face & the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory & grace.’

Last week I was home alone as the rest of the vicarage were out at the church’s holiday club. I took the opportunity to do lots of household chores, some reading & a lot of crochet. I made this little hanging heart with a yellow rose in the middle from a couple of free patterns I found via Attic 24’s blog. She hung a little wooden quote on hers so I found a place online that sold lots of them. I was delighted to find the sunshine quote from my Grandma there too! It goes perfectly with the sunshine coloured rose. It’s now hanging on my bed looking cheerful. 🙂

Chess!

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Yesterday I played chess for the first time. It turns out that I’m no good at playing chess at all (as I had previously expected) but much fun was had anyway. And my son was very pleased that I had finally let him teach me to play.

Muffins

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Last night I made muffins. Courgette & blueberry muffins to be precise. They are gluten, dairy & refined sugar free. And they’re delicious! Best ‘healthy’ free from bake I’ve made. Very light too. Shame I can’t pursuade the younger vicarages to gobble them up. Surprisingly, the child who doesn’t like courgettes or blueberries thinks they’re pretty good, but more like a sweet bread than a cake.

Yesterday’s rain has past but the clouds are still grey. Hopeful for some sunshine later this afternoon as we are off to a deanery clergy barbecue. Enjoy your afternoon folks!