Maxi’s first letter of appology!



Maxi went round a friends after school for an hour last week (whilst I took Mini to his first swimming lesson) and was a terror, he didn't listen to her and in the mayhem a paddling pool (hard shell type) got broken.

After his swimming lesson he came home and wrote this (all by himself)


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Spiritual Sunday – Nourishment


What feeds your soul?

What to you need to enable you to live everyday?

For me my family, my faith and my spirituality help me get through everyday, they help me find make some sense of the day to day struggles that we all call life.

For me affirmations play a big role in helping me find calm and serenity during the day. They help keep me focused, balanced and calm.  They also help me in exploring my thinking and expanding the way in which I approach issues that I have in my life.  They help nourish me both mentally and spiritually.

I am also trying to bring affirmations in the boys life.  Nothing scary, but basic affirmations, introducing confidence.

I am smart, I can do this
I am beautiful
I am a good reader
I am great at Maths
I am always doing the best I can
I am loved
I am unique
I am helpful

In helping them chose the affirmations for them, we have been working on keeping them concise, focusing on "I am" and making them positive.  They are really starting to work, it is wonderful listening to Mini tell me what a great reader he is or Maxi telling me how he is quiet in the line for lunch.

As the boys are now able to read we have printed these and others on to business cards and keep them in a small box.  When we hear the I cant word, then we tend to jump in with the affirmations, rather than the standard cant means wont.

What so you do to help your children believe in themselves and develop confidence?
How do you nourish your soul?



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The Duckpond


Let me take you on a little adventure and introduce you to a our local pond, which for a long time I had no idea was there!

We live on a new estate on the edge of village and tucked away behind the houses and between the bypass, there is a wonderful pond.

It is firmly becoming a favorite place for me and the boys to visit after school, as it is only a three minute walk and it is often deserted.


We are the only people there feeding the many ducks, duckings, geese and goslings.




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Guest Post Day – Rock n Roll Baby World

It is the second guest post day, which is the fab idea of Erica at Little Mummy. I took part in the first day and was matched with the fab Kelly at A Place of My Own. This time I have been paired with Rock n Roll Mummy, who has just started blogging at Rock n Roll Baby World. Her post is pretty close to my heart as my wonderful Neice, who will be 5 on Monday is Ginger too

Ginger and Proud

When I was little I didn’t realise having ginger hair would make me the subject of cruel jibes and jokes; as I got older and started middle school I began to realise my hair which I had always loved made me stand out and made me different.

Over my teen years I began to hate the colour of my hair and wished it was just brown like many of my friends not only was it bright red when the other kids called me names my face also went bright red.

Rock n Roll Mummy with Rock Baby

I had gone through a blissful childhood of my parents and family telling me what a beautiful colour it was and my mum used to dry it for me and spend ages perfecting it for me after bath time as it was so long, pretty much to my bum that I couldn’t do it on my own. I used to love the time we had, whilst she would lovingly tend to my hair, gossiping about my day at school, her grilling me as to whether I liked any boys, and just spending quality time with each other. My mum passed away when I was 17 but I have really fond memories of this time together.

My brother had it worse than me his hair was even brighter than mine and he wore glasses he was particularly bullied and used to get called Duracell by the local school thugs. No wonder he has now shaved his head!

In my late teen years, early 20’s I started experimenting with different colours trying to make it more brown, I went really dark at one point, then I tried highlights but ended up looking like Ginger Spice; nothing really worked for me. Not only was my hair ginger it was like a thick bush not a very glamorous look!

But then something happened in my early 20’s, people kept commenting on how lovely my hair was, I had started seeing boys and they were always complimenting it, I had grown in confidence and started to realise its actually quite cool to be different and stand out from the crowd. I got a new hairdresser who just happened to be male, gorgeous and even better straight! And he told me my hair colour was actually copper gold not ginger and so now when people comment, normally just when they think its for a laugh I firmly correct them well actually it’s Copper Gold. When I discovered GHD straighteners, they literally changed my life. This will probably sound very shallow but when you were the geeky ginger kid at school with a bush for a hair cut only then can you appreciate how much of a difference they make.

It is amazing how much discrimination you can get from having a different hair colour and how victimised you can sometimes feel. I was actually ashamed when I was younger and at many points wanted the ground to swallow me up. Even now music videos like M.I.A ‘Born Free’ are highlighting this in a particularly disturbing video in which US troops are gathering up ginger haired boys and assassinating them. The video is supposed to be art and a symbol of discrimination as a whole but I wonder what impact the video will have on all the children at school who are already the butt of numerous jokes, will this video make it worse for them?

Pop Princess

Then I think about my own children, my two girls Pop Princess who is 2 ½ and Rock Baby who is 4 ½ months. PP was born with a massive mop of thick dark hair and while it does have a red hint she is darker than her little sister. RB on the other hand was born with bright red hair, very much like her mummy. I think she is stunning with gorgeous red locks and bright blue eyes. I just hope that she will love her hair as much as I love mine now and that she doesn’t suffer from the same old jokes and jibes and that society and the media may change their perception. I want her to grow up proud to be ginger!


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Writing Workshop – Hues of Orange

We had a caravan when I was growing up.  No, not one of those wonderful static caravans, no we had a box on wheels, so summers were spent setting off in the dead of the night to the English Riviera. 

Well before seat belts became compulsory, my parents would pack the cool box, the pillows and the duvets to make the back seat in to a makeshift bed for my younger brother and me and once we were asleep they would gently lift us to the car and start our adventure.

Often the we woke to the sound of cars thundering by, as my parents had a cup of tea from the thermos flask in a lay by before setting off again on what seemed like a never ending journey to the other end of the country.  A place where the sun shone and was much warmer than our little patch of the North East.  

Once we arrived at our destination we were dispatched to the park on the site whilst the van was prepared for that night, only returning when our stomachs started rumbling.  Left to make friends and leave the parents alone, so that they could open up the wine and get the windbreak pitched.
I remember these trips fondly.  Of baths in buckets and cold showers.  Of share toilet blocks and running in the dark and cold for a pee in the middle of the night.  I look back on the endless days playing swingball with my dad and my mum managing to cook a Sunday roast in a caravan oven and I want to repeat them with my children.

I grew up with regular visits to the English seaside.  Where you needed to have a windbreak and a great big towel for once we came out of the water.  I have memories of being in the sea in a blow up dinghy connected to my dads arm by a long piece of rope, of having the freedom to rock pool and build sandcastles.  The great big moats filling up as the tide came in.

The Breakfasts were always cooked by Dad and we would have sausages, bacon and eggs fresh from the closest farm.  We never had to have cereal like at home.  Holidays were special.  A break from the norm, something to be cherished. e feeling of sand between by toes and often between my teeth too.  

I used to hate the holiday coming to an end, I used to dread the packing up.  I loved spending time with my dad and this meant that he would be returning to work.  I was a real daddy's girl and we would be inseparable for most of the holiday.
We would always stop at a farm and pick up bags of plums and other fruit before making the long journey home, once home we would make jam or "sunshine in a jar" as it became known to me as a reminder of those heady days of high summer.

Those care free, heady days of the 70's, where everything seemed to be orange or brown or it is in my memory, but I wonder how much of that is due to the orange hue that the photographs have taken over time.

I loved the summer, I still do.

This was written for the writing workshop at Sleep is for the weak and I chose prompt 1. Summer



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The Gallery – Freindship


Long may it last


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Children’s Craft Showcase – Fathers Day Cards and Presents

Fathers day will soon be upon us, it is Sunday 20th June this year and I have been busy thinking about cards and gifts for MadDad.  If you are anything like me then you would prefer to give a home made card every time.

I have a couple of very simple ideas for you.


I was inspired by Valerie at Frugal Family Fun Blog for this card.

Materials

Card stock
pencil or pen
circle stickers, various colours
scissors

Method

Initially fold your card stock in half to to create a greeting card shape

Draw a number of lines horizontally across the card to make the wire for the birds to sit on.

Depending on the age of your child, you can either cut the stickers for them or help them.

You use half a sticker (semi-circle) for the birds body, a sixth of the sticker to make the tail feathers and an eight of the circle to make the birds beak.

Using either a pencil or a fine liner add some feet and eyes for the birds

It is really easy, simple, very effective and then all that is left is to add your cheesy bird quotes

Next up is a twist on our favourite chick cards, we have done this for my niece who is 5 this week.


Materials

Card stock
Paper
Scissors
feathers
Googlie eyes
Glue

Method

Again very simple, Mini cut out two bird shapes (semi circle) and stuck them to the folded card stock.


We used two triangles cut out of foam for their beaks and a feather for the tails.  He also used foam shapes to add an age and name on to the card.

Scrap Art Book Marks

This is a super way of using up and making purposeful bits of art that the children have done.  For ours I used our Mable Paintings.



Materials

Card
Scissors or paper cutter
Scrap Artwork
Paper
Glue
Laminator or clear sticky backed plastic (also know as contact paper)


Method


Cut and matt the scrap artwork and your choice or card, making sure that the artwork is slightly smaller than the card backing and glue on.


We made a back for the bookmark out of paper, which read Happy Father's Day 2009 and then mini decorated it and stuck it on to the rear of the bookmark.


I then laminated them, I got four in to one pouch leaving space for the sheet to adhere between the bookmarks.  If you don't have a laminator (mine was £5 from Tesco), then you can use clear sticky backed plastic or contact paper.


I then used my guillotine to cut them up to individual double sided book marks.
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I hope I have inspired you to get crafting for Father's day this year  and if you do, I would love for you to come back and link here, so that we can all see and maybe have a try of your ideas too.

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    Halcyon days – An afternoon event at the school


    MadDad and I spent a wonderful afternoon at Maxi's school last Wednesday.  We had been invited for a coffee, cake and fun with the children.


    I had forgotten my camera, so I took these images with the histomatic application on the iPhone - yes I know old hat by now, but I am a late adopter!


    We spent a brilliant 1 and half hours listening to all the children in the year singing songs and playing games.


    The weather was perfect, not too sunny, but warm.


    The teaching staff had all been very busy baking and the cakes were delicious.


    But the best part for us was just watching Maxi have fun in his own environment.


    To be able to chat to his teacher in a relaxed environment and meet up with more of the parents.

    Yes it was all to raise funds for the year group trip, but it was a fun afternoon and I want to say thankyou very much for a great way to fundraise.

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    A Weekend in Pictures











     

    Yes, we have all had a blast!


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    Spiritual Sunday – Kindness


    I talked earlier in the week about the values I am trying to instill in to my children and this week we have been discussing kindness.

    Fellow Blogger Suzie at New Day New Lesson has a kindness club, so we have been talking about her weekly initiatives.


    What is kindness and why it is important? this is one of the things we have been discussing this week
    • the quality of being warmhearted, sympathetic, considerate, charitable, pleasant and humane
    • To be able to forgive
    The boys have been actively working on their acts of kindness this week and we had a great example by Mini at our community coffee morning yesterday.  It has been very hot and they were serving ice pops for the children and Mini had consumed so many he was facing turning in to one and they were running out.  He took his 10p and and went to ask for another and was told it was the last one, when one of his friends from school came and wanted it, as he hadn't had one, mini gave him his.  I didn't prompt this, he just did it.

    I am trying to explain to the boys that they should treat others, as they would wish to be treated and slowing I do believe it is going in.

    How to you introduce Christianity or spiritualism in to your children's lives?  I found MadDad chatting away to our local Jehovah's Witness this morning, now MadDad is an atheist through and through, but he was discussing with them the importance to him in bring up his children with christian values and beliefs until they were old enough to make their own decisions.
    It really made me smile, he was stood on the drive with the boys (waiting for me as usually to go off to the coffee morning) and they actually waved us goodbye, he might not have agreed with their methods or branch of religion, but he listened and chatted to them and this made me proud to be with this great man.




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