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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Good enough to Eat Swap

I took part in the good enough to eat swap, where I was partnered with Gill The Vintage Gardener

Gill is a very talented lady and she sent some wonderful things, all tied up with gardening twine

A fab lavender heart and marching bookmark

Some delicious fabric

Two wonderful pot stands, we are using these on the dining table

Look at these stunning tags, Gill makes these and sells them at her Folksy Shop

I also got this divine pouch filled with more tags, which I adore

Plus some lovely stationery (which for some reason blogger wont include the right way up).

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I am over at Baby Budgeting

In  case you are wondering where I am today, you can find me over at fellow Mads Finalist's Baby Budgeting where I am cooking with glue.

There is still still time to vote, so please do vote for me by clicking here.

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Writing Workshop – The best things come to those who wait

The best things come to those who wait, well that's what they say.
I am not good at waiting, no I don't have a patient bone in my body.
If I want something then I want it yesterday.  I want it NOW.
I have been known to stamp my feet and bat my eyelashes to try and get what I want.
But what about when not one can give you that thing?
What then?

For me I hid my need, I pretended that I was happy.
I even managed to convince myself that life was good.
And it was.  I was happy.
I lived a good life, a great life and managed not to think about what was missing.
But ever so often, something happened to make me realise what was missing.
Something that made me take a sharp breath in order to take the pain away.
Where was I, yes life was good.

Every so often, I would be given hope, only to have it dashed.
I was given glimpses in to the life that might be.
Sometimes these periods lasted six weeks, sometimes a lot longer.
But each time they were fleeting, leaving me with a sense of deja vu.
Each time I came back stronger and more determined that there was nothing missing in my life.
We talked about the fact that we were content with our lot and I was finally resigned to what I had.
Then it happened, something collided and the planets aligned.
Finally after years of waiting,
After the heartache of getting close, far too close on occasion.
We were blessed with a happy, healthy baby.
And then just like buses who seem to come all at once.
fifteen months later we were blessed with another.

No I no longer need to convince myself that life is good.
life really is good, we really didn't know just what we were missing.
I didn't realise that my jigsaw puzzle had four pieces.
But now I have what I wanted all along and I am not going to stop giving my all.
I am happy.

This week for Sleep is for the Weaks Writing Workshop I chose Prompt 2 Write about something that was worth waiting for – what was worth the patience and frustration?
-Inspired by new mummy’s Tiddlyompompom and And One more Means Five who both had gorgeous babies this last week. Congratulations!

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The Gallery – Self portrait

Yes I too am the one always behind the camera in this house, the one taking hundreds, not thousands of images. 

So when Tara at Sticky Fingers posted that this weekstheme was Self Portrait.

So May I present, me

Me and the boys all snuggled up and watching Doctor who a couple of weeks ago.

Me with Mini as a baby with long hair, before my operations

Finally me, about an hour ago, after my first trip to the hairdressers in a while, shorter hair, a lot greyer, but happy.

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Tiffin/Rocky Road

In an homage to my fellow MAD finalist Nick at My Daddy Cooks, Mini and I made a twist on his and Archies Tiffin 

We followed Nick's basic recipe, but made a few tweaks as we went along.

125g butter
250g digestive biscuits
4 tbsp golden syrup
3 tbsp high quality cocoa powder
75g raisins
250g plain/dark chocolate

Instead of using the microwave we melted our butter, golden syrup and chocolate over the stove, for me I love the way it all melts together, so smooth and silk like.

We then added it to our biscuit mix and added in raisins and mini marshmallows.

What is truly great about this recipe is that mini did most of the work, but adding golden syrup, you make the chocolate more pliable and it takes longer to set.  I always add golden syrup to the chocolate when making crispy cakes or our Jelly Baby Jesus Cakes

We placed the mix in to a silicon tray and pushed in some more marshmallows on top and I left it in the fridge for an hour or so, whilst mini set to on the spatula and bowl.

Once it was set, I cut it in to very small squares.  We have been enjoying this as a treat once the boys are home from school with a nice cup of tea.

If you would like to vote for me in The Mads (Mummy and Daddy Blogger Awards) then please follow this link.  I really appreciate your vote.

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Manners Maketh the Man or Boys, but what is imporatant?

I have said many times that I want my children to be happy in life, but in order for me to be happy with them, I need for them to have a firm and good set of core values and beliefs, so below are a list of things we are working to instill in them.

Respect for the opposite sex

It is incredibly important for me that the boys, value, cherish and respect girls.  That they understand the differences and uniqueness and celebrate them for it.  I want the boys to become good men.


To me family is everything, I want the boys to learn to love our family, to understand that we all love each other, even when we do not agree and that our love is unmovable and so will theirs be.  That home is a safe haven and will always be just that their home.  They should be houses built on a firm foundation.


I want them to understand that you have to work hard to get what you want and need and that there is no shame in putting in 100%, in fact that the more you give often the more you get back.  I want them to be determined, tenacious and to strive for things.  I want them to come to me with solutions for approval, to look beyond the issues.

Honesty and Integrity
I want the boys to always try and be honest and truthful.  I want them to understand that the cornerstone of most relationships is trust.  This is a hard lesson, especially as a child, but one that will see them through their whole lives and enrich relationships. I also want them to be honest to themselves.

Love and friendships

The more we give the more we receive, to be loved is the most precious thing in life.  To have firm friendships and develop close bonds.  I want them to learn to trust their intuition regarding their friends and to be good friends to each other too.  To learn that showing affection is a good thing and should be expressed.


This is a hard one, but I hope to instill in them the ability to enjoy peace and quiet, not only in the world around them, but to find it in themselves.  To be aware of the stillness, openness and potential of intentional silence and not find the need to fill the spaces.


I want them to respect their elders, to know when to open doors and step back, but I also want them understand respectfulness,  to take peoples feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, wishes and preferences into consideration,  To grow to understand that respect is earned by their actions and reactions.


For me this means teaching what goes around comes around and that they should treat people how they would wish to be treated.  That it is OK to empathise with someone, but that sometimes compassion requires an action.

Responsibility and accountability

To understand that they have a choice of what to do with their lives, but that choice comes with a cost, that they have to be not only , responsible but accountable for their actions and to learn to understand the difference.


As my mum will say, manners cost nothing, but mean so much.  Please and thank you are sacred words in this house.  Please may I have, not I want.  It is amazing what a difference a turn of phrase can make.  Holding open a door, not pushing past someone.  Manners maketh the man and in my boys case I really hope this is true.  I feel that they can get away with being a little cheeky if they have the manners to back it up.

 So for us the next challenge is how to keep instilling these essences in to the boys.  How to reinforce our messages and help them become the men that I hope they have the poential to be.  I am a great believer of behaviour breeds behaviour, so a lot of the time, I try and do as I say and lead my example, but it is not always as easy.

What values do you want your children to have and how are you working on instilling and teaching them to them?

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Spiritual Sunday – Grateful

I spent a wonderful day yesterday with my Mum.  For the first time since she was in hospital in March we spend the morning  pottering round our local shops (yes I took and she filled my shopping trolley).  We then came back to themadhouse and spent an afternoon as a family.  So I thought a gratitude post was due.

Things I am grateful for

Sunshine - this makes such a difference to life, we shopped in town, hung washing on the line, went to the park and sat in the garden .

Mum feeling happier - even though mum is not physically any better, she is mentally on the mend, she was able to spend an hour at the park with the boys on her own and texted to say she had really enjoyed her day.

Mini in the Kitchen - I am grateful that my children enjoy helping me cook and bake, mini and I made garlic bread and pizza for dinner and had so much fun.
Painkillers - corny, but they really did save the day, making it much more tolerable for me.

Good neighbours - We found out that one of our neighbours are expecting their 5th child in October, how wonderful is that?  Plus they have a new greenhouse and offered us some space in it if we wish.
Mr Smudge - There is nothing like curling up and stroking him when the boys have gone to bed.

So my friends, what is making you grateful this beautiful Sunday?

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Spring Swap

As you know I really do enjoy a nice swap and have signed up for quite a few recently.  I was paired with Helen for Molly Cupcakes Spring swap and look what she sent me

I was lucky enough to get some wonderful things including some CK smellies, napkins and chocolate of course.

A lovely tin bird house, which the minimads have popped on the front of their playhouse!

A hand painted sign, which is now hanging in my kitchen.

A beautiful lavender filled bird, which I adore.

A pink bead heart

A super cute bunny.  I was overwhelmed and love it all.  Thanks Helen

If you want to see what I sent Helen, then take a look at her blog here.

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International Postcard Swap

We signed up for the International Postcard Swap over at Playing by the Book and have been having a great time sending the postcards to our families we were allocated.

Maxi helped write the cards, letting everyone know about the boys favorite book Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Court.

Mini decided that he likes the taste of stamps.  We were somewhat disappointed that our village post office and that of the two closest to us didn't have any interesting picture stamps, so sorry folks.

The boys also looked up the destinations of their postcards in their atlas, Germany, Canada, USA x2 and UK.

They then stuck the relevant flag in their sticker book on flags of the world, which was £2.99 from Amazon.

The following day we took a trip to our nearest post box and carefully posted the postcards to our swap families.

We have started to receive our postcards and I will be doing a post on what we are doing with them as soon as they all arrive.

This is a great swap and I would recommend more people to join the next time Zoe does one.  I also want to say thank you to Zoe as I understand that this was very much hard work.

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