School?

So today we nipped into a local pre school to have a look and see whether there are any places for J. J was very well behaved, it must be said, he looked round carefully, played with some play dough, pursed his lips and shook his head. We got outside and he said very calmly “I’m not going and I am NOT going to change my mind”.

We are currently in negotiations 😂

(Meanwhile littlest was yelling because he couldn’t go in with the little ones, he was raring to go)

This was yesterday in our little wooded area. I have to say I can see his point… I’ve never liked classrooms either. ( No detriment to the preschool, they were lovely and there was lots of activities and messy play).

Shopping

Do Lidl have straps to hold the little kids in the trolley in the uk? I can’t remember, I know they don’t here. Which means you have several options:

  1. Go somewhere else
  2. Bribe them with food
  3. Let them run amok with their older brother whilst you’re trying to shop. (no they won’t both walk placidly with me)
  4. Physically restrain them (I can talk to and tell the littlest for a while and he does stay in for a bit..only for a bit)
  5. Carry them – scratch that

We went there this morning, I like Lidl in general, but the strap thing should definitely be suggested. I want restraint!

I was actually wanting to go to Aldi, (where they do have restraint) but their trolleys only take 2 euro coins (I didn’t have one).

It was sort of ok until the till, I bribed him with some fig rolls out of a packet I was paying for and J was enjoying putting things in the trolley and having a little run… then as soon as I start trying to do the put on belt and run round the other end as fast as possible to fling everything into the trolley again, J insists on “helping” which consists of literally hurling the milk cartons from height into the trolley and standing where the trolley is meant to go and littlest stands up in his seat, right up. So I’m holding littlest’s hand (firmly) with my left hand, trying to stop him climbing out, whilst flinging the food coming through into our trolley with the right and answering questions about where J’s sweets are etc at the same. Things go a bit hazy there 😆.

We did it though. I think we do quite well and at least there isn’t much tutting here. Not in supermarkets anyway… It was pure comedy really. Pity they don’t deliver though.

Mums (and dads) I salute you! you are doing great!

Subtlety

The last post was maybe a bit too subtle. (It has beautiful day lyrics in it). So back to good old straight forward today.

Our cars have both been sorted, yay! Taxed, tested, insured… O Rourkes in Carrick have been brilliant and really reasonably priced for the whole new number plating, headlight focusing and even noticing a bulb needed replacing and not charging extortionately thing! And the fella in the NCT place remembered me! (Mainly I think as the woman who left her buggy by the side of the car and drove off) but also remembered the car and said he could see Chris had done a lot of work on it. Chris did, on his Saturdays off he has been working on it (and it wasn’t easy stuff). So they’re sorted, which is a relief. I never got the buggy back though…

What this means as well is I have a car again! I can go out! Wahey!

When we’re coming home I love the part when we drive out onto the lane that takes us home, it sort of feels like “and relax”..

A cars eye view.

It’s a beautiful da-ay…

As the well known song goes. It has been a beautiful day. Very windy, I quite like wind (Chris and J aren’t that keen) but also very sunny and warm. Look at that below we’re seeing the world in green and blue.

Chris has been scarifying and mowing his runway, virtually all day with barely a break (he’s a bit tired). He said it’s worked well so that’s good! His heart is abloom.

The boys have been outside running around and playing most of the day. Playing like they’ve got no destination. They’ve loved it and I’ve planted some more flower seeds – all this makes it quite a happy day, and we don’t let it get away.

I found some little flowers in the field. shoots up through the stony ground. Don’t know what they are yet, I’ll try and find out. What you don’t have you don’t need it now. So I’ll find out soon.

We also think we’ve decided to keep most of our little wood next to the house instead of chopping it all down. It’s a lovely area, we’ll just get rid of any potentially dangerous trees and keep it. There’s so many birds in it, it sounds beautiful. I love watching for them too, See the bird with a leaf in her mouth.

also, this is meant to be J’s picnic rock but it’s now also my rock. You’re in the mud up here.

It’s perfect, for me, up there at the top of the field, it’s special and it’s secluded. I can sit on it and look all around at the mountains and countryside and think and pray and worship. It feels like you’re on the road but you’ve got no destination. I definitely need that space at the moment! It’s just when to get it quite a bit of the time.

Thankyou God for everything. For life, for love, for the fact you gave your life so we can have life and be alive. Teach me, I know I’m not a hopeless case. Thankyou. Amen!

Light

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

This is another favourite verse of mine.

Tonight I’m thinking about Jesus being arrested and taken off to be hideously abused and then hung on a cross to die. I’m thinking about what it means and why He did it. Luke 22 is a good place to read.

I’m also thinking of the light he gives, Of the resurrection and celebration that is coming and that he gives us when we come to him. There is no situation he cannot shine his light on. There is always hope. Through Him, through Jesus.

He is real, He is alive, He is why we are here, He is who we need, He is Jesus.

Month 4 in the Shepherd house!…

It feels like longer than 4 months strangely.

So this morning I went to get the headlights focused on the car so it’ll pass the NCT to be told it’s better to have it done just before as a slight bump can affect them…how silly is that? That it can fail because you go over a bump..anyway! We’re going back next week to have them done.

We’ve also been outside again, I’ve done a bit of digging, J has been using the loppers (he really enjoys it) and littlest has been playing. Chris hasn’t been very well at all and has been off work and in bed, he has a sickness bug we think. He must be ill, he’s refused nearly all food and drink apart from water 😶

It’s a lovely day, it’s meant to be cloudy but it isn’t. It was a shame to come in. In fact J is creating because I’ve just brought them in…

starting a little bit of an experiment outdoors, nothing major but I’ll see how it goes! (see above circle). more to come…I’m still deciding on the exact plan..

The soil is majorly wet on the back of the veg plot so I’ve tried to cut a bit of drainage into the bed I’ve dug. It’ll hopefully dry out again over the next few days.

it’s so strange what you find when you’re digging, today it was a little clear bottle and some cutlery.

and before anyone says it, no I don’t think the cutlery is worth anything.

The bottle is a lot smaller and cuter then it looks there.

I’ve decided I need to start painting the walls soon…I may start with our bedroom (as soon as it becomes a bedroom and I’m not going to step on a plane…)

really need to get a shed sorted!..

It’s a picture sort of day..

Played out this afternoon. Amazing how good it makes you feel. Adjusted the leaning plants from yesterday’s wind and followed J about. Really calm day today. Such a difference in 24 hours! Amazing with how wet it’s been that some tulips have come up and have buds! We saw a couple of goldfinches too but I couldn’t get a picture on the phone, they’re too small and quick. They’re very beautiful.

Fear or trust?

What does it mean to say God is my protector? How does he protect me? Why shouldn’t I fear? These are questions I’ve been pondering tonight. When I tell my son that God is his protector, what do I mean?

The obvious is that he gives us eternal life, we will be with him when we die, if we come to him through Jesus, this is guaranteed. Then there is the less obvious… these are just my own thoughts, fired out fairly quickly and written down… not a theological debate..

He gives me strength, endurance, I can endure anything, even when I don’t think I can. Loss hurts, it hurts physically, but I can endure it. He is always with me, I am never alone. He never leaves me. He speaks to me, again, even when I don’t think he is. Often through others and normal, everyday occurrences. He gives love and joy and hope even in our darkest hours.

He listens, he has healed me before. He healed me from alcohol dependence and healed my womb. He didn’t heal my dad, that hurt, and still does – I’ve only just realised that on writing this but I do know he does heal despite not doing this time. Not in ways I know about anyway. His ways are not our ways. He understands our hurt. We sometimes have to go through pain. It changes us, it helps us to help others. He isn’t a voyeur, he doesn’t enjoy our pain, but it seems that it is sometimes necessary, he stays with us and holds us, much like a parent. The only thing is, he is capable of changing it, but doesn’t always do so. Why not? I don’t really know. But I know I trust him. I know Stephen in Acts 7 was given the strength and the hope to die and it says that before he was stoned this is what he said – “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

God is my hope and my future. Whom then shall I fear? Is this what he is doing? Strengthening my faith? Deepening our relationship? I don’t know, but I know I want to know him better, the God who made the universe, the God who created all of us and everything, the God who is supreme and capable of anything, yet cares for us individually. The Father who had to endure his son dying on the cross. Who felt it because Jesus is also God…?!! Don’t ask me to explain… The dad who understands all pain and suffering because look what he went through!

I do. I want to know him better. Do you?

Sunday blog

Hello! It’s safe to say I haven’t felt very good today or recently. I’ve felt angry, hurt, sad, lonely, unloved, fearful…I could go on… (I think it’s partly grief mixed in with all the changes..). But unloved isn’t true, neither is alone. I am beloved. God thinks I’m to die for and he thinks you are too. (Read John 3:16 and see for yourself). He is also always with us, He never leaves (or sleeps).

at the end of the day I can try and distract myself from issues, garden, do things I enjoy, have a cottage with a field, a husband, lovely kids, (all good things) but if I don’t have God, or take notice of him, if I don’t know why I’m here and who I’ve been made to be and am able to just be that person, I have nothing.

Thankfully, I do have Him and He will make everything right at the right time. He also lets me grieve and knows it is normal. What he doesn’t do is let me be comfortable with acting in the wrong way. There have been times today, when I have acted in the wrong way. This knowledge is a gift. So Thankyou Lord Jesus (and sorry to those I’ve been around)….

My favourite bit of the bible (song of Solomon 2:8-13) just because…read it, read it, read it!!!

The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
looking through the lattice.
My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
For behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.

That’s Jesus right there baby! That’s what he does and who he is. Beautiful.

Project veg plot

I have a project! The area of raised ground behind the house is just about dry enough to sort out for our veg plot (with a few flowers thrown in for good measure). So I’ve started edging and digging the beds and planning it out. I love doing it. Especially planning and deciding where to put the paths and beds and what will go where.

A before (ish) photo, not quite the same view as the next:

and a current photo:

It is so satisfying, just doing a bit at a time. It has to be a bit really, I have to wait for littlest’s nap time, then I try to do the digging. The top bit in front of the shed is where I’m at at the moment:

still about half a bed to dig, there’s some big stones in there. When I can get them out they get thrown down the bank, there’s one so far that I can’t shift, so I think I’ll stick another on top and leave it there so I can see where it is and don’t do a clang a spade down on it thing and reverberate. I’m hoping to get potatoes in here over the next week but it’s still fairly claggy, so we’ll see.

This is the other side:

To the far left as you look at the raised area we are hoping to put up a poly tunnel. Either this year or next, we aren’t sure yet. There’s so many roots and branches to clear, but it’s good fun.

I’ve felt a bit low recently and being outside, being active and gardening are things I really enjoy and they charge me up. I asked God what to do about how I was feeling earlier in the week and amongst other things I felt he said to get outside. He also gave me this verse:

Matthew 6:25

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

I need to trust him.

also, we have pots everywhere! I love it! Seeds are germinating all over the house 😍

these are cornflowers, blackball and blue ball. Hopefully we’ll pick the right spot for them once they’re a bit bigger and they’ll flourish!