Saturday 19 December 2015

Wishing you a Very Happy Christmas

All the preparations are done, the kids have finished school and we are now off visiting family and friends. 

Our Christmas will be a large and busy one but with plenty of moments of peace and calm thrown into the mix too.

I pray you can take time to feel joyful over the holidays and I wish you peace, good health and a life full of contentment in 2016.

You might have noticed I've had most of December away from blogging and I'll be honest it has been liberating, at the moment I feel no real pull to come back and blog again, so I might be away a while yet......

Be blessed, Mich xx

Image credit: Shutterstock - Christmas Cross

Fun at church last weekend.

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Monday 7 December 2015

Doing Christmas Large!

I love Christmas, it is such a fun time and one I always look forward to. In the old days it meant time off Uni or work and plenty of dressing up, going out and having a tipple of two. For the last decade it has been about staying home and enjoying the time with my family. Building memories and traditions, some that have stayed with us and others we have had to adapt or even scrap completely.

One of the earliest traditions we adopted was wrapping all the kids presents on Christmas eve whilst watching a Christmassy film and having a Chinese take-away. My husband and I loved this and it was so easy when we only had one child and he went to bed at 6 or 7pm. Then even when we had three children all of a younger age it was still doable but over the last few years we haven't been able to start wrapping until about 10pm at night and with three kids and lots of gifts it started to get very tiring. The final straw was when we moved to East Sussex two years ago and our nearest Chinese take-away did not deliver and is a 10 mile round-trip.

Sadly that tradition had to stop but really it is no major issue as the conference centre where we live closes at midday on Christmas Eve and all the community and many of our returning friends come together to celebrate Christmas together. This year we expect there will be about 110 of us. Can you imagine how exciting my kids find this?

Thursday 3 December 2015

Every Day is a Roast Day for this Family - Toby Carvery Review #ManicMumDay

We all know that Mums generally lead a busy life and let's be honest many dads do as well. Recent research commissioned by Toby Carvery showed that most mums do not get to sit down on an evening until 8.07pm and I think on average this is probably about right, although some nights it is closer to 9pm!

It is for this reason that Toby Carvery offered my family and I to go along to our local restaurant (which in our case is Willingdon Drove, Eastbourne) on a week night and enjoy a meal that is cooked for us and involves no washing or clearing up. Result!

We booked a table using the online booking system, which is super easy and I have to confess that I have no idea you could book a table for Toby nowadays, as you never used to be able to. I was very aware from the start that the email confirmation (and reminder emailed to me the day before the reservation) stated that the table would only be held for 10 minutes from the reservation time and thus we arrived promptly.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

A new Hobby for JJ

I was super pleased when our small gym was given a make-over recently. It is in the basement of the main house at the conference centre where we live and it has always been dark and dingy.

However, hard work from many of the young volunteer team has meant that a window has been unblocked and new equipment has been purchased and it has all been spruced up with paint and new safer flooring's.

This complete change has meant that my 12 year old son JJ has started to show an interest in using the gym and let's be honest, anything that gets my computer loving son out of the house and doing something physical is alright with me.

It's also fabulous that many of the international volunteers who live here are very into personal fitness and we even have one qualified personal trainer amongst them, so JJ has been given some great tuition and tips of how to exercise safely.

It was great timing that JJ received his Adidas Terrex Boast GTX trainers (with GORE-TEX® technology to ensure your feet stay dry even during the wettest of weathers and activities) some weeks back as they have been perfect for exercising in - light weight, good grip and able to keep his feet dry and sweat free. I went down to capture JJ in action at the weekend and I thought I'd share some pictures -

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Encouraging Your Child's Imaginative Play

I'll make a confession to you and I'm sure I'm not the only parent who feels this way but I really dislike having to play make believe with my children.

I know, I'm terrible, right? I just find it so boring. I am a realist and I'd much rather be doing something that my logic says is worthwhile and is achieving something. You know, perhaps crafting some cards, baking cakes or going for a ramble.

But the research shows how important it is to encourage your children to take part in imaginative play. A key article in Psychology Today cites benefits such as increased creativity, enhanced empathy, your child gaining an understanding that others thoughts differ to their own, advanced language skills developing and even a reduction in aggression to name just a few of the major plus points.