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Two and a half weeks ago the postman brought me a brown paper package (not tied up with string). I opened it, wondering what I had forgotten buying, and found my bloggy friend’s new ‘baby’ – in fact it was twins!

2014-10-08 13.01.32

 

I then remembered pre-ordering Alice Buckley‘s book (plus one as a present because I was very confident this book would be share-worthy!) The wait was over and here it was!

I have been a Bad Blogger, not posting for months and months, so I shouldn’t think anyone remembers what children I have or how old they are. My big girl, Snow White, is almost 6 now. She began Big Girl Bible Notes called XTB over the summer, which funnily enough I ordered at the same time as pre-ordering Play Through The Bible. She love, love, LOVES them, but it leaves Bluebird (just turned 3) far behind. I was excited to tell him that this new book was Just For Him and would involve Bible stories and lots of play :)

Alice’s book is beautifully laid out and presented. It’s quick for a parent to navigate and attractive for the child to look through. Bluebird likes to point at pictures and say “I want to play that game!” He is very proud of his Bible book and I think relishes the fact that it guarantees a bit of quality Mummy time! I love it just as much as I knew I would. Alice has taken away my hard work by making stories accessible. She is a gifted story-teller and has a thorough understanding of what the young brain will take in and how to condense God’s messages into catchy, meaningful portions. With each week, Bluebird has been able to tell key parts of the story from memory within a few days. He likes the story to be repeated twice each night. We have enjoyed using props and acting to enrich the stories, just as Alice suggests. This week we learn how Jesus made people well. Some soft animals are the ill and hurt people and Snow White helps with bandages and spoon as we wonder how Jesus would heal them. Bluebird loves the miraculous “right away” healing that happens when Jesus touches them.

The take-home messages are so well-tuned to the everyday world of a young child that it’s easy to refer back to them even when you’re not in a situation where you can play specific games. The message of God’s people waiting for their King was easy to weave into waiting for Pre-school to open, or waiting at the dentist’s. Listening to Mummy and Jesus listening to his Father God were also a good link, and healing is a topic never far from an active young boy who bumps and scrapes himself on a daily basis!

When it comes to the suggested play sessions, we’ve had fun being superheroes (God to the rescue!) who rescued imaginary wolf cubs, brought some sand indoors to think about Jesus in the desert (Mummy was not very patient with this game when Snow White started eating the sand and Bluebird thought he’d copy!) and Snow White (who has read ahead) is keen to do fishing in the bath with sieves! I find our weekly timetable doesn’t always give much room to add new games in, but I’m making a real effort to do two activities specific to the story each week. As Alice says in this video, there are way more ideas than you could use in one week, but there will be at least one suggestion that’s a perfect fit for your child and your resources.

I was quite right to order a spare copy, and will give it to my sister-in-law for Christmas to use with my nephew who will be 2 in January. I also took my copy along to my Mums-of-Small-Children Bible study group and everybody was very impressed and took down the details. If you are a mother who wants to inject some fun, consistency and relaxation into Bible time for your small children then BUY THIS BOOK!

If you want to know more about the author, then there’s plenty on Alice’s blog, and you can also read this interview about the process of writing the book.

Sunny day shorts

I just made the latest Oliver + S free pattern – a pair of shorts for Bluebird. Appropriately named “Sunny Day Shorts”, as the making was in reaction to the weather which has been beautiful today :)

sunny day shorts

I usually sew at the weekend or in the evening, but I was so determined to get on with these that I managed to do it while the children were playing around me. The standard of the pattern and instructions is everything you would expect from Oliver + S, easy to follow with meticulous attention to detail. Bluebird was pleased with them, and even helped me choose the fabric in the morning (it’s a linen-look heavy cotton). They are probably not the most flattering cut for Bluebird, them being on the “skinny” side and him not, but never mind. I am creating a stock of easy pull on trousers and shorts for this summer as potty training is on the horizon ;)

In other news, the lilac is in bloom. For 50 weeks of the year a lilac is mainly a nuisance, at least in my book, but for 2 weeks you can see why people plant them…

lilac

It has been a lovely two-and-a-bit week Easter holidays in our house. February half term holidays were a week of misery, so it was extra appreciated to have the family together, in good health, with lots of sunshine and warm weather! We had so many things on our To Do list, and I think we’ve accomplished most of them.

I decided I wanted to learn more about icing biscuits the professional way, with royal icing and piping and stuff. I have plenty more to learn, but this was at least a tasty first trial of techniques :)

iced biscuits

I mostly researched how to do this by phoning my sister, but if you should want to know EVERYTHING about this fun hobby, try the Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle website.

Now, how to remember that tomorrow is both a get-up-for-school day and it’s Tuesday?!

Ladybirds

I wandered around the garden last week, peeping to see how the buds were coming along on my fan trained fruit trees. I met two ladybird buddies on the pear tree:

ladybird buddies

 

Our en-suite bathroom is infested with ladybirds. I thought perhaps this was a rare and strange occurrence, but letters published in the March BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine prove the contrary. I do like ladybirds, and I wouldn’t mind them hibernating indoors. It’s just that they spend very little time sleeping and a lot of time creeping, crawling and flying, getting into places where ladybirds Should Not Be.

<whispers> and if you hoover them up they release a horrible smell that makes you feel guilty every subsequent time you hoover. Just saying.

Count to 100

For a really high percentage of the time our two children get on together superbly. They truly are best friends as well as brother and sister. 

However, on the days when they annoy each other it can be hard work to referee. There have been a lot of unhappy moments today. Angry words, fierce faces, unkind hands or feet. Sometimes it was the children.

I want to focus on the good though. Today there were lots of chances to say sorry to each other. To have making-up cuddles and to talk about how we ALL do the wrong thing even when we KNOW it’s wrong, and to remember that making mistakes is okay.

From the glass-half-full perspective, I am glad that I didn’t have to clean and polish Snow White’s school shoes this weekend, as they wore right through the toe. Also, she turned out to have grown half a size, so I didn’t feel irked at having to replace them.

Snow White’s “hundredth day of school” apparently comes round next Thursday. I never knew this was a “thing” until I saw stuff about it on Pinterest lately. She was extremely excited to do her homework of finding 100 of something small to take to school. So far we have sunflower seeds and buttons :)

feb 8th

Snippets

 

 

 

I made a fresh batch of play dough for Bluebird this morning. As you can see from the condition of the recipe card, this is in high demand. He was excited that it was “pink, me favourite colour” (usually red would be favourite) and said “me love that smell” (mint and lemon).

feb 3rd 2

 

My dear mother is here for the middle part of the day to help run around after Bluebird and pick Snow White up from school, while my back continues to think about getting better. She brought me a posy of spring flowers from her garden.

feb 3rd

 

Almost time for them to return, so I had better put the kettle on and slaughter some hot cross buns!

I was just looking through some things I wrote several years ago, including the throwaway remark that I had blogged about x,y and z! I would like to get back into doing *something* on the old blog every so often. After all, here’s this little space, waiting for me to fill it…

feb 2nd

So: a little pic, taken on my phone. Bits and pieces getting ready for Valentine’s Day, the reflection of my kitchen scales in the induction hob (a little vintage/modern juxtaposition) and a reminder to myself that I have kiwi-green kitchen tiles and I love them (although you can’t see the proper colour because of the filter on the photo).

Not doing much today because my back is not in full working order for some reason. The family have decamped to let me be grumpy alone, but I am not feeling too grumpy after all :)

 

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