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Easter Fuzzy Felt

On Saturday J, S and L all had a nap – J was exhausted from the BB display the night before, poor S had a virus and L…well L, just loves a wee snuggle in her bed with Minnie and the gang. Ben was outside working on his wee trees and I came over all creative!

I decided to make some new fuzzy felt scenes with a bit of an Easter / Spring feel. I find the ones that you buy in shops have far too many pieces to keep track of and these wee ones fit in a sandwich bag making them easily transportable to whip out in the coffee shop, doctors waiting room, restaurant or church.

They really are so, so, so easy to make and cost next to nothing. All you need is some Felt sheets, (I got mine in Tesco for £1), scissors, and a bit of imagination. I just cut my pieces out free hand, but you could be much more professional about the whole thing and make yourself some templates and plan the picture. I just made it up as I went along.

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I cut out a strip of blue felt and stuck it onto the A5 sheet of green felt. The rest of the pieces can be moved around – the sheeps head and legs are not attached to his body either ;)

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A simple yet oh so cute fat Spring chick! All pieces here come off the purple sheet.

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Can you tell what this one is?? It’s a little ropey I know, but it’s got some of the main elements of the Easter story – the tomb, the angel, a palm leaf, a cross, a heart and….I’m going to say that figure is Mary!

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All these pieces are again moveable!

There we go – our version of Fuzzy Felt in a simple way for toddlers and younger children. Dead easy and so handy. Good too for hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills, imagination, story telling, creativity….all very important in these fundamental years.

What do you think? Anyone going to give it a go? Let me know, I’d love to hear!

Spring has sprung! Well, kind of!

For all my fellow Northern Irish readers hasn’t it been lovely to see a bit of sunshine? Oh boy, I have welcomed it with open arms that is for sure and already I can feel a little extra bounce in my step. Now, I know, I know, someone dared to mention *whispers* SNOW, but for now I am choosing to ignore that possibility and embrace all things bright and beautiful.

Going to share some little things that we have been doing to get ourselves all Spring-ified!

These are just an essential part of Easter aren’t they? We prefer to use rice krispies as opposed to shreddies, not quite the same nest look but a lot easier on the palate ;)

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Yum!

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I made some Happy Easter bunting with a little kit that I found in…yip you guessed it, my favourite place! Poundland!

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We searched through our books and picked out those which reminded us of Spring and Easter. We’re hoping to get to the library this week to pick out a few more.

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L and I made a little start on an egg carton Spring flowers canvas that we found on Pinterest.

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Today, S had a day off pre school, so him, L and I made some Easter egg suncatchers…..

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Please ignore how dirty my windows are!!!

I’ve also been adding a few wee bits and pieces to our home, it’s a bit of a killer not being on Facebook and Instagram at the moments as I would love to just pop up a wee picture on there to share with you all. But I guess, I’ll have to do another little update here on the blog tomorrow night!

Hope you guys are enjoying the sun and are finding yourselves knee deep in pastels and chocolate too ;)

A waffly one!

So, it has been 2 weeks since I’ve posted anything on here. And I’m not too sure why. I guess the really truthful answer is – I can’t be bothered!! Is that terrible? It is, isn’t it. It’s not that I don’t care about my blog, I do and I really do care about my readers. But at the moment I just can’t find neither the motivation nor the inspiration to blog. I don’t feel that I have anything inspiring or interesting to share.

And I guess it’s because life at the moment is the same too. I need some motivation right across the board. What I’m wearing needs a bit of inspiration, my hair, my face (!).  Most days it seems I can be found in jeans and a faithful stripey top with my hair scrapped up in a ponytail.  The housework needs a definite kick up the backside. I am still finding glittery hearts all over the house from our Valentine’s sensory play tub.

I also feel like I am kind of failing at the whole stay at home mum thing too. L begged to paint for like 5 days straight before I eventually gave in. We haven’t made any crafts for what feels like ages and as for actually sitting down and playing with the kids….well, it’s been a while too.  A lot of our dinners have come in the form of a plastic container with a cardboard sleeve with instructions to cook for 35 mins at 180′.  And I’m pretty sure hubs has had to go searching in the tumble dryer for clean clothes for work on more than one occasion!!

I’m in a bit of a funk it seems at the moment. Maybe it’s the weather, the time of year.

Maybe it’s ok actually and I shouldn’t beat myself up so much? We can all get like this, right?? Someone tell me you feel like this sometimes too?? Please tell me I’m normal ;-)

But, yeah, sorry about this waffly type post, I just wanted to let you know where I am. And it also seems I needed to verbally throw up on the blog!! Sorry about that but I feel better getting it out there.   I’ve been off Facebook and Instagram for 1 month now and I have to say I am enjoying the freedom. I’m not even sure if I’ll go back! (I have kept messenger on my phone though..it’s great for keeping in touch with peeps – where we live mobile phone reception is rubbish!!) It’s nice to not have to see everyone’s life highlights at the moment.

So, Mrs. Making Memories in the Chaos is all out of inspiration and motivation at the moment. Our days consist of coffee, peanut butter and toast, library trips, M&S shopping trips, Haribo, Tiny Pop, the park, more coffee and P1 homework….and all of that basically on repeat. I’m not saying I’m not enjoying it, I kind of am. It just doesn’t make for an exciting blog post!!

Hopefully I’ll see y’all on the other side…..

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Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favourite….Part 2.

Ok, so, where did we leave off…Oh yeah, so I was saying things between us took a bit of a change. But first, we need to rewind a little…..

Back in 2006 when I was out in Uganda, my life was completely transformed in so, so many ways.  Before then I was consumed by material things. I dreamt of owning a large family home, with lovely cars and extensive gardens, beautifully decorated to the highest standard. I loved spending money on eating out, and getting my nails done and buying lovely designer clothes. I spent money, as and how and when I pleased, not really giving a second thought to what I was doing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy eating out and getting my nails done and I am NOT saying there is anything wrong with having a gorgeous  house or driving a BMW.   BUT what I am saying, is that those things got shifted in their priority.  They were no longer my motivation.  Uganda taught me, that money definitely does not buy happiness.  It taught me that there is more to this life, so much more, than just being successful. There are literally thousands of people dying every day because they don’t have enough to eat, thousands of children dreaming of going to school, thousands longing for a drink of clean water…..suddenly my dreams of only ever eating and drinking from Emma Bridgewater crockery and splashing out on the new seasons Burberry handbag wasn’t so important.

And with that also came a change in what I found attractive in someone.

2006, saw me finally ‘get over’ my ex.  We had broke up in 2004 and I had been devastated. In Uganda there was another girl on the team, Emma. Great girl. One night as the girl were having a wee chat in the room (as only us girls can do!!) she talked me into writing up a wee list of my ideal man! (I know it sounds all a bit cheesy and stuff, but roll with it, ok?!)  ;) I LOVE a good list, so was all over it like a rash! Ha!

So, yeah I did. I wrote in my journal the things that my ideal, perfect man would have. And for 2 years prayed that God would bring someone that matched that description into my life.

So. Back to March 2008 then. Hope you’re sticking me on this! Like I said, Ben and I had become good friends during and immediately after the Christmas team. Within a few months, we had gone from dreading leading a team together to being best friends who did everything together.  I had had a dream to go to Uganda on my own for 2 months (I was a primary school teacher, great hols!) in the summer of 2008. I really felt that confirmed during the Christmas team and could hardly wait to get back out again as soon as I had come home.

As I discussed things with Abaana and shared my ideas with friends and family, it seemed people would have been happier if I went with someone, rather than going on my own.  The obvious choice was Ben.  During the 2 months I was going to be involved in training some primary school teachers who worked for Abaana in their schools in Uganda and I would also be looking into ways of improving those schools. Ben was a primary school teacher too, so like I said, the obvious choice.

He was happy to come along as he was also really keen to get back to Uganda. So the trip was planned. We would fly to Uganda at the very end of June, spend 2 weeks on our own working with the local primary schools, then people from my church would join us for 4 weeks and we would build a primary school, then Ben and I would remain for a further 2 weeks.

As the months progressed and plans were made, God began a work in our hearts. There were so many different things that happened that brought us to a point of finally admitting that we had feelings for each other.  Neither of us wanted to admit it. I think we both kinda fought against it. But on Easter Sunday we shared how we were feeling about each other.  I knew my prayer had been answered. God had given me my ‘ideal man’.  Right down to the very last detail. Every single thing on that list, Ben could tick.  Now, this had come as the result of lots of sleepless nights,  both of us wakening at 2am every single night for weeks and not really knowing why,  and a lot of prayer!!

The problem now was – what was going to happen with our Uganda trip. You see, there was a ‘no dating rule’ for teams…as in….there were to be no boyfriend / girlfriend relationships on team, married couples yes, but dating couples no.

We chatted it through with Scotty, the guy in charge, and also a good friend to us both, and he said that he really would prefer that we didn’t start dating until after the trip. The end of the trip was 4 months away!!! So we didn’t. We remained as friends until we came home from Uganda at the end of August. I can tell you that was a tough 4 months. But looking back on it now, it was such a good thing for our relationship. We became solid as a rock. Best friends.

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This is the team who came out to join us :)

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This was our car…from the age of 17 I always wanted a Rav4 …..for 2 months in Uganda that dream came true!!

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Presenting a local headmaster with a strimmer – it really is the simple things in life :)

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Ben got to see just how much I LOVE babies!!!!!!!!!

We had such an amazing trip. Working with the kids, the teachers, the people of Uganda. We fell even more in love with the country and admittedly each other.  We are both Christians so spent a lot of time praying, studying the bible and worshipping together.  There were lots of late night chats around the campfire listening to the crickets and staring up at the beautiful, African starlit sky. We had hired a car, so enjoyed going to work each day and also going to market to shop, or sight seeing at the weekends and evenings. It really was an amazing time.

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We got baptised together in the River Nile.

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On our return we had our first date the very next day.

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And then 3 weeks later Ben proposed. He had asked my daddy for permission and amazingly he too said yes!! I had always wanted a Christmas wedding….so we decided that God willing we would get married that December….which left us 14 weeks…….and it happened 23rd December 2008….we became Mr. and Mrs. Ben B.  Maybe next time, I’ll tell y’all how we planned a wedding in 14 weeks ;)

Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favourite!

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I recently bought this wall sticker from Next  as I really loved it, not least because I really do love mine and Ben’s love story, but also because I’m hoping to give our bedroom a bit of a make over in the near future! Our story –  It’s not really a ‘normal’ one, nor is it a – we’ve known each other since we were babies one, it’s more of a we got engaged after 3 weeks of dating and married another 14 weeks later sorta one!

I’ve talked a little before about the times that I have spent in Uganda. My first being in 2003.  In 2006 Scott, from the charity that I had gone to Uganda with, got in touch again to see if I would be interested in returning with a team and this time as one of the team leaders. I was very excited.  Part of the role involved interviewing potential team members.  As I read through the applications I have to confess that there was one in particular that stood out. This guy sounded just like my cup of tea!! But, as I read on, I discovered he was taken and thought nothing more of it.

Well, that applicant got accepted onto the 2006 team. And he was great. We all commented on what a lucky lady his fiancé was, for he was really one of the best, a true gentleman. Him and I got on well, he was a nice guy, we had a few things in common. But I NEVER contemplated liking him as anything other than a friend.

We did get to go on this tiny little plane to an extremely rural part of Uganda, which was definitely a bonding experience!! Gosh, it was like starring in a documentary for the BBC!!

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We both went out to Uganda again in 2007 on another team, and this time, dare I say it, I wasn’t so keen on this guy, Ben. I found him kind of annoying and the feeling was reciprocated!!

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This little one was called Jonah and is who our very own one was named after!

Abaana decided to do a Christmas team that year and Ben and I were asked to lead it, along with another guy, Mark.  I was really excited about spending Christmas in Uganda, I knew it was going to be amazing but Ben and I weren’t that keen about working together after the last team! Little did I know, that the whole experience would be a turning point for Ben and I.

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We actually became good friends on that team,  and with different things happening on the team, Ben and I were kind of ‘forced’ to rely on  and confide in one another and as a result we did become close. But again, just as friends. Nothing more. I didn’t have any feelings for him, other than that of a great friend.

A lot was going on with Ben at that time and he had been struggling with a few things before the team. That time in Uganda had a huge impact on him, and I think he found the whole experience overwhelming.  Shortly after coming home from Uganda, he and his fiancé split up.

I wanted to support him as a friend. Me, Ben and a few of the others from the team met up from time to time after the trip. When you’ve been to somewhere like Uganda you want to be with people who ‘get it’. You need to be with people who you can rant and rave about the state of our world with. You cling to friends who have been there, have seen it, and who aren’t going to think you’re crazy when you tell them, you were overwhelmed at the choice of breakfast cereal in Tesco and burst into tears in aisle 12!

And so, I found a new best friend –  Ben. He was single. I was single.  There were no ‘feelings’ on either side. It was great. We went and told of our time in Uganda in various churches and different organisations.  We met up for a bite to eat or a coffee. If Abaana were having an event we travelled to it together.  We hung out as friends for a good few months, but then God started to so something in us………

But that’s for another night…..

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Mr. Making Memories In The Chaos.

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I don’t often talk about my hubster on here, except for the odd kind of throw away comment here and there. He features in a few wee photos along the way, but I’m not too sure I’ve ever really wrote about ‘us’ and how we came to be together nor have I ever written about how truly wonderful he is.

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But you know He is wonderful. He’s perfect …. perfect to and for me. Would he be perfect to you? No, probably not, but when you love someone that’s what they are isn’t it? Perfect. You love everything about them, even the things that drive you a little bit crazy.

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Our ‘Love story’ is a crazy one. You see, we dated for 3 weeks and were engaged for 14 weeks before getting married.  When I announced my engagement, although they didn’t say it, I knew some people were thinking, “Engaged?? I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend!”  Normally too I’m a very organised and planned sort of girl, I’m not very spontaneous. And I think to a lot of people this engagement seemed a little wreckless. But it is true, ‘when you know, you know’. And I knew.  I was never so sure of anything before.

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Plans for the wedding itself were crazy too, from our dream location being available on the date that we wanted to someone else having ordered the wedding dress that I wanted, in my size, but didn’t need for another year, meaning that I could have it! Everything just kept falling into place with great simplicity. We knew someone was smiling down on us.

And to this day, our lives are crazy. A little out of the norm. Not what people expect. But I love it.  And I love my partner in crime in it all.  He is my Mr.Perfect. My best friend.  My true companion for life.  So, when you read about my ‘hubster’ in passing, please understand, that while I adore and dote on my kiddies and probably talk about them far too much, HE is my number 1. The reason my smile on most days is from ear to ear.

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 Maybe I’ll share in a bit more detail our Love Story, if anyone would be interested in reading?! (Leave a comment if you would sure!)

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Someone turns FIVE!!

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Happy Birthday Little J Bird! A whole big 5 today! I find it so hard to believe that I have a 5 year old son. The 5 year old thing is hard enough to accept, the son part; even harder!  Coming from a family of all girls, I never really expected to have boys. Daft, I know, but I really didn’t. What a wonderful, wonderful surprise it was when the midwife told us, “it’s a boy!”,  5 years ago today!

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The last 3 days have been all about our wee J bird. We had the dreaded whole class party on Saturday at a local leisure and it was everything we thought it would be…and more ;) !!!!  He had an absolute ball and our living room now resembles the boys section of Toys R us. Sunday we had a little family party and then today we took him to his favourite restaurant for dinner, finished off with the necessary ice cream and his favourite chocolate cake.

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1st birthday!

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How do I feel about him turning 5?? Mmmmm I don’t know. I’m kind of excited I think.  I found 4, so much more emotional. (I’m already dreading wee S Bear turning 4 in June!) When he turned 4 my heart was really hurting.  It was a big milestone for me.  The end of the cutesie little toddler stage, no longer my wee baby boy. I really felt it was a significant turning point. The start of his boyhood.  And the past year has really seen his grow up that’s for sure.

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BUT it has been a great year.  He is becoming a fabulous little man. I love his sense of humour, his love of jokes and his wee one liners.  I love his company if we ever go out just me and him, or when we’re left on our own if S and L go down for a nap. He really is great chat! I love our drives to BB each Wednesday night, when he gets to sit in the front seat and we catch up on what’s the latest with Leonardo and Donatello and which Hot Wheels seems to be fastest at the moment on the race track.  I love how when he is going into somewhere that he’s a little unsure of, he’ll grab my hand and hold it real tight until he gets inside and realises that he’ll be ok.  I love listening to him read and spell and count.  (Have to admit I’m getting a little fed up with every.single.word being sounded out though…..”Mum,  S.T.O.P. stop, is that right Mum?” “K. ITCH .IN, does that spell kitchen Mum?” “C.O.K.E  cockey?? What’s cockey??” Ahhhhh phonics you crack me up!)

I love watching him toddle off to school in the mornings with such confidence and happiness, (it still totally kills me watching him disappear behind the gate though!!!) I love his wee kisses and cuddles first thing ever morning. I love that at the dinner table he can’t seem to stay out of my personal space, (it drives me mad in equal measure too though!) I love the young boy that he is becoming.

Happy 5th Birthday to our Lego, Star Wars, Hot Wheels, Turtles, Avengers loving little J Bird.

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