Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Weston super Mare Fun Run

Last Sunday saw our little family down on the sea front once more.  This time it was for Ben and the children to participate in the children's version of the Tough Ten. 

The circuit was a mile long and entries were children from 5 -16years.  The children kicked off before the more challenging adult race!  There were mainly entries from local athletics clubs and we were surprised that there weren't more fun runners really. 
Billy doing 'the Lightening Bolt!
It's the first year we've been able to enter as little B is now just 5 but they really enjoyed running together.

Ben has run a number of marathons and half marathons now and the children were keen to run like daddy!  He was so proud to run the race with them.  We made sure the emphasis was on fun and exercise rather than anything competitive.  However, the entrance fee and the sponsorship we raised went to Diabetes UK and the Children's Hospice respectively.

I cheered them in to the finish line and they were SO delighted to receive a medal for their efforts.  My goodness the pride just swelled in their chests is was joyous to see.

They both took their medals in to 'show and tell' in school on Monday and share their experience with their friends. 

Hopefully March will bring the completion of R's bedroom 'pretty filter', some crochet and a furniture makeover.  All are works in progress so watch this space!  Are you planning anything fun in March?!

Thanks for reading,
J9 x

This week I'm linking up with these fabulous parties!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Bristol Zoo Blessings

During the school break we took a trip to Bristol Zoo.  It's fairly central in Bristol so doesn't contain large animals but the variety and abundance of Earth's creatures managed here is astounding.

We enjoyed a fabulous day out together.  Little B is completely fascinated by all living things.  He will stand for an age watching a blue frog, or stare into an ecosystem searching for it's inhabitants.  He adored the seals, sea lions, the penguins and the reptiles. 

They couldn't believe that the Giant Tortoises were 'real'.

R enjoys the animals but is a much more active personality.  She punctuates animal enclosures with  the next play area or the next interactive information board.  Without those, her interest would wane. 

For me, it was the sheer variety of creatures looked after at the zoo that brought wonder.  They have an amazing reproduction and rearing programme.  It was enthralling to see all stages of life - reptile eggs, butterfly crysalists, through to the rearing of young.

The diversity was breath taking (sorry - photo taken through the glass). 

 After what seems like a long, grey and wet winter, it was lovely to reconnect with nature - a huge personal passion.  It didn't really matter that most of the animals weren't native.  It was stunning to recognise elements of animal evolution and point them out to my littlies. 

It's funny how appreciating Simple Abundance can give you a warm glow.  I hope you manage to connect with nature over the coming weekend or find another reason to get that lovely 'warm' feeling.

What gives you that warm feeling?

Thanks for reading,
J9 x

Thursday, 21 February 2013

@ Bristol - A Family Day Out

This was our first visit to this Exhibition in Bristol and we weren't disappointed!  There are far too many exhibits to mention in detail here but the scale and interactive parts of this museum was superior to anything I've ever experienced.

There were physical experiments, sensory exploration, numerous exhibits based around understanding our planet and SO much more.

A fantastic day out for people of any age.  We spent over 5 hours over the two floors including watching the planetarium show - which was really informative and inspiring.

A thoroughly enjoyable day.  I had purchased the Invitation discount voucher book in 2012 and these vouchers run out at the end of the month, so we had specifically aimed to 'go day tripping' during this school break.  The kids went in for free with these so was really worthwhile! 

For us, the exhibition would be really expensive otherwise.  I'm sure it's competitive and it was really good - but I'm not sure we would be able to justify going without discounts.  Perhaps this is just because we do prioritise our family activities differently and do a lot of things outdoors which are free? 

Regardless, it was an educational, interactive fun time for us as a family, which won't be forgotten in a flash.  I guess for me it's the memory making that's priceless.

J9 x

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Exciting News: A Wonderful Win & Half Term!

The main reason I chose to start my blog, after a year or two of thinking about it, was to use this space as a form of journalling family times, to share my crafting makes and my joy in simple things.  I didn't expect to meet some lovely people who would take the time to comment on my posts and I certainly didn't expect to win anything.
A Cornish Rainbow ;0)
Well, I was wrong on both counts wasn't I?! Yes, I've been lucky enough to win the Craft It Forward (CIF) giveaway hosted by the fabulous and talented Hen of HenHouse. So many reasons to be happy!

I shall share the CIF when I receive it and of course, in time will host a CIF myself (another first).

Aside from this excitement, we've started our half term holidays here in the West Country.  We've already made a trip down to my Mum's in Cornwall for 4 fun filled days.  The weather wasn't on our side so lots of table games, crafting and visiting relatives was in order!

Crafting projects are yet to be finished so watch this space.  A 300 piece jigsaw made a happy picture!

Whilst R had a playdate my boys had some fantastic 'mens time' at the Pier.  They also watched the demolition of this building - big diggers knocking stuff down - what more can a boy ask for?!

Today we went toboganning here. - or rather the kids did, and we watched!
It was great fun - I wish I took count of how many times they slid down in 1 hour!  Rosy cheeks all round!
Hmmm... if we push eash other we go even faster!
Oooh, what a happy chappy.
Then, we made lots of pancakes for Shrove Tuesday... yum.  Please forgive the photography - our kitchen is very small and not the most photogenic ;o)
It's hard work making this batter!
 Here's a rather blurry action shot of flipping that pancake:

I hope all is well in your part of the world and you enjoy some simple, happy things this week.

Thanks for reading,
J9 x
This week I'm participating in these fab parties!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Pretty Filter - My Entryway Display

As you know, I'm re-looking through my house with a 'pretty filter' during 2013.  There is no particular time frame - just a concerted effort to reduce the clutter - visually and mentally.

I've started on R's room and painted the ceiling.  That's where progress has stopped for now as my rheumatoid has flared...  A little less physical prettifying is called for! 

A while ago I painted the display cabinet below (purchased from the charity shop for £12) and the cupboard (same charity shop for £40).  These were originally a nasty orange pine colour but fitted the space perfectly.  So a bit of cream eggshell and Cath Kidston wall paper spruced these up nicely!

The cupboard holds lots of the kiddie's games, paint and paraphenalia and the cabinet holds my much loved floral porcelain...  very me.

I have much pride in this little display / storage area.  I've picked up the crockery over time in the charity shop (all except the Cath Kidston bowls).  It brightens the corner really well. 

Here's a closer look at each shelf...

The middle shelf...

And at the top...

I came home this morning after the school run and the cupboard top was piled high with scarves, hats and general clothing debris.  I've walked past it in that state for days (I'll get to that at some point I thought...) It's location just inside the front porch means that it does often become a dumping ground as you come into the house. 

Right....  Well, I started there this morning.  I cleared the top, added a clean embroidered cloth (which was ironed but folded so needs ironing again ;0) and some other little bits from around the house with a hint towards 'Love' - given the month. 

The stone heart was found by Ben when we were at Uni together and I've kept it since we were 18!  Come to think of it, presenting it to me on the beach that day was his first declaration of love to me... ah, warm fuzzies.

I've picked up the crockery over time in the charity shop.

I love these tiny lily of the valley glasses...

...and this lovely plate.

I think they're both my favourites - and this cup (with no saucer) I LoVE - although apologies as this hasn't photographed too well.

 All picked up for pennies over the past couple of years...

This space is a more serene welcome to our home now.  Happy Days.

J9 x
Today I'm joining in with these fab parties:


Friday, 1 February 2013

Weekend Wanderings

This is among my favourite images of 2013 so far:

It captures such freedom, 'boyness' and joy.  It may be just because I'm his mum but I genuinely think it's the best things in life captured in one special moment;  nature's beauty, a crisp, clear winter's day, family enjoying special time together and the sense of freedom.  Simple things...

These photos were taken at Cheddar Reservoir (Somerset) and the one above looking out over the Somerset Levels and over the Mendips.  We decided to make the most of the clear days and get 'out'. 

We'd been told that there was a 'good' path around the reservoir so decided to give it a go.  The kids raced ahead and covered twice the ground that we did (I love how they do that!)

They scooted some of the way, ran bits of it and just enjoyed the rest.  The love of my life pushed me round the reservoir in the wheelchair that I have come to accept.  We will be buying a scooter later this year after my last one broke - I can't wait!  The path was great half way round the 2 & half mile route - then it changed to a less accessible material - you can see there was more mud and it became a harder push for Ben and more uncomfortable ride for me!  Access to the countryside is a real problem for people with mobility issues in Britain, but we persevered and made it around the full circuit as a family. 

It was lovely to get out and watch the children jump and run - the light on the water was amazing...

And there were a few ducks for us to feed our bag of bread to:

The more observant reader amongst you will notice that R had a trouser change between photos.  She was a little to keen to feed the ducks and got rather wet!!  We've always packed spare clothes for the kids, no stress when accidents happen...

The other outing was very exciting!! Our first trip ice skating as a family!  Well, I had to watch and take photos (which I actually found really hard as pre accident I LoVED skating!)  It's the first activity in a while that I felt sad I couldn't join in with.  Most things we can work around my disability and find alternative ways of us all being active together - but not this time.  I don't write this for sympathy - it's just part of this journey we're on.  I think it's interesting the things that sometime affect me.  Losing the freedom of use and strength in my legs has actually meant that in many ways my life is richer than before.  And it's constantly evolving...  Over time I learnt that we can choose our reaction to things.   Sometimes that takes all the mental strength and faith you can muster.  So yes, I missed skating, but I am more thankful for being alive to watch my family skate.

I LoVED watching the kiddies.  Ben had never skated before either so it was their first time on the ice together - blessed.

Real joyful flow - so good for the soul.

R designed a wheelchair with blades on when we got home - think I may patent the idea ;0)  I imagine there must be some kind of ice friendly mobility equipment in the world? 

Happy days for our little family spending time together outdoors.
Thanks for reading!
J9 x
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