Archive for Family Life

Simplify your life

I just found this blog entry in my drafts and realised I never published it at the beginning of the year! I generally try to avoid New Years resolutions but this year I really felt God encouraging me to simplify my life.  In the beginning of January, I read Mark 10 v 13-16 where Jesus tells us thatanyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” To me that speaks of simplicity and innocence, no worries and full trust for provision. Last year, Dan and I needed to replace our drinking glasses, which were so tarnished by the dishwasher. Instead of buying three different sizes as we usually do, we bought twelve of the same which avoids lots of arguments between our kids about “who has the most coke” and removes at least one decision from our lives! We also have started shopping more regularly at Lidls. In the beginning, it was to save money but I have also realised how it has saved me time and hassle.  They don’t offer 20 choices of tinned tomatoes, just one so I don’t spend time agonising over what is the best quality for the best price, I just pick up the one tin! As someone who finds decision making difficult, I have turned a two hour shop into one hour door to door!

To help me on my journey, I am working through a book by Joyce Meyer called 100 Ways to Simplify Your life. The first thing – Do one thing at a time – is something I think us mums particularly are really bad at! We think multi tasking is a good thing but I am actually coming to realise that it means I don’t do anything well, or even worse, I don’t finish anything!  I am also really getting into decluttering thanks to a free kindle download called Decluttering your life. Looking around my house today, in the middle of the summer holidays, you might not think its made a difference but I do think its an on going battle! The less clutter, the easier it is to find things. The simple my life is the less stressed I should feel. I’ll let you know how I get on!

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10 things to do before you grow up – and how to do them – Tesco Magazine

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Summer holiday memory book printable for kids – Tesco Magazine

Summer holiday memory book printable for kids – Tesco Magazine.

As an avid scrapbooker I love this idea

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Eye-spy bingo travel game for kids – Tesco Magazine

Eye-spy bingo travel game for kids – Tesco Magazine.

for younger ones and big Kids alike!

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10 of the best apps for traveling with kids – Tesco Magazine

10 of the best apps for traveling with kids – Tesco Magazine.

For when the Nintendo DS runs out ….

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Care For The Family | For all parents | Family fun ideas

family fun kite

Care For The Family | For all parents | Family fun ideas.

Ideas to keep those two little words “I’m bored” at bay this summer

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Average couple has four rows a day during December!

Average couple has four rows a day during December!

That’s the statistic quoted in this article by Care for the Family on the pressures couple face over the festive season! Hopefully by following some of the advice they give we can all aim to be below average on this one!

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More Christmas tradition…

Came across this article with even more ideas of Christmas traditions  – you can’t be short of ideas now!

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Making memories at Christmas

10122010022As Christmas approaches fast for another year, I find myself wondering what family tradition I can introduce this year to mark the occasion in a fun way and remind my boys what is the true meaning of Christmas. I realised as I started putting  the school carol concert  and Christmas fair dates in my diary how much I love this time of year. It lends itself to some great family times and building memories, as well as some good scrap booking fodder. Family traditions are so important as they build family identity and give children reasons to love being part of their family.This is important on two levels. Firstly it gives security when things around us are constantly changing and moving at such a fast pace. Secondly, it gives our children a reason to want to be at home, which is really important during the developing teenage years, when peer pressure becomes very influential. If you don’t think you have any particular family traditions, try asking your kids what they love most about Christmas in your family. You will be amazed at what children see. One family I know goes to the pantomime every year and even though now they are all married with grand children, they all come back on one day, with all the children, for the family pantomime outing. We have a folder of Christmas films that we dig into once we hit December. You can’t beat “Elf”, hot chocolate and popcorn. Putting up the tree is also a family affair, when I dust of my Christmas CD for a loud rendition of “last Christmas” as we deck it out with tinsel and baubles. (The hardest thing is not to rearrange the ornaments after the kids have gone to bed). My sister in law has bought a special tree decoration for each of her children’s  stockings from the first year they were born. That way they will have their own special decorations to take with them to their own families. Another friend shared with me her idea of finding a really nice nativity scene and placing each piece in a different day of a advent calender. By the time they get to Christmas day, they will have a lovely scene and it will build excitement for the day with her toddler.  Still another friend of mine always buys new pyjamas for all her kids and let’s them unwrap them on Christmas eve.

Whatever you decide to start doing, remember to have fun. Now where is that Christmas album…

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How to be an Amazing mum when you just don’t have the time.

Product Details

I will never forget the day when we were visiting someone else’s house and Andrew, who must have been aged two or three at the time pointed to her ironing board that she was using and asked innocently "what’s that?" I remember babbling something about only ironing when he was in bed asleep but I don’t think she was convinced! The truth is I hate ironing and would  rather kill the ozone layer with my tumble dryer than stand all day getting rid of creases. And ironing is one of a long list of jobs that we, as mums, have to pack into a already crammed day. So when I recently came across a book by Tanith Carey called How to be an "Amazing Mum" when you just don’t have the time I grabbed it off the shelf. The subtitle is the Ultimate Handbook for hassled mothers  Basically its a book packed full of  short cuts and tried and tested advice on containing mess, quick lunch boxes , my favourite, faster laundry and other things. You won’t find it all helpful to your own lifestyle but I like the woman’s thinking – we all need more time on the important things like spending quality time with our kids so try this. WARNING – this isn’t necessarily a cost saving book as a lot of her time saving devices cost money but don’t let that put you off.

Obviously if ,as you read this, the beds are made and the lounge isn’t covered in lego then this isn’t for you but for the rest of us – it could save you some precious minutes of sanity.

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