A friend of mine has just set up this new blog for Christian women called everywoman.  It's the first one I've come across which isn't purely US based, although Jo lives in the US and there are US writers, Jo is actually British and there are quite a few British contributers as well, including me!  

Here's the blurb about it...

"Welcome to Everywoman!   Welcome to what we hope will  be a gathering point for all things woman—women at work, in leadership, at home, single and married, women missionaries and more.  We’re simply sharing our thoughts and reflecting on being a Christian woman in  today’s world."

Cadbury Dairy Milk to go Fairtrade!

Ok, so I am VERY excited and pleased that Cadbury are going Fairtrade for their Dairy Milk bar as, probably like many others, I do try and buy fairtrade chocolate where I can but honestly nothing has ever beaten Dairy Milk for taste - there really is nothing quite like it so I am glad that I shall be able to eat it completley guilt free soon!  

In fact, I wonder if actually I may need to increase my Dairy Milk intake in order to show support to Cadbury and the cocoa farmers.  Hmmmm, I think so.....

I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them [E.V. Lucas]

We've had a busy couple of weeks.  Seems like our break in half term was a LONG time ago!  But in tonight and enjoying some time just to chill.  Last weekend we had Ben's parents to stay and we discovered Cannon Hall Farm which was just brilliant.  It was pretty cheap to get into, free for Callum and had lots to look at and do, including the biggest and best playground I think I've seen.  Needless to say we spent a lot of time there!  Unfortunately Callum got scared by some rather loud sheep, and was then rather wary of the other big animals, but we did get to see brand new baby rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as piglets, lambs, albino wallabies, lots of birds and the other usual suspects on a farm at this time of year.  Their cafe was also rather good, lots of home-grown food and not bad prices. They also had a farm shop and deli which we couldn't resist and have just eaten a game pie which the in-laws bought for us.  I wasn't too sure about it at first - it tasted nice, just tried not to think about the contents too much!  Don't think I'll be having another one anytime soon. 

Yesterday we looked after our god-daughter and C's best friend Sophie who is lovely. She and Callum get on like a house on fire, except when they're fighting, but they're quickly friends again.  We went to see more farm animals - what else there to do with a toddler!?!?!?  

Today Ben went to lead a morning quiet retreat for some churches in the Peaks whilst I toddled off to brunch with our church community.  This afternoon we decided to take a rather last minute dash to Meadowhall and timed it COMPLETLEY wrong and ended up getting stuck in match traffic as everyone was pouring out of the stadium.  In the end we didn't make it to MH but ended up just doing a loop back round to our house, which probably wasn't any further than a couple of miles in all but took half an hour.  Hilarious waste of time and fuel/the environment etc. Never mind. Took a stroll to the 'geeseyducks' in the park instead and ended up playing silly running games with C and I took a few goes on the slide.  I love pretending to be a kid again, it's a lot of fun.  Felt like a bit of a release from all the craziness of recent weeks. 

And so, looking forward to tomorrow, a day of total freedom, nothing planned, noone I need to see, a day to do with what we please. Fabulous :)

bus fun

from here via here

With all the snow we've had this week I've very much been on the side of the 'stop moaning and enjoy it' party. Whenever it does snow in Sheffield we almost always get very little as we're quite sheltered and down in the valley, so it's been rather exciting to get several inches, enough to build a snowman in the garden and to go sledging in the park. I don't think I've been sledging since I was little so it felt like a great privilege to introduce Callum to it; he kind of enjoyed it until he fell off - after that, not so sure but we will persevere!

I was reading Maggi Dawn's blog and she wrote about snow being something which seems to bring out a really child-like spirit in most people (except those who moan about it instead!) Grown adults go silly at the thought of sliding down a hill on their bottoms, or about throwing balls of frozen water at each other :) all good fun and for a brief moment yesterday I thought that it might be quite nice if it snowed more often.

Anyway, here is some of what Maggi wrote which I liked:

G K Chesterton captures the childlike quality of sheer, unadulterated joy when something good happens. Never mind restraint, never mind whether you have stuff to do. If it's fun, pleasurable, life giving - there's only one response a child will give: "Do it again!"

"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."

elbow live with bbc concert orchestra

I've just discovered that Elbow did a live concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra for Radio 2 and I am a big Elbow fan so this is very exciting for me. You can watch one of the tracks 'Grounds for Divorce' below or press the red button on BBC if you're in the UK and have digital tv or here's the link to the full concert on the Radio 2 website. Go watch - you have until 10pm Sat 7 Feb!!!!

a little toy ben introduced to me this morning...

one of callum's favourite stories right now in a more pictoral form!

Wordle: tiger tea


just been to a pirates and princesses party with Callum. He had so much fun and was such a cute pirate!

home alone

another sporadic post from me...hey ho!

I am home alone today as Ben flew off to Peru this morning with a bunch of young adults from our church. He'll be gone for 11 days which is the longest we've been apart since being married. I know some people do it quite regularly but today I have found it HARD! I expected to just carry on as usual with the things I had planned, and expected to miss him more as the week goes by, but no! It feels like a huge emotional thing, I think especially as I've been ill for the past month and still not better yet (sinusitis - got drugs now so hopefully on the mend!), and obviously I've got to look after Callum on my own.

I think the thing which really got me was coming downstairs this morning feeling ok about it all and then seeing Ben crying as he was holding Callum. Well that set me off too of course and it feels like I've been hit with a big emotional bulldozer all day. In trying to figure out why I think it's partly the length of time, but also the fact that it's PERU!!! thousands of miles away, having a significant experience out there which we're not doing together (which is really unusual for us).

all is not gloom and doom though as I am off tomorrow to my parents for a couple of days - it's my dad's birthday on Friday so we're going out for the day which should be nice, and then I'm off to help at a kids camp in Dorset which should keep me nicely occupied and I hope the week will fly by!

If you feel like praying for me that'd be grand....and Ben and the team too!

Thanks x


Today I have a cold, am feeling very weary from all our busy-ness and have ordered myself not to work and instead to have an afternoon on the sofa in front of trashy tv. When you work from home it's soo easy just to log in, check the emails and do a few bits and pieces and before you know it you've spent an hour or two working. This does nothing for my rest levels!!!! So I have just checked my emails, I'll admit to that, but I've logged off again and it's only because I'm waiting for one in particular which is holding some stuff up....still waiting, grrr.

I can report this afternoon however that Neighbours looks different on Channel 5, not just cos of the ads, and Flog It comes from Cheltenham this afternoon - ooo, interesting!

Callum is still napping. We took him to church last night for the worship which he really loved. His best friend Sophie was also there and they loved running around making lots of noise and making people giggle. They're a funny pair. Sophie's mummy is cooking us dinner tonight and tomorrow (she's a real gem).

Callum is growing up! He's a real copy cat at the moment so we are trying to teach him lots of words - especially 'Granny' in time for Ben's parents visiting at the weekend. Trouble is he can copy lots of words but has no idea what they mean. Favourite words at the moment are: Duck, Quack (every time he sees water!), star, weeeeee! (especially when putting toys in the bath), wow!, yup, up (a new one for going upstairs), bear (for any soft toy), Stooooooo (for his uncle) and Emma (his aunt). He's also started making brooom noises when pushing his cars or trolley truck around and he's good at copying actions; he's been copying Stu doing a little wink/nod at him which makes him look like he's got a nervous twitch when he's trying to do it. Thanks Stu!

Right, off I trot, Ready Steady Cook is about to come on.

bunting and snow!

This week I managed to complete something I've been trying to get finished for ages - making bunting from one of Ben's old shirts (yeah I know it looked like a horrendous shirt, but it wasn't, I've just picked out the pattern, it wasn't like that all over!) Big thanks to my friend Lorna (via Becky!) for the use of her sewing machine,and to Bek who taught me what to do! It's gonna go up in Callum's room once the birthday season is over in a couple of weeks.

We had snow yesterday morning (all gone now sadly) but Ben took the opportunity to give Callum his first proper snow experience in our garden quite early before breakfast.

getting ready

first steps




Callum's first picture

He did this today at the playgroup we go to - how cute! It now has pride of place in our kitchen. I'm sure there'll be many more to follow...

In other Callum news....he's still not walking (crawling is much more 'in' don't you know), but he is beginning to make sounds that sound like actual words, including (with a bit of an optimistic parental interpretation!):
du (duck)
dya (dylan - our cat)
wow (!)
woo ooo (like a train)
yeah (!)

I don't think he knows what he's saying when he says wow and yeah, I think he's just copying us and his childminder Becky cos we all say those words quite a bit, but he definitely recognises ducks and dylan!

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