Old and New Friends – Postbox Peeking 29/10/17

Old and New Friends – Postbox Peeking 29/10/17

I’ve not had a lot of post lately so it was nice to get back to normal and be able to write a Postbox Peeking post.

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So here we go with a look at this week’s post.

Penpals

I had one penpal letter this week, from Jessica in New Zealand. We’ve written to each other for ages now and it’s always great to hear her news.

Child Sponsorship

I’ve sponsored a child through World Vision for quite a few years now. At the moment I sponsor Regina who is 8 years old and lives in Uganda. This week I received a progress report from her community as well as an updated photo of her.

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It was great to read that Regina is in school and in good health. There’s some great things going on in her community too. Babies are getting a better start in life as awareness campaigns have resulted in 360 children receiving immunisations and 240 more babies being exclusively breast fed.

Children’s clubs are teaching children in the community about their rights and getting them involved in improving their community. Children who have dropped out of school are getting vocational training and children are benefiting from sports, music, drama and environmental clubs giving them new skills whilst having lots of fun.

Adults in the community have set up a savings and borrowing group.

I love getting reports from World Vision and seeing how a relatively small amount from me can make such a difference to the life of others. Monkey has become more and more interested lately so I recently made the decision to sponsor another child in her name.

Ndeye Awa is 3 years old and lives in Senegal. She was actually born on exactly the same day as Monkey. I’m hoping that with them being the same age I can show Monkey the things that they have in common (they both love playing with dolls!) as well as show her the differences in their lives.

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Monkey’s welcome pack arrived this week. She received a photo of Ndeye Awa, a writing set to send her a letter and two matching friendship bracelets, one for each of the girls.

Subscription packs

Our latest Nature Detectives pack from Woodland Trust arrived this week jam packed with Autumn activities to keep us busy outside. We’re looking forward to making a woodland monogram and doing some leaf printing.

Shopping

After reading Rachel Ridler – Mum on a Mission’s review and watching her Facebook live I decided to treat myself to this Bible Journaling kit from The Christian Lettering Company. Bible Journaling is one of those things I keep meaning to try but I haven’t yet. This starter kit is ideal. An absolute bargain at less than £15, it has enough for me to see if I enjoy it without spending an absolute fortune. I can’t wait to get started.

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What have you had in the post this week?

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Blogtober Day 20 – A Letter to a Teenage Monkey

Blogtober Day 20 – A Letter to a Teenage Monkey

Dear Monkey

First off, I love you. I always have and I always will.

I know that’s easy to say while you’re a happy smiley three year old. But if you’re anything like your mummy was as a teenager you’ll be moody, sulky, full of attitude and generally hard work. I’ll still love you though.

I know you’re all grown up now and far too cool to talk to me. I know I’m probably the last person you want to talk to but I need to know that you can. About anything! Whether it’s silly little things, that boy you like, school work or bigger more serious stuff. There is nothing too big or too shocking for me to help you with. I’m your mummy, that’s my job!

Next up, I’m proud of you. The teenage years may not show you at your best but I know you’re a good person. You are kind, you’re hard working, you have a strong faith and you care about people. These characteristics and your strong personality will help you through these difficult years. I know you will come out the other end and be an AMAZING young woman.

Love Always (yes even through the stroppy teenage years)

Mummy xxx

#Blogtober17

 

Blogtober Day 19 – Secrets

Blogtober Day 19 – Secrets

The prompt for today is secrets. I honestly don’t really have any but even if I did I wouldn’t be sharing them here. Instead I thought I’d share some of the things that I “secretly” worry about.

  • I caused Monkey to be born with a dairy allergy by eating too many cheese and onion pies when pregnant.
  • Choosing the right school for Monkey
  • If Monkey does too many activities
  • Monkey not doing activities she wants to do
  • Is Monkey too bossy?
  • Am I ever going to catch up with Blogtober?
  • Is Monkey always going to be the smallest?
  • Is it even a problem if she is?
  • How do I keep her safe once she starts going anywhere without me?

Etc, etc, etc! Basically my secret is that motherhood has turned me into a neurotic mess!

#Blogtober17

 

Blogtober Day 18 – Relaxation

Blogtober Day 18 – Relaxation

Well I was doing so well but now it’s all gone horribly wrong. I am notoriously bad at challenges like this so getting this far in and still being up to date was a real achievement. I was feeling pretty proud.

And then I got ill.

I’m not one for lying around feeling sorry for myself when I’m poorly but the combination of a chest infection and a tummy bug hit me pretty hard and left me with no energy. By the time I got home from work I was only fit for bed. I got behind…

BUT October isn’t over yet. There’s still time to get all my Blogtober  posts done, starting with this one on relaxation. I just laughed when I saw that. I have a three year old and a job, when do I get to relax?

I’m not actually being fair to Monkey there though. While spa days may be a thing of the past, she has always been a great sleeper meaning I do get some time to myself in an evening. Here are a few of the ways I use that time to relax.

Penpals

I’ve had penpals for well over 30 years now and find writing letters a great way to relax and unwind at the end of a day. I’ve slacked a bit lately so I really need to tackle my huge mail pile while I’m off work this week.

Cross Stitch

I am the world’s slowest stitched but I do enjoy it. I’m working on a family tree cross stitch that I started well before Monkey was born. I think my original plan was to finish it before she arrived, now I’m just aiming to finish it!

Bubble Bath

Nothing gets between me and my daily bubble bath. When Monkey was younger and so poorly they could be super quick at times but could be the only 10 minutes I got to myself so were really important in keeping me sane. These days it’s all a lot more chilled and I can spend hours in there with a good book. Which brings me nicely onto…

Reading

Before having Monkey I could easily get through two books in a week. Last year I read four! I’ve decided I need to get back into my books though so I’ve included a few reading challenges in my 40 things to do before I’m 40 challenge.

Bible Time

Anyone who has ever taken small children to church will know that it’s definitely NOT relaxing. However I do find a lot of peace and comfort in reading the bible and I know make time to read at least a few verses every day.

What do you do to relax?

#Blogtober17

 

Make Lunch Holiday Club

Make Lunch Holiday Club

It’s the first day of the half term holidays today. For me, that means a week at home with Monkey fitting in as many fun activities as possible. It’s a time that we both look forward to and really enjoy.

For some families though the holidays aren’t so exciting. It can be a time of added stress and financial pressure as parents wonder how they are going to entertain and feed their children.

Recent statistics say that 3.5 million children live in poverty, that’s one child in every 4. Free school meals can make a huge difference to some of these families. 1.2 million children are eligible for free school meals but when the schools are closed there are no free meals.

That’s where Make Lunch come in. Make Lunch is a network of churches working to fill the holiday hunger gap by providing free nutritious hot meals during school holidays. The problem is so big it can seem impossible but they work on the simple idea that one meal for one child can make a big difference.

I first heard of Make Lunch through a Facebook group for Christian mums that I’m part of. A member asked if anyone with a first aid certificate was able to help out at a club in Manchester. I’m a first aider at work, work at a school so would be off and live in Manchester, I was meant to see that message and I was meant to be there. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways and if it happens to be through facebook then so be it.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and today me and Monkey had a tram ride over to Heaton Park Methodist Church. Officially I was there to help out, but nobody fell over so in reality Monkey had lots of fun and I got to see the wonderful work of a local (ish) church.

Each Make Lunch club runs slightly differently. Some have games, some have crafts, some get the children involved in the cooking. The emphasis is very definitely on having fun, it doesn’t feel like a ‘charity’ meal or a soup kitchen. Today was mainly younger children so they had lots of toys out and did some mask making before sitting down to a delicious meal.

And it really was delicious! Pasta with a lovely homemade bolognese sauce, cheese, garlic bread, sweetcorn, vegetable sticks and bread and butter followed by melon, pear, banana, cake and raspberry ripple ice cream. Parents and helpers ate too which I wasn’t expecting. It made for a really nice atmosphere with everyone sitting round the table together and chatting. After the meal the adults were offered a bru and a biscuit whilst the kids played some more.

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At the end of the session each family left with a bag of groceries and big smiles on the faces of both the children and adults. It saddens me that food poverty is stopping families enjoying this week together in the way that me and Monkey do. Nobody should be worrying about how to feed their kids when there’s so much food to go round. Make Lunch really is making a difference and it was an honour to be a small part of it today. I’m now looking into how I can get more involved.

Blogtober Day 17 – 10 Bible verses to share with your preschooler

Blogtober Day 17 – 10 Bible verses to share with your preschooler

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it. With this in mind I have always tried to share my faith with Monkey. For me that means so much more than just taking her to church each Sunday. It’s also about trying to live a Christian life and giving her a good knowledge of the bible. Young children learn so quickly so it is never too early to start.

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Here are ten of my favourite verses to share with young children.

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.

Deuteronomy 6:5

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Luke 6:31

As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Matthew 19:14

Jesus said “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven.”

Psalm 118:24

This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

#Blogtober17

 

Blogtober Day 16 – Phobias

Blogtober Day 16 – Phobias

There’s nothing quite like writing a post about phobias to make you realise how soft and mard you are. I did ask Monkey what she was scared of but I just got a look of disgust and “Don’t be silly mummy. I’m VERY brave!” After seeing her reaction to cats the other day I’m not entirely convinced but to be honest not much bothers her and she’s definitely braver than me.

I appear to be scared of everything. Here are my top seven phobias.

Pogonophobia – the fear of beards

I can’t cope with this new fashion for hipster beards. Not only do they look stupid, they terrify me. I always wonder what they’re hiding under all that hair.

Acrophobia – the fear of heights

I don’t know when this one started. I can’t remember a time when I was good with heights. As a child I remember even little muddy rides having to be stopped to get me off because I was screaming. I have got better as I’ve got older but I still don’t like it.

Astraphobia – the fear of thunder and lightening

I know it’s only the lightning that can actually do me any damage but I think the thunder actually scares me more. It’s just so loud and angry sounding. I’m not sure what I think is going to happen but the only way to cope with a storm is to wrap myself in a duvet and cover my ears.

Globophobia – the fear of balloons

I’m ok with balloons if they’re tied up well out of the way of anything or before they’re blown up. I’m just paranoid about them popping. I hate it. I’m just not good with sudden loud noises.

Pyrophobia – the fear of fire

I’m 38 years old and can’t light a match! In an absolute emergency I can sometimes light a lighter but only certain kinds. Bizarrely I love bonfire night and fireworks though, but only from a distance.

Telephonophobia – the fear of talking on the telephone

This is probably the one that causes me the most problems. It’s not just official phone calls or people I don’t know that I struggle with, I find it difficult to talk to friends or duly on the phone too. I hate it when my phone rings and have to really psych myself up to actually phone anyone myself. I’ll do anything to get out of a phone call. I’d much rather send a text. It can make me look rude at times so I do try but I get in such a panic about it.

Nosocomephobia – the fear of hospitals

Pre- Monkey I was terrified of hospitals but after three years of her hospital appointments I’m almost cured. I still don’t like the places but I wouldn’t say I’m scared anymore.

#Blogtober17