P is for Ponies – #AtoZChallenge

P is for Ponies – #AtoZChallenge

This April I’m joining in with the A to Z blogging challenge. Each day (apart from Sunday) I’m going to use a different letter of the alphabet to write about Monkey; her personality, hobbies and interests.

P is for ponies.

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As a child growing up in the 80s I loved My Little Pony so I was really excited when Monkey became a fan. I did have a slight rant about the way they’ve changed them but I got over that pretty quickly.

There is lots of cute My Little Pony clothing about at the moment and if you ask Monkey there is no such thing as too many ponies. The more ponies in an outfit the better!

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For Monkey, just playing with and wearing ponies wasn’t enough. She wanted to ride a real one! Our local stables don’t do lessons until age 4 but somebody recommended The Pony Patch in Glossop to us. Children can ride from age 2. They also get to groom a Pony and there is a small play area. We’ve taken Monkey a couple of times and she’s loved it.

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She doesn’t get to go as often as she’d like as it’s a train ride away but I’m hoping to take her again soon.

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O is for Over the Holidays – a#AtoZChallenge

O is for Over the Holidays – a#AtoZChallenge

This April I’m joining in with the A to Z blogging challenge. Each day (apart from Sunday) I’m going to use a different letter of the alphabet to write about Monkey; her personality, hobbies and interests.

O is for over the holidays.

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I know I’m stretching it a bit with this one but I was really struggling with O. It’s my first day back at work and Monkey’s first day back at nursery after the holidays so I thought it would be nice to look back at all the fun we’ve had.

Smithills Farm

We went to Smithills Farm with friends on the first day of the holidays. It was so much better (and cleaner!) than other farms I’d been to. Monkey enjoyed looking at the animals, the tractor ride, the donkey ride and playing on the playground but the highlight of the day had to be feeding the lambs!

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Cinema

Monkey had her first cinema trip when we went to see Early Man. It was one of the special kids screenings which was an absolute bargain so has been added to my list of go to rainy day activities.

Museum of Transport

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Monkey absolutely loves the Museum of Transport – Greater Manchester. I’m not sure why she likes it so much but whenever she’s been we’ve had to drag her away so she was very excited to visit these holidays. She loves climbing on and off all the buses and pretending to drive them.

Picnic in the park

After rubbish weather for what feels like forever it was great to get back to the park for a picnic with friends. We used to do it loads when they were babies but with the kids at different nurseries and mums working different days we don’t get together as often as we used to. It’s always fun when we do though.

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Make Lunch Club

We were asked back to help out at Heaton Park Methodist Church’s Make Lunch Club. I wrote a post about why this is so important a few months ago. Monkey and I have so much fun during the holidays and all families should have that opportunity without worrying about how they’re going to feed their kids. I go along when they need a first aide and although we’re officially helping, in reality Monkey has a fun day out playing with other children and we both get a lovely meal cooked for us.

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Terrific Tuesday at Manchester Cathedral

The cathedral is Monkey’s happy place. She loves it there especially when they have children’s events on. We went to a Terrific Tuesday called Capes and Copes; Saints and Superheroes. She learnt all about St George and also what the different coloured robes worn in church mean.

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Beeston Castle

Another lovely day out with friends was spent at Beeston Castle. The bridge is a bit scary if you’re rubbish with heights like me but the view from the top makes it all worth it. For little adventurers like Monkey, it’s the perfect place. So much space to run around and explore. And explore she did! So much so that she had an afternoon nap for the first time in years.

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Rock Hunting

And finally, if you follow me on instagram you’ll have noticed that Monkey has become involved with our local rock painting group. She loves searching for rocks and gets very excited when she finds one. We had a go at painting some of our own but we only had poster paint so they didn’t turn out too well but I’ve got a proper kit arriving tomorrow.

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How were your Easter Holidays? Hope you had as much fun as we did.

N is for National Offer Day – #AtoZChallenge

N is for National Offer Day – #AtoZChallenge

This April I’m joining in with the A to Z blogging challenge. Each day (apart from Sunday) I’m going to use a different letter of the alphabet to write about Monkey; her personality, hobbies and interests.

N is for National offer day.

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If you live in England and have a child born between 1/9/13 and 31/8/14 (or even know someone who does!) you will know that today is the primary school offer day.

Monkey has been counting down to this day for weeks.

I’ve been feeling sick!

I don’t know why it’s been stressing me out so much. We have lots of good schools locally. Monkey is happy, she’s bright, she’s confident. I know that she’ll do well wherever she goes. Realistically I know that she is more than ready for school.

It’s just I’m not.

Monkey will be my only child. And this just feels like the baby days are really over. I’ll never have that time again. And it makes me sad.

I’m also sad that she has to leave her amazing nursery. She’s been there since she was 8 months old. I sent them this tiny baby, they taught her so much and now I’m getting back this intelligent grown up girl. She’s already starting to read and write, her vocabulary blows my mind and she can even speak French!

She’s gotta lovely bunch of friends at nursery. They’ve been together almost their entire lives so I’m sad that they’ll all be split up.

I was trying to keep calm but then on Saturday my social media started going crazy with people who knew their places. Apparently they’d received letters with today’s date on it. Cue me stalking the postman, but nothing arrived.

Yesterday I decided to stay up until midnight to find out. I’d been reliably informed that the places go live at midnight. And they do in 99% of the country, but not here.

From 11.55 last night until 4 this morning, I was manically hitting refresh on both my emails and the council website. I was obsessively checking my junk mail. At four I decided I wasn’t going to hear so I went to bed.

I was up at seven! Today has been powered by diet coke and energy drinks. Monkey’s first question was “What school did I get?” but I still didn’t have an answer.

My email finally arrived at 8.32 although it felt so much later. It was great news though, we got our first choice. Monkey was so excited and wanted to go there straight away. She’s not impressed September is so far away! We’ve been to buy school uniform bows and had a walk past the school.

My baby girl really is growing up.

Hide and Seek – Living Arrows 16/53

Hide and Seek – Living Arrows 16/53

Living Arrows is a weekly linky hosted by Donna at What the Redhead Said. The name comes from a line in a poem by Kahlil Gibran, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” and the project is all about celebrating childhood.

Every Monday I’ll share a picture of Monkey taken that week. I can’t wait to look back at the end of the year and see how much she’s grown and all the adventures we’ve had.

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There were so many pictures I could have chosen this week. Our Easter holidays have been amazing. We’ve managed to fit so much into our time off and it feels like every single day we’ve been out and about doing fun things.

This picture was taken on Wednesday at Beeston Castle. It’s an English Heritage site about an hour away from where we live. I’d never been before as I don’t drive and it’s not really doable by public transport so when a friend asked us along this week we were really excited.

And we weren’t disappointed! It’s a beautiful place. The view from the top of the castle is amazing and there is just so much space.

My friend has a son three years older than Monkey and the two of them just loved running around, exploring, climbing and playing lots of games. We played stuck in the mud, what time is it Mr Wolf, tig and hide and seek. I caught this picture of Monkey hiding behind a tree and I love it.

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Lois and Eunice – Mummy Meditations

Lois and Eunice – Mummy Meditations

This week we got to study two women for our Mummy Meditations. And what amazing women. This week’s verse was 2 Timothy 1:5. It really spoke to me and I’ve enjoyed finding out more about it.

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

I LOVED this verse. It seemed to say to me that what I was doing was important, being a mum was important. God is using us as mothers to pass on his legacy, it is such an important role. It starts by teaching them about our own faith and letting them see our faith in action but it’s more than that. We need to guide them into their own relationship with God.

I recently read Parenting Children for a Life of Faith by Rachel Turner. It was an excellent read and has really made me think about some of the things I do with Monkey. I’m in a few facebook groups for Christian mums, I take her to church groups just for her age. There are so many things we can buy, borrow, watch or do to help us pass on our faith.

But Lois and Eunice had none of that.

What they had was a sincere faith. A faith that they held onto and passed on to Timothy. We are told in 2 Timothy 3:15 that he knew the scriptures from an early age. I believe that being brought up by these women with such a string faith and studying the scriptures from such a young age got him off to the best possible start in his faith journey. This is something I want for Monkey. I wrote a post recently about the ways in which I share my faith with Monkey so it doesn’t need repeating here. I did want to share this video from one of her Postal Bible School lessons though, just because it makes me smile.

If I loved this verse when I first read it, I loved it even more when I did some reading around it. Acts 16:1 tells us that Timothy’s father was a Greek. He did not share the faith of Eunice or Lois and yet Timothy grew up to be a religious teacher.

I sometimes see children who are in families where everyone goes to church, where they pray together before meals, where faith is a given. But that’s not our family and that’s ok. I sometimes wonder if I’m doing enough with Monkey but these two women give me a lot of hope.

M for Manchester – #AtoZChallenge

M for Manchester – #AtoZChallenge

This April I’m joining in with the A to Z blogging challenge. Each day (apart from Sunday) I’m going to use a different letter of the alphabet to write about Monkey; her personality, hobbies and interests.

M is for Manchester.

M

Monkey was born in Manchester. She’s lived here all her life. She’s very manc and very proud of it. And why wouldn’t she be? Manchester’s great! I could give you loads of reasons why Manchester is the world’s finest city but I thought it would be fun to ask Monkey for hers.

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1. She lives there

Now I’m not saying my kid is vain but apparently the very best thing about Manchester is that she lives here! Forget our proud history, great shops, night life, sporting achievements. None of that matters, it’s all about her!

2. It has lots of good cafes

What can I say? Food is important to Monkey. She loves a good cafe especially if they’re serving hit chocolate and cake.

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3. The cathedral

Monkey loves the cathedral! It’s one of her very favourite places to be. She’s been to quite a few of the children’s events they have there and will sometimes ask to go even if there isn’t anything special on. It’s a beautiful building and I love that she is so comfortable there.

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4. The Bus Museum

Monkey absolutely loves this place.  It’s basically just a load of old buses parked up in the old tram depot but whenever she’s been we have to drag her away. I bet most of Manchester don’t even know it exists but it’s right up there in the top 5 things about Manchester according to Monkey.

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5. The shops

This girl is just like her mummy when it comes to shopping! She could spend hours looking round the shops, especially if it’s clothes or toys we’re looking at.

So there you go. Forget tourist information. These are the real reasons you need to come to Manchester.

Postbox Peeking – A Secretive Week!

Postbox Peeking – A Secretive Week!

It’s been a funny old week for post. I’ve had absolutely nothing for myself, no letters and no shopping! And most of what has arrived I can’t show yet. But I love my little postbox peeking slot so I’m carrying on anyway. Here’s what we’ve had this week.

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Letters

Monkey got two letters this week from her penpals Alison and Bentley who are brother and sister. She was very excited as they were talking about rock hunting which she has got into in a big way over the Easter holidays.

Shopping

Not much I can show you here. I bought a present for a birthday party Monkey is going to next week. I also got a few bits for the Mummy Meditations 300 members Spring swap. None of them have gone to their owners yet so I’m keeping them secret for now.

Other stuff

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Monkey received this HUGE parcel as part of a very exciting project she’s been chosen for. We’re not allowed to tell you about it just yet but keep your eye out for more news soon.

So there you have it, I’ve told you nowt! If you’re feeling less secretive than me, I’d love to know what you’ve had in the post this week.