Previous Posts: June 2015

Summer List

This time last year I was feeling the hot summer sun in North Wales no less! We had a glorious summer holiday and this year we plan to have a staycation too!
I can’t bear the thought of Nathanael on a plane and all the luggage!

With that in mind I decided to create a summer  bucket list to make sure we make the most of summer and don’t let it pass by, which can happen I think when you don’t have major plans.
Here’s some of the things we will be up to!

Summer list

Let me know in the comments below some of the thinks you have planned for this summer!

Twenty Little Things

You may remember a recent post where I reviewed Melissa Michaels book Love The Home You Have. If you haven’t read that post please click the link! As I explained previously you can really engage with this book through the 31 Home Challenge, and the Twenty Little Things is one of them!
Melissa shares that when we look at overall home and all the projects we have planned we can become discouraged and fail to be grateful for all the little things things we already have.

Love the Home you have blog photo

So here are my Twenty Little Things!

I love that our home is detached, our old home had paper thin walls and we heard everything next door, which gives you the awful feeling that they heard you too! I love the frontage of our home, in modern homes they don’t seem to have any character but with bay windows, a front garden and a cute path leading to our door it adds to the family feel of our home. I am so pleased we have a detached double garage, perfect for storing all Nate’s outdoor toys, baby gates, fire guard and a whole host of baby paraphernalia.
I love my front door it happens to have been my Mum’s favourite colour a dark green.
I am so grateful for our kitchen, after slight changes it has everything I wanted, its spacious with room for people to gather, and has space for our dining table which is great with a toddler!
I am so happy with our new built in pantry, I thought I would bring a touch of America to our English shores and the fact that everything is all in one place is perfect.
When we made new additions to our kitchen we invested in an American Fridge Freezer and I am so pleased with our purchase, it was worth it for ice maker alone!
I am grateful for the luxury of a dishwasher, my family never had one growing up, we didn’t have one in our old home but our house came with one and I now wonder how I survived without one!
I love that we turned our second reception room from a dining room into a playroom for Nathanael. We get so much use out of this room, with space for all Nate’s toys, room to play and walls to display his artwork I think it is the happy room in our house.
From the playroom, you can access our garden from the French Doors, I love our patio area and we are working on restoring a huge wooden picnic table that was left from the previous owners. We have had to spend some hours on it, but I am grateful for the free item, they can cost so much money that we wouldn’t have spent ourselves.
This may be random but then you would expect nothing less! I am ecstatic we have a downstairs toilet we are approaching potty training age and the fact we won’t need to dash upstairs I am pleased for!
We love our Home Office situated downstairs, Luke works from home and the fact we don’t need to turn a bedroom into an office it gives us that bonus room to do what we like with!
I love that the 4 bedrooms we have are doubles, I know this is unusual in modern homes and I am so happy that we have this luxury. I have always wanted a great Master Bedroom and our home has it! It even has an entrance way into our room and before our en-suite.
Our Family Bathroom has a huge bath and I love baths, I also am grateful for the built in storage the main bathroom has with a gorgeous vanity area, we brought our huge bathroom mirror from our old home that fits perfectly.
I just generally love where our home is situated, right next to a park, which is well looked after, our home is in a village perfect for raising a young family,  a short walk and I have food shops, banks, post office and a community library you name it our village has it.
I am so pleased that our home is in the catchment area for a great faith school which feeds into an amazing secondary school, I know Nathanael isn’t ready for school yet, but to have this option open to us is amazing.
Overall, I am grateful our home lets us establish roots, its a family home with plenty of space, we don’t need to be looking for anywhere new!

So what things do you love about your home? Let me know in the comments below!

Nathanael Reads June Edition

It’s time for another browse on Nathanael’s book table! If you are new to the blog every month I like to share some of the books that Nathanael has been enjoying, this is not an exhaustive list as we would be here all day but just a few random selections I have made. I know on all of my posts with Nathanael they are memory keepers for me when he grows up!

Nathanael Reads 7

It’s Potty Time! By Tracey Corderoy and Caroline Pedler
That’s Not My Puppy Written by Fiona Watt and Illustrated Rachel Wells
Lost Sheep Written by Juliet David and Illustrated by Hannah Wood
Mike the Knight Dragons on the Loose
Mike the Knight and the Great Gallop

What Love Is–Week One

Perhaps you have seen my Instagram feed of late and have seen that I have started Kelly Minter’s What Love Is, The Letters of 1,2,3 John bible study. I am following this along with lots of other women via LifeWay’s blog but when the study arrived I couldn’t help but dive right it!

Firstly can I say if you don’t have a Complete Jewish Bible just look up 1 John 1:1-2 via Bible gateway I mean that is a beautiful description! To me its just a version of the bible that is so fresh and alive, like you were sat with John in his old age as he urges you on, friend I have seen Jesus, I have heard him! I have touched him!!
John is passionate, a man who has lived his life well, he is the last disciple left to share these things and he is hurrying his pen across the page urgent to tell us, implore us, strengthen and encourage us.

It was Week One Day 3 that had me floored, Kelly invited us to turn to 1 John 1: 3-4 she makes the point that at the core of John’s writing is community, fellowship and togetherness.

1 John 1

I mean how amazing is Jesus, not only does he love us and redeems us but he brings us together and creates for us a family, even if you do have to sit next to me in church with my warbling!

I joke, but there is a lot that stops us from being in community with one another. Perhaps you keep yourself on the outside and don’t join in? Perhaps you are not fully committed to sharing with others, you have been hurt by people and find it difficult to trust?

I write those things because I think I have been them all at some point in my life, years of being told as a teenager from adults that I was a problem can do a lot to make you feel that people don’t really want to get to know you in the end.

God has really done some huge restoration in that area of my life, I was a child whatever age, they were the adult, what they did was wrong plain and simple. I no longer feel like I am not worthy to be included, I am loved by the one who created the heavens and holds the world in his hands. I don’t flippantly write that, to know that to know, that to know I am loved by God is a huge thing coming from my background.

I have really taken our churches saying to heart No Masks// No Gasps// Only Jesus. You will likely hear me sharing how I have messed up in one way or another.
I do talk a lot so that is just more opportunity to mess up isn’t it?
I share it because being real and authentic is important to me, I know I relate to people far more  when they share their failings and triumphs rather than those who just preach a “good life”

The thing about being open thought is you can sometimes be discouraged, someone points out an area that your working on rather than standing alongside you and an instinctive reaction is to hide, to not share, to just point out the finer things in life.

God really encouraged me that we have to fight the temptation to “run and flee” mode, or the grumpy sulky me “that’s it I am never sharing again!”
I love what Kelly shares on what happens when we run from community
“This not only isolates our hearts, but others miss out on the uniqueness of what only we can bring”

You are unique, chosen and loved and we need you! So jump feet first into community, chances are at some point along the way you may be hurt, but the richness and joy that community brings is worth more than any momentary trouble.

Love the Home You Have

I  have recently finished Melissa Michaels new book Love The Home You Have and thought I would share some of my random thoughts with you!
It appears that every American lifestyle blogger and YouTuber are either following this book or Marie Kondo at the minute, but I do wonder whether the average person in the UK would have discovered The Inspired Room blog and Melissa’s marvellous book.

Love the Home you have blog photo

When it comes to homes the Americans and the Brits get lost in translation for example,when my Dad told me that his soon to be American in laws lived in a “ranch” I was picturing John Wayne not a bungalow.
I also think most English people would love the space of a completed basement underneath the house and all that space, lets confess we have envied those Pinterest playrooms, or is that just me? Our basements, if you do have one they are cellars, damp, dingy and from the Victorian era, playroom they are not, cinema room? no way!

I share this because I presumed I would have to overlook a lot of Melissa’s book because it just wouldn’t be applicable to my detached English home. I really want to encourage you that Love the Home you Have, doesn’t talk about the construction of your home, rather our attitudes towards it as well as our life in general.
Although the book doesn’t give you bible references, you can’t help but enjoy and gain wisdom from Melissa’s rich faith on every page, which was definitely one of the reasons why I bought the book.

Melissa takes you through her various homes that her family has lived in, explaining some of the things she loved about  each place as well as being candid in some of the problems each house had too.
You get a behind the scene glance in one chapter as to what it would be like if Better Home and Gardens decided to photograph your home, as well as wisdom on organisation and routines of your home.

Love the Home You Have really encouraged me for the season that my family is in right now, as I have explained in other posts we moved into our home when Nathanael was 6 weeks old, I was recovering from a C-Section and oh yes it was 4 days before Christmas!
In our first home I gave us grace for the time we were in – newlyweds, little disposable income, and an Edwardian house that obviously needed work.

For our current home, lured with only 10 years worth of wear, I overlooked the crazy colours the previous owners had painted everywhere, the dog stained carpets, and the fact that all of our furniture seemed quite small in our 19 foot Living Room. I forgot that it had taken 3 years for our old house to feel like “home.”
Our Home is just as much of a project as was the old one, just in a different package, the only difference is now we have our wonderful son Nathanael to factor his needs in too.
I also assumed that as I would be staying at home, I would have ample opportunity to “keep house” and no speck of dust would remain – how wrong was I.

Melissa explains a similar scenario when her children were younger, her house a mess, dishes in the sink, rubbish overflowing and still in pyjama’s her neighbour knocks on her door …
“Obviously I didn’t give my neighbour a warm invitation to come in, but I regret even more that I didn’t give myself grace for the life season I was in. Double fail. I was a new mom with small children.”

That gem transcends home making, organisation, lifestyle wants or needs. Those words leapt out of the page, you see I like Melissa and as I know so many other Mother’s around me don’t give ourselves grace for the season.
Whether that be keeping my home or my spiritual walk I tell myself I should be doing better, this attitude keeps us in bondage as we feel we aren’t good enough or we are missing the mark. It’s simply a lie.

Love the Home You Have is more than a “how to manual” it ministered to my soul as I place value on my role as home maker and the joy the haven our home brings to our family.

Melissa has also added a 31 day challenge to the book also, so I hope that as I complete some challenges I will be able to share those with you as I go along.

Let me know in the comments below if you have read the book and your thoughts too!