Friday, 30 December 2011

Taking Stock for 2012:- A Personal Assessment.

I know that the time will soon be upon us to close the books on 2011 and gear up for the next year.

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2012 is a non-travelling year for us (I hope). That means I can take advantage of the school breaks and as much down time as I am allowed. This has left me feeling very purposeful about how I spend my time. I don’t want it to be frivolous or squandered on meaningless pursuits.

So, how do I figure out what is important. Brainstorm:- What are my responsibilities, What can only I do, what am I good at, what do I love, what of the future?
Of course everything is bathed in prayer and I trust God to lead me.  When asked may my answer be that of Mary who said, ““I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

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So in the first steps of making a plan for 2012 here is my personal assessment:-

  • What are my responsibilities?  wife, mother, schoolwork, overseas work
  • What can only I do?  wife to Jim, mother to James, daughter, sister, friend, Afterschool Club
  • What am I good at?  listener, teacher, writer, motivator, homemaker
  • What do I love?  books, photography, blogging, talking, teaching, relating, all things creative, my dog Lilly.
  • What of the future?  financial security for me and my loved ones, a spiritual legacy for my kin, to continue to have an impact in a needy world, to smile at the future!
If any one has anything else I should have remembered please let me know.

Now to break this down into milestones

11 Things To Be Thankful For In 2011

 

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Son’s adjustment to High School has been pretty big. It has been a challenging year for all of us.

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I have had a great year of school work to be thankful for. This year I am moving into a new role and finding it a little more challenging.

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At Easter we were able to join my family in Florida to celebrate the marriage of my baby sister Sarah to Luke Fanning.

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Being an only child and living overseas family times are really precious to James.

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The Yorks

We were afforded the pleasure of seeing both sides of our family.

 

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The Frosts

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I walked for charity this year and eight of my colleagues joined me.

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Lilly continues to be a great sense of comfort to me.

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It was also Furlough year this year so off we trotted to the USA to report back to friends and family about our work.

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While away we had the opportunity to celebrate 20 years of marriage.

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It is a crazy hectic life but we manage to let our hair down and stay sane. (I think).

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas 2011

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Started the day with worship. Had a special breakfast and opened one gift each before heading to Church.  All the kids brought one of their toys to show the congregation which is a time honored tradition.
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We raced home to open the rest of our gifts.
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Friends joined us for lunch. We ate loads of food and enjoyed good fellowship.
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More gifts.
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Play-Station and more food!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Half Way There

So I am 50!  My son says I am half way there.  Half way to where I am not sure!

I honestly don’t feel any different. Although when I look in a mirror I know I see a difference.

I won’t let it slow me down. I now have 50 years of experience on my side. : )

I had a lovely day. I slept in and took it easy. Hubby and son took me to a restaurant of my choice which happened to be an Indian. Friends were lovely.  Lots of well wishers on facebook, some lovely thoughtful gifts and a nice phone call or two from family and friends. You can’t ask for more. I am so blessed.

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December 24th, 1961

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Are You Ready For Christmas?

“Are you ready for Christmas?” is a polite conversation starter this time of year, much like, “what about this weather?”. I am invariably comforted when I hear an incredulous “no!” because it makes me realize I am not alone.

The idealist in me would love to have all the gifts wrapped, homemade cards written and sent, meals planned, groceries done, cookies baked, house decorated and me enjoying the Christmas merriments with my family. However, life crowds this ideal out.

So, as I brave the burgeoning Malls looking for those last minute buys and scrape together some sort of menu to order my grocery delivery, I have made the decision to keep it simple this year. Decorations will be minimal and the house will be clean, Delia Smith and Nigela Lawson can claim all the fame for a homemade Christmas feast in 2011 and I hope and pray my friends will forgive me for not sending them a card again this Christmas and know that I love them anyway.

My decision is to spend as much time with my beautiful son, hubby and Lilly this Christmas. Creating a space to worship and rejoice God our Saviour. So, am I ready for Christmas? You betya! 

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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Trimming The Tree; A Family Tradition

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The box‘s came down from the attic.

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The Christmas Music went on and the mince pies and hot chocolate came out. Even Lilly joined in.

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We wanted a real tree this year but time and money couldn’t afford.

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My dear sis gave me beautiful handmade ornaments so they took pride of place.

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Our beautiful tree.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Time For A Little TLC!

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I can tell that there is a great temptation, as a teacher, to feel that the Christmas preparations and celebrations are finished with the last day of term.  Tired and a little deflated I somehow need to reboot and re-energize.

Family preparations have definitely taken a back seat. I have served parents in my Parent Support Role, I have served teachers in my H L T A Role, I have served children in my Learning Support role and now before serving my family I need some TLC! 

So, in the few minutes that I have on this early afternoon I am settling down with

  • my favorite flavored coffee (Christmas Pudding)
  •  a mistletoe scented Yankee Candle
  • my dog Lilly
  • and a new book that the postey left, “The Christmas Mystery”, by Jostein Gaarder  

And here’s to all educators out there, take a moment and breath!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Enchanting

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Enchanted Wood Walk, Syon Park

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Walking an hour or two with you on a wintery evening.

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Laser Light Display

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Hot roast chestnuts, mulled wine and hot chocolate is the order of the evening!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Monday, 5 December 2011

20 Days of Thanksgiving.

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The Christmas Season has begun. I am thankful for friends and family to celebrate with. We kicked of the season by having dessert and coffee with our home Bible Study Group. We meet every other Friday to Study the Bible together and encourage one another.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Timeless

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I made this advent calendar for James when he was about 3 years old. I wanted something both familiar and traditional for us to count the days away until Christmas. It is covered in tiny beads so that he can play and decide where he wants to place the nativity characters.  We have hung it in our living room for the past 10 or so years. I recognized, about four years ago, that it had indeed become as precious to him as it had to me. He proudly relayed a story to me about his Sunday School teacher wishing his mum would make him a Nativity Calendar. He is almost 13 and he still reminds me it is time to bring out the calendar. It will probably be too worn out by time he has kids but I hope he fondly remembers it.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pinterest

I wanted to find out what all the interest in  Pinterest.  AND I am hooked. I was using tumbler to store and catalogue all those crafts I someday wanted to return to but it was a time consuming job. Now I have signed on to Pinterest it does all the work for me I love it. If anyone needs and invite leave me your email and I will send you one.

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Rediscovering Christmas

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We started a new tradition this year. We will have our traditional daily Advent for James but I wanted to do something as a family that might have more spiritual significance. When we lit the first candle we read the Bible story in Luke 2:21-40 about Simeon and Anna awaiting the Messiah. We will lite a candle each week and the large one on Christmas day. Counting down to Christmas is reminding us that we are celebrating his birth and awaiting for his return.

For an advent Bible study look at ‘Rediscovering Christmas’ on You Version.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Decorated Frame

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Found this metal frame at my local store and decorated it with ribbon and die-cuts

Monday, 28 November 2011

20 Days of Thanksgiving Day 7

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Look at these turkeys!

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We recently celebrated Thanksgiving with our church and this was our entry for the ‘construct a turkey from newspaper competition” I am so thankful for my church that gives us good fellowship and solid council from the Word.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Big Weigh In

Jim is at goal weight and experiencing what it is like to stay there and I see goal appearing on the horizon.  The question in my mind is what should my goal be?  10lbsA healthy weight for my height and age has a 2 stone (28lb.) variable!  In my mind I am 1lb. away from goal but Slimming World have put my goal a few pounds lighter. In any case a few more weeks should do it.

I have also noticed that my weight is shifting around. I lost 2lbs. this week but the difference in inches around my hips is amazing. I can only deduce that the weight is pre-proportioning itself around my body. Probably not very scientific but it makes sense to me. 

I feel quite rich now that I have a wardrobe full of barely worn clothes that I am able to use.  It was quite depressing to only have a few outfits that fit and a feeling that nothing ever looked decent.

Jim and I feel quite pleased with ourselves these days. We admire each other from across the room and make comments about how good we look.  No one else seems to have noticed. Either they are not saying much or they are not as shallow as we are and honestly don’t see a difference!Smile

Saturday, 26 November 2011

November Color Challenge

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I have always got a lot of inspiration from Magazine layouts and I have always loved this front cover. So, November’s color challenge is from this cover page. Lots of traditional Christmas color but mixing it up a little with the country blue. 

Watch this space in December for my entry.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Big Weigh In

The big news this week is that I reached a 1 stone weight loss (14lbs to my USA 10lbsreaders). Slimming World have determined that another 7lbs loss would be a healthy weight loss but I haven’t decided if I want to go that small yet.

I only lost 1/2 lb. this week but it doesn’t trouble me as I celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my church yesterday and ate a sumptuous feast. Yes, one of the reasons I started weight loss when I did is so that I don’t have to miss out on the celebrations for my favorite time of year!

I am aware, now that I have lost weight, that it is time for some toning exercise. I get plenty of cardio type exercise but now I need to tone and build. This will be my next adventure!  Hope you have a healthy week. Smile

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Color Challenge Show and Tell

 Here are my entries for the October Color Challenge. (Instructions Color Challenge. ) 

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Old Provo Craft Paper, Labels from DCWV stack – I think it is ‘Doodling Around’. Stamp is from Stampin’ Up

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Supplies as above plus cotton background paper on a cheap block I picked up from a craft fair and the leaves are taken from a stem of fake silk flowers.

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Embossed cardstock was done with a Cuttlebug folder and inked with Ranger ink pad.

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I used lacquers to accent the background papers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Look out for November Color Challenge coming 25th November