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.

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.”

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



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


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.

Sarah's Wedding 100

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

Sarah's Wedding 033

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

Easter 2011 010

The Yorks

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


Easter 2011 030

The Frosts


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


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

Furlough011 001

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

Cruise 2011 033

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


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

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.
We raced home to open the rest of our gifts.
Friends joined us for lunch. We ate loads of food and enjoyed good fellowship.
More gifts.
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.


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! 


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Trimming The Tree; A Family Tradition


The box‘s came down from the attic.


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


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


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


Our beautiful tree.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Time For A Little TLC!


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



Enchanted Wood Walk, Syon Park


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





Laser Light Display



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.


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



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.