Friday, 16 February 2018

Permanent!

Most of you will know by now but I've now got a new job: from 1 June I'll be a Lecturer at the University of Stirling (technically it's "Lecturer in Cyber Security"... more on that some time!) In practical terms for our family the crucial thing about this is that it's permanent, so for the first time since the move to Loughborough we can properly plan long-term! We no longer need to worry about relocating, changing schools, whether it's really worth commiting to that, or painting this or that because it won't be long before we move etc, etc. Work-wise it means I can also do my own research rather than working for someone else (though in practice I've been more-or-less doing that for a while), and I'll now have a load of teaching to do. Somewhat excitingly I'll also get an office to myself (I have never had this before!) and I took a look at it today, it's great! Here's the view from the window...


Very exciting indeed, and as always God's timing is perfect. Being a post doc researcher has been a lot of fun and gave us time and flexibility to figure out family life right when we needed it. Now we have security at just the right time too.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Cooking

Naomi has been asking to do more cooking with Mummy, naturally the others wanted to join in too. Tonight we made meatballs, sweet potato chips and veggies sauce. Lydia helped grate the cheese.







Skating

Naomi was desperate to go skating, despite never having been. She has been asking for ages so we said she could invite some friends and go for a birthday treat. If I am honest, I thought she would be awful but she was anything but, really good and I even had a bit of fun! (I ached everywhere for days after, though!!)

Excited in the queue, this might be my favourite ever picture of Naomi

getting brave enough to go round on her own (albeit near the wall)

She is getting too cool to smile for the camera

"Try and look like you're enjoying yourself"

Lydia was getting on really well with a penguin!


Mummy and Naomi together


Mummy and Lydia


Mummy and Naomi



Myummy and Miriam

It was a slippy, slidey, fally kind of affair



Lots of fun was had and she says she wants to go again

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Oh Naomi

Naomi,

On the basis that I am going to give you these letters when you are older, I am going to let you in on a secret. Unlike most of the other letters I have written (with the possible exception of the one for when you were three) I have struggled a bit to write this. I have discovered that seven is an age I struggle with, you are very much working out *who* you are at the moment and I think I am struggling to let go of who I want you to be. If I am honest, the two don't always seem to marry, but my job is to help you grow and guide you to independence, not to make you into exactly who I want you to be, so we will work out together the best way to navigate this season and in the meantime there are so many wonderful things about you that we will still have lots of fun and write plenty of lovely things this year.

So, what can I say about Naomi. First you are a creator. You love to craft, you love to design, you love to make, you love to stick, cut and colour. If you can't do more crafty thinking then you are happy to bake or cook. You are ever so good at it too, recently we had to make a costume for you to be in a show with the Brownies, I walked into the room with the brief "make an octopus costume" and I was incredibly overwhelmed, I had no idea what to do. You did though, you just picked up all the bits and bobs and by the end we had a brilliant octopus costume.



You regularly tell us you want to be a designer when you are older and I could quite believe it will happen and if it does I know you'll be brilliant at it. I believe you are made in the image of God and I believe that God is the *ultimate* creator and this is an aspect of God's character that I think you emulate beautifully.


You have a wonderful sense of joy in an occasion and I love it. I pray you will never lose it. You can always find a bit of fun in something.


Moving has always been your favourite state to be in, you even seem to move in your sleep, as in you never seem to be in complete rest. Increasingly though we find that you will sit still for a screen and (I find this one easier to approve) a book. I love to watch you read, not least of all as I imagien the more you read the even more incredible your story telling will become, and let's face it, stories are just creating with words, and we've already established that you are a creator!



You are a fabulous big sister. Most of the time. You love to play with your sisters, and you are very good at it too. Admittedly you have recently informed us that you would like us to have two more children and for them to be boys, sorry that we can't/won't oblige you on that one, but you have a lovely relationship with your siblings and it makes me proud to watch you take care of them.


You're a right dafty, which is good, it would be hard to fit into the family if you weren't. I am *so* glad you are here and so glad God gave you to me.  I find it challenging but I believe you to be worth every moment of it. You are beautiful, intelligent, wonderful and fun and you make me smile each and every day. 





My prayer for you this year is this. That you would learn to trust more in God, that you would cast your worries and cares on him and be sure that you are his child who always has a place in his Kingdom.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”                                                                                        John14:1-4



Saturday, 13 January 2018

Catch up

As it's a new year, let's catch up on the other things we omitted to blog about in 2017...

Quite some time ago now I bought a shed, so we had somewhere to put all the stuff that was in the garage.
Miriam helped me choose one - but she was also quite taken by this play house! Maybe some time.

Bed is a dangerous business and needs protective gear! 
Choo choo!
 
Admiring the view from their (then new) bedroom

Naomi made a stained glass window for her bedroom

Three years ago I was taking Naomi to nursery on my way to work, and she picked up this twig for me. It's still on my desk!
Naomi photobombing a picture I was taking of Lydia

...that's better!

Now Pancake Saturday alternates with Waffle Saturday!

Yum!

Lydia is getting good at drawing - she drew her family in creche at church

Here we are

Lydia also isn't totally decided on which way up she prefers to sleep.

World's biggest strawberry! We didn't grow this one.

The girls also now like to make tents in their bunk bed.

Getting ready for the garage conversion, we temporarily rehomed some furniture in a friend's shed. Here comes the benefit of Kevin's enormous size. that's a full height warddrobe, drawers, blanket box and a parcel trolley in there, with no hassle at all. Well, I thought that was pretty good.



Our little paddling pool is no longer big enough for so many children, so we got an upgrade near the end of the summer. No doubt it'll see a bit more use in 2018.


I gather that is a campfire.

I just like the expression Esther has here 

Button jar full - treat town!

No comment :)

Starting to make use of the play room. Of course, screens already make an appearance.

Treat town! Well done Lydia.

Jay went away for the weekend shortly after Miriam's birthday. Here we are trying out one of Miriam's birthday presents. Lots of fun!



Of course the cups also double up for magic tricks. Miriam invented this one herself!

While Jay was away we had a traumatic hour where we went to the school playground with bikes and all managed to injure ourselves (except me) - snack time was instigated to bring an end to the CRYING from all parties involved.

Guess who's moved to the big table!



Hurray!

Some nice dolly play



:-)

Naomi made a microphone so she could interview Miriam. The interview was extensive and detailed. Forensic even.

More high quality drawing.

Some cool looking clouds from my office.

Treat town - McDonalds ice cream!

This picture was in my "not yet blogged" directory but I'm sure I've posted it before. Anyway, it's Miriam from just before her 4th birthday looking very beautiful.