Wow! April was a jam-packed month! We spent a week away in Wales with our church family, enjoyed the sunshiney Easter weekend, celebrated Elias' 2nd birthday and spent many happy hours in the garden. It was so full that its taken me until May 3rd to get this blog post written! It has been full, but so much fun! And we're heading into a new month with lot's of happy memories from the last!!
So here's what we've been up to!
And the Shofar Blew. By Francine Rivers
I read this book years and years ago and it had a huge impact on me, so I thought I would read it again. It's a deeply moving and very challenging book about a guy who loses sight of what matters. It's the story of Paul, a Pastor who pushes on through with his plans without caring for those nearest and dearest to him, and all the while pushing to one side the God he's supposedly serving. It's very eye-opening. And in a culture which encourages us to strive for success and happiness at all costs, I think its a very apt read for this time. Particularly in considering how that thinking can seep into the church. If you haven't come across Francine Rivers before, her books are pretty epic. Often gritty, very hard-hitting, but deeply grace-centred. I couldn't put it down... again!
Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle
Oh my goodness... we have literally loved every second of our journey through the Chronicles of Narnia. You must've been hiding under a rock (or at least ignoring my social media!!) if you've missed the epic literary journey we just completed. I literally - we literally - LOVED every moment, every page, every chapter of this series. We read the last chapter the other night, and honestly, I thought there were going to be tears, but there weren't. Instead there was laughter, and true, deep joy not only at how the stories ended, but also at what it means for each one of us. The whole story is allegorical, so is deeply entwined with our own experiences of life, and the end destination is utterly stunning!
I'm already excited to read the whole series again with the boys in a few years!!
“Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
We discovered these were free on Amazon Prime and the kids have been hurtling through them. They are probably geared at slightly bigger kids (the recommended age is 8-12 years, though my 6 and 7 year olds have been loving them). Each episode tells the story of a famous Christian in history, from Corrie Ten Boom to Martin Luther, from Gladys Aylward to Harriet Tubman. Really accessible for kids, though the characters obviously do experience suffering so be aware of that.
I love this drama. We are not caught up yet, but I've thoroughly enjoyed every season. I've always had a fascination with Queen Victoria since childhood, and this series satisfies all my period drama cravings!
Shorts!! Yes! Actual shorts!! At last the sun appeared and so out came the summer clothes for the Easter weekend. As I type this, there are rain clouds hovering, but I'm told that the bank holiday weekend is going to be nice again!
Valor II - we've been on a journey to move to a natural lifestyle over the past two years. This little guy is my new perfume. It's an essential oil blend which is diluted so I can literally drop a drop straight on my wrists and rub in. It smells amazing, has no nasties in it AT ALL (it's literally all essential/carrier oil!) and has physiological and emotional benefits too! (If you want to chat Essential Oils with me, drop me a line... or follow my Instagram account @peppermint.pine) It's also blue (because it contains Blue Tansy) which the kids think is awesome, and to be honest, so do I!
Ava started piano lessons last month, and our piano has been the soundtrack to most of our homelife since. She can't seem to walk past the piano without playing through her pieces. I love her dedication to it already. I suppose only time will tell whether her eagerness will continue once the novelty has worn off! In the meantime, I am getting slightly fed up with "Yankee Doodle"!!
Olly was one of the worship leaders while we were away at Word Alive and we sang this song a few times... I've been listening to it ever since! Love it!
This is a firm family favourite in our home... the kids love a picky dinner, and have taken a real shine to olives and dipped bread in olive oil and balsamic. Seriously, I'm sure they were things that made me gag as a child!! I love that their tastes are being stretched though, and I love that it gives me an excuse to eat all my favourites!
Nature Journal Entries
We started nature journalling a couple of years back and we love it... its been so much fun to dive back into watercolour as the spring approaches, and my girlies love it as much as I do. This was an unfinished piece that Ava did! I'm hoping to share a bit more next week!
Ava was away for three days on a school camp, and while she was gone we switched the kids bedrooms around! She was so chuffed. I still have LOADS to do in terms of finishing touches, and on a serious budget... so more info on that to come!
I am loving the little stage we find ourselves in now. Its the first time I've had a two-year-old and not had a newborn, so I'm enjoying the freedom and excitement of the next stage of life! Over the Easter weekend we were for a bike ride together - the girls on their bikes, and the boys on the back of ours! It is SO much fun to be able to do little adventures like this now!
Literally loving every minute!
And that was our April!
Now on with May!