Thursday, 19 February 2009

New Blog Address

I've had a few people say that they filled the form below for the new blog address but haven't heard back from me. I hope it is working ok. I did reply to all the messages I received. If you didn't hear a reply from me please try again and remember that the code box IS case sensitive (usually they aren't). You should get a message saying whether you were successful or not. If it doesn't work please leave a wee comment so that I know. Thanks.

Right now I'm off to England for 10 days so will have lots to blog about when I get back. Over on the new blog, of course.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Time for a change

After three years of blogging it's time for a change.
I am going to start a new blog, at a different address.
If you would like the new blog address please fill in the form below and the link to the new blog will be emailed to you. Please state who you are, how long you've been reading the blog and tell me a little about yourself :)


Thanks, and see you at the new place!
Bree
(Scroll down for the form)



























Your Name :
Your Email :
Subject :
Message :
Image (case-sensitive):

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Fifteen Wonderful Years

Love is not a matter of counting the years,
But of making the years count...








Today is our fifteenth wedding anniversary, and I have now officially known Dan for more than half of my life! I have to say that the 15 years spent married to him have been the most content, exciting, fun, memorable and above all the happiest.

15 years ago we were both very young, very different people, still trying to work out who we were and where our place in the world was. But we have grown together and bonded in a way that is precious and, I think, unusual these days. Rather than growing apart we have knitted closer together. I couldn't imagine a life without Dan by my side, and I know he feels the same way. Some people believe in soul mates, and some don't, but I truly feel that I have found the person that I am destined to be with; that there is no one else for either of us, no one better suited, that we are just perfect with each other. After fifteen years we are no less in love than we were the day we married; in fact our love is stronger, more passionate and enduring.
Who would have thought that at the ages of 16 and 21 we would, by chance, meet the person we were destined to spend the rest of our lives with?
Fifteen years later, both a little wrinkly, a little grey, a bit fuzzy round the edges, we have some precious memories and some great stories to tell. We now have 4 adorable, precious children, each of whom are the light of our lives. After 15 years and 4 children we try to spend time doing things together, just the two of us. We have our own interests, and our joint interests.










This morning I woke up to discover a big plate of croissants, a cup of tea and Dan standing with 15 balloons in his hand! Each balloon has a little note inside it, and I am popping one each day for 15 days. Isn't he romantic?? He also made me a plate of 'fifteens' which are my favourite treats! Not just a plate of fifteens, but 15 fifteens! Plus he gave me an envelope full of vouchers, which I haven't opened yet.

I made Dan a book of Love and I was really pleased with how it turned out. Its basically a printed book of all the photos of us as a couple, with little love poems and quotes next to them. It is possibly the most romantic thing I've ever done, as quite honestly, I don't have a romantic bone in my body (yes, I know, it's so unfair that I am married to the most romantic man in Britain!) Dan said it was the best present he ever received, so that made me happy. He keeps reminding me that our anniversary isn't over yet, so I'm not quite sure what else he has got up his sleeve.




Dan,
You are the most amazing man. Every one who meets you thinks that you are an awesome husband and father, and its true. I love you with my whole heart, with everything that I have inside me. You are precious to me and I treasure every day that we spend together. Don't ever change. You are divine just the way you are. Here's hoping we spend another blissful 15 years together.
Love you forever,
Bree

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Little piglets and pretty flowers.

These first 2 months of Grace's life have just flown past. Where does the time go? Tomorrow she has to get her injections, and I'm not looking forward to it. I tried to convince Dan that he should take her, since I went through it all with the other three, but he didn't seem at all convinced. She has a blocked up nose at the moment. We have all been suffering with sore throats and threatening colds, so I guess she has caught it too. Her cry sounds a bit hoarse. Last night I got no sleep because she was snoring like a little piglet! She kept snorting and frightening herself! Poor thing. Her breathing sounds very snorty and snuffly, but she's such a good little thing and never complains.

Right now her biggest brother Jimmie is holding her on the sofa and he has just told me "I wish she could stay like this forever. I don't want her to grow up!" The kids are all starting to bond with her even more now that she smiles and reacts to them.

Jimmie and Annabelle are off this week for half term. Barney has one more day of school before he is off too. I went to his parent teacher interview on Monday and spoke to his teacher. As I expected he is doing just fine at school. She says he is settling in well and making friends. She told me she was very touched when Barney told her that he loved her! So sweet.

I had a lovely surprise yesterday when a parcel of flowers arrived in the post for me! Dan was a bit bemused about who might be sending me flowers though! hehe. As it turned out, they were from my lovely friends C and C who decided to cheer me up after a certain situation that I had to go to the police about. The flowers made me cry at first, but then every time I looked at them I remember that I do indeed have some very special friends, and I am a very lucky lady.

Here are some photo's from week 8 of Grace's life...































































This is Grace wearing the snowsuit that Neil bought her. Her legs don't go into the leg holes yet, so she's not actually as long as she looks in this photo!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Memories of childhood

Last week one of my friends mentioned that she'd bought a CD because she noticed that this song was on it. And boy did it bring back some memories for me!

I had to go to youtube to listen to it again. I am sure all my sisters will recognise this tune. It reminds me of happy evenings as a child when Dad would pick up the guitar and entertain us all. He had a great repertoire of songs, some hilarious like Grandma's Feather Bed, or The Court of King Caractacus, or even I Know An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly! We used to jump up and down and beg him for our favourites.

But my favourite was this song 'The Streets of London', which I personally feel sounds much better when my Dad sings it. Just listening to it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and reminds me of the safety of childhood when life was carefree and easy.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Snow-Woman!

Daddy and Barney enjoyed the recent snow by building a snow woman, complete with a Walmart nursing bra for feeding her non-existent snow baby. Cool. This fine specimen is currently on display in our front garden.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Grace chatter - 8 weeks

Happy Days


Today is a good day.

For one thing little Grace slept for 10 hours in one go last night, so no night time feeds! Of course I didn't sleep all that well because I was constantly listening out for her and expecting to be getting up. But hopefully this will be the start of a better night time routine. She's still asleep now. She woke up for a feed at 7.30, and went back to sleep at 8.30. Now at 10.30 she's still snoozing. Maybe she's having another growth spurt.

Secondly, it's snowing today, and the kids all had fun playing snowball fights this morning before heading off to school. It is still lightly snowing now, but I'm not sure if there will be any snow left by the time they get home from school.

Thirdly the stressful situation that has been bothering me for weeks seems to be finally sorted out. That's one huge weight off my shoulders. Plus I have the most amazing husband in the world; my hero.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A whole family update...

I have so many little things that I need to blog about, and so little time to blog these days. It's been 8 weeks since Grace was born, and it's been 8 very busy, hectic weeks. I'm posting a lot of photos with this blog, at least one of each of us. You can see the larger photos by clicking on them.

We are very proud of Annabelle who came 2nd for her age group in the UK National Archery Championships! Way to go girl! There is a photo below of her with her new silver medal. She has been progressing at Archery for a few years now, and recently won a bronze medal for overall achievement in her class. It's great that she has her own interest and something that is just for her. Jimmie did Archery for a term, a few years back, but soon lost interest.

Sunday was Dan's 37th birthday. We had a pretty quiet day until my sis H and her hubbie D came round. Daddy was spoilt with lots of lovely presents including DVD's, books, new clothes etc. I think he had a nice enough day, all in all. He was touched that Annabelle spent all her pocket money on his birthday present. How sweet of her. Next week it will be our 15th wedding anniversary. How time flies! There is a photo below of Dan on his birthday, and one of my sister H cuddling Grace and Barney.

Yesterday Daddy and the kids made some home made ice cream cubes, filled with raspberries, marsh mellows, chocolate and nuts. They are going to eat them tonight after dinner. Barney loves to create with food in the kitchen, and luckily for him his Dad is only too happy to help. Threre's a photo below of Barney making his ice cream cubes.

Grace is growing up so fast. She is getting into a good routine now. She's pretty good at night time, waking up for feeds at about 1am, 5am and 8am. In general she drinks her bottle, then I change her nappy, then we cuddle for a few minutes while I enjoy her almost constant smiles, then I pop her back into her moses basket and she generally just goes back to sleep. I couldn't ask for a better behaved baby, and for that I am very grateful! In the mornings Dan takes her for an hour or so while I catch up on sleep.

I need to concentrate on her daytime routine a bit now. I've noticed that she tends to have a good long sleep in the afternoons and I want to get her used to sleeping in her cot for that, so that the eventual transition at night time from moses basket to cot goes easier. I am so relieved that she doesn't suffer from constant colic like her eldest brother did. I had a nightmare time coping with him for the first few months as he never stopped crying at night. It's been a very stressing couple of weeks due to a certain attention seeking individual who has seemed incapable of leaving me alone. I'm sure I wouldn't have coped with all that if Grace had been a more difficult baby. Hopefully this poisonous person who insists of twisting the truth, back stabbing, and creating drama has finally decided to leave me alone. I have blocked her from contacting me in every way that I know how, so I'm pretty sure I'm safe from any more stress.

It does seem very strange having children at such different stages in life. Jimmie is a full on teenager, Barney is just starting primary school and learning to read etc, whilst Grace is still at that stage where she needs feeding every three hours. Let me not kid, it is very hard work! But also very rewarding. I do sometimes feel that I am stretched too thinly between them all, and I'm sure the older two get a lot less attention from me than they would like.

I am thinking of having a civil naming ceremony for Grace in the summer. Our other three children all had dedications in the church that we were in, but that isn't going to be happening for Emily. I was looking at the civil ceremony website and have some ideas now for a celebration of her birth. It's much like a christening, without the religious aspect. It would be a great day for our family to all enjoy some special time together. Instead of God Parents, some people are chosen to take a special interest in the child's life. They chose different aspects of the child's life that they wish to contribute to. People can say prayers, or read poems or basically whatever they like. I am looking forward to doing something like this without the interference of the fellowship using it as an outreaching activity. The only thing that's dampening my enthusiasm to organise it is that I was going to ask one friend to be one of her 'godparents' (for want of a better name) but that person is now not a part of my life any more. Anyway, I really must start to think about it a bit more.















Tuesday, 3 February 2009

25 random things...

I wrote this 25 random things post for facebook but thought I might as well stick it on here too....

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1) I believe that I am married to my soul mate. My husband is like an extension of me, and I couldn’t imagine life without him. We are best friends, and still desperately in love after 15 years of marriage.

2) I have a tattoo of a phoenix/eagle on my back which represents freedom, liberty and new life to me. I also have my tongue pierced.

3) I can not stand selfish people. I can cope with many other attitudes, but selfish, self centred people make my blood boil.

4) The most surreal moment in my life lately was sitting on death row, locked in a room with three convicted murderers, whilst they sang a song to me with the chorus “I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?”

5) I am very against abortion.

6) If I won the lottery I’d spend the rest of my life opening and running orphanages where-ever they are needed most.

7) I have read dozens of books about inter-country adoption, and always wanted to adopt a child, but ended up getting pregnant with baby number 4 instead. I don’t know if I have the energy left to pursue that dream any more.

8) I have the biggest crush on Ville Valo, the lead singer of gothic/love metal band from Finland. Everyone knows it, even Steve. Lol.

9) I do not love easily. But if I do decide to love you, I will love you with every inch of my heart. If you then decide to stop loving me back, it will break my heart.

10) I spend most of my life in a mind controlling cult which I am truly happy to be rid of. There are people in my friends list who are still in this cult and will no doubt now delete me, or send me silly emails after reading this. But quite frankly, I don’t give a damn any more.

11) I collect photos. I am not a good photographer, but I photograph everything, probably to people’s annoyance. I love to treasure happy memories through photography.

12) I have been writing an online blog for three years now. Most of it is just blogging about daily family life but I have also blogged about the death sentence, the state of prisons in Zambia, adoption, Christianity and raw food lifestyles & sprouting. I love writing.

13) I fully intend to write a book someday. Possibly soon. But I may well never let anyone read it.

14) One of my favourite songs of all time is called ’Pussy Liquor’ by Rob Zombie. Lol. It has an awesome beat to it and I’d love to belly dance to it one day, despite the title. My other top tunes are ’No Leaf Clover’ by Metallica, ’Gone With The Sin’ by Him, ’I Don’t Care’ by Apocalyptica and ‘Riders on the Storm’ by The Doors.

15) I am a keen belly dancer, and love the belly dance shows. I particularly enjoy dancing to rock/metal tunes, instead of Egyptian music.

16) I have a bit of a fetish for dressing up (which probably encourages my love of belly dancing!) I am a bit of a closet goth and love any occasion to dress differently.

17) I have always been claustrophobic, but since having my head pinned into a metal casket in an MRI scan tube, and having the mother of all claustrophobic panic attacks - I am now extremely claustrophobic and find many normal situations very stressful. Travelling on public transport, planes, elevators are all very stressful for me. Or even queuing up in a crowd can start my heart racing and the beginning of a panic attack.

18) I have pulsatile tinnitus, the sound of my own blood whooshing past my ears, due to a kinked artery in my neck.

19) I have vitiligo and will one day be whiter than Michael Jackson! Lol. It’s true. Although I am extremely pale anyway, I have a disease that is slowly bleaching my skin free of any pigment. My hands, armpits, and the top of my legs are already white, but it’s spreading year by year.

20) I am very perceptive and generally know exactly what people are thinking or why they do things. Not much gets past me.

21) I am a very deep thinker and often think it would be much easier in life to be extremely shallow and dim.

22) I often dream about dying, or that moment of death and wake up in a panic thinking ‘this is it, I’m dying’. I have a fear of being in a coffin. Lol. I know, I will be dead and won’t know anything about it. But given the choice I’d rather be burned on a funeral pyre with no coffin, or dumped out at sea somewhere, or even just left to rot naturally in a forest!

23) I am almost completely unshockable and am the most open minded person that I know.

24) I have an insatiable desire to travel and to see as much of this planet as I can before I die. I recently took my family on a half year trip across America in an RV. I hope that this was the first of many journeys.

25) I believe there may well be life on other planets, and often wonder how other humans may have treated their ‘earths’. Space is such a huge place, who knows what lies further on than we have seen? I find it very hard to believe we are the only ones.

Monday, 2 February 2009

I would like to point out that I have a tracker on this blog, and I am starting to feel stalked.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Happy Birthday to Daddy

Barney lights the candle's for Daddy's 37th birthday cake. Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

video

Rejection, thoughts from Radiohead.

I do find rejection hard. But being rejected by someone that is deeply cared for is not just hard, it's sad, frustrating, agonizing and just very difficult. I've been rejected by people many times throughout my life, for varying reasons - some my fault and others not. When we left the fellowship that I'd attended all my life I was shunned and rejected by the people that we left behind. But I was expecting that. They should know better, but they don't. I've been rejected at work many times, and by past friends and family. I'm not very good at putting up with people if I can see that they don't really like or respect me. I'd rather just let them be and get on with my own life.

The last few weeks I have been very down though. A very special friend who I cared for deeply decided to reject my friendship, and without any explanation as to why. I have been left very hurt and upset, and totally confused. I hate not knowing why things happen, it's so hard to have closure that way. I purposely kept away from blog writing for a few weeks because I knew that if I started to write about it, I'd get totally carried away and use it as a form of therapy that I might later regret.

I am getting over that sadness now, although it will never completely leave. After the sadness I was angry, so angry, and I literally did not eat for 2 weeks. It was almost as if someone had died in my life. I was in mourning: grieving. I have always been guilty of wearing my heart on my sleeve: letting people too deeply into my thoughts and feelings, and sharing too much of my love. I always welcome people into our family home, show them hospitality, treat them as a member of the family. I expect people to be the same, to be honest, and not selfish. The older I get, and the more I journey through life, the more I see that people will always let you down. With each heartache, hurt or rejection, it becomes harder to let people into my life. I start to feel that I shouldn't let people get close to me and my precious family, in case they take advantage of us and cause more pain. My heart is getting hard and losing faith in people.

Today was Dan's birthday and he had asked for a certain Radiohead DVD. After all the discussions we have had about why our friend has shunned us in this way, he opened up the DVD cover and said 'darling, you should read this'.

So here are Radioheads thoughts on rejection. It's amazing how a rock band DVD has caused me to sit and think. Maybe it's not all my fault. Maybe I'm not a terrible person. I have to start trying to believe that, although my confidence and self esteem are shot to pieces, and I find it hard. I guess it will just take time.

"If you have been rejected many times in your life, then one more rejection isn't going to make much difference. If you're rejected, don't automatically assume it's your fault. The other person may have several reasons for not doing what you are asking them to do: none of it may have anything to do with you. Perhaps the person is busy, or not feeling well, or genuinely not interested in spending time with you. Rejections are part of everyday life. Don't let them bother you. Keep reaching out to others. Keep reaching out to others. When you begin to receive positive responses then you are on the right track. It's all a matter of numbers. Count the positive responses and forget about the rejections."

Monday, 26 January 2009

Saturday, 24 January 2009

A night out...

A night out with my little cousin. Not much to say, but here are some photos of us. We are both totally gorgeous!


Thursday, 22 January 2009

More photos for the family to see




The top photo is Annabelle showing off all the badges that she collected and earned on our trip across America. The three big kids all have a flag each on their bedroom walls now.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Baby smiles..


I noticed that I have neglected to give our new addition to the family a blog name, and even though we've been calling her by her real name for weeks, I shall now be referring to her on the blog as Grace. I hope it doesn't confuse anyone!

I just had to post this gorgeous photo of Grace smiling at her Mummy. Isn't she adorable? She started smiling at 3 weeks, but the last few days (5 weeks old) she has really been smiling big time.

Last night at 4.30am, after a feed, I lay her in her moses basket and was treated to a huge smile, followed by her first giggle. She shocked herself with the noise she made, then followed it by cooing at me, then a big belly laugh. It was adorable. Her first little noises, apart from grizzling and crying!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Tummy time

video

Emily and Daddy

video
Daddy and his little baby girl, 16th January 09.

Emily at 5 weeks old

video Aged 5 weeks old. Emily now weighs 8lb 12oz. Still less than her big brother was at birth.

Emily, age 3 days old, in hospital

video A short video of Emily in hospital at 3 days old. You cant tell how teeny she was until you see my hand on her head. Cute. She's grown so much already. This is her at 7lb 80z.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

One month old already

It's hard to believe that Emily is now one month old already. Why does pregnancy go so much slower than life after the birth?

This week has pretty much been the week from hell for me, and I have barely made it out of bed. Until today when I managed to make it to Mum's house for dinner. I'm not going into details about it here, so instead, here are some photos of Emily at 4 weeks old.

I must also mention that we have enjoyed Emily's first real smiles the last few days. On Thursday morning she woke up next to me, and when I leaned over and said good morning to her she beamed a great big precious smile at me! Then followed it with 2 more smiles. I almost cried. She has been looking at us more and taking in our faces and her surroundings, and really trying to communicate with her mouth. This evening we enjoyed about 5 more smiles before she drifted off to sleep. It's amazing to see her growing, changing, and learning so fast. They grow up far too quickly, but watching them is like watching a miracle unfold.