Monday, 29 September 2014

31 Days of Blogging - Can I do it?


31 Days of Blogging was a challenge that was set for quite a few years and this is my first (and maybe only) time to take up this challenge


  with my theme of  "Things I Love"




                                                                         

You can see the Index of the links to the 31 Days at the bottom of this post.


I'm hoping that some of my posts will be humourous and some will be more serious and maybe a few will be a bit soppy but I'm not an overly soppy person so there will not be many of those.

But one thing I can assure you is that with so many posts to write none of them will be very long, no I think short and sweet is the plan.

So why not click on any of the titles below and have a read - it shouldn't take too long.



Index of the 31 Days

1.  I Love Arks

2.  I Love Bargains
3.  I Love Baskets, Bags & Boxes

4.  I Love Bears
5.  I Love the Bible
6.  I Love Blogging
7.  I love the Colour Blue
8.  I Love Butterflies
9.  I Love Chocolate, Coffee & Crisps
10.  I Love Crafts
11.  I Love My Family
12.  I love God
13.  I Love Good Friends
14.  I Love Graphics
15.  I Love my Husband
16.  I Love my IPad
17.  I Love Kids Work
18.  I Love Marriage
19.  I Love the Name of Jesus
20.  I Love Northern Ireland
21.  I Love Old Photos & Memories
22.  I Love not so Organised Days
23.  I Love Poirot
24.  I Love Quirky Cards & Gifts
25.  I Love Reading
26.  I Love Salvation
27.  I Love My Saviour's Promises
28.  I Love Silly Things that Make me Laugh
29.  I Love Unusual Fountains
30.  I Love Worship
31.  I Love Xtra Special Days


Sunday, 28 September 2014

It's God's Love #13

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.


A simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.










Which man laid down his life

for all his friends?


The man Christ Jesus.






God

in human form

gave

His Life

for

you & me.



There is no greater expression of Love than this.

















Wednesday, 24 September 2014

How many times? - A Dose of Encouragement


How many times have we told that story? is something my husband and I often ask ourselves as we laugh with friends.





What do you say to your 17 year old son at the airport just before he is flying off on a month's language experience to Germany with 29 other kids from the UK?


Well I bet you would not think it was what I said
 to Jonathan our eldest son.


And all these years later he has never forgotten, and doesn't let me forget it either.


You see as soon as Jonathan would return he was going into his last year at school finishing his A levels and then the following year he was hopefully going to university.

And I felt it was important that all our children would be able to look after themselves before they would be living away from home for any length of time.

The previous summer I had told him that it was time he learned to do his own washing, so we had proceeded to arrange a day each week when I would not use the washing machine and dryer and it was all free for him.

He managed that ok getting used to it as the year went on.

He had understood that he would eventually need to be able to sort his clothes into suitable washing bundles and know how to read labels and wash and dry items without shrinking or dying anything so accepted the task and did it.

However I did continue to do his ironing along with everyone else's.


So no doubt you can guess now what it was that I said to him at the airport


"As soon as you get back 
you will have to start doing your own ironing."


Well you would think I was the cruellest mother ever to walk this earth, not because I was insisting he now learned to iron but because I said it then at that specific time and spoilt the trip for him.






Yes he said this was because he now had a rotten chore to look forward to.

It was a bit of an exaggeration really because it did not spoil the trip for him although he will still to this day try to claim it did.

Of course I didn't just expect him to be able to do the ironing without being taught to do it properly.
I so I showed him how to iron his shirts and T shirts and trousers and watched as he tried and gave advice where it was needed until he was able to do the job.

Since then Jonathan has been to Cambridge University and got his Bachelors Degree in Theology, then to Belgium and got his Masters in Theology and is now living in Leeds UK working on his Phd and pastoring a church part-time.  During all of that he has lived both with us and on his own at various times and has coped with a lot more than just his washing and ironing.

But sometimes he still needs to consult his dad or I on things to do with his appartment like how to fix the timer for his central heating etc.

Just the other day he rang up to check with me about bleaching white items as he wanted to make sure he would not ruin his clothes.


When I answered the phone he said




I laughed and said that yes the weather in NI was very good for the start of autumn but not that good.

But he wasn't talking about weather he was ringing with a washing question.

You see when he was 15 years old Fred & I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. My parents came and stayed over in our house with the 3 kids but Jonathan being a very sensible boy thought that he should help with the washing; but not knowing about how to use the machine then he decided to ring me in Hawaii to check it out.

How many times has that story been told to dinner guests!!!

I love the fact that our son, who is well established in his own home and has learned to do so many practical things there and is a very clever lad, is still willing to lift the phone and ask a question of his old mum and dad.

I also love the fact that he will often just lift the phone to tell us when he has done something new as well.





You see this is our son who loves books and reading and learning and has a fantastic memory but has always thought he was useless at practical things.

How many times do we think we are just not good at something?

How many times do we think that we couldn't possibly do something God wants us to do because it is so different to what we have been used to doing?

How many times do we think that we couldn't possibly learn something new to be able to help our church?

How many times do we think that we couldn't offer to help in a situation that could be a blessing to someone simply because we don't know them very well?


We need to take an example from Jonathan and just ask for help

  • to do those things we don't feel adequate about,
  • or to learn a new task,
  • or to change our attitude to certain situations,
  • or to know what to say to others.



We need to ask God for help in tackling these things that we have been hesitant to do in the past.

We need to come and pray for wisdom, understanding, or even a change of heart in some circumstances.


God is not asking us to do something if He does not intend to help and guide us.






Just as I helped Jonathan to learn to iron, God will help us learn what ever we need to.


When Jonathan was very young he asked a lot of questions about everything.

We would get tired sometimes answering his questions.

God does not get tired answering our request for help.

God is not limited in any way even though we are.

But so often we feel we are more limited than we really are.


How many times can we ask God for help?    
There is no limit.








Sunday, 21 September 2014

It's God's Love #12

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.


A simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.







We are in the world

but the Bible tells us that 

we should not be of the world.








God's Love

cannot

be in us

if we love

the world;

if we put the things of the world

before God.

Therefore

God's Love

has nothing to do with

the world;

it is not determined by anything of this world,

but is unique

to God.







You are welcome to copy the Bible Verse Graphic above and any of the others that will be in this Sunday Series on God's Love.  Please use it as it is with no editing for your own personal use including on social media but not in any commercial way. 

With regards to any other pictures or graphics - please contact me. 


Thanks.










Friday, 19 September 2014

Demolishing a Garden Shed


Today we are going back to something we had hoped to have done a few months ago but it just was not possible to do so, but we badly needed to get on with Demolishing The Garden Shed.







The weather stayed good for the first few weeks of this month

                 
                              and our son was able to get an afternoon off work

                                     
                                                            when Fred wasn't travelling so



the demolishing of the old wooden garden shed
 was scheduled for Wednesday.



If not too interested in the details then head on to the end of the post
and watch the short video.


I was ready with the camera as well as old clothes and two other items that I was just excited about having the chance to use for the first time


an AXE 

and

  a SLEDGE HAMMER



this was going to be some FUNWORK this time!!!




Equipment needed:

  • Hammer
  • Crow Bar
  • Screw Drivers
  • Axe
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Chainsaw
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Face Shield
  • Wrench
  • 2 Stepladders


Why Demolish The Shed?

The shed had to be replaced because this wooden one was rotting away.  
The trees from our neighbour had been overgrown and hanging badly over into our garden since we bought the house 4 years ago and the lower branches had been lying on the roof of the shed and rubbing along the roof during windy weather.

NI is known for it's rain and so with the wet branches rubbing against the roof of the shed we now had a roof with holes in it and the wood was ruined resulting in everything in the shed getting very moldy and dirty and wet.


Our neighbour finally decided to cut off the offending branches but
 it was too late to save the shed.





The Demolishing

Fred & Daniel started with the roof.

They took out all the nails from the tar-covered felt and got the felt off and the rotten wood removed while I unscrewed the hinges of the doors.


Then came my moment.


Fred allowed me to have a few swings at the front of the shed with


the axe 

and then

 the sledgehammer 


and then I was happy & left them to do the rest of the knocking down of the shed.






They soon had the front of the shed taken apart and started on the side and this was time for the chainsaw to come into action.



Safety




My husband works for a global company who take safety very seriously and so does he; hence the gloves, safety glasses and face protectors were donned from the start.






Another aspect of safety was always to make sure the electric cable of the chainsaw was clear of the saw and other objects and even Daniel knew to keep an eye on this.






With the first side all cut away they started on the other side which was closest to the garden fence .






This picture above was taken specifically for me as Fred had to bend over to get right down through the wood with the saw.


(Well there had to be some more FUN in all this WORK for me and not just getting to wield an axe and a sledgehammer.)







With the second side completed they were on to the back of the shed.  Which they lifted off the base in one piece and





then proceeded to cut into narrow strips.   



But this was not the end of the shed.




There was still the floor of the shed and they first had to remove all the edging of wood around the base.



Extra Work for ME!

I knew that the previous owners had left some things behind the shed where the oil tank sits but I was surprised to find that there were:
  • 3 white plastic planters, 
  • 3 white plastic oil containers,  
  • a football, 
  • 2 brush heads, 
  • a brush shaft, 
  • 2 swing seats with ropes 
  • and a large red sledge 
  • plus many planks of wood 
  • and strips of old skirting board.  



Finishing The Demolishing





Then the first plank from the floor of the shed was removed






and Fred cut the rest of the floor in two with the chainsaw so that they could lift each half up on it's end and cut it as they had the sides.



You can see from this next picture just how much damage had been done to the floor of the shed from the rain getting through the roof.






All Done!  Well Not Quite Yet!


Now the shed was all cut up but that wasn't the end of the job.

All the pieces of the shed and the junk found behind it had to be got rid of.

So it was on to the phone to order a skip to be delivered the next morning to take all the rubbish.



All of this was done in 2 and a half hours;
 including 
two breaks for drinks and fruit and biscuits
 to keep the workers happy and because they needed it, as we were all getting rather hot 
working in 19 degrees that afternoon.






Now there was another piece of equipment that Fred had used and that was the new time lapse video app on his iPad.   
He set up a stand to hold the iPad and videoed the whole event. 


 Thankfully because of the time lapse aspect of it we only had to watch around 4 mins of video which you can also watch below & see me having a few swings at the shed with that axe and sledge hammer. around the 1.55 mark


This even makes it all look like FUNWORK!



















Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Do we really need this quote? - A Dose of Encouragement


Everywhere I am these days I see quotes.


Some are by famous writers - often ones whose work I have read.





Some are by famous people like Einstein or other people from recent history.

Some are by singers or songwriters

Some are by people who are in the news frequently.

Some are by people I have never heard of before.



But more and more my question is:





You see I find these quotes on my Facebook newsfeed or on GooglePlus posts.

Some are very artistically written in various fonts and colours and some are on beautiful backgrounds of mountains, rivers or lighthouses.


But again my question is:





My friends on facebook like these quotes and share these posts as do so many other people on facebook.

Acquaintances on GooglePlus  +1 these posts and share them and no-one needs to write anything themselves because it is just a quote.


But again my question is:





Then I see all the likes and shares and comments written on these quote posts and I realize that some of the posts that are shared the most throughout all Social Media are quotes.


People everywhere just seem to love quotes.


Now as I blogger I have even been instructed (by blogging experts and in blogging tips) that I should share quotes on various places because people love quotes.


But again my question is:




If we like them, +1 them, share them, even some of us make our own graphics with these quotes does that suddenly mean that they are the absolute truth?

Are we actually reading them and thinking about what they mean or do we just say


 "that sounds nice" 


and then pass it on for others to see without wondering what the meaning behind it is?

Now I like quotes and actually started my Friday Series off with my favourite quote and also wrote a previous post based on my favourite quote and enjoyed making a graphic for it


so I am not against all quotes.


But a quote is just a quote (or rather the correct word is quotation)

It is simply something that has already been written or said by someone else.

Because to quote is




One of the main concerns I have is that in some cases I see a picture with a nice sounding quote shared for everyone to see but the person sharing it has not realised that they are not just sharing a picture with a quote but actually a link to a website or blog post that is not so wholesome.


We need to actually click on these links ourselves 
and see all that is contained 
before we pass them on to others.


When we like or share something we are in a way endorsing it and that means endorsing all of it.

So we need to see what is under the tip of the iceberg - what does that person making the quote represent?


Today I want to make you think about what we are passing around for everyone to see and read.

Because I think we have a responsibility toward others that we do not pass on things that just sound nice but instead


 we should pass on good uplifting and encouraging words 
that do mean something substantial.


I look after a facebook page for our church and I made the decision that the only quotes we would have on that page would be from our Pastor and the sermons we hear in church.

Why?

Because our church has a responsibility not to lead others astray or to misquote others
 (which is another problem sometimes in the passing of quotes - they are not always accurately copied or not always written by the person they are claimed to be from).

So the main things that we actually share on the page are Bible verses.

Bible verses are the word of God so we can trust them and learn from them and we can say


Because this is a Bible Verse it is TRUTH!


And



much more than I need a quote.


So be encouraged when you see a Bible verse shared by a sound organisation or someone you trust, and know that it is spreading God's word.

And then be helpful towards others and share that verse to encourage them and direct them to the truth.


Let's be enthusiastic to share more Bible Verses 
within Social Media.

There is nothing so truthful, beautiful, enriching and uplifting as the Word of God







And if you want more Bible Verses to be able to share with others on Facebook then you might be interested in following my Blog Facebook Page where I share a bible verse each day and you can easily share that on your feed too.

Or for sharing on Twitter then follow me on Twitter  for verses I share there too.

Or follow me for verse on Instagram too.







Sunday, 14 September 2014

It's God's Love #11

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.


A simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.







God's Love to us

is such an intimate love.

How do we know this?

Because He calls us His Sons and Daughters.






Do you

know

this

intimate

love

of

God?








You are welcome to copy the Bible Verse Graphic above and any of the others that will be in this Sunday Series on God's Love.  Please use it as it is with no editing for your own personal use including on social media but not in any commercial way. 

With regards to any other pictures or graphics - please contact me. 


Thanks.










Friday, 12 September 2014

Storage Bargains - Organising


My Study houses so many different things that it can get in a right muddle and this year it just never seemed to get out of that muddle.

Obviously Bookshelves are for books.





The cupboard underneath my bookshelves will also have to be for the books that are too big for the shelves or books that will not stand upright.

But the rest of the things that have to be kept in the study need storage too.


So this is a round up of some of the storage bargains I have found in the last year.





I have
Crafts,  Pens & Pencils, 
Kids Work Items
Photographs,  Momentos
Paper & Card,  Gift cards
Gadgets
CDs,  Dvds,  Records
ETC.


All of this needs to be ordered and stored in the best way to make my life easier every time I need to put my hands on something and also to leave the desk clearer to work at the computer and have another surface free to work on crafts or simply piecing together the papers involved in the Sunday School and other areas of the Kids Work.

I bought various storage items at different times when I saw a bargain or saw something that wasn't too cheap but I just really liked it.


1.  One Store I think is great for bargains of all kinds is B&M and from it I got



   
3 sets of 3 Beige wicker nesting baskets with hearts and each set only cost £9.99




3 White wicker baskets with beige lining and hearts which have a pair of handles costing £4.99 each




Collapsible cardboard A4 lidded boxes - 2 white with butterflies and 3 silver at 99p each
(I went back to get more of the butterfly ones when I saw how nice they were made up but was too late and they had none left)




Material covered baskets  with leather type handles and a printed design which were £3.99 each.
I got 5 of these and 3 are already being used in Fred's Office.

This store is great for bargains but the one big problem is that you cannot be sure how long any of the products will be stocked with them and you need to check regularly for more items that will have appeared on the shelves.




2.  Another store I love is Lakeland




These cream plastic crates are examples of just 2 of the sizes available in this range and again some of these are already being used in Fred's office.



3.  I have always been a fan of the Past Times Shops for gifts and decor but when they were closing  down their shop near our home, I got a great bargain in seven of these baskets for only 50p each.  These were actually the shopping baskets for the customers to use but I knew they would be good for  storage and also for making up gift baskets.






4.   This next set of 3 nesting boxes were bought a few years ago and just never used yet.

    They are not very large but will be suitable for CDs or smaller items and they are very firm boxes.




I am not sure what first tempted me to buy them, whether it was the price which was £5.99 or the colour as they are a lovely shade of blue and will go well in my study.
I just can't remember where it was I got them.



5.   I like to have a wander around T K Maxx just simply because you never know what you will find in their housewares area.
A few weeks ago I just couldn't resist these two items.




A lovely sturdy Parisian print design case with a clasp and Leather type strap.
I'm thinking perhaps for Momentos.





And this beautiful Butterfly decorated flip over lid box which I may use for photographs.



6.  Matalan has been another shop which I have found to sometimes have more unusual storage containers.  Mostly they have been a bit large for our study and office, but I have always liked to have a look round and have bought some things in the past for other parts of the house.


A few months ago I looked on their website and saw these sets of crates and fell in love with them.




Each set consists of 2 nesting wooden crates with the words "Get Organised" stencilled on them and chalkboard panels.  I had recently bought chalkboard style labels and pens to write on them so I was already in the mood for the chalkboard style and hence I was easily hooked.

Although they were not a great bargain they were cheaper than any other similar items in other places.

So I headed off to our nearest Matalan store and managed to get some of these and then discovered I could get some discount on my store card so I didn't have to pay the full price of £15 for each set.





Now this is definitely FUNWORK and not HOUSEWORK as I  have to admit I always find myself drawn to looking at any type of storage and too often tempted to buy items.

This also means that I do have other plastic boxes and baskets being used around the house and  others still waiting to find just the right items to go inside them so I will definitely have a choice of items for my needs in the study.

Right off I go now to start making my lists of items that need a home and try to match them up with the best storage container I have.