A little phone drama to start the week

Here’s the thing. I use my mobile, quite a lot. It’s not a fancy thing – in fact, by today’s standards it’s a bit of a brick even though it’s only 18 months old. I don’t actually like the handset, but it’s functional and I need it to be functional because I use it a lot.

My phone died when I was in America, and since the only other handset I have is also broken (the microphone and speaker are dead, so all I can do is text which isn’t helpful) I have spent some time trying to get through to the provider, Virgin Mobile, to get them to sort it.

You’d think it would be easy, right? Seeing as it’s a contract phone, and there are 5 months left on the contract, I figured I’d send it off and they’d fix it and everything would be hunky dory… except, no.

The phone handset has a 24 month warranty, but the battery and charger only have a 12 month warranty. Guess which bit of my phone is broken?

Thanks Virgin.

Essentially if I want a functional phone, I have to go to carphone warehouse and buy a new battery/charger…or download some software thing from the internet. But even then it might not work because the fault could be the handset.

Part of me thinks it is easier to just go and get a new handset…but it just feels like such a hassle and not how I wanted to spent my day!


She’s 18!

Today my little sister turns 18…I can’t believe it. It feels only a little while ago she was this teeny tiny person,

and now she’s a 6’2 beauty, with so much confidence, a great sense of humour and I love her so much 🙂

Home-made wonders

I love making things from scratch…whether it’s sewing, cooking or baking, give me the raw materials and I love seeing it all come together into something good.

Yesterday we had guests for lunch, and I did a roast dinner for 5 and had so much fun!

All together I spent about 2 1/2 hours in the kitchen – I started cooking after the first service at church and we’d planned for everyone to come after the second service, around 2pm to eat for 2.30pm. Tasha got delayed at the second service so I did it alone and she was very apologetic but I actually really enjoyed having a peaceful time in the kitchen by myself.

The piece de resistance? Yorkshire puddings made completely from scratch!! I used a Delia Smith recipe and they turned out SO well – but I can’t upload a picture yet because my computer doesn’t seem to like uploading photos at the moment. But, rest assured it was a GOOD roast…and because I hate leftovers (of which there were lots, because I’d prefer to cook extra than not have enough for people) I made roast-dinner soup today and that tastes great too!!

Just put the roast potatoes, parsnips and any leftover veg (carrots and broccoli) in a saucepan, add a stock cube/gravy granules and enough water to cover them, then bring it to a boil. Allow it to boil for about 10 minutes, then bring it off the heat and blitz it with a hand-held blender. Yummy!! It makes quite a thick soup so you can add more water if you need, and add salt/pepper to taste. I added some rosemary as well. It’s delicious…although you have to ignore the browny orange colour because that’s unavoidable!!

Try it out and let me know how it goes



After a long and exhausting week at work, whilst recovering from jetlag and fighting to overcome Salem-sickness (like homesickness but for Salem) I have finally managed to find time to sit down and go through the 600+ photos I took on holiday. About 250 are random images that Hope and Lily took, when I let them take turns with my camera. Some of the shots are actually pretty good, so I uploaded them to my facebook page and made an album just for them.

I haven’t posted my photos to Facebook yet, because a) for some reason my computer doesn’t really like looking at/editing photos and almost crashed multiple times when I was uploading the girls’ pictures, and b) since Facebook went to Timeline, uploading photos is really complicated and I don’t really have 2 1/2 hours to sit around and process each of them.

In the meantime I have satisfied myself with a mini-photo blog, 10/600 or so photos.

This is Hope, aged 6 1/2, touching some disgustingly wiggly sea creature at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. This was our first day and Hope was my “partner”, since we had equal adults to children ratio. I was so jetlagged that she had to look after me more than the other way around!

Sunday, 18 months, watching the sea lions and seals doing their display. Even though it’s not a head-on shot, you can tell how into it she was by how she’s holding onto the rope

Elijah (8 1/2) was our tour guide for the day. This was taken in the shark tunnel – I’ve never been to an aquarium with a tunnel before so it was a little weird having sharks swimming above your head, but the kids loved it, especially since we were there for feeding time.

Sweet Lily is almost 5 and loved this thing!! We tried to get a shot with all three girls smiling, but one of them would duck back or close their eyes so it didn’t work out. Maybe next time.

This is me with my dear friend Rachel…and Lily joined in too.

Saturday morning, hanging out and watching “H20” (a show about mermaids that Hope and Lily adore) on NetFlix.

Titus! This is my friends’ dog, he’s a Schauzer and absolutely adorable. He is a very cuddly dog and doesn’t mind when the kids play a little rough with him, in fact I think he enjoys it!

This was taken on my last day in Salem – Rachel spent about 10 minutes trying to get a really good one where everyone was smiling AT the camera, but with four kids it was a little tricky. I had to fight not to cry all morning, I just didn’t want to leave. I love those kiddos and their amazing parents and feel like such a part of their family. They are so precious.

Maybe I’ll upload some more photos in a week or so, but I think I might keep most of them for myself! Selfish? Maybe 😛



Why I like my life

I have missed blogging over these last two weeks so thought I’d get online and post a quick update to let anyone who is interested know that I am baaaaack in the UK, and currently resisting jetlag.

Urgh. Nothing like extreme tiredness, headache, nausea and not knowing where the heck I am (or what day/time it is) to round off what was actually the sweetest, most restful and wonderful holiday I could have asked for.

God blessed me so much in these last two weeks. I needed to be away – away from work and family and church, I needed a chance to get my head together and not feel like such a basket case – and the time spent with my friends in Oregon allowed me to completely rest in His presence and see Him at work.

Calling it restful might sound crazy, since my friends have four kids (8, 6, nearly 5 and 18 months) and consequently there are school runs and snack times and owies and all the other family stuff but I needed the change of pace and to take several steps back from my life – consider it, evaluate it and ask God what He wants for me and whether I am living as He desires.

Good news is, I remembered why I like my life.

God has done great things and His purposes for me are so amazing that I cannot even imagine them! He has brought me out of some awful, devastating situations, and restores my soul. I am a new creation by the power of His grace and I am stunned that He loves me.

In a few days when I am feeling a little more human I’ll post a proper “vacation” blog, with photos and maybe even video – but that can wait a while. I have some praising to do!