Flutterby butterfly

When we woke up on Sunday morning, we noticed that two of Tabitha’s chrysalides had turned into butterflies. She was so excited! By the time we got back from church, another one had emerged.



By Monday morning there were four butterflies, leaving one final chrysalis. Tabitha spent hours watching it hopefully, but then she went to the toilet and Aaron was the only one to actually see a butterfly emerge.


Tabitha fed her butterflies each day with fruit, flowers and sugar water.


On Thursday, which had a better weather forecast than most days this week, we met up with some friends in the park to release the butterflies. Two of them flew straight up into the trees, but the girls were able to hold and watch the others for a while.





Watching caterpillars grow and turn into chrysalides and then butterflies has been a really interesting experience. I highly recommend the Insect Lore kits if you have never done it before. Tabitha enjoyed it so much that we may order another jar of caterpillars to do it again in a few weeks!

A trip to the capital

Colin’s agency job finished on Monday so we took the opportunity to go up to London for a few days to visit his grandparents, whom we haven’t seen for a year and a half. We loaded up the car and set off early Tuesday morning, stopping to visit my Granny in Yeovil on the way.


The Travelodge where we were staying had nine floors and a brilliant view. Once we had unpacked our stuff and set up Esther’s hammock, we went over to Great-Nanny and Grandad’s house for the evening.




On Wednesday, after Nanny cooked us a fried breakfast, we took the overground and underground trains to London Zoo.


There was a petting area where Tabitha enjoyed feeding and stroking the donkeys, alpacas, llamas and goats.


It didn’t take long for Aaron to find water and get soaking wet!


There were several walk-through areas where we could get up really close to monkeys, birds, spiders and other animals.





This pelican had the letters “AAR” on his ring, which we decided must be short for Aaron.


Tabitha loved the butterfly house and Aaron was amazed by the huge Atlas moths which were as big as his head.




Watching the penguins swimming through the glass was great fun. They almost seemed to play with the children.


Aaron was very excited about seeing the Komodo Dragon. He has been interested in them since we used Komodo Maths a few years ago and has watched lots of videos about them.


Colin found the aquarium very interesting.



One of my favourite animals we saw were the giraffes.




On the way back we walked through Regent’s Park. According to Colin’s phone, we walked 22 km in total that day! Aaron and Tabitha did amazingly well but we were all rather exhausted by the time we got back to Nanny and Grandad’s house for a late dinner.

On Thursday we drove across London to go and visit Colin’s aunt, uncle and cousins. They took us to Brooklands museum where we saw cars, bikes, planes, buses and more. We went on Concorde which was very interesting, and Colin pointed out the engine part that his Grandad made.







Afterwards we went back to their house for dinner, where Tabitha had a wonderful time with the two cats, five dogs and collecting eggs from the henhouse.

We spent Friday morning with Great-Nanny and Grandad again. It has been really lovely for the children to get to know them better, as they’ve only met them a few times. We set off around midday and finally got home just before 9 pm, after lots of stops and traffic queues!




Favourite books of 2015

In no particular order, here are some of the books that I have particularly enjoyed reading in 2015.

French Kids Eat Everything

I used to think that fussy eating was caused mostly by bad parenting, but now that I have one fantastic eater and one extremely fussy eater my views are a little less black and white! My mum lent me this book and it was a very interesting read, with some helpful guidelines to implement.

Lessons At Blackberry Inn

A lovely old-fashioned fictional book about a homeschooling mother and homemaker, which includes some details of the Charlotte Mason method of home education. It was an easy and pleasant read, and reminded me a little of the Anne of Green Gables series.

Parenting in the Pew

I’m sure many Christian parents have struggled from time to time with the issue of children in church. Rather than focusing on how to keep children quiet and well-behaved in church, this book looks at why children should be there and has lots of practical suggestions for how to teach children to participate in worship.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

A lovely look at this Biblical account and very relevant to women who feel the pressures of busyness, tiredness and worry, with wise advice about balancing time in the “kitchen” (work) and time in the “living room” (worship). I’ll definitely be re-reading this book!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

I have read numerous books on decluttering and simplicity over the years, but this is the one that has had the most impact on my life. Personally I found the author’s writing style a little annoying, and as a Christian there are some spiritual aspects to ignore and different values to consider, but the method itself is brilliant. I started doing Konmari back in the summer, took a break for a few months due to morning sickness and have only recently restarted, but it is already making a huge difference!

The Surrendered Wife

This is not a Christian book and no assumptions should be made based on the title! I haven’t finished reading it yet but it’s basically about giving up control in order to benefit from increased emotional intimacy. There are some good ideas which make sense, and also some more extreme ideas which sound slightly crazy! It is a challenging read and mentally I find myself saying “but…” to a lot of it, but I’ve also seen how implementing some of the principles has had a positive impact.

So, what are your favourite books that you’ve read this year? I don’t read as much as I would like but am always interested in recommendations!