♡#40Acts Week 1 ♡

This year for Lent we are joining in with thousands of other people all over the world participating in 40 Acts.

40 Acts is run by Stewardship and aims to get us giving more and spreading a bit of love This world needs a lot more kindness and if you know me, well you know I love a bit of random acts of kindness.

I wanted to document our 40 days of giving with 40 Acts so not only am I sharing our journey on my various social media platforms (to the right!) I am also going to do weekly updates here on the blog. We are doing a family challenge chart we downloaded and Martyn and I are doing the one aimed at adults which are very similar.

So, onto week 1:

Day 1. Pledge

The first day for both challenges was to simply pledge to the daily giving challenge. The children will all keep an eye on each other and ask what they've done after school or talk about their plans and Mr K and I are giving partners. As a family though, we talk everyday about the new challenges and have great fun discussing ideas.

Day 2. People Watch

On day 2 we had to pop our screens down and look at the world around us more than we usually would. When we ventured out we did look for people we could help but sadly there wasn't any opportunity! Luckily for us however there were plenty of kind people out and about to help us with holding doors when we had the wheelchair and letting us go around the shops before them. 

We put our phones down later in the afternoon to play Scabble with Will and before bed I sat with the children and went through their own goals for Lent.

Day 3. Period Poverty

Periods suck. But they suck even more for homeless women, girls coming on and being totally unprepared and they are even worse for the young girls who are in the 137,000 missing school every month because their families cannot afford sanitary towels or tampons.

I was really shocked by this figure and it saddened me. I made a point of tweeting about all the different ways you can donate towels and tampons to various places to help make a woman or young girls life much better once a month.

First of all, donate to homeless shelters. Many shelters are given funding for free condoms but they do not get funding for sanitary protection. Secondly, donate feminine products to your local food bank. Food banks provide much more than just food and they desperately need it. Find yours by visiting here.

Finally, check out these charities: The Red Box Project (a charity donating boxes to schools with essential period products) Bloody Good Period (supplying a 'steady flow' of period products to 25 asylum seeker drop in centers in the UK with plans to reach out to food banks and more drop in centres in the future) and The Homeless Period (petitioning and supporting homeless women in the fight to get free products in homeless shelters)

We are adding ours to our local food bank box at church this Sunday.

Day 4. Cash Stash

Day 4 was cash stash which meant making an extra effort to put some pennies towards a good cause. We chose to set up an account with Give With Stewardship, an online giving account which will allow  me to save up as and when I can and donate to many great causes. My plan is to put £5 a month aside and donate it at the end of the year.

The children's idea was to make a giving jar. I washed out an old jar, Midge and A decorated it and that's all there was to it. We will pop any money we find laying around on the floor and outside the house into our jar!

Day 5. Bless The Boss

Today we had to look at 'giving upwards.' We are so used to giving to those in need which is obviously a very good and much needed thing to do. Today was about breaking that a little by giving to those above us in work such as bosses, supervisors and so on. 

Mr K and I don't work so we looked to our own boss, God, and we added some extra prayer and a Bible reading to our evening. The children had to pay a compliment to someone older than them which is a brave thing to do!

Mr K thought it would be nice to prepare one of his yummy Victoria Sponges this Saturday so we can pass it to our lovely Vicar Sue after our service this weekend.

Day 6 .Chocolate Tuesday

Everyone loves this day! Day 6 was Chocolate Tuesday. Buying some bars and giving them out to random people. Will, Mr K and I decided to buy a few packets of chocolate and pop them in the food bank. Both of us have had several parcels from the food bank over the last few years so we know that a nice packet of goodies is a real treat. 

Midge, A and James had a small chocolate box each to give to a friend or teacher at school. I think day 6 has been one of our favourite days so far!

Day 7. Joyful Joyful

Our final day was to 'spread some joy and make someone around us happy.' Will decided to make some brownies that the whole family could eat, Midge helped her new teacher with all the names in the class which really helped her, James made Mr K a lovely morning coffee and A got something out of a bush for his friend at school (covering himself in mud in the process!)

I chose to add 2 extra items to our online shop the night before so on day 7, Mr K had a Terry's Chocolate Orange (his favourite chocolate) and some chicken in a tin which reminds him of his Mum. Neither bring me any joy but make him very happy and that is what today is all about.

A very long post but hopefully you can see how much fun we are having as a family working together and independently to make the world a little better! Are you doing anything for Lent this year? Perhaps you are also joining in with #40acts? If so, please let me know in the comments below or tag me on Twitter!

Respite ~ Why I'm Looking Forward to Easter!

Collaborative Post

We are very much in need of some respite. I would love a break away, longer than the loo or my shower (I'm not complaining!) A day out or a night away, maybe even a weekend break? I love weekend breaks but they seem to have disappeared over the last few years.

Regular followers will know that as a family, we've been going through a tough time. We've got a lot of referrals stacking up with long wait times (children's mental health alone is 20 weeks!) We've got social services still involved and will have for the foreseeable future. She has some thoughts and ideas and is really behind us which means a lot-  at last!

We have James's new diagnosis (severe sensory processing disorder) and are awaiting a test for ADHD. Plus all the normal things that come along with the parenting game: hormones, SATS, clubs and then there's our own appointments! We are regulars at the doctors and chemists for Mr K's batches of medication and I've been having scans; I'm due an endoscopy this weekend which I am dreading!

Needless to say we are both ready for this break. Easter half term is still a few weeks away but I am way ahead of the game and planning some things already. It goes without saying that I love my children with all of my heart but we all know as parents how tough it can be. It's even harder when you have to deal with multiple additional needs from at least 3 children! So do I feel ashamed to say I need some respite? No!

I usually plan something for A over the holidays as I believe he needs some routine and structure. He tends to do something sports orientated at the local leisure centres but I wanted to try something new this time around so we've opted for a local forest school! There's a woods close by that will have a mix of ages building dens, campfires and simply playing in the great outdoors! A isn't too keen but he's just got it in his head that he won't be celebrating Easter or going to his Aunties house which, as he won't listen, he will have to wait until the following week to find out that simply isn't true!

My wonderful sister and her partner have just bought a new house, their first and have kindly agreed to take both the children for 5 days. They will both have so much fun so I'm not worried at all. It also ties in nicely with my Mum visiting. Originally she was going to come with my Dad and come straight here but now she can see my sister before travelling to us for the weekend as planned!

I am looking forward to some respite. It won't be a lot because we will still have to do club runs and find things to do for the other 3 when A is out at his forest school. When my 2 head off to Nottingham to see my sister we will still have James and Will to occupy for most of the week as usual too but I am so hoping we can get at least a couple of days off to rest up. We've been talking about having an overnight stay somewhere which would be amazing. I haven't been to Brighton before, I'm not sure why I've always been so keen to visit but I have. We would have to see what our savings say for that one but even if we get a chance to do something for ourselves it will be such a nice experience and a real healer too to be honest.

So although things are hard, and some days really are tough, I must admit to looking forward to my pre-planned Easter half term and I keep using it to remind myself to plod on, keep going. Sometimes it's all we can do isn't it?

A Turns 8!

It's been another roller coaster year with A but regardless it has passed and I now find myself mum to an 8 year old! This year we have left it completely open to the children what they'd like to do for their birthdays. Midge chose a family day with an Indian Fakeaway whilst will chose to play board games, have a lasagna dinner and go ice skating on his actual birthday. 

Did I Raise Him This Way?

There comes a time when you sit down and you look at things going on in your life. You think 'how did this happen?' 'How did things get so bad?

Chinese Week in Homeschool

It may be long gone but I wanted to share with you all what we got up to for our Chinese week in Home Ed a few weeks ago! 

Chinese New Year was celebrated on 5th February. In Home Ed we have decided this year to focus on a different country of Wills' choice each term. For last term he chose China because he new we could do lots of fun things leading up to the big event.

Reasons to be Cheerful ♡

I haven't done one of these posts for a while but I'm certainly keen to try and sprinkle more positivity on my life where I can so I thought why not think of a few things each week and go from there?

My Boyfriend Is More Than His Disability

Recently I have felt hurt and let down by some people around me; those that I foolishly thought would be better people, should be better people. I held them up to a different standard than I perhaps would do with others in my life. I'm not hurt because they've said or done anything to me, I am hurt because they are part of a society that I believe still sees disabled individuals as not as important as able bodied people. That some how they have different thoughts and feelings to the rest of us. 

Spoiler alert: They Don't.