My Sunday Photo

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Christmas Shopping

At this time of year sometimes the demands of meeting all your children’s Christmas wishes can put a bit of a financial strain on you.

I want to encourage you to pop in to your local charity shops and see what’s available.

Feeling festive and cheerful I popped into town. It just so happened my local Salvation Army charity shop, Helensburgh was also having a special ‘Christmas Extravaganza ‘.

Staff were all dressed up in costumes and the shop looked fabulous.

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Santa was on hand to ask visiting children what they would like for Christmas, whilst also ensuring the festive tunes kept playing throughout the day.

Gifts for all occasions were available. Whether you were looking for a kilt or glamourous dress for a Christmas night out or beautiful stockings to hang on your mantelpiece for St Nicholas to fill on Christmas Eve the shop had so much to offer.

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I spent under £10 and walked away with some fabulous gifts and trinkets. I purchased festive cooker cutters a snip at 99p and a fabulous table cloth to adorn our dining table on Christmas Day.

I shop in charity shops often as my budget does not allow to buy everything brand new and with six children it helps the purse strings.

My next mission is to declutter my house for Christmas. I’ll trawl through the kids toys and clothes as well as my own and see what we can donate locally.

This will enable the children to understand the lovely feeling of ‘giving’. Thinking of others before ourselves. Whether it be time, money or donations charity shops will welcome anything you have to offer.

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I’d like to thank the Helensburgh branch of Salvation Army shop for being so co operative and posing for photos. Lovely bunch of guys x

Worth the wait

As we see the summer flowers colours dull and the sumptuous caramel golden sign of autumn around us I am grateful.

I have been a SAHM, how I loathe that title, for over 5 years now. I have found that along with the daily madness of 6 children that my lifestyle brings I have so much time to think and reflect.

This time last year things were fraught, relationships strained and stress loads high as we dealt, as a family unit with ill health amongst us.

My husband had triple heart bypass surgery.

I’ve posted about the emotional roller coaster previously but am so proud of us all as a family getting through it.

As parents we worry about how things will affect our children and it is only now nearly a year down the line that I can truly relish in the super little human beings that I am raising.

Adjustments had to be made financially, socially and on a day to day basis. No one moaned about missed after school activities, or that what they had been excited and keen to do but wasn’t achievable.

With the new school year it has given me great joy to have signed my patient, thoughtful girl up for Brownies a movement which she will love. Her excitement about badges, team work and camp have made my heart sing. I stayed her first evening. Watching her smile with her friends and participate in something which she had longed to join for so long was very rewarding. Seeing her cradle her special books walking home in the evening- priceless.

Football after school classes are giving the boys at primary schools good physical outlet for their endless energy. I love the coach an older gentleman who is firm and fair. We are not a ‘football’ family but enjoying this weekly exercise and fun is having positive affects in both of them.

The elder has also joined Cubs and is experiencing all the fun which goes with that movement. Having time away from both little brothers and big brother to be himself. Do silly things which 8 year olds do and love life. He was full of boundless eagerness to go and I’m just a wee bit regretful I was unable to give him the experience of Beavers the year previous.

The almost youngest, whom I think was most affected by all the changes that ill health and stress brought, is still my absolute shadow. At times it is overbearing as you feel slightly claustrophobic,especially when awaking to find him snoozing right beside you in bed. But this amazing fellow who has just discovered letters and reading won’t always be small and I am so moved that during the time when things were rough I was there for him and in all honesty he was there for me too. The harshness of the situation brought about a wee connection and bond that I cherish.

My eldest, whom I admire every day has coped academically. He’s learned to cope with workloads of school, whilst dealing with major issues and provided me with a tea drinking compadre. I’m extremely biased but he’s maturing and growing in confidence and I just couldn’t be more proud of how he conducts himself.

The season of change has brought us as a family saying goodbye to the baby days, everyone is loving our toddler and her cheeky quirkiness she brings our team. She brings smiles to frowny faces and song to everyday life. It really is a great privilege to see this wee character unfold and develop everyday.

Then there’s my husband, this partner in my crazy roller coaster life. I’ve seen a man who faced his fears, accepted his fragility and has built himself back up from his time of woe. He’s grabbed life by the horns securing a new job, enjoying his musical scene and working so hard at both. We know he did this for us, the family and what we work hard at each day for -the kids. I’m planning a cracking birthday party for him to mark his 40th year and exactly a year since his procedure.

Then there is me who questions her ability at most things and who’s confidence is not always at its highest. But I coped, through tears and heartache and I’m ok.

It’s made me appreciate the precious gift I have of a fabulous family, supportive loved ones and friends. I’m aware that even without support I am capable of doing it alone.

So this year has been ‘worth the wait’ to see everyone thriving, healthy, happy and enjoying life makes me a very happy Mamma GC x

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