My Easter Chicks – Fun times at Easter

This Easter has been a really lovely time, the weather has been great and we have enjoyed happy times with family and friends.

Although we’ve been on Easter holidays for a while the real Easter fun began on Good Friday.  We attended an activity morning for children at Chester Cathedral followed by an Easter egg hunt in the gardens, Ruth and Rosie had a fabulous time with their friends and being creative.

Following that a number of friends came back to our house for lunch, the girls had made a traditional Simnel cake with their Godmother which they enjoyed presenting

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Next up on Easter Saturday we headed into town to do a little bit of shopping which saw the girls choose new outfits for Easter Sunday and had lunch at one of our favourite cafes in Chester, Mad Hatters.  Then, yet more baking in the afternoon, Easter nests with another local friend and finally off to Grandad’s for a BBQ where there was a chance to catch up with my brother and the girls had chance to play with one of their cousins.

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Easter Sunday came and it was a special day, we attended the Cathedral service in the morning and despite all the difficulties we have had the past year I felt the sense of new beginnings of things starting to change and that we were indeed moving on.  Easter is all about new life and restoration for Christians and it was good to be amongst so many friends celebrating.  We received a tremendous welcome from so many of the congregation and they were all very taken with our Easter chicks in their new lemon dresses carefully selected the day before.

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A visit from one of my best friends was the focus of the afternoon and a chance to meet brand new baby F, two weeks old, Ruth was delighted to get to hold her.

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Finally our Easter day was rounded up with an ‘ultimate’ roast at our local.

The Bank Holiday saw some more family visiting and lots of chocolate eating and then it was time to get ready to go back to school and work.  We’ve had a fabulous holiday and Easter Weekend but now it’s time to work hard again and start looking forward to the next holiday.

 

 

 

 

 

And the results are in… school place 2014

The days of waiting and wondering are over, it’s finally here… the day that school places 2014 are announced for starting Reception in September

And the best news of all we got our first choice for Rosie! She will start at a local Church of England Primary School in September.  As soon as we told her the news she wanted to go shopping for her uniform, it’s great to see her so excited and enthusiastic about school but a tiny part of me can hardly believe that my baby is going to big school, time has passed so quickly with our second child that in the blink of an eye we are preparing for school.

Rosie is a bold and outgoing little girl she has an inner confidence for her age that at times I find quite astonishing, when we looked at the school where she now has a place those qualities that we see all the time at home were evident and she seemed, ‘at home’ there.  It was for this reason that we chose the school as our first choice and we are hopeful that she will soon settle in and have a great time.

But for many families the news might not be so good today and I can’t help but spare a thought for those families where they have not got their first preference or indeed any of the choices, it is difficult to trust your child to others and if you feel even the admissions procedure hasn’t worked for you it must be doubly difficult to trust in the system at all.

Back to our happy news and the process of accepting the place seems to have been streamlined since Ruth started at school and it was easy to confirm our acceptance via the online system, so it really is all official Rosie will be going to school and time is ticking we will soon have two school age girls.

Did you get news of a school place today, let us know how it went in the comments section below?

 

Primary School Admissions Cheshire West and Chester – Tonight’s the night!

Wednesday 16th April has been logged in my diary for some considerable time it’s the National Offer Day for Primary School Admissions 2014 and in Cheshire West and Chester the results will be available to those who have applied for Reception Primary School places at 12.30am. That means that tonight I will be staying up quite late to log in to the Cheshire West website and have a look where Rosie is going to school!!!

Many people when applying for a Primary School place for their second child meet one of the admissions criteria by having a sibling at their school of first choice which usually helps, unfortunately that is not the case with us so it’s been an anxious wait since December when we first made our application.

For the first time in 2014 councils have co-ordinated a national offer day so that all children receive their offer for Primary School admissions on the same day, this is designed to ease confusion but as it falls during the school holidays and shortly before a 4 day bank holiday weekend there are concerns that some parents will not be able to get prompt help and advice if they are dissatisfied or need support with the appeals process. Considering the bank holidays the deadline for accepting a place in Cheshire West is also very tight being only 10 working days, it doesn’t give families long to consider and look into all their options.

Nationally it is believed that around 12-13% of families will not get their first choice of school for Reception class Primary School admissions for a variety of reasons although in some areas this is higher.  We will be happy if we get any of the three preferences we have expressed although Rosie has her heart set on our first choice. So watch this space, this is the news we have been waiting for and will be the family news the next few weeks, if you are waiting up tonight or finding out about a school place tomorrow leave us a comment below, and GOOD LUCK!!!

Siblings…

Although I’ve been blogging sporadically for over a year it is only since New Year that I’ve been making a real effort to do it regularly and begin to engage with the blogging community a little more.  Today I saw this regular blog linky about siblings and thought it was something wonderful I would like to join in with.

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We have two girls at the moment aged 7 and just turned 4, they are no longer babies, our youngest will start school in September, (not sure how I’ll cope with that one…) but they continue to delight us with their antics and the way their relationship grows and develops as the months and years pass.

For April I am a day late but here are the siblings in our little family our two beautiful girls, Ruth and Rosie, I’m playing catch up on the rest of the year but here goes.

April

A beautiful sunny day at Tatton Park during our Easter break from school.

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March

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A weekend in the Lake District

February

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Off to my nephews football birthday party, the most football ‘appropriate’ outfits I could get them to wear – Girls!!

January

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Sisters at a favourite eating place.

I love the idea of a monthly photo, a piece of family history, I love the closeness of our girls and will forever be grateful for them, we take hundred of photos (snaps really) of them but it’s nice to pick one out to share that marks the month it was taken and what a lovely record at the end of a year to look back on.

 

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Politics and religion – the big divide as David Cameron claims to be continuing the work of Jesus

It is said that in polite company one should never discuss politics and religion, you’re almost always going to cause division.  What we believe as individuals informs our character and shape our lives.  The religion we follow or the political party we vote for are like key words to outsiders that define our beliefs on a variety of topics.

So it was with great surprise that I read the following article this afternoon which suggests that at an evening reception with faith leaders last night David Cameron claimed that he was continuing God’s work.  At this point I should say it does clearly reference the “Big Society” reference rather than the parties policies per se but it struck me as rather odd.  *WARNING rant coming…*

If David Cameron has a true personal Christian faith then I don’t want to see him as Prime Minister use that when it suits him politically, I want to see it define him and the way he does business.  Whilst generally I don’t believe we should sit in judgement about others, in the case of politicians, who put themselves in the front line of representing the electorate then it seems that we should speak out about what we want.  The “Big Society” thinking about civic responsibility may be a worthwhile initiative but what about everything else the coalition government has initiated, if doing the work of God is important to you Mr Cameron then I would urge you to consider the following:

Love for the outcast, the broken hearted the downtrodden, where can we see this in a program of benefit cuts that weaken the disabled, the unemployed, the family unit as the rich become richer and the gap between rich and poor grows ever greater..

Forgiveness, reconciliation and working together for the common good, how radical it would be to see politicians stop squabbling over past mistakes and working together for the future generations of this country.

Listen and engage with faith groups from all religions and don’t ride roughshod over them to gain a handful of votes.  The recent equal marriage bill was an example where the concerns of faith groups have not been addressed fully enough before the legislation was made law. (Please don’t think I am homophobic, this post is not about equal marriage but about the hypocrisy of a leader who claims to want to do God’s work and disagrees with the persecution of the Christian church, yet persecutes anyone who disagrees with his own stance.)

Just a few ideas for you there Mr Cameron, if you would like to continue God’s work.  Love of God and Love of neighbour  are the key elements to the ‘work’ required of Christians.  Let’s see it!