Thank you all so much for your messages and emails. Each and every one of them brought comfort and we appreciate them so very much.
Yesterday was my birthday, and honestly, I just wanted to curl myself up and escape under my duvet in a rather pathetic show of self pity…….only my children had other plans. So at some fairly unGodly time of the morning (I’m told it was 830, and apparently most people are up by then 🙂 ) they enthusiastically bounced into the bedroom, singing happy birthday at the top of their voices. They were laden with caffeine, a bazillion colouring in sheets making the claim that I was the best mummy in the world, home-made cards and beaming excited smiles. I was cuddled by warm squishy bodies as they each begged me to open their card first. Now I’m not a morning person and I had spent most of the night in tears, so at this moment I had to make an enormous effort to advance from struggling to open my eyes and lots of grunting to sitting up, fully compos-mentos. Really, I was almost conscious (honestly, I was). I know because when T told me he had a surprise for me, I smiled indulgently waiting for him to offer to let me go back to sleep (it being my birthday and all). But no. What I actually got (I think, but can’t be entirely certain) was a truly awful rendition of happy birthday down the phone from Lorna, and B and K, after which I was definitely awake. Screechy it may have been, out of tune it was surely meant to be, but it did its job. I was officially wide awake (believe me when I say their singing would have woken the comatose) and suddenly in the mood to celebrate!
The children gave Gary and I orders to vacate the house at ten and not come back until mid day. Unbeknown to me, mum had already given similar orders to Gary so he was in on it all! Two hours, child free, with my gorgeous husband? Who was I to refuse? So I didn’t. Gary informed me that he wanted to buy me some water proof walking boots for our soon to be daily nature walks, so he ferried me into the nearest town. It was so much fun. We tried out a new to me coffee shop (of course) and then went to Millets. I ended up being the rather excited recipient of a pair of walking boots, some walking boot socks and a pair of walking trousers, all bought in the sale!
Soon after, we received a text saying we needed to come home. Once we arrived, I entered into the living room to a table beautifully set with a mountain of goodies, a cake and a basket full of pressies. What an incredibly blessed mummy I am! It was so much fun seeing their excited faces. They all burst into song for what would have been the fourth time that day. I gave everyone a hug and began opening my presents. I received a message Bible from Gary (that was what I had asked for) as well as a DVD we had discussed getting a year ago but could quite stretch to it; a Message New Testament ‘uncommon devotional’ from T13, A7 and B4; a beautiful book of poetry for mothers from L12 and a gorgeous mug with my favourite red roses painted on it from C12. She said it was to keep at my desk for pens and pencils. Nik had bought me the warmest blanket ever (I do get chilly at night in our old cottage) and Leah bought me the most beautiful scarf ever! I can’t wait to wear it. I received texts from Nik and Leah and another singing (!) phone call from Lorna. I couldn’t have felt more loved or more special. And I needed it today. I had been dreading it, yet friends and family rallied round to make every single moment special and full of happiness instead of unhappiness. I feel so very blessed.
Now for some fairly random photos of my week.
Each Friday K and B come to our house to home school with us so Lorna can work. Last week she didn’t need to so she and I idled away a few hours chatting home schooling, which is always fun. B, who can’t seem to help himself, tried on a pair of leopard print jeans (C12’s). I am always astounded by how good everything looks on him!! All five of them made us an apple pie with some apples a neighbour had left for us and it was scrummy!
All the girls are trying to grow out their hair, having decided they prefer it long. B4’s is now just long enough to be put into plaits. She was so proud and cute! L has begun to teach herself hand embroidery and this is her first attempt. It is a Christmas tree with presents underneath. I thought she did a great job!
We had guests round for dinner on Saturday and we all thoroughly enjoyed beautifying the table. I think it must be one of the most satisfying things to do (homemaking-wise). I cut lots of wild flowers from our garden and placed them in jars on the table. The girls made place card settings which were all geared towards the interests of the person whose name was on it.
We all had a lovely time and stuffed ourselves silly! The children went and played outside and their daughter filmed them all on the trampoline.
This is them all looking at themselves.
But for me, most of this week has been about the cats. I knew their time here was coming to an end, and I spent the week cuddling them and whispering words of love. The top left picture is where George would be found all week, snuggling into my chest. I shall miss them both so very much.