After a very difficult few weeks over May and June, I have felt so overwhelmingly blessed by God’s presence and His love. Today is, I think, is a new beginning in many ways. The rain has cleared the fog and the sunshine is once more shining into the heart of my life.
This week has been so, so good in a multitude of ways. Ghosts of the last few weeks have been put to bed as we celebrated Father’s day at the beach on Sunday. I forgot my camera but Gary managed to get a few photos on his phone:
We visited Worthing, the place I found peace during the year following my cancer diagnosis. It has always brought our family such joy and this time was no exception. We had managed to sell our Eggloo on Ebay for a couple of hundred pounds and had saved it to spend on the family. So on Sunday we searched for and found the perfect restaurant on the beach front. It was an Italian and our personal waiter was such an encouragement to us, commenting with pleasure over the size of our family, and telling Gary how blessed he was to be surrounded by all his children like this. Our whole family spent the duration of our meal in giggles as we teased and joked about with each other. It was so much fun, and the food was literally to die for! Honestly, we all felt the same way. Gary’s steak was so tender it seemed to melt in his mouth. The children’s pizzas were INCREDIBLE. I’m not a huge fan of pizzas, but having tasted this restaurant’s version, I soon could be! I had pasta with a fresh tomato sauce. It was so yummy! We even had enough money left over for puddings and they were just as delicious. Oh my, even writing about it makes my mouth water 🙂
Some kind man offered to take a rare photo of us all in one picture and had B’s hair been out of her eyes it would have been perfect!
The week before the girls had been grounded on account of returning later than they said they would from a sleep over. But they had taken their punishment really well, had fully understood what we were trying to teach them (that we needed to know where they were at all times and if they were going to be late they needed to let us know otherwise, how else could we keep them save?), so we decided a reward was in order. Because we like to celebrate the children waaaay more than punishing them. Gary came up with the idea of going bowling. Oh. My. Goodness. It was so much fun!
We are by nature a very competitive family, which I think for people outside our family is quite difficult, but for us as a family makes everything that much more exciting. Especially if you happen to be the winner. Which on this occasion, I was!!!
Again, I left my camera behind, but Gary took a few really bad photos with his phone:
I had taken a few too but all of mine showcase the flap of the phone’s case rather than any actual people 🙁
We have also spent lots of time walking in the woods. We are so blessed with the countryside surrounding our home:
We even dragged along S15, one of the children’s lovely friends. There was a lot of joking going on during this particular walk with the teens saluting bike riders, playing follow my leader, which Thomas really did not want to be involved in (!):
I love the fact that Oscar, our fairly old lab wanted to join in 🙂
Then we all tried to walk abreast the pathway, which wasn’t terribly helpful to the cyclists who need to pass us, at which point the children began saluting again! I’m wondering, is it only my children? I think I may be bringing up nut jobs!
As part of Lillie’s Victorian studies she made a cake which contained a bean (we used a smartie). Whoever got the bean was allowed to wear the crown (made lovingly by B5) for the rest of the day and was able to rule over the rest of us. We all groaned when Charlotte won, knowing she would take full advantage of that crown being on her head! So much fun 🙂
I love my family so much <3
We took a quick trip to the local garden center and picked up eight tomato plants, hoping to grow some lovely tomatoes over the summer:
Lillie made a Victoria sponge, which was delish:
and which she was just a little bit excited about…. it’s the small things 🙂
The older children had friends round on Tuesday. S and G are sisters, and are both so sweet and very easy to have round. G comes to do art with Lillie which she LOVES:
They are working their way through an art devotional course ‘You are a Masterpiece’. B5 adores all things arty so I allowed her a small canvas and she painted an owl picture to hang in her room:
Meanwhile Charlotte, A7 and S baked in the kitchen. They made the MOST gorgeous flapjacks. Seriously they tasted exactly like a Tracker bar but had none of the nasty stuff. They were made with all natural ingredients apart from the chocolate chips. And they disappeared very quickly!
Whilst they were waiting for the others to finish up their art they spent time on Pinterest reading out quotes to each other:
But my most favourite moment of the week? This was when Thomas was struggling so much to write his persuasive essay about owning the Victorian Pleasure Phone. He had done all the research and work, written his plan but had ‘writer’s block’. Charlotte immediately offered to help him, and sat with him at the table making suggestions:
I was at the computer and listening to their conversations and the giggling which accompanied them. I had to take a photo. Thomas and Charlotte had been incredibly close up until they turned eleven, when Thomas hit puberty running. From that moment on, for the first time ever we had two children who irritated each other. For Thomas puberty ended around the age of thirteen and he returned to his normal loving self, and their relationship slowly returned to normal. That said, it still warms my heart so much to see them working together and genuinely enjoying each other’s company just like they did daily for the first decade of their lives:
I am feeling incredibly blessed as I look back over my week. It has been filled with friends, love and happiness. Roll on July. I think it is going to be a very good month!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with the people you love <3