I have such great intentions to blog each day, but school so often gets in the way! I have been busy beavering around, preparing for the new school year, trying to get my head around the sheer volume of work I make for myself and looking at ways to decrease it. A dear friend of mine introduced me to the concept of working smarter not harder. Thing is, I’m an ol’ girl and, I think, pretty stuck in my ways. Other methods seem confusing and over whelming, so on I plod working harder not smarter. And, I guess I feel we meet our goals doing it this way, so why try to fix that which is clearly not broken. Sigh. What’s a girl to do?!
So I doggedly continue on with what I know, and desperately try to balance my life a little better than I managed this past summer. No more working silly hours seven days a week. Smarter, not harder. See, I was listening, Helen!!
Lots of things have been happening in our neck of the woods. Thomas and Lillie attended a Christian home school holiday with some of their friends. They have been for the past three years and LOVE it! Thomas found out, whilst away, that the man who attacked he and his girlfriend has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. It hit him hard. It was very difficult for Gary and I to have a son, many miles away, suffering without us being able physically be there to comfort him. We encouraged him to talk to the father of the friends he was staying with, which he did. He also took it out on a football, in a rough game which allowed him to get out all his feelings. This all means that he will need to give evidence in the crown courts.
With Lillie away, this was the first time she and her twin sister had been apart. Charlotte struggled massively for the first few days and Lillie then took over and struggled for the last few days of the holiday. I think it is good and healthy for them to be pursuing their own journeys in life, however hard those first few times away from each other are.
Whilst they were away, Charlotte started school. Oh. My. Goodness. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES it, and then LOVES it some more! It energises her, excites her, and fulfils her all at the same time. She already has the reputation for being some what of a nutter, and is thoroughly enjoying getting her teeth stuck into discussions in class about this, that and another – and (unsurprisingly) has an opinion on everything! She loves all her teachers, and they have all been told about the fact that she’s never been in school before and that she was ill for most of last year. It seems she is allowed to just be herself, which is so important to her. Long may it last! I really enjoy hearing about her day, and she is MORE than happy to tell us, regaling all the many hilarious tales at the dinner table. She is very apt at humour, and has us in stitches the whole way through dinner!
Thomas takes her to and from school, as he studies at the same town at a music college just down the road from her. This means he gets to hear the stories twice 🙂 The boy deserves a medal, I tell you!
Abigail, Becca, Gary and I also went away for a night and two days to Worthing, staying at a stunning Air BnB cottage for Abigail’s eleventh birthday. It was so lovely to spend concentrated time with our littles! They both kept thanking us over and over and over again for taking them away. The BnB was beautiful and a stone’s throw away from the beach.
We spent the first afternoon on the beach watching an Indian celebration. We weren’t sure if it was a marriage or a festival (We think it was the Ganesh Chaturthi festival but are not really sure). It was fascinating to watch the dance, dress and music, especially the drumming.
Later on that night, when it was dark, we took the littles down onto the beach with flasks of hot chocolate from the vintage picnic set Lillie had bought me for Mother’s Day.
We listened to the gentle sounds of the waves and allowed their soothing rhythm to wash over us and erase some of the stress of the last year or so. It was really special and something I will remember forever.
The next day we had a lovely breakfast and Abigail opened all her presents. Her brother and sisters had been very thoughtful with their presents, and especially with their cards and the words that they wrote. Abigail had a few moments of tears as she read the words they wrote about her, and how special and incredible she was and how blessed they were to have her as a sister. It made my heart swell that they had taken the time to write such a lot, given they were not able to be with her on the actual day of her birthday.
We had arranged to meet the girls’ close friend, Evie Mai, and her mum, Helen, at the beach later that morning (thank you so so much for taking the trouble to make my little one’s dreams come true, Helen!). The girls had enormous fun playing on the water’s edge. The tide was out so there was even a bit of sand!
We had a picnic, ate some cake and then took the girls home, happy and exhausted!
I’ll leave you with one last picture of Abigail’s main present, which I shall post a little more about in the next few days. In our house, we always try to find nooks and crannies where each child can explore who they are and what they love. We had created a little corner of our dining room for Abigail’s scientific exploits. For her birthday we made it an area especially for her:
She was delighted! She now has her very own, very special corner, with a hand carved sign made by her Daddy.