A Year in the Life of a Home-Schooling Family: Day 85

When days like today occur, I am grateful for the previously banked home-schooling hours. Today was a wash-out as far as educating the children went! Very little was done. Not because I had planned it that way, but because sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and all else falls by the wayside. I did snap this gorgeous picture of Thomas with his littlest sister:

And one of the littles doing their tests for the day:

But this was all before 830 am. Post 830, by oooh about a minute or so, the dams broke on some teenage emotions that had been threatening for weeks.

I consider myself incredibly blessed to be the mother of twins. And for the most part, being a twin has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for my girls. Charlotte went through a tricky patch when she was about 13, trying to find herself in spite of the fact that it often felt like there were two of her. She is an utter delight now and is one of the most confident and comfortable with herself, authentic people I know.

Poor Lil is struggling at the moment.

Little Lil has always been the more sensitive, thoughtful, quiet twin. She is the one all her siblings turn to when they are feeling sad. She is also the one who always makes sure her family (and anyone who visits) are served teas and coffees and the one who quietly gets on with the washing up after having other families round for dinner. Lillie notices when people are sad, and goes out of her way to cheer them up. As an example of this, last weekend she took her twin (who was feeling stressed about exams, tired and very worried about the possibility of the ME returning) into the nearest town and paid for her to have her nails done, and bought her all manner of colourful make-up including some disturbing facial glitter, which seems to get on everything and everyone, and basically went out of her way to cheer Charlotte up and chivvy her along. Charlotte returned home a different girl because of Lil’s administrations. She had just been paid and spent all of the spending part of her money on her sister (she always puts half into savings).

Today Lil was sad. In contrast to Charlotte, who is able to eloquently express her feelings to anyone around, Lillie mainly keeps hers all bottled up. I feel very blessed that she feels able to share her feelings with me, but she really struggles to share with others. Today, I encouraged her to write down her feelings in a letter, as a means to help her get those feelings out from herself, and to also help her siblings know what was going on so they could help.

She wrote three A4 sides.

Lillie was at work today from 12 onwards, so Becca, Abigail, Charlotte and I started to plan a cheery up party for Lil.

Oooh, I love doing things like this! I think everyone needs an occasional reminder of how incredibly special they are. The party kind of took form with very little planning. Becca began by making a ‘Be happy’ sign, and I made an ‘I love you’ sign:

Abigail made a ‘ten things I love about you’ strip:

and we all wrote down all the things we loved and appreciated about Lillie, and popped then into a huge jar:

We even got Thomas and Gary in on it:

We hung up the banners:

Thomas stayed behind as the rest of the family went into town to get some bits and bobs for the party. As is our way, we all went a bit mad. Whilst we were shopping, Thomas walked up to Lillie’s work (a good half hour walk away) to pick her up and walk her home.

The race was on. We needed to shop, wrap and display everything before Lillie arrived home with Thomas. The girls headed to the shop they wanted to go to whilst I headed to Sainsbury’s. On my way there, I spotted some yellow clothes in Next. Now Lillie LOVES yellow. So I went in. I found some lovely cropped jeans and a yellow and white gypsy top, as well as some cute socks and a perfume called Adore. Thomas had given me some money to get a surprise from him to Lillie. I found a lovely yellow pot plant in a yellow ceramic pot! How cool was that?!

Charlotte took the littles and between them they bought all manner of sweets, fairy lights, throw pillows, bath bombs…

We returned home as quickly as we could and wrapped all her presents:

As I say. We may have gone a bit mad!

She arrived a few minutes later, and bless her, she had brought presents back for her little sisters (a spider plant)!

Before she opened any presents her sister had asked all their friends to share all they loved about Lillie, which she read out to her then and there:

She was quite emotional:

I have a few photos of her opening pressies, which need no explanation:

the plant
Bec’s roll of hearts
Bec’s gave her a necklace
reading Abigail’s ten thing I love about Lillie roll
a cacti
Yellow nail polish

Hugging Abs after opening the yellow nail polish (she does LOVE yellow!)
Fairy lights
Yellow heart shaped pillow
Gypsy top
just because…
Reading out all the things we love about her (lots and lots)
Modelling the jeans and gypsy top
Charlotte trying to teach Lillie how to model said jeans and top!
I have no words

After all the excitement calmed down, we ordered pizza, and hunkered down to watch Fantastic Beast and the Crimes of Grindelwald

Sometimes I feel overwhelmingly blessed by those I have the honour of calling family. Whenever one of us is down or ill or unhappy, the rest of us close in, supporting the weaker one until they are strong once more.

Today was a good day.


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