Sorry, so sorry

I have to begin today with an apology.

Son No2 read my last post and had some constructive criticism that I need to address.  I am so very sorry for my errors!

Firstly, I told you that Son No2 likes to sit and chat to the chooks … he would like me to add that he also enjoys watching the chickens being put to bed at night and finds it hilarious when they flap about and run away … especially Minnie the Minx who hates bedtime so she runs and hides under the coop with her back to us.

img_1832Secondly, I omitted to tell you that Ivy the Terrible likes to yell. She loves to yell. She yells when we’re all indoors and she would like a cuddle (I kid you not). She yells when she is considering laying an egg although she’s quiet after the actual event. She yells when Beryl the Peril or Minnie the Minx are (in her opinion) faffing about and taking too long when egg laying. She particularly likes to yell at Minnie and has been known to screech in her face and frighten her out of the nest box. Ivy likes to yell.

Now that my conscience is clear I can tell you all about this week … hopefully this post will meet with approval after the scrutiny of Son No2 … but I’ll let you know!

This week has seen the return to work after the Christmas holidays. Although there were some rumbles of discontent at the thought of having to get up ‘too’ early, all three boys were up and working with little complaint when the time came.  They’ve all worked well this week and settled back into the routine ever so well.

(Old photos, but I’ll not tell if you don’t)

Son No3 recently started swimming lessons so on a Thursday morning he is extra motivated to get all his work done before he goes to the pool. He loves the water and is really enjoying his lessons.  Lessons started again this week after the Christmas break and he was super excited about being back in the water.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that this week also saw my annual ‘dark day’, the day I remember the pain of losing our babies. I generally write something about my babies that day, not because I’m wanting sympathy but just as my wee memorial for them. I found this year harder than usual which puzzled me but I think maybe the fact that the Junior GGs are getting so grown up makes me realise that my babies would now no longer be ‘babies’ but turning into young adults.  Also, I think seventeen is a key age, especially here in the UK, as it’s the age when young folks can learn to drive and take on a little more independence from their parents.  I remember seventeen so well myself, I was incredibly excited about the freedom of being able to drive and, if my aging memory is correct, I had my first driving lesson the day after my birthday.
 

Earlier this week I saw this quote on Facebook from my favourite author, Sally Clarkson:

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I love it.  This is something that Mr GG and I have held onto at times of heartache and, not least, through his bouts of depression and anxiety.  I can testify to the truth of this.  Over the years I have been given many opportunities to listen to, pray with, cry alongside folks who are grieving the loss of babies … I would never have had this compassion if I had not walked the devastating path of baby-loss myself.  I am thankful, not necessarily for the physical pain, but for the ways that my experience changed me and I am thankful too that my babies are safe in the arms of Jesus where, one day, I will meet them.

Alongside the ‘dark day’, there were many highlights to our week, not least the visit of a dear aunt and uncle who we have not seen for several years.  It was a delight to spend time with them, laughing, chatting, reminiscing and drinking tea together.  I have a wonderful family.

I had my first attempt at making face cream using essential oils this week.  I only made it on Friday so haven’t had much time to try it out but it looks OK and smells amazing.  I’d been wanting to try it for ages but I’m also trying to be measured in introducing DIY recipes to our family life rather than go diving in.  I’ve been using my own recipe of facial oil for the last couple of months which I’m really liking.  

Crafty-wise Mr GG and I have both had a couple of projects on the go.  I tried out a new bracelet pattern which I had found … once I’m used to it I’ll start adapting it and experimenting with different beads, patterns etc.  Mr GG also finished off a table he’d been working on restoring (now sold) and finalised an order he’d got to make a guitar pedal board (delivered and in use already).  We have a dream of one day living somewhere with room for a proper workshop as well as more land for growing fruit and veg … and more chickens … oh, and maybe a pig … and, well, some sheep would be nice … and ducks … and … and …

As a reward for a week’s work well done the Junior GGs had a trip to the local trampoline park.  Anyone who knows our family knows that Son No3 is a magnet for disaster. 

Image result for trampoline accident gif

Yes, as you can imagine our trip ended up with us dusting off our A&E loyalty card and paying a visit to the hospital.  I hold myself partly to blame for saying, just the day before, that we hadn’t been to A&E since beginning our home ed adventure. 

I’m thankful to say that Son No3 hasn’t broken any bones, he’s pulled a ligament and is ‘supposed’ to be resting for a few days.  Any tips on how to encourage a 10 year old boy to rest his foot would be greatly appreciated …

 

 

 

Celebration

Big news!  Big news! 

Today is the two week anniversary since the chooks joined our family and Beryl the Peril decided to celebrate by laying her first egg.  I suspected Beryl would be first to lay as she looks a bit older than Ivy & Minnie but hopefully now she’ll encourage her friends to start laying eggs too!  What an exciting morning it was … Beryl is generally quite vocal so I expected her egg song to be sung at full pelt.  But no!  She was quite cuddly this morning and even jumped up onto Mr GG’s knee (which she’d never done before) then quietly took herself off into the coop and laid the egg without fuss or drama.  It was still warm when we gathered it … and tasted delicious (so I’m told – Mr GG scoffed it). 

 It’s been another beautiful week here so once lessons have been completed each day we’ve been spending time in the garden planting seeds, tending shoots and fighting a losing battle with the wee helicopters from the sycamore tree outside our garden!  Our planting is almost done for the time being … we’ve got blueberries, apples, raspberries, blackcurrants and strawberries growing in the front garden and potatoes, cucumber, carrots, kale (purple as well as green … very exotic), spring onions, chilli, beans, peas, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, lettuce, salad leaves and various herbs growing in the back garden!  I’m planning to add some tumbling tomatoes in a hanging basket and some lemongrass around the chicken run to help combat flies once the weather gets warmer and, although we don’t really need it, I’m thinking of sneaking a cranberry plant in somewhere as well.  My idea is that, as well as teaching the boys, growing more fruit and veg will help to keep some of the animals fed … I hope so otherwise they’ll all eat us out of house and home!

 Our garden isn’t huge but just over a year ago we bought a tiny bit of land at the side of our house … it’s not big enough for us to build on and extend but it makes our garden seem much less claustrophobic.  The grass on one corner of the new patch is in really bad condition and we’ve been pondering what to do with it … this year we’ve roped it off and planted wildflower seeds in the hope that it will encourage bees and butterflies.  I’ve also mentioned in passing the possibility of making a wee wildlife pond but I got a look from Mr GG so maybe that idea needs shelved for a wee while …

Lessons have carried on as normal this week … we’re planning ahead for August however and beginning to look to the end of this academic year.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind few months here at GGHQ but I’m proud of how well we have all adapted … still no regrets about choosing to turn from state education and beginning home education instead.

One of my favourite parts of our day as a home ed family is reading half hour.  Whilst this part of the day is not usually met with overwhelming enthusiasm by all involved, it usually goes well … we either curl up on chairs in the living room or outside in the garden and I set a timer for 30 minutes.  I love reading and getting half an hour to read uninterrupted is pure bliss!  At the moment Son No1 is reading The Hobbit, Son No2 is reading The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe and Son No3 is working his way through the Famous Five books.  I’m currently reading a brilliantly encouraging book called The Lifegiving Table – I only discovered the author, Sally Clarkson, within the past couple of years and really love her work.  The Lifegiving Table is part of a trilogy, The Lifegiving Home was the first one, this is second and next I have The LiIMG_1499fegiving Parent winking at me and encouraging me to read faster.  Reading half hour was something I introduced a long time ago in the olden days of school holidays – this pic is from last summer but I love how the boys were all so content lying on the trampoline reading together.  Nowadays, it generally comes at the end of our ‘working’ day so when the timer goes off I’m left surrounded in a cloud of dust as the boys disappear to find something to do before I suggest any chores … they’ve all learned never to use the ‘bored’ word otherwise they’ll be given a cloth to clean the windows or sent off to mop the floors.

So, now to enjoy the rest of the weekend.  It’s a quiet day for me.  Mr GG is one of the youth leaders in our church and he, along with the other leaders and a gaggle of teenagers are away to Extreme Combat Laser Quest this afternoon … Son No1 is so excited about it, Son No2 not so keen on that part so is only going for pizza at the end.  That leaves Son No3 & I … we’re planning to watch a film curled up on the sofa eating pizza and ice cream (maybe not at the same time) … I love a bit of one to one time with my boys … good time.

Happy weekend folks!