A week of dry weather! It’s such a pleasure kicking through dry dirt, rather than sploshing through puddles in the back garden on my way to the chickens and having dry grass for the children to play on. The daffodils which have been out since January are all but over, and in their place, bluebells are adding colour to our countryside…generally not the dainty English ones, but the bold Spanish variety. The beautiful pale-yellow primroses which cover the banks of some of our lanes are also on their way out, but I think I spied a cowslip today. The old apple tree under which the chickens shelter is starting to come out in tiny pink and white buds, each a promise of an apple. Every time we pass a field full of lambs and their mums, Sparkly Eyes shouts out “baby lamb!” We’ve all made the most of this spell of warmth…eating outside, and sitting on our front porch with our morning tea and watching the world go by. I love quiet days at home, with not much planned, but with four busy children we don’t seem to get many of them. However, most of us have had a nasty bug lingering, so this has been a good excuse for some quieter days. Having said that, we’ve had lots of fun days out; a couple of days in our local city, meeting up with home ed friends. The boys get together with their friends, and myself and the girls spend time with a younger crew; there is one particular park in which they enjoy playing with friends…it’s much more exciting than ours! Today the boys had an armour making session with some home ed friends; I’m always inspired by this families’ creativity and holistic approach to educating their children. Lanky Dude came back with some amazing “Elvin” style leather arm shields. Meanwhile, the girls and I went for lunch and a walk with another inspirational mum, and her children. So, I feel well buoyed up for the next few weeks. And, what a treat not to have had to made sandwiches. God bless my lovely friends! We had a great home ed visit to a local animal park last week, and this week to another adventure park, with another group. Boys have been on a scavenger walk with youth club, we’ve had friends round, had a couple of film nights, done an Easter egg hunt, and generally enjoyed the slower pace of the holidays. While the boys and a friend rambled in the hills yesterday, the girls and their friend played in our field. It’s great watching how children play, when given space…and no health and safety passed play equipment. They climb, make dens, play wild imagination games, observe nature’s spectacles. While lifting some plastic sheeting from over our very overgrown veg plot, I discovered a number of grass snakes, and an ants’ nest; all fascinating for young, curious minds. I set our beehive up in the hope that a homeless swarm of bees may find it and give us a chance of being better bee keepers! And the fruit trees we planted several years ago are blossoming. Dancing Toes picked the last of the daffodils from underneath them. I enjoy writing these everyday doings of our family down, but it’s a slightly skewed picture as it’s just not the place to share specifics of the harder stuff of life, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think we lived a roses-round-the -door sort of unreal life. Suffice to say, I am so grateful for all the everyday little things which I enjoy, and in which I find beauty and peace. I love spending time with my family (mostly) though I also crave uninterrupted peace at times! But, we also have our share of normal family stresses, and lately we have been feeling “squeezed” from many angles. My first strategy in getting through these times is prayer…and then trying to create some practical solutions. So, this Easter I’m looking forward to some windows of peace (even in short bursts!) and the fresh hope and vision that Easter brings.