The summer holidays have flown by…can’t believe there’s only one week left. I love holiday time, especially days at home with no commitments…these are few and far between, but we’ve managed a handful.
Sparkly Eyes had her birthday party in the first week. She kept inviting friends, plus their younger siblings, so we had quite a houseful and if was great fun. She’s into unicorns, so we did unicorn craft, games (some with a tentative unicorn theme), and a good sticky tea party to end, complete with ice cream and jelly (which I remembered to dish up…often forget and we’re left eating gallons of it for days!).
We then spent a week camping at a big Christian family festival. We’ve gone each year, since Lanky Dude was a few months old. Due to the level of mud often involved, I’m sorry to say that I’ve not always been overly enthusiastic, but the kids all love it, and it’s been a great investment in their faith. And, despite the rain and mud, we came back feeling refreshed. It’s always a good place to take stock and be reinspired, and this year Hard Working Husband and myself had time over coffee and cake each morning to chat, while the children all spent time in their own groups. We camped with other families from our church, and it was lovely watching all the children play so well. There was much card playing by the group of teenage boys, often in a tent we nicknamed “The casino”!
It’s lovely meeting up with friends from overseas, and a fair bit of hot chocolate with marshmallows and squirty cream was consumed. Immediately after it finished we drove up for my aunties 80th birthday party. It was amazing to see so much of the family…some cousins I’d not seen for several years, and others from overseas I’d not seen for much longer.
We stayed the night in a Premier Inn which, after muddy camping felt incredibly luxurious! We had a girls and a boys room, and the girls and I made tea in bed and looked through their journal books from the previous week. Dancing Toes had obviously engaged fully, but it was hard to find quite how Sparkly Eyes’ young faith may have deepened….messy games and singing were the highlights! The Boy Cousins, their parents, and Kind Granny were also staying there, so the older ones had fun playing cards in the evening, and we all tucked in to breakfast together.
We then had a couple of quieter weeks at home. HWH and I each took the boys out individually, and the girls together. We’re not always great at individual time with each child, but it’s so worth it. I went for a cycle and tea with Lanky Dude, and we talked about lots of stuff, including some apologetics; he’s a deep thinker and I really appreciate his logical and discerning reading of the Bible. Rhythm Dude and I walked up the hill and then also had tea. I love my conversations with him, as he is so insightful and has such a good sense of humour. The girls and I had lunch at the garden centre and bought some sledges for a pound …now just have to wait for snow!
Lanky Dude got his last two IGCSE results through; A geography, A* economics. Fab…especially as he self-taught economics. We all had a trip into The Big City for a meal to celebrate the completion of his home-schooling years. I’m so proud of him. Not just his academic achievements, but more importantly his character and faith.
Then last week we and our tents were all in the van again and headed off to a big Christian youth festival. There were about 40 from our youth club, but thousands on site. We set up camp, stayed one night and then left them to it. It’s amazing to see so many teenagers having fun, receiving sound Bible teaching and worshipping. HWH, the girls and myself had a much quieter time visiting some lovely friends and then camping by ourselves.
And now back home…it’s been a particularly packed holiday full of rich and varied experiences, for which we feel truly blessed.