Friday, May 21, 2004

Staying with Friends.

Like I said, we went to stay with Jon & Jan for a few days and we had a wonderful time - Thanks J&J!! The children played beautifully together for the most part and they even did some sleeping too - thanks to Jan's clever idea of NOT putting them ALL the children in together!! :) (Here's a pic of my four eldest. Jan's girls slept in a similar fashion on their parent's b/room floor.)

sleepy heads!
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We managed to amalgamate our schooling so my boys don't have any catch-up to do which is FAB plus I think the children really enjoyed seeing that other children have to 'do school' too. Jacob worked the best he has in ages - big incentives to play maybe!!

Entering into the spirit of Jon & Jan's home.
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The first afternoon we went for a walk down the lane (rather 'track') to feed the ducks, and to take a walk in a friends little planted wood - big enough to be exciting for the children and quite an achievement with one field - I'll let Jan explain about that if she chooses. On the way we admired a fair few highland cattle which my 3yo wouldn't believe me were cows! Then we fed 'Fred' the horse on the way back up the track. Jacob was really captured by this lovely horse and Abbie, who just a week ago wouldn't go anywhere near a horse, was happily patting and feeding him. It was lovely to see my children so thrilled by their surroundings. My 2yo Phoebe was unfortunately asleep when we went for our stroll, but I think she felt she was spending her whole time on an enormous farm. She kept going to the top room of the house, sitting on the window ledge and saying - "cows, cows, mooo... sheep... horse...!" - Bless! :)

highland calf!
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highland cows
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We also witnessed the arrival and construction of J&J's 'summer-house' (no!) AND we spent some of our time trying to construct a new wooden climbing frame (flat backed and mammoth and sadly not finished in time!!) - both of which we are hoping to go back and play with & in in August. Perhaps I might get to meet some of you other mud-puddlers then?!
All in all a great couple of days and how lovely to be able to descend with a family of 7 upon a friend and not feel at all in-the-way. I don't think there are too many people would be up for that one, but hey...what fantastic friends I have! :)

And then to top things off... On the way home we got off the train at Manchester Piccadilly to change trains (pram, rucksack, 2 suitcases, various odd bags and 5 children - quite a cufuffle!!) and a man came over to me saying, "Are all those children yours love?"
I was expecting some usual comment like 'you must be mad!', or 'you've got your hands full haven't you?' - you know the sort of thing, but NO! He said, "They're a real credit to you. Spotless [not quite what I was seeing, but...] and so well behaved. They are real credit to you. Well done Love!"
I thanked him wholeheartedly and thanked God for His encouragement to me. I so often doubt that I am doing a good job and it's so fabulous when someone completely strange to me tells me that I'm not. The Bible says we say we don't often realise when we speak to angels... Well that man was my angel of encouragement today! I am so proud of my family! :)

1 comment:

Jules said...

Aww that was a wonderful thing that man said to you, must have given you a real confidence boost. It is amazing at how something said (or done) by a complete stranger can make or break your day. I was on a driving lesson just before my test and I was trying to reverse park. I had failed one attempt and had pulled forward for another go. A car came towards us and had to stop as there wasn't enough room to pass. I got a little stressed (hate causing a hold up) but still managed to manouvre successfully. I was expecting a disgruntled driver as so often is the case sadly when people have to wait, but instead this wonderful lady stopped her car and clapped her hands with a huge smile mouthing well done. I was amazed and it really gave me a boost.
Totally OT of course, but I know how you were feeling when that lovely man spoke to you :-)