When we moved here I sort of sub-consciously decided I wanted to really make the most of living in the countryside and all it has to offer. I've learnt so much from just BEING here!
I've learnt the life-cycle of Swallows (they are so fascinating) and today, for the second year now, we got to watch mother swallow take her fledglings out for their first flying lesson! She will lay again in a week or so (two clutches a year) and this brood will help to feed and raise the second clutch and then not so long after they fledge they will leave again for Africa (as European swallows do). Today Minnie and I talked about why the swallows nest here in our Summer, rather than in Africa when they fly south. We could only guess at the answers. Watching them all flittering (which is really the only way to describe the fledgings early flight) we marvelled at how they just 'know' how, and how they just know how to come back next year and build a nest of their own ~ no-one ever really teaches them how (and Minnie commented how a spider is never taught how to spin a web, it just knows ~ and how amazing it all is! Minnie and TP made their own 'nests' in the garden with bit of hay, ferns and twigs (for their stuffed RSPB birds) and discovered first hand just how difficult and intricate nest building is! They really were just hollow piles of 'stuff' rather than neatly woven, stable builds!
Taz chipped in that he really couldn't understand how anyone could truly believe that such an amazingly natural knowledge and order could just 'happen' out of a 'big bang', and we discussed why people might believe that theory.
I've learnt how to make Jam (last autumn when I discovered the Damson trees in our garden) and this summer I have learnt how to make Elderflower Cordial :D!!
I want to try Elderflower wine and/or champagne. And then maybe something with the berries at the end of the summer too...
I'm planning all sorts of other things with blackberries, pears and hazlenuts when they fruit! And all of this is growing on my doorstep (well not literally) ~ for free! I'm sure there are so many other goodies out there too ~ I just need to learn to recognise them! Bugs want me to have a go at Dandelion and Burdock ~ just need to find some Burdock and a recipe!
I'm not the only one achieving things though ~ just today I realised that Stitch knows (or can receptively identify) the numbers 1-5 :D He also knows all his regular shapes by name which is earlier than any of my others have acheived this skill.
Lilo is doing REALLY well with her maths (using Miquon Orange atm) ~ she just seems to remember how numbers work ~ well when her brain is 'on' that is!! Reading however is a much bigger struggle...
DD also seems to have quite an aptitude for number work (not that he does loads atm) and surprisingly seems to be also beginning to remember a fair few letter sounds. Surprising, because I have done so very little phonics work with him yet (while I'm concentrating on Lilo). He is even able to sound out a few CVC words and work out beginning middle and end sounds really well. He read 'car' and 'bus' of his own accord to me yesterday and told me what each of the letters were by their sound. I am so pleased and am REALLY hoping reading is just going to come easily to him as it did to Bugs. I've certainly not even suggested the idea of learning to read to him yet, but he seems to be doing it anyway :D!
If it seems like we are working hard ~ think again! We are doing a couple of hours of leisurely book work, sat under the parasol in the garden (or laptop work) and enjoying just 'being' in the garden SO much! Tomorrow, of course, is an England match, so I don't envisage seeing much of the boys in the afternoon! Some of the local 2ndry schools are even taking the afternoon off lessons for the match, so why not my boys too!!
Of course our other big achievement ~ although I cannot really merit myself any for this ~ is the fact that we are expecting our 8th child!! :D Those who read my Facebook, Twitter, or BK messages of course already know, but this is for those that don't!
Baby 8 is due around Dec 7th (but I am ALWAYS late), making me in my 16th week. I have hidden it well (due to already being too overweight) until about the last week or two, but we made the children aware just over a week ago and made it public this weekend. I wanted to wait until we were well and truly safely into 2nd trimester to announce it this time (given my age and gravida). Also it has taken Paul & I a while to adjust to the idea this time tbh.
I have a booking appointment on Friday (with the M/W) ~ I always book late! I'm looking forward (hopefully) to hearing a heartbeat as I haven't felt any movement yet and it will be nice to have something tangible (other than a fat(ter) tummy) to hold on to! :D
I am painfully aware that some who read this blog have recently suffered sad and traumatic loss and my heart really weeps for them. I am also acutely aware that there are no guarantees for this baby (taking into account my age, etc...), and so I ask that, for those of you who do, please pray that all would go well with this baby and me ~ for the sake of those I love! ~ THANKS!