I'll try to catch up with a little help from my old friend flickr.
I guess the over-riding theme of it has been sadness though :-(
June is a month of birthdays for us (as I already blogged) and I decided my gift to myself this year would be a 'new look', so I enlisted the help of my good friend (who was once a professional hairdresser) on the day before, and hey-presto;
TP joined in and decided she'd like a drastic chop too. I've always resisted her pleas before, but couldn't really in the light of my own change! So off came hers too...
The day of my birthday was tinged with sadness and worry. I woke to a bazillion lovely wishes on Facebook and my family gifted me with many lovely camera accessories from my Amazon wish list. It couldn't have started better! But later in the morning I was rung by my Nan to say my Aunty was extremely poorly and nearing the end of her battle. Later my Mum called me (when she arrived there) and we discussed my travelling down after I put the kids to bed (leaving a friend to babysit until morning) ~ to say my final farewell to Debbie. I really wanted to say I loved her just once more ~ before she left this life. It had been too difficult to phone her in recent weeks as her sleeping patterns were so erratic and prolonged. Mum, however, felt she would make it to morning and thought I should book an early train, as to arrive late at night might be too disruptive ~ so that's what I did. Due to arrive at lunchtime next day (it's a 3hr trip). I went to bed with a heavy heart. I woke to a text that said my Aunty Debbie had passed away at just before 5am ~ when the stay-awake nurse nipped to the loo and everyone else was sleeping :-(.
I still can't believe I didn't go by my instincts ~ or that I didn't get to hold her hand and say goodbye ~ or kiss her goodnight :-(. I still feel a little cheated. BUT I know she knew I loved her, I was praying for her everyday and I love her still. I hope she knew I tried!
Her loss is deeply felt. Ours is a very small family ~ just my Nan, my mum, Aunty Debbie, Alan (her husband), Sam (her son ~ only just 16) and me. We are close. Debs was the one who always brought the laughter with her ~ she was so creative, so artistic and SO witty! She was only 14 years older than me and I shared a room with her whenever we stayed at my nan's when I was small. She was the closest thing I will ever have to a sister really. I loved her immensely and it's really crap that she's gone (s'cuse my choice of words, but that's what a blog is for...)!!
I stayed with my family for a couple of days and while we were there Baby cut his first tooth! Paul came to pick us up on the Sunday morning. The funeral was on the following Thursday ~ just a week after she died, so we travelled down again for that (taking only Bugs, TP and Baby). Paul's Mum was kind and came up on the train, to look after the other children for a couple of days for us.
The funeral was hard ~ so many people I knew from years ago when I was small came (school friends of Debbie's) . Our extended family came ~ the last time I had seen them we were celebrating Debbie's 50th Birthday together ~ just 3 years ago :( and I had a different babe-in-arms then! But it was also a lovely celebration of who Debs was and what her life had meant to so many people. I miss her...
RiP my beautiful Aunty.
Then it was back to normal ~ home-ed carried on. The children and I all needed to keep things 'normal'. We've enjoyed some lovely family times during these warmer evenings ~ water fights and family football being some of the highlights.
Baby cut his 2nd tooth and is thoroughly enjoying the feel of them, showing everyone his toothy grin (taken 30th June)...
and then he learnt to sit (he's really stable now, but still likes to launch himself backwards) ~ this was taken the first day he did it (20th June)...
About 10 days ago he learnt to drink from a cup, but he prefers us to hold it still...
Yes ~ there have been definate UPs, but then...
as if this month wasn't sad enough... we woke one morning to find Mr Rosie (pet rabbit) dead in the run and minutes later Beth (his sister) laid down and died too. Cause unknown. They had their nails clipped at the vets just the week before and a 'once over'. They appeared healthy and well. It remains a mystery. They were about 5 years old.
The children were amazing. TP and Taz dug a hole at the back of the fern field (less visible from the house in the event of a fox...), put them together in a cardboard box and buried them. Paul made a little plaque for them and engraved their names. So sweet. So sad :-(
RiP Beth (black) & Mr Rosie (grey).
On Thursday last week we finished up 'school' for the year with a games day ~ always good fun...
Friday, Paul was away at a church leader's conference for a couple of days, so I dutifully trooped 7 kids on the bus with me into town for the Toddler group, end of term, 'Teddy Bear's Picnic' (that cost a mint!). The buses in both directions were late of course. They only run once and hour to our village (and we missed one by 7 minutes so had to play hide-'n'-seek for an hour in the church grounds while we waited) and then it's a mile walk to (and from) the bus stop home ~ we were all a little weary by the time we got in, but it was fun!! Stitch especially enjoyed the 'bumpy bus', but not so much the walk home at the end of the day!
On Saturday it poured with rain, so we stayed in and made pizza - from scratch! It was delicious and fun!!
And yesterday ~ we had a fabulous day in church...
- Paul was 'promoted' to Associate Pastor (from Assistant ~ small title change, big impact on position we hope).
- Sunday School prizes were given out for the year and the Youth Band led the whole service (they were brilliant).
- And 'we' (the church as a whole) moved into our OWN premises!
Other thing of note ~ Taz has begun having 'proper' drum lessons. We found a good teacher (someone who used to work with Paul in fact) and he is doing well, although the teacher says he still hasn't quite got a handle on what Joel is capable of ~ I think Taz is better than the teacher thinks he is!! But he is learning to read drum music and a few 'polishing' things so that is great too :-)
It's been a month of so many ups and downs...maybe the summer will be a bit more stable. I don't anticipate being bored though ~ I have tonnes of 'stuff' to get done, for 'school', home, church and maybe even me. There's some photography tutorials I want to read, as well as catching up on my magazines and I also want to do some more of my genealogy work I started last summer)! I think we are holidaying in September, so at least I don't have to fit that in just yet..!
If you got this far, well done!!
Catch you later :-)