Music, growing, chatter, and last minute!

1) To remember to grab my headphones before leaving the house. Once I’d taken the kids to school I set off, listening to music as I walked along. It was exactly the start to the day I needed.

2) To go outside and check out on the vegetable bed and see the rows of green shoots poking through the soil – so much has come through during the few days we were away.

3) a) To listen to the three children in the back seat of the car happily chatting away about various school happenings, on the way home from M’s Dancing Display.

b) On the way to bed, A mentioned something about this year’s school Prize Giving. I explained that, as invitations are only issued to prize winners and we hadn’t received any notification that he’d won a prize this year, we had made no plans to attend. He looked confused for a moment and then explained he had won a prize*, and went on to produce a somewhat crumpled letter from the bottom of his school bag…

I’m just glad he remembered tonight, given that the Prize Giving is tomorrow evening! Thankfully K is able to go – M and I will be at the second night of the Dancing Display.

* For those interested, we are not told what the prize is until during the event.

Loch, happy children, and cake shop.

1) We took five excited children out for a walk around the loch – they all loved it, and there were very few complaints!  We finished the walk with a picnic lunch on the shore, followed by icecreams, sitting on the sun-warmed rock.

2) The kids have spent the last few days running in and out the lodge, playing, cycling, scooting, enthusiastically counting the relatively tame bunny rabbits (last bunny sightings count was 201!), and generally having lots of fun.

3) To celebrate Father’s Day, we ended our trip up north with a trip to our favourite Norwegian cake shop at Inshriach. The tea room is situated on the side of the hill, with a viewing area of the bird feeders hanging in the trees just outside. We saw chaffinches, coal tits, blue tits, great tits, sisikins, and five red squirrels – the kids were fascinated. (And the cake was wonderful, as always!)

Glen Einich

What a wonderful day K and I spent on Friday…  we walked the eight and a quarter miles in from Loch an Eilean, through the forest and on into Glen Einich, eventually arriving at Loch Einich by which point we were very much ready for lunch! Then we turned around, and walked all the way back.

1) The peace and the loveliness, the quiet of the lush green forests, the sparkling stream (we crossed 21 tributaries in each direction!), and the perfect walking weather.

2) Time. Time for just us. Time to talk. And space to think.

3) All the way there we walked into the wind. It was lovely to walk all the way back with the wind at our backs!

Weekend fun in the sun

1) We had a lovely weekend at home – time to garden, time to relax, time to cook, time to walk/cycle, and time just to be together.

2) We went out on a couple of walks, both from home.  A and M chose to ride their bikes both days – they had lots of fun.

45 min: LauristonOut for a bike ride

3) On Sunday evening, A decided to assist with cooking dinner – he made pork stir-fry. Here he is carefully cooking each piece of meat and putting it on the rack to avoid overcooking. Check out the concentration, and I can assure you it was worth it, as the meal was delicious!

Aidan - cooking pork stir-fryAidan cooking dinner

Paying attention, treacle tart, and out for dinner.

1) a) As I walked this morning I wished that I’d put some music on my phone, something to listen to as I stomped along. Then I started listening to what I could hear – all sorts of bird song. I don’t know much about bird varieties, but I saw magpies darting from tree to tree, pigeons surveying the land, a crow flew imperiously across the road ahead of me, a flock of swifts took to the sky, some tiny great tits played on the fence beside me, and a large bird of prey glided overhead.

b) A herd of horses grazed peacefully in a field of buttercups, and a herd of cows lazily chewed the cud as they watched the world go by. I feel so blessed to have all this right on my doorstep.

2) “You’re making treacle tart!” was the accusation I received when the kids walked into the kitchen. They were somewhat mollified when they realised it was to take with us when we went out for dinner.

3) We were invited out for dinner this evening – it involved a paddling pool, a swing, kids playing and splashing in the sunshine, a barbeque, yummy food, chilled wine, a cute baby, and time to chat.

Improvement, cards, and walk.

1) I go for my final physio session, and she once again examines my shoulder. She’s very pleased at the improvement.  So am I!

2) The kids work very hard this afternoon, making beautiful get-well-soon cards for one of their cousins.

3) While the kids were at cycling club, K and I were able to go for a lovely walk just the two of us.

An upside-down weekend.

With A away for the weekend, we wanted to spoil M a little – she was missing her big brother a lot 🙁 .

1) We made doughnuts for breakfast on Saturday, using my Nana’s recipe. They tasted as good as I remembered them tasting, even though we didn’t have a silver thimble to make the hole in the middle, and had to use a tiny cookie cutter instead.

In the evening, we went out for dinner, and then a walk along the canal. It was all very grown up, even if M did forget to bring her coat – she looked very cute dancing along in Daddy’s fleece though!

2) During the day, M helped me make Lemon Drizzle cake and Malteser slice, for church youth group on Sunday. We had a beautiful walk at Plean Country Park too – the rhodedendrons were blooming, and were glorious.

3) At Youth group this morning, we had a visit from a couple who spent 17 years living and working with a tribe living in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. During that time they translated the New Testament into the local language – quite a feat, considering the language had never been written down before!  It was an absolutely fascinating talk – I could have listened to their stories for hours!

4) A arrived home mid-afternoon, having had a wonderful time at camp. My brother came over, and we took advantage of the lovely weather and had a barbeque for dinner. Two tired children are now in bed 🙂 .

Blossom, it’s okay, and growing up.

1) A friend took me on one of her favourite walks this morning: “… and you should see this avenue when the trees are in blossom…”, she enthused, as she led me by a blossom-tree-lined avenue, just before the trees burst into flower. I’m very tempted to drive back over in a few days time, just to see the trees.

2)  Being able to reassure my dad that, contrary to what he’d heard (having been out of the UK for the last four days), the weather forecast was not for it to be 4degC tomorrow, but a sunny 12degC instead!

3) My wee boy is growing up, becoming a young man before my very eyes, but he still occasionally says or does things which amuse. Tonight one such conversation occurred and, while part of me would love to tell you about it, I’m not going to – occasionally he reads what I write here, and I would hate for him to feel embarrassed!

So instead, I’ll tell you about something he did. If you read my post yesterday, you will know that he carefully weeded one of the two raised vegetable beds. As soon as he got home from school this afternoon, with no further prompting from me, he went straight out (before he’d even had afternoon tea) and completely cleared the other one too!!  Well, I say completely, but really one tiny silver beet plant had struggled through from last year, and he left that, carefully surrounded by spikes (to stop the cats sitting on it).

No coat, free period, and to the park.

1) I didn’t need to wear my coat as we walked to school this morning. That’s a first for 2013!

2) I passed a group of teenage boys walking back to school from the supermarket and remember the joys of having a “free period” at school.

3) My brother takes the kids out for a couple of hours this afternoon – they went to a local country park, had a walk, played with the frisbee, and enjoyed being outdoors 🙂 . I enjoyed some extra free time to make some progress at home.

Explore, colour, and conversation.

1) I discovered two new paths on my walk this morning. I’m saving them up though, to explore with K and the kids.

2) Gardens are beginning to burst with colour – even the daffodils at the bottom of our garden, always the last of the daffodils to come through, are nearly unfurled. As I drove into town, there were great golden banks of daffodils everywhere I looked.

3) Sitting knitting quietly in a corner of the changing room while M was in her ballet class, I listened as the conversation ebbed and flowed around me. A little girl’s birthday party was being planned. A one-year old had just celebrated his first birthday. Photos were shared. Presents described. Discussion about the forthcoming dancing display. A game of I-spy, and Simon Says, played with a soon-to-be five year old.