Hello Internet Land.

Morning to the people of Internet Land. I’m sat at the laptop in our dining room. You can see the front of the house from here and not long ago I had to shoo away about five sheep who looked like they were eating my daffodils.

View from the window, minus sheep.

The house is a bit of a mess at the moment. I took it upon myself last week to eventually empty the shed of our boxes containing belongings that we brought with us over three years ago. It’s been brilliant in some ways, I’ve discovered things I didn’t even remember having! Begging the question, do we really need them?? But there was a load of books, pictures and a couple of ornaments that I love (I tend to keep ornaments to a minimum, so they are ones we love). There was even some of my clothes, which is always good news. Baby stuff too, sleeping bags, blankets etc, so a bit of reminiscing went on too.

But anyway, yes, the house is messy and we actually don’t really have much space to put anything. We need to get some shelves put up somewhere, which will make things much better, the question is, where? It also made the house smell, because the shed is very damp around the edges, mainly where the boxes were and the bottoms of the boxes were mouldy. I think that’s wearing off now. It’s easy to get a bit despairing at times when I look around, it seems so crowded, but it won’t always be like that, so I just need to do what I can and get on with it. It does make my heart beat a little faster when I look around though and not from pleasure haha.

But there is also pleasure in the looking round, yes, there are toys everywhere in the living room, (as well as a lot of junk elsewhere) and that is often the cause of my going ‘aaaargh!’, but it’s also lovely, it’s only for a short time in life, then the junk changes, and so it is also good and I will take pleasure in the fact that my kids are at home, have good imaginations and play really well.

It’s been strange and beautiful really over the last few years since we decided to home school, because the world tells us and we tell ourselves often that we cannot possibly spend all our time together and that we need ‘me’ time etc etc and ‘what are the kids going to do all day’. The thing is, what I’ve found anyway, is that there are periods where the eldest says ‘what do I do?’, but that very quickly he naturally finds something to do and that something is normally playing and being completely absorbed in something imaginative. Strangely, they seem to have got better and better at playing! Like it’s a skill! I guess it is. Also, it’s become so very normal now, just being together. Going everywhere together, And I love it. I didn’t keep them at home for company, which I think has been thought by some. I thought and still think it’s the best option for us, I don’t need company like that. But I do like it a lot.

There are plenty of moments where I feel like tearing my hair out, and moments where I think ‘what am I doing??!, but the good outnumbers the bad by far. Time management is an issue for me, there is so much to do, but I’m gradually getting to grips with that. Praise God for His mercy and His love, that enables us and gives us wisdom for all circumstances! I do find as well, that you do naturally develop your own rhythms, all of you, where you can get the time you need, it either happens naturally or for example, I use the greenhouse quite often, to just give myself ten minutes and get my breath and sanity back. The getting my breath is generally due to the jobs and other stuff, not the kids. Step into God’s presence on purpose! I need to remember life is good. God is even better.

I found a sheet of photographs when I was clearing the shed, which had a load of photographs of our eldest boys second birthday and it made me happy but sad too. We always tended to do family gatherings on birthdays and Easter etc, food together and all that and now we can’t. It’s definitely one of the bitter things about moving away. There’s plenty of sweet, but there’s also plenty of bitter. I’m talking about those bitter/sweet moments. I really miss friends and family at certain times, Easter being one of them. Our old church has recently stopped doing the livestream on a Sunday, and I understand, but I have to admit I feel a bit lost at times, sad. I miss them so much. But you do also just have to just get on with your life, otherwise it’s easy to get too caught up in the past and miss what’s happening now.

We do need to start attending church here and getting to know others more maybe. But it’s just so different, I don’t think people get how different. Also, the thought of getting my four year old through a mass makes me very nervous. But Jesus loves me, and He is guiding me through all of this new ‘stuff’. I don’t have to be impatient because He isn’t. There’s a lot of excitement when you move somewhere new, a lot of hope, a lot of busy! but the fact remains that the incongruency between I’m somewhere that is beautiful and I am blessed, grates with the fact that I actually get really homesick and admitting it is absolutely ok.

Brilliant thing yesterday though! Our car passed it’s test! It passed! Praise God for a husband who knows what he’s doing with it! I nearly whooped in the test centre. Or did I? haha. I know I turned around staring and grinning at the certificate and the people around, going, ‘it passed, it passed! it passed!!’ A man said ‘congratulations’ 😀 And! while it was being tested, I took the boys to a coffee shop for the first time in over two years. It was so good, so, so, so, good. Being sat inside a coffee shop with my boys, them eating cakes the size of their heads (almost) and me drinking a coffee. I shed a tear (abnormal for me I know (that is sarcastic)). That is one of the good things about this year, simple things have become so good. I have to get this in too, the kids are currently watching YouTube, dogs that are dressed up as Ghostbusters. They make me smile.

That will do for now! Happy Easter, good bye and God bless you all in all ways and all things.

Ta ra!

Cathy.

Windy weather..!

Yesterday and last night was horrendous! The wind was so strong it blew our new egg stand over, thankfully, it’s ok and didn’t take anyone down with it… But I’ve taken the cabinet out of it (it has glass in it and part of it broke) and we’re going to put shelves in it instead. I’ve also weighed the bottom down with rocks.

It’s getting a bit warmer apparently and the plants are growing in the garden, so I guess that’s a sign that it is, but it still feels cold to me.. It’s so exciting in the greenhouse, all my little seedlings are growing more and more every day. I’m not yet quite sure where I’m going to put everything but I’m sure it’ll work out. We have some gherkin cucumber plants this year, I think I need to look up how to look after them and what to do with the gherkins. It’s all good fun as they say.

It was lovely prior to this week, yes, it got cold, but it was dry. It is so nice when it is dry. Then it’s legged it down (rained a lot) again for a while, so everywhere is soggy again. The weather here is so unpredictable. Then again, everywhere we’ve been they always say the same thing, ‘all four seasons in one day’. They said it in Orkney, I’ve heard it said in England and they say it here. But I have to say, I think it is more unpredictable here than in Derbyshire.

Our new chicks are coming on well, unfortunately as with most chicks, we don’t yet know what sex they are. So I’m beadily watching out for signs. I’ve managed to spot the cockerels quite early with our recent hatchings so I should have some idea soon. As always, hoping for girls, but with most hatchings, the best ratio is usually 50/50. So just part of life with chickens I’m afraid! J (our eldest boy) loves them. I bring them downstairs for him a couple of times a day and he handles them and looks after them for a bit.

Getting a grip on home ed can be tricky! I signed us up for the art classes (It’s called the ‘go sketch club’ if anyone is interested). I think she’s doing some free classes during Easter. But J is not that interested in doing them. Our sign up has come to an end, but I probably won’t be signing us back on for now. Maybe later at some point. Littlest might like it when he’s a bit older. I really liked them. It’s hard realising that your interests are not always their interests! and when to push it and when not to. She had some really good ideas about how to start people off drawing, and was so good with the kids. I recommend her if your kids are interested in art.

I’ve sent off for J John’s (A UK preacher/evangelist) book on the Easter Story for the kids and we’ll be reading and talking about Easter when it comes. Maybe look at different traditions and why it’s celebrated in different ways, things like that. Make sure the kids realise what it is really all about. Jesus. I just love just saying His name. He’s just so ridiculously powerful and beautiful and yet he washed His disciples feet. Think about that, I’ve spoken on that before in a blog. But He, Jesus, washed His disciples feet. He came to serve, not be served. The Lord of Lords, King of Kings came down as a baby, to a relatively poor family, grew up with them, fully human and fully God and served. He healed people, He freed people from oppression, He delivered them from demons, He helped them, but not only that, He forgave people’s sins, He said if you come to Him you would never thirst again. God. Jesus. Beautiful King who came down for us, suffered terribly, but saw us as the joy set before Him. Then was resurrected so we can have life and life to the full with Him. It’s so hard to put it succinctly, you can put it briefly and clinically, again, like I have before, ‘He came to save us from our sins’ and that is true, but through all this, He does so much more.

And! we have life with Him after death, eternal life. Death is no longer to be feared. He gives and gave so much more than we realise. He still does all that stuff, He still heals, He still gives freedom, He still loves us and he is alive. Easter is awesome, because He is. People often say it’s about new life, spring etc and it is, but also, so much more, because when we come to Jesus, because of His sacrifice and resurrection and when we give our lives to Him, and tell him to have it all. He gives us life.

Thankyou for reading. Have a lovely day.

Cathy.

It’s Sunday!

It’s Sunday (talk about stating the obvious) and I’ve come to sit in the caravan for 5 minutes or so. I’ve been to Sligo this afternoon to pick up six new chicks.

They all look a little like this 😊

They’re beautiful. I said I wouldn’t hatch any, but I never said I wouldn’t buy any. They’re about 4/5 days old I think. And apparently lay dark brown eggs when they come to the right age, which will be lovely.

Chris has made a stand to go outside our house, which we are putting spare eggs into. It looks amazing. I wasn’t sure how well selling eggs would take off but they’ve all gone so far! so thank you.

It took about an hour to get to the lady’s house who was selling them, and then of course an hour back. But when you’re in Ireland, this sort of distance sort of becomes normal really. It just doesn’t seem that far any more. And it was a nice journey too, very scenic, with mountains, Mary’s and fields all over the place.

It’s spring, so it’s busy, but good busy. We’ve gone down the no dig route with the greenhouse. So we’ve done a basic clean up, put compost all over and then covered with the planting membrane’s. I’ve tried to cover everywhere in there this year as weeding becomes a huge task otherwise. I’ve got enough to do with the front garden, never mind anywhere else. It’s covered!

It’s ready!

Things are growing fast! And because the poly tunnel is made from polycarbonate, it seems to hold the heat quite well and the young plants aren’t getting any frost damage because there isn’t any inside there.

So far, we’ve planted red cabbage, beetroot, chard (although I don’t actually know what to do with chard yet), lettuce, spring onions, broad beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, gherkins, chillis, sunflower seeds and early potatoes outside. There’s probably more, but that’s what I can remember off the top of my head. I say this every year… but it’s so exciting!

That’s enough for now. I need to go back in. Hope you’ve had a good Sunday.

Cathy.