Most of you will know it's been a hard summer, with the loss of my Dad and my Mum being in hospital for much of August and September. It all helps knowing that God is near and there's no doubt that my Dad is with Jesus now but we all still miss him, and Mum's illness so soon after has been a big challenge. We've drawn on a lot of prayers from family and friends - as well as worldly support too - and we're very thankful for all the support. My work were fantastic. Despite being only 3 weeks into my new job, I was able to just walk out and spend all the time that was needed.
We've also been really proud of how our girls have coped with it all. They miss their Grandad, but have been so positive about it (even when they have also been worried about their Grandma) and have been wonderfully honest about how they feel. They've coped with their Dad being away while I help with the aftermath and visit Mum (and go to work sometimes!) - and they have just got on with things. What a privilege to be their parents through it all.
With all that, things are finally settling down. We managed to get some rest over the summer, and at least had a chance to catch up with various friends and family (on my side - Jay's family have been somewhat neglected over this time and we're long due some catch up there now). A lot of things slid and we're only now really catching up. In the past couple of weeks we've got a bit of decorating done (now we have a house that's ours!), and are finishing a few other odd jobs, including the blog.
So - first a little catching up on a lot of outdoor activities during the hot days of summer.
|We'll start with the more sombre tone of the ridiculously beautiful scenery at the crematorium. Very peaceful.|
|First outing of the big paddling pool this year. Weeee!|
|Hours of fun.|
|We now have enough mouths that the wobbly old barbecue just didn't cut it, so we upgraded to something with a bit more room. Yum.|
|Miriam complained that her feet were too hot.|
|A lot of time spent in Grandma's big garden.|
|Miriam found a stick the looks just like Stick Man and played with it extensively.|
|Here he is up close|
|Also lots of playing with cousins|
|Plenty of park action|
|Despite the sun, sometimes a bit of screen time was needed too.|
|And the odd tea party.|
|A short trip to the seaside at a windy Banff Links.|
|Esther is ambivalent about sand.|
|Sometime sand is interesting.|
|Playing with Grandma!|
|Sometimes sand is fun!|
|Naomi has grown an extra couple of years older in the past few months.|
|For some reason the girls really like aquariums (possibly aquaria).|
So we went to the one at Macduff.
|Esther being amused by a flatfish (much less visible than the starfish)|
|Aquarium visits naturally involve seaside cafes too.|
|Naomi wore her octopus shirt.|
|Holidays are hard work. Bed is to the left.|
|More garden fun.|
|they all made cardboard phones. This is a selfie taking session.|
|At home, I stay in with Naomi and built a K'Nex playground.|
|Esther likes her fruit.|
|I stayed up late with the older two, who, it turns out, really enjoy Junior Scrabble.|
|Special pens make for a fun and yet tidy craft session.|
We still have some artwork on our windows now.