There are small signs of new life appearing if I slow down to look. Snowdrops are now in abundance, and we’ve enjoyed seeing baby lambs, all soft and white compared with their tired looking mums. A friend brought me some daffodils, which are just beginning to unfurl their petals to the world. And our hens’ laying is picking up, with some white eggs now.
It has felt like we’ve had several metaphorical storms swirling around us these past couple of weeks; it’s when my mind is cloudy with what seem like unsolvable problems, and it’s hard to focus on the daily care of our family. I’m grateful for a God who can hold us in these times. We had a welcome break from it last week end, though, with my cousins coming to stay and my niece’s eighteenth birthday family tea. There are eleven cousins on my side or the family, so someone for everyone to play with/share phone screen time with! I’m deeply grateful for them.
We’ve had a few cold, clear days amidst the rain, and on one of these I took the girls and their sweet home school friend to a neighbour’s pond, to go pond dipping. We expected to look mainly at the plants, but they also caught a water boatman and a giant pond snail. Dancing Toes did some beautiful pictures in her nature diary. We are observing the moon for a month. January had a “blue moon” ie two full moons in one month. We’ve got a fun selection of glow in the dark puzzles and books on space…a favourite topic of the boys’. We also checked the outside temperature each day last week and recorded it in the form of a bar chart in Dancing Toes’ nature journal. On the arts front, we are continuing with composers and artists of the Baroque period. We learnt about the background to Handel’s Water Music and studied “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt. I found an excellent flash mob video of this! More locally, I took the three younger ones to a local lunchtime concert. A friend has had the inspirational idea of organising weekly concerts by local musicians in local churches. The churches often lay on lunch afterwards, so it’s a great outing. Rhythm Dude and Dancing Toes enjoy the music, but I fear the food is the highlight for Sparkly Eyes! Below is a picture of our muddy back garden. The chickens do a good job of preparing the soil for next year, by eating any slugs’ eggs and manuring it all. They are so funny….they drink from the girls’ wheelbarrow, rather than their water container! Lanky Dude has now sourced all the metal he needs for his robot, and is currently trying to arrange to cut and weld it at another campus at college. The pressure is increasing for him and he’s tired. We are all looking forward to half term.