First week of the holidays

I remember last summer in our house as a story of ongoing warfare.  This year, one week in is clearly too short to  call, but the first week at least has gone well.

Danny’s little riding group runs a summer scheme two mornings a week, which includes riding and other outdoor activities.  On Tuesday they made bread and cooked it on a fire.  The limitations of the law of averages can be demonstrated by child-cooked-campfire bread:- black outside and raw inside definitely does not average well cooked loaf.  But he was very happy.

He also finally conceded to learn to use a swing properly without bouncing off the ground on every stroke.

Joni decided to take an art class for the summer, having majored in sports during the rest of the year, so he has two afternoons a week at an art group.  He’s really happy with it, to the extent that he’s thinking about replacing a sport with art as an after school activity next year.   He is also working on his train track in the garage, he and I spent a creative morning mixing colours and experimenting with effects to make water.  I’m told the next job will be mountains out of polistyrene and papier-mache.


Teen has been taking exams at school which has probably helped with the warfare thing not to have everyone at home together all week.  The exams haven’t gone too well and she now won’t know till the next round in February whether she is going to be able to progress to the year above.

I went with some Scout leader colleagues to check out the site that we are planning on taking our group to for a week at the end of January.  It’s a small site, but nice looking, with woods and a river nearby, so plenty of scope for the programme.

Three mums don’t often get a chance for a whole day out without kids, so we had to make the most of the opportunity for a  bit of goofing around.

Then back home, we finally managed to get the pool up and running for the kids to take their first test dip yesterday evening.  Still needs topping up and chlorinating, and then hopefully a couple of hours of filtering a day will keep it operational till March.

I haven’t yet thought too hard about Christmas, which apparently is tomorrow.  But I did do the food shopping this morning.  Meanwhile today is Baby’s second birthday, (could be renamed No-longer-Baby) and the house is about to be overrun with rug-rats so I should go cook sausages and tips crisps into bowls.

Not multi-tasking

“The name´s Bad Kitty.  But you can call me Trouble”.  Announced Danny.  He´s more a ball of chaos than real trouble.  But I´d love to know which TV show he got that line from.

Sunday night the temperature dropped and Monday morning dawned a fresh cool 24 degrees or so, causing people to go to work wearing long sleeves.  From which we can deduce something about the sweaty state of the weekend.  Two days later we´re back up to silly degrees centigrade until next time it rains.

Definition of multi-tasking: avoiding doing two or more things at once.  It´s the last week of the school year.  We are all off the scale of tired, Joni voiced a communal moan on Tuesday afternoon; – “Why is this week taking so looooong?”  It´s hot (did I already mention that?), and my tasks for today include to update the blog in English and write a sermon in Spanish.  So what better plan than to attempt the two simultaneously?  Chance that either will make any progress any time soon?

Latest in the series of ridiculous meetings regarding Danny´s education yesterday.  I´m not sure if I dare hope it might be the last for the year.  The rhetoric was so impressively way out that I was left wondering if the authorities even believed themselves.  In a different environment distinguishing ethical failure from sheer incompetence might make an interesting discussion.  Meanwhile a kid´s education is at stake.  He himself is keen to change schools, which I think we can and should facilitate, and doesn´t have too many other opinions beyond hoping that I might buy him a horse for Christmas, which is about the only thing that we can definitely say isn´t going to happen.  I´m holding on to the thought that most people become relatively unscathed adults despite everything that happens in the middle.

The extended family chug through their ups and downs and ensure we´re never bored.   In the last few weeks we´ve been acquiring an extended-extended family, friends of our two girls, who hang out in front of our house of an evening.   There´s an unmet need for some sort of supported living project for teenage survivors of dysfunctional upbringing.   Sadly, or maybe fortunately, we lack every kind of resource to move on that.  So they meet on our front steps and share snacks and juice as they work through their challenges, joys, sorrows, and we try and encourage them to pick up the cigarette butts when they leave.

Seek the welfare of the city
where I have sent you
into exile,
and pray to the Lord
on its behalf,
for in its welfare,
you will find your welfare.

                                                Jeremiah 29:7

Hey if I hit publish now I will have achieved one whole task on the same day that I started it.  It´s OK, I´m totally aware that it´s half a page of jumbled ramblings, but we can celebrate small steps.