A very cold, wintry month . . . in fact the coldest winter in 20 years brrrgh!
After much looking we found a church that felt right for us, it’s Riverside in Exeter.
Also we started meeting up with other home educators in the area and began serious house hunting.
Fraser gave us a scare, he had had a cold then one morning he woke up and couldn't walk. We took him to the doctor and they sent us to A&E, they thought it was due to a viral infection. Tests showed his blood calcium level was low so we had to go back the following week for more checks. Of course during the weekend I Googled low blood calcium and none of it looked good, we just kept him in our prayers. The next week he had an ECG scan and more blood tests. Everything came back fine, praise God.
My Mum and Dad came to visit, via the train for the first (and probably the last) time. Cameron and Fraser thought this would be a good time to teach Popsie how to play the Wii.
While Mum and Dad were visiting we found our house in Paignton which is part of Torbay (the English Rivera). The house was the complete opposite of what we were looking for, but this is where God wants us. We were looking for rural, inland with a big garden, miles from everyone and eventually bought a Edwardian mid town house, five mins walk from the beach and town with a small garden and we're really happy. The viewing was a tag on to earlier appointments, an estate agents “. . . well I’ve got keys for this place if you want a look”.
The children and I decided one day to take ourselves out to the Butterfly Farm (no butterflies at this time of year) and Otter Sanctuary in Buckfastleigh. I love Otters, they have a cheekiness about them.
This month was a whirl of paperwork and phone calls, with every kind of specialist viewing our soon to be house (at Paul’s works bequest). We were also planning my Dad’s 70th birthday so it was a hive of activity between Mum, Stu, Angela and me. We did manage to find time for our second home-ed outing to Escot Gardens .
On the 3rd we got the keys for our house and moved in, fortunately our removal men were brilliant.
Devon is a lovely place and the people here seem to be genuinely kind, gentle and thoughtful.
Having half unpacked, we handed the keys over to the workmen (rising damp) and went to the Isle of Lewis for my Dad’s 70th birthday. To celebrate his life so we came up with 70 different (mostly nostalgic) presents and made a scrapbook of his first 70 years.
On the way south we stopped off at Paul’s parents for couple of days, fitting in a wee bit of golf.
This month was mainly getting the house sorted and joining clubs and groups. All the children started swimming lessons, and Fraser, Kirsty and Maisie joined gymnastics. Kirsty began Brownies and I returned as a Rainbow and Brownie leader.
It was a lovely sunny month and we had memorable days out at the zoo (free tickets from our neighbours as a welcome gift), Woodlands theme park and the beach.
Beginning of June we spent many days at the beach as the great weather continued. We made new friends with the squirrels in the gardens of Oldway mansion. They’re fairly tame, like raisins and feed from your hand. But we decided this was not a good idea when one bit Cameron’s finger and wouldn’t let go. At the end of June Mum and Dad came down with their 5th Wheel for 3 weeks with Dad doing jobs for us around the house during the first week. Kirsty was thrilled to have her Granny watching her at her Brownies Sports Day.
Stu, Angela and the children came to stay at the same campsite as Mum and Dad. The weather wasn’t the best but we still all had a great time visiting the Zoo, Woodlands adventure play area, beach etc.
The Friday in between my family leaving and Paul’s parents coming to stay on the Monday we all went Pond-dipping with the RSPB, Fraser took it literally and fell in the pond, fortunately it was at the end of the visit. On the Saturday I took the girls to a Sylvanian Families day out.
During Paul’s parents visit Paul and his Dad spent a day away at a Hampshire cricket match while the children, Mary and I went to woodlands. Grandma was definitely more daring than me, she put me to shame. We also played lots of games of Uno and ate lots and lots of cakes and cream teas.
This was our first home-ed visit with Dart Valley group, we went to Coleton Fishacre, the D'Oyly Carte (The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company who staged the Gilbert & Sullivan operas) family holiday home.
Also somewhere in the mix we spent a day with friends from Edinburgh who were holidaying in Devon.
Lastly I got my hair cut shortish, first time in about six years.
This has been such a busy month, on the 4th we took Maisie to Woodlands to see Peppa Pig, even though it was pouring rain and extremely busy she had a lovely day. Paul celebrated his birthday on the 6th by working a nightshift. Kirsty started Pony Club on the 8th and absolutely loved it. Monday the 10th to Friday 14th was our church's holiday club both Paul and I were leaders so it was a whole family affair.
I had my eyes tested on the 10th to discover I needed glasses for reading and the PC.
Maisie turned 4 on the 11th and the holiday club all sang Happy Birthday to her which she loved, we had a small birthday tea for her when we got home.
We had a lovely day when we met up with friends from the Isle of Man who were holidaying in Devon.
The week of Monday 24th to Friday 28th Cameron attended the holiday club at the Zoo, which he really enjoyed. This is a break through for him as he doesn’t really enjoy large group activities. He thinks he’d like to join the Sea Cadets now and Fraser seems keen on Cubs, Go-karting and Motorbikes (hopefully he’ll grow out of later one even though both his Uncles are into them). On Saturday Kirsty went to Pony Club again. On the last day of the month (Monday) we started back home educating. We didn’t take a complete break form home-ed through the summer but we’re back to our normal routine.
Schools went back so all the clubs and groups started back, we’re members of quite a few home education groups Christian and Non which is nice for the children and me.
We bought a whiteboard for the wall, it’s been a great hit with everyone from drawing pictures and diagrams to leaving messages.
We started a study of WWII and got into mind mapping.
Paul and his Dad had a golf weekend in St Andrews, (it had been planned for many months) unfortunately it was cut short as I came down with vomiting bug, of all the weekends.
Cameron started attending our Church youth Club for High School age children. We thought he’d be quite anxious with the large group and all older children but he absolutely loves it.
We had a home-ed visit to Princetown, Dartmoor, I thought the Isle of Lewis was bad with sheep on the road here it was cattle and of course the Dartmoor ponies.
This term we’ve been studying the Second World War, which they’ve all really enjoyed. Cameron has developed a liking for tanks, Fraser’s interested in the Enigma machine, and Kirsty loves Vera Lynn, The Andrew’s Sisters and Glenn Miller, Maisie well she loves dancing to the music and colouring pages of tanks.
Later on in the month I took the children to my parents in the Isle of Lewis and we all had a great time, visiting family and friends. Mum taught Kirsty how to knit and she made a shawl for one of her Sylvanian Families. The children were out a lot on the bikes or the Go-Kart my Dad built for Fraser. Spending a lot of time in Eoropie (very North of the Island) where I did most of my growing up. My parents are renovating my Granny’s old house in Eoropie and are hoping to make the move from Stornoway next year.
This always seems to be my busiest month, with 7 close family birthdays and planning for Christmas. I obviously didn’t think it was busy enough and decided to clear out the spare room of all the boxes of “stuff” we’ve accumulated over the years.
Our big event this month was Paul’s Baptism on the 5th along with 14 others from our church at Riverside Exeter, at the Riverside Leisure Centre. He’s been a Christian for almost 3 years and felt the time was right. It was an amazing day and he feels that it has made a real difference to him in my spiritual walk.
Christmas was a quiet affair (just us), well as quiet as it can be in our home, the girls and I made trifle but it was only Paul and me that liked it. We had hoped to get up to Paul’s parents in between Christmas and New Year but the weather in Scotland was too bad.
There endth 2009 and looking forward to 2010.
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