Friday, July 29, 2011

sneak peak :-)

Getting excited, not long now!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I loved yesterday

It was exactly everything I love in a day. In the morning the kids played beautifully and then invented some camera's out of things from the recycling bin. As it was such a nice morning I suggested we take them into the woods and be wild life photographers. Click

Smile :-)

In the woods we found lots of treasure, a birds nest,

an egg shell

an old coin, which oddly enough Rebe found right here... 'the shop'. So I suppose for many years people have played shops here, or perhaps it's a magical gnome coin dropped when the gnome shop opens at night?

The kids wanted to go down one of the sets of stone steps to the beach rather than carry on through the woods to the cliffs.

So we paddled (and sat) in the wet sand and water

and spent a lot of time looking in rock pools,

for green crabs and little fish,

shoes and camera abandoned.

At home again while Joa was napping we played with dough that we had left to rise while we were on our walk and made wonderful shapes,

snail (of course).

We shared the making and eating with a little visitor (on holiday in the village for a few days) and the kids continued to play together beautifully, no squabbles or rows or shouting. I could sit and knit and when Rebe's friend left she asked me to help her make this little puppy...

In the afternoon the weather turned to over cast and drizzle, Andy got home from work, so I put Joa on my back and went off for a good walk. He had gotten cranky, his 7th tooth has made an appearance and was making him miserable so some fresh air was in order.

Home again for a good dinner, lovely stories, giggling at Joa shouting his head off and proud of his walking, more knitting and bit of doll making and sharing time with Andy.

I loved yesterday and I have a feeling today is going to be pretty good too :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The summer holidays are about having time, the past few days we have stayed in the village and enjoyed having long days stretched ahead of us. We have had time to play with friends,

starting to pick calendula for our bear rub cream Making shadow art. This is the perfect lazy art. You need a piece of coloured sugar paper (the cheaper the better) and a sunny window sill.

Place some, preferably solid, objects around the paper and leave them completely alone for at least a whole day.

When you remove the objects the sun has faded the rest of the paper and abracadabra you have the object's shadows. The whistle one was interesting because although you can't see it in the picture it also left a yellow tinge.

We've had time to play with our food.

...make birds in cages complete with food bowls in the bottom (this is the shopping basket from under the toy pram cunningly converted with tin foil).

We've baked gingerbread men,

eaten lunch in the garden,

pick peas from the plant and gobble them up straight away.

Made a whole zoo

and I'm actually even getting some knitting done :-)

Ah, the bliss of time!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Children's Names

My children's names are Rebe, Benny and Joa. Yesterday a friend asked me about their names. He teased me that we never call them by the names that we gave them after they were born; Rebecca, Benjamin and Joshua. He wondered did we not like the names. Of course we liked the names but I found it so hard to describe why we never use them.

Then as these things happen I picked up the book I'm reading and read this passage:

"Norah looked at her son's tiny face, surprised, as always, by his name. He had not grown into it yet, he still wore it like a wrist band, something that might easily slip off and disappear. She had read about people- where? -She couldn't remember this either- who refused to name their children for several weeks, feeling them not yet to be of this earth, suspended between two worlds." K. Edwards, The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Yes that's it, something clicked for me and I can now put into words why we never call Rebe 'Rebecca', Benny 'Benjamin' and Joa 'Joshua'. Quite simply it is not their name.

When we were pregnant with Rebe we chose 2 girls names. She was going to be either 'Beth' or 'Aoife'. For me both of these names are calm and quite names, when Rebe came out she was none of these things and neither name suited her. Andy and I just couldn't decide what to call her. We simply carried on calling her by her nickname that she had gotten when I was pregnant 'Lamb'. Even the nurses in NICU called her that by day 2. But we were under pressure to find her a 'proper' name. The midwives and nurses wanted to know, friends and family wanted to know what we were going to call her. So three days after she was born we finally decided on Rebecca. We tried it out for a couple of weeks, a long beautiful name, we tried shortening it to Becky, Becka. Then, and I remember the moment, I was playing with her on her change mat and chanting her name softly to her when I heard my self say 'Re-Be-Ca'. Rebe! There it was, her proper name. It fitted and felt right and from that moment she has been called Rebe.


Benny's story is similar, we actually thought he was going to be a girl and he was called 'Hannah' all the time I was pregnant. But Hannah didn't appear, she was a he! Andy and I took days trying to find his name, in the mean time we called him 'little brother'. We looked in books and both wrote lists of names we thought might be his. We settled on Daniel - Danny. He wore this name for less than an hour and while I was in the bath, rolling it round my tongue I knew it wasn't right. I just knew it was to be Benjamin shortened to Benny, I got out of the bath and dripped down the stairs to tell Andy he was called 'Benny' and Andy agreed. Again I remember the moment of finding his name. It was as if it was always there floating around with him and we just had to wait.

Benny (Aged about 10 months)

For Joa we didn't even bother trying to think of a name. We knew that we would find it when he arrived. Joa was our record, Rebe and Benny were nameless for 3 days each, we named Joa in less than a day :-) I remember being propped up in bed searching, I knew it was to be a 'J' sound,so I went through all the J names I could think of and I found it, 'Joshua'. It was Benny who found Joa. He used to coo softly to him 'hawow Joa' and that was it, he was properly named.

Joa (6 months perhaps?)

I am glad I have found a way to answer the name question.

There is a lot of pressure to name our children quickly, often before they are born. It is a big task finding them the right name, a name that is appropriate (our surname is Angel so we couldn't have anything like 'Precious') and suits them and feels like it belongs to them.

I feel like we simply borrowed the names Rebecca, Benjamin and Joshua for them to used until we found their right names.

They now have their proper names and my children are called Rebe, Benny and Joa.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Library Bus

...comes to our village on a Friday lunch time.
During the school term we miss it because of the school run, but since the holidays we have been trying to go.
If we leave the house at 12 noon, we can see it make it's way around the estuary. Do you see it on the other side of the water, the faint red and yellow bus? We wander slowly (there isn't another way to walk with Benny) and we pop to the shop to get a snack or treat.

Then we wait by the red house.

Here it comes, slowly round the corner.

It stops and we get on.

We choose some books (they don't have a big selection, but being on the bus is fun enough reason to go and we always manage to find something good to read). Joa very helpfully rearranges the lower shelves for the librarian.

Then we walk home (Benny backwards...which made it a VERY slow walk home)

reading (upside down) and waving as the bus passes us on it's way to the next village.

The library bus is so cool. You can't help but know you live in the sticks when there's a library bus and for many it is a real social occassion. There is a lovely group of villageers who never miss the bus and if one of their friends can't make it someone else always picks up a book for them. I feel very lucky that I get to be a part of this and I can't help feeling that the library bus won't be something that's around for many more years.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Between swimming and visiting with friends we have had lovely long, extended periods of down time here. So I have no pictures to share of anything other than good old play: a merry-go round made by Rebe

We now have 2 dinosaurs (I don't know if you can see them, the shape of the dinosaurs in the chairs, but I'm now so used to looking at these chairs as dinosaurs I can't really see them as anything else...well apart from dangerous when Joa tries to climb up them.)

A sleeping lambie

creative mess

a very handsome man eating raisins from the bowl he made himself

a very handsome man pulling a not quite so handsome face ;-)

a very cool flat fish Rebe made for Andy out of clay

The planting game, the kids still play 'planting' a lot. They use whatever they find, in this case some very old peas and little cake tins from the play kitchen. Rebe even made a paper net for her peas to climb up so that they are just like daddy's.

I wonder which games we will play tomorrow (and I wonder how much mess it will make)?

Sunday, July 17, 2011


"Activity without downtime is ultimately - like a plant without roots- unsustainable...Rest nurtures creativity, which nurtures activity. Actvity nurtures rest, which sustains creativity. Each draws from and contributes to the other." K. Payne, Simplicity Parenting

(Rebe inventing a kite rocket)

After our gorgeous and busy few days what we really needed yesterday was some downtime. I try to make sure that we keep a balance in our lives; organised fun and visits and outings should be balanced with down time. Time to rest, relax, recooperate is just as important as wonderful adventures and meetings. (post game)

Without this time we would become burned out, over stimulated and over tired. We would also not have time to digest the wonderful, special experiences we have just had. These experiences can only become internalised and celebrated as special moments if we give them time to be remembered, laughed about, written and drawn about.
(filling in our eye spy book)

Without downtime our children become dependent on constant entertainment. They need time and space to play, to breath, to be. They need time to get bored for out of boredom amazing creativity emerges.

(Rebe's dinosaur, his head is an empty box and she's sellotaping on a tail- the perfect dinosaur for riding on)

Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderful 'down' day. There was lots of free play, cleaning, cooking and washing time for me,

we played games together. Joa enjoyed helping to throw the dice :-)

Time for painting, drawing and crafts. Rebe made lots of things using some clay Lucy sent home with us from our visit to the pottery.

Time for knitting. This is my favourite knitting at the moment. A pair of tiny, soft knitted kittens make a lovely present and they are so simple and quick to knit.

Time for being together, helping and sharing time. For remembering who we each are and how much we love each other and our home.

Being away on adventures is nice, but being home is nice too!