Well, winter returned with a vengeance over the past 48 hours here in the UK. This is a photo of what greeted one of my friends who lives about half an hour down the road from us yesterday morning.
And yet we, only got about 4 inches. Life's just not fair sometimes! Just kidding! It's crazy isn't it? March is definitely going out like a Lion. It's hard to believe that last year at this very time, we were basking in temperatures in the low 20's, our weather being very much like it would be in summer . . . except that WAS our summer, because in reality . . . we didn't have one. Summer came in March for about a week and a half and that was it.
Oh England . . . England . . . nobody comes here for the weather that's for sure. About the only good thing you can say about the weather is that . . . it always gives us something to talk about!
Lately my dreams at night have been filled with lovely visits with my Grandchildren. I may not be able to visit with them in real life, or only very rarely . . . but at night these past few days we've had a wonderful time together in my dreams. Probably because there have been a few birthdays celebrated lately and my mind has very much been on seeing them all, hopefully soon.
As you know, my oldest Grandson (Gabriel) recently turned seven. He is a brilliant little reader and so I thought this year he was old enough to get an actual letter in his Birthday card from us. and so I had written him one. To all accounts he was thrilled with it and was able to read it from start to finish! That made me smile, but what made me smile even more was that he loved the story that I had written for him, all about a little creature called Smudge. In any case, my son sent me a video of him reading it yesterday and my heart smiled again. I wish I knew how to upload videos from the i-pad, but alas . . . Old Dog/New Tricks . . .
I have the greatest grandsons you know . . . and a granddaughter. My eldest son's boys actually enjoy sushi. They are lucky enough to have parents who have introduced them to the wonders of a variety of different foods at an age young enough that they are not squeamish about things. I think that's brilliant.
And just to give Luke equal time, here he is enjoying some soup. Those two grandsons have their very own play kitchen you know. I watched them opening some of their presents via facetime on the i-pad this past Christmas, and little Luke got a shopping basket filled with groceries and he carried it around the whole time we were watching and never let go of it, even when he was opening other gifts. I think it must have been his favourite present!
Of course my other Grandsons are pretty cool too. Here is the older two (Jon and Josh) enjoying a camp out in the living room with their mom, Kayla. I remember doing things like that with my own children when they were small and it was always lots of fun. We didn't do it really often, but . . . when we did, they enjoyed. There's something about dragging mattresses and sleeping bags into a living room, and then sleeping on them . . . that just makes life better and more enjoyable!
They are brilliant little lads . . . the youngest one Jacob has joined them here. They have fabulous little minds. Just this week their dad (our Doug) shared on Facebook some of their stories. Apparently Josh had informed him that God had a big brother named Gordon. Oh, and last week in Sunday school they learned that Jesus and his friends got in a car, but one of Jesus' friends turned them into the police and so the police arrested them and hung Him there by the road, but that it was ok because he came back to life . . .
Apparently there is also a Noah's ark story, but I haven't been told that one. . . yet. I love their brilliant minds, but most of all I love that both of my sons and their wives take their children to Sunday school. That makes me smile big time.
And then there is Maryn, who just turned two. She's my youngest daughter's (Amanda) daughter and the only granddaughter to boot. She recently got a big bed . . . because she's soon going to be a big sister. I think she is just the sweetest little thing and so full of personality. It just shines through . . .
She loves watching hockey . . . can't you tell? She is right into this game for sure! My oldest son (Anthony, father of Gabe and Luke) recently spent the night with them and he said that Maryn wanted to play hockey with him first thing in the morning before he had even cleared the sleep from his eyes. He said she is a lot of fun. I hope that I get to find out for myself when I am there this year. (hopefully soon!)
I know that she likes to help around the house . . . helping her mom to fold the laundry . . .
And her dad to wash the floors . . .
And like any woman . . . she enjoys a piece of cake now and then . . .
I am so looking forward to spending time with her and with the others too.
Family times are the best of times.
This is a picture of my youngest son Bruce playing hockey on what looks to be an outdoor rink. He was the only one of our boys who was able to play hockey. When I was a girl, hockey was a game that was played on the streets and in the back gardens of most homes in Canada. The only requirement to play was a stick and a puck . . . skates were optional, and in the summer it would be played with a ball. Then it became big business and very expensive to put your lads into it. Our oldest two boys never played because we just didn't have the money . . . but Bruce, being the youngest, well by the time he was old enough to play we had a bit more cash and so he's played hockey since he was about 7 or 8 years old, and that was pretty late to start as most begin at 3 or 4 nowadays. He might have been a late started, but he could out-skate every boy on that ice. What he may have lacked in expertise, he more than made up for in enthusiasm.
He has a new partner now. Well, I say new but they've been together since about last September and she is a lovely girl. Her name is Sara and I think she's the one folks, but shhh . . . don't tell him I told you that! I love her to bits.
She's really a nice girl and she makes him happy . . . and that makes me happy . . . and guess what . . .
That little bundle of tawny fur you see at the top of this picture here, sleeping from having played himself out is their new fur baby . . . Baxter. I am looking forward to meeting Sara when I am home, but I'm also really looking forward to meeting Baxter!!
And well . . . I can't show you all these family pictures without including our family star couple, Eileen and her husband Tim. Yes, that's her team Canada outfit she's wearing from when she competed in the International Special Winter Olympics in Idaho. I love that she and Tim both love Cross Country Skiing. I think couples should always have a hobby in common, something which they enjoy doing together. They may never have their own children, or even fur babies, but they have each other and clearly that is enough for them!
They are so happy together. I love that. They care about each other and take care of each other, and that's what life and families are all about. Can't wait to spend time with them too. I'll probably take them out for supper. They love to go out for supper. Tim always has fish and chips, because it's his favourite and Eileen, she enjoys a good burger.
“Parents were the only ones obligated to love you; from the rest of the world you had to earn it.”
I love my family. From the time I was a small child, all I ever wanted to do was to grow up and be a wife and mother. We may not be perfect, but who is . . . the important thing is we love each other.
(Turn off the music below. Just click on the pause symbol)
This made me smile last night. Ant and Dec on their Saturday Night Takeaway show doing their old Ready to Rumble thing. They had Blue, Five and Atomic Kitten on, who are getting ready to start a big reunion tour I guess. Anyways, Ant and Dec were not about to be undone, and they did their own number one hit from way back when. As you can see they're still very agile and full of energy. I thought it was pretty amazing, and yes . . . as silly as it was, it made me smile. It made me want to dance, although I seriously doubt I could dance like they still can!
So anyways, that's all I have for you today! It's been a bit of a jumble, but then . . . some days are just like that. A bit of a jumble.
A thought to carry with you through today . . . because it's Palm Sunday . . .
"When life is hard, remember - we are not the first to ask, 'Is there no other way?"
~Jeffrey R Holland
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . four very good Chocolate Chip Cookies.