What I see and what I think about it.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

My Grandpa

My Grandpa died a week ago today. He was 90. He had been ill for a while. And so his death, whilst sad, was not unexpected. For the last week I have been trying to write something about him on here. And it hasn’t really worked so far. (As you will be able to tell as you haven’t read anything yet!)
I think what his death has made me think about is what we leave behind. Our inheritance. Here in the UK there are a lot of people ranting and raging about inheritance tax. I don’t really understand it at all. It just seems a bit unfair. But whilst the government can take money away from us when a loved one dies there are many things it cannot.

So what I have inherited from my Grandpa:

Love. The bible says that love never dies. This is not just true of the love we give. But of the love we receive. I know that my Grandpa loved me and my brother, and his son and daughter (my dad and aunt). He was a quite old fashioned and wasn’t a hugging and kissing type. But he loved us. And he showed it. By providing for us. By spending time with us, being interested. By telling us stories. I feel this love as I sit here and type. It is with me. And so part of him goes on.

Memories. No one can take these away either. Towards the end my Grandpa was very frail. But that is not how I think of him. I think of him in the canoe when we were little. I think of him refusing to join in games at Christmas, but getting lots of enjoyment out of the rest of us playing. I remember the look in his eyes when he found out my daughters were not only to have my husbands surname but my maiden name (as a middle name). They are his only great grandchildren and I could see the pleasure and pride that we had chosen to connect them with the past and with him. I remember him whenever I speak their full names.

Crafts. My Grandpa whittled wood. He made the most beautiful wooden carvings. I haven’t carved wood but the creativity has come down the line and I love crafts of all sorts. I wouldn’t be surprised if I carve the odd duck of my own as the years go by.

There are strange things we inherit. I, like my Grandpa, am allergic to penicillin. I inherited a huge love of my country. He was Canadian and proud of it, even though he has lived in England for a very long time. His connection to his country has rubbed off on me. I am always proud to say that I have a Canadian Grandpa. This has, for some reason I can’t explain, got something to do with why I love England. I have inherited this love of country. I love photography, which he did too. And particularly photographing flowers.

These things just pass down, father to daughter, mother to son, father to son, mother to daughter. You never know where they will turn up next.

As I see my daughters grow up I know I will see them change and develop. I will see Grandpa’s traits come out in them. They, sadly, will not know the man I was so proud to call Grandpa. But they do have his name, a little piece of the inheritance. And when they ask me “Why, oh why” they have such strange middle name. I will stop and say, with a smile: “Well, there was this man called Russ and he was my Grandpa…”

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Martha's view

Martha got a kids digital camera for her birthday. She LOVES IT! And took over 120 pictures during the day. Here are some of her photos...

Her new clock - the bunny wakes up when it is time to wake up!

Me taking a photo of her.

The messy toy pile in their bedroom

Tilly drawing before breakfast

Special birthday coissants and chocolate spread

Martha wearing her "I am 4" badges

Our friend (and Tilly's God daddy). Martha kept telling him what faces to pull and then take a picture. We have a series of these. Thought I would share these 2.

First being a lion

Then his sad face

Granny (my mummy)

Me in my favourite chair

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

The last 4 years

Here we go with some pictures of Martha over the years. I will put up some of her birthday after her party and everything.

Martha is FOUR!

Happy Birthday to my lovely and most beautiful oldest daughter. I really can't believe how time has flown by. As they say... it seems only yesterday that she was a baby in my arms. And now she is a child. (Although she will always be my baby). I am constantly amazed by Martha. She is so full of life and adventure. She is far braver than me. (She gets the recklessness from her uncle!) She is incredibly musical and sings all the time. It is a bit like living in an opera. She loves the outdoors and growing things. She loves cooking and helping me. She loves her little sister. She loves Jesus. Of course she gets things wrong and is fantastically silly at time. But aren't we all. But she is learning how to pick herself up and move onwards and upwards. I don't know where I would be without her. Someone asked me how I will cope with 3 small children and I just replied that I have a Martha. I couldn't ask for a better or more willing (most of the time) helper.

My prayer as the years roll by is that she stays her. That she is true to herself. I would hate her to lose her passion and enthusiasm for life. I pray that she follows where God takes her, because if she does her life will be the most amazing adventure. And I pray that I have the courage to let her go and be all that she can be. In the mean time I am glad I have my little girl who still loves me best (well, I am in the top 5!). I know these years are short and I intend to relish them.

For those that don't know Martha was born at about 3pm weighing 7lbs 8oz. It was a very hot sunny day. God had told me that I was having a girl. Sometimes I'm not sure if God has really said something but this I KNEW. When Nick (who was paying attention) said: It's a girl! I replied: Of course she is! And she was quite simply the most amazing thing that I have ever done. And the best bit is that with each baby the amazement doesn't go away, the love just keeps stretching and growing. And what love it is.

Thank you Martha for coming into our family when we least expected. You are a gift from God. I love you so much and hope you have a very happy birthday.

Friday, 9 May 2008

No pulling the wool over her eyes

I went for the day out yesterday and promised to the girls I would be home to kiss them goodnight. I was. After kissing them goodnight I had a chat to Nick who told me the following:

Martha had a tiny cut on her finger and wanted a plaster. Nick said "we will wait till Mummy gets home and see what she thinks." (I think he was going for distraction not passing the buck!) The answer came loud and clear: "No daddy. Mummy say no. Daddy might say yes!"

PS- When I had tucked Martha in there was a lovely pink plaster on her finger. So I guess she knows us well. Just as we thought we were one step ahead!

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Sun is a funny old thing. Here in soggy England we seem to all go a bit mad the second the slightest gleam shows from behind a cloud. Grown ups everywhere are smiling away and sunbathing (even though we know it is bad for us). All the plants have gone mad and I have never seen so many daises before. There is a big old tree I can see from the computer room window that has been looking ...well... dead for the last 6 months and all of a sudden it has a green shimmer to it. I give it about 3 more days and it will transformed into abundant life.

It isn't just nature that has woken up. So have my children. I have come to the conclusion they are solar powered. They are eating less, sleeping less (they would wake up with dawn if not for 3 sets of curtains!) but they have more energy than ever before. They literally run all day until they collapse into bed. It is a joy to see them so full of life. It is hard to keep up, especially with my expanding waist line. But I do love seeing them out there, enjoying the world that God has given us. They aren't complicated they just want to be part of it all. Whether that is watching a spider, picking flowers, playing on a slide, having picnics. The joy for them is just enjoying it for today. They don't worry about the rain that might fall tomorrow. It is sunny today, so let's go outside and play.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

How the years fly by

Today is my 30th birthday. WOOHOO! There is a big thing about turning 30 but so far I have survived. I think the fact that I am soon to be mother of number 3 is over shadowing it! But I thought I ought to mark the occasion anyway. So here are some photos of me over the years...

Me as a baby. My legs are in plaster because I had bad clicky hips.

Me in the sink having a wash. Note the tan lines that you would never have on a small child now!

Me (3) posing in my favourite shorts. They were cut off all ragged to make me look shipwrecked!

Me (4) and my brother in the good old days when it used to snow.

My first school day.

Me (8/9) and my first ever new bike.

Me (10) with a very fashionable german haircut.

me (15) as a teenager. I stopped having photos taken around this time!

Me (16/17) breaking the rules!Me (18) in a play of Les Liaison Dangerous

Me (19), on the right, all dressed up. I made the dress on the left.
Graduation (21)
Me (25) getting ready for my wedding.

Me and Nick, just married

Me (26) holding Martha (15 mins old)

Me (27) and Martha on a steam train

Me (27) a week before Tilly was born.

Me (29) with facepainting done by my girls!

Me (30) today. The badge says "Birthday girl".

Friday, 2 May 2008

Have a dance

It is Friday. It is sunny. It is my birthday tomorrow (there will be some embarrassing photos on here tomorrow!) . So it is time for a dance. Will you join me?

Watch this, turn it up loud and have a really good dance about.

Don't you all feel better for that?!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Life with a nudist

I have a confession... well, it is not my confession but my daughters really. I am talking about the smaller one here. Tilly is a nudist. (I have even taught her how to say it!) I think it started with potty training. We would let her run around in pants and a t-shirt to make it easier and it seems to not only have stuck but got worse. She will come into us in the morning to tell us that "my wake up" and within minutes she will have stripped off all clothing. It seems almost pointless to get her dressed considering how long the clothes stay on her.

A prime example was today. We went to the Natural History Museum and were looking round at dinosaurs. It was very warm so I took her vest off and I had to restrain her from removing everything else! Totally mad.

I also just went in to tuck her up for the night and noticed that Tolly (her doll) had her clothes removed. So she is obviously sharing her "back to nature" message with anyone who will listen!

On the bright side I am doing a lot less washing. I just hope she grows out of it before "boys" come on the scene. If not we are in real trouble! :-)