Harvest time is such a busy time in the year whether you know it’s harvest time or not. In the UK, the kids have gone back to school and someone somewhere has a countdown to Christmas saying 17 Fridays left.
I grew up in a country where they harvest all year round and so there isn’t much of a celebration of all the hard work that has gone into growing crops. In fact, when we lived in London I still hadn’t heard of harvest festivals and so moving to the countryside has taught me a thing or 2 even thought I grew up in a farming community.
There are a couple of parts that are my favourite. Our village school asks the children to decorate a shoe box that has a connection to harvesting crops and pop some food items in. They are then later taken to our little church where the children sing and give their boxes as part of the celebration.
I know we usually have to give fresh food produce (well there are a few tutt tutts when there are tinned or other goodies) but I like to have a look with the boys and find items that have been harvested and in some cases gone through a production line. The reason being, is that I want the boys to understand that in most cases, something has been harvested before it became the flour or the cocoa powder. This year’s favourite was honey,
I didn’t think to take a photo until we had got to school but the boys chose 2 very different harvest boxes which took us 3 days to make (mainly for the paint to dry). The one is a tractor which has it’s goodies stored under the bonnet and the other is a crop sprayer.
The children did so well at the Havrest Festival service and they were all so proud of their creations – it was just lovely to see.
Mumof2 Magic Moments
Usually, I already know what I am going to write when it comes to the end of the weekend and I have decided what Magic Moment I am going to highlight. These past few weeks however have been filled with them and so, I have decided to list them.
♥ Our boys had a little tiff (as brothers do). So the oldest one made a loom band with an apology note to his brother saying he was sorry he was hard on him but it’s because he is older. The younger one then returned the gesture with a loom band and a note saying he hopes his older brother appreciates the loom band. My heart swelled reading both their notes which were left in strategic places so that the other would stumble upon it.
♥ Both boys not only reached the top 100 students world wide in Mathletics (an online maths program), they reached numbers 1 and 5 in the UK and numbers 5 and 11 worldwide. This was by choice during the holidays and I had to drag them away to get them out of of the house.
♥ Our eldest son played in his first tennis tournament and was the runner up. We are so proud of the way he conducted himself. He has also been moved up to the next age group who are a whole head taller than him.
♥ Our youngest son is reading so beautifully and using big words in context.
They have both grown so much during the Summer holidays and we have had many more mumof2 magic moments. I have loved having them at home and really did wish for the holidays to be another 2 weeks. But, I think they were ready to go back to school and do some more growing.
So, in the mean time, I have their little box next to my bed, as a small reminder of how precious they are to us.
Cycling through Thetford Forest
Cycling is something that just happens in our family. We’re lucky enough to live in a quiet village and have loads of fields surrounding us.
We started both our boys off on the 3 wheeler scooters where you have to lean to turn. They were then upgraded to a balance bike at age 18 months or so and both of them just loved it.
For their 3rd birthday, they were given a ‘proper’ bike and with only 30 mins of ‘active help’ they were off on their own. No side wheels, no stabilisers. Just a helmut and a high vis jacket.
The bikes admittedly, have been used for more than one owner. We have high pressure washed and changed stickers, along with new lights etc.
The one thing we have felt is that our youngest son deserved a brand new bike for his 6th birthday. Not a hand me down. There are some things that just need to be new sometimes. So, we took him down to our local bike shop and he chose his very own bigger bike…WITH gears!
We also planned to collect it early, as we had my father-in-law over for a visit and wanted him to be part of the collection excitement too.
The very next day, we headed over to Thetford Forsest and had a super day climbing in the trees and then a lovely relaxed time cycling around the forest. Not only did he have to get use to 5 more gears than he had on his old bike, but brakes with his hands as his old bike had pedal brakes.
He did really well and a 5 mile ride on a brand new bike that was slightly on the big side was a walk in the park.
Recently, we’ve been asked a couple of times whether our boys are twins. They are age 8 and 6, so unless by some miracle that is possible…err..they aren’t.
They definitely are brothers, without a shadow of a doubt on the looks front, but they couldn’t be more different if they tried on the personality stakes.
Our eldest son is very much a black and white type of kid where the rules are the rules. He is determined and really hard on himself if things aren’t perfect. So much so, that yesterday he had the huff at the driving range whilst hitting golf balls. I managed to get it out of him that the reason he was cross with himself if that he couldn’t hit the balls as far and high as his dad.
I love the ambition and the fact that at 8 he thinks his can match his dad on anything he puts his mind to. I then explained that currently, it’s not a fair game as it’s like me challenging him to a race in my car and our son has to run. He finally got there in the end and reckons when he is 20 he will outdrive his dad on the golf course. I can’t wait to see it!
Our youngest son is more relaxed about things and with this approach many things come easy to him. Don’t get me wrong, he still gets irritated with himself if he can’t do something at times. But with his relaxed approach, there is a clown in the making.
We went for a ride through the forest last week on his new birthday bike and stopped for a drink and a snack. The next thing we know, he is lying on the floor, next to his bike, having a rest.
He is conscious of clothes and is the first one to tell me if he likes my shoes or hair. At the same time, he isn’t too bothered about looking (or being) silly.
We love both our boys just as much as the other and are so blessed to have them in our lives.
Magic Moments during Harvest Time!
First things first, I am not wishing our English Summer away at all! However, I do love this time of year when the crops have done all the growing they possibly can and the farmers are busy harvesting them.
The hive of activity around us at the moment, can at times be a little much when it is at 2am and then I have a word with myself and think it’s not all year round and 90% of the time we have such a nice quiet peaceful time.
Whilst it has been a bit on the chilly side for me, most evenings, we’ve had the most stunning sunsets and the best part was when the combine harvester had been, we popped into the fields to look at the patterns and watch the sun catch the hay bales whilst setting.
It’s been a time to just be and appreciate our surroundings for what they are.
That said, could we please have some of our Summer back!
Handle with care!
Our boys seem to have fallen in love with their travel pillows and insist on sleeping with them. I found our youngest one fast asleep with his gazillion toys and his handle with care pillow and it made me stop and think.
We’ve been really busy with loads of outdoor activities and adventures this summer. In fact, that is no change from any standard weekend and whilst I am thinking of it, a standard school week too!
The boys have been at a tennis camp this week, with the youngest going for 45 mins in the morning and the oldest for 3 hours in the afternoon (yes…3 hours and apparently that is still not enough according to him!)
Our youngest son has insisted on staying on to watch the older children for their 3 hours and then afterwards we have had a run around our local heath and flown kites. He is really good at sending his own kite to the skies and then casually lying down on the ground to watch it whilst he is flying it.
But, in all of the action, he has had a cough for a few weeks. Not one that keeps him awake at night but when he does cough it hasn’t sounded brilliant (what cough does!) So, I decided to get it checked out as he had had enough time to get rid of it. I also knew that the doc would listen and say it’s all clear when I know that it really isn’t.
We went to tennis and straight from there to the Docs and sure enough, we were told his chest was clear (surprise surprise as it wasn’t our usual Dr who knows our boys so well) but I had also mentioned that I was concerned about his ears.
Sure enough, the doc checked one out and it was fine but the other ear was red. Very red. I asked our youngest if his ear was sore at all and he said ‘No’. So we thanked the Doc and went to get the antibiotics.
This is the part where the ‘handle with care’ made me think. Ear infections are pretty sore and so we have been playing tennis, cycling, bouncing, discovering and he hasn’t complained once of his cough nor his ear. He has a super high pain threshold and of course doesn’t want to miss out on anything, yet he clearly must have been feeling under the weather.
I was driving through the country lanes (as you do!) and thinking various bits and bobs when I spotted a field of red in amongst all the green.
So…I stopped and got out my car to have a look and lo and behold it was a field of bright red poppies. I am sorry my photo doesn’t do it the justice it deserves, but I stood for a minute or 2 just appreciating it for what it was and all it stood for.
This week’s Magic Moments entry is a short one because I am hoping the picture says it all.
Growing up is generally the one thing all kids aspire to and reaching the milestones is one of the things parents pay closer attention to as affirmation that our children are doing what they are supposed to be doing.
But what happens if sometimes, as a parent, you are caught out by your child asking a perfectly reasonable question that stops you dead in your tracks? When the question is not one you would expect a just short of 8 year old to ask?
Both our boys have been asking to go back to South Africa to visit family and we have been telling them that we would love to go, but it costs a lot of money and we need to save up for it.
They usually then accept the answer and it can be a few weeks or sometimes months before they ask again. On the last occasion of asking, it was our 8 year old who then asked ‘Well, what are you spending your money on if you are not saving up to go? Are you spending your money on little things when you should be saving up for a big thing?’
To be honest, I was completely taken aback. He wasn’t trying to be cheeky and I was more struck with the fact that the question had a complex answer (I mostly try and answer their questions as honestly as is age appropriate). So I answered with the correct answer of ‘we are saving but it takes time’.
What did strike me more was that our son is growing up faster than my brain can comprehend. We teach our boys about being sensible with their money and ask them the same question he asked me when they are looking to spend it. It would appear that these lessons have stuck.
I’m not really going to say much on this #MagicMoments post except to say that our sons said it all on their Mother’s day presents…
Double trouble in our house sometimes comes in the form of our 2 boys but other times, it’s our girls (aka the dogs!)
I am not sure which is worse at times; I seem to learn a lot from the boys to help explain a few things about the girls and vice versa. The whole buying two of the same toys but they both demand to play with just the one – I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
What I have figured out is when they know they are in trouble. The dog on the left is pretending life is dandy and that they haven’t done anything to cause suspicion. The dog on the right however, knows when it is a good time to give up the game and just say sorry (sort of!)
So their new nice cosy bed became a heap of pulled cotton and shreds of material. Was I highly irritated that they didn’t approve of their new bed to make it last much longer than a week? Probably.
Do we still love them and those guilty faces? Absolutely! Do we love the fact that they have such different characters? Yes we do! And…Their old bed has been washed and dried now that they are glad to have it back.