This photo makes me laugh so hard! Explanation will follow in the blog post.
On the last Friday of July, the last day of school, the boys and I met up on the beach with a couple of other Dutch ladies and their children. I think we're going to try and meet up more often. We are all very different families; some of us have lived in the UK for years and most of the kids were even born here.
On Sunday, we went to the Family Service in our local Anglican church. Luckily, there were quite a few other families there this time; it does feel good to be part of a community.
We had a relaxed first week. The boys loved being able to play all day. Boaz and Levi have become pals; they love playing imaginary roleplay games together. I love to see them bonding.
Adam went to a Christian camp with some of his friends in the second week. That was the first time ever he was away from us for 7 nights. He had a really really good time and some very special moments. In that week, Boaz and Levi went to Bible Club five mornings at a church in Exeter. That gave me the opportunity to relax, drink tea and read a book in a cafe. There are also quite some children from school going to that church, so with our local church and the Cathedral, we think we've found a good mix.
Me, my coolio and my sunshine.
I loved having just Boaz and Levi for a week and I loved the me-time every morning. But it was good to have Adam back, after a week.
The week before Job was off, in week three, we met up with several friends and I managed to go to the gym like I had done before and keep running with the running group on Saturday.
View from Ayr
Edinburgh. Boaz is wating for his sword from the balloon artist.
So when were in North Wales (our favourite place!), the last 3 days of our holiday, we decided to go for a short walk in the mountains. Just to the lake and back.
The arrow is where the car park is and where the official walk starts. We had already walked a bit, prior to the 'official' walk, because the car park was full.
We were all wearing trainers (Boaz without socks), except for Job, who had walking shoes, we had a little bit of food with us and (luckily) enough water and rain coats. Not prepared at all, we decided halfway that we would go as far as we could. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, over 1000 metres high, so it's not like it was a leisurely stroll. We had passed several lakes, when we decided that it would be a shame not to go all the way. We saw several other families going up, so we thought it would be manageable. Levi almost ran up the mountain! I then remembered my (at that time) little brother would always be the fastest when we went on our cycling holidays when I was (much) younger. Levi was also the only one without muscle pain the next day. I was just glad I'd been to the gym for several weeks. I could feel I was stronger.
Anyway, we had a good walk, until Adam and Boaz started dreading the whole idea (see photo at the top of this post. This is the moment we had reached the top and they hadn't had food yet ;-)). They were adamant they were not going to go back on foot (initially, we were going to take the mountain train (£155!!!!), but that train was fully booked, so we had no other choice but walking up). Luckily, there was a cafe up the mountain! So after lots and lots of food and drinks, the boys looked a lot happier and were totally fine, during the descent.
Levi loves climbing!
View from the top of Snowdon
It was a very special (full day!) experience and we definitely want to be walking and climbing more often!
Our conclusion after the holidays: we love North Wales, we like Scotland, but the next time, we should really aim for the Highlands when we do Scotland again.
Look, we've been all the way up there!!
The last week of Job's holiday (week five), we went body boarding (also something we'd like to do more often!) a couple of times and just tried to relax.
Adam then had an other two days at home, Boaz and Levi an other week.
Now everyone is back to 'normal', I love the routine and the time alone. The boys are in school and Job is working. Boaz and Adam were really nervous on their first day, but both are fine now. Adam worries easily, but is also (secretly) enjoying the challenges. It seems like he wants to do several after school sports clubs.
Boaz and Adam also go to Youth groups at the church in Exeter, Boaz and Levi do swimming lessons together. Slowly, we are settling in again.
I have been offered some translation work that I can do this month. Not sure what I'm going to do after September, but I'm sure something will come up. We've got four sets of friends and family coming over in the next 3.5 months, so that will keep me busy too.
All nature pictures are from Job's hands and eyes! :-)