Monday, 6 July 2015


She loves to come in to our room in the morning to kiss her baby brother... she gets the wipes and nappies for me, and helps me get him dressed. She chatters away to him in German in this little high voice, asking him question after question...
"Are you tired little Jonas? Are you? Is that what you're telling me? That you're tired?"
She worries if he doesn't have his cuddly giraffe that she bought for him with the money she "earned" from clearing the rocks in Grandpa's garden.
She is a wonderful big sister... and I'm so proud of her. Even when I have to tell her off for nearly smothering him in kisses.

This one is in love. She could not be more smitten. She rubs her little chubby cheek across his forehead and I have to tell her to get her hair out of the poor boy's face! The first question she asks me whenever she sees me; "Where is baby Jonas, Mama?" She will sit and stare at him for hours, and hold him and cuddle him for seconds, before she cries out "finished" and removes her arms. I'm a pro now at being ready to catch him.

They are adjusting. Gradually. Heidi is learning not to sob her heart out whenever she hears him cry...
"He's not sad, he's just telling us something"

And my heart melts every night, when from the quiet of our bedroom, on my bed, to the sound of newborn gulps as I nurse our youngest, I hear two little girls praying before falling asleep...

"Thank you God for Baby Jonas"

And I say Amen.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Books, Blues and Bilingualism : Little Loves Week 27

Another little week under our belt... a week of glorious sunshine and incredible heat... a week of wallowing in paddling pool water and seeking shady spots in the garden... a week of recovery for me and adjusting to life with three preschoolers... its been a lovely little week... and here's why...

I finished "A Sweetness of the Soul" by Jane Kirkpatrick and loved it. I am so checking out her other books now... just good old wholesome, historical fiction with a kick of romance, adventure and drama...based on a true story to boot... I loved following the story of Jane as she lives her life on the Western frontier surrounded by Gold-diggers and native American Indians... a fascinating page turner that I really, really enjoyed!

I've also been reading up some of my favourite blogs and am feeling particularly inspired after blogger Courtney Adamo made her announcement on her blog this week. You can read her story for yourself in the Telegraph this weekend.

Parenthood, Parenthood and more Parenthood. Seriously. I'm totally hooked, and loving working my way through Series three, courtesy of my lovely friend Jenny... Jenny, I'll be chasing you for series four soon! Seriously, though, if you're after a good box-set, the story of the Braverman family will have you laughing, crying and nodding along with empathy!

I also watched this fascinating Ted-Talks video about the benefits of a bilingual brain... for those of you who didn't know, we are raising our children trilingual (German, Norwegian and English) and I found this film to be a fascinating, and so far accurate, explanation of how multlingual children's brains work. Really interesting and worth a watch... you can find out more about our muiltilingual adventure here.

These three together... I love the way the girls talk to Jonas... they just mimic what they hear, and so they adopt this high pitched voice and chatter away to him, asking his opinions on things and informing me of his answers... they are like little mother hens and my biggest challenge right now is to stop them smothering him! There is no doubt that this little man is very loved!

We are getting used to all these little BLUE outfits!!

I also had quite a few comments this week on the girls little summer dresses... they are Next Kids finest and you can find them here! Aren't they cute?!

A market stall... the girls were struggling for inspiration and imagination in the heat on Wednesday, and so I gave them a little help. They played with it all afternoon!

And lastly:

I have had this song going round my head all week...

We're now on the countdown to end of term... only one and a half more weeks and its with mixed emotions. I can't wait for those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" but we will be so sad to leave Ava's little school. We have had a wonderful year at the Nursery there, made fantastic friends and wonderful memories. We're excited about all that September will bring, and we're ready for the challenge of "big school" but we will be sad to say goodbye to some very special people.

OK. Emotional bit over. I am looking forward to some lazy days at home with no rush out the front door, when the children can play outside in their pyjamas until lunchtime and eat ice lollies for breakfast.

OK... maybe not... but something like that.

Happy weekend everyone!


Thursday, 2 July 2015

To Market...

Sticky, hot children needed a little help on the entertainment front yesterday afternoon. After their quiet times (during which Heidi fell asleep as she played... Who can blame her in this weather?!) they were niggly and fidgety and just winding each other up. They're usually pretty good at letting their imaginations run wild and inventing all sorts of games, but yesterday, well in that heat, a little help was needed from Mama...

The two of them spent last week driving their wagon between their cabin and "the market" and so I thought a little market stall, right in the shady spot of the garden, would land a treat.

It did.

There was fresh fruit and veg, ice cold lemonade and even warm milk straight from the cow (which doubles up as the horse they use to pull their wagon to get to market!!)

Everything we bought was weighed up on the scales and priced up. Two tomatoes cost £1, a glass of lemonade was £11... I guess Ava's already got the business concept of pricing up when there's high demand!

The girls travelled too and fro on that wagon of theirs, taking trip after trip to "market", taking it in turns to serve and be served. And it was so much fun just to enter into the imagination of it all. So often, I let them get on with it... I'm a big believer in them learning to play without adult intervention or stimulation, and they're pretty good at it, but now and again... Well, now and again its just nice to play the games I loved as a child with them...

Even if my lemonade does cost me £11!!!

Running in Lavender

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Authors A to Z: Murder Mysteries and American Adventures

At last I feel like I'm back on my reading-fest again... after a slow few months of pregnancy and tiredness and general lack of gusto when it came to reading (one book a month is snail pace for me...) I'm back on a mission. Middle of the night feeds provide good reading time... that is as long as I can keep my eyes open!

So this month, after Jonas' arrival, I have wolfed down two fabulous books... my J and K are now under the belt, and I am almost half way through the alphabet. Woop! Woop! I'm aiming for three books in July... more on them below...

But first things first, here's what I've been reading in June!

Book 10: "J"
I wasn't sure I was going to like this one to be honest... I am a huge Jane Austen fan and anyone who messes with Jane Austen is treading dangerous water as far as I'm concerned, but actually... I really enjoyed this one. The familiar characters - the Darcys, the Bingleys, the Wickhams and the Bennetts, but a very different style and a twist  at the end made it a really good read. It is a good old murder mystery - and keeps you guessing until the final chapter. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Favourite Quote...
"Guilt is more commonly felt by the innocent than by the culpable"


Book 11: "K"
I just loved this book... in the same way that I just loved Mrs Mike... I think there is something about these American frontier storylines that just draw me back to my childhood love of Laura Ingalls Wilder! I can't get enough of a wild west story. But what I loved about this one was that it wasn't the classic romance, but a realistic portrayal of life there - with all its hardships and joys, and where everything didn't always end with a happily ever after. Kirkpatrick was recommended by one of my all time favourite bloggers Sarah over at Clover Lane, and I'll definitely be checking out some of her other books... once I've finished my A-Z challenge (only 15 books to go!)
Favourite quotes
LOADS of them...!
"the way he converted the ordinary into something extraordinary"
"If you believed in God's plan for your life, there were no coincidences, everything was part of the plan"
"'Each dark place has God in it,' Reverend Condon assured me. 'God promised he will never leave us or forsake us no matter how deep we sink or how heavy the burden we are asked to bear. And there is a purpose in that darkness, some plan God is working out'"
"I was to use what was not my choice and make it into something wise, to always look for the learning in a moment, however much pain it carried also"
"Just to watch them was my blessing and my wage"
"I had thought that with a child - any child - I would do the moulding, that that's what grown-ups did. I had not expected to be changed myself"
"'Change isn't the end,' she reminded me, softly, her dress swooshing on the floor as she kneeled beside me. 'It's an unfolding, the beginning of something different.'"

Honestly... I could have given you more. I just soaked up so much wisdom from that book, and that's why I'll be reading more Kirkpatrick in the future! Highly, highly recommend!!

So now I start gearing up for my July reading, and while I'm still on a mission to hunt down an "N" book (suggestions welcome!!), here's a sneaky preview into my "L" and "M"... Cider With Rosie (Vintage Classics) by Laurie Lee and Secrets of the River which is written by my lovely blogging friend Jess! Exciting!

So now its your turn... link up your progress below! This linky will be continuous, so will be open to add to right up until the 1st of January 2016! It will be great to be able to look back and see all the fabulous books we've read, but also to share some ideas for recommendations from those who are slightly ahead!

So link up, and please pop over to any other blogs, say hello and cheer them on!

See you again on August 1st!

The idea is to read 26 books you have never read before by the end of the year, by authors A-Z, beginning with A and running all the way to Z by the end of the year... We'd love you to join in the fun!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Me and Mine {June}

It's our first "Me and Mine" as a family of five, and little Jonas has just slotted right in as if he was always there. The big girls adore him... the poor child is smothered in kisses and cuddles and read to and sung to the whole day long... but its just the best sight in the world as far as I'm concerned, and I'm not going to stop it any time soon...

This month began as a season of waiting... Jonas was due on the 4th, and as we slipped into the third week of June, we all, deep down, wondered if he would ever come.

But, of course, he did. And with him has come the wonderful world of little boys. It's a whole new world, and one which is going to take a little adjusting to... but we're so excited about this new adventure!

So here we are... me and mine... in June.

Monday, 29 June 2015

There's a worm at the bottom of the garden...

" A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement"
- Rachel Carson -

This past couple of weeks we have been pretty house-bound. Newborns force you to withdraw, pull back, take a breather... the school run has been the extent of our adventuring out the door... but the sunshine and the garden have drawn these two little ladies outdoors while their baby brother sleeps and sleeps (how is it possible that they sleep SO MUCH at the beginning!??)

The garden draws out the imaginations of these little ladies. I love the insights you get when your  two year old marches past on a mission, laden with shopping bags and pushing her dolls buggy...

"Where are you going, Heidi?"

"Babyland" she answers straight-faced, as though its the most natural thing in the world.

There have been tea-parties, paddling pool splash-times, trips to "market"and plenty of games of "Little House on the Prairie"...

... and there's discovery... spring flowers, creepy crawlies, sunflowers and herb gardens... questions about how things grow and where they come from and what they do...

... and then we found the worm...

Little hands eager to prod and poke... a hundred questions... 

and after they were all asked, these little girls returned to their favourite game... loaded up their wagon and headed to market.

One little lady steering that wagon so carefully...

While our youngest resembles more of a Calamity Jane!

Oh! To have the vivid, wild and precious imaginations of these girls of ours!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Little Loves: The Baby Edition!

Apologies in advance at the outset of this weeks #littleloves, there's going to be some serious baby spam going on... but we waited SO long for Jonas to arrive... I hope you'll forgive me! Life with a one week old pretty much revolves around him, so my post this week has a definite baby theme!

Jane Kirkpatrick - A sweetness to the soul. I just started this book this week... a bit of reading for those middle of the night feeds. When Ava was tiny, I used to power through a book a week in the wee hours... somehow I'm struggling more this time. I'm loving the book, but have to keep jolting myself awake!! I'm only a few chapters in, so I'll keep you posted, assuming I can keep my eyes open enough to read it!

This little one... cooing and squeaking and making general newborn noises. I think my favourite sound is those cute little gulps when he's feeding...

Of course, those aren't the only sounds newborns make... it does suck sometimes to have a Mama who's a blogger...

These little cousins all bonding together. This week has been all about adjusting to being at home, so we haven't been out much yet, but we've had plenty of family to visit. This summer, these four little cousins will spend their time on the Norwegian fjords with their grandparents... two big girls and two little boys. I'm excited to think about all the adventures they'll have...

And Bestemor has been to visit from Norway. I've sat on the sofa and watched her cook and clean and generally be amazing while my body has been recovering from a pretty big hit. Losing two litres of blood leaves you a little on the weak side. Thank you Magni!

Non maternity clothes! OK... I'm still in the maternity jeans, but its been nice to wear some of my baggier non maternity tops again. It's like having a whole new wardrobe.

Me? Nothing... I've been to busy "making" a recovery. But the girls were busy last weekend making Father's Day gifts and cards. Seriously, this guy is amazing. He has been an absolute rock this past week, and he definitely doesn't get enough credit or air-time on this blog. We  all adore him and I love this picture of him surrounded by his little brood!

And lastly...
I'm just soaking up these newborn days... three hourly feeds give me a chance to unwind with my boy and there's something about the silence, sitting on my bed, sunlight pouring through the window with this little man laid across my lap that just makes me breath deeper. I wrote the other day that with each child I have been able to enjoy this season more... there is something healthy about withdrawing completely with a newborn... taking stock, reflecting, being thankful... the sun shining outside has meant the girls are happy and content to be at home, playing in the garden, creating endless playdough sculptures and works of art and amusing their little brother. And I'm just allowing my body the space it needs to regain strength... Dave, my Mum and my Mother-in-law, school friends and our wider church family, have just been amazing at supporting us - helping out with the girls, cleaning and cooking us meals and I just realise how blessed we are to have such a fantastic support network around us.

So there you have it. Little Loves... the baby edition... I'll try and shake things up a bit next week!