Memories, Part II

Some of the best memories of our time in this home come from when folks came to stay with us. It's been a great blessing to have a home that made it easy to have lots and lots of people come and stay. I do hope, when we're settled on the mainland, that we will again have an open home for all kinds of strays .....

... like this bunch who came all the way from Washington State. From the West coast of America to the West coast of Europe. A long treck, ladies, but worth it, I'm hoping.

They happened to be here at the time of our annual DR's-birthday-general-summer-campfire-get-together, and along with plenty football, food, and cake, we had some great outside singing too.

Great memories!

They also happened to be here during our warmest spell that year, and had a great time with the girls touring Harris and enjoying themselves on Luskentyre beach.

Of course, like all good things, their trip here came to an end. I hope, ladies, you'll come visit us in our new home, and we'll show you another part of our lovely country.

*     *     *

This is my cousin, my sister, my friend. She, along with her husband and family were the first visitors who ever stayed with us in this house. We moved in on Saturday and they came on the Monday for a holiday. It was such a joy to me to share our home with them.

Every single time we meet is special. I sure hope that will not change when we move from here. Indeed I'm hoping for many more opportunities to meet, given that only the A9 will separate us, rather than the A9 and the Minch.

*     *     *

Heather, from Life in the Valley, and her lovely daughter came to visit too.

We had fun ten-pin bowling, 

and of course on our wide open person-less beach!

So much sea ... so much space!

*     *     *

Sometimes, when certain folks come to stay, you almost forget they're 'visitors'. Laurie, who spent some time on the island, became to us all not a visitor, but almost one of the family. We all missed her so much when she returned to her native Pennsylvania. I mean seriously - what's PA got that we don't have? 

(Okay, maybe you don't need to answer that one ...)

As I said, she wasn't treated like a visitor, but came with us to the peats, planted vegetables with us, and baked the most amazing Coffee Cake.

Please come back soon, Laurie!

*     *     *

Now, do y'all remember our dear friends, Alex and Elsie? This post tells how we first met, and God's providence in bringing us together has been such a blessing to us, and I hope to them too. They are loved so much by us all, and the children absolutely adore them!

When we're on the mainland, we'll be much closer to them and that is a definite bonus for us.

*     *     *

We've even had - wait for it - Sasannaich staying with us. Okay, so biologically they're much more Scottish than they are English, 

and on a practical level, they helped with the housework, and even - wait for THIS - 

got DR helping with the housework.


And 'faint' is what they almost did this day ...

when they decided to take a dip in the Atlantic ... during the first week of January.

Brave? Or simply mad? You decide :)

*     *     *

Of course, our most important guests are those closest to us. Mum and Dad are regular visitors and I do not take for granted my privilege in still having my parents around. 

Not only are they around, but they're full of beans!

Take Dad ...

Here he is (with the Builder) on his iPad. Now, Dad had never had an item of technology until he got this as a present for his and mum's Golden Wedding anniversary. He has loved it ever since.

He comes to me at times and shows me all his commentaries, and how he highlights paragraphs and stores them somewhere else, and keeps all his notes in this one place, and is able to cross-reference .... 

Good grief, man. I'm LOST! I haven't a clue what he's on about, but the iPad has been the best thing ever for him.

The next photo gives you some idea just of how 'full of beans' he is. 

Yes, this is my Dad.

If our kids are doing something - ANYthing - he is right in there with them.

Mum and I stayed in the warmth. Even the photos were taken by the kids.

Now, talking of family ...

My townie sister has been known to have the odd sleepover here. Would y'all believe me if I said these were sombre, serious nights? 

Yeah, I thought not. 

In the photo (above) she's on her way to the peats with me. Yes, I had the audacity to drag her to the moor with me. I'd forgotten that town ladies don't DO peats. 

(Or if they do, they do them in pink.)

*     *     *

And finally, onto more recent stay-ers. 

Now that John is becoming part of our family, we've also had the pleasure of having his family stay with us. What fun we had over New Year with John, Matthew and their parents! 

In-laws, out-laws. Call them what you will, but I'm all for extending families. :)


Memories, part I

Following on from my last post, where I posted lots (and lots!) of photos I'd taken from this house - yes, this house that will soon no longer be our house - our home - this post will not concentrate on what I can see from my window, but rather on some of the memories that have been created over our years here.

Of course, they are so much more precious than even the most stunning of sunsets. Wouldn't you agree?

(When I actually began to write this post, I realised I have far too many memories for just one post. This one will specifically look at specific annual events. In another post, we'll look back at some of the memories that stem from folk who've stayed with us. And in yet another post, well, we'll take a wander down memory lane at some of the memories made simply because this was our home.)

*     *     *

On the Saturday closest to the 5th of November each year, our kids and The Cousins would begin to build a bonfire.

Normally, as much fun was had in the building of the fire, as in the burning of it.

Poor Guy .... erm, or .... maybe not!

There is no doubt that one of best aspects of our kids living here has been the proximity of these cousins.

This kinda sums it up:

*      *      *

 Some of our homeschool get-togethers have made wonderful memories for me. Because there are so few of us homeschooling on the island, the bonds between us are strong.

At times, we celebrated British events, like Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

(Aye, you Americans can kid us all you like, but we know you love our Queen, and would swap her for most of the Presidents you've had over the 63 years she's been our Head of State. Go on... admit it!)

The preparation was always fun

the looking back at history was always fascinating,

the making, and especially the eating of food was pretty good too,

but the people is always what made the day special. On this particular day, the sunshine made us abandon the house and head to 'our beach'.

Definitely a good choice :)

*     *     *

We also, as y'all know, celebrated some American events. 

And sometimes, we were even privileged to have Americans join us!

And we would end the day with the signing of the Constitution. Aye, for all the fun involved, we never forgot we were homeschoolers. 

Or something like that ;)

Sometimes, during our (fairly frequent) American celebration, Jackson would forget himself, and would appear to be supporting the wrong side.

Or ... right side?

*     *     *

DR's birthday falls in July, and the way in which we celebrated his 18th birthday became a bit on an annual event.

Of course, we had cake ...

and food ...

And of course ... people!

Lots of people always make for a fun time,

but sometimes it only takes a pair of ... well, you know the kind of folks ... 

*     *     * 

Thanskgiving Day became another excuse reason for us homeschoolers to get together.

We can surely say these words from Psalm 136: "Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good". 

The children always had fun filling the tree with 'thankful for...' leaves.

And treasure hunts for letters to make up a sentence went down a treat too.

Stories of the Mayflower, of the first Thanksgiving, and placing the tail on the turkey made up part of a very happy and fun homeschoolers' get-together.

*     *     *

Boxing Day family get-togethers were also an annual event, with the Builder's side of the family gathering for much merriment and laughter.

This past Boxing Day saw all the aunts and uncles and all the cousins together. Given the way our lives are going, we were keenly aware that such a gathering may not happen again for quite some time. 

My advice to y'all? Get together! 

Just do it. Make excuses. Or feel the need for no excuse - even better!

*     *     *

Get-togethers like the one photographed here had no real reason. Just kids deciding to go ten-pin bowling, come back here for a buffet, and then spend some time playing Articulate, blethering, and then worshipping God together.

See ... no event needed!

But plenty memories made.


Views, More Views, and then ... Some News

This post is rather picture-heavy, but bear with me and read to the end.

As y'all know, I love the scenes presented to me from the windows of our home.

I love it in the evening, when the sky becomes alive with so many shades of orange,

and pinks, and purples.

I love the scenery in the morning, 

when the village is silhouetted against the rising sun,

and the sky can seem like it's on fire.

 I love it in the afternoons, when a blue sky and gentle breeze can give perfect conditions for drying the laundry.

Or later in the afternoon, when the sun's glow is more gentle and the rays soften the landscape.

Even Jackson seems to appreciate the beauty from time to time.

And I love it when the sky isn't quite so blue, and the drama of the sky and the landscape make for a perfect scene.

I love it when the evening is calm, and a busy day melts away with the peace and serenity that follows the busy-ness of a hectic day.

And I love it when I am fortunate enough to see the heavens light up, not only with the countless stars up above, but with the dancing colours of an aurora.

 In all the years we've lived in this house, I have never, ever tired of gazing out our kitchen, our lounge, and our family room windows. 

How could one tire of this kind of beauty?

Beauty that never stays the same,

but changes with every passing minute.

Beauty that reflects God's glory and His promises

 that speaks of His mercies being new every morning, and His glory being declared in the heavens above.

Of course, you all know that I love these sights, because I go on and on about them constantly. Those of you who follow Homeschool on the Croft's Facebook page know all too well how much I love them because you are inundated (constantly) with photos of 'this morning's sunrise', or 'this evening as the sun set', or 'today's Atlantic waves crashing over the Butt'. 

Yes, I have been known to go on and on about the beauty of our surroundings. And the reason I've spent all this time in this blog post going over some of these previously posted photos is that I have to tell y'all that soon, this will no longer be the view out of my kitchen window. 

Indeed, I have no idea what I will see out of my kitchen window. All I know is that it will not be the Atlantic, it will not be Habost Machair, it will not be the Butt of Lewis lighthouse and Eoropie. We are moving. 

There, I've said it. Written it, even ... which makes it seem even more sure. The Builder has work on the mainland. He is leaving in the next few weeks, and we will all leave here once our house is sold. I'll speak more of it over the next wee while, but for now ...

... anyone want to buy a house?

(I can recommend the view!)

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