Happy Birthday, Katie!

We have had two birthdays this week here. 

Y'all may or may not know that these two gifts were given to me on Mothering Sundays. Yep, on Mother's Day, 1995, I was given our first daughter; and on Mother's Day, 1997, I was given our second daughter.

How cool is that?!

Surely the best Mother's Day gifts ever!

My baby girl was 18 this week, so I thought I'd take some trips through Memory Lane to remind Katie of some things she's done, and places she's been in the past few years.

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Katie, remember when yourself, Catherine, and myself went for our trip to Edinburgh?

This was where you first cut your hair short ...

.... and where you had great fun in the shops. 

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Remember when the three of us went to Inverness for a wee trip?

...and you took me to McDonalds, where you both had a laugh at my expense when the tray arrived and I asked where the glass was.

A glass?? In McDonalds?!?! Clearly, I had a lot to learn...

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And remember our overnight trip to London? Our whistlestop tour of the city, and then our non-stop drive from the south of London all the way to Inverness.

Fun times .... even though the Boris Bikes were clearly not made for people who are as, erm, vertically challenged as you and me ...

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 Remember when you decided to do the Ice Bucket challenge ... in the Atlantic!

... when you got to vote for the first time?

when you got the first glimpse of Catherine in a wedding dress?

When we had a fun photo-shoot down on the beach?

And remember when your older siblings went off to Europe without you?

Just as well you've got a forgiving nature, eh? :)

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You're happy with tools in your hand ...

Yup, you're in your element when you're armed and dangerous ...

But you are happiest behind the wheel of ... well, of any vehicle!

On the other hand, we are happiest when you do your stuff in the kitchen.

No matter what you turn your hand to, it all turns out delicious, whether the mint fudge, 

or the yummy Victoria Sponge.

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Eighteen years ago, Katie, God gave us our second daughter, our third child. 


Over the years, you've made us laugh so much; you've brought us so much joy ...

You really are our very Special K...

and I love you.

More and more with each year that passes.


This Past Week ...

This past week has been, erm, interesting.

Not, of course, that my interesting will necessarily be your interesting. But the nature of blogging is that we, as bloggers, ramble on regardless.

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On Tuesday morning, our dear, dear friends left us once again for their mainland home. Alex and Elsie have been coming to our communion weekend for a number of years, and our pleasure at having them increases every time. (If you don't know how we first met, you'll find the story in this post.)

We'd had such a lovely time of worship after breakfast that morning. We sang Psalm 84 - always lovely - and Alex read Isaiah 58: 6-14. The words meant so much to me, as did Alex's beautiful and heartfelt prayer at the end.

Oh, what a joy to spend time with our brothers and sisters in Christ! What a joy Heaven will be when we never have to say Goodbye!

The sign says Welcome, but we were, of course, saying our Goodbyes. This time was different from their previous departures from our home in that we realise this may be their last time here. Of course, we're glad that we will - all being well - see more of them when we move to the mainland, but nevertheless, there is a poignancy to seeing them leave this home, in which so many wonderful memories have been made, for the last time.

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Late one afternoon last week, we had a a knock at the door, resulting in our first viewers! This couple - she has local connections; he now has work on the island - had been told this house would soon be on the market, so she knocked on the door to ask if, indeed, that was the case. We spoke and then I asked her for 20 minutes, at which time her and her husband could have a look round.

Oh yes, I did need these 20 minutes! And it's amazing how tidy one can make a house look in that space of time. I really must practice this more often - not just when viewers come around, but all the time. A tidy house is both welcoming and relaxing, don't you think?

After they left, I took some photos of all the rooms. I know that photos show up things that the naked eye (at least the untrained eye) doesn't catch. And, sure enough, many of the rooms have little bits and bobs I'd change before displaying photos on an official 'For Sale' site. The house will 'officially' be for sale in a couple of weeks' time.

Here is the Guest Bedroom ...

What do you notice? What would you change? What would you add? Give me all the tips you can think of, please.

And here is the Hall, taken from the front door. Again ... whatcha'll reckon?

And the kitchen. I was having a laugh with the couple who came to see it, admitting that there was no smell of freshly ground coffee, no bread baking in the oven, giving off that welcoming aroma that would entice prospective buyers! Twenty minutes was useful, but not long enough for that!

The Family Room is what it is. I love this room. It's relaxing, it's comfortable, it's FULL of memories. It's also full of books, which makes my heart sing a little, but when I saw the photo, I realised that the books look untidy. They don't - in a photo - do for me what they do in real life. 

Does that make sense?

What do you think? Honesty, please ... remember, you're helping me :)

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This week, too, was the week in which I finished our lovely sponsored girl's blanket. It's so unusual to be able to send anything like this to India, but in God's providence, a team are heading out from England to Compassion's headquarters in India next week, and they said they were able to take it out with them and see that my dear wee girl gets it.

It's such a blessing to sponsor a child. If you don't already, please consider doing it.

Compassion (I know there are others too, including an American Compassion) do such an amazing work, and the stories adults, who were once sponsored children, are able to tell of what their education allowed them to do are so inspiring.

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How can I leave the week without giving you some evidence of our changed weather! 

Our mornings have been breathtakingly beautiful. When I open a window, or open the back door, and the only sounds I hear and the skylarks and the sound of the sea (so beautifully termed in Gaelic: Ceòl na mara - and what an apt term, because it really is music to my ears).

There is such peace and joy flowing from sitting in silence, looking at this scene, before the busy-ness of the day descends.

Later in the day, the colours are much more vivid, 

and then, even later in the day ...

new colours delight our senses.

Yes, my fairly constant stream of sunset photos has begun ... And how my kids know it!

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