Saturday, May 13, 2006

Trip to Open Farm

On Thursday we went to Streamvale Open Farm. We didn't actually intend to go there. We were heading for the Balmoral Show in Belfast but after sitting in traffic on the M1 for an hour and a half we decided we couldn't take it any more. It was stifling hot in the car and Luke was getting very irritable. So, seen as Luke was expecting to see farm animals we headed to the open farm in Dundonald, and then went on to my sister Jenny's house afterwards.

We arrived at the farm 30 minutes before it opened so we sat in the car and had a pic-nic of strawberries, melon, blackberries, cookies and chocolate. Luke had a little nap and that kept him going for the afternoon.

The kids had such a good time at the farm. It's one of those things that all 3 of them can enjoy, despite their age differences. Jude took plenty of photos with daddy's camera. She is getting very good at photography. I think she might have a natural talent for it.

As it was a school day the farm was practically empty. I think there were only 2 or 3 other families there. They had a feeding session when the children could give a baby goat or lamb a bottle of milk. Luke wouldn't feed them but he watched Sam and Jude. The little lambs were just like babies. They were so trusting and friendly. We wanted to take one home with us!

Sam particularly enjoyed the huge penn full of rabbits. The children were allowed to go into the pen and sit with the rabbits. Sam, Jude and Luke were the only ones in it. There were about 15 rabbits in it and they were so tame. I found Sam lying in a corner surrounded by black fluffy rabbits. He was in a world of his own. He has a black rabbit at home called Juniour. Since coming home he as lavished attention on Juniour.
Without a doubt Luke's favourite part of the farm was a new area full of kiddies trucks, tractors and diggers. He was the only child in it once Sam and Jude left. On a Saturday I bet the children have to fight for a tractor, but Luke had free run of the place.

We also got to hold new born chicks and Luke had his bottom bitten by a viscous cockerel! We watched all the cows being milked in a viewing chamber above the dairy. There must have been 150 cows there! I was fascinated watching them getting milked but Luke wanted to go back to the indoor play area and slides. We could easily have spent a whole day there but it closed at 4.30 so we headed off to Jenny's house for the evening.

It was nice for all the cousins to spend some time together. They all enjoyed each others company. As usual they put on a play for me, Jenny and Luke to watch. It was very good, very funny - all about fairies and goblins fighting over something - I think! As always they had a raffle at the end of the play and me and Jenny had to fork out a load of 5p's. They spent another hour making one raffle after another and we were broke by the end of the evening!

Sam is staying over at Jenny's house tonight so I'm sure it is a mad house there. Today we had a prayer and fast meeting here at our house with the Belfast fellowship. Then the Dublin fellowship joined us for a dinner evening, with Eva and Olga from the Czech Republic, and 2 guys from Australia. I'll post photos of that tomorrow. I made a big stew for everyone to break our fast. We had a special time of prayer for Wendy in London who has just found out that she has breast cancer and is possibly going to undergo surgery, and we also prayed for Joan from our fellowship who is in hospital this week following heart trouble.
The fellowship this evening was good and everyone has just left at 11.30pm. Rachael, Anthony, Steve, myself and the 2 Australian guys talked all about the end times and bible prophecy (a favourite topic in our household these days - a close second to the topic of organic vegetable growing!) The Aussie lads are coming to stay with us during the week, when I'm sure I will hear their names enough times to actually recall what they are. Sorry lads!

So it's now midnight and I'm writing this because it's the first chance I had. It's been a good week. The kids have been in good form. It's been one of those weeks when I've really noticed the benefits of home education as opposed to schooling. I'm really rather hoping that Sam doesn't like the high school when he starts in September so that he can have a proper education at home again. The experiences they get at home, and the quality of learning themselves as opposed to 'being taught' is priceless. I wish I had never sent them to school in the first place. I certainly won't ever be sending Luke. Both Sam and Jude's reading has come on tremendously since leaving school, and they now have a love of learning that they didn't have before. They have developed interests in subjects they previously hated - such as history.

Last night Steve told me that it is Geneva, in Switzerland that he is taking me in October! Woo hoo! I have no idea what is in Geneva, but from all accounts there isn't a cheap hotel to be found there. We may not be able to afford to eat when we get there, but we will be sleeping in style.

I got a new prison pen pal this week. A lady. I've been writing to my death row pen pal for almost 2 years now and I wondered what it would be like to correspond with a woman. She seems nice enough from her first letter so we will see if she is interested in writing some more when she gets my first letter. She is due to be released in 2013, so at least I won't have to go through the horror of an execution with her. My other pal sent me a photo this week. It costs him a lot to get a Polaroid photo taken by the prison guards. So its like getting a present when I receive one. My Mum sent me info about a course in psychology & Criminology which looks very interesting. It's a distance learning one, but I don't think I could afford to pay for it, and I highly doubt I have the time to do it at the moment. Mind you, I'm learning more through educating the children at home than I did through all my years of schooling, so I'm like an encyclopedia of information at the moment. Yes, I can cheer up any awkward silence with a little snippet of factual information.

Guess I better go to bed as its passed midnight now.
Good night.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Streamvale sounds and looks fantastic, i wish we had one over here, you'll have to take me there next time I'm over!! Tabi x