We are about halfway through our 5 weeks here on the north coast of Northern Ireland.
Despite spending most days by the sea – parks, beaches, walks, drives, cliff top castles – all within sight of the sea, never more than a few miles from the coast – it took a 20 pence in a TELESCOPE, on a BEACH, when my 7 year old states in amazement “I can see the sea!” Not sure what she thought that flat wet blue stuff she has been paddling in and walking beside for the last few weeks is!
Here are a few photos capturing that moment of discovery:
We are having a great time doing lots of stuff – but nothing spectacular or amazing. Just pottering around, enjoying the beach and parks when it is dry, and finding things to do when it is wet.
One of the highlights of holidays up here for the kids is CSSM. (Christian Seaside Summer Mission – I think!) Around the coast in Northern Ireland, teams of christian volunteers (mostly aged 18 – 24) organise daily activities for 4 – 16 year olds for a fortnight in July. Our kids go to the one in Portballintrae which has over 40 leaders and must be more than 100 children. If they want to they can go to activities morning, afternoon and evening and enjoy craft, games, songs and bible stories. If the weather is good, they meet on the beach in the morning, and a local family have an amazing large garage attached to their house which they make available for use, as well as a number of local church halls. Although it is a bit like being back to doing school runs, as often I need to drop off and pick-up at different locations at the same time, they really enjoy it.
Another highlight of this past week has been having a friend and her 2 kids stay with us. Despite having a 9,7,6,3 and 2 year old all at the one time, it has been a really good week. The older 3 girls have been at lots of CSSM activities, and the 2 little ones get on really well (really well for 2 toddlers that is!) She had initially planned to only stay part of the week, but ended up staying the whole week – a ideal house guest, made herself very useful and also made herself at home – so it was relaxing as it can be for both of us and the 5 kids.
We have spent a few afternoons crafting with the kids (non-digital that is). We have been decorating some carboard coasters – here are some samples. Now that I do mostly digital scrapbooking I am much less precious about my paper supplies, much to my kids delight.
As you can see, even George the cat was made a decoration. I hope it is obvious that mine are the last 2 (!)
So here is a digital page I created of a lovely evening on the beach with my dh, and 2 of my kids (on the right) and our 2 visitors (on the left). I used a great kit called Red Dye created by Chere Edwards. I may alter it a bit before posting to my online galleries, but here is how it is currently.
I have just learnt how to do subtle text (to me it looks a bit embossed) using last weeks tutorial from Scrappers Guide.
We have had quite a few other visitors up to the cottage – holidays here are so much more sociable obviously than 2 weeks abroad. So for those of you who have been recently, and check my blog – it was good to see you, we should do it again soon.
Finally I should describe the surroundings I am posting this blog from. It is a very very nice old coaching inn, full of original features, such as oak beams, gas lamps, nooks and crannies. As the brochure says “relax in a rocking chair in front of the gentle glow of an old turf fire in the original old kitchen”. Fortunately as well as comfy antique sofas and oil lamps it also has wi-fi and serves very lovely drinks with lots of ice.
Here is the link to their web-site, but you can only check it out AFTER you have left a comment! www.bushmillsinn.com
Take care of you and yours