Easter Holiday Traditions

A few years ago I heard Steve Biddulph, author of ‘Raising Boys’ speak about parenting. One of the things that struck me was how he talked about traditions. I hope I’m not misquoting him but I seem to remember his speech going along these lines “Children who have grown up in happy families look back on their youth and say ‘remember when…’ as parents we have to provide the traditions that our children will remember with fondness”. He talked about families that spent one night a week all ‘camping out’ on mattresses in the same bedroom to illustrate that traditions don’t have to be expensive, they just require the willing input of the family, particularly the parents.

This all comes to mind now, as I look back on our recent Easter holidays. Traditions are becoming ingrained within my family and our friends family, who we share our break with. This year is the third year that we have spent time together at my Sister and Brother-in-law’s farm in Cumbria, in their simple holiday cottage. You can see posts from last year and the year before herehere and here. You may notice that I take pretty much the same photos every year, all that changes is the weather and the size of the children.

Every year our children look forward to helping out with activities on the farm. They herd the sheep, feed the lambs, look for eggs, fill up the hopper on the turnip masher (I’m sure there is a proper name for this bit of farming kit but I don’t know what it is), throw straw around in a vain attempt to put bedding down for the cows, feed and water the indoor sheep and venture up to the fell top to feed to the hardier sheep up there. Then there is playtime; they build straw bale castles with their cousins, splash stones in the stream, collect ‘crystals’ from out of the stream, kick a football and ride a bike. Together we have Easter egg hunts and walks over the fell, share meals and bedtime rituals. As each year passes, they have more things to look forward to as they remember the things they did the year before. Long may it last. We are already booked in for next year!IMG_4694 IMG_4699 IMG_4712 IMG_4755 IMG_4662 IMG_9752 IMG_4677 IMG_9758 IMG_9761 IMG_4681 IMG_9790 IMG_9836 IMG_4738 IMG_4746 IMG_4745IMG_4750IMG_9846IMG_9861IMG_9867IMG_9870IMG_9895IMG_9898IMG_9899

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52 weeks of happy 7/52

IMG_6262I’m a little bit behind this week. Blame half term.

This time last week it was Shrove Tuesday, the day for pancakes! This year we shared it with friends who are new to the tradition. All the children had a go at flipping a pancake (under supervision of course), even Babykins. Some of them even managed to get their pancake to turn over and land in the pan again – happy days. We ate ours with lemon and sugar, golden syrup, chocolate sauce, cheese and ham and later, the grown ups had mushrooms in a milky sauce too. Note to self – pancakes are better when served for dessert only.

IMG_6311We’ve had some beautiful skies this week. The above was a sunset and below is a sunrise. Both taken with my iphone and jazzed up a bit with instagram.


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Both these skyscapes predicted the weather correctly: ‘Red sky at night, shepherds delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning’. The clear delicate, pinky sunset led to a cold frosty night and sunny morning. The fiery sunrise led to a cold day with lots of snow showers. Brrrr. Both the colours in the sky and the fact that I could get it right as an amateur meteorologist made me happy this week.

IMG_6313Who wouldn’t be happy at the sight of snowdrops? What made these special was being presented with them by my little Babykins and then watching him carefully put them in the old jam jar vase. It reminded me of his antics this time last year.

IMG_6317This last picture is a bit of a strange one. These jeans belong to my son but he won’t be wearing them. Despite the fact that they were clearly a waste of money, that makes me happy.

They are far too big around the waist.

I bought them a long time ago when he was still taking steroids monthly as part of his treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Plus size jeans are hard to come by so when I found some, I bought the next size too. I just didn’t realise how much those monthly steroid courses were affecting his build (to see what steroids can do click here). Now he’s been steroid free for well over a year and is looking more like a classic 7 year old boy – skinny. Today I took them out of his wardrobe and packed them away to sell at a later date. Happy, happy, happy to be further and further away from cancer.