We all had a lovely few days earlier this week in south-west Scotland at my parents' caravan in Kippford.
The boys had great fun playing in the sea, building dams on the beach, exploring, finding sticks, and generally messing about and being boys!
The time away was all the better for Mrs DHG finding out the day before we went away that she was no longer being made redundant! They may look at it agin in March, but she's safe till then. A great answer to prayer - thanks!
Mrs DHG, that is. Her head teacher turned up on our doorstep at 9.40 yesterday evening to deliver the dreaded brown envelope. 9.40! a Friday evening! At home!
Redundant from the end of August.
The words are ringing round our heads at the moment. Why us? What does it mean? Is there a chance of a reprieve? Where is God in it all?
It's too early to know what the outcome will be - there's a final hearing in a couple of weeks where Mrs DHG can make comments and ask for other things to be considered - but I suspect it's a done deal. It's simply a case of there being too few children in the catchment of the school, and too many teachers able to teach science.
I'm sure God has a plan - and most likely (definitely?) something even better - for her and us - it's just difficult to make any sense of it at the moment.
So we'd appreciate your prayers for us over the next weeks and months, as we seek to find God's will for us. And your prayers for Mrs DHG as she battles with feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence.
Here are a selection of photos from our week away in the North York Moors National Park. We stayed in a huge house and met up with good friends and their 3 boys aged 7, 6 and 4. As you can imagine, chaos reigned until around 8 every evening... but it was great fun and something we'd definitely do again!
Cuthbert running to see the lifeboat at Runswick Bay...
Cuthbert spinning at the excellent playpark in Danby
Dibble climbing the cargo net - "I did it! Oh yeh!"
Is it the Polar Express? Or the Hogwarts Express, perhaps? Sadly not, but almost as exciting!
Dibble throwing stones into the wee moorland beck
Running through the 'tube', as it became known!
Looking south from Scarborough Castle on the bleakest day of April! It really was cold!
Roly poly down the banks at Scarborough Castle proved to be a major hit! What more do 6 boys need than a grassy bank?
McGrew and Dibble trying to get soaked by the waves (and succeeding spectacularly!)
Cuthbert and Dibble waiting excitedly for the steam train at Goathland
Happy Birthday Dibble! Three yesterday... and apparently off to Africa on Sunday as Tearfund's youngest volunteer!
That probably needs some explanation...
Last week, Dibble joined some of his friends in a 24 hour swimathon to raise money for one of Tearfund's clean water projects in Uganda. Not that he actually swam non-stop for 24h, but he was there at the start and finish, and managed about 20 lengths altogether, though 15 of those were aided by hitching a lift on the back of Mrs DHG's costume!
But he managed to raise over £300 for the project - well done Dibble!
Anyway, this evening, while settling down into bed, the converstation went something like this:
"Dibble, you've had a busy day today - you need to go to sleep now and get lots of rest ready for tomorrow." "Yes, daddy. I go to Africa" "You're going to Africa? When?" "I go to Africa on Sunday." "I see. Are you going by yourself?" "No, I going with doglet" "Right, so you're going to Africa on Sunday with doglet. Why?" "I going to bring them some clean water to drink!"
Dibble was telling his Grandpa all about 'Story Party' yesterday, and recounting the exciting story he'd been listening to. It was all about a farm, and Dibble had been given a cuddly pig to look after during the story.
Grandpa asked Dibble if the pig had a curly tail. Dibble replied 'Yes'
Grandpa then asked Dibble if he had a curly tail too. Dibble replied 'No, I have a willy!'