There is so much to write today I don't know where to begin. I will apologise in advance if this post seems a bit hotch potch but really that's how everything has happened the past few days. It's not all bad though, so keep reading, I will write the bad stuff first I think as I want to end on a positive note at least.
We live in a little village where everyone is nice to each other, it's a really good place to bring a family up. We are known (and liked) by virtually everyone and on the whole everyone looks out for one another. However there's this one family … who have never really integrated into village life. We have been friendly over the years but I always felt that they felt they were better than everyone else. They have this friend who is almost a millionaire and they once told me they couldn't keep up with the friend but they felt they needed to be like him. I remember telling them they didn't need to compare themselves that some people just have more money than they do but that doesn't matter. I saw over the years they had become materialistic and they openly admitted that they had made their children that way too. I don't speak ill of anyone very often, but their children really were getting to a point where they talked a lot of how much they had and how they weren't happy with the iPhone model they had, but that they wanted the next one. They would frequently come into our house and deliberately break our children's special items just so that our children would no longer own that item. They were open about their intentions to damage our property and through time we backed off from the family.
At one point their two dogs had got into our garden and ripped apart our beautiful big male rabbit, and on another occasion one of the dogs had bitten our eldest daughter on the arm. The dogs were just untrained and uncontrollable and had also bitten another girl leaving a scar on her hand. These people are just untouchable. So on Friday their two dogs had escaped. One had ran a couple miles up the road and got killed by traffic. The other dog ran into a farm and started to maul the 1-day old lambs. The famer let off a shot and it grazed the dog's head but she survived. The mother of the family the next day told us the story and said that my youngest son had left their garden gate open. My youngest son had actually been in to retrieve his ball some 9 hours prior to the dog's escape. My son was distraught, he believed he killed the dogs and the guilt that he felt was unimaginable despite protesting that he had specifically remembered closing the gate and securing it. It was a long day on Saturday watching him sob and there was nothing I could do to ease his guilt. I went to the family and apologised about the gate being left open, but that wouldn't have brought their dog back. At least that's what we were told. Later on that day my eldest daughter came home after a day out with friends and had some news to share. The girl belonging to that family had seen my daughter that morning and told her that she had accidentally let the dogs out, she was feeding them and she turned her back and they were gone! However the damage was done as she had failed to tell her parents this so they had continued to believe it was my youngest boy who was to blame. My husband went in and put the family right on the facts, but all this doesn't undo the distress caused to my family over their accusations. How do you come back and restore a neighbourly relationship when something like this has happened?
Two of our children are going away to camp this coming weekend so the house is going to be more quiet than usual. The children left are all young so we can get them into bed at a reasonable hour and enjoy a couple of peaceful evenings. We are very priveledged though, one of the camp trips has been paid for by a local church which isn't even our own. My eldest daughter goes to a youth fellowship group which isn't part of our church, she enjoys it a lot as they do a lot of fun things as well as study. They have been great with her and seem to genuinely care about the people in the group. Her weekend was supposed to be paid for by ourselves, but a local church has stepped in and said they'd fund the trip for my daughter! I am thrilled that they have done that and although we didn't ask for help it is much appreciated. It is great my daughter gets the chance to go to this camp and do some fun things as well as enjoy Christian fellowship with like minded people.
Today was good. I unexpectedly received a text from a friend who had the day off from work. She wanted to go shopping and asked if I wanted go with her. The children were sat round the table doing their studies but I looked at them all being so good and thought “why not?”. They all had a rough weekend, I knew they deserved a bit of time off. So off we went and had a good look round a few different stores in search of bargains. Eldest daughter needed a few things for camp anyways so we had something specific to look for. We got her welly boots in a sale for just a couple of quid and two pairs of jogging pants that she also needed. When Toni tried the jogging bottoms on I couldn't help notice how good they looked on her, kind of jealous as not many people can wear joggers and carry them off. I know I have too many lumpy bits to look good in jogging pants ha ha. We also had lunch together, nothing fancy just basic food and a cup of coffee. It was such a nice easy day that I am feeling chilled out after it, happy knowing the children had a good trip out too.