Party in the FIeld

I spent some chunks of Friday holed away with a laptop and an order of service, hammering a sermon into shape ready for preaching on Sunday, but as far as I could tell all the children were busy having a lovely time and Bob was getting some chatting and cake-eating done 🙂
L and especially 6 enjoyed spending time with M and doing horsey things, while K noodled on a piano which wasn’t as sad as ours and played with J quite happily. It was lovely to have some quite settling in time, with small numbers of friends to ourselves before things expanded as other families arrived – not that it isn’t lovely to be part of a big group too, but somehow I think the transition is easier when you’re there at the beginning, and for A especially (and me too, if I’m honest) a big group all at once can be a bit overwhelming; easier to adjust in incremental stages 😉
J’s band stuff apparently went well, if rather damply (lots of videos and photos on the National Methodist Youth Brass Band facebook page) and we had occasional texts from him to reassure us that he was still alive – and awake despite late nights!
Unfortunately we had to leave just as the party really started to get going, managing to stay until all but one family had arrived, but then needing to get home in time for last minute service arrangements meant our departure could not be delayed any longer, so we missed seeing Jax and co 🙁 Just as well we had gone then, though, as it turned out, since my emails about arrangements had gone astray and the church steward was starting to worry and work out alternatives in case I was unable to make it.
We left J up in Uppermill, where he was also to be involved in leading worship, so our Sunday turned out to be a day of relying on other people to shuttle the children from one place to another for us! We dropped all four younger ones with choir friends, who took L and 6 to Eucharist, collected them and took A to choir, collected her and fed all four, handed the girls over to us (A complete with bowl of ice-cream to finish in the car) so we could get A to gym and topped off their kindness by taking K and his cello to NCO rehearsal so all we needed to do was collect them later. Meanwhile other friends were collecting J from band, taking him back to the party and keeping him overnight ready to be returned to us on Monday. All Bob and I had to do was make our way to church for the service, which felt very odd sans enfants!