Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two weeks later . . .

Brian here again: We (obviously) haven't posted anything on the blog in a while, and you might be wondering why. The answer: the internet has been down in our flat for a week and a half, and the university's IT department is not yet sure when it will be fixed. Yesterday they figured out the cause of the problem: some vermin has chewed through the cable that connects our block of buildings to the network. Yep, they cheaped out when they installed the network and bought the unshielded cable, and now they pay the price for that decision. In the mean time, we're checking our e-mail sporadically at the computer labs, we can't use our internet phone to call home, and we don't get much opportunity to do things like blogging.

To tide our vast readership over until 'the troubles' (as we've come to call them) are over, here are a few things you might find interesting. First, I wrote a series of articles on the ethics of stem cell research that was published in five installments in Christian Renewal magazine. I've posted all five articles and two responding letters on the web, and you can read them here:

Part 1: Stem cells, the miracles of science, and the joy of parenting
Part 2: When does human life begin?
Part 3: Stem cell research: The problem and the solution
Part 4: Rhetoric and truth: The politics of stem cell research
Part 5: Stem cell research: How should we then live?
Also: Two letters to the editor responding to this series

Second, you absolutely have to watch this. But be forewarned: keep a box of tissues handy.

Third, we are very excited that Jordan's family is going to be here all next week! First thing Sunday morning, I'm going to meet them at the airport so that they can navigate their way to our home; meanwhile, Jordan will be preparing a huge meal to recharge them after their transatlantic journey. It will be the first time we've all seen each other since we moved over here--I think they have a pleasant surprise in store when they see how big Iain is.

Hopefully the technical difficulties will be corrected and we'll get some more pictures and updates on here soon. Bye for now.

Monday, March 12, 2007

'The Great Swindle'

Brian here again: I first watched this documentary last week when it aired on Britain's Channel 4, and I just watched it again thanks to the internet. Whether or not the issue of global warming much interests you, it is probably the most significant social and political issue of our day.

I strongly encourage you to watch this documentary: it is incredibly thought-provoking, especially the part at the end that examines the effect of global warming politics on the world's poorest people. Please take the time to watch it, and I'd be interested to know what you think.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Faster Nine Months

"Nine months go much faster on the other side of the maternity pants."

My good friend Rebecca said that to me when her son turned 9 months old, and it is so true. The time dragged so slowly when I was pregnant with Iain and now here he is 9 months old already! His first year is almost over. Amazing. Thank God for his graciousness in blessing Iain with good health and growth so far. He is a happy, healthy little boy. He makes us smile every day with his new antics and sweet ways. Here is Daddy's little research assistant:

He sits up really well now and only falls over when he is very tired or tries to reach something that is just too far away. He pulls himself up on his knees, and although he can't crawl yet, he uses his legs to push off and get to where he wants to go (within a foot or two, anyway). He still doesn't like to lay on his tummy much and prefers to scoot along on his bottom.

He cut his first tooth recently! Can you see it there poking out of the gum? He is able to feed himself finger foods-- he has developed his fine motor skills enough to pick up a cheerio. It is amazing what he can eat without teeth! He is a great eater and will eat just about anything, but he definitely prefers what you're having. Can you spare a taste for the hungry little baby?

He adores people. He smiles and laughs at anybody who'll bother to bend down and say hello. Sometimes I have trouble making it through the grocery store because he is such a little flirt! He gives kisses and has learned to wave! It is precious, but sporadic. Sometimes I find him waving to himself in his crib. We even think he may be learning the word "hi". He has parroted it back to us a few times, but we're not sure if it was intentional or not.

Despite his love for people, and his admiration for Papa and his silly games, Iain is really going through a Mama's boy phase. Often he starts howling when I leave the room and he wants me to pick him up a lot more these days. It is nice to be loved, but it sure can be demanding!

He still loves to go for walks and now that weather is turning nicer I'm hoping to take him out to play more. It is so much fun to see him interacting with the world. I can't wait to see what new things he learns next!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Let's Go Fly a Kite

The weather has been beautiful lately. We've actually left the house without a coat for very brief periods of time! I'm hoping that it holds. With the weather this way now, I'm really looking forward to spending the summer in Brighton. Last Saturday was very pretty and windy and after the men's breakfast Brian surprised us by bringing home a kite! We took it out on the hills behind our flat. Iain thought it was great! He smiled and danced and stared quizzically at it. We were so surprised because we didn't think he would notice. It was adorable.

Look at the beautiful blue sky!

There are my handsome happy boys!

Iain says, "Whoa, Papa, what's that?"

"Can I touch it Daddy?"

"Kite flying is so fun!"
The cows on the hill failed to appreciate the kite. They were a little freaked out!

My family is coming to visit in less than a month and I'm thrilled that the weather is improving. I hope it is really nice when they visit. It has been an early spring this year.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Springtime Baby

Back by popular demand... pictures of the baby! Truly the readership of this blog is a discerning crowd with an intelligent and tasteful eye. (Translation: Mommy thinks Iain is wonderful and is always delighted when other people think so too!)

Mmm... Daffodils are tasty!

It has been so nice to see the flowers coming up. It is still chilly and muddy and overcast, but the world is waking up and the flowers are growing. I feel the as if the very blood in my veins knows that winter isn't here for much longer!

Help us decorate our flat!

We thought of a fun idea for decorating our flat, and you can help!

Since we have friends from far and wide, we thought it would be fun if everyone (who wanted to, of course) sent us a postcard of where they live, then we would put them up in our flat. It would not only make our flat more interesting and cosmopolitan, it would make us think of you all more often.

So no matter where you're from, send us a postcard if you'd like to help us out! E-mail if you don't have our mailing address and we'll be happy to give it to you. And mention this to those who might not read this blog - we'd love to receive one from them, too.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Springtime Walk

It is hard to believe, but spring has already come here in Sussex. It is still pretty chilly, especially on gray windy days, but the birds are singing and the early flowers are putting in their appearance. We technically live in the village of Falmer, though we often forget that since campus is busy and bustling. But just a short walk away is the beautiful countryside and quiet (well, mostly) village. Just last week we took a little walk around Falmer. It was pretty muddy, but beautiful.

Here is a hole we saw in the ground. We thought it might be a rabbit hole or fox hole. (Any ideas, Anthony?) As we were walking along the road the birds were in full voice and we scared lots of rabbits into running through the fields.

Then of course, there are always plenty of sheep to watch grazing on the rolling hills. I can't wait until Iain gets a bit bigger and is able to enjoy the animals more.

We walked further up the hill to some smaller pens where I'd seen some special sheep that look like teddy bears, but they weren't home. Instead, the Shetland ponies were having their dinner!

We walked home with the sun going down. It was much prettier than the picture shows. English winter sunsets seem to be a lot more dainty and dignified, using pastels instead of the bold oranges and reds of the flamboyant sub tropics. They are beautiful in their own way, but differnt from home.

And here are a few more pictures of lowers growing around the campus these days. Daffodils are everywhere!

And here are some pretty Snowdrops.

I love seeing the beauty of God's creation. It is so varied throughout the world, but each place has its own loveliness. I guess people are the same way really. We all have our faults and our talents and beauty. May people praise the creator when they see our lives!