Monday, October 29, 2007

L'abri

We had the chance to visit the English branch of L'abri this past weekend. L'abri is French for "the shelter" and it is basically a ministry for people to come and live in a home environment while studying and asking questions. It was started by the Schaeffer family in the 1940's and the fist L'abri house was in Switzerland. Now they have them in multiple countries. Having always been enormous fans of Francis and Edith Schaeffer, it was a real treat to actually get to go there. I love Edith's book, the Hidden Art of Homemaking, and it encourages me to take a real pride and joy in my work around the home. But it also sets the bar awfully high, and can leave me feeling discouraged when I don't measure up. Brian and I have been reading her book L'abri since recently and it is such an encouragement. It tells the story of how L'abri got started and the hard times they had and the amazing ways that God provided. It has helped me so much to see their struggles and the Lord's care and provision for them. It is so easy to look back on the finished work and be intimidated, but this book is a real testimony to God-- it was all his doing. I'm clinging to the hope that He fully work out his plans in my life as well.




My Beautiful Boy



Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today is . . .

. . . one of my favorite days of the year: St Crispin's Day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cutest Punkin in the Patch!

It was such a beautiful day outside that I grabbed Iain and our pumpkins for some photos. We've all been sick this week, and he wasn't in the mood for pictures. Even though I didn't get any smiles, he is still the pick of the patch!



Oh boy, a stick! Now we're talking, Mama!


See, Mama? This is how you play with pumpkins!

And then, after we put the sticks down and came inside. What a beautiful boy he is, even when he is sad. He is out having adventures with Papa right now!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Flashback to Summer

Even though it wasn't as warm and sunny as we hoped, we throughly enjoyed our first summer in the UK. We ate loads of grilled sausages, took walks, sat outside, discovered new places, enjoyed summer fruit, played Poohsticks, learned to spot stinging nettles, and spent time with friends. It was great.

Our church had a campout in August. This trip was our introduction to Ashdown Forest, which you've seen from other posts how much we continue to enjoy it. Katy and Chris kindly loaned us a tent and an air mattress. They provided tents for many other people too. Here is Iain enjoying the air mattress. (Uh oh, Bethel, you are going to see what a spoiled camper I was!)


Brian and Anthony helping to put up some of the other tents.
A beautiful sunset on that first night.


We had a brilliantly read Pooh story by Chris that night. He does beautiful voices! This was (gasp) our first introduction to a non-Disney Pooh, and we really enjoyed the adult perspective on childhood. Very humorous.

We all slept until about 1am, then Iain woke up crying and wouldn't go back to sleep. I guess sleepin with Mama and Papa wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. After listening to him wail for about a half hour, we decided to head home so we and our neighbors could sleep. We drove back to the campsite the next morning.

The next day we went on an Expotition to the nearby Bluebell Railway, which is a restored line for steam engines. We hung about on the platform train spotting and took in a Punch and Judy show. (I never want to hear a complaint about modern cartoon violence again!) Again, Punch and Judy are nearly as much for the adults as the children.



After that, Brian and I drove around the forest, stopping in Pooh Corner (a touristy shop) and heading down to Pooh Bridge to play Poohsticks! We will always remember this summer and Ashdown whenever we play Poohsticks and it is fun and simple, so I know we will take it with us when we go.

Iain is ready for adventures!


Pooh Bridge.



A friendly game of cricket.


This is from another time at Ashdown this summer. We had a nice long walk.


Another new place we discovered this summer, Devil's Dyke. I love it up there.




And lastly, what happens when your baby eats summer sausage and puts his fingers in his hair: the world's strongest hair gel. Ewwww. No wonder the pioneers used to use bear grease to style their hair. It works!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Enjoying life in Britain

As I mentioned in my last post, we've really been enjoying the autumn. Recently we went up to Ashdown Forest (which I adore). It's just nice to get out and have a ramble, but it is extra special knowing that Ashdown is the Hundred Acre Wood in A.A. Milne's stories. We've been reading them to Iain at bedtime, and Winnie the Pooh will always remind of us this special time living in England while Iain is so small.

So here are a few photos from a month ago maybe, up at Ashdown Forest.



There is a place in the forest where sheep graze freely and you can wander around with them. Iain thought the sheep were very interesting, and Mama and Papa did too.


After sheep watching we stopped at a farm to pick some apples. I remember going on a field trip in second grade and picking apples. I think it was part of a study on Johnny Appleseed. Is he even real? I should investigate that. He makes for a fun fall unit study at any rate, which probably explains his popularity despite his lack of real significance. :) Here is Iain enjoying a snack from the farm store before we headed out into the orchard.

Walking with Papa.


Picking apples!




I think these are pine nuts, which seems like a strange name. They're not nuts at all, but like mini apples. I have no idea what they are used for.


Those apples were so juicy and crisp. It was fun to pick them too. We were sorry that we couldn't use more!

These next photos are from a recent trip to St. Ann's Well Garden in Hove. There used to be a spring there that was widely hailed as having healthy water in the 18th and 19th centuries. That was all the vogue in those days. Now it is dried up, but it is still a nice park.

Iain knows which way to go!


Of course we paid a visit to the playground. It was the first time that we'd been since Iain started walking. My, what a difference!




Last weekend we went to Spring Barn Farm to check out the Corn Maze we'd seen advertised. Unfortunately, it was already closed for the year! I guess it is considered more of a summer thing than an autumn thing in Britain.

We did see the animals though. Iain was very excited, until an over zealous goat nipped him o the cheek! I was so mad at the goat and myself. Poor Iain's cheek was pink almost the whole time we were at the farm. He was much more shy of the animals after that.



They had really fast slides at the farm and Iain thought they were great. He wanted to go down over and over again. He pushes himself when we say "Ready, steady, go!"

They had ride-on tractors at the farm, which were also a plus in Mr. Iain's book.

Right at the end we discovered an indoor hay stack, which was loads of fun, since we were the only ones in it.


And this is one more shot from earlier this week. Mama getting a kiss from her sweet boy!

Lastly, here is a video of Iain walking around.

video

A perfect autumn day

The sky is pale blue and nearly cloudless; the air is crisp, cool, and has just a little bite to it; the leaves have changed. Today is a perfect autumn day.

Yesterday Jordan & Iain walked around Falmer and collected leaves of various colors, then pasted them on paper of matching color: red, yellow, green, and brown. They're hanging above Iain's bed now, a bit wilted, but still beautiful.

The sun is rising so much later now. I got up this morning at about 7, and the sun seemed to be struggling to light up the sky.

I even had three cups of tea yesterday - autumn is certainly upon us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall Fun

We've really been soaking up autumn this year. Last year was very warm and we were very busy adjusting to life in a new country, so we didn't spend too much time enjoying the season. I really love fall, and am glad to see it even though it means winter is on the way! I've been having fun in the kitchen with butternut squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, apples, and pears.

Here's a few photos of Iain playing in the leaves outside our flat that we snapped just today.





For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from from our birth,
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all, to thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.