Thursday, December 28, 2006

Raking leaves

I'm going to pay for it tomorrow, but today I am strong and fierce! With a slight tingle in my arms and back, I type in denial.

I defy tomorrow!
Today I reign as Leaf Queen!
See my lawn and wonder!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Night wanderings

Haven't looked at Amy's blog yet, but no doubt that she has already announced that by the grace of God we have indeed made it safe and sound to Kokomo.

I'm rather jet laggy at present - going from complete exhaustion last night at 10 pm when we hit the hay to wide-eyed perkiness at 4:30 am - a few hours later.

The Lord has certainly been good to us. We are spending a few nights in the beautiful Dinkledine home while they are away. We are going to our new rent house during the day to get it ready. Robert was offered his old job back as the Chaplain at the Kokomo Rescue Mission. Amy goes back to making coffee tomorrow. Candace has a couple of job offers at IUK she's checking into. And I'm tickled pink to still have my dear ol' minivan back. Amazingly, it sat on a used car lot for the entire time we lived in Scotland and never sold - so it was waiting for us upon our return! Yippee!

I think I'll drink a cup of tea with Candace now. She ambuled into the kitchen shortly after I perched here. I told her we must both be jet-lagging to be up at this hour, but she reminded me that we both are known to wander about at odd hours. She's right.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

One more post in Scotland

  • Furniture is being carried out
  • Boxes are filling
  • Friends are popping in
  • Some sickness is going around the house (please pray about that one)
  • Suitcases are being weighed for the plane ride

And on the other side:
  • Many details must be arranged

And how are we doing? Feelings are so random. But to be honest: sometimes we're excited, sometimes we're sad, sometimes we're confused and alone. Normal everyday feelings, but at times circumstances magnify them.

Let me not be blown away by feelings, though. I acknowledge them. I don't deny them. But I don't want them to rule either.

So, we press on. God's in control; that's for sure.

Love to all. We'll be in touch on the other side.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Not fats enough

The title of this post is a typo,
but it cracked me up so much I left it.

Can you guess what it's supposed to say?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Full circle

Seasons come and go.

We share the bond of Christian love and respect with the Airdrie congregation. We love this place and the Airdrie RP people. They know as long as we are here we will gladly co-labor with them for Christ's kingdom, but it turns out that our time in Scotland is going to be brief.

Through a series of confirming circumstances, we have come to realize that our time in Scotland is coming to an end. Soon we will move back to Kokomo, Indiana. We came with hopes to settle for long-term ministry, but God knows best and has seen fit to closed this door.

We also dearly love the Kokomo RP people. In response to the announcement of our return a dear friend wrote me an encouraging note with this verse from Joshua 1:9,

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous!
do not tremble or be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Wow, that blew me away! God is
truly good and faithful.

Then this past Monday when the movers came to take our boxes, Robert read these words in our morning family worship from Spurgeon's book,
Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith:

Rest in All Thy Goings

"And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. (Exodus 33:14)

Precious promise! Lord, enable me to appropriate it as all my own.

We must go at certain times from our abode, for here we have no continuing city. It often happens that when we feel most at home in a place, we are suddenly called away from it. Here is the antidote for this ill. The Lord Himself will keep us company. His presence, which includes His favor, His fellowship, His care, and His power, shall be ever with us in every one of our marchings. This means far more than it says; for, in fact, it means all things. If we have God present with us, we have possession of heaven and earth. Go with me, Lord, and then command me where Thou wilt!

But we hope to find a place of rest. The text promises it. We are to have rest of God's own giving, making, and preserving. His presence will cause us to rest even when we are on the march, yea, even in the midst of battle. Rest! Thrice blessed word. Can it ever be enjoyed by mortals? Yes, there is the promise, and by faith we plead it. Rest comes from the Comforter, from the Prince of Peace, and from the glorious Father who rested on the seventh day from all His works. To be with God is to rest in the most emphatic sense."

We drew a great solace from these words. It's strange and wonderful to watch our path unfold in front of us trusting in the good judgment of our Heavenly Father.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ode to the Thanksgiving Squash of Scotland

O behold

-----the Thanksgiving Squash of Scotland.

O lovely squash

-----you remained


---------------nestled among the other produce.

You spoke to me

-----and bid me buy you.

Some aspect of your unique appearance

-----awed and baffled the ASDA checker;

----------she fumbled in your radiant presence.

If only they knew, others would desire you,

-----but you came to me, my precious.

Soon your worth shall be known to all,

-----suspended for all time in these lines.

All will know too late that you belong with me,

-----O Scottish Squash,

----------in my home,

---------------in my heart,

--------------------'til death.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ronald Reagan is nice and all but ...

we must go on with our lives.

My life is routinified - it keeps me sane. Something like this:

  • Up at 7 (except today - up a 5:30) private devos (except that I sing a Psalm with Candace usually),
  • 7:30 - A & B wander downstairs for a psalm and prayer with mom and kids then we read art history,
  • 8 - make breakfast and eat at 8:30,
  • 9 - see Rob off and read Conceptual Physics,
  • 10 - do one or a combination of yoga, pilates, exercise bike, discuss Aristotle with Amy, think about meals, pay bills, make deals,
  • 11 - study Euro history with Ben,
  • 12 - Lunch (of course),
  • 1 - Some days it's lovely Eng. Language lectures some days it's Eng. Lit.
  • 2-3 Papers to grade, lesson plans to revise, usually some detail to research - you know the business.
After that, more stuff to do like look out the window for sun sightings. And oh yeah, laundry.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ronald Reagan

It's always nice to hear a little Reagan rhetoric. He's a classic!

Ronald Reagan -- What a Guy
Memorable quotes from President Ronald Reagan.

"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."

"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."

"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving,subsidize it."

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."

"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

- Ronald Reagan

Friday, November 10, 2006

I saw Billy Boyd (Pippin) today

... we passed right by each other on a Glasgow street. Neither of us were wearing sunglasses or caps to hide our identities. And neither of us asked for the other's autograph.

Just two people playing it cool, passing on the street ...

I think we both turned around to confirm, but he pretended to look in a shop window and I just starred.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Life in 3-D

My sweet husband took me to an art gallery recently. We have taken our family to art galleries in the past, and as a group everyone is usually sensitive to everyone else as to how much time we spend in each room looking at art. Not too slow, not too fast. So when I mentioned to my husband that I had never gone to an art gallery and spent as much time as I like pausing to look at art, he promised to take me to the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh and let me linger as long as I like.

And I did. Meandering into a room, I ambled up to a painting, took it all in, slipped over to read the plaque, drew close to admire the brushwork, backed up to study the composition, and (if Robert happened to be standing close by) explained what I liked about it. Robert was completely patient; I was completely relaxed. It was great.

Of course, we had to visit the gift shop. You always do. Granted, prices are high, but browsing is cheap. I was in earnest search for a postcard with a painting of a more obscure artist when I happened upon something really cool in the kids' section. There I found cards of famous paintings that opened up into cylinders. You look into the cylinder through magnifying glasses on one side, and you see two parts of the painting on the other side. By looking into the cylinder, you could suddenly see a painting you've admired for years in 3-D. When Robert came into the gift shop from the coat room, he found me eagerly looking into each cylinder. I was like a little kid, and he humored me by looking into a few.

This morning I thought about that day and an analogy came to mind. It occurred to me that I keep expecting real life to be like a beautiful, flat painting. Limited in the comprehension of my surroundings, I tend to evaluate life in 2-D.

Oh sure, I study close and at a distance. I take in all sides. I read and talk to others for counsel, but I don't take into account that life doesn't happen in 2-D.

It's definitely 3-D; always on a path; always in motion; always changing.

I wish I could have one of those little paper cylinders that would give me a more acurate view of life. Better yet, I wish I could read my bible and pray and talk to Christian friends in 3-D. I don't want to miss out on the most accurate perspective.

But maybe it's just my eyes that need a little adjustment.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Still going nowhere

Author's Note: I wrote this post 2 days ago and "posted it" only to realize today that I had hit the "Save as Draft" button instead of "Publish Post" button. Silly me.

Back on the bike. I've been wanting an exercise bike for a couple of months. Seeing how they don't grow on trees, I've made it just fine w/o one. But now I'm riding and typing just like old times, because the Lord is so kind and good to me. Last week when Rob and I took Ben to take his PSAT at the International School of Aberdeen, we were walking around the parking lot and he spied a very nice exercise bike by the dumpster. Rob asked a nearby maintainance man if we could have the bike and the guy said, "Sure," (Or the guy probably said, "No bother, cheerio.") So we threw it in the back of the van, brought it home, and here I ride today, multi-tasking to my heart's content.

I sing and pray the Psalms using the Metrical Psalter as part of my private devotions every day. For several years now I've been working my way through all the Psalms by focusing on one Psalm per week and singing that same one every day of the week then I pray the divinely inspired words back the One I worship. Since Candace is up early too, we usually sing and pray together.

Here's a verse that we sang this morning.

Bless the Lord, all things created,
All His hosts with one accord.
In all parts of His dominion.
O my soul, bless thou the Lord.
Ps. 103:22
Psalm 103D in the Metrical Psalter

O my soul, bless thou the Lord!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The real trip

Just wanted to stop in for a while to pay you a visit.

More of my time in the blogsphere is spent reading the blogs of others rather than posting my own blog. And since I have recently spent precious little time reading the blogs of others, my own blog has lagged. Perhaps I've just lost my voice for a while and need to find it again.

Quick thought for now ...

I was thinking about this year - how it continues to fly by - unique and fleeting. You might think that I'm refering to this year as being special because we're living in another country. Not so. Where I'm living pales in comparison with who I get to share it with. My main thrill has been to enjoy whatever and wherever with my family.

How is it that a person like me could end up so blessed? God is amazing.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Winston the Woodpigeon

Behind our house lives a woodpigeon. He already lived in the neighborhood before we moved in. We call him Winston. Here's his picture as seen from our front window looking across the street.

Around back Winston flies away when I hang my laundry - so you won't see him here.

In the morning when the sun peeks between the garage and our house, Winston is off doing whatever it is that woodpigeons do. Your guess is as good as mine.

I took a photo of what I saw out of my van sunroof one day, but didn't see Winston there either.

Large pinecones grew in the top of this pine tree about a block from our house. But I'm sure Winston already knew that.

Looking toward Coatbridge, I longed for my turn to drive past the road construction. I thought of Winston who never has to bother with red lights.

In another delay, I thought of the days when I used to teach at Sycamore Covenant Academy. Now, what made me think of that, I wonder.

Since I haven't mentioned Winston recently, I'll take the opportunity to inform you the he didn't travel to Lochgoin with me and Rob and Amy and Ben and our friend, Ben Gordan the other day.

I have no doubt that Ben and "Big Ben" and Amy were thinking about Winston at the very moment that I snapped this photo in the Howie Museum which contained many wonderful artifacts from Covenanter history.

This sheepy guy doesn't at all resemble Winston.

The evening came upon us as we came out from cleaning the church building one Saturday night which is the perfect time to roost for all those inclined to do so ... like Winston.

I don't know what I was trying to photograph when I snapped this picture, but it (unlike the previous ones) probably had nothing to do with Winston.

Monday, October 02, 2006

More billboard news

After I saw the billboard below in Airdrie last week, I later saw one in Coatbridge and on the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow so I knew this was a national campaign, but I still didn't know what it was all about. And then yesterday at church, Charles said that it was an advertisement for a television station. Now I know that they are also advertising in England as well.

an article that explains some details:

The next phase of the billboard advertising campaign is supposted to say


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A gentle protest against a billboard

Moving to another country should affect changes in a person. You start to understand and appreciate the various perspectives people hold of another country. One instance that I observed this new understanding was when my son, Josh, returned home from his stays in Africa and South Korea earlier this year. He seemed to have a more sympathetic openness than he did before he left.

I'm slowly beginning to understand the cause of that change in someone who lives abroad. As you live around other people, you start to connect with them; you start to identify with them; you start to understand their point of view. That's a great benefit of living among another group of people and it hopefully has a reciprocal effect.

For my part, I do understand that people overseas have legitimate gripes with American policy and the way that Americans behave at times. Nobody likes a nation who is prideful, boasting. Nobody likes a big shot. The Lord says that pride comes before a fall and I'm saddened by American pride which is observable across the sea. Also the constant flow of trash from Hollywood is a grief and embarrassment too.

Although I don't defend the wrongs of America, I do love the good parts of her. I am an American through and through. I love my country and I love the people of my country and I love being one of those people. That doesn't mean in any way that I love everything about America or that I want to move back there from Scotland anytime soon . I just know that I'll always be strongly connected to America no matter where I live.

So since I seem to be growing so diplomatic and understanding, why is it that one silly billboard should bring out such passionate musings?

You'll see what I mean in a minute, but in my rational mind, I know that one billboard should never speak for a country. I wouldn't want one thoughtless individual to represent me and all my people.

But this billboard was posted right between Morrison's Grocery Store and Airdrie's town centre (which is about the most visually prominent location in town), and it blurted out a message that hit me like a jolt.

This is a clear example of how words that are perhaps not even meant to be taken seriously bring discredit to the writer and pain to the reader. Careless words hurt. In our MET (home group bible study), we are studying about the power of words in the book of James. A Scottish friend said this week, "The old rhyme about 'sticks and stones' just isn't true." How right he is.

This kind of blatant and unfeeling free speech absolutely wouldn't be tolerated if it were directed at another nation of people. The fact that this kind of comment is allowed implies that everyone knows that America has big enough shoulders to handle such a verbal jab, but that doesn't make the jab fair or true.

It is a forgivable crack, slapped up on a billboard that will probably display a dog food ad tomorrow, but since it appeared in a public place, it needs a public protest - at least on one wee blog.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Flowers from Jimmy (the flower-man) ...

Glasgow cafe view with Can.

Family camp at Lendrick Muir ...

Scottish view - spectacular!

Just in case
you need some space ...

I'm not so sure.

Candace on a mountain bike ...

other bikers - and the like.

No longer a "little" she's 18 now ...

need a word - :cow' 'pow' 'sow' .

Note to explain a recent spill ...

my new favorite drink - it's a big deal.

I can stop right now
So nobody knows
This silly streak.
Oh well, here goes.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Trip to Glasgow

Here's an excerpt from a quick email I wrote just now:

Canny and I went to an orientation day today in Glasgow. First we walked to a nearby bus stop, then we caught a bus to the train station, then we caught a train to a subway, then we walked to the University of Glasgow. First thing we did was spend about an hour and a half in a big room going from booth to booth talking to people in departments that Candace is interested in. Very helpful. Then we went to a lecture on "Why study Scottish Literature." Very great. Then we ate lunch in a little cafe. Very yummy. Then we shopped in charity shops (kinda like Goodwills.) Very fun. Then we took a tour of the sports facility. Very exercizy. Then we took a tour of the theatre (British sp.) building. Very artsy. Then we reversed our transportation extravaganza home. The only snag was that we missed our last bus home from the train station and had to walk the last 1.2 miles. No biggy.

Just wanted to tell you all that.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bedrooms of colour

Less words, more photos ...

Mind you, none of us have come near completing our room decorating. I feel devious even showing you photos with the kids gone to Glasgow today, but their grandmother wanted to see the paint jobs - and so I'm going on a sneaky reconnoissance op.

Let's keep this hush, hush - okay?

Come along while we sneak upstairs ...

Shhh, here's Amy's room. Nice light shade she chose, huh?

Here's Ben's room - the clean part of it.

And Candace's room in all its purple glory.

And here's my room which I share with my roommate. And yes, my room is the same color as Amy's. Her color instinct is just fabulous and I just plain like the green.

Another photo of interest ... Ben is seen here resting after a strenuous hike up and down Ben Ledi in the Trossach Mountain Range last weekend.

Also ... here's a view from the top. My camera phone has a neat panoramic setting where it glues 3 photos together. Click on the photo to see it enlarged. Glorious!

Monday, August 28, 2006

At the Airdrie library

Should get Internet at home this week, Lord willing. It will be greatly appreciated and will stop these little trips to the library to get online.

Quickly - the latest - as I remember it:

1) Our family and a new foreign exchange student from America went for a hike up a mountain on Friday. I have a blister to prove it.

2) Painted bedrooms last week.

3) Hung pictures around the house. Aaaah.

4) Had our first week of METs (Mutual Encouragement Times) which are bible studies. Went well.

5) Will start homeschool this week ushering in a regular routine. Good beans.

6) Love and miss you all (you know who you are.)

Monday, August 21, 2006

In the new house

We're here! In our new house that is. Spent Friday and Saturday unpacking. Got most of it done with the exception of a few piles. Ah, it feels like home already, amazingly.

Aaron, great to hear from you on the last post! (He's one of my former students!) In answer to your question, our "new" house is in Carnbroe which is directly south of Coatdyke. Our mailing address is now in Coatbridge (both Carnbroe and Coatdyke are villages which are too small to have their own mailing addresses.) You'll get a kick out of this, Aaron. Angus said that we would need an Airdrie passport to get back past the "border" because there's a rivalry between Airdrie and Coatbridge. Probably been going on for hundreds of years or something. I told him that we were faithful Airdrie-ites and would spie out the land for them. But seriously everyone is truly happy to hear of our residence in this new location and anxious to visit. BTW, Carnes is my maiden name so that gives me a rather homey feeling to think of living in Carnbroe.

The leaves are already barely starting to change showing a glimmer of fall. One of the elders named Sam Bell (I like his last name because it's my mother's maiden name) said that the fall colors are usually spectacular. Yum.

Rob was excited to see a wee Scottish rodent in our back yard yesterday. It was the size of a weasel with a little white tummy. He likes to observe wildlife.

We found a clothesline here so Rob and Candace hung it up for me. Then I peacefully hung clothes on it hoping not to meet the wee rodent at just that moment. All in all the experience was quite relaxing. Haven't hung clothes since the children were little and living in the Texan backwoods.

What odd details I choose to divulge.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just before we move ...

Woke up early this morning probably because of moving day anticipation. As I said, we're moving to another house in a town near Airdrie. Don't worry it's not far away; it's only a few minutes drive to the church. We will be truly settled when we move to this house, I think.

And we got our crate of stuff delivered to the new house! Ah, to have scissors and paper and casserole dishes and CLOTHES and such. It will be grand! Let's see, we sent it from Kokomo a month before we moved from there, and we've been here for a month, and so you do the math. Can't wait to unpack - it'll be like Christmas!

The most wonderful news of the week is that Josh made it safely all the way from Glasgow to Dublin to Chicago to Atlanta to Houston to Alto to Longview. Praise the Lord! God is certainly good and merciful.

Jenny will travel back to Indiana on Saturday and she will be muchly missed here.

Candace doesn't start her uni in Glasgow until the end of September. Party on.

Amy enrolled as a distant student with the University of Texas yesterday so she can take a couple of college classes. (Sorry all you Aggie fans out there - we never did really pick sides or anything. Does that make us bad Texans? Oh well, I have one sister that works at UT and the other one works at Rice, so we're going with UT instead of A&M.) Amy will also study some high school courses in our homeschool.

Ben and I can start our studies as soon as we're settled in and I have a chance to plan out the year.
(Oh darn, I should have bought one of my favorite lesson plan books at Staples before I left. Oh well, I'll muddle through somehow.)

This year's gonna be great! I relish the idea of studying with only my own kids again. Don't get me wrong, I love to teach in the classroom, but most of my teaching over the years has been with my kids in our home. I just love teaching my kids!

Rob has an room for an office in our new home. I'm so happy he will have his own space to get some work done this year. And a place to go and shut the door and talk to people too. Once again, God is good.

Breakfast to make, places to clean, boxes to empty. Bye now.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Beeps and flashes

Days run swiftly filling up the week. As time passes my perspective of people and places around me changes. Speech I once couldn't understand at all - now makes some sense to me. Customs which used to seem foreign and quaint are fast becoming a part of my second nature. All this proves to me that a person can acquire more cultural habits than those of his native country.

For example ...

Round-abouts are fun.
Have you ever watched a cat walk? Well, that's what I feel like when I drive around them.

Wanta' turn right? No problem - just turn on your right blinker, look right, and then jump out onto the round-about and start going to the left. Cars will be whizzing all around, but don't worry, if you do something wrong you'll get a honk and a glare. No biggy.

These folks are actually very good drivers and are good at avoiding collisions. Don't ask me how I know this.

I am improving ...

no really ... I am.

And then there's the honking. All honking is not the same.

There's the -
get outa' the way honk which is a sharp angry honk.

Then there's the -
friendly honk which is usually sounded in two short happy-to-see-you beeps.

Flashing at the on-coming traffic here does not mean the usual -

It actually means -
hey buddy, you can turn in front of me and I won't run over you.

Quite nice, actually.
::said in her best Scottish accent::

Other news:
  • Josh flies back to Texas tomorrow. He will be muchly missed - but that's where he's supposed to be.
  • The latest word on our ship load of stuff is that it will be delivered later this week or early next week. Yay!
  • We will be moving to another part of town on Friday to a more permenant residence. (This house was always a temporary place for us since it continues to be for sale on the market.
  • This week we are pleased to have over our friend, Jenny from Indiana, to spend many happy nights to help her celebrate her last week here in Airdrie.
Please pray for both Jenny and Josh as they journey home this week. Wow what a wonderful alliteration!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Random spatterings

Once again today, Rob and I will drive some folks to visit historic Scottish sites. Our church is hosting a Covenanter's Tour and 18 RPer's from the States are here for that. Yesterday, we followed the big blue van that Andrew (the pastor here) drove. We carried 5 people in our van and headed to St. Andrews.

Today we're off to Edinburgh. It's nice to drive and just follow a van. Don't have to concentrate as much. It's also nice to get to tag along on the tour. I'm soaking it up like a sponge. Had some nice chats too.

Our good friend, Virginia Landow who is the last one still here from the mission team, came along too. Good times. Ginny has been over at our house a good bit - spending the night, eating, helping to clean house - just like one of the "kids." (How old do they have to be before you stop calling them "kids"? Beats me.)

Fish cookery is moving up on my "to-do list." May (an elder's wife) lent me a fish cookbook after we conversed about how I haven't had much experience with fish cookery (except the nice pond fish Rob has caught over the years). Get back to you on that one.

Let's see ... what else.

My time and attention are required in some unique areas such as:
  • spending lots of time looking for paper to write on,
  • spending more time reading user guides,
  • paying particular attention to voltage,
  • and participating in a haggis taste test.
Just thought you'd be interested to know that.

And here are some things that have given me pleasure of late:
  • when my girls and I have cooked familiar meals for new friends,
  • when our 5-year-old neighbor, Olivia, slipped around behind our house to fetch me a rose from our own garden,
  • when I looked out my kitchen window and saw two little Scottish boys sword fight with sticks,
  • when I played frisbee with my husband,
  • and when my family sang familiar psalms together.
Well, the nice paragraphs I started out with have reverted to random spatterings of lists. My apologies. Someday, I plan to return to a more traditional paragraph form of writing, but since blogging patterns should reflect the writer's life patterns, lists are all I have to give. My life just hasn't quite smoothed out to paragrah form yet.

Thank you for your forbearance.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sabbath reflections

Cars whiz by outside the window as I distance myself from the noise and try to ignore the drone. Too much noise quickly boggles the nerves.

I pretty much train myself not to complain.

New country,
no sweat.

Conversations hard to understand,
no biggy.

Can't find syrup in the store,
just consentrate and look a little harder.

Being controlled by my own rules is no piece of cake.

Lord, please help me to find Your true Sabbath rest - today and this week.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Internet at home is a beautiful thing

The land of castles and kings is great and getting greater all the time now that our house has access to the Internet. Are we technology junkies, or what? I should feel ashamed of myself for being so dependent on email and blogging exept that it's become an ever more important link between us and ya'll (that's Texas talk).

I promised a dear friend that I would post pics of our house and neighborhood - and I will soon (D.V.)

  • I've had tea with an elderly neighbor (cream first, then tea from the wee pot, then two sugars, please),
  • I've scrapped my elbow on a castle wall because I was climbing up to a window (probably broke some royal rule - but we won't tell anyone, now will we?),
  • I've seen burly men in skirts tossing telephone poles,
  • and I've walked more than Americans ever do.
These are just some of the adventures.

I do miss my friends and family back home, but in a strange way - this place already feels so right. Hard to explain.

Anyway, my plan is to somehow live here while staying vitally connected with you (you know who you are.)

As one of my first attempts to stay close while far away, I'll keep trying to keep you posted on me/us. I will also have our new Jones/Scotland blog posted soon.

Yours as much as ever -

Monday, July 10, 2006

Thoughts from the other side

Hello out there - from Scotland!

What a crazy, roller-coaster, wonderful week it has been. I will definitely elaborate in the near future. Suffice it to say for now, God is kind and faithful.

We have met some kind and faithful people of God in this neck of the woods. They are enthusiastic about having us and very friendly. I do catch MOST of what they're saying. :-)

We have met several Americans here and just had dinner with an American couple tonight.

Tomorrow, we're off to take a ride in the Highlands north of here. Please pray for us as we timidly trek off on the wrong side of the road.

Glad to be back with you all!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ending at the end

We're back home in Kokomo from the weeklong trip to our homeland, Texas. Perhaps another day I will post some pics from that trip.

Friends and family streamed through my mother-in-law's house to see us off. They knew that we won't be back for a while since we are about to move across the sea to Scotland. This last week in Kokomo will no doubt be filled with similar scenes ...

so humor me, I must philosophize.

Life is full of inevitable endings, but most of the time we rock along in the middle. I admit, the middle suits me. The middle is not filled with great ceremonial speeches to friends where you summerize your true feelings. The middle doesn't make you examine yourself as much to see if you have really changed anything for the better. The middle doesn't expect you to look around and appreciate every moment. The middle doesn't highten your senses as much. It doesn't make you want to reach out as much. It doesn't make you want to listen a little closer. It doesn't prompt you to go out of your way to reach somebody. Endings do this.

No, the middle is much more conservative. It doesn't require as much effort. It's comfortable.

But lately I've been thinking about how Christ handled endings. Endings were precious opportunities that life brought His way (respectfully speaking). He made use of them to communicate love and appreciation to people. He used them to say something meaningful. He made the most of them. He embraced them.

What an inspiration!

Oh Lord, help me not to hold back now. Help me not to hide in the middle when I arrive at an ending. And help me to remember that that middles and endings ultimately take place in a Kingdom that has no end.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Other remembrances

Still catching you up on photos from yesterdays.

These here photos (that's how it's phrased in Texas) were taken of the homeschool graduation in Kokomo, Indiana a couple of weeks ago.

Here John Christenson directs the homeschool orchestra.

The proud Fisher family honors Beth's graduation.

Candace and Miriam have a laugh.

The proud Yorks parents honor Jamey.

Amy proudly honors her brother, Ben, while Beth and Lindsay stand in awe.

Brenna grows sleepy during the long ceremony.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Old business

We're in Texas now. Lots of sun; lots of pool; lots of family and friends. It's been surprisingly mild - not too hot - nice breeze. So what's with the weather report, you ask? The weather is big news in Texas - especially if it ISN'T burning hot in the summertime. Now that's big news. And it isn't - so I share the news.

There is something about not being in your own house that makes everything more restful. Ah, nice time to blog.

So I shall catch up on old business and show you some pics I took a few weeks ago. Memorial day has come and gone - these were taken of the Memorial Day Picnic in Kokomo, Indiana.

Everyone gathered at a local park to share a relaxing day.

Here's Bill.

Some of the girls anticipate the day's activities.

Here Trevor and Ben are up to no good, I'm sure.

I told ya' so! They've loaded the water balloon sling-shot

... and here are their helpless victims!

Greg fiercely guards the vittles.

Johnny and Brian wait to eat.

These men do some catching up.

Jamie helps at the pool.

Meg grabs a photo opp.

Hannah and Rachel dry off after a swim.

These ladies grab some shade.

Lynz joins Daniel, and his dad, Jason, to watch the swimmers.

Here are some hill-billie golf pros

... and their competitors.

Everyone likes to share babies.

Celia is not a baby, she's armed and ready (get it?) Miriam offers her arm.

Time to chow down.