Saturday, May 31, 2008

“Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery While Tired…”

So, I was brushing my teeth a few nights ago, talking to Ian amidst brushes. I really like brushing my teeth, always have (at least since I have been somewhat rational in deciding what I like and don’t like). Apparently I got a little too enthusiastic with my toothbrush and out of nowhere I lost control and it flung across the bathroom (just missed the toilet – phew!!). When I get tired, I also get slap happy.. every time. I think things are hysterical when they are in reality, just funny (which makes Ian feel really good about himself). Well, needless to say, I found myself completely keeled over cracking up uncontrollably at how funny it was that I had just totally lost control of my toothbrush – mid-brush no less – and it had flung across the bathroom. I definitely drooled toothpasty saliva all over the place. I did eventually regain control of myself and finish brushing my teeth (after washing off my toothbrush, of course). Maybe you had to be there, but we still laugh when reminiscing on that momentous occasion.

In other news, we have had some amazing weather as of late! Something happened that I thought might never happen during our time here…

We were walking outside…

It was really sunny and nice…







And stayed that way the whole rest of the time we were outside!!!!!! I was shocked and so was everyone else! It’s even beside the point that I had three other layers under my coat, because I felt like I could have been wearing a t-shirt without getting goose bumps! It was pretty amazing. And, it’s a really nice day today too, so we might head on down to the beachy beach for a picnic.

We have some sad news as well. Our dear friends Kelly and Elliott have officially moved back to los estados unidos. We are very excited for the new life waiting for them there. They have a 7 week old sweet baby girl (I might add, she is definitely genius material), Elliott’s going to be teaching at a small classical school, and Kelly is going to get to stay home with that sweet baby girl and do fun things like take her to the park in the area where they’re going to live. We have SO enjoyed our time with the Williams.. It was kind of like love at first sight. I could not fathom that it had actually come to an end. It happened so fast.. Suddenly I began realizing things like.. I will never walk through that gate again to go see them in their cute little house.. I won’t be seeing Kelly at Bible study anymore.. We now have two less people to call for hang out time on the weekends.. I don’t have to worry about not doing laundry on Thursday nights anymore because they won’t need to do theirs.. It’s all very sad. Though we are looking forward to seeing each other sometime in the future, as we have family that live close to one another. So there is still hope! But, we wish them all the best and are praying they find themselves at home and surrounded with love in that community, quickly.

Unfortunately, this is just the first of many good-byes coming our way this summer. And, as sad as it is, it makes me so grateful to see the way the Lord so quickly provided us with so many people to care about. We are beyond undeserving of the life we lead. I am just completely overcome these days with how unfaithful I am, and yet how good the Lord continues to be. Unconditional love is something my heart really struggles to grasp. I love people like crazy here on this earth, but my love still grows and changes. Jesus loves me with a love that doesn’t need to grow or change. It is simply perfect. And that is awe-inspiring. I am not easy to love on any level of my existence, and yet, there it is.

If the knowledge that you are loved with that kind of love doesn’t help you sleep at night, I don’t know what will.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

well this header leaves a little to be desired I guess.. But, it was time for a change!! And, it's a cute picture :) We're going to go out picture hunting in a couple days...

Saturday, May 24, 2008


There is a really fun thing about living on the North Sea (well there’s really more than one, but whatever). It’s called Haar. I like the stuff. I think it’s beautiful and mysterious and quiet and I love watching it slowly take over our little town. The first morning I experienced it, I was shocked when I stepped out the front door and couldn’t see the street light right outside our door. The first afternoon when I experienced it move in to ‘ruin’ a perfectly sunny day, I think I fell in love :)… I’ll allow some time for any Scottish person reading this to pick their jaw up off the floor…

The Scots I’ve met here hate the Haar. I’ve been told stories of how it just ruins everything about a good day, and officially ruined last summer. Some of you will be skeptical and say that after I’ve experienced it more and had it ruin a day when I planned on being outside, I will no longer love it, but I’m doubtful. I mean you can see the stuff whisping about! It is completely mesmerizing. You can send your haar my way any day!

These images don’t really do it justice. You can see where St Salvator’s Tower and the Cathedral should be if you remember what our surroundings look like here, but sometimes you can’t even see the street right down there. It’s crazy.

Another thing I’ve been meaning to mention here is that I am in need of some ‘quick’ recipes. I currently have a somewhat insane schedule of almost constantly working – even through the weekend. The Lord has been faithful to allow me to be persevering, but it makes it really hard to figure out what to do for dinner. I don’t get home from my day job until almost 6 and by the time I change, figure out my plans for the evening and start in on dinner, we’re not eating until 7:30 or 8 unless we have the pleasure of leftovers. That may just be how this point in our life is going to be. But, I thought I’d check in and see if any of you have suggestions for less time consuming recipes. Even if you’re not sure I have access to the ingredients, I’d appreciate knowing them. You can email, or leave it in the comments. I try to make something bigger on Sunday that will last til Wednesday and then do it again Wednesday so we’re good til the weekend, but I just know there are some geniuses out there that can give me some ideas :)

Work is going really well. I love working at West Port and am trucking along with my clients in the states. Ian has his last final on Monday and then starts in on his MLitt dissertation. He’s been assigned an advisor for it and is looking forward to getting started. I’ll let him tell you more about that.

We have some exciting news that I keep forgetting to post as well.. Ian’s going to Rome! He was accepted into a conference on ‘The Grandeur of Reason’ (I know you all almost wet your pants in excitement at that topic) in September in Rome and is super excited about it. He’s never been there before so it will be a great experience for him. I unfortunately won’t be able to take that time off to accompany him, but our friends the Ellis’ are going as well, so he’ll be in good company. He’s also making great progress on getting things squared away for successfully starting his PhD here this fall, and we are really thankful for that.

So, we have a lot to look forward to… Not to mention a visit to Indiana this summer!!!!!! We realized the other day while grocery shopping that this means we are going to get to GRILL our food outside on a WARM sunny evening (I'm still not convinced I'll ever be warm here), and we’re going to get to eat SWEET CORN ON THE COB!!!! Indiana is so great! I’m pretty excited about those things. But, I’m even MORE excited about all the friends and family we’re going to get to see!!! We have three short weeks to see as many friends and family members as we can :) Feel free to contact me for more information on the timing and our exact whereabouts.

Until next time.. 10-4 good buddy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Photo Update...

First things first.. Hubby got new shoes!!

(he's such a good model) Those of you who looked at our pictures from the Continent will know that Ian left his shoes in Germany for the garbage man. So, we got him a new pair! They are much more grown up than his last, they’re comfortable, versatile, and were fairly inexpensive. Couldn’t ask for much more!

AND, some might think it’s a miracle…

But it has been nice enough to keep our windows open all day! That is quite the achievement in the Church household. It has to be preeeeetty warm to get me to agree to such things :).

One day recently while we were out and about, we found ourselves in the midst of the Kate Kennedy Club parade. Apparently they do it every year and a bunch of students dress up as various characters from St Andrew’s history, and parade through town. I was so disappointed that I had been caught without my camera!

However, we got home and a couple hours later, they came parading right passed our flat! So, I hung out the window to get some pictures :)

I LOVE bagpipers

That ‘lady’ in the white hat.. Totally a guy.

In other news.. We had a visit from Aunt Joan and Uncle Carl! They stopped by on a Friday evening and took us to dinner, then we went to visit Hill of Tarvit and Falkland Palace the next day. A few photos for your viewing pleasure…

Beginning with Hill of Tarvit

Look at the size of those things! I was freaking out :)

And Falkland Palace

This is me being so royal in front of the royal tennis court (apparently my version of royal is also kind of like being crazy). This tennis is called REAL tennis (not joking) and is played differently from lawn tennis (the tennis we all know and love).

I’m sure we’ll have more pictures of these lovely places later (Uncle Carl took all the people pictures.. He’s smart like that. You know, taking pictures of PEOPLE instead of just the places. Someday I’ll learn…), but we so enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with Aunt Joan and Uncle Carl. It had been a while since we’d seen them, so it was a much-needed visit. We are so appreciative of the love and generosity we were shown – many, many thanks to both of you for such a wonderful time!

We also found out that day that they were having medieval celebrations and activities (including battles and a may pole) at the castle.

How cool is that?? Needless to say, I think every little boy in St Andrews got to the castle that day :)

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for..

BEN PICTURES!!! YAY!!! (I am more than a little excited about adding ‘Aunt’ to my name :) )

The floating picture. Hope thought he looked like he was floating above the ground.. I think I have to agree.

All decked out to be baptized!

The baptismal moment

Looking good in Ben’s hat (he never wore it, so I thought I’d put it to use)

And today wouldn’t be complete without a hearty HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! We love our mums :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Ok, so I FINALLY got our pictures ready and made them into an album. You might have to go back and read the post about our trip to the Continent to remember some things, but the pictures do have captions :)

Slideshow is to the right.. Enjoy!

Friday, May 02, 2008

It looks like fall in Detroit (really it does)

I’m sitting in the Detroit airport waiting for my next flight. I’ve just hopped over to Detroit from St. Louis where I spent the last week and a half at my sister and brother-in-law’s house getting acquainted with my first nephew.

It was a really great time to spend together with them to enjoy, and watch them enjoy, little Benjamin (or Benjamino as Daddy calls him… driving his amarillo el camino…). The first several days were spent enjoying things that I forgot America had to offer (like no currency exchange, Poptarts, highways, car dealers that give you cookies, popcorn, and bottled water while they fix your sister’s car, automatic grocery bagging – no questions asked, chocolate animal crackers, the material gluttony I find myself prone to at first step into Wal-mart, etc. (note – these all depend on your geographical location in both countries.. just thought I should clarify!)). I got to cook for Hope and Wes a little bit, but they were well stocked with meals from their church, so there wasn’t much need. It is never a bad thing when a nice, good-smelling woman from church brings over pots full of equally good-smelling food. Never a bad thing…

Nana, Pop Pop (these names are yet to be decided on, but for now, this is what we’re going with), and Uncle Mitch joined us (with Pip the puppy!) on Friday evening and Mom, Hope, and I had some good times shopping together on Saturday. We ended Saturday with some MEXICAN!!! :) for dinner (don’t tell Ian!). Sunday was Benjamin’s big day to be baptized into the Covenant body of believers. Baptism never gets old for me. I’ve watched many, many baptisms and feel like I get closer to understanding the depth of it each time. It was a blessing to be able to share in that gift with my family and Wes’s family, to see the generations of Christians that this child has been born into, and to see the Lord’s faithfulness proclaimed through that. It was even better because Charles Parsons III baptized Charles Parsons V, son of Charles Parsons IV :) (I think I got that right!).

We had a big meal at Hope and Wes’s afterwards to celebrate with lots of friends and family. It was great to see some friends I haven’t crossed paths with in years and catch up a bit. This is another area where I am continually encouraged. Sometimes I get really overwhelmed when I think about how many friends the Lord has blessed me with over the years and how, if He continues to do that, I’m never going to be able to keep track of and keep in touch with them all. But, repeatedly this year I have spent time with many, many friends, some of whom I didn’t anticipate seeing again until we were sharing in the joy of Eternity. I am thankful that even in these little fears that spring up within me, the Lord has it covered and will enable me to maintain the appropriate relationships at the appropriate times.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time cuddling Benjamin and enjoying his many, varied facial expressions, and just his general unbelievable cuteness. I am looking forward to continuing in my role as Aunt Corrie, and especially continuing in that role in the company of Uncle Ian :)

- pictures of Benjamino are to come.

* Update

I am home now safe and sound. The flight that followed my above musings was great fun. I sat between a young, Indian man from Mumbai, and an old, Dutch man from Utrecht. I had great conversations with both of them and managed to make a fool of myself a few times, but they both pretended not to notice :) I am learning that this is what happens when you move a little American girl from rural Indiana to places around the world where people think from completely different angles and take notice of things a little larger than the cornfields and cows (though I will never be convinced that cornfields and cows are not worth noticing). I learned quite a bit from both of them thanks to a 9-hour flight that forced us to be friends. Turns out, the old Dutch man from Utrecht has a granddaughter (his only granddaughter) who is going to be a senior next year at Taylor – what?!?! I know, unbelievable. I’m going to email her and tell her I met her grandpa :)

There is much more to update on, and it is coming. And so are the pictures that I promised weeks and weeks ago from our trip to the Continent!