Sunday, February 24, 2008

“Hey Corrie… Can you c’mere?”

This is what I heard while working in the living room earlier this week. It came from the kitchen after a loud thud, so I knew I was in for something interesting :) Little did I know…

Ian had managed to spill our entire tub of sugar all over the kitchen floor. It was very full and apparently heavy enough that grabbing it by the lid was a bad idea. So, we salvaged what we could and proceeded to find sugar in really random places in the kitchen for the next few days. It gave me a good laugh, so we thought we’d treat you :)

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I am doing art lessons with some homeschooled kids in St Andrews. Well, I have been having so much more fun than I expected doing it with them, and I thought I would share some pics I took this last time. The first week we did fruit color wheels, which they had a great time painting (we are doing painting all four weeks). Last Thursday we painted while listening to music and talked about Kandinsky. They LOVED it. I was so surprised at how much they loved it. We listened to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, so it was pretty exciting music, which I think worked well for the boys and the girls. Here are the pictures of the outcome.

They are an excellent bunch of kids with very different personalities so we got some really different results. Next week is geometric collages and Braque. A lot of them have no idea what a collage even is, so it should be fun :)

I spent another large part of my week working on plans for Kelly’s baby shower. It was the first baby shower that I have thrown and it went really well. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the actual event. I did take pictures of the table of treats though. The invitations I sent out had a little bird on them, so I made cupcakes that looked like bird’s nests and put pictures of the little bird around. My friend Jo, who I’ve mentioned in previous posts helped me with some planning and came over early on Saturday to help get things ready. We made chocolate bowls together – so fun! They are much easier to do than you might think and look really nice. Jo made a delicious carrot cake, and Holly contributed some lemon pound cake – also delicious :)

I used a tea light holder for the flowers, books for the different levels, and a sheet for the 'table cloth' :) who needs the fancy stuff!

I know it's a bad pic of the bowls, but it was the best lighting to see them despite the shadow.. Filled with strawberries and blueberries - yummy!

Aside from spilling sugar everywhere, Ian is still working away. It seems like he comes up with new paper topics every other day and has done a really good job keeping things going on his website lately. Still no news from any schools yet! Hopefully soon :)

This week I am leading ladies’ Bible study on Tuesday night, so if you think of it, pray for me. And, my parents are coming on Thursday!!! :) I can’t believe it. We’re working on plans for places we’re going to go, so we’ll give you the full update (I’m secretly hoping it will look so fun, everyone will want to come visit!). Much love...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


No, I’m not sad… In fact, over the last several weeks, I have become overwhelmed with thanksgiving for a great number of things. My heart has become so full in realizing how much I have been given, and in being reminded of my Great Savior’s love.

That title ‘SAD’ stems from my suspicions that I am a victim of the lack of light in beloved Scotland. It stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Now, I in no way claim to have any serious version of this disorder, but I think I have a pinch of it. Actually, I can’t imagine anyone not being affected by the seasons in some way, but apparently, not everyone is. I wouldn’t think they could call it a disorder if everyone experienced it. But, I don’t feel particularly disordered, just seems normal to me.

Anyway, I noticed that we have had a long series of very sunny days without many gray days in between.. Coupled with the feeling that when I take a deep breath, somehow the air is cleaner.. Not to mention that I feel much more content these days and generally more able to handle what life may throw at me.. To be perfectly honest, everything just seems good.

I started thinking about this and came to the conclusion that it’s the same thing I’ve experienced my whole life. Sun = Happy. Now I cannot deny that a lot of hard things happened to us over the winter months (and I AM actually aware that we are still in the winter months, but it’s sunny!) which probably didn’t help my attitude towards life in general, and I also cannot deny that the Lord is doing amazing things in my heart right now – reminding me of all the things that I had forgotten I cared about for so long. But, I still think it’s the same ol’ same ol’ winter doldrums, and it just has uncanny timing this year with the rest of the things going on in our lives.

Now, about all those things I just remembered that I cared about. If you’re thinking it might be you, well then I apologize for my lack of communication and reminders that I love you, but it’s not you specifically(seriously though, you should probably tell me if I’m neglecting you because it is totally unintentional). It is, however, people. I have always been somewhat of a softie and a crazy optimist and that always carries over into my relationships. It took me a while to feel grounded enough here to really start thinking about how much I love people! I mean, I’ve been very involved with people since we got here, but I haven’t had the surges of care in my heart for them like I used to. And, it’s funny but I get these surges of love not only for the people right in front of me (and across the ocean :) ) that I love, but also for people I haven’t met… All the kids we’re going to sponsor, the homeless people I’m going to feed, our children that I’m going to embarrass by crying all the time and forcing them to hug me.. People like that. I often don’t know what to do with myself or how to express that, so I just feel it and pray that the Lord would open doors for me to use it. Right now we’re just going to take it one step at a time.. Sponsor one kid, help feed the other poor graduate students, and just embarrass my husband by tearing up all the time and trying to get him to do silly things with me in public (like swinging our arms while we hold hands – I love that one!)

It feels like a veil has been lifted and I have been refreshed. And I’m thankful. I only pray that my perspective will maintain and improve from here, that maybe, just maybe this once, I’ll hold steady. Knowing me, probably not :) That’s why I’m so thankful for a God of grace.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Valentine’s Day Extravaganza!

Ian and I have a funny trait as a married couple. I’ve noticed that we tend to take a holiday that normally lasts one day and make it last for multiple days, sometimes weeks, and I’m pretty sure that we dragged Christmas out for about a month our first year together. I think it’s a combination of loving things that are special and being a somewhat noncommittal/indecisive couple (in certain areas, obviously not in all areas of life). That first Christmas we decided that instead of buying each other gifts we would just each have an allotment of money and have fun spending it together. Well that backfired and we were spending ‘Christmas money’ long after Christmas, and long after the assigned funds were depleted. It took us a while, but we eventually figured out that it was time for Christmas to be over. After many holidays of similar situations, we fell upon this Valentine’s Day. Our actual V-day was very uneventful as we were both really busy and slightly stressed. We did have a great time randomly wishing each other a Happy Valentine’s Day in high-pitched, excited voices while squinting our eyes and noses and shaking our heads at one another (this is our faithful expression of love and excitement about anything towards each other) all day long. I had so much fun incorporating well wishes into the day that I told Ian I wanted everyday to be Valentine’s Day. So, Friday morning we got up and made heart-shaped pancakes and Ian brought home some flowers and a special dessert. He also brought home some on-sale steaks. When I found out my heart kind of flip-flopped because at this point in life the word ‘steak’ equals ‘ridiculously impractical use of money’ and I thought surely my husband would know better than to bring steaks home to his scrimping wife. But, he found them in the clearance section and wanted to surprise me (though I can’t help but think he might’ve been craving some red meat himself) with a nice dinner tonight. So, here we are going on day three of Valentine’s Day and still thoroughly enjoying it :)

Here’s a picture testifying to my crazy skeeelz (or lack thereof) at making heart-shaped pancakes, and the beautiful tulips Ian bought for us to enjoy.

Aren't they breathtaking? Those flowers are singing praise - Good choice hubby!

Ok, so about the last two weeks! A lot has happened so I’m going to try to summarize (it will never work, I just can’t tell a short story). One of my friends from college came for a visit starting on Monday the 4th. Since going to Edinburgh by public transportation is no small feat, we decided to make a day of it and went with Kelly and Elliott to enjoy more sights in the big E. We hit up the castle again and had a much more in-depth experience, including several rooms that we didn’t get to see before (like the banquet hall, the room where King James was born, and the DUNGEON du du duuuuuuuuuu). We proceeded to the Elephant Café where Harry Potter was born, which was super cool. It is actually the café that JK Rowling would go to a lot to do her writing on the Harry Potter series. Very tasty and reasonably priced, plus a great view – I mean, give me that everyday, and maybe I could crank out thousands of excellently written pages to provide millions of people with a good read too! Anyway, we continued on and saw St. Giles’ Cathedral, the current Parliament building (not exactly what I expected), King Arthur’s seat, and the outside of Holyrood Palace (which I’m determined to get into one of these times!). We had a really fun day and I’m going to put up another slideshow of pictures to cover the last couple weeks.

We picked up Alicia (the friend from college) and had a great ride home talking all about Morocco and her new life there (although it’s not so new to her since she’s been there almost a year). We had a very relaxed week, which I think all three of us were thankful for. We spent lots of time everyday outside and managed to get some really beautiful sunny days while she was here. A couple highlights for me were:

Our trip to Anstruther for the best fish and chips in the UK (which, Ian enjoyed pointing out on numerous occasions, probably means it’s got to be pretty close to the best fish and chips in the whole world too). We took a bus to Crail (all of these places are small fishing villages in the East Neuk of Fife – super cool little towns) and hiked a little over four miles along the coast to get ourselves to Anstruther where we enjoyed the famous meal and ice cream for dessert. Here are some pics of the hike.

We found these great rock formations...
That, naturally, Ian and Alicia had to climb.
A harbor in the small town right before Anstruther.
Hooray and Yum!

Another thing I really enjoyed that week was the way we spent our Friday. Ok, so I have nothing against East Sands… it’s closer to us and is a really nice beach, but my heart sings when we go to West Sands (where Chariots of Fire was filmed). I don’t know what it is about that beach, but it is the epitome of a beautiful place to my eyes and my soul. I think Ian is finally figuring out that if my heart is set on going to the beach on any given day, it must be to West Sands and I am generally incapable of sacrificing the trip for any other kind of excursion. I really just can’t help it, fortunately I married an exceedingly patient and sacrificial man who graciously deals with all kinds of inexplicable emotions :) The three of us decided to have a picnic on the beach. It goes to show that we ‘are not from around here’ that on a day when we saw a total of maybe 10 other people outside, a day that was cold, windy, and gray, we took a picnic to the beach :) It was great! We concluded the day on Friday by taking a late run to Tesco for chocolate chip cookie supplies and making shape-cookies. I’m about as good at make shape-cookies as I am at making heart-shaped pancakes. Alicia spouted out the ideas, and I attempted to form them with cookie dough. Together we made things like: A cookie version of Ian, an elephant (by far the best cookie), an ant, a couple fish, a car, a CD/donut, a peanut, a flower, a moon, and much more.

Here are some pics of my beloved West Sands.

It was really windy, so the sand was blowing beautifully.
This was the view we had from where we settled in for our picnic.

Can you tell which of us lives in a sunny country?

Saturday afternoon we took a walk along the Lade Braes path and to my utter delight, there were signs of spring everywhere!

We said a sad goodbye to Alicia on Monday with hopes of seeing her again soon. It was a blessing to spend that time with an old friend, to be reminded of our history together and to work to keep the relationship steady. It was hard to believe it had already been a year since we last saw each other and in some ways, it feels like that was a whole different life altogether that we lived just one short year ago.

This week has been a crazy one! Ian started back to classes and has a great schedule for traveling, which is our focus this semester (aside from studying – obviously!). We’ve decided that we can’t miss out on our opportunity to travel while we’re here and we have no idea if we’ll be here after this year, so we’re going to carpe diem as much as we can from here on out! Mom and Dad are coming for a visit in less than two weeks (woohoo!!) and after we say adieu to them we’re hoping for a weekend in London or Paris. Then we’re (fingers crossed) planning on visiting some areas in Germany and perhaps gallivanting down to Geneva during Ian’s spring break. Following his break, I’ll be heading back to the states to celebrate the birth of my first nephew and bring the blessing of home cooked meals that weren’t cooked by either of the new parents to my sister and brother-in-law :). While I’m gone Ian will be heading to the Island of Skye for another reading weekend, and from there we hope to do some sight-seeing in Scotland as the weather gets nicer. I’ve choked back some scrimping and acknowledged the fact that it will never be cheaper, so it’s worth the money :) We’re looking forward to it and will, of course, fill you in on all the details, and if you have suggestions we want to hear them!

Now back to the main point, this last week. Ian started classes and thinks he is really going to like this semester. I’ll have to have him post a little bit about his classes, but I’m sure you could get your fill by visiting his site. I have acquired a new client for graphic design and have been crazy busy working for them on top of Taylor. It’s been great fun – I really enjoy working with them – but a very tight schedule, so I’m glad for a breather this weekend. We also had another fun start this week – art lessons!! I’m officially an art teacher – how weird is that – for some homeschooled kids here in St Andrews. I have about 12 kids all under the age of 9 and they are so fun. I was paranoid that it would turn into a big painty ball of chaos, but I think we all had a really good time. This week we made fruit color wheels (and I can’t thank Alicia enough for her efforts in helping me cut out all those fruits!) and next week we will be painting to music. Should be fun :) I’ll try to get some pictures to show you soon.

So, that brings us full circle back to today – our third day of Valentine’s Day :) We hope you all are doing well, and are so thankful for the love and support we’ve received from SO many of you over the years. (have I mentioned that I have become SUPER sentimental?? Seriously, I tear up at the craziest things) We love you!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Funny stuff

Ok, so I found this 'what's your true color' test on a friend's blog thought - 'ooooo, I wonder what my color is,' and decided to take it. It was really funny because I really thought I would be yellow, and I was. The funnier part was I was feeling completely opposite of this description when I took the quiz... It was a rough day. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to see what Ian's color was too - he's brown! Now we know and here's the descriptions... (Ian's is the brown one even though it says my name, I filled in his answers for him :) ) And, I apologize that it is so hard to read, but I know you can do it!!

I'll post about what we've REALLY been doing for the past two weeks soon-promise!


Take this test!
You're yellow, the color of joy and energy — two things you definitely bring to everyone around you. It's hard for anyone to be sad or lonely in your presence; your sunny disposition and cheery outlook just won't allow it. The warmth of your personality shines through in the kindness you show friends and family (and strangers, too). Always ready with a lighthearted joke or heartfelt compliment, you know how to make people feel good about themselves, so they can't get enough of you. Yellow is a warm and inviting color for a warm and inviting person — you!


Take this test!
You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.

Thursday, February 07, 2008!

Though a link was added to our blog some time ago, it is time to officially announce (in the form of a blog-posting) the existence of my philosophy blog Things seem to be up and running now, and the design/functionality is coming around too. If you are interested please check it out; feedback is always welcome.

Soli Deo Gloria,


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hooray Pictures!

I finally found a way to put albums on the blog without paying for it! Thank you Picasa! Enjoy :) More to come

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Walks, Sky, and Hair

Last Sunday morning, Ian and I were ready for church slightly earlier than usual. We decided to take the opportunity to go for a walk, perhaps a more scenic route to church :) We walked down to Long’s Pier and it was a beautiful morning.. Clear skies, low tide, swans and birds everywhere – very refreshing.

Ahh the cathederal draped in morning light.

Long's Pier

The swans were hanging out on the sand, like all the cool kids do at low tide

Traps at the harbor

Ropes at the harbor (the harbor is so photogenic :))

The boats sink into the sand and wait until their destiny's can once again be fulfilled...

Since it was such a nice day, we decided to go visit St Andrews Castle. The tour begins with some historical explanation…
But mostly, I just liked the way they made the letters fancy :)

As we rounded the last corner in the display before walking out to the castle, we were surprised to find…

Mr. Knox himself!
Ian was enthralled with his preaching

Upon moving out of the historical explanation section, we were greeted with this view of the castle

But I think that’s the only view I’m going to give you because there was something much better than the castle to look at… The sky was AMAZING. I found myself taking a picture of the castle and then immediately turning around to take pictures of this amazing sky over and over again! I mean the castle was cool, but it’s just rubble.. This is beautiful.

I do have to mention though that the castle has a cool feature of underground tunnels. They used these to siege the castle back in the day – they actually fought battles in tunnels underground. My brain could not conceive of such a thing. Here are a few pics of the tunnels.

We were greeted with this warning...

And had to crawl down this little tunnel to get to a point where Ian could almost stand up straight

I took this picture of us in the mine and promptly realized that you couldn't tell at all where we were... oh well.

In other news, I inherited several babies this week…

The only one that is actually ours is the mutant one on the right. He got his daddy’s tall genes apparently :) The weird thing is, that flower is the same kind as the one next to it and the one on the other end. The other three are Vanessa’s bulbs which I am babysitting until she and Will get back from gallivanting in Paris. Our baby grew so big, he couldn’t hold himself up anymore

So we’ve had to rig up a contraption to hold him upright.

In other other news, Ian decided he needed a haircut this week. Not only that, but he decided he wanted to cut his own hair instead of having me do it like usual. I was skeptical of his ability to do this since he’s never even cut anyone else’s hair.. and after a few minutes, he gave up.

Here’s what he ended up with…

He told me he was going for a fade - short on bottom, a little less short in the middle, and long on top… Nice fade hubby… His fade resulted in a buzz cut, which he is thoroughly enjoying, so it was worth it.

Lastly, I want to leave you with a picture from a walk I went on with my good friend Kelly. We walked up a hill I never knew existed and got a breathtaking view of the town/ocean/sky.. This picture just doesn’t do it justice.