Sunday, March 30, 2008

Facelift!!!! Corrie has been playing with the code on the blog.. She hopes you like it :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I got a job, right?

Ok, so I had an interview yesterday in the morning at a design company here in St Andrews. It went very well and I personally thought I would be able to fit right in with them. They had me stay until 2 pm (I got there at 10 am) to do some designing for them so they could see how I work. In the time that I was there I was interviewed, I designed 2 pieces, met most of the gang, learned how to use one of the many printers, was asked when the next soonest day I could come in was, was told how much they would pay me, and was asked to bring in my bank info… But no one ever said – you’ve got a job! – so I remain unconvinced… They also explained to me that I would probably be working 2 days a week in the office with additional take-home jobs until August when one of the designers goes on maternity leave (9 months to a year). Then, if all has been going well up to that point, my understanding is that I would move into her position until she comes back.

So I think I have a job. I’m super excited if I do! :) I have really been hoping for more ways to get involved in the community here and to get out of the house, so this is a real answer to prayer. Not to mention that whole steady paycheck thing.. That’s definitely a bonus. Pray that all goes well and that I mesh into the group and learn things quickly so that they’ll want to keep me :)


Friday, March 21, 2008

Three Scenarios from little to big…

(photo taken from

Ok. It’s time to reveal what’s behind doors #1, 2, and 3. This is the number of options that we have come down to for Ian’s PhD work and I say they are from little to big because the first door is seemingly the least likely, the second a little less least likely (these first two are about the same likelihood, but I had to put them in some kind of order), and the third door is the very most likely.

Door #1:

Ian hears back from St. Louis University, gets accepted and we move in next door to Hope, Wes, and baby (seriously, we could literally live next door to them)…

We’ve heard back from St. Louis once and it was a weird answer. They told us Ian wasn’t accepted or rejected, they hadn’t decided about him yet. They had already sent out the ‘first round’ of acceptances and Ian was not one of those, but he apparently still isn’t rejected. I don’t know if that means they send out the ‘first round’, see who decides to go there and then if there are still spots open they do a ‘second round’ of acceptances to get all the spots filled?? That’s what I’m guessing. There is someone at St. Louis that Ian would really like to study under, so if he did get accepted we’d be faced with a tough decision, but we don’t know how likely it is that he will get accepted since he wasn’t in the ‘first round’.

Door #2

Ian can’t find a suitable supervisor at St Andrews or doesn’t complete his MLitt degree to a satisfactory level to be accepted into the PhD program, so we move back to Indiana and he works on his GRE score, getting things published, and applies to schools again and we go wherever he’s accepted…

I’m obviously not concerned about Ian not doing well enough on the MLitt degree. I have great confidence that he is driven and serious about philosophy and will not disappoint because of that. He cares too much about getting to be a professor to let that happen.

We were concerned for a while that he may not be able to find a suitable supervisor here because there is no one directly interested in the crossover that he wants to do between reformed theology and epistemology. He is working on making the crossover a reality in multiple ways though, and has started hunting for a theology supervisor as well as some philosophy supervisors to oversee his dissertation. He believes that if he can get a PhD in philosophy at St Andrews with input from a reformed theologian, all will be well and he will be getting what he is ultimately looking for in his PhD experience. But all of this has to come together first, which we cannot foresee; therefore, Door #2 is still a possibility.

Door #3

We stay at St Andrews for Ian’s PhD and move back to the States after 3 (or less) years upon finding a job (start praying for that one now!!)…

This is the door that we feel is the most open at this point, and this is what we have made our plan providing doors #1 & 2 become shut. So far, we have not gotten any of the funding that we were hoping for, but have found several other routes of paying for the tuition here that we are exploring further (don’t worry, we’re not selling our kidneys.. although, if they paid us in pounds for them…).

This has been a hard thing for me to swallow, as I really wanted to be back in the states to be more accessible to our families and friends there. Ian, of course, feels the same, but isn’t quite so emotionally overrun as I am. He’s a good stabilizer. Ian made an observation a few weeks ago that I think really hits the nail on the head as far as the way this situation appears to me. He said that he wonders if the Lord has closed seemingly every other door because He wants us here in St Andrews for a time, and He knew that if He gave us any other option we’d make the wrong choice. I know that this is accurate in my heart because I was extremely resistant to the idea of staying here for that long. I love it here and we love our church and have an amazing group of friends, but my heart wanted to be with our family and friends in the States more than anything else. I have found that as I’ve acknowledged this struggle, the Lord has brought me so much peace about being here. I can even be excited with the people who wanted us to stay here now, as opposed to forcing a smile and just acting like I thought it was pretty great too. I do think that the Lord is calling us to stay here. I think he is slowly putting Ian in the paths of the right people to talk about his idea for his dissertation, and bringing us the opportunities and funding we need to be sure again that this is where God wants us.

I’ve learned over the passed 7 months that things are rarely the way they seem, so I don’t think you’ll hear me say that we’re definitely staying here until Ian is happily working away on his PhD with the appropriate supervisors in October. :) But, the way I see it right now, that’s what I’m anticipating.

We are looking forward to being able to make more regular trips to the US though, since Ian won’t have any classes to worry about next year. So we will be around more often than we were this year, which puts my heart at ease. I also have a job interview on Tuesday at a design firm here in St Andrews that would be a really great opportunity for me, and my first official earnings in pounds (which would be extremely helpful to that whole ‘paying tuition’ thing), so please pray that all goes well.

Ian just landed a part time job yesterday as well. His official title will be something like: Promotion and Events Manager for the James Gregory Public Lectures on Science and Religion. Visit to find out more – it’s worth the click. They are very excited to be bringing a philosopher into the mix. You could be praying that Ian finds additional work on top of this for the duration of his PhD, because if he’s able to work part time (at least 18 1/2 hours) for the university there is a possibility that he would earn benefits like having his tuition waved… a very good thing.

So that’s the update. We will keep you posted as the weeks continue on and we find out more, but pray with us that the Lord will make what He wants for us clear and that we would find ourselves with confident hearts in accordance with that.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Well we just said 'ta' to a good friend, Damien, who I worked with at Ridge Haven, and his girlfriend, Emily. Damien is in Spain working with a ministry organization this year, and Emily came to visit him over her spring break. They decided to hit up Ireland and Scotland while she was here and because they are so nice they came to see us in St Andrews for a day and stayed the night with us last night. Hooray! We took them for a tour around St Andrews, fixed them a Scottish meal, and enjoyed an evening together before we said goodbye this morning. They're on their way back to Edinburgh for some more fun for a few more days. Unfortunately I don't think I took a single picture of us with them, so you'll just have to trust me that they were actually here.

We are so thankful for the way the Lord has been faithful to keep us connected to so many friends even while we are feeling so disconnected from so many others. Our doors are always open :)

Stay tuned, I'm going to do a post here soon about where we are headed for the next few years...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Well this is new...

Growing up in Anderson, Indiana means many things, and one of those things is being frequently exposed to motorcycles and mopeds, especially in the summertime. Lots of long, straight roads with beautiful sunsets, all kinds of lush greenery filling backyards and the spaces between the fields, wildlife, and warm summer air.. I mean, I'd want to go for a ride as well.

Then, I lived in Upland, Indiana while at college - home to the best ice cream in the world (and I don't think anyone can convince me otherwise) at Ivanhoe's. In the summertime there are always motorcycle gangs that come through and stop at Ivanhoe's for some ice cream. They come from all over for the many treats that rural Indiana offers in the summer, including things like strawberry festivals, rummage sales, James Dean festivals (well, lots of festivals.. and fairs), old car shows, ice cream, etc.

As we were walking home from church on Sunday, I officially saw something I have never seen before. A moped gang. I'm not exaggerating, there were at LEAST 20 mopeds in the line (and 2 stragglers that came a few minutes later). It was amazing. They came right out of downtown St Andrews heading in the direction of the East Neuk. I have to admit, I laughed. I mean they were grown men on little tiny mopeds painted all kinds of colors... It was funny. I so wished that I had brought my camera to document this new experience.

I considered as well that it seemed fitting that rather than seeing a motorcycle gang (though there are motorcycles around) we saw a moped gang.. a moped, a significantly smaller version of a motorcycle. Like most of the vehicles here, significantly smaller than what you'd generally find in the states.

I got a kick out of it :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Just waiting...

I felt the need to write a little bit about our last few days. You see, Ian and I are waiting to hear back from all the schools he has applied to. Basically, all these schools hold our future in their hands, and sometimes it’s hard for me to deny the fact that I think they might be holding it a little carelessly. But, I am slightly biased, since it is my future :) We really have no idea where we are going to be next year. That has made this year especially difficult, not being certain of how involved we want to get in this community knowing that we very well could be leaving this summer. We have ended up very involved in the community and we are so thankful for it, but it hasn’t been without heartache and struggle.

I’m hoping that we will see a turning point over the next week as we are anticipating hearing back on several key things in the next few days. It is difficult though, to be in a position of unknown, as I’m sure every person reading this can relate to. We’ve gone over our options a million and one times, we’ve looked at our finances, we’ve thought about everything we can possibly foresee happening. But we’re still waiting. We still can’t settle our hearts or our minds.

I was looking over some of my very first posts on this here blog and I realized a few things. Number one, we haven’t taken ANY pictures of our little green monopoly house like we were supposed to, but I do carry it with me everywhere in my wallet. Number two, I cannot in any way deny how clear it was to us that the Lord wanted us here. It is amazing to see pre-Scotland Corrie’s thoughts, her excitement and anticipation, and look at her from this side of the experience to see all the unexpected things that happened, good things, hard things, wonderful growth, and try to harness in that excitement once again. That trust in my Heavenly Father, knowing that no matter what happens He is good and there’s nothing that is going to change that. To rediscover that excitement in the unknown. We don’t know what our future holds and that is ok.

Friday was a hard day and I told Ian I kept feeling really annoyed with the Lord.. That it seems like He’s making this process so much more difficult than it needs to be. I told him that I thought that if I confided that feeling to other people, a lot of them would probably tell me it is normal to feel frustration when you’re waiting for things or they’re not going as planned. I told him, I think it’s normal too, but I don’t think I can honestly say that I think that is the right way for me to feel. It’s fine if I’m frustrated or I don’t understand what the Lord is doing, but for me to direct that at Him and point my finger and say He doesn’t know what’s best for me is not fine. It’s not true. The Lord does know exactly what I need. He knows that I need to wait, to be patient, to work on steadying my heart in times of uncertainty.

I know that my struggles here are trivial compared to what a lot of people deal with in life. I’m not seeking to minimize any of those by my wonderings and musings, but it’s good to get it out on a page now and then. To sort through things.

Psalm 103 verse 5 says that the Lord satisfies the desires of his children with good things so that their youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord is seeking to renew our strength by satisfying our desire for Ian to pursue what we believe he has been called to. He is not seeking to weigh us down or hinder us in any way. He is gracious and good. Compassionate.

So, we will hopefully be making some kind of announcement in the next few weeks regarding the next few years. Until then, here’s to a steady heart and a sure mind, and rest in our Heavenly Father.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Castles, Cathedrals, and Abbeys, oh my!

Well we officially had a wonderful visit with mom and dad during the last week and a half. They got here last Thursday and handled the jet lag amazingly well. They even went to an evening Bible study and managed to stay awake through the entire meeting! Ian and I were very impressed.

We crammed tons of stuff into the few days that we had together, so this has great potential to be a really long post. But, once again, it should be fun! We started out with several full day trips because Ian and I have free Fridays and Mondays. Friday we piled into the car – yes the car! Dad rented a car for the week so we got to enjoy the luxury of traveling AND avoiding public transportation… It’s a beautiful thing.

We went to Stirling and made our first stop – the Wallace monument.

It is a beautiful monument to William Wallace. It was incredibly windy and raining, so we couldn’t go all the way to the top because the workers were afraid we’d get blown away, but we got to go up through almost all the levels. There are openings all the way up the stairwell, so we got wet and wind blown even though we were inside.

On the first level we were greeted with William Wallace himself – or at least a hologram version of him – to tell us his story. Slightly creepy, but it gets the job done

We also saw his sword, which is humungous! It is at least as tall as I am.

Most people think that Wallace was a large man based on the size of his sword – at least 6 feet 6 inches, which was quite enormous at that time. On the outside of the monument is one of the MANY statues of Wallace around the world, and there was a great view of the city, which might have been greater on a sunny day, but it was still nice nonetheless.

We asked one of the workers at the monument to suggest a place for us to eat lunch (not only did we get to ride in a car all week, but we got to go out to eat several times!!). He suggested the River House, which we found out is one in the chain of the ‘House’ restaurants (we have 3 more in St Andrews).

The food was AMAZING!! No exaggeration.. It was sooo good. Ian and I ordered cream of broccoli soup for a starter. It was delectable and I don’t even like cream of broccoli soup.

This was Ian’s lunch and it was so pretty I had to take a picture. :)

Dad decided the only thing you could do after flying to Scotland the day before, and then eating a lunch that good, was take a nap.

Which, he actually did. He went out to the car while we waited for the bill to catch one of his famous five-minute snoozes before we continued on to Stirling Castle.

The castle was impressive, but I think it would have been amazing had we gone in the summer time. There were some really beautiful gardens that were just starting to show off that I bet are wonderful in full bloom.

A view of the city from the castle.

This is a hall that was built by one of the kings (can’t remember which one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his name was James) upon the birth of his son.

This is the fam inside the hall, taken by my camera set on timer – yesssss! I love when I know how to use things!

Another really fun part of the castle was the Banquet Hall. It was really large with 5 fireplaces and curtains hung all over the walls. The ceiling was based on the ceiling in the banquet hall at Edinburgh castle. The best part about the hall was that the special seats for the king and queen were just waiting to be warmed by our tooshies. So, we seized the opportunity and..

we were momentarily royalty. (Ian was even holy royalty as you can see)

The castle has a very cool exhibit about the kitchens with mannequins and fake animals galore. I got a picture and noticed one of the mannequins looked slightly funny…

Ian thought the bread-baker seemed awfully lifelike as well..

After we toured the castle, we decided to head over to Anstruther for the famous fish and chips. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner, as well as some ice cream, and headed home. We learned as the week went on that in Scotland, it is very important that you know where you’re going because the road signs won’t offer you much help. We had some great adventures turning around and repeatedly asking for directions, and while dad was an excellent driver and handled the roundabouts (not to mention 3 navigators and at least 2 back seat drivers) really well, he did have some blunders. We got a little off course and ended up at a golf course in the dark. While we enjoyed an incredible view of the stars, on our way out dad definitely went around a roundabout backwards. Fortunately, we were the only ones back there :) Then as we were getting close to St Andrews, we heard, “Was that a roundabout?? It was so little I ran over it!” Good times…

The next day we decided to head up to the Inverness area to see Urquhart castle. It just so happens that Urquhart is situation on Loch Ness, so we got to see the famed loch. On our way, we even got to see snow capped mountains! Hooray for snow!

Our first view of Loch Ness

We stopped for gas and got a good laugh out of this sign

Beware of those crazy disabled people driving buggies! They’ll getcha! (how that person got their wheelchair into that cart is beyond me)

We really enjoyed visiting Urquhart castle. It is a beautiful ruin and having the Loch right there sets an amazing scene. Oh, and we definitely saw Nessie – no doubt about it!

The first thing we saw in the castle was the corn drier..

So, naturally we had to climb into it and pretend we were corn.

As we were walking around we talked about what we had learned about the castle from the visitors’ center. In all seriousness, Ian was heard saying, “ The reason why they call this one of the bigger castles… (thoughtful pause) is probably because the others are smaller.” It was classic and we all ended up in tears from laughing.

I took far too many pictures of Urquhart, so you’ll have to check out the slideshow if you want to see all of them but here are a few nice ones.

After Urquhart, we decided to head over to Fort George since it wasn’t too far away and we got there with hardly any time left to spare before it closed. So, we turned it into an adventure and took a partial jogging tour of the fort. :) We did get to see quite a lot though, and it is a very cool fort – still used by the military today.

(dad made me the official ‘Vanna White’ for the week)

(we are very mature visitors)

These flags are from the 1700s and they were worn so thin you could see right through them. They were used by different regiments of the military and are now in safe keeping inside the chapel at Fort George.

They had set ups of what the barracks would have been like… Made me thankful I was not the wife of a military man. Only one in one hundred men were allowed to bring their wives with them and they had to sleep in the same room as all the other guys, they just got to hang a sheet over their bed for privacy.. So romantic.

We were all pretty tired heading home and had had a long day of turning around and trying to figure out where we were going, so we just grabbed the easiest thing we could find for dinner – Pizza Hut. I wouldn’t ever opt to go there in the states, but it was soo yummy!! :)

Sunday my parents got to experience our church which was really fun and during the afternoon we walked out to the Old Course so dad could scout it out and get the low down on how he could get himself in the line up to play at some point during the week.

Monday was another free day, so we decided to head to Edinburgh and get a full day there. We stopped in again to St Giles’ cathedral on our way to the castle. We grabbed lunch at the castle in the Red Coat CafĂ© and got to hear the gun that is fired every day at 1pm. It made everyone jump even though we were all staring right at it :) Mom and dad really enjoyed the castle and getting to see the Honours of Scotland.

After the castle we headed back down the Royal Mile to see Holyrood Palace. We got there just in the nick of time as we had exactly one hour to see it, and that was exactly how long the tour lasted – Hooray! The palace was beautiful, but we couldn’t take any pictures of the inside. It is still used as the Queen’s residence when she comes to stay in Edinburgh every year.

I did get some pictures of the outside as well as pictures of the ruins of Holyrood Abbey for you to enjoy.

The gardens of the palace – the Queen throws parties in the garden every summer.

As we were leaving the castle grounds I was thinking about what it must have been like to live in the castle and said, “Can you image what it’s like to live like this? With all this pomp… and circumstance?” Apparently the many years of playing in the band at graduations is still affecting me :)

We ended our time in Edinburgh eating a shockingly expensive dinner (not that it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t THAT good, and the portions were really small) and heading home to enjoy some Bugs Bunny cartoons that Ian found on Youtube – they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. As we were leaving the parking lot, dad was trying to figure out how to get out onto the road and came up perpendicular to a sidewalk. He could see that just beyond the sidewalk was where he wanted to be and his response to this predicament was, “Can I drive over that?” To which mom said, “Well you can, but I don’t think you’re supposed to.”

Tuesday morning dad decided to try his hand at the Old Course and golfed with two Englishmen. He really enjoyed it and got a much better score than anticipated after the walk-around we did on Sunday. He even birdied the 18th hole! He was so proud, and all of us only wished we could’ve been there for that wonderful moment :)

We decided to dine at the Doll’s House that evening which was SO good. I mean, it was the best meal I’ve had in a long time. Ian and I ate the same meal: cream of celeriac soup with bread, and an angus rump steak in a tomato-y marinade with mashed taters and broccoli. It was SO yummy to eat juicy red meat! And, we might have heard, “Did I mention that I birdied the 18th hole?” a few times during the meal. :)

Dad also managed to pick up on some of the lingo here. His favorites were ‘auch!’ and ‘ta!’ and he really liked using them in repeated sequence.

Wednesday was our last full day of activity. We started with yummy scones at the North Point and then I took mom and dad around to the cathedral and castle while Ian was in class. We went into a display of old tombs at the cathedral that I had never gone into before and it was really interesting to learn about the symbolism on the tombs and see some parts of the cathedral I hadn’t seen before.

Then at the castle, I was pleasantly surprised to find some nice bird poses…

(this guy was perched outside a really dirty window, but he was so picturesque I couldn’t resist)

In the afternoon we drove up to Arbroath to visit Arbroath Abbey, which is a really nice place to visit! The visitors’ center is done really well and it’s a beautiful ruin.

Arbroath Abbey is actually based on St Andrews Cathedral in its layout, and there was a lot of crossover history between the two sites, so it was very providential that we had just visited the sites in St Andrews earlier that day!

This is the grave of William the Lion, who served as king of Scotland from 1165 to 1214 when he died. It was crazy to actually see a king’s grave!

And this is a letter that was sent from the Abbey to the Pope (this is a replica, the real thing is still in existence though) regarding the recognition of Scotland's independence.

On our way home, dad came up to a large, obvious roundabout in Dundee and said, “Is this a roundabout?” I know he sounds dangerous, but he was such a good driver and God was so good to keep us safe throughout the week :)

Thursday was our last day together, and unfortunately, Thursdays are our busiest days. But, we still had a good time.. Dad decided to go play golf at the Balcomie course in Crail and said it was really beautiful – the course is along the coast. Mom and I worked on making snacks for Bible study while Ian was at class and in the afternoon mom, Ian and I went to the aquarium while dad was golfing and checking out the British Golf Museum. It was really fun to see the exhibits, and my favorite part by far was visiting Laurel and Hardy – the two seals. I only got a picture of Hardy because Laurel was very shy, but we decided we are definitely going to have to visit again in the summer to see the seals perform :)

We enjoyed our last night together, and mom and dad even surprised us with some early Easter candy. They left in the wee hours of the morning on Friday and so ended our visit – a wave goodbye and one last ‘Ta!’ from dad as they drove away. We were so thankful that the Lord brought them safely to us and took them safely home. It was very encouraging to visit with them and enjoy some good family time after such a hiatus!