Saturday, June 14, 2008

FYI: There are 6 posts below and a new slideshow!! Saturday is update-the-blog-day :)

Number of times I’ve had my windows cleaned by random Scottish men: 1

Ian and I went out on Wednesday morning to the auction house. We’re looking for some desks to enhance the surface area in our house for our various desky activities. We didn’t really find anything we liked so we left without making any commitments (but it was pretty amazing to hear a Scottish auctioneer). We stopped by Tesco on the way home which delayed our arrival a bit. When we got to our street, we were totally dumbfounded by the fact that there were two men up on ladders cleaning our windows (which were very well covered in giant seagull poo). We were caught off guard enough to stand on the corner for several minutes debating whether or not we should go into our own home which these two men had now had the pleasure of viewing through our open curtains (they saw things like, a thoroughly tornadoed bedroom, a chicken carcass in the kitchen from dinner the night before, and chairs scattered through our living room with one of those giant exercise balls among them – all for very explainable reasons.. but I wasn’t there to explain.. I secretly want to have a spotless house all the time, but I hide it well). We pulled up our britches and decided it’s our house, so we’re going in! And to our relief, they started climbing down their ladders. So, as we walked in we were discussing how this might have come about. I thought maybe it could’ve been Fife Council that does it to keep the city looking nice.. but not without a bill.. Then I thought, ‘they’re not going to send us a BILL are they??’ We decided not to worry about it and just enjoy the clean windows. We’d been wondering for weeks what people do about getting their windows cleaned here because ours were so icky.

The next morning, I asked about it at work.. You know, if it’s normal to have 2 random guys show up to clean your windows with no warning. They said no. So we decided it must be something that our landlord has set up for us. Thanks landlord!

Number of times I’ve been woken up by bagpipes: 1

We stayed out late last night (Oh and by the way, we were out past 1am and when we were walking home, there was still light in the sky over the ocean. It was significant, very visible light, not just the exaggerations of someone who wants to make the amount of light here in the summer time seem crazy.. I mean, that is crazy! We were shocked.. anyway..) and decided to sleep in this morning since neither of us had any activities until 10. The alarm had gone off a few times and we were still snoozin. Then, in my sleepy stupor, I thought I heard bagpipes. At first I thought it was the radio alarm, but they just wouldn’t stop! Then I realized – they’re outside my window!!! So I got up to peek out and there was a little procession going down the street of a police car, a bagpiping band, some people hold flags that said something about the Royal Legion I think, and a whole bunch of elderly women. And they were carrying poppy wreathes which is a sure sign they were headed for the war memorial. I’m not sure what it was for, but I looked up this day in Scottish history and here’s what I found…

June 14 1789 - Whisky distilled from maize was first produced - by a clergyman, the Rev Elijah Craig. He called the new liquor "bourbon" because he lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

June 14 1940 - Queen Mary, Aquitania, Empress of Canada, and Empress of Britain arrive in the River Clyde with the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops.

June 14 1946 -
John Logie Baird, inventor of the first television, died.

June 14 1966 -
Walter McGowan wins World Fly-weight Championship.

So, I still don’t know what the procession was for, but I was commenting to Ian how much I love living in our apartment here. Since we’re right on the street that leads up to the cathedral, most of the processions and events happen over this way. So, even though we never have any idea what’s going on ahead of time, we can still catch them as they come past our house :)

Number of times I might have been pooped on a little: 12

Next topic.. I think I might be getting pooped on when I walk to work. I know you’d think I would know if that was happening, but I’ve been feeling these little tiny drops of something hit my face occasionally as I walk under all the trees on South Street. I asked one of my coworkers if she’d ever experienced that, and after a good laugh she said she didn’t think so, but she’d try to remember to pay attention in case she did. (I’m thinking maybe I should stop asking my coworkers things after writing this post… I must sound completely ridiculous) So, I’m not sure what it is, but I’m not imagining it.. When it first happened a couple weeks ago, I was convinced it was poo, just a little tiny bit, and it landed on my lip so naturally I kind of freaked out. But, I was almost home so I just made sure not to lick my lips until I got home and clean. Then I felt it AGAIN on another day. And it just keeps happening. It could be wetness from the trees, but it is just a little disconcerting..

Number of times I’ve enjoyed a game of Ultimate Frisbee: 1… whoa.

Frisbee. It’s the new fun thing in the Church household. We bought one a couple weeks ago as an early birthday present for Ian (he’s been wanting one for a loooooong time) when it was sunny and warm, and had a blast playing on the beach together. Well, now I can’t get enough Frisbee. I’m horrible at throwing it, but every once in a while, I throw it really well and that keeps me going for the next 67 horrible throws. It’s just really nice to have an outside activity that gives us a reason to play on the beach or in the grass. We even played ultimate Frisbee with some friends on the beach last weekend and it was FUN.. That’s never happened before. I always feel like people take ultimate far too seriously, and as I mentioned I can’t throw a Frisbee, so I usually spend the game wishing inwardly with all my might that I was doing something else.

Number of times I’ve gotten to watch my hubby celebrate another year of his life: 8

The best part of this week so far was the fact that my hubby turned 25 on Monday!!! I had been making plans for quite a while, and much to my delight didn’t have to work on Monday so I got to spend the day with Ian and getting things ready for our celebration. I made him biscuits and gravy for breakfast – his favorite (we managed to completely confuse a few people here who think ‘cookies’ when they hear ‘biscuits’, and gravy like you’d put on mashed potatoes when you say gravy.. they were kind of disgusted.. but we explained..). Then the rest of the day was dedicated to cleaning and… the cookie monster cake! We had to explain ourselves on this one several times as well. Ian has had a cookie monster cake from Concannon’s Bakery in Muncie for as long as he can remember on his birthday. I took over the duties of getting him one after we got married.. but then… we moved to… Scotland! And they don’t have such things at the bakeries here. So, I got to show of my mad baking skeelz and make him on myself (all from scratch.. even the icing.. store bought stuff is just too darn expensive).

So without further ado. Let me introduce you to………

Cookie Monster, Church syle :)

He came out really cute and Ian LOVED it. I also made chex mix for the partay, and we had champagne that an overjoyed customer gave me at work. We had a group of friends over and filled ourselves with goodies and enjoyed discussing things like which sesame street character is our favorite and what Ian is going to do with himself in his 25th year. (I suppose it's really his 26th, but, whatever..)

I am just so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with Ian. In so many ways..

Number of times I have been so thankful to have the joy of being Ian’s wife: 1,063 (if you only count once per day :) )

Thursday, June 12, 2008


We saw one of these today... in real life. Real life. Flying.



I was speechless. Ian thought it was funny.

Just one of the many cool things about living right next door to an RAF base.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

In a Little Red Barn

(I found this picture on the web, courtesy of Jim Yost. Thanks Jim.)

(2nd post of the day! I actually wrote these posts last Saturday and just got around to putting them up.)

I think if you’ve read much of my blog, it’s no secret that I am madly in love with Indiana.

My Grandpa was in the Navy, so my Mom and the rest of her family did a lot of moving around when she was growing up. They finally settled at the Naval base in Panama City and that is the house I’ve always known my Grandparents in. My Mom moved to Indiana on a mission with Campus Crusade for Christ, later met my Dad, and they stayed there and raised us chitlins.

I still remember the first time I discovered and remained aware of the fact that my Grandpa was actually from Indiana. Using my little brain, I had deduced that since I had only known him in Florida, that must be where he was from. Learning that he was from the same place I was from made me feel a new connection with him that I thought was really cool. It was like a whole new world in which I could relate to Grandpa.

One of the many things my Grandpa is known for is singing to the babies. He always has some tune or song that often involves clapping and great amounts of encouragement to dance to direct toward any grandchild willing to be captivated by it.

He managed to captivate a few of the older grandchildren a few years ago by singing a song called “In a Little Red Barn.” At the time, Hope was working at Ridge Haven and so was always on the lookout for good ‘camp’ items to take with her – especially songs, since you had to sing for your mail. She had Grandpa sing the song over and over until she had the whole thing memorized. I hadn’t really thought about the song until I was talking to her the other night and she started singing it. I looked it up and found out that Grandpa taught us the chorus, but there are actually verses that go along with it! I don’t know the tune to the verses, but I think it is a wonderful song written by someone else who shared my sentiments…

First Verse

I was born 'way down in Indiana,

Wish that I were there right now.

Want to hear my dog bow-wow

When I go to milk the cow.

Raised on corn 'way down in Indiana,

So was ev'ry little hen.

I was mighty happy then;

Wish that I were back a-gain:


In a little red barn on a farm down in Indiana,

Let me lay my back on a stack of new mown hay.

'Round the barnyard where the farmyard folks are pally,

Let me dilly-dally all the live-long day.

I'm a Hoosier who's blue, thru and thru, and my heart is pining

For the sycamore trees where the Wabash breezes play.

What's more, I'm pining for a yellow moon that's shining

On a little red barn on a farm down Indiana way.

Second Verse

Work was done 'way down in Indiana,

Picked the eggs the chickens lay;

Pushed the plow and pitched the hay;

Ev'ry day a busy day.

Had my fun 'way down in Indiana

When the sun would go to rest.

Saw it sinkin' in the West;

That's the time I liked the best.

Chorus (repeat)

I don’t want to deceive any readers into thinking I actually experienced all of these farmy things. I grew up around farms and fields out in the boonies, appreciating them and visiting/walking in them, but didn’t actually have the pleasure of such things as milking the cow and pushing the plow. I just live vicariously through songs like this.

In case you’re really curious, here are the lines that directly apply to my life in and feelings for Indiana…

First verse: 1, 2, 3, 5-8
Chorus: All of it
Second verse: 1, 4-8

What a great thing to be reminded of! Many thanks to Grandpa and Hopie :)

Vitamin D

We are officially over 19 hours of daylight each day, and still have nearly three weeks to go before we hit summer solstice! There have been points when we’ve been gaining nearly 5 minutes of daylight EVERYDAY. We are getting down to between 2 and 2½ minutes now, as we approach June 21. It’s amazing how much more energy I have when offered over 19 hours of light in my day (unless of course, those early hours of daylight have robbed me from some precious sleep). My genius husband figured out that if we hang all the blankets over the curtains when we go to sleep at night, we can sleep peacefully right through our morning twilight at about 3:30 am, and then sunrise following about an hour later.

Here’s a picture of sunset at around 10 o’clock last Saturday night.

And a picture of some of our last moments of daylight around 11 the same night.

One of my favorite things is to talk to people who have lived here their whole lives and don’t think twice about these changes. I find each new thing I learn about Scotland’s environment so interesting.. I think if I’d gone out with Lewis and Clark back in the day, my head would have just exploded.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Do you ever have trouble being patient?

Sometimes I have a hard time dealing with having to wait for things. In my eyes, it seems like it would be perfect if everything would just work out the way I planned it. I mean, perfect. It doesn’t make any sense at all for it not to work out that way because it seems so good.

The last year and a half have been that way in a lot of areas of life. We just knew with our whole hearts that something was going to happen. And then those somethings never did happen.. Or they certainly didn’t happen the way we expected.

I wish that I could just cultivate a trusting heart. A heart that is patient. I wish I could have it right now! :) I want so much to wait patiently and see that the Lord is good, as I have so many times. It is always better according to His plan, because His eyes see everything. They see me from start to finish and know just exactly what needs to happen.

I am realizing how gentle the Lord has been with me, and how He continues to be so, but in different ways. Up until this last year, I don’t recall ever being so confused about what the Lord was doing with me. I had such confidence in His plans because they fit right with where my heart was. Well now my heart has been to Timbuktu and back and is still searching to find harmony with the Lord’s plan. It’s hard to find harmony when you don’t really know the melody, you know?

So I’m trying to take myself back to the basics. What do I know with certainty about the God that has captivated me? These are the things I want to cling to 24 hours of my day. Maybe I can’t make each event of my life fit into what I am expecting of Him, but there are unquestionable foundations to my faith that do not change, regardless of my daily circumstances. Like the unconditional love I mentioned yesterday. That doesn’t change and never has changed. If I am loved so completely, then I am safe and can find peace knowing that only the best will be done.

I think mostly, this is what growing up is like. My whole life I have had a solid network of love and support that I could see and touch, right there with me. That network isn’t gone, but it’s not so easy to come by. I am learning that it was much easier to trust the Lord when I had a whole herd of other people encouraging and helping me to do it. When I had a clear view of what my purpose each day was. My foundation was Him, but it included that herd of people as well. Last summer I began to feel like that foundation was slowly being knocked away and I was becoming so uncertain of myself. An uncertainty that was only encouraged as there are so many things we have been unsure of during our first year here.

I spend a lot of time mulling things over in my head these days and have found that there is always a battle going on in there. The side of me that is secure and trusting the Lord, and the side of me that is frustrated and impatient and wishes it was more like the other side. For whatever reason, I have found that often the battleground is the thickest on Sunday afternoons. So. I thought I’d write about it.