Linking Hearts Across the Sea

Melanie —  September 19, 2016

 

I had a super special visit with my sister and her family in Oregon!  I was only there one week but we packed a lot of fun times in.  The journey over was long but went really smoothly – God was very gracious.  Jessah didn’t sleep too much on the way over but she got some catnaps in that kept her going and even though she was awake a lot on the long-haul flight, she was generally happy.  She kept waving and smiling at everyone and being very sweet.  She and Hannah fell asleep during our long layover in San Fransisco we had a joyful meeting with my parents at the airport and then with Amy when we arrived at her house.  Jessah did amazingly well at coping with the jet lag.  She did come down with a tummy bug while we were there which was no fun for her, poor thing, but it was short-lived and thankfully Hannah and I stayed healthy.  The day after we arrived, Hannah went to stay with her good friend Anne for a few days.  They had a wonderful time!  I was able to see some ladies from church one morning – brief but sweet time – and also go to our sending church on Sunday (a shorter than normal time as Jessah was sick) which was very special.  Here are some photos of our visit.  When you live so far away from from family sometimes it feels like your heart is in two places.  I felt quite emotional leaving but so grateful for the memories made with people I love so much.

 

This is us, all excited, just before the plane took off from London!  Hannah was a great help with Jessah (lots of people thought we were sisters and/or that Hannah was Jessah’s mum – yikes!)

 

My sister and brother in law, their kids and Jessah

 

Amy and me and Elly and Jessah – matching outfits from Aunt Carol!

Amy also got them matching sleepers. It was hilarious trying to pose them for a photo – they wanted to do everything but take a photo! This one was probably the best one.

 

Elly didn't want to give up looking at her book - so we gave Jessah one too (we laughed so hard when we realised the title was something about Loving the Man in your Life!)

Elly didn’t want to give up looking at her book – so we gave Jessah one too (we laughed so hard when we realised the title was something about Loving the Man in your Life!)

 

Hmmm . . .what shall we cook for dinner?

 

Jessah is really into waving at the moment. She is so happy and friendly with everyone!

 

It was so fun celebrating Elly's second birthday! She is such a cheerful little girl with a lot of spunk!

It was so fun celebrating Elly’s second birthday! She is such a cheerful little girl with a lot of sweet energy!

 

What a sweetheart! A friend made this chalkboard for Elly's party.

What a sweetheart! A friend made this chalkboard for Elly’s party.

 

Mmmm – birthday cake!

 

The boys getting into the birthday theme with their bee stingers!

 

Jessah got to sit on a horse for the first time - she wasn't too impressed!

Jessah got to sit on a horse for the first time – she wasn’t too impressed!

 

 

It was so nice to see my Mom and Dad too. I got to do a picnic lunch with each of them individually.

 

Hannah had an amazing time with her friend Anne. And I enjoyed getting to chat with her mum for a bit too when she dropped Hannah back. Good friends are such a blessing.

 

Anne and Jessah

 

Anne and Hannah bizarrely came across this turtle near Anne's house!

Anne and Hannah bizarrely came across this turtle near Anne’s house!

 

Hannah also got to spend some time with her friend Esther! Very special.

 

Fun at the park

 

It was a treat to get to spend concentrated time with my nieces and nephews.

 

Claire and Jessah

 

More park fun!

 

Hannah and Amy

 

Auntie memories . . . here Jessah is wearing the same outfit that Elly wore last summer when Jessah was still inside me!

 

All tuckered out on our journey home . . . we had an amazing trip!

 

Jessah was pretty wasted when we got home (so were Hannah and I!) but jet lag didn't last long and it's been great to be back all together as a family.

Jessah was pretty wasted when we got home (so were Hannah and I!) but jet lag didn’t last long and it’s been great to be back all together as a family.

 

 

It was such a special trip – a gift from God.  If you prayed for me, thank you so much.  Now we are back into the swing of things with school and “normal” life.  We would appreciate prayer for us as we continue to serve our family and church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Wing

Melanie —  August 29, 2016

Jessah at 9 months

August has been a full and fun month.  Peter loved his time in Boston studying Christ-Centred Preaching and came back re-inspired and encouraged.  The kids and I have been enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve had.  Joel has played hours and hours of football with neighbour boys and Mariah and Kaylah have been doing dog-walking for people in our neighbourhood to earn a bit of money.  Of course they are wanting a dog of our own but Mom and Dad are not so sure about that!  Kaylah is now on lesson 43 of her 100 Easy Reading Lessons so we have been busy helping her through those.  Jessah is learning all kinds of new skills like standing up and climbing into the dishwasher.  Aliyah has been helping me with school planning and organising and Hannah has been enjoying lots of time reading, skyping with her friend in Oregon and looking forward to flying across the ocean to see her!  She has been counting down the days for months and now the big day has finally arrived.

We (Hannah, Jessah and I) are mostly packed and ready for our trip to Oregon to see family!  We leave tomorrow morning and would very much appreciate your prayers for a smooth and healthy (no migraines!) trip.  It will be about 24 hrs. door to door and my body struggles to cope with journeys like this.  However, I know our Father will be with us and we feel so blessed to be able to make this trip (frequent flyer miles from my hubby!).  Can’t wait to see my parents, sister, brother in law and nieces and nephews.  Peter and the remaining four kids will be holding down the fort here.  They are going to our good friends’ church in Devon this coming weekend where Peter will be doing a preaching seminar and then speaking there on Sunday morning before whizzing back to Chippenham for our special Sunday afternoon family service (with a special international theme!).  Then on Monday he’ll start school with the four kids at home (go daddy go!).  Please pray for us as we embark on another year of discipling and teaching the Meadlings.  Here are some photos for you (mostly of Jessah this time!) . . . I’ll write again after I get home from the USA.

I love how Jessah delights in Peter and he delights in her. A picture of our heavenly Father's delight in us.

I love how Jessah delights in Peter and he delights in her. A picture of our heavenly Father’s delight in us.

She just lights up whenever she sees him.

Watch out world - here I come!

Watch out world – here I come!

Here's the dishwasher skill . . .

Here’s the dishwasher skill . . .

Ha, got a bowl!

Ha, got a bowl!

Sleeping on Aliyah while we were out one day . . . hoping she'll do this on the plane tomorrow!

Sleeping on Aliyah while we were out one day . . . hoping she’ll do this on the plane tomorrow!

Miss Kaylah helping me plant some September asters in memory of the little unborn one we lost two years ago.

Miss Kaylah helping me plant some September asters in memory of the little unborn one we lost two years ago.

Here's Joel and some of his friends from church at Krispy Kreme - kids' club outing.

Here’s Joel and some of his friends from church at Krispy Kreme – kids’ club outing.

Summer Days

Melanie —  August 2, 2016

This photo of Kaylah was taken a couple of weeks ago during a spell of very hot weather we had – well, hot for England, anyways!  That week happened to be our family “staycation” week.  We decided instead of going away on holiday, that we’d switch off our phones and computers and enjoy some family time at home.  Our week included activities like playing Scalectric (we turned our schoolroom into a racetrack!), going for walks, sleeping in a tent in the backyard, going for a boat ride, eating lots of ice cream, playing games, reading, going to a police dog show, watching films and trying to stay cool as the weather was very warm!  Here are a few photos from that week:

 

The hot weather was a good excuse to eat lots of ice cream treats!

 

Even Jessah got to try a few bites!

 

Family walk . . .

 

 

 

 

Kaylah has been poring over cake decorating books, trying to decide which cake she wants for her 5th birthday (in February!). It looks like Jessah is having fun helping her decide.

Our staycation was a lot of fun but unfortunately, by the middle of it, we were dealing with a nasty virus which almost all of us got in the end.  It was a 24 hr thing for most of us, but it was disappointing timing and was especially draining for me (Melanie) who had it the worst.  After I was mostly recovered, I ended up having trouble sleeping for about 3 days so was left very drained (and discouraged) last week. I am doing better this week but still feeling a bit lacking in energy.  It’s these relatively minor trials that remind us of our human frailty, our need to rely on our Father every moment of every day.  It also has made us thankful for the good health we enjoy most of the time.  Someday we will have those perfect bodies God is preparing for us now and pain and struggle will be just a memory.  In the meantime we press on by faith and trust in Him.

The month of July also included, amongst other things,  a youth campout for Hannah and Aliyah, our church weekend away and a visit to OM Ireland outreach team for Peter. Aliyah and Mariah are currently at another camp this week with a friend, our former neighbour.  Please pray for a spiritually significant week for them.

Looking back a little farther, here are some photos from the month of June.  That month included finishing up school, my birthday and our 18th wedding anniversary (we had 2 nights away with Jessah!), a visit from my aunt, a trip up to Scotland to see friends and a trip to Weymouth with my aunt for the four older kids.  Whew, I guess it was a busy month!

Fun under a blanket with big brother Joel!

 

Jessah gets scooped up by her siblings in all kinds of places around the house.  Here she is "helping" Aliyah do maths.

Jessah gets scooped up by her siblings in all kinds of places around the house. Here she is “helping” Aliyah do maths.

 

She has been scooting along for a couple months now and gets where she wants to go – fast!

 

Here I am with all the children on my birthday.  I still believe I have the best job in the world and the best children in the world!

 

They turned the schoolroom into a restaurant for us and made us an amazing birthday dinner!

 

After dinner, they performed a very special song for me (words written by Peter). It was an incredibly touching birthday present.

 

We enjoyed a lovely visit with my aunt Carol. She was a great help and we had lots of fun together. She even stayed longer than planned to help me while Peter was in Ireland.

 

She took the older four down to Weymouth for 3 nights. They had so much fun!

 

At the same time, Peter and I took the little girls up to Aberdeen to visit some dear friends. Here is Kaylah in the sandpit with her friend.

 

We did a few outings – one to Bowood – while my aunt was here.

 

This girl brings us so much joy!

 

The children did an end of year presentation for us, my aunt and Peter's parents.  It included musical pieces and poetry recitations that they chose themselves (some of them were quite long!).  I am proud of all the hard work they have put into their schooling this year.

The children did an end of year presentation for us, my aunt and Peter’s parents. It included musical pieces and poetry recitations that they chose themselves (some of them were quite long!). I am proud of all the hard work they have put into their schooling this year.  Here they are with their end of year certificates.

 

We have had fun BBQing a few times over the summer. Peter's parents joined us for one.

We have had fun BBQing a few times over the summer. Peter’s parents joined us for one.

 

The month ahead will Lord willing include a week-long trip to Boston (6th-11th) for Peter (he is a student this time in a Christ-centred Preaching class), a Cor Deo intensive (16th-19th) and a trip to the USA for Hannah, Jessah and me (30th-7th).  We’ve also been busy changing rooms around in our house a bit, preparing for next school year and of course church involvement.  The kids have some summer goals they are working on too (musical, Bible and exercise).  Peter and I are generally feeling a bit drained and lacking in motivation for things.  We’d appreciate prayer for a close walk with Jesus and appropriate times of rest and rejuvenation.  We long to be fruitful for Him and to be faithful to love and serve the people He brings into our paths each day. Thank you for praying for our family – we need a moment by moment connection with our Father so much – through the ups and downs of ministry and family life – apart from Him we can do nothing.  We hope to send out a more ministry focused update in the next few days so watch your inbox for that!