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.
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. 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.
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!