Archives For Family News

 

God designed the family and relationships in general in such a beautiful way.  They are such a gift.  We just returned from nearly 3 wonderful weeks of together time as a family in France and Spain.  We are so thankful to God for such a special time!  Here are a few pictures that tell the story of our time away.

Our first stop was Normandy and our focus was on soaking up the history of the famous D-Day Landings which turned the tide of WW2. It was incredible to walk on the beaches where it all happened.

 

Here we are on Omaha Beach. We were thankful for dry weather although it was quite cold.

 

The Visitor’s Centre and American Cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach was a very moving experience.

 

Another amazing place was Pointe du Hoc, a German stronghold high on the rocks above the sea. The US Army Rangers scaled the cliffs under heavy fire to take the site on D-Day. You can still climb in and out of many of the bunkers and Joel and the girls loved climbing and exploring them.

 

Pointe du Hoc is full of large craters which were created by Allied bombs just prior to D-Day. Here are the Meadlings inside one of them.

 

 

The Germans had heavily fortified the Normandy coast and had spread thousands of obstacles all over the beach to stop an invasion. You can still see many of them today. Here is Joel with a “Czech hedgehog” near Utah Beach.

 

There are many, many memorials all over the area to honour the thousands of Allied soldiers who gave their lives in the D-Day invasions and in the weeks of fighting that followed. This memorial was in an old German bunker and caught my eye especially because of the verse inscribed on the plaque: “Greater love has no one than this that he would lay down his life for his friends.” The many stories of bravery and sacrifice that we read were truly inspiring. I plan on writing a separate post soon with my reflections on our time at the D-Day Beaches. I was incredibly touched by all we experienced.

 

It wasn’t all serious though . . . there’s always time for some light relief and humour when Joel is around!

 

Our next stop was in central France at a friend’s parents’ house in Civray. We had a delightful time there. The house is an old mill on a river. It was beautiful.

 

The children enjoyed playing around outside, swimming in the small indoor pool and eating French bread and cheese!

 

The weather wasn’t too great while we were there but we made the best of it and enjoyed being cosy around the fire and of course enjoyed the sun when it came out. Here are Aliyah and Kaylah out on the river.

 

I love this photo of Jessah watching the action down the stairs (I was watching that she didn’t fall!) and Hannah in the background, reading a book up on a concrete ledge!

 

It was so nice to be together with no time pressures.

 

Unfortunately, our last hours in Civray included Kaylah tripping and cutting her chin. We had a great experience at the French hospital though . . . (I was grateful Peter spoke enough French to help us communicate) and three stitches later we were on the road again!

 

Our last stop was the gorgeous Pyrenees in northern Spain. What an amazing part of the world!

 

My parents flew over from the USA and met us there for a very special time together. We stayed in an old stone house in a very quiet village. The kids said it felt like we were living in a cave.

 

It was so special for the Meadlings to get time with their American grandparents.

 

Thanks Mom and Dad for flying across the world (not without a few hassles!) to see us.

 

We did a lot of hiking, including climbing a hill just outside our village. Here are Mariah and Joel a short way up the trail. The house we stayed in is near to the church steeple.

 

And here was the awesome view from the top!! God is amazing!!

 

We all fitted in plenty of reading time . . . Joel’s book was so good in this case that he needed to finish it during a picnic in the mountains.

 

Miss Kaylah is also becoming quite the reader.

 

It was fun to explore the medieval town nearby . . .

 

. . . paddle in the mountain streams (brrrr . . . cold!!) . . .

 

. . . and enjoy simple pleasures like throwing rocks . . .

 

. . . enjoying good food . . .

 

. . . and playing with the village dogs who never tired of having us throw pine cones for them to chase . . .

 

Joel enjoyed watching the lizards which frequented a rock outside of our house.  There were also birds of prey everywhere.  One day Peter and I had a magnificent display of a huge flock of vultures who landed on something dead near the road we were driving on.  We got to see them right up close.

 

The Ergo baby carrier came in handy for all the walks and hikes we did – thanks to my sister for that!

 

 

I think the hiking and the gorgeous scenery was probably my favourite part of being in Spain.

 

A holiday with my Mom is never complete without doing at least one jigsaw puzzle – we ended up doing three this time! (The person who stole the last piece of one of them shall remain nameless 🙂 )

 

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Heavenly Lights. It was such a gift to be able to soak in His beauty, goodness and love these last three weeks.

 

We are back now but cherishing the memories.  The time away has been very restorative and we are trusting God as we re-enter life and ministry here in Chippenham.  We plan on writing a ministry update shortly.  Peter is off to Poland on Friday for his annual teaching week at the European Leadership Forum.  Please pray for him to have a time of significant and fruitful ministry.  Also we would ask for your prayers for Jessah who chipped two teeth the night before our holiday.  A dentist told us that she would probably need to have them removed and that her adult teeth may also be damaged.  We have been praying for healing and that this would not be the case.  We see our normal dentist on Thursday so please pray if it’s God’s will, she will be able to keep her teeth.  Thank you for all your prayers for us.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, our birthday season has officially come to a close now that Hannah has turned sixteen last week!  I thought I’d share some photos of the festivities of the past few weeks.  It’s been a full four weeks but really fun and joyful for all of us.  We thank God for our wonderful girls and the way they are growing up, especially growing up in their faith.

Kaylah was our first birthday girl. She turned five on the 1st of February.

 

Aunt Carol was here to help with the party preparations. She was a great help!

 

Kaylah’s party was a rainbow theme . . .

 

Rainbow fruit . .

 

And rainbow jelly!

 

Everyone wanted to get into the action, putting m&m’s on the cake. Well, most of them made it onto the cake! 🙂

 

Happy Birthday sweet Kaylah! We love you! And as she told me the other day herself: Jesus will never, never, never stop loving you!

 

Aliyah’s special day was next. She turned 14 on the 5th of February.

 

Aunt Carol took us out to lunch on her birthday – it was a yummy treat!

 

We thank God for Aliyah and her heart for Jesus and the way she serves others so generously.

 

While Aunt Carol was visiting we did a really fun outing to the SS Great Britain in Bristol. It was a fascinating place to visit.

 

We got to dress up inside the museum!

 

We had such a special time with Aunt Carol. Here she’s having a cuddle with Jessah.

 

Aunt Carol and all the Meadlings. Her visits are always so special.

 

Thanks for visiting and for all you did for us Aunt Carol!

 

We enjoyed another family visit from our niece Rebecca.  While she was here we went to Castle Combe (known as the “prettiest village in England”) for a walk. We had a really special time with Rebecca while she was here – come back soon Rebecca!

 

 

Next it was Mariah’s turn . . . she turned 12 on the 19th of February.

 

We went for a fun walk in the woods at Castle Combe on Mariah’s birthday with our friend Alex from Slovenia.

 

Mariah’s friendly, joyful spirit is such a blessing to us. We are thankful for her desire to follow Jesus too.

 

In the midst of birthday season, the Cor Deo women’s programme was going on. It was a joy to spend time with Gretchen, our friend who led the programme, and the other ladies who were here.

 

And last but not least, it was Hannah’s birthday! She turned 16 on the 2nd of March.

 

Here is Aliyah frosting Hannah’s nutella and cream cheese (6 layer!) cake. Yum!

 

Peter and I feel old . . we can hardly believe that we have a sixteen year old daughter!! Hannah is such a delight to us and we are excited to see where God takes her in the years to come.

 

The non-birthday season Meadlings – Joel and Jessah – enjoyed celebrating too.  (There is lots of cake to be eaten in the Mead household this time of year!)

 

By the fourth birthday celebration, Jessah even tried to get into the action by “blowing” up balloons!

 

So cute to see her trying to copy us all. She is growing up so much!

 

So March is marching on now . . . our days are full with homeschooling and people God brings to us to spend time with and hopefully point to Christ. Peter is enjoying preaching through the book of Daniel at church and preparing for another Cor Deo intensive coming up in a few weeks.  Please let us know how we can pray for you.  As always, we value prayer for physical stamina and closeness to Jesus so we can serve our family and others with full “tanks.”

We were in Daniel 4 last week . . .and reminded of how God is the one in total control in our lives.  We need Him so much.  The last verse of the chapter is this one:  “All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”  Please pray we rely on Him every day and keep our hearts humble and reliant on Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smiles from Jessah

Melanie —  February 20, 2017

 

 

Jessah made us all laugh recently . . . . this girl LOVES food – especially anything sweet!  After Aliyah’s birthday meal, we were praying around the table like we often do – this time for Aliyah – and Kaylah and Jessah were coming in and out of the room, playing with each other.  Suddenly Kaylah came and said to me in an intense whisper:  “Jessah is eating cookies!”  I went into the lounge and sure enough, Jessah was sat with a large plate of cookies, munching away! (She’d carried the plate from it’s place in the front bedroom, all the way into the lounge!) She’d taken one bite out of 3 different cookies by the time I arrived!  She looked up at me sweetly and did the sign for “please!”  Oh my goodness, it was hilarious and it slightly interrupted the prayer time next door as everyone dissolved in laughter!  (Hannah and Aliyah didn’t even mind too much that their cookie plate for a party was slightly depleted!) And I bet our heavenly Father didn’t even mind too much that we pressed pause on the prayer time to enjoy the antics of a little person.

And another story from today . . . After six children, you’d think that I would know a 15-month old has no concept of “yesterday!”  Well, I have been reminded of that today.  🙂  I was reading Jessah a story just now before her nap and one page had a car on it.  She LOVES cars and going out in the car and started saying “car, car, car!”  I said, “Yes, yesterday we went in the car to church and saw your friends.”  A minute later I was singing her her bedtime song and she started pointing toward the door.  I laid her in her bed, like I always do and she burst into tears and started saying, “car, car, car!”  Poor girl, yesterday is a hard concept for a little girl!  She obviously thought we were going out right now in the car!  We had another cuddle and I tried to explain.  She calmed down after a while and I think resigned herself to not going out.  Lesson learned – don’t talk to your 15 month old about what happened yesterday!

Maybe we could all take a lesson from Jessah (and the apostle Paul!) . . . Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)