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Mead Family Europe Trip

Melanie —  July 10, 2019

We had the opportunity to take a family road trip in Europe just after Easter.  We’d saved and planned for this trip for quite some time – it was such a special time!  We were able to be together as a family and see so many beautiful and historic places while enjoying a break from our normal busy lives.  It’s taken me awhile to get the photos together to post . . . but here they are!  We are so thankful to God for this trip. It was such a gift.

Our first stop was Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther’s hometown and the place of so much history from the Protestant Reformation. Here we are in front of the famous door of Castle Church where Luther nailed the 95 theses.

 

Climbing the tower of Castle Church. It was quite a climb but the view at the top was worth it!

 

The Luther Museum was fascinating. Here’s Kaylah in front of a printing press.

 

The Mead ladies posing with Luther’s wife, Katerina von Bora. May we all be used by God to change the world as she was!

 

We loved Wittenberg. It was quiet, non-touristy and the weather was perfect. This is the Castle Church tower.

 

Jessah was served the most enormous bowl of spaghetti at this open air cafe. The older couple sitting near us took great delight in watching her tackle it – as did we!

 

During our crazy 16 hr. drive from England to Wittenberg, we drove by Wartburg Castle – where Martin Luther famously translated the New Testament into German in just 11 weeks. We couldn’t go inside but it was amazing to see the castle even from a distance.

 

Mariah and Hannah

 

All in all, the first leg of our trip was a super fun success!

 

Our next stop was Prague. We spent only half a day there but it was wonderful and thankfully we avoided getting drenched by a thunderstorm which broke just as we returned to our van. This is part of Prague Castle (which you climb a very steep flight of steps to reach.)

 

The beautiful Vltava river.

 

And the famous Charles Bridge.

 

Hannah and Aliyah in front of the astronomical clock (which has some very strange symbolic features . . . google it if you are interested!)

 

We tried the Prague specialty cake – trdelnik – yum!

 

Our next destination was Austria. This is the beautiful town of Halstatt in the Austrian Lake District.

 

Such a gorgeous place!

 

And my gorgeous girls – at least in this mum’s humble opinion!

 

All the Meadlings in front of the lake (see) at Halstatt.

 

After a couple of rainy days, it actually snowed all day on the 1st of May! Let’s just say we were very unprepared for weather this cold! Thank goodness for warm blankets. We did really have fun outdoors in short stints but we also enjoyed staying warm inside in front of the fire, reading, playing games ,etc.

 

This was the view from the house where we were staying.

 

And this was the view just 2 days later!

 

We took advantage of the one sunny day to see Salzburg – probably my favourite place that we visited on this trip. Such a beautiful city.

 

Quite a bit of The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg. We had lots of fun finding some of the sites from the film. Here we are in front of the Abbey where the children went to find Maria after she had left them. It’s also the location where the real Maria and Captain Von Trapp were married.

 

Gorgeous view from near the Abbey!

 

The fortress on the hill is a famous Salzburg landmark.

 

Kaylah and Jessah on a stone lion (near where the von Trapp children sang Do Re Mi on the steps in Mirabelle Gardens.)

 

Mariah and Joel with a gnome that also appears in the film.

 

The day we left Austria, we drove up this mountain and rode a chair lift up and bobsleds down! It was one of the most fun things we did on the trip!

 

At the top!

 

Breath-taking views!

 

The next day we made a quick stop in San Marino, the world’s 5th smallest country. (Built on top of a hill!

 

View from the top!

 

Our final destination was beautiful Italy. We spent one day in Rome, which was fun (but had a sad ending as we discovered our van was burgled while we were sight-seeing. Among the things taken was Aliyah’s Bible, so we pray maybe God is using it to reach somebody for him!)

 

There is no city quite like Rome. Here are the Meadlings in front of the Trevi Fountain.

 

And on the Spanish Steps.

 

Yes, we’re still in love after 20 years! 🙂

 

Apart from Rome, we didn’t do much sight-seeing in Italy. We mainly just chilled (literally at times in the cold pool, before we got it warmed up!)

 

The kids and Peter had so much fun in the pool! (It was mostly too cold for me!)

 

And shivering on the beach!

 

The place where we stayed was quite remote and I really enjoyed walking the country roads.

 

We even got to try making focaccia in the pizza oven.

 

We made so many sweet memories which we will treasure as Hannah flies the nest soon and heads off to university in America.

 

Meadlings 1 and 2

 

Keep on smiling girls!

 

Not long after we got home from our trip Aunt Carol came to visit. Another special time with great memories.

 

Well done if you’ve made it through this long post! We are so grateful to God for this special trip and his faithfulness to us in the weeks since.  The almost 2 months since we’ve been home have been very full . . . Peter had his annual trip to Poland for the European Leadership Forum.  We’ve performed the Mark Drama at church and many other things have happened in family and ministry life. Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us.  Our hearts’ desire is that we would serve Jesus with love and grace, out of the overflow of the the love and grace we continually receive from Him. We sense our weakness daily and the fierceness of the supernatural battle around us.  We value your prayers for us so much as we look to him daily in faith and trust.  He is the best Father!

 

 

 

 

 

February Fun!

Melanie —  March 3, 2018

February begins our birthday season, with four girls’ birthdays in four weeks.  We’ve made some special memories!  In the middle of all the festivities, Hannah and I took at trip to Oregon so she could check out two universities she is interested in applying to attend.  Wow, I can’t believe this season in our lives has arrived!  My family and Hannah’s close friend, Anne, had no clue we were coming; it was super fun to surprise them all!

Also, this month, we are running a parenting course in our church life groups, Peter has been preaching on Sundays through the life of Joseph (Where is God in This?) and Cor Deo has held a one-week women’s course.  The last day was sadly cancelled due to snow, but they covered some of the last day’s material on the fourth day and they’ll have an evening next week to finish off for anyone able to attend.  From all accounts it’s been an impactful week in these ladies’ lives.  We have another women’s Cor Deo week coming up in Devon the week after next.  We are so grateful for your continued prayers for us as we serve at church and beyond.  Our hearts are full of gratitude to God for his blessings, including a much waited for mini-snow storm over the past few days which provided hours of fun for the children (and yes, Peter and I too!)

Here are some photos for you.  (Also, check out my “Currently Reading” page which I just updated. And if you haven’t explored the rest of the website recently,  we have done a long overdue update to all the pages!)

On the 1st of Feb, Kaylah turned 6! She requested a “donut” cake.

 

A party is always so exciting! (Even if it’s just a family one.)

 

Wiggle scooter!

 

We did outings with Mom and Dad this year instead of big parties with friends. Kaylah asked to go ice skating. Peter and I had a lot of fun with her!

 

Next up was Aliyah – she turned 15!

 

Lunch at Costco!

 

We thank God for Aliyah!

 

Next up was Mariah – she joined her sisters in the teenage world – 13 years old!

 

Our 3 lovely teenagers!

 

We (and all our relatives) surprised her with a bike for her birthday. We took her into the store blindfolded. Jessah said, “Bike!” just before we took the blindfold off. 🙂

 

 

Fun at the climbing centre!

 

Just before her birthday, Mariah became the 4th person in our family to earn her blackbelt.

 

As I have done with her older sisters, I took her away for a night for her 13th – we had fun playing bananagrams (such an addictive game!), watching War Room, eating and shopping.

 

Here’s Hannah and me on the plane getting ready to fly to Oregon. It was a memorable trip for both of us.

 

Hannah and my Dad – we surprised the family and showed up at his birthday party!

 

Hannah and her friend (after sneaking up on her in the library and surprising her!)

 

Hannah and I drove by the Hillsboro apartment building Peter and I lived in during his time in seminary. Ours was the upstairs one on the left. We have so many memories here, especially of Hannah and Aliyah as babies!

 

It was super special to spend time with my sister . .

 

. . . and my nieces and nephews.

 

Amy and I with our Mom.

 

Hannah and her friend Anne at Corban University.

 

And here we are at Multnomah with dear friend, Carley Wecks (we ran into her in the salad line in the cafeteria!). What a joy to reconnect!

 

Please pray for Hannah as she prays about her future and prepares for it. She really liked both universities so she’ll probably apply to both and keep praying.

 

Yesterday was Hannah’s 17th birthday! We were snowed in so it was one she won’t soon forget!

 

Even though we had to postpone her cinema trip and birthday dinner til tonight, we had so much fun in the beautiful snow!

 

Au revoir for now . . .

 

Thanks so much for praying for us!

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been busy celebrating birthdays and Thanksgiving over the past few weeks.  All of these special moments have been mixed in with homeschooling, hospitality, church events and other ministry. Here are a few photos:

God was gracious and our church’s Light Party went really well with lots of new children and parents attending. Here are the little girls, all dressed up.

 

Jessah (a great lover of food!) spent ages decorating her biscuit at the Light Party.

 

Next up for celebrations was Jessah’s 2nd birthday! Here she is on her new bike.

 

We spent her birthday at Bowood House, our favourite place! It was the last day that it was open for the season – Jessah was born on a good day!

 

We love this girl, her exuberance for life and her adorable curly head of hair so much!

Our niece, Rebecca, was visiting from uni and so got to celebrate Jessah’s birthday with us.

 

Jessie’s middle name is Abigail which means “father’s joy” – it certainly fits.

 

Peter’s parents moved to Chippenham on 8th Nov! We thank God for his help in the whole process. The moving day was beautiful so the little girls and I went for a walk while we waited for the call that the moving van had arrived.

 

 

November birthday number 2! Joel turned 11 on the 18th. Can you guess what his favourite thing in life is at the moment – yup, football!

 

Instead of doing a party this year, we took Joel to London to the HMS Belfast, a WW2 war ship that is now a museum on the Thames.

 

We had a super fun day together! There’s Tower Bridge in the background.

 

I am so thankful for Joel!

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Day was another sunny day (mixed with a few raindrops). We enjoyed some time in the woods near our house.

 

Aliyah and Jessah

 

We walked a little ways beyond the woods to a farmer’s field. It’s not too often that the 6 Meadlings are out all together these days.

 

Back at home we cleaned up and got busy putting the finishing touches on food and getting ready for our guests to arrive.

 

Mariah and Kaylah gathered some leaves, cleaned and dried them and put them on the table for decoration.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Now the Christmas season is upon us. Here are some of the children a couple of weeks ago with their Christmas shoeboxes.

 

We would value your prayers for a few upcoming events.  Firstly, the last of four weeks of marriage life groups will be tomorrow night (and a few more groups on Thursday).  Please pray for God to be at work, strengthening marriages at Trinity Chippenham – including our own!  Trinity will also put on it’s first live Nativity on 16th December! And our carol service will be on the 17th.  That will be our very last Sunday meeting at the Olympiad leisure centre where we have met for the past four years.  In January we’ll begin meeting at a school which will be better able to accommodate our growing numbers – exciting to see what God will do in this new chapter of church life!  Please also pray for Peter as he continues to preach in our pre-Christmas series, Immanuel, God With Us.  Link is here if you would like to listen.