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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.












A June to Remember

Melanie —  July 8, 2017

The month of July has come now and we Meads are enjoying being finished with our schooling! The weather has been wonderful so we’ve been enjoying bike riding, roller blading, picnics and a few outings.  We’re looking forward to some fun times with friends this summer, as well as doing what we can to serve others as a family with the extra time we have.  Peter has been travelling quite a bit this past month so we’re looking forward to having him around a bit more too.

On 4th of July, Aliyah made a special cake and the kids dressed up in their Chicago Cubs shirts (red, white and blue!) to celebrate. We brought the cake to share with our homeschool group friends at our Sports Day in Bristol which was so much fun!

But really, I want to share some photos from June.  It was a special month!  To start with, I had a grand surprise when I walked into church one Sunday afternoon just before my birthday!  It was pretty funny as I was not at all early to church (i.e. nearly late!) and the very friendly guy on the door kind of “hurried” me inside. (Hmmm. . . he’s never done that before, I thought).  As I entered the room, Mariah asked me with a big grin if I’d like to “get ready” for church (not sure what that meant!!).  Then a friend who knows well that I don’t drink coffee, asked me if I’d like to go get some coffee from the refreshments table! I said, “Well, I’ll get some water,” and turned towards the table, only to find  . . . MY SISTER (from America) standing there!!! Oh, my goodness!!  I was completely shocked.  What a wonderful surprise! I kind of felt like the whole ten days she was here with my nephew was a dream.  But an amazing one!


This was taken just after the surprise at church! I love you so much Amy!

So after that, I thought I’d had my birthday surprise! (Yup, it was a big one – the big 40!) The next day was our anniversary (day before my birthday) so Peter and I were planning on going out to dinner.  Well, after what seemed a LONG drive around the countryside, we finally go to the restaurant.  I thought something might be up, but I was not prepared to see a large number of ladies from church all there and shouting surprise and happy birthday! Peter excused himself after taking the photo below. 🙂 Oh, my goodness, another shock!

Here I am with my lovely sisters in Christ at my surprise birthday meal. Thank you all – you are such a blessing!

The next day was my birthday.  We had an amazing day out at Bowood House – a beautiful place with an adventure playground, lake, house and gardens, waterfall and caves.  We are blessed to have passes, thanks to my Aunt Carol!


It was so special to have Amy and Matthew there too!


We enjoyed a picnic together. . . (excuse the funny expression captured on Peter’s face – ha!)


It was adorable watching Jessah eat her lunch on the bench with Peter.


This girl is so full of fun! (She’s also starting to grow a little fro!)


Matthew and Joel had a fantastic time together doing all things BOY!


Here are Aliyah and Hannah at the waterfall.


And Amy and I in the gardens.


And our whole family . . . I truly believe I have the best family in the world.


Peter had one more birthday surprise for me – a jar full of memories/notes of appreciation from him, the children and some of my friends and extended family. I laughed and cried my way through reading them. What an amazing and precious gift to treasure!

So turning 40 was actually a really nice experience!  Getting older is a funny thing . . . while we were away on holiday in the spring, I did some processing with Peter about the whole idea of getting older and the emotions that come with it.  There is a certain wistfulness that comes when you look back and realise that your youth is gone and so many good memories are now in the past.  However, I know that God is the author of the past and the future and my times are in His hands – well, my whole self is in His hands! The verse that I was pondering last year when Peter turned 40 has meant a lot to me . . . “Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly, we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:18.  With Jesus, we know the best is yet to come.

So here are a few more photos of our time with Amy and Matthew.  What a gift those ten days were!

We drove to London one day, parked in the outskirts and took the tube into the centre. Here we are having a picnic in St. James’ Park! We were enjoying it so much, we lost track of time and realised we needed to get moving to the Westminster area and catch the boat we had booked!


Amy and the kids outside Buckingham Palace.


The Meadlings with Buckingham Palace in the background!


Trafalgar Square lions! We even managed a few minutes in the National Gallery after this photo was taken.


The boat ride on the Thames was a great way to see the sights – nice and cool too, as it was a hot day! It was a very memorable day out.


Another day we took a walk in the woods above the nearby village of Castle Coombe.


The kids absolutely loved being in the woods, digging for wild garlic (we realised after we got home that it’s the leaves, not the bulbs that you eat – oops!) and playing army, in the case of Joel and Matthew.


It was another hot day so the children spent a lot of time in the stream.


They found a dead crayfish and proceeded to make a memorial for him. (That’s the crayfish on the rock in the middle! He was promptly dubbed Lecrae after an American Christian hiphop artist – hilarious!)


Thanks so much for coming Amy and Matthew!  And thank you to everyone who helped to make my birthday special.

Peter has just returned from a few days in Ireland, helping teach at the Impact Ireland outreach training.  Hannah went with him and will be staying there until the 18th as she is participating in the outreach.  I know she would value your prayers.  Peter is will be preaching tomorrow in our series at Trinity called, Dear Church, on the seven letters in Revelation.  Here is a link if you are interested in listening to any of the messages.

Happy Summer! May God refresh and bless you over the next weeks.