Archives For Pictures

Pre-Christmas Pictures

Peter —  December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve has come quickly!  We are long overdue a family post, so here are a few pictures from the past few weeks.  Everything is a bit strange this year, of course, but we are thankful that we have a busy household which is an extra blessing during various versions of lockdown.  In the past few months church has been at a village hall, in a field, just online, and in December, as guests in a big Anglican church building.  Other activities have been restricted and we are all getting used to using Zoom much more than we would prefer.

Meanwhile, family life continues.  In November our littlest turned 5 – where did that half decade go?

Here is Jessah with her Curious George cake (well done, Melanie!)

Jessah enjoying a few minutes with Joel at the dinner table.

At the beginning of December we managed to surprise all the children with Hannah arriving home early.  Everyone was genuinely shocked and thrilled to see her (including our friend Georgia – who is often at ours because of support bubble provisions!)

The three older girls back together – here enjoying a meal out with Mum and Dad (a replacement Christmas present since we couldn’t get to the theatre together in the summer . . . the gift kindly adjusted into a meal out!)

And the little two enjoying having Hannah back – here with matching hair styles!

This week we spent a few hours together as a family in Bourton-on-the-Water – a lovely Cotswold village.

Hannah and Jessah waiting patiently for their pizzas at lunch time!

Whole family selfie with the mid-river Christmas tree in the background.

Christmas Day is coming soon, and these two are especially excited.  Here is their little bedroom tree getting decorated in anticipation of the big day!

Thank you for praying for us during these months.  We don’t know what is going to happen in the next weeks, but we anticipate further restrictions.  Thankfully our God is not restricted and so we continue to trust Him for life change in the home, in the church, and across the globe!

Goodbye summer, hello autumn!

Melanie —  September 25, 2020

Goodbye summer, hello autumn – this is the name of a children’s book I heard about recently.  I always love the changing of one season to another. Our days and nights have turned crisp and cool and we’re enjoying some beautiful autumn leaves here in Wiltshire.  Life is busy with homeschooling, ministry – church and Cor Deo and one-to-one relationships (with the ever changing COVID-19 restrictions keeping us on our toes!)

It’s been a really long time since we have shared any family news or photos . . . so without further ado, here is a photo update from the past few months! Watch your inbox for a family and ministry update in the next week or two as well!

In April, the girls made an Easter garden with cross and tomb. Those tiny plants grew and grew and bloomed beautifully all summer!

 

Our spring and summer were filled with lots of lovely outdoor walks and bike rides.

 

During our 12 week lockdown we went outside for our daily “allowed” outdoor exercise very faithfully!

 

We found some really beautiful places to walk that we probably wouldn’t have found if we weren’t locked down!

 

Peter and I had an “at home” date most weeks. We even dressed up for one or two of them and made some memories.

 

We also enjoyed creatively having people “over” for dinner on zoom. 🙂

 

 

This was our anniversary meal. The kids made a “restaurant” at home for us and served us an amazing dinner.

 

Once restrictions eased a bit, we got to go back to one of our favourite places, Bowood House and Gardens.

 

Here are Kaylah and Jessah by the lake.

 

Overall we were blessed with amazing weather this summer. The younger kids put their money together and bought a paddling pool which gave them hours of fun!

 

The weather even got hot enough for me to be convinced to get into it!

 

Another “at home” thing we did this spring/summer was to attempt to grow some vegetables. Here’s one of our beetroot crops.

 

And here’s Kaylah with some radishes we grew! I’ve gotten quite excited about gardening these days and am attempting to grow some more things this autumn in my novice way!

 

It was such a joy to have Hannah home for the summer. She and I did multiple jigsaw puzzles and read 4 of the Chronicles of Narnia together! In between the many hours she worked (God provided her with 3 different jobs!) she spent lots of time with the little girls who adored having her back! Here she is drinking boba tea with them.

 

It was such a treat to be all back together again.

 

Hannah also did a lot of reading lessons with this girl, who is continuing to delight us with her sweet and imaginative ways.

 

In August, our church did a charity bike ride to raise money for a ministry that helps needy kids in Uganda. The Trinity Kids were incredible! They did a ten mile round trip cycle ride and raised more than £1200! Jessah was the youngest participant and even had enough energy afterwards to cycle all the way back to our house from the starting point with her siblings!

 

We had an incredible surprise blessing the last 2 weeks of August. A friend let us use some already booked accommodation in Norway that they were unable to use. We couldn’t quite believe we were so blessed with such a generous gift but we had an amazing 2 weeks!

 

We stayed right near a fjord and spent lots of time near and on the water. Hannah was already back at uni in Oregon- we were so sad she couldn’t be with us.

 

We had use of a little boat which provided us with many hours of fun.

 

 

 

The older girls loved using the diving boards that were dotted around the fjord!

 

This one was crazy high!

 

There was all kinds of interesting wildlife to discover . . .

 

Including jellyfish . . .

 

. . .and purple starfish!

 

All in all those two weeks were such a gift to us of rest and refreshment.

 

Lots of special memories made.

 

We came back and hit the ground running with school. This is our traditional “start of school” Meadling photo.

 

That gives you a little idea of what our family has been up to! A little more about each of the kids . . . Hannah is loving being back at uni.  She’s been juggling lots of responsibilities while also dealing with Covid restrictions and smoke from the terrible fires in the area recently. Aliyah is currently preparing for her SAT exam which will be on 3 October (rescheduled from May) and also learning to drive!! She’s busy giving piano lessons to a handful of children too, including Kaylah. Mariah working hard at school and is loving her voice lessons and hoping to experiment with some recording and editing soon. Joel has been saving his money for a new bike for a long time – he’s finally bought one which will hopefully arrive next week! The older 3 at home are all very involved with the worship band at church and also youth group. Kaylah and Jessah are really excited that we are getting some tropical fish soon (we’re going for an “easy” pet experience!). They continue to play countless imaginative games, especially involving one or both of them being animals!

Don’t let the sweet “good moment” photos fool you into thinking we aren’t just like any other family – we get tired, we argue, we deal with bad attitudes and mood swings and health issues! We’d value your prayers so much as we continue to raise our children. Parenting definitely keeps you on your toes and on your knees.We need much wisdom, patience and grace from God – our perfect heavenly Father!   As I said above, we hope to send out a ministry update soon. Thank you so much for praying for us.  As always, please let us know how we can pray for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every breath a gift

Melanie —  February 14, 2020

We recently attended a wedding of a couple in our church.

 

We’ve just come to the end of a half-term of school and we’re all looking forward to a two week break.  Here are some photos from the past weeks.  But first, I want to share an experience this week that’s reminded me that life is very fragile and every breath we take is such a gift from our Father. Aliyah and I went to London on Wednesday to renew her US passport at the US embassy. As we were driving along the motorway, the car in front of me suddenly stopped abruptly.  I slammed on my brakes very hard and we came to a stop just a few feet behind the car. With my heart pounding, I looked into my rearview mirror and saw that a huge lorry (truck) came had stopped maybe a meter behind me.  Two lanes of traffic continued whizzing by on my right and I just sat there in total shock at what had just happened.  It turned out that the car in front of me had hit the car in front of it and that car had hit another car.  We very narrowly avoided what would have probably been a very serious accident, especially given the size of the lorry behind me.  This was the second scary motorway incident for me this week as after a torrential downpour, I hydro-planed badly on the motorway on Monday, losing control of the car for a few seconds that seemed like an eternity.  I’m struck by how fast deadly accidents can happen and how fragile life is on this earth.  My dad always says, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.” So true. I’m not afraid to die, but it seems that the Lord has more time for me to serve Him for awhile longer. He’s numbered my days.  It’s been a sobering and humbling week.  I’m so glad to be held in such strong and loving hands.

Kaylah and Jessah were given gifts so they could go climbing a few weeks ago.

 

It was Jessah’s first time and she was SO excited. It was also very sweet to see how excited Kaylah was FOR her.

 

These two are at such a cute stage and I’m enjoying them so much.

 

Jessah is enjoying learning to ride her bike.

Snowdrops! Spring is coming!

 

“Skilling” through our neighbourhood in a “blizzard.” We were chased by polar bears and everything!

 

Look whose lost her front teeth!

Kaylah turned 8 on 1st of February.

 

For her birthday treat, Peter and I took her to ride a horse.

 

Kaylah loves horses at the moment (well, loves reading about them) so had so much fun actually getting to ride one.

 

Aliyah turned 17 on the 5th of February. She had her first driving lesson on that day!

 

ALiyah and I by the Thames, near the new US embassy.

 

Jessah ready to fight the Tasmanian Tiger (ie Joel!)

 

Peter and I have been increasingly feeling aware that, as followers of Jesus, we are in a massive spiritual battle.  As we observe events in the wider world around us and as we see what is going on in our own personal lives. It’s not a bad thing to feel your own vulnerability and weakness as it causes us to lean more heavily on our awesome Jesus.

2 Corinithians 12:9-10 – “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We always appreciate your prayers for protection, both physically and spiritually as we continue to serve him.  We have several upcoming events and some bits of family news that we’d like to share with you so watch your inbox for an email mini update very soon!