Thursday, March 22, 2012

New England Beaches!

We decided to only spend Saturday in Boston, and take Sunday to drive up the coast a bit to play on the beaches of New Hampshire and Maine. We also spent Monday afternoon on a beach in Cape Cod. We had perfect weather, and altogether a perfectly delightful time. Tide-pooling, sand-digging, frisbee-throwing, rock-clambering, shell-collecting, and lots of running and laughing in fresh salty air and sunshine.

Day in Boston

1) Site of the first public school in America.
2) Old State House -- seat of Massachusetts colonial government, the balcony of which was where MA citizens first heard the Declaration of Independence read aloud.
3) Cambridge commons -- where George Washington gathered his continental army and was encamped for the first 2 years of the war.
4) Site of the Boston massacre -- outside the Old State House, where colonists were shot by British soldiers, which of course helped start the Revolutionary War.
5) Granary burial ground, 1660 -- resting place of John Hancock, Phyllis Wheatley, and Paul Revere, among others.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Worship and Sorrow

Our new church had an evening of worship singing last night (with the intent of making a c.d. soon), and I was so excited to attend. I’ve really appreciated the music on Sunday mornings at The Falls Church, and loved the thought of an extra evening of singing! It didn’t quite turn out like I thought…

My biggest disappointment was the large number of songs I didn’t know. Of course I still appreciated the words and enjoyed the music, but it’s kind of hard to sing along if you don’t even know the music! (Especially if it’s being recorded!) I go through this every time I move and begin worshipping at a new church. Sunday mornings seem easier, though, than an entire night of unfamiliar worship songs.

I was also struck with a feeling of sorrow – missing my recent churches in Oxford and Amman, and the music that I’d grown to love there. The thought occurred to me, “I actually don’t want a c.d. of TFC music as much as I wish I had c.d.’s of Magdalen Road Church and Oasis songs, to remind me of churches I love." That’s always been a dream of mine: to have recorded music from the various youth groups and churches that have been important to me over the course of my life.

It was a great experience, of course, to worship with hundreds of fellow Jesus-followers. Most of the time, I was focused on our amazing God, and relished the Scriptures read and the glimpse of future heavenly worship. I also reveled in the incredible drum-playing (yes, I'm partial to drums, especially African ones!) and other expertise by guest musicians. It was an aural delight and I’m not sorry I went. But I did come away sad and a bit melancholy. It’s not easy to continually move, especially when it means leaving behind dearly loved churches and friends…

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February Pics

Pics top to bottom:
The kids visiting their great-grandma in Pennyslvania; playing foozball at a community center's Family Fun Night; college friend Barb visiting from London; and making Valentine cookies together that we gave out to neighbors and the local librarians.

March Update

Happy March everyone! We enjoyed the Spring-like weather today by going to the local park, running some laps around the football field and playing frisbee. That is, until Ethan got hit in the mouth by one of my high-speed throws. Sigh… The sight of blood did him in, and we came back home for lunch, nap and more school. Now the kids are outside, sucking on homemade popsicles with a couple neighbor boys from across the street. I’m hoping that warmer weather will make it easier for my kids to make friends, as more children will be playing outside after school.
It’s hard to believe we’ve only been in our new home for 3 ½ months. It feels like it’s been longer than that. Not counting Steve’s parents, we’ve already had 3 overnight guests at various times, and have another lined up for later this month. In fact, we have a friend from Amman who might be staying with us for weeks as she transitions back to U.S. life later this Spring. It’s nice to be in a place where there are 3 airports, many attractions, and work conferences that friends need to attend. I love hosting people! (If you know me, feel free to invite yourself!!)
I’m still struggling to find routine here … trying to balance my housework, my cooking, my teaching, and my computer work, all in the midst of Steve’s new commute and crazy-busy schedule of combining PhD research with a full-time job. I wish I were a naturally organized and structured person so it wasn’t such a battle for me. Plus I’m trying to throw in extra things now, like Community Bible Study and church (now that we’ve found a home church – yay!). I also continue to feel a bit “at odds” with my surroundings since we are the only white family in our entire neighborhood, and perhaps even town. It probably bothers me less than it bothers the rest of my family, since I have more experience than they in being a minority. But still… for some reason, it makes me feel a bit inhibited and self-conscious.
The kids are doing okay. I still haven’t gotten Ethan speech therapy, but he does seem to be steadily improving. His favorite activities are playing card games and playing with Josiah & his stuffed animals. Naomi has almost finished a 24-book series about wild horses in Nevada, and has gotten excited about the idea of trying to save land for horses (from cattle grazing). Josiah seems less and less content every time we move – he used to be the most happy-go-lucky sort of guy and now he complains a lot. I’m not sure why…
So such as it is, that’s our latest “news” (if you can even call it that!). I’m praying for friendships to develop soon. We’re all getting a bit tired of being friend-less.