Michael is 23!

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I can’t believe I have a 23 year old son.  Since he doesn’t read my blog I can write this post and he won’t see it.  He does not like attention.  I may have to share with him on FB if I can figure it out.

I could write a lot about each of my kids, but I don’t want to be one of THOSE parents.  If you will indulge me I will just write a few things about Michael.

He is definitely a first born son.  All of the traits of being responsible and pleasing his parents- I am very blessed for that.  Michael has a deep passion for God and the Bible.  He always has.  I look back at his life and am amazed that Kent and I had anything to do with him coming into the world.  When he was 3 years old he loved Tonka dump trucks, bulldozers, and especially backhoes.  He loved dirt!  But, he loved God more. Literally, every one of his toys had crosses drawn on them with a black marker.  He loved Jesus very early.

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He is athletic and loves weight lifting and all things healthy.  He is creative and can draw almost anything free hand.  He plays the guitar and knows all the Blink 182 songs.  He likes cars and has taught himself how to fix everything that he has the tools to fix himself.  (He has a love for WRX subarus.)

I am most thankful that he is sold out to the Lord.  His “loosely held” plan is to go to seminary after he graduates in the spring.  He would like to get his PhD but knows it is only a plan that God can change if He wants to.  He told me last night that he is totally available to what the Lord wants him to do.  “Even if He sends me to North Korea I will go.”

Thank you for letting me “boast in the Lord”.  Happy Birthday Michael!  Dad and I love you.

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Indian Summer Barbq

Caroline and Alex from the cheese shop wanted to have a barbq in the courtyard Friday evening.  They invited some of their friends from around the area.  It was fun to meet more new people.

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Once again there were different countries represented:  England, USA, Germany, Romania, Scotland, Russia, and Poland.  The amazing thing is that there were probably less than 20 people there!

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They grilled sausages, burgers, and “veg”.  They call vegetables veg for short.  They served this drink called Pimms.  It was full of fresh fruit and it was sweet.  I need to get the recipe.  They said it used to be really popular here in the 60’s and that it is coming back.  Do we have Pimms back home?  I am sure we have something similar but is the name the same?

The weather was cool and a little windy but it did not rain.  It was a fun night and we got to meet some very nice people.

September So Far

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September has been a somewhat busy month.  I think it is just going to get busier because we are wrapping stuff up here.  We are now officially in the boxing up stage of moving and beginning to say our good-byes to friends.  Saying good-bye is the hardest thing about making a transition.  We have been blessed here for sure.

Last Sunday we met our missionary friends, Robert and Joan, at church and then went to lunch with them and their oldest son, Andrew and his wife, Paty.  We had a lovely day with them and went back to their apartment for a walk along the sea.  We won’t see them again that we know of because being on the go like they are (they remind me of my parents) they are headed to Ireland and China.  They are in their late 70’s and now 80’s and still active as ever.  They are young at heart, and are always looking for ways to serve others.

Then, Friday after yoga I gathered a few friends to meet for lunch for Carrie’s 40th birthday!  She is a 9/11 birthday so it usually has a somber feel to it now.  Pictured above are me and Carrie on the left.  Then, Emilie, Ashley, and Lynn.  Emilie is our pastor’s wife.  Ashley is American/Scottish and our resident family doctor (TN).  Lynn is our new friend who just got here a few days ago!  She is from Annapolis.

I am finding that I am starting to get that lump in my throat more often than usual.  I think it is all the change past and the change to come.  I am going to miss the friends that God has given me here.  It’s amazing how being brothers and sisters in Christ gives you a feeling that is truly like family.

Tomorrow I’ll share about a barbq we went to Friday.

Almost A Year

It’s hard to believe that next Saturday it will be a year that we have lived in Scotland.  We thought we would be here for three years, but one month from today we will be leaving the UK for home.  Many of you know Scotland was a much harder transition than we thought it would be.  Why? I don’t know.  We thought it would be very similar and it is in some ways, but yet very different in others.

But, still, because God is good He still taught us during this time.  I wanted to write about some things that I will miss about being here in Scotland.

  1.  The vocabulary- yes, we all speak English, but words don’t mean the same thing.  The more I have been at the cheese shop the more words I have learned or noticed that they use much more than we do.  “College” is high school and “uni” is our college or university.  “Hiya” is hi.  They use “brilliant” and “grand” commonly where we do not.  “Cheers” is thank you. Lassie, lad, and chap.  “Cheeky” is hard to pin down with a specific word- I just know how to use it.  If someone is saying something sarcastic or making a joke you may say they are being cheeky.  Even after a year I still have to ask people to repeat what they have said if they have a strong Scottish accent.  They probably can’t understand me either!
  2. The international community- You all know how much Kent and I love our international friends.  We love other cultures and languages and food.  When you walk down the streets of St. Andrews you can hear different languages and see people from all over.  I love the opportunity to  meet these people.  It’s so cool.  I am going to miss that!
  3. Yoga- oh, my yoga.  I am going to miss those classes.  I have the best teacher ever.  I am not one of the “yogi” people who get something spiritually out of yoga.  I get that from Christ.  But, I do love the workout of yoga.  It’s so much harder than it looks.  Kent and the boys make fun but they have never done it.  It’s great for the core.
  4. Our dear friends-  God did provide with many friends after all.  I remember being so lonely when we got here and just wanting one friend.  We will miss all of those He put in our path.  We’re so grateful for all of them.
  5. Our church- God taught me a lot with our little church.  He taught me how to get out of my comfort zone and look for ways to serve on my own.  He taught me not to judge a church by it’s worship.  The Free Church requires that each service has 2 psalms sung without music.  It is very different than what we were used to.  We came from Texas with bands, dark sanctuaries, lighting, and praise bands.  This new service was very different-more somber.  But, it is still worship.  The church service is not about us but about Him.  It is also a small church in comparison to the churches in the US.  It is small, but it is family.

So, now I begin to prepare for another change….

Mushroom Picking

Apparently in Eastern European countries it is a nice family tradition to walk in the forest and pick mushrooms.  My friends, Alex and Caroline, are from Poland and they love to do this!  They say it is a nice time that grandparents spend with their grandchildren teaching them about the different types of mushrooms to eat.  It’s a family event.

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Here are some they picked and cleaned a couple of weeks ago.  They brought me some chanterelles the other day- yum!  They encouraged me to melt a little bit of butter, add salt and pepper, and lightly cook them in a pan.  Delicious- I ate them all myself.

When we were in Greece we met a couple from Sweden.  I asked them to tell me something about Sweden I wouldn’t know.  They said most Swedish people eat tacos every Friday!  I thought they were teasing me so I didn’t write it.  Then today I met a young lady from Denmark and they are very close in location and culture.  She said it is true for them as well.  They love their tacos!  I know in Texas some restaurants had Taco Tuesday but that was for an amazing deal on tacos!

Well, we are getting close to begin packing our things up here.  I have been thinking about the blog and if it should just end.  I will not be having much to write about I don’t think after we return.  I am just going to pray about it for now.  See what happens in our lives….

Malaysia, Poland, and the US

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Last Tuesday my new friend Natalia called me and invited me to dinner at our other’s friends house, Mallini.  These young ladies I met recently at the cheese shop.  Natalia, the blonde, is from Poland and is a student there.  She is studying navigation which is the study of being a captain of a ship.  Mallini is from Malaysia and is a biology student at the Uni here.  We all have food in common- we love to eat it!

Mallini had us to her house and fixed us a delicious curry meal.  It was spicy and wonderful with big pieces of salmon in it.  I loved it.  She told me about her country and I will have to write about that in another post.

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Natalia likes to cook as well and she fixed us dessert.  She made some pancakes and layered a mascarpone cheese mixture between them.  Then she drizzled honey over them, placed raspberries on top, and sprinkled crushed shortbread cookies over the entire thing.  Yum!  You know shortbread is huge here in Scotland and the #1 rated is called Chrystelle’s.  IMG_5734

I thought is was so nice of them to invite me to join them.  I am so blessed to have so many friends from all over the world.  I hope God will continue to bring people into our lives wherever we live because Kent and I both enjoy learning about other people and their cultures.  By the way, check out Mallini’s blog called mylittlefryingpan.blogspot.co.uk

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People We Met

With Greece having their financial crisis, we were concerned about going on our trip.  Actually, you would not have known there was any problem except some places preferred us to use cash.  Other than that, it was business as usual.  The people know they have a short period of time when the tourists come to work hard and make a majority of their money for the year.

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We met this lady at her restaurant on a very private beach.  We stopped for coffee and before we left we were in her kitchen and she was showing us different foods they eat.  One food (we never got the name) was a cucumber but if you let it ripen it became a sweet fruit.  She was so nice and her whole family worked there.  Her parents had passed it on to she and her husband even though they were still there.  Her son and daughter were waiting tables, and her smaller daughter would just help with whatever needed to be done.

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This is Ilias.  He is a fantastic waiter.  We didn’t find the Greeks to be outgoing, but Ilias was so he stood out.  He had lived in FL with his uncle and worked at his restaurant so he knew how to be personable but not overbearing.  We really enjoyed his restaurant on the beach.

We met a super couple from Australia that were staying near us.  We started talking to them on our patios and they came over and chatted with us the last night.  They were Christians so it seemed like we were family by the time we left.  I wish I had gotten a picture of them.  They were great!

Found another sunset picture that didn’t come out too well.

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Sunsets

We didn’t know that where you stay on the island is a big deal as far as getting to see the sun set.  It’s just so beautiful that people plan where they will be at that time so they can get to view it.  We were so fortunate because we picked the right side of the island to stay on.  We forgot our fancy camera so unfortunately we only have phone pictures.  I am sure googling “Santorini sunsets” would give you much better pictures than I got.

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One night the clouds came rolling in so fast and they covered the sun right at the time it was about to set.  I have never been in clouds like that.  They were literally coming toward us and enveloped us.

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It was good to just sit and appreciate God’s creation.  I kept wanting to shout “Glory to God!”