Sunday, 27 May 2012

Let the light shine

Well summer has arrived and with it the start of the celebrations for this year's sporting events.  The Olympic torch made its appearance in Swindon and was carried by that well known Swindonian (not!!) Didier Drogba.

Both the boys went on a school trip to see a retired teacher from their school carry the torch through Marlborough (Mr Perkins from the PE department).

We enjoyed the fruits of the vegetable patch and have shared our harvest with family.  The salad crop has come along really well and the broad bean, peas and potatoes are continuing to grow well.  With the summer weather coming into its own in the evening we managed to eat in the garden once this week and Lasagne just called for salad accompaniment.

Salad leaves, spring onions and parsley
We had our own celebrations in the family this week as well when Jacob was awarded the highest award in scouts - his gold Chief Scout's award.  He received the badge at his troop night and will receive the certificate from the mayor later in the year.

Jacob receiving his Gold Chief Scout's award
The heat has really suppressed my crafting this week, but I have started a craft ready for the Queen's jubilee celebrations next weekend, currently though it is just a few pieces of paper waiting to come together.

Work on the house makeover has moved on again this week with the installation of new doors throughout upstairs and a couple downstairs.  A school friend of Andy's came and fitted the five doors in one day and would have been back to fit the remaining three - had they arrived in the country but we will have to wait until the end of June before we can have the doors for the lounge.

Before - with no doors
(Andy could manage that part himself)

New Doors in situ
This week we start meetings for holiday club in the summer holidays.  Having changed churches we are adapting to a new way of working and have a core team to meet with and share ideas and hopefully some of the work.  As we are in an Olympic year we are having a sporting theme and are going for "more than gold".

Josh has been off sampling life in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary on "RFA Mounts Bay".  A leader in his Explorer Unit is serving on the ship and arranged for them to come down and visit.  They got to hold rifles but were not allowed to fire them as it may have upset the windsurfers!

The bible verse for this week is Isaiah 59:19

He will attack like a flood
    in a mighty windstorm.
Nations in the west and the east
will then honour and praise
    his wonderful name.

Our prayer as a family for this week is for all churches who are preparing for this summer and the opportunities the Jubilee, Olympics and other events present us to show God at work in the community today.  May we stand as beacons of God's love and reflect his glory to those around.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Bank holiday and more

I know I have missed a couple of weeks' blog but somehow the evenings just seem to speed by and fitting writing into my week just doesn't seem to work.

So what have we been up to??  We have had our church annual meeting and we reflected on what it means to be church in the community and are now spending time thinking about how the community sees the church and what we can do to shape that image.

Josh has been gliding with Explorers and they even managed to fly over our house, I did take a picture but it just looks like sky!  He had also started on the journey to his braces being fitted by having four teeth out this week (all at once) he is enjoying the freedom it gives him to turn food down and opt instead for milkshake at every opportunity.

The rain stopped and the sun even managed to put in an appearance during Bank Holiday weekend and Andy managed to build some more fence panels and the edge of the garden is starting to take real shape.

Caution men at work!

We have had three weekends of parties, each of which has been very different, my cousin celebrated her 30th birthday with a roller disco and we were amazed, firstly at how quick skating came back to Andy and I but secondly how quickly the boys picked it up as well.  At least it is easier and slightly safer than ice skating, there are no sharp edges and the floor is generally warmer and drier if you fall over.  We have also been to a friend's 40th birthday which was a 50's style prom party, complete with swing band and dressing up was almost compulsory.

The third party was a third party, as our God daughter was 3 this week and we have had fun watching her and friends enjoy the trampoline in the garden (while watched from the warmth of the house).

The break from the rain and a slight increase in the temperature, brief though it was, has seen the vegetable patch sprout shoots and leaves all over the place, and we are ready to crop our first salad from the garden this week, as long as the weather picks up to create a menu choice suitable for salad!

So my craft time has been concentrating on birthday cards, and as it my current way they have been finished just in time and I have no photographs to share with you.  We have also been preparing a craft for children who attend the bi-monthly Swindon churches' event, X:Site based on the story of David & Goliath.  The teaching was based on the fact that David was an unlikely hero for the Israelite nation and linking this to Jesus being the unlikely hero of the Jewish nation, neither of them were what the people were expecting.  So the craft was an unlikely hero to sit in the children's homes.

Sock monster - an unlikely hero
This monster was quick and easy to make, taking a sock, stuffing it with two carrier bags (which created a head and body definition and great crinkly noise), twisting the top and securing with an elastic band then cutting the remainder to hair length and then into strips.  The left over part of the sock made a great hair scrunchy to hide the elastic band.  Which just left feet, nose and eyes to be stuck one.  A great craft thanks to the X:Site writing team.

This week's Bible verse is from Isaiah and I think will look good as part of my prayer journal cover I am working on, or maybe as a reminder as we go out the door each day:

That’s how it is with my words.
    They don’t return to me
without doing everything
    I send them to do.
Isaiah 55:11

Our prayer this week is for those seeking the way forward in God's presence, as we ourselves go through redundancy consultation and friends attend interviews for a new place for ministry, we pray the God will guide and protect each of us, give us the strength to stand strong in the face of uncertainty and to be worthy witnesses of God's love in our lives that others will want to know what it is that makes a difference in us.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x