Sunday, 22 July 2012

Anniversary celebrations

Well the sun has finally put in an appearance this summer and just in time for our wedding anniversary.  It was beginning to feel strange that we might be celebrating a summer wedding with this almost wintry weather we have been having, but not quite as warm as it was all those years ago, the summer has arrived.

Anniversary flowers from Andy
So this year we were able to celebrate with a meal on the new patio, under the new parasol and then a lunch which was not cooked on the new BBQ, as the bits didn't go together as easily as we thought.  Oh well another day for the BBQ then.  We also had friends round and enjoyed a lazy Sunday lunch in the garden before heading off to church as I was singing and Josh was on the sound desk.

Anniversary meal in the garden
For dessert today I made a huge meringue using a Nigella Christmas recipe, which makes a soft marshmallowy middle and a crunchy outside.  I must remember next time to measure the circle for laying out the mixture using the plate I serve it on rather than any other circular object.  However this meant that when my friends' boys wanted meringue without the cream and raspberries, they could have all the bits that had fallen off the edge of the serving plate.

Nigella Christmas meringue
This week we held our holiday club briefing meeting and went through all the material we will be using this year.  It was great to meet with nearly everyone who will be helping, as we come together from four different churches to present holiday club.  We are using the material from The Sports Academy by John Hardwick, but as this sounds like a nearby senior school, we have called our club "more than gold" as this is the Christian response organisation for the Olympics.  It promises to be a great event and is linking in with the very relevant sporting theme.  So our craft time as a family this week has been geared towards holiday club demonstrations; we have made a shield, a harp, a trophy, some binoculars, a crown tealight holder, an edible medal and some other items we'll share with you in the coming weeks.

Holiday club craft
Both the boys have been on school trips this week to mark the end of term and both chose theme parks to visit.  Josh had the longer trip to Alton Towers and had to be at school for 5.50am!! (Andy did that school run!) Jacob didn't eave until normal time for Thorpe Park.  I did make up for the early morning start by doing the tennis coaching run at 6.45am on Friday morning, shocking Josh when I returned and was already dressed before he even thought about getting up!

That brings us to this week's bible verse which is from Psalms and is really fitting as several people I know have this week felt pulled to be led astray by evil influences:

God blesses those people
    who refuse evil advice
    and won’t follow sinners
    or join in sneering at God

Psalms 1 verse 1

And so our prayer as a family this week is for strength to fight against the evil around us.  As we stand up for God we find that evil tries to tempt us and we must hang on to promises of God and take courage from other Christians around us.  We pray for all who are struggling that God will guide and protect them this coming week.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Summer of sport

I know its been a while since I blogged, but those of you who know me well will not be surprised when I say the reason has been that we have been really busy!

As chair of Governors at our local primary school I have been busy recruiting and have conducted three different sets of interviews in the past few weeks.  However we do now have a new clerk to the governors and Head teacher (our current one is retiring at Christmas)  and we have reviewed our senior management team.  I also attended a wonderful Infant music festival featuring songs from around the world to celebrate this Olympic year.

We have harvested our first crop of potatoes and mange tout and have really started to enjoy the fact we can wander down the garden and choose vegetables for tea.  The broad beans are coming on and should be ready to eat very soon.

We enjoyed a weekend away camping with some of the families from church.  We visited the Forest of Dean and although it rained Friday night, we were tucked up in bed by then and it then stayed dry until we had almost packed all the tents away on Sunday.  We had a wander round the aptly named Puzzle Wood, home to Merlin and Dr Who on some days (but not while we were there!).  Then while we sat in their picnic garden the sun came out and we all came home slightly pinker than when we left.

We have even managed to enjoy the newly finished patio, although we have yet to find the sun out at a meal time, but we just keep thinking that the summer must be just round the corner!!

We have added some extra vegetable garden space, down the side of the patio and have planted some purple sprouting broccoli together with some pinks and lavender.

Then after what seemed like a whole week at the primary school for various meetings, we had our next event in the Vizor summer of sport and went to Wimbledon, for men's finals day.  Josh had secured us the chance to buy centre court tickets this year, but we still needed ground passes for the rest of the family and Josh's friend, who joined us for the day out.

As we watched Andy Murray getting closer to the finals the chances that the queue for tickets on finals day would be "quite short" seemed less likely and so we were really happy for Andy Murray that he got to the finals, but it meant we had to adjust our plans  for joining the queue.   So at 6am we got up and made our way to SE19 through the rain.

Apparently, this flag is too big!!!
Josh, Esina and I joined the queue while Andy and Jacob parked the car on the golf course (no its not a typo, the car was just in front of the bunker!!).  The queuing system is just amazing and they hand you a numbered ticket to prevent queue jumping, or so you can find your place again if you need to nip to the loo!  We were 1605, 1606 & 1607, so we asked expectantly what the chances of getting in were and were pleased to hear that normally they let 2500 in, but they were just making a decision for health & safety reasons due to the wet weather making Henman Hill slippery.

However, the queuing was not as long as the last time we went, when Josh and Andy had to wait for 8 hours to get in just in time to see the third game start at 5pm.  This time they were in before Andy Murray and Roger Federer made their appearance.  We made friends with the ladies behind us in the queue and they joined on the hill for the remainder of the day.  We are staying in touch with them and in fact will meet up with one of them, Linda, at the Olympics, as she is in charge of the central London venues!

We took it in turns to watch the the match in centre court and while not in our seats we had a great position on the hill.  However it was mine and Josh's turns on the hill when the heavens opened and we made the best tent we could out of two umbrellas and a ground sheet, but we still got wet.

Linda & Lesley join the Vizor family plus Esina at Center Court, Wimbledon
Our good friend, Chris Coombs, was ordained as a Ordained Local Minister, for the church of England and celebrated by hosting a Jonathan Viera concert (the opera singer).  Josh was in his element as he operated the visuals and became a camera man for the evening. It was a great evening, with great songs and funny stories, if you get the chance to see Jonathan perform I would highly recommend it.

JV and his new camera man, JV
So with all this activity it should come as no surprise we haven't really had time for an crafting.  One thing I have managed to do is to prepare a holiday planner, to record all the things we are doing during the summer holidays.  It is not quite the summer of the theme tune to a programme to boys watch, where they have "104 days of summer vacation" but we do have 48 days to fill and if you look closely, you might be able to see, we have already filled most of them!!  Definitely want to have some time crafting and baking.

Vizor Summer holiday planner
We are in the final preparations for holiday club and have a team briefing this week, so have lots of craft to share with you next week.

This week's Bible verse is from Isaiah, and over the summer I must make a conscious effort to spend more time with God.  I have been comforted by another blog that I follow, The girl creative, who having taken time off from blogging when she realised her husband had no pants for the week (a story worth reading has come back with renewed vision from God and a realisation you don't have to blog to a timetable and that family time and God time are actually more important.

“Cheer up! Don’t be afraid.
Your God is coming
    to punish your enemies.
God will take revenge on them
    and rescue you.”

Isaiah 35:4

Our prayer this week is for all those around the country and world who are preparing for holiday club events during the summer.  We pray for the children who will attend and that they may encounter God in a way that makes sense for them.  We pray for the teams who will deliver God's word to these children and their families. And we pray for the churches who host the events that may be beacons of God's love to their communities.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x