Bye my lovely dad

He died on Monday morning, my lovely dad. He wasn’t always lovely, but that just made him, him. If any of us pretend to be always lovely, then we are lying. I most certainly am not. But he was pretty special.

My dad was straight forward. What you saw was what you you usually got. He could be loud, very loud sometimes, but I can remember it being both embarrassing sometimes but also very loving and caring. One Example being of when I miscarried 5 years ago, he not only acknowledged that fact, but said very loudly it’s horrible isn’t it, how are you doing? And he meant it. That mattered. That was care.

He also would come out if you ever needed him, when I broke my heel, when I was having my daughter, when her dad had an accident and I needed to get to the hospital ASAP at 3am, he was there.

There’s a lot more I could say but I’ll leave it at that for now.

Goodnight dad. I wish you were still here. I love you. We love you. Always.

If you want to pray for anyone, please pray for my mum first and foremost, they were married for 50 years and I cannot imagine what it feels like at the moment.

Thankyou God for my dad.

he’s at the edge of the photo beaming.

not the best photo of me, but he was so happy that day. He also gave the most lovely speech. He spoke about real love and how it’s different to romantic love. He surprised me a lot with that speech.

Bye for now.

Jesus, name above all names

As most people reading this will know, myself and my family have recently moved to the Republic of Ireland. As most people will also know it is a predominantly Catholic part of the world and almost every house you go into has artwork/sacred heart pictures/Jesus on the cross up, amongst other things. As a Christian not actually part of the Catholic group so to speak, I have had a little problem with the fact that they always put Jesus on the cross. As we all know, who know him, he is in fact, risen, alive, no longer on the cross, thus enabling us to have eternal life with God the father, our relationship with him restored.

However, we now have one up in our home, it was a present from a good friend of ours (who is Catholic) quite some time ago (before Chris and myself got together).

And do you know what I’ve come to realise? It was making me uncomfortable, but not for the right reasons. It’s partly because I don’t often want to think about the suffering that Jesus actually endured prior to and on the cross. I love thinking about the new life he has given us, but not always about what he actually suffered in order to give us this new life. And when I realise what he actually did to save me it gives me such a fresh, perspective on what I mean to him and what you mean to him. He went willingly, I must add as well.

Having had the cross up since yesterday, I actually think it is really beautiful and stop to touch it and just look and marvel. I think as an evangelical I can sometimes get so hung up on “new life” that I can almost forget about the process it took to get it. I can also start thinking and wondering (as many do) about the suffering people endure on this earth. But when you actually look at what Jesus endured, physically, mentally and spiritually, for all of mankind I must add… He suffered and he suffered in the most appalling way…I think we can forget that, or at least I know I can put it to the back of my mind sometimes instead of facing it.

I love all the normal everyday “stuff” around this. Jesus comes to us in our normal, everyday lives and gives us new life through his death and resurrection.

How come I’ve got nits and no one else has??!!!

Now I’ve got your attention…:D

It’s true though and I also have no idea where I’ve got them from. I’ve not really interacted that closely with anyone. Doesn’t really matter! I think I’ve managed to oust them anyway. Horrible itchy little critters.

This week has again been a funny one, mainly from inside my own head really. Lots of stuff going on, trying to make decisions, do life, still waiting for transfer of residence to happen so we can sort the cars out properly.

A great thing is, we ordered some plants, a couple of apple trees, pear trees, rose shrubs, raspberry canes, strawberry plants, blueberry and cranberry bushes and Chris planted them yesterday. We will see what happens, the ground is still fairly wet, but hopefully everything will survive and even flourish. We’re trying out training the apple and pear trees along wire cordons to make a hedge of fruit trees, don’t know how clear this is, but like this:

Basically, there’s a little one year old apple tree against two of the posts and we will train it as it grows along the wires (providing it does grow). We saw them like this at Clumber Park near Worksop, UK and they worked really well. Particularly like that I’ve got the bottom of the welly that’s been left in the garden, on the bottom right of the photo.

I wrote about the bottle dump in the wood previously, but as Chris was putting the plants in he found some more interesting looking bottles than the big brown ones:

One of them even has a little cork inside it. Not really sure you can see it very well on the photo but they’re quite pretty. We’ve washed them and I am definitely not bottle banking these.

Finally, it’s quite rainy again, but I’m trying to make sure the kids get outside at least for a bit every day. I love this photo:

It does look deceptively idyllic though, instead of full of “don’t knock your brother over”, “please don’t open the stair gate” “don’t touch the oven, it’s hot”. too much television and me shouting too much… But it’s also cool and exciting and ours, given us as a gift by God for his purposes, which are unknown to us as of yet. Trusting ourselves to God each and every day is the only way.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
  neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
  so are my ways higher than your ways
  and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

A Summary of the latter end of this week in Pictures

My eggs arrived! it was a record, they came through the post in less than a day, fully intact and ready to incubate! An Post is great. If it was a courier it wouldn’t have got here nearly as quickly. Sorry but I haven’t actually taken pictures of the eggs yet. They went into the incubator tonight. They should take approximately three weeks to hatch (providing they’re fertile).

Our new fire was installed and (wait for it…) a radiator in the living room, we’ve been soooo warm:

We also had a range installed that runs our central heating, I don’t think I’ve lived in a house with central heating for about 14 years, it’s great! The surroundings will one day match the cooker. I made pancakes this morning, then pizza tonight, to try it out. It is very, very nice. The only thing I really have to watch is keeping the littlest boy away from it because it gets so hot and trying to tell the oldest boy not to put plastic objects on top of it. Might have to get the fire guard back out for a bit maybe.

Finally, Chris’s dream came true, yes folks, he has a tractor!

He just has to get the mower to go with it and he’ll be away up off to the field with it. Up, up and awwaaaaaay, off to sort the field out.

God bless you all and see you soon.

This is a ‘hi!’ post

Just wanted to say hello really. Chris has now got his shed up and with a floor down, almost ready for our still boxed up stuff. He’s also sorted the plinth out for the heating oil tank and it’s all up and ready. The oil is coming tomorrow.

It’s been really mild today so the kids have loved playing out. (It makes such a difference to their moods too!). Our youngest has just got his first shoes and wasn’t keen until he realised he could walk outside properly now. Then he was fine with them.

This is in the little wood.

So hello! And goodbye. Short but sweet.