Burns Supper

Tonight we had our Burns Supper. Celebrating the national poet Robert Burns. We had haggis, neeps and tatties, recited a few poems and listened to local singer (thru the cd player) Eddie Reader sing songs in honour of Robbie!

International Christmas

I’m posting early as it is going to get busy. I almost finished our shopping, our tree is decorated, Sophie has her party today (she is Mary in the play), and the kids get out at 230pm and then have off for 2 weeks.

Our Christmas meal is shaping up to be an ‘international’ feast. Along with Carol’s sister’s family, we have a Pakistani family, a Congolese/French family, a Nepali friend, and possibly a Danish friend. This means we cannot have ham (Muslim culture) nor beef (Nepali/Hindu culture). We wouldn’t do beef anyway so we will be having turkey, chicken, and I’d like to try a salmon filet. There will be international people so I’m hopeful we will also have international foods 🙂

The next day we head over to our English neighbours for Boxing Day – the term originates in Victorian era Britain, for the day after Christmas, when the rich would box up gifts and bring them to the poor, and also to their own servants. It will be a full few days in addition to our Mosaic gathering on the 23rd and the one we host at our flat on the 30th. I’m glad the kids are off, we have a roof over our heads, and that God is blessing us with these wonderful friends.

If you remember please pray for Ruth a community member and Sheila, the mother of Peter another community member.

Have a Happy Christmas and great Hogmanay!

Mike for the family

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Flaming skips

What is a flaming skip you might ask. First let me describe a skip for those who don’t know this English (UK) term. We have builders, joiners (carpenters), and decorators in the flat below us. They are completely remodeling our neighbours place so it can be rented out. They have taken all the debris and placed it in a skip on the street out front:

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Last night at 1145pm I climbed into bed after a long busy day. It was a cold and clear night and Carol had just put on the electric blanket. I barely got to feel the warmth of the sheets when our door buzzer sounded. I hurried to put on clothes and ran downstairs. I was worried a pipe had burst and it was a neighbour from the basement. Before I could reach the door, I hear my and Carol’s name being shouted through all the doors; by a male voice I didn’t recognize. I openned it cautiously as the man walked off the porch. He was surrounded by a strange orange glow. It was as if a star had fallen from the sky. When I openned the outer door he yells back, ‘Hey pal, your skip is on fire! You better move ye car!’ Flames reaching into the night sky, sure enough the skip was ablaze and our car was inches from it. I ran back inside, found the keys and then moved the car. The fire brigade arrived shortly thereafter and put it out. We went back to bed wishing we would have gotten the kids up. It was a bunch of neds (non-educated delinquents) who lit it so that isn’t so nice as we’ve been having more problems around here. However, it was kind of cozy and warm next to this massive bonfire. The kids went out early this morning before it was hauled away and played in the foam that was used to put it out (kids will be kids). What a site and what a night!

Father & Son

Yesterday was a father & son day. Harrison is in a unique situation with his school mates. He loves to be with them but we both know that there are some character issues with some of them (and he towards them) that can be a bad influence in either direction – bad company corrupts good character. We try to be careful about his interactions with them and the influences they bring as it is clear they aren’t being raise according to the way of Jesus. One influence is that they all see the latest movies, regardless of the rating. Every kid has seen the film Transformers but him. They have the toys, the PS2/XBox games, and talk about it incessantly. It pains us and him that he feels left out and we try to talk with him about his feelings, why we parent differently, and how we can pursue other activities. After much deliberation, we bought a Transformers toy for him off ebay and agreed that I would take him to the film. He could not contain the excitement as last night was the night to watch it. It was a wonderful bonding experience for us, we both enjoyed the film and on the way home had a chat about good & evil, how Jesus came to save people (not Autobots!) and how we can respond to Jesus. We saw a fox on the walk home, held hands the whole way and then when he climbed into bed, I was able to give him the toy we bought (he thought it hadn’t come yet). The joy was evident in him and it was great to be with my son through this experience.