So much has happened during my month away from Bloggyland that I don't know where to start. So, in summary, I am thanking God for the following during Summer 2010:
1. Our wonderful two week holiday in Switzerland. It is like returning home each time we go. We have been to the same place for the last 22 years. We are thinking of buying a very small apartment in Interlaken as we know we will continue to visit this beautiful area to walk in the glorious mountains twice or more a year. The first few days were strange without Charlie- I felt bereft at times! He had an amazing time in Rome and did so much during the 5 days he was there. Graham and Harry went to meet him, but his flight was delayed by 51/2 hours so they missed the last train back to Interlaken and had to stay in Basel overnight! Highlights of the first week's holiday included a boat trip on Lake Thun, Trotti-biking down the Niederhorn and walking up Harder Kulm. A family from church were staying on the same campsite for a few days so we had several enjoyable evenings with them, playing games, bbq-ing marshmallows, and eating chocolate fondues. The second week was spent in Grindelwald at Hotel Bodmi, in an apartment at the very top of the hotel. The weather wasn't brilliant, but we still had a good time and did the usual walks, including the 6 hour hike from Kleine Sheidegg to First which was amazing. We swam most days and played several games of tension-filled Monopoly with Rosie reigning as our new family champion. So, Graham is flying out on Saturday to meet the estate agent and view the property. We are praying for wisdom and guidance in making the right decision here as we will have to borrow the money. Hopefully, we'll be able to rent it out during the skiing season and times when we know we won't use it. We would be able to go for week-ends as flights are inexpensive, and we will drive for longer trips.
2. All the children have been with 7,000 other 12-18 year olds at Newday for the last 5 days. It is the first time ever that Graham and I have been without all the children for a period of time. It has been so strange and I have missed them so much. They return today at 1pm and I can't wait to see them. Both Rosie and Harry took friends from school and we have been praying that God will have met with them in a life-changing and tangible way. So, during this time away from my taxi-driving job, I have a relatively clean house, I have blitzed the boys' rooms and have taken 4 bin bags of clothes to charity, I have worked on my project, Graham and I have been out for a couple of nice meals. On Saturday evening we drove to Cambridge and went to Browns and had such a nice meal. We were going to go away walking in the Dales for the week-end which leads me on to the next point.
3. A lesson learned from God about trusting Him, and not avoiding his promptings, which thankfully we didn't. We kept putting off booking our week-end away and in the end I just ran out of time as we were too busy organising Charlie's trip with his friend and our own holiday. On holiday we had a text message from Graham's mum to say that she had a date for her hip replacement op which was last week-end. So we knew that was the reason why we hadn't booked anywhere. We have been able to take Beryl to the hospital, visit everyday and take Graham's dad to see her and look after him too. He is 86, walks unsteadily with a stick and we have been able to discourage him from driving so far. I will set off after I've written this to bring her home. The operation has been successful and she is recovering well. I feel I am really living my project at the moment and will have to see how they get on during the next few weeks as it will be difficult for me to drive over every day when we are back at school and the routine of a new term. They live 30 minutes away, and I'm just praying that Beryl will be ready to go home when I get to the hospital so I will be back in time to collect the children!
3. I am so thankful for changes, the new season which is ahead of us, a new term for the children, a new stage in Charlie's life with sixth form. I had supervision yesterday and in order for me to complete this PhD in three years, I am going to have major deadlines each month and will be extremely busy during the next year. Less coffee and lunch time with friends I think. But with God's help, I will do it. We did talk about me having some time off ( suspension) if Graham's parents need more help, so we will see.
4. I am thankful that we have a new baby nephew and cousin for the children in the family. Baby Henry was born 2 days ago to my sister-in-law and brother and is doing well.