Sunday, November 28, 2010


A few things I'm thankful for all mixed up and in random order.

I'm thankful to be in Belfast.

I'm thankful for skype.

I'm thankful for new additions to the family, especially this little guy.
I'm thankful for Turkey soup!

I'm thankful for pretty Christmas/Thanksgiving bunting.
I'm thankful for winter sunshine and chrysanthemums.
I'm thankful for apple cinnamon candles.
I'm thankful that I learned how to knit this year.

I'm thankful for a lovely little early Christmas present for myself in the way of a knitting kit from Ysolda.

I'm thankful for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with wonderful friends!
I'm thankful for friends, new and old.
I'm thankful for candles, and autumn leaves.
I'm thankful my first turkey was a success.

I'm thankful for my plaid flannel dress.

I'm thankful for cranberry sauce.

I'm thankful for Jesus and his love and care for me.

I'm thankful for movies and books and music.

I'm thankful for facebook.

I'm thankful for snow.

I'm thankful for sunsets.

I'm thankful for poetry.

I'm thankful that being thankful makes me feel so happy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

tonight's going to be a good night!

You can see the video of Kirstin's wedding here!

Although I'm sure you'll all be disappointed to know that the shot of me being flung across the dance floor by the father of the bride has not been included. I know I am.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Last night I had the unexpected experience of visiting Dr. Ian Paisley's church and hearing him preach. In many ways it was a surreal experience. All of the women wore hats (because women should keep their heads covered). The Bibles were in the Authorised Version (the only true translation). The language used from the pulpit was largely inaccessible for anyone under the age of 60.

I had tagged along with a friend who was going as a part of her master's course. It was me and about 15 other people studying conflict resolution and reconciliation. We were invited to speak to Dr. Paisley after the service. There was a marked difference in his manner and his speech when he was no longer in the pulpit. He greeted everyone and shook our hands. It was possible to understand what he was saying. He was friendly and accommodating. It was obvious that just as Northern Ireland has come a long way since the troubles, Dr. Paisley has come a long way from "Ulster says no." It was also obvious that just as Northern Ireland still has a ways to go, Dr. Paisley does as well. My prayer for him is that he would know the grace and love of Jesus and find peace in himself.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

rainy day

This was a very rainy day. A very rainy and blustery day. The blustery rain woke me up about 3:00am and kept me awake until about 4:30am. That was not very happy. Fortunately I didn't have to be at college until 12:30 so I could sleep in a bit.

The day got better from there. I got a good amount of work done at school. Just as I was leaving school I had a text that the boots I ordered had come into the shop. That meant I could pick them up on my way to my Wednesday afternoon knitting group. Not to mention they fit and they are lovely and they were on sale!!!

Knitting group was good, very interesting conversations going on. I'm trying my hand at my first pair of socks which required a bit of concentration so there was a bit more listening than talking on my part.

I just discovered that a singer/songwriter type I really enjoy has a Christmas album. It's been out for two years so I'm not sure how I missed it. But I got it this morning and have been listening to it ever since. Lovely. It's Christmas Songs by Fernando Ortega. I'm loving his versions of Joy to the World and O Little Town of Bethlehem, two of my favourite Christmas songs.

Then, once I finally made it home in the dark and cold and rain I won an auction on ebay for a much needed extension adapter for my computer. £9 including shipping for something that would have cost about £30 directly from apple. And I got nectar points for it!

I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy. I've got part of an assignment 700 words and a full assignment 3,500 words due. Plus, Thanksgiving is next week and I'm having a large group of friends over for dinner to celebrate on the Friday. Speaking of which, my lovely course coordinator while conducting an informal interview on Tuesday was checking in with how I'm doing and said she wanted to do something to help me feel at home for Thanksgiving. So she has offered to make a dessert for my dinner! How lovely is that???

I'll be off at placement tomorrow. Here's hoping the wind and rain don't keep me up tonight so I have plenty of energy for the "little dears."

Sunday, November 14, 2010


My youngest sister and I have been wanting to go to Antarctica together for a while. This is largely inspired by the book Troubling a Star by Madeline L'Engle. We're realistic about it, we realise it will take a few years to save up the money for a trip of this nature. This week the first concrete step of planning was accomplished. Lacy found this expedition. Now, all we have to do is save up about $25,000 each. (And we will definitely be doing the optional extension trip to Easter Island. I mean if you're going to take a month and spend a year's salary you might as well make the most of it. Right?)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

all hedgie and hoggie

One of my favourite things about my course is my placement. I'm working in a nursery school on Thursdays and Fridays and I love it. (A nursery school is for three and four year olds and is the year before children go to primary school.)

On Friday my class took a trip to Belvior Forest Park, one of my favourite places in Belfast. They've been learning about Autumn and nocturnal animals and hibernation so it was perfect! We had a guide who led us around and did wonderful sensory activities with the children like having them close their eyes and listen to the sound of the forest and collecting bits of leaves to stick on a little piece of cardboard shaped like an artist's palette to show off the colours of Autumn. We saw a deserted Badger's sett and a California Redwood which is the tallest tree in the forest, and also saw the bamboo grove where the hedgehogs make their winter nest.

It's so fun learning about British animals! (I am such a dork!)

I am also learning lots of wonderful new children's songs. Some of the songs are the same, like Twinkle, Twinkle. Some of the songs have the same lyrics but a different melody, like Baa, Baa Black Sheep. Some have whole new sections added on like 10 in the Bed. And some are completely new. My favourite of this week is sung to the tune of Two Little Blackbirds Sitting on a Hill.

"Two little hedgehogs sitting by the shed
One named Marybel and one named Fred.
Curl up Marybel, curl up Fred
Two little hedgehogs sitting by the shed.

Two little hedgehogs sitting by the shed
One named Marybel and one named Fred.
Peekaboo Marybel, peekaboo Fred
Two little hedgehogs sitting by the shed."

Thursday, November 4, 2010


On the 4th day of the 44th week of the 11th month of 1982 I was born.
It was a Thursday, like today.

Monday, November 1, 2010


1) I wish Andrew Bird and/or The Decemberists would come to Belfast.
2) When the curtains are closed it makes my room feel like a tent.
3) I spend a lot of time getting over myself.
4) I've been entering Jordan Cereal's Frusli Fruiti Fun contest every week. Haven't won of the big prizes, but you can win up to three cereal bars each week. My first six just came in the mail.
5) I'm loving Jason Upton's new CD, Live in Dublin
6) I had a cold last week during my fall break and so spent a good amount of time watching tv online, Big Bang Theory anyone?
7) It's a good idea to pay close attention to what you're buying at Asian markets. I have no idea what I bought, but I know it's not lentils.
8) Pumpkin pancakes are one of my new favourite things.
9) It is now quite dark at roughly 5pm.
10) God is crying out over Ireland like a Father longing for his runaway child to come home.

Just sayin'