Saturday, 3 March 2012

Things We are Going to Miss

Things we are going to miss about England

  1. Church Bells
  2. Being 15 minutes away from a church, castle, cathedral, or manor house in any direction at any given time
  3. The accents
  4. The plethora of used bookstores with awesome selection
  5. Saying "Hey! Lets go to London/Cambridge/Oxford for the weekend!"
  6. Small English town living
  7. Being able to walk everywhere
  8. The fantastic selection of true British Ales (this one is Donovan's)
  9. The beautiful English scenery
  10. Public transport
  11. Charity shops
  12. Sheep!
  13. Living in a town that was founded by the Romans
  14. Pretty every building is 200+ years old

 England is so beautiful and we are going to miss a lot more than just these fourteen things...but for now this is good enough. :)

I encourage you all to visit England at some point...and not just London..get out and see it all!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Drawing To An End

On February 9th, 2012 Donovan was called into the Head Teacher's office, twenty minutes before he had parent teacher interviews for the next 3 hours, and was told that at the end of the term (March 30th) he would no longer be needed as they have found a permanent teacher to fill his position. Donovan, in shock, finishes up his interviews, goes home and looks at his contract all while thinking "Can they do this to me?". Well, they can. They have to give a Half-Term's notice (which they did...though not well.) So, of course we were faced with "what do we do?" On Friday Donovan and I Skyped and he told me. I smiled and said "Yay! We can come home! This is really good sweetie!" When I got home on Sunday we talked about it and made plans very quickly. At the end of March we will be coming back to Canada. For good. As of this moment I will be coming home March 21st and Donovan will be following April 4th (Once he is done teaching.)

Donovan has applied for some teaching positions back in Canada starting middle of March, otherwise he will look into getting a job working construction somewhere and I will also look into a job. Of course Donovan's overall goal is to find a full-time teaching position for September and we will be looking all over Alberta for that.

I have been super busy cleaning, organizing, de-junking, packing, and trying very hard not to have a panic attack!

The scariest part of all of this is The Unknown. Not knowing where we will be working, not knowing where we will be going. I know that this is a perfect opportunity for me to trust in God and to rely wholly on him. Not as easy as it sounds. If I don't think about EVERYTHING that has to get done and just focus on one thing at a time I find I stay way more calm. Listening to Worship Music and praying while working really helps...and knowing that I have no control..that helps as well.

I would like to ask for prayers over the next little while...there is a list. :)
- That Donovan and I would not over stress about moving
- That jobs would line up from April till the end of the summer
- That a Full-Time Teaching position for Donovan would open up
- Peace in everything
- That we would remember to praise and thank God through all of this

Thank you everyone!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Old friends into New

This past weekend a friend I grew up with, Natalie McIntyre, came and visited us. It was so nice to be able to show a friend around "our stomping grounds" and share in some wonderful meaningful conversation and to have a old friend become a new friend. I want to say that it has been 10+ years since we have had such a wonderful connecting time and I really hope we don't go that long again!!

On Friday we went to Oxford and spent the day, we have decided that Oxford is a favourite of ours…on this visit we were able to go and see Tolkien’s Grave! Such a treat. Then on Saturday we went to Ely Cathedral which is about an hour from here. It was so beautiful! What I think is so amazing is that it is this massive, beautiful building in the middle of a very small town. When you are driving up it really looks like the Cathedral is in the middle of a field because you can’t see anything else but this Cathedral. 

 This should be self explanatory......

Ely Cathedral

January trip to Canada!

Greetings! I know it has been awhile since I have written anything, but now it is time!!

I had the most amazing trip home!! I was there for so many wonderful things. I got to see my newest nephew just hours after he was born, my parents made it possible for me to go to BreakForth, I was able to celebrate my sisters 19th birthday with her, I saw so many old and new friends, and of course was able to see many of my old piano students. It was so nice!!

I don't even know where to start relaying the wonders of my adventures! Seeing my niece and nephews, spending time with my mom, dad, and sister, hanging out with friends playing telephone pictionary and eating Tolhouse Sugar cookies, having many coffee and lunch dates with various people talking about various things, watching a dear friend waltz around in a wedding dress, finding out a beloved friend is going to have another baby, staying up ridicously late watching movies and talking with my sister-in-law, and just the wonders of everyday life.

I sometimes felt like I was on the other side of a window watching these things play out. Not in a creepy way, but in a good way. I knew I was welcome on the other side...but it was almost to sacred to go in. I know that probably sounds insane and crazy...but it makes sense to me. :)

Of course, coming home to my husband was so wonderful as well. The nicest part was that he had a break right away! We spent last week relaxing and spending time with each other and getting me over my jet lag. 

I had the most wonderful time...and I am going to include some pictures to help show what a wonderful time I had!

Seeing old piano students

My nephew Rourke and his Auntie Beth!

A Mini Cow, A Sheep, A Mini Pig, and Purple Monkey.

Pyretta, Auntie Beth, and Hans.

Hans Sebastian Liam (about 9 hours old in this picture!)

Well, thats all for now! Look on my facebook page for more pictures!!!!

Friday, 13 January 2012

One Sleep!!!

53 days ago when I booked my flight home I thought the day would never come! Now at this time tomorrow I will be on an airplane ready to take off for a long nine hour flight. I just hope I will be able to sleep tonight and on the plane. Excitement might set in and then I'll be doomed. Plus there is the whole time change thing that might mess with my head. I leave here at 9:45am on the 14th of January and 9 hours later I arrive at the Calgary airport at 12:05pm on the 14th of January. If I don't sleep on the plane hopefully I'll catch a few zzz's on the drive home. My dad is picking me up solo (which is probably killing my mom...she'll survive though) but it means the car will be quiet!

I have already started booking coffee dates, lunch dates, and even a sleepover! I am planning on morning workouts with my wonderful Sister-in-law Sarah, lots of days playing with my niece and nephews, BreakForth, and so many other wonderful things!

On another note...I am going to miss my husband. This will probably be the hardest on him seeing as I help break of the monotiny of going back and forth between school. The freezer is full of meals and baked goods...but that doesn't replace me.

Anyways, just in case I don't get a blog post up while I am gone. See you all soon!!!

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Christmas Greetings!

2011-12-24 – Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is here and we are going to head out this afternoon to look for WI-FI so that I can talk to my parents. Oh how I miss them. I try to be brave so as not to make everyone around me feel bad. I am having a wonderful time and I am so glad that we are here…it’s just this is only my second time away from my family for Christmas and the first time was two years ago and we were only gone for five days. We did the 23rd with them then back for the new year. I won’t see them again this year. Wow. That sounds depressing. But things are going well.

We drove to Adare today and visited a beautiful Catholic Cathedral. It was all decorated for Christmas services and it was beautiful. We walked through it, I sent a prayer up for my family and friends and sucked back the tears for the umpteenth time. We then went to Limerick and found free WI-FI so that I could send a Christmas message to my parents. I didn’t get a chance to talk to them but I made peace with it and was okay.
It was dark on the way back and as we drove through the countryside we looked in the windows of the houses and there would be candles in every window of pretty much every house. When you looked out into the valleys or up into the hills it was the same. I don’t remember the full tradition of that but I think it has something to do with the travellers being able to see which houses were available to stay in for a Christmas drink…or something like that, I’ll need to research that and look into it a little better. It was the neatest when we got home and our driveway is down quite the hill and we can see for miles up and we looked out and all you could see where bright lights throughout the hills…it was very warming and nice.

Then we had a wonderful Christmas Eve Dinner of Ham and Scallop Potatoes, cleaned up, made up a tray of desserts then we a snuggled in front of a roaring fire and watched “A White Christmas”. It was truly a wonderful Christmas Eve. 

2011-12-25 – Christmas Day

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! I hope everyone has had a truly wonderful day celebrating the birth of our Saviour with family and friends. Our thoughts were with you all day and into the night.
We had a glorious day! We woke up and had coffee and pastries then opened our presents! I was so spoiled!! I got a book, two DVD’s (The Secret Garden and Black Beauty), a day planner, address book, socks, a t-shirt, Starbucks Christmas Blend, a puzzle book, some Body Works bath stuff, slippers, Christmas PJ’s and assorted chocolates. I love all that I got but I am enjoying my fuzzy slippers and Christmas Jammies the most.

After presents we had the traditional Gale Christmas Brunch; it is usually Waffles but we didn’t have a waffle iron so we had French toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, Buck Fizz, and more coffee. After that Mr. Turkey went into the oven and we all snuggled down and read, watched movies, ate food, had naps all while staying in our pyjamas all day! Dinner was amazing and so filling, my favourite part was being able to stay in my PJ’s during it! I kinda missed dressing up for Christmas…but at the same time…I didn’t! We ended the evening by watching “The Kingdom” and “Furry Vengeance”. Don’t ever bother watching the second one. All in all a very fun and memorable Christmas.

On another note, I loved celebrating Christmas over here. Ireland and England. After Christmas people didn't take down everything and turn off the Christmas music. They don't until Epiphany (I asked). What is so awesome about that is that tradition wise Christmas is supposed to continue until the 6th of January. So, this year, do something different. Keep your tree up, keep eating, keep celebrating the birth of our Lord...way past the 6th of January.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us to you. :)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday Morning Musings

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.” – Psalm 68:19

Donovan and I have been reading a Psalm every morning for a couple of months now. Naturally we have missed the odd morning, but for the most part we have stuck with it. Sometimes I read it and when finished we just go on with our morning…but sometimes we talk about which verse sticks out the most to us. This morning my back is not doing so well so we decided that maybe going to church and sitting on rock hard pews wouldn’t be a good idea, so we read our Psalm, talked about it, meditated on it and listened to music.

As I read Psalm 68 this morning verse 19 really stuck out to me. As most of you know I have been struggling with keeping up with my daily Bible studies. I want to read my Bible every day; I want to grow closer to God; I just can’t seem to find the inner strength do to it. Of course, on the days that I delve in and study His Word, listen to Worship Music, sing at the top of my lungs, let the words penetrate my heart, those are the good days. In verse 19 it says “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.” The emphasis on the word “who” was interesting to me. You’d think that the emphasis would be on “is” but it isn’t. The Psalmist wants us to focus on The One who bears our burden, The One who is with us no matter what, The One who carries us when we are down, and The One who is always by our side waiting for us to turn to Him. The One who is our salvation. No matter what I want to Bless my Lord and Saviour who is my salvation.

I find that sometimes we set goals for ourselves that we somewhere inside of us we know we will never be able to reach them; maybe one day but not on the day that we make them. (Or, at least I do.) So I have decided to make smaller goals and build from there. My goal for the next couple of weeks is to spend 5 minutes a day praising God; blessing His name, lifting Him up, thanking him for all that He does for me. I used to do that all the time, but I haven’t in a long time so now, it’s back to basics. Please pray that I am able to do this and in doing this grow closer to my heavenly Father and become strong in Him once again.

Blessed Sunday everyone and Happy 1st Sunday in Advent!!! Bring on the Christmas Music!!!!!!!