Monday, August 31, 2009

Journey To London: Final Stage

(I found some sort of an internet thing for now - getting connected today - so pictures of the flight below....)

The things I remember most distinctly are these: the jerk of the plane, and the speed... how smooth it felt, and how I gasped as I realized we left the ground; the sensation that I was flying; seeing labyrinth of blackness, suddenly streaked with a pale line of light - dawn, in foreign territory; my first glimpse of English countryside; suddenly coming out of the fog and clouds and having five seconds to look around before we hit the ground; my first step on British land.

The plane ride was perfect. It was the perfect length of time.  They showed a favorite movie, which we watched; then they served dinner, and after that a beverage, and then tea/coffee.  I read a few chapters out of Little Dorrit, I wrote a four page journal entry, wrote a few pages in my book, listened to music for a little, and then watched the blackness turn to dawn, and watched the dawn turn into sunrise, and watched the sunrise turn into morning.  But below us there was a thick blanket of grey clouds.  We plunged into it, and couldn't see anything.  As I said, I caught a glimpse of fertile, vibrant green English countryside, marked by hedgerows and everything...  And then we were served breakfast.




Really, a delightful trip. Except... I didn't sleep at all. Neither did Chloe.  And the best way to deal with jetleg is to not sleep during the day, and try to stay up till 9 PM (London time) and then sleep. So, right now, I have not slept for 33 hours.  Every time I sit down to read, I really almost drop asleep.

Because we were so tired, and because Auntie had to teach a class and wasn't here to keep us awake, Chloe and I decided to hit the town.  We walked down to the British Museum, and then to Trafalga Square and took pictures of Lord Nelson, and then walked down to Westminster Abbey, and went near Buckingham Palace (although we didn't know it was Buckingham Palace - just thought it was some random building :P) saw the Parliamentary Buildings, the Churchill Museum, the Supreme Court, and other buildings.... Good heavens! This was most interesting.  We didn't go in anywhere, because we wanted to wait for Nana and Aunt Paula, but we got our bearings, and it is amazing how easy it is to memorize London. :D  So, when we go the next few days to visit places, we'll know better how to plan our trips.  The great thing is about this place is that everybody is walking.  People do take the buses, but everybody is walking, walking, walking.  Everybody gets their exercise.  It's nice... And it's nice to be able to go out and walk in different directions and see historical statues and stuff.

Speaking of which....

I saw a statue from behind of a hunched man in a long trench coat, with a hunky sort of head... And as I walked towards it, I said: "O, that is Winston Churchill!"  And sure enough, as I walked around to the front, I recognized his hard, stern eyes, and hard mouth-line, and stern, intimidating features.  But I am always amused when I see his face, for some reason. Not in a disrespectful way, though.  I love his writings, and I admire all the research he did and the time he took to write such detailed histories for us...

And before we started the who-knows-how-many-mile trek back to Auntie's flat, we sat under a tree by a statue of a man named "Derby" and ate dark chocolate. :D

And now we are about to have dinner, and after that BED!

Again, I am not connected to the internet on my computer, so I am unable to upload pictures. But I WILL DO SO tomorrow when I get my internet, because we took some really good pictures.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Journey To London: Third Stage

So we have reached the third stage of our journey: Airport. Destination: London. (:-O)  We have a nonstop flight. I got through security OK.... *sigh of relief* Except, the beeper thing kept going off whenever I went through it, and the security guard decided I had way too many bobby pins in my hair.... So he had to call for some "female assistance" to make sure I wasn't... um... carrying anything suspicious. They decided I was fine, and we were allowed to proceed. But that was the only eventful thing. The last time I went on a plane, I was three. And it wasn't a big deal to me then. And now we're about to fly, and I have butterflies in my stomach at the thought of even taking off. :) I am excited.
 Sisters. Fellow Pilgrims. (not). But.... Fellow Travelers. (yeah). :)
 For my Daddy. :)

The above picture was taken and posted because of a name my dad has - "Broo HopHop." And we thought it was funny, especially since dad's such a coffee person. :)
 Continue to pray!

Sweet Sixteen

Today I turned sixteen.  Everything's gone by so fast, but there's not really anything you can do about it... So. I'm sixteen. :)

Miss Ellie was so kind... Somebody told her before we
arrived that it was my birthday.  She greeted me this morning with a huge grin, a happy birthday, and a hug.  And after lunch, she announced that since it was a special day, she had a "special dessert". 

 So it's been a good day. And what better way to celebrate than spending seven and a half hours on your way to London?!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Journey To London: Second Stage

Here we are sitting in Wilmington Delaware at Miss Ellie's house.  Last year when our family went on a vacation to Cape Henlopen Delaware, we staid at Miss Ellie's house while dad did a concert at her church.  We had never met her before, but she kindly offered us her home. She is the perfect example of a hostess. :)

Tonight we arrived after a chaotic day to a dinner of stuffed porkchops, applesauce, french bread, fresh tomatoes and mashed potatoes. Yummy!

We had tons of fun the way here. In anticipation of our trip, Chloe and I could not for the life of us stop laughing. We laughed most of the way here... Especially when we saw signs like this one, under a Holiday Inn: "Free room with purchase of room key." :P

So the second stage has been covered. And hopefully tomorrow our flight to London will be effected without delays or mishaps.

Continue to pray for us!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Journey To London: First Stage

 I'm sorry for the long lapses in between posts... It has been a busy month. Some of you who read my sister's blog at Holy Magnolias, may have seen there that we are effecting a trip to the UK on Sunday.  Long story, but flights were much cheaper out of Philadelphia, so we have to be at that airport on Sunday. The first stage of this journey to London is over.  We are staying at my Nana's house in Lewisburg, PA.  Yesterday, daddy drove Chloe and I halfway, and Nana picked us up and drove us back. A very uneventful trip.  Granddaughters do what they love best: talk.  Talked about the latest happenings, and filling Nana in on every single detail.

Chloe seems to be a little... confused as to which country we're visiting...
Anyways, I hope to continue posting while I'm in London - maybe you shouldn't count on it, but I hope to.  I have my camera, and my laptop, and everything I'd need to do it, so hopefully.

We are going to London because my aunt who is a professor at a college, is leading something called Bucknell (the college she works at) in London.  She's there for the first semester, and has her own flat in zone 1 of London.  So... we decided we needed to go visit her for a few weeks. :D

Pray for our safety physically - and spiritually (as this will be our first time in a socialist nation :-|).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Day Trip To New Wilmington

Two Sundays ago was very busy... My dad played for a church service in New Wilmington, PA (close to Pittsburgh) and everybody excepting Gabriel and Duncan (who were in Lewisburgh helping Nana move) went along. I love the way my dad plays piano, and his style of praise music. We sang In Christ Alone, Crown Him With Many Crowns, Be Thou My Vision, and Open The Eyes Of My Heart. And then we sang one that my dad wrote.... everybody is crazy about it, and it's called Praise Your Name. But as I was saying, I was so enraptured with my dad's really playing out the songs, and by the depth of emotion in his voice, that it almost made me sob. Especially during the offertory when he played his own arrangement of I Surrender All, and one he wrote... Though He Slay Me....

Because I love this song so much, and because it makes me cry every time dad sings it, and because it's pretty much the best song on the face of the earth, I'm going to write down the lyrics....

My Lord, my God
I have no one else in heaven but you.
My life, my all is a fleeting shadow
Compared to you.
Everything I have, all I see and do
Will be swept away, but

Though he slay me,
Still will I hope in Him
Though he slay me
Still will I trust in the name of my God
Though the mountains crumble and fall in the sea
Though my path is dark and my eyes cannot see
Though He slay me
Still will I trust in the name of the Lord my God.

My life is Yours
I surrender all I have to your will
I give my life
As a living sacrifice to your will
I will put my trust
In your unfailing love
I will risk it all for

Though He slay me
Still will I hope in Him
Though He slay me
Still will I trust in the name of my God
Though the mountains crumble and fall in the sea
Though my path is dark and my eyes cannot see
Though He slay me
Still will I trust in the grace of the Lord my God.

Ahh, it's 100 times better when you can hear the music. Dad's hoping to work on recording a third CD of all his vocal songs... And I can't wait! Although nothing beats a live performance. :D

The sermon, spoken by Ralph Hawkins, was incredibly insightful and amazing. I'm still kind of dazed by the expressiveness that he used. He talked about Abram and Sara. How important it was back then to have an heir. And he talked about how even though Abram was near sighted in the physical sense, he was near sighted in the spiritual sense as well. He could not see down the road of that future... it held nothing for him. His only heir was a slave in his house. But God said: "Look up to the sky, and count the stars... if, indeed, you can" and proceeds to tell him that his offspring will be like the stars in the sky, even though he was so very old. It was not who Abram was that made this happen, but who God was and is.


Spiritually, we are as near sighted as Abram. How can we stumble along the paths of live by ourselves, on our own, in such a condition? Like I said in a previous post, pride makes us think that we can do it on our own. But no... not when it is clear that we know nothing certain about the future, not when we are as near sighted as Abram. Our trust belongs to God - He is our vision, and He is the one who will guide us - we cannot rely on our strength, or the strength of men.

After the service, there was a fund raiser for... something. :D (I just really cared about the food at that moment, so I didn't really see what it was for.) We set up a table and sold a very good amount of CD's. That was good. When the number of people began to decrease, I suddenly became aware of my four year old sister running wildly around holding a bright golden kitten, with a white throat, belly, and paws. The kitten was obviously panicked, my sister obviously not in a mood to care about that, and obviously intent on never letting it out of her sight. "LOOK! IT'S FREE!" she exclaimed excitedly. We then found that a few days ago, two girls had found the kitten in the park, had kept it, and now were giving it away. I have no idea how old she was, but she WAS horribly cute... We took her to mom. "Please mom.... Katharina died, and Ophelia left, and now we only had two." "Please dad?!" Daddy glanced at mom. He knew her aversion to cats, and so he said, "let's not take it..." Someone walked up and engaged him in conversation. "Please mom!" "Please!" "Look how cute she is?" "Mommy, how can you resist that?" the little kids (and me *grin*) pleaded with her. A grin flashed across her face: "Alright, fine." Then she turned around to face me, suddenly saying: "oh dear! What's wrong with me?" and then laughed.

So... we took her home....

...and she seemed to take to Elvis right away. (Elvis is a hound dog that we're watching while his owners are out of town.)

And we have *another* cat.

...And she likes to sleep in odd places. :D

I wanted to name her some Greek name, or Roman... I had Berenice in mind... I don't know why, but I really liked the sound of it. But of course no one else liked it at all, and so now her name is Bella. And that was our adventure for the day.