Thursday, November 30, 2006

St. Andrew's Day

Today is St. Andrew's Day, the national day of Scotland. I had completely forgotten about it until lunch time. Addison and I had gone over to a friend's house for baking to help me out of my "depression" and at noon, when we were about to have lunch, my friend asked me if I knew that today, November 30th, was St. Andrew's Day. In honor of this "holiday" we had a traditional Scottish lunch with haggis, neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes). It was my very first haggis EVER, and it was delicious. I completely reject the unfair reputation that haggis has received. Yes, I know what's in haggis. I checked the package for ingredients...sheep's lung, beef heart and liver. Does it bother me? No. None of the parts were identifiable and it was no different than eating sausage. The seasoning was excellent, and the oatmeal gave it a very nice texture.

But back to St. Andrew's Day. I have added pictures from our trip to St. Andrew's this past Monday. They mostly show the ruined chapel and castle along with a few others from the University and some churches in town. We only saw the famous links in passing. Most people, of course, know St. Andrew's as the home of golf and the most frequent host of the British Open. Here is some information I gathered about the Scottish connection with St. Andrew:
About the middle of the tenth century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Several legends state that the relics of Andrew were brought under supernatural guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern town of St. Andrews stands. Another legend says that in the late eighth century, during a joint battle with the English, King Ungus saw a cloud shaped like a saltire, and declared Andrew was watching over them, and if they won by his grace, then he would be their patron saint. However, there is evidence Andrew was venerated in Scotland before this. Andrew's connection with Scotland may have been reinforced following the Synod of Whitby, when the Celtic Church felt that Columba had been "outranked" by Peter and that Peter's older brother would make a higher ranking patron. The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland's conversion to Christianity by St. Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle". Numerous parish churches in the Church of Scotland and congregations of other Christian churches in Scotland are named after St. Andrew.
The Saltire, or St. Andrew's cross, is the national flag of Scotland. Legend has it that St. Andrew was martyred on an x-shaped cross.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Day After Christmas

That's what it feels like this chilly, gray morning. Mom and Dad left last night around 9:15 and drove down to Edinburgh to stay there over night. They had an early morning flight today and knew it would be best with returning their rental car and navigating morning rush hour traffic to already be in Edinburgh when they woke up.

When I woke up I felt strangely sad and wasn't even sure why. I went up into the loft where Addison had been sleeping while Nana and Papa were with us and got him out of his crib. We went downstairs to his regular room to change his diaper, and, as I closed the bedroom door, I discovered my mom's scarf hanging on a hook on the back of the door. Suddenly I realized why I felt so blue this morning. My mom and dad were gone. I wouldn't be seeing them again until late February, and even though it's a shorter period of time between now and then than we had already gone between late August and this visit, it feels like another eternity...and definitely has that heavy feeling of the day after Christmas. You know what I'm talking about. The feeling you get after any big event where there's been lots of planning and expectation. The day occurs and it's wonderful. But the anti-climax feels empty, tired, and ordinary.

So what to do? Buy a Christmas tree! Hey, how else can I innoculate myself from one let-down except by preparing for the next? I'm on a mission to find a tree. I haven't seen any yet, which leads me to the sneaking suspicion that most places will start selling them December 1st. Back at home Trey and I would put up our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but there is no Black Friday to "kick-off" the holiday shopping season here. I'll keep you abreast of my progress and will certainly post pictures of the finished product.

P.S. Their visit was so wonderful. I'm hoping this week to tell you more about it. We had weather like you wouldn't believe was possible in late-November Scotland. Sunshine every day and mild temperatures. Pictures from our Monday trip to St. Andrews will be posted shortly.

Friday, November 24, 2006

They're Here!

My parents arrived safely this evening around 6pm after a long trans-atlantic journey. I was like a little kid waiting by the window for them to arrive. It was so wonderful to see them after so many months. You will have to excuse my absent or shortened blogging over the next few days in light of their visit. They are here until Wednesday morning. I will definitely post pictures from our travels because one of the most exciting parts of them being here is that they have a car and we are going to get out of Aberdeen a little and do some sightseeing. Tomorrow we plan to stay in the city and visit the St. Nicholas Kirk excavation that is open to the public (you can read all about it in my earlier blog "Them Dry Bones"). Also the Aberdeen International Fair kicks off tomorrow, so we hope to stop by that as well.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving! As I sit in my kitchen to write this blog and look at the sun pouring through the clouds and brightly illuminating the late fall foliage just hours after torrential sideways Scottish rain, I am so overcome with feelings of thanksgiving to God for all that He has done for my family and me this past year. I do not even know where to begin, but I thought I would share with you a few highlights in the hope that it will stir your own personal reflection on the goodness of God.


- I am thankful for my husband, my constant companion, best friend, and the love of my life.
- I am thankful for my children who every day teach me more about myself and my relationship to my Savior than I could have ever imagined.
- I am thankful for my home, a cozy haven for weary feet.
- I am thankful for my family who laugh heartily, give selflessly, and love deeply.
- I am thankful for friends, near and far, to remind me that I am not alone.
- I am thankful for simple pleasures like reading by the fire on a chilly, windy evening.
- I am thankful for small victories like remembering to look right when I cross the street or finally getting internet access.
- I am thankful for rain because it makes the sunshine so much sweeter.
- I am thankful for the distance because it has made me realize how much I have taken all of you for granted and what a gift each of you are in my life.
- I am thankful for the unchanging character of God.


"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1.17

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Baby Holloway Update

Today I had my midwife appointment. Since in the UK you only go every 6 weeks for an uncomplicated pregnancy, it felt like an eternity since I had heard the baby's heartbeat. It is always such a glorious sound! My blood pressure was normal, and although I'd only gained 1 kg (2 lbs) in the last 8 weeks, the baby's growth is measuring dead-on at 28.5 cm, so the midwife was not concerned. I'm telling you it's all these homecooked meals and long walks instead of eating out and riding in the car.

The most noteworthy tidbit is that the baby is in a breech, or head up, position instead of the normal head down position. The midwife said that the baby will probably turn on its own. At this stage in the pregnancy, there is still plenty of room to flip around and since I've already had one normal, non-breech delivery, the odds are in my favor. They will keep an eye on it though, and if at 37 weeks the baby is still presenting breech, they will send me to the maternity hospital to manually "turn" the baby. If this is not successful, they will then schedule me for a c-section. Please pray that the baby turns on its own in the next few weeks and stays in the correct position.

I am to back to the midwife in 4 weeks this time, instead of 6, due to my history with high blood pressure when I was pregnant with Addison. So far I don't show any of the signs of pre-eclampsia like I did with him (high blood pressure, swelling, protein in my urine). However, they do want to keep an eye on me to be careful. Interesting fact...The midwife told me that pre-eclampsia is more common in first-time pregnancies than in subsequent ones.

So all in all a good visit. Baby Holloway's heartbeat was very strong and he/she continues to kick away. It all makes sense now why the kicks are so low. I'm feeling the baby's little dancing feet!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Fishing Village with a Drinking Problem

One of the things that has really stood out to me in Aberdeen is the casual attitude locals have about alcohol. Open displays and the unsightly effects of public drunkeness are extremely common. I remember one night back in October getting a ride home from a friend's house and passing a couple just leaving the pub around the corner from our house. The woman was so drunk she could barely walk, and the man, who was also clearly drunk, was trying to help her walk. I suddenly understood in a whole new way the concept of the blind leading the blind. It is not unusual to walk into town on a Saturday morning and see people already in the pubs and bars at 10 o'clock. This has been particularly surprising for me having grown up in an area of the country where you can't even buy a bottle of wine in the grocery store.

One of my friends here works in alcohol education for young people. I was talking with her about it the other day and her simple explanation made complete sense. This is a drinking culture. From the time children are very young it is made part of their lives. In fact, it is currently legal to serve alcohol to a child from the age of 5 in the privacy of a personal residence as long as an adult is present. When it comes to alcohol, people maintain a "live and let live" attitude. Do what you want. It's your life. My friend also told me that there is a significant problem with weekend drinking among "baby boomers". They tend to have a lot of disposable income, children gone from the home, and parents not old enough to need full-time care. Their lives are relatively carefree. I was intrigued by this since the neighbors on both sides of us have already approached us with sheepish apologies "about the noise we were making the other night". Thankfully, our walls are thick and I heard nothing, but their explanation was, "I got a little drunk last night." These are people my parents' age or slightly younger. I shake my head in wonder.

While I am no fan of prohibition, I certainly suspect that the temperance movement has had a leavening influence in our culture and I have to wonder if we wouldn't be dealing with a far more serious drinking problem otherwise.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Freecycle

Forgive me. I must talk a little bit more about Freecycle. Trey thinks I'm developing a serious problem. My obsession grows by the day. But after all, in a place like Scotland and with good Scottish blood flowing through my veins, the prospect of getting things for free gives me goosebumps. Isn't this the land of short arms and deep pockets?

Since my entry of November 7th, I have acquired matching duvet covers, curtains, and pillow shams. Brand? Marks & Spencer. Approximate value? £300 ($600). In the meantime, I am waiting for delivery of two other items -- a card table for Thanksgiving and a breast pump.

So far I've been very blessed. The items I've acquired have all been in new or near new condition. I was a little worried when I collected the bed linens. The house was a cat haven and you could hardly find a place to walk between stacks of books and bags of stuff, but when I got the linens home, washed and ironed them, I discovered they were a high-end brand with excellent thread count.

Yes, I have my wish list. I am keeping my eyes peeled for a glider or rocking chair and Trey is hoping we can find a bookcase of suitable size for his own "special collections". I have seen people give away animals, cars, appliances, theater tickets, doors, garden gates. Haven't seen anyone try to give away spouses or children...yet. Sometimes the conditions of collection are very humorous. For example, today one Freecycler was offering wood with the proviso that the person would assist in felling the trees (see ad below).
Wood from a few trees for the taking however there is a catch (isnt there always and it is a BIG catch)- we need assistance in the felling of said trees! So if there are any budding lumberjacks out there willing to help ....we can provide the Davy Crocket hat and numerous mugs of tea!!
I will keep you posted on my future Freecycling success, and I cannot urge you strongly enough to check out your local chapter. You never know what treasures you will find.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Healthy Cookies

In case you all were wondering what Trey's latest food fixation is...it's oatmeal raisin cookies. They have always been a love of his, but I have a feeling we are settling in for the long haul of many dozens of oatmeal raisin cookies to come. Today, after whipping up a batch, Trey graciously offered to help me by forming them and baking them himself. While in the midst of this task, he looked at me with a sheepish grin and said, "Oatmeal raisin cookies are one of the healthier cookies, wouldn't you say?" I had to laugh. "You can think that if it makes you feel better about eating so many." As I type this, Addison is stuffing his face with oatmeal raisin cookies. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh?

Role Reversal

Yesterday I got to feel what it's like to be the "native" and not the "foreigner". Addison and I went to Duthie Park and the Winter Gardens down at the south end of the city with a very dear Scottish friend of ours and her two girls. She and I love to talk about cooking and share recipes when we get together, and on this occasion, she told me about a brand new cookbook that she had gotten from America, The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fasioned Recipes from New York's Sweetest Bakery. She told me how all the recipes measured flour and butter using cups instead of grams and then she added, "And what are Heath bars?" I had to smile. For once, I wasn't the one looking for a product substitute. She followed up with another question, "And what are graham crackers?" I explained that Heath bars were chocolate covered toffee candy bars and that she could substitute digestive biscuits for graham crakers. They're not exactly the same, but close enough. So does this mean I've been here for a long time now?

Active in, Active out

Or so they say...and this little one sure is a squirmer. I first started feeling the baby around 13 weeks, very early by all normal reckoning, and unlike Addison who would jab me very hard, this little one seems to "swim" around like a dolphin. One of the most amazing things though has been feeling the body parts. OK, this may be a little too weird for some of you, but bear with me. I don't remember being able to do this the last time, at least not until it was almost time to deliver. However, I can actually feel the bones and body parts of this baby. Yes, that's right. I can feel the baby's bottom, spine, elbows, legs. It is totally incredible. Trey is completely riveted by it. All I have to do is press down a little on my belly and you can feel a little person. Amazing!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Our Budding Photographer



Many of you have commented on how much you've enjoyed Trey's photographs of Aberdeen. Who knew we had such artistic talent in our midst? Partly prompted by all the positive feedback but mostly out of a desire to promote the beauty of Aberdeen's architectural wonders, a few days ago Trey emailed the photographs above to the University as a contribution to their website. He let them know that there were plenty more where they came from if they were interested. Within a day he heard back that they were very interested, and they inquired whether there were any cost implications involved. Of course, Trey told them that he was happy to donate the photographs for the enhancement of the University's image. As keeper of the budget, I told him he should have charged them some sort of royalty. Nevertheless, if any of his photos make it onto the University of Aberdeen website, you'll be the first to know.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Two Peas in a Pod

I post this picture with a little fear because I know there are mothers back home who may send me nasty emails (wink, wink) demanding to know who Addison's new little girlfriend is. His heart still belongs to all of you, don't worry! Today Trey and I took Addison and Hannah up to Seaton Park. I've added some other pictures from the outing to Addison's picture file. Yes, it was a slow news day, and in the absence of anything profound to write about, I know how much you all love Addison updates, or as Hannah calls him, Haddon updates.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Remembrance Day

Everywhere you went this past weekend you could spot people wearing red poppies. November 11th is Remembrance Day and yesterday was Remembrance Sunday, corresponding to our Veterans Day. Here the holiday has much more prominence. In all of the churches across the UK at 11am a moment of silence was held to remember those fallen in the Great Wars. We sang two "nationalistic" hymns, and during the second one, two men came forward and laid poppy wreaths at the front of the church. Our minister, Dominic Smart, explained to the children the significance of the poppy, an explanation for which I was grateful since I am a newcomer. Apparently, the poppy is a flower that lies dormant in the soil until the ground is really torn up, such as it was after the horrific battles of World War I. Following such extensive shelling and massive carnage, poppies blanketed Flanders Field, the site of the famous World War I memorial in Belgium and consequently became a symbol for fallen war heroes.

I was very moved by the solemnity and dignity of Remembrance Day and was struck by how strongly the memories of the two World Wars, which occurred more than 60 years ago, still linger.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sleepyhead

Addison yesterday noon time after a busy morning. First Seaton Park with Mommy and then downtown Aberdeen with Daddy for some pictures. He was pooped and fell asleep on the walk home...clutching Baby, of course.

Ceilidh

This post is a little late in coming, but I could not forgive myself if I didn't share with you our outing last Friday night. Trey and I were invited to our first Ceilidh. And, no, it is not pronounced anything like it is spelled. Try "kaylee".

We were invited by some Scottish friends of ours from Gilcomston South Church to join them and quite a few others from the church at the Music Hall in town for the event. As usual, I've included a Wikipedia link in the blog title so you can read all about the origins of the ceilidh. I would describe it as a cross between American square dancing and English country dancing. It's very lively but lacks the "caller" familiar to square dancing.

For those of you who know Trey well, you are probably thinking, "How in the world did Becky manage to convince Trey to go?" I'm still not quite sure myself as no one is more aware of how much Trey hates dancing than I am. However, in the spirit of trying new things and getting the most out of this Scottish adventure, Trey willingly accompanied me. And more than that, he got out on the dance floor and did us all proud!

And, yes, there were plenty of men in kilts!

The Holloways Are Sick

And it's no fun. I came down with a cold several days ago and since then I've passed it on to Trey and now Addison. My cold started in my head with a lot of congestion and sinus pressure. I thought it was on its way out when it decided to continue working its way down into my chest. Right now I can't tell whether it's going to turn into a full-blown chest cold or leave me altogether. In the meantime, I sound like a man. Trey is battling all the head congestion and sinus pressure I had a few days ago. It's hit him pretty hard. Addison has just started with the sniffles and sneezing. I definitely need to keep an eye on him though because he's fast approaching that glassy-eyed, chapped cheek look that signals a fever.

Unfortunately, we had a lot planned for this weekend. I was hosting a shower for one of the American women who is due in 2 weeks. We had lunch plans for Sunday. All of these things now have to be cancelled or postponed. Ah well...at least Baby Holloway is blissfully unaffected by all our hacking and sniffling.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Them Dry Bones

Do not be alarmed! The skeletons in the picture are part of the ongoing excavations at St. Nicholas Kirk, one of the oldest churches in Aberdeen dating as far back as 1157. Trey came home yesterday from his Church History seminar and I have rarely seen him so excited. He could hardly stop talking about all the archaeological findings that were presented at the seminar. The presenter showed them numerous pictures of skeletons, bone fragments, textile remnants, and coins unearthed in the church. The fascinating part is that through forensic analysis, the archaeologists can ascertain the cause of death and other interesting facts concerning the individuals' burials and lifestyles, such as whether they smoked or had arthritis. Amazingly, even hair and teeth have survived. November 25th the site will be opened to the public for viewing from the gallery and Trey is hoping we might be able to stop by.

You can read more about the weekly findings and see numerous pictures if you follow the link in this blog's title. I call it CSI: Medieval Times.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Lost in Translation

One of the grocery stores where I frequently shop is Lidl. It is a discount, no-frills grocery store of German origin much like Aldi. In fact, it turns out that Lidl is Aldi's biggest competitor. Anyway, today while I was getting a few items, I happened to glance up at the signs hanging throughout the store aisles.

"Lidl -- Where Quality Is Cheaper!"

Don't believe me? Check out the link to their website which I have embedded in the title of this blog. Hmmmm...I think something has been lost in translation.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Getting Things for Free...Priceless

I have to tell you all about the greatest thing in the entire world. OK, I do exaggerate but not by much. Freecycle.org. It is an amazing website where people post things that they want to give away for free. You know, the old bicycle collecting dust in the corner of the garage. You're too lazy to throw a whole garage sale for just a couple of items, but you hate to throw it away when you know there is probably someone out there who really needs a bicycle and would love to give it a new home. A few weeks ago one of the American divinity student wives told me about Freecycle at one of our monthly meetings. She said that she had gotten a beautiful highchair in excellent condition for free through this website. I didn't have high hopes, but I thought it was worth a shot. So I joined the local Aberdeen group (it is an international Yahoo site with individual local groups all over the world). Within days of joining I found a shopping trolley -- you know the kind older folks take to the grocery store --from someone downtown and....DRUMROLL PLEASE...a double stroller. I had been debating for a while now what I was going to do about a stroller once the new baby arrived. Double strollers here run several hundreds of pounds (double that for the US $ equivalency). Praise God that when I contacted the woman about the stroller it was still available. A friend of mine very graciously agreed to take me to the woman's house. She lived about 15 miles outside of Aberdeen. When we arrived, she not only had the double stroller, but she also had 2 Moses baskets (one of them is identical to the one in the photo), a baby bath, a changing pad, and a bouncer. Everything was either in perfect condition and very clean or completely brand new. The picture of the stroller above is just like the one I got except mine is a navy blue and yellow checked pattern instead of red. The best part is that the stroller is totally convertible. You can have the seats facing you (as in the photo) for when the baby is really small, or you can put one (or both) facing forward and adjust it to a sitting position for an older child.

So I went online and priced all these items brand new to see what I saved. You will not believe it:

£ 50 - Moses basket
£ 35 - bouncer
£ 8 - baby bath
£ 7 - changing pad
£400 - double stroller

£500 TOTAL (that's approximately $1,000)

Monday, November 6, 2006

Guy Fawkes Day

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day. I have embedded a link into the title of this blog so that you can read more about the "holiday" if you're interested. Allow me to summarize a few key points. The day commemorates the foiling of a plot against the life of James I back on November 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes was the ringleader of this plot. He and his cronies planned to ignite 36 barrells of gunpowder down in the basement of the House of Lords while Parliament was in session. They were caught, tortured, and executed. Interesting sidenote -- I was taught in US History that the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 is the reason one member of the President's cabinet does not attend the State of the Union Address. In case of a total tragedy, the line of succession would be safe.

I call this the poor man's 4th of July. People light bonfires to burn images of Guy Fawkes in effigy and set off fireworks. Aberdeen had a fireworks display last night, and we walked down to the King's Links Golf Course by the beach to watch. They were beautiful, but not surprisingly, a little lackluster. At least from all the fireworks festivities that I've attended in the US, they generally end with a grand finale. Not so much here. Thankfully, however, Addison really enjoyed watching them. I wasn't sure how he would react to the noise, but he seemed to take it all in stride even adding his own "Woooowwww!" periodically.

Now the real question is...what exactly are the British celebrating...the safety of their monarch or the gutsy attempt to overthrow the government?

Friday, November 3, 2006

Baby

Meet Baby, Addison's latest obsession. It all started about a week ago when, inexplicably, he started toting this Christmas bedecked bear around the house, a present he received almost a year ago. Shortly thereafter he bestowed the appellation "Baby" despite the fact that we have always called him Teddy. While Trey and I find this all rather amusing, the strength of his fixation seems to grow with each passing day. He carries Baby all over the house, clutches him in his stroller when we go for walks or to run errands, and insists he accompany him at meals. We've had to draw the line here since a white stuffed bear and peanut butter smeared toddler hands hardly mix. The compromise? Baby sits on the counter and watches Addison eat. Interestingly, Baby has made nap time much easier. We had been having some difficulties with Addison lately about naps, but now that Baby can go "night night" with Addison, all is well again.

I do wonder if this has anything to do with all our talk about the real baby that is coming soon. In any case, I'm happy for Baby's assistance and diversion and am not quite sure what we're going to do when he gets a "bath" in the washing machine, a time I fear is fast approaching from his many travels through Aberdeen's sidewalks and streets.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Fanny Faux Pas

I've made my first vocabulary blunder. Today I used the word "fanny" and thank goodness it was in the company of a great Scottish friend of mine or who knows what horrible misunderstandings would have ensued. Apparently, the word "fanny" in Scotland does not refer to the derriere as it does in the US. Instead, it is a vulgar term for another area of the body one would certainly not mention in mixed company. I'll leave it at that. As soon as I said it my friend giggled and said, "Ooooh, dooon't say that herrrre." We had a good chuckle, and I think she may have blushed.

I can only imagine what a "fanny pack" would mean, which incidentally they call a bum bag.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Yesterday's Craziness


Yesterday was one of the strangest days weather-wise I've ever witnessed. Halloween 2006 dawned bright and cheery. Half-way through breakfast, however, the sky clouded over looking suddenly ominous and grumpy. Nothing new there. Then within minutes the rain came driving down in oblique, angry sheets. My friend Tammy and I had planned to take our two little ones to Messy Play up at the Sunnybank Community Center. Deciding to brave the elements anyway, we walked against the wind (here's to you, Mr. Seger) arriving wet, cold, and a little bewildered. But then while we all enjoyed Messy Play (more on that in another blog), the sun came out again. I will spare you all the minute changes which occurred throughout the day. Suffice it to say that during lunchtime, Trey and I sat at our kitchen table and watched the sky completely clear then cloud over and rain torrentially at least six times in quick succession in the course of half an hour. This continued all day resulting in at least two rainbows at two different times. If you look closely at the picture above, you will see that it's actually a double rainbow. The fainter double is to the right of the brilliant one.

Tammy and I were planning to take the kids to another friend's house for a little kids' Halloween party in the early evening. With one eye on the skies and another on the 25 minute trudge uphill to our friends' house, I must admit our resolve faltered as finally at 4:00pm the rain turned to sleet. What a crazy, blustery, confusing day. We opted for the bus and good thing we did. The ride over was uneventful. However, the trek home was another matter. More on that in a minute.

Here is a picture from the party. As you can read in the following post, Addison would not cooperate with his costume, but I was at least able to get one picture with the pumpkin hat on next to all the other cooperative children.

The party included a game of pass the gourd, find the black cat, and make your own pumpkin. There were special Halloween bags (Addison got a black cat bag) and plenty of treats to go around. Interesting side note, there are no grape flavored Skittles here. That is a flavor unique to the US. Instead UK children are reared from birth on black current. So, yes, you guessed it. The purple Skittles are black current. For dinner the kids chowed down on sandwiches, fruit salad, chips, and pretzels. They all had a lot of fun and were sad to go.

Back to the weather...The woman who hosted the party very kindly gave me an extra raincover she didn't need for Addison's stroller as we were leaving last night. I've been looking for one that fits his umbrella stroller without much success. God was so gracious to us because no sooner had we left the parking lot of the flat complex then the heavens opened and the most stinging combination of sleet and hail I've ever experienced pelted our little caravan. But Addison was snug and dry. My little bubble boy didn't get a drop on him. What a blessing because I'm sure if we hadn't had the raincover, he would have freaked out between the stinging sleet and the gusting winds. We dashed over to the bus stop, hopped on the next one that showed up not even caring which number it was so long as it took us into town. Amazingly we waited less than a minute. In Aberdeen it seems like all buses eventually will take you into town although they are rarely ever on time. Once in town we caught the Number 1 bus home and again in God's kind providence that bus also came within a minute. Praise God for small victories!

PS I've added another album to the sidebar with all the pictures from Halloween 2006.