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.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
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
Thursday, November 23, 2006
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
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
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!
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
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
"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
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
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
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
I can only imagine what a "fanny pack" would mean, which incidentally they call a bum bag.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
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.