I have discovered Waitrose Apple & Mango Juice. It tastes exactly like they have crammed a mango and a few tart granny smith apples into the carton. Splendid.
We have also rediscovered the joys of our winter puff (our common word for a duvet). So cozy, comfy, light, toasty warm, easy to tidy in the morning, and with interchangeable covers of multiple colors. Just a delight to be under on these chilly autumn nights (and early mornings). Yum. I wake up thanking God for it many mornings. I'm glad we don't use it in the summer, so I can be thankful afresh for it every year until the novelty wears off again.
Yesterday Jason and I baked an apple pie while Emily made her own little quarter-sized apple tart, since she prefers that. Later in the day, after we'd played some family whiffleball, Emily decided to try a new cooking genre: a caramel custard. David ended up having to help out a lot, since caramelizing sugar is not all that easy, and a baking dish full of boiling water and five ramequins is quite heavy and dangerous. It was super-delicious, especially when David clued us in to the fact we were supposed to turn it upside down on a plate, so the caramel sauce poured out over the top (formerly bottom) - exactly like a flan caramel.
Big news: we are settled at Ascot Baptist Church. I am thrilled to have found our church home in England at last. We have already eaten meals with three families at their homes or out, and have a fourth invitation for lunch today. Such welcoming, kind people. Jason has enjoyed the youth fun nights on Sundays (ping-pong, X-box, Wii, dodgeball...) and a youth cell group (going over big words of the faith, like justification) on Tuesdays. The youth leader is the son of the main pastor, and he and his wife just had their first baby (the pastor's first grandchild), so the youth ministry is a bit on hold for a couple of weeks! David and I are getting to know some people in a small group, and really enjoying the worship.
It's been 8 days since I've posted because of:
- watching Facing the Giants outside at night under the stars (Cassiopeia in particular - Google helped me with the spelling) with some other families, wrapped up in coats and blankets against the nippy air
- Jason attended the opening meeting of a middle school Bible study run by Young Life
- meeting with Lower School principal and 30 other parents to get to know her (she's new, from Australia)
- chauffeuring for play practice and drum lessons and Emily's playdates
- Moms in Touch prayer at my house for our school & kids
- training for helping at school library for the first time this year
- CBS "Return to Jerusalem" and Beth Moore "Living Beyond Yourself" Bible studies and copious homework thereof
- Small Group church meeting
- preparing for a special overnight getaway I'm taking Emily on next weekend
- talking with my mom on the phone for over an hour (what a treat, she's a gem)
- running lines with Jason, who got a big part in his middle school play again this year
- helping with a mailing at church
- Room Parent duties (class parent meeting & admin, collecting staff appreciation gifts)
- neighbourhood community admin (invitations to an open house, inquiries about interest in a neighbourhood directory)
- school photo days admin (assigning 52 families to time slots and dates on two weekends)
I absolutely love doing administrative work. It tickles me. I love that God made different people to resonate while doing totally different kinds of work. What is frightening to some is exhilarating to others. What is drudgery to some is joy to others. Very cool. I am coming to rest in how God made me. It's been a long time of thinking other gifts were "better" or more "spiritual." Even as I write that, of course, I am stricken with the possibility afresh. All I know is that I'm having fun and people seem to appreciate it.
Off to another week...