Rainy Days

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It’s been unusually wet here today. It feels quite wintery actually! This morning the vicarage inhabitants headed to the cinema to allow the Vicar to work from home in peace. We saw Cinderella because it’s so lovely & it was the cheap film of the day. When we arrived home again at lunchtime, after getting soaked in the torrential rain, we warmed up with mugs of tea & toasties. The afternoon was spent crocheting & listening to audiobooks snuggled up on the sofa. There was even talk about lighting a fire! I do love cosy, rainy, days at home.

PS The Vicar has been busy in his office doing admin, preparing services & sermons and all that jazz. We’ve done well to be cooped up inside so peacefully. 😉

Psalm 93:4

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I was browsing Pinterest this morning when I saw a lovely poster with the words ‘Mightier than the waves of the sea is his love for you.’ It said it came from Psalm 93 verse 4. I thought that it was brilliant so I began searching for a piece of artwork that I liked that I might buy. After a while of pondering the verse i felt inspired to make my own collage. I set to work making waves highly influenced by Katsushika Hokusai’s print ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ which I love.

Anyway, when it came time to add the text onto the piece I had great difficulty fitting them on in a way which I was happy with. So I looked up psalm 93:4 & discovered that it says nothing about God’s love for us being mightier than the waves, but rather it says that God himself is mightier than the waters that crash on the seashore. Whilst I believe that God does love us in a powerful way it didn’t seem quite right after reading the actual bible verse so I paraphrased it. And it fitted better on my waves! I’m pleased with it. Now I just need to find a frame for it….

The Bells!

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After a morning trip into town with the younger vicarage inhabitants I am now sat at home listening for the sound of the church bells ringing to signal that the Vicar has performed his first marriage ceremony. Very exciting! And the sun is shining again today. How lovely!

Crazy Curtains

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Today I am wrestling with pattern matching fabric for curtains. I hadn’t realised that, not only would I have to pattern match down the length of the fabric, but also across the width because the pattern repeat doesn’t match when joining the panels of fabric together. Oh well! Hopefully the curtains will look alright once I’ve made them, even though I won’t have as much fabric to gather as I had planned. I must say, I love this Princess & the Pea fabric. It’s so pretty but not too pink & the princesses are dark haired too which I like. 🙂

Luke 24

Tuesdays are my bible study prep days (after I’ve been to my Pilates class). This week is our last session before the summer holidays. I’ve had so much fun getting things ready! We will be looking at Jesus’s resurrection in Luke chapter 24. It seemed like a great opportunity for me to try making resurrection rolls, something I’ve wanted to try for ages.

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After a quick trip to the shop to buy supplies & with some eager hands ready to assist, we began our culinary experiment. First we dipped a marshmallow (representing Jesus) in melted butter & then rolled it in cinnamon & sugar mix. this represents the oils & spices which Jesus body was anointed with after his crucifixion.

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The spiced marshmallow was then placed on a ready made triangle of croissant pastry which represents the tomb Jesus body was laid in.

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the tricky part is squashing the pastry around the marshmallow so that it doesn’t seep out during baking.

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Once baked, cut open to reveal….

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A surprise empty tomb!! (This was the only roll that actually worked. The dough needs a lot more squashing together, obviously). Either way, we had fun making them, they taste delicious & I’ve learnt valuable lessons ready for the mums bible study group tomorrow.

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Part of my preparations also included raiding the toy box for the play mobile & nativity figures. Here are the eleven disciples waiting in the upper room….

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…while the women walk to the tomb to prepare Jesus’s body properly for burial. BUT!!! When they get there the stone has been rolled away & Jesus has gone!

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Two men greeted the women & told them that Jesus wasn’t dead but alive again! Do you like my tin foil tomb & stone? And the little folded cloth inside?

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The final part of the story is on the road  where Jesus meets the travellers as they walk towards Emmaus.

I think we are going to have fun together tomorrow, don’t you? 🙂

This Week

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It’s been a busy week in the vicarage. I’m beginning to think that there isn’t any other type of week now that we are a clergy family! The past few days we have had an exhibition of art by local artists in the church building, a craft morning to make things for the Christmas fair & we hosted the youth group summer barbecue at our house. The vicar also led two Sunday morning services as well. Inbetween all these things we managed to watch the Wimbledon finals (doubles tennis is so exciting!).

it was a weekend full of surprises really. Unexpectedly a couple of friends came to church on Sunday. After spending the afternoon with us as a family the boy decided he was coming to church with us. He told everyone he didn’t know anything about religion because he’d never been to church before. He & his mum seemed to enjoy the whole experience.

The second surprise came after the youth barbecue on Sunday night. Another non church going friend came along & as he left he thanked the vicar for a fantastic evening. I overheard him saying to my eldest that he’d not had such a brilliant evening in a long time. A few burgers, some salad & cakes and an impromptu game of garden volley ball still equals a great time in this modern age! Hooray!

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Today I finished off making the crochet heart garland I began on Saturday ready for the Christmas fair. It looks quite sweet hanging with the little baby Jesus wreath I made with the mums bible study group last Christmas. I just need to make a few more now!

It’s dull, wet & wintery here today. Perfect weather for a school sports day! Happy days eh?!

Calm After the Storm?

Life here in the vicarage has been a little hectic for the past two weeks. I am breathing sighs of relief now that the vicar’s priesting has taken place as well as the baptism of our youngest child. Both celebrations took place on the same weekend to save family & friends travelling long distance on multiple occasions. Both events were hugely enjoyable but exhausting.

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Our preparations for priesting began with lunch with the Bishop. The whole family went this year so there was added excitement! After all, it’s not every day that you get invited to a palace for the day, is it?

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Fancy clothes were purchased & my very pointy shoes (which I affectionately call my winkle pickers!) were taken out of the wardrobe & dusted off. Much fun was had exploring the Bishop’s garden, climbing trees, eating delicious food & socialising with the other soon-to-be priests & their families. It was a lovely peaceful afternoon sat in the shade of the tree chatting, once the meal was complete.

And then the craziness began! The vicarage was a flurry of activity for three days & the help of friends was invaluable. The garden was tidied, cobwebs were dusted away, clothes were ironed & the whole house was prepared for the arrival of many people.

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Cake was made in abundance too! I decorated a baptism and ordination cake to share with the whole church community after the Sunday service. It was actually quite a stressful process due to several delivery errors by Marks & Spencer’s of the plain iced sponge cakes. Two days later than planned it all came together finally but it didn’t leave me time to put my feet up before dashing out to the ordination service at the cathedral!

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Unexpectedly, the church had also made an ordination cake for the vicar! So there was much cake to be shared around. Over one hundred people ate cake with us after the service which was wonderful. The staff at one of our children’s school benefitted from a huge slab of cake to eat with their Monday morning cuppa, the mum’s bible study group we run also enjoyed a slice or two. We took the extra wrongly delivered iced cakes from M&S to the local women’s refuge where a family in need will have cake for a child’s birthday that they might otherwise not had. it was good to share our abundance with those around us.

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We hosted around fifty people at our house for lunch on Sunday, which was wonderful but very busy. I do love to host social things in our home. I love hearing the buzz of conversation & seeing folk enjoy themselves. Now that the wine glasses have been returned, the bin men have emptied our overflowing wheelie bins & a week full of meetings & school plays is coming to a close I think we are beginning to get back to a semblance of normality again. It felt good to go out to the shop this morning & buy the weekly groceries. This is something I have not felt well enough to do for well over a year. These little things bring me immense joy.

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And as a reward I put together our new bargain hammock in the garden & did a spot of reading, rocking gently in the summer breeze. I might possibly have fallen asleep for while too. Sssshhh! Don’t tell anyone! 😉

One Colour Short of a Rainbow

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It’s very busy in the vicarage this week. So many jobs to do in preparation for the vicar’s ordination to the priesthood on Saturday evening. Added to this it’s transition time in school so we have been backwards & forwards all over town for extra meetings & inductions.

Anyway! Lots of niggley jobs have been completed so far & I’ve made the most of the ridiculously hot weather to finish painting the kitchen chairs that I started last autumn! I would have a full rainbow except for the fact that I’ve run out of primer so the blue chair will have to wait for another day.

[EDIT: At this point there was mutiny in the vicarage from several of the younger members & I ran out of steam to write any more hence my abrupt stop! I have since spent the evening sweeping leaves, hemming suit trousers, wrangling frogs who will insist on climbing into the wheelie bin & rescuing washing & my freshly painted chairs from a freak hail storm that came from nowhere! Life is never dull!]

Psalm 46

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God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.