A work in progress

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The above pictures are part of a large collection of paintings & drawings that my father has put together over the years.  The pictures I have added here, are from a couple of villages around the town where I spent my teenage years.  This last picture is of an old school friend's home which is by the canal.  I used to love visiting her home in the summer months.  The house inside is beautiful with old fashioned beams, a large family kitchen, open fire in the lounge - yes, I am sure you get my drift by now - but oh, I did love it.  In her garden there were geese, ducks and a large vegetable garden, plus if I recall correctly, one or two fruit trees.

Anyways, as a family, there were often times we used to go for drives in the country and my father would quite often take his sketching pads & pencils plus on occasion various paints with him.  I used to enjoy just sitting with him and watching him draw and/or paint.  Watching his work start to take shape and be transformed from a few squiggly lines to a country cottage or country church.  There were often times that photos were taken and he would just work from these images. At home, he would set up his easel (which he had made himself) and just quiety work away until he was satisfied with the finished picture.  This would vary from a few hours to, at times days. If he wasn't happy with "that" particular project, then he would continue until he was satisfied that he had achieved the look he wanted and/or needed. 

My father was in a lot of ways, a perfectionist especially in his art.  He was also one whereby drawings/painting he did had to be drawn to scale.  The majority of his work was done in watercolours and in pencil form.  I remember a time during my early teenage years whereby he would use stencils especially on black board (there is a special name for this technique but the name alas, escapes me)!

He specialised in watercolours and as far as I can recall never went down the "oil" route - this he left to my brother. The majority of my father's art was along the lines of country scenes with a few still life pictures added in here and there. 

I also remember a few exhibitions that he used to hold at the local town library- my father would then spend days upon days preparing for those exhibitions.  Everything that needed to be done in readiness for such exhibitions was all done by my father with no help.  Art was my father's passion which brought vast amounts of joy for him especially after he retired.  As you can imagine special occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas and so on were very easy as all I had to do was pop into the local art shop for gifts!

God has begun a good work in us and has by no means finished - oh no! We are being changed and molded unto Him on a daily basis. When we handed our lives over to Him and became "born again", this was a new beginning, a beginning of work on our hearts. He saves us as we are, but hey guess what, he certainly doesn't leave us there.  He changes and molds us step by step, little by little and does so on a daily basis (Phil 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete until the day of Jesus Christ").  He sanctifies us, therefore will contunue to do so until His return - then we will be complete & perfect in HIm. 


This and that

Monday, 27 June 2011


Our little family is growing and we now have 9 chicks, one cockerel and 2 ducklings. We have wanted chickens for the last couple of years but it wasn't until 5 weeks ago that we decided (or rather I fell in love with two chicks which we brought home) and hence our little family started extending. We couldn't just stop at two though as Andrew wanted ducks as well and over the next couple of weeks we added more and more to our brood - so we end up with twelve which we are sticking to, well for the time being anyways :)

Only three of them  have names at the moment and Andrew keeps asking when I am going to name them all. Hmm, I will get round to this eventually!

These first four pics are of our youngest chicks (including the cockerel):

Photobucket


Photobucket

Photobucket

The next couple are of the ducklings and our two older chicks:

Photobucket

Photobucket

So there you  have it some photos of our ever extending family. I say ever extending family as DH would like some more ducks at some stage, but we will see!

We  have one chicken coop and two runs or rather one run plus an extended run and this weekend we will be ordering our second coop and another run.  Andrew is also going to put an extra run using up some more of the garden which will give the chicks and ducklings more space to roam around in.

It will be at least another couple of months before any of them start laying especially as they are pure breeds - so that will be fun.  We will be giving eggs away to friends and possibly sell some of the eggs too as well as using them up ourselves - hmm lots of recipe ideas to start searching for :)

Ok, onto Patch and Biz now. Patch did have a swimming pool for a short while but unfortunately he decided to put holes in it which we did patch up (excuse the pun :lol) but then he broke the pool a second and final time. 

This is one of the photos we took of Patch in the pool and he was loving it :)

Photobucket

The next couple of pics were taken at the weekend.

Photobucket

Photobucket

and finally onto Biz, bless her - she is now twelve years old and such a sweetheart.

Here are a couple of really cute photos of her :)

Photobucket

Photobucket

She is just too cute :)

Besides, playing house with our (what is becoming a smallholding) :lol we have not been doing much else and we haven't had much time due to going to different places looking at chicks and coops etc which  has been fun though.

Our fruit trees are doing ok, well at least two of the apple trees are doing better than the other two we have.  Our plum tree has quite a lot of fruit too.

Here is our main apple tree that is bowing over with the weight of the apples

Photobucket

The rest of our garden is just doing ok on its own. We  have a vegetable patch at the top of our garden which has potatoes, carrots, baby sweetcorn, tomatoes, courgettes and potatoes.  We had some potatoes from the garden for supper last night and they were delicious and very yummy :)

Photobucket

So there you have it our life at home at the moment.  We are finally beginning to get some summer weather and it is really hot at the moment which is great, though not for Patch or Biz as the heat is too much for them.

We have had lots of rain over the past couple of weeks which we have so badly needed as we had pracitcally no rain for two months which was not good for the gardens or the farmers.

and finally just below are some photos taken at Hillsong church just recently which I thought I would just throw in. The pics were taken at the church in Leatherhead but these have come out really well.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

and that is about it for updates for now. I really hope you have enjoyed being part of what is going on at home and church.

Well I have finally decided to blog again :)

Friday, 24 June 2011

It has been a long time coming but I have decided to blog again and I have missed writing hugely.  I had writers block for quite a long time but so much has happened in these last few months which I will share in my next post along with some photos :)

Surrendering To You - a short story

Friday, 24 June 2011

The sun was starting to fade as I walked along the path by the river.  I felt like I had been on my feet for hours when it had only been a mere forty minutes or so.  I decided to rest and take a break; the tree ahead seemed like the ideal spot in which to rest.  I walked over and leaning against it, I looked up at the sun which was fast disappearing now behind the clouds.  As I stood there, I could feel the cool evening breeze on my face which was very welcome after the heat of the day.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a squirrel near my feet, as I looked down it suddenly stopped before scurrying away into the distance.  There was complete silence around me except for the rippling sounds coming from the brook near by. Letting out a deep sigh, I closed my eyes and let my mind wander back to the events of the past few days.

Events that I would rather forget and put behind me once and for all.  I knew I had decisions to make, important ones at that.  I was also aware that I could no longer continue in the way I had been going.  The road I was going down was going to be long and hard where challenges and trials were going to come up time and time again.  I had to face them, I knew that! I also knew that now was the time to start letting go of me and allow You to be in total control of my life otherwise I would continue falling.  I could no longer allow this to happen. I had to be strong and accept my identity in You.  This was the time for me to start growing up and to mature. It was time to start standing on Your word, to commit myself and my life totally to You.

As I continued leaning against the tree, I heard this still small voice which seemed to come from nowhere saying “the joy of the Lord is your strength” I wasn’t sure if I was imagining this but it came again, clearer this time and then the words “Don’t let the devil steal your joy”. I let these words wash over me again and again, I couldn’t move and besides which it seemed in appropriate to do anything.

Finally after what seemed an age, I opened my eyes and realised tears were streaming down my face.  I didn’t care and just allowed the tears to fall.  I slid down against the tree and sank down onto the ground.  Burying my head in my hands I just sobbed allowing all the pent up emotions within me to be released.  Tears of pain hurt and anguish that had been locked up inside me for months – it was time to let go and a time of healing to start taking place in my life!

After awhile the sobbing ceased and I sank back against the tree, looking around I noticed the drooping branches and realised I was sat under a weeping willow. Quite appropriate for this moment in time I thought.  I felt as if the branches were protecting me and that this was the place of sanctuary I needed for this time where I could remain oblivious to everything and everyone around me.

I felt this peace wash over me and I just remained there not wanting to move or interrupt what was happening.  I couldn’t bring myself to move so continued sitting there under the weeping willow. I had no idea how long I had been here for but when I finally looked at my watch, I couldn’t believe the time.  Where had the past hour gone?
 
I sighed and finally after a few moments, I eased myself up off the ground and started making my way home with a new purpose and spring in my step. I knew that no matter what lay ahead that I could and would allow You to take control of every area of my life.  I would face whatever challenges came up no matter how hard or difficult.  I would give myself totally over to You.