Rejoice.... and Weep

"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep" Romans 12:15

Today we rejoice with those who rejoice:

The beautiful bride arriving at Westminster Abbey.

Her dress was simply stunning. She was simply stunning.

He did - eventually - manage to push the ring onto her finger!

The newlyweds then pleased the hundreds of thousands of well-wishers with a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

We truly do rejoice with them, and pray God's blessing on them.

 But today, we also weep with them that weep:

The family who write at A Baker's Dozen Barnhouse News are devasted. The blog post you will read at this link was written less than a week ago, but following the tornadoes of this past week, this family has lost everything. Worse, though, than the loss of all their worldly possession, Mr Lee, husband and father, was killed when their home was destroyed.

Mrs Lee is having to cope with the death of her husband. Their children are having to cope with the loss of their father. Obviously, wordly possessions do not compare with family members, but to have lost the head of their home - their 'rock' - and to have to grieve without the comforts of home and their familiar surroundings, is an unimaginably difficult burden.

Read about Mr Lee's last act of protecting his family here.

Such joy for Prince William and his bride today.

Such devastating sorrow for Mrs Lee and her children. 

Both the rejoicing couple, and the sorrowing family are in our prayers. We can only take them to the Lord, who is able to supply all their needs - whether spiritual, emotional or material.

"Blessed be our God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies, and the God of all comfort" 2 Corinthians 1:3


Weather, William and Weddings

We've become aware of the terrible storms that have hit parts of the USA. We are remembering those who've been affected in our prayers. Please let me know if any of you, or your loved ones, are affected.

Our weather is much more mundane. Although many people here in Lewis spend a great deal of time complaining about the cold, the wind or the dampness, I'm guessing that the pictures we're seeing from America will put things in perspective. It certainly ought to! 

Tomorrow's weather forecast for London has, of course, become a main news story. Ironically, London is forecast to have showers, whilst we, in Lewis, are being promised sunshine. William and Kate ought to have planned a Lewis wedding. Maybe they'll honeymoon here!

One day I'll tell you where we spent our honeymoon. I'll also tell you where we could have spent it. Another story for another day.

We wish all the best to Prince William and to Kate, who will soon be Princess Catherine. Their positions are of great privilege, but with privilege comes responsibility. Our prayer is that they would look to the King of Kings, primarily for their salvation, and for their guidance and comfort too. One day, they - like the rest of us - will bow the knee to King Jesus.

At the moment, the final preparations for the wedding are taking place: the red carpet is being rolled out just now. Kate's walk down the aisle on that carpet will take three-and-a-half minutes. She is made of stern stuff if her knees do not buckle on that walk. She is certainly very beautiful. Let us hope for a marriage of honour, happiness and blessing. We will continue to pray for them, as we do for all our Royal Family. 

There is no worldly pleasure they cannot afford to have - and yet, they do not have the freedom to live as they choose. It's not a life I envy. I am thankful to have been born a 'commoner'. I can say that truly 'unto me the lines have fallen in pleasant places' (Psalm 16)

(I have a Twitter account, and have had for a long time, though I've never used it. Tomorrow's wedding may just cause me to get it up and running! Watch this space...)


Wednesday's Words....

Here are today's questions from Patrice:

1. As the weather is getting warm, I want to know if you're a person for the higher temps or one who likes to be in with the air conditioning.
I'm sorry.... air conditioning?? Er, what's that?! Is that the gale that blows in my windows when they're open, whether it's winter or summer?

I love warmth. I love the hottest day we'll get in a whole summer, but by most standards that is only comfortably warm. We may hit the low 80s, and if we do, I'll love it. But even then, we'll have a gentle breeze wafting in our windows, so definitely no need for air conditioning. 

2. Shorts or capris?
Oh my! The thought of me in shorts... Eek, I've gotta move on. Quickly. 

I am a Capri person. I would wear them at all times of the year. And to all places I can get off with. This pleases my much-more-fashion-conscious sister no end. Especially when they're worn with 

The Boots!

3. Do you need the prescribed 8 hours of sleep, or can you get by with more or less?
I need 8 hours. I will happily take more if they're on offer, but I need my 8 hours. (I seldom get my quota of 8 hours, but I definitely function better with them)

4. What's your favorite healthy snack?
Er, I'm struggling here. Snack - Healthy - together?? 
Actually, I love grapes, strawberries.... fruit I can put in my mouth in one gulp. If I could afford it, I'd have a bowl of grapes and a bowl of strawberries every day.
5. Tell me one thing you can do for yourself this week that would make you feel good.
I always struggle with these kind of questions. Oh, I'd love to find time to finish the book I'm reading. I've been 'almost there' for the past week.



Yesterday evening, I loved watching the lambs playing together in the sunshine.

 I wasn't able to get good photos of them, because once the mothers see anyone coming within any distance, they baaa for their babies, and the lambs' playtime is over.

 I wished I could have captured them on camera bounding like deer.

 Very unclear photo, but they're so adorable.

See this wee fellow. Isn't this the cutest thing ever. Pure black and his twin is white.

Today, my sister left the home she and her husband have had since they married.
 Here, they celebrated the birth of their first child, a beautiful daughter.

 This was her bedroom until today.
In this home, they were also blessed with their second child, their adorable little boy.

 And this was him empty room today.

 The biggest shock of the day was seeing my sister cleaning and washing up.

Er, hang on. I did see her wearing her gloves. 

I did have a great deal of her company in the kitchen.

I also discovered she has a wonderful gift for delegating.

(She's the youngest child. That explains all!)
 I took this photo tonight at half-past eight. The sun was streaming in our kitchen window when I took this photo

And I had to take a 'Come-and-see-tonight's-sunset-photo' for y'all!

And now I'm sitting with my cuppa and my Whoopie Pies.
Er, yes, plural. I'm suitably ashamed. But deliciously chocolatey satisfied. Catherine made 70 Whoopie pies today - 140 singles in all, so someone has to make a start on them. 

And tomorrow is Wedsnesday's Words of Weightlessness. Oh well, as they say - tomorrow is another day!


Menu Plan for This Week

Yep, earlier today, I planned the week's menu. Okay, okay, enough of your laughter (those of you who haven't fallen off your seats).

Here's my plan:

Left-overs from Sunday Roast (believe it or not, there were left-overs today, so we had that)

I'm helping my sister flit today (is 'flit' really a word? It looks weird.), so my planned Thai Fish Cakes are looking dubious.

Stewed Sausages, Mashed Potatoes


Roast Chicken, Creamed Potatoes, Roasted Veg
Lots and lots of cake, because we're at the Royal Wedding that day.

(And on that note: do any of you wish to have the company of a gorgeous, chicken-legged, talkative, question-asking, non-stop motor-mouth boy for the day?

Just asking.)

Pizza, cos it's my no-cook, stick-something-in-the-oven day.

And this Spicy Tomato Soup for lunch.

Er... Sunday Roast... Is there anything else?

The puddings - if there are to be any - will be decided on the day. 

All the above are subject to change and any complaints should be directed to the management.

Oh, hang on. I am the management. Therefore, any complaints you have... you may put in your pipe and smoke them. 

Just sayin'...

Trustworthy Mother and Housekeeper Needed

This is what happens when the kids put unrinsed dishes in the dishwasher...

Someone needs to feed this puppy.

And this is what happens when the Wee Guy leaves his trousers in the boot of the car having come home from the beach...

 My adorable wee chicken legs.


Excited? You Bet!

Can you tell I'm excited?

No, the Queen hasn't contacted me to let me know she'll appear for next year's birthday celebration.

No, the invitation to William and Kate's wedding hasn't finally arrived in the post.

No, the Wee Guy  hasn't signed Peace Treaties with all and sundry, thus giving us a war-free zone.

But this....

....is happening.



Have a Look at this Sunset, Guys!

Between eight and nine o'clock every evening, this conversation can be heard in our household.

Mum: "Oh guys, come and see the sunset. It's absolutely gorgeous!"

Family Member(s): "Mhmmm...."

Mum: "Oi! Come and see this."

FM (sighing slightly exasperatedly): "Mum...we saw it last night."

Mum: "No, no. It's not the same tonight. Hurry up before it disappears."

One, or maybe two, will feel obliged and arrive at my side. "Isn't it stunning?", I ask.

"Mum, it's lovely. Yep. Lovely. .... just like last night's was"

And so, I'm left to appreciate the beauty before me on my own.

The night before last, it looked like this.

And tonight it looked like this...

See.... never the same. But always beautiful, and so relaxing at the end of a busy day.

And if we keep having sunny days, I may just call all you guys over every evening to have a look at our sunset. Yes, every evening, because it's never the same two nights running. Just ask my kids.


Homeschoolers Visiting

We had a homeschoolers' get-together today. For the sake of having a theme, we celebrated our Queen's birthday. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was 85 today. 

Sadly, because of the preparations for next week's wedding, she wasn't able to join us for our party.

It means she missed out on this.

 The table before anyone arrived. Flags, bunting and a Queen Elizabeth timeline.

She also missed out on the Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet cake with cream cheese frosting and Smarties.

I bet she's never had the privilege of the PW's Chocolate cake with Smarties on top. I know if she had, she would have foregone the preparations and joined us.

Oh well, one can't have it all, can one?

 Part of the timeline, showing her birth and the day she became heir to the throne. Her father wasn't 'supposed' to be king. However, his brother, King Edward VII abdicated, leaving George to become king, and the young Princess Elizabeth became heir to the throne.

 Throughout the decades she has been Queen, nobody can question her commitment to duty, her loyalty to our country, and her dignity in all the circumstances - many of them hugely unexpected, desperately sad and terribly difficult - life has thrown at her.

The day was so lovely, we jumped ship and headed down to the beach. Today it was baseball/rounders. The rules were made-up-as-we-went-along, although our kids seemed sure their way was the way.

 Again, we had the beach to ourselves.

 Mind you, although it was gorgeously sunny, it wasn't warm. Only about 10C (around 50F).

 This was the beach when we left it.
 And the dunes, where the kids spent part of the time.

And now a photo of tonight's sunset from my back door. Time for a long bath and a good book.

In the Big Smoke

I normally link up with Everyday Ruralty on a Wednesday for her Words of Weightloss, or something ridiculous like that. But I haven't been around today.

For the second day running, I was in Stornoway. Twenty-five miles from home. Two days running.

I'm now in therapy. Yep, I'm back home and that's my therapy. 

I took a couple of photos of Stornoway Harbour. See, even in town, I'm thinking of you guys. I'm good like that :)

 Most of the fishing boats were out, but the lifeboat can be seen in the harbour.
 Here's Lews Castle. The castle was originally built by Sir James Matheson, who owned the island, in the mid-1800s. He'd made his fortune from the Chinese opium trade and had bought the Isle of Lewis for £190,000.

Sir James Matheson sold the Castle in 1918 to Lord Leverhulme, who gave it to the people of Stornoway in 1923. Over the decades, it has fallen into disrepair, but there is hope now that it is going to be refurbished.

(And no, not by anyone's standards can Stornoway be classed as the Big Smoke :)


More Photos from the Beach

 This is DR giving the girls some hints as to how American Football is played.

His Team Talk seems to have Jackson enthralled, but the girls seem bored. Or confused.

 Do you see the Wee Guy's attacker? She's from Edinburgh. She is related to us, but these city kids just can't be trusted.

Uh-oh. In the dog-house.

 Fun, fun...

...and more fun.
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