Saturday, March 11, 2006

Comin' At Ya

We thought Ellie might walk before she got the hang of crawling, but the necessity of mobility and exploration has been the mother of invention. If you click on the picture above you can see some of her very first attempts. This is a few days out-of-date and she's definitely got the hang of it now, so we're very thankful that she's also learning the meaning of "no" at the same time. For example, "No! Don't eat Daddy's tape measure!"

We've been doing a little sign language teaching, but she has no need for it because she's discovered the universally endearing sign that works equally well for "pick me up", "more food, please", "can I have that?", or just "I love you". Click here for a sample.

Here's our happy rosy-cheeked girl after coming in from a nice outing in the chilly air of northern England. In case you can't quite make it out, here's a little zoom-in on that first tooth!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Out and About: Dublin

One advantage to studying in England is that you start to get to know people who live all over the world. Another bonus is having discount airlines like Ryan Air who don't mind selling tickets for £1! (Well, plus taxes, but it's still a great deal). Brad and Georgie, beloved members of our house-to-house Bible study, now live in Dublin, so 7 of us from the group decided to drop on them one weekend. A quick jaunt across the Irish Sea and we were there. Brad and Georgie live on site at the "Christ for Ireland" school where Brad teaches, which just happens to sit on the beautiful coast, which gave opportunities for walks and stone skipping.

But what else to do while in Dublin? Well, one couldn't miss the Guinness beer factory. And no, Joel (pictured at right) is not a two fisted sampler of the wares, he's simply holding mine while I took a picture. Actually, the ladies of our group did decide they could miss the Guinness factory and did some shopping instead.

The next day we took a drive up into the hills to tour the ruins of the monastery at Glendalough. A lovely lake, an imposing tower (used as a keep when the Vikings would raid), tombstones from many centuries, and a peaceful chill in the air made for a very enjoyable day.

We were surprised to learn that a robin is not a robin is not a robin. As we watched this pretty bird leap from tombstone to tombstone, fluffing its feathers to ward off the cold, we heard someone call out, "Look at the robin!" "Where?" I asked. After a bit of confusion about what kind of kindergartens they have in America where a kid can grow to his (very) late thirties and not know what a robin is, we learned that this is indeed what a robin looks like in the British Isles. In case any Brits are reading this and want to know what I'm talking about, here's a picture of an American robin — pretty different, eh?

We rounded off the day with an hour's relaxing in an old (ancient?) pub complete with peat fires. long as one doesn't think about how early the alarm clock has to go off to get to the airport for a 6:30am departure.