In some ways, its been a weird summer - lots of smaller trips rather than a big holiday and quite a bit of time at home. I have worked in the office every day this week while Andy has been with the Button and Bean and next week I'm working too, with a couple of appointments out of the house but mostly during the evenings and Isaac's naps.
Having said that, Andy is about to head off on two big trips - firstly to Soul Survivor on Sunday for 5 nights with a group of 9 from Emmanuel joining together with a bigger group from Billericay. Its always a brilliant week but pretty exhausting...!
Then he gets back for a couple of days and we head off on Sunday 25th to my parents before he flies to Tennessee for his extended placement with Jack King and Apostles Anglican in Knoxville.
I'm really excited for him, particularly for the trip to USA. Jack has put a lot of time and effort into planning the 2 weeks for Andy so he gets a really wide ministry experience - preaching, small groups, pastoral visiting, music stuff & community initiatives plus reflection and conversation with the congregation and staff at Apostles and just the chance to experience the culture of Anglicanism in the Deep South.
But I am a bit daunted too by the prospect of almost 3 weeks home alone, with kiddies missing their Daddy and trying to hold it all together with the start of term and work and parenting. Matilda is having a couple of days at the local church holiday club and then we'll do some back to school shopping and some play dates too. Once we are all back in the new term routine I think it will feel easier - but all those evenings by myself are not my idea of fun! So I have plans to get the kids record books up to date- I keep notebooks with any special cards or things they write or any words of scripture, prophecy, wisdom that I get for them, or their godparents or others share. I'm also going to sort out my crafting materials, in the hope of being able to make more use of them when I'm at home recuperating after my surgery next month and as the nights draw in.
Alongside all that (!) we're also preparing - physically, emotionally and spiritually - for our move on from Emmanuel in October. The ministry of Deeper is exciting and something we are really looking forward to but it's going to be hard to leave behind the youth and church family and friends. Many of them will still be part of our lives but its a change which we need to get our heads round.
And.....we have also been asked to consider a curacy parish for next summer, once Andy is ordained. Prayers, visits, conversations all needed over the next few weeks and as soon as I'm allowed to share more details, I will!
Some pics of our recent Scarborough trip to see our new niece Isobel and her family...