Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open days is an opportunity to visit and celebrate England's architecture or culture with free admission or access to places normally closed to the public. This is for four days in September. I learned about it from a home educators online group. I have to say that the website makes it easy to find things in your area. You can sort by town or by postal code. There were 57 events in our town and I am sure a number more in the surrounding area.

I selected places to visit based on location and what looked interested.

Endcliffe Hall one of the largest private residences here was just a few miles away. We have driven past it numerous times but didn't know it. We thought it would be an opportunity to learn a bit of local history.

Endcliffe Hall was built by John Brown who later became Sir John Brown. He was know as the Father of the South Yorkshire Iron Trade.

The tour began on the outside and we noticed how on the right side of the house it was very decorated and the left side was plain. No, he didn't run out of money, the left side was the kitchen and other staff areas and just didn't need to be as fancy.

The house was built in 1863 to 1865. It has been through some changes but the fireplaces are the original.

We went inside and saw about three rooms. In 1914 the house was sold to the Territorial Army and has been a TA Centre since then. The walls were filled with paintings from the army.

This gives just a view of how big the entry way was.

You know how good tour guides make even the most boring places exciting as they weave a story and interact with the group. (I am remembering the tour of a mine we did here and how exciting the tour guide made the boat ride down a narrow passage in the dark.) Well, we had a tour guide that gave us the facts. I felt we missed a bit of what we could have learned but we did learn a bit of local history.

The other place that I selected for Heritage Open Days was the Cathedral where they said it was 1000 years of local history in one day.

Here is the cathedral as we walked up the alley toward it.

There was a displace from the Homefires burning. This "soldier" was telling and pointing to where the bombs had landed during WWII. The city was sacrificed in order to keep the steel factories just a mile or two away safe.  My husband loves WWII history and so this was fascinating to him.

J had an opportunity to hold a medieval shield. It was heavy.

As we entered the cathedral we were greeted by a gentleman from the Tudor time. He had a code for the children to solve. They were to help the Earl of Shrewsbury to foil a treacherous plat against Queen Elizabeth. (I wonder if that is a part of true history from this area; I guess I have some research to do.)

It was such a lovely building inside.

There were a number of hands-on things that the kids could do. Miss K made a plaster something and also had a chance to play the handbells.

Here she is all dress like a Victorian child. She would have loved to have worn that the rest of the day.

I am not sure what J did that landed him in the stocks. Really what he did was open the stocks and stick his head in there. He was a bit big and so he couldn't really put his head up.

I was impressed with the hands-on activity. Miss K rolled a beeswax candle.

This was a much better experience and we did enjoy our time there. I am glad that we explored and learned a bit about the local history.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week in Review - 12 September 2014

The goal for the week was get home, unpack, put things away, begin to get into the autumn routine, and do a bit of school. I love the flexibility of homeschool.

We traveled Monday, saying good-bye to Switzerland. I can add a new country to our layover list -- Denmark.

We had French hot dogs for lunch. Years ago I used to travel to Singapore often to visit friends and one of the things we enjoyed doing was buying Danish hot dogs from a kiosk on Orchard Road. The hot dog was stuck down in the bread.

In the airport they had a place selling these but there they called them French hot dogs. So are these French or Danish? I don't know but I do know that they are good. I will give you a time that European mustard is strong.

It was great to be home.

Tuesday began the crazy terrific day. I am going to Bible study at church. I am excited to be part of this group and dig deep into I Peter. Miss K goes with me and sits at a table with some other kids. If I am lucky, she will do a page or two of school work. J stays home with a list of things to do though that will change next week in that he will have a morning flute lesson. The flute teacher's house is on our way to church.

Then at 4:00 Miss K goes back to church for kids club. I stay and visit with the other mums. Before we get home J is beginning his piano lesson and we get home in time for Miss K to get her short lesson. Then it is time for tea/dinner. In two weeks our international Bible study will begin so at 7:30 it will be back to church.

Walking to church three times in a day will give me some good exercise. I decided to just put everything in one day and have one crazy day.

So this week we didn't do much school on Tuesday. I will have to decide what can get done on Tuesdays in the coming weeks.

Wednesday was back to the books.

Thursday was back to the books and an outing. I had seen an email about Heritage Open Days and discovered that Endcliffe Hall which was not far from us was open from 11:00 - 14:00. I read a bit about it online and decided to make an outing of it.

I think this was a case of a good tour guide makes the difference. You know one that weaves exciting stories together and tells you interesting facts in the story. That was not the tour guide we had. It was still interesting to get a bit of local history. 

Friday again we got the books out. We did some history. J finished writing his narrative on The Red Rose. I am loving the Classical Composition books. 

That wraps up our week. We have another outing planned for the Heritage Open Days and I will write about both of those. 

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

T is for Taipei

It is Saturday evening and I am just now deciding on my topic for T. It is not that T is a difficult letter. I think it was a combination of recovering from traveling and needing time to think about what to write and not having inspiration. 

T is for Taipei

My first visit to Taipei was April 16, 1991. You can do the math and realise that was a number of years ago. I am not telling you how old I was. When I arrived, I was only staying for 60 day. I didn't realise how much my life was changed by that trip and how many years I would actually live there.  I wrote a bit about that here is My Asia Journey Part 1. I do need to write the other parts to this story. That will have to wait.

It was the first time I really lived in a city -- taxis, buses. I walked to work. I ate lunch out often -- Wendys, or the cafeteria at the bank (Chinese cafeteria food) and Pizza Hut once in a while.

I lived there for about 9 years. I hold the record in our family for the person that lived there the longest.

The city did change from when I first lived there till I moved. The MTR made it much easier to get around the city. I did have a car for a few of the years that I lived there. They drive the same as the US. 

I made some wonderful friends while living there. It is fun to connect and see them now. One friend was in England the other week and we were able to get together. Another friend we met in Switzerland. 

Taipei holds many memories for me.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Switzerland in photos and some words

Warning: This post has photos, lots of photos. This is a "what I do on my summer vacation" report. If you don't like photos, just skip and come back and visit another day. 

The other week we looked at our calendar and realised that we had not taken much holiday/vacation this summer and our fall was going to be busy with ministry, new students, training, meetings, conferences so we looked at our options. As home schoolers,  some of the best time to go on holiday is when the schools are back in session. We couldn't decide where to go. Switzerland was mentioned and so we contacted one of the children's leaders who is from Switzerland. We met Dom from last summer at our training in Asia. The timing was perfect as he was off work and didn't have anything planned. A family was his church had space and so we were able to stay with them.

We were so blessed and challenged by their hospitality. They opened their home to strangers, shared their food, and even an extra car. God provided in so many ways.

When Miss K hears Switzerland, she would respond with cheese and chocolate. Last summer Dom had shown the children a DVD entitled More Than Cheese and Chocolate. Miss K loves cheese and chocolate and so that was all she heard.

We spent some time in the small town walking around. We were in a village/town on Lake Zurich.

After wandering around the town a bit, we decided to take the ferry and go to Zurich.

It was about 1 1/2 hour ferry ride with stops along the way. Riding the ferry was a fun way to see the countryside.

Here is just a village along the river. I love the shutters on the windows.

We did get some chocolate. Miss K doesn't like nuts so she just got some plain milk chocolate. (Her brother has told her that Nutella has nuts so she stayed away from that. Then she had it and discovered it is chocolate and now she is trying to tell her brother that it doesn't have nuts.)

The shop smelled so good. It was hard to not buy one of each. I really do like dark chocolate.

We went to the Toy Museum. It was just a small area and had toys made in Europe. We saw a Bild Lilli which was the inspiration for Barbie. The lady working at the museum was very informative and showing us all the different things. According to her the Bild Lilli doll was discovered in Zurich by a Mattel executive though in my reading now online it could have been Lucerne, Zurich or Vienna.

Dom told us about Globi. It was an advertising character for a department store. We did see him outside of the museum.

We enjoyed the toy museum. It wasn't that big of a museum but it interesting and worth a short visit. The toys had so much detail. 

We went up one of the mountains near where we were staying. It was a cloudy day so we didn't get that many photos but as we were driving down the mountain we had to stop and allow the cows to wander home. All the cows wear bells. It is a nice pleasant sound.

We did quite a bit of walking while we were there. I enjoyed walking through the town and cities and looking at the buildings.

We did find a number of stores selling Swiss Army knives. Some of the knives are cute and ones that I would like. When we lived in Asia, my husband bought a Swiss Navy watch. We didn't see any Swiss Navy products.

We found chocolate. It was difficult to decide what chocolate to try.

On Friday we drove to Lucerne. We went to the transportation museum which was a great museum with lots of trains, planes, cars, boats, and other things relating to transportation. There was a flight stimulator and so I went for a flight with J. The first thing that he was a victory roll and then we levelled out and flew over the fields.

Friday evening Aunt B came to visit. She is working at a mission centre about an hour away. Aunt B has been a part of the children's lives so it was good for them to spend time with her. On Saturday morning after a leisurely breakfast we wandered through the old town.

We wandered along the river and enjoyed the view.

It was Saturday morning and there were vendors. We did have some wonderful bread while we were in Switzerland.

Miss K was excited to see cheese. There were a number of vendors selling cheese.

We walked across the medieval Chapel Bridge which is there in the centre of the town. It is considered one of the oldest covered bridges in Europe. The tower actually predates the bridge.

Miss K stood on her tip toes to look out and see the town. The top of the bridge had triangular paintings.

I know roofs might be an interesting thing to take a photo of but I think sometimes it is interesting to go to a place and look at the roofs. I think I have taken photos of roofs in Italy, China, and other places.

Sunday we went to church with our host and enjoyed watching and being part of the worship. How beautiful to know that around the world so many worship the living God. We sang 10,000 Reasons me in English and the rest in Swiss German. Just imagine what it will be like for people from every tongue and nation to be gathered at the throne singing.

The weather was almost hot. It was about 28 C and so we decided to go to the lake that afternoon. Our host loaned us a blow up boat which Kylie enjoyed and a few other things to enjoy in the water. It was so nice to sit and look at the water and the mountains.

This gives just a bit of the view we enjoyed.

It was a wonderful holiday and we were blessed in so many ways. Now we are home and getting back into the routine here.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

S is for Switzerland

According to Miss K Switzerland is known for cheese and chocolate that is based on what she learned last summer. We have had an opportunity to experience more of Switzerland. I am sorting through photos and will share some.


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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Praying for the Heart - a Repentant Heart

Praying for a Repentant Heart

True repentance involves both conviction and confession. Conviction without confession is guilt, but it is the confession that takes away the guilt.

Repentance comes from realizing your own sin and the need to make things right. David wrote Psalm 51 after the prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin with Bathsheba. David named it what it was—sin, transgression, and iniquity. He was admitting what he did. He called it what it was and did not excuse it by using a word like mistake, slip-up, or something else to reduce the severity of the offense.

David realized that his sin was against the Lord. (Psalm 51:4) He knew what delights God’s heart – truthfulness, being honest about our sin, not blaming others or excusing it. Then he asked for cleaning, to be washed. Then that repentance opened the way to restored joy. The relationship was restored and David was praising God.

Our repentance should come from a broken spirit, as we realize what happens as a result of our sin. God will not despise us.

David is called a man after God’s own heart. Yes, he sinned—but it is his repentant heart, his grief over his sin that set him apart as a man after God’s own heart. In our experience, too, repentance leads to a changed heart.

A repentant heart see God’s holiness and his own sin and knows that all he can do is repent. It is through humble confession that the relationship is restored.

Do you see God as holy? Do you understand how our sin breaks our relationship with God and others? Be assured that God delights to hear our confession.

Don't miss the others in this series.

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