Sunday, 20 December 2009

Update on Phoebe

Phoebe has now been in Musgrove Hospital in Taunton for 3 nights; She has Bronchiolitis, which is described here. She is in a stable condition and is simply in hospital to recover; They are hopeful that she will be home with us by Christmas Eve - she is in an oxygen box which is helping her with her breathing and she is taking most of her feeds by nasal gastric tube. They are keen to make her recover as easy as possible, hence all the support.

Meanwhile, Gracie is over the worst of Tonsilitis and is herself again which is great. We're holding up well, and look forward to all being back together for Christmas. Some photos...

Friday, 18 December 2009

Back where it all began...

Sorry we've been out of contact for a long time. As you know we've been living down in Devon, and we didn't have an internet connection. Fortunately we had electricity for the last few weeks of our stay there, and I understand that they're hoping to go to colour down there any day now (everything is currently in black and white).

I will write a full update on what's been going on in the near future, but for now I wanted to bring you up to speed with where Phoebe is at; Phoebe has been quite sick this week with a very bad chesty cough, and has ben struggling with her breathing - we took her to see the GP on Tuesday and he sent her away saying that unless she was blue and floppy there was nothing that could be done.

We called NHS Direct last night as she seemed to be going downhill yesterday; she had been pretty unresponsive for most of the day and had no colour in her. They sent an ambulance for her immediately and she was taken to Musgrove Hospital in Taunton. She was kept overnight, and she is likely to be there for another night.

They believe she has bronchilitis which isn't too serious, but she's in an oxygen box, has a feeding tube up her nose again as she's not been keeping any food down. Laura is with her, and was up for most of the night while the doctors and nurses where in and out - I was at the hospital until gone 3am.

Meenwhile, I am now back at home with Gracie who also has the flu - she's not left the sofa now for 2 days (other than going to bed) and is sleeping LOTS! She's not eating and isn't in good spirits at all, but fortunately she is loving her new Peppa Pig DVD that she got for her birthday.

So bear us in your thoughts and prayers as it seems the year is ending in a similar manner to how it started. We're in good spirits, but this is the 2nd christmas on the trot that is being hijacked by ill health!

I'll keep you up to date via the blog, facebook and twitter.
Phoebe on Oxygen after arriving in the ambulance.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Where are you now?

Yes we know, it's been an inexcusable amount of time since we've blogged but we've been kind of busy! We left Langley on the 7th September to embark on a road trip across the Rockies to Calgary where we would be flying on the 11th back home to the UK. We spent the first 2 nights of our trip at the Cabin that we visited earlier in the summer with our wonderful friends Jaben & Sarah; While it was lovely to visit again it just wasn't the same without our great friends and of course the home made Sauna!

We drive onwards towards Calgary and spent our first night 'on the road' at Lake Louise; Sadly the bigwigs at BMW had booked out the entire Chateau on the lakefront which meant we had to stay in the village which was lovely, although the rumblings (read racket) of freight trains tumbling past every 30 minutes in the night was a little discomforting as we were about 40 yards from the track! Never the less, we enjoyed Lake Louise, and Moraine Lake the following day and were simply blown away by the natural beauty that we saw - I even said (forgive me kiwis) that it could almost beat Milford Sound (only just though) for awe - wasn't a patch on Hamilton though!

We spent our next night in a youth hostel in Banff which was pretty good fun; we did all the tourist things such as the Gondola ride to the top of the mountain, the hot pools, shopping and plenty of gawping at mountains. Banff was a great fun town, and a great place to spend our final night in Canada.

So now we're back in the UK and back on the jobhunt; Our plan is to move to Worcester when I can get a decent job there, but in the meantime we are living down at the Cottage in Devon which is wonderful; We're adjusting to the VERY slow pace of life and enjoying daily walks to Bantham Beach, outings to Salcombe (my alltime favourite place in the world) and having some wonderful time with Paul, Nitca and May (who has been doing some wonderful baking for us!). We don't have internet at the cottage so don't expect to hear more from us in the too near future, but be assured that if anything big happens you'll hear it here first!

Hear are some photos in their rawest form - I haven't had the chance to go through the yet and our computer is in a box somewhere between here and Canada so it'll be a while!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

We're returning to the UK

This letter was read to LEFC this morning.


I am sorry that I am unable to be with you in person today; I am currently in the United Kingdom for my sister’s wedding.

As many of you know, Laura, Gracie and I moved to Langley at the end of December so that I could take up the position of Associate Pastor at LEFC. Upon arriving in Langley we were met by the unexpected and very premature birth of our daughter Phoebe, and subsequently spent our first 3 months in Canada with a critically ill baby, settling into life in a new country, job, and church.

The toll that this has taken on us a family has been costly on a number of levels. The support that we have had from the church has been overwhelming and at best we have felt a strong connection to the LEFC family. Sadly though we have found it extremely difficult to settle fully into the church and into life in a new country and have found ourselves exhausted by the experience both emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Along with our own deep personal struggle, I have also found it very difficult ministering in a new culture and have found it very hard to ‘fit’ into my ministry role of Associate Pastor at LEFC. This is less of a reflection on the church but on the journey that I have been on in the past half a year life, and the completely unexpected demands on our family life. I have simply been too burnt out to tackle the demands of a new role.

We have a deep respect and love for Darren and his family, the elders and the staff team, and truly believe in the mission of the church.

As a result of these challenging life circumstances we have reluctantly decided that we should to return to England. We feel it is important to be in close proximity to our extended families as we attempt to make sense of the past year. It is with sadness that I am announcing my resignation from the position of Associate Pastor at LEFC. I will be working until the end of August, and will then return to the UK in September.

Once back in the UK we will take some time to discern wisely the next step in our life. We believe rest from ministry will be an important part of the healing process as we try to process the events of the last year.

We are deeply sorry that we will be leaving the church and the relationships that we have started to build here in Langley, but ultimately we have a deep peace that we have made the right decision. I would ask that you would consider us in prayer as we undergo another life change.

Paul, Laura, Gracie & Phoebe

Monday, 27 July 2009

Camping at Harrison

We were feeling very adventurous a few weeks ago so our friends Cal, Darla and their two little girls decided to take us camping for the weekend! We were complete beginners at this and had no equipment or idea at how to survive with children in a campground. We were slightly horrified to learn that camping sites here are not like the ones we have experienced in England as the only facilities were a tap and a long-drop! Thankfully our wonderful friends provided everything we needed and cooked the most amazing food for us and even got hold of a air-bed as Paul informed them that's the only way he would go! The weather was beautiful and Gracie loved being outside all day long. We spent our time by the lake, going for walks and roasting marsh mellows and other delights on the fire. Thank you to the Boese's for this unique experience!
piggy back rides for tired little girls!
Gracie and Phoebe chill in the hammock
One of the beautiful Lakes
Phoebe finds a comfy chair!
Darla cooks up a storm!
The girls enjoy dinner
Glamourous girls ready to camp!

weather forecast!

Just to make our readers who are enjoying the English summer very envious!!!!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Our holiday in Shuswap Lake

Last week we headed north east with our good friends Jaben & Sarah to Sarah's family cabin on the shore of Shuswap lake... For Tom's comedy account of the week click here. We had a wonderful relaxing time including some fishing, swimming, golfing, BBQ's, fires, hand built beach sauna, and our first experience of Smores (a canadian fireside institution). We had the most amazing time with our friends and discovered a new favorite place! Thankyou Jaben and Sarah and the Meraw family for showing us such a good time.
Beach fires!
A walk in the woods!
Gracie out in the Canoe
Night sky over the Shuswap

Dinner overlooking the lake - stunning views
Jaben & Tom fishing off the pontoon
Tom's catch...
Fishing from the boat
Speed boat trip...

Fun at Cultus Waterslides...

Summer is well and truly here and we've been doing all manner of things to keep cool; A couple of weeks ago we took uncle Tom to Cultus Waterslides which is about an hour east of Langley - Gracie had an absolute blast on the waterslides, and us grown-ups had a little bit of fun too!

A weekend in Whistler

While my parents were here we took the opportunity to go and visit Whistler which is one of North America's most popular ski resorts (and we could see why). Although it was the summer season, there was lots of stuff to do including a ride on the Peak 2 Peak gondola which spans the summits of the 2 resort mountains; It opened this year and is very very impressive indeed! On our trip we saw 4 bears, the olympic bobsleigh track and the ski jump site for the 2010 Olympics! What a fun weekend! We had such a fun time with my parents and we were sad to say goodbye to them at the airport afterwards.
The very impressive Shannon Falls
Mum & Dad heading up Whistler Mountain
Gracie infront of the Olympic Emblem on top of Whistler Mountain
Our first bear sighting
On top of Blackcomb Mountain
Ice cream in the village
Night swim in the hotel pool
A panorama from the top of Blackcomb