Turns out the flu Seth had wasn’t so easy to beat after all – it started taking hold as pneumonia, and knocked him out of a conference he was supposed to participate in, preaching on Sunday, and helping with a youth camp this week. Jessica and the children still went to help with the camp – Jessica is helping in the kitchen, which is probably the most demanding area of camp. Seth has definitely turned a corner thanks to powerful medicine, but the whole thing is certainly a strong reminder of just how weak and fragile we are as humans.
It never snows in Ireland. Well, pretty much never. And even when it does, it’s always the tiniest bit of snow you can imagine – you’re lucky if it covers the windscreen on the car enough for you can get a couple of snowballs from it.
But not this time. This time is different. This is proper snow.
Evidently, we’re getting a blast of Siberian air due to a disruption in the polar vortex – and meteorologists love fancy words. The result is: a blizzard the likes of which hasn’t hit Ireland since 1982. The whole country is covered in snow. The children all got three days – three whole days! – off school. One snow day is amazing, but three!?
The shops sold out of bread and milk, the whole country basically closed for business, and everyone is out building snowmen. It’s amazing! The best snowman we had ever built in all our years in Ireland was about six inches high and we had to use raisins for the eyes. Well, not today. Not today.
We definitely enjoyed the Christmas holidays in our new home, and used the time to make a lot of progress in unpacking and getting the house set up. There are still a number of jobs left to be done, of course, but we love the way it’s coming together. We’ve also been able to enjoy some good family time and start showing hospitality to others – in the last 2 weeks we’ve had 20 people at the house. We’re excited to start 2018 in Carrigtwohill!
We made it to Carrigtwohill in time for Christmas! Jessica’s mom came from America for a week to help with the move, and lots of able bodied men from the Midleton and Youghal churches did the heavy lifting. We’ve got our Christmas tree up, our furniture in the right places, some of the walls painted and (thanks to Jessica) lots of boxes unpacked. Still a ways to go before we are fully settled in, but it’s feeling more like home every day, and we like that.
The countdown is getting very low for our move to Carrigtwohill, so we’ve got most of our things in boxes, ready to go. Usually by this time we’d be all decorated for Christmas, but this year we only have a couple of visual clues in the house that could give away what month it is. That’s okay, though. We’re very thankful that our Christmas tree will be up soon in our new house! Having a new place to live is something we’ll definitely celebrate this year, but in reality it doesn’t compared at all to the incredible news that the Son of God chose to move into our world, die the death we deserved, and rise again to win us a forever home in Heaven. That’s a move worth celebrating!
Jessica and Seth were both asked recently to share music: Jessica played piano for a Christian ladies conference in Cork, and Seth sang songs from musicals for a fundraising evening in aid of the Youghal Musical Society. We love music, and it’s fun to have chances to share it with others!
This week some friends offered to collect our children from school one day, keep them at their house all afternoon, feed them dinner, and drive them all the way to Youghal in the evening – all so that we could have the whole day to pack boxes for moving (we packed a lot of boxes!). We’ve also had several friends from church help us with jobs that needed to be done on the house we’re selling, and offers coming from all directions to help when we actually do move. We are very thankful for such amazing support from the family of God!