Thursday, December 31, 2015

Star Wars!

While the younger Thorne is partying with his friends, I decided to go see this so I can stop avoiding the spoilers on Facebook ;)

This is the life!

Out on the sandbank on the Woodle's boat... I could get used to this :)

Brunch at Cracker Barrel


We slept late in anticipation of the festivities tonight- well, for him, I intend to be in bed by 11 :)

We are being taken out on the Woodle family boat this afternoon, and then the younger crowd are having a small party to see the New Year in.

(Although he's texting in this picture, he is actually being quite animated and telling me all about what he's been up to)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dad's Taxi

Just picked up Crisp and Kristina (with the addition of a Remi) from the mall and dropped them, after a stop at the hotel to drop off Crisp's purchases, back at Kristina's. Now it looks like my evening is my own, which I think will probably consist of more Netflix and another meal at Cracker Barrel (excellent cheap food and primo people watching!).



For want of anything else, here are a couple more pictures of our funky little Chevy Spark in the parking lot at Publix- it's a very cool little car :) And have I mentioned how much I love Publix? I just stopped in for some soda and chips to go with my Netflixing this evening and they are always so clean and bright and well-staffed- and they have real-sugar Dr Pepper :)

Florida, day 2


Just dropped off Crisp and Kristina at the mall to go hang out and meet some other friends... they bickered in the car like an old married couple, and you can't quite see it in the picture, but they're holding hands :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Success!


So I've just got back from taking Crisp over to Kristina's house. We waited until her mother was home from work first as she wanted to meet me (no pressure!). Crisp jumped out of the car when we got there and swept Kristina up into a huge hug-spin (very cute) and they have been together ever since. I was introduced to her older brother (also Chris) and her mother Lorna, who I spent about 2 hours talking to as the kids disappeared into Kristina's room, very nice and friendly- and as confused about this whole long-distance internet friendship thing as I am.

Crisp had brought Kristina a t-shirt to match one of his favorite ones, and Kristina had got him a shirt to match one of her favorites- hence the cute picture above :)

I left them as thick as thieves and will pick up Crisp later when he texts me, and then tomorrow they're going to spend the day hanging out at the mall along with a few other friends of Kristina's that Crisp also knows online. Then on Thursday there's talk of possibly going out on the family boat and then the teenagers having a small New Year's Eve party in the evening.

But for now- there's a Cracker Barrel right across the street from the hotel, so I'm going to take my Kindle and do a little reading and people watching as I have a nice, solo dinner :)


Finally...



...arrived at our hotel. We're ahead of schedule so we have some time to settle in and freshen up before we go to meet Koop and family.

Here's the view of and from our room :)

Our car...

... Chevy Spark :)

Another taxi...

... this one to the airport to pick up our rental car (long story!)

Tampa

We have arrived :)

Orlando!

Just over 2 hours to go- or we could always just get off here and go to Disney World...

Breakfast of champions...

... Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits and soda :)

Florida!

Good morning and welcome to Florida, we're in Jacksonville :) it's a shame Florida is such a huge state that we've still got 5 1/2 hours to go!

Crisp slept most of the night, and I slept on and off- thank goodness the boisterous children sitting all round us also slept!

Now... I wonder what's for breakfast?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Raleigh, NC

Another stretch break. I stepped out for a breath of fresh air, but not only is it raining- as soon as you step off the train you are engulfed in the clouds of smoke from all the people around the door desperately puffing away. I do not miss that :)

Dinner...

... very similar to lunch ;)

Just outside Emporia.

6 1/4 hours down...

...a quarter of the the trip, and we're just shy of Richmond,  Virginia. It's full dark out now and we just passed through a little town full of houses covered in Christmas lights :)

Washington, DC

Stretch break while they change locomotives.

Train selfie :)

Wilmington, Delaware

Lunch

Just pulling into Philly.

And we're off

Leaving on time :)

All aboard!

Our home away from home for the next 25 hours :)

Penn Station

Train #91, the Silver Star, on time :)

Manhattan

In a taxi from GCT to Penn Station.

On the way...

...to GCT.

The adventure begins...

Train #1, Metro North to GCT.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A nice little extra Christmas present...

I ran into a young lady at church last night who used to be one of our acolytes. Eloise Sherrid is a very talented budding film-maker who asked me a while back to record a voice-over for a short film she was making for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. I had forgotten all about it, but she just sent me a link to the video...


Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust from Eloise Sherrid on Vimeo.
A short film made for the DWCT, an international environmental conservation group based in the UK.

I think it came out very well, and I'm very pleased and proud to have been part of it :)

Doctor Who Christmas Special

Christmas is complete :)

Christmas Pictures

A couple of albums over on Facebook for you to enjoy...



and




Oh dear...

... the Cards Against Humanity part of the day has begun ;)

Merry Christmas to all...


...and to all a Good Night!

3 successful services down (pictures to follow), and all reset and ready for tomorrow, erm, later this morning ;)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

She loves me...


... my wife has baked a beautiful, cinnamon-free apple pie for tomorrow night :)

Global warming?

It's Christmas Eve and I'm walking the dog in a t-shirt and wishing I'd put shorts on, and Holly is taking advantage of a pool from all of yesterdays rain to cool off... crazy weather!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The things we do for love...

Crisp asked his girlfriend (who we are going to visit in Florida next week) how he should dress and present himself to meet her parents, and she told him that unfortunately the beard he's been growing for the last 4 months would have to go... so this evening I got to work.

Before...
...and after
So that his skin does not get too irritated we are starting with a trim down to 1/8", then tomorrow we'll do a first actual shave and moisturize heavily!

He's a handsome lad :)

Finishing touches...

... offering envelopes in the pews ... Gospel book and missals all set ... candles filled and trimmed ... 3pm bulletins in place ... communion silver set ...

I think we're ready :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

12,100 sheets of 11x17 paper later...

...I think it's safe to say I've thoroughly tested the new printer/copier!

Just shy of 5 cases of paper- but it's all locally produced and fully recyclable, so we're trying to be as green as we can.

Almost done...

... pew candles are in :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sasha

Posing for the camera (well no, not really, it took many tries and Jackie distracting her to get this... dogs are so much easier to photograph!)