Tag: London (page 1 of 2)

An Exciting Announcement

We are happy to announce the engagement of our son Benjamin to his sweetheart, Haylie.


In a garden restaurant in London Benjamin got on one knee and asked the woman he loves to be his forever and she said yes.

They say it was a precious moment. Haylie was surprised, but very happy. Benjamin had been nervous before but relieved afterward as they sat together, celebrating with a glass of champagne looking over the city of London and in awe of what just took place.

We had a British tea to honor their engagement.






With hearts so happy for them, they were surrounded with love, prayers for God’s sweetest blessings and some special gifts. It was a delightful afternoon.

Landing in London

Today is Saturday, it’s overcast but still bright outside. There is a little breeze so a sweater … or I mean, a jumper .. is needed for the breeze. We slept in today until 9:30. You might think being in London you shouldn’t take the time to sleep at all but as I went downstairs in my pajamas, April, our generous host reminded me that this IS a vacation and it’s OK to rest. Eureka! What a fabulous idea.

On Tuesday, the day we landed,  we had dinner at an English pub. Continue reading

Countdown: 5 Days

It’s been exciting waiting and working towards our trip to London. I was determined not to leave a lot of stuff to the last minute. I haven’t quite made my goal. I have a few important things I haven’t done

  1. Gather the history information about our ancestors. We will be tracing their steps from landing in New York at Ellis Island to when Gr. Grandmother Mary Louise was a 14 year old scholar/teacher in the small town of Cattistock, in Dorset England.   Her marriage to Great Grandfather Evan Collins. I have a bit of it, but wish I had done more.
  2. Gather Grammy ideas for kid time.
  3. Clean the windows. I know, I can hear you now “You don’t need to clean the windows!” and while that is true, it is something I have been hoping to get done for a couple months now.
  4. Get all my spring planting done.
  5. This one is really important .. make a itinerary. I love an itinerary. That will probably happen before we leave.
  6. Here is one Elisa will get after me for .. clean out the fridge. She says I pick the worst times to do that.
  7. Today the huckleberry tree is full of ripe beautiful berries. Will I get out there and pick a bowl full?

Continue reading

Glad to Be Home

What a blessed time in London. It was such a fantastic trip, so memorable, so heart filling it’s hard to express it in words. 

The day came for me to pack up my suitcases and hit the sidewalk to the bus. There we were, Kimberly and I rolling suitcases down the sidewalk, 6 am (ish) It was almost comical, here in the US you struggle to get your bag ALL THE WAY to the car in the driveway. In London, pulling a suitcase is a common sight. BUT, most folks are more experienced than I am. They had smaller bags with the wheels that swivel. I had one of those HUGE suitcases AND a travel suitcase AND a backpack as well. I was Rookie traveler. We muscled those onto and off of the bus, then onto and off the tube. Kimberly is such a capable traveler, she knows how to get anywhere in London. We arrived at the airport, I hugged Kimberly, my very heart, goodbye and I began my journey home. Bittersweet. So glad to be going home but hating leaving the ones I love behind.


 I followed home the sunrise, here it is above a sea of clouds. 


When I landed in Boston I had a pathetic Starbucks that I LOVED! It was just like I like it. It wasn’t international or organic or healthy but it was YUMMY! AND, I was a citizen. I was where I belonged, where I am home, where I understand what the people are thinking. I was told so many different things about English attitudes I just wasn’t sure how to fit in. IMG_2471
The weather in Boston was a little threatening. Fortunately, after a bit of delay we were able to get on the plane. When I landed my suitcase was icy wet. None of the wonderful gifts inside were ruined. 


1024px-2008-07-30_RDU_welcome_signAfter, golly, I don’t even know how many hours from 9 am London time to 5 pm NC time – could it have been 13 hours? I don’t know for sure, cause of the time change. It was a LONG day though. 

I was happy to see Don at the end of the hallway. My sweetheart. And guess what I found when I got home?? Beautiful roses. 

IMG_2518When we made it back to Burlington Benjamin was here, David and Elisa came later. It was a happy reunion. I got out all the treats and we ate the AMAZING English food I brought home. Happy, Happy.

So thankful that I got to hug that London family, see those precious grandchildren and now back home. I am looking forward to the next London visit! I hope it’s not too far in the distance.

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. Psalm 47:1

A Little Bit of France

Today is was raining. In the states, that’s not that big of a deal but here with public transportation and 4 children it’s a different story. In North Carolina when it rains we pause and think, hmm, do I really feel like getting my coat on and getting into my car to go to my destination? My shoes might get wet and it’s a bit muddy. 

In London they laugh at the rain … not really … but they Keep Calm and Carry On into the rain. People are equipped, they have umbrellas and rain coats and I saw lots of boots. 

Today is Sunday and that means riding the bus for church, that means 4 children in the rain riding the bus. And they did it. Out we went with our umbrellas and rain coats. Lucy never misses a beat, rain or shine she smiles her way up the sidewalk and to the bus stop. 

The name of their church is Community Church Putney. A growing, vibrant church that loves the Lord. Here is their web site if you would like to know more about it. http://www.communitychurchputney.com/community-church-putney–about-ccp.html 

Here is a short video of Lucy dancing at church


At this temporary setting for CCP there is a beautiful pond right outside the front door, the kids get out of church and go explore and enjoy nature .. translation – find sticks, throw them and run through the bushes. Today our kids did the same thing they always do with the difference of the rain. Oh. Out they went and don’t you know it, down he went, into the mud. HA! New reality. No car, no change of clothes and a bus ride to make it home. Poor fellow, I bet he learned for the whole family the value of staying dry. 

Ben and the kids made that journey home but Kimberly, Penelope and I took a different bus and headed into downtown London to Harrods. 

I’m disappointed to tell you that it was uncomfortably crowded. The food court had long lines. The tea room had no open seating and it was such a large operation we needed a map, sadly, there was not one to be found. The store is like a mall with many different rooms. I imagine it would have been wonderfully fun to enjoy on a slower day. 

Kimberly and I both were ready to GET OUT of there. 

Kimberley found a place in Kensington for us to eat. It was lovely! The rain had stopped and we walked to lunch, La Brasserie (http://www.labrasserielondon.com/) 

Here is an internet pic of the restaurantla

Happy to be inside we were greeted and quickly seated at our table. As we sat we heard laughter and conversation. The restaurant was humming with happy chatter. AND most of it was in French! The name La Brasserie is a french expression that means a type of restaurant with a relaxed setting, serving food all day. 

Our waiter was very attentive. We shared a wonderful meal. And, yes I was that obnoxious tourist that took pics of my food. Starting out I had a dark French roast with lots of cream. Kimberly had black tea with milk, very British of her. 


Then we were surprised by our starter – Beef carpaccio Parmesan, rocket and truffle oil and pine nuts. The flavor was outstanding. The part that surprised us was that the beef tenderloin was raw! We took our first bite cautiously but after that we ate it slowly but enthusiastically. The mix of flavors were fresh, the rocket (arugula lettuce) a bit peppery, the parmesan cheese creamy and the pine nuts added a little zest. Delightful. IMG_2407

Sweet Kimberly lets me take her picture. 

This was the main course, Risotto Funghi arborio rice, wild mushrooms, parmesan cheese and truffle oil. There were a lot mushrooms I didn’t recognize. The sauce was creamy and I think I detected a little wine on the mushrooms. We thoroughly enjoyed it. IMG_2410

We had this little sweet pea with us. IMG_2412

She wanted to touch everything. Because of her sweet face she got a lot of attention. What is it about babies that makes even men stop and play with the babies? IMG_2418

We finished with apple strudel. IMG_2420

This was a fun and memorable culinary adventure with Kimberly and Penelope. IMG_2422We traveled by tube and bus and we got off at Barnes, which is near their neighbourhood so she could buy milk. Then we had a walk home that was like a scene in a movie. It was dark but the wet streets reflected the lights, people were going here and there. I could feel the cool fresh air and a little mist. We saw a lot of neighborhoods with local pubs or shops, we found sweetly fragrant hyacinths planted in pots. We chatted and walked, just happy to be together. Finally home, we were welcomed into their bright, warm home with smiles and hugs and “Where have you been so long” It’s nice to be missed. 

God is love. God’s love is so great that He gave His only Son to bring us into fellowship with Him. God’s love not only encompasses the world, but embraces each of us personally and intimately. 

—1 John 4:7-10border_graphic_with_swirls_and_a_heart_in_black_and_white_0515-0910-1419-2547_SMU-150x84
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