Friday, 23 December 2011
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Here's the roundup of the what, why and when of our 2011:-
Asher brings us all joy. He’s started Reception, and is loving reading (he is being taught Yorkshire phonics), writing, drawing – and most things gentle! He’s a contented little chap, and adored by all.
Burn Road. Our terrific house gives us space and joy. Lots of different building work through the year, and our latest project has been to get a wood-burner put in. The neighbours are slowly adjusting to our noise.
Chickens. Oh yes, the chickens have landed, 7 of them at the moment. Muck, eggs, and magic. Sam has a now-encyclopaedic poultry knowledge – and is not afraid to use it (he’s lectured on request in different classes at school).
Degus are back! This autumn Ezra bought three of the darlings. Think big gerbil with a strange tail. A welcome change from over-breeding gerbils.
Ezra is shining at school, and has very cool hair. He’s also a baptised follower of the Lord Jesus, having been immersed out of doors on a rain-lashed (July) day in the Pennines, to the joy of all who came. He’s still a brilliant artist, and an accomplished animal-handler – and a son we’re very proud of.
Family. It’s lovely having Sarah’s folks 50 minutes away now (who are having a house built for them at the farm), and they’re very generous in pitching in with the kids. As is Lewis’s mum, who comes up regularly. Bronny is loving Australia with Rodney and Anna.
Grace. We’re still here, because the Gospel is still true. Another year has seen the Lord guide, us, energise, protect and encourage us. 2011 has been quite a year, and the Lord has been magnificent to us all.
Hope Church. Where to start? We’re just over a year in, and now I’m one of three Elders looking after 35 members and all sorts of other attenders and inquirers. Life is very happy, and the Lord is doing great things among us.
Igloo. Huddersfield in Winter is not a cosy place to be!
Jemimah. Jemimah is our sunny, funny, kind girl. She excels in being very flexible – gymnastic and balletic, and also, being so generous and cheerful as a daughter, sister, and popular friend.
Kawasaki. Following a nasty night involving a motorbike and a thief, Lewis is back on the road. She’s blue, fast, and the make of bike every ten year old aspires to. He’s taking it steady – in style.
Lewis is still here –just! What a busy, blessed, fast-moving year. Lots of ministry in various forms. Too little fishing!
Maisy is our gorgeous teenager. She’s quietly acing at school, and has already done a few parts of different GCSEs. When she’s not at school, Maisy’s into climbing, and is a magnificent, kind and patient sister to all of her siblings (and she irons a very good shirt!). Her long-term ambition is costume design at London College of Fashion, but in the meantime she’s experimenting with her own costume.
Noise rising above the voices we hear the competing strains of violin (Sam), clarinet (Ezra) and flute (Jemimah). Not quite the Von Trapps yet.
Outdoors . We try to get onto the moors regularly so our Christmas present this year is a pair of hikingboots for all. No more wellies lost in pennine bogs!
Pressure. This has been a really tough year for us. We’ve had all sorts of adjustments, have had to get used to being far from Gunnersbury and many other friends, and work out life in a new place.
Quiet. We should be so lucky!
Reading. Sarah continues her column for Evangelicals Now, reviewing secular books. Sam and Jemimah have been listening to Oliver Twist . Books abound.
Sam. Lover of facts, war, weapons, chickens, facts, strategy games, maths, facts and chickens. Sam’s had a great year, loving Yr 6 and thoroughly up for he challenges of secondary school. We try to keep up with him….!
Travel. Not so much of it this year. Lewis’s preaching has taken him around a little, and the kids have seen bits of North Wales and North Yorkshire (and Lancashire – sssshhh).
Under the weather. We wouldn’t be the Allens without some health issues. Mercifully few emergencies this year, though Sam’s asthma has been a lot of hard work for him, lately much relieved by a nebuliser at home. Maisy still needs to be very careful with her diet. Sarah and Lewis haven’t fallen apart yet, despite this being our 40th year.
Visitors. Bring ’em on! We’ve loved having London friends up with us, and have space for allcomers…
Wife. The beautiful Sarah. A tiring year of managing everyone and everything, compounded by her two day a week teaching job at Ezra and Maisy’s school. Her hobby – when she gets time for it - is sleeping!
Xceptional Holiday. A house lent to us in the north of Skye saw a wonderful fortnight’s holiday in August. Plenty of fishing and lobster potting (both successful), swimming, walking, climbing and general frolicking were enjoyed by all.
Yorkshire We’re loving the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire tea, Yorkshire puddings and Yorkshire pride. They really do believe it’s God’s own county!
Zoo Degus, Chickens, NO DOG!! Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Gerbils. A lot has been fed and watered, put down, sold or escaped this year from our household.