Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Touring Scotland: Monks, Cows, and Chairs

Recently we had a party here and invited a bunch of university students here to chill for a week.

Well that's only partially true. 
I don't normally use the word "chill" as it is rather foreign and chafes at this thirty-something momma who sees the value in not embracing skinny jeans, the sensibility in buying shoes for comfort, and the FOR THE LOVE OF PETE turn the stereo OFF in the car for some peace and quiet!!!

Now, for our lesson in how to avoid awkward introductions and hideously long, nearly run-on sentences.

I think I'll begin the post again.

Once upon a time a group of students from Lincoln Christian University came to Scotland to have a Tour of the Reformation.
We welcomed them with open arms.

Dr. Middleton led the group and arrived a few days early because he loves the Anderson kids...

The Anderson kids are his grandchildren.

And I love to call him Dr. Middleton--
I mean I lived with this guy for 18 years--I can call him what I please.
He says I'm taking his name in vain. 
I say it's all fun and games; even my mom joins in the hilarity.

This was just precious.

When we got home we enjoyed the unpacking of the suitcases.
We get lots of lovely treats from the US--yay!

We spent a few days meandering around with "PaPa."

Bakery window I passed--doesn't this look yummy?!

Airdrie had a physiotherapy appointment in our home the day after my dad got here.

We LOVE out PT, Liz, she's a gem!

Papa was joining in watching the therapy session when all of the sudden...


Then the students came--yay!

We went to Pluscarden Abbey.

It's not too far away.

It's pretty spectacular.

My kids immediately attached themselves to Ray.

Thanks, Ray, for being so kind to them!

We wanted to stay for vespers, but the kids were getting mighty restless.
I SO wanted to see the monks doing their chants...

(disclaimer: I did not know the no camera rules--don't think I'm a rebel rule-breaker)

Also, did you know I live in a sitcom? 
No lie.

I'm trying to be casual and get an audio clip of the monks, 
because well yeah they're monks 
and something about that brings out my inner creeper.

I'm trying to be cool, nonchalant, and not be disruptive.
I lift Mark's phone to video and 

Yeah, I'm flashing signal flares through the chapel right before the evening service.
I may or may not have been gently chastised by a monk.
Probably my most embarrassing moment that week,
yet it still falls way below on the meter from the incidents of my cheerleading days.
...story of my life.

Meanwhile these guys are running all over Scotland.

We then ventured to Loch Ness.

And don't pronounce "Loch" as "lock"
Please make the "ch" in Loch a guttural fricative.

My kids' favourite castle: Urquhart Castle on the shore of Loch Ness.
It was very, very cold that day.

My dad is here and also my brother in law, Jason!
Uncle Jason works for Lincoln Christian University and was the faculty sponsor on the trip.

Father-in-law and son-in-law: they always dress alike.
Sharing, caring, every little thing that they are wearing.

And Ray's hauling around Anderson kids again.

How cute are these guys we saw outside Culloden Battlefield?

These are:
 "heelan coos" if you're from Scotland
 "highland cows" if you're from the US,
or "highlanders" if you're my husband.

My husband also calls longhorn cattle "lang-erns."
But I suppose since he's a bonafide cowboy I'll let him call the bovines whatever he fancies.

Then we had Amplified Youth Group at church one night.

We played games...

It may or may not have gotten a little wild...

CHECK out Gaby's hair!!!

A wrestling match may have happened...
five times.

But we settled down.

We talked about Jesus,

We made friends,

And we drew spots on each other with a marker.

Best of times..

Then Mark and the group ventured down to Aberdeen for some really cool stuff.

Woo! Look at that hot guy...
But as distractingly handsome as he is we're really interested in the chair he's sitting in.

It is John Wesley's chair.

If you don't know who John Wesley is, 
ask your preacher.
If your preacher doesn't know who John Wesley is, 
get a new preacher.

...sort of.

The students having a cuppa and attending a private lecture with the man on the right, Howard.
You may know him better by "I. Howard Marshall"

AHHHHHH, freak out here!!!

I don't fangirl over movies, bands, actors.
I fangirl over world renowned theologians.
I'm the nerd of all fangirls...

Which is pre-tty dang nerdy y'all.

We said our sad good-byes to the team.
They were super fun and encouraging to be with!

Then Papa had to leave...sad day again.
We loved our time spent together!

Public Service Announcement:
You hack my phone with selfies,
they will find their way onto the blog.

(mmmmwah! Love you Hannah!)

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