Last weekend in Newtyle there was blue sky, warm sunshine and pristine white sparkly snow with a nice icy crust that was just perfect for sledging and skiing.

Happy February 2013

Well, here we are at the end of January 2013 already, and on the eve of our departure to South Africa for a month in the sun, and I haven’t had a chance to post anything about the New Year.  So here’s a picture of us all on the West Sands at St Andrews on New Year’s Eve:

Us all

Pleasures Point Us Forward, the

Pleasures Point Us Forward, the
Pleasures Point Us Forward, the

I have been trying to think of a name for our new canoe as all water craft have to have a name of sorts.  I have had several sources of inspiration: “Surface Detail” by Iain M. Banks, “The Sentry” by Robert Crais, and “Finding God” by Larry Crabb.  In Surface Detail, a story set in the far distant future of the galaxy, the Culture spaceships have complete control over their own name and often choose something that expresses their character, attitude or aim in “life”, and it is worth reading at least one of Banks’ books to have a quiet chuckle as they blaze their way through hyperspace.

Robert Crais’ character, Joe Pike, has two large red (red like my canoe) arrows tattooed into his deltoids.  They point forward, reminding him to keep pressing onwards, that there is no going back.  Pike is always looking out for the little guy and ain’t nobody gonna stop him. He doesn’t say much but he has mission commitment in heaps that keeps him focussed on the goal of saving the girl or solving the case or watching his partner’s back or keeping his red Jeep clean (usually all of the above).

Larry Crabb has mission commitment too but he is not an ex-assassin-turned-detective with tattoos.  He is a professor at Colorado Christian University and his mission is, to put it simply, to find God, know God, love God. In his book “Finding God” there is a take-away summary point that has got me thinking:

Our deepest longings are inconsolable. The deepest pleasures in life don’t satisfy – they point us forward. Continue reading Pleasures Point Us Forward, the

Safari Park Action

It was all happening in the upstairs lounge this morning.  A large infant was seen looming towards an encounter between a frightened waterbuck and some large feline predators.  The waterbuck had managed to get itself on top of the horse box but then found itself penned in by the lion and tiger on one side and the looming infant on the other.

Safari Park Action 1 Safari Park Action 2

Food Aid Program

We are the fortunate recipients of food parcels as part of the church’s pastoral ministry.  Several lucky people have had the chance to see the young Kirsten when they have dropped off a ready-prepared meal during the week.  Who would have thought that having two kids meant there wasn’t enough time to cook the supper?  That said I now know what it is like to be a house husband – exhausting but fulfilling.  Moms and Toddlers, Toddler Gym, swimming classes, sessions at the swings, doing stickers, playing with the diggers in the garden, morning snacks, lunch, sleep, afternoon snacks, afternoon slumps if the sleep never happened – and then try and make tea.  The meals are hugely appreciated!

Apple and blackberry crumble with custard

Daniel certainly likes the crumble.

Still here, just!

What a month!  Moving house, cleaning old house, cleaning new house, people to stay, Daniel to wear out, us Parents to work out what to do with the space and stuff, new baby to prepare for…

We’ve just three weeks to go until the predicted due date of bairn number 2 and there is a still a list of things on the To Do list (does it ever reduce?) such as sorting out the family room carpet, painting the kitchen, family room and our bedroom, removing a large set of built in wardrobes, sorting out new baby clobber and collecting buckets of apples.  This past week we’ve all had colds and been in bed as soon after 9pm as possible.  Tiring times, indeed.

I’ll bung some photos in the gallery when I have a moment.  This was just a short note to let you all know we are still alive and well in Newtyle.

Chez Mcdonald

The Family McDonald now have a new house. We picked up the keys on Wednesday and popped in that afternoon to have a look. So much space – all ours – to clean and look after, to fill with family and friends. You can have a look at some of the first pictures in the gallery.

One Eye Missing

Muck “One Eye Missing” is the latest addition to the earth moving equipment stable in Daniel’s room.  Joey JCB, Emily’s digger, Green Tractor, Lofty the Crane and the JCB front-end loader and back-hoe all form part of his construction company.  Whether building a house with additional “chimmeys” or trying to extend the railroad to make a loop (hard with only three corners) they all play a part in making sure the job gets done.  One Eye Missing came from a charity shop in Broughty Ferry (as did most of the other machines) where he had been deposited by a parent because there was a minor (child inflicted) defect with the toy.  Little does the Muck-less kid now know that this machine is now unique – he has a new name, is in a home where he is loved and where he can do what he does best.

Muck One Eye Missing

Sometimes, seeing the state of the toys coming in, I wonder if Daniel’s room is part of the witness protection program for toys.  What these toys must have seen and endured (decapitations, amputations, mismatched transplants, falls from great heights, nights out under the stars and abandonment) it’s no wonder they come into the Programme.  Should those children ever find them again who knows what might happen – the toys know too much.  What I know though is that these machines will be loved and cherished and played with every day – if not by Daniel then it has been known for Ross to push a ‘dozer through the chippings in the flower bed when no-one is looking.

Mother’s Notes

Amy put this together to record some Daniel-isms.

I thought you might all be interested and amused in some of the things Daniel is saying the moment.  Most of his words are very good but the ones he pronounces in his own sweet way are sometimes quite funny.  He talks about the ‘lawn moaner’ and his ‘tooter’ (scooter).  He likes to go out in ‘air feet’ (bare feet).

He still calls any deer / antelope that he sees a ‘din din’.  He calls sheep ‘baas’ and sometimes ‘seep’.   When we were away last week he kept pointing out ‘eagles’ to us (any big bird).

He’s learning to put -ing on the end of words, so he talks about ‘walking’ and ‘watching’ and also ‘upping’ (when he wants picked up). He also knows about making words plural with an ‘s’ which means he talks about ‘mans’ as well as ladies.

When we put him to bed at night he often says ‘bye’ and then ‘later’.

He says ‘hi’ to almost anyone or anything – including bees, ants, woodlice and beetles.  He’s always interested in bugs and animals having food, and if you ask him what they eat, he says ‘food’ or ‘oats’ or ‘stones’. Continue reading Mother’s Notes