Saturday, March 26, 2011

This is a blog post especially for those grandparents, great grandparents, aunties and uncles who are greatly missed (but we hope the rest of you enjoy it too!)... we wish you were here to share these wonderful moments with us!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

On Saturday night the fire alarm went off at 1.10am. We were not amused. Immediately, we sprung into action, frantic clothes-pulling-on, shoe finding, insulin-kit finding and then, gathering Daniel in our arms wrapped in a warm blanket we made our way down the stairs. For Daniel, this was THE most exciting event of his existence so far. Far from crying and complaining about being roused from his slumber, Daniel was thrilled to bits to be having an impromptu middle-of-the-night cuddle with Daddy - AND there was a whole crowd of people around who he could smile at! Bliss.

There were reports that smoke had been seen on the second floor, but there was no sign of any flames - and, to my amazement, in an apartment complex that must house over 2000 people, only about 30 of us actually came outside - unbelievable! Made me think about the warnings in the gospel about what will happen when we die if we're not trusting in Jesus... so few even look into Jesus' claims... we're shouting "FIRE! FIRE!" but most people seem to just want to keep on sleeping in their beds... not realising their house is on fire.

We hung around for about 15 minutes before the fire engine arrived. They quickly confirmed that pesky pranksters had used a fire extinguisher on the second floor, which had set off the alarm... we were allowed back in, but by now, Daniel thought the day had started - so it took us a good while before anyone got any sleep!

Monday, March 14, 2011

On Friday morning, just as Ed had left for work and I was preparing to leave for my women's bible study group, my phone went. It was my lovely neighbour, Nurgul. She asked whether I was watching the news. Since Ed and I are on a TV fast (as well as alcohol) for lent, I was not. She informed me that she was currently driving away from the ocean & told me that I ought to take Daniel, get in the car and drive as far from the coast as I could since a Tsunami was on the way. As you can imagine, my heartbeat picked up speed somewhat! I hastily turned on the computer and went to the BBC news website, where Obama calmly informed me that if I needed to be evacuated, I would be told in plenty of time. After a quick phone call with Ed & my parents to confirm the wisdom of my inaction, I went to my study group as usual. You will all be relieved to know that we have not been swept away - there were some large waves, but nothing dangerous happened locally.

Before I say any more, our hearts & prayers are very much with those in Japan who are dealing with the devastation & huge loss of life that this disaster has caused.

In my last post, I failed to update you all on another exciting development that our new LA existence has over life in the Bay area - and that, my friends, is CURRY! Thank you Colonel Curry for prompting this update! Yes, at long last, we have found a curry house that cooks authentic Indian cuisine. Now the sound of 'Ahhhh, sweet curry' can again be heard echoing in the hallways of the Gilchrist apartment block! I have not yet mastered 'carb counting' for curry - it always sends my blood sugar high - but I am not prepared to sacrifice this pleasure! My organs will just have to cope! (Mum, I am joking! I just take an extra dose of insulin to correct it later in the evening!)... on the subject of my diabetes, the blood sugar does seem to be under better regulation and I am thrilled with the new endocrinologist team I am being seen by.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hi there! I realise that I have not updated you for a while on how life is going for us here in LA, so let me amend my ways!

Church - we went to a small church that was meeting in someone's home for a few weeks. The people were lovely and in many ways we really liked the vision that the church had, but the time they met and the limited childcare just meant it was not a good 'fit' for us at our life stage. About 4 weeks ago we therefore started going to Pacific Crossroads Church in Santa Monica (http://www.pacificcrossroads.org/www). We are absolutely LOVING this church. It is very similar to the church we were going to in the Bay Area - fantastic teaching and lots going on mid-week. I (Nicci!) have joined a women's group on a Friday morning, which is wonderful - and Ed is currently out at a mentoring teenage kids who are in foster care evening - it's the first time he's gone, but it might end up being a regular commitment... we'll see.

Ed is enjoying his job and seems to be appreciated by his new team. He has also joined a local running club and intends to run every Weds evening & Sat morning (at least!).

We LOVE living here - it just feels SUCH a treat - 2 different beaches within a 2 minute walk, views of snow-capped mountains in the distance, lots of coffee shops overlooking the ocean & sun, sun, SUN!!! We will treasure the memories of living in such a heavenly location - I can't imagine many places in the World are as beautiful or as much fun to live in.

Friends - what an amazing answer to prayer! Dee & Tom are a lovely English couple who live in our apartment complex - I walk with Dee at least once a week and she has become a real friend. Peter & Rachel are Liverpudlians who live opposite us and are great fun. Tabitha & Chad go to our church and have a 13 month old daughter (Anna) - I meet up with Tabitha once a week for a walk too. Kate & Jonathan (and their 9 month old daughter, Jordan) live directly above us and we get on really well... all of the above came to our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party this week - what fun! AND there are plenty of other people we've met who may develop into friends as time goes on (certainly I am sure a few of the women at the Friday women's group will become close friends)... certainly feels like the Lord has provided us richly in this area!

I think those are the highlights... Daniel is now crawling & he has also started 'singing' (basically yelling on one note, at the top of his voice, beaming from ear to ear & engaging eye contact & smiles with anyone who'll look at him ), whenever people are singing (and sometimes when it's a quiet moment too!) in church! It does say we should 'make a joyful noise unto the Lord!' - hopefully his 'noise' will become more tuneful as time goes on!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Morning all! Ed here - with profound apologies for the lack of recent updates since Daniel's first birthday. The intervening weeks have been marked by two particular themes:

The first is that Daniel has become something of a ladies man. Having passed this monumental milestone, Daniel clearly believes himself to have come of age. Nicci has made friends with Kate (who lives directly above us) and her 9 month old daughter, Jordan. Daniel & Jordan clearly hit it off straight away - but rather embarrassingly, Daniel was intent on 'kissing' Jordan! Kate was very understanding as she rescued her daughter from our slobbering son!

Quite the Casanova, Daniel is also fostering a illicit romance with Anna, a sweet blond he met in the creche at Church. Daniel played it cool when he heard the two mum's arranging to have a play date, but when the day came round he was again quick to make his move and planted a big wet one on Anna's eye.

Rest assured, we will be closely monitoring these developments and will keep you posted.

The second theme of the last few weeks has been Nicci's Diabetes. For some unknown reason, she has been having real trouble keeping her blood sugars in check, often going 'Hyper' (with higher than acceptable blood sugar levels). We believe it is something to do with the settings on the pump, her 'Basil' rate and the insulin/carb ratio she uses when calculating her doses. There had been a long waiting list at the recommended Endocrinologist, but thankfully Nicci saw her new doctor on Thursday and is now really encouraged and hopeful that things will get back under control soon. Your prayers for this would be grateful appreciated.

I guess a third theme, which is hardly worth mentioning but I suppose may be music to the ears of those who would love to have us back home in England as soon as possible: it does also rain in LA. This has been getting in the way of my cycling to work. (However in truth, the rain didn't' last very long and it has left the mountains to the east looking beautifully snow-capped!). Sunshine is restored this morning, so all is well with the world!

AND, I guess a fourth development is that Daniel is now MOBILE! Like his grandfather on the slopes, he has a style "all of his own"! He is not yet using the conventional crawling motion but instead prefers to 'caterpillar' his way around. He is getting pretty speedy and no corner is now safe as he wriggles his way into any and every interesting-looking crevice! Wires, remote controls and shoes seem to be particularly alluring!