29 August 2007

Summer School

I'm currently getting ready to go to Youth Minstry Summer School from tomorrow morning until Sunday afternoon. It was fantastic last year and I'm looking forward to it again however I know I'll end up coming home with a headache from all the deep theological discussion!

I'll be back soon!

Cooking blog

I forgot to mention that I've started a cooking blog to try and encourage me to try new recipes and share them. Check out Just Add Eggs

28 August 2007

Geography and Miss Teen USA-South Carolina

Came across this funny little video and thought I'd share.

So why do YOU think most american's can't find the US on a map?

However on a more serious youth worky note...... when I see this video it makes me think about some of the young people I encounter and how they are ill preprared for what life has in store for them. At the minute they are well looked after by family and aren't challenged all that much to what is outside of that wee comfort zone. How do we prepare young people for what they will experience when they step out into the big bad world? Is that just a parent's job or do others have a role to play?

I want to ride my bicycle....

Plans had been made months in advance for a man who arrived at the church today. His name is Richard Avery and has been involved in raising awareness of various issues for Tear Fund. See here and here to get a better idea about what Richard does.

Today he arrived at Bannside Presbyterian as part of his cycle from Lisburn to Dungannon today (stopping at Ballynahinch, Banbridge, Lurgan and Portadown on the way) and we were forunate to get to spend some time with him by providing him with some lunch. Tomorrow he's cycling from Coleraine (stopping in Ballymoney and Ballymena) to Antrim. Then the day after he's cycling from Stranrear to Glasgow! He's doing all this to help build links and relationships between churches and communities and to promote Tear Fund's Be Part of the Miracle. It's just remarkable how he's using what is a hobbie to raise awareness of some very noble causes. I really wish I was just a little fitter.... not to be able to do what Richard does, more just to be a little healthier.

Check out Be Part of the Miracle for more details of what Tear Fund are doing to join churches together in prayer and relationship.

27 August 2007

Audio books and podcasts

Recently I've been taking my iPod into the park with me when I'm walking Stewie on my own. It started with listening to a bit of music, then I moved on to catching up on some podcasts I subscribe to and today I moved on to listening to an audiobook. I had bought the Chronicles of Narnia audiobook on iTunes ages ago and listened to the first two books then stopped, so it was fun to start the third book today and live in a wee imaginary world while I walked. I highly recommend it!

For those who might be interested in the podcasts I'm subscribed to here's a list of a few of them:
> Best of Chris Moyles Advanced
> Best of YouTube
> Christ Fellowship Church
> Dylan's Couch
> Jamie Oliver's Podcast
> Life in Student Ministry
> Scott Mills Daily
> Simply Youth Ministry
> Who are these guys?
> Youth Specialties.

26 August 2007

Oh what a night

Saturday night was rather eventful this week. To start was a night out with some old school friends to celebrate a birthday and also to say goodbye to a friend who's heading off to Egypt for a few years to work as a teacher! He's been to Egypt as a teacher before for a year and loved it so much he's gone back. Well dinner was delicious, despite feeling like I might explode cos I ate so much.... my eyes were so much bigger than my stomach.
We've been trying to meet more regularly recently, with regularly meaning about once a month. We had all gone our separate ways when we went to uni or started work, which was such a huge shame because we were extremely close friends in school and to have lost all those close friendships was just wrong. I was so glad when we met up around last November, I had missed them all so much and now over the past few months we've been making a bigger effort to do things together once a month which has been working very well and it turns out that more and more old school friends join us each month. It's fantastic hearing what people have been up to and seeing how much they've changed.

After our dinner together I had to head home to get ready for going out into the town to do NightReach where we serve tea and coffee and biscuits to the young people who are coming out of the bars and clubs there around 1-2am. I really enjoy these nights and meeting so many young people from all over the country who've travelled in buses and taxis and coaches to Banbridge for a night out. You really meet some interesting people though this outreach and come across some interesting situations of young people who used to have a faith in God but have since lost their faith, young people who have been through horrible situations and lost their faith in God and many many more. I'm so glad this outreach exists and thrives and that there is a huge positive response from those who come to get some free tea and coffee at the end of the night.

25 August 2007

Autumn already?

We (Rob, Stewie and I) were walking in the park today and as we were walking I notices the leaves starting to drift down to the forest floor and make a carpet over the soil and twigs that were there before. It was beautiful but really I'm not ready for autumn yet..... we've hardly had a summer!!!!

Please please PLEASE God give us a bit more sunshine!


I visit a lot of families in my work and spend time with them in their homes quite often. I find it quite strange how when I'm there in their home and their child(ren) misbehave(s), very often they'll act as if they never misbehave and that they're only doing it to show off in front of me, as well as just lightly telling their child(ren) off, even when the behaviour becomes persistent. Now there may well be an element of this showing off but I'm sure they misbehave when I'm not there too, right? Are they just scared or embarassed to parent around other people?

Really I shouldn't say much cos I'm sure parenting is a very big and tough responsibility and I don't have any experience of parenting. and I'm not saying that this is true of all parents either, but it is true of some of the families I work with. However I have to say it was somewhat refreshing yesterday when I was with a mother. One of her kids was persistently interrupting and she stood up and fixed the situation, explaining that it wasn't the right time to be interrupting and so on: effectively nipping it in the bud.

I would hope that one day when I'm a parent that I won't be afraid to discipline my children when they need it, also to not be ashamed of doing it in front of others and not to pretend that they are perfectly well behaved. I pray that I'm learning from all this in preparation for being a parent myself someday.

My wonderful hubby!

I really love my husband lots, but one of the reasons I love him lots today is that my laptop was connecting to our wireless but not connecting to the internet. Being my amazing geek he fixed it and I am now back online. I love my geeky hubby! He's just so smart, I'm continually in awe of him when he talks computers and so on. Love you hun!

22 August 2007

Ever hate shopping with other people?

I love shopping for groceries, I actually really enjoy it and I may just be weird for that. But I love it most when I'm on my own and can take my time over it. So it makes me laugh and feel glad that I will be able to shop like this for a good while yet when i read this ebay auction


It's amazing what little tid bits of informarion you find on Wikipedia. I was just browsing and was reading about the town I grew up in (Glengormley)and where my parents still live and have discovered that Debbie McGee, the wife and assistant to the magician I idolised as i grew up lived there between 1962 and 1974....... OK so i wasn't alive then, in fact my parents hadn't even met and neither of them lived in Glengormley at that time, but it's a small claim to fame and it makes me smile.

Park life

Nearly everyday, we walk Stewie in Hillsborough Park. He has a great time there and goes nuts, he loves to play with other dogs, chase some of the birds and so on. But he also loves finding new toys and to date he has found:

> twigs
> leaves
> branches
> stones
> socks
> tennis balls
> tissues
> newspaper
> empty plastic bottles
> empty coke cans
> a plant pot
> some dead fish
> a dead frog

and much much more

It's rather entertaining.

20 August 2007

Internet quizzes

I got hooked on doing some quizzes and things there and here's the results:

80%The Movie Quiz

71%The Movie Quiz
Mingle2 Free Online Dating - Science Quiz
$5125.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth. From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating


At last! Rob and I have booked our honeymoon! We're heading to a villa in Menorca for 2 weeks in October. I've just looked up the booking and it has a countdown of how many days away it is!!!! 46 days!!!! I can't wait! I've been wanting to get away for ages now! And can't wait for us to have time on our own, just chilling out etc.

I've never been to Menorca, however I was in Majorca when I was much younger, which I just about remember, so it'll be exciting to see a new place. I'll have to look up details for what to do while we're there. I'll also have to get shopping for suncream and so on.

It just feels so good to have this all booked now. All summer everyone has been going away and asking "where are you going?" or "when are you going?" to which I've replied we haven't really any plans which has made them and myself feel all odd in that conversation after they've been boasting about their plans, so it feels so good to at last have it booked.

I'll have to start getting the Johnson's Holiday Skin out and applied so I don't look like a complete milk bottle when I get there!

19 August 2007

Church attendance

Being a church youth and family worker can lead me to some interesting conversations. I had one such conversation today with a boy who lives in my street. He discovered on Friday as i was bringing things in from my car that I work in a church with children and teenagers, his response was something like "so you just teach the Sunday School then?" This can be the sort of response I get when I tell people my job: they don't really understand that there is much more to church life than the Sunday morning and there is much to be done during the week.

Anyways this wasn't what was interesting about this conversation. He went on to tell me that he and his family used to go to a church every Sunday and that he went to lots of kids clubs in that church when he was younger, however they moved house and never looked for a new church. This got me thinking. There are many reasons why numbers at churches are dropping but I was surprised at this reason.

The church I work in is in an area where there is tremendous growth in housing and therefore population: there are many new people moving into our area. Is it possible that many of them have been regular church attenders where they lived previously and now that they've moved into a new area they haven't looked for a new church?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that church attendance is what counts, but I think it is important for people to be linked in to a community and to feel a part of that community as well as to be spiritually fed by that community.

It all leads me to wonder, are we being effective in our ministry and in our outreach? Are we good at welcoming new people into our church community? Are we good at finding those people who are desperately in need of support, community and spiritual nourishment? Where do we go from here?

18 August 2007

Gross dog

I was in the park today with our dog, Stewie. We had just got out of the car and were about to go into the park when he spotted a dead frog on the road, so he decided that instead of it being left there that it was best he ate it..................... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwww! It was so gross.

Well we moved on into the park to get on with our walk and it wasn't long before he found another dead thing that just had to be eaten.... a fish at the edge of the water.

I really hope he's not sick tonight cos i really don't want to clean up a dead fish and frog.

15 August 2007


I love the thought of being a good creative cook quite naturally. I'd love to be able to make all sorts of things using the bare ingredients. I'd also love to be given 5 ingredients and then come up with lots of different ideas of what to do with it all.

I do experiment in the kitchen a little but I'd really love to be more adventurous and unafraid of the results.

My husband can be quite picky about food which reduces the options on what i can cook.... no veg, no cheese, no pasta, no noodles... etc etc etc

However I'd still love to be able to cook without relying on a jar of sauce.

13 August 2007


I'm so so so bad at keeping a blog, but I'm feeling a renewed determination to keep a blog updated regularly.... what do i mean by regularly? Well I'd love a new post every 2 or 3 days but really i suppose i'll be happy with a new post each week.

So to start, a quick update from the last post......

Rob and i are now married (very happily i add) and are loving this time of getting settled and starting our lives together. we now have a lovely wee pup called Stewie (He's almost 7 months old) and quite a handful at times, but generally very well behaved and very lovable and affectionate.

We're currently planning our honeymoon as we didn't get away after the wedding, so I'm really really excited about it and can't wait to get away and see some sunshine instead of all the rain we've been having this summer!

Can't think of much else to say for now but i hope to be back very soon!