Sunday, 28 September 2014

Baby Bunnies & Chickens

I had to tell my dear friend, Miri today that one of the babies her rabbit had, is not going to live. It was very hard, and I prayed about it as soon as I realised I had to tell my very  sweet and gentle friend this sad news.
God gave me the strength to tell her, but oh, it was hard. He is what they call a peanut. Which means he is not genetically viable and will not live much longer than 2 weeks. He doesn't have the growth tissue to grow properly, so Phillip and I are going over later to....ahem....send him to the big burrow in the sky. On the plus side, the other two bunnies are super healthy. Miri is keeping one, the chunky fat one and we are taking the other. We've decided he or she looks like they will have a name beginning with F, so he or she will be Florence/Florrie or Freddie.

We are *hopefully* expecting a litter of bunnies ourselves. On Saturday and Sunday we bred our two dutch rabbits, Shelley and George. It was very interesting to watch, especially as George was still getting the hang of what he had to do. He missed the mark a few times, and was trying it on Shelley's head. It was a bit amusing really! We hope that the litter will be born around the end of October, and thus ready to leave Shelley in the week leading up to Christmas.
George and Shelley

In other news, we are thinking of getting a pair of hens! Phillip saw them advertised on Facebook, and we are working out how we can house them in our garden. It's very exciting! Good chicken names anyone? Some names I like are Gertie, Daisy, Hilda, Freya, Tessie, Polly and Julia. :)

We are off to church this afternoon after going for a meal with Phill's parents to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday and my father in law's birthday on Wednesday. 

Not much has happened over this week, but I hope next week will bring a few more exciting adventures, and not so many sad ones. 

Emma x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

It was like coming home...

Today we decided to try a new church.

We've been searching for something multi-cultural for a while, as we have hope to adopt internationally and trans-racially in the future we wanted to immerse ourselves in other cultures so our children view a diverse society as normal and right.

I've been searching on Google for over a year, trying key words such as "multicultural" and "diverse" but came up empty each time. A week ago I suddenly had the idea to try "international" instead.

Best thing I ever Googled in my life.

Bournemouth International Church.

We emailed the Pastor, Joshua Han and found they had a group on Facebook. I joined and we took the leap of faith and went today.

When we arrived, we were all a little nervous but headed towards the church anyway. When we got to the door, we met some people going in. I asked if we were in the right place for the Bournemouth International Church and we told that we were. Hallelujah!

We went in and sat down and were immediately greeted by one of the Elders, Osimar. He introduced his family to us. We then met Joshua and lots of other people too. (Forgive me, there were so many faces and names and I am deaf so it was hard to hear what a lot of people said!).

When the food was ready, we all went into another room and had lunch together. It was a lovely Punjabi curry with rice. It was so warm and spicy, and slowly got spicier. It had several levels of heat, it was amazing. It was the first time I'd eaten curry on a Sunday!

We then met John, another of the Elders and a few other people who joined our table.

After we'd eaten we headed into the church, and about 30 minutes later the service started.

Another of the Elders, Derek was leading the service and invited any visitors up to the front to introduce themselves. I was really nervous, as was Charles. Bess and Phillip just took it in their stride! We were given a gift of some chocolate after we were applauded by everyone. It was beautiful.

After we sat down the congregation were invited to welcome each other and greet each other. I was hugged and kissed by so many people! It was amazing. It was like I'd been away from home for many years, and I was being welcomed back by my family. It was like coming home. I was nearly moved to tears. I felt very loved, and very special. God was most certainly in that room, He was telling me, "This is where you belong, This is where you need to be.". I felt whole.

The service continued with some singing and then the children were asked to go into Sunday School. Charles needed a nappy change, so we nipped off for that and then joined the group of children who were similar in age to him. He was a little excited by it all, and didn't want to sit and do craft. I think he was a bit overwhelmed by all the love in the place and needed to blow off steam. He did the craft though, listened to a bible story and sang some songs.

Then one of the Mums came in and we sung happy birthday to her daughter Lindy. We all had some cake, and chatted to each other about Frozen and our children. Motiwe (Lindy's mum) and I got talking and hit it off. I hope I've found a friend in her, she seems like a really lovely person.

Just after that, Phill and Bess came into the room with everyone else and we had tea and coffee. It was lovely to chat to everyone a little more and have a cup of tea! These days I rarely get a *hot* drink, it's usually luke warm by the time I can sit and drink it!

Charles was having a ball playing with some of the boys. It was beautiful.

We are just amazed by all the love and hospitality shown to us and can't wait to go back next week.

Emma x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Welcome to the Hallway

Hello and welcome to the hallway. I'm going to *try* and stay committed to this blog, but I've not done so well before.
Allow me to introduce myself. 

I'm Emma, I'm nearly 24 (in 10 days...!) and I am married to this really amazing man, whom I've known since I was 5 years old. He's called Phillip, and he's just starting a degree in Construction Management. We married in October 2011, in our families' church and became a family in January 2012, when our son Charles was born. I had a hard pregnancy, suffering from peri-natal depression followed by a long, hard, posterior labour. I breastfed Charles until he was 18 months old, and we co slept until he was 10 months old. I still carry him in a sling from time to time, but he mostly prefers to walk now. 
In April 2013, I found out I was pregnant again, after just two months of trying. We were overjoyed. Three months later we found out we were expecting a daughter. We cried for so many different reasons. I had suffered severely from Hypermesis Gravidarium but recovered quickly after fluids in hospital and medication. At 22 weeks pregnant, I developed "SPD" or symphysis pubis dysfunction. My ligaments had relaxed too much and my pelvic joints had widened too far. I ended up on crutches and in a wheelchair for the rest of my pregnancy. This time, however, I kept my mental health in check and triumphed over my temporary disability. 
In Jan 2014, 6 days after her due date, our daughter Ellizabeth was born. After a week long pre-labour, we had a short active labour of 4 hours and 20 minutes, with only 8 minutes of pushing. It was a perfect, natural childbirth with only Entonox, and TENS for pain relief. It was the proudest 4 hours and 20 minutes of my life. 
I am breastfeeding Ellizabeth, or Bess has she's often known and we co slept from day one. She's just moved into her bedside cot at nearly 9 months old, because we keep waking her up when we roll over! She loves being in a sling, especially on me and has just recently taken her first steps. 
We plan to home educate our children.  Don't worry, they both already have friends, a lot of them, whom we socialise with on a regular basis. I support teachers, but not the system in which they teach. I like the national curriculum but not the time scale they have to complete it in. I also feel children start school too early. We follow a Montessori style education system at home. 
We are passionate about adoption. We are passionate about Africa. It won't surprise you now you've read that, that we plan to internationally, trans-racially adopt. Our choice is Ethiopia, so a lot of time over the next few years will be spent immersing ourselves in Ethiopian culture and learning Amharic. 
I am a keen horse rider, and currently train at Flanders Farm Training Centre, under the expert guidance of some amazing instructors, most specifically Natalie Lascelles. She's an amazing teacher, role model and just all round super person. 
Saved until last, as the best always is, I am a big 'ole Jesus lover. I am a Christian, I don't really have a denomination but I was raised as an Anglican. We are starting to attend a multicultural international church as of tomorrow, so watch this space! I love Jesus, I love His teachings of love and peace. I love His miracles, and I still am in awe that He actually died for ME (and everyone else of course...). 

I can't wait to blog again with our journey as a family. In the meantime, until the Lord opens the next door, remember to praise him in the hallway!

Emma x