Prayer of Intercession

Aidan gave the Prayer of Intercession in church today. It was the Dedication service for the Brigades and other youth organisations. Here is the prayer he wrote and read out:

Prayer of Intercession

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank-you that you that you are our ever-faithful God, and that you always respond to our prayers – even if in a different way to what we expect. Lord, we pray for the refugee crisis in Europe, and for all those poor refugees who are traumatised or have lost family members on their perilous journey. We pray for those brave Christians who are out there, taking risks to serve you and to serve the refugees through charities like Christian Aid.

We pray especially for those fellow Christians who are fleeing for their lives from the Islamic State who have destroyed their town and cities. We pray that they would know your peace, and that you would be with them no matter what. We too pray for those Christians who couldn’t escape, and for all those around the world who are suffering or imprisoned for your precious name: we pray you would give them comfort, and security in your love for them – and that they would receive your awesome strength.

We too, Lord, have issues, even in our local area. We pray for everyone in Falkirk who is without food or a decent house, and for the committed volunteers giving up their time to serve you. We pray for the work of the Foodbank, who are helping get food to thousands in Falkirk, something that so many of us take for-granted. We also pray for other charities in our local area, like Home Start, who support parents with young children who are struggling to cope; we pray that the volunteers would know how to help the families they support.

Lord, we pray for those in this building today. We pray that you would comfort all those who grieve or mourn – we pray that you would fill the emptiness of their broken-heartedness with your eternal love. We pray as well for those who are sick, disabled or in pain, we pray that your loving kindness would rest with them also.

And finally, we pray for all the youth workers in the church, for your presence to be with them, and for you to show them the way to lead those children under their care. We also pray that they would know that their amazing work is both appreciated and crucial to our church family and to the children’s lives.

We ask all these things in the name of your Son, Jesus,

Amen.

Castle Campbell and Dollar Glen

On the Falkirk holiday Monday (7th September) we visited Castle Campbell, nestled at the top of the stunning Dollar Glen.

image image

It’s a pretty impressive 15th-century castle, small but perfectly formed and clearly a rich and ostentatious dwelling.

image

The views from the top were remarkable – it was a bit hazy but we still had excellent views of the Forth Valley… from the opposite angle to what we usually experience.

image

At the top was a colony of swallows – many resting on the ridgeline, many swooping hither and yon. We found one in the upper bedchamber, unable to find its way through the window – it was surprisingly easy for me (Keith) to carry it to an open window and set it free. I’ve never held a wild bird before. It was surprisingly warm. Megan also found a beautiful butterly resting on a warm stone, and a colony of bats in the rafters.

image

The glen is also lovely – a network of paths on both sides of a Y-shaped burn, well developed but right in amongst the nature. Oak woods, moss, ferns – Aidan picked a bunch of blueberries as we walked which were delicious.
image

Aidan practiced his Bear Grylls technique on a fallen log across the burn.

image

Homeward bound at the end of the day – not just a castle ticked off, a fabulous walk, views across the valley, and a new destination for a return visit!

Then and now

I was surprised by a reminder from my phone last week to take a photo. Nine years ago we took a photo of Aidan (aged 3) at the entrance to our estate. Last week we took another, in exactly the same place. Spot the difference!

Aidan 2006-07-15 11:37:56

Aidan, 15th July 2006 (age 3)

Aidan, 2015-07-15 11:36am

Aidan, 15th July 2015 (age 12)

Aidan’s certainly grown a lot, but he still has the same happy grin! (I can’t help noticing that the estate has greened a lot too!)

(original post, members only)

Not the walk we planned

Yesterday we’d planned to go for a walk as part of the 45-minute project. Carolyn spotted a lovely-looking walk just west of Stirling, around the North Third Reservoir.

When we got there, it was indeed lovely – but it was also very wet indeed!

image

Megan and the rest sensibly elected to stay in the car. In the ten seconds it took me to get this photo my jeans got soaked.

image

The rain radar showed there was no prospect of it letting up.

image

So instead we used our Historic Scotland membership and visited Stirling Castle. In the Great Hall at the moment is the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

image

This is quite some tapestry – 160 panels telling the history of Scotland from 450mya to present day, all stitched by local groups over the last four years. There were lots of beautiful details, and as a whole it told the story really well – I certainly learnt a few things!

Address to the Lassies

Aidan gave his Address to the Lassies at the Wallacestone Primary 7 Burns Supper and Ceilidh tonight. It went brilliantly! See the video on Youtube. We’re so proud – so many people have told us how good it is and how well he delivered it. Thank you to all who helped and supported!

Here is the text – he wrote it all himself.

To the Lassies of Wallacestone,

I would like to wish a good evening to you all,
And I hope that you are having a ball;
I would like to say thank-you, like a perfect gent,
For making this such a fantastic event!

But the Wallacestone Lassies, I must admit,
Are often annoying, and pushy (a bit);
You seem to think you are always right,
And you never give in without a fight!

Now don’t get me started about your make-up and stuff,
You spend hours staring at mirrors – it must be rough!
And can you imagine wearing every single day –
All those weird powders and strange-looking sprays!

And hairstyles, you love to change them so many times,
You try more in a week than me in all my years combined;
You buy lotions and curlers, bows, ribbons and pins,
Not to mention mountains of bottles and tins!

Your obsession with phones seems absurd to me,
Constantly calling and texting – just as if it’s free;
You seem to spend a fortune just texting ‘Hi’ to a friend,
Whereas us laddies, it’s only important things we ever send!

Now your love for shopping takes you both near and far,
But to me shopping for shopping’s sake is totally bizarre;
You seem to buy a new pair of shoes every day,
Or maybe not that much, but it’s still loads to pay!

Now after all that, I must confess,
This was probably not the kindest address;
But Wallacestone Lassies, without a doubt,
You’re actually great lassies to be about!

Kind and helpful, and caring I know,
The bonnie Wallacestone Lassies are the heart of this show;
I thank you for listening, I hope you enjoyed,
And now to the lassies, a toast from the boys!

Creative Commons License
Wallacestone Address to the Lassies by Aidan Wansbrough (27 Jan 2015) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The River Carron

The Forty-Five Minute Project is not dead! On 28th December we went for a walk past the Kelpies and up the Carron River.

The Kelpies were looking particularly awesome on this chilly sunny day. It was great to get out!

20141228_12501820141228_125116

First stop was this pond near the Kelpies, which had iced over – hard to resist walking on water, and collecting sheets of ice!

20141228_11281720141228_112821

Aidan loved the cold, but Megan wasn’t quite so keen.

20141228_12094520141228_121005

This year-old swan was just standing on the ice sunning itself. We tried not to disturb it as we went past, but it decided to move over anyway.

20141228_115759

As well as the river, we walked through a community woodland which had some interesting features. This human sundial was very clever – the equation of time is handled by a platform with month names – stand on the current month, and your shadow indicates the actual correct time! There are separate hour markers for summer and winter time. It was bang-on!

20141228_123034

This sculpture / barbecue area commemorating the ironworks was also very impressive. I particularly appreciated the clever construction. Aidan and Megan are re-enacting the crucible scene on the plaque.

20141228_122216

20141228_122241

A wonderful winter walk. Thank you Falkirk Council, Abbotshaugh and Langlees Community Woodlands, and the Helix!

x20141228_11484220141228_121713

We’re all going to the zoo today!

This weekend Aidan was away on his first Scout camp, so as a treat for Megan we went to the Zoo. It was very cold, but we had a really good day with excellent views of nearly all the animals.

A highlight was bumping into Kato the giant hornbill’s training session – we got our own private show and a fascinating insight into how to outwit a very smart bird!

tmp_20140111_145545-1451774162

The pandas performed for us too, despite being warned they were asleep. Turns out between them they eat 70kg of bamboo a day, grown by a furniture company in Holland.

tmp_20140111_1346261650986871

The pygmy hippos had a baby – a pygmy pygmy!

tmp_20140111_123625-1628441274

I loved the Visayan warty pigs – their pen was heaven for pigs, and the dozen or so gold-striped piglets were very cute. I watched one get a big fright when the twig it was playing with flicked up – it shot across the field at top speed back to mummy!

Not to forget penguins, tigers, rhinos, science in the monkey research facility, near relatives in the chimp house, crested pigeons, zebras, sunbears, wallabies, koalas, meerkats, and more and more!

tmp_20140111_132146856823725tmp_20140111_151908-71466804

tmp_20140111_154633-1507550189wpid-20140111_154345.jpgwpid-20140111_155048.jpg

 

 

Merry Christmas!

May the blessings of Christmas be with you now and throughout the New Year! It’s been quite a year, and although it’s a cliché it’s still true that we’re not quite sure where it’s all gone. A few of the highlights are below. Please leave a reply below to let us know you’ve been by!

Photos and more news can be found in Carolyn’s blog Ordinary Moments, and the kids’ blog Two Adventurers. (Keith also has a blog – Gurunoia – and we both have Twitter accounts: @kw217 and @viokaps).

Christmas 2013 Mince Pie

Christmas 2013 Mince Pie

Last January Keith was just back from New Zealand. His mum’s operation went really well and it’s fantastic to see her doing all of her usual things again – and his dad freed up so much too. It was great for Keith to get a bit of sunshine while everyone else was having snow, and to get two Christmases in a row!

In the first part of the year we got to Inverness to see Carolyn’s sister and her family – a true delight!; to Dundee for a weekend break just before the hotel closed forever; to Forres for our annual weekend away with Keith’s work colleagues; to Aviemore for our annual weekend with Carolyn’s family; and several trips to catch up with friends.

Summer was just as busy – Solas Festival, Woolfest, a camping holiday in Seahouses with the bikes, camping holidays on opposite sides of the country (Port Ban and East Lothian) with friends.

This last term has included a trip for Keith to Bangkok with work, where unbelievably he happened to bump into two friends who happened to be attending different conferences there at the same time! It’s been a busy time for Keith at work – he has a new role involving a bit more travel and a lot more responsibility. He’s loving it. Carolyn has a lot more responsibility too – she is now chair of the Parents’ Association, which although voluntary has been pretty much a half-time job this term. It’s being well organised, and the recent Christmas Fayre raised a substantial sum for school development.

This school year Aidan is in P6 and Megan is in P4. Hard to believe Aidan is in his penultimate year at primary school! Aidan has continued to enjoy cycling club, and this year Megan has joined him. She went from being unable to ride to racing and joining in a cycling holiday in about two weeks! She’s still swimming, as well as showing her natural talent in ballet and jazz dance. Aidan has moved from Cubs to Scouts and is flourishing there, and in Boys Brigade his team won the Spiritual Challenge against several other companies. Megan is a representative on the Pupil Council, and Aidan is a Rotakid.

A highlight was when we went away for a night in October to see the beautiful Enchanted Forest and enjoy time away together (in a “hobbit hole“!). God’s creation is so beautiful, and this was an encouragement to really see it with fresh eyes.

It was a big birthday for Carolyn, and she celebrated in style with no less than 68 friends – thanks to so many of you for coming and being part of it! It will be hard act to follow this year when Keith hits the same milestone. In total contrast we got away (just the two of us) for a weekend break beside Loch Earn for our anniversary, celebrating in the stillness and beauty of the highlands.

It’s been a full and wonderful year for all of us. We hope your year has been the same, and we look forward to catching up with you in the New Year and sharing some of it with you.

With love and hugs,

Keith, Carolyn, Aidan, and Megan xx

IMG_1853