January 26, 2016

And H.E.R.E.'s Abby -

Well, I have finally made it to London!

lodon tower

A long & tiring trip but oh so exciting! Running off only 2 hours of sleep from a 6.5 hour flight, I started my adventure early Thursday morning.

We arrived at the hotel and explored a little before heading to a quick introduction orientation and dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, we wandered over to see Big Ben & The London Eye (no big deal or anything...). It was absolutely breathtaking to see these landmarks live and in person; especially because they were lit up since it was nighttime. The architecture was so stunning!

After taking only a few (hundred) pictures, we decided to take "The Tube" (metro/subway) back to the hotel. Our advisor had told us we would never need to go out of Zones 1/2 when taking the Tube. Well, we missed our stop and having lived in DC, I figured that it would circle its way back to the stop again. Well, about 35 minutes later we end up in a deserted Zone 5 which was so far out of town with no one around and no one else on the Tube. Luckily, Amanda found a lady who was able to help guide us back on and tell us which stop to take. All in all, a quick 10 minute Tube right took an hour and a half. I guess you live & you learn.

Friday primarily orientation and learning about England & what school will be like in Manchester. One thing I have learned here is that the drivers are RUTHLESS. They do NOT yield to pedestrians & I am pretty sure they do not know how to use their brakes. If you're in the street and the light isn't green to walk, you will most likely get hit. Luckily for me, they have spray painted on the pavement to either "look right" or "look left" since it is opposite from what I am used to.

Introducing Abby-

lodon towerIntroducing my new young friend Abby who has just landed [literally] on London soil to begin a five month long adventure in education, history, travel and who knows what else she will devour from her temporary new home. 

>Hello! My name is Abby Koch and I am a junior at East Carolina University. I am currently studying abroad in England at the University of Manchester. I will be here until mid June! This is my first time abroad and I am so excited to share my experiences with you! My current home is Montgomery, AL but I work in Troy, AL at the Chick Fil A . I have been there for about 3 years and I LOVE working there. Although it is just a quick service restaurant, I love meeting and talking to all the people who pass through each day. Growing up with my dad in the military has given me a big passion to travel! I would love to just travel the world and meet so many different types of people. I hope you enjoy the moments I share with you!   

January 12, 2016

January 09, 2016

Another Kind of Christmas This Year~

Costa Rica at Christmastime


The plans, the motivation, relationships, new friends, new faces, challenges, smiles, hugs & ahhhhhh yes, the stories.

Let's flash back to November and Sunday morning worship service at FBC/ Troy, Alabama.  Music can be so much more than pleasant to the senses-the Holy Spirit can use our worship time to nudge and direct our thinking.  As we sang praises that morning there was a three way conversation going on in my head-God was prompting-Yes you need to go to Costa Rica, the Holy Spirit was whispering "Yes, Yes"- again and again just simple words- Costa Rica, yes, yes....and just as real my husband Ted cheering in the background "Do it Jonell, stop talking about it-just do it."  That was settled by the time Pastor Luke began his message -no more discussion.  D.O.N.E

The Faces...The Stories

January 06, 2016

Don't Assume Anything-

About post Christmastime progress-No the storage containers have not made it to the attic yet!  My excuse is they just won't climb those stairs.

I hope I have never misled you-giving you cause to think I am that kind of Gramma, promptly making order  from the chaos on January first.

Handmade Candles thanks to the creative thoughtfulness of
the youngest Grand daughter [ zoom in:  "Around the world
and back again"  ATWABA

Okay, the real scoop -
the ugly truth this January 2016:

The tree I so love, is still up in the living room.  The lights [on a copper thread/wire] are still twinkling wound into the mantle décor. The tabletop trees placed strategically in the dining room, spare bedrooms and even kitchen and computer room [a very tiny one here].  The dining room tablescape has not changed yet though I suspect I will only remove Christmas décor leaving the old bottles to make do or inspire me for a transitional table scene. 

Oh mygoodnessme....I have spent too few hours sitting here this season...So much work and too little time soaking it in- this can be the very best time and space for pondering, meditating, praying, quiet rejoicing..

Confession:  I did not handle this well for 2015-not discouraging though it gets me started with an early to-do LIST -plans, goals -reminders not resolutions!

Let's move on:  It will get done when it gets done-quoting my children; "It is what it is."

Looking ahead  note that I have some incredible things to share with you as this new year begins..as I get it together I will share Pictures and stories from our Costa Rica Mission trip [ First Baptist Church, Troy,Alabama ] in December then perhaps you will empathize.  Maybe not, nonetheless, I look forward to sharing My reason for Costa Rica...part of that story goes way back to the 1950's.

Our family has a Wedding on the 2016 calendar, a high school graduation, some travel and of course with all the Grands & our Mr. Lincoln [Great Grand] there will continue to be happenings & blessings to share as appropriate.

Looking Forward- Still