Monday, November 14, 2011

We're Family

When we were young, not so young, but young enough, my Nan and Granddad had a shed in their back garden. This shed was wide enough and wired up so that they could teach us darts and play music to us.

I have some very lovely memories of these times. Mostly the fact that I was particularly awful at darts and couldn't treble numbers on the odd occasion that I needed too. I won't forget Granddad telling us to always pull the top dart out first or Nan making that funny noise when we'd nearly got treble 20, only to hit treble 1. I understand the rules of darts because of my maternal Grandparents spending Friday evenings teaching us how to play.

Times have changed, last night my brothers and husband were teaching my Nan how to play darts on the Kinect. After discovering that I do not have the patience for such a game, Nan and Mum both hit their strides and were scoring well (until the Xbox over heated). I was demoted to back up and apparently Christmas arrived and it was New Years day by the time I'd thrown a dart!

How different is family life now?

No longer in a cold shed throwing sharp metal objects at a cork board, we're now throwing imaginary darts at an expensive TV.

Nothing in that statement is bad, just a comment on how over the last fifteen years technology and family have changed. And fifteen years ago I couldn't have imagined how yesterday evening panned out and couldn't have predicted how fun it was! (I beat my youngest brother at baseball!)

Sunday, November 06, 2011


This isn't a fully formed thought, but I thought that I'd try and verbalise how I'm thinking.

I was in church this morning and one of the girls was looking into a mirror during the worship time. The first thought that popped into my head wasn't one of annoyance or anything like that, but it was an obvious way to show how I sometimes come to church, to worship.

I can only speak from how I personally feel because I don't want to make assumptions of everyone around me. But do I sometimes go to church just to look at myself in a shiny bit of glass, examining how beautiful/ugly I look, depending on the mood I'm in or the week I've had?

It's not always the way I come to worship, and there is nothing wrong with a self-examination, that's what the Confession is about. We have to look at ourselves and see the flaws and imperfections, but not to be consumed totally by them.

God works in amazing ways and He's the one who makes us clean and whole. We can't do that under our own strength. We can have a really clean mirror, however it doesn't affect the object that is reflected.

Eventually I have to put the mirror down and focus on the cross. What is worship for, to glorify God? to get my vocal chords stretched so I can lead children's church better? to spend my entire time wondering how I sound or look?

I know it's the first one and I'm also aware that it's the last two more often than not. It's easy to say that worship is about God and for God, not so easy to do.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Little updates here and there, but most of the people who read this should know this by now. I'm finishing up as Youth Worker at St Hugh's at the end of January 2012.

As you might have noticed, I love my job and the family at St Hugh's. People keep telling me how much I'll be missed and they are beginning to wonder what youth work will look like after I leave. I'm honestly trying not to worry about that too much. I know church will still look after the young people and they will definitely have to keep going to church, they have responsibilities! Whatever happens, I know that God will be teaching those involved.

I'm sad to be leaving, however leaving means that it's time to explore and create paths which are wide enough for me and Robert to walk side-by-side. What the specifics of that path is are yet to be determined. A move is in there somewhere, possibly over an ocean, and eventually children etc...

It's an exciting time. I never thought 18 months ago that this is where we'd be, let alone I. I remember talking in our family years ago about the boys moving to America and living the dream, who've thought that would actually be me?!

So that's where we are, more up dates and thoughts to appear soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This post is about a year old. I don't know why I never finished it... any way 2 for 1 today!

I recently had my first experience of Messy Church. Have a look for it on the Internet if you don't know what it is. At St Hugh's we've done this style of worship before, it just hasn't had a name at all.

The thing that really struck me about the way Messy Church was delivered was the formality of communion. The lady in charge had very much stuck to the Church of England liturgy. And she wasn't afraid to do so. Granted we were in a room of adults and all CofE so no one minded the liturgy, but I still wondered how that would come across with the 200 or so children and adults who attend the Sunday session.

This might have been the first time since May that I had attended a communion service outside of St Hugh's. The last time was at St Alban's Abbey. I know that Abbey services are short and purposeful, but this one felt a little bit cold and too succinct. The one at Messy Church was nothing like that. Still, we used the same words and they are celebrating the same thing.

It's amazing how different settings can provoke different responses and feelings.

Tiny Update

Things have been happening since august, I promise. It just feels like no one wants to hear about what's going on. Twitter and Facebook have fallen foul of busyness too though, so don't feel left out.

One big bit of news is that we finally took some time to celebrate our birthdays. We went to the Royal Albert Hall to experience the Proms and I introduced Robert to Wagamamas. Which inevitably he loves. Good celebration date.

We've also been to Essex a lot to celebrate a wedding and a birthday. I think it's always really fun hanging out with family, especially if there's pictures and stories to tell.
This is the new Mr and Mrs Harmsworth-Blyth
This is the still new (for one more month) Mr and Mrs Litton being very happy.
This is one of the many roses which has appeared in our garden over the summer. I think this is the last decent one I've seen. we have a tonne of pears and apples too. Our garden is fruitful!

And as far as life goes, that's it really. Work is busy for both of us now. So we're adjusting again. Both doing 40/45 hour weeks and trying to work out who has the car and when we are going to see each other. Happy life, fun life.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Making new friends and experiencing new family

It's been a busy 3 months, Robert got promoted, I have been busy at work. We had to go to America for a family funeral, and just this weekend we were down on the coast with friends to help out and see them get married, on the way back we stopped in London (not Tottenham, but whilst we we waiting I caught up on the rioting. More on that later) to meet up with some American pastors.

Our trip to America was on sad terms but we had a good time meeting up with family, some of whom I'l never see again (mostly because Robert hasn't seen them for 10-15 years). We also caught up with friends and met their families too. My net for friends is expanding, I feel more and more welcomed in America every time I go.

This weekend we hung out with two other families to celebrate Pete and Katherine getting married. Mr and Mrs Higgins were very welcoming of us, and it was good to spend time in their home. The new Mr and Mrs Higgins are now in Vancouver for their honeymoon. It was an absolute privilege to be part of their plans and preparation for the big day and to help out in some little way.

Then on our way back we spent the afternoon with some Pastors and leaders from America, Robert knows one of them, he is the minister at the First Baptist in Piedmont and his son was in the Blue Knights when Robert was teaching there.

We had some interesting discussions around the church, why it's the way it is and what's the insight from someone who is as in the thick of it as I am. I wouldn't say indoctrinated is the right word, but I would struggle to find another word suitable for the way I feel about the Church of England. It's what I know, where I grew up, what I find most familiar and comfortable. Any one got a suitable word?

I did most of the talking, I now conveniently can fit a description of how CofE works into 5 minutes and think I articulated the vision for my family quite well. Robert sat and imparted his knowledge for the bits I couldn't articulate. It is good to see how we as England can inform the church in America, and this is the churches that we might have recognised 20/30 years ago. Interesting discussions.

The riots have shocked me to be honest, but I don't want to complain about them, as that feels as though I'm jumping on a band wangon. This weekend we met the leaders of the Eden project, though the rioting has not reached them yet, it must be devastating for those working as community development officers to see their area of town up in flames, being looted and destroyed by a mob who aren't happy with something/one. so my thoughts and prayers are with those left homeless, those who have to pick up the pieces and my new friends in Bow who might not be safe. Also for the church and other religious leaders who will be asked to deal with the mental and spiritual fall out from this.

And selfishly for my town. We've had our fair share of violence and protests already this year. Lutonians do not need this. We will not stand for this. And yes, I say this from the comfort of my own home, however I think there plenty of other issues to be dealt with first than clearing up after some mindless rioting.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

back to the blog

Twitter and Facebook have definitely killed my blog. Sorry about that. And even to that point, married life has taken over and is more important than the need to share my feelings with the world.

The best news of all is that Robert has secured employment! He's working at Luton Hoo, a very posh place not far from home and they treat their employees very well.

We've really settled into the house, it feels like home now. We've made it our own over the last 6 months and we're likely to sign a longer contract, maybe a year. I can't believe we've been here 6 months, and have been married for 6 and 1/2. How time flies when you are having lots of fun!

I've been practising my best housewife impression, which mostly includes baking. So, I've tried making Cinnamon rolls, Banana Bread and 5 minute chocolate cake. All of which have been successful! Feel happy to be baking (and Blogging) again.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Firefox vs Chrome

I've moved. Firefox was doing my head in. Too slow, always breaking, and never quite ready to go.

So I downloaded Chrome (after my husbands pestering, and of course he's right) and will try out Google's offering for a web browser. So far, so good. Much alike between the two, but already, there is a speed about how Chrome works. It's zippy. I nearly threw my laptop out of the window today, all I was trying to do was purchase chocolate for mother's day, and every move of boxes, firefox would go into 'not responding' mode and be there for about 15 seconds. I'm pretty patient, but I like to work efficiently. Waiting 15 seconds for something, every 10 seconds, is rubbish.

Right now, Chrome is working really well. I don't like ANY of the themes, it'll take a while to get used to, but I can cope with that more than getting totally impatient about a simple purchase.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Settling to Normality

Life is much more settled now than it has been the last 6 months. Wedding, Wedding Blessing, moving, having house guests, getting back into the swing of work.

Now living in routine (as much as possible). Wake up, go to work, come back from work, eat, sleep. Sounds boring I know, but then I suppose that is what being an adult is all about. We are happy, I am happy.

Family life goes on, of course it has it's ups and downs. Life wouldn't be have as fun without those.

I know I promised images last time, so here are a few pictures from the wedding blessing to keep you entertained.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Americans, Wedding Blessing and New family

The last week of 2010 was a very busy one for Robert and I. We spent some time in Essex celebrating Christmas with my family. I love them all very much and it was really good to have Christmas at home.

Our first Christmas together was uneventful and very much a Fisher Christmas. Church, eating, sleeping, eating, drinking, opening presents and sleeping some more. We were at home for Boxing Day too, and managed to walk the dog, which was really lovely.

On Monday TJ and Val arrived from Atlanta and we had our first house guests. TJ and Robert have been friends since college. These two have supported Robert (and now me). They are lovely. I really enjoy their company. Tuesday we had an epic day and drove to Stonehenge. It rained the whole time, but was made entirely bearable by having a lovely husband and some very good friends for company.

On Wednesday Robert's mum and brother (DJ) arrived. We spent the day wandering around London seeing the sights. It was lovely to have my mum and dad with us. The 8 of us sat down to lunch in Nando's in Victoria. A very small Nando's but a lovely time eating with family and friends.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were more chilling out and shopping days. The girls and the guys split up and did their own thing for the most part. Guys enjoying Xbox360; girls shopping. It was good fun to hang out with the girls.

On Sunday Robert and I had our marriage blessed at St Hugh's, with my St Hugh's family, extended essex family and friends and two very special guests from Cardiff. It was a very exciting and stress-free day. This was the big white dress and suits day.

Hopefully we'll have the pictures very soon. The most overwhelming thing was that everyone was there. We had people from all the different parts of our lives, joining together and making friends. It was amazing to see and to be there. I really can't believe how much support we have and how blessed we are.

On Monday we said goodbye to TJ and Val, we'll see them again in May. And on Tuesday we said goodbye to Mum and DJ. Now we have a house all to ourselves. After a week of having a full-to-the-brim house, it's strange to be by ourselves. I do miss my new American family and friends. They are very good people.

The best thing to see is my family and Robert's family getting along and getting to know each other. It is such a blessing that they all we chatting and doing a great job of making everyone included. God's really done a good job with us all.

On to married life proper. Nothing before us, nothing to plan for, nothing to work towards, except being married.