Merry Christmas... and the Roper Review of the Year
Merry Christmas! I thought that I would save paper again this year by adding our family newsletter as a blog post, so hello if you are reading this as a result of a festive email and hi to those that read the blog anyway (all 3 of you).
So what has been happening for the Ropers in 2008?
We have had some great times away as a family this year. Due to Daniel's love of the outdoors, I managed to get Neil camping twice! We were at Spree, a youth camp in July and Greenbelt, a Christian arts festival in August and we had a lovely time at both, despite soem rain and mud.
We also had a lovely time on the Isles of Scilly with Neil's parents. The Scilly Isles were really beautiful and we were really blessed to have the opportunity to go. It was especially exciting for Daniel, as we got to fly in a helicopter there and back! Quite a lot of children cry because of the noise, but Daniel only cried when he realised that he wasn't going back on the 'dopter.'
Normal Life Stuff
Can you believe that we will soon have been in Enfield for 5 years? I am still working at as Youth Worker at Enfield Baptist Church and still enjoy it loads. However, I also missed spending time with Daniel, so I reduced my hours in September and it was wonderful to have the support of the church to allow this to happen. Neil began working part-time at the church as Children's and Families Worker and enjoys this nearly as much as being the primary carer! It's been good for Neil to get to know a number of other dads that are involved in childcare, and for the second year running, his and his friend's presence at a Christmas meal meant that it had to carefully be referred to as the PARENT and toddler meal, rather than mums and tots! Also, for the second year running, Neil and his friend were the only ones to go to the pub after the meal. Neil is also studying part-time for a Degree in Children's and Youth Ministry. He has been working very hard and doing very well, and I am very proud of him.
It is hard to believe that our little boy was 2 at the end of October. At the start of year, he wasn't walking, but now he is running, bouncing and dancing. He is an absolute joy and now he has started talking, it is hard to get him to stop. Like mother, like son. He is also very much into books (I take the credit for that as well) and music (that one is more down to Neil probably.) But we blame his love for drums on church. He just adores them and has got fairly good rhythm. We may be crazy but we brought him a drumkit for his birthday and he loves it. Come to think of it, our neighbours haven't spoken to us for a while, though.
Looking Forward to 2009!
We are very excited about 2009. There is already lots in store, most importantly the arrival of our little girl. The baby is due at the end of February and we are all over the moon. Please pray for a safe delivery and that Neil is around, as he is due to be at college the week before the due date... Photos and news will be on here and Facebook. It will also be exciting to see what is in store for us, as Neil is on a fixed-term contract of one year, so we will have to wait and see what happens with his job. We're not worried though, as we know that God has his hand on our family in the big and little things of life, through good times and bad. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas, it is so wonderful to know the truth of Emmanuel - God being with us.
We look forward to being in touch with you soon, whether we see you often or not and hope that 2009 brings you much joy!