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Thursday, August 20, 2015

London Life

We've been here almost a week and are actually starting to feel at home. The fact that we are somewhat familiar with the neighborhood we are living in and the area where the church is located are big helps. We also know a few folks and everyone we've met is so lovely. Feels so warm and welcoming. Can't wait to truly dig in with the congregation and see how the ministry unfolds.

So what's new? Doug's in heaven with the perfect egg salad sandwich on sale everywhere!

We've taken full advantage of the theater scene this week! We bought same day tickets to War Horse.
War Horse theater...it was great being so close.
Sat a few feet from the stage and loved it. The theater is clearly one of my favorite things in the whole world to do so I'm super excited to be in one of the major hubs where it all unfolds! Then, last night, I was invited to join a mom and her two kids to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Royal Theater where Charlie was performed
I was very excited! This family has been awesome to us as we have settled in. We first met when I did the women's conference here in London several years ago and it was just an immediate click. Their boys are adorable and I was happy to have them accompany me to the show!
My handsome dates for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I was especially proud of myself for navigating the right bus and getting home all by myself last night! Then, in a stroke of unbelievable luck, the church staff was invited to see the dress rehearsal of Kinky Boots tonight! West End Shows use the church facilities for rehearsal space during the week and this time the producer offered us the chance to see the show which opens tomorrow night! So exciting! I've heard so many lovely things about this show and it was at the top of our list. So 3 major west end shows this week...wow. It's giving me that, "Hey, I live in London" feeling!

Tanner seems well adjusted now, with a bit more spring in his step. We've ventured to both Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill, short walks from our house and gorgeous areas.
Tanner making friends on the tube!
We also took him to work with us the other day so he rode the top deck of the double decker red bus and ventured onto the tube with us.
Mr. Tanner on the bus
People smiled a lot so I think he was well-received.
He likes the rumble of the tube on his belly!

Today has been back to grammar school as I've sought to learn the coins! Learning the money is a big part of starting to feel familiar with being in a foreign land and the coins are very confusing!
Learning the coins...
Someone moving to the US once asked me what a dime was and it revealed how "insider" our money talk can be. For the record, pence is penny, and a pound and a quid are the same thing. Kind of like a dollar and a buck. We're earning pounds so not paying too much attention to the exchange rate, which is good, because London is expensive.

We've got our iPhones working nicely with UK sim cards now. One funny little mistake...I texted Doug: Now you have my number. Love you, Jodi so he could just load my number in. Except I wrote his number down wrong and some dude named Jimmy was getting my messages. Whoops. Nothing like a little cyber stalking our first week here! It's all sorted now although I did get a text from Doug yesterday when I went to the park to meet a friend, "How do I know you are not meeting Jimmy?!" He continues to make me laugh.

In other British way of life things: English muffins are just  called muffins here.
Just muffins, tasty too!
We're 0-2 on getting a bank account opened. You have to have a utility bill or bank statement with name and address on it...we have nothing official with our address on it so we're waiting for a change of address from our Swedish bank. Then the world will be our oyster. Speaking of which, we are using our Oyster cards well and navigating the tube and busses. I prefer busses as you can watch the world go by. The bus stops are slightly closer to our house than tube stops, and the tube is insufferably hot right now. Busses are warm too but I guess I'm like Tanner...I like looking out the window!

I've only almost been run over once and am adjusting to looking for cars in the correct direction. It's great being in a foreign country but one where your language is spoken, at least most of the time. We've been cleaning and sorting in the  house, making it our own and our shipment arrived today so we have more clothing and books and of course, some treats from Bath and Body Works to make it feel like home.

The weather has been quite good thus far. Mild temperatures, a bit of sunshine, of course, some rain but overall not too oppressive. I'm walking a ton more than I was in CA...well over the 10,000 steps on my fitbit and that's mostly from just simply doing life.

We'll attend church this Sunday as "spectators" and begin our public ministry on August 30. We are taking meetings with folks and working at getting set up to function here in the UK.  We feel remarkably at home and are really enjoying taking in the English neighborhoods, watching the BBC and figuring out life.

We remain utterly blessed, humbled and honored that we've been given this opportunity and greet each new day with eagerness.