Lovely lavender, and a bee to boot

I’ve got so many photos I’d like to share from my time in New Zealand, but time is eluding me. The photos in the post today were taken in Christchurch, in the new Cashel Mall where they have a mall made out of shipping containers that have been refurbished, and looks way better than it sounds.

There were these flower boxes with lavender in them and I had fun taking some close-up photos of the lavender, and then got very spoiled with a bee that I got some excellent shots of. I think that these aren’t too bad just for a standard kit-set 18-55mm lens.

Just look at those beautiful wings!

More wedding pictures

Well, I said I’d share some more wedding pictures when I got some time to get them on here. I didn’t get the time, but I made the time, so here they are.

The first lot of photos were taken outside in the harsh sunlight (always a bad move), so unfortunately everyone has sunglass shadows. Nevertheless there are some really nice photos, so enjoy.

The wedding party:

The whole Hoyt clan, minus Ben.

The Eshelman clan.

The parents of the groom and the parents of the bride.

Me and the girls. I have a few more individual family shots, but we’ll post them on our flickr.com page when we get the chance, along with more other wedding shots.

Lovely Lill.

Jeremy and Lillian Eshelman. :-)

The girls and their strappy white sandals.

And then the guys felt left out, so they took off their socks and joined in the fun.

I’m struggling to come up with an appropriate caption for this one. Just cringe and scroll down.

The beautiful rings.

The Orange Beast, aka the wedding car.

The reception was over lunch, so we had some nice food while listening to speeches and skits. I don’t have a photo of all the skits/speeches, but will have more on the flickr page in the next few weeks.

Here’s the wedding party at the head table, with a silver fern in the foreground.

Good one, Jeremy!

Lillian’s sisters, Liana and Lydia, made the wedding cakes and decorated them. They looked really beautiful, and tasted fantastic too. Here’s the happy couple cutting the cake.

Some of you might have heard about them having their first little, uh, conflict? or whatever you want to call it. They nicely gave each other a bite of cake, then Jeremy (with some encouragement from the sidelines) smooshed the cake in Lillian’s face. In a split second, Jeremy had been the target of a cake missile from the hand of Lillian. That girl doesn’t take any nonsense, Jeremy, you’d better watch out!

Should you feel so inclined, you can watch that little episode here:

Here’s Dad giving his speech,

Bryan playing his Ode to America,

And a bunch of nieces and nephews reciting a poem about Jeremy and Felix, Jeremy’s teddy bear who slept in his bed right until he got married. For real.

Some family members singing a song about Lillian.

I have SO many cute photos of the kiddies at the wedding, but I didn’t want to post them all here, so here’s just one of Esther and Erika. The two of them are only a month apart in age, and I foresee them growing up to be really good friends.

Well, what a lovely day that was! Lillian and Jeremy, we pray God’s blessing on your marriage, that it may grow stronger (and less violent in the cake department!) over the years to come, and that you may be in turn a wonderful blessing to those around you.

I’m so glad I got to share in your special day!

Jeremy and Lillian’s wedding day

On January the 21st Jeremy and Lillian tied the knot, and it was a beautiful day in all respects. It was lovely and sunny (even it if was a bit windy), everything went smoothly and it was just such a joyous day.

Here is the Groom and his Men looking very suave beforehand waiting for the bride. (I have to mention that this bride was on time! Thanks, Lillian! I always think it’s such bad form when brides are late.)

I just had to include the Pursed Lip Club picture. Jeremy Davis obviously didn’t get the memo.

Here they come!

First the lovely Carline:

Then beautiful Rachael:

And then the stunning bride with her dad.

Just look at Jeremy’s face watching Lillian come down the aisle. I don’t think his smile could get any wider, to be honest.

Dad giving away his last daughter.

Isn’t that a cool dress? Check out the detail:

Singing a hymn:

Jeremy saying his vows:

Lillian saying her vows:

Exchange of rings:

You may kiss the bride!

Mr and Mrs Eshelman!

Jeremy Watson (this wedding was just overflowing with Jeremys!) did a great job on the organ, especially with the Widor Toccata as a recessional.

I felt so blessed to be sharing their special day with them and to have a special involvement with helping with doing the flowers (my mum did the ones for church and all the bouquets, I did the ones for the tables at the reception).

I think I’ll stop here, and do the rest of the photos in a few days’ time, otherwise we’re going to have a post with about 50 photos in it and those of you on dial-up will never talk to me again.

Just do the next thing

There are times in life when we get overwhelmed. Sometimes we have too much work to do, sometimes we’re ill, sometimes we’re just dog tired, sometimes earthquakes strike. The world keeps spinning, life carries on and we have to somehow deal with it.

You’d think the world would just stop for a little while to show some respect, but it doesn’t. It seems impossible that people can still get up, go to work, laugh, eat out or go shopping when it feels like your own world is about to collapse. And still the sun rises and sets, another day.

How do you carry on? You do the next thing. Get up. Get dressed. Eat. Change the baby’s diaper. Wash the dishes. Attack the pile of papers. Have a good cry. Shovel the silt. God brings us through everything, one step at a time.

This poem, by an anonymous author, captures it well.

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “DOE THE NEXTE THYNGE.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Thrust them with Jesus, doe the nexte thynge.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, doe the nexte thynge.

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, doe the nexte thynge.

–Anonymous

To our dear family and friends in Christchurch, know that we are praying for you. Praying for strength — physical, emotional and spiritual — to do the nexte thynge.

Another big earthquake in Christchurch

Yesterday a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck our hometown of Christchurch. You might recall that Christchurch was hit by a 7.1 in September. The city has since felt thousands of aftershocks, of which yesterday’s 6.3 was one. It was very shallow and close to the city and has caused a lot more damage than the first big one. So far 65 people have been reported dead and there are many people trapped in rubble.

All our family members are safe. Everyone has some damage like things falling over and breaking, but Ben’s brother Bryan’s house has had foundation damage and broken windows. We’re not sure of the extent of damage to our house, but hope to find out later today.

We have not heard from many friends, so if you read this blog, please leave us a comment and let us know how you’re affected!

Please keep the people of Christchurch in your thoughts and prayers. It has been a nerve-wracking experience for most of them over the last few months, and yesterday’s shake will have made things worse for many. Pray for those who are injured, for those still trapped in the rubble, for those who have lost loved ones, for those working hard to help others, and for those in shock.

Big earthquake in Christchurch

Early on Saturday morning, our hometown of Christchurch was hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. There has been a lot of damage, and about 20% of houses are uninhabitable. Sewage pipes and water pipes have burst in some areas and this has caused some flooding. Because it happened early on Saturday morning, there were very few people out and about, and providentially nobody was killed.

All our family memebers are safe, though nobody has escaped without some damage to their houses or the contents of their homes.

It was a similar magnitude as the recent Haiti quake, but NZ has a good building code for earthquakes, so the damage was much less severe. There’s a lot of damage to brick buildings and older buildings, and lots of things fell off shelves etc, but again, no loss of life.

What an appropriate verse Psalm 99:1 is: The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; He sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. We know that God is sovereign and in control. Please remember Christchurch people in prayer, as they get over the shock, as they heal and as they get their homes back in order (or tearing old ones down and building new ones in the worse cases!).

To all the Christchurch folks, know that you are in our prayers!