|King's College, Aberdeen (December 2011)|
This was our second full year living in Aberdeen, on the northeast shore of Scotland. Darren is diligently laboring away on his doctoral thesis in systematic theology, and the book-length project seems to finally be taking shape. He hopes to conquer the lion's share of writing early this coming year and be ready to submit the thesis as early as this summer. That will lead to a viva voce -- an oral defense under scrutiny of an internal examiner from the University of Aberdeen and an external examiner from another institution. Meanwhile, he's kept busy with numerous conferences (including a week-long trip to San Francisco in November) and publishing a series of journal articles and book reviews.
Christy has continued to expertly keep the household running while also doing some part-time online work on the side, writing for an ergonomic resources Web site and a white noise and speech privacy Web site. It has been a good and challenging way to exercise old writing muscles, and also earn a little money on the side. She has also continued to be involved in a leadership role in the Aberdeen Women's Fellowship, which has included event planning (including last month's big American Thanksgiving celebration) and coordinating a Bible study for the group.
|Abigail and Joshua at Balmoral, the Queen's Scotland residence|
Abigail will turn 4 in a matter of days, and started Nursery School (preschool) in August. No surprise, but she is also thriving in this environment and loves the chance to go to school with her friends (the same school building her brother goes to). Nursery is more play-focused, with toys and crafts and stories to fill up the two hours she is there each afternoon (giving Christy her first kid-free time in five years!). Abigail is an extraordinarily thoughtful and articulate 3-year-old, and loves just about anything her big brother is into -- trains, firefighters, or now Octonauts.
We've enjoyed having a car and doing a good bit of tourism in the U.K. this year, including the English city of York, Scotland's majestic Edinburgh, Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye, and the astonishing Scottish countryside. This next year we hope to visit London, as well as at least one trip to Europe.
Thank you to our family and friends for your prayers and support, both in leading us to this point and as we look ahead to an uncertain but exciting future. We pray that God will be with you in 2012, and that you will live in the grace and the knowledge of God's Son, Jesus Christ, who became human.