11 October 2012

Mom & Dad Brum Visit. . .Lincoln Cathedral

14 February 2012

Keith and the girls and I had visited Salisbury Cathedral and had enjoyed it, so we decided to take Mom and Dad up to the Lincoln Cathedral (about an hour and 40 minutes from ours).

William the Conqueror had a castle in Lincoln and decided in 1072 that he would like to build a cathedral as well.  It took about 20 years to complete, and was built out of local Lincoln limestone.  In 1141, a fire destroyed the roof, and in 1185, an earthquake split the cathedral from top to bottom.  Only the main entrance survived.  In 1186, reconstruction started and section by section was eventually rebuilt to match up with the original entrance.  They have trouble however keeping the oldest section attached to the rest of the cathedral because of differences in craftsmanship between the Gothic and Norman stonework.

This is the original west front--main entrance.

The nave. . .this section of all of these old cathedrals that we visit is always so impressive!  The  baptismal font here has been used for baptisms since Norman times (11th century).  And you can't see it in my picture, but when the newer part of the cathedral was built, the builders realized it was not perfectly in line with the older, original part.  So the line along the top center of the nave does not line up.  I imagine that design review was just a bit trickier pre-computer!

The two round "rose" windows above and below face each other across the transept (in this case a corridor that lays across the main section of the building and creates a cross shape within the cathedral).  The window above is the "Dean's Eye" and looks north to "keep out the dark deeds of the Devil."  The one below is the "Bishop's Eye" and looks south towards the sun to " welcome in God's light and love."  And if you look at the long windows underneath, you can see that some are narrower than others--a result of workers using their eyes and hands to measure and make things fit.

The next three are from a Stations of the Cross exhibit along one wall of the nave. 

Maggie singing in Saint Hugh's Choir. . .a bit of a church within the church.  Services take place in here daily.

When we visited the Salisbury Cathedral, we were able to see one the four original Magna Carta documents--another copy is here at the Lincoln Cathedral, and the other two are at the British Library in London. 

In the room above, the stained glass is intended to tell the story of the cathdral; one of the windows is blank because "the cathedral's history is not finished yet."  I liked that!

We have membership to English Heritage and get free entry to a number of sites around the country.  Next to the cathedral is the Lincoln Medieval Bishops' Palace--the administrative centre of the largest diocese in medieval England.  We attempted to get there while it was open, but no luck. . . but, as you can see, a good amount of it is in ruin so we got to see it from the outside. 

Back past the Cathedral to our car. . . 

Love this picture. . .I'm guessing Charlotte was asleep in the pushchair!

On the grounds outside the cathedral is this statue of Alfred Lord Tennyson. . who was born in Lincolnshire.

Next we were off to Chester & Liverpool and then Wales. . .more to come!! 

09 October 2012

Hannah at 9. . .

Our first baby has turned 9. . .and like all parents I am wondering where the years have gone.  But it's funny with Hannah--there are so many times that she acts older than her nine years that some days it seems as if she should already be driving!

Hannah is, as ever, filled with such a wonderful spirit.  She is very level-headed and always on the look out to help someone in need.  She has a hard time with discord, so she has a healthy disrespect for her peers who spend time leaving others out and making others feel bad.  (so proud of that!)  Her courage through all of these changes and challenges we have faced is inspiring to me.  She sometimes acts more like a Mommy than I can find the strength to; when I am down and out, she is the first one there to console me and make sure that all is better again in our little universe!  We see a little pre-teen attitude every once in a while, but she is a smart girl so (fingers crossed) I don't think she will be too hard to handle!

This summer, Hannah celebrated her First Holy Communion and is now an altar server at our Church.  She is one of the Year Four representatives on Student Council this year and is really excited to hold that position!  We are continuing violin lessons, though Keith and I can really see how much she misses Miss  Katie (now Mrs. Katie, I believe) in Tennessee.  She had to go backwards and learn to read music, so the pieces that she is asked to play are much more simple and just aren't as fun as fiddle music and the more complicated Suzuki pieces!  Hannah is also running cross-country right now. . .we are so proud of her efforts to tackle something that takes a lot of perseverance to accomplish!  We are very proud of her academic efforts; she continues to be in the top of her class and really enjoys maths--and she does NOT get that from me!

What she does get from me is a love of reading....Hannah's nose is forever stuck in a book.  She has read pretty much everything we have in the house, but luckily doesn't mind reading them again!  Once in the car, I couldn't get her attention and she says "I was in my book and couldn't get out"!  She is a fabulous biggest sister--she loves to play dress-up and dancing and regularly orchestrates the games that she and Maggie and Charlotte play.    She still loves to sing along to her favorites, and even occasionally writes her own lyrics.  The girl has an appetite that doesn't stop--I used to joke that I felt bad when she was under three and got a free buffet because she would eat so much.  Now she orders off the adult menu and usually eats more than me (no easy task!)

Every day, I thank God for the miracle of this beautiful child--my cup truly runneth over!  She makes me so proud--prouder than I can seem to make her believe!  It blows my mind that the first sweet little baby of mine that I carried and nursed and cuddled is now up to my shoulder.  I can't even imagine what life with a proper big kid in double digits will look like next year.  But I look forward to everything that she and I will learn together along the way!!