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Archive for December, 2011

Our technique for this has proved pretty successful of late. We were particularly pleased this holiday when we managed a walk that included one child who has been rather reluctant to walk of late. But when he was told we were going on a Treasure Hunt, he became quite keen.

What we do, of course, is go Geocaching. Which is using our satnav to go hunting for small pieces of plastic treasure (generally cracker gifts) hidden in small boxes in all sorts of locations. There are over 1.6 million geocaches worldwide and 13,062 in the UK on the day I checked. We visited the Clent Hills in Worcestershire where 32 caches have been hidden by enthusiasts. Some of the ones we found were hidden by Girl Guide troops. All you do is join the website (for free), log the GPS location of the caches in your satnav (there are also plenty of apps for mobile devices) and off you go.

Once you find your cache, you exchange a small item you have brought for one in the box, write your name in the log and rehide the box. We found four geocaches yesterday and managed to get the kids on a decent walk round the beautiful landscape and blow away some Christmas cobwebs.

Enthusiastic kids (honestly!) examining a geocache

Other than with our family and friends, the Vicar has also run geocaching sessions with the youth group at church and on our summer camp for 11-14s. As long as they don’t have to walk *too* far, the teens have loved it. It also seems to be popular with other clergy friends, if my Facebook feed is anything to go by. Free entertainment and a way to get the kids out and active, what’s not to like?

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It’s the holidays. We are all playing games as much as possible. Today the Joker has been incarnating as Dr Who. And I was asked for a picture…

No daleks allowed in the Vicarage

But we’re not worshipping him.

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Just caught this on YouTube and although I’m sure tons of folk have already seen it, thought I’d share in case you hadn’t…

Wish my Vicar could rap like this!

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I remembered to light our Advent candle at tea tonight. This felt like an achievement. Had to relight it once I came back from the school Christmas Fayre, the school governors’ meeting and Carol Service choir rehearsal, as we’d had to extinguish it before it had burnt down to ‘1. Lord’. Over our meal we’d meditated on the Lordship of Christ, which was great, except when the Queen (aged ten going on somethingteen) was remarking on how boring this all was.

I did, however, forget to remind the kids to open their Advent calendars. Of course we didn’t have them in the morning. My children have to be hauled out of bed with only the slimmest margin of error for prompt arrival at the school gate. We have no slack built in for remembering or opening Advent calendars. So double windows tomorrow.

I’ve not even dug out our Jesse Tree yet. But I shall this weekend, and then we’ll have a bumper Jesse Tree session after Sunday lunch. If we have time before setting up for the Engineer’s birthday party. I’m glad the kids are doing one at school this year – the Vicar has a huge Jesse Tree in the school hall that he’s decorating in the assemblies this half term, and each classroom has one too.

This season of waiting seems rather too much of a season of flapping for me. My annual resolve to ‘sort everything out in November next year’ has gone unfulfilled. Perhaps it’s time for me to spend some more time meditating on the Lordship of Christ and singing along to Matthew’s Begats and Christmas Now is Drawing in, an album of folk carols by Sneak’s Noyse. One of my favourite carols on that album is ‘This is the Truth Sent From Above‘. I can’t find their version online, but here are the King’s Singers singing it slightly more formally with some verses missing, but pleasingly performing in the Round Church in Cambridge, where I used to be a member.

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