Thursday, November 29, 2007

Long Overdue, from Suels

Hello family and friends!

We are sorry this is so long in coming to you...things
have been busy as usual. So here's what's been going
on with us:

As of today, I (Sarah!) only have 2 months left of
being pregnant! I'm getting bigger by the week, and
staying healthy. No sickness, just some tiredness
setting in. But as I'm still working full-time,
that's to be expected, really. We have organized our
"nursery" as of last weekend, so most of the major
items are in place. It's super fun getting ready for
the baby to come. Very exciting stuff!

My job is still great, loving it. I was recently
asked by my manager to attend a planning meeting for
the whole of the West Midlands (that's several
counties in England) about how best to care for people
with dementia in our area. I was one of 13
representatives who specialize in working with people
with dementia. I go back next week for a second
meeting. It was exciting to be asked to go and it's
actually a pretty important thing to be doing, so
that's cool. Jason's not-so-new-anymore job is still
going great, too. The people he works for are
fantastic, he is wholly supported, and working with
the kids in schools is exhausting but fulfilling.

Church stuff is great, Jason's still leading worship
regularly. He just got back from an entire Worship
Conference weekend, learning about leading worship for
the Lord. He learned a lot, and heard some fantastic
musicians. One of the main guests was Matt Redman.
Good stuff. We are still leading the 18-30's
ministry, and it is growing! Our last few meetings
have had between 20-25 people, which is awesome,
seeing how we started out with about 8-10. We were
involved in a hilarious Dodgeball Tournament recently,
complete with costumes and a theme song! We totally
lost. We are also doing a drama skit together for the
Christmas Candlelight service next month. There's
another girl in our group who's pregnant, too, due a
week before me. We have to be the narrators as we
can't play a pregnant soldier, wise man, angel, or
even Mary (as she's holding baby Jesus!)!

Jason just got an acceptance letter to qualify to run
the London Marathon! He is sooo super excited, and
we're already planning a weekend in London in April
for the event with friends. He didn't get in last
year, so he's really happy to do it this year.

Jason was also in a play recently called "Personals".
He was a lead role, it was a musical comedy. It was
about people who are looking for love by placing
personal ads in the paper. It was written by the same
people who wrote "Friends", so it was pretty funny.
He did a great job, and made some new friends, too.

We are going away for the weekend tomorrow (one of our
last as a "couple"!). We'll be staying in a B&B in
Birmingham all weekend, all centered around us and
Claire and Jez going to see "Maroon 5" and "Dashboard
Confessional" on Saturday night. We've had our
tickets forever, so we're anxious to see it.

We had an amazing time at home with moms and dads in
October. We went home for 2 weeks (before I couldn't
fly anymore), spending a week at each of our parent's
houses. Claire and Jez came with us to experience
their first taste of America. We had so much fun
showing them everything (mostly centered around
eating, if we're honest!) It was difficult finding
vegetarian options for Claire at BBQ places in
Arkansas! It was a fun experience, though, and the
Hogs game was a highlight, even though we lost. That
team spirit-filled environment is not something
British people have much of, so it was fun to show it
off. And of course it was great to see moms and dads.
Difficult to come back, knowing they won't get to see
Baby Suel for awhile until after it's born, so there
were some tears upon departure!

Well, I'm sure there's more to tell you than all that,
but you get the picture. Check out the blog for new
pics of us. Pretty soon you'll be getting emails of
the 3 of us, so get into it!

We love you all so much, please update us on your
lives, and may God bless you this Christmas season and

In Him, Jason and Sarah Suel

Pics: 1. Suels showing the Hailwoods how to call those hogs! 2. Jason and the cast of "Personals" 3. Dodgeball Tournament Team :) 4. Jez, Jason, and Sarah (looking pregnant) at a friends birthday party!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Before Our American Adventure

Hello everyone,

It’s us again. Just emailing with a quick update before we head off on our Stateside Adventure with the Hailwoods (Claire and Jez, our best friends here!). It’s been about a month since our last email so we need to catch up!

You may or may not remember that we were planning an All-American Birthday party for Jason’s big day…well it happened in a big way! Everyone went all-out and wore red, white, and blue…even some cowboy boots showed up! We had some great American food, then a “Who knows the most about America?” Quiz…it wasn’t good! Most people couldn’t even pick out California on a map of the US…but then again we couldn’t have done that well with England cities before we came here, so you know. There were 17 of us in our new house, and we weren’t all that crowded. What a blessing, and a what a change from our old flat where 4 people was a crowd.

My (Jason’s) new job is going great! I am still going into schools and doing drama with students. And the organization that I work for now is a world away from the place I was at before. Praise God that He always has a plan!

We had our 20-week scan a few weeks back and we are proud to announce that the baby is healthy and growing! The baby is kicking now and even I can feel it! We have been busy getting the baby’s room ready…slowly but surely. We have been given a baby bed and all the bedding to go on it as well as curtains to match.

In a few days we are off on our American Adventure with our great friends Jez and Claire. It will be lots of fun! Hope to see lots of you when we are there!

With love,

Jason (and Sarah)

Pics of: Sarah at 5 months!!! AND Jason's All-American Birthday Party at our new house!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Suels on the Move!

Hello friends and family,

Things have just settled long enough for us to be able to send out a quick email. August was an exciting, but busy, month…let’s catch up a bit.

From August 9th to the 16th we moved around the continent of Africa, through the country of Morocco. We went with our friends Claire and Jez for this exciting holiday. For most of our time away we stayed in a riad (traditional style house) in Essaouira, Morocco. This city is on the beach. We had a fantastic time getting acquainted with the culture of Morocco…all the sites, smells, and sun we could handle.

Towards the end of our time in Essaouira we had a camel trek into the desert where we spent the night and camel trekked back into town the next day. Sarah wasn’t able to trek, cause she’s pregnant…but she met us at the campsite in a landrover. On that same day we boarded a bus into the city of Marrakech where we stayed for our final 2 nights. Marrakech was a much larger city, more tourists, and by the end of our short stay there, we were glad to be leaving. The snake charmers were cool, though!

We came home, stayed less than a week, and were back on a plane!

This time to Berlin…the 23rd to the 27th. It was a great trip, too. Berlin was a really cool city. Because it had been bombed heavily in WWII, all the buildings were hollowed out. So most of the city today is both brand-new and state of the art, or with the appearance of an old building but with new insides. For instance the Reichstag, which is their parliament building, looks like an old building on the outside, but the inside is a modern glass enclosure with a nice view from the top. AND it’s free to go inside…which is one of the reasons it’s the world’s most visited Parliament building.

Berlin is huge…8 times the size of Paris! So, we had to rely on public transportation a lot. We bought a 3 day pass which gave us unlimited access to the transport system and discount to loads of museums…my favorite was the Natural History museum…only because it housed the worlds largest Dinosaur bones…so sweet! Obviously, there was loads of history there…both WWII history and Cold War history. We visited the Berlin wall or what’s left of it. I found it moving.

This city was more like Paris on London than any of our other city breaks. All three of these cities are so big that it’s hard to see everything…but we filled every minute with a memory.

Our final move this month has been into a new house! With a baby on the way, our tiny little pink flat just wasn’t going to cut it. So we’ve moved right next door, basically, into a 2 bedroom house. It’s soooo nice! We’ve got so much more room, we can actually have visitors over now, which is something we have missed doing. (This includes overseas visitors…hint, hint!)

Our new address is:
21 Ascot Close

Our phone number stays the same.

The very last thing we have to say is that we will be heading stateside with our friends Jez and Claire! We will be in Arkansas from the 10th-23rd of October. I know it’s a bit early to tell you, but if any of you want to make plans to see us…please let us know. We will be in Little Rock/Conway on the 11th and 12th…the Fort Smith NW Arkansas area from the 12th - 17th…and in Camden from the 17th to the 22nd…flying out again on the 23rd. Please let us know if you will be around…we’d love to see you!

That’s all for now…our next email will include: Jason’s All-American B-Day party, Jason’s new job, news about our next pregnancy scan, and hopefully more cool news about our new house!

Speak soon,

Jason and Sarah

Pics: J & S in a Moroccan Garden (Sarah looking pregnant). Sarah celebrating 4 months of being pregnant! J & S outside of the Reichstag. J & S outside of the Berliner Dom.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

All the Right Moves...

August 7, 2007

Hi Family and Friends!

Well, we’re off to Morocco this week for a beach holiday, but wanted to fill you in on what’s been going on with us before we left. So…basically we are still doing great! Baby Suel is doing well, not making me sick anymore, which is such a blessing! 8 weeks of vomiting was enough for me!! Had an appointment with the midwife just today and the baby’s heartbeat was nice and loud, she pronounced baby healthy thus far. I am starting to show, and outgrowing my jeans. Loving it!

Jason has quit his job at the Courtyard theatre! I’ll let him tell you about it:

Well, while I loved working with the young people at the Courtyard…let’s just say that the work environment left much to be desired. In England, they get 5 weeks of summer break…the last week of July and all of August. I thought that would an optimal time to hand in my notice. It give the Courtyard time to sort something out before the school year starts again as well as time for me to sort something out. However, God had it all sorted before I even knew.

Within a week of quitting my job I was put in contact with a woman who runs a Christian organization that goes into schools and presents them with a variety of programs based around children’s self esteem. So, the organization “2XL” wanted to hire me to head up my own project (which I have called “Illuminate”) to go into schools and help vulnerable young people work through specialized issues (like inclusion, self esteem, alcohol abuse, peer pressure, bullying, etc). So, I am in the process of gearing up for the school year and applying for funding for my project. My job with 2XL officially starts at the beginning of September.

I will be doing 30 hours for 2XL and the rest of the time I will be a freelance drama practitioner…that’s a fancy way to say that schools can hire me to come in a do a day of drama with their classes. And, because of all the contacts I made with schools during my time at the Courtyard, it shouldn’t be hard to find work…in fact, check out! I haven’t got much there yet, but I will be publicizing myself to schools on that site!

So that’s about it as far as my job goes…all is well (although it was a little scary for a while). Back to Sarah:

My job is still going well, and I’m sticking with it. No news there really!

However, we have decided to move into a new house! We can actually see it from our bedroom window now. It’s a 2 bedroom place, and those of you who have visited us thus far in England in our TINY flat know it’s needed for a baby on the way. We can’t wait. Should be moving in in about a month or so, hopefully before the new school year starts in early September. We didn’t want to move out of the neighborhood, that was our one piece of criteria, really. And we didn’t want to work very hard at this…we don’t have time to look for a house and search around, etc. And God blessed us with the house now, as the whole process was so easy for us!

That’s about it as far as news is concerned. I’ll let Jason tell you a little bit about what we have been up to since we sent out the last email. Here’s Jason:

Yo, yo, yo!

I’ll break it down for you. We have done some camping. First, we went on the church camping trip. Lots of fun! Then, I, as one of my last official acts of duty at the Courtyard, went camping with some young people. We went to the “Big Youth Theatre Festival” just north of London at a place called Epping Forest. It was a long weekend of shows, workshops, and late nights…but totally worth it. Check the pics.

Also, we celebrated our 5-year anniversary and Sarah’s birthday. For our 5-year anniversary we were supposed to stay in a B & B about 30 minutes away. But, because of all the rain and flooding, (which you may or may not have heard about) we were stuck in our flat. But, I did have a logo designed for our anniversary. We are quite happy about it! A “Suelfam” logo! How cool?

For Sarah’s birthday we had a Murder Mystery Party where we dressed up as characters from the 60’s. It was a lot of fun! Then, Sarah and I went to London for the night and we saw “The Lion King.” Great fun!

As Sarah said earlier, we are off to Morocco later this week and then later in August, we will travel to Berlin, Germany. We hope to send you exciting emails with the details of those trips in the near future.

Until next time,

Jason and Sarah

Pics: Us at the Church Camping Trip. Jason at the BYTF. Jason and Sarah dressed up for Sarah's Murder Mystery Party. Sarah at 3 months pregnant!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Big News & Little News!

Hello friends and family!!

Yes, it’s finally time for us to announce the big news: we’re going to have a baby! Little Suel should arrive at the end of January 2008. Needless to say, we feel incredibly blessed and SUPER excited! We had our first scan yesterday, and baby is doing fine. I’m just over 10 weeks along. Basically, I have been sick for about 5 of those weeks, and I’m praying that that goes away very soon. I could definitely use your prayers in that respect. You don’t want to know the gory details of me being sick…trust me.

We are excited to be having our first baby in England for a number of reasons. For one thing, I get 6 months paid maternity leave. For another, having the baby in hospital here is free…no medical bills. Jason also gets a couple of weeks paid paternity leave. These are pretty big benefits, and we’re glad about those blessings. After my 6 months off, I will have to go back to work for a few months, but then we will be looking at moving back to the States (who knows where!). That’s the plan anyways…we’ll see what God has in store.

Other than baby news, things are going along pretty normally. My job is great, very busy. I love my patients, and I keep busy every second of my work day, which I enjoy. I am teaching a Chronic Pain Management course right now, and it’s sort of the downside to my job at the moment, as the psychologist I’m working with on it is completely scatterbrained. For my organized, structured working self, I find this very hard. Only 6 more weeks to go, though.

Jason is still at the Courtyard theatre, but having a stressful time. His supervisors are VERY demanding, and even though he is working 45 hour weeks it still doesn’t seem to be enough. If you can pray for him, he is pretty worked up about it all. He is hanging in there, though, and we are hoping they will start to notice his hard work and praise him for it.

We are still leading the 18-30s ministry at church. We are meant to be going camping this weekend with the entire church (70 of us), but as of this past weekend, the campsite was underwater…it’s been raining/flooding in Herefordshire all of June. It was the wettest June in years (and it still hasn’t stopped). We are still wearing sweaters and jeans here and it’s already July! We do miss Arkansas summers!!

We haven’t been on a trip since Norway, but will be going to Morocco with Claire and Jez in August. Jason has something exciting planned for our 5-year anniversary in a few weeks, and it may involve a little trip, but as I’m not allowed to know anything about it, I can’t really say. I’ll let you know afterwards!

Jason just finished climbing Snowden Mountain in Wales, the highest peak in the country. I am pretty sure he wants to tell you about it here:

Yeah, Snowden was great. It was a rainy, foggy day and we didn’t have much of a view. But, the climb was great fun. My buddy Jez and I decided to tackle the mountain because it was on his “To Do” list for 2007.

Also, another bit of little news, I finally saw Mute Math in concert in Birmingham. For all you Mute Math fans out there…it was a great show. If you don’t know who Mute Math is check them out! They just recorded the “Transformers” theme tune! It’s sweet

Okay, Happy Independence Day!

Jason and Sarah

Pics: Above: Sarah's family finding out about our big news over the phone. Below: 1) Crib Goch...the scary part of Snowdon. 2) Jez and Jason near the top. 3) Jason in the fog. 4) The fog has lifted!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Come Like the Fall

Hey all,

My cousin Tim has just released a CD entitled “Come Like the Fall.” Tim is one of my closest friends, even though we don’t get to see each other very often. I mean, he was the Best Man at our wedding, and the fact that he has finally released some music thrills me. Anyway, check him out…and buy the CD if you want, I’m sure it will bless you…

The song "Take Me" is amazing and touches me everytime I listen to it.

Find him at or to listen to samples, check out:


Norway in a Nutshell!

Hey, hey, hey (to be said like Fat Albert),

I seems that I just sent an installment out not too long ago, but it’s time for another one. If our stories annoy you feel free to save this one for a rainy day, but I warn you, you’ll be missing out…Here goes:

So, a couple of weeks ago we took a trip to Norway. We flew into Oslo. We stayed there one night, in a hostel. The next morning was their “Constitution Day,” The equivalent of the 4th of July for our American friends and something akin to Bonfire Night here in the UK. It was a day of parades, hot dogs and red, white, and blue…lots of fun and we were glad to be there on this special day.

We then boarded a train for our pre-booked excursion…Norway in a Nutshell. Over the next two days we had the great pleasure of exploring the fjords of Norway by train, bus, and boat. We went took a ride on the steepest railway in western Europe, witnessed 300 waterfalls (no exaggeration), and slept on the Night Train (an overnight train ride from Bergen back to Oslo). Just talking about this trip does not do it justice. It was probably the highlight of all our time in Europe so far…please have a look at our pics, they speak volumes.

When we returned to Oslo, we still had another day and night, so we got to know the city pretty well. I was totally into Vikings that day…a couple of weeks ago I wanted to be an ancient mariner, who I have decided were the cowboys of the sea…now I’m on to Vikings who were the ancient mariners of their day…other than a lot of killing and overtaking unarmed villages, they did a lot of good stuff…

For instance, I just discovered today that my last name, “Suel,” could come from the Norse “Sigvaldr” meaning “Victory Ruler.” Because I have no idea about my heritage, I like this idea…probably because I’m into Vikings and Norway is flippin’ amazing!

A couple of other exciting tidbits I might throw at you…last weekend Sarah and I had the honor (term used loosely) of being leaders for our church youth group’s weekend away. Despite the fact that we stayed up till all hours of the night and got up at the crack, it was a pretty great weekend. I got to pray with some guys and one guy accepted Christ…that was pretty cool. However, it did rain the whole time…imagine being stuck inside with 40 teens…rough!

We love you all and hope to hear from you. I’m sure that many of you are having exciting summers…we’d love to hear about them.


Jason (Sarah, too!)

P.S.: The pictures are of us in the fjords and travelling on the train.

Monday, May 14, 2007

May is Okay!

So, so, so, much has happened since I last emailed and I will have to fill you in…I’ll try not to bore.


Sarah and I travelled to Krakow, Poland this month and made a day trip to the infamous Nazi concentration camp: Auschwitz. Krakow was one of our favourite cities to visit. We are really becoming fans of Eastern Europe. This city reminded us of Prague because it was easily manageable and complete with history, art, and culture. We took several walks around the city and learned so much about the Polish. One of the most interesting things that we found was the story of the trumpeter who plays every hour from the church bell tower.

Legend has it that during the Tartan invasion of Krakow, a trumpeter blew the warning song from high atop the church bell tower to warn Krakowians that the invasion had begun and because of his warning song, the citizens of Krakow were able to defend their city. Then an enemy arrow pierced his throat before he was able to complete the song. Therefore, every hour on the hour, a trumpeter plays the same song from the same location and stops before he finishes…calling to mind the time that Krakow was almost overtaken by the Tartan’s had it not been for one brave trumpeter who gave his life to save many.

As I mentioned before we took a day trip to Auschwitz concentration camp. It is hard to put into words exactly what you feel as you walk around an international monument to the cruelty of humankind. It feels odd to smile in pictures or even to take pictures. And although the site is in ruins, we found the entire day to be emotional and stirring. If you get a chance, while it may not be the most exciting of vacations, it is a day to remember… “lest we forget…”


A friend of Sarah’s from work had mentioned to her a long time ago that she had a place for us to stay in Somerset, if we were ever up for a weekend away. Well, all of the UK had a bank holiday on Monday the 7th; so we decided that we would use that long weekend to go to the beach in Somerset. Now, when I say beach, British beaches are not all fun in the sun type experiences, but they are nice in a different sort of way. Taking costal walks, for instance, is one of our favourite things to do.

One of the main highlights from our weekend was going on the old fashioned steam train that runs along the coast. We made a day of it, taking the train to a nearby village and having a meal. The stations and the train itself are all well preserved and they take you back to the times when steam trains would have been the new and only way to travel in style.


We have had the pleasure of opening up our home, once again, to some friends from the States. We have had three young ladies staying with us for a few days. The girls are all at the beginning of what will be a summer abroad for all of them. Kim and Jody are off to study music in Florence and Cat will be studying French in France. To be honest we only knew Kim before this trip. Kim is girlfriend to one of our nearest, dearest, and closest friends Stateside, Mr. Patrick Peringer. Kim and Pat are both in the music dept. at Bowling Green State University…and Jodi and Cat are her friends. Now that they’ve been snoozing on our floor for the past few days, we feel we know each other really well. And Kim was able to go into Wales and see some live music performance, which was great because she is writing her Thesis on Welsh Music…cool, huh?

Justin Timberlake

That’s right…Justin Timberlake! You see, as a partial joke and partial curiosity our friend Claire got her husband Jez tickets to see Justin live in Birmingham. Jez claims that he, not Justin, originally brought Sexy Back (Jez has actually registered the domain name “” although he hasn’t done anything with it yet). So, we quickly decided that we wanted to go and see Mr. Super Bowl Controversy himself with our friends.

I have to say, it was a fantastic show! He was an excellent showman and he made the ticket price worth the experience…once we got over the screaming teenage girls surrounding us!

What’s Next?

With a month that had so much going on, how will we ever top it? The next email will include our trip to Norway, which we leave for later this week! And we will be informing you as to how our Youth Weekend goes. Youth Pastor Claire has again roped us into helping her with this event and we must say that we are looking forward to this event with great expectations!

From us to you, that’s all for now…

OK, Happy End (for all you Eurovision fans!)

Jason and Sarah

Pics: 1. Artist's wall in Krakow 2. Auschwitz rememberance cards. 3. Auschwitz monument. 4. Sarah in Somerset.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Stonehenge in the Willows?!?

Well, well, well,

It’s time for another email update from the suelfam! I have a couple of exciting things to update you on so perk up those ears and read on :)

A couple of weekends ago we went to Stonehenge! This was part of my Christmas present from our friends Claire and Jez. They promised us that they would accompany us on a trip to Stonehenge or the henge as I like to call it. So, on Easter Monday we woke up early to a foggy morning and hit the trail to Stonehenge. Now, I love Stonehenge. I have a healthy obsession with it! I don’t really know why, but I do. I love the mystery surround those stones. Some people say, “It’s just a pile of rocks!” But, I say “Stonehenge Rocks!”

So, after we walked around the henge and got our share of pictures, we had a picnic lunch on the hill overlooking the stones. Now, my friend Jez has bought this kite. And when I say kite, I mean KITE! It’s somewhere between a normal kite and a paraglider! It will definitely lift you off the ground if it’s windy enough. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t windy enough so we had a pleasant afternoon of kite flying while watching the spring sun cast shadows across the mystery of Stonehenge. What a day!

The next bit of excitement comes in the form of a boastful Toad and his band of friends. I am, of course, referring to “The Wind in the Willows,” which I had the pleasure of directing here at the Courtyard. The cast involved 180 children (in two different casts). 180 kids aged 7-14 is a nightmare for some and it is hard work…but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

As you can imagine, we have been in intense rehearsals for this since about January and last weekend was the payoff. And what a payoff it was. Parents and kids alike love it and it had a very positive vibe. The Courtyard is still buzzing from the success of the show, both in numbers and in quality. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without help and there were a large number of supporters who worked on the production as well. Complete with live North African drumming, stunning dance sequences and even involving shadow puppetry, this was “The Wind in the Willows” as you’ve never seen it. It was a joy to direct and I’m glad for it!

Sarah is fine. I think she and I are both grateful that we can now spend more time together now that the show is over. Her work consistently brings her challenges and rewards. Now that spring is upon us, we have lots of trips and events in the pipeline!

Speaking of trips, this weekend Sarah and I are taking a trip to Krakow, Poland for a relaxing weekend away. We plan to go to Auschwitz prison as well…that will be intense, but if we’re gonna be that close, we might as well take it in. So, another email update will be coming your way in the near future!

Thanks everyone for being so supportive of us! Please email us and let us know what is going on with you!

Jason (and Sarah)

pics: 1. Jason stoked for Stonehenge 2. Jason, Sarah, Claire and Jez posing 3. Stonehenge in its majesty 4. Jason flying a KITE!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Our Spring Visitors...

Hi Everyone,

Thought it was about time we sent out another email update…so, strap in!

A few times in your life you have the privilege of meeting those rare people that you feel like your soul connects with. This has happened to us a few times over our lives, and last week some of those people, our dear friends John and Heidi Sebestyen (whom we frequently refer to as our “couple crush”), were able to visit us. I’ll back up a step for those of you who aren’t familiar with John and Heidi.

We met them during my first semester at BGSU in Ohio. I was working on my Masters, John on his Doctorate, and Heidi on her Bachelors. We soon became great friends through our connection with the Theatre Department. They weren’t even dating at the time…then they were…then they were serious…engaged…married…then they moved to the Chicagoland area for John to take a teaching position at a University. We lived with them for about a month before we made the transition to the UK…I really cannot say enough great things about them. We truly love them.

What’s more, they were able to visit us! What a blessing! They stayed from Saturday to the following Sunday. And we did loads of stuff together, which I will now tell you about. Sarah and Jez picked John and Heidi up from the airport (I was in rehearsals for my upcoming production of The Wind in the Willows). They made a day of it in London…doing the usual…seeing the sights, etc. Then back here for a day of church and kite flying on Sunday, which again, I had to miss because of rehearsals. Apparently it was hilarious as Heidi was able to entangle a bystander in the kite strings…by the way, we are talking a serious kite here…2.5 meters across…just short of a paraglider. Anyway, I think they had a great time.

Monday we went to Bath, which has become a frequent stop for our visitors. On the way we stopped at Tintern Abbey, in Wales…gorgeous. We did the usual in Bath…toured the ancient city and marveled at the architecture. Then, off to the neighboring city of Bristol to have a meal and see a production of the musical “Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang.” It was brilliant.

Tuesday, John and Heidi were introduced to Hereford as Sarah and I had to go back to work. They putzed around in town and we worked. On Wednesday, we went for a walk in the Malvern Hills. I wish I could take everyone there, especially on a day like that Wednesday. The weather was amazing and so was the walk…it’s something they don’t get to see everyday in the Chicago area…as you can imagine. Friday, we went to Goodrich Castle…another frequent stop for our guests. Just a beautiful, rustic, castle 30 minutes from our front door…it’s always worth a trip.

Other highlights would be eating fish and chips; going to the cinema to see “Hot Fuzz” (the second time for Sarah and I)…it’s totally worth checking out when it comes to the States; watching “Nacho Libre” and laughing our heads off; watching “Nacho Libre”…again; and going to a local pub.

We had so much fun it’s hard to put it all in words…But, mainly we just enjoyed each others’ company…I’m glad God blessed us with such close friends.

Other than the smashing time we had with John and Heidi, I’ve been very busy with rehearsals for “The Wind in the Willows.” This is the play I’m directing with 2 casts of 90 kids in each cast from 7-14 years old…I know, you don’t envy me. It’s busy and has been a big learning experience so far. The show happens April 11-14 whether we are ready or not!

Sarah and I are great and we have booked our next trip…we’re going to Krakow, Poland at the end of April. So, God willing, in our next email you’ll probably receive loads of information about Krakow…very exciting!

Bye for now,

Jason (and Sarah)

PS: As always, if you’d like to see pics of our time with John and Heidi, check out our blogsite……Also, Claire and I put together a video with the youth group from our Church. It’s nothing special, just a video about fairly traded chocolate but it is on “you tube” if you want to check it out… Or just check it out below.

Pictured: Top: Us at Goodrich Castle. Bottom: 1. In Bath at the Royal Crescent 2. On top of the Malvern Hills 3. Jason and Sarah, John and Heidi, and Jez and Claire at a local pub.

Fair Trade Chocolate Video

Here's a video I made with my friend Claire and the Youth Group from our church. I did a lot of editing on this thing :) Check it out!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shreddin' the Slopes in Bulgaria

Well, Hello Everyone,

We are fresh off the slopes of the Rila Mountains in Borovetz, Bulgaria and we thought we should tell you about our fun experience. We left our home here in Hereford after work on Valentine’s Day. Myself, Sarah, Claire and Jez drove down to London to stay at the Marriott Hotel before flying out the next morning. The Marriott is nice, especially on Valentine’s Day. I mean who doesn’t love a really nice hotel? Come on!

The next day we flew to Sofia, Bulgaria (the capital) and we were met at the airport by Bobbie…our contact whom we affectionately named Bobbie Bulgaria. Bobbie met us at the airport holding a sign with our name on it and everything. The four of us crammed in his van and we drove to the town of Samakov. Samakov is where we rented our apartment. It is a town about 7 miles from the ski resort of Borovetz. Now, Samakov is a city that appears to be trying to recover from the effects of a communist government. It’s trying, but it’s not there yet, to say the least. Bobbie drove us to our apartment which was nice enough…but, now I’m not kidding because we counted…20 dogs lived on our street. Some roamed the street and some were fenced, but still…that’s a lot of dogs! Needless to say, there was plenty of barking in the night…

Now, it was hard to imagine that while we were in this struggling town about 7 miles away was Borovetz…a ski resort community with all the perks a capitalist community could offer: Endless supplies of trinkets and ski paraphernalia. Plus, hot Bulgaria meals, taxi rides on a horse and carriage, and the friendliest Bulgarian people all wanting your business.

The skiing was ace! Being Claire and Jez’s first ski holiday, they easily found their footing on the easier and intermediate slopes…and Sarah and I had a blast enjoying helping them learn the difficult art of skiing. By the end of the time I was skiing reds and blacks and Sarah would ski a red if push came to shove.

Four days of skiing has left us sore but feeling accomplished! Bulgaria…who would’ve thought? All the fun of skiing and at half the price that some people pay for a ski holiday in the Alps. It was an experience I wouldn’t change for anything…going to sleep to the sound of dogs whimpering and breathing in that fresh mountain air in the morning…ace!

On a separate note, Sarah and I went with Claire and Jez a couple of weeks ago to see Switchfoot in Swansea, Wales. That was a great concert! AND, Monday, Sarah and I are seeing Keane in Cardiff, Wales. So we are definitely trying to keep up with the music scene!

Both of our jobs are going well and I am really looking forward to directing this production of “Wind in the Willows” with our youth theatre. Sarah is doing a week of training next week to become certified in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), so she’ll be able to call herself a psychotherapist after that. This will help her with treating her patients with depression and anxiety a lot.

Our great friends John and Heidi Sebestyen will be visiting us in March and we can’t wait! If not before you’ll hear from us after they visit, because I’m sure we’ll have pics and stuff.

For now, if you want ski pics, go to and you can follow the link on the right hand side to our pic archive.

Email us with what’s going on in your lives. We love hearing from you!

Jason (and Sarah)

Pictures: 1. The cure for a foggy cold chocolate! 2. Jason and Jez matching suspenders and drinks! 3. Beautiful Rila Mountains. 4. Jez in an action shot.