Day 28: Dinner with students, evensong, and dessert

This morning Erin and James walked down to a local pottery store to find a wedding present for “Aunt Leah”, the ACU student who watches the kids twice a week during the semester.

Then James taught class and the kids took naps. Then at 4:30 we met up with some students to walk down to The White Rabbit to have dinner.

The White Rabbit claims to have the best pizza in Oxford, so we gave it a go. It was really good!

Zeke had a lot of fun sitting between Collin and Jessica.

After dinner, we met up with the rest of the group at Blackfriars to attend their vespers after daily mass. Because we are between Oxford school terms, we have limited options for evensong as a group. Since no one is presently running a choral evensong service, we decided to head back to Blackfriars. Below you can see our group waiting for mass to end outside of the chapel.

After the vespers service was over, we met back at the house in the common room to talk about our weekend of free travel and discuss the next day’s trip into London. Everyone had great stories of fun times exploring Europe. Erin and Shelley made dessert one last time for the group: chocolate oatmeal cookies (also known as “no bakes”). Erin made her mom’s recipe and Shelley made her and James’ mom’s recipe. They were both a big hit and everyone enjoyed the cookies.


Day 21: Evensong, Dinner with Students, and Dessert

We had a quiet morning at the flat. While James prepared for his afternoon class, the kids jumped outside and played inside.

After class, James and Erin went on a quick shopping trip.

Evensong at Christ Church College

Well, it’s Monday and that can only mean one thing: evensong with the big group!

We got back from our shopping trip just in time to head to evensong at Christ Church College. This marks the second time we attended evensong there.

The college was beautiful as ever.

We waited outside of the sanctuary before being led inside.

Even though we had seen the church before, it was still amazing to see.

Here the students get ready for evensong. It turns out that during the break between terms, the choir gets Mondays off, so it was not a sung evensong and therefore demanded much more audience participation. So we had a lot of responsive readings. It was great and very participatory!

John and Laura talk quietly before the service starts.

The north facing stained glass window was amazing: a depiction of St. George slaying the dragon.

On the way out, we saw this dedication to the famous philosopher, John Locke:

After evensong, the students talked outside for a few moments before heading back to the houses.

When we got back, we hosted the final group of students for dinner. It was a very fun time and great conversation.

Then we went upstairs to the common room and met everyone for a time of discussion about our recent trip to the Peaks District and our upcoming second free travel weekend. Erin made dessert again for the students: black forrest dump cake with vanilla ice cream. It was delicious! We had a great time talking about our upcoming travels.

Now it’s off to bed.

Day 18: Girls Tea and Guys Watch the Kids

Today after James’ afternoon class, the girls went to high tea at the Ashmolean Museum Rooftop Cafe.

It was a tea for all the women on the Oxford trip. They had a very nice time enjoying the finer things in Oxford. In the picture below, starting at the bottom left: Jessica, Holly, Bethany, Jacque, Erin, Laura, Shelley. The ones on the left are the students. Jacque is ACU’s Oxford on-site coordinator (and also PhD student in history!).

Meanwhile, back at the flat, James recruited one of his students, Collin, to help watch the kids (actually, Collin volunteered).


Then Zeke’s new friend (Jacque’s daughter) came out to play. They had a lot of fun.


When the girls got home (about 5:50), we had dinner with six more students that we had invited over. Unfortunately, James forgot to take any pictures of that, but they stayed and talked until 8:30. It was a great time!

Day 17: Prepping & Dinner with Students

At the advice of some faculty who have led study abroad trips before, we decided to host the students in small groups for dinner. Erin and Shelley spent all day prepping the meals for all three groups, prepped what we had for today, and froze the rest of it for the other nights.

Meanwhile, the second elective class began today and James taught class in the afternoon alongside of his colleague John. The class is Security & Usability. Near the end of class, Zeke decided to come and “help teach class.”

In the picture below, Zeke had just leaned over to me and said, “Daddy, I’m one of your teachers.”

The students love Zeke. Below you can see him fist bumping Tanner (left) and sitting next to Collin (right).


About an hour after class ended, we hosted our first group of students over for dinner. It was a blast and everyone loved the meal. There was none left!

Tanner and Zeke had a sword fight with plastic forks in their mouths. Fun times.

Afterward, we invited them to join us in the back garden with the kids.


Eventually the kids had to go to bed, so we said goodnight.