Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas is Over....

Well another Christmas has come and gone and I think it was a success in our home. I think everyone had a very nice time and it is amazing how fast it is over. What seems like weeks of planning and anticipation are over in a matter of hours. Oh well, now to think about next year I guess.

Everyone received at least one item on their list from Santa :-} He sure is a smart guy to get things right. I have asked the kids what their favorite gift was and so far they have been unable to give me an answer. I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing....maybe it is a bit of both?

Hope you had a good day as well with your family and friends and have have a merry holiday season.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I can now safely say that I am just about FINISHED with my Christmas shopping, wrapping and labeling of all gifts. I do need to run to the store for some candies for the nieces and nephews but that is easy enough to do. I completed my last project this morning and am just waiting for it to dry. I wish I could say this idea was my own but it isn't it is from someone else but it was so easy and I had to try it for myself.

I started with this from the local home improvement store
and then dressed it up to create this.....
I have to say I am really pleased with how it turned out. I purchased a few more of these so I can make one for our family and possibly a gift or two for next year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

He sold it for how much??

Have you read the story online about a dad in Canada who bought Guitar Hero 3 for his son as a Christmas gift and then sold it on Ebay after he caught him smoking? But what gets me is the game which retails for $90 sold for over $9,000!! WHAT?? I am thinking that the way to get prices up on Ebay is to tell some kind of story with the item and then FOOLS will pay way too much money for it. Remember the lady who kids put Pokemon cards in her grocery cart and then put them on Ebay with a funny story with it and she got an insane amount of money for them.

So come on...who has a great story that would go with fruitcake from 1990???

Monday, December 17, 2007

Simply Wonderful....

This is a beautiful and moving performance of Trans-Siberian Orchestras A Christmas Canon with and the youth choir from Saint Bartholomew Church of New York City singing.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Like many people, I am often sent various jokes, stories and videos via email on a daily basis. Some are not so good, others are ok and some are just GREAT! The following would fall under the great category. Thanks to Karen for sending this one to me :-}

My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods. We've discovered that when I'm in a good mood, it turns green. When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a big f**king red mark on his forehead. Maybe next time he'll buy me a diamond.

Dumb ass.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What A Great City.....

I have returned from Munich and I must say it was an amazing time. It was a good thing that it was a girls weekend as the kids and Tim SO would not have enjoyed the markets. Actually, I take that back, they would have liked it briefly and then been over it. The city had many markets in various locations and all were easy to get to via the trains and use the trains we did!! For such a large city not once did the three of us EVER feel unsafe or uneasy in our environment. I would HIGHLY recommend a trip to the Christmas Markets to anyone.The weather was perfect and we had plenty to eat and drink. The people were great and it was funny to constantly hear American accents wherever we were....the German people could not have been any nicer. We did make quite a few purchases and I will look forward to getting them out each year. Check out the tree toppers from one stall.
Built from 1867 - 1909 in Flanders Gothic style, the town hall building is one of the most famous buildings in Munich; its facade, over 300 feet in length, features strikingly elaborate stone ornamentation. Its 260-foot tower with carillon is, with St. Peter's Church and the twin towers of the Cathedral, one of the most distinctive features of the city's skyline. It was amazing when lit at night, you can get a general idea of its beauty from the picture I took. The largest market was here in Marienplatz, the heart of the city of Munich, just outside the Town Hall building. The square was originally known as Schrannen but it was renamed Marienplatz (St. Mary's Square) as a way to ask Virgin Mary to protect the town from a cholera epidemic.

There was a large Christmas pyramid in one of the markets and again, it was beautiful at night. {I was very pleased with how my photo turned out} A Christmas Pyramid is a decoration that has its roots in the Ore Mountains of Germany but has become popular throughout the country. The spinning motion of the pyramids is traditionally achieved with the help of candles whose rising heat spins a propeller above. I had a pyramid on my shopping list and was able to find a very pretty one depicting the nativity scene so I was happy. I have not taken a photo of it yet, but hope to do so soon.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Girls Weekend in Munich

I know I have been a bad blogger but this week has just been SO busy with Maggie and her Christmas production this week {photos soon} and just the daily life. I am off in the morning to Munich with 2 friends to see the Christmas markets and see some of the sights of Munich. We are very excited and hope it lives up to our expectations. I am most looking forward to the Manger market, where we can see everything one would need for a nativity set at home. I hope to get some good photos and will post them upon our return. As I will be gone it will be up to Tim this weekend to take care of life at home with the kids and the dog. I am sure they will all do fine....there is plenty of food so I know they won't starve.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Dreaded Christmas Card Picture

Yep, today was the day the kids dread every year...the taking of the Christmas card picture. I had hopped to get a good family picture on our travels this year but unfortunately all the good ones were either missing myself or Tim. I know that now means that both of us are not in the picture but that is OK. It went surprisingly well so I cannot complain, in fact there were quite a few good ones to select from.

Here are the ones, although good, that did not make the card.
On a side note, we are able to see both the Colts and the Browns games so it is a good football night in our house.

Friday, November 30, 2007


A couple of days ago I had the misfortune of falling down the stairs. Not just a couple of them but ALL of them! To say it hurt would be an understatement. I have been a bit sore but getting on with things....that was until this afternoon. While walking I had this piercing pain and now I cannot sit at all. The culprit is a bruised/broken tailbone ~ the pain is unbelievable! The bruising I have it unbelievable. I have never seen bruises this dark before. I have had to look in the mirror to see the damage and it is not a pretty sight!!

This is a photo I found on Google images and it pretty well represents what my butt looks like at the moment...again, this is not my butt it is someone Else's.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Brownie Points!

Once again I can post that the Cleveland Browns have won another game with a score of 27-17!! It is amazing the turnaround the team has made. Their record is currently 7-4, do you see that 7 wins!! Could it be possible that they may even make the playoffs this year???

Photo credit: Gregory Shamus/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope that everyone back in the US has a great day with their families and friends. As it is not celebrated here in the UK the kids were in school and Tim was at work. We will be having our Thanksgiving dinner Saturday night with some friends.

This Thanksgiving holiday take time to think of our families and friendships we treasure and to remember those who are no longer with us; they are forever in our hearts.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ok, only a TRUE Browns fan will appreciate the events of the game this past Sunday and WHAT A GAME!!! Visions of the cardiac kids and the teams of the past are brought to mind. Only this team would have such an amazing result and force overtime and WIN the game 33-30! Yahoo Brownies!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Speed Conferencing...

Tonight was Maggie's teacher conferences at school and I must say it was quite an experience! Since she has moved up in the building and has multiple teachers the conferences are done differently. All of the teachers were in the small gym and the parents had seats in the middle for while they were waiting. You then sat with the teacher and had a set amount of time to discuss your child and any concerns you may have...THEN a bell would ring and you get up and move to the next teacher. Tim laughed and said it was like speed dating. Now how would he know about that? Maggie is doing well in her classes so that was good.

NOW...on to one of my favorite subjects SHOPPING ~ not your ordinary shopping but day after Thanksgiving shopping. I found the BEST site last night (tgiblackfriday) and thought I'd share it with my friends and readers in the USA. What makes this a great site you ask...well let me tell you.

  • it has a shopping list feature so you can keep track of what you want at each store.
  • it shows similar sales at other stores for each item.

How GREAT is that?? I have a list started so I will be shopping online while my dear friends are standing in line, in the dark, in the wee early hours of the morning {yes I am JEALOUS}.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Britains Silliest Laws

A listing of the oddest laws has just been released and some of these are just too funny and worth sharing.

  • It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
  • In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store.
  • In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter.
  • In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.
  • It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another Concert PLUS A Rant ~

Ok, first the good news { No, great news} our local football stadium has been trying to get permission to hold concerts in it for a few years now and they have always been turned down. Approval has FINALLY been given and the very first concert is none other than - drum roll......ELTON JOHN!! Yes, you read correctly he is coming to our small stadium July 5, 2008. This morning, I had the task of trying to get tickets for Tim and I plus the other two couples from the US currently living over here. I was successful and we have GREAT tickets, let me repeat GREAT tickets. Here is the seating map with our seats where the arrow is...we are in row C, which is row 3!! It would have been better if we were in the center but I am not complaining. I think we will have a great time and what a great way to END our time here in the UK ~ a week later the kids and I are on a plane back to the US.

Now for my rant.......
I went grocery shopping in Asda (a division of Wal-Mart), got everything I needed and proceeded to go to the checkout. I was given my total and handed her my debit card from the US, I told her it needed to be swiped. Side note : here in the UK all credit/debit cards are chip and pin, basically you put the card in the machine and enter your pin number rather than sign for it. So she swiped it and I signed the slip. She tells me the signatures DON'T match, first of all whose signature is always the same? Anyway, I offered my UK drivers license and she said sure give it to her. Again, she tells me the signatures don't match. I then gave her my US license and AGAIN she tells me they don't match. At this point I was angry and said " what do you want a blood sample??" A manager came over and was told the situation and told the cashier to approve my purchase as the photo ID was sufficient.

What a crock of SH!T.....I need to move...oh yeah, I am :-}

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

Yep....the time has come ~ decorating the house for Christmas.

Much to Tim's dismay, all of the stuff is in the front entry way and awaiting its placement throughout the house.

Yes I know it is a tad bit early,{ok, really early} but I want to enjoy the decorations while I can. I have done the stairway and the two fireplace mantles for the time being.

Ellen, do you recognize the candle holders? I still LOVE them

Saturday, November 03, 2007


OK, so tonight is bonfire night and the large park about 10 minutes from the house has a great fireworks display and we have gone every year since our arrival in the UK.

All day we planned on going then about 1 hour before everyone in the house decided they really didn't want to go. SO, we stayed home. How lame is that??

As we live on a hill we were still able to see the display but from the comfort of the house, or in my case, from the driveway. I was able to get a few photos to document the night.

I know they would have been better if we actually went but these will do.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Look Who's EIGHT!!

Maggie is 8 today! It seems like she was just a baby and now she is a bright, energetic, fun girl ~ {a bit moody too}!!

We made pink cupcakes with sprinkles to bring into her class and tonight she has chosen her favorite restaurant for dinner. She is not having a party this year but tomorrow night is bonfire night, so she will see many of her friends there and it is just as much fun.

Be on the lookout for emails thanking you for her presents...she is quite anxious to start opening them.

**photo was from Halloween, she normally does not wear make-up**

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wal-Marts Finest....

I was sent another great item via email and just HAD to share it.

There was a 'going away' party yesterday for a lady at an office. One of the supervisors called a Wal-Mart and ordered the cake.

He told them to write:
'Best Wishes Suzanne' and underneath that write 'We will miss you'.

As the picture shows, it didn't quite turn out right.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Halloween is starting to grow in popularity here in the UK when compared to when we arrived here 3 years ago! Yes, it has already been 3 years!

Maggie went to a party this evening and she decided to be a witch. She was not a scary mean one but a pretty and nice one!! There is no trick-or-treating tonight which is a good thing as I usually end up eating a fair share of the candy that is collected.

Hope you have a great night where ever you are ~ enjoy the photos!

Monday, October 29, 2007

NFL Game

On Sunday night we were able to go to the NFL game at Wembley Stadium in London and it was AMAZING! I have always loved American Football at to take part in such a historic game was perfect. Our seats were on the 10 yard line and OH SO close to the field ~ the 2nd row of seats. Yep, we could see everything. The boys and Tim LOVED the fact that the cheerleaders were right in front of us. Here is a selection of photos from the event. The couple in the bottom are strangers but I had to take their photo as they were in Cleveland Browns shirts!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Temple of Poseidon

Located in Sounion, at the southermost tip of Greece, sailors both past and present knew they were close to Athens when they spotted the Temple of Poseidon. According to legend, it was at Sounion that the great Athenian hero Theseus's father, King Aegeus, awaited his son's return from his journey to Crete to slay the Minotaur. The King told his son to have his ship return with white sails if he survived the encounter, with black sails if he met his death. In the excitement of his victory, Theseus forgot his fathers instructions and returned with the black sails. When Aegus saw the black sails he threw himself into the sea {forever known as the Aegean Sea} to his death. What makes this so interesting is that 15 of the original 34 columns are still standing so you can really see what the Temple originally looked like ~the temple was built in the 5th Century BC.

We had lunch at a cafe located close to the temple and here is the view we had from our table...pretty impressive!!

Greetings From Greece....

The kids were off school this past week for fall break and as one of our final trips while living over here we traveled to Greece. We stayed outside of Athens in Marathon. The area had a large battle with the Persians in 490 BC. The Greeks were victorious and they sent their best runner to Athens to announce the victory, he ran the 26 miles then collapsed and died on the spot...see this is why we should not RUN!!

Here is the villa that we stayed in....we were on the lower level and had AMAZING views of the Agean Sea and the surrounding areas both during the day and at night.Parthenon ~ This was the epitome of ancient Greek Classical art, was built as a temple to Athena. The site is undergoing some preservation so there was scaffolding around a lot of it, but it was still a great thing to see. Take notice of the boys' height- they are BOTH taller than me now with Andrew a bit taller than Christopher.I will post more when we get back later tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Reason To Drink.....

This was sent to me today and it is too good NOT to share ~ enjoy!!

As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichiacoli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces.

In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop. However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer(or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Remember:Water = Poop, Wine = Health

Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, then to drink water and be full of shit.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service.

More Rugby....

Andrew had a rugby match yesterday but this time he played on the 15's team rather than the 14's. THey played a really good game but they did lose by only 2 points. I will say it was one of the more exciting games to watch. I think the extra year of playing time really showed. Andrew did well running the ball as well as tackling the opposition.Bad news for the Cleveland Indians as they lost their game last night so now the series is 3-2 and the games head back to Boston. Here's hoping they can win the next game and move on to the World Series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Go Tribe!!

I am not the biggest baseball fan {ok...really don't like it} BUT I have to support the Cleveland Indians on their run for the World Series. They won their game last night and are only 1 game away from going to the World Series. How cool is that?? The best part is that the next game is played in Cleveland so they can possibly win at home. What a great acheivement and a what a great thing for the city. I can't wait to read about the results Friday morning - hopefully it will be a win!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rugby Match

Andrew had a rugby match today and as they were short players a few boys from the 13 and under team played with them and this included Christopher! So, I was able to see both boys play in one game and get photos of them at the same time. It was a well played game and it ended with a tie. Both Andrew and Christopher did a really good job and they seem to really enjoy rugby. Guess we will need to find a league in the US for when we move back.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cancelled.....nope just postponed!

I just opened an email a little bit ago to receive the news that the Police concert on Tuesday and has been CANCELLED/POSTPONED!! they not know how I was SO looking forward to it? In fact the scheduled concert for tomorrow is cancelled as well. It appears that Sting has a throat infection and had to cancel a few other shows too!

I guess they will re-schedule and if it doesn't fit into our own schedule we can get a refund of our tickets. It is so unfair...I wanted to go!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Morning Walk

I took Millie out for her morning walk today to the local park over by Maggie's school and we took advantage of the beautiful fall morning ~the weather was perfect, mid 60's with sun. I brought my camera along as I was hoping to see some great color in the leaves and I was not disappointed.

Check out the colors in this photo:
The park as an amazing duck pond in the middle and I was able to get a good photo of this swan as it swam by the edge.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It has been a few days since my last post and I have had some emails asking if we are all ok. I can report that Christopher finally went back to school today BUT Andrew is now home and not feeling well. I think this bug is going to make its way throught the whole family. Tim leaves for China again this weekend so hopefully it will miss him. I have a bit of an upset stomach but that is all so far and I hope that is all I get.

I have just made some of my FAVORITE fall candy treat ~ candy corn and peanuts ; a special thanks to someone, hmm wonder who THAT is, for introducing me to it a few years ago. If you have never tried this combination DO is amazing. Of course, they don't have candy corn here in the UK so we had someone bring some over for us.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Chicken Soup ....

Christopher is still not feeling well, temperature is 101-102 so that is good, and although he has no appetite he did ask for ...... chicken noodle soup! So of course, I was able to honor his request.

We did not go to the doctor as we know they will tell us it is just viral ~ plus the health care system here stinks.

I am SO not a fan of standardized medicine....even though we have private insurance they don't want to hear it and they treat everyone as if they are on the government medical plan. Imagine that.....they don't want to take our money but would rather use everyone elses. {Government waste at its finest}

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's Official.....

After much thought and discussion the kids and I are leaving the UK next summer!! Yipppppeeeeee....we are currently approaching our 3 year anniversary here in the UK and it is time to go. Tim will not, however, come back with us until about December of '08. It is important that the kids start school next fall in the US and are settled for a month or so before school starts. So it looks like we will move back early July. This means that there will be many trips back to the US between now and then and we are excited for the change. Our time here has been very good with lots of travel and the kids have done well in school. The one thing we won't miss is the weather :-}

ps...a few of you already knew this information but now you can tell your kids too!!

Update on Christopher: He is still sick. His temperature has been between 102-103 all weekend and goes down to 100 with medicine. He is going to the doctor in the morning to be checked out so no school for a few days for him.

Friday, October 05, 2007

World's Worst Mom Award

Yes, if this award were being given out today I could be the winner hands down.

1.) Maggie had a jeans for genes day at school {raising money for charity} and being the wonderful mother that I am FORGOT! So we arrived at school and she was the ONLY one in her school uniform. The look of disappointment on Maggie's face was pathetic. I did get points back as I drove her back home so she could change.

2.) Last night Christopher was saying he didn't feel well as he is at the start of a cold. I told him he'd feel better in the morning. SO he did go to school today even with complaining of his cold...I REALLY wanted him to go as the whole school photograph was today. When I picked him up after school he again said he didn't feel well, put his pajamas on and went to bed!! I took his temperature and it is now 102.

So there you have I am the worlds WORST mom!!

I leave you with a photo taken of Maggie and Millie {the dog} last night...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Slow Week....

I wish I had something fun to post about but not much has been going on around here.

Today was the weekly meeting of the Mental Health Alliance {MHA} which is always a good time. The MHA is made up of 3 of us...yes only 3!! Our husbands all work for the same company and we all moved here at various times from the same location in the US. It was just two of us this week but it was still fun. There is just something about having someone else in the same situation who understands life as an expatriate.

We usually try to visit a new location around the area where we live but it seems like we often end up at Starbucks :-) I guess it is our taste of home!!

Christopher made the rugby team this year and had his first home match on Wednesday. The dog and I walked down to see him play but I forgot to bring the camera with me. I know SHOCK, HORROR.... no camera. He has another home match next week so I will take photos at that one.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Shout Out To Ryan & Cara

While in the US, I was able to spend time with Ryan and Cara and their OH SO CUTE baby ~ Arthur. We went to lunch at Pompilios , where the restaurant scene from Rain Man was filmed. It was a neat place and although we were there at lunchtime you could see why it would be a popular dinner and late night establishment.

As not much else is going on I leave you with some other local Rainman tidbits of information.

*The Cincinnati Trust where Cruise finds out about the 3 million dollar trust fund is the Dixie Terminal Lobby located at 49 E 4th Street (4th and Walnut) in Cincinnati.

*Their childhood home, Beechcrest lane, is located in the East Walnut Hills area of Cincinnati.

*They spent their first night away from Wallbrook at the Vernon Manor Motel, 400 Oak Street Cincinnati.