Friday, August 31, 2007

More Goodies ....

A friends' husband is currently here on business and was able to bring a short list of items from the US with him. Thanks to Fionna, for doing the shopping !! The kids are thrilled that we now have s'more making materials for the fall. I was running low on cake mix so I needed to make sure I had plenty for making cupcakes :-}
There was also cereal too even though it is not in the photo. People magazine was also a must have on the list.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Taste of Home ~

We have found that we can get pretty much all of the same things here that we like from home with a few exceptions ~ rootbeer being one of them. It is impossible to find in the stores.

When we were in London a couple of years ago we did find a store that carried it {YEAH}, so last weekend we made the effort to return to see if they still carried rootbeer.

The result...... ~ they had it in stock for 75 pence per can {$1.50 ouch} but it was worth it. We left the store, 8 cans later, a very happy family. Who would have thought this little shop in Chinatown would carry A & W rootbeer!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Notting Hill Carnivale

We were lucky enough to attend the Notting Hill Carnivale on Sunday. This is a two day event, full of great food, music and parades, held annually in the Notting Hill area of London. It is the second largest street festival in the world outside of Rio's Carnivale. What we found quite amazing was the number of sound systems set throught the neighborhoods for dancing...every block had a different type of music so there was truly something for everyone ~ the base levels were up VERY high.

The food stalls were amazing...lots of Caribbean jerk chicken and pork. Our favorite was the grilled corn on the cob, not as good as the corn in Southern Indiana, but it was yummy!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Madame Tussauds London

First let me preface this post by saying this place is a tourist trap! While it is neat and very realistic, it is overpriced and was VERY crowded. The main problem was that due to the crowds people were quite rude when it came to taking photos of the displays ~ People were pushing and shoving and then not moving once they got their desired photo. Oh well, we did get some neat photos and now we can say we have been. As you can see, Tim liked posing with the exhibits :-} The kids thought it was all a bit creepy so they didn't want any photos!

Tim and Captain Jack Sparrow
Giving Tiger some hints...
Britney...pre weird stageSimon and Me ~ he does look a bit scary.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Great Weekend....

I have SO much to write about with our weekend trip to London but I will break it up into separate postings as not to bore you all at once! We saw both Wicked and The Lion King and really enjoyed going to the theater. I will say that the theater experience here in the UK is SO different than in the US. Here, you are able to bring your food and drink into the theater, almost like going to the movies, I DON'T like it! It is inevitable that you will get the rude person behind you opening their candy or munching on food the entire time. What is worse is those who talk constantly. Anyway, back to the shows.

Wicked ~ the incredible untold story of an extraordinary friendship between two girls: the blond and popular Glinda and the misunderstood green girl, Elphaba, whose destiny is to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. I really enjoyed the show and Maggie LOVED is a girly show. It did go slow in some parts and the boys will tell you they thought it was the WORST thing they have ever sat through :-} I would say if it was near you then possibly make the effort to see it...I would not go out of my way to see it.

The Lion King ~ Based on Disney's movie this was AWESOME!! The show lived up to all the hype and was worth seeing. The visual stimulation of the all the characters is beyond explanation. The opening sequence had the 'animals' walking down the aisles of the theater and making their way to the stage WOW! I would make every effort to see this production no matter where it is ~ you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The weather here has finally turned a bit more like summer today ~ the sun is shining and it is in the mid 60's. For those who know me well it is pretty sad when I am excited about 60 degree weather. Oh well...not much longer.

We are off to London for the weekend to the theater. It is kids week in the west end {theater district} and they had amazing offers on shows adn we were able to get tickets to what we wanted to see. We are going to Wicked Friday night and to The Lion King on Saturday night. PLUS, we will do a bit more sightseeing while in London too ~ including Madame Tussauds.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Let The Countdown Begin.......


itunes ~ here I come :-}

Now I don't know which is shopping online or being SO excited about a TV show?? Who am I kidding ~ they are both GREAT!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grocery Shopping In My PJ's.....

Yep, you read correctly I did my grocery shopping in my pj's! There are not many things I can honestly say are great about here but grocery shopping online is one of them. I am sure there are stores in the US that do the same thing now but it was not available 3 years ago.

Yesterday the kids were complaining that we don't have enough food in the house {cue...long story of there are people who would be thrilled to have what food you are complaining about...then rolling of eyes}. In all fairness, they weren't too far off ~ the fresh food was limited but we did have plenty of cereal and milk. Isn't that a basic food group for kids?

Anyway, the thought of fighting the crowds at the grocery store was not something I wanted to do this week. I then went to the website, did my shopping and it was delivered to the house this morning. How GREAT is that?? Now, I know this is the ultimate in laziness but the stores here are a madhouse and I get so aggravated with the lack of common sense of some shoppers. PLUS, with the schools still on summer vacation there would be more children having to shop too...for me, grocery shopping with my kids is the LAST thing they or I want to do.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Another Funny

I had to create this movie too as it made me laugh so hard and outloud. Tim and Hank are friends who enjoy a good laugh who knows, if they take us to Hawaii they may even do this dance LIVE for us!!

Something To Laugh At...

I found this today and just HAD to create my own!! Gotta love JibJab. If you make one, let me know so I can watch it.

We have window cleaners here today doing all the windows and frames for the whole house (upstairs & downstairs) outside as they are, I don't like to wash windows so it is easier to pay someone else to do it. The best $75 I will spend this week.

Sunday, August 19, 2007's COLD!

Ok, so here it is the middle of August and according to the calendar it is still summer but it is COLD here.

Today our weather was cr*p.....a balmy 56 degrees with wind and rain!! I even turned the heat on in the house it was that cold. I don't know how much more of the weather here I can handle. Sure, even those who live here say it is an unusually wet and cold summer but we have yet to have a nice summer since living here. Maybe you need to live in the south where at least they have some sort of summer weather. Oh well.....not much longer.

Friday, August 17, 2007

New Cars....

Tomorrow we are off to test drive a few cars to help decide which we are going to go with. At the moment it is between the Volkswagen Passat and the Volkswagen Passat Estate {station wagon} I know...I can hear some of you already ' a station wagon? What the heck is she thinking of???' I REFUSE to get another Volkswagen Touran ~ it is awful. PLUS I want to get away from the whole mom driving the minivan scene :-}

I was leaning towards the wagon for a while but TIM is thinking of getting that too and I think it would look silly to have two of the same cars ~ yes, the colors will be different but still they are the same.

I will keep you posted and let you know what we go with. a couple of you have asked about the size of the car we don't really travel that far by car any more ~ we tend to fly {wink}

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yea Baby!!

The eagle has landed!! Andrew received an early birthday present today from Grandpa and Grandma Marcia and boy is he excited. I don't think I will see him for the next few weeks.

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I have been playing around with digital scrapbooking and I have to admit I may be getting addicted to it. I love scrapping with paper but digital is so easy and no waste...just delete what you don't like. What do you think??

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Safety First??

I am sure many of you already know about the massive toy recall of Fisher Price and other toys around the world. This is of particular interest to us as Maggie's beloved Polly Pockets are part of the recall. I have checked to see which toys are affected and how it impacts her...I can only say ~ oh my goodness! She has at least 5 of the playsets. Now the dilemma I face is this ~ do I send them all in for the vouchers to get new items or ignore it? The issue with the Polly's is the small magnets which may cause a choking hazard....Maggie is too old to be putting the toys in her mouth so 'hopefully' it would not matter. SO, what would you do? Return them or ignore it? do you like the new header? I really like it! I will admit I spent too much time on it but am quite pleased with the results.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back To School ~

Today is the first day of school back home and it has me thinking about a few things I miss with school back home.

I miss our friends, Andrew is REALLY missing Nicholas :-{ I think it is harder this year for him to be missing the start of 8th grade together. They will be in

It is hard to be missing the shopping at Target and getting all the things on the class list. Here all we need to get for the kids is pencils, markers and math class supplies {ruler, compass, protractors} the school provides all the rest. I bought all these while in the US last week...gotta love target and Crayola products on sale for $.88 each!!

I love the idea of the kids wearing uniforms so I do not miss the back to school clothes shopping. It is so nice not having to worry about what the kids will be wearing on a daily basis. The boys have not complained once about the uniforms so that is a feat in of itself.

A good/active/friendly PTO. This is the MAIN thing I so desperately miss from home. I am active in the PTO here but it is SO different than in the US. I have found that here the activities planned are more for the adults ~ what the H*ll is that all about?? Don't get me wrong, the Summer Ball was great and I had a lot of fun. BUT I'd rather plan activities for the kids and families. With that said, I am the chair for the family fun day planned for September so I will keep you posted.

Fingers crossed this is the last start of the school year I will miss back home {WINK}

On a side note, we had Millie spayed yesterday and she came home with this protective collar on. She is supposed to wear this for 10 days until she goes back to have her stitches removed. It is meant to protect her from irritating the wound area. She does look kind of pathetic...she is still sleepy and is some pain {I think}.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Football???

Yes, the wait is almost over...only 1 more day until Madden 08 is released for the various video game systems and I am sure true gamers are counting down the hours until they go on sale. Andrew is looking forward to the new release and he will be the proud owner of the game when his birthday rolls around next month. By looking at the various reviews for this seasons game it sounds like it is the best yet!! I may even attempt to play a game or two with him...that is if he ever lets me ~ I am sure he will have more fun playing Nicholas and his other friends than with his mom.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Funny For You.....

This was sent to me today and I just had to share it! I laughed out loud at this one!!

A man and his wife were working in their garden one day and the man looks over at his wife and says: "Your butt is getting really big, I mean really big. I bet your butt is bigger than the barbecue."

With that he proceeded to get a measuring tape and measure the grill and then went over to where his wife was working and measured his wife's bottom."Yes, I was right; your butt is two inches wider than the barbecue!!!"

The woman chose to ignore her husband.

Later that night in bed, the husband is feeling a little frisky. He makes some advances towards his wife who completely brushes him off. "What's wrong?" he asks.
She answers: "Do you really think I'm going to fire up this big-ass grill for one little weenie? I think NOT!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Day At The Beach...

The weather, once again, is beautiful and we took advantage of it with a day at the beach. We are lucky enough to live about 20 miles from the coast and the North Sea so it's a perfect day out. We brought the dog with us and she LOVED playing in the water and sand. The one thing that is guaranteed at the beach here is the wind so it is perfect for kite flying. Christopher and Andrew spent quite a bit of time flying the kite we recently bought in North Carolina.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

That's What Friends Are For....

I have offically started my Christmas shopping. I already had a few things but now I have REALLY begun.

As Diana pointed out yesterday there are only 139 days until Christmas so, like a good friend, she pointed me in the direction of some great bargains on Amazon. And yes, I bought exactly what she did!

So if you are shopping online and find some great bargains....make sure you let me know...I may buy that too!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Drinks Anyone???

While on vacation we had a variety of drinks over the course of the week...some better than others, some bigger than others and then just plain old MORE than others :-}

Caitlin and Maggie with their frozen strawberry drinks in light up glasses were a hit with the girls. Ellen had her monkey drink thinking it was served in a coconut....not a monkey head!!

We ate at a brewery and Tim, Ellen and Greg tried the sampler of the beers they made. Isn't my dino drink funny? I ordered this punch thinking it came in a glass NOT a plastic toy :-}

Monday, August 06, 2007

Back To Life.....

The kids and I are back home after being away in the US for 10 days. The bags are still in the front entry way and I just don't want to be bothered with putting it all away. I did empty two suitcases this afternoon with all the stuff we bought at Costco ~ Kraft Mac N Cheese, pretzels, splenda, Life cereal etc. I know boring things but they are SO much cheaper there than in the UK, plus they don't have Kraft Mac N Cheese.

Tim is back in Indiana for work meetings and that just does not seem right....we should be there too!

Here are a few more photos from our trip...the one of the boys was taken at Try My Nuts {a peanut store} and they thought it was the funniest name. Must be a boy thing ~ actually we all had a laugh at the name.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sunny Day at the Cafe

Well.....she was RIGHT! For ages, Diana has sung the praises of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe and I finally went today! Oh my was fabulous. I had the 'sunny day' smoothie ~ mango, kiwi, banana and oranges with splenda as a sweetener. Christopher took the photo of me as I had one of my first sips of the cool drink.

Now, I only need to go and have one with Diana.

Friday, August 03, 2007

At The Beach....

We have been in the Outer Banks of North Carolina this week and are having a great time. There is nothing better than the sun and the sea, oh yeah, spending time with family too! The weather has been perfect and the kids think the waves are awesome. Here are few photos from the week.

The house that we are staying is huge and even has an elevator, which is a great help for Tim's dad.

Last night we had a clam bake here at the house ~ no clams for me just crab and scallops :-}

Maggie making a sand creation.......I will post more later...I am on a mission today and will be going to Diana's favorite place in the world ~ TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE!! It is a 5 minute drive away and I am off to see if it really is a good as she says.