Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What An Adventure....

Saturday June 26:  It was a beautiful, sunny day.  I think I slept in....but not too late because I had gone to bed at a very reasonable time! We (Mary, the kids, and I) had a yummy brunch and then off to the Garden Center we trooped to buy flowers for Mary's Healing Garden ministry for mums!  When I say "trooped" I mean it.  We had two adults, two children, a baby stroller, and a scooter.  We finally made it to the bottom of the hill, bought loads of beautiful flowers, and then had to make it back up the hill.  Well, we made it.  Then I took the cart back down the hill and walked back up.  I definitely got my workout for the day!

I then prepared for my lovely and relaxing picnic in the secret garden!  What a wonderful picnic it was!  Lovely weather, beautiful garden, blanket, book, sandwich, smoothie, and chocolate : )  I also replied to a letter.....that I need to send.

Then, on my way home, I came across this girl in the woods who was calling for help but informed me she was not really in need of help.  She was just trying to get her cousins to hurry up and get there : )  She then asked me a slew of questions (aka, are you American, how old are you?, you look older than that, where do you live, etc. etc. etc.)  When her cousins arrived she introduced them all to me and it turns out I was the first American they had met.  They showed me their den they were making and then Ben (5) proceeded to tell me he is actually Chinese and a master ninja.  To this I had to tell him about all the guys at school who dress up as ninjas on a regular basis.  And have fights.  He thought this was pretty cool!

I had asked God for the opportunity to share with the kids but had NO idea how that would happen.  Well amidst being asked if I swear and other fast questions....I was asked if I believe in God.  Wow. Well, I am asking God that he use SOMETHING I said to make some sort of sense to them because.....well....I was not a very good explainer and was kind of all over the place.  Anyway, a bit later, as I was preparing to leave Chloe (11) asked if I wanted to meet her mum, aunt, and uncle (I had already met her dad).  I said sure and off we went.  So, I ended up having a lovely chat and ok tinsey glass of wine with her family.  Quite eye opening at the end as I was asked if I have ever been drunk and when I said no was told by the 11 year old I needed to (or something like that).  Then the parents began talking about their drunk times and the kids chimed in about their parents.  How sad!  Anyway, two hours after I left my picnic I got home....what a wonderful time!

Sunday June 27:  I got up and got ready to go into London to meet Lenae and Megan.  As I was walking out of the house I saw my bus drive by....gah.  Almost 25 minutes later I got on the next bus.  Then, I missed my train by a minute and a half.  So ten minutes later (maybe more) I got on my train.  So, I was late.  I told them to go ahead to church and we would meet up later.  Toward the end of the service I checked my phone and found a message saying they were going to the hospital.  I got up and called the number back.  It was a lady from church.  She came down and told me where to go.  They were in the A&E (Accident and Emergency) at the hospital.  So, I hurried and ended up spending close to two hours there, I think.  We left and Lenae was rather happy on pain meds : )  So, off to Oxford St., Regent St., Hamley's Toy Store, St. James Park, Buckingham Palace, The Fountain (where I realized I was in London with friends and no parents and having a wonderful time....what I have always wanted to do : ) ), Hyde Park, an awesome tree, a wonderful cafe, and a classy dessert cafe : )  What a day it was!!!  Oh...England lost : (  BUT aside from that it was GREAT!  Many wonderful memories and I got to watch Megan loving seeing London for the first time!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweltering heat, crazy tennis, busy children...and a little surprise : )

Oh my word!  It is SO hot!  Ok, so compared to Florida maybe not, but in Florida there is air conditioning. I am on the top floor of my house with no AC.  So yes, I am boiling!

However, since I last posted on here I have had some lovely time off, during which, I watched England win, Nadal win, Murray win, Serena win, Isner win (finally!!!), Roddick win (although, I may not have seen it all), and Federer win (I didn't watch it all).  This has been a VERY exciting Wimbledon!  Record breaking match, the "greats" having to fight for their positions, and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II visited Wimbledon today for the first time in 33 years to watch Andy Murray win.  Chances are, if he makes it to the finals, she may come again :  )  I was thinking, if I was the Queen of England and I had an ENTIRE Royal Box at my disposal (a front row seat at that), I would definitely be attending more Wimbledon than just every 33 years!  I am assuming everyone in the Royal Box knows her because everyone seemed to be quite content watching the match instead of freaking out that the Queen was RIGHT THERE! Ok, that SO would have been me!

Anyway,  the other morning my devotions were very awesome!  Although, I hugely need prayer because I feel this disconnectedness from God and I hate it!  I just want to feel His presence!  I want to hear His voice!  I must say, I am not doing the greatest of jobs learning the lessons He is trying to teach me.  So, prayer that I would be obedient and open to being molded into His image even more would be greatly appreciated and welcomed!!!

Today I went to call a friend and leave a voicemail for them, because they are at camp.  However, when I called, their phone rang!  I was so surprised, and I was even more surprised when they answered!  Anyway, I was blessed with an almost 15 minute conversation with a great friend!  Surprise!

I am making plans for the weekend.  It looks as if I will be attending Hillsong again but this time Lenae and Megan will be accompanying me!!!  SO excited!  We will then explore London!  Let us prepare for some intense walking!  I hope it is not too warm!  Ooooo I just realized.....there are tennis stars in London...maybe I will bump into Nadal!

Anyway, the kids are doing well.  Providing many laughs for me as well as teaching me patience.....which I still have not learned.

Anyway, bed soon and a COLD shower!!!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ahhh....Dear Loverly Weekend On the Coast!

If you are funny like my uncle you will make fun of me for generalizing "the coast" since I am on an island....hence, surrounded by coasts : )

I saw my first sheep of my trip yesterday!

Now, I would say "close your eyes and imagine...." but you can't close your eyes and imagine because you won't know what you are supposed to be imagining.  So, read and then close your eyes and imagine, when I tell you!

I am living right outside of London (technically I am in London).  I live on a busy road (I can hear the cars driving by as I type) and can get anywhere I need to via bus.  If you walk down the hill about 2 minutes trees abound, there is a golf course, and further down is a farm.  (Try to imagine this).

Now, my heart has been longing for green, rolling hills, old houses, flowering gardens, narrow back roads, and Kent.  Well, yesterday and today my desire was satisfied!  Today, when we left the caravan we drove along the coast.  English houses trimmed with flowing gardens abounded.  Fields full of sheep ran along the road as well.  We reached several towns and they are so quaint and full of character!  Brick and stone buildings with window boxes full of flowers!  Decorative edging around the doorways.  Beautiful, old windows!  Oh, take away the cars and replace the roads and you could be transported back two or three hundred years (and trust me, I would LOVE that)!  Uncle Gavin and I took the dog for a walk through the park along the river.  Positively picturesque or book like!  Do you know the pictures that have someone sitting along some European river on a low wall fishing?  YES!  That!  With two swans and six cygnets (swan babies).  There were also three or four ducks! Yes, the dog wanted to chase them.  Oh, in the grass are little daisy-like flowers...but they are very low to the grass!  So beautiful!  In the distance, just past the beautiful, English houses were the green, rolling hills!!!  *Ready?  Set... Imagine!*

So, that ended my lovely caravan, World Cup, sudoku, freezing cold beach, two ends of a rainbow, early to bed, early to rise, sausage, egg, and toast with marmite, loads of tea, one cup of hot chocolate, good book, and GREAT company weekend = )


Friday, June 18, 2010

Would You Like Some Wensleydale, Gromit?

Quote of the day:
Julia, "I am going to tell Nickt about your naughtiness!"
Me, "What is my naughtiness?"
Julia,"You were going to eat me!"
(ok, I was pretending to eat her).

Wanna know how to get a great workout?  Live at the top of a long sloping hill and push two children down it in a stroller.  Know why?  You have to then push one of them back up : )

Yes, I did that this morning.

Then we proceeded to chill (aka, breakfast, telly, etc.)  Then, BATH TIME for Julia : )  Her hair is AMAZING!  When it is wet it just hangs in a mass of teeny tiny curls....I would love to have hair like that....for at least a day.

Then, it was time for cake and.....Wallace and Gromit!!!!! Or in the words of Julia, "Wallace and Dromit." I have been trying to watch it for ages and she kept not wanting to.  Well, FINALLY we did : )  My cup of tea was fantastic and her cake (and mine) was amazing!!!
(I need to have some more cheese and cream crackers).

I had a skype date with Daddy which was wonderful!  Michael is now in Florida = )

I then did basically nothing....oh except I watched Fran and Shister Meffield get married ; )  Not the same without my wonderful and dear Roommate whom I love dearly!

We ordered pizza, watched Shrek 2, watched England NOT beat Algeria....ugh, and FINALLY got to talk to my wonderful roommate!!! It was sooo great to speak with her!  She, as usual, gave me more wisdom in another aspect of walking with Jesus.  I love her for that.  And many other reasons as well!

Then another skype date and the BEACH tomorrow!  I must figure out my bus route and pack : )

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I love them.
I love to read them.
I think like one.
I think about writing one.
I sometimes feel as if I am in one.

The way my mind works is I play situations out as if it were a novel.  I then tend to act the way I think the heroine/main character would act.  I love reading old novels.  I love reading old mysteries.  I love reading Enid Blyton.  She is an English author who died in the 60's but before she died she wrote 600 books.  She wrote the infamous Noddy books.  The Famous Five.  The Secret Seven.  Mallory Towers.  As well as many many more!  I have read many of them!  Since being in England I have, on many occasions, felt as if I was in one of those books.

Yesterday we went for a walk and Mary and the kids showed me The Secret Garden.  Almost the whole time I was walking there I felt as if I should be trying to solve some mystery in an Enid Blyton story.  Yes, I would love that!

A few other things yesterday, I discovered dogs in England can be very well behaved!  As in, I would actually like one....maybe.  Although, I still love cats!  These dogs just roam freely in the park without a lead on and BEHAVE!  It is crazy!

We were walking along and Julia found a pine cone.  However, in her excited voice she said, "LOOK!  A coconut!!!" Hahaha I laughed so much because she kept saying it.  Then she called them "polkadots"!  Then...she called them "cocopats."  Oh. My. Word.  Hilarious!!!

We found a castle.  Well, they knew where it was.  I got to see it = )  I want to explore a castle!  Find a secret passageway and a mystery that needs solving!

Well, au revoir!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


You know, I love kids.  I have always looked forward to getting married and having children someday.  The past three weeks (as of tonight) have been trying at times.  The kids are so sweet but I find myself getting frustrated so often.
This afternoon we were going over numbers (which shows me how much learning I have yet to do about being a teacher) and then playing Candy Land (I didn't get Queen Frostine : ( They changed her name to Princess Frostine. Lame.).  I kept getting impatient and kindness and love were definitely not exuding from me.  I realized, they are 3 and 5.  I need to show them love and patience.  I can't expect them to know everything.  It is hard because looking back I feel as if I knew so much when I was there age.  Chances are I acted very similarly.  Actually, funny, because Julia plays pretend a lot and has conversations with herself and "others" and it reminds me of myself : )

I have been wondering if I will be able to handle motherhood.  I hope so.  It is scary to think about....  I guess since they will be my own it will be different than watching other people's children.

Anyway, I just need to work on loving with God's love. Well, asking Him to give it to me!
I need to remember these children are young.  I am given the gift of instructing them and being an example.  I need to make sure I am an example that they should look to.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Look Out London!!!

***World Cup Update:  I went to a pub and watched the first half of the USA vs. UK match.  It was GREAT when England scored!***
***Book Update:  I bought three books for less than £4.  I have been thinking about The Wind in the Willows.  I bought it.  I bought Cranford (I need to tell Lindsey).  I bought an Enid Blyton book.***

Well, I got up 37 minutes later than my alarm told me too.  Good thing I am in charge.  When I finally crawled out of bed I quickly began to get ready, threw on some makeup, ate a pancake, checked the online map, and dashed out the door.  As I was walking to the bus stop I was asking God to let a bus get there quickly, I checked over my shoulder and there was my bus!  I dashed across the road and hopped on!!!  My very first adventure into London by myself had begun!  I got to the train station and waited for my train.  When it arrived I hopped on hoping I would not get sick.  The last time I rode into the city I felt terrible!!!  This time was a breeze.  It was fun watching everything go by.  I began to get closer to the city eco-friendly flats began to appear.  The fun thing is, since there are so many windows you can see how people furnish their apartments.  Some of them look at modern-esque(sp) like on the movies : )  Anyway, I got to Charing Cross and the familiarity began to set in!  I saw the pasty shop where I was introduced to my first pasty!  Next time I will hopefully get one : )  

I walked out of the station and began to see where we walked the last time I was there and the phone booth where I think Daddy made a call, etc.  Well, I bumped into Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery, where I will be visiting next time :)  So, I started up a road that looked like the one I need on the map.  Oh, PS, I was trying to find Hillsong Church.  Well, road signs are funny in London.  They are on the sides of buildings.  So, I finally asked where I was and I was on Charing Cross Road.  NOT where I needed to be. So I cut over and eventually ended up at Picadilly Circus in front of the Ripley Believe It or Not museum.  I called Mary and then went into a little place to ask for directions.  The lady was so nice and printed me off directions.  I began to follow them until I had to take a slight detour.  This detour took me down a sketchy alley and I could totally imagine being kidnapped and no one would ever know.  Don't worry, Daddy.  It was short.  Anyone, I got out on the other end and it was a busy street = )  I asked a bus driver where the road was I needed (I hated sounding like a tourist).  So, I follow his directions and am standing on the corner by this theatre.  I begin wondering if it was Hillsong or if I could ask where it was.  I flip over my directions and it says "Dominion Theatre" so I look and there is the Hillsong sign underneath.....brilliant.  So, I go up, they take me inside saying it is a special day...I don't know why.  *Sidenote*  The whole time I was walking I knew I was late, 20 minutes late.  I LOVE the musical worship time of the service and was bummed that I was missing it.  I just told God, ok, You have it under control.  You're timing.  I get there and it was a special Sunday because Hillsong UNITED was doing the worship that day so the format was different.  No sermon!  I was soooo excited because I didn't miss it!  It was fantastic!!!  Afterwards this girl gave me some info, she was so nice!  I think I am going to go back!

I left the theatre....and headed back the direction I came.  Avoiding the sketchy alley, of course!  When I got back to Picadilly Circus I decided to walkup Regent Street to the Apple Store.  Well, a few other stores, mainly Anthropologie, got in my way and I didn't make it there.  Next time.  Maybe.  After Anthropologie I walked a bit more and then decided I needed to start heading back to the station to meet Auntie Michele, Jess, and Bex.  I waited at the bus stop until I realized the bus I needed did not stop there.  I walked to the next one.  It did :)

I got to Charing Cross and after waiting for 10 minutes or so I went into this little shop only to look up and three strange people are staring at me.....I only say strange because they are related to me : )
It was SOOOO great to see them!!!  We then walked to St. James park where we had a picnic, courtesy of my aunt and cousins : )  A squirrel visited and I seriously thought he was going to jump on one of us! We then walked around the park, visited Buckingham Palace since the Queen was in ; )  Bex can now remember visiting!  Then we headed out for Regent Street where we occupied a Starbucks for a good while!  It was so fun to chat and plan and chat some more!  Then we decided to head to Leicester Square and Covent Gardens!  Needless to say....after yesterday I know my way around quite a bit more than before!

After dinner in Covent Gardens we headed back to Charing Cross and went our separate ways!  When I got on the train two interesting fellows sat across the aisle from me.  One is an antique dealer who does not look like one.  He sells telescopes to the other fellow who is a French Chef but also collects different things.  They were a lot of fun to talk with!  The chef's name was John and he is from Eltham and his friend made the joke, he is, "Eltham John." lol.  Dave, the antique dealer, plays the harmonica very nicely!

When I got off at my stop and walked to the bus stop....who should be standing there but Tim and Jude! So, we rode back to the house together.  

All in all a FANTASTIC day and weekend!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"That's English?!"

Ricky Ricardo: There's no need making fun of my English.
Lucy Ricardo: That's English?

This is what I have thought of on several occasions since arriving in England.  The same language I have grown up speaking....yet, at times, I feel as if I am a foreigner.  

I arrived in London and was driven home in a taxi.  The taxi driver spoke with such thick cockney I could hardly understand a word he said.  When I visit my uncle....I find it hard to understand Lisa (not too much, but at first it was a challenge at times) and his mother-in-law, and Lisa's siblings.  My my....I do think I am getting better but sometimes I find myself looking to Uncle Gavin to "translate" for me.  When he is not there....I just hope I understand it all or smile and say something that I hope makes sense.  

Here is the thing, I think I speak clearly.  Yet, Lisa and her mum have a hard time understanding me sometimes, especially when I speak too quickly.  So, I must learn to speak slower and by the time I leave, I hope to have mastered understanding what they all say : )

Now, another funny word slip up I made yesterday....
Uncle Gavin and I were in the car and we drove my this young boy whose trousers were too short.  Well, I wanted to make sure I said the right word so I am thinking super fast and speaking and it came out something like this, "That boy's knickers are short."  Translation:  "That boy's underwear is short."  Gah...I couldn't believe it.  Of course I laughed.  We both laughed.  I still find it very funny. 

So, here are some words:  English word and then what it means in the USA.

Coach-Bus (long distance, I think)

That's all I can think of for now....
Anyway, today is a BIG game! England vs. USA!

I was told my a friend I had to choose.  I have chosen.  ENGLAND!
If the USA wins, well, I will still be happy.  Yes, I am allowed to be.  
Oh, I am hoping to watch the game in a pub!!! How exciting to watch such a great game in English pub atmosphere = )

Well, my day calls!

Friday, June 11, 2010

England, My England

As I sit here writing I am eating my warmed donut, courtesy of Uncle Gavin, and sipping a cup of tea!  Now, a quick plug for these donuts, they are not too sweet (although this morning they seem sweeter than they did yesterday) and are very soft and yummy!

Yes, I am with a 3 year old.  Want to know how I can tell?  We are watching the Wiggles.  I have not seen this show since Trey stopped watching them.  "Fruit saled, yummy yummy!" Hahaha oh, I remember those days.  I simply cannot say fruit salad without thinking of that song : O  Yesterday there was a show on CBeebies (a childrens station) and there was this show that seemed like such a spin off of Teletubbies.  Yes, I watched Teletubbies.  *side note* I just googled Teletubbies.  It still plays, on that CBeebies channel. That makes me smile a little bit. I remember when the show was new.

Anyway, yesterday was pretty layed back.  Julia was sick and she finally lay down for and TOOK a nap!  I then took care of my passport stuff....after many complications it will hopefully be on its way to Daddy's VERY soon!  Then I was off to pick up Jude from school.

Now, England is a place that has influenced my life, through my parents, for my entire life!  (*pause* Julia is singing with the Wiggles and doing what they do. Very cute : ).) *play*  My walk to Jude's school takes me past a golf course, a farm, and lots of trees and greeness!  When I walk by wide open English space I miss the countryside.  I want to go into Kent, where my family is from, and just drive about!  There is so much in England that triggers my memory to books I have read, movies I have seen, and things I have done.  I realized a while ago and even more yesterday, I don't think the England that I picture in my mind and love so much exists any more.  This is not to say I don't love it here, but in town school children walk from school in the typical uniform......with an ipod in their ear that is playing loud pop (etc) music.  This is one example of my bubble being popped about England : )

When I walked by the farm I got the urge to watch All Creatures Great and Small!  I also want to go explore in the country and see if I can find any of that left over in some small town somewhere!  When I walk by the fields I get the urge to go for a long walk over the moors (*pause* Thomas the Tank Engine is now playing : ) It is proper, they have English accents!)  *play* or over some field like in Sense and Sensibility (imagine the movie).  Yes, I wouldn't mind being caught in the rain.  Or being rescued by some gentleman on a horse.....ok ok my romantic, novel mind is coming out.  I wouldn't mind just sitting on the top of a hill in the pouring rain looking out on miles of hills or miles of hills with a small cottage or large estate tucked away amidst the greeness.  Of course, I must be wearing a pretty, long dress for dramatic effect : )

Anyway, sometimes I think of my Enid Blyton books and wish I could have some grand adventure on the coast with a bicycle, some friends, and a mystery : )  Or something like that.....

Oh yeah!  When Jude and I walked back home there was a Lollipop Lady (crossing guard)!  I just thought to myself, "Yes, I am in England..." hahaha amazing!

I went to Uncle Gavin's for supper which was loads of fun!  I definitely feel as though I am in an English home when I visit them!  I had my fill of yummy food, tea, donuts ; ), good laughs, and soap operas!  Did you know Coronation Street has been running since it was in Black and White?  Thats right, Uncle Gavin dated himself last night!  Longest running soap opera in England.  I felt terrible for one gentleman who has been part of the cast since he was a child!  Now, he plays an older gentleman's role.  How sad....your whole career, a soap opera....

Well, today I am going back over there later for spicy meatballs and pasta.  Tomorrow....hopefully exploring and going into an old bookshop!

Well, cheerio : )

Monday, June 7, 2010

One Reason I Love England : )

One of the MANY reasons I love England....
I am either one hour off or in the time zone of two grand slam tennis matches as well as several other tournaments = )

What does this mean?

Well, in layman's terms...I didn't miss the men's finals due to church : )

So, yesterday I have a lovely afternoon watching Nadal beat Soderling in one of the best tennis matches I have ever seen: )

This week is the Queens tournament which is a lovely thirty minutes away : ) more tournament
AND...*drum roll*
WIMBLEDON! Yes, if you cannot tell I am SOOO excited!  As in...what most of the world is feeling about the World Cup I am feeling about Wimbledon : ) Although...for the World Cup, GO ENGLAND!

I am looking forward to a wonderful Cousin and Wimbledon Picnic Date!

*sigh* I cannot even believe I am going to be there.....This is such a gift from God : )

THEN I FINALLY got to watch the movie I have been waiting ages to see : )
That definitely put me in a mood...

Now, the week of routine begins : )  I am thankful for routine!  I need some!

Prayer.....I need strength.  I am not sure what God is teaching me through this. Pray for understanding.
Thank you!

P.S. 1 Month till Daddy's and my Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Superheroes Have Landed....The Children Have Played....I am worn out = )

See, Friday was Jude's 5th birthday.  In their family the sibling of the birthday child receives presents on the birthday of their sibling also!  Needless to say, due to needing to know their size, both children have known what they were getting on Jude's birthday (part of what they were getting).  Jude:  An Iron Man 2 costume.  Julia:  A Batgirl costume.  They opened these presents with great delight and proceeded to put them on : )  They each were also given a light saber!  I then HAD to tell them about the light saber battles that happen at school : )  AND the one in OT Freshman year!

We were then planning to attend the fun fair.  The kids got dressed, hats and all, and off we trooped to the bus stop.  When we got on the bus I had quite the little surprise.  The lady sitting next to Mary was discreetly plucking her chin hairs while sitting there.....hmmm

Well, when we got off at the fun fair bus stop we had a surprise.  They were not opening until the next day...bummer.  The kids handled the let down very well and instead we got ice cream.  On the way to the ice cream truck I noticed sun bathers on the heath. Turns out in England they go all out....bathing suit tanning with no water around (yes, there was a guy in a speedo).

We decided to go to the park near where they used to live.  This was not supposed to be much longer than fifteen minutes but the ice cream eating slowed us down a good bit.  Goodness...there are so many stores I want to just meander through some afternoon!!!  As we were walking to the park we walked through this neighborhood that was beautiful and quiet and I kept being transported back to my Enid Blyton books (as well as others).  *Side Note:  The roses in England are positively beeyootiful!*  So, we arrived at the park and it was lovely!  The children played on the playground (Julia was quite the little miss adventure).  I kept feeling as if I was familiar with the area I was in when in actuality I had never been there.  I realized it reminds me of St. James Park and Hyde Park in London.  I can't wait to go into Central London!  I miss it! So many fond memories!  ONE WEEK!

Well, we then had lunch at the cafe next to the playground.  This is where my first bit of "culture shock" began.  The menu was huge.  I don't like the pressure of ordering at counters when I am not familiar with the menu which is basically everywhere except Starbucks (and even then I can't always decide if I am leaning towards something new).  So, I had to ask what a baguette was.  Then I had to figure out what the yummy things I had seen outside were (they were crepes).  Then I had to order.  Well...the guy behind the counter was patient enough.  So, I finally ordered (and asked for no mayonnaise).  So, we go outside and wait.  I am looking around and I realized I kept thinking I was in France....I am not sure why.

Anyway, we got some more ice cream and began to walk back....however, Julia was not too happy so we began to sing:
"The zebras (pronounced the English way) go marching one by one hoorah hoorah
the zebras go marching one by one hoorah hoorah,
the zebras go marching one by one
the little one stopped to suck his thumb
and they all went marching down, to the zoo, to get out, of the rain..." (Lyrics courtesy of Mary Pfeiffer).

This continued through 9 (we skipped 4).  We then hopped on a bus to go to "a dangerous part of London" (Daddy, don't worry, no one was shot ; ) )  We went to the Lewisham market where Mary gave me £10.  I was then supposed to go vegetable shopping in the market.  "Culture Shock 2,"  I have never gone shopping in a I barter or do I buy at cost?  I buy at cost.  So, for £5 I bought to bunches of asperagus, a bowl of carrots, a bowl of grapes, and a bowl of broccoli.  Yummy!  I now I feel I could go back and be fine buying veggies.  Maybe it was also the fact I was doing this for the first time in front of someone instead of doing it by myself so if I do something dumb there is no one to look dumb in front of...prideful I know...but nonetheless.  Next Mary needed to buy some things for Jude's birthday party so while she did that Jude and Julia rode a merry-go-round ride and then went on a bouncy thing.  Then we waited for Mary....she had my phone so I could not call we stood and watched people go by.  There were so many people of all different colors and cultures.  The area we are in has some of that but not as much at all!  So, that was interesting!

Well, then Julia told me she had "wee wee'd" in her when Mary got there we walked all the way to the other side of the shopping mall to a corner where we could change Julia only to find out she had not.  Who knows?  So, off we went back through the mall to the 99p store (their dollar store).  Ok, SO much nicer than ours.  Yes, it is cheaper stuff....but our dollar stores in America do not sell three Lindt eggs fro 99p.  Oh my gracious!!!  I will be visiting and stocking up on some chocolate sometime soon....maybe.  At least ONE egg!  I mean...come on...and I will think of my lovely RA while eating it = )

So, we left there and walked to the bus stop, hopped on, and began the trip back.  Well, being the kind person that I am (yes yes I know...and humble too ; P) I gave my seat to an older lady (ok, I was in priority seating and there are sign up saying if someone comes in who needs a seat to please give it up).  So, I go to the standing area and just as I am reaching behind to pull my shirt down a little bit the bus moves and I almost lose my footing and quickly grab hold of the railing as Mary mouthes to me "blog."  *laugh* She is good at this : )

Well, we arrived home...absolutely exhausted!!!  I sat down and turned the tele on to the French Open! NADAL WAS PLAYING!!!!!  Well, I decided to cook a quick a phone call to my wonderful father (who is a scrumptious chef) and he told me how to prepare the chicken and vegetables. So, two and a half hours later we ate : )  Thankfully...the one piece of chicken that was not fully cooked landed on my plate so everyone else had cooked chicken.  The asperagus was delish, and the carrots...a tad crunchy for my liking...I will do them differently next time.  Oh AND I made a yummy punch and we got to sip it out of wine glasses = )  I love drinking things out of wine glasses!

Well...then another present from moi, cake and candles, and then a movie and bed.  All in all a VERY busy but fun and full of learning day!

Well, yesterday (Saturday) was Jude's birthday party with his little friends.  I kept thinking about the Alfie and Annie Rose book when Alfie has a birthday party and wondered if it would be like that....I will have to go back and read the book : )

We had face painting, a fishing pool, a tossing game, a treasure hunt, food, food, and more playing.  I was exhausted by the end of the day!

There was one little girl who is half Pakistani and she was wearing a pakistani dress ( I cannot think of the name of it but people at school where them sometimes and I think the begin with a "P"). was a BEAUTIFUL turquoise with pink and sparkly accents!!!

The kids had a grand time!

At one point in the evening when Jude and Julia were playing with one last friend his friend said, "Oh my God!"  Jude replied with, "You're not allowed to say Oh My God *waved hand* say, Oh my word!" HA!  I totally taught him to say Oh my word = )  It was just really cute because then they had a little conversation about why : )

Well, we watched the Britain's Got Talent finale...I suggest watching the winners!  They were amazing!
I am still waiting to watch my movie....maybe after The Men's Finals at the French Open (which begins in 27 minutes!!!)!

Well, that summarizes my last two days (sorry it is a bit long, Chris ; ) )

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pools, Bible Songs, Children, and a bus ride ; )

Today...all I can say is I am tired!  
I had a delicious breakfast!  Grampaw would have been proud...I easily got into my hard boiled egg that I ate with Marmite on toast.  I also had tea and toast with apricot jam (not really marmalade).  Needless to say it was scrumptious!

Then...what did I do then...oh, well, I watched some tennis (of course), the kids played outside, and I made lunch (rather yummy sandwiches if I do say so myself).  When Mary got back from shopping she had bought a little wading pool.  It needed to be blown up....guess who got that job?  Yup, me.  Wasn't too bad...just took a lot of air!
So, I thought...ohhh they will play in the pool=I need to watch and make sure no one drowns=I will be in the sun=my legs will get tan=so did not happen.  I am telling you...England is like that Marshmallow WAY above the flames so it takes forever to get any color (and yes, I will be teaching science one day ; P).
Anyway, afterwards we went inside and THEN I went downtown via bus.  Ok, I hopped on (the right bus this time) and the only available seats could not be gotten to or were backwards so I walked to the back and sat in a backwards seat.  I was facing three people and decided that instead of sitting there in uncomfortable and expected silence I decided to say hi (yes, Daddy, to three strangers).  Oh, if only I had one friendly, "How are you doing?" started this man into a monologue the length of the bus ride.  He went from talking about something I could not understand to talking about this girl who at age 15 was on the street smoking and doing drugs to talking about these people and their street addresses, etc. (he may have mentioned a war....I don't remember).  The man sitting next to him began to tell him to "shhh...I don't want to listen to you."  That was funny!  Well this man had a cane and when the lady in the seat a bit in front of him moved I took her chair....wondering if I was going to get  bop on the head with a cane from a slightly strange man.  Well, he then started walking the bus and even the bus driver looked back....FINALLY I see my bus stop coming up.  I hit the "stop"button and the man gets off TOO...BUT he went the other direction : ) *sigh of relief*.  I then ran my errand (aka bought a birthday present), put my letters in the post, had an uneventful ride home and continued my afternoon.  That included watching a rerun of Federer's sad lost to Soderling (booo).  I was somehow hoping for a different such thing was to happen.  Oh well, Nadal for the French and Federer for Wimbledon (or Murray....because it is England!)!
I then made homemade pizza sauce for the very first time!!! It was rather delicious, I thought!  However, my white shirt did not escape spot free and of course, my blue and white shorts....well the tomato sauce found a whote spot to dot up instead of a blue spot....
Then bed, a yummy dessert, talked to my darling Becky, and am not heading to bed....I hope!

Now just waiting on Auntie Michele's decision ; )

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Family Time!

Yesterday I FINALLY got to see family members!  Let me tell you, I was pretty excited!  The kids and I had a lovely morning singing christmas songs around the breakfast table (you know me : ) ) and then Mary made Banana Bread Muffins....deliciousness!!!

THEN Uncle Gavin arrived and whisked me away to Starbucks (mmmm yuuuummy)!  However, we made a quick stop at the Marks and Spencer so I could pick up my perfume I have been out of (IT SMELLS DIFFERENT!).  I then drank my Starbucks Hot Chocolate out of a glass mug (it is standard in England : ) ) and discussed the many differences between English Starbucks and American Starbucks.  We discussed plans and life and the wedding in August (my aunts) and all sorts of stuff.  Then we had to make a dash and pick up Auntie Lisa (we were late) and went home where a delicious meal almost awaited us : ) It was soooo good! 

Anyway, we just had a good time chatting and laughing.  Then Uncle Gavin and I took Rex (the dog) for a walk.  However, we have to drive to the place we walk him and guess who gets to ride up front? Yep, not me, the "pampered pooch."  So, we had a nice little walk minus the dog almost getting hit.  We chatted about family and drove by the house they all used to live in as kids where Daddy carved his name in the block : )

When we got back to the house I got to try the XO (extra old) marmite and then Uncle Gavin and I just hung out.  We looked up cricket (yup, planning to go to a match : ) ), talked about Grandma and family, and just really bonded which was awesome because I really don't know my English family THAT well!  

All in all a GREAT day!

Then I was debating about Wimbledon....well the verdict is in....*dun dun dun*

Wimbledon.  Men's Finals.  Grounds Tickets.  Picnic with Jess (aka Cousin Date).  How fantastic?!  The only thing better would obviously be to actually be IN the arena!!!!

Well, au revaderci!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bank Holiday = )

Main Entry: bank holiday
Function: noun
Date: 1871
1 British : legal holiday
2 : a period when banks in general are closed often by government fiat

Yesterday was my very first Bank Holiday!  What a day it was!
Preparations for our barbeque began before I even woke up!  Kabobs, homemade hamburgers, barbeque chicken, homemade grilled potato slices, pita (store bought), crisps, homemade salsa, sodas, AND yuuummmy homemade cupcakes and cake!  Chocolate abounded in those desserts : )

People from Tim's work and friends of theirs from their children's schools came over for a visit AND Lenae came over!  It was SO wonderful to see yet another familiar school face (since I just saw Sarah the other day).  We caught up on our time in England so far and she told me some hilarious stories (I have a feeling she has posted them on her blog ; ) ).  So far the only really funny thing to happen to me, that I forgot to write about in my previous post, was I was trying to get back my house without having to walk ALL the way back.  So, I hopped on a bus and instead of going straight IT TURNED!  I quickly hit the stop button hopped off and walked back.  I then waited at another bus stop and the bus FINALLY came and DIDNT stop. Oy!  So, I thought to myself, "Alright God, I will keep walking." I waited at the next one. Finally gave up and decided God must have wanted me to get even MORE exercise : ) 

Anyway, back to the original topic of the bank holiday.  So, we then ate lots of yummy food, talked some more, watched the children play, THEN we began to plan what we want to do for our birthdays!  So, God is awesome.  Let me just say that I have always wanted to spend my birthday with school friends (ESPECIALLY since coming to CIU).  Well, this year I was really talking to God about it because it would just be so special.  Well, it now looks as if I will be with friends from school to celebrate = ) = ) = )  Needless to say, I am THRILLED!  We are thinking dinner, theatre, and the London Eye (maybe)!!! Anyway......

Oh, yeah, well I am legal in England.  So, they had opened a bottle of white wine and I really wanted to try some legally.  Well, they were pouring it in plastic cups and I really didn't want my first legal drink to be out of a plastic cup.  So, I asked Mary if i could use a wine glass.  She let me.  Then, Lenae documented it.  It was pretty funny actually.  So, next on the bucket list, PINK Champagne.  I WILL try pink Champagne before I leave Europe....I hope!  For those of you who have never seen An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, I suggest watching it!  Sleepless in Seattle was based from it and they have pink champagne on the boat : )

Well, everyone began to leave, Lenae figure out her bus route home and arrived without injury and creepy cigarette guy being there, I washed dishes, relaxed, Mary and I talked for a long time (which was lovely)!

Anyway, today is now Tuesday and the kids have the week off for half term so we are having a bit of a slow morning, which is quite lovely!  I do believe some tennis will be in order soon (French Open! Wimbledon in three weeks or so!!!!!)
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