Friday, 29 August 2008
Anyway, enjoy the pictures (Natalie took the one of me! She did such a good job too.)
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Then I went in on Monday to have the annual inspection on my car (here it's called an M.O.T. but I'm not exactly sure what that stands for). Anyway, we knew about 2 months ago that we were going to need new front brakes so the guy told me what to order and we waited 2 months for them to arrive from the US. So I take the car for the M.O.T. and tell the guy that I have the new brakes, a new light bulb for the burned out headlight, and new spark plugs. I go back to pick up the car when the inspection is over and found out that the brakes didn't fail but I had a burned out headlight (didn't I tell you that already and handed you the replacement bulb!), my turn signal lights are the wrong color (so put a sticker over it like you did last year!), my fog lamp switch doesn't turn on(???), and my hand brake comes up to far. STUPID things, but I'm not allowed to drive my car until it's all fixed or I'm breaking the law! So I booked the car into the garage to have all the issues fixed including having the brakes changed. The earliest they can get me in is the 28th. 10 days without a car and no cash and no fresh groceries in the house (if I could only get to the base, I could use a different card!) and Shawn was on duty and wouldn't be home until the next day! GRRR! So I beg the guy to see if he could squeeze me in before the 28th and he said if I just leave the car there, he would try and do the work between other appointments. So that's what I did.
On Tuesday, the garage calls me to say that all of the M.O.T. repairs are all done but there was a problem with the breaks. Apparently I had the disks and shoes but not pads. I bought exactly what he told me I needed! He said he would try and find a match from parts that can be bought over here, but I'm not really confident that will happen so I'll have to wait 2 more months for a part to come from the states.
Anyway, here comes the silver lining... I have some great friends here! I was moaning to my friend Abi about it all and a half hour later her husband shows up at my door with some cash so I could at least get my kids food for breakfast the next morning and then the next day she brought her 2 boys over (same ages as Natalie and Robbie) to play and she brought lunch and ingredients to bake cookies (in the shape or Daleks, "EXTERMINATE"). It turned out to be a great day!
Then today, my friend Zoe came and picked up the kids and me and got us out of the house (in spite of the damp and cold weather). We had some hot chocolate and cookies over at her house while the kids played. Then when the rain stopped, we went to our other friends house, Phyllis and H (my kids love them so much and are like surrogate grandparents to them) and we all went down to Fistral Beach. In spite of the rain, there were still a lot of surfers in the water. I had thought I had made it clear that it was too cold for the kids to go in the water so I didn't even bring their swim suits or wet suits. We took some pails and spades though and thought it would be fun to play in the sand. The kids were dressed in jeans, raincoats and wellies (rain boots) and I figured they would enjoy the beach and be nice and comfortable. Well, the kids ended up TOTALLY drenched. Robbie decided that he was going into the sea all the way up to his waist and then fell over and got covered from head to toe, Natalie thought that looked like a whole load of fun and decided to try it out for herself. There was no going back and they both had the time of their lives. They've never had more fun at the beach! Then as we were trying to walk back to the house, Robbie had to go "swimming" in every tide pool on the way. He did NOT want to leave and we had to bribe the kids with ice cream to get them to leave. We got back to Phyllis and H's house and bathed the kids (thank goodness I had the foresight to bring spare clothes)!
Now here is the funniest part... Phyllis and H live just behind Phyllis' mother's house, they actually share a garden. Well Robbie was playing with the cat and all the adults were distracted and we noticed that Robbie wasn't anywhere to be found, so we all start looking for him, I go into the garden and start calling for him and go to the break in the wall where it leads into "Grandma's" garden just as Sister Vincent was bringing Robbie back over. Apparently he followed the cat and as the cat went through the cat flap, Robbie tried to follow. Sister Vincent (who is very elderly but incredibly sharp for her age) was in the kitchen and all she sees is a tiny little arm coming through the cat flap. She thought she was imagining things because she was unaware we were visiting. Then she heard Robbie calling for the cat and really trying in earnest to get through the cat flap! I am still laughing! I am just thankful he didn't run off too far and that it was Sister Vincent and not some crazy stranger.
Oh how I wish I had my camera today!
Friday, 15 August 2008
Opening her card
Her Sleeping Beauty jewelry box that we found at Disneyland. She said that it was exactly what she has always wanted (we knew she'd love it when we bought it, but this is the first we heard about her always wanting one!).
At her birthday party. We rented a church hall just down the street from our house and I am so glad we did. There was plenty of room for the kids to run around and we could keep them contained to one room, it was brilliant! Here she is opening one of her favorite gifts (all of her gifts were her favorite gifts!).
Isn't this a great picture of Robbie!
We sang "Happy Birthday" to Natalie as we spun her in circles on the parachute! She thought this was great fun. It was all the "Busybodies" lady's idea, she provided the entertainment for the children and she was so good keeping them occupied and happy for an hour!
"Ahoy there me hardys, ARGH!"
Natalie blowing out her candles on her tower of pink cupcakes. Apparently there is a big cultural difference in American and British birthday cakes, half the kids didn't like the strawberry cupcakes. Oh well, I don't like fondant icing so I tried not to be offended. Also they were all surprised that they got to eat the cakes at the party instead of it being wrapped up and put in the treat bags.
All in all, the kids had a great time and Natalie got some really cool gifts. She was most happy about everyone giving her all the attention!
Happy Birthday Natalie and we LOVE you!
On a side note... I wanted to share these photos of Robbie from the other night. Robbie was being such a grouch that night and Shawn had just had enough of his attitude, so he changed his diaper and threw him in the bed without even changing him into pajamas. He must have been so tired because not even 5 minutes later he was fast asleep and this is how I found him when I went in to give him a hug and kiss... I love how his finger is on his nose! If you look closely, you can see his prized "Lightning McQueen" tucked in his arm. He carries that stupid car everywhere.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
My cake. My visiting teacher from church made this and gave it to me the Sunday before we went out of town. I just put it in the freezer to save it for when we got back. It was so good!
Me in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, when I went to Disney World in Orlando when I was 19, I was so disappointed that the castle was decorated like a Birthday Cake celebrating it's 25th anniversary! I was so pleased the French had enough taste to not do that to celebrate their 15th anniversary!
The Disney train, Robbie would have loved this, unfortunately, there wasn't much of a view of the park on the way.
We got over thinking we were too old, lol, Shawn and I with Cinderella's mice friends.
Snow White and her Prince
With Sleeping Beauty and Prince
My dinner on pretty Disney china. For our dinner, we picked the restaurant we did specifically because the Princesses came to your table during dinner. It was expensive though, it was 55 euros per person so 110 euros total, in dollars that coverts to about $175. I could have fed my whole family for 2 weeks on that kind of money! But it was a vacation and the food was great!
The kids with their presents after we got home.
After the Arc de triomphe, we worked our way over to the Louvre. Under the Louvre, there is this HUGE indoor shopping mall! It was wild. That is where we decided to have lunch as they had a foodcourt with over 20 different vendors and it was soooooo cheap (good thing because dinners were costing us a fortune). We had Pizza, but there was every nationality you could think of, including Sushi, Greek, Mexican, Chinese, Sweedish, Fish & Chips, and more! We did some shopping down stairs and spent all afternoon in the museum as it was air conditioned and the temps outside reached the high 80's. Doesn't seem too bad except for the fact, we were thinking 70 degrees was hot in Cornwall! We've gotten used to the cold I guess!
Inside the Louvre, we took a self guided tour from their website which they call a "Thematic Trail". We took the Da Vinci Code tour, that only took an hour so we wandered in another part of the museum for a while longer just to stay out of the heat.
Outside the Louvre
Our TINY hotel room, there was literally just enough room for the bed! Notre Dame Cathedral, it's funny, we ran into Mormon Elders inside on their P-day.
The Rose Window. Can't remember which side though.
Self portrait infront of Notre Dame, not great because the sun is behind us.
The Eiffel Tower! For lunch we went to a supermarket and got stuff for a picnic and we sat in the park to eat before we went to wait in the insanely long line.
Another self portrait, please ignore my second chin! We found another American couple at the second level and they were nice enough to take our picture if we would return the favor.
After all the sightseeing, we went to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I don't remember the name of the Restaurant, But it was on Rue La Fayette. For starters, Shawn had Escargot and I had Onion Soup, but I was brave enough to try an Escargot. The flavor was nice, but the texture on the other hand was hard to swallow, litteraly. For our main course, Shawn had Duck and roasted potatoes and I had the most awesome Lamb Stew! After that I was stuffed, but Shawn splurged on Dessert and had this pineapple thing with ice cream.
"Exterminate, Exterminate, EXTERMINATE!" If you don't know what this means, it comes from the Sci-fi series "Dr. Who" (the new series) which my husband and kids LOVE. One of the enemies are the Daleks, and well Robbie was pretending to be one.
In case you are wondering what a "real" Dalek looks like, here they are and they have this creepy synthesizer voice and they are indestructible and nothing kills them.