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27 February 2015


It is moving day! (Well, as I am writing this post-move... it was moving day!)

Here are the moving trucks parked outside of our old house.  We did all of the packing, and they filled those two trucks twice to take all of our crap (I mean worldly belongings) to our new house, only about a half a mile away.

What our new landlord left for us! Yay!  I wonder how long it will take me to kill that beautiful orchid...

And what our living room looked like at our new place at the end of moving day.

So far the only moving casualty... my wedding band now has a missing diamond. :(

26 February 2015

Sophia's 8th Birthday

We allow the girls to have a birthday party every other year, and this year is Sophia's year to have a party. Mind you, she has been planning it for the past two years!  She finally decided she would like to have a sleepover party. So, she has invited five little girls from her class to join her to celebrate her birthday.

We started out the morning with Sophia opening her birthday presents from us.  A few weeks ago, I began asking her what she might like to receive for her birthday. We can't start asking too early, because the answers continually change!!  So, I asked and she said she knew what she wanted but didn't know what it was called. Um. Okay. So, I asked if she could describe it so I could help her identify it. She said she would draw me a picture.

This is what I got.

Hmmm. Picture not helping. So, I asked her to explain what you do with it. She said you look at it. Um. Okay. Still nowhere.  Then, with a huge smile, she says, "I think it's called 'monoculars'." Ahhhhhh. Binoculars! Got it!  
So, we bought her the cutest pair!
And I hope she is bird watching and not neighbor watching!

Our next adventure of the day was to bake her birthday cake. She had declared that she wanted a Caramel Cake. So, I found a recipe online - thank you, Paula Deen!  And we baked it, and it was beyond yummy!

The other gift that Sophia had asked for us to buy her was a bunny she saw in an adorable boutique near here called Lizzies.  

The boutique is really wonderful - full of eye candy of the most delicious sort! And there is a little room at the rear that is filled with delightful things for children. And, Sophia, who is partial to bunnies anyway, saw these beauties and fell in love! So, she asked for one. They are by Maileg and they come in undies and a tiny tee shirt and then there is an array of clothing to buy for them. So sweet. 

At party time, all the girls arrived and as we organized a taxi to help ferry everyone to the restaurant that Sophia had chosen for dinner, the girls had a little wii Just Dance contest!


 Even though we live in London and get to ride in black taxis from time to time, it is still always fun!
And this time, our taxi was silver!

Sophia chose Bodeans - a London barbeque chain that is supposed to be "American". It is pretty good, but as you know, American barbeque is different depending on where in America you are.

The girls all ordered ribs and really enjoyed them!

Chris really liked this wall art - a map of the USA with all different beer cans, backlit.

Cake time!  We had the waiter bring out the cake from the kitchen with the candles lit and we all sang Happy Birthday!

After we had served the cake, the waiter came back and asked what kind of cake it was and Chris told him it was a caramel cake and asked if he wanted a piece, and he accepted!!

Present time!

 Movie time!

Breakfast was a good, old-fashioned American pancake breakfast! (Do you love all the moving boxes in the background? Yes, we are crazy enough to host a sleepover only 5 days before moving house!)

06 February 2015

Last weekend...

Saturday was a bit of a rainy day, so Olivia and Sophia decided to spend the day immersed in Legos! They got a ton of Lego Friends sets last Christmas and haven't played with them all that much over the past year, but they re-discovered them this weekend, and buried our kitchen table in them. They have played with them every day since then.

On Sunday, the girls had their first gymnastics competition. They have only been taking gymnastics for the past three weeks, but the programs here have competitions for gymnasts at every level. They are judged on basic tumbling skills. It is a pretty neat way for them to get the experience and to see gymnasts at all levels compete.  So, we traveled to the host gym, about 40 minutes away (and only 12 miles!!) and spent the afternoon. The girls absolutely loved it and their coaches complimented them on how hard-working they are.

After, we stopped off at a pub that overlooks the Thames and had a traditional Sunday Roast meal.