Sunday, January 23, 2011

Feeding the Ducks, Bike Riding and Fancy Leah

Hello everyone! Hopefully you're all well and had a wonderful holiday season! We are thoroughly enjoying England although it's a bit cold for us...inside the house even! We've rented a beautiful old farmhouse and we absolutely LOVE it, but it is old, and it is very drafty, and it's heated by oil (radiators). We have half the house closed off (there is literally a door in and out of every room because that's how the English heat the homes) and we only run the heat for brief periods throughout the day. We sleep in thermals, PJs, two blankets and a bedspread! It's been hard for me to adjust to having lived in FL almost all my life!! So the moral of this story is if you plan on visiting us (and please do)...don't come during the winter or you'll freeze your tail off :)

The girls seem to like it here although I think Aine would like it anywhere...she's so durable! And Leah really likes it because she's started preschool. Oh.my.goodness! She loves it...keeps asking to go to school even on non-school days (I'm going to have to record her begging us to go to school for when she gets older...hah).

Eric is really busy here and unfortunately we barely see him throughout the week, but we're hoping that will calm down relatively soon (or I suppose we'll just get used to it). I'm kept busy driving Leah to/from school, grocery shopping, and general day-to-day stuff. I've started a fabulous new Bible study: Beth Moore's Believing God. I'm catching it half way through, so I have plenty of homework to catch up on. (And those of you who've done a BM study know what I mean when I say PLENTY of homework :) )

We have a pretty easy drive to get to the bases, going through various towns and rural areas. We pass a quaint duck pond (pictures of us feeding them below), sheep, horses and pigs on the drive. The girls still get excited when we point out the animals. Aine sits in the back saying "baaaa baaaa baaaa". She's really starting to get fascinated with animals. The driving here isn't bad. I was a bit overwhelmed when we first got here with the thought of driving on the left side, but after a couple times it actually starts to seem normal. When we first got here we borrowed a car from a guy in Eric's squadron who is deployed and then Eric got his "dream car" :) Both were "UK spec" (right-side drive), and that was a challenge too...especially shifting with my left hand! Once I got used to that, we got the van and I had to get used to "US spec" driving all over again. The roads are narrow in many towns here, so most of the cars you see are quite small (Ford Fiesta-type cars). When we drove the minivan again, it felt like we were driving a Battlestar Galactica!! But I'm so glad to have my battlewagon back again...I missed it sooooo much!!

Well enough for now from jolly ole England! Cheers :)

Here we are at a local duck pond. Both the girls had a blast, but Aine was fascinated! She would just stare at them and eventually started saying "duhh duhhh".



We have a serious ham on our hands...

This is my favorite look. She gives this smile all the time! She shrugs her head against her shoulders and gives this seriously cheesy grin. How can you not love this???
Leah has renewed her interest in dress-up over the past couple days. We went to some friends' house for dinner the other night and she dressed herself. Please note the (blurry) wedding veil on top of the outdoor hat.
More from the fashion diva...
And yet even more....
We had to get her some more sweaters and long-sleeved shirts since she's growing like a weed (Olive Oil Jr). I have to ok every selection with her before we buy it to make sure she'll wear it....if not, she either won't wear it or will make it so unbearable that I just want to shoot myself.
She loves helping me in the kitchen and gets her helper stool every chance she can. Here she is helping me make pizza dough for dinner. (When she gets her stool Aine grabs her little one too...so cute!)
Aine loves bath time. As soon as we mention bath, her eyes light up and she (continually) says "bahh bahh"
They have a fun play area on base. Both the girls really like it (obviously), but Aine likes to imitate what some of the other kids do. The little boy sat down and started make hand movements, so Aine had to sit next to him and follow suite.
Here's our big girl on her first day at school!!
OK...so I'm still a little disturbed by this. We took her shopping last weekend and she shopped her way over to the little girls' starter bra area. Seriously...she picked one up and told me she wanted me to get this for her! She's only 3!!! I promptly took a picture and showed this to daddy-o :)
Aine with her new buddy, Riley. A couple that Eric knew from FL moved here a couple weeks before we did, and their little girl is about four months older than Aine. Aine's rotund belly is so reknown that when Riley's parents said something arbitrary about a belly, Riley started shouting "Ani, Ani". HAH!
I left Leah to her own devices for a couple minutes while I was on the computer. She came in the room and told me she used my lip balm. OK I thought...no big deal. When I turned around, I saw this!! Yikes!! No, she used my lip STICK....
Aine, sporting her latest header...
Both girls really had fun on the bikes, although Leah was much more into it. This was the first time she'd been back on a bike since June (when the movers packed everything). She did really great...even got to the point where she could start on her own and make turns on her own!



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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Internet

Hi everyone!

After a month in our house and almost 7 weeks in England, we finally have internet...yay!!! So within the next couple days (if all goes well) I'll post more pictures, videos and updates. You can't even image how excited we are to be back in the land of the internet :) It's quite humbling to realize just how much we rely on and just how dependent we are to this thing....yikes!!

Well...we hope you're well and we'll post to you soon :)

Cheerio!!

The Dancing Duo

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! We had a nice and peaceful Christmas....our first in England! Leah was sooooo excited that Santa came and left presents under the tree...he even ate the cookies we left for him (they were yummy!) Aine still had a lingering cold, and picked one heck of a morning to sleep in until 8. Every morning she's up at 630 or so....except Christmas (when Leah is anxiously waiting to go downstairs). It was so fun watching Leah get excited and hand out all the presents. I think she was a bit overwhelmed by the whole day: the new stuff, the late nap...everything. She told me later that she was "frustrated because Santa brought her so many presents". I wish I had recorded her saying that!

Marc and Rachel had us over for a wonderful dinner (and yummy snacks). It was so nice to share the holidays with friends and to have a traditional meal (that I didn't have to cook). They were even gracious enough to let us Skype with our family since we didn't (and still don't) have internet! Overall it was a really wonderful Christmas! We hope everyone else had a blessed day!

Happy Birthday to our Saviour, Jesus!





She HAD to dress up in her new Tinkerbell outfit. Since it was so cold, we made her put it on over her jammies. Then she wanted to wear one of her new headbands (obviously she insisted on putting it on). Apparently she hasn't looked yet in the mirror in her hands to see how she looks...



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The Last Unicorn


Poor Aine! She was doing whirlies (spinning around in a circle), lost her balance and then fell over into the table leg. She had a bump immediately. She was NOT happy!