Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Lost Purse

A video of the wonderful story about our youth in my home stake in California! Oh how I hope and pray my daughters will be valiant young women themselves.

Monday, October 24, 2011

it's a date

We have a perfect set up with Shauna. We watch her kids while her and her hubby go on a date and then she watches our kids while Tim and I go on a date. Can it get better?

Shauna insisted that we go first and so for our date Saturday Tim and I hired bikes and rode around Hyde Park on an absolute gorgeous fall day here in London. The scenery was near breath-taking, the ride was relaxing, and the company was fabulous. ;)

We stopped once to eat some candy from our favourite sweet shoppe and after our ride we walked down to Piccadilly Circus since Tim has yet to see it. Central London scenery never gets old. Wandering around Fortnum & Mason, jewelry window shopping, local artist awing, old city bus sighting, all hand in hand with my love. It was a perfect date.

On a different note, Marisa's very first primary program was yesterday and she did an amazing job!
This was taken while waiting for our bus to church.

She had her part memorized for weeks now. "The scriptures teach us about prophets" and when it was her turn to say her part she confidently, and with a smile on her face, walked over to the pulpit said her part, and walked back with a smile still on her face.
There was no two step stool for her just a small single one so all we saw was the microphone go straight down and heard her cute voice from behind the pulpit. Love her.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Natalie has recently become obsessed with Marisa's "Jasmine jammies" lately. It has gotten to the point that she franticly cries when getting dressed in the morning or has to take a shower at night because she has to take it off. The worst, I think, is when I tell her we have to wash her pajamas. You will not believe the shear loudness of her crying and drama productions on the floor when this happens.

Today I forced these cute pink glow-in-the-dark Halloween pajamas on her as we waited for her "Jasmine" to be washed. She was so eager that during snack time she opened the door and sat down to watch while eating her apple.

I don't recall ever having obsessions as a child like my children do, but I sure have plenty as an adult.

First, not only is it my new favourite British cookbook, but also my new favourite cookbook of all time. Yes, Jamie Oliver.

I could go on and on about him, his revolution (which I'm a part of), and his cookbook. But to sum it up: 30 minutes, complete meals (meaning main dish, side, AND dessert), all completely healthy and fresh, totally do-able, makes my house smell divine and makes me feel like a fancy cook, and no fancy ingredients you will only use once and never again like other cookbooks I have tried. I need to find an American version of this cookbook when I move back to the U.S. LOVE.

London is known for their amazing Indian food. I haven't had any yet because I'm waiting for a few more recommendations before I pick a restaurant to try it, but I did make my first Indian dish, thanks to Jamie. It was seriously, delish.

I'm sure I made my neighbours jealous and when my American friend, Shauna, across the street (remember I met her on the bus), brought her boys over to pick up her daughter from a playdate at my house, one of the boys exclaimed, "Can I pay you to eat here? It smells good!"

Second obsession, pinterest.

This is my 'home inspiration' board. I pin things I like and I can forever have them. No more folder files on my computer, no more bookmarks on my computer. All properly saved with its source on my boards. You should try it if you haven't already. Obsessed.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The British Museum

Did you know The British Museum is the 2nd most visited museum in the world next to the Louvre? Neither did I!

We leisurely took the 188 all the way. We love sitting front row on the double decker bus!

The famous Rosetta Stone. Just like at the Louvre, I was able to weave my small body right to the front of the crowd within seconds to take a picture.

I wanted to see the mummies. When I explained to the girls beforehand about mummies and mummification to the best of my knowledge Natalie replied, "Ok, see mummies. That's you!" Not that kind of mum, Natalie! haha

The horse head that Marisa was adamant about seeing.

We planned a small fun outing to the museum and then did some shopping in the city for some shoes for Tim and Marisa. Christmas is in the air already here. Stores have been filling quickly since beginning of October with Christmas sweets. The streets of central London already have lights and huge stars beginning to be hung across the streets and covering the departments stores. I'm so excited for Christmas in London...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy 60th Birthday, Elaine!

Remember how Marisa's Jessie doll was stolen in Barcelona?  When I was retelling my mother-in-law, Elaine, how our robbery happened just soon after the incident, I began to tear up when talking about the part of Marisa's reaction to her doll being stolen and my heartache of hearing her sadness and fear. Elaine knowing how much it not only affected Marisa but me as her mother, without any hesitation quickly reacted and said, "Do you want me to send her a new Jessie doll? I can send her one." Such a simple act yet spoke volumes to me. She still manages a way to serve and love from even far away.

So those of you who have asked me if Marisa was able to get Jessie replaced; she did. Thanks to Grandma. :)

So, Happy Birthday to the best mother-in-law ever! I really hope you had a wonderful birthday!

The family got together in Colorado and threw Elaine a big 60th birthday party. We sure wish we had been there!
Thank you for being the kind, thoughtful woman that you are. Thank you for your righteous example and sweet hugs.  Thank you for raising a wonderful son and being an amazing mother and grandmother. Despite the fact that you have 16 grandkids you never, never, miss a birthday and you are always aware of what everyone in the family is doing. You make each grandchild, child, and in-law, even those across the pond, feel so special and loved and I admire so much about that in you.  Our girls are so lucky to have you as their Grandma!

We think of you often and look forward to our weekly chats on skype. At random times Marisa has cried in the middle of the day for no apparent reason and when I ask her what is wrong she says, "But, I just love Grandma and Grandpa", or "I miss Grandma and Grandpa." We can't wait to move back and be close again. We love you!
I asked the girls what message they wanted to say to Grandma and they said,

Marisa: "I love you."
Natalie: "Grandpa!" (I'm sure she wanted to say "Happy Birthday".)

Happy Birthday!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

chore chart miracle worker

I've been meaning to get this done forever ago and I have finally come around to doing it. All I have to say is, chore-charting is fabulous. Miraculous really.

The girls have really stepped up to the plate willingly and have loved taking on big responsibilities. They genuinely find so much pride in contributing to the family and look forward to their weekly reward. Reward: £1/week if their charts are completely filled with sparkly stickers! And with that £1, at the end of every week we go to either the many local charity shops or sweet shops in town for treasures.

Natalie got a great, practically brand new, children's book for under a £1 for the 1st week and a pink sprinkled donut for the 2nd week, which was today's reward. Marisa found a Jessie hat (you know, Jessie from Toy Story) just her size, which she decided to be for Halloween this year, at exactly a £1 for her 1st week reward and for the 2nd week reward today she was actually the master mind behind getting a pink sprinkled donut. Success all around!

P.S. Recently Marisa has taken the liberty to give her parents a chore chart as well. Tim only has two things on his chart: "1. Poop in the toilet. 2. Clean up your clotheses." And I had 4 things on mine. I can't remember all of them, but they were not as funny as Tim's. haha

Saturday, October 8, 2011

{Flashback}: Day 1/Day2

We love that we are slowly checking off our list on things to see. And this particular trip pretty much finalized everything we really want to see in the U.K. Now we have the rest of Europe to see!

But before I begin retelling our most recent trip, I must mention that this time around when we rented our car, we rented a manual car instead of an automatic like we had done for our trip to Scotland. Manual cars are not only way cheaper than automatics, but also more accessible. Automatics are harder to come around. We figured we, basically Tim, might as well sooner or later for all the above reasons.
Tim was GREAT! He only stalled 2x getting out of the parking spot. hahaha But after 5 minutes he was completely comfortable. I must say not having driven a manual in 5 years and now having to shift with the left hand is quite impressive! Tim said that driving an automatic, on the left hand side of the road, and knowing traffic laws from beforehand helped greatly. Well done, hubby!

So, first on our list this weekend; Stonehenge! When we first moved here locals were saying that the Stonehenge may disappoint us and that it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. I was actually really sad to hear that! But I very much appreciate the honesty. I'm glad people warned me about the Mona Lisa years ago.
But of course, we still wanted to see the Stonehenge despite contrary opinions. And I must say, that I highly disagree with everyone! I really liked it!

Above is the "Heel Stone". I learned before our arrival that when one stands within Stonehenge, facing north-east through the entrance towards the heel stone, one sees the sun rise above the stone at summer solstice. Cool.

After a pretty quick stop we kept on in our journey toward Bath, England. A major tourist attraction in Bath is The Roman Baths. Basically, it is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. You can see The Baths and the museum, but you obviously can't go in the water. We didn't see it. Instead we wanted to lesiurely enjoy the amazing 80 degree weather we were having for a whole week in the U.K. in another little English town like the other ones we have seen.

While eating icecream, as usual, on a huge lawn, we saw many huge hot air balloons fly away. And the sun felt oh so good on our skin as we watched.

That night we arrived in Newport, Wales. The location was pretty much central to Tintern Abbey and Cardiff, Wales.
The next morning we headed first to Tintern Abbey. Not only was this Abbey amazing, but we had it all to ourselves for awhile. Per chance we arrived right at opening. It was still a little cool and the sun was still rising. It was quiet. The Abbey was gorgeously surrounded by trees turning fall colors. We couldn't have asked for a better scenario.

And what did we do with all this perfectness? Play hide-and-seek, of course!!

Oh, I caught someone running from Daddy!

After a lovely morning we headed to Cardiff. It was another fun city where we did some Cardiff Castle viewing from the outside, sucessful shopping (I had to go all the way to Wales to find Yankee Candles! Red Berry and Cedar for Christmas!), and more ice-cream eating along the water front.

We saw some pretty interesting Welsh words during our trip. I'm so curious how the words are pronounced. They seem to have more constantants than vowels. Tim and I shared some great laughs trying. Try saying the word for litter...

When I told Marisa that we were getting down and seeing Mermaid Quay, she. was. elated. She totally thought we were going to see mermaids. Did you know she thanks Heavenly Father for mermaids in her prayers? Yes, she does. haha
At least, the icecream wasn't a disappointment.


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