Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Greenwich Christmas Market

With a strike going on for who knows what reason, school was cancelled for today and we had great plans. Lunch with friends and Christmas in Greenwich!

So, the Greenwich Santa did not compare to the Santa in Winter Wonderland. This one had an Italian accent who lectured me the entire time I was trying to take a picture of the girls with him.  He never once asked the girls what they wanted for Christmas or even really talked to them for that matter. "I need to tell Mommy off. I need to tell Mommy that you need socks... I hope you don't catch a cold! Naughty Mommy... Mommy is very, very naughty." blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I was so close to punching him. Seriously.

Christmas lights in town and a lantern parade were to start soon after it got dark, like around 4 o'clock, can you believe it? To enjoy the show we stopped at Starbucks for a talle classic hot chocolate (with whipped cream, please) for me, and two Babyccinos for the girls. (Psst..., they are free!)

Now we are ready! It was nothing spectacular, but the girls and I loved it nonetheless. I love hanging out with my girls in this town.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

reading lessons

So Marisa is still on the waiting list for the schools I want her to attend. I could reapply this December, but I have decided for various reasons to hold off and take an alternative route.
I have decided to home educate.
And I never thought I would do that in a million years.
Shauna actually home schools her 3 children, her oldest being almost 11, and is a fantastic resource for home schooling as she is a school teacher herself and has done this for many, many years. Plus, she is a full blown home educator and has immersed herself in so much of this especially in the US and in the UK.
She gave me some great resources to home school for the Kindergarten year and to be honest, I am SO excited. I ordered two curriculum from the states: Five In A Row (FIAR) and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

I fully plan on Marisa attending school here next Fall but for now this is our plan. In UK standards she is supposed to be in Reception (Kindergarten) right now and start Year 1 (First grade)next fall. But obviously in US standards she isn't supposed to start Kindergarten until next year!

So obviously I'm not worried for her for when we move back to the states. And I'm not even worried for her here either honestly. She will start Year 1 next fall and be right with everybody if not still a little ahead.

We are going to start the main courses in January, and even swap a couple days with Shauna so Elyse and Marisa can "school" together, but we have already started on the reading lessons as Marisa is naturally begging to be challenged more. According to the SRA DISTAR Reading Program Marisa should be able to read on a solid second-grade reading level after the 100 lessons!

Here is Marisa reading on only Lesson 24.

Monday, November 28, 2011

can't wait!

Today we are on detox mode. One holiday down with another major one to go.
After today's vegging session I can begin to think about the best time of the year. Christmas!!
I'm really looking forward to the whole month of December and our endless Christmas possibilities in London.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2

Rachel (my NYC friend) loves this time year. Thanksgiving especially. And she really loves throwing parties and fussing over details. I love a gal that likes to party! No matter what the occasion!

I have to admit I was a little unsure before the event because of the amount of chaos it was going to take to pull it off but it turned out to be a great evening with our friends!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today really felt like Thanksgiving. We all slept in a little bit, no where to be first thing in the morning. It felt great, lazy, and Thanksgivingish.
I have been looking forward to eating and celebrating Thanksgiving with Shannon and her family since they invited us over. She has been such a blessing in my life in so many ways. Seriously. I'm thankful for her this Thanksgiving!

When we first arrived to the Ashton home one of Trevon's first words to us after we said hi was, "I have a big head!" haha Love it. We felt right at home with them instantly. Thanks again Ashtons!

Marisa and Trevon reunited again since less than a year old! 

Madeleine was so sweet to the girls. Here she is braiding Natalie's hair whilst watching a movie. And needless to say the girls ate up her attention. They didn't want to leave!

Natalie graced our presence with her majesty. She was so stinkin cute all dolled up as a princess.

It was a Happy Thanksgiving!

Now after a wonderful night, we are preparing for round 2 tomorrow. Thanksgiving with all the Americans in our ward. I am cooking two turkeys through the night as we speak.
This is my first time having to prepare a turkey. And I must say, that I don't blame people going vegetarian. I was actually pretty sickened by the meat. Tim had to do all the giblet, neck, who knows what, to prepare it. I just seasoned it from afar. And can I ask...

What the CRAP is that???

Those look like scales.
If I didn't have the picture of a yummy delicious tasting turkey as the end result I would have become vegetarian right then and there.

I'm setting my alarm clock for every 3 hours through the night basically. Tomorrow I have to make gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce for almost 30 people. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 25, 2011

daddy's work

Tonight we visited Daddy's work for the first time. We get to see Daddy's work everyday right outside our window with all the many tall buildings just right across the other side of the river Thames. It's beautiful to see at night. Well, London is beautiful to see at night period.

The girls were so excited. Especially Marisa. It was actually great insight for me to see Tim's everyday atmosphere and compare it to mine. Very different! The mass of grey and black suits, jackets, and skirts scattered about busily working like ants on a hill in really fancy and modern buildings.

Once we walked into the actual office area Tim works in it got pretty hilarious. Everyone Tim worked with simultaneously stopped what they were doing, stood up in front of their computers, and stared at the girls with huge smiles on their faces and couldn't stop "ooh-ing" and "ahh-ing".
They were super friendly to the girls, asking them questions about Thanksgiving and American football (as if my 4 year old and 2 year old care). One lady even asked out loud, "Which one is the one with the cat food?" Grrreeeat. Tim has been sharing hilarious/embarrassing information apparently.

The girls then sat at Tim's desk where Tim handed them chocolates from his cabinet. But just when they thought their Daddy was cool the lady who sits behind Tim pulls out these huge, fancy, expensive chocolate bars and allowed the girls to pick one each!!
AND THEN, several men came walking together and handed the girls bags of chocolate like MnMs and Malteasers balls. I was laughing. You would have thought baby Jesus had arrived and they were all taking turns walking slowly toward the honored guests bearing gifts. hahaha Very nice gesture though. Just hilarious to see.
The girls were given stickers, paper to draw on and were absolutely adored on. Their presence is now requested every Friday.

During our dinner out at Nando's (addicted), Marisa asked Tim, "Dad, can you teach me how to make money at your work?" I believe they had a great time at Daddy's work. Do you blame them?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving day

It doesn't feel like Thanksgiving at all around here. Yet, today I wanted it to feel somewhat festive. So I told Marisa's school that today was an American holiday and that she wouldn't be in today and we invited the Blanchards over (our new NYC expat family) for Thanksgiving lesson and crafts.

A wink from a pilgrim...

many tongues out from the kids whilst creating...

an unhappy Indian who's mother made her wear her pigtails while wearing her headdress...

and a fantastic view of the city equals Happy Thanksgiving from the UK!

And have I mentioned how much we love having these people around? We really, really do.


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