Obama 2012!

I wasn’t able to participate as much in this recent election (but YES we did vote via Absentee Ballot) as I did back in 2008 but I did stay up all night watching the election. And it was ALL NIGHT. I think I found out around 4:30am the results of the election and between texting on my Google voice number and Facebook and calling the States, I was well on top of everything that was going on. I walked the kids to school with a huge smile on my face and came home to several of my neighbours congratulating me and a Hyacint plant left by a neighbour. It was awesome!

The sign the kids made before they went to bed.

The lovely plant and note my neighbour left me.

 

WOO HOO!

 

Gracie’s missing some teeth!

Gracie has been really losing a lot of teeth lately. Her adult teeth come in before her baby teeth fall out so she looks like a shark some of the time! The baby teeth usually don’t get loose until the adult teeth are more then halfway in so we have to pull them sometimes because they start going crooked. She hates having her teeth pulled so it’s quite a dramatic event for her but she’s so happy when it is finally over with. She also prefers that I pull her teeth instead of Eric so I’ve gotten really good at pulling them now. Here are some pics of her missing teeth!

The tooth fairy left her a note…

See? My teeth are gone!

 

My snaggle toothed girl

Porter’s 8th birthday celebration

As mentioned previously, I tend to take several days and make it your birthday in my house, so the same happened to Porter this last month when he turned 8. We started the Saturday before and went to his two favourite places for lunch and dinner. Lunch was at Cafe Provencal where they delighted him with a flair inside of a potato (the only thing safe for the flames) and a double scoop ice cream cone.

YOWZA!

Then for his special birthday dinner we headed to his 2nd favourite restaurant here in our little village, PizzaExpress for a pizza dinner and they sang to him and brought him ice cream.

That is one happy boy!

Then for his actual birthday, he had a dentist appointment so we headed there first thing that morning.

Reading National Geographic while waiting for the dentist.

After the dentist check up (all four stars on their teeth!) I took the kids to Brixton to the Ritzy Picturehouse to see Ice Age 4 and munch on some popcorn and candy.

Hanging outside of the cinema playing on the big rocks.

Afterwards we headed to Morleys Department Store –  Brixton and did some more birthday boy shopping. Then we finally caught the train home and after Daddy got home from work we went to Porter’s 3rd favourite restaurant, The Half Moon  for two for one pizza night and mom’s homemade cake!

Yummy!

Heading back to the states

So at the end of May we surprised everyone, including our own kids, with a two week trip back to the states to visit family and friends. Here is the video of when we told the kids we were leaving in about an hour for the airport. I had already packed everything for them and  scheduled it with their schools so it was a total surprise. They were super excited.

We fly business class and the kids absolutely loved it. They are such spoiled rotten babies! Here are some pics of them in their lie flat seats, noise cancelling headphones and some delicious gourmet food.

Watch TV for nine hours? While they bring me food and drinks? YES PLEASE

SHHHH! My movie is playing and my filet mignon is getting cold.

We’re HERE! Now let’s go find Meega and Pop Pop!

Lunch at Farm Burger with Pop Pop and Aunt Rachel

We stopped for a nice long visit with Grandgirl

We went out and visited with our friends and some of the siblings came along!

We also spent the night with Aidan and Trace!

B.F.F.’s!

We hit the pool with Meega and Pop Pop one day.

We met Grandma and Grammy for lunch too.

Eric and Grammy dressed alike for the occasion.

The children also had an early birthday party with their cousin Natalie.

Blow out the candles!

We hung out with Pop Pop and Meega a lot too.

We had a finally goodbye lunch with Teta Julie

Goodbye Teta Julie!

And we got to say goodbye to Ankle Ty too.

Aunt Rachel and Pop Pop took Porter to Six Flags for an all day adventure! He had a blast and wore them out!

Alright, time to say goodbye and hop back across the pond. See everyone soon!

Three days after our flight back, I still couldn’t get the kids out of bed! They both bed hopped from their bunk beds on the top floor to the guest bedroom.

The Elephant Explorers

Porter was recently in a new play at Jessop called Elephant Explorers. It was very cute and the kids had a really good time performing for the parents and the rest of the school during assembly. Also, Porter’s school was just awarded the Outstanding Achievement of which only 7 other schools in the entire county of Lambeth is rated this high! Very impressed!

May Picture Wrap Up

I know I’ve been a little AWOL lately so I’m going to try to get everyone caught up on what we’ve been doing.

Porter made this for me one day. I don’t think it was for anything special, it was just something he did.

So, not to be outdone, Gracie made one for me too.

Gracie also tattooed me one Saturday with permanent marker.

Our fish had babies! I was not even aware of it. We now have eight babies and we think another fish is pregnant too.

The weather finally got warmer! Summer here has been the mid 50’s and low 60’s and so we finally got out our summer uniforms for school.

Gracie and Porter had a fundraiser at the school when we first arrived. We didn’t know anyone so I just gave them each £50 and apparently that was good enough because they both were awarded the top fundraising medal. Gracie was so excited she pranced around the park showing everyone.

I finally figured out how to put in the shell beads and they were quite the hit here in England. Apparently, you can’t get these here.

Also not to be outdone, Porter headed to the barber with daddy and had his hair mohawked. He loves it.

Gracie has taken up Flamenco Dancing at the local Brockwell Lido building in the park.

And the kids are both taking Capoeira classes as well at Brockwell Park.

Porter is also quite the star. One of the pictures of him was chosen for some new decorations around the school.

We are enjoying our fresh vegetables and delicious cheeses this summer.

April’s Wrap Up

So here are some pics of the children and some of the things we’ve been doing for the past month.

The kids got some magazines and asked if they could go outside and play. Next thing I know I look out there and they've set up shop and are reading away. So cute!

We also had a little nail party. Gracie and I wanted clear polish and of course Porter wanted "Rock Star Black"

Gracie got her hair braided and mommy put in some awesome rainbow beads for her.

I apparently forgot how to pour a beer. Too much wine drinking I guess.

Porter did a diagram of how awesome he and other things are.

Gracie hunkered down to do some serious colouring.

Porter's bike from the States was damaged and wasn't worth repairing so he got his birthday present a few months early, a new 7 speed dirt bike!

I took like my 100th pictures of the moon in our rear garden. I'm a bit obsessed with it..

Then the kids had a London Dance Off.

Easter 2012

We had a pretty low key Easter this year as our first one here in the UK. We had our first little hiccup when we tried to dye easter eggs. I couldn’t find any white eggs here as the one you buy in our little down are all brown. I did, however, find some online at the grocery store that delivers so I ordered them. When they got here I realised, as probably anyone from the UK would already know, that they are duck eggs. We used all natural dyes and were able to makes some really pretty eggs.

Pretty colours!

Pretty colours!

After they dried the kids wanted to paint them.

Grandma made us the table runner the egg is sitting on!

Then we made some Easter cupcakes.

We used sunflower oil to colour the icing.

Heading out to find the eggs

SCORE!

NOMNOMNOM

OMG CHOCOLATE!

Then Eric fired up the Big Green Egg and we had a lovely chicken. While that cooked I made mashed potatoes and a broccoli salad. It was a delicious meal.

Happy Easter!

Eric’s Naga Pepper Incident

For those of you who have heard this story, it’s 1 part horrifying to 1 part hilarious. A co-worker of Eric’s decided to bring in some Bhut Jolokia chili pepper – Wikipedia also called the Naga or Ghost pepper into work he had grown in his garden. Eric is well known for liking obnoxiously hot things (see; wife – ha ha) and this seemed like quite the challenge. Did he cut off a tiny slice? No, he bit the entire pepper off in his mouth. What proceeded was about five minutes of blinding heat followed by half a day of stomach cramps that were so bad he thought at one time about heading to the hospital. Needless to say he survived the ordeal although you’d have to ask him if he’d ever eat a whole Naga pepper raw again.

Gracie is reading!

When we moved to London at the very end of last year, Gracie was barely writing her name. The school’s here start school at 3 years of age and when they start Year One *five years old* they are already reading and writing long sentences. Needless to say, she was quite behind. I considered putting her in Reception, which is the preschool they have before Year One but decided that she likes to be challenged and I knew she could do it. Honestly I cannot believe how much she has progressed in the short three and a half months but I know that her teachers are really working hard with her as well as the reading we do at home and the site words we work on as well. She also has an online site that she goes to each day for fifteen minutes to help promote her reading. As you can see from this video, she is amazing!

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