Friday, 28 December 2012

He came.....

Well we have survived our first Christmas stateside.

The elves left on the eve of Christmas eve.  They left some new pajamas, and a Christmas story for the boys.  If Paul and I had not got soo drunk that night, they would have left a few other things we have since found in the cupboard, oopps.


Oliver and Isaac opening presents
The boys went to bed very excited on Christmas eve.  I prepped the turkey (my first one ever, eeeekkkkkk), while Paul made up a few of the boys bigger presents ready for me to wrap.  I am exceptionally pleased that I had wrapped their other presents  a few days before, there was no way I could have done them all on Christmas eve. We eventually made it to bed just after midnight.  Oliver was so excited, that he was out of bed at 1.30am, 3.30am, 5.30am, and I am sure there are a few others that have all blurred into the ones mentioned.  We all got up about 6.30am, and came down to see all their presents.  Bless Oliver and Isaac, even the small presents of pots of playdoh and stocking stuff got instant excitable reactions.  Seb, however, was completely underwhelmed by the whole thing, barely wanted to open anything, was more interested in what his brothers had got.  I managed to cajole him by half opening ones I knew he would like, then getting him to do the rest.  They all got a lot, a lot more than normal.  We made a conscious effort on this, as they had brought so little from the UK.  I won't talk about all their presents, but big hits seem to be an Angry Birds game for Oliver, any of the Imaginex stuff for Isaac, and Seb's Little Tikes car.
Seb's new ride


After the boys were done with presents from Father Christmas, we started Skype-ing.  First up were the Goslings in Oxford.  They opened all their presents from us, which we had delivered there, and the boys did the ones from them.  Next up, we FaceTimed with my mum and Lee, did the same thing with the presents.  Oliver and Seb were exceptionally pleased to see a Furby each to go along with Isaac's.  The Furby's are getting along well, and have been known to talk to each other for up to 15 minutes with no human interaction, spooky.  We then Skype-d with my dad.  By now Seb had  gone for a sleep, which was a shame, as he absolutely loved what he received.  Was great to see all the family at Christmas, even if just on a screen.

My first ever turkey
By now I had begun Christmas dinner.  I did all the prep the night before, so all i had to do was turn the cooker on.  I was perfectly distracted while dishing up by the Gosling band playing through Skype. My timings were perfect, and we sat down at 2.45 to a yummy Christmas dinner, and it was YUMMY.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing the Gosling online on the XBox at F1 Race Stars, a very cool game Isaac received for his birthday.  And Paul insisted on watching the basketball.  There were only 5 games on back to back......

Yesterday was another day spent indoors.  We played some more computer, did some Lego and Paul sorted out more of the boys toys.  We currently have a basketball hoop and a water table set up in the front room.  These will go outside once the weather improves.  I made the ultimate triple-decker turkey sandwich for lunch yesterday, and we had Turkey curry last night.  Was all really tasty.  I have eaten far too much food in the last few days, but its ok.  One of my presents was Dance Central 3 on the Xbox Kinect.  I had a little practice on it last night, it is awesome.  I shall be using it to shift my Christmas belly.


The ultimate trolley, can sit 3 children.
My bread, yeah!!!!!!
Today we actually left the house!!!! Didn't go anywhere exciting, just Walmart.  We have some people coming round tomorrow so needed to pick up some more food.  I also needed some other items to enable me to play with my new toys.  We came back, and I stuck some ingredient in the slow cooker for turkey soup (another thing I hope is going to help rid me of my belly).  I then stuck some ingredients in my bread maker.  My first loaf looks awesome, I can't wait to try it!!!!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Its nearly Christmas......

Hellllooooooo

This is the 3rd blog I am updating tonight, getting quite into this blogging, good job I have Uni revision beginning in January, so you can all stop getting annoyed with my endless tirades of nonsense.....

So Oliver finished school on tuesday.  He went in for 1/2 hour of lessons, then had chapel service.  As I was driving in to school, people were already parking up in preparation for going to chapel.  I felt a bit bad for Oli, as there is no way Seb and Isaac would sit through an hours church service.  When I returned to pick him up at 9.45, the car park was heaving, they were even parked on the road leading up to school.  Drove into school, car pool lane was blocked by people parked in it.  By the time  I got Oli, it was 10.15.  Thank goodness for Lego Star Wars videos on Youtube to keep Isaac and Seb happy.  Tuesday afternoon we headed to Legacy Park to meet up with the boys from Oli's grade.  Must have been about 15-20 6-7 year old boys.  Thank goodness this park has a fenced in area for younger kids, and an open area for older kids.  Plus the water feature and pond.  Eventually got talking to some of the mums, am now able to pin point the mums of the kids who he speaks most frequently about.  They all seem very pleasant. One of the mums had brought cupcakes for all the kids, and another was selling the school Christmas ornaments.  A nice keepsake memento.  Oliver and Isaac ended up playing pooh-sticks with the other boys, cue wet feet from Oliver.  Its December FFS!!!!!  It didn't phase him though, luckily it was a nice sunny day.....

Wednesday we had my lovely friend Donna round with her boy Leo.  They both had a good time (I think....)  Then went food shopping in the afternoon (yawn), all the boys were fabulously behaved.  So they got M&M's as a treat for being so good.  Lets see if they are as good when we do the Christmas shop over the weekend.......

Thursday, we went to the Barton's.  I have not seen Anna for what feels like an age, it was so nice to catch up with her, and nice to meet Dave's parents.  The boys were pretty well behaved, and Anna even let Oliver use their iPad, and Isaac use her iPhone, while Seb played trains upstairs with Jack.  Again they were all really good, and we ended up staying longer than intended. Because of this, it was lunchtime when we left, and it was raining (don't know what that has to do with anything...) so we decided to get a drive through McDonalds for lunch.  We headed out in the evening to Roper Mountain Christmas lights.  This is a science place that every year puts on a massive display of lights for people to drive through, very impressive.

Oli and me on the ice
Bambi
Oliver meets Father Christmas
Today we had a last minute call on Rachel coming round with Riley and Layla.  My boys were again very well behaved, and Sebastian and Layla had great fun chasing each other around.  Paul managed to get out of work early, and we headed to Greenville for a late lunch at the Carolina Ale House.  Greenville set up an ice rink in December on Main Street, so we headed here after lunch.  Isaac was not up for it, neither was Paul, so Oli and I headed out on the ice.  For what we did, it was a bit pricey, but it was nice to give Oli an experience he has never had before.  We did one lap, with Oli holding on to the side the whole way round.  I was quite grateful for this, as it has been a long time since I skated in any form. Admittedly, he didn't fall over once, but Paul did remark that he was like Bambi on ice.  I was going to go and do a lap after he had had enough, but thought better of it.  I would have ended up on my arse, and it was freezing cold.....  The boys then got to meet Father Christmas, albeit briefly, as he prepared his sleigh to ride people around Greenville.

Now we are into the preparation for Christmas.  Most of the boys pressies are wrapped.  THey all have one more each that need to be wrapped/moved/made on Christmas eve. A big thank you to all that have sent us cards from the UK. Really excited about our first Christmas here.....


Also really excited about my sis-inlaws 12 days of Christmas blogging challenge.  Please see my entry, with links to other peoples.  This is good fun, please feel free to read, share and participate!!!


Monday, 17 December 2012

Bit somber this, sorry

Morning!!!!

Well.....Where to start???

Last week was a good week.  We had friends round on tuesday and thursday, was lovely to catch up and chat while the kids played.  Paul and I sat up and watched the 12-12-12 concert on wednesday night.  It was really good, my only moans are how late it went on, and that Dave Grohl and co should have played more than one song.

Isaac at his holiday show, he is right in the middle, under the glare of the lights
Isaac started last week being very naughty at school, to the point where I got phone calls home on tuesday.  Wednesday he went in, and it was his Christmas party.  He was good as gold!!!! I told him how happy I was that he had been good, his response ' me had bad days, but now me gonna have lots of good days'.  Thursday morning I had to drop him in Fountain Inn (the next town down) as he had a rehearsal for his Holiday Program.  Again when I picked him up, he had been good as gold, and had really enjoyed his ride in the school bus from Fountain Inn back to preschool.  That evening I took him back for his actually show.  It was really good.  It was held in a big auditorium, and all age groups, from toddler (2-3) to Grade 4 (9-10) and older performed.  Again Isaac was really good.  He was sat right in the middle of all the kids, and although he didn't sing, and wriggled like mad, I felt really proud.
He had another good day on friday, and has now finished for the year.

Friday, I had Debbie from our relocation company round in the morning to give me some intercultural training.  This was very interesting, we discussed all sorts, religion, guns, school, medical care.  She left me two books, one the company writes, and another more generic one on American culture and customs.  I have finished them both already, and they are a very good read.  A lot of it I knew already, but some startling statistics and facts.

Strange that while I am discussing American culture, that a vulgar side of it should rear its head in the North.  The news has been dominated by what happened in that school on friday morning.  So sad, so shocking.  We have not told the boys, they do not need to know.  American schools have got a lot safer in recent years, and these things don't happen in schools often.  I hope, like many others do, that the media do not become obsessed with the perpetrator, and instead focus on those victims, many of whom are the same age as Oliver.....

My boys at Heritage Park
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We had quite a relaxing weekend.  We went out for lunch both days.  Saturday we went to Fountain
Inn to get  a proper look at it.  It is smaller than Simpsonville, but by the looks of things, they are about to redevelop the infrastructure and take it from a 4 lane road down to 2, a bit like Greenville. We stopped at Heritage Park on the way home.  Its huge!!!!! It has a bigger car park than Oliver's school.  The boys had a play in the park, then we went for a walk around.  I believe there is a hot air ballon event there on memorial day, and there is also an amphitheater where they put on shows and cinema nights through the summer.  The boys were pretty tired after this, so we came home and watched a film (I had a sleep.....).

Sunday the elves had left some arts and crafts for the boys, so we did those in the morning.  We were going to go to Cracker Barrel for lunch, but as we drove into the packed car park, we noticed people sitting outside, waiting for tables.  So we went next door to the Arizona Steakhouse. All I can say is yummy, and I am going to start another blog about our experiences of eating out in the USA.
Watch this space......

I started wrapping Christmas presents last night.  I got all the ones from relatives done, then started on the ones from Father Christmas.  Then I ran out of tape......

This week is turning out to be quite busy.  We have a relaxing day today, in fact it is raining.  Think I am going to take the boys to the library this afternoon, see what its like.  Oliver has his last day tomorrow.  He has to be at school normal time, then has his chapel service at 8.30, and finishes after that, so aboyt 9.30.  He has an event in a local park with all of the boys in his grade that we are goiing to, so that should be interesting.....  Wednesday we have a friend round, thursday we are off to another friens, then friday should be another relaxing one.  Christmas dinner and last minute present to get next weekend.  then thats it, our first Christmas in the states, and the first one we have had without any relatives around, going to be different.....

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Night of December 15th - The elves have brought some arts and crafts


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 Night of December 16th - They're trying to escape.......


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Night of December 17th - Naughty elves, playing on the stairs


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Night of December 18th - indulging in some computer time


*********************************************************************************Night of December 19th - The elves decided to sleep in Isaac's and Sebastian's room, so no photos.  Isaac was really pleased to see them in his room (at 5.30am.......)

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Night of December 20th - the elves brought some dough and cookie cutters and decorations, so the boys could make some Christmas cookies





*********************************************************************************Night of 21st December - the elves keep an eye on the time, knowing it is not long till they have to go home...

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Night of the 23rd December - the elves have to go home tonight to help Father Christmas load his sleigh.  Here are Isaac and Sebastian in the pajamas that they have left.....




Sunday, 9 December 2012

Another house guest....

Butler Bear doing craft with the boys

Who would have thought it..... First Elves, now a bear!!!! Oliver has got 'Butler Bear' for the weekend. This is something his class teacher has been doing for 20 years!  Every child in her class gets to take Butler home for a weekend, they have to take photos and document what they have done with Butler.   So far he has had a snack and played Xbox.  This morning he has helped the boys do some Christmas arts and crafts.  It is nice to read through the journal and see what other kids have done.  Oliver seems to be really enjoying it.

This week has been good.  Paul came home on Wednesday after being at Talledega for 2 nights doing testing on the cars.  He loved it!  Good job too, as he is there again in 2 weeks time.  

Seb at the Zoo.  Yes it really was cold....
Thursday I went to Greenville Zoo with Liene.  Typically after a week of temperatures in the low 20's, the thermometer was only hitting 11!  Was good to go to the zoo again, and nice to share it with someone who is so knowledgable about the local area.  The boys all had a good time, and we even got to see the baby giraffe despite the cold temperatures.  

Friday I went food shopping (yawn!), then went to pick Isaac up from preschool.  He had been really good, the teachers hadn't spoken to be about any bad behaviour so I had told him that if he was good on friday he could have some sweets after lunch.  He wasn't.  He had been pushing in line, and trying to hurt other children.  So then we had a big upset Isaac, as he realised he would not get his sweets.  not a happy bunny, not a happy mummy. Paul had already said he was going to try and leave early, so I text him to see if he could pick Oliver up on the way home.  Luckily he could.  He also picked up my prescription from the pharmacy.  Bye bye $300!!!!  Thank goodness for  health insurance, so we can claim it back.  In the meantime, Isaac, Seb and I went to our local Target store.  Man, I love those shops.... could spent a fortune without even realising it..... 

Today Paul spent the morning putting the Christmas lights outside.  I did some Christmas arts and Crafts with the boys, which was good fun.  They were at it for about an hour, really good concentration from my boys, especially as there was no tv involved, lol.  We went out to Chik-a-fila for lunch today, yummy, not your ordinary fast food, the service is good, as is the food.  Then to Lowes for some additional Christmas bits, then home.  Paul snuck out later in the afternoon to get the Christmas tree.  In the UK, he would have taken the boys, but seeing as he wanted a huge one, we thought it easier he go on his own.  We are going to decorate it tonight, then put the elves underneath it, with some character decorations for the boys to hang,  New Christmas tradition.

So I am now off to decorate the tree....

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Night of December 7th - The elves have some treats for the boys... 


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Night of December 8th - The elves brought us a Christmas tree, straight from the North Pole (Home Depot).  They had also been to see Father Christmas, and left the boys the report that they had shown him about their first week in the Gosling house.  The elves had some new Disney decorations for the boys to put on the tree.

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Night of December 9th - The elves got cosy in the stockings



*********************************************************************************Night of December 10th - The elves messed around in the bathroom



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Night of December 11th - The elves were waiting patiently for their breakfasts...

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Night of 12-12-12 - The elves appear to have been jumping on the sofa, wonder where they got that idea.....


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Night of December 13th - the elves had a quiet one, reading in the playroom


*********************************************************************************Night of December 14th - The elves have been mischievous.  They decorated the christmas tree with the boys pants, then hid in it!




Wednesday, 5 December 2012

First diabetic appointment, American style

So I have survived Pauls first business trip away, as have the boys (just......)

I had my first diabetic appointment at the endocrinologists department.  A small building over the way from one of the hospitals.  It was scheduled for 9am, but in the letter I received it asked me to be there 20 minutes early, so I could fill in the paperwork,  the same paperwork they sent me with the letter.  As I had school runs to do, I didn't make it till 8.50.  Walked in, nice and quiet.  Went to reception desk to check in, all good.

I was called at 9.03. Woohooo a medical centre that appears to run on time.  Michelle (a healthcare practitioner) took me through, weighed me (125 pounds), then took me in to a consulting room.  She did my blood pressure (120/70) then started going through my notes.  She was very thorough, and very understanding.  I currently measure in millimoles, they use a different unit of measurement (milligrams per decimeter).  Luckily I didn't manage to confuse her too much.

Then the nurse practitioner Elaine came in.  She went through my notes, asked me some other questions about my blood sugar levels, my carbs to insulin ratio and my exercise regime.  She was pleased that I halve my insulin with dinner before I exercise, but also warned me about house work and running after the boys and how it may bring me lower.  I did already know this, but never really give it much thought.  She also told me that when I drink alcohol, after 2 drinks my blood sugar starts dropping, which I did not realise.  She has decided to give me a new meter, which is cool, and she is happy that I have what is called a junior pen for my rapid insulin, as it has half units on it.  She also checked my feet.  Apparently because I have hairy toes (gross, I know) it means my circulation in my feet is good.  This can be a major problem for diabetics.  She has also offered to put me on an insulin pump.  I am going to look into this and give it some thought.  She said it may make my life easier because of running around after small boys.

Michelle came back with my new meter, and set it up for me.  It has the time and date, so when I do my reads they will be exact.  She also gave me a lovely large prescription. As I have a new meter I need new lancets, and new testing strips.  This prescription may cost a small fortune, but at least we can claim it back (thank you BMW)

These ladies were awesome, I am looking forward to having my diabetes well taken care off.  I just have to keep up my part of the bargain and monitor more often.  As I was checking out, the receptionist called Elaine the 'Sargent', I can see why, and I really don't want to cross her.  My diabetes monitoring IS going to improve, I WILL get my next A1C (3 monthly read of blood sugars) to below 120ml/dc (7 mmol).

My next appointment is 11th January.  This is with the dietician.  I look forward to going and moaning about how much sugar there is in all the food out here.......


Sunday, 2 December 2012

The elf days of Christmas

Seeing as we are in a different country we have decided to start some new Christmas traditions, as it is nigh on impossible to maintain the ones we had.

 I read last year about the magical Christmas elves that come to visit children in the period before Christmas.  Their job is to report good and bad behavior back to Father Christmas.  Sometimes the elves can be mischievous...  Other people report them throwing underwear on the Christmas tree, toothpaste on mirrors, mustaches on pictures, drinking all of daddy's beer, etc.  but they can do good things too.  They often bring gifts, leave equipment for arts Christmas arts and crafts or Christmas baking.  The elves go backs to Father Christmas on the eve of Christmas Eve, taking with them their elf report on how the children have behaved.  They often leave a parting hamper, full of christmas goodies for the children.

Jingles, Sparkles and Fred
Our elves arrived last night (I bought them in k-mart after trawling quite a few stores).  They are called Jingles, Sparkles and Fred.  They came with a letter from Father Christmas and a elf report sheet.  The boys were very lucky, as they also brought the advent calendars and chocolate Santas.  The boys face was a picture this morning.  Oliver read most of the letter, but seeing as Isaac wasn't listening, I took over.  Oliver defiantly understands the concept, and I think Isaac does too.  Seb was more concerned as to why he only got one chocolate from his advent calendar, and could he have more of the chocolate Santa.....


A blurry Isaac with his chocolate Santa
Oliver reading the letter


I must give big kudos to the Netmums ladies on Facebook, and the Netmums coffeehouse thread.  There is loads of ideas on here.  I think what I am going to do is attach photos of the mischief the elves get up to on this blog entry.  Then I will do different entries for each week....  I might change my mind, though, depends what the elves drive me too......

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Night of December 1st - The elves had a party to celebrate their arrival.  Think they had sore heads this  morning.....
Party time.....
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 Night of December 2nd - The elves chillin' with Frosty the count down snow man, after a day of being almost torn apart by Gosling boys...

'Frosty's a dude'

*********************************************************************************Night of December 3rd - After a bit of TLC from Mummy Gosling, the elf's feel up for some play time


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Night of December 4th - Watching a bit of late night TV.  Hope its nothing too dodgy......


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Night of December 5th - Play time with Isaac's confiscated toys....

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Night of December 6th - The elves were really tired and took themselves off to bed....


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Relaxing week

It has been sooooooooo nice having Paul off this week.  We have spent a lot of time shopping (have done a lot on line), and the boys presents are pretty much sorted.  Only problem is, we keep seeing more and more things for them!!!  We also know what we want to get each other, which we never usually do.

We went to Greer DMV on tuesday to sort out our South Carolina driving licenses.  Because I did not have proof of residency (a letter from Paul's employer with my name on it)  I could not do mine.  Paul got his done in the morning.  Paul managed to sort me out a letter for thursday, so we went back again. It involved me filling out a form, doing a sight test, then a theory test.  You are allowed to get 6 wrong, and you find out instantly if they are wrong.  I got 3 wrong in the first 10.  Luckily I only got 3 wrong overall.  This was then followed by more waiting, then a practical test.  I didn't have to wait long for my intimidating female examiner to come out.  Despite the fact that I only passed my test 3 years ago, I was a little nervous.  We drove around, had to do a 3-point turn down what was almost a narrow track road, then drove back to the DMV.  I made quite a few errors, but still passed.Think you just need to show observation skills, and be able to drive a car to get a license as a foreign national.  While I had been away, Paul had a chance to observe the locals.... Interesting people, there was the gent who needed 5 attempts to pass the eye exam.  Then the family, mum had just got out of jail, and the 2 teenage boys  (possibly older???)  were space cadets.  One was talking to everyone, the other looked like he had done all the drugs in the world.  Exceptionally grateful that this is not our 'local' office, and is over 10 miles away.  Hopefully we will never encounter these people on the roads....

The boys in the book store
Paul went back to work on friday.  Luckily I had already arranged to go to my friends in the morning, which was very nice.  We relaxed last night, and had a few beers, while prepping the elves (more in my next blog).  Today we shopped (again).  Seems to be the American way....  We went to Hobbylobby, a hobby shop, which stocks everything for, well, hobbies. Paul has purchased himself some model cars to make, so needed some glue and paint.  They have loads in this shop, we got yet more Christmas decorations.  Then we travelled to Barnes and Noble, a book store where Oliver's school had their book fair.  Basically any books you purchased today, 20% of the price goes to the library at Oliver's school.  We got a few books....  An interesting one about Greenville, which I am looking forward to reading.  We then went to Longhorn Steak house for lunch.  Not going there again.  Waiting staff aren't great, my steak was undercooked, so they took it back to the kitchen.  It came out alright, but by a grumpy waitress.  The floor in the ladies restroom was worryingly sticky.....  Not a nice experience...  I am sure next time we eat out it will be much better.......



One happy 4 year old
BAD MUMMY FOOT NOTE - Isaac had his 4th birthday on Sunday ( I nearly forgot to put it in.....)  He had a really good day, loved his presents especially his Imaginext Castle, his Furby, his Xbox game (though Oliver loves this more)  and pretty much everything else.  We went for a McDonalds (his choice) and to Frankies Fun Park.  Then we came home, he had his Furby cake (he loved it), and he went to bed a happy 4 year old.  Can't believe he is 4 already.... Thanks to everyone who has given him a present, he loves all of them.  On the Monday he had his special birthday celebration at school, which involved me going in and taking a snack for his class.  They had the calendar months set put on the floor around the sun, and Isaac was holding a globe.  His teacher showed photos of him at birth, then he walked round the sun, then photos of him at 1, you get the gist....  Slightly different, but a nice celebration.  I had to say a few bits about him at each birthday, which was nice to remember

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Thanksgiving Furbys

Isaac's Birthday cake
Feeling ├╝ber proud of myself tonight.  I have made Isaac a Furby birthday cake for tomorrow.  I have made cakes for the boys for most of their birthdays, but never like this.  It is 6 cakes sandwiched on top of each other, covered in buttercream, then iced on the top (icing from a can, well 3 1/2 cans to be precise) with eyes, ears and feet made of fondant icing (again from a pack, but hey.....). He has requested a Furby for this birthday, my mum has got him one, so I am hoping the cake is going to go down well.  For his birthday tomorrow we are going to Skype with grandparents in the morning, watch the final Grand Prix of the season then go where Isaac wants to go for lunch, McDonalds.  Then he wants to go to Frankie's Fun Park, a local amusement place which has an arcade, soft play area, crazy golf, and 2 go-kart tracks.  Should be a fun day.



It was thanksgiving here on Thursday.  Paul had to go to work on Wednesday at 5am, so he was able to finish early.  Both the boys were off on Wednesday, and we had a nice relaxing day around the house.  Thursday we were around the house in the morning, then we headed to Liene's for thanksgiving dinner.  They live north of Greenville in an area we hadn't been to before.  We were early, so had a drive around.  It is a beautiful part of town, a lot of the houses are very old.  Liene cooked a beautiful turkey, the men watched football, the kids played well together, and the pecan pie was delicious.  All in, a very successful Thanksgiving.  I look forward to repaying the favor.   We drove home through Greenville centre.  The Christmas lights are up in the trees down Main Street, and it looks beautiful.  We also saw the ice rink that is set up, looking forward to taking the boys down there.



Christmas lights on Main Street, Greenville
We were going to try and go somewhere over this weekend, but it hasn't panned out like that.  Instead, we have been out for lunch the last 2 days, they done a little shopping.  We have started buying Christmas decorations, and have found some big trees.  We have also done some online shopping, with Amazons lightning deals, got some bargains....Paul is off next week, and we have a list of what we want to get the boys, so next week will be spent prepping for Christmas.  Paul is away for a bit of December, so it is a good opportunity.  We are going to lose some Christmas traditions, but hopefully gain some too.  I have a few plans......



Monday, 19 November 2012

Party time

Morning!!!!

I did not see anyone last week!!!!  Other than Isaacs teacher at his conference, which went fine.  He is doing really well and has a list of phonics with actions.  She is really pleased with his progress and we are both aware of the areas we need to work on.

I picked up a bike on friday for Isaac.  We got it from Craigs List (a bit like a cross between Ebay, but no auctions, and classified ads) for a bargain price.  He loves it.  Now we need to keep our eyes open for one for Isaac.

Oliver had 2 birthday parties over the weekend.  The first was a sports party on the other side of Greenville.  He really enjoyed the running, obstacle course, dodgeball and musical basket ball chairs!  The one on Sunday was at Playnation, an indoor place with loads of garden equipment set up.  Again, he really enjoyed it, although he didn't eat anything at either party.  My boys can be so fussy over food....  It was nice to meet some of the parents from Oliver's school.  I swear, literally everyone I spoke to was a doctor or married to a doctor.  There was a cardiologist, an oncologist, a nurse, an obs/gyn......  The joys of private school

Speaking of food, we were very naughty and had 2 takeouts over the weekend.  Friday we got pizza delivered, which was yummy.  Even Seb ate some pizza, Isaac ate the breadsticks, and Oliver had pizza and breadsticks.  Saturday was McDonalds.  I could not be bothered to cook....  To make up for it, I did a roast beef yesterday for lunch, and the boys have been eating homemade chocolate cake fro pudding. I made one last week to practice for Isaacs birthday cake, more to come on that next time.....

Saturday night is movie night for me and Paul.  We order a film from the on demand provided by Charter.  This week we watched Twilight.  I didn't know much about this film.  I LOVED IT!!!!!!  Even Paul enjoyed it.  So much so, that we watched the second one straight after.  Saturday night was quite a late one....

This week it is Thanksgiving.  Oliver has a feast at school today, Isaac has his tomorrow.  Oliver is providing crisps and Isaac is providing apple juice.  Oliver finishes school at 12 tomorrow, and Isaac finishes later at 12.30.  They are then off for the rest of the week, and Paul is off thursday and friday.  He is using up some of his holiday left over from Rolls Royce, and taking next monday-thursday off. We have been invited to a friends on Thanksgiving day itself for a Thanksgiving dinner, which we are looking forward to.

Then it is Isaacs birthday on Sunday.  We have already bought all his presents, I will be wrapping them during the week, the spending friday night sticking his cake together, and saturday night decorating it.  If it all goes to plan, it should be a work of art, but we will see.....  Pictures to follow.....

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Isaac

Today has been a good day (so far....)

Isaac behaved himself at preschool.  He has been having a few problems recently.  It is just like when he started at Little Explorers in the UK, he was fine for a few weeks, then started testing the boundaries.  He was fine to start with at Five Oaks, but as the time as progressed he has been a little teary during the day and a little aggressive towards his fellow classmates.  His teacher is ever so nice, and is really doing her best, but I know how troublesome Isaac can be when he wants to.  I think part of the problem is he has been watching too much TV when he comes in from preschool, then falling asleep on the way to get Oliver.  Then we have problems at bedtime, and he ends up losing his computer/TV time as he keeps getting out of bed.  Yesterday he had lost his TV time, so Paul spent most of the afternoon playing with him, while I went to the doctors.  He did not get out of bed at all.

Grumpy Isaac
This afternoon, as he had been good at preschool and not got out of bed, he watched 1 1/2 hours of TV (all his new favorites: Max and Ruby, Dora and Go Diego Go, so at least there is some educational aspects).  We then went to the park before we had to get Oliver, which him and Seb both really enjoyed.  He did not fall asleep.  Isaac told me while we were waiting for Oliver that he likes doing 'work' at preschool, and he then started sounding out some phonic sounds.  Turns out they are beginning to teach him to read.  I am so pleased.  Academia is important to me, I feel it gets you places. Isaac's preschool is a Montessori school, not a style of teaching I am familiar with, but I like the idealism of it.  Isaac has always been really good at his numbers, you can give him any 2 digit number and 4 times out of 5 he will be able to tell you what it is.  The school appears to be building on this, and introducing the concept of addition and subtraction.  He has already brought a sheet of sums home, just simple add 1 or add 2, which he did with the help of a teacher then stuck on.

Happy Isaac
He can be such hard work at times, particularly when he is tired in the evening.  We had to introduce a time out spot last night, as he sent Seb flying.  Luckily we have lots of empty rooms, where he cant see the TV or have any toys, so hoping the threat will be enough.  If not, I am more than happy to follow through!  I have my first parent-teacher conference with Isaacs teacher on thursday so I am looking forward to what she has to say.  I hate to say, that I have probably not been giving him enough of my time, so I am going to limit his TV time in the afternoon, and try and do some more activity type things.  We were going to do play doh this afternoon, but then the weather improved, so thought the park was a better option.  It really was!!!!

This wasn't meant to be a post about Isaac, it was supposed to be a general catch up!  Points to note:  My sis-in-law Jenny has a blog going about the journey of weight loss, and has decided to do a post pretty much everyday through november.  If you have not read it, it is called Fat@thirty.  I highly recommend it!  Have finally mastered making curries out here, thanks to Pataks curry paste!  And spaghetti Bolognese thanks to the Oxo cubes that Hope has sent me!  It is 2 of my English friends birthdays out here today, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY Anna and Rachael!!!!! Oli has his first book report to do by friday!  The schools are all gearing up for Thanksgiving, with both boys having parties at school next week (crisps and apple juice are our contribution).  I have not been to Zumba for about 3 weeks.  I am going to try yet another different class tonight that starts a bit later.  Was a bit of a rush to get out the door by 6.55pm.  This one starts at 7.30, in nearby Fountain Inn, should take me about 10 minutes to get there, so fingers crossed it is a good one.



Right I need to go and start making tonights dinner, Curry!!!!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Fireworks and Elections

It is cold and wet outside, almost reminds me of the UK....  What better way to avoid housework by updating this blog!!!!

We had a fairly relaxing weekend last weekend.  Isaac had a birthday party to go to on saturday at Playnation in Greenville.  It is basically just loads of garden play equipment set up inside.  He seemed to enjoy it, and it was nice to speak to some of the other parents from his preschool.  I also got to meet the one person who he says is his friend, Maxim.  There was also a German gentleman there with his son.  He also works for BMW and has been over here for 2 years.  Lots of parents, and the party was good.  The food was catered for the kids and the adults, Isaac barely ate anything!!!!  They had a balloon modeler and a couple of girls  doing glitter tattoos.  Took me about an hour to persuade Isaac that he wanted anything.  In the end he chose a balloon model of a sword and a shield, so he could fight with Oliver.

The clocks went back on Sunday.  Its like Isaac knows.....ever since Saturday he has been waking up at 5.30am, not good.  Sunday we went out for lunch to Applebees on the Woodruff Road in Greenville.  Our waitress was from Aberdeen, Scotland, but has been over here since she was small.  That was one mixed up accent!!!!  We then went and checked out Kohl's.  It is another big department store.  They had a good toy department, which seemed to carry a lot of end of line stuff, as well as the usual suspects.  This will be a good place for Christmas shopping.

Monday evening we went to a Bonfire party.  Yes, thats right a Bonfire Party, here in the good ol' U S of A....  It was held by a lovely lady called Tracey, a Northerner who married an American, Michael.  They have a huge back yard, with a big play set and they had an inflatable bouncy castle thingy set up.  The kids loved it, though Oliver and Isaac both refused to go down the 'scary' slide.  Tracey had laid on loads of delicious food, which Paul Seb and I really enjoyed, but the other 2 were being stubborn and wouldn't eat.  The bonfire was lit, it was very high, and Michael got the hose out to bring it under control, which he did a good job of.  Tracey's dad then began letting off the fireworks.  The kids freaked..... The Fire Department and Sheriff arrived about 20 minutes later.  Some neighbours had called them, due to the size of the fire, and the sound of gun shots......  The Firemen came and checked out the fire, while a lot of the kids checked out the fire engine.  They ok-ed it, and the party continued.  We left just after Michael had put on the British National Anthem on the projector screen on the shed.  Kinda strange, being in a garden in South Carolina, listening to our National Anthem, all 3 verses of it....  Thanks again to Tracey and her family for hosting this wonderful event.  Our family really enjoyed it.

Yesterday was election day, I am sure you all know the outcome by now.  We were talking about it in the car on the way to school yesterday, when Oli pipes up to tell us he voted on Monday, I asked him who for, and he answered 'Barack Obamamama'.   When I picked him up, he had a sticker on that stated 'I voted'.  Again I asked him who he had voted for, and he responded 'Mitt Romenly'.  It transpired that he voted for him as that is who everyone else had voted for.  He was adamant that 'Romenly' was now president.  Still haven't told him the truth......  AS it was election day yesterday, Isaac didnt have any preschool.  We went to the mall to meetup with some friends.  There is a small soft play area in there. We did not get to stay long, as both Seb and Isaac were tired, and it really showed in their behavior.  I drove the scenic route home from the Mall, and both boys fell asleep.  I took Seb upstairs, but left Isaac in the car in the garage.  I got him after 45 minutes, he woke up, so I lay him on the sofa, and the blighter went back to sleep!!!!  Seb woke about 2 hours later, and Isaac kept on sleeping.  He slept for over 3 hours in the end.  He must have really needed it.  He awoke about 20 minutes before we had to get Oli, so he shoved some lunch in him, and off we went.  Paul and I spent a lot of last night watching the election results come in.  Makes the UK coverage of our elections look very poor, I must say!!!!!

Paul has got friday and next monday off work.  He still has 8 days holiday left over from Rolls Royce to use before the end of the year.  Think we are going shopping for Isaac's birthday presents on Friday, not sure about the monday yet.  We don't have a lot of cash till Paul gets paid, so we can't really go anywhere.  Its a bit of a shame, but we keep remembering that we are here for 3 years, and we will get lots of opportunities to travel.....

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Cars and Halloween

I have Oliver home from school today.  It is conference day, so no school.  They have put on a skate party in its place, but Oliver didn't want to go.....

On Saturday we went to Charlotte.  There was a hot rod car show on at the raceway.  Wow, what an amazing place.  I have been to Silverstone before, but never a Nascar track.  Talk about a steep bank.  All the cars were in the middle of the track, it was great fun walking some of the track, so steep!!!!  The cars were awesome, so many.  After a while they did just all blend into one... We met our friends there and had lunch together, the kids ran around a bit, before we went our separate way to look at yet more cars.  I have done car shows in the UK, but this felt different.  An enjoyable way to spend the day though.... We stopped at Ikea on the way back, picked up more bits and pieces fro our house, mainly Oliver's room.  It still feels quite empty though....

Sunday was more of a relaxing day.  I was very tired, and ended up having a sleep on the sofa while Paul built furniture.  Then we headed to the mall for some lunch, and a bit of retail therapy for me.  From there we went to Toys R Us.  Isaac has been invited to a birthday party this weekend, so we needed to get a present.  We are very good at going in this shop and not buying anything for our children.  We did scope out what Isaac wants for his birthday though.  I will be making a few trips back there in the coming weeks....

Monday was a normal day,  Tuesday Oliver had his halloween parade at school (they did it on tuesday, as they have chapel on a wednesday morning, and i don't think they wanted ghoulish dressed up kids in chapel).  We had bought him a Darth Vader costume, but it was too big, so he went as a pirate.  We met up with our friend Donna in a park in Greenville.  I am having great fun scoping out all these parks, and getting to know new people.

Yesterday was Halloween.  There is an unwritten rule on this road that kids are only allowed to knock if you have your porch light on.  We had a big bowl of sweets, and turned our light on after Isaac and Seb had gone to bed.  Oliver put his Darth Vader costume on and we answered the door many times.  Some of the kids were quite rude.  I reckon out of about 30 that knocked, only about 7 said thank you, and 6 of them had an adult that came to the door.  Next year, I think we will just put a bowl of sweets on the porch with a note, and take the boys out ourselves.

Looks like people have moved into our old house, so hopefully we might get some deposit back soon.  My car is going on ebay this weekend, so if you want a polo with less than 50,000 miles on the clock look it up.  It is a great little car.

We have got some friends coming round this afternoon.  Really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Thoughts a month in

This is not going to be a normal blog, Paul is going to help.  I will do a catch up one in a few days time.  This is going to be a post on what we have noticed so far.....

Travel - EVERYONE has a car, you need a car, but there are some sorry excuses for cars on the road.....  Loads of people use mobiles while driving, but there is a big advertising push to try and stop this.  You can turn right on red lights at most junctions.  We are yet to take our South Carolina driving tests, we still have 2 months in which we can drive on our UK driving licences.  Some of the roads are a state.  Overtaking on the inside is allowed.  The interstates when they are busy are BUSY.  General driving standards are very poor, lots of running reds, you have to look when you come out of a junction on green.  Big rigs, are BIG.

T.V - too many adverts, same with the radio.  I have found a few good tv channels, abc, NBC.  There are only 4 kids tv channels with our provider (Charter).  No Cbeebies, although some programmes are available on Nickalodeon and Disney.  Lots of on demand programmes and films, so the boys can watch many of their favourites often.  They have Lego cartoons, which the boys love.  They are being influenced by adverts though......  Different networks have different political agendas.  Watching football in the morning is different, we get at least one Premier League game on a Saturday.  Haven't found the cooking channels yet, but haven't really looked.  In the adverts, they would rather show the bad points of their competitors than show their own products.  It is best to watch on playback, so you can skip the adverts.

Food - we are eating out at least once a week, was more frequent to begin, but have reigned it in.  Paul regularly eats out for lunch.  Cooking is interesting, trying to find ingredients that were everyday back home are very hard to find.  We have found a few places that sell products from home, so we have Yorkshire tea and Bisto gravy.  Everything tasted so sweet, because they add sugar to pretty much everything.  I must get more baking utensils, so I can start making cookies and cakes again.  I wouldn't mind a bread maker, as their loaves are much smaller. Loving the coffee machine though.....but missing squash.  We have found a beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is fairly nice.  Imported beer is expensive, as you can imagine.

Weather - so far so good!!!  Just starting to get cold, having a cold snap at the moment, temperatures are meant to improve next week.  Previously it had been in the low 20's in the day still.  Not much rain, but when it comes down it really rains....

Shopping - probably deserves a post of its own!!!!  After the mammoth task of stocking our house, we are done with most of the big things, mainly thanks to ikea.  Most rooms are sorted, we are just picking up bits and pieces when we see them.  Food shopping is interesting, I have tried Walmart, Publix and Bi-Lo so far.  Bi-Lo is very local, and probably a bit like Sainsburys.  Publix is a more upmarket version of Tesco, and Walmart is Asda.  Only really do Walmart if I need extras, not just food.  Going to try and do big shops at Publix, it seems a tiny bit cheaper the Bi-Lo.  The boys like Bi-Lo as it has the car trolleys, so they are always well behaved when we go shopping there.  The mall is interesting, some of the shops are quite expensive, but some are very good.  I need to go there with just me and Seb, so I can take it all in a bit better.  I have a trip there planned for next week, spotted some good Christmas presents on JCPenneys at the weekend.  Best Buy is a big electrical store, we have spent far too much money in there.  Toys r us is just like at home.  World Market is fab, if a little pricey.  They sell lots of home ware and 'world' food.  K-Mart is ok, a bit like a department store, as is Target. Costco is a big wholesale merchant. We have paid for membership, they have many bargains, especially on toys. Am going tomorrow to stock up on many different things

Medical - having a bit of a hate/hate relationship with this.  They love to keep you waiting.  The receptionists at our doctors are just as useless as at Westcourtt.  The boys are registered, and their immunisation records have already gone to school.  When I registered they did my blood sugars, and they were high, so I need to see the endocrinologist, and have a physical and lots of tests done.  This is going to take at least an hour.  Luckily the doctor is available till 8pm, so that is my fun in a few weeks time.  I am preparing myself for a lecture.

General - everyone has massive drinks cups with them, most drink refills are free. Our road seems really nice, even if no one knows where it is. Wearer loving our house, but there is still lots of reverb, the boys are sending is deaf.... I am up and out of the house within an hour, not loving the getting up at 6.30am. Loving my car and its sat-nav, and the rice of fuel.....cat is happy, Kees getting shut in kitchen cupboards. Skype is great, though the time difference is not. Loving the tumble dryer....enjoying meeting lots of people from lots of different back grounds.

As time goes on, we will have more of these, so we will try and do an observations post every couple of months.

Hope all is ok with everyone reading x

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Playing out and checking out....

Hi all

It has been a pretty normal week for us.  Boys in school, Seb and I in the morning.  Tuesday we went to another meetup at Legacy Park.  This was with international mums, met some really nice people.  The weather at the moment is very warm, it was 26 degrees yesterday, can't believe it is going to be November next week.  It is supposed to start getting colder after the weekend, but only down to about 18 degrees.

The boys were called on yesterday afternoon by the local kids, Titi (think thats how you spell it!!!)  and Matthew (from next door), so they went out and played for half hour or so till Matthew had to go to Tai-Kwon-do.  Think they enjoyed themselves, it was nice for them to get the opportunity.

I went for an open morning at Oliver's school this morning.  It would appear everyone loves Oliver.  I was talking with one of the admissions assistants, whose daughter also goes to the school.  Her class are book buddies with Oliver's class.  The just love his accent, particularly the girls.....  His classmates are all really nice, very outgoing.  We arrived at snack time, and they were all chatting to me and Sebastian.    Got to meet Oliver's new friends, Carson and William, and his teacher says he is doing really well.  Had a look at his school work books, they are fabulous.  Also had his mid-semester report card yesterday, was very generic.  Detailed what the class have done so far, and what they will be doing for the rest of the term.  No grades or anything like that yet.  This afternoon, Isaac, seb and myself are going to our South African neighbor's next door, so the boys can play, and i can drink coffee.

Our tenancy is up on Timberleys, had our check out yesterday.  Not good.  As the cleaner had been in a month ago, the place was dusty and grubby.  We had asked someone to go in and clear our house.  He cleared thing he shouldn't have, and left stuff that was meant to be cleared.  We were pretty pi##ed off yesterday, but have calmed down a bit now.  Its just one of those things.  We are going to get charged for various bits and pieces, and for another cleaner to go in..... We hope to at least get some of our deposit back.

I did say I was going to talk about shops....  Think I will save that for tonight.....  Supposed to be going to Zumba, but I am not sure I can be bothered......

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mountains and eggs

Evening all

Well life is pretty good here in Simpsonville.  The weather has been lovely, the kids are settling in to school, and we are loving the house.

Seb on a dinosaur at Simpsonville City Park
Wednesday, was pretty normal, take the boys to school and preschool, then Seb and I trooped of to Walmart, we needed some extra things as well as normal shopping.  Had to buy a mop and bucket to do the hard floors, and Paul wanted a thermos cup for coffee in the mornings.  You very rarely see anyone without a huge drinks cup of some description.  We need to get used to taking bottles of water for the boys with us everywhere we go.  In the summer they will be a necessity.  Came back, Seb had a sleep, I cleaned the floors, then went and got Isaac.  We had lunch, then while the boys watched TV, I cleaned the bathrooms.  It is working cleaning little bits of the house on monday, wednesday and friday.  I try not to do any cleaning on tuesday and thursday, but I am quite relieved I don't have any Uni work to fit in at the moment.  Once I had finished, we headed to Simpsonville City Park.  It is 5 minute drive away, and is next to the police and fire station.  The fire engines are so cool out here, lots of red and glistening chrome.  Haven't checked out the calibre of the actual firemen yet...  From here we went and got Oliver.  Isaac has developed a habit of falling asleep on this journey.  We tend to leave the house at 2.40, gets us to school for just after 3, and we are home by 3.30, as long as we don't hit any traffic, or Oliver remembers his car pool number....
Oliver in his 'Cavs' t-shirt, it is the schools football team.

He didn't on thursday, so I had to get him from the 'wait zone'. It is nice to know that if carpool fails, and a child is a little forgetful sometimes, that there is a backup plan.  Oliver is enjoying school.  He tends to get 2 homework sheets a night and is expected to read for 15 minutes each night, monday to thursday.  On friday he wears a different t-shirt, all the pupils do.  He came out on friday to say Alexander had the same t-shirt as him, and that he was playing with him and Carson at lunch, so I think he is making friends.

Isaac seems to have settled well too.  He deals with carpool really well, and his teachers seem lovely.  He has planted some carrots, spent time in the outdoors classroom looking for bugs, and learning about 'Fall'.

I tried another Zumba class on thursday.  This one is at a local baptists church in their sports hall.  This church is huge, it has buildings on either side of a cross roads, massive!!!  The session began with a bible reading, and the instructor asking if everyone was ok, and if there was anyone we needed to pray for.  This was followed by a prayer.....  Not your usual class.  It was good though, a cross between the 2 classes I have been doing in the UK, and lots of tracks I recognized, with different moves of course.  There is no charge for this class, you just have to make a donation.  It is held twice a week, tuesday and thursday, so I think I may have found my class...

Friday I took Isaac and Seb to get more shopping before getting Oliver, they just love the big car trolleys, and they are really good in them.  Almost makes food shopping pleasurable.  Paul came home early from work, and we Skyped with the Goslings.  It was Keith's birthday, so by the time we did it, at 4.30 our time, it was 9.30 their time, and they were well on their way.... Hope there weren't too many sore heads the next day.  Was nice to see all the Goslings.

Yesterday we met up with the Barton family at Legacy Park.  What a beautiful park.  They brought doughnuts too, yummy, thanks guys!  Isaac had a fall off the play equipment, and had 3 eggs come up on his head, one right in the middle of his forehead, and 2 smaller ones on the left hand side of his face.   He was running around playing football within 5 minutes, so he is ok.  Was just quite a shock, might have to get some of the portable cooling packs.  My children are quite accident prone, so would probably be a good investment.  After we left them, we headed to a eatery called Tavern 24, I had the most delicious burger, Isaac even ate chicken as well as his chips, and Oliver finished all of his.  The waiter was really nice, and for once you didn't feel hurried out.  There was a big local football game on, and this place had TV screens everywhere.  Think we will defiantly be back there again soon.  From there we went to Costco, what a place, was nice to find nappies and wipes at a reasonable price, they are quite expensive over here.  They seem to sell loads of different things.  I am planning on going back in a few weeks, just before Isaacs birthday, as they have loads of cheaper toys. Might even get some for Christmas (I have already started....)


Oliver at the vantage point
Today we decided to take a drive. Paul had been told by his work colleagues that this was the weekend to head to Asheville, NC, as it is the pinnacle Fall weekend, when all the trees were changing colour, but had not lost their leaves yet.  They weren't wrong.  Took us a good hour and a half to get there, Isaac and Seb both slept on the way up.  The scenery was amazing....  So beautiful.  Once we got there, we headed along the BLue Ridge Parkway, further up in to the mountains, I can't even try and describe how beautiful it was.  We stopped at a vantage point near the top, it was an absolutely amazing view.  The boys didn't really dig it, but it was sooooooo pretty.  We came back into town down Town Mountain Road.  So beautiful, with quite a few houses built into the side of the mountain, amazing.  We stopped at a McDonalds on the way back home, so at least that perked the boys up.  They had a play area inside, so they got to run off some energy...  Got back here for about 3.  Quite a drive, but well worth it.  I look forward to doing it again, maybe in the spring.

In other news...... Paul built the second desk for the office room, looks really cool.  He also fixed the Mac's cracked screen (thanks cat), and got a new keyboard, so it is working perfectly again.  I have heard from my parent person at Oliver's school, such a nice idea.  Oliver has had a message from his best friend at Georgian Gardens, thanks Alfie, you made his day.  Have been to a few second hand/thrift/antiques shops, so am getting little additional extras for the house.  We also bought some pumpkins and basketballs last weekend, which the boys (and Paul) have been loving.  Isaac has been invited to a birthday party at the beginning of November.
Three monkeys at the new computer desk, this has our computer from home, which the boys can use in their computer time.

Think that is all, sorry for the essay.  Was thinking of doing a post midweek this week to discuss what it slowly becoming something I seem to be spending a lot of time doing.......Shopping

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Another presidential debate........

Not long till the election over here, cue another televised debate. It is sort of interesting to me, but its politics, and it gets on my nerves a bit. So here I am!

Things are still going well. Friday after I got Oliver, I got paul. He had the joyous news that his car will be ready on Monday. So we celebrated by buying a lawnmower. We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, which was yummy, despite the fact the boys were nightmares. Had a few beers after the boys had gone to bed....

Paul was wonderful and let me have a lie in on Saturday morning, as he wanted to watch the Formula 1 qualifying. I needed that lie in..... Paul then proceeded to play with his new toys, and cut the lawn, took a good 45 minutes, it was quite long.... The rest of the day was just spent pottering around the house. Seb and I were the only ones who left the house, and that was to go to the supermarket. We fed the boys early, and we had some yummy ribs for dinner.

Sunday we all awoke early. Typically during the week when we have to get up at 6am we have to wake the boys, yet at the weekend they will quite happily wake up naturally at 6am. Chris came round on Sunday morning, unfortunately Kathy was unwell (hope you are better now x). Was nice to meet him, and chat about life out here. They came out a month before we did. Sunday afternoon we went to one of the many parks in Simpsonville. It is another good one, with a large park, basket ball courts, a water park, a bmx track and lots of football pitches, which were really busy! Sunday league football is alive and well in the Deep South. We then headed to Walmart to get some shopping and other bits and pieces. I did my first roast, a yummy chicken. The chickens out here seem really small....

Monday we awoke to take paul to work for the last time. I then drove on to Oliver's school. He went in straight from the car in carpool. He had a bit of a wobble, but he went in ok. Isaac went in fine, he seems to be really enjoying it. He was telling me about their chickens today..... Seb and I headed home, got him down for a sleep, and I began revising for my afternoon exam. Paul got home about 12.30, we had some lunch, and I set off. Took me a while to find the right building on campus. Greenville tech college is huge.... Exam was in the dental department. I got there with 15 minutes to spare, logged in on a computer outside the room, then headed in to a cubicle room, to show my i.d. And I was handed my paper and shown in. I went to a table at the back, and made a start. I think the first part of the exam went ok, but the second half I could only answer one of the 3 questions really well. The other 2 I tried, but I am really not sure about them. I left the 3 hour exam after 2 hours 10 minutes. I just didn't have anything else to write. I foresee an April resit coming my way..... I headed home feeling a little disheartened..... Luckily paul had done an ace job with the boys, so I didn't have to worry too much about them. So we fed them, and sent them to bed. We relaxed had yummy pizza, and quite a few beers. I felt drained, but was able to relax in front of Dancing with the Stars', loving that program!!!!!!!

Today was the first day I have taken Oliver straight from home to school. We left here at 7.37am, and got to school for 7.55am, perfect. Straight from there to take Isaac, and was home by 8.25am. Not bad..... I headed into greenville to go to a meetup at Falls Park, with some people I met online. It was nice to meet some people, and chat to adults. I don't really get that with school or preschool, although I am sure the schools have social things at the beginning of each term. Have missed this one, but I hope there will be more in the new year.

Oliver's proper uniform arrived today. I am going to try and get different photos on here, as he has different jumper/ tshirts etc.....

Went for my first American Zumba class tonight. I was late, it was in the YMCA gym. I walked in, asked for the Zumba class, and they sent me straight upstairs. It was quite good, a real good work out. At the end, I went to the instructor to pay her. Turns out, you are supposed to be a member or a guest.... Whoops..... No one questioned me, so I got out of there as quick as possible. So my Zumba class was free this evening....

So that's it for now.... I have no Uni work till at least April, thank goodness. Am looking forward to settling in, exploring and generally having a good time. I need to meet more people. I always used to use Netmums, but I have not found an equivalent out here yet. Think I may have to start frequenting more parks or something... Suggestions quite welcome...

The Presidential debate is quite interesting. Paul made a point that Romney seems to have an agenda, whereas Obama just wants to make his country better.... Lets see what the commentators say in the morning......

Friday, 12 October 2012

First week down (nearly.....)

Ok, so we have been in the house nearly a week, and loving it. Seems strange, but good to have so much space. Wish we had brought more toys from the UK, but space was limited. We will get round to buying them more, especially as we have birthdays and Christmas coming up.

Monday the boys and I spent the day around the house. We went to target to get some more stuff, I can't even remember what we bought!

Tuesday we had to take Isaac into preschool to meet his teacher, Miss Melissa. He was supposed to spent half an hour being assessed. It took 15 minutes.... She tested him on his numbers, colours and shapes, all of which he knows really well. They said they would call me later in the afternoon and let me know when he could start. From here we had to go and deal with paperwork at the relocation company. Then to Sears to get some uniform ( his uniform with the school logo is still in transit) and school shoes for oliver, he wears plain black Converse, so cool....Then we had to take the hire car back........ So we are now down to one car..... In the mean time paul had a phone call from preschool to say that Isaac could start on Wednesday, the next day. Suddenly I was losing both boys on the same day, with only one car between us....

Wednesday was a very early start. We awoke at 6am, had a pot of coffee waiting for us. We got the boys up, breakfasted and dressed, and we were out the door by 6.40am. Dropped paul at work, in the dark, then headed down I-85 towards Oliver's school. Got there 20 minutes early, which gave me plenty of time to go in, meet the admissions lady, take Oliver to his class, meet his teacher. He seemed to settle really quick, his teacher reminds me of his year 2 teacher at Georgian Gardens, Mrs Woods, so I think they will get on well. I then had to go and wait at the office for one of the administrators so I could get my car pool number. This made me slightly late to get Isaac to school. We got out as quick as possible, and headed to Isaacs school. We were only 5 minutes late in the end, but I had to take him in. One of the office ladies (I swear one day soon I will find out all these people's names), walked us down to his classroom, his teacher showed him where to put his stuff, and off he went. He didn't even say goodbye, I had to go to him! As much as I love my boys, it felt wonderful to be down to just Seb for the morning, so we headed to Anna's for coffee and adult chat. Was nice to meet some people, and have some chats. I hadn't socialised yet, and it was lovely, I look forward to the next time we get together. I might even be brave enough to take 2 children, lol. I don't know when I became worried about taking all my kids out on my own... Probably because I have not got my bearings here yet. Give me a month and the troops will be going everywhere, hopefully (watch us never be invited anywhere again, lol). Popped home briefly, before having to get Isaac. This was my first experience of carpool, they have a circular bit out the front of school, i waited there, the teachers make the effort to know which parents are which. Even on isaacs first day, his teaching assistant recognised me and was able to bring him straight to the car and strap him in. He had a good time, got to play in the park, and I think he liked it a lot. We went home had some lunch, then he had some iPod time. During this, I managed to Skype with my mum, which was great. I did this through the tv, it is great. We then went and got Oliver. This was my first experience of car pool at Olivers school. I LOVE IT!!!!!!! Basically, you drive up in 2 lines, one of the staff comes up, you show your number, they tell you what bay to go to, then radio back to school your number, so they know which children to send out, you then drive forward, merge into one line, and drive round to the front of school to collect your child from the numbered bay (it's just a post with a number, and an older pupil helping your child). But for someone like me with 2 other kids, it is convenience itself.....from here we went home briefly before we had to go and pick paul Up. The evening was spent revising and watching tv. I am loving the abc channel so far.... They have dancing with the stars (American equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing) and other quite good program's. now we have our tv sorted its great. Similar to Sky HD with recording capabilities, like a sky box, but the steps aren't quite as clean, iykwim.....

This morning was similar, oliver had a bit of a wobble going into school, i took him in, and a member of staff had to take hom to his classroom. when i dropped isaac at school, he wanted me to park up and take him in, but by the time he had told me this, i was 2 cars away from dropping him at car pool. luckily his teacher came to the car, and he went in happily with her. seb and i went to Walmart to get more stuff for the house, functioning with just 6 of all the plates, cutlery etc was just impossible. It's quite nice to be able to see what we need, rather than having to rely on what we have. After I got Isaac, who had a wobble just before pick up as he had lined up in the wrong line, we had lunch and headed to Kmart. I had gotten Oliver the wrong size socks for school (too small, perfect for seb). While waiting to pay I noticed that seb had lost both his shoes... Cue a mad dash around the shop to try and find them. I found one by the checkout, but could not find the other. So I had to get him new shoes, as we were heading to a park afterwards. All they had was trainers, whereas he had lost his sandals. So I got him a cheap, but nice pair, and some cool trainer socks. We headed to a park near Oliver's school. It was a good park. Another kid turned up while we were there. He had blond curly hair, and Isaac presumed it was Alex, my friend Vicki's little boy. Isaac started playing with him straight away, and the boy played with Isaac. Was very cute, I was going to tell Isaac that it wasn't Alex, but he seemed so happy, and they played really nicely together. I didn't really get talking to the mother, as she had her other half with her, but Isaac was happy, and very bossy to the other boy, despite the fact he was at least 5! We then went and got Oliver, then paul.

This evening I have tried to revise, but I am very tired. 6am starts and me don't really get on. I am hoping and praying paul gets his car soon, as it is hard on the kids, and me to get up so early.....

Tomorrow I am planning on coming straight home after taking Isaac, making a big pot of coffee, and cleaning some of my house. I have already done upstairs and the bathrooms this week, so just downstairs to do tomorrow. I am trying to do it in small chunks every couple of days. So far it is working.

This weekend paul is planning on buying a lawnmower and cutting the grass. We still have some furniture to build. There is a festival on in Greenville that we are thinking of going to on Saturday. On Sunday the Millards ( paul worked with them at Rolls) are coming round for coffee,will be nice to meet them.

This has been an epic update, I really must do it more regularly. Once my exam is out of the way, I plan on going to some local meetups, doing at least one Zumba class a week and relaxing a bit!