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


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


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.