Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas Capers 2013

Christmas Eve began well.  The boys were up about 8am,  and I realized I had left my spare insulin at my dads.  I now needed it.  Paul and I left the boys with my mum and Lee, and headed back to Aldershot to pick it up.  On the way back we stopped at Marks and Spencer's for a coffee and to have a little look.  I couldn't find anything for myself, but typically found some clothes for Oliver.

We arrived back at my mums for lunch time, so headed in to Wokingham for some lunch.  We had a delightful meal at Cafe Rouge. This is in an old building which used to be a pub.  It was very nice.  We have noticed how much easier it seems to be to take kids out to eat in this country.  It may have always been like this, and we were not aware, or things have changed that much in the last 15 months, or we are used to how it works having lived in the land of dining out.....

The boys went to bed usual time on Christmas Eve.  It took them all a while to settle though.... We wrapped the last of the presents and settled down to sleep.

Luckily for the boys, Father Christmas remembered that they were in the UK (despite them forgetting to leave out milk cookies and carrots), and delivered their stockings.  The rest of their presents are waiting in the US.  For the first time the boys had presents from us.  Sebastian got a leap pad ultra, which he absolutely loves, despite paul and I having reservations.

Isaac and Oliver both got kindle fire HDs with kid proof covers.  Again, they love these and have great fun playing the apps and games.  We have not set any time limits on them (you can set time limits for games, apps, videos and leave books unlimited), but we fully intend to do so when we get back to the US.

We travelled mid morning from my mums to the Goslings.  Due to the rubbish weather (wind and rain), there were a few routes that were flooded with roads closed so we had to take a few detours.  We also had to drive through quite a few big puddles.  Our super happy fun bus hire car seems to be doing us well.  We reached the Goslings early afternoon, and the boys opened their presents.  They were very happy with what they received.  We had a delicious lunch, then the boys spent the afternoon playing with their presents.  We had to put Seb to bed about 7, as he was very tired, which meant he missed the arrival of auntie jenny, Tariq and Natalie.  The adults had decided in the afternoon we would save our presents till the evening, a first for us.  Oliver and Isaac were very happy to see jenny and Tariq, and of course their presents.  Everyone liked all their presents, which was a very good thing!

We got rid of the boys by about 9.30.  And then the fun began.  Our tent had been constructed in the back garden, for tony and Natalie to sleep in, save them being woken by the boys in the morning (they would have slept in the living room otherwise).  Keith and Tariq got a fire going in the BBQ, so we all headed out side.  It was cold, but the heat of the fire helped take the edge off.  We spent plenty of time outside drinking, chatting, catching up. 

We called it a night about 12.30.  The boys awoke about 8 again on Boxing Day.  Tony and Natalie had slept well outside, despite the cold, they had plenty of blankets and appreciated not being woken in the morning.  They headed off for Natalie's family party, a Boxing Day tradition.  We decided to go for a mcdonalds (our Boxing Day tradition) in Oxford.  We also had to buy a new ready bed for Isaac, as his had gone down in the night. This was our first trip to Argos in about 2 years.  We quickly remembered why.....  We got a new readybed and the Guess Who game for a bargain price.  The roads seemed quiet, so we went for a drive around Oxford.  It always strikes me how beautiful the city is, even at ground level.  The boys even seemed to enjoy hearing about daddy growing up there.  As the roads were so quiet, we were able to go round it, and back to the Goslings in 45 minutes.

As everyone had a heavy night the night before, early nights were had by all.  I went to bed about an hour before Paul, but only after having a nice catch up with jenny and Tariq and hearing how their year had been and their plans for the coming year.

We left fairly early the next day and traveled back to my dads, where the boys had yet more presents to open.  Again they were pleased with what they got, despite me making a big mix up with the lego, meaning they received duplicate sets.  Luckily my dad found the receipt.  The boys were very happy once they realized a trip to Toys r Us was on the cards.  They spent the evening watching tv, and playing their devices.  They went to bed at a fairly early time, ready for a trip to the coast the next day.....

Do you like their Christmas jumpers? The elf left them when he returned to help Father Christmas.  

Sunday, 29 December 2013


I am so sorry for the delay in a post, I have been busy.

I hope to blog in the next few days.  To tide you over, here us a recent photo or two

Monday, 23 December 2013

Typical British weather

Ok, so we are pretty much over the sleep deprivation

After the falafel the night before, The boys slept till 8.30 on Sunday morning.  Grandad came back about 9.30am, and we made a plan for the day.  By the time we were all ready to go, it was 12.30!  We gave the boys a big snack and headed to meet dad's friend.  

We drove down past Farnham and on to Alice Holt forest.  I had not been there since I was about Oliver's age, and it has changed a lot.  There is a lovely little cafe, if it had not been too cold, we would have chosen to eat there.  Instead we did a short trail which had a few pieces of play equipment.  There was a big wooden house, which the boys had great fun playing in.  Then there was a balancing area, where Oliver managed to donk his head.  We headed back to the main play area, where the boys had fun playing.

We were initially gong to stop at a pub we have been to before, right near Birdworld.  Unfortunately they were busy, and quite unaccomadating.  We decided to drive in to Farnham and head to Pizza Express.  The boys were most disgusted about having to park the car and walk to a restaurant rather than park right out the front.  Pizza Express were very accommodating, and quickly set us up a table, providing a high chair for Seb and a table that was suitable for all 7 of us.

The service was prompt and professional, even from the Northern waiter.  Paul and dad both went with the hottest pizza they could find, I had a delightful pesto and basil pizza.  Not my usual choice.  The boys had 2 pizzas between them, and finished the lot, even Isaac.  Oliver had some Helens, and all the plates were clean.  We haven't done Pizza Express before, but think it is definetley one we will do again.  We had forgotten how pretty Farnham is.  The buildings are so eclectic, and it has a very oldy worldly feel, with out being too busy or over commercialized.

We got back to the house about 5, gave the boys a big snack dinner consisting of donuts, biscuits and crisps (bad mummy), and started the rigmarole of bedtime.  By staggering their bedtimes (Seb had 20 minutes sleep in the car all day), they were all in bed and asleep by 8.30.  I finished off wrapping presents, and we got a fairly early night.

Oliver and Isaac were awake at 7.45 this morning.  Paul got up with them, allowing Seb and I to sleep. We awoke at 10.30!  Very lazy....  But we obviously needed it.  We packed up our stuff, and were on the road for our first mini road trip by 12.30.

First stop.....Tesco Extra at the Meadows, Camberley.  I have been pinning for a trip to Tesco for a while.  Man it was busy... Took us ages to get a parking space.  We had lunch in their cafe.  It was very nice, and pretty reasonable...

I managed to get most of what I wanted, but it was too busy to have a proper look at their clothes.  I did pick up the underwear bits I wanted for the boys, which is awesome.  Seb has his first pack of pants, eeekkkkk....

We drove on to my mums.  The weather is atrocious, with gale force winds and flood warnings across most of southern England.  En route, we drove past a rather large branch hanging from a tree, blocking up the other side of the road.  As we drove past it, we were about 20 meters down the road when it fell, and landed across both lanes of the road.  Scary, if we had been 20 seconds later, it may have landed on us.....Delightful weather.

It was lovely to arrive at my mums, see the old cat.  The boys got straight in playing the iPad, iPod and wii.  Seb had his first experience of the wii, he loved it though Paul had to help a lot...

We even managed to get a kebab delivered.  Saved us having to go out, or anyone cooking.  We have said to the people that we are staying with that we want to spend time with them, so take aways and eating out is how we want to play it..... It was soooooo good.  The boys ate plenty of their nuggets before having a staggered bedtime.  Again, they were all in bed by 9.  Currently sitting here enjoying a beer.

We were planning  on heading out for a walk tomorrow.  Though it is not due to rain, the gale force winds are enough to put anyone off.....  Soft play centre here we come....


You guys are the best!!! Thanks to your comments, I had the most popular blog out of all the expats in America on Expat Blog.  Thank you so much. Ok, I didn't win any money, but my blog is now top of the list of USA blogs on the site.  Hopefully this will give me more traffic to this delightful little hobby.

Thank you for your support, and I hope you continue readin and enjoying this blog xxxx

Saturday, 21 December 2013

And they say sleep deprivation is only for the parents of newborns......

I was not planning on posting so soon, but hey....  We have been in England for for 15 hours so far.

The journey to Charlotte airport was ok.  We got checked in quickly, despite it being one of the busiest weekends for holiday travel.  Got through security quickly also.  Was asked no questions about diabetic supplies (yay!), so we settled into departures and had some food.  Typically we all wanted different things to eat.  Oliver and Seb had Papa Johns, Isaac and Paul had Burger King, and I had a Salseritas.  A good meal to start an epic journey 

We headed to our departure area, where there was 4 flights leaving within 30 minutes of each other.  The boys had fun playing iPods and watching the planes.  Paul even bumped into a gentleman from his department who was travelling back to Germany for the holidays.  Because of our seats on the plane, we were one of the last to board.  Here are our seats

We had 4 in a row, then one the other side of the aisle.  The flight was not pleasant.  There was an electrical issue with something in the cockpit, so we took off 45 minutes late.  The service on US Airways is not great.  It felt like the passengers were a burden, they had set times for everything, and if you did not fall in the times, tough.  So we had out food and drinks (yuck to the food, yay to the complimentary wine.  No one said in advance we had to order kids meals on line).  Then they shut down the lights and we tried to get some sleep.  Oliver was sitting on the end of the row, so he managed to get some.  Paul was in the lonely aisle seat. And I was miles away next to Seb and Isaac.  I managed about 3 hours before he insisted on taking over.  Admittedly I was in tears by now as the boys were being pains in the butt, being overtired and generally very silly (as was I).  So I moved to the aisle seat, and paul (best husband ever) managed to get Isaac and Seb to get to sleep.  Thing is it is only a 7 hour flight.  By the time we had eaten etc, they already warned us they would be waking us 1.5 hours before scheduled landing time.  That left about 4 hours for sleeping.  The lights in the cabin were turned off for this time.  Isaac and Seb got about 3 hours sleep, Oliver a little more.  Paul and I reckon we got about 3 hours tops.

We landed at heathrow, it was very bumpy due to the weather.  We picked up the buggy and went through immigration relatively quickly.  This was down to  the staff looking out for familys and fast tracking them.  Thank you UK Borders and Customs.  We went and picked up our baggage, most of it was on the carousel when we got there.  Then to the car hire.  BMW use Sixt in the UK.  Paul had a chap at a desk in the airport trying to get him to upgrade to a BMW 5 series.  He politely refused.  Once we had been transported the xxxx. miles to their pick up garage, he had the same thing again, but for a cheaper price.  We drive these cars all the time, so I said I thought it was not a good idea....in the mean time, Isaac had fallen and hit his head on a metal post, so he had a nice big egg on the back of his head.

We ended up with a Ford Galaxy.  It is new, and very spacious.  The drive to my dads took less than 45 minutes.  I had to keep Isaac awake for the last 10 minutes.  We arrived here about 9.20 with 3 very tired boys, and 2 tired parents...

Luckily my dad was expecting  us.  The joys of having mobiles for the UK and the US.  He fixed us coffee before having to pop out.  Paul went for a sleep.   I woke him after an hour and a half.  I gave the boys an early lunch, and Seb was down for a sleep by 12.45.  Oliver and Isaac amused themselves by playing with the items we had purchased for the plane originally.   I went to bed while Seb was sleeping.  Paul woke me, just before he got Seb.
Seb was brought downstairs, and was placed on the sofa, leading to this beautiful photo.

We are all so tired.  After Isaac and Seb had woken up, Oliver started looking very tired.  We have literally let them watch tv and play all day.  Their body clocks are 5 hours behind.  Oliver and grandad fell asleep on the soda about 4pm.  

We ordered a curry for delivery for dinner.  The adults thoroughly enjoyed theirs, only Sebastian and Oliver ate any of theirs.  Naan bread for Oliver and the chicken for Seb.  Oliver  was back asleep on the sofa straight after dinner, so I thought it best to get them all to bed. Oppps.  Oliver went straight to sleep, but Isaac and Seb were having none of it,  to the point that they woke Oliver.  We put the older 2 back to bed, to be told 5 minutes later that Seb was getting out of his cot.  We all went in their room to watch Seb climb put of the cot, and land on the bed.  Cue nightmares about our sleeping arrangements for the next 2 weeks.  We tried him in the boys bed but that is never going to work....  Currently the travel cot is up in our room, but Seb is too big for it.  We need to put him in a bed when we get home...  Once Seb was on his own, with his musical lamb (thanks Katherine, I know this was for Isaac initially, but it has been a life saver) he fell asleep quite quickly.  The other 2 have taken a bit longer to settle.  We are still hoping they will sleep a bit longer tomorrow

We all need it....

Friday, 20 December 2013

Quick hello

I thought I better do a post before the craziness of the next 2 weeks kicks in…..

This week has pretty much been spent preparing for our journey.  It has been a cycle of washing (to be sure we have enough warm clothes), cleaning (no one likes coming home to a dirty house), and packing.  Progress report:  All washing is done, all beds are clean, only the kitchen to hoover, most of the packing is done bar the boys presents.  All in, I am pretty confident we are ready…

Isaac finished school on tuesday.  He had a party, and took in gifts he had made for his teachers.  These were pretty basic, tree ornaments made out of cinnamon scented salt dough, painted by him, with his name on the back.  A nice keep sake for his teachers.

Wednesday morning we went to Rachel's house.  The boys had a great time playing with the toys, and Layla and Riley.  Sebastian was even introduced to his first slot car set.  To say he loved it is an understatement… once he found it, he spent the rest of the time playing with it.  I was surprised how careful he was with it.  The boys even got donuts, so they were very happy

Wednesday night I was lucky enough to get to go out with my friends.  We went to Bacon Brothers on Pelham Road.  All I can say is yummy.  The food was good, the company was better, and the beer was cheap (2.50 for a pint! won't get that in England…)  A big thanks to Rachel for driving me, hope I didn't gabber too much on the way home!!!

This morning Paul went into work a little late, so I could go to Oliver's end of school service.  They is no photography in Chapel, so I could not get a photo of him doing a cute little dance with his friends to a Jewish song.  The service was lovely.  All the grades, kindergarden to 4th, did an awesome job.  The school presents so many opportunities to the kids and they really step up to the plate.  Oliver had requested a trip to the zoo afterwards.  Oliver never asks to go to the zoo, so off we went. The boys loved it.  It was nice and quiet, and not too cold, though big coats were still needed.  I took loads of photos of all 3 boys together.  They are rarely in the same shot, so this was a rarity….

After, we headed to meet Paul for lunch.  We ended up at Firehouse Subs, despite Oliver's protests, he really enjoyed it.  We even managed to get Isaac to eat most of his grilled cheese sandwich. Any one who reads this blog regularly will know what an accomplishment that is! 

We came home, Seb did not go for a sleep, but I did!  All this prep has made me quite exhausted.  Same with Paul.  but we think we are ready.  Ready for the sitting in the airport for 3 hours (got the boys some mini lego kits, they should be happy), being on a plane for 9 hours (hopefully they will sleep for half of it), landing at 7am UK time (thats 2am our time) then driving the hour and 30 minutes to my dads.

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone!!!!!  I will try and blog while I am away.  I am super excited for christmas in small houses with the people we love, letting the boys be spoilt, and even spoiling them ourselves.  I am looking forward to seeing my friends.  I know it won't be for long, but it will be so lovely to see everyone.  I am even looking forward to a trip round Tesco!  And doing some sale shopping.

This time tomorrow we will be on a plane…..


So the Expat blog competition is still live.  I am currently leading the USA entries!  We are well down on total comments per country, so will probably not win any money.  But the way things stand, I am hopeful I can get a GOLD badge to put atop this blog.  That would look so cool.  A big THANK YOU to those that have commented, shared my link on Facebook and retweeted the link on Twitter. I am exceptionally grateful. Here is the link in case you missed it! There is only  a day left to comment

Did I ever mention how much I love Gold…...

Scratch the elf has fun!

Here are some photos of Scratch's antics.  He has had a lot of fun these last few days.

I must say a big thank you to Paul.  I have got particularly lazy forgetful about doing this, and Paul has taken over the job.  So other than the first one, and the one with the gifts, these have all been Paul…..

The elf loves making a mess

He went exploring and got stuck.  Took the boys a bit of direction to get him down

Arts and crafts gift

"I am your father"

Recreating Miley Cirrus' "Wrecking Ball"

Hiding, took the boys ages to find him!

playing on the stairs

Hiding again

He is so mischievous…..

Monday, 16 December 2013

Expat blog contest

I may have mentioned a few times that I am taking part in the Expat Blog writing competition.

The entries went live today…. Here is the link to my entry.  To help me win, you need to write a comment, of at least 10 words, on the link.  If you have not commented on Expat Blogs before, they will send you a verification email, which you need to submit back.  They are giving a prize for the wittiest comments…

Please help me with this, I would love to win some recognition for my writing.


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Appointments, appointments, appointments

Well this week has been full of the above!

Wednesday I had my first diabetic eye exam since living here (whoops!).  A big thank you to my friend Rachel who was here at 8.20 with her kids to look after Sebastian.  Thank you.  This enabled me to trot of to my appointment.  It went well, with no retinopathy detected.  I was made to wait an awful long time.  With this appointment I need special drops administered to my eyes to dilate the blood vessels.  In the UK you then have your eyes photographed, and they build up a picture of your eyes over time. This makes it easier to see if there is any retinopathy developing.  Not here.  The delightful doctor looked in my eyes after the drops, saw no signs of retinopathy (this cannot be right, as a small amount had developed while I was pregnant with Seb, but had not got worse at my last 2 UK photographs).  I found the whole experience unnerving and very subjective.  Ok, this is an optometrist who is trained to look for retinopathy, but even still, what if he has a bad day and doesn't catch the signs???

Anywhoo, over the last few weeks Oliver's recurring ear infection has been getting worse.  I called his doctor on Wednesday afternoon and was able to get an appointment for Thursday morning.  Off we went, after dropping Isaac in Simpsonville for his holiday show rehearsal.  The doctor was awesome as usual.  We didn't have to wait longer than 5 minutes, result!  She was very good, had a good look in his ear, prescribed some drops, then referred us to the ENT specialists.  They called on Thursday lunchtime, and Oliver has an appointment in January.  Good job too, as the drops the doc prescribed (which cost 4 times more than the last lot) do not seem to be working at all....

Thursday afternoon I had a diabetic appointment.  My nurse, Elaine, had to rearrange our last appointment as she was away, meaning I had not seen her for 5 months.  I had blood tests done a few weeks ago.  My cholesterol and kidney function are fine, though my thyroid is on the low side of low.  She wants to retest in 3 months.  I scared myself last night by looking up the symptoms of an under active thyroid, and I have about a quater of them.  My hBA1c was 8.2, so a little high, but about the same as it was last time.  She is quite happy, I just need to tweak some things and I should be able to get it in the 7's, my desired goal.  I told her about my eye appointment, and how I was a little unhappy with it.  I think they understood, particularly Michelle the health care assistant.  Not sure they will, or can, do anything about it.  

My greatest fear is that I keep having these subjective tests done.  Get back to England to my first diabetic retinopathy eye exams.  They take the photo and compare to their 3 year old + records! and find loads of retinopathy.....

Isaac had his holiday show on the Thursday night.  It was at Simpsonville fine arts centre. Oliver had persuaded me to take him along.  Isaac has been singing jingle bell rock for weeks!  I am sick of hearing it....  We dropped Isaac in his room, and went to make ourselves comfy on the delightful wooden chairs.  I let Oliver play iPod till it started.  Typically it was a good show, with the toddler classroom starting, then on to the primary.  Isaac did his usual of not singing, not doing any actions, and sitting right in the middle.  Don't know if the boy gets stage fright or of he is just belligerent.....  Oliver wanted to go straight after and I explained that we had to sit and watch the rest.  He was not happy, and moaned for the rest of the evening.  Particularly as I would not give him the iPod again, he was there to watch the show!

Friday morning was grandparents day at Isaac's school, and I went in place of the grandparents, with Seb in tow.  It was lovely to see Isaac in his classroom environment.  He even got muffins and juices for Sebastian and i. He did some work, but it was so hard for me.  Sebastian wanted to be into everything,and copy what Isaac did, which was great.  But Isaac knows how things work. He was lucky enough to attend preschool in the UK, which gave him a really good grounding (thank you Little Explorers!!). Seb was hard work, and unfortunately made the experience less enjoyable.  I already had to stop by the office after to talk about Seb starting in January.  It would seem they do not have space for him.  I really appreciated her honesty.  They will assess him in February for the primary classroom, Isaac's classrooms.  I am more than happy with this.

Then I came home, and had an epithany....  All my boys have been exposed to a playgroup/ preschool environment before attending school.  Sebastian has not.  Even if he started in Isaac's classroom in August, although it is Montessori, it is structured and does not give him the chance to play and interact with children his own age.  I think he needs a different kind of environment, something not so school like.  I asked my subdivision Facebook friends of recommendations of preschools/day cares in the local area, and they have some back with some good suggestions.  I spoke to my good friend Anna about her day care, and how BMW assist with this.  Seb is 3 in January, once he is 3, BMW pay for him to be in preschool/daycare.  I think for Sebastian's development (his talking and social skills), it will do him the world of good to be with kids his own age, and learn, on his own, how the world of a 3 year old works.  I have come full circle from my discussion over the summer about having Seb at home.  I do not feel like i can socialize him as well as being in an environment with kids his age regularly could.  I love having him at home, but I am at the stage where I feel he needs more.  Ok, he gets some from his brothers, and this is helping his speech a lot.  But they are not his age.  He needs to spend time with kids his age.  He gets so excited when he knows he is going to see his friends Layla or Jack, and even when we go to Isaac's friends.  He is quite a social boy, and the more he learns to foster those skills the better.  Guess what I am spending most of January doing.....

Wow, this time next week we will be at my dads, in England.  All the presents are wrapped, and 3/4 of the boys stuff is packed already.  As much as I am not looking forward to the travelling, the journey to Charlotte, the waiting in the airport, the getting Seb to sleep on the plane, I am looking forward to what is on the other side of that 12 hours.....  Seeing my parents, making it fun for the boys, seeing the inlaws and Jenny, Tony, Natalie and Tariq.  Hope someone has the hard liquor prepared!  I am looking forward to being in Littlehampton for a night.  Seeing my friends, their kids (especially the new arrivals!), seeing the sea, and all the construction work going on at the seafront.  I can't wait to take the kids to London.  I may not like it, but I think they will love it. 

Yozzers, sorry for the essay.  I am 3 beers in.  That might explain it, lol!  I can't even be bothered now to waffled at you all about the Expat Blog competition that goes live for voting in 2 days time.  If you have got this far you have done well!!!!

Check back in a couple of days for more info on the competition, and how you can help me win!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Scratch's first week.

So our elf, Scratch arrived on the 1st  December. 

Luckily for the boys, he came bearing gifts of chocolate advent calenders and new pajamas and a list of instructions.

The boys were not sure how well behaved this elf will be, after their experience of Jingles, Sparkles and Fred last year.  I am going to try and photograph Scratch's antics each evening.  I am sure I will miss some nights!

So the next night.....

Scratch was playing with the Thomas trains

Then, he was having a party with the Lego Hero Factory character the boys had made....

Scratch  spent the night in the fruit bowl.

Last night, Scratch was lazy, and did not move from where the boys left him.  To make up for this, he has left the boys some sewing craft kits, and a book of Christmas stories.  I am sure they will love them

Photo drop

I am feeling a little lazy, I have found a new zumba class, so have been going twice a week.  Yet I am very aware I have not done a post for a while. Think it is everything we have to do to get ready for the UK in like 11 days time.  11 days, eeekkkkkk!!!!

So I am going to put in some photos for the last few days.

Paul got round to blowing the leaves in the garden over thanksgiving weekend.  Seb was a complete contrast to last year.  He was running around with his brothers fighting the leaves with their swords and shields from legoland.  

We went to the zoo that same day.  The boys love feeding the goats leaves.....

I have been in the hairdressers twice in the last week.  I attempted to take Seb to a specialized kids hairdressers, but they were closed.  I bit the bullet and took him to Great Clips, where the rest of the men in this family go.  Seb was awesome, climbed in the bolster in the chair like a pro.  He accepted the cover over him quite well.  The hairdresser got his front first, before he started getting too anstie. My iPhone managed to keep him contented till she had finished.  She was even able to use the clippers.

Paul had a Tesla for an evening.  I have never heard such a quiet car.  It is awesome, and surprisingly spacious.  Here is the touch screen centre console

It is over double the size of my iPad......

Paul had his annual office Christmas decorating competition at work. His pen are defending champions, so it was very important they maintained their crown.  A lot of planning time and effort went into this.  Here is an example of how Paul spends his working days

Needless to say, they defended their crown, and plans are already afoot for the competition next year

We got our Christmas tree on Saturday, so the boys got to choose a new decoration each.  Paul spent Saturday putting the lights outside.  There is a competition in our subdivision this year for best decorated houses.  I am not even sure what the categories are!  But I have been spending a lot of time crafting with the boys.  Isaac and I have made cinnamon smelling tree ornaments, which the boys have painted in preparation for teachers gifts.  We have made copious snow men and Christmas trees, with more to come this week (thanks Pinterest!).

We brought the tree in to the house on Sunday, and spent the morning decorating it, and the rest of the house.  It was nice getting out all the ornaments and decorations from last year, particularly the home made ones.  Sunday was definitely a pajama day, it was horrid.  Today would have been too if the boys didn't have school.  It has been rainy and cold all day.  Good preparation for 11 days time!

Today Seb and I met Paul at the mall for lunch.  Paul got some presents for me, with my guidance.  We had a look in some shops

Seb had great fun in Gap admiring himself.  He was dancing, and talking to him self.  It was very cute.  We have never seen him do something like this.  He was even giving himself kisses.  So cute. I think we need a full length mirror, so he can do this at home.

Busy week this week.  I have a diabetic eye exam, the a diabetic appointment, followed by Isaac's holiday show.  He has been singing Jingle Bell Rock around the house for about 2 weeks.  It is just about starting to send me loopy....

Here are some photos of our festive house to close

Don't forget.....

The Expat Blog writing competition I have entered goes live on the 16th December.  I believe that you have to leave a comment on my piece of writing on their website (must be at least 10 words, and there is a monetary prize for the best comment left!).  Comments can only be posted for 5 days, so I will need as many of you as possible to share my link and get your friends to do the same.  I believe there will also be buttons to like my piece on twitter and Facebook.

I need your help.  As soon as I have the link I will post it here, on Facebook (personal and blog pages) and on twitter.

I look forward to reading your comments!