Saturday, 22 December 2007

Early Christmas

Celebrating Thanksgiving late and Christmas early really changed the holidays for us this year! Even though it was busy getting ready for both holidays, we did not seem to be quite so harried as I've been in years past. Anyway, we loved the school programs and the boys each enjoyed Christmas parties at school. We made and decorated cookies for Santa, enjoyed playdates withfriends and had many discussions about how Santa was going to fit down our wee chimney!

We had a special visit from St. Nick on Saturday the 15th and we enjoyed exchanging gifts with each other that day as well. We put on our PJs Friday night and did not get out of them until Sunday morning! It was absolutely fantastic. The boys loved playing with their new toys and games and we enjoyed sharing a quiet day at home with our family

We are excited to be sitting in the Newark Airport awaiting our plane to Dallas. We are on our way to Arlington to see the Nicols, Dallas to see friends and then we'll be off to Shreveport next weekend to see the FitzGeralds.
We wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If we do not see you stateside, know that we are thinking of you this holiday season!
Blessings to each of you, love the MacNicols

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Jamie the Fox

I've been meaning to tell you all that we have the BBC Autumnwatch's very own "Jamie" the fox that lives in our neighborhood. We see him often and sometimes get to see him very closely.

The family that lived in this house before us included the BBC photographer Gordon Buchanan and he started filming these local foxes for a program called Springwatch on the BBC. Then they followed up with Autumnwatch which aired shortly after we arrived. Apparently there is a large population of chip shop foxes in Glasgow. The boys have enjoyed seeing him and we recorded the program from BBC and of course they love to see this local celebrity. They think it is so cool that Jamie lives in our yard some days!

check out their website if you are interested in seeing him.......

Friday, 14 December 2007

School Christmas Programs

Well, I have to say that it was quite refreshing this year to see not one but two new school Christmas Programs. After 7 years at the same pre-school in Dallas, I was eager to see something other than the basic/traditional nativity story. The boys had fun and were proud to have us come and see each of their performances.

The Prep 1 and Prep 2 classes put on the "Bossy King." It is the story of a greedy, bossy king that is mean to his servants. The towns people quickly show him that there is a great King, much better that then Bossy King and he is "Ruler of all Heaven and Earth, and His name is Jesus!" The children sang, narrated and performed the program magnificently! Bravo to Christopher and his friends. Christopher was in one of the singing groups.

The Prep 3 through Trans classes had a program about Christmas Around the World. Each class shared a story and and song about the way that different cultures celebrate Christmas. It was really cute and Ethan's grade sang about Spain. The show was wonderful and Ethan had fun being a part of it!

We are really enjoying The Glasgow Academy and all that we are experiencing there!

Quirky Things

I've been meaning to tell you all about a few things we find to be different/quirky here:

Trolleys (grocery carts) do not go straight when you push them. They go sideways. Maybe the Scots fell like they are going straight because of the beverages they've consumed? Anyway, it's very difficult to push a trolley full of groceries with a wiggling child inside. I do think this gets easier over time because everyone else does not seem to be having a hard time like me! I've hit a few people as well. Yikes!

Dry Cleaning - next time you go into your local dry cleaners, please give them a big smile and thank you! It is soooooo expensive to dry clean your clothes here. It's 5 pounds ($10) an item. Of course part of that goes along with the weak dollar and that everything is much more expensive here but we've noticed this to be especially true. You also have to wash your shirts before you go so they will iron them. Needless to say, I've purchased an iron and am learning which items really have to be dry cleaned and which ones can be washed on the wool cycle.

Driving - My brother Todd asked me recently how we were getting along with the driving rules here. Well, we've gotten quite used to it; so much that we both have already received a ticket! There are speed cameras everywhere and they constantly shoot ya. On one particular part of a major road, the speed limit is 30 kilometers which is pretty slow for 6 lanes of road. It' s one the way to the hardware store and we've gotten 2 little notices in the mail to say we were busted! Darn it. They have a point system here and each ticket is 3 points and you are only allowed 10 points and then they take away your license. We've slowed down.

Bookings - if you want to have dinner out, it is almost mandatory that you have a booking (reservation) to get a table. We went to a restaurant on Wednesday, walked in off the street without a booking, the restaurant was half empty, but they wouldn't let us have a table because they were fully booked. They could give us a table in 30 minutes which of course is the same as waiting at a restaurant in Dallas but to see all of these empty tables and be turned away is new to us! We walked next door to see about that restaurant and they couldn't seat us for the rest of the evening. We're learning to book in advance. I think people here must be good about keeping their bookings because the system is working for these restaurants.

Credit - as we have had to re-establish our credit in our new homeland and we are learning as we go. One of the things we learned that quite surprised us; if you are renting and you have no credit history, your new credit is tied to the previous renters at your address! Can you believe? Thankfully there was a reputable family that lived in our house prior to our arrival. This really surprised us.

Anyway, these are just a few observations about things that are different here in Scotland! Have a great day!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Blogging Difficulties

Well, it has taken me 3 days to get the pictures posted to the Christmas Tree Blog. Apparently is having technical difficulties with picture uploading and I just experienced the worst of it.

If they appear blank to you, click on them and it will take you to a link at my Picasa Web Hosting page where the pictures are stored.

Hopefully this will be resolved soon as I will have lots of pictures to post in the next couple of weeks!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

O Christmas Tree

We went right from turkey and dressing to all things Christmas! Since our arrival in October, the weather has been fairly mild. It has rained but not like we'd expected. Well, all of that changed about 2 1/2 weeks ago when the temperatures dropped and it rained solid for 2 weeks. Everyone has said, "welcome to the REAL Scotland weather!" It's been pretty yucky, but you learn to get out and do everything that you have to do in the wet cold weather. As we started to focus on Christmas this past weekend, the cold weather helped to get us in the mood!

Saturday morning we bundled up to head into the City Centre to see the Winterfest in the Square and the German Christmas Market. Winterfest is just a few rides and food booths in one of the main squares with an outdoor skating rink. Ethan thought he would try until until the rain came pouring down and changed this outdoor adventure into a soggy one! Anyway, the boys were troopers. They tried one of the rides and tasted some of the food at the Christmas Market.

The highlight of our day was picking out our Christmas tree and bringing it home to decorate. We had a great afternoon, snuggled in our living room with Christmas music on, a fire in the fireplace and decorations coming out of boxes!

Just as we put the lights on the tree, huge snowflakes started falling from the sky! It was so beautiful and certainly something we do not see very often when decorating our tree in Texas!

It did not stick since it was so wet but it was nice to see it in the air for a few hours!

The tree is up, the stockings are hung and we are awaiting an early arrival of St. Nick this weekend!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner 2007

We celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend and we had a great time! I was able to source all of the ingredients with the help of a package from Mims and a little store called Lupe's Deli! We invited our neighbors and it was "brilliant".

We made turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, salad, apple pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie squares. We were really missing our dining room and the nice big kitchen on Meadowknoll Drive! We have one tiny hob and about 8 feet of counter space so the preparation was a little more challenging and lunch was cozy in the kitchen! Nevertheless, the food was yummy and the company perfect.

I set the kitchen table for the adults and set up tables in Charlie's room for the children. The guests included Pippa and Neil Watson, their girls Jessica (4) and Georgia (1), Ethan's friend William, Pippa's Father Brian Gibson (lives next door and her mom was out of town) and Pippa's brother Kerr (he works in the family business so we see him often as they office out of the Gibson's house next door). It was so fun! They all pitched right in to help get the final dishes ready and we really enjoyed their company! Everyone arrived at 1 and by the end of the afternoon we had them watching American football on the Telly, Kerr asleep on the couch, and Pippa and I finishing the wine until 8!

I managed to get a few pictures but regretfully not one of Brian in his Family Tartan Suit! Riot!

It was a great first Scottish Thanksgiving!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Still Unpacking....

Hi everyone. Sorry it's been awhile since the MacNicols have done anything exciting. We're still unpacking.

Do you know that game Rush Hour by Think Fun? If you've never played, it's a 3-D puzzle with cars and trucks and they are in a scramble blocking traffic. Well, you have to let the taxi through so you move the brown car up one space to move the green truck over 2 spaces to let the yellow bus down one space all without lifting the pieces. Are you with me?? It's a great game but it's all I can think about every time I try to find something that we've put away. You see, everything needs to have a place in this little house and as we unpack things and tuck them away, I am noticing the effort it is going to take to find each thing again! Things are stacked and organized into baskets and cupboards but I just know that the platter I need is the one on the bottom in the back which means I'll be playing Rush Hour to get it! And the shoes Scott wanted to wear this morning required an extension ladder just to get them down!

As we unpack all of this STUFF that we own, we wonder why we own so much STUFF. Even though we thoroughly cleaned out our closets, toys and things that sit on tables, we seem to still have plenty of all of the above! We are again cleaning out for a trip to the Salvation Army. (I think we've been good this year so I am anticipating more STUFF to arrive in a few weeks.)

We are preparing to host a Thanksgiving Lunch this Sunday for our friends so we have been busy getting the house in order and I have been busy visiting all of the grocery stores looking for the ingredients we need! Yesterday, I found a Mexican Deli that stocks grocery products from the US and Mexico! YIPPEE, YAHOO. This is what came home in my bag: Negra Modelo, Real Flour Tortillas, Arriba Salsa (3 jars), and Hidden Valley Ranch! The boys polished off the bottle of Ranch with their pizza and carrots last night and Scott almost polished off the beer! Tonight we are having tacos so the rest will be gone soon! I went into the deli in search of Karo Syrup and Canned Pumpkin but they were sold out because of Thanksgiving. That's what I get for waiting! It will certainly be a place I visit often and I look forward to going back again! (For my Louisiana friends, they even had Dixie beer! I'm bringing Lupe a bottle of Shiner after Christmas! If he can stock Dixie, then surely he can stock Shiner.)

We look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks! I'm off to unpack and bake....

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone of you. We are missing our family, friends and a huge Thanksgiving meal today! Everything here was business as usual. We plan to cook and celebrate with our Scottish Neighbors next weekend.

We are oh so thankful today for many things but the one thing that is on the top of our list; our container arrived and we slept in our OWN beds last night! YIPPEE, YAHOO! We feel as if Christmas has come and gone because 6 weeks without your belongings really makes them all new again! Toys, books, beds, a new change of clothes, more warm pjs and mittens and real silverware left us all shouting with glee!

The movers arrived Tuesday morning and unloaded the container. Then we were off to the Thistle for one night in a hotel. I have to brag a little to say that our 3 boys have become quite the little travelers! They really have the hotel, luggage, taxi thing down.

Wednesday morning we met the movers back at the house and began the process of setting up beds and unpacking boxes. It was nice to have help and we were able to get lots done. We are not sure how we managed to ship quite so much stuff over but we are finding spaces under beds and on top of armoires for the extras. This house has a total of 2 closets and I am realizing how much iItook our last home for granted! Space, luxurious space. Anyway, it will all go somewhere or we'll find it a new owner. Nevertheless, we were thrilled to lay our heads on familiar pillows and mattresses last night and we are oh so thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and we are raising our glasses and bowing our heads in thanksgiving and prayer for all of you!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Pure Joy

I remember having the romantic idea that strolling to the market and/or butcher and/or cheese monger and/or roots & fruits market and/or wine shop would be fun; an adventure. Well, don't get me wrong, I still like those little shops and go on a regular basis, but oh what a joy it is to buy in BULK when you have 4 growing boys! I joined a friend on a journey to Costco yesterday and will admit that I couldn't help myself but to hop up and down upon finding many things that make our lives easier. Alleluia! I am trying to be mindful of waste and really we have no storage, but paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, Ziplocs and Starbucks coffee, we really can't have enough in this household! and no offense to the butcher or the local grocer, but something larger than a half pound chicken is what the MacNicols need at dinner time! Not to mention it's a lot more economical to buy in bulk when the good ole american dollar is half of a GBP. And guess what, they had Amy's Burritos in the frozen food section! So I thought I'd let you all know, I can buy in bulk in Scotland. Now I just need a third refrigerator!

Sunday, 11 November 2007


After an exhausting week of logistics and paperwork regarding cars and bank accounts, we wanted a weekend away. So the MacNicols hit the road for Edinburgh! The lure of a castle, a zoo and a Hilton with proper beds was more than we could resist. (You'll notice a friend in some of our pictures. His name is Flat Stanley and he belongs to our cousin Drew and is visiting all the way from Texas!)

Edinburgh is one hour East of Glasgow so we drove over Saturday morning. We arrived, checked into our hotel room and walked across the street to the castle. Edinburgh Castle is perched high on an ancient volcano and it is an amazing sight. There is much to learn, see and do at the castle and we managed to hit a few of the highlights. The hike up the hill to the main gate guaranteed a few moans but once we arrived at the top and looked out over the city, we were all awestruck. The views of the city are unbelievable. It is absolutely beautiful. We entered the main gate crossing the old moat and immediately were drawn to the cannons. It is fun to think about the battles staged here; especially when you are 9, 6, and 3 and full of testosterone! Charlie's favorite new phrase is "hold your fire!"

We enjoyed the cobblestone roads and the details on all of the buildings. It's amazing to see these old structures and imagine the people that lived here. St. Margaret's Chapel on the castle grounds dates back to the 12th century and just happened to be hosting a wedding on Saturday(complete with Bagpiper). It is considered to be the only remaining original structure on the grounds.
Ethan, Christopher and I enjoyed the Scottish Military Museum; home to a wonderful collection of uniforms, weapons, medals and information about the armies that attacked and defended the castle. The Great Hall of the castle houses another collection of weapons and we were fortunate enough to be there for a short history lesson. Some things we learned:

Side burns did not originate from Elvis Presley but instead from these soldiers that were not allowed to have any other facial hair except side burns. It protected their faces from the gun powder from their rifles.

Flash in the Pan - muskets from the day had pans that held gun powder and an attempt to fire them sometimes produced small fire explosions in the pan and therefore the term Flash in the Pan was born!

Fire in the Hole - Small naval gunners were loaded with gunpowder, shot, and wadding and then lit by some poor fellow from the top and back with "fire in the hole."

Drafted to the Army - not sure if this one is true but here goes....all the Royal Army needed to have someone sign up to serve was their name and their acceptance of one Shilling. So when they were running out of volunteers, they headed to the local pub and started putting coins in pints of beer so that when the men finished their beer and picked up the coin, they could congratulate them on joining the army. Well, the pubs soon switched to glassware instead of pewter because the men were afraid to drink beer for fear of what was at the bottom! So then the term, drafted to the army was born.
Funny we've heard these things so many times, it's fun to learn about the origin.

We also enjoyed the Crown Jewels, the Queen's apartments, the dungeon and the VIEW, the VIEW, and the VIEW! From the walls of the castle you can see 360 degrees around the city.

We loved it and plan to go back soon. After 5 hours though, most of us were tired and ready to head to our hotel. Ethan and I decided to walk through a few shops and take our time getting back to the hotel. On the way home, we walked through the park just below the castle and enjoyed a night view with the castle all lit up! Spectacular! If only I'd had the camera.

Today we had a full Scottish breakfast (black pudding, or beans and/or mushrooms on toast still not appealing to me)at the hotel then hustled to the zoo. The Edinburgh Zoo is just on the edge of the city and it is old and wonderful. They have a fairly large collection of animals and we enjoyed the day outdoors. It was sunny and cold so many of the animals were sunning themselves in their habitats. Some of our favorites were the Polar Bear, Lions, Tiger, Red Panda, Rhinos, Pygmy Hippos, Penguins, Jaguars and the Honey Badger.

Weekend highlights for each of us:
Ethan: red panda

Christopher: Castle - looking over the wall at the ocean

Charlie - didn't like the dead people (all the fake costumed people in the castle)

Gwen - military museum and the view of the castle at night

Scott - looking over the castle wall and panoramic view from the castle

We had a fantastic weekend and we look forward to visiting both places again!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

A Country Drive

Scott arrived safely this morning in time for breakfast then we were off to the hills for a wee drive in the country! We headed to a town NW of home to the Scottish Wool Centre.

The drive up was fantastic; winding roads, sheep everywhere, cattle (but no highland cows), century old farms and hills! The fall color was magnificent too. Red maples and yellow and orange leaves everywhere. Because everything stays damp year round, it is of course super GREEN! The pastures do not look quite like Texas pastures. You get a sense of the lives of many generations of families living on these farms producing sheep for wool and meat and Angus cattle for good ole mince!

When we arrived at the Scottish Wool Centre, we discovered it was simply a very large souvenir shop and cafe! Thank goodness they had a playground so Scott took the boys outside to play while I enquired about the wool demonstrations quoted in the Fodor's book! Come to find out, Hand, Foot and Mouth disease put an end to the hands on demonstration of wool production! No longer could you pet the sheep, seem them sheared and then see the women spinning the wool! Apparently, they still have a lady that comes in once and awhile to use the loom. She was coming that day and when I asked "what time" they relied, "when she gets here" with a friendly chuckle as only the Scots can pull off! And in the summer, they now have dog shows, so maybe we'll head back to the Scottish Wool Centre next summer!

We grabbed a coffee to take away and hit the road again.

Next we headed to Loch Lommond to the SeaLife Aquarium. Along the way, I kept thinking that it sure would be nice to see highland cattle in the pasture and guess what? We finally spotted 2 live and in person! We passed them and quickly turned around to get a second look so everyone could see. (remember we are on tiny, two-lane roads in the Scottish hills) On our third pass by (there was no safe place to stop), no one was behind us so we slowed to a crawl, got the camera and got a shot! They turned to look at us and Ethan yelled from the backseat, "Hey cows, we are Americans!" Christopher then chimed in, "we come in peace!" We are the loudest people in Scotland.

The SeaLife Aquarium is in a beautiful setting right on the Loch and we enjoyed the visit. It's no Dallas World Aquarium, but we all enjoyed the afternoon. There was a park just beside it so we spent sometime there and had a picnic. Then a quick ice cream cone before Scott passed out! It was a great day and we are so excited to have such beautiful scenery close by!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

A Scottish Halloween

Happy Halloween from the Nicol Clan! It was school as usual for the big boys with the exception that they could wear one small piece of their costumes. Charlie had a party in his class but was not interested in wearing his costume!

We went to a neighborhood party downstairs at our landlord/friends' (the Watsons) house; apparently a tradition for generations in Pippa's family and in this neighborhood. What a fun time we had!

Shortly after arriving, we headed out to try Trick or Treating Scottish Style with a group of neighborhood families. We went to houses where Pippa had warned the families that we were coming. In Scotland, you are invited in to share a "Trick or Treat" with the homeowners before receiving your sweetie". The children are invited to tell a joke or sing a song! The homeowners were so gracious and allowed us to share our trick or treats and then generously filled the children's bags with all sorts of sweets. Our boys just went right along with this new tradition and eventually were telling jokes of their own. I was so surprised by the going inside tradition. I mean all the way in to the living room with all of these little costumed children with sticky fingers! (costumes are called "Fancy Dress")

Ethan and Christopher were befriended by many of the children and loved the opportunity to get to know some children that are their age and are so close by. Charlie was in it for the candy but otherwise stuck pretty close to mommy.
I LOVED meeting the grown-ups and met some moms that were especially friendly and helpful. One that has 4 children, 3 boys (same ages as ours) and a sweet baby girl. They live around the corner. Another family across the street that has a boy that is 8 and a 6 year old girl. Ethan also hit it off with a little girl his age that lives around the corner and I really enjoyed meeting her parents. The mom moved here from Peru when she was 18 and her brothers live in the USA. One is an actor on the TV Show Lost. I don't watch it so I was clueless about that.

We spent an hour trick or treating then ended up back at Pippa's for snacks and playing until time for taming the monsters. I am so grateful to have landed in a place where the people are especially friendly and more specifically in a neighborhood full of wonderful families with lots of children! God has provided such blessings everytime we need them on this journey!

Our neighborhood is only 4 or 5 streets so it very small and after last night, I can't believe how many children live here that we have not seen! Lots of family have 2 working parents and the children go to many different schools so I guess everyone has been busy working and going to school. Of course, the weather is not very conducive to playing outside, so that could be another thing.

The boys already have playdates planned for this weekend and had huge grins when going to sleep last night! What a relief for mommy! Charlie had a bit of a Halloween Hangover this morning so he and I are at home today catching up and cleaning house. It's pouring rain.

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Halloween Stateside. Please send pictures if you can!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Fun in the Sun

Hello everyone. It's Sunday night and after a full week and weekend in our new home, it now feels just like that, HOME!

We've been challenged by electronics this week and weekend. Scott managed to have our Internet and phone connected Wednesday and we are still learning to use the phones. Just getting used to new calling codes.

The cable guy says he came but I was here and he never rang the bell. Could be that he rang the neighbors bell? So Friday, when the new TV and stereo were delivered, we just sat and enjoyed the blank screen! Apparently, you can't receive any channels if you do not have cable. It took Scott much longer than normal to set up the TV and Stereo because some of the wires are different and it came with no instructions. After many expletives and hours had gone by, we had a signal! We soon found out there is a difference in US and European formatting for DVDs. Therefore, our DVDs will not play on this new system without some sort of transformer or code breaker which every electronics store in town knows about but no one has!

The boys were so patient with us even though it was a completely frustrating day! They were really looking forward to watching a movie and we could not produce. By the time we figured it out, it was past their bedtime!

Saturday morning, we received our air shipment! Yippee!!! Yahoo! It was like early Christmas presents. They played and played with the toys and didn't want to leave because they finally had some of their familiar things! The boxes also had the blankets from their beds, more pillows, another air mattress and Halloween Costumes. You can see Christopher wasted no time there! Boy, could we settle in now!

The shipment also had the Gamecube in it which the boys were so excited about playing. Even though the voltage should have been low enough to plug it into a travel plug, it sparked and died immediately! DEVASTATION! Our poor boys were now plotting to kill us and adopt a new family. As far as they could tell, we know nothing and we are worthless!

Scott went to the hardware store and the grocery store and returned with hot sauce ingredients. We'd been two weeks without Tex Mex and he could stand it no longer! So, out came the new chopper and hot sauce we soon had! Things were looking up. We also remembered that we had a travel DVD player that would bypass the DVD issue so now we had movies! Success, yes we could accomplish something!

This morning, Scott left for Dallas and we enjoyed sleeping in and another movie. The sun was out though and I was itching to get outside. We found a skateboard park, a great playground and a huge hill with MUD at the bottom. What else could three little boys need? Check out the pictures from the mudslide they created after an hour of running up and down that hill! The boys enjoyed a naked ride home which they thought was hilarious! So fun and it was great to be outside!

We are tired, but had a great first week and weekend in our house! Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Table for 5

What a difference a few days make! We've settled into school a little more and the boys continue to make friends and enjoy the newness. We've had a few tears the last couple of days as reality sets in and the realization that this is not a "holiday" hits us all.

On Tuesday morning, after droping the big boys off at school, Scott, Charlie and I emptied the hotel room of our suitcases and headed to Hatfield Drive. Since our air shipment was still not here (@#$%!!), I then headed to the store for the basics: air mattress (we have one futon mattress from our first trip to Ikea and one bed that is on loan from our landlord), sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, skillet, etc. We were all so thankful to have a little space!

Wednesday, Charlie and I headed to Ikea for a temporay kitchen table because eating on the floor no longer felt like camping! After 3 hours in Ikea (nightmare), I'd made some selections that might make settling in a little easier. Scott has used his trusty new drill to become a skilled Ikea Assembler for the MacNicols.

Just notice the before and after pictures of our kitchen! Doesn't the table make all the difference??? Oh yeah, and the real plates we picked up at Ikea! It's the little things that make us oh so HAPPY! It redefines what's you need vs what you want!

I hope you also noticed our washer and dryer in the kitchen. This house did not come with a dryer, so Scott insisted that we get one right away. Scott was probably scared of what I might do or say without one as I was hanging the 9th load of laundry on the drying rack for the day. I do love the drying rack though. It's just about as old as the house, 1904, and it's on a pulley system. Since the ceilings are so tall, you just hang your laundry on the rack and pull it up to the ceiling. It's approx. 12" x 72". It is also in the kitchen. Tonight, I learned what happens when you forget the laundry on the rack while you are cooking dinner! The boys' freashly laundered uniform shorts now smell like garlic.

Right now, we have the dryer vented out of the window unitl the workman can come and drill a hole in the wall. They said they'll be here sometime next week, maybe the week after. I'm sure the neighbors love the self venting system.

Scott sucessfully set up our phone and internet at home today. It only took about 24 hours, as we just can't seem to figure out how to dial anyone from here. We couldn't call for help because we are still learning how to dial all the different numbers. It's different for mobile, landlines in Glasgow, and landlines elsewhere. It also doesn't help that we have one US mobile phone and one local phone so dialing from each is different. It's super frustrating and I know there is a lesson in patience in it somewhere but boy are we impatient about stuff like that!

One more thing, have you ever tried to feed Scott Nicol and his three growing boys out of a mini-fridge??? I know that I've said that the idea of going to the butcher, baker, cheesemonger and the root and fruit markets everyday was exciting, but until I find those placees, my people are hungry and this tiny fridge isn't filling them up! You should have seen me today. One shopping cart full of groceries and I have crammed it all in only to have them eat half of it for dinner! I'm sure it doesn't help that one row is full of beer!! Anyway, while I was purchasing a vaccum today I figured, what the heck, a drink fridge is a good idea. It will be delivered on Tuesday! Then I can take my time to find the above mentioned markets, right?

More on the joys and frustrations of living abroad soon! Cheers!