Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The Countryside

We are chillin in a big way! We've been hangin out at this fabulous house in the country in NE England with Mims and Gramps and boy are we having fun. Just relaxing. Playing games, walking in the country, playing in the yard when it's above freezing, skipping rocks in the river, eating and watching movies. Brilliant!

Thankful for Good Neighbors

One day in December, our neighbors invited us for a walk at Mugduck for some fresh air. We just love their little girls and we were thrilled to go and to get outside. Just look at these cuties! and our view!

(Christopher was at a friend's house for the afternoon)

Christopher's Christmas Adventure

Nintendo DS Games................................. 70 GBP
Wii Games............................................... 100 GBP
Legos...........................................................50 GBP

Getting stuck in a hotel elevator and rescued by firemen on Christmas ...........................................PRICELESS!!!

We met our friends at a hotel for Christmas Dinner and shortly after the meal, Charlie and I went home since he was not well and was falling asleep at the table.

Well, we missed a great time. Christopher, Lewis, Roddy and one other random friend decided it would be fun to play in the elevator. You can see where this is going. They pushed 3 buttons at once and guess what, it jammed!

After a time, Ethan noticed (not Scott, Alex or Yvonne mind you) that they'd been on the elevator longer than normal; so he went to look for them. He heard children singing Christmas carols and so knocked on the floor he heard the voices and there they were. STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR.

So, guess who came to get them out????? Glasgow's Finest Firemen. Poor guys had Christmas duty and they were boldly rescuing children from a hotel elevator! One hour and 10 minutes after the children went in, the firemen helped them out! And after the rescue, those sweet men invited these rascals on a tour of the fire engine!

Boy did they have a Christmas Adventure Story! Definitely the most exciting thing about the hotel dinner!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Family Christmas

Christmas in Scotland without our extended family was different for us this year but we enjoyed being in our home and celebrating with our friends here. We've been looking forward to the arrival of Mims and Gramps on the 27th for their holiday visit with the Nicols!

After a long journey, they made it and we are so excited to have them here. We exchanged our Christmas gifts at home and then loaded the car to head to NE England for a week holiday in the country!

Mims and Gramps brought gifts from Maryland (Aunt Amy, Uncle Todd, Stella and Florie).

And look what the boys opened Christmas morning from Grandma and Grandpa Nicol! Yippee, Yahoo, were they excited!

And from Aunt Kim, Uncle Chris, Ashleigh, Caitlin and Hannah.....smiles all around!

And one of our favorite gifts this year.......a goat and six chickens for an impoverished family. We decided with our cousins in Texas (Max, Davis, Drew and Whit) to exchange goats and chickens this year and I know three families somewhere else in the world will be better because of it!

Thank you all for our fantastic Christmas gifts. We love and miss you and it's not quite the same to open them without you! I thought you'd love to see these smiling faces from afar!


Not naughty....

That's what Santa must have thought.....

We had a wonderful time Christmas morning and we hope you did too! And look who found the rest of Santa's milk.....

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas Eve

Charlie came down with a little cold virus on Christmas Eve so he and Scott stayed home and had to miss out on these fun things:

Christmas Caroling around the neighborhood led by a family from our church. The boys really enjoyed this old tradition and we finished at our home singing to Scott.

Then to the family service at another church (ours only had a midnight service) with a teacher from the boys' school and his family. There we learned of the German tradition of Christingle. The church was packed and we enjoyed learning about this tradition. Check out this link to learn more about it.

Then Ethan and I headed to a neighbor's house for a little more Christmas Eve action! It was a smashing party complete with Bouncy Castle inside!

Once home, we wound down by placing cookies out for Santa and reading a few versions of the Night Before Christmas.

(Charlie woke up for this bit of fun!)

and look who was hovering close to the milk and cookies.......

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry Christmas to you all! We wish you blessings today and forever more! Much love, Gwen, Scott, Ethan, Christopher and Charlie

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

O Christmas Tree

It really amazes me how much time Scott and I used to spend picking out Christmas Trees. We would trade years for fat and skinny ones since we never really agreed on the "best" shape.
Well, 13 years and 3 extra shoppers later, it takes us about 3 1/2 minutes to decide on a tree! This year, we all agreed on a 2-trunk tree! The tree is crazy and the boys love to tell our visitors that we have a 2-trunk tree! Just doing our part, nobody else was gonna pick this one!

I wondered what Angus was going to think about his first Christmas tree. I envisioned broken ornaments and a kitten hanging from branches but really, he can't be bothered! He's definitely not impressed with our 2-trunk tree!
The only thing we were missing: EGGNOG! Knew there were recipes out there but frankly, making my own did not appeal to me as much as the carton from the store. So we decorated without! Lupe's Deli was able to source one small shipment so I've purchased one Borden Can of Eggnog for $10 that we will savor on Christmas Morning!
Hope you all are gathered with friends and family this week around your "perfect tree".

More Christmas Cookies and the Last of School

Last Friday marked the end of the school term and so we decided to celebrate by having a few friends over for lunch and cookie decorating! It was so fun and it was a super way to start the holidays. We continue to be thankful for the blessing of wonderful friendships after a just a year in Glasgow! We are grateful and we are having fun with our new traditions in Scotland.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Big Digger

As I mentioned in an earlier post, our landlords are having a driveway put in for our houses.

Now there's something that motivated our boys to get dressed a little quicker in the mornings! You see they were allowed to sit and watch the digger from the windows after they were dressed, bed made, teeth brushed and ready for school! I know, I am the nicest mommy ever. Well, maybe it didn't really motivate Ethan but it sure worked for the other 2!
This is also why the Internet and phone were down for a week! It was worth it though, our driveway was completed this morning and we'll be parking in it next week! Huge Christmas Gift (as Ethan called it) since we sometimes have to park blocks away and with groceries and small children, and that is not always convenient in the rain!

Just thought you'd like to see the digger too! (Poor workers didn't sign a release so don't tell them they've been exploited on my blog!)

Charlie's 1st Annual Christmas Cookie Party

Since I love to bake and the boys seem to love to bake with me, we decided to have a few Christmas Cookie Decorating Parties this year! We hope to make it a tradition here! Charlie's party was last week before our Internet went down. Most of his friends get out of school at noon the kiddos and mums came for lunch and cookie decorating.

It was great fun and they loved eating the icing and using it to decorate their cookies! He invited his buddies Sol, Lucas, Lewis, Katie, Lucy and Casper to his party.