Monday, 29 June 2009


Anambra is a state in SE Nigeria. The state theme is "home for all."

We have not traveled as far south as Nigeria but we have traveled to beautiful Croatia and are aboard "Anambra", our home for the week. Anambra is a 46 foot sailboat and we chartered her for our summer holiday.
We flew to Dubrovnik on Saturday, loaded our things in our boat and headed in to this ancient walled city. It was breathtaking. Stupendous. We walked the city walls taking in the sights of the sea, the mountains and the city. There is evidence of the war on the rooftops; new tiles in large sections. But otherwise, it's like most old European cities. Great contrasts of old and new.

We set sail Sunday morning.

Here are a few of the highlights so far:
  • driving the boat out of the marina for the first time

  • 3 mini captains learning the ropes from their very capable father

  • SAILING in the sunshine!!!!

  • anchoring in coves to swim and play on the unspoilt beaches

  • swimming with an octopus in 3 feet of water and within inches of this beautiful creature
  • driving the dingy

  • eating in local restaurants sometimes as the only foreign patrons

  • having lunch at a restaurant where we watched the cook clean the squid just before putting it on the grill (this place was like being in a Croatian home for a meal-fabulous!)

  • relaxing and decompressing from work

  • being disconnected from our phones, laptops and busy daily lives
We've had a few mishaps that come with the territory but we've learned from them and have moved on. The only thing I haven't gotten over is that we lost all of the pictures from these first few days because of my deleting mistake. Ethan put it into perspective for me by reminding me that we could take more and were there any that were "really important?" Not really E. Not in the big scheme of things! Taking more by the boatload!(photos above courtesy of Holidaysincroatia website.)

So we're off to a National Park this morning to hike and swim and tour a monastery then we are sailing on to Korcula. Bon Voyage!

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Can you guess what this is?

Let me get a little closer.......

Now can you guess?? It's SuperTarget. Tesco Extra. It's Target, but in the UK. Must be owned by the same company because the clothes are the same manufacturers and the layout of the store is the same. Great similarities and sometimes I go for just a wee wander.

It's right next to this super store....

Costco. I've already told you how much I love this place.

And Sam Walton. He set up shop here too. WalMart is alive and kicking in the form of ASDA. It's WalMart, just cleaner.

The world is smaller than we think friends! I still prefer the local markets but these sure are convenient if you need to do a "big shop"!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Kindergarten Graduation

Yesterday was Charlie's Kindergarten Graduation. Whew, what a big step for all of us!

It was such a sweet morning complete with summer holiday songs and rosy cheeks. Charlie was confused by the "pomp and circumstance" but certainly knows what a big deal it is to be going to P1 next year. Big stuff. "Real" school. Big Boy uniforms. Reading, writing, arithmetic, sitting still. Lord help us!

Last Thursday, each of the boys spent a little time in their new classrooms with their teachers for next year. Ethan's age group was shuffled so he has new and old friends in his class. And he is entering the Transitus year. The one year between prep school and senior school! YIKES. Christopher's classmates are all the same but he seemed excited about his new homework assigning P4 teacher. And Charlie has most of the children from his nursery and kindergarten years in his class (12 out of 13) and a lovely young, energetic teacher!

Charlie and his pal, Sol.

School finishes tomorrow and it can not come soon enough! We're not used to going to school until the end of June. It feels like torture! Thankfully the sun is shining, it's nice and warm and we can enjoy a little celebration with friends tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Blues

Last night Scott and I had the pleasure of accompanying our budding Saxophonist to the Jazz Festival to see YolanDa Brown. She's an award winning 24 year old Saxophonist that is amazing!

We had fantastic 2nd row seats and at the end of the first set, YolanDa picked Ethan out of the crowd and asked him to help her dedicate a song to the Glasgow Jazz Festival. She invited him on stage, introduced herself and asked him to do the same, asked if he played an instrument, (she was delighted that he played the sax) and then asked him to pick any genre of music so that she and her band could make up a song and play it for us. He said, "the Blues!" Imagine the delight from the audience to hear this 10 year old ask for the blues! She amazed us with a fantastic impromptu blues song and then many more in the second set.

She gave Ethan a CD and signed it for him afterward! What a memory!

Check her out:

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Happy Father's Day

Three cheers to all of the Father's out there. Scott and I feel blessed to have 2 of the best and I know our boys think they have a winner too. I agree!
I hope you have a great day doing whatever makes you happy!

What Makes a Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad
Author Unknown

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Texas Fun

Here are the pictures from Christopher and Scott's trip to Texas. They loved their time with Grandma and Grandpa and all their Texas cousins! Scott only wished he didn't have to work so much!

Enjoy Christopher's photos.

Christopher with Max (can you tell Christopher is jet lagged???)

Enjoying the Texas heat.

Good Ole American Pastime!
Relaxing with Grandma.
Plane ticket to Dallas: $1200.
Rental Car: $300.
Missing a week of school and spending time with your grandparents: PRICELESS!
We love and miss you! Thanks for the fun!

Abernethy, Scotland

Ethan had a fantastic time on his Prep 6 trip to Abernethy. They did all sorts of things. They canoed, swam, climbed, hiked, and did all fun things outside. One thing they did not do: SLEEP.

That sweet boy was a zombie Friday night and Saturday. He's all caught up and we've enjoyed hearing about his adventures. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.

Just off the bus.

His buddy James.
His roommates, Chris and Cameron.
(check out that house they stayed in!)
On a trek.
And his girlfriend Vicky. I know, I said GIRLFRIEND! I will say though, he has good taste like his daddy!

Monday, 15 June 2009

And Middle Child and Daddy Make 5

Christopher and Scott arrived home this morning safe, smiling and exhausted! Christopher had such a good time with Grandma and Grandpa Nicol and all of his Texas Cousins. And Scott worked his tail off but enjoyed the time he had with his familytoo.

Tonight we sat at the table as a family of 5 and shared stories of our week. It was a meal filled with laughter and noise and oh how I loved that noise.

I think we all appreciated each other a little more this evening. Now we'll see if it will last through breakfast!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

One Home

Ethan returned from his adventure camp exhausted but great. He had a blast and the stories are still unfolding. Taking camera to be developed today and will post as soon as possible.

Charlie did not leave his side until he crawled in his bed last night!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

One Child

I'm down to one child this week and it feels SOOOOOOO weird! Ethan is on a week long field trip in Abernethy, Scotland with his entire grade. They are at an outdoor adventure camp and the grin on his face Monday morning was priceless! We are especially thankful for the beautiful weather they are having in the highlands. I know he is having a ball. He has a disposable camera with him, so I hope to post pictures next weekend.

Christopher left this morning on a last minute trip to Arlington, Texas! Scott has meetings tomorrow and Thursday in Dallas and we decided that it would be a special treat for Christopher to have that one on one time with his Daddy and his grandparents! You should have seen the grin on his face this morning. He is also thrilled to be missing a week of school and getting to see his Texas cousins.

And Charlie, he is stuck here in Glasgow with me! It's nice to have him all to myself and when I asked what he'd like to do this week his answer was as follows: "paint, playdoh, drawing and playing outside." It's the simple things. And when you are the third child, sometimes it takes the disappearance of all of the distractions to focus on the simple things.

And God sent me a special message yesterday morning. I stepped out of my car, tripped in a pothole and sprained my ankle. So slowing down with Charlie just got that much easier and I am grateful for it!

I do miss the chaos and noise though!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Glasgow Academy

I apologize for going on and on about our "goings on" here in Glasgow.

In the day to day same old same old, I've forgotten to continue to share with you all of the the things that we now take for granted. All of the things that we continue to learn. The nuances, the language, the culture. I promise to do better!

Scott's brother Todd kindly reminded me that we needed to post simple things like pictures of the house, the boys' school and other everyday things. Thanks Todd for the nudge. I needed it!

Here is the school.

This is the original school building on this campus. Today it houses the main school office, the rector's office, the senior school library and a few senior school classrooms. The Glasgow Academy has been in this location since 1878! Here is a link to the school website with a little information on the history of the school.

As the Academy expanded, they purchased the surrounding tenement buildings which until last April, housed the Preparatory school offices and classrooms. Then, the completion of the new Prep School building allowed the student and staff to spread out a little!

This past year, all three of our boys have been in this building. Ethan and Christopher have classrooms along this glass wall which over looks the River Kelvin! It's splendid.

I hope you've enjoyed your tour around the Glasgow Academy.

Cricket - Not the chirpping kind!

Another new sport coming your way. My brain is overwhelmed with all of the sporting rules we've learned in the last 18 months. Rugby. I can almost follow along. Fencing, I'm getting there. International tournament today helped. Cricket. I have no idea.

I've had the chance to see Ethan at cricket practice but I really know nothing about the sport. I really do not understand it. Most of my friends say they've been watching for years and they still don't understand it.

When we first moved here, we thought Ethan would love it since we thought it was similar to baseball and he LOVES baseball. He was frustrated by it last year. Maybe his brain was in new sporting rules overload. This year however, he's really enjoying it. He's required to play it at school in the rugby off season so I am thankful he likes it more now.

Last weekend, Scott went to watch a match and he loved learning the rules and basking in the Scotland Summer Sunshine! Maybe by the time Charlie is playing, I know the rules to this one too!

Here are a few pictures of Ethan bowling and batting:

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

4:34 am

That is the time of today's sunrise. Angus is very confused and thinks it's time to play and eat. And today, Charlie was confused as well. Our bed was full this morning.

Help me Ronda!