Tuesday, 28 December 2010

O Christmas Tree

We found a beauty this year!

The boys started with their collectables from Mims and Gramps.
And Charlie took his role of chief decorator seriously.
Angus is just thankful to have his domain back.
I think this might be one of my favourite days of the year.


Check this out.
Is this one of the cutest puppies you've ever seen? We had the privilege of keeping 10 week old Scruffy for the weekend and man oh man, is he cute! The boys and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am not so sure about Scott or Angus!

Monachyle Mohr

For our 15th Wedding Anniversary, Scott surprised me with a trip to this country house hotel for a landscape photography course.


We traveled through the beautiful snowy hills northwest of Glasgow and ended up in this remote, winter wonderland. Situated on Loch Voil, Monachyle Mohr transports it's guests to another world. With 14 cleverly appointed rooms and one award winning chef, it is a boutique hotel like none other. Add to that an award winning professional photographer and it made for one of the most relaxing and rewarding getaways to date!

We arrived early Sunday morning to start our course. We studied our camera and it's capabilities. We learned about exposure, composition, shutter speed and much more. After a delicious lunch, we began the practical work. With 3 other participants, we wandered out onto the hotel property in an effort to put our theory to practice. I think Scott is a natural and I am a slow learner! It was fun to practice though, especially with this stunning scenery.

We enjoyed drinks in the tiny bar after the days' work, and we shared a table with another couple on the course for dinner. It was one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The food is all local and the flavours were amazing.

The next morning brought too much fog for a sunrise practical session so we headed back to the classroom shortly after breakfast. I think taking your camera off automatic takes lots and lots of practice. And lots and lots of time to delete all of the not so great photos off your camera!

Unfortunately, our time was cut short on the second day because a snowstorm hit Glasgow and we received a call from the babysitter to say she could not make it to the school. And once we spoke to other parents back home, we decided we needed to get on the road. (Some of our friends were stuck on the motorway for 12 hours)


So the course did not end like we'd hoped and we missed our last practical session, but it certainly wet our appetite to learn more about our camera! But we cherished the 36 hours we did have. And we have a new favourite Scottish hotel.

We made it home safe and sound. And the boys walked home from school after no one was able to collect them. NICE.

Monachyle Mohr, we will be back!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Chris, Caitlin and Hannah in Scotland

This post is long overdue. We had a fantastic visit with Chris, Caitlin and Hannah over the Thanksgiving week. The weather was so nice they began to doubt our stories and our moaning about the rain. I'll let the pictures speak for the week!

We enjoyed a beautiful day in St. Andrews touring the cathedral and castle ruins, flying kites on the beach and a long leisurely lunch. The boys skipped school that day so that they could come along.

We toured the Glasgow School of Art and did a little shopping on the High Street. We passed this political protest which was interesting.

Scott took another day off to join us for a tour of Loch Lomond, a cozy pub lunch and a distillery tour! It was a fantastic day.

And the last 2 days were spent in Edinburgh touring the Castle, Holyrood Palace, Walking the Royal Mile, Tucking in a few pubs along the way, visiting Camera Obscura, and a tour of the tunnels under the Royal Mile.

We bribed the boys with a stop to the sweetie shop after a little shopping and this is what they picked! Nice.

We crammed so much into our week that I am sure Caitlin and Hannah slept most of the way home. It was a brilliant week and we can't thank you guys enough for making the effort to visit! We miss you already. Cheers!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We have much to be thankful for in 2010. Blessings too many to count.

Our second annual Thanksgiving Party (in Scotland) was on Sunday the 21st of November. The turkeys came from a farm in Southern England and the entertainment came in the form of 30 of our Scottish friends! And to top it off, my brother Chris and my nieces Caitlin and Hannah, arrived for their Scotland visit on that morning. Splendid!

We picked them up at the airport at 7:30 and then hit the ground running to prepare for our afternoon feast. Poor Caitlin and Hannah, they must of thought I was crazy.

We made the following: 2 20lb turkeys, 1 15 lb ham, 2 pans of cornbread dressing, roasted carrots, gravy, and our friends brought the rest: mashed potatoes, roasted parsnips, brussel sprouts, roasted pumpkin stuffed with spiced rice, green beans, cranberry sauce and sausages. The boys helped me prepare a pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pecan pie. One friend brought a cheeseboard and the children decorated (with the help of Caitlin and Hannah) sugar cookies. It was definitely a feast for a king!

We laughed, and ate, and drank, and danced, and played games and laughed and ate and drank some more! A fantastic day by all accounts!

Happy Thanksgiving to you! We count you among our many blessings!