Friday, August 29, 2008

Care Package from Home...

Today was one of the highlights of Curly's and Moe's trip abroad. Shortly after dinner, I took the trash out and decided to check our mail. (It's not that we get a lot of mail, as a matter of fact we have only received one mail item whilst being here and that was train tickets.) Anyway, there was a little note inside the box that said a package had arrived and we could claim it downstairs.

I was so excited when I got the package and realized that it was for the girls...I raced back upstairs and told them to quickly get in their jammies because they had a surprise. They were moving so quickly that Curly's arm got stuck in her nightgown and Syd's was caught in her panties. It was really cute.

They opened the package and found one of their greatest treasures...something they have been asking for since about week 3. OATMEAL!!! Not just any oatmeal, mind you, the good stuff...peaches 'n cream, strawberries 'n cream, blueberries 'n get the picture. I brought a couple of boxes over with us but since everything here taste different, they blew through that pretty quickly. They were so excited that they requested it for their snack before bed. How could we say no to that?

Also, included in the box were two stuffed bears. On a side note, my children are obsessed with stuffed animals. I'm not just saying that lightly either. They can tell you every animal they have, who gave it to them, what their name is and how many times Grandma has had to sew together a boo-boo. I once tried to get rid of a few and got busted...boy, did I live to regret that.

Eachof the girls also had a stack of letters in their box from friends in their Sunday School classes back home. I almost cried....seriously! Curly took one look at one of the pictures and said, "that is from my friend C, also know as Posh Spice here. She always colors my curly hair!"

I have to tell you that I just love the Theriot family. They are the one's who happened to be in London when we arrived and also teach Curly's Sunday School class. They arranged all the artwork and bought the bears and oatmeal. I am so grateful to them for taking the time to think of our girls...they lead a very busy life with two teenagers of their own but wanted to make sure that our girls knew they were missed back home. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are very special to us.

Here is a picture and a short video from the girls:

Peace Out and thank you for reminding us that we are blessed beyond measure.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

They call me grace...

There is a scene in the movie Dumbo where Mouse E Mouse discovers that Dumbo can fly. He starts yelling in his best New York accent, "Dumbo, you can fly...YOU CAN FLY!!!" I just love that part, there is such excitement and pride in that little mouse for his giant friend.

Well yesterday, nobody was saying that to me except for that little voice in your head that convinces you to do things that aren't too smart.

The girls and I took Other Guy to a new park that we found close to our apartment. It is a nice little park with lots to do. We played monster chase and climbed lots of things...we slid down the slide and climbed up the pirate ship...then we decided it was time to swing, or I did at least.

I just kept swinging higher and higher. I felt like a kid again, even getting that little tickle in your tummy when you start to come back down.

Suddenly, it came to me...I could jump of the swing, I could FLY! I did it as a kid so what's the difference? I will tell you the difference, about 20 years!!!

So, there I was, swinging, swinging, swinging...higher, higher, higher. I moved my hands in place to get ready for the launch. The excitement was building, my palms were actually starting to get damp.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...BLAST OFF!

I can FLY...I CAN FLY...I FELL! Yep, I landed on my feet for but a moment only to find myself falling on my knees and hands. The two little boys that were there tried to hide their laughter, but heck, I was laughing. I was laughing so hard I began to snort.

I got up, dusted myself off and debated whether or not to tell Other Guy of my adventure. My laughter gave me away though...I had to tell him why I was laughing so hard and why I was limping!

Okay, I'll give you a minute to stop laughing...

Are you finished yet? No, okay...just a few more moments of laughter at my expense!

Now, fast forward to bed time...I started to think of the look on the kids faces and how I would have reacted at their age watching some old lady launch herself from a swing...

I got the worse case of the was so funny!

Oh well, from now on, I'll leave the flying to Dumbo and the Sharpay Eagles.

Peace Out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sharpay Eagles and a Zebra with a case of the Tooty Fruities...

This past weekend we loaded a train and set out on our 5 hour travels to Edinburgh, Scotland. Let me just say...HOLY COW! That place is beautiful. Once again, thanks to Other Guy saving up his points, we were in a mac daddy hotel that had a view of the Edinburgh castle...literally! You can see the picture below...that was taken from our window. It was amazing. I can honestly say that this "westside" girl has never been in places as nice as what I have seen on my travels with Other Guy.

We kicked back a little on our first day there and just walked around the city and let the girls play at a playground that was very, very close to the hotel. It was nice just to chill a little. The next morning we set out to breakfast and unfortunately, Moe got her finger stuck in the elevator door. We literally had to pull it out. I am sure you can imagine the screams that followed. However, a special order of pancakes from the hostess at the restaurant quickly made things better. We started at Edinburgh Zoo. This zoo is 800 acres built on the side of a mountain. You spend 1/2 the time walking up the mountain and the other half walking down. It was really neat though. Their penguin exhibit was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. You could reach out and touch the little guys. Of course, they didn't want you to but you could if you are one of those "rule breakers" which I am not. We soon made our way to the zebras where there was a mama and baby that were so sweet. There were also two other zebras...a daddy and a brother according to the girls. There was a zebra that decided to role around in the dirt on his back which had us all giggling but then he began tooting whilst doing it and then we all just roared laughing. Other Guy got it on video, although it's probably shaky considering how much we were laughing.

On a side note, I have mentioned in prior posts that there is just something about me and animals. They all just feel the need to mate around me...not sure why but they do. So, to add to my list of Animals I have witnessed mating...we were able to see lions mating. I laughed my head off. We were peeking through this fence because you really couldn't see them any other way as they were secluded from the other lions. Anyway, you hear a big roar and then the song started playing...Let's get it on...Okay so that part is a little embellished but man o man you should have seen that lioness get ticked off at Mr. Man. She swatted at him and started roaring. The girls said he woke her up and made her mad. Other Guy and I just laughed harder. Other Guy said he was sure the lioness was smoking a cigarette when we left ;0)

The rest of our day was spent at the Castle. It was so cool. We went through a tour and heard some history and then walked around. That place is HUGE!!! The girls especially enjoyed the cannons. They also wanted to wish their grandparents a happy anniversary in a special way...

The next day we went to a place called Hollyrood. This has the castle that is the Queen's residence whilst in Scotland and it also has a large park. There is a part of the park called Arthur's Seat. It is a pretty big, no make that HUGE, climb. We figured what the heck and started out to see how far we could get. Two small children, a backpack, a large duffel bag and no stroller. Shockingly we made it halfway and the only reason we stopped was due to safety. It just became to steep and we worried about getting the girls back down.

Pre Climb

Post Climb

We ended the day back at the park where Curly got to Bungee Jump...well kinda. I've posted a picture so you can see. We promised Moe a ride on the Merry Go Round but she was too little. So, Other Guy cheered her up by offering her a favorite past time of hers. Chasing Sharpay Eagles...what are these you ask? Well, their official name is seagulls but not according to Moe! They will forever be Sharpey Eagles...I guess they can live with the Formingos.

Well, thanks for sharing in our weekend, it's Paris! Can't wait...

Peace Out!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wales of Fun and a Wicked Good Time...

This past weekend we took a break from jolly ole London and headed for the capital city of Cardiff to be exact. The girls had a great time on the train and it was nice to break things up a little. We were able to visit Castle Cardiff that was really neat. We climbed a really big tower and watched a real sword fight. We were able to tour the rooms of the Castle that were refurbished in the late 1800's.

It rained a lot whilst we were there but that did not stop the fun. The hotel had a large indoor pool with a hot tub. We put on our suits and off we went. The kiddos had a BLAST! Other Guy and I enjoyed just kicking back with the girls and staying in a pretty sweet hotel. Thanks to Other Guy's points, it was all free too, which made it even sweeter. We also took an open top tour bus to see some of the cities sites. We visited some museums and the girls were able to ride a merry go round. We had lunch and then headed to the train station. Here are a few you can see, Curly was worn out:

This week and last, London does something called Kids Theatre Week. During these two weeks, they lower the age requirements to go to shows and offer lots of different specials. The girls have really enjoyed watching The Wizard of Oz so we decided to take our chances and take them to the musical Wicked. (for those of you who don't know, it's a spin off of sorts from Wizard of Oz) So, we bought really cheap tickets (in case we had to leave), got the girls all dressed up and headed out for a family date night. The girls LOVED IT! It was so cute to hear them talking ninety miles a minute when we left the show. They knew some of the songs already because their mommy loves that show and has the CD. I wish you could have seen their faces all during the show. They were completely taken. Unfortunately, no pics during the show, but here is a little video of them. It is really dark but you will get the point.

Well, gotta run, housework and laundry calls. I'll post more pics soon.

Peace Out!

Friday, August 15, 2008

No Negativity here...

There is a play park here in London that was built as a memorial to Princess Diana. It's a really cool park and you can only go in if you have kids. We have to take a tube to get there but the girls really love it. Tuesday night before putting the girls to bed, I promised them we would go back in the morning and I kept my promise.

We arrived to the gated, guard watched park in the pouring rain and crazy wind. I asked the girls if they wanted to stay and the quickly said yes. "Please mommy, the rain will stop soon and it will be so much fun!" Don't you just love that optimism? So, we stayed and they were right. The rain went away and we did have a great time. They never once complained about being cold, even though their clothes were damp and the wind was blowing like crazy. I was ready to call it a day and pout the whole way home because our day had been ruined. However, their smiles kept things positive and we stayed for a couple of hours. We built sand castles together that as Moe told Daddy later, looked like mountains. I never said I was the artist in the family, but I did try ;0) The day finished up with a ride in a pink bug and a headdressing. (I bought two scarves to try to use them as a belt but the girls decided to wear them like all the other "people they see!")

You can see some pics by clicking HERE!

We finished up the day with a healthy, all American dinner. If you don't believe me, just read the jar, yes I said will tell you.

Peace Out!!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cantelopes and Honey Dudes...

Lasterday (as Moe calls it!) was pretty laid back, the girls played really well together and every time I suggested a park, they just said no thank you. They were patiently waiting for Other Guy to come home so he could go to the park with us. I think they really miss him when he's gone, what am I saying! Of course they miss him, I miss him! As I have said before that is the only downer to being here. My best friend works long hours and all my girl friends are a million miles away and we are living in a place that is a fraction of space of what our real home is. Other Guy's home arrival is the highlight of the day because they get another playmate and I get adult conversation!

There are a lot of positives here too! First of all, Other Guy and I started a diet whilst being here. Eat to Live was recommended by my doctor to help me lose weight and get my cholesterol and other things back in order. Just to give you a little bit of background...I have been gaining weight like crazy without any real reason. I exercise every day and Other Guy and I eat pretty good. I knew it was bad when Other Guy sat me down one night and said that even though he would love me no matter what, he was concerned about the weight. Not having any paternal medical background, I don't know what types of things might run in my genes! Back to the story though...

So, we started the diet and it has been great! It has helped us both! We have already lost weight, enough so that we are already having trouble keeping our pants pulled up. That brings a whole new problem...I forgot to bring a belt! Oh well, I'll take it. We eat lots of salads and tons of fresh fruit. The girls love it!

Last night at dinner Curly said that her favorite fruits were Honey Dudes and Cantelopes. Other Guy and I just laughed and she said, "Well, they are my favorite fruit!"

The girls do ask, on a regular basis, how many weeks we have left until we see our friends. They are already making plans for what they want to do. I just smile and give them an update of weeks, days, etc.

We are hoping to get back to Princess Diana's Memorial Park again today...we'll see, it just started raining.

Peace Out!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't you ever wish...

Yesterday morning, we were all waking up and starting the day when Curly posed a very interesting question...Don't you ever wish you only had one child? What? Other Guy and I looked at each other...did she just say what we think she said? No, we replied, that would mean there was no you or no Moe. She thought about it for a while and just shook her head.

When Other Guy and I went to bed last night, we just laughed out loud!

Well, for those of you who are sitting by the computer desperately is an update on the Londoners.

Last week was pretty laid back. We tried to plan out our remaining weekends abroad. The girls and I went to the parks and the market and the fruit stand and the market and the fruit stand and the park and...oh, you get the point.

This weekend we did some of the "London" things we've been waiting to do. If things work out as planned, we won't be in town for the remainder of the weekends.

Other Guy started out at Parliament and then met us at the Transport Museum. The girls really enjoyed it. This place, boring as it sounds, really did things right for young kids. It gave them something to do and touch and climb on whilst Mummy and Daddy got to read lots of cool history on transportation in London. It was very fascinating and if you're every here, I highly recommend it!

We finished out the very rainy day at home and it was the first time we have ever uttered the words, "I'm bored!" It was nice to just kick back though.

Sunday we headed out to an area of town that closes down an entire street and hosts a flower market every Sunday. It was beautiful. We saw flowers and plants that I have never seen before. Other Guy took some pictures and I'll try to post those some time when he gets them loaded.

Other Guy heard about another children's zoo and well let's just say it wasn't pretty! Poor Other Guy...he tries so hard but in his defense, the advice came from a lady with no kids and let's be honest here, has probably NEVER been there. We walked in and looked at each other and said, "Yeah, we won't be here long...careful girls, try not to touch anything!!!" Just a little humor there!

We grabbed some lunch and then went paddle boating. The girls LOVED it. Other Guy and I were taken aback by how difficult it was, mainly because our feet are HUGE. Our poor children don't have a chance...they will have built-in skis when they are ready and they are usable in water or snow!

We ended our day at Hillsong and once again, we were blown away! There was a minister from Los Angeles and man, was he on FIRE! They do this amazing thing every week and quite frankly, I am moved to tears every time. It's hard to describe it in words without it sounding hokey but I'll try...

After they have sung two or three songs, the minister comes out with a hand full of cards. The cards are praises and prayer requests that he announces from stage so the whole church can rejoice with the amazing things God has done and the miraculous things He is going to do. There is music playing and the whole building is claiming the victory over these needs in the blessed name of Jesus Christ. It is so moving...

The service ended with the minister asking us to pray for a couple of teams that are all over the world. Before I know it, he says a team in Jacksonville Florida...WHAT!! I screamed out loud!! he said, "have you heard of this place?" I shook my head and he said, "are you from there?" YESSSSS, I screamed. There is a team there helping out Celebration Church in my home town. That was such a lift, I suddenly didn't feel so very far from home. Isn't that crazy????

The night ended on a very funny note...Curly was wearing braids that day and when we took them out, her hair appeared to be longer. She was running around the apartment singing, "My hair is's long like Pocahontas...look at my long hair..Hey Moe, do you want to have a party and celebrate my long hair!" Other Guy and I were cracking up! She is so funny! The best part about it was that Moe was just as happy, jumping and singing and more than willing to attend her big sister's party!

Oh one more are a couple of pics of the pad here in London.

This one is my favorite, but be careful, object are smaller than they appear!!!

Peace OUT!!!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summer Time...

My friend, Daneen, wrote in her blog about a photo contest. The name of the blog is Five Minutes for Mom and you can view it here. The idea behind the contest is Summer Fun. They want you to post a photo that depicts what Summer is to you.

As you all know, the jolly 'ole King Family is in London for the remainder of their Summer. But out time here has already been filled with firsts and lots of memories.

I think this photo is what Summer Time is all about...being outside, having fun, ice cream, popcorn, corn dogs, face painting, laughing, etc., etc., etc.

Here you go...

Peace Out...and enjoy your Summer, it's over before you know it!


A time of the heart...

When we first heard about the possibility of London, Other Guy's job was presenting it as being an 18 month to 2 year gig. I really began praying, asking God if this was of Him and what the purpose would be of that kind of move.

To put it mildly, I am a do-er. If there is a need, I generally try to fill it, regardless of the consequences. I try to be "that" friend. The one that helps out in what ever way possible.

God soon revealed to me that He wanted our time in London to be a time of growth. A time of family, a time to grow in our relationship with Him. I tried to transfer that answer when we found out we would only be in London for 8 weeks.

After arriving, I wasn't quite feeling the whole kum ba ya! It was hot, Other Guy was working long hours, I kept getting lost, I had no friends, etc., etc., etc. I talked to my friend Addie about it. I told her that I didn't get how this was supposed to be a time about growing my relationship with God and my family and I had never felt so far away from God. She asked some questions, I answered and she reminded me, in her best pastor's wife way ;0), that I needed to get into the Word, even when I didn't feel like it. Blah, Blah, Blah!

So, I took her advice and things began to turn around! Last night, I experienced another first in London and the scene almost made me cry.

Other Guy, the girls and I sat down around our table and painted. We painted rainbows and people with long, long legs. We made clouds and birds. We painted notes to our friends, we laughed and complimented each other on our artistic abilities. It was wonderful! The girls had our undivided attention. There were no distractions of any TV, no computer, no phone...Just us! It was a memory I will keep forever.

I look forward to what He has in store for me for the remainder of my trip. I look forward to the growth I will have in Him.

Peace Out


Monday, August 04, 2008

This weekend...6 more weekends to go ;0)

Each weekend, we are trying to do different things. Since this is really the only time that Other Guy has off from work, to say we make the most of it, is an understatement!

We started Saturday off by waking up the girls early, shoving b-fast down their throats and heading for the train. We went to Legoland, which is in Windsor, so the actual train ride is about an hour. We had about a 20 minute walk to the train station though.

The weather did not start off well and quite frankly, I was worried. Other Guy and I were freezing as we walked in the rain (I forgot the umbrella) and the girls were riding in the stroller with their raincoats on but still getting a little wet.

They enjoyed the train ride and before you knew it we were there. The beginning of the day was cold and wet, but finally the sun came out and we were able to have lots of fun! The girls loved it and we had a great time too. The only "downer" to the day was that Other Guy and I broke our diet. It was too difficult finding food that fit in to our plan so we just hopped back on the wagon on Sunday!

Here are a couple of pics, as you can see, Other Guy is not crazy about rides that spin!

Sunday, we had the opportunity of a lifetime and went to Buckingham Palace. Other Guy waited in line for an hour to get tickets to wait in line to go in. The only stinky thing was that the stroller was not allowed. The girls were pretty cute though. We kept telling them that this is where the Queen lives. They loved it and kept asking where she was...on vacation we said. And that was good enough! Towards the middle of the tour, we were able to see the State Rooms decorated for a State Ball. That was really amazing...all the detail, holy cow. As we were exiting this room, Curly looks on the wall and sees some very fancy dishes and such displayed on a wall and table. She asked her daddy what they were and before daddy could respond, the lady standing next to the table told her that this was the Queen's China and it's very, very old.

Pause for a moment...when Curly was first starting to talk really well she started asking about her body parts and their names. When she asked about her girl part, Mommy chose to give her the actual name, vagina, instead of a cutesy name that would have to change later. However, Curly pronounced it her China and that stuck.

Now fast forward to the Palace and try to imagine the look on Curly's face as the lady is telling her these dishes are the Queen's China and it is very, very old. Other Guy and I busted out laughing. It was all we could do to contain our selves as Curly's lips curled up in utter disgust! It was great and I am laughing now as I type!

After that, we headed to the house for lunch and a break before heading to Hillsong for 5pm church. This week was AMAZING! The speaker was out of this world and he really spoke to me. His message was about the middle. He said it's easier to find God on the edges. Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." The things that Paul writes about are all opposites of one another...the edges. Let me explain...

When you are experiencing a low point in your life, that is the moment that you cry out to God and lean on him in ways that you have never done before...and you find Him. When you are on a mountaintop, you are praising God for all of his blessing and wonders...and you find Him. However, when you are in the middle...well, Revelation 3:16 says it best, "So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth"

You see when you are in the middle, lukewarm, God wants to vomit you from his mouth. So I ask you...what edge have you been to?

Well, I guess I should end this long post. Take Care.

Peace Out


Friday, August 01, 2008

A list of "First Times" whilst in London:

  • Today, I saw pigeons mating...I always wondered why there were so many of them...I guess now I know. However, I do find it odd that I am always the one who spots this type of thing. Maybe, it's my animal magnetism??? The camels at the KC Zoo sure think so ;0)

  • I saw a Kookaburra bird today at Battersea Children's zoo, you know from the old children's song (Kookaburra Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree Merry merry king of the bush is he Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra Gay your life must be ) They really sound like humans laughing. It was so funny. Picture below.

  • I saw a word that you don't usually see in a child oriented establishment. But, there it was right there by the Kookaburra cage...see picture below.

  • I saw an entire bus line stopped for a man that kept yelling on the bus about Londoners looking at him "queerly" and then saying "they should take a look at how queer they look before they look at me." He then proceeded to make his way to the back of the bus and sit beside us, where he loudly asked Moe, "what are YOU looking at?" The bus driver, stopped the bus, called for the Scotland Yard and told us to get off and hop on the next bus...okay, fine with me...let's go girls.

  • I ran into an American on the bus ride home from the above mentioned park. He, his wife and young son have been here for about a year and asked where we were from...Kansas, I said but originally from Florida. He said, "Oh I guess your not a big Chiefs fan this season!" and chuckled. I told him that actually we were still pretty big Jag fans but that the NFL played a part in bringing us to Kansas as a friend of our used to play for both teams. He asked who and I told my surprise, he says "Oh yeah, Jon Quinn. I know him, well not personally but I have followed him for some time. I travel a lot so the first time I saw him was in the European League. Really nice guy, but an even better man. I really like what that guy stands for." Well, let's just say I had to pick my chin up off the ground. What do you say to that? "Oh come one, sure you know who I'm talking about...WHATEVER!" But this guy knew about the league in Europe! That was like forever ago. I guess when you make an impression, you make an impression...Well done Big Jon...well done!

  • Curly and Moe had their first face painting today and boy were they excited. They are patiently awaiting the arrival of Other Guy as I type, they can not wait to show him their beautiful art work. Here's a pic of that too...

Well that's about it for now. We are headed to an amusement park tomorrow so I'll update you later.

Peace Out!