Thursday, December 18, 2008


So I have finished the last of my exams and now it is Christmas time. (It hasn't felt like it yet) I am relieved and trying to not worry! I get my results in January sometime so until then... I have a three week break, one of which is when the kids are back in school. It will be like old times and me a stay at home mom again.

We haven't taken a successful Christmas photo yet. Our next appointment is this Saturday. We bought a tripod which was hard because we have 2 in storage. But now I can play photographer! This is one picture that is not going to be used- it is in front of Glasgow University. Any Harry Potter Fans? Does it look familiar?

Charla is coming from Rotterdam for Christmas so us "three little girls" will be together for an entire week. We are ready to PARTY.

My other news is that we bought a car last week. Our "new" car is a Mercedes. It is green and seats 7. It is an '85! It looks nice but smells so so so bad! The night we bought it Rich took it for a little drive- his first on the "wrong" side of the road and rolled down a window that the seller told us didn't work... It went down perfectly, but not back up! It stayed down for an entire week- in the rain and rain and rain- there weren't any sunny days. But now we have a car! I plan on taking it all over the UK. While I was depressed during my studying I planned many trips. Richard is excited to work on it and found a few same models on the internet that have over a million miles on them- with the original engine! Ours doesn't have near that many... It may have been very inexpensive, but hopefully we will have some good times with it.

The painting behind us is so cool, but because the lack of the light it is blurry and it was a stressful day so we didn't try too hard to get a good picture but if you look closely there are some very beautiful dead animals. I liked the boar best.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Reaching Limits

So I have finally reached my limit and now wonder if I can do anything at all! I have panic attacks a few times a day (not really but sort of). It will all be over in three weeks!
Richard and I finally went out for real this past weekend. A friend and fellow student was having a party and as I have been anti-social I made Richard get out and go with me. We had a really great time. The kids were left at home in their beds. I locked the door and told Atlas that the key was on the ground by it- we have only one exit here- the door and just wanted him to know. We got home around 2 am. On the late side for me and I thought that with it being Saturday I could sleep in and would have a nice day reading and reviewing. We got into our building and up the stairs to our door and found that the key on the other side was in the lock. Our key would not go in because the lock was turned a little bit. We called on the cell phone the house phone and to our other cell phone in the house. I could hear the phones ringing. Nothing. Richard went down the stairs and buzzed. I could hear it, but no answer. We knocked and rang and buzzed. Nothing. Richard threw newspaper at the windows. I heard it thump clearly on the other side of the door. No response. Richard tried to scale the building in the frosty night, but couldn't get passed the lintel and I was afraid that he would fall and impale himself on the iron work. We played with the lock a bit and at one point I heard the kids moaning in their sleep and yes I ran down and buzzed the door. Our cell phone battery died sometime after continuous calling. In the end Richard and I tried to sleep on the carpet in front of our door. Atlas finally awoke at 7 in the morning and let us in! We were so cold and so tired. I think that I am too old to lose a whole night of sleep (and precious study time). The kids did let us sleep for a while- I think they were afraid to wake us. Two cold miserable and very irritable parents. It will be a long time before I go out and stay out late again...This it the stairwell of the flat where the party was. Little did we know that we would be spending the night in one. We were locked out because of this little imp.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Day Out

School is going good. I have less than 3 weeks left of the semester and then it is exam time. I am keeping up with everything so it should not be too difficult? I am still liking all my classes and maybe even like contract law the best? My mom has fantasies of me making millions doing international "corporation stuff" and I just roll my eyes, but I do like contracts... Only when the kids are fighting or screaming do I get panic attacks and think what the ?@%$#*! am I doing.

We took a day trip to New Lanark, a World Heritage site, about an hour outside of Glasgow- so so beautiful. We hiked to a waterfall and visited the wool mill factory town.

Five kids is not too bad!

Cammie had her baby and we got Soren for the day.

Richard shaved- I think he looks soooo great! He is trying to snarl for the camera.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Seeing Pounds

I love pounds- not the few extra that make me womanly, but the little, smaller than a quarter, gold coins that we use here as currency. I love that they are heavy in my purse and that they jingle in my pocket. I love that they are so easy to spend and get back. I trade a funny bill and get groceries and lots of lovely gold coins in return. The smallest denomination in a bill is a fiver (a five pound note). There is a 2 pound coin, but it isn't as common. So every time I buy something I use lots of coins. I love them. A pound can buy a kilo of bananas, or 5 big tangerines, a cupa tea or black coffee, 2 packs of gum or a box of fabulous chocolate digestive biscuits. A pound can get me to school on the bus. I have made it a point to not think that a kilo of pasta here is a pound and is 69 cents for a pound of pasta in the states- that means that pasta here is like three times more! But still I love pounds. Someday I would love to not have any extra pounds on my person, but then I really love the chocolate digestive biscuits.
Here are a few pictures:
Being American and playing baseball in the park
The kids had three first days of school- this isn't one of them, but it is what they may have looked like on their third first day of school...
Richard left the house today with just one pound coin and came home with nine... it is magic!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dublin, Dad and a Birthday!

Richard finally made it to Scotland- for the first time ever. We met in Dublin and had a great weekend. The kids are so very glad to have him back! I am too... My load is a bit lessened. Paris turned 5 yesterday! I really find it so hard to believe the fast passage of time. I can't believe that my youngest is 5. 5 is so much older sounding than 4. 5 is a little girl- 4 just a toddler. Paris was insistent on decorating her cake and that it be 5 layers. I cheated a bit with a 3 layer mini cake at the top- her piece, but it fit the bill. 5 layers and she put in the candles and flowers. I flavored the cake with cardamon- it was very subtle and in the frosting I added rose water. Just a little and it was very strong. All the kids liked it but I thought it much better today! It needed some time to mellow. In storage I have a nice collection of cake stands- here a plate that doesn't quite fit the cake!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A funny thing happened...

As the kids and I were walking to school the other day I was thinking of all the people that I see everyday on our way- the old man with a turban, the little boy with the big bun on the top of his head, the couple who walk their 2 dogs, the dog group, and thinking of how beautiful it all is. We had just about left the park when some one yelled to me, interrupting my thoughts, "Did you sleep in yesterday?" I turned to look and there were 3 ladies sitting in a stairwell of a building. They were watching for us and I had never even noticed them! The day before we had been running- literally- late! But I hadn't slept in..

My latest dilemma has been food related. When I first got here I was over tired and stressed. I cannot eat when stressed. I thought that there was no way a person could gain weight walking uphill to and from school- walking everywhere. Now that I have more things figured out- we have a flat and the kids are in school, I am so much more relaxed and comfortable. How can I say no to fudge cake and to not try the different sponges and puddings- sweet and savory and when I walk past Greak bakeries and French bakeries and Middle Eastern shops I need to try it all... Especially when my sister bakes a great Chocolate cake and my mom brings home eclairs and scones. Even the grocery stores are enticing. Here in the UK the food standard is higher. Most products do not have artificial colors and flavors or preservatives- I would never eat a "fake" or store bought cake in the states. I have bought a few here... and here I don't even bake them- I don't need to! It is a great thing that I have to walk everywhere- even uphill to school and uphill back. Yet I am still baking- zucchini bread and gingerbread- and because pumpkin puree is not available for cheap in a can, I baked my own little pumpkin, made a puree with it and made a great loaf!And because it has been so long since I have posted and may be longer until I post again... I am going to Dublin this weekend to meet Rich- ALONE and bring him home, and papers to write and books to read and presentations to give and demanding kids... a visual to the phrase "poop head":

Thursday, October 2, 2008

From Sunglasses to Umbrella and back again and again...

Winston Churchill was reported to have said of the 6 weeks that he spend in Edinburgh, "It only rained twice. One time for 4 weeks and another for 2"- last week it did not rain at all. On Monday I wore my newest pair of shoes: lovely leopard print flats that are probably more suitable as a pair of house slippers. I would never classify my self as a slave to fashion, but I am quite partial to animal print. Of course only a wee bit of animal print. I have a pair of leopard print tights (that I have owned for over 2 years and have never worn) and a headband that my girls wear. Of course I also have 2 or 3 other leopard print shoes, but they are in storage... Well on Monday it rained. By the time I walked the kids to school and I got to school, my cute, sexy shoes were wet. The water had soaked the bottoms of my jeans, and I did not get dry until I got home around 4. On Tuesday I wore another pair of flats- some leather peep toes that are quite suitable for walking, just not the rain. I left the house wearing them and a pair of sunglasses. Around noon it rained, and then after my last lecture it was sunny again and then it rained and then was sunny....
The colors of Glasgow are changing. Now the trees have pale green, yellow, orange and purple leaves.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I do believe in Faeries, I do...

O.K. i don't really, but don't tell Paris. I can almost believe in gnomes though. Can't you see one sitting on top of this and smoking a pipe?

Ok, I never knew that mushrooms like this were real. I have a few clay ones with a gnome sitting on top that I put in my garden. I always thought that red mushrooms with polka dots were just in faery tales. These mushrooms are real. I have heard that there are blue ones too? Cammie found the amazing red one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Home Sweet, Home

Our front doorOutside of buildingLobby stairs up to our flatMain hallBoys' room
Girls' room
Second hall
Second bathroom
master bedroom
living room

laundry room
So we have moved-in... Richard hasn't seen it yet. My favorite things about the flat are the wood floors and the high ceilings. Atlas thinks that they are 20ft, but I think more like 15ft. The kids keep telling me that they love it better than our Provo house!