Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
We know there aren't very many photos of Lizzy pregnant so here's a recent one taken by our lovely friend Kandi. Doesn't Lizzy look beautiful? (Not that I'm biased...)
Officially there are about 3 weeks to go, though judging by various contractions and other goings-on it may be here sooner rather than later...
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
This, apparently, is her ideal house, with a cinema on the top floor with Granny & Grandpa there to watch movies with! (though we don't know why there is a bath in the cinema and we've not tried making popcorn with a saucepan on a lamp...!) We're loving Daisy's imagination at the moment and her amazing creative play, so we thought we'd share it with you...
Granny and Grandpa do look very relaxed!
And of course we've put lights outside our house, too.
And this week we had Breakfast with Santa at Daisy's preschool. We posted both pictures so you could see how Lucy warmed to him...
At least Santa looks happy!
November's excuse to eat a lot is called Thanksgiving. Joking aside, we love this festival because there's nothing to it other than gathering as family and thanking God for all that He has provided in the previous year. And eating!
Lizzy's mum and dad came for a week on their way to New Zealand and it was lovely to see them again. Not least because Anne cooked and baked for us lots, and they sent us away for a night whilst they looked after the kids. On the day itself we roasted a turkey with all the trimmings and Anne made a Pumpkin Pie - a very traditional Thanksgiving dessert, from a recipe found in our Sainsbury's cookbook. Heather and Chad thought it was the best they've ever tasted!
We also made a gingerbread house, another Christmas tradition (the Christmas season here starts the day after Thanksgiving). Perfectionists Lizzy and David went to it and sometimes even allowed Daisy and Lucy to do some of it. We've been told that you're meant to keep them and buld up a collection (our neighbours have one that's 7 years old. Yes, 7.)
Lizzy's dad has recently retired from working as a paedatrician in Nottingham. Here's proof - still in pyjamas at 10am!!
So our alternative?
Halloween is about giving!!
That's right folks. We and our neighbours parked our 4-and-under year olds in front of the candy table with strict instructions to give but one piece of candy per person. Halloween, after all, is about giving, right?!! (It's either that or wait for 2 kids to come along and having to hide for the rest of the night in darkness as 'trick or treaters' come knocking)
Which is what we found Mike and Sally doing when we went to see them. We had to break into their house just to say hello!!! They were hiding upstairs watching TV in the dark!!
We also gave out Starbucks coffee and a roaring fire to those willing to risk resting for a moment!
Here are the photos...
Daisy (Cinderella), Lucy (Nemo), Hollen (Ladybug), Hannah (Bee), Scotty (Bob [or Barb, as they say here] the Builder)
Ready for action.
Chad and Heather joined us. It's our driveway, but their fake grass, just to clear that up.
Lizzy demonstrating the spirit of generosity. Heather wondering how she ended up with a neighbour like this.
Notice the youg children in the front line of duty. Starbucks anyone?
Our beautiful God-daughter Tia Saxton rose to the occasion!
The amazing Heather (our next door neighbour) with her twins Hannah and Hollen.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
That clarified, soccer season has begun with a vengeance! Daisy is one of about 500 kids across Anthem playing soccer this season and yes, she plays competitive games each Saturday with training every Tuesday. (The first game we had to point out what a goal was to the children and what they were meant to do with it!)
Daisy loves it and is amazing at running after the ball - and has scored a goal in both games so far!!!
Soccer moms and dads...
Daisy during half time. We love how she's sitting!!
This is Coach 'V' who we love! He has the perfect attitude for coaching 3 and 4 year olds - that is, let them have a good time and who cares if they hand ball/look at the rabbits/pick flowers/run hand in hand with their friends... Not all the coaches have the same attitude though - the team we played last Saturday left the field in disgust!! (We all thought it was funny!)
This is Daisy and Lucy being pulled by a tractor. We LOVE Lucy's face on this!
This is the real pumpkin patch where they grow the pumpkins.
We ate lunch there and felt very American with all the red and white table cloths and country music playing in the background!
This is the pumpkin patch where you get to choose your favourite pumpkin. We got 3 to go outside our front door (check the Mallon's blog for more on fall decorating!!).
Our favourite part of the day was a hay ride where 'Farmer Buzz' (9 children, 23 grandchildren!) told us all about the farm, raising free range turkeys, how to strip and eat fresh corn (yum) - and how Arizona water tax has meant that Young's Farm is having to close, so this is the last year the pumpkin patch will ever be there. We and Farmer Buzz were welling up together as he told us. Lizzy's planning her protest march...!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
...yes that really is the house where we stayed. It was so big we didn't even use the downstairs - or any of the 7 ATVs (quad bikes) they had there!!! This was the view from the front balcony, early one frosty morning. And yes, that is our 'pond'.
We did lots of hiking: we climbed extinct volcanoes, picnic'd where Gareth had snowboarded 18 months ago, and visited the country's highest arboretum, which had a great kid's maze. We took this photo there of Arizona's highest peak just near Flagstaff - over 12,000ft.
After eating lunch looking out over the painted desert - an amazing vista where you can see the 60 miles to the Grand Canyon - photos just don't do it justice - we went to Wupatki National Monument, a village from around 1200AD, the ruins of which are still there. Daisy and Lucy both walked much better when they pretended to be Dora the Explorer, with Lucy as Boots the monkey, both with their maps:
It was also a time to face our fears - Gareth saw a tarantula as we walked back from the trampoline, and Lucy got used to The Bear and The Moose:
We drove home via Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona which we love. It was so good to see leaves turning yellow, feeling the cold air on our face (it got below freezing once!!) and hanging out together as a family - awww. And thanks to the Lord for the amazing people who so generously let us use their house!!
She got lots of presents, including a kitchen from Grannies and Grandpas, lego from us and a Nemo costume from Daisy.
We had a party for her in our back yard with lots of her friends and their parents - here in the sand pit with her are Xander (her very best friend) and Paige.
We had a Pinata, of course. The instructions said we should get everyone to pull a ribbon on the bottom to release the candy. We were mercilessly mocked by all Americans present that what you're really meant to do is beat the *! out of it... which we knew but we thought we'd go for a pacifistic approach. So much for that - nothing happened, so out came the broom handle...!
We were also persuaded to adopt the American tradition of opening presents in front of everyone...
Happy Birthday Lucy!
Saturday, September 23, 2006
We were very impressed with Daisy who cycled all the way to Safeway (1/2 mile) before going to the park and then all the way home again.