Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's the Little Things

With just the right adapter we finally have our magic bullet up and running.  Green smoothies; Hello!  Colds and Coughs, Goodbye!

Feed the Birds

Although my boys have yet to watch Mary Poppins, we take the admonition of the bird lady very seriously. 

The Birds are incredibly domesticate and fearless.

Little C still isn't sure about his personal space being encroached on.

G shows him how it's done.

And that it's FUN!

We're getting some Fall weather, which our 'Lanta boys refuse to accept  and dress appropriately.

As long as Daddy's there, it's all fun and games...

until someone gets their hand bit off :)

I've even accepted feeding the swans...Geese are an entirely different matter.

What a great way to spend an afternoon with Daddy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cheeky Monkey

After a scoot around the neighborhood Little C came home with  this beauty, compliments of a shop owner :)
Since coming to London Christian has been given a new, and altogether perfect nickname.  Both his nursery leader and our nanny have declared him to be a "cheeky monkey".  Now he runs through the flat, or scoots down the street yelling "I a cheeky monkey, I a cheeky monkey" at the top of his lungs.  

Quality time with the Maniacs

As many of you know, with our quick move and in order to maximize our time here (can you tell I've repeated the reasons again and again), I'm homeschooling these maniacs.  I've got stellar and very structured Math and English programs, and history/science/art curriculum which we tailor to our outings/trips.  Basically we do full class days on M/W, then math/english on T/TH but spend most the day at a museum/exhibit and then Friday we do a light day of math/english and head to the bookstore for their weekly reward (if they've earned it:).  

A month in it's going pretty well.  Amazingly, the Bishop's wife of our current ward has been homeschooling their kids for 13 years, so she's a great resource and support.  I alternate between thinking the boys are thriving and being convinced that I'm scaring them for life.  

Little C, the one I worry about the most.  
He hasn't spent much time without me and now he spends quality time with the nanny while I teach the big boys in the morning.  It does make me really focus when I'm with him and play/read instead of just working parallel to his play.  Plus, our nanny is really good about trading out when he just needs sometime with Mom.  
G loves to learn!  He spurred the bridge unit and his current goal is to build a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean so he can drive Luci and Allie across to London.
 I teach the boys separately for Math and Language Arts and G is doing so well!  He's reading more and more fluently and is flying through Saxon 1.  Also, I realized this guy would only be in school for 3.5hrs in Atlanta and that included recess/snack/cooking class.  So we added in more breaks, a cooking class adn although, I sometimes worry that the other subjects are too advanced, he's picking up a ton.  I called him out the other day because his Rome building looked suspiciously like London Tower bridge.  He proceeded to explain to me that it had arches, it was an aqueduct, it was made of concrete, it had columns and a pediment on top.  So, obviously, Roman!

Matts indulging his "incessions" and expanding his memory.

In some ways I think this is a perfect opportunity for Matts.  Since he was a little guy he has fixated on a subject and now we get to learn and tailor his learning around it!  The Romans, oh the Romans.  I think we've seen every ancient Roman landmark in a 100mi radius of London.  And we're going to Italy the end of this month to see the real deal.  I'm not going to lie, his handwriting is giving me fits, but we're working on cursive, so hopefully that will help things along.  

So, that's that.  We've been lucky to make friends quickly so we have at least a playdate every week and we go on field trips every T and TH, which keeps things exciting.  It's hard, it's crazy, but it's also great fun and letting us have the adventure of our life!


*No idea why our pics keep loading sideways, but I'm on a roll so I'm not going to worry about it*

Last week we had our first visitor, Aunt Lisa!  Even though Reed was out of town for most of it, we still enjoyed ourselves and fit in some girl time.

Girl's night to see Billy Elliot

Tower of London

Me and My boys

After a few failed attempts we finally got to see the bridge opening!  It was worth it.

I have no idea why G adores Aunt Lisa :)

Welcome to the neighborhood!

When we found our flat one of the things we were most excited about was the neighborhood garden across the street.  Now, you can't play ball in it (supposedly a common rule here in the UK), but there are lots of trees to climb and places to engage in Nerf warfare.  
Learning the ropes

Learning the ropes

Higher and higher

Cheeky Monkeys
Oh, and the week after we moved in they had the annual garden party.  It was great to meet our neighbors and proof that Reed will become best friends with everyone, everywhere.  Don't worry, these pics were from a random afternoon, not the garden party, where the boys were much more appropriately attired :)


Luckily, I have these pics to post after the bittersweet ones of my last post.  
After 2 years dreaming about Giolitti's in Rome I found the perfect replacement.  The only problem is, it's around the corner from our flat in London.  Ironically, the manager, Roberto, even lived above Giolitti's for a time in Rome.  It really is authentic.  Oh, and the pistachios come from his home town and he gives fantastic Italian road trip recommendations.  (Thank you, Reed).

G and his "mini" cone.  They really pile it on there.  He couldn't even finish it!

Little C prepping for our trip to Italy

Matts branched out and decided he likes "Snowflake" (white chocolate, almond and coconut) better than plain vanilla :)

In her 72 hours here we visited Snowflake twice with Aunt Lisa.  The second time I even convinced her to get the trifecta of Gelato perfection: one fruit, one nut, one chocolate, all topped with crema (fresh cream).  


We joke about the lack of functional dryers, Chick-Fil-A and Costco.  But, really what we're missing is:

Sleepover buddies

Cheers with our bestie

Babysitting trades with the neighbors

The best neighbors, aka surrogate Grandparents

And AllieLou, who still makes the nightly prayer of this little monkey