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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Babymoon to Europe

We just got back last week from our Babymoon to Paris and London. This was my first time to Europe, and we were fortunate enough to have friends/family in both cities to stay with. We spent 5 full days there and really had a great time. We took the Euro Star from Paris to London at 200 miles per hour through the chunnel. Some of you may be saying 'how romantic'...well, although we had some romantic moments, it was not as romantic as you may think....I mean, don't get me wrong, we had a great time, and I am for sure not complaining, but we were on the go, with a jam packed schedule each day...I swear we must have walked 100s of miles (or at least it seemed that way). We hit all the main attractions that each city had to offer.

Paris: 1) The Louvre 2) Eiffel Tower 3) Arc de Triomphe 4) Notre Dame 5) Montmartre 6) Others

London: 1) Double Decker bus tour 2) Westminster Abbey 3) The London Eye (but we did not ride it) 4) Tower of London 5) Tower Bridge 6) Changing of the guard 7) Crown Jewels 8) and others

And to be honest, I loved London. I can't wait to go back and spend some more time there. I am glad I got to go to Paris and see the historic sights, but I am not dying to go back anytime soon. The conception that the French are not so friendly is pretty accurate. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I could have enjoyed the wine and if I thought a baggett was a meal. Call me a fat American, but show me the meat and potatoes!

We sooo lucked out on the weather while we were there. The temperature was in the mid 50s and only one night did it sprinkle a little, the rest of the time it was nice out. And I had the best hair days while I was there...no humidity at all!

My favorite place in Paris was the small town Montemartre, just on the edge of the city. The Sacred Heart church sits at the top...you can't miss it, it is huge. It is so worth it to go up there in the afternoon and stay till sun set. It's the highest point in Paris (besides the top of the Eiffel Tower). There is a small court yard with little cafes and a ton of local artist painting and drawing.

We have a ton of pictures, as you can imagine. I am going to post all our pictures in 'our pictures' once I get them all uploaded but here are a few highlights for those of you who can't wait.

Westminster Abbey

Dinner with our good friends Ben, Bernice, and Michael as well as Vim's cousin David, at a local British Pub. Vim got to experience a traditional British meal of 'Bangers and Mash'..aka sausage and mashed potatoes.

London Phone Booth

The Tower Bridge (I always thought this was London Bridge, but the London Bridge is actually a one bridge down from this one, and looks like a normal bridge)


At the Louvre, I found it interesting that no matter how much time has past, I felt a connection to this mom...I am sure that some of you mom's out there could also relate.

The Louvre in the distance
Notre Dame

Of course the Eiffel Tower

From the top of the Eiffel Tower

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last game of the season...

Taking a Corner Kick

Scoring a Goal

The Lions

Little Man had his last soccer game of the season this weekend. In case you didn't know, I love sports and I L-O-V-E competition...I grew up playing a slew of sports and some of my fondest memories are of softball games, swim meets, volleyball playoffs, and basketball workouts. I am so glad that Little Man has entered into the world of 'organized team sports' this year. Even if a child is not athletically inclined, I think there are so many great life lessons that can been learned through team sports!

We noticed before that Little Man does not have a problem picking up a sport. I mean, we have already had to apologize to the neighbor for a golf ball flying over the fence and hitting their windshield. He had his all time high season in the first soccer game, 6 goals. Yes it's great that he learned the fundamentals of soccer (goal kicks, no hands, corner kicks, etc)... yes it's great that he had fun...But the best things that came from soccer were the parallels we were able to draw to life. Sooo many good conversations were opened up due to soccer. The first one I remember, is the bragging conversation. He has come such a long way in that department! He now is recognizing when he is bragging, and really tries to control it.

Another conversation I remember, is encouraging your teammates (basically the age old 'there is no 'I' in Team)! And to sit on the side lines and hear him yell for each of his teammates this last game made me so proud!

And another, after a close game (even though technically we don't keep an official score, the kids and parents keep score in there heads...you can't help but do it! It's sports, come on people!) when the time ran out, Little Man burst into tears, upset at the fact that they had lost and he doesn't like to loose. This opened up a huge box of opportunity for great conversation. We talked about how we don't always 'win' in life. Sometimes we loose and we are disappointed. We still tell the other 'players' good job, and if we played our best then we have nothing to be ashamed of. And for the leagues that don't believe in 'winning or loosing', and who 'just want to play for fun', that's not real life, and I really think it's teaching children a false sense of reality...Just my opinion and thought, forgive me if I offended anyone.

Oh I could go on and on....you have to practice at everything in life if you want to get better at it.
And on and on....but I will stop there since I have to be getting packed and the laundry is calling!

So if you couldn't already tell, we had a very positive experience and plan on playing again in the spring. We were very fortunate to have had an incredible team and coach. Our coach is a dad of 4 and was coaching 5 teams at the time, but he somehow found time for an 'Awards Ceremony' for our little team, because he thought it was important to present each child with their metal and say something positive about each child and their season. A little man is very proud of his metal, as he should be!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Festivities...

Here are some pictures from our Halloween festivities...
We had a Pumpkin Carving Party with some good friends of ours...of course my camera died right after this picture, so I didn't get any pictures of the actual pumpkin carving, Stink!
The boy's decorating cookies...
Little Man wanted Fletcher to be Wonder dog, but the cape I found at the dollar store ended up looking more like Bat-Dog...but don't tell Little Man that.
The Police came to our house on Halloween...what can I say, we are a crazy bunch!

The Policeman caught Curious George!

Thanks to school, Little Man learned "trick or treat smell my feet, give me something good to eat...' Of course we nipped that in the bud right away, but in my head I kept finishing the song "if you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underwear!" I am sure he will learn the rest next year.

William's Pumpkin

Sarah's Pumpkin

Vim's Pumpkin
Hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!