A little of what the Thompson's are up to.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lets go fly a kite...

The beauty of living in sunny southern California, Dec 29th and we went to the beach to fly Eric's kite, and what beautiful weather. It actually wasn't windy enough but we did have fun, here are some cute pics of my cute family, love them, love them, love them.
Getting ready.
Do you read Frog and Toad? we love those books, Kate loves those books. One story is where they fly a kite, you have to run with it and shout "up kite, up", so we did, and it worked!


Alright, enough pics I know, they are just irresistibly cute though.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry-go-round

Hope you all had a great Christmas, ours was fun, quiet but fun and thanks Chris and Amber for letting us crash so much. Another thing I really love about this time of year is that Eric's work days are shorter as its quieter at his office, just for the week between Christmas and New Year but its wonderful to have him home more. Yesterday we took advantage, Kate loves to ride the carousel, has been asking to go and ride one for about a week now and so after he got home we headed out to Griffith Park to ride the merry-go-round there.

Located in Park Center between the Los Angeles Zoo and the Los Feliz park entrance, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round has been a Los Angleles family attraction for over five generations. Built in 1926 by the Spillman Engineering Company and brought to Griffith Park in 1937, the Merry-Go-Round boasts 68 horses, everyone a jumper. Each horse is finely carved with jewel-encrusted bridles, detailed draped blankets and decorated with sunflowers and lion's heads. A Stinson 165 Military Band Organ, reputed to be the largest band organ accompanying a carousel on the West Coast, plays over 1500 selections of marches and waltz music.

Sorry for the boring stats but it is a fun and beautiful little merry-go-round, a great alternative to the Topanga mall and its only $2 to ride and the ride lasts a lot longer, plus its right by Shane's Inspiration so after the girls rode (Kate rode twice) we let the girls play on the park for a little while. Here are some pics to liven things up a bit.





Sara only rode once, she rode the first time with me on my horse but didn't enjoy it so much, strange as she has ridden the carousel before and liked it, although the music did play a little loud, maybe that was why she didn't love it so much this time.





Shane's Inspiration, a really fun park, a little far away but fun for a change of pace, they have lots of cool stuff to play on, and as always Sara loves, loves, loves playing in the sand.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Its all quiet by our house...

Hard not to be able to get into the Christmas spirit if this was your next door neighbour!! Got the link from Eric's old mission buddy Matt Sherry, for more of this guys amazing display click here. Winner of the 2007 KFC America's Festive Fanatic Award.


Amazing Grace Techno - Computer Controlled Christmas Lights from Richard Holdman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

7 shopping days left.....



O.K., O.K. so you all voted in favor of the tree skirt. Thank-you Rachel for the Cost Plus tip, I headed there today on my run of errands and bought the pretty tree skirt you mentioned and I think it does look good. Also, an added bonus to buying a tree skirt a week before Christmas, it was 50% off and so only cost me about $15, not bad, not bad. I've also kindly included a full length picture of my tree for any of those out there that don't have kids yet or kids that are mobile, when they do get mobile your tree will look like this with all of the decorations congregated around the top half of the tree!! And I think I must be insane but I ventured to the mall today to pick up one last thing on my list and had to run to target after that, I generally like the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shoppers as it makes me get into the festive spirit but today just drove me crazy, parking was terrible and now the crowds just make me nervous that I'm going to loose one of my children or that whilst I'm chasing one of my runaway children someone will nick my wallet that I left in the stroller. Anyway, we all made it home safe and accounted for but I may have to stave off the mall until after Christmas or until at least I can be by myself. Merry Christmas everyone or as we more commonly say in England,
Happy Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A wonderful glittery winter wonderland


I had this crazy idea of creating a winter wonderland in the primary room by hanging snowflakes from the ceiling. I found this great website that has some free snowflake patterns and my awesome hubby helped me cut out numerous snowflakes and didn't complain as I added glitter to them so they would sparkle. I love glitter, its one of my favourite things about Christmas crafts. And Sara hung out in the primary room yesterday, she was most happy sitting by our amazing pianist Sis. Vickie Kern, this girl I could learn a whole lot from she is not only amazing on the piano but just in general she is amazing and a fab mom to boot.

And Kate is all ready for winter, she went on a walk with Eric and Britain last night all bundled up and looking cute. We went on a walk with Britain this morning too and I have to say this is my perfect weather, I'm not sure of the temp, weather.com says its 59ºF but it has to be warmer than that. In the direct sun it was very pleasant, this is my ideal summer weather, I am definitely in the wrong state!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Scrouge is in the house

Check out these cute pictures, Kate had a complete breakdown (apologies to Julie who witnessed it via the phone) and after she calmed down was being extra sweet with Sara, they had apparently been playing by the Christmas tree and in they walk from the living room holding hands and each sporting an ornament, they are oh! so cute and one of the reasons of my very existence.

Then Sara breaks her ornament, and you know that's O.K., things get broken but then she goes into the living room and just as I finish cleaning up the 1st broken one she breaks another on the fireplace. Anyway, here is a picture of my sad, sorry looking excuse for a tree.

It did have candy canes on it but Sara has pulled all the ones off within her reach and broken them, she also pulls off pretty much everything else within her reach including the ribbon, anyway I feel like just pulling it down and not having a tree this year, hence the title. I am suffering from tree envy after reading Rachels blog!! All this is not helped by the fact that tonight Eric claimed in a very disgruntled manner that he wanted a tree skirt, for 10 years this has not bothered him but tonight it did and so he wraps a blanket around the bottom of our tree and I am now faced with the ultimatum of a tree skirt which I have neither the time, money or energy to go and buy or a throw blanket, please post comment, Eric is apt to read my blog and my cries of its fine without a tree skirt and the blanket looks a bit crap are falling on deaf ears. Anyway, I love my nativity so I put up a picture of that too.

And when my dad was in town we went to the outlets and he bought me a new Le Creuset pot, I'm sure he was wondering why I wanted such a huge pot. The answer - to cook delicious soup in, its especially good if you add crushed tortilla chips and the rest of my clan add cheese too, my pictures aren't too good and the one of Eric's bowl is when he was going for 2nd's, you know its good when they go back for more right?. For sure try this one this winter it is chocked full of hearty goodness.

And couldn't resist posting these, my girls are just too cute!! On our return from England security at Manchester airport wouldn't let us bring back her Dora bat which she got on her birthday from Luke and Darby, so sadly we had to leave it behind. So... we went to target for a new bat, we always play baseball at our house, usually whilst waiting for daddy to get home and whilst shopping for a new bat Kate found the hats and both girls loved trying them on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We're back and be warned, there are lots and lots of pictures!!!

Kate and I are back and I am busy as ever so that is why its taken me so long to post. Our trip was fun, its always nice to visit with family and friends and I always love going back to England and what is familiar, or at least what used to be familiar. I have always had a secret yearning for England but each time I go it gets a little less and maybe I am just so used to living in my own place that is is hard to live with my dad and brothers again, even just for a week and I missed Eric and Sara, I loved being with Kate but it just felt that part of me was missing and it was. The weather was typical, cold, gray and rainy but we did have a nice time, we went to Costco (I love Costco!!) so my dad could do his yearly stock up on toilet rolls and paper towels, we went to my grandma's and took her out to lunch, met my brothers ex-girlfriend and Kate's cousins at an indoor play place, went to my dad's golf club for a delicious lunch, hung out with my good friend Emma and went to the Stake Carol Concert, took Kate swimming and on a tram and bus ride. We ate some typically British food, fish and chips, a kebab, mince pies, Yorkshire pudding, chocolate like only Cadbury knows how, Chinese the Chinese/British way weird but it is different in England and quite yummy and a gourmet meal at my dad's golf club, they have a great chef there and the dessert was creme brulet, I've never had it before but it was delicious. Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, I tried to capture the things I love, the things I miss and wish I didn't have to live without, and the few things I don't miss too much, enjoy.....

This little girl has to be the best traveller there is, she was seriously soooo good on the planes and in the airport's, my little angel and best travelling buddy.

The things I don't miss? eerrrmmm, my dads house is a bachelor pad, full of boys and they clean like boys, its also pretty cluttered but I clean when I go and I like to hope that I left it looking a little better than I found it.

Also, gas prices, its a little hard to see but check it out, that's ��1.09 for a litre, yes that's right a LITRE of petrol, how much is that a gallon, a staggering $8.66 a gallon!! And just for fun, I do love Costco its kind of like the church, the same wherever you go!! In England they offer a few British staples at their food court along with the regular hot dog, pizza and chicken bake they offer a baked potato with baked beans or cheese or chili or tuna or coleslaw and cottage pie.
Things I miss, cheap package holidays and mince pies, you'll need to Google it if you don't know what they are but for a taste I am going to whip up a batch this weekend for a farewell party at my house.

Things I love, this is a picture of Holcombe Hill with Peele Tower at the top. I love to walk up that hill and I love the green countryside. A picture of Bury town center, gray and rainy but I love some of the old familiar shops.



This is Kate on her tram ride and bus ride, I love the ease of the public transport in Britain, the bus must have stopped every few hundred yards although it was a really cold day and just walking through the town centre to the tram and from the tram to the bus Kate was so very cold, on the bus I wrapped her up in my cardigan. Bury now sports a Westfield Town shopping center, its on the map in the fashion square mall, Kate loves all of the little rides scattered throughout it, its not as big as fashion square though.

This is at my friend Emma's house, Kate is playing with Olivia her youngest and had so much fun playing with their toys. It was so fun to catch up, Emma is the one who introduced me to the church 15 years ago, we have been friends for over 1/2 of my life time and I hope that we can always keep in touch, she is one of those people that I always admire and want to emulate.


This one may be morbid but it has a special place in my heart, my sisters grave stone and a little memorial stone for my mum, my mum was cremated and her ashes scattered in the lake where my sister was killed so we had the stone made out of Welsh slate from the lake side and put it at the cemetery so we could have a local place to remember them both. The Ramsbottom cemetery is actually a pretty little cemetery and I always have to make a visit each and every time I go home.
Our lunch at the golf club. Yanis is their new chef (he's in the picture on the left above) and their menu has graduated from greasy cafe food to gourmet meals, my dad is always telling me about something that Yanis made and so I was excited to go and try it out. Also, a little off the point but my dad will be captain of the golf club next year!


More of our lunch, Kate pulled everyone's Christmas cracker, they are totally British and they are usually present every year on Christmas day with dinner. They always have a joke, a paper hat and a toy inside, the more expensive the cracker the better the prize. I brought some Winnie-the-pooh ones home for a fun Christmas tradition.


This is my grandma, she's will be 94 at the end of the month. My dad's mum and that pretty much makes up my immediate family, my dad, 2 brothers and my grandma. My grandma was widowed 34 years ago and I know that she must be lonely especially as most of her friends have now passed on too. We went through some birth and death certificates whilst I was there, one of my new year goals is to do my genealogy. Some of the saddest certificates are the birth of her twin girls and their death certificates only 7 and 14 days later, I do have aunts, I have just never met them. It will be a sad day when my grandma finally passes on but it will have a silver lining of joy that she will finally get to meet her twin girls. She really enjoys our visits, its one of the things I miss most as I know it gives her such joy to see her grandchilden and great-grandchildren, my brothers don't make much of an effort to go and visit and I used to visit her regularly when I lived there.


Kate with uncle James and uncle Peter, they are lots and lots of fun and always doing silly things with her.


This is the indoor play place called the Wacky Warehouse, I met my brothers ex-girlfriend, Angela there and Kate and her cousins had a blast, we stayed for about 5 hours.
video
This is Gabrielle, Eric says that he wants to move to England so Kate will have and English accent. Everyone commented on Kate's little American accent.

Kate and Gabrielle decorated granddads Christmas tree.

We gave Mikey and Gabrielle their Christmas presents before we left, Gabrielle got an Ariel doll and Mikey a baseball bat, he loved it!!

Playing, just playing!!

Kate with Mikey and Gabrielle, we love you and miss you.


Thats all folks! Thanks for persevering if you made it this far and if there is an award for the most pictures in a post I think I win, don't you?