Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hmmm, A weekend away

Well, we finally went away for the weekend. I really didn't want to go with a new baby and a 2 yr old who dosen't like being in the car for long because she wants to stop on the side of the road and pick flowers, but we got out and away. My niece leaves next week and we are trying to give her a better look at England and its beauty. I would figure that she should get her money's worth while she was here and see all that she can see, but she has no money and we paid for her ticket! ;-)

Friday night we left quite late, around 9pm, since we are procrastinating packers and went west! To the Cotswolds with the rolling hills and sheep surrounded by rock fences. The ride there was quite eventful since the English decide to work on their roads at night and they tend to send you on a 20 mile goose chase to get back to the road you were on. We did end up heading south towards London, took the next exit (a U-turn), got back on the highway, passed the original exit that was closed for construction, drove another 5 miles north then ended up on some road towards Northampton,(remember-we were headed WEST), turned onto some dark and winding road with the Tom-Tom blaring, "Turn around when possible!!", at every intersection, and ended up at our destination around 1:30am.
Mind you this should have been a 2 1/2 hr trip, but a pit stop to McDonalds and the fact that the security bollards at the front gate had malfunctioned, leaving us to park the van nearly a quarter of a mile away from our hotel room and foot it there, made for a long evening.

Saturday morning, bright and earlyish (11:30) had us up and headed for Bath. Chloe was fussy and Joy was in agreement with her. I requested to stay at the hotel and take the little ones to the park for most of the day, but Mr would have nothing of it! If he was tortured to go, then we'd have to suffer with him! Okay then- Plan B. How about doing things in the local area? Hmmm, let's debate this.Take an ALL DAY trip to Bath or see several sites without all of the driving and crowds. I thought everybody said "Yes", but I later found out that April wasn't truly paying attention and wanted to go to Bath. The shame of not listening was upon her.

We managed to hit Chedworth Roman Villa, where Chloe got some flower picking in and I sat in the van with Joy until I figured out that this group of tourists were on a leisurely stroll through the site. Apparently, there were the remains of Roman bathouses, mosaics and even a latrine!(They had to go to the toilet SOMEWHERE and when they had time to build things, they went in STYLE.)
I stumbled out of the van, went to use their toilets and ended up with a membership to the National Trust, which owns hundreds of historical properties and nature preserves. I did get to see some of what I paid for before I dragged those slow folks out of there! We had to get moving and use our membership!

Our next destination was Lodge Park, a hunting lodge built in the 17th century.I stayed in the van since this time, Chloe and Joy were asleep! The touristy folk went in for a 30 minute visit which actually took an hour and a half. Chloe woke up towards the end and I called for someone to take her out and pick flowers. When they were done touring the place, they were all ranting and raving about the grandeur of it all. "That's great", I said- "Now let's get moving!"

Last destination- Uffington White Horse,one of England's oldest chalk hill figures. This historical figure is dated at least 3000 years old. You have to walk a good half mile to get there from the car park, but it is worth seeing. Naturally, I stayed in the van and toured the car park while the touristy explorers traversed uphill through fields of sheep to reach their destination. Chloe picked flowers, the niece stumbled downhill several times, and the whole group enjoyed themselves wholeheartedly again.

After the long day of sightseeing, I wasn't going to cook, so we stopped and had fish and chips at Sainsbury's cafeteria- an upscale grocery store. Grabbed some diapers, water and cookies then headed back to our room for a night in. We made it there around 9 pm and were sweaty, dusty and ready for bed.

Sunday morning was a scramble to get out of the door (Is there a pattern to this?) and get to Blenhein Palace, Winston Churchill's birthplace. I actually got out of the van, but sadly didn't tour the house since I had two feisty little girls with me. Chloe, Joy and I, toured the gardens, had a picnic lunch on the lawn by the lake (Sounds posh, dosen't it?)and strolled the property looking for flowers. A long walk awaited us to get to the children's area, but ice cream made it worth the trip.
The other party had a blast and took oodles of pictures. The palace and grounds couldn't be enjoyed on one trip so I bought a family membership there too. So much to see, so little time!

We hit the road and made it home around 8pm-ish.
Thank the Lord that Monday was a day off for Mr and we all slept in to recover.
What a great weekend! How was yours?????

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

3 weeks already?

Time flies when you neglect your blog! (This statement can also be applied to relatives you keep forgetting to call, closets you meant to clean, and good friends who made you two awesome meals, including some really good chocolate chip cookies, trekked over to ones house with their children, happily helped her husband photographer take photos of a tiny and partially disagreeable little girl, and hasn't received her pie dish back nor a pitifully late "Thank You" either.)Shari and Janice, you're real friends! Bless you both!
Joy was 3 weeks old when I started this post, but now she is 4 weeks old so should I retitle it?
We were all getting into a standard routine when suddenly school ended and now we are reshuffling and adjusting. My niece was the morning person and got everyone up and fed and out the door each morning. Then I would kick in on slow turbo with lunch and a snack while she corralled the little people. Later in the afternoon April would come in and get dinner started while I rested and Erica got everything else done. Then Mr would come home at a consistantly unregular time and do whatever he had to do. Sometimes he would fully interact with us!(Just kidding, but it seems that when he is on a mission to get something done, get outta his way- he will talk to you later.)
So everything was getting done somehow, except the garage, but we were surviving.

Oh, back to the babies- Chloe likes her little sister and wants to hold her-A LOT! Joy isn't Kosher with that so she fusses within a minute or two and mom goes to save her from her sister and the wrestling match ensues. Chloe, not wanting to give her up, grips harder and me, trying to talk Chloe out of her grip and pry her hands from around Joys body, all the while trying to keep the both of them from crashing on the carpet! My first inclination is to swat a leg, but I don't want to alarm Chloe into a baby choke/sleeper hold, so I have to use the "Ninja Art of Take and Distract"- as thus named by my son. Here it goes; Quickly grasp said object from offender while focusing offenders attention towards something pleasurable in another area.

Hmmm, I have tried this and it works, but should I use it often? NO, especially when said offender should listen to me in the first place. That's the problem- sibling rivalry. Wow, am I Dr. Phil today or what?
Now to find a solution without losing my mind or sending my 2 yr old to live with the Gypsies!
On a serious note, we are headed to the funeral of a dear church friend of ours. Keziah Smit was born in Zimbabwe and moved here after her family lost everything they owned because of a dictator who wanted the "whites" out of the country. The family came here and struggled for a while before getting on their feet. Keziah asked the church to pray for them during each struggle and the Lord blessed them all. She got a great job working for "Youth For Christ" and helped spread the gospel all over England. She was the brightest star you could have seen in any sky and she never met someone she couldn't talk to. Always bubbly, her joy for Jesus was contagious. She is now with the angels.
We will all miss her.