Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cheerio from Lovely England!

Greetings faithful readers, you few brave and patient souls! I apologize for any carpal tunnel or premature arthritis that may have developed in your cramped fingers over the past two months of anxiously clicking away at that 'refresh' button. It's been hard to find time to blog, what with an international relocation and such. Who knew? Anyway, I'll keep the verbage brief and the photo montage plentiful.

(Insert British accent before continuining to read) England has treated us quite lovely so far. It's been a bit busy and we're all adjusting to having a full-time working Mum, but so far, everyone has done just brilliant! (Accent off now). How'd you do? Need some practice? You should hear Keller--he's a natural! Marley is the one I'm most interested to hear about 2 years from now--with Chinese as her first language, American English as her second, cleft palate related speech issues, and spending this year in a British preschool--she is going to have one brilliantly unique accent ;)

Sit back and relax. . .here comes the photo dump!

Going for a big rewind here to catch up on the end of summer as well. . .

In July, we did a Pirate Ship adventure on the Bay, leaving from Annapolis. Keller, Casey and Shane had a blast. Marley whined and clung to Heather and I the whole time, but seriously rocked out to the captain's groovy music a few times, and she was ready to jump right in when it was time to dish out treasures.

In a whirlwind trip to PA in August, we: had a picnic at my grandparents' farm, took a day trip to Idlewild Park, tried out the entertaining sport of EuroBungee, cooked out with the Steinhoffs, visited 'Poppy', and made "CoCo" the stuffed monkey who has been enjoying a jet-setting lifestyle rivaled only by Flat Stanley.

The week before we left Virginia, in between watching the movers box up all of our worldly goods (which are still at sea, making a slow voyage to us) and readying ourselves for the big day, we said 'see you soon' to our bestest buds, the Driggers and the Gildeas.

We saw Juno safely settled into her temporary home at my sister's house, where she is reportedly enjoying the company of Bear and Daisy. . .but still makes a break for it, given the chance! Naughty girl. She will join us here after Christmas and we are looking forward to seeing her lumpy-headed self. And we said 'farewell for now' to Heather, Ken & the boys, which was tough. They are missed so much already.

That's the end of the photos that should have shown up in a post about a month ago, entitled "Summer: Part II." Moving on here to. . .

The Great Adventure Begins

We loaded up three kids, two adults, fifteen bags, and CoCo for our first official 'pond crossing' on Friday, August 19th, which just happened to be our 11th wedding anniversary. Spending the night on the plane with the kids wasn't exactly the romantic celebration we'd dreamed of, but we did share some Aunt Annie's pretzel nuggets in the airport, so that counts for something, right ;) Poor Keller discovered air sickness during the landing, and didn't bounce back until a day later.

I think someone out there has a similar picture of me from my 21st birthday ;)

We took a day trip on the 28th to Birmingham to visit Cadbury World and the Sea Life Centre.

We ventured into Cambridge last weekend, which is only about 30 minutes away. Burleigh Street was great--the kids loved the skateboard shop and comic book store, and I had fun perusing the awesome thrift/consignment stores for cool finds.Marley found everything she needed to put together the perfect outfit for the upcoming Fancy Nancy Tea Party on base.

There is a beautiful park/open space that the kids love across the road from Marley's preschool. It's called Aspal Close and it is really quite lovely. We had one of our first encounters with a grumpy Brit when we accidentally stayed beyond closing time and had to call a terribly unfriendly gatekeeper of sorts to come and let our car out of the lot ;)

Last weekend, we drove an hour and a half to Blakeney to see the North Sea. It was amazing and beautiful and so incredibly different from any beach we have seen in the states. The kids loved climbing the pebbly dunes and couldn't contain their laughter over the intensely strong winds. The kids found tons of sea treasures--two shark or ray egg pods (not sure which), dried star fish by the dozen, shells, fossils. The village is quaint and peaceful (or it was until the Beverly Huffman-billies showed up)and I'm sure we'll go back again.

The boys have been hanging out at the skateboard park behind my school just about every afternoon lately, and are starting to get some beginning skills, build their nerves, and make some friends who begin and end every single statement with "Dude!" We're hoping our shipement of stuff that includes their pads will show up here soon so they'll feel comfortable getting totally rad at the skatepark. Here they are trying out their first ramps.

Now,for the blooper reel. . .

We are living in a hotel on base for a few more weeks, and although there is a pull-out bed available to Marley, she has decided she would rather slumber in a cozy compartment she's made for herself inside the closet of the boys' room.

This one is for all of my Western PA friends. The next time someone makes fun of you for saying "slippy" instead of "slippery," tell them that "slippy" is considered proper English in England, and maybe throw in a little "so there" at the end.

We have had several sightings of 'manpris' here, including this fine pair of Denim Manpris, also known as Jeanpris.

I am going to make a genuine effort to keep up with the blog while we are over here, but I have to admit that working full-time sure eats up my 'free' time. I feel inspired to write about our adventures and encounters here, but drop into bed each night completely exhausted from a day of work and the millions of errands involved in settling and establishing ourselves here--house, cars, cell phones, bank accounts, paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. . .

Love to you all from surprisingly sunny Lakenheath, England!