Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Toilet Paper

This morning when the kids were playing quietly by themselves, I thought I would try to enjoy some quiet time at the computer and check emails. As I sat down to read a link ( from my sister in law, Nathan came into the room and said,”Mom, come and see what Emily did.” So I got up from the computer and walked into the bathroom, to find Emily sitting on the floor pulling the rolls of toilet paper out of the basket and then proceeding to pull the toilet paper off the roll and into little pieces. The link is pretty funny and check out the price of those Pok√©mon playing cards!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Castellar, Spain

I am going to try to share our experiences here in Spain by sharing some of the place that we have been to in Spain, so for place number 1 is Castellar. Castellar is a town about 20 minutes into the hills from here. It is a pretty dive with a lot of cork trees, orange orchards, and countryside. Castellar is basically two villages the old and the new. The new village is at the foot of the hill. We have been here once for their feria (festival). After Easter all of the villages, towns, and cities have their own festival with parades and games. The women get dressed in their Flamenco dress and everyone in town shows up for a good time. It is like the state fair only on a MUCH smaller scale.

Fair Food~ octupus tentacles (on the grill) and baby shrimp with the shell and head

The old village is located within the walls of the 13th century castle, which is currently occupied by "squatting hippies". The road to the castle is very narrow and winding. The castle is situated at the top of a hill and on a clear day you are able to see Gibraltar and other beautiful views of the Spanish countryside. We have been to the castle 4 times and enjoy the views and walking around in the castle walls.

Gibraltar in the distance

walking around in the castle walls


Well, to start with, Friday night was a Company sponsored "team building" dinner at one of the churinguitos (beach bar) in Sotogrande. The Grundmeier's were very gracious and watched the kids so we could go. At the dinner there were all kinds of goooood sea food. It started at 8pm and we arrived home at 1am. Upon arrival to the dinner we were greeted with drink and appetizers, skewers of vegetables, cheese, scallops, lobster, and shrimp. Then at about 8:30 we sat down for the "dinner" which was about 6 different platters of food, served tapas style. They would bring out two different dishes at a time, to be shared with about 4 people then every 15 minutes bring out another two. It was so good and so filling. As is typical at the churinguitos around, they had a boat full of sand and then an open camp fire which they cook whole fish on spits. It was a nice night to get out with out the kids and just relax and have a good time. Then on Sat, we went with the Grundmeier's to the La Linea market. First we had cafe con leche (coffee with milk) and churros (fried bread similar to a funnel cake or donut) at a side walk cafe. We then went to the market in search of food for dinner. We landed on sword fish steaks, prawns and a variety of sausages. We cooked it all on the grill, with a veggie mix. Paul found these fun breads in the shape of alligators and turtles. Then it was coffee, dessert (sampling of items we got from the market) and a game of Sheep's Head.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Time to mop!!

Emily gave me a reminder today that the garage floor was desperately in need of a good cleaning (note the dirty legs)!! I did mop it; I know how silly that may sound especially after all the grief I gave to Paul when we bought our first house. A little history... We were moving in and I went into the garage to see what was taking him so long, what do I see but Paul MOPPING the floor. The craziest thing I ever did see, well, I have been humbled and am admitting to mopping the garage floor. I only mopped it because our clothes dryer is down there and I am tired of the kids, and myself having dirty feet every time we go down there. If the clothes dryer was not down there, there is no way I would have mopped. I would have swept, but not mopped, no way.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kids, Kids, Kids

Children are so FUNNY, Nathan’s current favorite game to play is to pretend he is a fireman. He puts on his O-State hat and grabs his broken plastic golf club (the fire hose) and runs around putting out fires. Yesterday he had a plastic sandwich bag, which he tore apart and taped some to his forearms and shins (the armor.) He was then magically transformed into a knight!! Which the ever universal plastic golf club, broken, was used for a sword and the O-State hat was again used. Nathan is a great Big brother he is always ready to help out with Emily and loves to play with Kayla sometimes much to Kayla’s disapproval.

Sir Knight Nathan

Kayla is growing into a little girl, the potty training is going slowly, but going, part of the problem is that I am not very consistent in training her. She loves here baby dolls and stroller. She two little bags (purses) that she likes to put bits and bobs into and carry them around with her. Today at church she borrowed Emily’s chew blanket to wrap her purple baby up so she would not get cold. Then she held the baby like a real baby and just cuddled her, SO cute!! She has also reached the stage of throwing temper tantrums until she gets what she wants or until she realizes that no one is paying any attention to her. What happened to my sweet little baby K…..

Do you like my Party Hat?? Now on to my sweet little Emily Clair, well she is sweet most of the time. She has 3 teeth, and is working on more. She LOVES to hold one hand (finger) and walk all over the house. She has been seen on an occasion to stand by herself for a couple of seconds holding onto nothing. Emily enjoys getting into anything she is not suppose to and has been eating VERY soft people food for about 1 month now. She will eat baby food but would rather a nice bite of real food. I have noticed her when she gets mad she will try to bite something, anything, very similar to the way her brother use to respond at her age. She likes to lick the floor as if it is an ice cream cone maybe it is the coldness of the tiles the is nice on her gums. What ever the case, there are some clean spots on our floors. Emily can say da-da, not necessarily to Paul, but definitely makes the sounds. In fact right she is doing chin-ups on the computer table!! I am sure I could go on with more of her little quirks, however, it is time to take the little people to the pool!! Until next time, Adios!!

Look, 3 teeth!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Princess and Batman

Yesterday we went to an open house at Kayla’s “school” and there was a face painter there that painted Nathan and Kayla’s faces. We came home with a batman and a princess. The girl painted Kayla’s arm to get her use to the idea then moved on to her face when she was comfortable with the idea. The school is just down the road from here and looks like it will be good place for Kayla to meet some friends and help her with her shyness. It is run by a woman that is from the UK and was a school teacher over there and has been living in Spain for a few years. She saw a need for a nursery for all of the British children here and is trying to make a go of it. It was fun and one of the boys in Nathan’s class (Oliver) his little sister (Lucy) will be attending this nursery. So that will be nice. Then we came home got ready for dinner with the Grundmeier’s and then cards. That was our Saturday in a nutshell. We are waiting for the girls to wake up then it will be an afternoon at the pool. Ahhhh… the life in Spain!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lisbon, Portugal

Well, we have made it to country #9 on our travels. We took a trip to Lisbon last weekend and spent 4 days on the road and there. We arrived in Lisbon on Saturday morning and after crossing the bridge and passing the giant statue of Jesus we were there!! Lisbon is a very pretty city, fairly "new" construction as there was an earthquake in 1755 which destroyed much of the city. There are many buildings which have tiles all the way up the outside of the building, all 3 floors. There is castle in Lisbon which gives you great views down on the city and is a fun place for the kids to run and climb, kind of nerve racking a as a parent as there are limited safety measures in place.
We took a ride on tram #28 which is suppose to be the thing to do in Lisbon, well, once the ride was over Paul and I looked at each other and thought "was that the exciting bit?"!! The tram took you up into the top part of Lisbon and the old town. It is a hilly city and the old town has narrow streets.
Our favorite part of the trip was at the Oceanarium where we saw an ocean sunfish, our new favorite fish. The Oceanarium is the largest one in Europe and it has about 25,000 fish, seabirds, and mammals in an enormous central tank that is the size of four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
We also took a trip to the western part of Lisbon to an area called Belem. There is a monastery there (Jeronimos Monistery) which was built by King Manuel I in 1502 on the site of a hermitage founded by Prince Henry the Navigator, where Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night in Portugal in prayer before leaving for India. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama's voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success. Vasco da Gama's tomb was placed inside by the entrance. The trip was a good one the only regret was not standing in the 45minute line with 3 kids to see the inside of Jeronimos Monastery.
Other there than that it was a lot of fun and the kids had a great time. I am ready for country #10......