Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Update

Yesterday, Saturday, we went to La Linea with some friends, Dan and Sarah Thompson. Dan works with Paul and his wife Sarah works in Houston for Chevron. We arrived in City center of La Linea around 9:30AM for a coffee and churro, Nathan and Kayla had some chocolate milk, while Emily drank juice. It is pretty neat to watch the man make the churro he has two wooden sticks that he uses to swirl the dough mixture in to the hot oil to be fried, then lifts to batter, flips it over and fries the other side with the wooden sticks, quite the art form.
After our churro and coffee it was time to hit the market!! The market was full of fish and meats and other animal parts that I have no idea what you would do with them, how you would cook it and why you would want to cook it!! We bought some bread and tuna steaks to cook for dinner. Crab Anyone???
Fresh Swordfish!! Mmmmm Tuna Steaks
Then we walked around the outdoor part of the market (where they sell clothes and other bits and bobs), after looking at all of the things for sale (fresh olives, chestnuts, and prickly pear) it was time to head to the car and home sweet home!! Upon arrival to the house it was time for lunch, then for Kayla and Emily to take their naps. While the girls were napping I went for a quick jog/walk in the mountains!! I have enjoyed my walks in the countryside and will miss the peacefulness of it. There are not any mountains and farmland in Houston, TX!!!
When I returned home it was time to get things sorted for dinner, Paul took off for a jog around our neighborhood, which for those of you that have not been here, it is like living on a mountain. Our house complex is on the top of a hill and you go down the hill into town but have to come back up the hill at some point to return home, not an easy jog. We had Mr. Grundmeier over for dinner, Ruth (Mrs. Grundmeier) is in the USA visiting family. For desert I bought Cappuccino ice cream, it was delicious, but I am pretty sure that it had real coffee in it; I say this because Nathan was so full of energy after he ate his, he was RUNNING all over the house. He ran from the living room out the door into the garden-to the porch-back in the door to the play area-through the living room and back out the door to the garden 38 times, it was as if a bottle rocket had been let loose in the house, bouncing from wall to wall. Once he was settled into bed it was time for a game of Sheep’s Head. No it is not something from Paul’s fraternity days; it is a real card game. I am pleased to announce that I won!!! That was our Saturday, good friends, fun and food.
This morning we made the trip to San Roque market. It was a BIG market a lot of shoe and clothing stalls. There were some fruit and vegetable stalls as well as the typical junk bits and bobs, which you only buy because they are cheap and you do not care if they break. I found a pair of shoes for Kayla to wear for David and Katie’s wedding, and Paul found a metal spatula for lasagna. We have been using this plastic flimsy one and every time that you would pick up a piece of lasagna to put on someone’s plate you just hope that the lasagna does not fall off onto the floor before reaching the plate.
On the way back to the car after finishing at the market we stop at the park to let Nathan and Kayla play on the toys and release some of their energy.
Once energy had been released it was time to go home and have lunch and naps. While driving home there was a flock of vulture/eagle type birds circling above a herd of cattle. I never saw what they were after, maybe just out for a Sunday flight. The Thompson’s, Dan and his wife Sarah came over for dinner and to watch some bullfighting. Today there is a bridal shower for my soon to be sister in law Katie Savastano, I am missing it and am sad about this. It should be a god time had by all. That wraps up our weekend, I hope everyone else had an exciting weekend as well!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fun for Emily

Lately any time that the gate has been left off of the stairs Emily will check to make sure that no one is looking then she’s off, up the stairs. She enjoys climbing up to the second floor and going into Nathan and Kayla’s room and pulling all of the books off of the bookcase. When she sees/hears me coming she gets excited and starts to move faster, it is pretty cute!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"I am a Robot"

Nathan’s Art!!!

Nathan has been coming home from school with some very imaginative art work this year. They have a table called the IDEAS TABLE, where parents bring in their leftovers, plastic bottles, containers, rolls from paper towels, toilet paper rolls anything that could be used to make something else. The children are allowed to go to the table and create anything they want from the bits that have been brought in. One week it was a plastic bottle with some furry material glued to it the next week it was a variety of materials put together to make a robot. Today he came home with a milk bottle that he glued a cardboard role from the saran wrap to the top of, to make a rocket. VERY CREATIVE!!!

"The Robot and Furry Bottle"

"The Rocket"

Weekend of Sept. 22 and 23

What a weekend. On Saturday we spent the day at the house. Paul built a rocket ship with the kids and hung it from the light fixture. When Emily woke from her nap she could not take her eyes off of it. Nathan and Kayla played outside with the chalk and drew some WONDERFUL pictures!! Kayla, Emily, and I went for a little walk around our complex, and then Nathan and I went for a ride on his bike around the complex. That night Paul and I went to Sara’s house (woman that works with Paul) for dinner and some adult conversation. Mr. and Mrs. Grundmeier watched Nathan and Kayla (Emily was in bed so they listened for her). It was a nice evening out and we enjoyed just sitting with other adults and not having to have to worry about what the kids are getting into. Sunday was a lazy day of just lying around and watching TV. After church we tried to go to a market in San Roque, but Emily had not taken a nap and all the kids were in need of lunch, so I think we will plan it better so that next Sunday after church we will go to check out the market in San Roque. We ended the evening by letting Nathan and Kayla stay up to watch a bull fight and eat dinner on the floor, such a treat!! The weather is starting to cool off and we are able to open the doors and windows to let the cool air in. Paul was thinking about going for a swim in the pool and when he asked Nathan if he thought the water in the pool would be cold, and Nathan’s response to that was, “SURELY”. Almost as if that was the craziest question he had ever heard. Another little funny thing, the other night Nathan was not feeling very well, and Paul and I were in his room with him settling him back down and putting him back into bed when Kayla rolled over and said, “You woke me up guys” with a little sigh at the end. She is a funny little one, you never know what is going to come out of her mouth!

I'm Back.....

The new modem has arrived in record time and I am back to business, as the kids allow it...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Out of Commission

Today when I went to turn on the computer and check email I was hit with a surprise, the modem was not working, no power of any kind!! I am at a friends house typing this up and will be off line for a while as I am living in Southern Spain things always move at a slower pace here, manana. I hope to be back soon, so until then, Adios!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sooooo CUTE!!!!

Baby Blanket

I have finished Emily’s blanket!!! It took me all of 10 days and looks good, I was even able to use all of the yarn, no leftovers!! I am now going to have to work on her patchwork blanket. Hopefully I will be done with that one by Christmas. It will be similar to the one I made for Kayla. Here are some pictures of Emily enjoying her new blanket.

Kayla and her blanket

Monday, September 17, 2007

Look Who's Walking!!

Just a little video of Emily from Today!!

Weekend fun

This weekend was a lazy one. Not much really to report, other than Nathan playing as though he was a knight, Paul was the dragon, I was a good fairy, Kayla was the ghost and Emily was the pet gecko. It was quite an interesting game that involved a lot of pretending. "The Knight"~ Nathan

"The Ghost"~ Kayla

"Pet Gecko"~ Emily

Nathan is good with his imagination. He put on a little puppet show for Paul and Emily. Kayla was a tired little girl as she currently has a cold and just is not feeling very well. Paul also took the kids out to the pool for one last dip in the water on Saturday, as it was the official last day for the pool to be open. The water was cool but everyone had a good time Emily even crawled her way to the edge and with a little help she was able to partake in the pool activities.

Paul played poker on Saturday night with some of the guys from work, while he was off I worked on a baby blanket for Emily, I know 10 months late, but better late than never!! Sunday involved a trip to Gibraltar to do some grocery shopping (there are certain things that we had gotten use to in England that we enjoy going over there to get on occasion, plus there are just some things you can’t find here in Spain). That was our lazy weekend.

Bath-time Fun

The other day Kayla was having a good time in the tub when some one (no naming names) thought it would be funny to put her hair into a mohawk. She laughed and wanted to see her hair “again, again”. I know that these pictures are cute now, but will only be used to embarrass her in the future, but she is a happy girl that is easy going and can take a joke, so I know there will be no issues. OK I am the one that did this to my little girl, but she thought it was so funny and will find it funny it 20 years. And yes, I will be the one to embarrass her with the picture by submitting it to her high school year book. That is the job of the parent, or so I am told!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Helicopters and Water

When I left to pick up Nathan from school today I noticed large black clouds from the field behind the golf course, which is behind our house. It turned out to be a large grass fire in the farm land there. When we came home from getting Nathan from school there were helicopters flying by with the buckets/bags of water to put the fire out. Guess where they were getting the water from?? The pond in the golf course directly behind our house complex. Needless to say we, and by we I mean Nathan and I, were excited to go out there and watch them fly in to fill their bags with water and fly off again. This was at 3:45PM our time and it is 5:30PM and they are still at work dumping water on the fire. The pond is pretty low, but they are still filliing up, there goes another one!!

The Beach and a Bullfight

...a typical Sunday in Espana. On Sunday we went to the beach for 2 hours in the afternoon and the water was warm!! That was the first time we were there and we did not freeze upon entering the water. Kayla, who is normally shy about getting into the water, went in with some encouragement and splashed around. However, after 10 minutes of splashing she was done and ready to play in the sand.
Nathan had a good time searching for "treasure", which ranges from broken shells to seaweed. The best treasure that was found was an unbroken mussel shell, no mussel inside, just the shell. At one point Nathan went into the water with the mussel shell and dropped it on accident and had an absolute fit because he thought it was gone to the sea forever!!. He came screaming, you would have thought he had just spotted a shark, up to Paul and I where, in between yells, he explained he dropped the shell. After calming him down a bit I walked with him back to the scene of the crime and looked for the shell. On the walk to the waters edge, I had found a pebble that had been worn flat and was the size of a nickel, I showed this to Nathan and told him it looked like a coin. He was impressed by this but wanted to continue to look for the shell. After 30 seconds of searching the water Nathan had decided the “coin” was a good find would be a suitable replacement for the shell. When he walked back out of the water he looked down and low and behold, there it was, the lost mussel shell had washed back onto the shore. Nathan was then ready to leave the shell on the blanket so as not to loose it again.
Emily simply enjoyed eating the sand. Well, she only picked up the sand and directly ate the sand a couple of times, all of the other times the sand was on something (a shovel, a shell, juice box) that she put in her mouth. She did not mind the sand, and was happy to crawl around in it and eat it.
After getting home from the beach it was time to get baths, eat dinner and go to bed, for the kids. After Nathan, Kayla, and Emily were tucked in their beds, Paul and I settled on the living room floor with some wine, cheese and crackers, olives, and pickles (our dinner) to watch bullfighting, which is on every Sunday night from 7PM until 9PM. The end to another fun weekend!!

Pictures from the Beach

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kayla's first Day

Today was Kayla’s first day at school, and she was GREAT. When I dropped her off at her Nursery, in Guadiaro, (down the street from where we live) there were no tears and she did not get upset. She sat at the table playing with the baby dolls and just enjoying herself. It was really nice to have that response instead of Nathan’s crying and saying, “school is scary”. When I picked her up at 12:30 she was enjoying corn, raisins, and a rice cake. She said she had a good time playing with her “friends”. I am hopeful that this feeling of enjoyment will continue, and she will not decide that she has been there done that and is finished with school now.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Dining with The Dampfs

Last night we had The Dampfs over for dinner and some adult conversation. The evening began with appetizers of olives, Spanish cheese (Manchego) and Chorizo. While we enjoyed the olives, cheese and the Chorizo, Nathan played with Andrew (3years old), Kayla stayed close to mom and dad as to take in all of the new people before deciding if it was OK to play with them, while Emily and Matthew, who is 11 days older than Emily "fought" over who would get to play with the ball.
After appetizers we enjoyed a meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad and vegetables, and a fruit plate. Finally, for dessert we indulged in chocolate chip cookies, ice cream and cinnamon swirl bread with powdered sugar frosting (similar to a cinnamon roll).
Then it was tidy up time while Nathan and Andrew played superheroes~ Andrew would make Emily's Leapfrog Learning Table play music while they ran through the house. It was an enjoyable evening.