Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our Family Year in Review

We were still in the northwest, waiting for our visa. We did take a trip to the East Coast to visit family. One of the fun things on our list of things to do was go to Texas Roadhouse. It is a favourite place, maybe it is the peanuts or the warm bread with cinnamon butter or just the fact that we didn't have one in the northwest.

We were in the northwest still waiting, praying and trusting that God would provide the visa in his time. We celebrated my husband's birthday. We were gifted with a photo session at a local studio.

We continued to wait and pray. We had seen God provide up to this point and so we continued to trust that he would complete what he had begun. I don't think I have a family photo from March.

My husband booked flights based on faith that we would have our visa. He did have to change his flight two days but we got our visa and were ready to go.

The kids and I arrived in the UK on Good Friday. We spent Easter with some friends here.

We began looking for a house in the city where we would live. We spent a week in the Peak District and enjoyed the beauty there.

We moved into our house and began to get settled.

We continued to settle in our new city. We got a car and I began driving. We received our shipment which had been in storage for 18 months.

We went camping for the first time and enjoyed it.

I was able to surprise my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. My brother went to their house and so I planned to join them there. They were surprised.

Hiking is a new thing that we have begun to do this year. We enjoyed a hike in Hope Valley. That is not our dog.

We took a holiday to Switzerland. It was a wonderful trip and we enjoyed our time there with friends. The kids are talking about wanting to go back.

We traveled to the States for a conference and meetings. We were able to visit family on our family so that was a nice time. My parents took us to see Moses.

We returned home and were back in our routine. We had our first guests that stayed with us and so for an outing we went to York.

We enjoyed Christmas in England including a day trip to London. A friend came to visit and we enjoyed 12 days with her. We got some snow as well and spent an afternoon sledging.

That wraps up this year. I am looking forward to 2015 and all that God will do in our family.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

National Railway Museum

We headed to York today. I told you it is J's favourite city and that was one place that he wanted to take our friend who has been visiting. This time we took the train. That was easy except for the fact that our train was canceled on the return but we were able to get on the next train about 45 minutes later and we even got seats.

This time we decided to go to the National Railway Museum which claims to be the greatest railway museum. I have to say that it was quite impressive. We walked in and there were all kinds of engines and railcars.

The museum claims to have over 1,000,000 items and I think that is the case though we did not see all of them. One area was called the Warehouse and it was just filled with all kinds of interesting items includes desks, lamps, silver items, all things relating to trains.

There was a Pullman car which was quite fancy.

This was in the Flying Scotsman. The Flying Scotsman was the train between Edinburgh and London that began in 1860.

There were a few places on the wall where it was filled with various plaques from trains and stations.

Here is proof that we were there.

We then walked through the city. It was different to see the Minster in the winter without leaves on the trees.

We walked across the Lendal Bridge and this is the Lendal Tower which has been next to the River Ouse since about 1300. York is full of history.

York is one of our favourite cities. I think we are on our way to visiting it each season -- summer, autumn, and now winter. We did enjoy our day in York and saw some new things this time.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Blog Review

I enjoyed blogging and sharing bits and pieces of my life with you this past year.

One of the purposes of my blog is to keep family and friends updated on our life. One of the most popular posts this year was my trip to the Pyrex Museum. This reminds me of the getaway with a friend.

A big part of my day and a big part of the blog is homeschooling. One of the things that I have been using for the past two years is My Plan Book. I shared a review of it in January and then an updated review in December.

Part of the reason that I homeschool is because of special needs. One of the popular posts this year regarding special needs was I am willing to Waste my Time about being willing to teach things that my child may not use in the future.

Through the year I have shared with you thoughts and other things that God has been teaching me. Abundant Life was one of those posts.

Those are just some of the highlights from my blog this year. I am looking forward to 2015 and all the God has in store for me. I look forward to sharing with you.

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Snow in England

On Friday evening, Boxing Day, it began to snow. Even the sight of flurries was enough to get the children excited but the flurries increased and began to stay on the ground. They were excited and even though it was 8:00 in the evening they went outside. Miss K didn't stay long but J was out for a long time.

I grew up with snow in the winter. When snow is forecasted, everyone goes to the store for milk, bread, and toilet paper. I remember once walking a mile uphill in the snow to get milk. (Mom, we walked to Farmer Brown's.)

Where we lived on the East Coast in the US, with the forecast of snow the snow plows would be out putting grit on the roads, and then as soon as it stopped snowing, they would be place to plow. You had to shovel your sidewalks and if you lived in the city, you would shovel out your parking space and then leave a chair in the nice cleared space reserving your spot.

When it stopped snowing, we had about 6-7 inches. For England that is a snowstorm. We had been told that we wouldn't get that much snow here. Compared to the first year couple years we lived in the States when we had some record breaking snow for the winter, this is not much. The buses stopped running at least in our area, the taxis were not coming here, my grocery delivery was delayed.

I saw a snow plow this afternoon almost 48 hours after it began snowing. Very few people have shovelled their sidewalk.

This afternoon a friend called and told me they were going to the hill near the park for sledging. The other week we were in the sports store and I saw a snow shovel sledge. I thought that a sledge was a name for that time of sled. After listening to a friend at church this morning and my friend inviting us to sledge, I realised that what we call sled and sledding here is called sledge and sledging.

When we moved to this city, someone told us that you either go uphill or downhill. That is not fun when walking around town but when it has snowed it is perfect for sledging.

It was a perfect sledging hill. I remember sledding as a kid down a country road that was closed so we could sled. That was the old sleds with the metal runners. I also remember once sledding with a toboggan down a snow covered field.

Miss K wanted to do it herself but we didn't want her to end up in the creek at the bottom of the hill.

As we walked to the hill, we past some sheep in the field. Miss K thought they were cold but we told her they had on a wool coat.

I have to say that it was a beautiful view as the kids were sledging. We saw the sun go down and then the kids were doing their last run with the moon in the sky.

The roads still have some snow on them. I did see the bus running a bit in this area. Hopefully my groceries will be delivered.

We enjoyed a snow day or two here in England.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

The nativity is one my dad made years ago and my mom displays it every year. 
It is one of the memories of home. 

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas in London

A friend suggested we meet in London for a day of enjoying Christmas celebration there. We took an early train. It was a fast train with only four stops. We arrived in London and our first stop was the South Bank where there is a Christmas market. The kids got a treat and we walked around a bit.

Our next stop was Harrods. We began in the food halls. I spent time looking at the food items offered.

This was my first time to Harrods. While it was crowded, I do think it was worth it to visit at Christmas and see the special things that are there at this time of the year such as Christmas Pudding. Pudding is the term used for dessert.

Oranges are such a Christmas item to me. I think some of that goes back to my childhood traditional Christmas morning breakfast. My mum would have a basket of tangerines or something like that and would decorate it with curling ribbon.

More yummy food items. I think things here are sold in tins more than in the States.

This was the bakery section. Look at all the delicious looking food.

The tile work throughout the food halls was impressive. Being there at Christmastime there are extra decorations.

We had a meeting place at the Legos on the 3rd floor. On our way up Miss K and I found this bear. The toy department was a sensory overload with toy demonstrations, toys flying overhead and so much lights and sounds. There are dress-up dresses that start at £329 or so. J found a Hummer for £39,995. It was a two seater and bigger than my dad's John Deere lawnmower. I really don't know where you would drive that.

I did buy something at Harrods. I know you are impressed. I bought Miss K not a bear or even some candy but a drink, just a bottle of Juicy Water. We went across the street for a drink and snack and also a place to sit. We had been walking and walking. According to J it was a forced march but that was not the case.

After our break, we went back out. We stood across the street waiting for the lights to come on. I turned my back to talk to someone and missed it. I did get some photos after the lights came on.

We then walked across and looked in all the windows. The windows are decorated for Christmas. The attention to detail in amazing.

I think Miss K would open an orphanage for stuffed animals if she was allowed to. I am sure this one would have been too big.

There were some big windows and then also smaller windows. The little kids needed help to see in the windows.

We then took the Tube back to Westminster. As we were walking up to cross the bridge, we realised that if we waited just three minutes we could hear Big Ben.

It was a fun day and we did do lots of walking. I think I had over 20,000 steps on my fitbit.

I am glad that we did it. I know there are lots of photos here but it was hard to pick out the good ones and so I just shared lots.

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