Monday, December 31, 2007

This goes out to anyone listening

On an English keyboard the @ is above the apostrophe ('), and the speech marks (") are above the 2. On an American keyboard the apostrophe and speech marks are both on the same key down by the Enter button, and the @ is above the 2.
(That's probably as clear as mud, but take and look and you'll see what I mean!)

Today is Blest and Danny's 12th Wedding Anniversary. They've been out this afternoonevening and I've been looking after the boys. I had something up my sleeve to occupy them though - Dance Praise 2. It's a one of those with a dance pad that you hook up to the computer, and it kept them (and me!) entertained for about an hour and a half. And during that length of time I think pretty much every other song that the danced to was a tobyMac song. But that's ok cos his songs are cool, and actually I bought myself one of his CDs in the sales the other day. His songs are very catchy, in fact I'm listening to them right now :-)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

An assortment of thoughts

I will have just trained my fingers to find the @ key on an American keyboard by the time I go home, and will then have to spend the next 3 months reteaching myself where to find it on an English keyboard.

I'm at home this morning (the van is still not fixed, so all the rest of the family have gone to church and I'm staying home to catch up on some emailing and blogging and listening to a sermon online from my church back home) and it's great to have some peace and quiet! I've also been listening to a couple of Christmas songs, even though it's past Christmas (shh, don't tell blest!) But they're on my new CD, and I really like them!

Possibly later this morning or this afternoon I will get around to taking pictures of some of the things I've bought in the Christmas sales over the last couple of days. To leave you hanging, I'll just tell you that one of the things I bought was a most unexpected thing for me to buy, but I really like it...

Maybe one day I will remember to carry a notebook around with me to write down all the things I think of to blog about when I'm out and about in the van or truck with blest, but then can never remember when I actually get a chance to be online!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Day, the photo version

A couple of parcels arrived from my family arrived on Christmas Eve and Blest sneaked them away without me knowing about them. She wrapped them up and labelled them as from Santa, so when I opened the present up it was a great surprise :-)

I just love the title of this book.
HP put these foam letters in as packaging and to spell out a message (this was taken before I had found the w, so it actually says 'Debbie e love you', but there was a w in the second package!)
A little taste of the chaos that ensued.
I met a German lady at the Cantata the other week - In fact I was sat next to her and as we were both there fairly early I thought I would say hello to her and we got chatting. She has invited me to go and stay with them for a weekend in January, and on Sunday she dropped off a big bag full of presents for me, and one for Blest as well.
Nothing says Christmas like weaponry, and the boys got lots!Benny got a new toy violin (to replace the same one he'd had before which got broken as a consequence of existing in a house with four boys). He was over the moon about it.
We had a great time opening presents, and I loved being able to witness the excitement and enthusiasm of the boys (and I wasn't far behind in my excitement levels!). I felt so loved by not only my family, but also by blest's. I was overwhelmed by the love and kindness of both Danny and blest's parents and blest's brother and his family. I guess I knew deep down that if you spend three months living with someone you become a part of their family, but Christmas Day this year really illustrated that to me. So thank you again to everyone that made it a really memorable and special day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Time

Well this was the first time I've been away from my family for Christmas, but I've had a lovely day. I'm too tired to write much about it tonight, but there are hopefully some photos to put up and some stories to tell tomorrow. I just want to thank everyone who has made it a great day - thank you for making me feel so loved.
Now I'm about ready for bed, but probably won't make it there for another hour or two, oh well!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

I was going to sit down this evening and write an email to lots of my friends back home, and either also post it or write something equally enthralling here. Unfortunately I didn't take into account my total lack of brain power. So instead, here's a short message to you all...

Enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Moon

Yesterday afternoon\evening we went out to pick up some last minute bits and pieces and do the Walmart Christmas shop. Dusk was falling and the sky turned beautiful shades of red and orange. And then we saw the moon. It was a full moon and looked huge. I swear I've never seen it look that big back home, which leads me to my question...

Is the moon actually 'bigger' here because we're nearer to the equater and therefore slightly nearer to the moon, or is it to do with the desert atmosphere here, or what? Does anyone have any insight into this, because it'd be really cool to know why.

Cheerio Wars

That's what's going on right now.

Why is it that when child A doesn't finish his cheerios, child B comes along and wants starts eating them, then child C comes over, complains that B is eating A's cheerios while simultaneously taking a handful for himself? Oh well, B and C are merrily eating the cheerios and A is completely oblivious and over on the other side of the room, so I think I'll just let them get on with it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Sounds of Christmas

Beth-luh-hem or Beth-lee-hem
Which do you say?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Good Morning, Good Yawning

That phrase comes from the book 'The Patchwork Cat' which was a favourite of mine when I was little.

Yesterday got better as the day went on. I wasn't feeling amazing and was kind of coughy, but when I eventually did get on the treadmill and then had a long shower and got dressed in proper clothes, rather than work-out clothes (around 4.30pm) I actually felt a bit better. It probably also helped that during the afternoon the boys watched a DVD* and I had a doze on the sofa. Thank you Snowbreeze for de-lurking and leaving me a lovely comment. When I read it I had already had a shower and I can quite understand the power of hot water!

*Andrew wants me to tell you that the DVD was Davy Crockett.

Today I've been awake since before six, but I'm feeling remarkably awake. I've done my weights but haven't been on the treadmill yet today because I had inspiration to write this post, so I'm doing that before I forget again.

The boys and I have a great secret idea that we've working on a little bit this morning. There's still more that needs to be done, but I think the recipients will enjoy it once it's complete :-)
Blest is out right now at a doctor's appointment, but when she gets back I think we plan to just have a fairly gentle day, perhaps folding some laundry or wrapping some presents if we're feeling really productive.

At some point I have a couple more gifts to buy, but I think blest and I will probably go out and get those tomorrow and then I think I will be done with gift shopping. I have three boys sitting around me watching me type, and they seem to have stolen my inspiration, so I guess I'll end this post here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Can't think of a single thing to write

You know where you're in that frame of mind where you really really want to write something, but haven't got a clue what? Well that's where I am at the moment.

So here's a Chistmas tree for you to look at while I decide what to write.
/ \
/ \

And since I can't even get the formatting to work right on that I think I'll give up and try to write something later on when I will hopefully be in a better mood than I am right now.


We've just been reading this article and discovering just how many things we've been doing wrong with the dog at this particular season in her life.

We're just working on the idea that this will be a great schooling opportunity for the boys, or put another way, a life lesson to blest in how to teach her boys the facts of life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Papa don't preach, my dog's in trouble

Ok, so she's not my dog, and we don't know for sure, but there's been a stray hanging around and it's got into the backyard this evening, so we're thinking she could be....

Also, I just beat Blest at scrabble. This event must be marked down in the history books in case it never happens again!

Also also, go congratulate Kathleen and family on the birth of Andrew Patrick.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

He makes me smile

Me: I will get your banana now.
Benny: Oh good job Ms Debs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


As we set out to go to the Mall after lunch today I mentioned to blest that I had two potential posts going around in my head, they just needed some developing. Unfortunately they didn't develop very far, so instead I shall combine those two half ideas to create one post. Sheer Genius.

The first thought was about teeth cleaning. As I cleaned my teeth after lunch I thought it might be interesting to take a poll of how people clean their teeth. Do they
a. Move their hand holding the brush
b. Move their head and mouth
c. Do a bit of both

Ok, so I know that's actually not a very interesting poll, but I was cleaning my teeth and suddenly wondered just how I was doing it, because it felt like I wasn't particularly moving my hand or my head, and yet all my teeth were getting brushed, but then I realised that I must move hand and head.

Hmm, I have a feeling no one will actually find that interesting, so lets hurry on to pondering number two.

Today the weather has been pretty cold. There's a bit of a wind and a real chill in the air, and yet if you look outside it looks like a beautiful day. It's not like in England where it would generally be cloudy and cold, or just not look very inviting. Somehow the sun continues to shine and from all appearances it looks like a beautiful sunny day, until you actually go outside and discover just how wrong you were.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

some of life's essentials

1. My dressing gown. I have worn it 'most everyday since I arrived (in fact the only day I haven't worn it was the first day, and that was because it was in the suitcase that hadn't arrived yet). I don't think I've had a dressing gown since I was a kid, but it had gotten too big for Bekki so she said I could have it. So thank you Bekki, because I love it.

2. My MP3 player. I've never had one before, but I'm glad I got it, because I love being able to stick it on and listen to all my music from home. It's especially good for when we work out. Sometimes we listen to Rockapella, and I'm pretty sure they're a new favourite of mine, but sometimes I want the unpredictability of the shuffle function, just because you never know what you're gonna get next.

3. The Internet. Putting aside the fact that I wouldn't be here in Texas without the Internet, I love how easy it is to keep in touch with the folks back home, telling them and showing them what's going on here, and getting to hear their news (when they remember to email me or comment on my posts!)

4. Hugs. People need hugs. I need more than the average person. Benny and blest, in particular are great at giving hugs. As is Andrew who is sitting right next to me on the sofa and wants me to hug him. Unfortunately it's tricky to hug someone and type at the same time!

Final post tonight

Just had to share with you what Andrew said this afternoon about the dog:

"We'll have to get her a Christmas present. What can we get her? How about we buy her a blouse, because that's what girls wear."

Many Many Posts

Ok, so this evening I've put up several posts. If you want to see the story from the start my advice would be to scroll down and start with the post entitled 'Some necessary background to my next post'.


blah blah blah and the stay dog - part 2 (couldn't remember what the part one post was called, but anyway this is the continuation)

This afternoon, around 1.30 or 2pm blest was going to take the older two boys out with her and go to the store to pick up some essentials like toilet paper, meanwhile I was going to stay home with the younger two and make a batch of my favourite homemade baked beans. However, a stray dog had other plans. She was wandering around in the front garden and trying to say hello to blest, Daniel and Andrew. Andrew was scared and kept screaming, and in the end I went out (and so did Benny and Joshua) to see if I could help calm Andrew down and get the dog to stay still so that the boys could get in the van. Daniel seemed to like the dog, but the others were definitely not happy about her. We did eventually manage to get all four boys out the way in the van and tried to figure out what to do with the dog.

She wasn't wearing a collar, but looked too well cared for to have been a stray for long. We don't know if she's just run away from home, or whether she's been dumped or left by her previous owners. We decided to try to get her into the backyard so that we could look after her while we try to locate her owner, if any. She wasn't keen on going through the house, but Daniel was able to lead her through the side gate and into the garden. We got her a bowl of water to drink as she seemed pretty thirsty. Daniel decided to stay to play with the dog, and Benny got out of the van too, but Joshy and Andrew when with blest to Sam's (big big shop, sells things in bulk, similar to Costco).

I got my beans going and put on a movie for Benny to watch. Daniel was happy playing out in the yard. When the others got home from Sam's blest went out to say hello to the dog and I went too. Joshua came out to sit with blest and me on the garden seat and gradually got more open to the idea that the dog was merely trying to kiss or lick him rather than bite him. Over the course of the afternoon all four of the boys came out to play see the dog and gradually got more confident to pet her without being scared that she would bite them. By the time blest and I came in to get dinner ready they were all playing out there and trying to make her a dog house and stuff like that. I have to say that this dog seems to have a really gentle temperament and has put up with the boys going from screaming the place down (when they first met her) to all wanting to pet and love her.

We've made posters which blest and Danny were going to put up as they went out this evening I believe, so hopefully if someone is looking for her then we will be able to reunite her with them. If that doesn't happen then I'm not sure what will happen to her. The boys have fallen in love with her and already think that they'll be keeping her, so I'm sure there will be some tears to come if we don't keep her. In that case we'll either have to find someone else who wants a dog of send her to a shelter and hope that she gets adopted. She's such a lovely dog that I'm sure she will find a new home soon if that's the case.

Once again this post is very long, so I'll do another post with the pictures I took of the dog, otherwise I'll had to spend ages fiddling with them to get them to go in the right places! I know my posts seems to be like London buses at the moment (none for ages, but then several come along at once) but some days just have more blogging material than others!

Plumbing pictures

Not sure if you can tell, but we pulled out the dresser and the plumber set up his dustsheet and ladder directly below the hole (top, middle of picture)
And here's the hole that's still in the ceiling as I type (the plumbing company will fix the plumbing stuff, but not the holes they have to make to do that!)

One of those days where you have water coming through the ceiling and later a stay dog comes to visit

Ok, so this may be long and have to be written in two parts, but I shall do my best. Everyone else is out at AWANA but I decided to stay home and have some 'me time' and try to do some blogging. I've spent the last couple of hours catching up on blog reading and tidying in the kitchen, so I've probably used most of my brain power already. However, I have lots of photos to illustrate the post, so feel free to skip on to them if I'm boring you!

This morning started pretty much like any other. I got up around 7am and found blest downstairs drinking her coffee. The boys all slept a little later than usual, but I think they were just tired and needed to catch up on sleep. We ate breakfast and got dressed in our workout clothes and all that sort of stuff and were in blest's room about to start working out. I was gonna start on the treadmill and blest was gonna do weights. Blest thought she saw something drip from the ceiling onto the dresser, but assumed it must have been her imagination because we thought the problem was fixed. A minute or two later we both saw several more drips fall and that there was a water stain that hadn't been there before, and that it was gradually getting bigger. At that point we did the best thing two women could do in that situation - blest rang Danny, and he told us which plumbing company to call.

I think the conversation blest had with the company was pretty much went 'help, I have water coming through my ceiling and I don't want the toilet and tub to come crashing down into my master bedroom, come right away' and they were very good and did come pretty quick. In the meantime we fitted in some workout time, but were slightly concerned as we knew we were unlikely to be able to fit in showers before the plumber arrived, and if the water was going to be turned off then we would have to go smelly for the rest of the day! In the event the guy didn't need to turn off the water at all, so we were fine.

He looked over the ceiling and in the bathroom and came up with an estimate for what he thought was fixing a problem with the tub drainage. However, once he cut a hole in the ceiling he saw a lot more water and sent me to go up and flush the toilet. Apparently a whole lot of water came splashing down at that point, so we knew it was the toilet not the bathtub. The plumber guy did his stuff and once he'd finished he flushed the toilet and not a single drop fell down. The final bill came to less than the estimate, we didn't have to have the water switched off and it was fixed pretty quickly, so although it was not an ideal situation we thank God that it wasn't a lot worse!

Ok, this post is way too long already, so I will write about the dog in part 2.

Some necessary background to my next post...

Some time last week (Thursday or Friday I think) blest found some white stuff on her dresser and noticed there was a patch on the ceiling where the sheet rock had come down. We agreed we ought to tell Danny, and then kind of forgot about it for the rest of the day. On Saturday she saw it again and called to Danny to come and look, just as she finished her sentence another chunk fell so she hollered for him to come straight away (just as she had to do when I was blacking out, but anyway....)

Danny ended up cutting away some of the sheet rock off the ceiling and catching a fair amount of water in a bucket. After measuring and stuff he decided it must be the bath (my bathroom is directly above their bedroom) and after calling some people and stuff he figured out what he had to do to fix it. Meanwhile we (blest and I) were out and about so I don't actually know what it was that he did, but he thought it was fixed. He went out of town on Sunday so we decided to wait until he was back before we tried that shower out, as we didn't want to have to deal with the consequences without him around. (Don't worry, I have still been showering, just not in that bathroom!)

Blest's hair

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Boys Talk At Ya

Andrew's Message:
So far I've tried to practice 'Charlie Brown' comics. At some point I want a FORCE ACTION
lightsaber, a clarinet, and 'The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything' finger puppets and puppet theater."Where's God When I'm S-scared?" is part of my favorite video (and all I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth). Oh, one more thing.


Joshua's Message
b jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

Daniel's Message:
I hope Joshua's message made you laugh.He just went crazy over the keyboard {not to mention he's only four}.

Benny's Message:
I want to watch Barrage: Vagaband Tales, but we can't find it. And Barrage: The World On Stage on! Barrage is cool. VeggieTales the Star of Christmas and the Toy that Saved Christmas is boring.

Stranded at the drive-in

I am astounded by just how many things you can do at the drive-in here in VeggieTales which is Andrew's favorite video.

Hey, my blog post just got hijacked by a certain young man. I decided to leave what he wrote for its comedy value, and to go ahead and start again.

I am astounded by just how many things you can do at the drive-in here in Texas. So far I've seen that you can
Withdraw and deposit money
Drop off and collect your dry cleaning
Buy beverages (notably coffee!)
Buy food (we've been to Burger King)
Collect a prescription

To all you Americans reading this, what else can you do from the comfort of your car?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

That's just wrong

This afternoon when we had just got home from the party and Goodwill I heard a noise outside. It was an icecream van. Oh yes my friends, an icecream van was out and about selling it's wares on the 5th December. How wrong is that?! (On the way home the thermometer in the car said that it was 71 degrees F. I am gonna get such a shock when I go home at the beginning of February)

Christmas is here, nearly

Today I got to go with blest and the rest of the family to the Danny's Office Christmas party on base. It was quite exciting to get to go on a military base as I don't think I've ever done that before. The party was great and we got to play a cool present game. Each person that wants to play brings a gift (which is worth X amount or less to make it fair). Numbers are put into a hat and everyone picks one out to discover the order they get to pick presents. The first person, who had the number one, picks a present from under the tree. The second person can either steal the present from number one or pick another present from under the tree. Each present can only be stolen 3 times (so if you get it the forth time then you are guaranteed to keep it). As the game goes on there are more and more presents that can be stolen, and if someone has stolen your present you can either steal from someone else or pick from under the tree. The game ends when the last present is picked from the tree. I'm sure I didn't explain that well, but trust me it's a fun game to play!

After the party we stopped at Goodwill on the way home. I found a couple of books and a pair of trousers which are purple and stripey which I will wear as pajamas, and then once they become too big I will probably cut them up and turn them into something else like a bag or cushion covers or something because the material is much too cool to just get rid of!

This evening most of the family are out at AWANA, and blest is also at church at a cantata rehearsal. I stayed home with Benjamin because he didn't want to go, and he's got a special treat coming tomorrow evening which will have him being out late with his Daddy, so it's probably good that he's had an early night tonight. I decided that I was pretty tired after being out most of the day and that a night in catching up on emails and doing a bit of Christmas shopping online would probably be more restful that being at AWANA with lots of lovely, yet noisy children!

Tomorrow the two oldest boys have piano lessons at 9am so I'll probably be staying home with the younger two, and then we'll have a fairly gentle time for the rest of the day, probably getting some cleaning and stuff done, but nothing too strenuous.

Since we had the snow Joshua and Benny have been constantly wishing all and sundry a happy Christmas. Things like watching Christmasy DVDs, singing Christmas songs and going to a Christmas party have only reinforced their belief that it is actually Christmas now. I'm guessing that from now until probably several days after Christmas they will continue to wish people a Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Good Morning All

Well I woke up this morning and realised almost immediately (after I'd registered that someone was playing a piano) that I didn't have a headache for the first time in a couple of days. I still feel delicate and a bit light headed if I try to do anything too quickly, but I'm pretty certain I'm on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The story of yesterday

Ok, here it is in all it's glory, the story of what happened to me yesterday.

We've had a really busy week, well actually weeks - seems like we've been doing a million things ever since I arrived here in Texas, but anyway yesterday blest and I were both feeling pretty tired and generally yuck. Over the course of the day my head started to ache, and by the afternoon I had a full on headache and it was starting to make me feel really sick. I went to lie down on my bed and slept for a couple of hours. When I woke up I thought I felt better until I stood up again and the headache and sick feeling came back. I came back downstairs anyway to see what everyone else was doing and to get a drink of water.

I sat at the table with the boys while they ate their dinner, and then when Blest and Danny got something to eat, and managed to colour in a doodle that Blest had drawn (that has no relevance to the story really, but I did it, for some reason, so I thought I'd share it with you!). The thought of eating just made me feel worse, so I didn't! After dinner I'd stood up to get some more water and blest was talking to me and she asked me if I was alright saying I'd turned really pale. I felt like I was going to be sick and tried to head for the bathroom when it happened. I felt really dizzy and everything went red. I couldn't see anything and all I could hear was this buzzing noise in my ears. I guess I was blacking out, but all I knew was that I was frightened and couldn't see or hear. Blest says I wasn't even walking in the right direction to get the bathroom, and that I walked into a pillar not once but twice. That's when she realised that something must be wrong and came over and yelled for Danny. I don't really know what happened, I vaguely remember trying to cling on to the pillar to try to stop the world from wobbling around so much, and then Blest and Danny coming over and trying to help me. The next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground and my vision and hearing were gradually coming back to me. It was like shapes were reappearing out of a red sea, and I could hear people asking me if I was ok. I felt all light headed and my head wouldn't stop hurting.

I don't remember a lot of the rest of the evening. They found my insurance documents and my shoes and coat and then Danny took me to the Emergency Room and I had to fill out a form with my name, date of birth, address and such like. I kept having to check with Danny that I was writing the right things, and what my address and phone number here were. After waiting a while I was taken through to have my blood pressure and pulse taken, then had to go and wait in another waiting area. I sat there for I don't know how long before someone came and took me into a cubicle.

I had to answer lots of questions and tell them about all the medication I'm taking and stuff like that. I think the guy asking the questions (I have no idea if he was a nurse or a doctor or what) was from Kenya and he was looking at my medication and saying things like "oh we use that in Kenya too. Did you get this here or in England?" and I must have said about ten times "yes, it's all from England". He asked me lots of questions, and I think took my blood pressure a couple more times before saying 'that's perfect'. I felt like Goldilocks at the house of the three bears (the first time it was too high, the second time it was too low, the third time it was perfect!) People kept asking me about London and telling me places in Europe that they had been to. One guy (I think the doctor from Dallas) told me that he had been to London and Amsterdam, and all I could think (but didn't say luckily!) was "oh, that's nice. I haven't!"

I was taken from that cubicle to another one further along and lay there for some period of time. A woman kept coming in and saying that the doctor would see me soon, but that first she needed to know when my last tetanus shot was, and had I had a flu injection, and was I sure I wasn't pregnant. I think I managed to answer all those questions correctly, but I don't really "remember. Finally a doctor came along and asked me some more questions, and told me he was from Dallas and flew to work every day. I remember saying "seriously?" several times and he told me it was true. After all the questions he told me that basically I didn't have anything major wrong, and they didn't know what could be causing the headache. They gave me a diagnosis of 'non-specific headache' and a script for some medication which ought to help.

I was handed several sheets of paper and then led to the exit by another man. He took me through a door and I had to wait to see another person to give him details of my insurance and again tell them my address and phone number. I don't know why they wanted to know so many times rather than just looking at my notes where they had already written it down. I could remember the address, but not my telephone number. Luckily I had that written down on a piece of paper in the folder along with all the insurance documentation. Finally I got to go back to the waiting room where Danny was waiting. I realised I must have been in there a long time, but didn't really have any idea how long. I was still feeling light-headed and in a dream world.

The insurance guy had told me to try Walgreens to get my script filled and Danny took me to one. Unfortunately the pharmacy there had already shut and we had to try a second Walgreens before we could try to get my medication. I waited in long line there, and when I finally got to the front of the queue they told me I had to go to a different window. Luckily there was no one there and I was able to hand over my prescription. Initially the woman there was unsure if they had the medication I needed, which seemed like the last straw, but she went off to check and came back to say they had the generic version and would that be ok. I think by this time I would probably have agreed to anything so just said yes. She took down all my details again, and thank goodness Danny was there to tell her the address and phone number because I had no idea by this point! I finally thought (at 11pm) that she would be giving me the pain killers any minute when she said "there'll be up to a 30 minute wait, we'll call your name when they're ready". By this point I'd had enough and really didn't want to be responsible for keeping Blest and Danny up any longer so I asked if we could pick them up tomorrow and we headed home. I have vague memories of talking about four way stop signs and street names on the way home, but I think I was probably just babbling by that point.

When we got home Blest was still up and welcomed us in. I took some paracetamol and then Blest suggested I should try to eat something so that I didn't have the medicine on an empty stomach, so I had a couple of bites of an oatmeal muffin, but then went a beautiful shade of pale again and just about made it to the bathroom in time before I was sick. (I'm sorry everyone, too much information, I know!). Eventually I was able to make it to bed with a glass of water and slept through until this morning. Well, I say slept through, I kept having bizarre dreams and waking up at odd times, but managed to stay in bed until about half past seven.

This morning we drove to pick up my medication and I've had one tablet. I think it's helping a bit with the headache, although I'm still aware of it being there, and still feel a bit lightheaded if I get up too quickly. I'd appreciate prayer that the drugs help and that I recover totally swiftly, and definitely that I don't have a repeat of the blacking out thing, because that was not fun.

(Not so) Quick Catch up post 2

On Sunday we went to church as we usually do. The way it works is that I usually go to Sunday School, which is small group bible study and teaching and the group I'm in happens during the second church service. Then after that we go to the third church service. Anyway, this week I arrived and there was no one there apart from one guy I didn't recognise. As we both stood there wondering what was going on a lady came out from the room next door and pointed us toward a poster. It turns out that on the first Sunday of the month my group meets in Starbucks down the road.

The guy and I walked out of the building and down towards the car park. He asked me where I was parked and I said I didn't have a car because I'd arrived with the family I'm staying with so he said he'd give me a lift, even though he wasn't entirely sure which Starbucks we were meant to be coming to. It actually wasn't until we were in the car that I realised that we hadn't introduced ourselves to one another yet! I don't really make a habit of getting into cars with strange men, and I figure since I'd met him in church he was unlikely to be a raving lunatic, but I guess you never really know! Next time I'll make sure I at least know the name of the person giving me a lift somewhere...

After church there was more excitement of a kind. Blest was staying around the area because she had rehearsal for the cantata and it's not really worth going home inbetween church and rehearsal, so I was going home with the rest of the family in the van. We were all loaded up, Danny tried to start the van and it wouldn't go. The engine would turn over, but wouldn't catch.
To cut a very long story short, they were able to get in touch with a guy from the church who is a mechanic and he came back to take a look. Apparently it was something to do with the spark plugs (I think, anyway) and required some parts. Danny took the boys and myself home in the truck and then went back to church to help with the repairs, which took several hours and he was sill there when blest got out of rehearsals. Meanwhile I was looking after the boys at home, and on the whole they were very good. By the time blest and Danny were back home everyone was exhausted, and yet we still somehow stayed up until ten o'clock talking. Big mistake, because by the time Monday morning came we were still tired and a bit grumpy too.

Quick Catch up post 1

On Saturday we did go to the Christmas fair and blest did sell some jewelry. Unfortunately not as much as we might have liked, but it's all experience and blest was able to pick up some ideas of how to do things differently next time. By the time we got home and had had dinner we were really exhausted which is why I didn't blog then.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Here's the deal

Blest has a jewelry sale today so all this week we've been getting ready for it, add to that a doctor's appointment and all the usual time commitments (piano and drum lessons, AWANA, ladies bible study etc) we've been really really busy which is why I haven't blogged much this week. The sale is today, so hopefully thnigs may calm down soon, although there's still the Christmas Cantata and several more doctor's appointments in the near future.

Yesterday I got the chance to look after all four boys while blest was out running errands and stuff, and they were all pretty much still in one piece when she got home, so I don't think I did too bad a job. Actually, it seemed to be one of those days when children attract accidents unto themselves, and we had several bumps scrapes and tears, but they came out smiling in the end.

Last night we had a few more things to get and also went into Lane Bryant. I tried on lots of things (although no pictures this time) and although several were from the clearance rack, neither of the two things I likes best were from there. I decided to get a pretty purple patterned top and leave the turquoise zippy top behind (It was really pretty, so if anyone needed an idea for Christmas presents...)

Right, think it's time to go and get dressed and figure out what else I need to do before we leave.

Friday, November 30, 2007

More Snow Pictures

I only just got around to getting these off my camera, but here's more proof that we had snow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And there's nothing at all to be done about that

Bonus points if you know what song that line is from.

We've had a really busy few days which is why I haven't blogged for a while. On Monday we worked out on the bike (and did programs that were pretty tough too. We made it to the end of them, but it explains some towards why we were so tired). A lot of the rest of the day was tidying up in the house and going out to run errands. We went to a Goodwill (which is so huge. I will never look at charity shops back home in the same light. Maybe I'll take pictures at some point). and I found two tops and some dungarees which is so cool. I just have a thing about dungarees and haven't had any since I was little. I need to lose a few more pounds before I can wear them without looking and feeling extremely stupid, but hopefully that won't be too far away :-)

After Goodwill we went to the post office and then on to Walmart. When you're out with four boys in tow somehow just going to three stores can take most of the day. In the evening we did some prep for our ladies bible study (which we went to today) and just chatted for a while. I had tried to write an email to all the people in my small group earlier in the day, but just as I pressed send the internet connection went down and I lost the whole thing. That made me a bit sad, but I feel ok now.

Today we were out from 8.30am until 6pm. This morning we had ladies bible study at church which was good. Especially since I got to cuddle a not at all old (I think maybe a month old?)beautiful baby girl. Which of course, for me, made it a great morning :-)
After bible study we went to drum lessons (Andrew and Daniel take lessons with a man from the church called Eric) and we ate lunch there with Lisa (Eric's wife) and their two children, and then this afternoon we went to their house and did some fun crafty stuff. We made some paper mache balls, which next week we will go back and paint and turn into Christmas decorations. Toward the end of the afternoon we went, along with some other kids from that street, to a park and the older kids enjoyed playing football, while the younger ones were on the climbing frame and slides.

By the time we got home we were all sleepy so we got a quick dinner (I love eating leftovers :-) ) and then once we'd got the kids off to bed I sat down to read and sort out my emails. About an hour later I finally got around to writing this post, and now it's 9.20pm and if the internet connection stays on long enough for me to put this post up then I will be very happy and totally ready to go to bed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I am alive really

Just very busy. I will try to post some more later.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Snow Snow Snow. We got snow :-)
Earlier in the week I was going out with short sleeves and wearing sandals, today we have snow. How bizarre!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Potatoes and Tomatoes

I just had my first real shopping experience and it was bad. Blest and I are watching one of the stores where she sells her stuff (the owner is off on a birthday trip so we're helping out for the day). The problem is that we managed to forget to bring any water with us and there was only one bottle in the back of the truck. Blest has been drinking coffee, but was ready for some water so she sent me out to the restaurant opposite to buy her a bottle of water. This I did, but I discovered two things
1. They really do talk a different language. I had to say 'water' three times before they knew what I was asking for.
2. I need a lesson in American coins. I had two dollar bills and some coins, but when the woman said $2.43 I realised I had no idea if what I held in my hand was enough. After a split second panic I just got out my purse and found another dollar bill, it was less embarrassing than asking how much I had in my hand!

If music be the food of love, play on

I just discovered something else that has a different name here in the States. Musical notes. 
Back home we call the minims, crotchets, quavers and the like.  Here they call them half, quarter and eighth notes. (Please don't take those as direct translations, because I couldn't remember which order the English notes come in!)

It's a small world after all

Ok, so I have absolutely no inspiration to write today, and yet I'm going to do it anyway. Feel free to switch off the TV and do something less boring instead
Actually, that really is it. That's all I have right now. Come on guys, help me out.  Ask me some questions or something cos I got nothing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days, we've been really busy and I was all set to do it last night, but in the end I crashed out and was asleep before 8pm! Don't know if it was just the busy day, or that now my body had got used to this timezone it wanted to try and catch up on some of the sleep it didn't get when it tried to wake me up in the middle of the night because it thought it was the middle of the day. That last sentence made sense to me, but probably no one else, but never mind!

Today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful that I get to experience it firsthand with blest and her family. (Hey, did I ever gloat over the fact I know her real name? Well, I do, so there! Actually it's really hard because I still haven't quite figured out whether to call her blest or ___.

We've had a lovely day so far. We will be eating our Thanksgiving dinner this evening, so I can't tell you all about that yet, but we have done lots of fun stuff. Blest found some cool activity sheets on the internet where the two oldest got to pick words to fill in the missing gaps in a story and they just loved doing that. See here because I'm not explaining it so well.

After that we each had a sheet of paper with the phrase "I'm thankful for..." at the top and blest got out her huge box of stickers. They're all ones that she has for scrapbooking, but she said that since she probably wouldn't be doing any of that for a while (with her business and all) so we could use them. We stuck on stickers to represent all the things we are thankful for, and then each person got to show everybody and explain what each sticker stood for. The boys were so cute when they got up to show their posters, especially the youngest who said "I'm so thank-you for ...".

This afternoon blest and I played a game of scrabble, which she won (of course!), but it was a good game. Now the boys are watching Hook on DVD, blest is getting the turkey ready to go in the oven, and I am blogging and catching up with emails. (Or I will be once the internet signal comes back)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Today has been really great. This morning I worked out with Blest. She taught me how to use her exercise bike, and also talked me through some weights training for my upper body. I don't ache too much at the moment, but we'll have to see what I'm like in the morning!

After all that Kellie and Leann (both OWOA ladies) came over, and Leann brought three of her four children with her. We had a great, fairly crazy time chatting and eating lunch together. Then of course we had to have a photo session to put the evidence on our blogs (I'll upload my photos at some point soome hopefully. I just need blest to remind me how to do it on this computer, and also possibly a bit more brainpower to be able to follow those instructions!)
[Edited to add: You can see the picture here]

Kellie had to go, but the three of us left decided to play scrabble. Now, for anyone that doesn't alread know, scrabble is one of blest's things. She brought out not just any old scrabble borad, oh no, we were going to play Super Scrabble. Super Scrabble has twice the number of tiles and the board is a lot bigger and has extra scoring opportunities (you can get quadruple letter scores and words scores) and is really fun. I took a picture of our finished game so you can get an idea of the size of the board, but again, I've got to upload that later.

Leann and her kids left around half four, and blest's oldest son took her place. It was a good game. I started off with a 7 letter word on my first go, and had several good turns after that, but by the end the inspiration was beginning to flag, and blest managed to catch up and overtake me to win the game.

This evening we might have gone out to a concert, but both blest and I are feeling pretty wacked out, so instead we've stayed in. My eyes are struggling to stay open, so I don't think it'll be a late night tonight, but I guess that makes sense with working out this morning and all the talking and stuff this afternoon. I have no idea what we'll be doing tomorrow, but I'm sure it'll be fun. I'll keep taking pictures and try to get some up soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Meeting bloggy buddies

Right now I'm in a house with blest, Leann and Kellie (all fellow OWOA-ers) and we're having so much fun :-)
More later...


Today I learnt that over here adults go to Sunday School too (back home, that's what we call the kids stuff) and got to experience Target for the firast time. I've also realised I need to change the time zone this blog thinks I'm in, because otherwise posts are appearing at even odder times than when I'm actually writing them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shopping the American Way

Ok, so yesterday I got to have the Walmart experience (oh my, it is so so so big) and today we've been to Lane Bryant, Kohls, Goodwill, and, of course, Starbucks.

Going to Walmart was the whole four kids deal, and certainly an experience. Today Danny watched the kids and Blest and I got to escape for the afternoon. I got to see the two places Blest has her jewelery for sale, and we got to do some shopping for ourselves.

Goodwill was also really big. The layout really reminded me of TK Max at home, with huge long rails which were divided up into different types of clothes. We headed for the jeans row and started rummaging. They weren't arranged by size, so you do just have to look at everything, and also we weren't sure what my American size would be (come to think of it, at the moment I don't really know what my UK size is right now). We found about 4 pairs for me to try, and some stuff for Blest too. There was one pair I tried which were the right size round, but just didn't really do it lengthwise since they stopped right on the knee. They gave us a good laugh though. I found a pair of jeans that fitted around my middle, and were also a brilliant length for me. Then we went back out and had a look at books (well you can't leave a charity shop without looking at the books, right?) and then had a quick look at the skirts and found a one, which I tried on and it fitted beautifully. Blest told me we had to get it, and you can't argue with that.

Lane Bryant was really fun. We went round the whole store picking up a whole load of stuff (and in particular anything that was purple, and then once we had a huge pile I took it all to the changing room. I gave Blest my camera and we had a little fashion show...

This is the pyjama top (I liked it, but it just reminded me a little bit too much of pyjamas! In fact looking at the photo I think I like it better here than I did when I was wearing it!)

This is the lampshade top. I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but it had these tassells on the sleeves that just reminded me of the sort you find hanging from lampshades! This is the dress Blest picked out, forgetting that I'm a little bit taller than her. First time I put it on was without the trousers (don't make me call them pants!), but then I put the trousers on so that we could take a photo.

This was our favourite, and in fact the things we actually bought. I fell in love with the trousers the moment I put them on, and I love the top too.

We also found another top and got that too, but we didn't take any pictures of that one.
While all this was going on there were a couple of Spanish ladies sitting out with Blest (I think they were waiting for someone in one of the other changing rooms, although I never actually saw that person!) They were really funny and kept making remarks in Spanish, which unfortunately we had no hope of understanding, but they seemed pretty excited by the outfit we bought, so we took that as a good sign :-)

This evening Blest has made me a necklace to go with the top, and I'm gonna wear it tomorrow. hopefully we'll take some pictures of me and Blest together and will probably post them on one weigh or another at some point in the near future.

Meeting the boys

I woke up super early (well, for me anyway, Blest had already been up for an hour, and she's only got about 2 hours sleep altogether) and the boys came down about an hour later. They were really cute, being super shy and hiding behind the furniture. This went on for a fair while, until all four were down and they'd started eating breakfast. At that point Blest went for a quick shower, and all of a sudden it was like the floodgates had opened. You literally could not stop them talking. As I said to Blest when she came out 'Ok, so they're talking now. Is there any way to get them to take turns?!'

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Part two

It's just taken me about half an hour from getting on the computer to actually being able to start writing this post. What with reading emails, replying to emails, checking my amazon account, checking facebook, and stopping to give hugs on request, it's somehow taken longer than I thought. Anyway, on with the post..

When I got to the right terminal I realised that the first thing I had to do was go through security, and that since I hadn't even started on my second bottle of water I had to drink it while waiting in line or put it in the bin. So even though it was big, I drank it all standing in the queue (and over the next few hours, while waiting at Chicago, I got to use several of their toilet facilities, but that's another story. I so wanted to write 'restrooms' there, but I had to resist! My accent is so screwed up already, what's it gonna be like after three months here?!)
(Oh yeah, the three months thing, can't remember if I ever mentioned that. For anyone that doesn't know, it was too difficult to get an au pair visa given our circumstances, so instead I'm here for 85 days for an extended holiday)

They didn't really have any people telling you what to do, but I just did what the people in front of me did. Here they did everything at once (whereas at Heathrow it was bags and coats first and then shoes were separate), and I actually had to go back and take off my zippy top as well as my fleece to send them through the x-ray machine before I walked through the metal detector.

I was meant to have about a three hour wait at Chicago, but my flight was delayed for another hour. I walked up and down the whole terminal a few times, but then I just sat down against the wall and read my book because I was just too tired to do much else. We finally got on the plane about an hour after we were meant to have taken off, but then just sat there for a long long long time before we finally got to take off. The second plane was a lot smaller, with only two seats on either side of the main gangway. And there was no fancy safety video, but we actually got to see the air hostess and steward doing their thing with the pointing and the oxygen masks and everything.

The flight was kinda long and I was getting drowsy by this point. I dozed a little bit, but was mostly just in a kind of daze. It was great to see the lights of El Paso as we came in to land. You could see big patches of light, but then also huge areas in between that were dark and I wondered what they were. (When we went out in the light yesterday I could see that they were pretty much just large empty desert like areas). I got off the plane and walked down some corridors and stairs and was just starting to head for the baggage collection point when I heard some one calling my name. I looked across and there was Blest. It was great to see her in the flesh for the first time. I have to admit that even though I know she's short, I actually thought that she'd be taller than she was!

We walked together to the baggage claim carousel and eventually one of my bags came through. But then the bags stopped coming and my second bag hadn't come. If that had happened at Chicago I would have totally panicked, but I think by this point I had Blest with me to reassure me that it wasn't an unusual occurrence, and besides I was too tired to really be able to panic. I just had to go into a little office and leave them an address and phone number that they could contact me on. I'd seen it at Chicago, so I knew at least that it was in the country, and I was better off than the guy in front of me because they'd lost two of his bags, and all he had was his baby seat (he didn't even have a baby, but we were pretty sure that they airport people hadn't lost the baby!)

Finally we got to leave the airport and got in the truck. It's actually Danny's truck, and it's kinda funny to see such a little lady like Blest driving such a big vehicle (she totally makes up in personality anything that she lacks in height!) She drove us home, and although it was strange to be on the 'wrong' side of the road I think I was too tired to notice properly. We got home and I got to meet Danny, who was just like Blest had described, and we stayed up talking for quite a while before we finally headed for bed.

In Chicago I'd taken my medicine, but since that was several hours before my Mum and I had decided I would probably need to fit in another dose for the day, so I took some more before I went to bed. Unfortunately I think it was probably a bit too much medicine for my body, and combined with the adrenalin I'd been running off all day my heart was really pounding and I don't think I got to sleep until about 1.30am (by which point I'd been awake for around 27 and a half hours, since I don't count the dozing on the plane). And then my body shouting at me that it was 2pm in the afternoon, combined with the garbage truck outside my window meant that I woke up at 6am the next morning.

And that is where we leave this post, since it was only meant to be about my first day, and besides Blest's already started eating her lunch and I wanna get mine! More about meeting the boys soon. (I got to peep at them fast asleep that first night, but didn't properly meet them until the next morning).

The Longest Day of My life (actual length in hours) Part One

Tuesday evening B, J and their Mum came over to say goodbye and gave me some beautiful presents, including a fantastic picture drawn by B.

Wednesday was the day that it all suddenly felt real. All of a sudden I was leaving tomorrow and I hadn't packed much and it seemed like there were a million things to do. In the morning it all came to a head when I realised that we had Bekki's walking boots and mine were in Cambridge. Luckily my Mum was able to home for a couple of hours before work in the afternoon. She calmed me down, and a visit from Little One, Little Flower and their Mum also helped to make me feel better. Actually, in the end, a two hour drive to and from Cambridge was probably a good thing because it meant I couldn't be at home by myself panicking, and I got to see Bekki one last time.

Wednesday evening went in a bit of a blur. We got my bags packed and then had the chance to play the 'take things out again until the bag is under the weight limit' game. I got to play that again in the morning having thought of a couple more things that really did need to go in.

Thursday morning we'd set the alarm for 5am. Actually, I set it for 5.05am because that didn't sound quite so bad. We got up and got the last few bits and pieces sorted out and finally left the house around 7am. It was quite slow on the motorway, but we made it the Heathrow with plenty of time. I spent ages at check in because we were trying to find out if they would be able to put my luggage in the heated section of the hold (because apparently asthma meds can freeze at altitude which can affect their effectiveness). In the end I don't think they were going to put them there, but to be honest I don't really remember, it's all a bit hazy. But while I was waiting I got to finish filling in my green card and the lady on check-in checked it and told me I'd done it right.

I went upstairs and said goodbye to Mummy and Daddy for the last time, and then headed into the security checks. I have to say that I think the system was better explained at Heathrow but they were more thorough at Chicago. Once I was through those (bag, body and shoes got checked) I was into the shops bit of the terminal. I went in WHSmith and got a couple of bottles of water and then had a wander. I had ages to wait and they hadn't even posted a gate number so I pretty much had to either wander or sit somewhere and I was too hyper to sit down! I found a place that had watches and bought myself one (I've been meaning to all week, but time had disappeared. I use my mobile phone when I'm home, but I was leaving that with my Dad for him to use while I'm gone. So, if you try to ring or text me you'll get him)

They put the gate number up so I decided to head down there even though there was loads of time left. I ended up sitting there a while, but that was ok, it was fun to people watch! We boarded the plane and I found me seat. I was on the end of the row of seats in the midde (There were 2, 5, 2 and I was on the right hand end of the 5). I said hi to my neighbour and told her it was my first ever flight which really surprised her :-)

On the ascent I was aware of my ears popping a lot, but I kept swallowing and sucking on some mints and yawning (all flying tips given to me by various people) all of which seemed to help. We got to have a choice of various things to watch so I got to see Hairspray, and also caught an episode of New Tricks (It was the one about the ice cream sellers). About 5 hours into the flight I'd pretty much had enough, but we still had another 3 hours to go.

Hmm, other things I noticed on the flight - the noise the toilet makes when it flushes is kind of scary, I could not have slept even if I'd wanted to because I had too much adrenalin rushing around my body, and the whole ears popping thing goes on for a very long time. I'd alway assumed, for some bizare reason, that it was literally the moment of take-off that you had to make sure you were sucking\swallowing\yawning, but actually that goes on for a lot longer. I guess it makes sense because you go up really high (35,000 feet), but it did surprise me at the time. I also noticed when we started to descend, even though the captain hadn't come on to say we were, again because of the air popping. Also, it was amazing to look out as we descended and see the clouds like a fluffy layer of cotton wool. (I'd write that more poetically, but I'm tired people!)

I was a bit nervous at Chicago because I knew I had to go through immigration, customs collect my luggage and re-check it and myself. It was immigration first and they take an electronic fingerprint of both index fingers. The guy kept telling my to press harder and it began to hurt because I was pressing so much, but I guess it must have worked in the end because he let me through. Next I had to collect my bags and boy was I glad that I didn't have black bags because there were so many of them. One other person did appear to have the same bags as me, but as they had a lot more labels on their bags it was easy enough to look at them and see they weren't mine. Both my bags came out eventually, and I just about managed to get them off the carosel without bopping anyone on the head. Customs was ok, all I had to do was hand over the form I'd completed on the plane, the tricky part was wheeling two suitcases and holding a form in my hand at the same time.

I went through door for people transfering to another flight and got to hand over my bags again and then walked out and panicked. I had no idea where I was meant to be going next or how I was supposed to get there. I followed the crowd and a helpful airline guy looked at my ticket and told me to get on the train that was waiting and get off at terminal 3. One thing I noticed was that the trains run of the opposite sides of the tracks, although I guess that makes sense with the whole drive on the other side thing too.

Ok, this post has to end here because it's almost dinner time and my brain is going a little fuzzy. More about the rest of the journey and meeting Blest and her family either later on or tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Well, it's morning here in Texas anyway!

I'm here :-)

Haven't has much sleep, but had to get up cos my body was shouting 'what are you doing? It's 2 o'clock in the afternoon, get up'

More later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last Day

I've kind of got to that trying not to panic stage where I realise I only have one more day and there are still an awful lot of things to be done in the course of that day.
I'd better go and get dressed and eat breakfast and get on with it...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Medication, that's what you need (To be sung to the tune of the record breakers song)

In the past I've shared with you all a beautiful tower made from medicine I take. In case you missed it, or want to see it again you can find that here
However, that sculpture pales into insignificance compared to the tower I made this week with all thisI've included the front and side views so you can understand the sheer size of this creation(!)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The firework post (even if it is a bit late)

Taking pictures of fireworks is always pretty tricky, especially if there's a delay between pressing the button and the picture taking, so since I was taking these with my phone, I'm quite impressed.

I went to a small group social on Tuesday last week where we had fireworks. This was a low down fountain type firework. I like the way you can see the silhouettes of people in front.This was a firework up in the sky, but to be honest it's not that exciting!This is my favourite, it was taken on Wednesday, at another church small group social. We didn't have fireworks, but some of us did have sparklers (and I got to go in the hot tub, but that's another story!) I managed to take this one holding my phone in one hand and spinning the sparkler around in a circle with the other. I like it :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More things about me

1. I like hugs, no actually I love hugs. I somehow just need lots of hugs. Today at church was great because I was given lots of hugs, but also sad because I'm not going to see most of those people again until I'm back in the UK in February.

2. I'm allergic to a lot of things. These include feathers, dust, grass, pollen and pet hair. (Actually that should just be animal hair because I'm also allergic to reindeer and goats and things like that which you wouldn't keep as pets as a general rule, unless you were Father Christmas or something). Mostly they just make me sneeze, and actually some of my allergies have got better over the last couple of years, however I like to make sure I've always got a box of tissues around just in case!

3. I take more medicine in one day than lots of people take in a year (but which I meant number of different types of medication, rather than volume of medicine that I inhale\swallow!) I have four inhalers and three different types of pills. That's before you add in anything like vitamins. It's fun being me :-)

4. I am a quarter of a century old. I can't quite work out how that happened, I mean I know times passes and all that, but still, it went pretty quickly!

5. At the moment I seem to be addicted to using exclamation marks and smiley faces. I am trying to wean myself off them, but it's hard. I blame texting.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Things you might not know about me

1. I am quite a noisy sleeper. I may grind my teeth, talk, toss and turn or even sleepwalk. It's quite a good excuse to use for getting your own room though - In the past when we've gone on family holidays I've often got to have a room on my own while HP and Bekki shared because neither of them wanted to share with me!

2. I cannot get to sleep if there is a ticking clock in the room. For some people it's a comfort, but for me it's sheer torture, I lie there waiting for the next tick to come.

3. I don't eat fish. I don't know if it's an actual food allergy or just psychological, but I just can't eat it. There's a particular stir-fry my parents like which has fish sauce in it, and I even hate the smell of it, as a consequence they usually only eat it when I'm out! HP loves tuna, and one of the family traditions used to be that my Dad would cook on a Saturday night and he'd made tuna risotto, but I never ate that either. I have a vague feeling that my dislike maybe connected to a time that I was ill already and my Mum cooked fish, and I now associate the two, but who knows. My Mum says I've never really liked eating fish, even from when I was little.

4. My favourite colour is purple. Actually, I'm sure you all must know that by now, but in case you don't! I'm very proud of how little time it seems to take the children I look after (babysitting, child-minding, in school, at church etc) to work that one out. Although the purple car\fleece\trousers etc may help. The last time I looked after The Little One I taught him all about the colour purple, and now instead of just spotting "Debbie's car" every time he sees a similar modal\size to mine, he can say "Debbie's purple car" :-)

5. I don't like butter or margarine in my sandwiches, or mayonnaise for that matter. In fact, I've given up ever eating a shop-bought sandwich because it's nigh on impossible to find a sandwich without mayonnaise, and if it doesn't have mayo then it has salsa or yoghurt or something else equally yucky in.

(Bonus picture of the alien in B and J's kitchen)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


As I count down the days to leaving these shores and continue to break the news to people that "we've finally sorted it out, and yes, it really is that soon" I am overwhelmed by the love and kindness that people around me are showing me. I have some amazing friends and family who I am going to really miss while I'm gone, and I am very privileged to know that while I am away they'll be thinking of me, praying for me and following my adventures by reading my blog and my status changes on facebook. Thanks everyone who has wished me well on this journey, I am so blessed to be known and loved by you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Ready, Steady, Go

My flights are booked and I'm going to Texas on the 15th November. Yes that is only 11 days away. Oh my goodness all the things that need to be done between then and now. The list lover in me is working overtime!

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Certain obstacles result in plans changing, but moving swiftly forward. More news soon.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I've lived in Walthamstow all my life, apart from when I was away at university and the year after I was at university, and actually I spent quite a lot of that year at home which with having one car after another (I lived back at home in-between cars, and somehow during the course of the year went from my first car to my third car, but that's another story)

We've also always lived in the same house. I've had the same bedroom all my life, at various points I've shared it with either Bekki or HP, but I don't think I've ever had the boxroom as my bedroom. Sure, I've slept in it, think I've slept in most of the rooms in the house, but that's not the point. Actually I've forgotten what the point was, lets start a new paragraph and see what happens.

Walthamstow is famous for a number of reasons (or should that be infamous?). Apparently the market is the longest street market in Europe. I love wandering down the market, feeling the atmosphere and being surrounded by people from many different countries and cities across the world.

Walthamstow has the post code E17 (the E stands for east) and as such is the origins of the band East 17. I'm not sure people know who they are if you talk about them now, but they were famous enough when I was growing up that people in my class at school would be excited if they'd seen them out and about (I might have got excited had I had a clue of what they looked like and therefore able to identify if I had seen them).

When we went on holiday to a tiny little town\village\hamlet (can't remember what it called itself) people knew exactly where we were from because we could tell them 'yes, we live just round the corner from one of the terrorist's houses that was raided at the weekend' - those were there raids that are now known as the failed London bombings and would have come a year after the London bombings on the tube. I'm not saying I'm proud of living round the corner from a potential terrorist, I'm just saying that although that's what Walthamstow can be like, it's also the place that is home for me.

I guess as I'm looking to move to another country, another city, another world, I'm looking around me and realising again just what makes London home for me. My parents moved to London when they were married as that's where my Dad was working at the time. I don't think they ever envisioned staying in London this long, yet here we are still, and they've raised three Londoners! I think Bekki is happy to live other places (at the moment she's in Cambridge) and I have been for certain periods of time, but somehow I've always wanted to come home. Growing up in London creates certain expectations of things like public transport -I know when I was living in a little village (GC) and my car died, I actually felt trapped, not able to escape easily if I had wanted to.

It'll be interesting to see what going to the States does to my sense of being a Londoner and belonging here. Watch this space...

(Now that I've clicked publish I realise there are so many things about Walthamstow that I haven't talked about. maybe I'll write some more about it in another post. In the meantime what do you feel about where you live? Is it just for a season, or is it home? How does somewhere begin to feel like home? Let me know what you think, pretty please :-) )

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm still alive

I've blogged here and here in the last couple of days, but not here, and I apologise. I've had a busy few days. I've been on the train with the little one, I've sat in a traffic jam for 2 hours and arrived an hour late for my doctors appointment, and I've done lots of other stuff that I can't remember!
The doctor did let me still see him rather than having to make a new appointment, and I'm now set up with prescriptions for medication for the next 6 months. Another step closer to going to Texas...

Here we are on the train on Monday,and here I am eating lunch with J today.

Photos now uploaded :-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Accountability In My Eating

Over the last few months my weight-loss journey (as talked about more over at one weigh or another than here) seems to have been more of a weight-gain journey. In an attempt to be accountable and be aware of everything I eat I've resolved to take a picture of every single thing I eat during the next week.
These pictures can be found on my blog Can Big Change to Beautiful
Please feel free to drop over there and see what I'm eating, or just ignore it, as you wish!
Just a warning, the omlette I had this morning didn't really look all that appetising because it pretty much fell apart as I tried to put it on the plate, however it did taste ok!

In other news I'm really sneezy today, and collapsing in a big heap after my way too busy week. Actually, I'm not totally collapsed, I'm doing all the things that need to be done at home (catch up with my accounts, tidy my room, make something exciting with sewing that I'm not going to tell you what it is in case it's a surprise for someone - I haven't totally decided yet, take photos of things to put on ebay, list things on e-bay, think about buying an mp3 player and camera, and start making lists of things to take to Texas) So not too much then.

Editedto add: Some of those things may get done, but something has come up so I'm going to be looking after the little one today for a few hours.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Even if it does seem like all I do lately is put up pictures, I just want to share a few more from my time today with Suzanne and Sarah. We've had a day full of sharing news, good food and and awful lot of giggling.

We ate at TGI Fridays.Sarah didn't like this picture, but I though it was sweet. (She wants me to point out that making that face was deliberate rather than accidental. I'll just say that I've got several that look worse than this one, so I think she got away lightly on this occasion. If only I could get videos off my phone it'd be a different story...!)After going in TGI Fridays we wandered around Homebase for a little while. I told Suzanne to stand next to the groovy chick thing and she did, so I took her picture.Sarah then posed with a basket on her head, so I had to take a picture of that too.Finally, a picture of the three of us together sat on the sofa back at Suzanne's house.We had a lovely day :-)

Sue's Birthday

Updated to inclure comments on the photos

I have no idea what Adrian is doing in this picture (right hand side). Sue, the birthday girl is in red.Adrian, Andree and their youngest son, George
Fran tucking in to the yummy food
Nikki and baby George
George waving (or at least waving his arms around so it looks like he's waving!)

Will add comments later. Have to go now as I'm late for getting to Suz-pie's house to see her and Crox (two friends from university, aka Suzanne and Sarah!)
Better still, feel free to comment in the comments!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A day up London

Today I met up with my friend Jenny. We'd arranged to meet as she is on half term at the moment, and she suggested going to Tate Modern, so we did. Maybe it was because we were both quite tried, or maybe we're just uncultured, but neither of us really saw anything that really appealed, however it was a good day out. We started at Tate Modern (well, actually we started at Jen's house, but once we were up town). Come to think of it, that's not right either. We got off the tube at Blackfriers so that we could walk across the Millennium Bridge and we took some pictures of the view up and down the river.

Looking towards London Bridge

Looking towards Blackfriers bridge. Jenny taking a picture of me taking a picture of her.
Jenny, with a spider behind her (not actually on her head, despite appearances)The view looking from the top floor of Tate Modern. You can just see a little of the spider in the bottom of the photo.The reflection of our legs on a mirror cube in the surrealism section. It wasn't that impressive, but we thought it made a cool picture.
After the Tate Modern we walked along the river to London Bridge and had a bit of a wander in Borough Market and then got the tube and train back to Jenny's house because we were totally worn out by that point!
Right, now I must go and get dressed to go out to celebrate Sue's birthday (Mum of the little one and the little flower). Pictures to follow if I remember to take any...