Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some pictures

Hi! I am working on a long post explaining all the updates of our lives here in Aberdeen, but I'm not done and I don't want to rush it. However we are finally able to post pictures (turns out we were just missing the right cord) so I decided to post a few showing our adventures of the week we spent in Northumberland with Mike's parents. Remember how I said we were snowed in? Well, you will see what I meant...but despite the crazy snow, Rothbury (the village they live in) is probably ones of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Take a look and see what I mean...

Here is little Andrew all piled in a snow bank. This was funny, Mike just tossed him in and he pretty much landed like this...although Mike added a little snow around his shoulders. Poor kid!

These are Mike's parents cars all covered in snow. It's funny because just the day before Mike had dug them out and cleared the drive...sigh...I helped him do it all over again.

This is Andrew showing how deep it is on level ground.

I believe it took Mike about an hour to clear this little walkway!

I LOVE this view! It's from my in-laws rear window. Behind their house is a beautiful field complete with a stone tower constructed in the 19th century for a wealthy man who wanted to have a special place to study the stars...well, why not build a tower?!

This is the sun peeking through the clouds in front of the house. Isn't it lovely?!

We went sledding one day and put Andrew in a make-shift sled of sorts. This is Mike dragging him in a plastic worked okay. Enough to keep Andrew happy and excited!

This is a view from the field looking back to my in-laws house.

More sledding! Believe it or not this is one of the main roads to get to quite a few houses. They just aren't equipped to deal with this kind of weather so it took weeks before the council (local gov.) came and plowed the roads. However, in the meantime, all the residents get allotted a certain amount of grit (i.e. salt and dirt) to use so that they can at least attempt to get out the drive. It would work accept that about half way through we ran out of grit and they didn't have any more...hence the fact we were stuck! (At least until the very nice stake president with a 4X4 came and gave us a lift to the train station...but that is a story I'll explain later)

On another day we all walked into town. This was picture of us at the top of the hill overlooking the little village.

This is a view overlooking the countryside. (Not quite sure why I look like I'm getting goosed...)

Here is tired, little Andrew after a long day of fun in the snow.

Goodbye! I'll be posting more soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Angel Enigma

Andrew...OH, my stinky little Andrew. He had a rough day today. Granted it is understandable. After we got up and ate breakfast we ventured out to Aberdeen city center to find a bookstore that sells Mike's textbooks. We didn't think it would be too difficult. SNORT! We were wrong. Driving here is DIFFERENT! Woo-da-lally, it is different! Forget the whole driving on the the 'other' side stuff...the real problems come from the impossibly small roads and the incredible difficulty of navigating. I was spoiled with the Utah grid system, that is certain. We live in a little village called Peterculter (pronounced, 'cooter' here)and we knew that it would take about a half hour or so to get into the city center near kings college Aberdeen which was our destination. Well, after driving about 2 hours we finally found the bookstore by making three wrong turns down a cobbly alley. We were lucky...YES! Although I will say that a fantastic member in the ward, Brother Goldie, was kind enough to let us borrow his Navman (gps) for the week to help us get used to where we need to go. The Navman saved our life! In fact, if we hadn't had it we would probably still be trodging around Aberdeen. Anyway, as you can imagine we had a fully rested and awake toddler strapped in the back who DID NOT appreciate being cooped up for so long. So on some level I could understand why he screamed for half the time...although, I'm still twitching a little.

Well, after we went to the bookstore (and consequently found out that they DID NOT carry Mikes books)we decided to take a little trip to the nearby ASDA (UK version of Walmart) to stalk up on food and a few other things we needed. Well, Andrew DID NOT appreciate this either. I thought he might enjoy it, he usually likes going to the store with me. However, in his view the whole shopping trip was a crule taunt. We would not let him play on the moving walkways (seriously, like the ones at the airport, except you can put your cart on cool). We would not let him throw the hello kitty phone accessories into the display basket and we would not let him squeeze the tellytubby toy for the 205th time because it was time to go. Needless to say he screamed nearly the whole time.

When we finally made it home, he was still screeming and saying things like, "No, no Mommy!" or "STOP...Noooooooo!" the funny thing was I wasn't doing anything...nada! So after feeding him a jam sandwhich and letting him watch a little kids show he calmed down and I finally got him to sleep. Ahhh... Mike and I were laughing when it was all over. We were laughing because it was quite a stressful morning and Andrew was the cherry on top, we were laughing because we were both so frazzled it smelled like charred hair and we were laughing because, well...what else are you going to do. (I have left out a bunch of other stressful things that happened, but really, it was quite crazy today) Anyway, during our laugh time Mike said it was funny because most people think of thier kids as little angels and today we Andrew proved to be our little angel of DARKNESS!

Well, typically if Andrew has a rough morning it will stay that way throughout the day and I fully expected it to continue once he woke up. I was right. Mommy could do no right this afternoon and we were pretty much neck deep in a battle of 'figure-out-how-to-keep-Andrew's-pitch-out-of-shrill-opera-singer-tones'. Anyways, so this was the pace of the afternoon and then suddenly, non-expectantly, Andrew became happy. He was sweet, he was cuddly, he would play, he would laugh, he would eat. In fact I just finished putting him to bed and he was SOOO cute. We read a book and said a prayer (he copied everything I said and is getting so good at his words!). He gave me a kiss and a hug and even said, "I ub ew" unprompted. WHAT THE...

I suddenly found myself NOT wanting to put him to bed. I wanted to hold him and snuggle with him and play with him and read to him. I wanted to kiss those chubby cheeks and hold those chubby hands and do whatever that little angel wanted! HUH?! What, wait?!? Did I just catch myself calling Andrew and the kind with white wings and a halo?

Oh....isn't parenting an enigma?!?

Saturday, January 9, 2010


We are here...we made it. We have actually been in the UK for a little over a week but we finally made it to our new "flat" in Aberdeen. I have taken loads of pictures....loads! I cannot post them yet...we can't figure it out with this british computer and our American wires...we will figure it out soon though...soon.

It is cold...I mean C-O-L-D! Didn't know I could be this cold all the time AND we have the heaters on. But they certainly don't work like the American version of heaters I am accustomed to...totally different. Anyway, we are all wearing fuzzy socks, sweats under "trousers" (pants--but don't say that here, it means underwear) and sweaters. Apparently the whole of the UK is having the worst reported winter in nearly 20 years! I guess normally if they do get snow, it wont last for more than a few days...not the case now. Its been about 2 weeks and is going strong, looks more like I am in the Swiss Alps rather than Aberdeen, Scotland. Our flat is small, but neat and we are happy. Happy to be fnally be here and to start getting settled.

We have already amde friends with some fantastic people. The Scnieders's--okay, so they are not here. But we took over their flat. This is actually a cools story... several months ago they found out we were going to be moving here. They are both Canadian and were planning to move back so they have been trying to sell their flat. THey almost did, but it never happened so they got hold of us to ask if we would like to rent. We DID! So they left a lot of stuff for us to use (bed, crib, toys, kitchen stuff, table, etc...HUGE lifesaver). We never actually got to meet them in person but we sure are grateful for them! The other people we have is a family who live in a nearby town called Cults. Camille, the mom, has been THE BEST! Today she brought by some curtains for us to use temoratily (to help keep the heat in) and she picked us up from the train station to get us here...I know she had other things to do but she was still kind enough to help! He husband helped us by bringing by a battert charger (our car is so cold, it needs a jump to get started) and their kids are super cute and super nice. I am excited to get to know them better.

Anyway, that is a bit of an update. There is a lot more to report. Hopefully I will be doing that soon wit pictures!