Thursday, November 29, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

I have been on top of things for the holidays this year. I usually am regardless, but with the baby coming days before Christmas day, I am forced to be more than on my "A" game.

I took our Christmas pictures this year in October for our Christmas cards that were ready in early November and they have been sent out today!

You would think that getting two older kids to smile or stay a little more focused would be a little easier, but nope, after 10 minutes, they were both over it. Especially the three year old. Gotta love 'em!

Friday, November 16, 2012

writer of the week

In the beginning, whenever you asked Marisa what she liked least about school she would yell out, "Writing!"
Marisa came home yesterday saying that two kids in her class were chosen to be writer of the week but that she didn't get chosen.  Knowing that writing has been a challenge for her I encouraged her that someday her hard work would pay off and that she would get chosen to be writer of the week. She wasn't discouraged by the other kids being chosen at all but it was cute to see that she had complete confidence in herself that it would happen too.

Well, today, as we walked home from school she pulled out a surprise for me and was completely estatic!!!

And so was I! Way to go Marisa! I'm SO proud of you. I know writing has not come easy for you but you are catching up and doing so well! Hurray!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

foggy London

Natalie had her first school trip today. Completely local. Right across to the lovely Greenwich Park! It was such a lovely day. A little cold but absolutely breath taking. If only I had my camera instead of my iphone.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

feeling more like parents

Tim and I had our first parent-teacher conference last night. It was weird. We felt so old.

Marisa is doing really well in school especially with all things considered.
-She came into the school year 3 weeks later than everyone else.
-And Year 1, although equivalent in age to Kindergarten, is actually first grade American curriculum.

Thank goodness I taught her how to read because she was assessed and put into a reading level/group on her very first day.
But I failed miserably in the writing department because she she should have known how to write independently before school started too. They are hard core in this country!

Her teacher said that despite everything Marisa has completely jumped right in, adjusted with no hesitation, and is obviously confident and well grounded to be able to do so.

She also said that Marisa is a very popular girl in school. She gave us a few examples of times where she noticed just how popular she is among the students. I am so happy she is a social butterfly and well liked but happier that she is kind and courteous to everyone. I hope she always remains that way.

Marisa is really good in math and numeracy. (Obviously not from me. 100% Dad.)
As mentioned before, she is struggling in writing, but the teacher has full confidence that there is nothing to worry about and to give her until December to catch up.

We are very proud of our girl to dive right in and challenge herself. I'm so interested to see what her 1st grade teacher says about her when we move back to the states! She will be so ahead!

*Some funny bits about school:

Remember this line from Harry Potter?
"5 points for Gryffindor!"

Well, same thing happens in her class. Tim told me that at this school they have different houses as well. So I'm not sure just how common it is here in England to have schools divided into houses but I think this is rad. Every time Marisa or the members in her house do all their homework, have good behaviour, etc. their house is rewarded points! I find that hilarious and awesome! I still have to find out what the name of her house is.

Marisa had a Halloween disco at her school a few weeks back.
Disco = a dance/a party*

Saturday, November 3, 2012

missing England already

Today Tim and I were overwhelmed with parting sorrows. We just kept commenting back and forth to each other how much we were going to miss living here. And what we were going to miss. The list between us kept growing as we walked to the London Museum, passed St. Paul's, stopped at a cafe for peppermint hot chocolate, jumped onto the train...

We still have a few more months but man, we are feeling it.

Friday, November 2, 2012


This year has been a wetter and colder Autumn than last year, but it hasn't stopped us from doing all of our Autumn activities!

Despite the fact that I had to order our pumpkins online from my grocery shopping order instead of a pumpkin patch, and despite the fact that apple cider does not exist here without the booze, and despite the fact that you cannot find kettle corn anywhere, we have found some positives by altering our situation for the better and finding small pockets of hope in the UK! For example, warm Krispy Kreme donuts and hot chocolate will do while pumpkin carving, Halloween was much more celebrated in stores this year than last, trick-or-treating again at SJW was a success, and I was able to find proper Halloween trick-or-treating buckets for the girls!

An Autumn success!


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