Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bus training.....

Sorry for the lack of posts this weeks, I've been out and about with Wendy showing another South African family the neighbourhoods.

Jonah and the girls came home last night and told me they did bus training.   Jonah's training was very comprehensive and he was shown the following:

* how to take the drivers foot off the accelerator if he has a heart attack or passes out
* how to then put the gears in neutral
* how to put on the handbrake and switch the bus off
* how to put out the stop sign
* how to use the radio to call for help
* where the first aid kit was
* where the bodily fluid kit was!!!!
* how to get out of the bus and identify which route they're on
* where all the emergency exits are

Thankfully the girls were only shown how to get off the bus in an emergency as I think they would've been to afraid to get back on again :)

Friday, September 24, 2010


I've not had much success with my baking as they don't seem to have self-raising flour or caster sugar over here.  I was then told not to try to recreate my English recipes and things are starting to improve (slightly).  This is my attempt at cupcakes but just need to get used to the 'Powdered' sugar which is finer than our 'Icing Sugar'.  The frosting was a bit of a disaster but will just have to make another batch....

Maxi didn't seem to mind too much though and managed to polish off two!!!!

Another lovely gift.....

We came home yesterday from school to discover another surprise package on our doorstep.  It was sent from Ben's aunt and as you can see the kids were very excited to receive it.  We are looking forward to the all butter biscuits at ballet this afternoon.  Thank you very much Meg xx

Ikea at home.......

The kids love Ikea meatballs and were most disappointed last week when we didn't have time to stop for tea.

So instead we bought all the ingredients and recreated their favourite dish at home.  We even bought a jar of the jam which I forgot to include in the picture.


Remember the lovely wool that was sent to me!!  Well I've turned it in to a crochet hat for Madeleine which we're all very pleased with.  I'm now working on a knitted one for Olivia but it's taking me ten times longer, I wish I'd just crocheted her one now but in a different stitch.

Watch this space and hopefully it will be finished oh in six months........

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A bit of a horrid day today....

Just when I thought we cracked it with getting the girls in to school the teacher decides to move all the seats all around.  Madeleine refused to sit down and kept following me out of the class which of course meant Olivia wouldn't sit down either. This went on for about ten minutes before the teacher gave them the option of either sitting in class or sitting in the office.  I thought this was a bit harsh for a couple of five year olds but she doesn't have any other option as it's only her in the classroom.  Two of the mums took pity on me though and took me for a coffee to cheer me up, which I thought was very kind of them and much appreciated.

It's now pouring down with rain so that will be fun to cycle to school and back in.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Random things......

We liked this picture as the blue background made it feel like we were on holiday somewhere exotic. Unfortunately we were only on a trip to Ikea (again).......

This is my first attempt to make some granola, it tasted very nice but I couldn't get it to stick together in clusters. Will have another go next week and perhaps follow the instructions better.

Wahclella Falls

Yesterday we went to a place called Wahclella Falls which is about an hours drive out of Portland.

First port of call was lunch which we had at the Bonneville Dam.

Not to be put off by the rain, Ben managed to cook our lunch in the downpour.

We then walked on to the falls which is a two mile round trip.

This probably has to be the most special place we've been to yet. The walk is just lovely as you walk up the side of the river but the path is very narrow and lots of steep drop offs. I have to admit I was very nervous the whole time and I was convinced we were going to lose one of the kids off the side. They did very well though and managed to do the whole trail with hardly a moan between them and Maxi managed about 3/4 of it.

This is definitely a place to bring our visitors, just be prepared for a bit of a hike.

Forgot to mention......

......that all our boxes arrived, which basically means nine boxes of junk.

Maxi insisted the first thing we found was his train set.

Then his chair which he refused to model for you but he is very happy sat up at the table in it.

Then this made me laugh out when I opened it, it was our leaving present from my brother - hilarious!!!

And our favourite cooking pot.

That was about it really, I hardly packed anything exciting for myself, apart from my lovely sofa blankets. Next time we move I will make sure I put in a few little surprises for myself.

Friday, September 17, 2010

We are all exhausted......

We've just completed our first week of school and to say we're exhausted it a bit of an understatement. Ben says it's because I don't get enough exercise, nothing to do with the fact I get up at 6.30am and cycle 20 mins each way to school and back, twice!!! Poor Maxi can barely keep his eyes open and yesterday he was asleep in the trailer by the time we got home.

The kids have a busy schedule, Jonah has Scouts on Monday night, football training Wednesday and the girls ballet on a Friday. The girls really enjoyed their ballet class even though it was a bit of a trauma to get them to stay. As per usual they clung to my legs and refused to join in, Maxi and I had to sit in for 5 minutes and even then they followed us out. I explained that I didn't need them to do ballet and it was entirely up to them if they stayed or not, guess what they went back in!!!!!

I've now got a list of after school clubs so no doubt they'll want to do something off the list. Maxi and I still aren't organised and I don't have any booked for him, although we did go to story time at the library which was good.

Thank goodness it's the weekend and we can have a lie in, well apart from Ben who has to take Jonah to a football game at 9am.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First game

Jonah had his first match on Saturday and considering he's only ever played at school we thought he did really well. They only play four aside with no goalie and three subs, Ben thought this was a much better way for 7 year olds as it meant everyone got to play the ball. Unfortunately they lost 7-2 but we think they all played very well and Jonah 'almost' scored a goal himself.

Monday, September 13, 2010


The girls are starting pre ballet classes this week. They were very pleased with their uniform (another thing we had to drive miles to get) but a little disappointed they aren't allowed to wear tutus.

The girls loved their ballet class at home so I hope they'll enjoy this one as much. Poor Madeleine only had her tights on for an hour before she snagged them but I can't face the trek over to the shop just to get her another pair.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Team France...... the name of Jonah's new football team. He is outraged he's not in team 'England' but he could've been worse off and ended up in team 'Germany'

He is very chuffed with his new kit, which we had to drive miles to get by the way as nothing is close by over here. He has training on Wednesday nights, a game every Saturday and his first one is tomorrow which we're all looking forward to.

The girlies first day at school

As you can see Madeleine wasn't very keen on going to school this morning. They refused to sit down and I had to peel them off my leg and leave them crying in the classroom, not much fun for any of us. They were all smiles when I picked them up though and said they had played with a little girl called Isabelle, so I'm pleased they have made a friend already. They were starving by the time we got home as they have their lunch at 10.40am, that's more like brunch than lunch.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beaver hunt.....

We took a bike ride on Monday to try and find some Beavers we'd been told about. We did manage to find one..........

Olivia somehow managed to fall in the creek..

...butMadeleine managed to stay reasonably dry....

...and Maxi had a great time riding his new bike, although he did manage to crash at the bottom of a very steep hill. He hasn't quite learn how to stop!!!

In the wars...

Poor Olivia crashed in to a wall yesterday and grazed her head. I didn't realise how bad it was until I had to peel the hair from the wound this afternoon. She was much braver than her siblings and hardly made a fuss whilst I cleaned it all out for her.

They're all so accident prone, Monday Madeleine crashed and cut all her legs open. This morning she fell over again and grazed her hands and arms and then Maxi fell over on the way to school and has a massive bump and graze on his forehead.

First day at school

Jonah started school on Tuesday which was a bit of a shock for all of us. We had to get up at 6.30am to be ready to leave at 7.30am, it takes about 20 minutes to cycle but as you know it takes us an age to actually leave the house. Jonah seemed very happy to be left at school, it was me that was more upset. His only complaint was that no one played with him but he didn't seem too bothered by it, I'm sure by the end of the week he will have a few friends.

The non uniform is a complete pain though and I'm dreading Friday when the girls no doubt will spend forever choosing outfits.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Come fly with me......

Yesterday we went to visit Ben's relatives in Washington State. They are only about an hour and a half away from us and Ben's cousin, Lewis enjoyed the opportunity to take his plane out.

Trying to keep the kids out of the way with Ben's Aunt Charlotte.

The view from inside.

Ben looking rather pleased with himself.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Goodies from home.....

We arrived home from our holiday to find a lovely goodie parcel on our doorstep. It was full of chocolates and presents from home, as you can imagine it didn't last very long in our house.

There was also a lovely ball of wool for me and I have already planned out what I'm going to make with it.

Thank you very much to the Tiffvenns, we really appreciated our lovely parcel.

Fun at the fair.....

We went to Oaks Amusement Park yesterday and Jonah got to have a go on his first 'thrill ride'. I didn't think he'd enjoy it but came off shouting that he loved it, I think he could be up for a rollercoaster next time.

The girls chose to go on the Carousel and the 'twister' and I took Maxi on the most painfully slow train ride ever.

I think Maxi enjoyed the slide!!

Then Ben and Jonah went on the Go-Karts which Ben took a little bit too seriously as he insisted overtaking absolutely everyone.

Then one of Ben's curries to finish of a Saturday night, the only thing missing was the X Factor :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

They're multiplying.........

We seem to have acquired eight bikes, a trailer and a change of wheels since being here. Ben and I have decided that when we move house we will definitely need a garage to house all them all and the car will just have to stay out on the road.

And here is my new speed machine :) I decided my cruiser just wasn't going fast enough for my morning ride so I treated myself to a road bike. I love it and can't believe how much I'm enjoying cycling, I used to hate it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And then the rain came.......

.......and it was absolutely miserable.

We headed off to the Tillamook Air Museum which is housed in an old WWII air craft hanger, the largest wooden structure in the world apparently. As you can see they all had great fun in the training simulators......

....even the big kids.

And one of Maxi just because he's so cute.

One bonus of it being so wet and cold is that we got to toast marshmallows on the fire.

Lazy days.....

The beach is great for us as the kids just amuse themselves for hours. We found this shelter that someone had built and they turned it in to their house for the morning.

You can just about see a starfish on the side of this rock.

And then here is Ben looking very pleased with his Braai (BBQ)