Tuesday, 27 November 2007

My 1st Project!!!

I decided I wanted to make a stocking for Millie since I left ours back in Utah. Christmas wouldn't be the same without them! I will really miss sitting around my parents and going through my stocking with my sisters and mom. It's my favorite. Well, I have now met with Connie four times and I am so grateful for her. I have wanted to learn how to knit for years!

It's bigger in real life then it looks in the picture, it will be perfect for Millie. I got a little impatient finishing it and didn't do the best job sewing it together, but I'm finished. HOORAY!

Thanks to everyone who helped me figure out how to change colors!

The One And Only Connie admiring my handy work.

Jodi working on her long skinny scarf. So cute and stylish.
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We all love and have read C.S. Lewis' book The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, but Brady and I experienced it. The Merton Winter Ball was on Saturday and as you have guessed the theme was Narnia. We literally walked into a forest filled with the Light Post, The White Witch, Tumis(?), and all the creatures of Narnia. It was breath taking! They had fog coming up from the trees and ice sculptures of the castle. Sadly we left our camera in the cab on the way home but Danalisa was kind enough to send me her pictures. There were food booths set up everywhere and three large tents that had different bands or DJs playing all night. The Merton Dining Hall was decorated beautifully. It was were the hot drinks were kept, so you can imagine the line up, but it was worth the wait. The only let down of the night was that the hot air balloon was canceled. Thanks to Eisha for watching Millie for us! There was no way be could have stayed out so late if you hadn't help. Thanks!

A&B after we just entered. I promise I curled my hair, but it rained on us waiting to come in so my once curled hair turned flat. Brady on the other hand looked so handsome! Don't you agree?

Fireworks over the college walls. They were so amazing and like none I had ever seen.

Sven, Tony, Jodi, Oliver, Gareth, and Christie. The Narnia Creatures are in the background.

The White Witch

Danalisa and Me getting our groove on. It's been so long since I've been dancing it was hard for me not to return to my "mommy" dancing (aka dorky dancing).

They had the Oldest Helter Skelter slide ever made and it was extremely random for a White Tie Ball, but still fun. You had to ride down on a mat just like the banana slide at the fair. It was pretty funny.


Thursday, 22 November 2007


I had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. It started on Wednesday when I attempted to make homemade pumpkin pies; I had A LOT of frustrations, but in the end they were beautiful and tasted even better! Thanks Nancy for teaching me how when you were here visiting. Thursday Danalisa and Kristina came over in the morning and we started on the turkey. None of us had actually made a turkey and three women in one tiny kitchen was a little interesting! There were a few screams of disgust has Kristina cleaned it and Danalisa prepped it. I was lucky enough to watch the action. After the turkey was in the oven we hung out and watched the parade a little. When nap time rolled around everyone went there separate ways to start their other dishes. Everything came together so nicely. Our food was D-LICIOUS! Kristina made homemade cranberry sauce, cornbread pudding and cookies. Danalisa and Steve did the mashed and sweet potatoes. I don't normally like sweet potatoes, but they were so good I had thirds! Jodi had company visiting earlier in the day, but she was sweet enough to make the stuffing, green beans and rolls. I did the pies, helped with the turkey and provided the home. It really was a great day. I am so grateful I have a family of friends here in Oxford that I adore. It would be really hard to be away from my family and friends back home if I had not met these people. I am so grateful for my little family of three. We are learning and growing together has we have these amazing experience so far from home. I feel blessed every single day to have found Brady and that we have Millie. I love them both more then I can say. I am also grateful for my family and friends at home. You are all so wonderful and I miss you dearly. Millie is so lucky to have so many people who love and adore her. Brady, Millie and I have been so blessed and we truly do have so much to be grateful for this year.

Kristina and Danalisa preparing the bird. My poor sink!

My Silly Millie. She LOVED the green olives! I finally had to hide them from her because she ate so many. Notice the mouth full.
Danalisa, Steve, Owen


Jodi drawing Pablo for Millie

Tony and Jodi

Paul and Kristina

Brady carving the bird.

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Monday, 19 November 2007


Danalisa watched Millie for me ALL day today so I could go on a tour with the Newcomers Club. It was so sweet of her. We took a 45 minute bus ride into a little village in the Cotswold's called Burford. There is a lot of history there. I would tell you about it, but I don't remember to much from the tour (I really should take notes). We first toured through a priory where monks and nuns live. It is not open to the public and I felt very privileged to see it. Brother Stewart toured us through the Priory. He was so funny. I really had a lot of fun. Then we toured the church and it had original architecture dating back to 1175! It was fascinating and beautiful! I split from the whole tour group with a couple other girls I met on the bus. We ate at a cute little pub with mugs hanging from the ceiling and antlers on the walls. It reminded me of what TGI Fridays always wanted to be like. We sat by a roaring fire and talked about girl stuff. It was great! I love Millie, but it was nice to be able to have some adult time. We did some shopping and got tea and then it was time to head back to Oxford. I did find some great things there; I got lots of sweets, some Christmas stocking stuffers, homemade raspberry jam (the nuns at the priory made it), a darling little plant from the local florist and a postcard for my collection. It was a wonderful day and thanks again to Danalisa for taking such good care of my little princess.

Brother Stewart

A statue I thought was funny at on the Priory grounds

Their Chapel
Burford's Church of England

Me on the church grounds. I love the graves everywhere, they are so interesting to read.


Getting warm by the fire

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Sunday, 18 November 2007

Nana's Here!

I can't believe Nancy has come and gone already. That was the fastest week of my life! Millie had so much fun with her Nana. It was great to see her and be able to show her what our life is like here in England.
Nancy arrived here Tuesday and she got settled in Millie's room and then we headed out to the market in the usual England rain. Luckily Millie feel asleep so we didn't have a screaming child (she HATES the rain cover). That night Millie opened a belated birthday present from her Aunt Carly. It was a giant Backyardagains coloring book. I don't think Millie had ever seen something so wonderful. Now she gets to color Pablo. What more could she ask for? Nancy all so gave Ms. Amelia a new Backyardagains character; Welcome Tasha the Hippo. Nancy was a trouper and although she had to be incredibly jetlaged she went out to Turf Tavern (a pub) with Brady to meet the Merton boys. Sadly Brady didn't take any pictures.
Wednesday we headed to our library for Singing Time. Two of the librarians lead the children in all sorts of different songs. Millie was a little unsure of it at first but by the time she was picked to pull an animal out of a sack for Old McDonald she couldn't have been happier. The picture below if Millie playing her instrument with Nana. So Cute.

Thursday Brady skipped his Finance class and we all headed to Warwick Castle. It was such a cool place. The castle is filled with wax figures depicting real people that lived in the castle or were associated with it. It was really neat to see it in that way. The castle is on 60 acres, but because we were short on time (Brady had to get back to his studies) we didn't wander the grounds too much. We did visit the Peacock Garden and it was beautiful. I counted over 20 real peacocks. It was amazing.

Note the frost. Brrrrrrrrrrr!

A section of the castle

Brady and Millie on top of one of the towers. We walked up so many steps my poor out of shape legs started cramping.

Friday Millie took Nana to her favorite park. We played all morning! Then when Millie fell asleep for her nap Nancy and I did some Christmas shopping. I can't tell you what we got, it would ruin the surprise! That night we had "supper" at Merton College. It was the first time they have ever allowed a child to enter their dinning hall. Pretty Cool!

(above)Nana and Millie at the Park

(below)Merton Dinning Hall. We had food in our mouths so no smiling for us.

Saturday Brady took the morning off and we toured Christ's Church. It was beautiful but I was bummed because the Dinning Hall wasn't open (that's were Hogwart's dining hall was filmed). Hopefully I'll see it next time. Then Brady and Nancy climbed a church tower while Millie and I waited down below. We had such a great week and we were so sad to say Goodbye to Nancy Sunday morning. Millie woke up and kept asking where her Nana went. She sure loves her Nana. Thanks Nancy for everything you do for us and for all your support. You raised a wonderful son! We love you and Miss you!

Nancy on the church tower

Monday, 12 November 2007

Week in Review

Sorry I haven't taken any pictures this week but my life is still moving. Thursday I watch Owen in the morning so Danalisa could go on a tour. He is such a sweet little boy! That night Kristina came over to sit with Millie while she slept so Brady and I could go out to a pub with his friends. I wish I had taken pictures! It was the cutest little place. I had to duck my head to walk in the front door and the walls were all cobble stone. It was really fun to get out. Friday I babysat a little girl named Mary, she is Millie's age and in our ward. They had a lot of fun together. That night we went on our date so Danalisa watched Millie. We went to dinner and saw a movie. I LOVE going to the movies! It may seem lame with all of the other tours and things we could be going on, but nothing is better then a crowded theater. Friday night Jodi and Tony held Game Night at their house. It was a little tricky to have Millie there so sadly we didn't stay too long, but I am always up for a good game of Catchphrase. Jodi made little ham wraps that were so good. It was just ham with cream cheese and a green onion inside. So easy and so yummy! Sunday we were late to church, Millie wasn't to thrilled to do anything she was asked to do, so we had a hard time getting out the door. Our Sacrament meeting was amazing! We had an air force pilot and his wife speak. It was so moving to hear what they had to say about war and religion. I wish I could remember word for word what was said, but the spirit was so incredibly strong. At the end of the meeting the Bishop asked for everyone who had seen war to stand. It's amazing how much respect you can have for a person you have never even met. I think the whole room was in tears. Today Connie came and we had our second knitting lesson. We learned how to rib, increase and decrease. I am attempting to follow a pattern she left for a Christmas stocking. It's just a little one for Millie, but I'm excited to see if I can figure it out. I'm suppose to switch colors and sadly we didn't have time to learn that so it was all be green. To those who knit; is it hard to switch could you explain it to me over email? Tomorrow is Tuesday and Millie's Nana will be here for the week. Millie is so excited she can hardly stand it! Every time the door opens she runs to see if it's her Nana. I can't wait for her to be here!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Knitting with Connie

Connie is in my ward and also happens to be my visiting teaching partner. I have been told she is pushing her late 80's and you would never know it by looking at her. She is on spunky, little, britsh lady. She taught Jodi how to cast on and do a basic stitch, where Danalisa and I are trying out the pearl stitch. We have already booked two more lessons with Connie and we will have more to follow.
You'd better watch out Royal Family there is a new knitter in town. hahaha

Banbury Dounuts Anyone?

We must be getting really brave because the usually Thursday crew headed into Banbury on TUESDAY! It was a darling little town with great shopping. I was able to buy a few things without feeling like I was going to "break the bank". We had fun wondering around and taking in some of the sites.
note: Millie's cute sweatshirt was given to her my Brady's Merton buddies; Gareth and Sven. Thanks Guys!
Millie on her 1st train "real" ride. She thought it was pretty cool. She's such a goof ball.

We had Subway for lunch and it was the greatest moment of my life. I felt like I was right at home. Mmmmmmmmmmmm! They even let me get a refill on my coke!

The Banbury Cross

Okay, so you can't tell, but I am holding a # in my hand just like the pirate. Rrrrrr Matey

Saturday, 3 November 2007

You call that a fire!

England has this crazy holiday called "Bonfire Night," apparently about 400 years ago some guy tried to blow up Parliament (Big Ben) and they stopped him right before the bomb went off. Sadly for him he was burned at the stake. Now to celebrate the occasion fireworks are set off to fill the night sky with what almost happened and a HUGE bonfire is lite with a stuffed dummy on top. We had a great night riding the carnival rides, eating new treats, and watching the display of fireworks.

Millie loves turning and swings, so this ride couldn't have been more perfect for her. Both Brady and I were actually surprised they let a two year old ride, but she did great! It was so fun to watch her and see her look for us in the crowd. Go Millie Go!

Brady couldn't resist buying Millie a Light Saber. She has her daddy wrapped around her little finger. Isn't she cute!

Our Family

Millie enjoying a hard toffee apple. She was one sticky mess!


The picture does not even come close to doing the fire justice. It truly was unbelievable.

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