Saturday, 20 October 2012

Twit-Twoo, No Guesses Who...

Hello loyal readers, I am alive I can assure you! With the past two weeks flying by, I dissolved my 'blog once a week' estimate and threw myself into Houstonian life once again.

We've had another birthday marking the arrival of Meg's Mother (my Great Aunt) and her dogs, to stay with us while Meg heads to the UK to see my family across the pond. For this birthday I decided to dive back into baking and made, from hand, a traditional Victoria Sponge with jam and buttercream which surprisingly went down a treat, even with the boys!

The past two weeks have been debates/school projects/sports/nanny-ing/family life galore, with little time to go out other than cycling to and from the Library as usual, which I've found is a 4.2 mile all round cycle. Pah. And we all laughed at the idea of me doing exercise when coming to America.

I've done a fair bit of shopping and exploring the local area, and have big plans for the next few days (NASA next week, a Downtown breakfast at the Breakfast Klub  as I may go into the city early one morning with Dave then treat myself to a crazy amount of waffles and bacon.) Suzanne and I have also been putting our hands to cooking, making pizza and Butterscotch ice cream with help of a new blender which, sadly, I got very excited about. I've also taken up knitting again and in two days have already knitted myself a scarf which is oh-so-useful considering it's still 28+ degrees. But hey, it will be useful in NYC (in just over a month, ah!)

Said Victoria Sponge (before it was demolished)

One of the boys' school projects - a home based invention and prototype which we worked on. Flipper Slippers (copyright) which flip pancakes as you walk. Not bad for an 11 year old (and an 18 year old but we'll ignore my input)
Being put on dog walking duty is a new experience for me, as is dragging two lovely terriers around the neighbourhood in the heat and sunshine, whilst trying to remain cool. It's impossible.
Halloween fever.

 Halloween is now fast approaching, and the decorations are in full flow with cobwebs and inflatables galore – I cannot believe how extravagant the holiday is already. I have yet to sort my costume as I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be trick-or-treating in the neighbourhood with the boys. Pumpkins have been on sale for the past month and pumpkin flavour everything is coming out. I couldn’t resist buying a Pumpkin Pie flavoured Yankee Candle (they have SHOPS here! Ah!).

This week, Suzanne and I have been running errands and keeping chaos to a minimum, as well as preparing for the youngest’s annual ‘Farm Concert’ at his Elementary School on Friday where a costume is to be warn (preferably some sort of farm animal). We got out the glue gun, which I consequentially burnt myself on, the felt, the feathers, the craft scissors, and got to work on his Barn Owl costume. The costume has to be made from predominantly a paper grocery bag (which we’ve done) and we popped to Michael’s, the local craft shop, and below is the finished product. Plus wings and talons, naturally, but with only a GCSE in Art and a burnt finger, I’m pretty chuffed with the final result! Hopefully it’ll go down well on Friday.

In addition to this, I have recently started volunteering at the local Elementary school in the youngest’s Kindergarten class, and I’ve already fallen in love with it. The class is small, and I volunteer for two hours or so a few mornings a week, aiding literacy and maths work, and generally interacting with the children. Already they’ve noticed that, ‘I speak funny’ – to quote one of the girls – and have welcomed me into their class. One girl approached me on my first morning, threw her arms around my waist and asked me to play with her. Now, if you know me in person you’ll be nodding and smiling; you'll know how much I loved this. Working with the kids is very rewarding (especially as there’s a child called Thor) and gives a good structure to my week.

Work in progress and....
The finished project! (front)

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