Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Registration Day

Well...it's that time of year...FINALLY! No matter how much fun you can have in one summer, School Registration always come sooner than later!

Off we went...as a family at that...to West Middle School with the envelope with the plethora of paperwork (can't anything be done on-line?) to get Emily all set for school, which starts next week. First we wait in line for the $2 Planner, not required, but you get points off in certain classes if you don't use the "not required" planner. Then onto the Class Schedule with locker combination. Then onto Pictures, pull the paperwork & check out for that one. Then onto Yearbook Sales, pull the paperwork & check out for that one. Then Emily wanted a school hoodie this year, so get in that line & pull the paperwork & check out for that one. Then PTA, then Music Boosters....finally it was time to move out of the cafeteria & get 2 out of 4 books....hadn't figured that one out yet, then off to find the locker. Upon arrival, Emily opens it up & we start unloading the backpack we brought with all the locker paraphernalia that is required as the 6"wide x 9"depth locker lacks space for any storage, so you have to create your own. Fortunately, Emily passes on the locker shelving stand, which her BFF must have as she is not tall enough to reach the only shelf to store books. We jury-rigged her binder thingy she carries to class into the locker (Emily has the angle all figured out to get it to fit), quickly shut the locker so nothing falls out, then wait for Emily while she and her BFF wander off to make sure she knows where to go next week.

So a couple hours later, I ask her if she remembers her locker combination....of course not! Where did we put that thing...hopefully not in the binder thingy.

Just wait until you see how long Emily's hair is in her pictures...comparing it to last years and it must have grown another 4-6" over the year.

Tomorrow is Andrew's turn....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meet the Cousins

So, I get home from Scotland, do wash, and a couple days later we head up north for most of the week.

My niece Jill is at the Lake House vacationing with her family, so it was a great time to (1) spend with my Great nephew & niece, as well as for Emily & Andrew to meet some cousins...and second cousins.

As usual, the kids hit it well & took off playing together down at the beach, out in the water, on the tube, paddling to the middle of the lake, and fishing.

Fishing was main priority for Levi (Jill's son), so Emily hopped right to it. Andrew came along reluctantly as he remembers getting a hook lodged in his lip or something when he was 2...everything was when he was 2...so he swore off fishing. But thanks to Tony (Jill's husband), as well as peer pressure, got him back to swing the lure.

So during a evening boat tour, all of a sudden the kids at the back of the boat, were yelling "Stop the boat, stop the boat". I'm thinking someone's falling in, or dropped something in the water...like the fishing pole, but no Levi & Emily caught a fish & needed to reel it into the boat. Emily didn't realize how much work catching a REAL fish really was. Her usual catch is something the size of my hand, but this one we ate.

Then we headed down to Atlanta the following week and stopped in New Bremen both ways...going down and coming back to visit and pop in on the Bremenfest parade. Low and behold all of my brother's kids were in town for the parade, so Emily & Andrew got to meet all their second cousins!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Scotland Voyage

Yes, I've been back in the country for a couple of weeks, but continuously on the go (somewhere else)...were you thinking...how long is this trip? Well, all I can say is that it was FANTASTIC! Kind of wish I was just getting back...I could have stayed forever! Not one thing stands out as this is the best part of the trip. I remember all of it as each day had it's own best parts that doesn't weigh over any...probably why I could have stayed forever...definitely in the Highlands.

Some of my most memorable moments:
  • Plane delay in DTW, causing us to miss our flight from AMS to EDI, which then we were placed on separate flights...are we ever going to get there?
  • First views of Edinburgh Castle up on the hill.
  • Wondering if we'd ever find a restaurant that served food after 8:00 pm in Edinburgh.
  • Checking out the men in skirts...proper term...kilts.
  • Driving in a Right-hand Drive car on the Left side of the road -- only bounced off the curb one or two times, or was it three or four...what can I say, the roads are more narrow & those trucks seem to really come at you. Which B road is this?
  • Remembering to look Right-Left-Right vs. Left-Right-Left when crossing the road.
  • The drive from Edinburgh to Fort William...or really Stirling to Fort William...what a view.
  • Seeing snow still on the mountains.
  • Seeing heather on the mountainsides ... just like the postcards.
  • Seeing a Highland Coo (Cow)
  • Climbing the wee hill behind Glenfiddan & capturing views of the glen & of the Harry Potter viaduct & steam train.
  • Inverness ... love this town!
  • Having the sun rise at 4am and set at 10:30...or was it later & earlier....just always seemed to be there!
  • Drive to Skye...or was it the drive back seeing the things I didn't see going out.
  • Leaving my mark on Scotland as I had to go really bad :)
  • Stopping by several Standing Stones that date back 4000 years+
  • Eating a great deli sandwich outside the Beauly Priory when it was in the 80's (25C)
  • Chatting with the Earl of Mar at Castle Leod.
  • Wading in the sea at Nairn...collecting shells & rocks for the kids
  • Dinner outside at Findhorn watching the tide go out...great Fish & Chips!
  • Walking through the Battlefield of Culloden.
  • All the meals in Inverness...best yet!
  • The views & tasting at Glenfiddich distillery.
  • Staying at the Dinnet house, a more recently built (100 years old) manor house & having dinner with our host & other guests...great conversation.
  • Mist rolling in over Dunnotar Castle & St. Andrews.
  • Seeing the 8th century Pictish Stones at Meigle & St. Andrews.
  • Attending evening service at Roslyn Chapel after touring it.
  • Staying at Borthwick Castle...where Mary Queen of Scots & her 3rd husband Lord Bothwell spent their honeymoon...mind your head when going into the loo.
  • Breakfast conversations with other guests at Borthwick Castle...is 2 hours too long for toast & cereal?
  • Trying to decide on which abbey was my favorite, Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Melrose...Melrose won out!
  • Seeing all the castles...Best Ruins: Dunnotar & Urquhart; Best Rebuilt: Eileen Donan & Stirling will be when complete; Best still occupied: Castle Leod & Glamis; and I'm sure my choices will change when I start revisiting my pictures.
  • My daily Scottish breakfast of Two Fried Eggs, Bacon, Grilled Tomato, yogurt & granola, fruit & in Inverness add Porridge with scotch liqueur & real cream.
  • Amazed that others were more obsessed with our Presidential race then we were!
  • Digesting all the centuries of history that has occurred in one country!
  • Lucking out and only have a couple days of light rain off & on...blue skies & sunshine!
  • And course, spending it all with my sister.