Friday, November 25, 2011

Parker Dance Party

Todd and I, along with our friends (the McFarlands) babysat over this past weekend for our friends (the Parkers), so they could have a weekend getaway. They have four children ages 8,7,4 and 1. It was a fun weekend with lots of games and fun outings. One of the things we did before bedtime each night was to have a dance party. Here are two clips of the kids dancing. (Bad video quality is because it was shot on a cell phone)

Graham (4) in front with his book light "microphone", Isaac (7) and Ewan (8) dancing from the sofa:

Graham and Jude (1):

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dog Intelligence

When we are not trying to turn Maggie into the first pea-diving aquatic dog, we have fun with Maggie and Belle in other torturous ways. To further procrastinate on my school work today, I set up a camera to see if Belle really is the "Pinky" of this "Pinky and the Brain" duo or if she is just "unmotivated". Here's what I found:

Turns out we have a new Brain!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Maggie diving for peas

We made it a bit harder to see if she would still go for them! Here is the video in slow motion:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Car drama

Sad me at the accident site with unnamed car
A week ago today, our 2001 Vauxhall Astra was hit by an oncoming car. It wasn't a long time that our car was with us- just six months.

I had just been saying to Todd and Jonelle the week before that this car had a death wish and would turn on us like old yeller!

But some kid from down the road took care of that for us.

Bumper and headlight-shouldn't take long to fix?
We thought it would not cost too much to fix the car- it just looked like our front bumper had come off of the car. But upon body shop inspection it would have cost twice what our car was worth to fix.

At least we remembered how to do this car buying/searching/taxing/MOTing stuff in the UK. 

So, with our Mercedes rental car (I know, right- not our pick, but we likely) we drove to see this little no-frills beauty- 2005 Hyundai Accent.


New nameless car- maybe we'll name her so she'll be good to us

The first car I ever purchased was a Hyundai and I never had any problems with it until it finally said "when" and died where two lanes converged 20 feet in front of a single lane bridge. I liked my first car and generally felt amicable toward Hyundai automobiles thereafter.

This is a picture of our new Hyundai parked in front of our house. We got a great deal (so far, so good) and I'm hopeful it will prove as reliable as my first Hyundai experience. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jonelle's visit

It's so nice when friends from home come to visit us here. We spent just under a week with Jonelle, who I lived with for six years in and beyond school. We had a nice time catching up and seeing some pretty cool British sites.
Here are some pictures from her visit:

Alnwick Castle

Parts of Harry Potter where filmed here and we got to watch some school children have a flying lesson
View from the bridge

We found a castle!

Lindisfarne (Holy Island)

It was windy and cold, but still Lindisfarne was beautiful

Proof that Jonelle has been to the North Sea

A little break from the cold

Smoking her Dad's pipe on Holy Island

A large section of Hadrian's Wall. The wall was built by the Romans in AD122 and parts of it still exist spanning across Northern England
Ruins of Benwell Roman Temple- Part of Hadrian's Wall

Sitting in a turret

The barracks at Chesters Roman Fort.
Ancient monuments can be hazardous- especially when you can climb on 2000 year old buildings!

The baths at Chesters Roman Fort

Museum of things they found near the fort
 When we were in Alnwick, Jonelle got a great shot of Todd doing his favorite thing!

We had a great time Jonelle! Come back and visit us again!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Back in the UK

When we arrived back at our house, along with our foot high grass, this was in our back yard. I had left my beautiful tomato garden that had such potential, hoping to come back and find juicy tomatoes on the vines, but I got this- A tomato graveyard. : (  The cold finally did them in. I now understand why all the Britons here grow their tomatoes in greenhouses.

On a happier note, I went back to school this week! I am a student at Newcastle University studying for an MRes in Immunobiology. It has been 9 years since I've been a full time student. So far, it has just been boring orientation stuff, but so far so good.

Kelly's first day of school! Age 31, Grade 17

So I know first day's of school are all about the new school clothes, but instead I went with a new school bag, used (new to me) Banana Republic jeans (from the best Salvation Army in Philly) and new socks for my first day!

The thrift store jeans were a "short" size, but evidently, not short enough for me. I had to hem just an inch by using this super easy and great looking technique.

Socks. There's just something about a new pair of socks that makes me happy to wake up in the morning! I thought I'd add a picture of them, just cause they don't get any exposure in the first photo.

The last "Back in the UK" item I have to report is for my mom.  Mom- Maggie loves her new dryer ball!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stateside 2011 Videos

Todd's parents gave us this little handheld camera while we were home and I wanted to share three short videos I shot while in the States.

This video is from my parent's cabin near State College in PA. This summer some hornets decided that the living room window of the cabin would be a great place to build their nest. The entire nest covered about two feet of the window. Since they built it on the window you have privy to the inner workings of what goes on in the daily life of a hornet. You'll see my reflection in the window- these things cannot be helped.

This second video is from Chris and Kylie's wedding reception. The wedding and reception were filled with fun and lively music. Here's a video of Kylie and her sisters (bridesmaids) dancing it up...and Chris is giving it a good effort too!

This third video is of Jack Larkin having some fun on a play ground that we went to in NYC. I wish I had continued the video to get his "who are you?" face a few seconds later when he looked up and noticed some unknown woman was sitting on top of his play toy. This playground was super cool and we had a bit of fun ourselves. Unfortunately, this was the only video I shot there.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stateside 2011

Todd and I had a great time in the States visiting family and friends for the past few weeks. 

It was quite an experience to be in NYC for the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. We were a few of the lucky ones who got to see the memorial on the day it opened to the public.

Sept 12, 2011, WTC memorial

New WTC building, half way completed
I, also, wanted to see the new Gehry building that was completed this year downtown. It's one of the only residential buildings in downtown Manhattan. The Dancing House from our Prague trip (here) has the same architect, Frank Gehry. His idea behind the design was to introduce bay windows, where you can walk into the bay window in one of the apartments on the 70th floor (or any) and feel like you're standing in the air.

We were also lucky enough to be able to spend some time in NYC with the Larkins, who were kind enough to fit us into an existing New York trip. 

Doing what we do best with the Larkins- beer by the liter (notice mine is the tiny one)

Quinn and Jackson waiting patiently for us

And of course, the whole reason we were in the States in the first place- Chris and Kylie's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and a fun reception.

Rehearsal Dinner
This is a pretty terrible pic, but the only one I have of Todd officiating his first wedding!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Divine Hat

I know at home the last thing you're thinking of right now is winter hats, but here on the temperate island of Great Britain where we are still wearing long sleeves all summer long, I've begun winter crocheting projects. So I wanted to post pictures of the new hat I've just finished. I found the pattern here and though it took me about seven tries to get it right, I finally have a finished product that I'm very happy with!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Belle's breakfast

I think Belle was trying to tell us that she was REALLY hungry this morning!

Friday, July 22, 2011

My growing garden

It's been fun to let our back yard grow and see what interesting things appear. Here is some pictures of what has been growing this spring/summer in my garden.

Crocosmia Lucifer- my crappy camera doesn't capture the fiery reddness of these flowers!

Pic from April-Tomatoes and Peppers planted from seed
No veggies yet, but MANY flowers!
A tree in our back yard with beautiful flowers

Tiny little rose bush

These daisies pop up in the oddest places

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A day at the beach

Today was a whopping 79 degrees! That is really hot here! So, since we have been lamenting the cool summer and lack of beach time (along with our translucent skin tone), we packed the pups up and drove to Seaham. Seaham is a seaside town on the North Sea with a long and stoney beach.

We were surprised to find that this quaint little town with gorgeous sea cliffs is only a 25 minute drive away from our house in Durham. We were even more pleased to find that the parking was FREE!! The pups were very excited to be outside running free and especially to have a vast amount of water nearby in which to swim.

Maggie started out overjoyed by the water and jumped in and swam and swam, but then later was scared of the waves.

Belle, however, was more fearless and would jump through the crashing waves continually. It was really nice to have such a beautiful day here and I even found a starfish that I was able to throw back into the ocean.

Here's a video of our fearless Belle riding the waves!

Here's one of Maggie fetching the bottle we threw and then being scared by the waves.

And here's one of Belle swimming after rocks Todd is throwing into the sea.