Wednesday, February 22, 2012

a few pictures

I found a few pictures from moving into the flat.  Of course, I'll start with shots of the kids because that's what most of you tune in for anyway...

We have to bundle up everywhere we go.  Good thing Hayden looks so cute in her kitty cat beanie.

Cam still has her rockin' fashions, the cold weather just allows for more layers of awesomeness.  Here she is at the park, jumping on a mini trampoline.

Jason loves his new bed and if you come to visit us he'll happily let you stay in his room.  Watch out for legos under foot :)

The kids and their pals hanging out in Jason's wardrobe.  They were all nervous about this picture though because their Sunday school teacher had just told them the story about how he once hid in his wardrobe and the whole thing fell forward and trapped him inside.  I like a good cautionary tale.

This is a part of our kitchen.  I snapped this because I knew you'd all like to see the washing machine there next to the wine rack and dishwasher.  The oven is narrow, just about the same size as the dishwasher.  After a few weeks here I'm starting to get used to washing laundry in the kitchen, it's not so weird considering all the time I spend in this room.  And the more I think about it, it's not nearly as strange as washing your clothes in the garage.  We don't have a dryer so we hang our clothes to dry on the radiators and they dry pretty quickly.

And here's a shot of me and Cam.  Look Jill, I'm wearing the shirt I bought when we went shopping, only I have like 13 layers underneath it.  And Cam can't stop wearing sundresses and going barefoot, she's a warm-blooded kid so she doesn't freeze inside like I do.  I'm cold-blooded (muhahahahahhaha!!!!!).

Ok, that's all for now.  I'll get to work on pics of the building and neighborhood.  This is a pretty cool place to live with lots of history.  We're having a great time getting to know all about our new home.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


After a long delay, we finally have internet.  Now I use the term "long" loosely because when you don't have internet you feel as though the world is happening all around you and you can't jump into the conversation.  And that makes you feel very frustrated!  So here we are, fully loaded and ready to go.

So when we last left off I told you all about getting our keys and receiving a few furniture deliveries.  That weekend we assembled all of our furniture with the expertise and nimble fingers of Brian and Kellie.  If you've ever bought Ikea furniture, you know what I mean!  We set up the house as best we could, did a full grocery shop and then our family left the Ingraham nest Sunday afternoon.  You need to understand that moving into a flat after just a week and a half in country is absolutely ridiculous.  This was truly an act of God.  He got us settled and put us to work right away.

In the week that followed we quickly got our bearings and figured out the quirks of our new place.  We learned which parts of the creaky floor to avoid at night so we don't wake up the kids, we learned that the bathroom sink only produces water from the north pole, and we learned that our kitchen window has a huge gap in it that lets in a howling wind.  Not bad for a flat that was built in the 1800's.  Since we live in a corner flat we have a lovely turret/bay window with window seats and we can look out over our kingdom, er, neighborhood and watch the world go by.  The kids love to play in the heavy drapes of "the castle room".

Darren got to work straight away with meetings and events and even preaching in a small church outside of town.  He and I were both glad that he was so busy right away, it really helped to crush doubts and insecurities when we saw God show up in the things that Darren is involved in.

The kids continue to plug away at their school work.  Although, it seems silly to do formal schooling when all that they've been experiencing over the past weeks has been far more educational than anything I could provide for them.  They absolutely love their class at church, Kid TOUGH.  I knew it would be hard to match their love for their PRBC teachers, especially Miss Corina and the always hilarious Mr. Key (ask Cameron about that sometime), but God knew what they needed to feel at home and a church that they love was essential to their successful transition.  Jason is having a great time running errands with Darren, especially when they take trains or taxis all over the city.  Cameron struggles to find food that she will eat but we have made a few breakthroughs.  The kids all enjoy the parks in our neighborhood.

We have been busy finding more furniture for our flat.  The bedrooms don't have closets so we are hunting down wardrobes and dressers for everyone.  I've found great bargains at the Salvation Army and we've been painting wardrobes in fun colors for the girls.  Grocery shopping without a car has been adventurous and a daily chore.  We live on a hill so going down to the stores is no problem, I'm always optimistic at first.  Then when I climb back up with all my bags I get mad at myself for buying so much.  We have a fridge with a small freezer (such a luxury!) and a washing machine in our kitchen.  I've gotten quite used to doing laundry in the kitchen.  It's pretty convenient since I spend so much time in that room preparing food and doing school with the kids.  We don't have a dryer so we hang laundry on all the radiators in the house.  Mid-afternoon our flat looks silly with so many clothes hanging about!

The weather has been cold and wet.  We've seen a little snow, rain and wind.  We've even seen the sun once or twice! Let me know in the comments if you have questions about our place or city.  I'll do my best to post pictures soon.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

new normal

This week has been all about discovering our new "normal".  We started with our school work.  It wasn't pretty but we managed to do an abbreviated version of school this week.  The kids are disappointed that it's time to get back to work, but this is a familiar thing and I thought it would be helpful to establish a daily routine again.  To tell the truth, the routine is hardest on me as we are still living out of suitcases.  I think once we can unpack and spread out it will be easier to start our mornings.

I've been spending a lot of time learning the ins and outs of UK grocery shopping.  I think the most hilarious experience has been mastering control of the trolley (grocery cart).  All four wheels pivot freely so I skid out and take really wide turns.  Also, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one laughing about it.  The most difficult transition for Cameron has been her food requirements.  She is ridiculously brand-specific when it comes to food so she has come to many points this week where her hunger overrides her stubbornness.  Her progress will be slow but she will survive :)  Oh, and we found McDonald's this week, so no worries.

We signed our lease and got our keys last night.  This morning, Darren met the delivery guys from Ikea and let them in with our beds and couches.  We will shuttle all of our things over to the new place today and start assembling the furniture.  Our fridge doesn't arrive until tomorrow, so I'll have to do a big shop sometime this weekend and get us stocked up.

This week I was able to take the kids out for a walk in our new neighborhood.  We went to the post office and the park.  It was nice to be able to do "normal" mom and kid errands on our own and explore our surroundings a bit.  I love what Cameron wrote on her postcard to a friend, "In Scotland you have to walk a lot." Ha!  I guess she's working on this new normal thing too.

We went to church last Sunday and Darren went to a few meetings and things this week.  Again, new normals to learn.  I think it's good for both of us to work on finding our niche and then come back at the end of the day and relive it for each other.  It feels more "normal" than spending every minute with each other as we have for the past month!

I think next I'll work on a picture glossary of UK terms we are learning.  Off to shoot some pictures...