Monday, January 31, 2011

Bit Icy and a Bit Snowy

It's the end of the world!!! Quick rush out to the store and buy all the food and drink you can get in your shopping cart! We're all doomed I tell ya! Weather Channel have been banging on about this for a few days now. I've  been listening to them and watching weather reports. Not too fussed about it but now it is nearly here. They keep saying we need to have an emergency kit. You know the usual water, blankets, food, candles etc. I have wine and Cadbury Buttons. Indianapolis is on course to have at least 1" of ice and around 10" of snow just north of Indianapolis. *whispers* Carmel is just north of Indianapolis!. Apparently 1/2" of ice puts 500lbs of weight onto power lines. Power outages are apparently headed my way.

Friday, January 28, 2011

United States of Awesome & United States of Shame

I saw these maps originally on another website but I looked for the originals and I found this map here

And this map here.

Comments?! Even though I am posting these pics it does not mean I agree with the information provided within them. No clue on the basis of the information or where any statistics (if any) may have been collated from.

Just The Way They Are

Yesterday evening I had to pick up Ben from the bus stop at Meijer so he could stay at home with Z whilst I took K on the police visit.

I drove to Meijer and we sat in the car in the car park and waited for the bus to arrive. Usually we sit and play 'I Spy' to pass the time. It helps both kids with their spelling and it passes time. Yesterday though they were not playing fair and K was 'I Spying' things that she thought would be inside Meijer! I told her we had to actually be able to see whatever it was from where we were sat in the car. Z did come up with one that was very clever. He said "I spy with my little eye something beginning with J" and after much guessing I gave up. It turned out it was the sign for the 'J' section of the car park! They eventually decided they didn't want to play anymore and asked me to put the radio on. We have a minivan and have taken the back 2 seats out to give us a bit more room to cart stuff around, so there is a bit of space in the back that the kids went to play in. All of a sudden I look in the rear view mirror and K is dancing away in the back of the car, pulling crazy expressions on her face and mouthing some of the words to a song that is playing on the radio. Z was looking at her with a slightly bemused look on his face before he joined in too. Once the song finished they practically demanded that I go through all the radio stations to see if the song was playing anywhere else. It wasn't but they decided that they liked another song that was on. However, this is the song that K really liked. Maybe I should make them a playlist on my iPod and let them dance like crazy every so often.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daisy Girl Scout Police Department Tour

 I took K and the other 3 Daisy Girl Scouts for a tour of the Carmel Police Department tonight. I had called a few weeks ago to schedule the tour and I was told that I would get a call back telling me the name of the officer doing the tour. I hadn't heard anything as of this morning so I went along to the Police Department to check on it. Turns out there was nothing showing in the police calendar saying we were going to be there later in the day! The woman on the desk I spoke to was very helpful and tried to call the woman that I had spoken to but had problems getting hold of her. I left my cell phone number and she promised to call me back later letting me know what was happening and if we could still do the tour so the girls could get their magenta petal. 45 minutes after I got home I had a call back saying all was fine and we could go at 7pm for the tour. We met Officer Richard Thomas and he gave us a tour of the building. He answered questions and showed the girls behind the scenes of the Carmel Police Department. He was very calm and patient with the girls who were very excitable and at times quite loud.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can't Decide!

I need help! (Not the usual kind of help that people think I need!)

Which, if any, of these dresses do you think I might look half way decent in for my lovely brothers wedding in March? I don’t usually wear dresses but as this is a very special occasion I am making an exception! 

Elementary Cheer Clinic at Carmel High School Friday January 21 2011

As you can see from the previous post K took part in the Elementary Cheer  Clinic at Carmel High School on Friday. I dropped her off at the school at 3.45pm and left her with the cheerleaders so they could practice their routine for later in the evening.

 I returned with Ben and Z around 6.30pm and we sat and watched the basketball players warm up and then the start of the JV game. Z was very impressed with the skill the basketball players had and how they got the ball in the basket. (Maybe he will want to try playing it himself one day?!) We moved around the court a few times as the band arrived and we thought they might be a bit too loud to sit near!

K came out with all the cheerleaders and other girls that were taking part in the clinic and sat on the bleachers as they waited for half time in the JV game. All the girls then went on the court and did their routines. The girls in KG did a routine, then the 1st & 2nd Grade girls did a routine followed by 3rd & 4th Grade before the 5th Grade girls finished. They then all did a dance, again with different bits for the different grades before all going off the court together. Z enjoyed watching all the older cheerleaders doing their cheers. He sat watching them with a little grin on his face the whole time! K had some pizza and a cookie whilst she was there practicing so Z got to have a hot dog from the concession stand. Before we were able to leave K had to get her shirt signed by a few of the HS cheerleaders and they also signed her guidebook she got. (It had all the cheers in it). K has said she wants to do the Cheer Clinic next year at the High School and that she wants to do cheerleading with Carmel Dads Club again in the Fall.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Elementary Cheer Clinic at Carmel High School

It is not great quality but this is the Cheer Clinic that K went to at Carmel High School today. She is at the very far end but I didn't get down there to record her. She was not shy or nervous about performing in front of all the people there. I would have been cacking myself!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Doodle 4 Google

Do you have a creative kid that is in K thru 12th Grade? Register them to take part in this years Doodle for Google. They could win a $15k scholarship and a $25k technology grant for their school. You can register here. Registration ends March 2nd 2011. Entries must be postmarked March 16 2011 and the winning doodle will be featured on on May 20 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flower Girls & Pinewood Racers

Saturday morning found us all at Carmel United Methodist Church for Z's Boy Scout Pack Pinewood Derby Race. Ben had spent a great deal of time cursing as he tried to shape a block of wood into something resembling a car for Z to race. (Looking at some of the cars there it was clear to me that the parents had made the cars and the boys had nothing to do with it. Z did actually help make his car.) We had to make a trip to Menards so he could get the tools needed to actually make it. It has been suggested to me since the race that next year we simply paint the car a brownish red color, stencil the letters ACME to it, put on the wheels and leave it as that! We went to the race and Z got a patch for taking part, although I am not sure that he is actually allowed to put it on his uniform. There was a lot of faffing around and Z began to get bored. Eventually when they got started Z's Den were first to race and as he did not win his races he did not progress to the next stage so we were able to leave. 

We then went to our friend Lisa's house as she had offered us a dress for K to wear to my brothers wedding. She saw my post on my FB profile showing the dress K had chosen online and Lisa said she had 2 dresses her daughter had worn to weddings when she was K's age. K tried the 2 dresses on and one of them fit her like a glove. She looked so pretty. Now we have to get her the coat and shoes then she is all done. Z is getting his kilt when we are in Edinburgh and Ben is taking the kilt he has over with us. So, that leaves me. I need to get an outfit. I don't mind shopping for jeans, sweaters etc but fancy outfits for events is something else altogether. I feel like a big fat heifer and never see anything I like. I feel like I am playing dress up and that I look ridiculous. I am going to have to get over this as it is my brothers wedding and I will need to make an effort. I seriously doubt I will be able to hide in the background and avoid having my picture taken! I have looked on the Macy's website and looked at a few things. There are 2 dresses that I liked the look of (this one and this one) but they were both black and I'm not sure if black is a good color to wear to a wedding. This is exactly why the last dress I wore was my wedding dress and that was over 9 years ago!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Planning To Have Kids?

I have shamelessly stolen this from "Life With Our Lads" as it made me laugh!

Planning to have Kids?

11 Step Program for those thinking of having kids

Lesson 11. Go to the grocery store. 2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. 3. Go home. 4. Pick up the paper. 5. Read it for the last time.
Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their... 1. Methods of discipline. 2. Lack of patience. 3. Appallingly low tolerance levels. 4. Allowing their children to run wild. 5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior. Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel... 1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner) 2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. 3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM. 4. Set the alarm for 3AM. 5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial. 6. Go to bed at 2:45AM. 7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off. 8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM. 9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out... 1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. 2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. 3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed. 4. Then rub them on the clean walls. 5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it. 6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?
Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems. 1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh. 2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. 1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.Leave it there. 2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player. 3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot. 4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 81. Hollow out a melon. 2. Make a small hole in the side. 3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. 4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. 5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone. 6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.
Lesson 10
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.
Lesson 11Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Flower Girl Dress for K

I have to find K a dress to wear to my brothers wedding that we are going to in March.  She is going to be a flower girl and will need an appropriate dress. I looked online at a few stores and then came across this website. K looked through the pictures with me and decided she wanted this dress. She has also said she wants 'clippy cloppy' shoes so that will be my next mission. Once my brother and sister in law to be approve the dress choice. Where does one find 'clippy cloppy' shoes for an almost 6 year old?! Scratch that. I've found these shoes.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Elementary Cheer Clinic & Colts Playoff Game

K will be doing this in the next couple of weeks (it is the very last flyer, I couldn't separate it from the others). She has been asking about when she will be doing cheerleading again so this has come at just the right time!

I think I'll get her in the mood for cheering again by getting her doing some cheers tomorrow. After all it is play-off day for the Colts tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 Wish List

In no particular order these are what I wish for during the next 12 months. (OK I admit some are a bit materialistic but hey, it's a 'wish list'!)

1. For us to start on the path to getting a green card

2. The kids to remain happy & healthy.

3. A new bag, I love bags, perhaps like this one.

4. A pair of ridiculous shoes that I'll probably only wear once, a bit like these maybe?

5. A new(er) car, but in wish land I would love one of these!

6. To lose about 50lbs in weight. I've lost 20lbs since arriving here and 2lbs in the last week! To help me I joined here.

7. Another tattoo, I know this is one that Ben will not like as he hates tattoos but I'm a grown woman and it's my choice!

8. A new TV, a bit like this one.

9. My Daisy Girl Scouts to enjoy their time in the Troop.

10. That you continue to read this blog.

11. A camcorder like this one.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


When I was a kid and felt sick I would milk it for all its worth and try to get the day off school. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't really sick all that much and my mum wouldn't buy my act half the time. She'd only believe me if she actually saw me being sick! I never thought how it must make my mum feel to see me ill.

Now as a parent I hate it when my kids are ill. I feel so powerless to do anything for them and I usually blame myself for their illness. It must have been something I cooked for them. I must have a bug and have passed it on to them. I took them somewhere and they caught a bug there. I know it is all nonsense but I can't help it. Due to the fact that K has a kidney problem, I get even more worried when she is sick as I become convinced that it will affect her healthy kidney. (I know in my head that it most likely won't though)

Last night K was ill. Really ill. She vomited several times and kept complaining about her tummy hurting. In the end she settled when she lay next to me in bed at about 3am. At 7am she woke up, got dressed, said she felt better and was going to school. She went downstairs and ate a handful of cheerios, put her shoes and coat on and went to school. If it had been me, I would have been staying home and wanting to lie in my mums bed. Not my child, she wants to go to school in case she misses something! It probably won't last. She'll probably start trying to wangle days off eventually saying she is ill. For now, I'm going to be happy in the fact that she likes going to school and that when she's ill it doesn't last long. So far no phone call from school asking me to go and collect her. I am going to get my hair cut and colored shortly so she can't get sick again! I was supposed to go in mid December but cancelled it as it was on the same day as a morning training meeting for Girl Scout cookies. It turns out that the morning training was cancelled due to snow and the fact that the schools were on a 2 hour delay due to the weather so I had to go to the evening training that was at the same time a Z's Boy Scout Pack Meeting!

Well, that is enough talk about being sick. I am going to get ready for my hair being cut and colored and I think I'll buy a ticket for the $330million Mega Millions lottery draw tonight.

50 Best of Web

Check us out under "Expressions of wonder, love and joy"
The Life of a British expat in America
Born in Edinburgh, now living in Carmel, Indiana, this mum of two and Girl Scout leader has ambitions to write more after building readers for her blog which charts how her family is getting on in their home across the Pond. Good luck to you Sarah, and long may your original blog continue. Sophie dubbed it 'fabulous' when writing about resources for expat families and that's a view our whole team shares. 
Thanks for the mention and listing me in your Top 50! 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year Wishes For You

I got this in an email today and thought I would share it you all.

Here are NEXT YEAR’s wishes for you
 May you always make the right moves.  
May your cup runneth over with  MAY YOU ALWAYS FIND SHELTER FROM ANY STORM  May you remain good looking and looking good.  May you find the perfect diet for your body and your soul.  May you find perfect balance in the company you keep.  May you have as much fun as you can before someone makes you  
May the worst thing that happens to you come in slobbery pink and furry TAN.
May  you  manage  to  MAKE  time  for all the new folks you meet be interesting and kind.  May your accessories always harmonize with your natural beauty!  Should your mouth ever be bigger than your stomach, may you have a chewing good time!
May you always know when to walk away and when to run.
May 2011 be  great year !!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Eve 2010

Last night we went to a NYE party with some British Expats we had a great time. I was designated driver so I was on Diet Coke all night. Ben had Stella Artois and several vodka jello shots. There was good food (including a wonderful curry that I could have kept on eating) music, dancing, noise makers, silly hats and then a chorus of Auld Lang Syne outside in the pouring rain (I can only imagine what the neighbors must have thought!). The kids managed to stay awake until midnight and we were all in bed by about 1.15am.

Here's to a great 2011. I've no idea what'll happen this year but I am sure it'll be good!

14 year olds & Green Cards

Did you know that you need to get a new green card when you turn 14? Do you know the reason why? No really, I'd like to know why. ...