Thursday, May 26, 2011

Old Navy Debuts Gay Pride T-Shirts For It Gets Better

 Old Navy Debuts Gay Pride T-Shirts For It Gets Better

I think these are a fabulous idea and I will be getting one!

Last Night....

......we had stormy weather. mother in laws connecting flight from DC to Indy was delayed due to storm. broke down at airport when Ben picked his mum up. It is now at a garage between here and Indy. Wonder how much $$ it will cost to fix. Call me cynical but I have a feeling the cost of repairs will be more than the car is worth.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

School Book Club

The kids both took part in the "100 Book Club" at school this year and they got their t-shirts for completing it today. As Z also did it last year, his t-shirt says 200 books. I think it is a great program and a great incentive to get kids reading.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Melting Crayons

It was sunny outside when the kids got home from school and K decided to sit outside and draw. 

She took some crayons and paper I gave her and sat at a little table. 

She was out there for about 20 minutes then came inside again.

She went out again a little while later and then came in again to tell me that the "crayons were wet". If I'm honest, I thought she had spilled a drink over them. She hadn't.

This is what I found when I went outside.

The current temperature is 26°C/79°F.

According to crayola, crayons begin to soften at about 105°F and melt at about 128°F-147°F

Another Car Grumble

I got a text from Ben yesterday asking me to pick him up from Meijer as it was hailing and he didn't want to skate home. I got the kids in the car and we headed off down Main St towards Meijer. A little way down the road the car seemed to hit something or go over something and I momentarily lost control of the car. The noise that the car had been making whilst moving over the past few weeks changed slightly and there was a new sound. I also noticed a burning smell and a little bit of smoke coming from the front passenger side tire. I managed to get to Meijer safely and we waited for Ben to arrive. I tried to jack up the car so I could look at the tire but the storm was moving in quickly and I gave up and just sat waiting. When Ben arrived we made our way home slowly and are now trying to work out what to do. I don't really want to drive the car again. I don't feel safe in it. We can't afford a new one and as we only have a year left on our current visas I doubt we would be able to get a car on lease. If the renewal process was started then it might be different I suppose.

At the moment the current gripes I have with the car are as follows:
1. Car bumper being held together with tape and string.
2. Leaking power steering fluid.
3. A/C not working.
4. A not nice word scraped into the side of the car.
5. Grinding, squeaking, squealing sound when car moving, turning and braking.
6. Brakes have previously failed.
7. Another problem had to be fixed but it escapes me

Other than that it is fine!

Meanwhile to entertain myself until I win the lottery and can afford a new car, I am looking at dealer sites to see what is available.

Wolf Cub Scout

Z has progressed up a rank in the Boy Scouts. He got his Bobcat badge and was a Tiger Cub Scout and he is now a Wolf Cub Scout.

We went to the Crossover Campfire that his Scout Pack had organized for Saturday and watched as Z got his new badge and book. We are not entirely sure what is going to happen with regards to his den as most of the boys in it are going to another school due to re-districting in Carmel. He'll probably be moved to another den and hopefully with boys that are in his class. He has said he is looking forward to going to camp with his dad in June and the pack leader has invited him (and one of his parents!) to go fishing with them. They go a lot during the summer and have said Z is welcome to go with them as he said he likes fishing. He went out with K and their dad a few weeks ago to a nearby creek and they actually managed to catch a fish in their nets. I saw a picture and it looked as big as my hand!

K is all signed up to do cheerleading again with Carmel Dads Club starting in August when school is back. She's looking forward to it and I think Z is looking forward to it too. He liked watching the cheerleaders practice and playing a game on the Nintendo DS whilst we waited for K.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carmel, Indiana Roundabouts on CNN

As a Brit living in Carmel I am familiar with roundabouts as they are very common in the UK and the ability to navigate around one if part of the British driving test. I do find it amusing when I see locals trying to navigate around the roundabouts here. Last winter we saw tire tracks straight across the middle of a roundabout on Rangeline. It was as if someone was driving along and thought "I'm going to make this one a roundover!"

Fitness Progress

When I stepped into the Monon Community Center fitness center on it had been a long time since I had last been in a gym for a workout. To help track my progression, besides using scales and a measuring tape, I have been taking pictures of the screen on the equipment I use at the end of my workout so I can see if I am getting faster or stronger. So far I have been doing only cardio but I eventually want to start doing strength workouts too.

On the bike I usually do a 20 minute cycle on level 4 followed by a cool down for 2 minutes.

On May 1 this was my workout.                                              

Today this was my workout.

On the treadmill I usually do 30 minutes with an incline of either 4 or 5 and speed between 3.5 and 4.5 followed by a cool down for 5 minutes. Sometimes I have to slow the speed down if I am listening to a Chris Moyles podcast as I tend to lose my balance when I laugh.

On May 1 this was my workout.                                              

Today this was my workout.

The progression in my fitness is there. I am slowly getting fitter.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Z has a rewards scheme going on at school to help him with his attention, following directions and getting work completed on time. If he does everything he gets 2 stickers from his teacher each day. If he gets 10 stickers in a week then he can choose a reward for the weekend. In the past he has chosen a book, an ice cream, going swimming and going out for lunch.

This weekend he wanted to go to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. As we are members we can go whenever we want but we hadn't been for a few weeks before todays visit. For a while we were going every other weekend!

When we arrived I was surprised to see a big Bumblebee Transformer in the welcome area of the museum. The kids had fun looking at it and running around the museum.

Ben wanted to check out the 'Incredible Costumes From Film & TV' exhibit that was on display as the exhibit is due to close tomorrow. The kids were not too excited about this exhibit and were more interested in other exhibits like Dinosphere, ScienceWorks, Take Me There: Egypt and store!

The next time we go to the museum will probably be when my mother in law is here visiting us at the end of May. The kids would go to the museum every week if I gave them a chance. There are some new exhibits that will be opening during the rest of the year that I think they will like. Only so many times you can go to the Barbie exhibit before you lose your mind!

We have definitely got our moneys worth out of the membership fees. (Not that we actually paid the fees though!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

School Supply Kits

 When I was a kid and went to school all I had to take was a backpack and a pencil case with a few pencils, a ruler, eraser and ruler. This is not the case for my 2 kids! Last year, K didn't need a supply kit as she was in Kindergarten but next year she'll be in 1st Grade so both her and Z will need a supply kit. We can order them online and have been given the details from the school. I guess it'll save time wandering around Target/Wal-Mart etc towards the end of summer.

For 1st Grade K will need:

1 - Personal Care Hand Sanitizer, Foaming, Alcohol Free, Pump, 7 oz.
1 - Staples Composition Book, Marble Cover, Black, Wide, 100 Ct
1 - Staples Highlighter, Chisel Tip, Yellow, w/Pkt Clip
4 - Elmer's Glue Stick, Washable, Purple, Dries Clear, .77 oz.
3 - Dixon Pencils, #2, Oriole, Sharpened, Latex Free, Dz.
6 - SchoolKidz Folder, 2 Pocket, 11 Pt., Asst. Colors
1 - Prang Paint Set, Watercolor, Washable, 8 Colors w/Brush
2 - Staples Eraser, Pink, Large
3 - Crayola Crayons, Tuck Box, 24/Box
1 - Fiskars Scissors, 'For Kids', 5", Blunt Tip, Asst.
1 - Staples Pencil Box, Plastic, 8.25" x 5.25" x 2", Asst.
2 - Scotties Facial Tissue, 'Scotties', Hypo-Allergenic, 200 Ct.
1 - Crayola Pencils, Colored, 7", Sharpened, 12/Set
2 - Expo 2 Markers, Dry Erase, Chisel, Low Odor, Asst 4/Pk
1 - Crayola Markers, Washable, Classic Colors, Fine Tip, 8/Set
1 - Crayola Crayons, Tuck Box, 16/Box
1 - Bonus Items Bonus Items

Total cost to order online is $46.09

For 2nd Grade Z will need: 

1 - SchoolKidz Storage Bags, Economy Zip, Quart, 25 Ct.
1 - Staples Composition Book, Marble Cover, Black, Wide, 100 Ct
2 - Scotties Facial Tissue, 'Scotties', Hypo-Allergenic, 200 Ct.
2 - Expo 2 Markers, Dry Erase, Chisel, Low Odor, Asst 4/Pk
1 - Staples Highlighter, Chisel Tip, Yellow, w/Pkt Clip
2 - Staples Eraser, Pink, Large
4 - Papermate Pencils, #2, Mirado, Premium, Unsharpened, Dozen
1 - Staples Pencil Box, Plastic, 8.25" x 5.25" x 2", Asst.
2 - Crayola Crayons, Tuck Box, 24/Box
1 - Fiskars Scissors, 'For Kids', 5", Blunt Tip, Asst.
1 - Stationers Ruler, 12", Plastic, Inch & Cm, Center Holes, Asst
3 - Montrose Glue Stick, Washable, 1.23 oz.
4 - Sanford Marker, Sharpie, Fine Point, Black
2 - Crayola Markers, Washable, Classic Colors, Wide Tip, 8/Set
4 - Staples Stick On Notes, 3" x 3", Yellow,100 Sht/Pad
1 - C-Line Folder, Plastic, 2 Pocket, Blue
1 - C-Line Folder, Plastic, 2 Pocket, Green
1 - C-Line Folder, Plastic, 2 Pocket, Red
1 - SchoolKidz Storage Bags, Economy Zip, Qrt 25 or Gallon 20
1 - Bonus Items Bonus Items

Total cost to order online is $53.48

Monday, May 2, 2011


We go to the public library in Carmel almost every week. Sunday afternoon seems to have become library day. I have 2 kids. One in KG and the other in 1st Grade. Add to the books in the basket, the books that my kids get from their school library and we have over 20 books each week! How many books do your kids get when they go to the library each week?

K has also discovered the dvd section of the library so we now have a dvd added each week. Luckily there has not been a repeat of the $10+ library fines again. Of course that was the reason we now go each week instead of every other week!

I am pleased that both kids have such an interest in reading and books. Especially considering that last year she showed no interest in books or writing. Now, if she finds a few sheets of blank paper, she writes notes, creates treasure maps and just recently has been creating books and newspapers that are even made in such a way that you have to turn the pages. Books open up the world and I am so pleased my children share my love of them.

It is teacher appreciation week at the kids school this week and they are giving cards to their teachers on Wednesday. I truly believe that their teachers deserve cards. Z's teacher has been great with coming up with a way to help him with his attention span, following directions and making sure he completes work on time. K's teacher has made learning fun and given K a real desire to read, write and create things.

Getting Fit!

I complain about my weight and the size of clothes I have to buy. So, I decided to move my backside and do something about it. I joined the Monon Community Center. (I seem to be there a lot recently don't I?!)

I am now going to the Fitness Center there 3 or 4 times a week and once at the weekend.

I am determined to get fitter. If I can drop a dress size or 2 then that will be a bonus but the main goal is to improve my overall health.

I have been using the treadmill, bikes and elliptical machines. Each day is easier and each day I feel better.

Time will tell how long I stick at it and what changes it creates.

Royal Wedding 2011

Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, you can't have escaped the fact that Prince William married Kate Middleton last Friday at Westminster Abbey.

I was up and out of bed at 6am on Friday and watched some of the coverage on BBC America. I had set the DVR to record it so I watched the build up to the event before the kids went to school. K took a Royal Wedding flag to school as Friday is 'show and tell' day.

Once they were gone I returned to the house and caught up with the rest of the wedding. I enjoyed watching it. It was nice to see all the Union Jacks flying and the fact that everyone in London, who had lined the streets to see the procession, seemed happy. I have read lots of comments about people not being happy about the coverage of the wedding and the fact taxpayers money was being spent on it. It didn't bother me because it made a nice change from all the bad stuff that is in the news. Yes there is a war going on it the middle east. Yes a tornado hit the US and a lot of people died. Yes there is a financial crisis. But, isn't it nice to see a bit of happiness for a change?

The Middletons and HRH The Queen paid for the wedding and the taxpayer paid for security. What would you rather your tax money be used for? Security and policing at the Royal Wedding which has brought millions of ££ in tourist money to the UK OR for people on benefits who can't be arsed to work and keep popping out children so they can get free homes?

On Saturday, I went with Ben and the kids to a BBQ being held at the home of a fellow British Expat in honor of the wedding. There was about 60 people expected and a gazebo had been erected in the garden and there was loads of food and drink. Another cool addition to the festivities was a life size cardboard cut out of new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

We had a great time and the kids had lots of fun running around with the other kids who came to the BBQ. It was a lovely sunny day but there was a little bit of wind now and then. In fact one gust of wind managed to uproot the gazebo and blow it into the neighbors garden! We left just after 9pm and K was asleep in the car before we got to the end of the road! Congratulations to the newlyweds, thanks for the excuse for a party!

Arbor Day

On Thursday I took my merry little gang of Daisy Girl Scouts to the Monon Community Center and we planted 2 grey dogwood trees. It helped them earn their Clover award as part of their "Between the Earth and Sky" Journey.

It had been raining for a few days before we went to the event but it was clear skies on the day. Right up until we started digging! It then rained until we were done! The kids were covered in mud but seemed to enjoy themselves and managed to plant 2 trees. Z came along too and enjoyed seeing how deep he could get his wellies into the mud before it reached the top of his boots!

Once we were done I got the kids home and hosed them off before we went to collect Ben from the bus. We were going to the kids school as it was the 1st Grade concert and Z needed to be at school by 6.40pm.

When he took part in the Kindergarten concert last year, Z didn't like being on stage and did not sing many of the songs nor the actions with them. This year however he made more of an effort and he did sing and do the actions. If he does a 2nd Grade concert then he will be even more enthusiastic!

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. ...