Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!

We've had a snow day here today, so we decided to work on our display of Washington board. Whenever we come back from places the boys have tons of tickets and leaflets and a few postcards that we put into their scrap books. The books are looking really impressive now as we started them when we arrived in the US and have been fairly good at keeping them up. We have all the places we've visited, Arizona, Cape Cod, Mexico, Canada etc. This time, we decided this time to do a board as well to go in our school room in the new house in Edinburgh, to remind us of our times here.
I was in charge of "the glue stick" and the boys were in charge of concept, design, layout and production (I always manage to get the menial tasks ho hum!)

I love how Master Beehive the younger has spelt "Air and Space"

Master Beehive the Elder decided it was imperative to write at least half a page on being a spy!
Little Miss Beehive and I chose to make bread for lunch and at the same time experiment with some Rye and make a pumpernikel. Unfortunately it came out a little solid so we might build an igloo with it later this afternoon! The bread for lunch was tasty enough though! Not to worry, just a few more weeks and I will be back in the company of my breadmaker!!!

The snow that fell today has been totally fantastic for sledding. It has a thin layer of ice over the top so the sled course has run the whole length of the garden!

Oh and of course, eating snowflakes, which were, by this point, more like rain.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Washington D.C and awesome adjectives!

Why is it, the gems are always discovered just as you are about to move on?
This weekend we discovered DC! I know, we've only been here four years and in the final four or so weeks, are on a frantic tour of all the things on our "101 things to do before you leave list", this list, I hasten to add is separate to the "redirect the mail, pack boxes etc" list!

So, here in pictures is our weekend:

First stop - Breakfast with Barack!

Washington Memorial taken from the Lincoln Memorial, across the reflecting pond. Don't be fooled, look closely at the pond and you'll see the real temperatures we were contending with!!! I always wanted to see this exact picture in the flesh. It's the scene in Forrest Gump where Jenny runs through the pond to meet him at the Vietnam vets service (I think!) anyhoo, I had images of this place being all green and grassy - forgetting that just last Tuesday there had been hundreds of thousands of people tromping the grass flat at the inauguration (and hundreds and hundreds of port-a-potties were still remaining in rememberence of this event!!)

Mr Lincoln

....and the very second inaugural address. I love this, it shows the vastness of this piece of stonemasonry.

We found Connecticut!!

The Washington Memorial

The White House from the top of the Washington Memorial. Pres. Obama's landing pad for the 'copter!
The. Declaration. of. Independence! W O W !! Look really, really closely and you'll see John Hancock's siggy - central about two thirds of the way down...........I did say look really, REALLY closely!!! It is nearly 250 years old, not just another example of dreadful snapping!

Not photographed was the Holocaust Museum that we visited. They have a truly moving exhibition specifically for children so we decided to go and learn about that too. We didn't visit the rest of the museum as we felt the children may have been a little disturbed by it at the moment.

And then in the midst of all the sandstone .... a gothic inspired cathedral, that was only completed 20 years ago ?!

One very tired and extremely cold girl atop an open top bus (yes, I know, January, but there's no such thing as cold weather, just bad clothing!!!) at the end of day one!

Day Two - TeamBee ready for the off!

First stop - the National Air and Space Museum. We managed to lose 3 hours here easily. Our favourite parts being the cool computer imagery that we could play with that showed satellite images of the world and we could zoom in on specific places and see the landformation and then see a night image and areas of population etc. (that was very cool, and I am beginning to sound like my eldest son!!!!!!!!), the simulation ride of a fighter plane taking off from an aircraft carrier and the hands on exhibition for the kids about Flight and Air!
The genuine capsule from Apollo 11!

The Hubble Space telescope (well, a full sized model!)

Three hours later (and many, many more photos) and we're back on the bus again: This time, the Pentagon from the Arlington Memorial bridge.

A hopeless photograph of Arlington Cemetery Va. There are literally hundred upon hundreds of white tombstones in this cemetery many for war veterans and others for the likes of Glen Miller and Matthew Henson and of course, the eternal flame lit by Jackie Kennedy for her husband John. This is an appalling picture and in the spring the whole place is awash with cherry trees, a gift from the Japanese.

Aha! The Ford Theatre, whereupon John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln on April 14th 1865 during a performance of "Our American Cousins". Apparently he waited for the funniest moment hoping that the shot would not be heard.

He was then taken (Lincoln, that is,) to this house here opposite the theatre, whereupon he died later the next day. There are quite a few gruesome tales to Washington to appeal to the macabre of mind!

The National Archives, home to the Declaration of Independence, the 1297 Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Okay, so the intermission here is where we went to the International Spy Museum (no photos allowed............well, we were all spies for the afternoon!) - what fun that was. We all had to assume the identity of a spy and go through a "mission". The kids got to crawl along air ducts and try out bugging equipment etc etc and learn about some of history's most well known (they obviously didn't quite get it?!) spies. There are more spies in DC than in any other city in the world! Whether they are all there at one time remains to be seen, and I bet none of them look like Daniel Craig *sigh*

The US. Capitol complete with scaffolding still in place after Tuesday!

The Freedom bell outside Union Station.

We rounded off the weekend by going to an Ethiopean restaurant last night. It was a great experience, loved in particular by Master Beehive the younger as we were not given silverware but instead instructed to eat the foods from the platter with flat rolled bread (injera), therefore, for the first time in his life, he was allowed to eat his dinner with his hands without my nagging him to use his knife and fork - bliss!!!

All in all, the weekend was, according to Master Beehive the elder, "frickin' awesome." !!

Our first homework alongside our scrapbooks will be learning new adjectives to describe weekends of fantastic experiences!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We're losing the plot!

Move + age + distance = lots of stress.

I wonder if Einstein figured that equation out?

Okay, so for the next few weeks, I may blather on about boxes and sticky post it notes and dates, but stay with me, I promise sanity will be resumed somewhere around the summer equinox 2009!!

So yesterday, after flapping and worrying and assessing quotes I finally got the dog sorted. One phone call - that was all it too - all those delay tactics I was employing which increased the worry as to his welfare and it was sorted with one quick phone call to a nice guy called Mark and an extremely large dent in my credit card. Naturally, when he gets over in one piece, he can have a week's respite, then he is off out to work to pay for it - the dog that is, not Mark!!

Secondly I have to say that i am pretty sure Mr Beehive is losing his marbles. Yesterday he took my car keys to work and then proceeded to insist frantically that they were on the peg that I was staring at whilst talking to him on the phone *sigh*. Following that, in the evening, I showed him the list I'd made as to what had to go into which air shipment and explained he'd have a proper suit box for his suits.
I rushed out to a meeting at school - when I returned he'd filled suitcases with his suits and coat hangers? He insisted I hadn't told him, despite remembering the part about the printer we'd discussed IN THE SAME CONVERSATION???!! Worried? Moi?

Finally there was *the visit*. Blimey, it was like being visited by Aggie and wasserface from that cleaning your disgusting pit show. We were visited by eversuchanicelady from the relocation agency, who went around my house with clipboard and pen surveying everything.

"Is that going?" she asks pointing with her pen at my son's box sculpture that he is really proud of.
*gulp* what do I say?
"hmmm" is the response
Oh dear - I guess that has lost me marks?!

Anyway, her *conclusion* is that we have too much stuff. Well, I knew that. We came over with 2 small boys and an 8mth old baby. We're going home with 2 larger boys and a 4 year old who has since aquired more than the crib and few cloth diapers she came out with.

The cull has started :-(( I have donned my glasses, clipboard and pen and in my best Robinsoncowellesque manner am deciding on a rating system:
Ability to be reassisgned to new home without disturbing the feung shui
Ergonomically pleasing
Ease to be replaced (and cost too!)
Whether it was aquired on a whim.

You get the picture?

You old green sofa, are tonight's biggest loser........

Oh, but please don't worry, it doesn't include children, dogs or husbands.............

just yet ;-))

Monday, January 19, 2009


I'm hiding!

Don't tell anyone I'm here.

I'm supposed to be detoxing the house and beginning packing. We need to sort stuff into 2 different airshipments, one to go with Mr Beehive, the other to go when we leave for California and the rest will go sea shipment. Sounds easy enough, but believe me, I have no idea what to put in which pile. Do you know what you will need 8 weeks from today?

Yesterday I rug doctored carpets and today my cabinets are getting a face lift and detox! I really know how to live the high life. I've taken all my out of date medicines and suncreams to the chemist to dispose of and have tidyed everything up. I hate to tell you how much haemmaroid cream I found - darn those pregnancies!!

We have band aids and dressings for every eventuality,apart from maybe complete amputation, nd should you decide you require a Barbie plaster over Hello Kitty or Spongebob over Spiderman we can accomodate all your fashion requests!!


Cupboards detoxed: 4
Binbags filled: 5
Boxes packed or moved: erm.......well the movers will do most of it........but probably about 5?! Is that good? no! I thought not!
Coffee drunk: 2 cups (and one was caffeinated *oops*)
Clients that have finally gone into labor: 0 .......... still!
Time spent shirking my duties: well, 30 minutes so far......
Likelyhood I'm going to be discovered? - probably a 75% chance!!!