Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cute "Baby" Passport pics

I came across these today and had to just smile at my little "babies"and their passport pictures last year!
Aren't they so itty bitty?

Menu Plan

Well, Tim was out of town half of last week, so I didn't use up all of my recipes. Does anyone else eat cereal when you hubby is out of town? Haha - I really love cooking, but when it's just for me, it doesn't seem to be worth it ;)

Homemade Pizza and Salad

Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Harvest Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Breakfast Burritos

Cream of Carrot Soup

Saturday, October 20, 2012

On our First Year in Scotland

I can hardly believe that it's been over a YEAR now that we have been living overseas! I was thinking back to the day at the end of September last year when we said good bye to our dear family and friends in the States and took off on a plane headed for Aberdeen, Scotland. We were anxious about the unknown, but excited about the adventures that would await us!

There have been some ups and downs, but God has been gracious and we have been blessed with a wonderful Academic and Church community here. I feel like we are truly settled into life here. Each time we have moved (WI, VA, IL) it always seemed to take about a year to feel FULLY settled. But it is really such a wonderful sense of belonging and I'm feeling very BLESSED!

What we are up to now: 
Tim's studies are going well. He is enjoying the time he has to study the comparison of John Owen and Karl Barth on what it means to be "righteous and at the same time a sinner" as a Christian. He's presenting a paper on a portion of his topic at the ETS conference in Milwaukee when we head back to the states in November. I'm so thankful he's able to have this time of study to better prepare for future ministry. God is good! 
If you're interested, here is our quarterly update on our time here that Tim wrote. 

The girls and I are doing very well. Our weeks consist of Wednesday play group with the other PhD wives, Thursday playgroup/bible study with my church friends, Maddy's Preschool, and other little outings and learning opportunities! 

Maddy is thriving in her classroom. She has teachers who are very sweet and yet strict (which is exactly what she needs)! They actually do time outs in school which I totally love. She has several little buddies already that she talks about all the time and is really enjoying her learning and creative time. I'm so happy for her and proud all at the same time! In general, Madison's behavior and maturity have really grown. She is making wiser choices and working to be a good example to her sister. In fact, I'll often hear her say, "Rosie, just follow my leader!" That is not of course to say that she doesn't ever  lead her sister astray -haha! 
Ever since she started nursery school, she gets down for nap around 12:30 and sleeps soundly for 1.5 hours and then goes to sleep at 7:30pm without a bit of a fuss - sleeping until 7 or 7:30am! I think she's worn out ;) She enjoys crafting with me any moment she gets. Her latest favorite is ripping pieces of construction paper into tiny pieces and gluing the pieces onto a coloring sheet with the appropriate colors desired to make a pretty mosaic. She loves it and it takes a long time which is a plus for me while I'm cooking ;)

Maddy Says: 
* Seven Pennies! That means i can buy everything, like popsicles, candy, and treats!!!
* (after she saw a sad lion sculpture, she said, "It's ok if you have tears, you can still love your whole family!"
* (After I asked her if she would like to get her hair cut), " I like my hair, JUST the way it is!"

Rose and I are getting so much 1 on 1 time that I am just thoroughly enjoying. I am seeing her little personality blossom each day! She is quiet around new people and seems timid and shy, but as soon as she is comfortable in an environment she is quirky, silly, smart, loud and fun! I'm treasuring these moments I get with her while Maddy is at preschool. She and I are able to do a puzzle or project without Maddy taking over and doing the whole thing before Rose gets a chance to even do one part. She and I are really bonding in a special way and I really am thankful for it! She is seeming more like a a big girl each day to me. Could it be that she was a BABY when we moved here sucking on a pacifier? She's grown FOUR inches since February! She's talking up a storm these days and I love it!
Rose Says: 
* A wash a hands?
* I heavy (something is hard to do, like opening a door ;)
* Is yut (yucky)
* binkerbell (tinker bell)
* I wuv u/ I miss u (she uses these interchangeably ;)
*Where Daddy go? Where Maddy go? Where Mommy go?
* I wan u sing a song a me (sing to me!) - her favorites are Twinkle Twinkle and ABC
* Maddy hit a me!
* 2, 5,10 - here I come, weady or not (playing hide and seek with Maddy)
* Saw doo Maddy! (Sorry Maddy)

She can pretty much explain to us what she needs and wants which of course has lead to some outbursts if she can't get what she wants - RIGHT now! But she is 2 after all ;)
She looks and acts like a full grown toddler/preschooler these days :( Please, someone, anyone - freeze time! 

All in all though as I look back at this year with my darling girls, I am thankful for each cuddle, each princess dance, each opportunity to disciple, each book read, each walk taken... God is good - ALL the time!

Julie - hmm - what am I up to? Well,  Tuesday nights I am part of a Bible study with the AWF ladies. This has been such a blessing to me spiritually and socially. I'm thankful for a group of ladies to learn and grow with in the area that matters most - our relationship with Christ! I'm also part of a book club. we read a book once a month and then meet to discuss it. Presently I'm reading, My Life in France by Julia Child and I just LOVE it! 

I am also one of the leaders in the AWF group who helps to welcome the new families arriving and also plans activities (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc) as well as playgroups, Bible Studies, Book Club, Girl's nights out etc. I am also teaching 5-8 year olds in Sunday school at church and part of the Thursday morning ladies Bible Study at church. I love our church and the wonderful community it provides! We really have been blessed!

And now a look at the last YEAR here {Beware you are about to be flooded with pictures}

At the Philadelphia airport before taking off -girls already in their pj's with blankies in hand ;)
They only slept about and hour on the flight, but feel asleep as soon as we landed in Aberdeen and put them in the stroller!
First trip to the park when we arrived
Checking out Daddy's school the first week!
First time to Dunnattor Castle
Maddy and I at Stewart Park near our house
First Halloween here! Doesn't she look like a lil' baby!?

Family picture taken in Old Aberdeen by our friend and budding photographer Leah Wall!
Our first Halloween in Aberdeen, ready to go trick or treating!
Look at those faces, haha!
First playgroup at our flat! So thankful for these ladies!
The girl's favorite window to play in!
Playgroup at Bria's house with Maddy's friend Luke
Tim and Katie came for a visit in November - yay! Our first visitors ;)
Making the turkey for our big AWF Thanksgiving feast!
Madison turned 3 and had a princess birthday party!
She sure does love her Daddy!
A Christmas Eve walk through Old Aberdeen

Our lil' Elves on Christmas morning
A walk along the North Sea the day after Christmas
Rosebud with just a few teeth ;)
Getting cold

Valentine's day party at Emily's house!
We ran into our dear friends the Bradishes on a trip away together ;)

Stace came to visit!
Puddle Jumpers!

Maddy stopping by to say hello to our friend Krisi!
Tim's parents come to visit!
Girls and their friends Ella and Sam from church
My love 
Tim's sister came to visit!
Tim's Dad and his sister at Dunnator Castle
Cold day at the beach!
HOT day (70 degrees F ;) but Maddy REALY wanted to get wet so she poured a bucket of water over her head!
Bria, Rose and Luke!
At the beach in St. Andrews~such a gorgeous day!
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebration
Love being a mama to these gals - best job ever!
Fourth of July celebration with our Ex-Pat friends ;)
Maddy calling the chickens for water 
Running through the water at Balmedie Beach

Maddy's first day of preschool!

Daddy and daughter movie date
The girls eating their PB&J on the go ;)
Sitting down for a rest on the cobblestone path

We're thankful that our first year here in Scotland has gone well. 
God has been good and provided for all of our needs. We look forward to the year ahead!