Mother’s Day Weekend

It’s not technically Mother’s Day here in England today.  That happened back in March, but we decided not to celebrate it then since it fell on Nathan’s birthday.  Plus we were all really sick.  Well, Lynn went back to the states for a few weeks and we realized he’d be gone over Mother’s Day after he had left.  So the boys were on their own.

Cade was so concerned about making it a special day for me that he went out shopping all by himself (thankfully you can do that right outside our door) and used all his money to surprise me with gifts, flowers and chocolates this morning.  He had Tyler join him to make sure all the boys could get me something and they were so sweet picking out my favorite coconut lotion, earrings, and other things.  They couldn’t wait to have me open everything before church, which made us really late.  Oh well.

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I was so touched and amazed at their thoughtfulness.  They knew all I wanted was homemade cards and really good behavior for one day.  I now understand why my mom used to ask for that too.  We’re serious!  They even managed to make sure I got a nap this afternoon. I should give my husband credit for teaching these guys well.  I love these boys of mine with all my heart.  Even when they’re driving me nuts and draining all my energy and patience, I’m so blessed to have them in my life.  When I think they’re not listening to a word I’m saying, often I’m surprised that they’re taking in so much more than I could imagine.  My heart is overflowing with gratitude for the joy and love they bring me.  Being a mom means everything to me.

At least Lynn is back home able to see both our moms this weekend.  I’m jealous.  We have two incredible moms we love and honor so very much!  Living this far away brings a new perspective to how magnificent and important their influence is in our lives. Our kids have been blessed to have such devoted grandmas live so close and we are feeling their absence here.  We miss them dearly and can’t wait for a few short weeks to see them both!

Friday night I decided I wanted to go to a show so we lucked out and got second row tickets to Wicked at the box office.  The boys hadn’t seen it, but it had been a few years since I had in Seattle.  I was completely blown away at how good it was!  I think it’s my new favorite show here.  Being so close to the stage made it that much more powerful.  The facial expressions, music, costumes and set drew us in.  We learned the lead who plays Glenda the good witch actually goes to church at our building.  She was fantastic!  She just finished filming the new LDS bible videos as Mary.


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I was worried it might not appeal to my boys, but they all loved it.  Jace tried his hardest to stay awake to see the tin man and fell asleep on my lap right before he appeared at the end.  Poor boy was so wiped out after his long week at school.  All the performers were phenomenal – if you’re in London go see it!

Saturday I took the boys out to the aquarium.  We’ve attempted to go several times, but the lines have all been ridiculously long.  Though it was packed, we all had fun seeing the sea life.  It’s such a beautiful building with some great exhibits.  Of course, the boys loved the sharks best.

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Jace pretending to be freezing in Antarctica


The penguins were so cute.  Nathan said, “Mom, I can control them!”  And he made the penguin’s head follow his hand’s every move.  They felt sorry for the lonely looking one in the back that just stared at the wall forever.  He misses the glaciers, they guessed.



The lonely penguin

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They dragged me into the arcade for a few minutes to play a couple of games.  Cade and Tyler rode the simulated roller coaster as their worried little brothers watched them on the monitor.


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This past week the little boys have been attending their new school to get used to it. Since they’re not on the shuttle bus yet, I’ve had to take them out there each day, which takes an hour traveling by bus, then coach, then taxi.  And then and hour back, the same way.  Oh how I miss my Suburban.  It was worth it because they can’t wait til fall to return to friends and fun there. Four hours of travel time to and from every day has worn me out, so it was wonderful to get to spend a fun-filled weekend together with the boys who made me a mom.  I will cherish these days always because they’ll be grown before you know it.

Wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms and mother figures who impact the lives of all those around you!  You inspire me daily.


The new school


Olympic Park Grand Re-opening

A few weeks ago, the boys and I ventured out to the newly re-opened Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  Finally complete, the
park was originally built for the Olympic games in 2012. The sunny weather brought out droves of families all wanting to see the
new area.

The first thing we noticed was the new aquatics center which looked amazing.  Jace asked if I brought his swim suit – he was ready to jump right in.  We only peeked in the windows, but hope to try out their swimming pools sometime.  What a cool place for lessons.


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In the distance we saw a funky twisted tower which is called the ArcelorMittal Orbit.  It’s the tallest art sculpture in Britain now at 376 feet high.  It serves as an observatory of the expansive park grounds and London skyline and is a lasting monument of the games. The initial desire was to create something as iconic as the Eiffel Tower, and it has been described as the “Eyeful Tower” by many that don’t like the look.  We didn’t bother paying to go in this time, but hope to soon when it’s less crowded.  Supposedly it can accommodate 700 guests an hour, but I’m not sure we’ll hike the 455 stairs to the top!

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There were plenty of structures for kids to climb and play on.

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The playground was full of little kids. The sand pit had a water feature that made for a very messy bunch.  Jace ripped his socks off and joined them. Some friends from church recognized us so they had fun playing.

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The grounds were blossoming with spring flowers and really lovely. There’s something wonderful about English gardens.  We wandered around and tried to get in the main arena, but it wasn’t open yet.


Jace wanted a picture with this solo orange poppy. The only boy who actually asks me to take his picture.





We found the iconic Olympic rings representing the five continents coming together.  Walking around, I could imagine the excitement and energy of being at the actual games.  I’m  not sure I could have handled the crowds though, so we’ll just enjoy it after the fact.


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Further away was another playground with the most unusual tree house.  The little boys had fun climbing the extremely narrow bridge to get to the top.  Somehow I don’t see this passing code in the states, but they loved it.









Nathan’s new meditation slide – wish it made him calmer!



After all the exploring, we were starving and found a nearby Mexican restaurant (which is hard to come by) named Wahaca.  The kids loved swinging in the bird cages out front and driving the little truck.  Though the atmosphere was cool, the food wasn’t terrific.  We’ll keep searching for something to fill our Mexican cravings.


I’m sure the boys will want to return to this awesome park since we only scratched the surface and didn’t even see many of the buildings.  With over 250 acres, there’s only so much you can fit in a day.