06 February 2012

Haggis and Hibernating. . .

Just a few more recent random things. . .

We have conquered the haggis!  They had some at COSTCO--admittedly not the best place to shop for haggis--and Keith decided to take the plunge.  In case you aren't familiar with the culinary delight that is haggis, it's basically a sheep's heart, liver, and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet (isn't that for birds?), spices, and salt--mixed with stock and encased in the sheep's stomach. (Thanks, Wikpedia!)  Really? Who would make a conscious decision to eat that?  Apparently, my husband. . .and he decided to share. . .

 Again. . really?
And she loved it. . ."More, pease, Daddy!"  I do have to admit that although it looks beyond  unappealing, it wasn't too terrible.  It actually tastes a lot like a crock-pot dip I used to make all the time with beef, sausage, Velveeta, and golden mushroom soup.

In other words. . .

It's a regular entertainment for Keith and I to listen for which British words the girls adopt--and with how much of an accent.  Charlotte wanted to "Go outside in garden!" the other day (the backyard), and she calls garbage "rubbish."  Any coins that she sees are pounds.

Maggie's British accent is getting stronger everyday--but she knows that we are listening for it, so she clams up when anyone wants to hear it!!  I have been going in and reading with kids in Hannah's class, and one of the things that I noticed was that they pronounce the word "a" with the "short a" sound--like in cat.  (We would normally say "uh" or a "long a" like in play.)  Maggie does that now. . .it really stands out when she is reading to us!

Hannah can still turn her accent on and off, but she is starting to lean towards the accent she is hearing from her friends.  Some of the things that both of the older girls say are so very proper. . here are a few examples (most of them are Maggie, age 5):
"Am I allowed another biscuit?"
"Mum, were you aware you had paint on your hand as well?"
"We have those in the cafeteria quite often."
"It didn't work as I expected it to."

As for the hibernating. . . 

We got our first real snow in England Saturday night. . .forecast was for "4 inches or 10 cm. . and it's rather chilly" says Hannah.  Keith guesses it ended up being about 4 1/2-5 inches and it was gorgeous snow. . the trees were especially lovely--I love when they look like that!  Sunday morning we got out and played in it; after being in the yard for a while, Charlotte and I headed in, and Keith and the girls walked to the park to play.  It actually was very mild outside--upper thirties with no wind--but we still took advantage of the rest of our snowy day to have a fire and hang out at home.

Daddy was pulling the girls up and down the street on little sleds I got that were called Mr. Chucklebums! :)

The return of the snow apples--a winter snow tradition at our house!

Our Minnie Mouse snowman. . it's been quite sometime since we've had enough snow to make one that big!  And it was the best kind of packing snow, too!  

A couple more kitchen things. . .

Before Christmas, I helped to put together a PTA cookbook for St. Peter's.  I noticed some differences--besides the measurements themselves.  Instead of "bring to a boil" it's "bring to the boil". . . self-rising flour is self-raising flour.  The don't have Crisco here. . or Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips--makes my cookie recipe a little trickier!!

02 February 2012

Bear Down, Chicago Bears. . .

I wish that I could describe the look on Keith's face when he told me that it would be the Bears in London for the annual NFL game at Wembley--it was like Christmas morning for him.  The idea of watching an NFL game in London was pretty cool anyway, but DA BEARS?  We had no choice but to be there.

Keith managed to get a pair of tickets, but weren't sure how we could actually go the game together.  We didn't have a babysitter at the time and kick-off wasn't until 6:00pm on a Sunday night.  With the game fast approaching, Keith started to try and figure out who he could ask to go with him to the game.  I was disappointed but definitely wasn't going to have him miss the game.

Then one of my old high-school friends--who just happens to live in London with her British hubby and was also headed to the game--came to the rescue.  (Thanks again, Cara!) Her sister-in-law's goddaughter was willing to come and watch the girls at a hotel for us. (And thanks to Jess!)  I was comfortable because the sitter was at least connected to someone I knew, and Hannah & Maggie were willing to cooperate. . so it was GAME ON!

23rd October 2011. . .it was a beautiful day. . we were so excited to be on the road to London. We stopped at services (like O'Hare Oasis/rest stop, etc) for lunch; the place was filled with fans headed to the game in American football jerseys!!  It was very cool (and a little bizarre) to see so many different US teams represented.  And it was like that the whole day. . at the rest stop, at the hotel, on the train, at the pub, at the game. . .everywhere we went we saw NFL fans--both British and American.  Packers, Jets, Bears, Saints, Colts. . you name a team, we saw a jersey!  

After getting the girls settled in at the hotel, we took the Tube to meet Cara and Jill (another high school friend) at a pub to have a beer before the game.  The pub was filled with football fans. . .it was fabulous to drink and chat and relax!!

Cara, Jill, & I

These girls were actually British. . kind of put my fan dedication to shame!!
The "Buccaneer" we talked to on the train up to the game.  AARGH!
So we were enjoying Marks & Spencer Cosmos in a can on the train. . .
. . .Keith was not. :)
A little bit of Tennessee in the train station.
Our first view of Wembley. . very nice stadium!

Jill & I. . .had on the nearly the same shirt! :)

We didn't make it there in time to tailgate; one of the guys working said they had to shut it down early anyway because they ran out of food/drink, etc.  Ribs, BBQ, and other American-style food was being served. . . Oh, well. .maybe next year!
Our tickets had us entering via Club Wembley. . we felt very posh!!
The Goo-Goo Dolls performed pre-game.

There was a man and his grandson from Chicago sitting behind us; we ended up finding out that he knew Brummels from growing up in Naperville.  Just in front and to the left of us was a man who owned a restaurant in Ottawa, about 30 minutes from where I grew up.  It's a small world!

Keith did actually watch a few minutes of the game, too!

Lovie Smith


Brian Urlacher
These guys made the news here!
The gigantic queues to get out of the stadium were oh so very orderly. . .I love that about England!

We had such great time. . I am so glad that we were both able to go to the game!  It was a late night getting back to the hotel and a early morning for the London Zoo the next day. .but it was worth it!  It's the Rams v Patriots in 2012. . I guess I'll have to see how the Superbowl goes to know who to root for! :)