Monday, 29 December 2008

Mormon Love. Okay, I'm as hopeless as the rest of you!

Before I continue with this blog, I'm sure some of you are wondering why I haven't blogged about my recent trip to America. The reason is simply down to the stack of Relief Society stuff that I had waiting for me when I returned...and because I can't seem to find the disk where I stored all my America pictures. That will all just have to come at a later date.

I probably wouldn't even be bothering to blog yet, but I keep getting bewildered by just how hopeless I have become. My mom gave me the 'Twilight' book when we were in the States. I thought, given the current hysteria that seems to have engulfed most of you with book and movie, that it was going to be rubbish, especially when I found out it was written by a Mormon, but at last I now knew why all of my Utah friends and family had blog entries on vampire love. I was confused there for awhile. Anyway, I knew that I'd get a chance for some reading when we went to Simon's parents for Christmas, so I took it along with me...not expecting much out of it. Boy was I WRONG!

I started to read the first couple of pages, very skeptically, and then I just kept reading and reading! If I had to stop, then I would just think about it every second. It consumed me for the 3 days it took to read it. It wasn't because I thought I was anything like Bella. I definitely would run if I ever had 4 dodgy men approaching me, and I have actually screamed when I thought someone was following me in London, before, although I think the guy was just normal and thought that I was the mad one! The one thing I could relate to is how my friend Candace would always remind me that if there was a weirdo or scary guy in a 1 mile radius of me, that I would have attracted them. Simon is definitely no Edward, either, (nor would I dream for him to be) although he does serenade me with beautiful songs that he's composed on the piano just for me. A talent that I will definitely be imposing on James and any other boys I have.

The thing that grasped my attention the most was all the (what I like to call) Mormon love! If anyone ever asked me what it was like to date the person you were madly in love with and not act on it, I would have them read 'Twilight'. It just brought me back to those dating days with Simon and all those overwhelming feelings of just wanting to kiss him forever, but then having to stop and compose myself before things got out of hand. And the electricity of the simplest brush of his hand on mine. I just have never read anything that described those feelings better. It just took me back!

So, at 5am this morning, I ordered the rest of the series, but I did make an effort with some self control in not paying for express delivery. That means I have to wait at least 4 days for them to be delievered. Ugh! I don't know why I'm letting myself get so consumed b/c I really don't have any time for them. I'm just going to have to stay up all night until I'm finished. I just hope that when I'm finished, that I'm satisfied and I can get it all out of my head. By the sound of the rest of you, that seems to be a hopeless wish.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm too scared it will disappoint me. The trailers look as if they changed too much, but I probably still will watch it.

Monday, 17 November 2008


I'm sure you've all seen this tag before. I was wondering when it was going to happen to me. It's your 4th picture file and your 4th picture on your computer. I was, unfortunate, that mine was one of Sophia when she was about 2 years old, with her pants on her head! This was typical for her, though, so I'm not surprised that it's the picture I landed on!

This is my last post before I go to America tomorrow...YIPEE!!! I'll, hopefully, be keeping up to date from across the pond.

I tag: Pam, Mandi, Maria, Sarah R. (Sarah G. never does these things!), and Tricia

Monday, 10 November 2008


This was meant to be posted yesterday, but I was having some technical problems with my broadband. I still thought it was an important post to include, as we should always be remembering.

I've never been a soldiers wife whilst her husband was away for months on end, struggling with children on her own, and the horrible feeling of not knowing if he would ever come home to her. I've never been a daughter or grandaughter, who's experienced what it would be like to have the closest men in her life in the same circumstance, although I am a daughter and grandaughter of a loving father and grandfather who've sacrificed the same in Vietnam and World War II. I have been a sister to a hero of a brother who did leave his wife and 2 children (at the time) to sacrifice his very life in Iraq. I know that, although, they've all come home safely, they have all sacrificed their lives in the sense that their lives would never be the same again, and they did it for me. These are the heroes I'm remembering today. Whether we agree with the wars or the politics behind it, the fact remains that our brave soldiers and their families are sacrificing all that they have so that I can enjoy the incredible liberties that I have. I'm so grateful to them. They are my heroes!

*I didn't have a picture of my grandfather, but the top picture is my brother Brett and his wife Beth. The bottom picture is of my mom and dad when they were engaged and he was off to Vietnam.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

I Will Fight!!!

I didn't really want to write much about politics on my blog, b/c it's all so draining and everyone feels strongly about their views, but this is my blog and I feel that it's important for me to let everyone know just what I feel about the election today. I know it's late, as I won't be able to change any one's views before the election, but I did feel it was important to put it down on how I stand on things.

It's easy for me to avoid all the constant debating, commercials, campaigning, etc., as I live in the UK. I don't know all there is to know about the issues, but I try to educate myself the best I can. Some friends of mine posted a couple of items on facebook that have really shocked me and left me feeling frightened for the times ahead. Both items have to do with Proposition 8. I'm not a resident of California, although I have been in the past, so I don't vote as a resident of California. What happens in California does affect me for many reasons. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The guidelines for me are clear on gay marriage and that is that marriage is sacred and divinely appointed between a man and a woman. Does this mean that I hate homosexuals? No, but I will not in any way endorse their lifestyle as being anything other than against the will of our Heavenly Father. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I even went to a university that specialised in fashion, where I had many friends who were gay. I was able to express my views freely there in a manner that wasn't hateful, as I don't hate people who are gay, and I expect to be able to do the same here.

The impact on this issue in America is even greater than the impact here. If gay marriage were taught in schools here in the UK, I would have the option of taking my child out of the sex education classes. That option does not exists for residents of the United States. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't fight heart and soul against it here, if it were happening in my children's school. You can bet that I would fight it to the end. Who has the rights when the school gets to decide what's morally appropriate for your children over you as the parent?

It shocks me that some Americans who are supportive of proposition 8 would turn around and vote for Obama. Do they even pay any attention to what he has voted for in the past? If they would not want gay marriage to be legal in California, why would they want a President who has voted to legalise it in the past? If I have to say it clearer, I would not vote for Biden as our President, and I certainly would not vote for Obama. I know that when our forefathers wrote the constitution, they were inspired of God and for Obama to tell me it has flaws, offends me personally. For me, it was McCain all the way, although I wish it were Romney.

If you are curious to know more about Proposition 8, then check out this website:

The time is at hand where we will all need to be prepared and strong enough to make a stand against the immoral ways of the world we live in. Faithful members of the Mormon church and other Christian congregations have already had to do so in California. I've never felt stronger the need to be spiritually strong. You can guarantee that I won't be missing my prayers and my scripture study. My faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that will give me strength in the times ahead. I wish that we lived closer to a temple, too. When we lived in Chorley, and the temple was only a 15 minute drive away, I was there every week. I felt all worldliness disappear in me as my heart was turned even more to my Saviour, Jesus Christ. This election has made it more clear to me the times that we are in. I know that the divide between right and wrong will get wider and wider. I think of those pioneers who sacrificed so much in the beginning and the horrible experiences they had so that I could have the religious freedom that I have and it frightens me how likely I see those times coming...rapidly.

We can not afford to be ignorant to the impact of saying no to proposition 8 will have on the residents of California. I could only fight more if I were living there and able to wave the 'yes' banner, as well. I could go on all day about the issues and I'm sure this blog entry seems to jump all over the place, but I feel that I needed to tell the world that I'm up for the fight and I'll do what it takes. I want to reiterate what my Aunt Pam said in her blog in regards to her new favourite hymn, "Who's on the Lord's side, who? Now is the time to show!"

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

I Voted Early

I sent my ballot in last week, as you get to do as an early ballot voter abroad. I'm grateful that I still can vote, even though I don't live in the States at the moment. I'll always be American and I'll always be concerned what's happening in my beloved country.

I feel that as an American, we can be much more educated voters than people have the opportunity of being in the UK. I do feel it's important to educate ourselves and not just vote for what our parents vote for. I found a great website to help you in making an educated decision in who you vote for, as the time is at hand. Forget all the campaigning and the drama of the commercials, which I'm grateful to miss out on. Read the issues, compare the ideas of the candidates, and vote accordingly!! I found a great website to compare the candidates with the issues. You can read about the issues, quotes from the candidates on the issues, and even see what their vote on the issues was. Very helpful!!

I vote as a resident in the state of Arizona. I'm grateful that as an American we get to vote on propositions that directly affect us in our own States. I voted "Yes" on prop 102, to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. We need to make a stand for our morals, whole heartedly, so that things are not watered down for our children's children. I sympathize with my family in California who are labouring intensively to get a "Yes" vote on prop 8. If you do go to compare the issues with the candidates on the above website, it's easy to see what the candidates opinions on this (and all) issues are. McCain got my vote, although he's more liberal than I would like on some issues. Obama comes across as not having a conservative bone in his body, though. It'd be better if we were to have Biden as our President, which is why Obama chose him. I don't really want to get into too many issues on my blog page, as this is not what I intended for my blog to consist of. I just feel there has never been a greater need for us, in particular those who are members of the church, to make a stand!!

Happy voting! I only hope that we still have a chance!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Happy Birthday, Cuddle!!

Chloe turned 4 yesterday, in English time, today in Las Vegas time. To celebrate, we had a birthday dinner with Granny and Grandad, and a Halloween birthday party with friends, yesterday. It was loads of fun, but I wasn't well and did my back in before the party, so I was ready to just chill out the rest of the day. Chloe loved it, though, and kept saying,"Happy Birthday to me!"

Some of my favourite things about Chloe are:
- She gives the best cuddles and kisses...ever!
- When I do her hair in the morning, she goes to the mirror and says, "I look fableous!"
- She always tells me, "You're my mummy in the best world!"
- She is genuinely excited for her family, especially her big sister Sophia, when they do something well.
- If you ask her if she's feeling well, she says, "I'm feeling quite better, thank you!"
- She's good at everything she wants to do...singing, dancing, playing the piano, writing, reading...everything!

I could go on any mother who loves her children. I'm just so grateful to have her as part of our family. She really is a special little girl and I love you, my little Chlo Chlo!

James, obviously, enjoys any function with food involved!

I made the cake for the family party. We had spider cupcakes for the Halloween party.

The children loved their fangs in their party bags. This boy is the one that Chloe loves, but he only has eyes for Sophia. So sad.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Life is just too busy!

I actually have a quiet minute of time, so I thought I'd fill everyone in on what the Doggett's have been up to. You know about the pregnancy news, so the rest is just icing on the, already extremely tired, Jaime cake!

We're going to visit my family for Thanksgiving. Hooray!! I'm really excited to see everyone again, but the occasion really isn't a joyous one. My grandpa Petersen is really unwell. These times are always the hardest to be away from my family. I only just saw him in January, and we weren't planning on going to the States again until 2010, to try and keep our 'every other year' trip going. After news of my grandpa's condition, though, I just wanted to be there. This was complicated b/c, as you know, I'm 6 1/2 weeks pregnant, so I couldn't go straight away. If I want travel insurance (which you'd be crazy to go to the States without), I have to wait until I'm out of my first trimester. Secondly, money was a big issue. To make a long story short, we didn't have money for all of us to go out there this year, so it would have been just me and James. Luckily, I married into a generous family who loves me and my family, and Simon's parents and his grandad all put money towards our journey, so that I and all of my family can visit with my grandpa. I'm so grateful to live in a time when I can travel so easily, and I'm so grateful for all the family I have. Our third obstacle in this is that Simon didn't have enough holiday to go out...I know, it's crazy when he already gets a month of paid holiday, but he didn't have any left, so he's now working most Saturdays until we leave. I found this particularly stressful this morning, considering some things that you'll learn about as you read on. But, he's doing it and I'm so grateful that he's doing it b/c he wants to see my grandpa too. I couldn't ask for a more considerate and loving husband. Thank you, Simon! All in all, we just can't wait to see everyone.

As if I didn't have enough on my plate at the moment, I've just been called as the Relief Society President in our ward. I know...WHAT????!!!! The Bishop told me that I let out the loudest laugh he's ever heard when he told me. I just couldn't believe it! Apart from feeling not at all qualified in any way, I haven't even been in Relief Society for a decade. I don't even know how the opening exercises go. Along with my new calling, I've had meetings almost every night this week, and I'm worn out! I must say, though, that if I have to be Relief Society Pres., at least I'm doing it in Bath Ward. I love my ward!! I love all my brothers and sisters in my ward! They really are my family away from home. I know they have a true love for me and my family, so I do look forward to serving them. I also look forward to instigating fun. I got to be a part of this 'fun' recently, when some ladies from my ward kidnapped the Stake Presidents wife, also our very good friend, dressed up (which you know I love) and went to see Mama Mia. The show was cute, but I just enjoyed the company and the look on Debbie's face when we showed up at her house and did a choreographed dance. Some of you will recognise the costumes!

Something's going to have to give, though. I'm on the parents committee's for Sophia's school and Chloe's preschool. I don't really care much for being on the preschool committee, but I do love to be on the school one. Sophia had a disco at school last Friday. It was a beach themed one and she had nothing to wear, so I made her a grass skirt out of pond reeds from our garden and a laie out of fuchsia's from our garden, too. She looked fab, although she didn't enjoy the beetle that came out for a visit on her head from the fuchsia!

Chloe is a bit of a trial for me right now. She is a joy, though. Chloe is probably my least confident child, but she is always thrilled for everyone else's accomplishments. Sophia has recently learnt how to ride her bike and we went out with her to show us her new moves, and Chloe just ran along behind her saying how fantastic she was doing. She always cheers on James and Sophia. She doesn't seem to possess any jealousy of her siblings. She tries me in other ways, though. Chloe is never in a hurry to do anything. Whenever I ask for her help in getting dressed or tidying up, she just goofs around and never gets to it until I'm at my wits end and ready to throw her out the window! I really don't know how to get her going. I've just started to add another 30minutes onto whatever we need to do, just to compensate for the fact I know she won't be quick, but nothing ever seems to happen without drama and running to wherever we need to go.

James is active. He loves to walk and just cries when I put him in the buggy. He is a little muscle man, too. It makes me laugh b/c his calf muscles just poke out like he's some kind of body builder. He loves his food, too. I already feed him quite big portions and he gobbles them up in no time and just looks at the girls and moans at them to give him their dinner. I don't know where it all goes b/c he's not chubby, either. He's usually very happy and mild nature, too, but when he gets mad...he really gets mad. His tantrums always consist of him throwing himself face first to the floor, knocking his nose so it starts bleeding, then banging his head if the original pain of heading to the floor, face first, just wasn't enough! He reminds me of Brett when he does it and how Brett just never seemed to feel the pain of giving us head butts. The funniest thing about it is how happy James normally is. Everyone is always commenting on what a smiley, friendly boy he is. I'm going to have to get it on video sometime, when I'm not mopping up the blood!

So there you have it, our busy life! Keeps things interesting, though!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Tagged by Mandi

Mandita tagged me. I don't have time to find a pic for this post, either...sorry! A bit of fun, but I found it really hard to think of 8 things, especially for places to eat and shows to watch!

8 Shows I Like to Watch:
Gilmore Girls
The Office
the news
Ugly Beatty
Greys Anatomy
Desperate Housewives

8 Places I Like to Eat:
This is hard b/c we never eat out, so I've put some American ones in there.
Cafe Rio
In and Out
El Pollo Loco
Cafe India
old pubs and tea rooms
Domino's (although it comes to the door)

8 Things That Happened Yesterday:
Walked Sophia to and from school and Chloe to and from preschool
Walked into town to do some shopping.
Got Sophia's school pics back...they're way cute!
Tried to sort out my Relief Society mess!!
Took Sophia to ballet.
Cleaned up the girls HUGE bedroom mess.
Called my parents.
Fell asleep at 9pm!

8 Things That I am Looking Forward To:
Visiting my family for Thanksgiving
Having baby #4
Christmas, I love Christmas!
Visiting my family in South Carolina.
Chloe's birthday, but especially her cake!
Meeting Simon's old mission friend and his family at the temple.
Seeing Cindy again, I think she was trying to make it out next year.
Candace coming to visit, I know she will before too long!!

8 Things on my wish list
My Grandpa will get better
A healthy baby
To lose the weight after having my healthy baby
All my friends to be converted.
To have my family come visit me, I love visitors!!
Time, time, and more time!
No housework, so I can play with my children all day!
Getting some decorating done.

I tag anyone who wants to take it on!! Love ya!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

New news, or old...if you've been reading my comments!

Yes, everyone, I'm expecting Doggett baby number 4! We're all thrilled! I wasn't really trying to keep it a secret, but I'm only 6 weeks along now, and I've had a miscarriage before and I try to avoid having people feel weird about not knowing what to say if it happens again. I'm waiting to get through the first trimester so that I can have travel insurance to visit my family in America. I'm feeling great, but very tired, with swollen ankles already. I'm certain I feel kicks sometimes, too, which I know is impossible, but really bazaar! Hopefully, the midwife can sort me out on this dilema.

Thank you, to those of you who've already left your congrats in my comments. And Trisha, don't feel bad, as I'm very open about these things!

This also marks my first post without a picture. If you can tell, I'm really into the picture thing. I'd put a picture of me pregnant up here, if I ever actually looked like I was pregnant. I just get super fat and no one can tell that there's even a baby in there, even when I'm just about to pop! So, it will be a shocker if I ever put up a prego photo, but never say never!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Dreams of the Dentist

I went to the dentist a couple days ago. I know most people hate the dentist, and completely dread going, but I couldn't be more opposite. I love the dentist. I always look forward to going to the dentist because I know I'm going to get a major self-esteem boost. I grew up having dentist trying to set me up with their sons, which was a bit freaky, but flattering. They just wanted grandchildren with teeth like mine. Now, I go and soak it in as the dentist tells me what beautiful teeth I have. My dentist now is Norwegian, so I always need for him to repeat his compliments. I know I'm sounding really vain and silly, but it must be okay to be vain about ones teeth. I used to be vain about my feet, but they're no longer something to brag about, due to all the walking that I do. I have to be satisfied with the fact that the dentist only wants me to come every 9 months. Little does he know that I dream of coming more!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Tales of the Tooth Faerie

Sophia lost her first tooth yesterday! Actually, I pulled it out, but it didn't take much effort.

She was so excited to have the tooth fairy come. I had mentioned to her that I wondered if the tooth fairy would let me keep her tooth and the next thing I knew, Sophia had written a letter to the tooth fairy asking her if she could keep her tooth. She then put the note in a little container with her tooth, under her pillow.

I then wrote a letter to Sophia from the tooth fairy saying that she could keep her tooth, although it was a rather pretty one and the tooth fairy would have loved it in her tooth collection. I wrote it on a tooth-shaped piece of paper and put it in her container, taking the note she wrote away. I then sprinkled glitter (fairy dust) everywhere! She was so excited this morning. I had a blast!

I just had to add this photo because even though she just woke up and she's in her pajamas, with a missing tooth, she still had to pose! So like her mother!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

7 Wonderful Years

Today is my 7 year wedding anniversary to Simon. We celebrated on Saturday, to take advantage of a free day and babysitters! I didn't know what we were doing for the day, so it was all a complete surprise to me. Simon started by driving me to this random place in Devon and we started walking through the countryside. I was waiting to see a castle or something of the sort and when we came to a marshy estuary he asked me if I had any ideas and I told him that it sort of looked like something out of the movie Sense and Sensibility. I was right, and for anyone who knows me you know how excited I would be because it is my ultimate, all time favourite movie and the scenery in the movie is so beautiful. It was so cool!

We then went to an island off the Devon coast called Burgh Island and had dinner at a 14th Century Inn. It was like something straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean. The food was amazing, though. It actually came from some posh hotel on the island.

All in all, I had a fantastic time and the past 7 years with Simon have been the happiest years of my life! Oh l'amour!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Back to School

Sophia's first day of Year 1 was yesterday, so now I feel like a full fledged 'School Mummy'! The nice thing about her school is that it is really small, by American standards. (By English standards, it's not so small. I've seen village schools here that only have 2 children in them!). The children in her class are all the same children as last year, only her teacher has changed. I think this takes away a lot of the adjustment of going back. These will be the same children that she builds friendships with for the next 6 years. It makes it easier for me, too b/c I feel like I know the parents and their children pretty well.
We all really missed Sophia yesterday. The house seems so quiet without her. Chloe really misses her, too. Life is suddenly going to be overloaded with being busy now! Sophia will have Art, Choir, and Ballet after school. Her school also has a really excellent music program, so we want to look into violin lessons (her request, I don't know if I would choose something so noisy!).

The crazy thing is that Chloe will be starting school next year...aaaaaaaagh!
She is just too young to me. I'm going to have to try and forget about it until it happens!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Tuesday (or Wednesday) Tell All

Tuesday Tell All is something I found through my friend, Sarah Coyne. It seemed like a good way to write about something random and make a bit of a personal history, although if I don't like the topics, I just might change them! This weeks seemed appropriate, though, as everyone seems to be thinking about school. Sophia starts 1st Year on the 4th September. Time just flies!

So, for the first Tuesday Tell All: What is your earliest memory of school, what did you love about the first week of school, who was your favorite teacher, subject, or playground game?

One of my earliest memories was in Kindergarten and I was sitting at a round table with about 4 other children. The teacher had instilled in us that you must get permission to use the toilet, so I raised my hand and the teacher just never called on me and I wet my pants...really bad. There was puddles, and one of the girls I was sitting with just kept looking under the table and saying, "Uh ohh!". I also remember in 3rd grade, our bathrooms were in the classrooms, and I was on the toilet singing opera songs at the top of my lungs. I thought I sounded pretty good, so the singing got louder and louder and more dramatic. When I came out of the bathroom, the whole class clapped for me! The boys thought it was hilarious, too, and kept doing it when they used the bathroom after that! I seem to keep getting bathroom experiences in my head, so I'll stop those with that one!

My favourite thing to do at play time was to play hairdressers. My name was always 'Vicky'. We had a babysitter named Vicky, and I thought her name was so cool! I also loved to twirl on the bars on the playground. I can't remember any favourite teachers. I pretty much loved them all! I don't have any school pictures with me in England, so here is the closest one I could find to being school-aged.

Ward Camp

This weekend we went to the New Forest near Bournemouth, for our Ward camp. It's a tradition that our ward has started this year. It was also our first experience camping as a family.

The New Forest was such an interesting place. It's completely wild and said to be the same as when William the Conqueror used to hunt there. There was wild horses and ponies everywhere. Chloe was obsessed with them, but one of the ones in these pictures charged at me and snapped at me, so she kept her distance after that! One horse opened a tent and went in for a sneak. It was mental.

We were pretty lucky with the weather b/c this year has been a complete washout. We only had one night of rain. The clearest night was also the coldest one, and I didn't sleep at all! It was also a bit nippy in the day time too. We went to the beach for one of the days and it was me and a bunch of English friends. Now, the English seem to have some sort of thermal protective skin that enables them to enjoy a cold, wet, windy day at the beach...for me (being an Arizonian), it was a bit more difficult. The last thing I want to do when it's cold is hang out on the beach waiting for the sun to shine. I'm just not built for it. I need my sunshine. It only made me miss Lake Powell and the warm rocks and water. I don't know how long I'll survive in this cold!

I did enjoy being with our ward, though. I love being in the Bath Ward. It feels like having a family to me. The people in our ward really do care about and love each other. We got to know each other a lot better, too. So, despite freezing to death, I am looking forward to going at it again next year.
I've not included a lot of pictures b/c they have my friends children in them and I haven't asked them if it was okay to post their children on here, so I had to not post a lot of the best ones.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

I've Been Tagged!

My lovely Aunt Pam has tagged me, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her tag. This is a few things to know about Jaime.

My Joys

1-I've made one thing combine all the obvious things in my life, just so this wasn't 3 of the obvious things, b/c the obvious joys I have are also the most important to me (did you get all that?). I'm married to the most amazingly perfect and wonderful man and I've been blessed with 3 wonderful children to go along with him. I have the most supportive and loving parents, that live too far away. My awesome brothers and their families, all of my fantastic extended family...which, again, live too far away. I have some really wonderful friends. And, of course, having the Gospel is something that keeps me in awe every day.
2 - Chocolate. I love chocolate, especially Cadbury's. I'm not tempted by any other sweets. Only chocolate!
3 - Talking. I sometimes don't let others have a word in edge-wise. I just go on, and on, and on.

1 - Dying before my children are raised and Simon gets remarried (which he has had to swear he wouldn't do) and someone else raises my children. Call me juvenile, but this is seriously my deepest fear!
2 - The dark. I still can't go downstairs at night by myself.
3 - Someone hurting my children.

Current Obsessions/Collections
1 - Collecting costumes. My parents are burdened with most of them in their garage. I'm slowly getting them here. This kinda goes along with my obsession with fashion in general.

2 - The temple and family history. I love going to the temple and anyone that has spent any time talking to me knows this, too. I never shut up about it. The place is just amazing, and I've had so many wonderful experiences there. I wish we lived closer to one, but my goal is to have a Bristol Temple, someday.

3 - Missionary work. I am secretly, or not so secretly, trying to convert everyone! This goes along with my Bristol Temple goal. I am always looking for ways to share the Gospel.

Surprising Facts
This was hard b/c I'm such an open book that I think everyone already knows everything about me, so I tried to think of some things that would be somewhat interesting.

1 - I knew I was going to marry Simon before he ever even talked to me. This had my father seriously worried about me b/c I told my parents and they thought they were going to have to come to England and save me from a broken heart.

2 - I spent my teenage years being seriously obsessed with Def Leppard. My wall was covered with them, I bored my family by talking about them and singing their songs constantly! I even obsessed about marrying one of them and converting them all. I was a complete loonbag!

3 - I'm not a very tidy person, but my house is so clean you could eat off of any surface in it. I owe this to Bobbi Jo and my houseboat cleaning days. She taught me what clean meant. I also get really annoyed if anyone else tries to clean my house or do the dishes b/c they just won't do it as good as me!
Some things about the person who tagged me (I added this one):
My Aunt Pam tagged me and she is the funnest person, ever! She's always happy and positive. She's a great mother and has two of the most handsome, good boys. I try to be more like her.

People I've tagged
1-Sarah G.
3-Ally Pally
4-Sarah C.
5 - Maria

Thursday, 31 July 2008

The aliens are coming!

Summer has been in full swing, so we decided to enjoy the hot weather by hiking around and seeing all the crop circles. Wiltshire is the home of crop circles. I don't know why the aliens love it so much, but if they're going to invade, this is where it will be. I find it very suspicious, though, that at all the crop circles there's big tour buses full of people to come and view them, and a bunch of fruitcakes that come to get 'taken'. There's also loads of gypsy caravans, to bank in on the idea. This one was selling baskets.

We spent the rest of the day hangin' at Bowood. It's such a great place for lazy afternoons, and kicking a ball around.

We thought James looked hilarious on Saturday. He had this really bad farmers tan and we put suncream on his hair and it made him have punk rock hair. He also gives me the funniest looks when I say 'no' to him (as pictured). He, usually, is just full of smiles, though.

The girls are just always looking for opportunities to pose for me, which I don't complain about! Sophia never stops talking, though. I don't quite understand how she never needs to come up for air. Seriously, she can talk your ear off!

Friday, 25 July 2008

All moved in...

We are in our house now and it is bliss! I love living here! Our little street is so quiet. There's children playing everywhere. I just might want to have a house here forever. Just in case this causes any of those other lovley Americans distress, this 'forever' comment is made with the intention that we'll also have a house in America, when Simon retires, so don't worry! I'm not giving up America!!

It's taken some time to get back on here, but that's just one of the drawbacks of cheap call/broadband plans. There's no changing it, though b/c my calls to America are all free of charge...and I'm sure some of you are wondering why I don't call you more, now! We're up in running now, so I have no complaints. I've also had plenty to fill my time with in my new house...plenty!!

The last couple of weeks have been the winding down of school for Sophia, and have been soooo hectic. I can't believe Sophia has already completed her first year of school. This is a picture of when she started school, last September.
I took another picture of her today, which was the final day of Reception.
I've been so impressed with how much she's learnt this year. She had an excellent teacher, Miss Harding. Her school is such a nice school, too, and is currently tabled as the 2nd best Primary school in the whole of Wiltshire. It just has a lovely feel to it, and I'm so happy that my children will all go there. Here is Sophia with Miss Harding, who is better off not knowing that I'm posting pictures of her on my blog. I think she already thought I was a bit mad just getting a picture of her. I just blame it on being a cheesy American. She was telling me today how she remembers Sophia visiting the school for the first time and telling everyone how she had on her American dress that day. It was, actually, the 4th of July when she visited. We were also recalling how she told everyone that she is half English, half American, and all Chippenhamish!

I'm still in shock that I have a child who just finished her first year of school!

Chloe finished her first year of preschool as well. She isn't so into it, so I only take her 2-3 mornings a week. I'm not bothered that she'd rather spend her time with me. It makes me feel like I get to know Chloe in a way that nobody else does. I know this can probably be said about most mothers and their little ones, but Chloe really does just save some things for me. She's a whole different ball of wax than Sophia. Chloe is really sweet and childlike, but she gets really cross if you interrupt her when she is talking!! When she needs a plaster or medicine, she always tells me, "That will feel me better." She has the cutest little voice, but the accent seems to be more New Yorker than anything else. We think that's what happens with an English/American accent. She'll start sounding more English when she goes to school.
Here's Chloe at her preschool party. She always insists on wearing this Belle dress that is too big and falling apart. She says it's not a Belle dress, it's a Christine dress from Phantom of the Opera. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any of those on sale. Most children opt for a princess!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Summer is coming!

I know, for most of you, summer is probably already here, but in England it's coming...and sometimes it never even makes it! I'm optimistic, though, that it will come this year. Everything is green, blossoming, and beautiful! It's even more beautiful to me, because we're moving in 3 days, so you won't see me on here for a couple of weeks.

I thought I'd share some photos from some of the fun we've had in the last couple of weeks. The top one is from Cornwall. Chloe was stropping, so she's not in the photo. It's not a good idea to strop on the edge of a cliff, but she never chooses the right moment! Cornwall has some of the most dramatic, beautiful coastine I have ever seen in my life. It's the English equivalent of the dramatic coastline of Lake Powell, just completely different! Green vs. brown!

The bottom photo is from the grounds of a manor house near our home. It's called Bowood. We have season tickets to it. The grounds and home are gorgeous, and there is a big adventure playgound, where Sophia particularly loves to go down the death slide...when she's feeling brave. We spend most of our free days there.

Anyway, I look forward to getting back on here and seeing what you're all up to, as soon as my move is over and we're settled in! Take care.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Nightmare Neighbours Can Be Wonderful Blessings

Lot's of people are asking me about my batty neighbour, so I feel it's time to fill you in a bit. We live in a 200 year old terraced house, at the moment. As a house I love it! It has some really cool old features, and I love the historical documents that we have of it, and I love just thinking about the people who lived here throughout history and what they wore. It's also only a 5 minute walk from the shops in the town centre. The houses on our street are all Georgian style homes, in the same style as houses in Bath. They're just really cool! We also, bought this house b/c it was a lot bigger than new homes, or ones that were semi-detached, and we thought we found a place where we could live for a long time.

Then, Mary moved in right next door to us, just a week before we moved in. At first, we thought she was nice, a bit strange, but nice. The bad behaviour started when James was about 3 months old. It had been a hard day with the children. They were screaming and crying, and throwing tantrums all day. Simon had been away the night before, and I was at my wits end. Mary had decided that when the children were loud, the best thing to do was to bang, as hard as possible, on the walls. So, all that day I had her banging and banging, along with all that my children were up to. Simon got home that night and we were having the usual struggles in getting the children to bed, when Mary came to the door to tell us how loud we were that day, and all Simon said to her was, "I don't know what else we can do, other than lock them up!" Well, from this point on, Mary would no longer talk to us, she just kept sending letters through the post, accusing us of being irresponsible parents, saying that she had spoken to the police about us and that she was taking their advice. She also accused us of harming her dog and sending us a vet bill for £500, and a bill of £2,000 for the fence. It's hard to really give you an idea of how horrible this all was, without posting the letters, but it was all the time. She also continued her banging on the walls and shouting at us through the walls. In all this, there was so much we were tempted to do, but we refrained and turned to the Lord with our concerns.

Anyway, we sold our house, and now we've bought a detached one in the nicest neighbourhood in Chippenham (to us, anyway). Teachers at Sophia's school keep informing me of all the children who live on the street and who will live around the corner of us and everyone seems so happy that we'll be moving there, and we can't wait! In some ways, I'm really grateful that Mary has turned out to be the neighbour that she was b/c we wouldn't have moved from our house, but there is so many disadvantages to family life at it. There's no place to park cars and it can be a real hassle if you can't find a car park. Also, it's a town street, so there's no playing in the road or riding their bikes around for the children. We just wanted a big house, and this was the best way to get one. If Mary hadn't turned out to be a nightmare, we wouldn't have been able to afford a detached house, either. So, in the end, her behaviour has been a real blessing!

We've learned alot about faith, too. The housing market here is so bad at the moment. There's about 6 houses on our street, and nothing has been moving. We decided that we had to be completely honest about the house sell b/c we didn't want anyone with young children moving into the house and having the same problems as we did, so we turned in all of Mary's nasty letters to the solicitors, so the people buying our house saw them all. We were worried that no one would ever buy the house once they saw the letters. It just goes to show what being honest and following the Lord can do b/c we not only sold our house, but it was the only on the street to sell and it sold in just a few weeks! To us, it was a miracle. People keep asking me how we sold our house, a number of who are trying to sell theirs, and I just tell them we did a lot of praying, and they new all about how we turned the letters in too.

The fact of the matter is that the Lord loves us and wants us to be happy. He has blessings waiting for us, if we only turn to Him and have faith. I hope I will never doubt, again.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Prima Ballerina

Sophia is taking ballet. It's all very serious here in England. She doesn't have any performances, only exams. Parents are only allowed to come in to the last lesson of each term and watch the little ballerina's do their thing. It was special to get to watch Sophia for the first time last term. She was really enjoying herself. She looked all the part, and I thought her posture was amazing!
She did have some troubles keeping her outfit in place. At one point she got all tangled up in it. She wouldn't be 'Sophia' without some sort of hoopla!