Sunday, 12 January 2014


As soon as we settled back in to our routine at home, we started looking at kitten ads online. After a few phone calls and false starts on Friday and Saturday, we found this lovely 11-week-old female ragdoll kitten in Rotherham. We drove over to see her that evening, and she was perfect!

She settled in well on her first night in the bathroom--eating and drinking, using her litter tray, and fighting with the bath mats!

She has a lovely little kitten meow, and tiny little teeth!

She was adjusting well and wanted to leave the bathroom this afternoon, so we let her out for awhile. She'll be back in the bathroom tonight, but it was fun to watch her explore the living room!

I'd forgotten how tiny kittens are...

Ready to pounce!

She's found her "safe place" under the computer stand

Tonight while I was on the phone with Kelly, Biscuit settled in for a nap

She took another little nap on me later in the evening, too--I'm glad she's settling in so well, and so quickly! We're both madly in love with her already, too :)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Christmas 2013

The night before we flew out to Minnesota, we had a mini-English-style Christmas dinner with lamb, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, pigs-in-blankets (bacon-wrapped chipolata sausages) and veg (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots). We shared a Christmas pudding for dessert, too!

We had such a great time in the States! On Christmas eve-eve, we watched Christmas movies and decorated a Gingerbread house to add to the Gingerbread village that Kelly and the kids had already been working on--it turned out great! It was Richard's first time decorating a Gingerbread house, and he got into it--know he understands why I've been so keen on this tradition!

The complete village--Charlie did the a-frame, William did the "outhouse" and Kelly did the tiny house (and touched up the kids' work, too!)

We watched "It's a Wonderful Life"--Charlie was a bit concerned by this scene, where George jumps in the river after Clarence. "What happened?!"

We went to the Swedish-American Institute with my mom--it's in a gorgeous castle in Minneapolis that was built by a Swedish newspaper owner


Such a gorgeous place--and it's so similar to the great houses in Europe that it was hard to believe we were in Minneapolis!

Mom & me in the conservatory

These ceramic tile stoves were amazing--they're designed to emit heat throughout the whole structure, so they're not just pretty, they're functional, too!

Trying on the Santa Lucia costume!

More Tomte in the garden

The conservatory

When we went to the Science museum in St Paul, we had a great view of the Mississippi River. It was so funny to see these classic showboats in the ice!

On Richard's birthday we went cross-country skiing at Elm Creek park

Neither of us had ever skied before, either downhill or cross-country, so it was an adventure!

We both fell over a couple of times, but once we got the hang of it, we managed to do the whole beginner loop trail

We had a great day for it, too--very sunny and  clear, even though it was cold!

The park has slopes for downhill skiing, snowboarding, and a whole separate section devoted to tubing

By the time we made it back to the chalet, we had ice crystals on our eyebrows and face masks

The birthday boy! He got carded when he ordered a drink at dinner--not too bad for 35!

We had a great time with the kids--Richard and Charlie enjoyed playing with the Thomas trains

Pudd and I had a lot of fun, too, reading and playing and watching movies. When we watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", Pudd and I talked about the true meaning of Christmas, i.e. that it's not about the presents, and he said "It's about the love". So cute!

Charlie is loving the trampoline--both kids use it while watching TV, and it's a great way to burn off some steam while staying indoors.

Watching Toy Story with Buzz Lightyear

Richard built this on our last night, after Charlie went to bed.  I think I know what to get Richard for next Christmas, lol!

So cute!