Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving, a Little Early...

Today was our annual ISE Thanksgiving dinner. It was SO different for me than last year's! Last year, we'd been here for all of two weeks or so. I knew almost no one. We didn't have any of our stuff (our shipment hadn't arrived yet). I was so homesick, and so overwhelmed, and it was so hard listening to everyone talking about how they were all going home for Christmas, when I knew I wouldn't be going home for over a year.
This year, I knew nearly all of the people there, and many of them are good friends. We're about as settled into this country as we're going to get, and I'm leaving to go back home for Christmas in three weeks! Needless to say, it was much more relaxed and much more fun for me than last year.
So, I am thankful for: the new friends I've made in the past year. Having our own furniture, etc. and not having had to pay to get it here ourselves! The opportunity to go home and see our families soon. Being used to living in England, even if I do still like the USA better. :-) And, of course, all of the other blessings we have, even if I am too lazy to type them all in here.
I didn't take many pictures, but here are a few to give an idea of just how many of us there are--I think they said there were about 130 people there today.

I know it looks like Bill's glaring at me for taking a picture, but really, he's not! Those are our friends, the Dobberfuhls, across the table from us--Lana, thanks for smiling so it looks like someone, at least, wanted this picture taken...

And this last picture was taken/made by one of our ISE friends whose hobby is photography. Thanks, Laurie! If you click on it to enlarge it, I think you'll find it's pretty easy to find Madeline...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Here's our fairy princess all dressed up and ready to go trick-or-treating!
Halloween isn't quite as big here as it is in the States, but our friends and fellow ISEs Corrina and Kevin had invited a bunch of us over to a party and some trick-or-treating in their neighborhood, since they knew their neighbors would be handing out candy.
Bill and I had really talked Halloween up to Madeline in an attempt to prepare her for the new experience, especially as she REALLY doesn't like masks and most costumes on other people. So she was super excited to get to "Corrina's house" and go "trick-or-treat"ing to get "candy"!
Murphy's law, naturally, came into force. The drive that should have taken about 15 minutes took us well over an hour, because there was an accident on the road, so we just sat there at a dead stop for a long, long time. Made even longer by having a frustrated two-year-old in the back seat, who didn't understand why Mommy wasn't taking her to the party like she'd promised! By the time we finally got there (and met Bill, who'd just gone straight there after work), the rest of the party had pretty much finished trick-or-treating.
Luckily, it was Madeline's first time truly taking part in Halloween, so she didn't really have any expectations. So Bill and I took her around to about 5 or 6 houses by ourselves, and she didn't know that she'd missed anything!
So all's well that ends well, and we had a great time at the party. Thanks to Corrina and Kevin, for throwing a terrific bash! Sorry I don't have any pictures of the actual event--I was a bit frazzled when we finally arrived, and forgot to get the camera out of the car...