Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Operation Cookie Drop

Another option is Operation Cookie Drop which is to buy cookies that we would take to the military at Camp Atterbury. The price is the same, $3.50 per package, and the cookies are delivered to the troops at the Camp. If you would like to do this, please let me know and I can give you more information. I have already had one person say they want to buy 10 packages of cookies for Operation Cookie Drop! Yay!


This is a video of some Girl Scouts doing Operation Cookie Drop last year.







Girl Scout Cookies

As you know K decided to become a Girl Scout and is now a Daisy and I am the leader (still not sure how that happened!) On January 8 the Girl Scout Cookies go on sale. They are $3.50 per packet (approx £2.33) If you would like to help K in her quest to sell cookies and reach her target you can buy some cookies. If you are in the UK and would like some I could bring them over to the UK in March when we come for my brothers wedding. 

The flavors are: 

Samoas - Tender vanilla cookies covered with caramel, rolled in toasted coconut, and striped with a rich chocolatey coating. (approx 15 per package)

Trefoils - Delicate-tasting shortbread. (approx 36 per package) 

Thin Mints (a bit like Viscounts) - Thin wafer covered with smooth chocolatey coating. made with natural peppermint. (approx 28 per package)

Tagalongs - Tasty cookies topped with creamy peanut butter and covered with a luscious chocolatey coating. (approx 15 per package)

Do-Si-Dos - Crisp and crunchy oatmeal cookies with peanut butter filling. (approx 20 per package)

Thank You Berry Much - Real premium cranberries provide a delightful tartness in these hearty cookies sweetened with creamy, white fudge chips. Crispy rice delivers a satisfying crunch. (approx 14 per package)

Dulce De Leche - Sweet bite sized cookies are rich with milk caramel chips. (approx 22 per package)

Here is a link to the webpage with pictures of the cookies. http://www.girlscoutsindiana.org/imagesCDS/CookieFlyer7variety.pdf 

 A percentage of the sale of cookies that K and the other 3 Daisy Girl Scouts in our Troop will come back to our Troop so we can do something fun. There are also incentives for the girls to sell loads of cookies. http://www.girlscoutsindiana.org/imagesCDS/Incentives_2011.pdf

I would need to have the money BEFORE I leave for the UK as we need to deposit it in the Girl Scout bank account before we fly to the UK so I would need it by March 16 AT THE LATEST.

If you know someone else who you think would like to buy some cookies, and they do not read this blog please let them know. 

Huge thanks from me and K!
xx

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Kids woke ridiculously early and managed to open all their gifts in about 15 minutes. K loved her ballerina dress and dancing shoes as they co-ordinated her with her Build A Bear bunny. Z loved his books about dinosaurs and the ocean as well as the DVD "How To Train Your Dragon". Ben got the things he wanted (new jeans due to the fact his others are falling apart and headphones for his iPod so he would stop stealing mine)

We all ate too much food (I also drank too much wine) and then went out in the snow before having dessert. Kids then watched "Avatar" with Ben whilst I uploaded pics to Facebook. We spoke to our family in the UK on Skype and on the phone. Ben also called one of his friends in the UK and had a chat with him. We all had a good day and will be ready to do it all over again.....in 365 days!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Morning Wake Up Call

I saw this Wal-mart ad for the first time yesterday. I can totally imagine my kids doing this but slightly earlier than 6am!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ben & K singing!

Ben really likes the song 'Dominic the Donkey' and he sang it with K to his parents on Skype. This is the 2nd half. His parents had to hear the whole thing!!

Toothless

Z lost his 2nd tooth today, with a bit of help from daddy. There is a 3rd loose tooth but it is not ready to come out yet. Yes he does look tired in the picture but that is because he got to bed around midnight because we were at a Christmas party last night and we left very late. We also woke very late and I had the added benefit of having a headache. I guess that's what happens when you mix red wine, vodka jello shots and the beginnings of a cold! There was also a couple rounds of "The 12 Days of Christmas" which was very funny, complete with laminated cards!

We were at a Christmas party on Friday at Ben's work and we all came away with gifts  after playing a game. Z got a train set, K got a sock monster making kit, Ben got a digital Scrabble game and I got headphones. We also spent about 30 minutes looking for the car as we forgot where we parked it in the Circle Center and ended up in the wrong part of the car park! K went to the party dressed as Santa and discovered that if she rubbed the side of her head along the couch her hair would stand on end from all the static electricity!

We had been looking for a train set to get Z for his birthday but hadn't found anything we thought he would like. Now we don't need to. K really wants me to make her the sock creature that she got but it involves a lot of cutting, measuring and sewing. I am not good with a needle and thread, that's why all K's Girl Scout patches are iron on!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gingerbread House (sort of)

K came home with her latest creation today.

She had made a gingerbread house, it's actually made of graham crackers, at school today. It was supposed to be made on Monday but the snow day they had stopped that!

She also gave her teacher a Christmas gift which I think was very well deserved as K has made such a great start to her school days here in Carmel that I can't thank her teacher enough for the progress K has made in her reading, writing and overall interest in school!

Her teacher also gave her a gift and K also got some new books from the reading program she is in at school. Overall she is a happy girl today. Z also got some candy from his teacher but they ate them all before I could take any pictures.

Tomorrow is the last day of school before they break up for winter break and they will be having their class winter parties. I am still going into school for the parent center that I volunteer at and I am planning on wearing my Santa hat.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow School

Yesterday started with rain and then it snowed. It snowed last night too. It was also a little bit windy so snow was being blown all over the place. So glad I got a pair of decent snow boots last winter. It is easy to be miserable if you have cold feet but mine were lovely and toasty warm!

We got a phone call at about 7pm from the automated school notification system saying there would be a 2 hour delay to school starting. (That doesn't mean extra time in bed though as the kids still get up at stupid o'clock and they both said they wanted to walk to school!)

We woke this morning to a phone call at about 6.00am telling us that due to worsening weather overnight and road conditions that all schools in the Carmel Clay school district would be closed. Snow day for the kids! We had a load of snow piled up at our front door. (see pic on left) and a load of snow in the back yard. (see pic on right).

Ben decided to walk to the bus and not risk taking the car. We had a few dicey moments out yesterday when we skidded a few times and the wheels locked up on the car at one point too. I wasn't driving and I've no plan to go anywhere today! I am going to let the car sit in the ice cube it is currently in and worry about trying to clear it tomorrow when I have to go to the meeting about selling Girl Scout cookies.

Another thing that happened yesterday was K managed to hit her eye on the bathroom door handle! She was messing around with Z and he shut the bathroom door on her and she ran into the door handle. Her eye went all red and swollen and there was a little lump under her eye. She sat with a bag of frozen corn on it for a while and then went to bed. When she got up this morning it wasn't as bad as we feared. We thought she would have areal shiner but luckily it is just a little bruised under her eye and is not bothering her at all. I think she'll be more careful when running towards doors when her brother is behind them now!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Daisy Girl Scout

I added the 2 petals and Promise Center patch that K earned at our Troop meeting to her vest today.

I also added the fun patches for the holidays and baking to the back of the vest.

Hopefully by the end of the school year she will have all her petals, her Journey patches and some more fun patches.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweet Daisies

Last night I had my 2nd Daisy Girl Scout Troop meeting. The girls all recited their Girl Scout Promise and got the petals they earned last time and the Promise Center along with their Daisy pin and a certificate.

We then made some holiday sugar cookies. The girls paired up and mixed everything together and then rolled it out before using various holiday cookie cutters to cut out a dozen or so cookies. There was a lot of flour used! I had made some with K earlier in the day that the girls could decorate whilst their were cooking. There were lots of sprinkles, frosting and icing brought by the moms and the girls really got into it. Some of the icing was a bit thick so K has a couple cookies that look like they have toothpaste on them! (The pictures I've added are a sample of K's cookies. Can you see how thick her decorating is?!) There were several cookies left that were not decorated so the girls took a little bag home with some in it for them to decorate at home with their parents/brothers/sisters etc. I just hope they don't eat them all at once! I also gave the girls 2 fun patches. One for baking and one for the holidays. They also got a copy of their Journey book. We are going to be doing 'Between Earth & Sky' and will be starting our 'journey' properly at the next meeting in January. I am also going to arrange a visit to a local Police and Fire Department to help the girls get their magenta petal. I am also hoping to get the girls planting trees for an Arbor Day event that is being held at the Monon Community Center and will help them earn their Clover award for their journey. I was nervous and apprehensive about being a Daisy Girl Scout leader but I am enjoying it and the girls seem to be too. The fact they all came back for the 2nd meeting made me very happy! I am going to cookie training on Tuesday next week and another mom has volunteered to go to the evening cookie training meeting too. It is going to be a combined effort getting our Daisies selling cookies. It doesn't matter how much they sell (although there are incentives) just the fact that they will do it is enough for me. It would have scared me senseless as a 5/6 year old to ask people to buy cookies from me but my little 5 year old really wants to do it and luckily she has a lot more nerve than I do! A picture of K in her Girl Scout uniform will be posted once I add her petals and patches to it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Season of Giving

We are now into December and I am enjoying having a little chocolate every day from my advent calendar. This year the 4 of us all have our own advent calendars that were sent over from the UK. (Yay for British chocolate!)

Anyway, Christmas season is often referred to as the season of giving. People spend hours traipsing through shopping malls and searching the internet to get the right gift for that certain someone in their life. I admit I have yet to do any Christmas gift shopping of any kind. In fact our Christmas cards have only just been sent off today to the UK! (At least I hope they have as Ben took them to work this morning and said he'd go to the post office in Indianapolis)

Whilst you are buying gifts for loved ones, if you struggle to find something for a particular person, have you ever thought about making a donation to charity? If you have then I would like to suggest 2 charities to you.

In the USA: The American Kidney Fund aims to fight kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education and prevention efforts.

In the UK: Kidney Research UK whose mission is to fund life saving research into kidney disease, to improve the quality of life for those with kidney disorders and to increase public awareness of kidney health. (K is actually a case study on the Kidney Research UK website and her picture has been used on some very successful campaign mailings! Believe it or not I also ran 2 Flora London Marathons for the charity too)

Why am I suggesting these particular charities? Well, the little blonde terror K has only 1 functioning kidney. She has a condition called Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney disease. She was diagnosed my 5 month pregnancy ultrasound scan and she was carefully monitored for the duration of my pregnancy. She also had to undergo several tests in the first few months of her life to check the severity of her condition and for a while immediately after birth she had to take a daily antibiotic to ensure the health of her functioning kidney. How could I not raise money for a charity that could help her health and overall quality of life? If you are stumped for something to give a special person in your life this holiday season, please consider a charitable donation in their name. Who knows, the life you help could be K's!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow Prep

We got a little bit of snow yesterday. Not a lot. Just a dusting. We are due for a bit more snow on Friday and I am sure we will get a lot of snow before winter is out.

When we do get the snow I am sure I would have lots of use for these things that I saw in the L.L.Bean catalog I got in the mail yesterday. Although I am wondering if the snowball and snow block maker takes all the fun out of making snowballs and igloos!

I think I am still thinking about National Lampoons Christmas Vacation because I think this Sonic Saucer and Snow Tube would be loads of fun! I can just hear Z, K and Ben squealing with delight going down a snowy hill or lobbing a perfectly round snowball at someone then ducking into their recently made igloo!

Of course once it is all done and we are homeward bound, I am sure I would have a use for this and be able to enjoy a hot chocolate on the way home!

EDIT: I have just doscovered you can get a snowball slingshot! Not sure if it is dangerous or cool!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1 = Winter = Christmas!


I am excited today. Can you guess why?!

Today is December 1. That means it is winter (I know it's not officially winter yet though). It also means that is is Christmas this month!

Today is the day we can start our advent calendars. We all have an advent calendar each this year. They are also UK advent calendars so the chocolate is edible!

We woke this morning to snow flurries. Ben decided against skating to the bus stop and that was probably a wise move. So he has taken the car. We have a 30% chance of flurries throughout the day. There is not as much snow on the ground as there is in the UK but there is some snow on the ground.

The kids decided they wanted to walk to school. Mainly because it was snowing and they wanted to catch snowflakes on their tongues! They enjoyed it and didn't once complain about the cold temperature. I just hope they bring home their hats and gloves today. Yesterday Z left 1 glove and his lunch box at school whilst K managed to leave her hat at school.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Decorating our Christmas Tree

I know it is not December until Wednesday but we got our tree yesterday. The coming weekends are going to be busy so this was the best time to get it done. Plus once Thanksgiving is over it seems that people around town take it at the best time to decorate for Christmas. I used to do the whole 12 days before/after Christmas but that seems to have gone out the window over the years.

We got our tree from the same place as last year and when we got home we got out the boxes with all the decorations, lights etc in them. At the moment we have 1 medium box and 1 small box (previously Amazon boxes that we received gifts in) with the decorations in them. If we stay here much longer, or actually move into a house, then we may need to rethink the storage.

It can be a major event getting the kids to decorate the tree properly. Of course it can be a major even trying to get the kids to do anything sometimes!


They like trying to rub all the glitter off the baubles. They like playing with the hooks to hang the baubles from the tree, that is when they are not hanging them from the tinsel. The like creating light effects on the wall with the tree lights. The like running around the room with the tinsel. The like putting on the Santa hats and not decorating the tree at all. After a bit of bickering they did help decorate. For a while all the baubles were being hung in one area but we then got a little stool for them to stand on so they could reach higher.

We had bought some outdoor lights and hooks last year but never got around to putting them up. We decided to try and put them up this year. We only had 1 box of outdoor lights so it was only enough to sort of drape them around the dining room window. (We don't live in a big house so there was no danger of us doing a Clark Griswold National Lampoon Christmas) I dread to think what the electricity bill is for some of the houses in the neighborhoods near us! Of course the outdoor decorations are not just limited to lights so people must spend a lot of figures and decorations for their yard/garage/porch/driveway.

After much muttering and cursing, the lights were semi secured around the  window. We managed to get the wreath on the door and stop the door sticking on the wreath hanger. Now to work out where to put the Christmas stockings. We don't have a mantle to hang them from.

Sweets From Back Home

Are you a fellow Brit abroad?  Do you miss sweets like real Cadbury chocolate, not the Hersheys rubbish? I know personally I have regu...