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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fun Times in October


One of our favourite places to go in the fall is Garson's Farm. We love being able to pick out our pumpkins and grab some fresh produce. We couldn't have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and we all know how rare that can be over here!! Here are some shots from the day!










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As part of our PSA fundraising and community building efforts, we held a Halloween Themed Cake Sale and Family Bingo Event. We were thrilled with not only the turnout of fabulous cakes but also by the numbers of families that turned up. We were very pleased to have raised almost £500 ($780) on our first event of the year!!!







Amazing Cakes! 









 Pumpkins, Prizes & People




Ryan So
Focused!
Mandy &
Orli All
Smiles 


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 The NFL comes to London's Wembley Stadium each year and Keith makes a point of getting tickets. In the past he has gone with work colleagues but this year, Mandy, Ryan and I tagged along to see the Pats vs. the Rams! Keith had a great time watching the game and having a bit of "home" come to him. Mandy liked watching the cheerleaders, Ryan enjoyed the snacks and I had fun with my new camera!! Overall another great experience here in London!






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Halloween is getting bigger and bigger every year over here. This year, we handed out over 350 pieces of candy and most of the kids truly follow the one piece rule!!! Seeing as the kids were on 1/2 term break, we spent some of the day playing with friends, carving pumpkins and of course trick or treating!


Mandy Carving Her Pumpkin! 


 My Sweet Boys!


Three Camera Hams!

All ready to go out!! Mandy loves getting into character, Ryan is all about being a Super Hero and Aiden actually seemed to like being in a costume! Every time the doorbell rang he got very excited and clapped when we opened the door!! He was not phased by all the different costumes!!

      


Back to London...Back to School



 School started back up for the kids on Wednesday 5th of September. This year Mandy is a Year 3 student (2nd grade) and Ryan is in Year 1 (kindergarten). Both kids were very excited about the new year and seeing all of their friends again. Mandy was especially excited because she was moving up onto the 2nd floor with all of the "Big Kids"! Ryan was quite excited to be placed in a split class (Year 1/2 consists of children in both kindergarten and 1st grade) because he thought he had skipped a grade!!


This year Darell Primary School introduced uniforms to the school after a very heated debate. Darell was the only school in the area to not have a uniform. While some felt it added to the school's charm and personality, others felt it was a deterrent and was negatively impacting enrollment. While I was initially against uniform, it has proven to make life so much easier and the kids look very "smart" in their new outfits!



This is one outfit. Mandy is wearing her summer dress in these photos.




Looking smart!! Love the knee highs!



Here is a second look with their logo jumpers (sweatshirts)!



We even put Aiden in matching colours!!
As for everything else.....

Keith got right back into work and travel and staying very busy. Mandy is continuing with her tennis lessons and has also signed up for cross country and choir through school. Ryan has shown interest and skill in playing football (soccer), so we have enrolled him with the Kew Park Rangers organisation in the hopes that he is willing to play. Aiden officially became a crawler this month. He is all over the place and reminding us of all that needs to be childproofed! And as for me...I was elected Chair of the Parent Staff Association (PSA) at school! Lots of great stuff going on to keep us all busy!

August at Home


When I started this blog, I thought it would be a great way to keep everyone up to date on all the great new experiences we were having during our time here in London. I had so much time on my hands when we first arrived, that I was writing posts almost once a week. Now life is so full and busy that I struggle to get one out a month!!! I guess that is a good thing right?!?  In any case, buckle up and get ready for my attempt to catch up!!!

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After getting a taste of the Olympics here in London, we geared ourselves up for our summer trip home. This was especially exciting for us, not only because we got to see and catch up with family and friends, but also because we were bringing Aiden home for the first time! We were so excited to introduce him to everyone and incorporate him into our life there. Being only 5-6 months old, he was initially overwhelmed by the MASSIVE amounts of people he met and was very much attached to me every time the doorbell rang. It didn't take long for him to get comfortable and fit right in to our life at home. 
As you can see he made himself right at home in his room and appears quite content! Mandy and Ryan were so happy to be back at our house and immediately took to their rooms and then out to run in the big yard. Of course I had to get the camera out for a few shots! Aiden loved the grass and watching all the geese fly over the house!




Another highlight to the trip was getting Aiden and Camden together for the first time! The last time we saw Camden he was only 2 weeks old!!  Mandy and Ryan couldn't wait to see how big he had gotten! It was great having all four cousins together for the first time and seeing Camden and Aiden interact with each other was great!


We had a fun little day trip with Steve, Marissa and Camden to Mystic Aquarium! Everyone was all smiles and seemed to enjoy the Beluga Whale the most!







A great thing about being in Connecticut verses London in the summer is the consistently warm weather and the SUN. This made for many days at the beach and the parks!! Here are a few shots of the kids at the beach!! As usual, Mandy loved the water, Ryan enjoyed making sandcastles, and Aiden was completely intrigued by the feel of the sand in his hands!















While home, Keith and I managed a two night get away to the Ocean House in Rhode Island. We treated ourselves to this amazing retreat so we could celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! It was just what we needed...beach, sun, great food, spa treatments and of course much needed time together. We even saw Conan O'Brien!! Great time!!


On August 19th we celebrated all three of our children. We started with a wonderful baptismal ceremony for Aiden, which was followed by a celebration/birthday party for all the kids. It was such a beautiful day and was wonderful to be able to share it with so many close family and friends.

Looking very Proper in his British Christening Outfit

He was very compliant!

With Rev. Sharon

With his God Parents Auntie Kim and Uncle David 

Our Family Shot

The Bray Side

The Pelatowski Side

This photo is of all the aunts and uncles that came to support Aiden on his big day!

Grandma Bray



Auntie Jori and Auntie Kim!



The Birthday Kids opening gifts while the little guys play!!

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Cake Time!!!!










The Whole Crew Together!! Tanner. Lila, Camden, Aiden, Mandy, Ryan, Madelynn, Julia and Mia!






One, Two Three...Make a wish!!!
 



One More Family Shot...Love Ryan's Cheeky Expression!




Another Shot of the Four Cousins!



This is one of my favourites! I love the way the big kids are interacting with the little guys!!




Guess who started to crawl while we were home? He started to move like an inch worm across the floor!
We wrapped up our last few days with a boys day to Fenway and a ladies afternoon tea! The boys ate hot dogs, popcorn and beer while the ladies snacked on finger sandwiches, scones and tea! A great way to wrap up the trip.


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Going home is always bittersweet. It is so great to go back to the place that we have known as home our entire lives, a place that is filled with people we know and love and a certain comfort and familiarity like no where else. To be able to meet up your best friends for dinner, afternoons at the pool or park or even for card games and beer, to reconnect with work friends and colleagues, to play in the yard with neighbors, to have dinner around your mom and dad's table, to watch your kids connect with their cousin...these are some of the best moments. The hard part...the day we leave. We aren't sad to go back to London or to the life we have created here, but it doesn't mean we done miss home and all that comes with it!!!