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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Very Full February

So February was a fun filled month! Mandy had a sleep over with her girlfriends, she had her class assembly, my parents and Aunt Nancy came for a visit, we made a trip to Stockholm Sweden and we celebrated a big 1st birthday! A short but busy month!

Jada, Molly, Mandy & Immi... These little ladies had pizza and ice cream sundaes, they watched an American Girl Doll movie, chatted until the wee hours, woke up to a pancake breakfast, they put on a fashion show, played dolls and Just Dance on the Wii and then after a quick lunch at McDonald's headed back to their homes... pretty fun filled 24 hours!!!

So as I have said before, I thoroughly enjoy going to the kids' class assemblies. They always do such a great job showing the work that they have completed and singing songs. This term, Mandy and her class mates showed us everything they had learned while studying the Ancient Greeks. Here are a few pictures from the assembly.

Mandy & Orli
Mandy and Aiden with classmate
Aidan and his little sister Isla


It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without a Cake Sale at School! The Darell School PSA hosted a cake sale and we raised £233 which is about $360!!

Happy Birthday wishes were sent to Uncle Chris and Auntie Riss who share a birthday on the 17th!!!

My mom, dad and aunt arrived on the 16th of the month. Seeing as they had hit most of the major sights in London on their previous visit, we stayed closer to home and had fun in the parks and local palaces! We spent a fabulous afternoon in Richmond Park despite the cooler weather, grey sky and muddy trails!!! This place never disappoints, between the deer and the natural beauty there is always something to admire!

The Deer are amazing! This big guy was more than happy to have his photo taken, he was sitting ever so regal and once I snapped a photo he stood up to strike a pose!

Look at all the things we found in the trees!! Mandy and Ryan made their way up to a pretty high branch and were quite proud of themselves. Along our walk we saw this one tree that looked a bit like a deer face...Can you see it? Also the wild parakeet were all over the place making so much noise. I found this guy quietly sitting up in the tree.

A few more shots of the kids climbing in the trees!


On Monday the 18th we went to Kensington Palace, which is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens. It has been a residence of the royal family since the 17th century and is the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Prince Harry also stays there on occasion. Kensington Palace was also the official residence of Princess Diana from 1981 until her death in 1997.

While touring the palace, the kids really enjoyed seeing all the different "costumes" from "way back then"! There was even a part of the palace where the kids could learn card games that were played by the royals and they could "apply" for a job to see what they would have been paid! The bottom two photos are of the intricate ceilings in two of the rooms.

Kensington Gardens covers 260 acres and was originally part of Hyde Park. The Gardens with their magnificent trees are the setting for Kensington Palace, the birthplace of Queen Victoria who lived there until she became queen in 1837. Kensington Gardens began life as a King's playground but it was three royal women who created the elegant landscape which has been seen in a number of blockbuster films including Finding Neverland, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Wimbledon.

After lunch at the Orangery we played at the Diana Memorial Playground. A huge wooden pirate ship is the centrepiece to the playground that opened on the 30th June 2000, in memory of the late Princess. Located next to her Kensington Palace home, the playground is a fitting tribute for a Princess who loved the innocence of childhood. Over 750,000 children enjoy this free playground each year. There is a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship and various toys and play sculptures. Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, the playground encourages children to explore and follow their imaginations, learning while they play. Here are some photos of Mandy, Ryan, Aiden, Molly, Liam and Rory all enjoying the playground. 

Mandy at the very top of the pirate ship
And Ryan playing with Rory & Liam


My little Monkey having fun with all the big kids!


Photo of the Queen Victoria Statue In Kensington Gardens

Tubing Home
Everyone is still smiling... well sort of!

On the 19th we went to Hampton Court Palace, which is one of my all time favourite places. This was the first time that my parents and Nancy had been, so we made a day of it! For more information about the palace itself, look back at our July 2011 post where I go into a bit of detail about the palace history and provide a link to an informative website. In that post there are also photos of the gardens in full bloom. Here are some photos from this visit, though not as colourful in February, still a beautiful place to spend the afternoon!

During the remainder of my families visit, we of course had a proper afternoon tea, we made a three day trip to Stockholm Sweden (which will get it's own post!), they went to the Tower of London, we saw Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip drive by in their car and we celebrate a very special little boy's first birthday. I was also fortunate enough to be able to climb the 337 steps to the top of the Elizabeth Tower to hear Big Ben's noon bell chime. It was AMAZING!! My entire body vibrated with the ringing of this massive bell. The history and story behind the bell, it's name and it's upkeep were also fascinating! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget.

Here are a few more photos from the month...



YAY!!! Happy Birthday Big Guy!!!