Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Spring time...

A few days ago, I posted about a spring-time tradition of ice cream as a spring time tradition. Well, as I had said in that post, lambs are another major aspect of spring. I have seen a ton this  spring, but haven't actually had the chance to take any pictures of them. Well, I looked through my pictures from last spring and saw a few that I hadn't posted. So, with that, here's a couple lambs!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Coming home!!!

Hey everyone - if you have been watching the news lately, you've seen the disruption that the volcano in Iceland has caused. Well, sure enough, we were effected by it; almost immediately after we returned home from Scotland, we got word that Jen's grandfather had passed away. (That's another post that I've been working on...sorry that it's so late!!) Anyway, we were able to put Jen on a plane so she could be with her family, which was very good. The kids and I really wanted to go, but we just couldn't swing it. We sent Mommy off to represent us and give our love to everyone. Well, that's when the volcano broke loose. She's been stuck in Arizona, and is FINALLY returning home tomorrow morning. The girls and I are sitting in a hotel room near the Dublin airport watching planes landing anxiously waiting for her to come home!!

As a caveat, I do have to put my own spin on her being "stuck" - now granted, she was away from her kids and myself, BUT, she was so fortunate to be with her parents unlike many of the people that were in airports bathing in sinks. She was home enjoying family, eating at American restaurants, going to Diamondbacks games...well, ok, maybe just one Diamondbacks game, but still...all that to say, we're really thankful for the extra time she got at home with her parents. What a gift it was! But alas, "stuck" time is over...time to come home!!!

Here's a picture of Jen when we were in Scotland

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Local wildlife

Since moving in our new house, we've been seeing a bunch of animals that are around. Of course, there's cows, donkeys and horses, but much more interestingly, there's pheasants, badgers and foxes. Over the last week, the pheasants have been going crazy around the house, and I hear them at different points of the day. A couple mornings ago, I saw a few so I grabbed the camera and got a few pictures:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On the prom...

Another photo that I'd taken a while back...one evening on a nice day a couple months ago, we took the girls for a bike ride on the promenade in a neighboring village. It was a great evening, and we had a great time. Well, I was looking at the pictures, and I saw this on of the sun as it was coming down...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random picture

I was just going through some old photos when I came across this one. It was taken just before Christmas on a nice night just before sunset...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Last pics of Scotland

On the way home, we were able to stop and see the castle that I had pictured a few posts back (Eilean Donan - click here if you missed the sunset pic I got), only this time we were there during the day...it was great, and maybe the best part was the piper that started playing towards the end of the show...it was great!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring time traditions

What comes to mind when you think of spring? The April flowers bring May flowers rhyme we all learned in school? Baseball season starting in April? I don't know...for all of us, it's different. Even if Spring isn't necessarily your favorite season, there's always something special about it. Winter is over, warmer weather is coming. It's just a great time of year. Here, the signs are the same as home; flowers are blooming, everything is turning green(er) and there's new life around every corner like the lambs and calfs that dot the country-side. Well, another tradition here that I think is awesome is the ice-cream. Yep - ice-cream. All the gas stations have soft-serve ice-cream machines that make their way out every year in the spring. After talking to some friends of ours, they equated this happening to mark the official sign of winter being over. The weather would begin to warm slowly, and the anticipation every time they would pass the station to see if may that was the day that the machines would be put into action. It's funny to see how many people get a cone; when you make a trip to the shop, on the way back to work; just going for a stroll; men enjoying their cones while driving to the job site in their trucks - it's everywhere. Makes me think of a new slogan: Ice Cream - the official sponsor of Spring

Here's the "sign" - a giant ice cream to state that the ice cream is available

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

She's 3!!!

Today is Cailyn's 3rd birthday! She is such an awesome girl, and this year has been a really big year for her. Thinking back to last year, she really is a different person; she's beginning to read, she's talking a TON, her thought process is so different, her independence is shining through, and she's just really making so many strides in her growing up. This last year we've laughed lots, she's learned lots, and it's just been great. We are so proud of her in every way. Cailyn, we pray that you have on fantastic year ahead of you. You're an amazing gift from the Lord, and we're so grateful that we get to share in your life. We love you so much!

Here's some pics of her lately...

Hanging out in the kitchen

Throwing some rocks into a puddle

What does she know that we don't?

Common appearance: comfort from her blanket

She asked me for a picture of her with her new toy dragon...thought it came out neat!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scottish Lighthouse

A couple friends and I went up to a point not far from where we were staying and looked at this lighthouse: 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Castle Eileen Donan

On the way up the other day, there were lots of spots to take pictures, and if we'd stopped at them all, we'd probably still be on the road! We did get the chance to stop at Castle Eileen Donan just on the edge of the Isle of Skye. I was told that it's the most photographed castle in all of Scotland, and has been used in several films including Entrapment with Sean Connery. We got there just as the sun was setting, and though we didn't have a ton of time to explore, it was an amazing sight to see. It's nestled on a lake surrounded by mountains, and is simply spectacular. Here's my favorite of the shots I took:

Friday, April 2, 2010

The trip that...

Well, I was about to say the trip that never ends, but alas, after a long few days, we've made the journey from Ireland to the Isle of Skye. After our ferry was delayed and the long arduous drive we had today, we finally made it. I have to say, the Isle of Skye is one of the prettiest places I've ever seen. The Mountains are just spectacular, and with the snow they've received the last few days, it's even better. We were moving along quickly, so most of the pictures I have are from the middle of a huge van while I was sandwiched in between Hannah and Cailyn. It was quite the adventure though, and the girls did great! They got to watch several movies, and even got to have a little snowball fight at one of the stops. We saw amazing scenery, and tons of deer and even a few mountain goats. A long, LONG day, but it was good in the end. Here's a few shots of the day, and I'll post more later...

If you remember, a couple weeks ago at the parade, we saw William Wallace's sword.
Today, we saw the William Wallace Monument - "for our national hero"

A group of stag deer feeding at dusk

Snow covered mountains

Went to take a picture of Cailyn about 12 hours into our trip...doesn't that look just sum it all up? And it looks like her kitty feels the same