Friday, 31 August 2007

I'm going to try this with some Schloer!

Quite possibly one of the coolest things I have seen for a while and, as a Mormon, maybe one of the only things that would make me buy a bottle of champagne! Now where did I put my sword...

VideoJug: How To Open A Bottle Of Champagne With A Sword

This is probably better for me... that way I don't miss and chop my hand off... or Rebeccas head as I try to impress her with my opening-a-bottle-of-fizzy-grape-juice trick!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Feeling strangely festive... only 121 days to go!

Probably due to the abysmal weather this summer, and the particular chilly weather and dark mornings. Maybe it is David working in global logistics and having a few hundred containers of Christmas tree arriving into the UK over the next few weeks. Maybe we are just insane. Whichever option is accurate (I think that it is a nice cocktail of them all) the West family have been feeling rather festive during the recent days. But it is still August! The kid’s haven’t even started back to school yet! We have not even had any really decent weather so far! How can Christmas be on its way? The problem is that it is not… well not fast enough!

Is this how animals and plants feel? Is this what the feeling of hibernation or gathering nuts for winter feels like? Who knows? All we can identify is that we have the inklings of Christmas in the home but almost a third of a year before the big day. Crazy! Looks like we will have to plan a holiday in October just to break up the months until Thanksgiving!

In the meantime Rebecca is getting her “festive fix” by making our family Christmas cards ready for a festive photo to be attached after Thanksgiving.

Until then it’s time to fine-tune the house ready for the festivities. Redecorate the dining room (after the demolition work of inserting a French door and a window to the kitchen), retile the kitchen floor and worktops and provide a lick or two of paint around the house. Maybe David will even get the time to plumb the ground floor washroom before the ground freezes…

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Alton Towers- fun, thrills and Schutzstaffel

Got to watch that Nesquik bunny

Sammy's first rollercoaster

and then Harrison

And finally Larakia

Squirrel Nutty's wild ride- Grandma, Kaila and Sammy

Sammy and Kaila tracing their farming roots

She is so damned cute!

Chilling in the boat near Old MacDonalds Farm

Good horsey!

Like a rhinestone cowgirl...

My goodness... all the gargantuan toys are stealing Sammys hat!

Harrison after the flume... a bit damp

They picked up some lizards and frogs from the gift store

On the 9th August the West clan, accompanied by mum and dad West and Aunty Kaila, descended upon Alton Towers for a fun-filled frolic in the hills of Staffordshire. The day was glorious- the sun shone all day and we were blessed with a light breeze that helped keep us refreshed.

Starting in Adventure Land, the children rode their first rollercoaster- the Beastie. They loved it- screaming and clinging to their dad as they plummeted down the steep 2m drop.

Then on to Squirrel Nutty’s car… ride… thing… Not as thrilling, but fun nonetheless.

Teacups were great, until David got a little carried away with the wonder of centripetal acceleration causing Kaila to be forced to the outside of the cup, bouncing off the cushion back and into Sammy’s nose, which immediately erupted with blood. For what seemed like an eternity, the next few minutes of the ride were spent trying to minimise the spin while Rebecca controlled the bleeding (and the mess).

Then the real fun began- the water rides.

Starting with the flume, Lara had to be stand with her back to a ruler so that a Schönheit sister with a plastic triangle could ascertain her height to be above the mandatory 90cm. Following a period of cajoling, bargaining, threatening and cuddling, Larakia consented to the black-and-red shirt to carry out her ritual and Larakia was finally granted access to the bathtub cubicle. Everyone had a great time. Harrison (the pilot) got completely soaked and all were thrilled at the descent.

Next stop Katanga Canyon. Rebecca loves the River Rapids and was especially excited as this was the only ride that all but Micah could ride on together. We queued like only the British can, waiting for the fun to begin. Finally our turn arrived and we stepped onto the rotating disc approaching our chariot of Poseidon, little recognising the goose-step approaching. Once again Lara’s height had to be verified.

Unfortunately, this time Larakia knew what was coming and refused bluntly to stand straight against the ruler. Squirming and trying to be free again to enjoy her day, she would not allow the bearer of the plastic rapier to judge her worthiness. Despite all of us explaining that Lara had already passed the bar of two previous rides, the frustrated jungend asked Rebecca to help control Larakia- advising us that if this were the case she would have been given a tag to identify her height. When Lara refused to lift her head from her chest and the attendant announced her height to be 89cm, Rebecca refused to continue the charade, stating clearly (and rather fiercely) that she would not further torture her daughter.

While we understand the need for safety, we are shocked by the lackadaisical approach of the staff to this. If there really is a system to minimise the measurement of children, why was this not offered to our daughter the first, or even the second time she was measured. Had this been done, our daughter would have been spared the horrific treatment and distress and Rebecca would have been able to enjoy her day to the fullest without having to defend her child against the extemporised approach to safety.

We decided it was time for lunch, after which we enjoyed the Runaway Mine Train- Samuel sat on his own while David sat next to Harrison. All three boys loved the ride, enjoying the thrill. Samuel especially seemed quite addicted to the adrenalin.

The surprise of the day was the modified house of horrors. We all loved the laser-gun facet of the ride- this has certainly improved what was a fun, but mediocre, exhibition of 90s FX. Nothing better than riding in a train shooting green lights fixed on spiders, ghosts and ghouls!

Pants-ride prize goes to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ride. It smells good (it really smells like a chocolate factory) but stinks as far as entertainment value.

All in all, Alton Towers never fails to impress. Despite the inadequate continuity toward policy, the rides and atmosphere add an almost Christmas wonder to all within the turnstile gates. We have some great pictures, some good memories and an amazing insight to how our children (especially our oldest boys) will become in the years to come.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Make the most of the is England!!


When we saw the sun today we thought we had better make the most of every moment of the sun so out came the pool and we fired up the bbq.

The children enjoyed 5 hours of swimming pool fun a david enjoyed being a big kid again, and as for me well someone had to take the pictures!!!

The silver van in the background is our new car!!! Nine seats... yep NINE seats!!!!!
Thats alot of protential childrens seats!!!!!!!!

Like father, Like son!!

Lara took to the water like a dog to a bone.

Amazing Micah, he is crawling now and getting stronger and cuter by the day.