Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Half-Term Break

School is a bit more year round here.  There are three terms, and each term is split into two 6 week half-terms.  Between terms there is a two week break and between half-terms there is a one week break.  So after one week of their new school, the kids had an entire week off for half-term break.  We made the most of the time off.

We found our neighborhood library.  In addition to an entire upper floor devoted to children's literature, the girls were thrilled to discover the library had a huge box of dress up clothes for children to play with.  The library seemed archaic in some ways - no computer systems to check in or out books - they stamped the books with the due date!  But the kids all found a few books and Kaylee and Danny got new library cards at our Muswell Hill Library.  
Muswell Hill Library
We had a Valentine's day breakfast.  French breakfast puffs, sausage, OJ, and fruit.  I had packed Valentine plates and decorations in our air shipment and it was fun to be a little festive even though we didn't hold to all our usual Valentine traditions.  The kids were excited that I'd stashed away some conversation hearts. 
Feelin' the love on Valentine's Day
We found Poundland (translation: dollar store) just a 10 minute walk from our house.  Maybe because a pound is worth more than a dollar, but I was truly impressed.  There was a lot of fantastic stuff that I will actually definitely use!  It's good Poundland is at the top of the hill or I may go every day.  I let the kids each choose a little prize for Valentine's day.  
Tiny army men for Danny, a chalkboard for Kaylee, and a scrapbook kit for AJ.

 James started experimenting with solid foods.  He could have started several weeks earlier, but we were holding off until we were a teensy bit more settled.  It's pretty messy business learning to eat solid foods.  And sometimes the bib is more tasty then the mushy peas.  Luckily, he still cleans up pretty well.
Rice cereal and carrots and mixed veggies and a tasty bib. 
All cleaned up and so dapper.

Matt found out about a free children's festival in central London so the kids and I ventured down there one day while Matt was at work.  The kids enjoyed listening to a storyteller, climbing through a wardrobe into a magical fort (which sounds awesome, but was actually underwhelming since the fort was just 4 brown sheets), watching Disney's The Little Mermaid powered by kids riding bikes (including Danny with a hand cycle), face painting, and a LEGO project where they created new additions for a city.  I thought we may stay for a couple hours, but we ended up staying all day.  It was a fun adventure for all of us.

The girls requested "Frozen" facepaint 
Abby's people with a dog, Danny's bike trail//dog park, and Kaylee's horse trail
This moment right here, anticipating the magical land, was the highlight.

We also enjoyed some down time at home.  A few days were sunny enough for the kids to run around and play in the close. This will be a lot of fun as the weather warms up more.  I took this shot looking out James' window.

 We are looking forward to more adventures on our next term breaks. 

Sunset along the Thames with the London Eye, Parliament, and Big Ben

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