It's been so long since I've written that I almost don't know how to do it anymore. I'm hoping it's like riding a bike and that it will come back to me just because I'm trying again. Of course, I didn't learn how to ride a bike until I was eleven and then had lots of bike accidents while I was on my mission, so perhaps that analogy isn't really the best. Or perhaps it will be disappointingly accurate. Who's to know??
First off...listening to LDS General Conference here in England is very much not the same as listening to it in the good ol' US of A. I'm used to a quiet two hour pajama clad lounge on the couch interspersed with padding into the kitchen for a snacky during the Tab Choir singing interludes. No such thing here. We get dressed up and go to the chapel for delayed broadcasts or evening live feeds. No day off. No watching in my pajamas. Well, I could do, but I think the members of the stake would look at me a little askance if I showed up in my jammies. Maybe. Then again, they might figure that it's one of those crazy American things.
Speaking of crazy Americans, there's a twenty-ish American girl here who married a Brit who has decided to take on a full English accent. I mean, this girl sounds just like the real thing. I was so confused meeting her because someone said she was from the States but she was speaking like a Brit. Our conversation went something like this:
(Me) "Oh, so you lived in the States! Where did you live?"
(Fake Brit) "Ah yes. My parents still live in Roseville." (That's in No Cal)
(Me) "Wow! My brother lived there! Do you think they'd know your parents? Did your parents move there from here?"
(Fake Brit) "Uh, no. I'm from there."
(Me, Confused) "So...you lived here and moved there and moved back?"
(Fake Brit, flustered and trying to get away from me) "No. I'm American. Nice to meet you... (as she wandered off)
Yeah. So I found out later that she like hates everything American and wants to be all English and stuff. She and her husband gave lovely talks in stake conference a few months ago and I sat there listening to her thinking about how she much she bugs me. I can't see her without feeling bugged, and I see her at every major church event. Saw her this very evening as a matter of fact. I don't know why she bugs me and I wish I could stop feeling bugged but it's like I've got this strange fixation with her and why she decided to eschew all things American and pretend to be a Brit. I don't think she visits her homeland much or they'd laugh at her. Luckily, my American bestfriend here is bugged by her, too, so I don't feel so odd.
Whew. What a relief. This writing skill thing seems to come back when you use it. Cool.
So, on to throwing my first ever Princess Birthday Party. Kathryn turned four a few weeks ago and I threw her a bash. I forgot to bring the Princess Party sounds CD, but besides that, it seemed to go well. I found this absolutely fabulous Cinderella dress up dress complete with fur lined tiara and gaudy fake jewels. She was in heaven! The thing even had a hoop sewn into the bottom so it flared out like a real ball gown. I swear she looked regal, holding her arms up, delicately lifting her little skirt so it wouldn't get dirty. I invited nine little friends, seven of which showed up. There was one extra little girl whose mother asked me to let her come with her sister, but that's another story.
Anyway, one of my friends here who should be a professional children's party giver let me in on some secret websites that tell you exactly what to do, so I felt prepared. My friend had some great ideas, too. First, they decorated their own paper crowns with stick on jewels. Then they played pin the flag on the castle. Then there was Pass the Parcel, an English favorite. There is a main gift in the middle of about 20 layers of tissue wrapping paper. Each layer has a little toy wrapped with it. They sit in a circle while music is played and when the music stops, the lucky girl holding the package gets to rip off a layer. And so it goes until the final gift...which, the birthday girl won, which wasn't supposed to happen. Ah well. They all got little toys.
So then, food. They ate little sausages, sandwiches, veg and fruit on plates sporting the faces of the more famous of the Disney princess. You got your Cinderella, your Belle and your Snow White. Then there's the cups and napkins, all pink and covered with same said princesses. After food, Mommy Kari pulled out the Costco cake decorated with a princess and cut it all up and sent it home with the little darlings. My sons were horrified that I wouldn't make a cake from scratch. I wasn't. I didn't have time. And the Costco cake was very cute and chocolicious. I love Costco cakes...
The little princesses were all very well behaved, except for mine. When birthday girl was eliminated from a spontaneous game of "Queen Says" (think Simon Says with me at the helm) she proceeded to have a little tantrum and then sequestered herself to the other side of the cultural hall. The other mommies there assured me that this behavior was perfectly normal and to let it go, so I did. She rejoined us a little later and all was well.
All in all, I'd say it was a success. A lovely time was had by all. And Kathryn got some pretty cool loot out of the whole thing.
I must retire. Tim has been asked to be an early morning seminary teacher and his first day is tomorrow. He's just finished prepping and is now ready for sleep. So am I.
Will write more later...but not too much later, I assure you. Thanks for rambling with me.