Monday, November 23, 2009

One reason why dads are awesome...

So James has his own Christmas Lighting Business that he started about 4 years ago. He loves it and he does a great job. Earlier this year he was looking into buying a ladder rack for his truck so he could have more room in the truck bed for lights and tools and other manly things like that.

What we wanted looked kind of like this.

And it would have put us out about

600 bucks!!

That was a little bit hard to swallow.

And then I remembered my dad. He is a mechanic genius and is a whizz at creating and figuring out how to make and do things. So I asked him if he could help us out, make it cheaper - but BETTER quality (with that touch of dad love...)and in the process save us a few hundred bucks!

He agreed and set out to make us the most awesome ladder rack ever!

Not too shabby! (now if we can just get those signs on our truck straight...)

My dad even created a few custom made bells and whistles he thought of just for us! Thank you Dad, we LOVE IT!! Next time you are in the market for something rugged and man made and super expensive, check with my dad first and see if he can't make it for you cheaper and better!

Now for a little Shameless advertising...


For all your Christmas Lighting Needs, call the expert!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pioneer Woman Cookbook Signing!!

So...If any of you haven't heard of The Pioneer Woman...shame on you! Go here to check her out. She is hilarious and her cooking is amazing! She just released a cookbook and was on a tour around select cities in the US. For some reason though James had zero interest in attending a cookbook signing. Oh well, these things are better for a girls night anyway. So one of my best friends and cousin Teresa went with me.

Here we were PACKED in the room waiting for the Pioneer Woman to get here. The place was PACKED! It was a lot of estrogen.

She finally made it! She was so cute and funny! We just loved her.

Okay, I know it was a cookbook signing and I faithfully brought my cookbook to have it signed but I didn't realize it would be a madhouse, so instead of waiting another couple of hours in line, we left after her question and answer session. I don't really care about signatures, I just wanted to see if she was as awesome in person as she was on her website. And she was!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One more thing to say about the French

It was our last night in Paris. We were standing on the top of the Arc of Triumph taking in the sights. The Eiffel tower was all lit up and beautiful, the whole city was alive and busy, but we couldn't stop staring at this madness. It just made us wonder...

How in the crap do these people survive everyday????

Friday, November 13, 2009

Photography Blog Update!

Hey go here to check out some sweet pictures of Europe on my Photography Blog!

Have a great Friday afternoon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last Leg - England!!

We survived the chunnel and arrived in London sometime in the A.M. We took the metro to our little hotel to drop off all of our stuff.

The view from our bedroom window. It was in a really pretty neighborhood!

We had ordered a room with a double bed, but it wasn't ready, so we decided to take a bed with two twins so we didn't have to drag our luggage everywhere with us until the room was done. (And after Paris...our bags were PRETTY FULL. (I think James was secretly glad he didn't have to fight for covers all night...)

Our lovely bathroom!

Westminster Abbey. We were planning on going in, but didn't realize it cost a freaking arm and a leg to visit a CHURCH...and we had both already been here, so we just took a picture instead.

Call us cheap, but we had been a bit Cathedraled Out!

Us and Big Ben!

Tower of London...I'm just warning you that we were a bit lame in London because we had both been here and seen all this stuff before, so we just took pics and opted out of paying the big bucks again!

The London Bridge!

We were there, but we really didn't see alot if you know what I mean. haha, just kidding!

James had to get some Fish and Chips, so he could drown the chips in malt vinegar. Ugh. It is definitely a English thing.

That Evening after a quick nap...I told you we had already done the London thing before...we hit up the Eye of London. New and exciting for both of us. It was pretty awesome too!!

It gave us some awesome views of the city! Later that night we went to see the play Chicago. If I could go back, I would have picked something different. The movie is definitely better, but I enjoyed it and James enjoyed his expensive nap!

Now the fun can begin!!!

James behind the right sided wheel of our car rental. James was excited to step back into his missionary life, but I was secretly scared to death.

Yikes! Nostrils!

Does anybody see anything wrong with this freeway???

Because we had been soooooo deprived of treats and chocolate and things like that we drove directly to the Cadbury Factory in Birmingham. About 2 hours north of London.

This is what we were thinking: WE LOVE CHOCOLATE!!!!!

The Cadbury Factory was fun...We waited a long time for chocolate, but it was well worth it! We also bought the biggest candy bar I have ever seen. Don't worry if you are coming the Rupert way during Thanksgiving, we might share a little!!

James's Mission Office!!!!

He loved everything about this part of the trip! We even went inside and talked with some of the AP's! It was good for this boy to be back to the country he loves!!

The part in bold is James's mission boundaries.

The Missionary Transfer board.

The Mission President's Office!

Our next stop had to be Asda. The British version of Wal-Mart. (It is actually owned by Walmart.) James had to get his special yogurt that he had been deprived of since his mission. And it really was that amazing!
We stopped to visit his friend Chris in Nuneaton.

And Dan!
The rest of our time in England was spent in a town called Derby. We stayed with Ann and Karl. They were some great friends of James while he was in England. They were awesome and so nice and gracious. We also got to know their 3 big dogs quite well too! We loved our time spent there with them I am an idiot and never got any pictures of them or their house or their dogs, but just know that they were so much fun!!

This is a church in a town called Eyam, that Ann took us to one day. I loved this town. It was hit with the plague back in the 1500's and the whole town had to be shut off from the rest of society. So to get supplies and food to the town, the people would go out to a field and drop money in vinegar (because they thought that killed the plague) and a list and people from neighboring towns would bring supplies to the field for them. Interesting!

Plaques like these were on all of the houses in Eyam.

James and I enjoying the English Countryside! Eyam was in a beautiful location!!

I did get one picture of Ann. Sorry Karl!!!

A little taste of what Eyam looks like.

The Eyam Cemetary.

Of course we had to get one of these shots!!!

Our last day in Engand checklist:
1. Full English Breakfast
2. Shopping!
*Cindy - Coat, Hat, scarf, and chocolate
*James - ties, ties, ties, and chocolate
3. Visit Nuneaton again (walk the Streets...)
4. See James's Flat in Nuneaton
5. Pictures and drive through lush English Countryside
6. Walk dogs in the beautiful park with Ann and Karl

Full English Breakfast...check! The breakfast consists of baked beans, hashbrowns,eggs, english bacon, toast, cooked tomato, and a cooked mushroom.


Walk the streets of Nuneaton...check!

More of James's Street...Cindy hat...check!

James's Flat...check!

Drive through the English Countryside...Check! Stopping at a cute little village on the way back to Derby and taking pictures in it (not on the list) but check!!!!!

Just know that I am ready for a photoshoot...

Any time... Any where... (James is learning...)

I love the English Countryside! There is nothing like it anywhere else!

Oh and we did walk the dog in the park with Ann and Karl but it was too dark to take pictures. That night we hung out with Ann and Karl, then the next morning, bright and early, we hoped in our car and took the two hour trek to the Manchester Airport. (With one last stop at Asda for more of those yogurts...)
That day was a long day, spent traveling. We got home late and tired, but so grateful we had a great trip and that we were kept safe! We were also glad to be back in the United States of America again.
While we saw so much beautiful country and loved every second of it we realized how grateful we are to live in this awesome country! There is no place like home!