Merry Christmas from Scotland!! Here is our official 2008 family Christmas picture (thank you Gordon!) We had a great day here with Joe and Reba. Our morning was very leisurely and we all enjoyed a Christmas breakfast then time as a family around the tree.
The family around our Christmas tree.
I believe Dan's favorite gifts were the orange and cheerios that he received in his stocking. We had to convince him that his others were worth openning too! :)
Here, Dan is enjoying his orange...oh, the excitement! Our Christmas together here in St. Andrews will be one to remember for sure. It was so special to have Joe and Reba with us.
Dan recently learned how to feed himself with a spoon. In fact, during one meal this is the ONLY way he would consent to eating anything. He isn't able to scoop the food up on his own and his aim isn't always precise, but he sure is cute and proud of himself for trying!
We had a great Thanksgiving here in St. Andrews. It wasn't your typical Thanksgiving in the fact that we celebrated on Saturday :) but we had a great time and all of the traditional delicious dishes. Since Thanksgiving is a distinctly American holiday, Joe had classes on Thursday and businesses were open as usual. So, we got together with fellow Americans from our church on Saturday. We went over to one of their homes and had a great time. Here is a picture of part of our group before dessert. If you look hard you can see the pumpkin and pecan pie...yum!!! Dan was very interested in the conversation, I mean, pie!
On the Sunday after our Thanksgiving, it was St. Andrews Day. We headed to town for live music, street performers, kiddie rides, and more. It was COLD! We made our way to a coffee shop, loaded up with lattes and had a great time. Dan was given a Scottish flag and loved it! He was so bundled up and could barely get his little fingers out to hold onto it, but he wasn't going to let it go for anything! Watch out...he might come home a Scott!
We had our first snow here a couple of weeks ago. Daddy and Dan went out for his first snow experience. He was a little apprehensive about the white, cold stuff.....but overall pleased.
Here is a glimpse into one of our "play dates" with Dan's friend Elaine. They're so funny together.
This is Daddy's new way to do push-ups at night. Dan scrambles over and climbs onto his back and then holds on! Priceless....
Happy Birthday Dan!!!! On November 8th, Dan turned one! We started the day off right with a birthday breakfast, complete with birthday muffin and of course ONE candle :) Here Dan anxiously awaits his exciting treat.
Yum! Dan managed to jam as much muffin as possible into his little chipmunk cheeks. Ha!
We decided to give him his presents early. It took him a bit to open them, but he got the hang of it.
"That's right, Dan.....rip, rip, rip!!"
Hurray! That's a boy...keep ripping!
Dan with some of his birthday bounty.
What's a birthday without some banana?!
"I'm one!" Enough said.
Look at our big boy! I can hardly believe it. At one, Dan is close to walking but not quite there. He has started to experiment more with repeating our words. We have heard him say apple, doggie, cheese, eye, diaper, cat, and even an attempt at gorilla! He loves the outdoors and loves music. If you sing or play music for Dan he will dance right along. He has six teeth now and a full head of golden hair. We feel so blessed to have him in our lives!
On Friday night we went to a Halloween party put on by a couple of the families of St. Mary's. Dan went as a teddy bear. He was amazed by the big kids running around, but especially the balloons!!! He chased them all over the place while I conveniently kicked them from his razorsharp fingertips! He felt like such a big boy and I believe thic picture shows it :) (look at those teeth!)
Here is Dan with one of his new precious friends. Ilah (not sure on spelling) and Dan were in a race for a balloon at this moment.
I had to take a picture when I came in the room the other day and to my surprise, Dan was IN his toybox. I didn't see him do it, but he somehow climbed right on in to be with all of his favorites!
After about a week of catching Dan in his toybox without seeing how he managed it, we finally caught his acrobatics in the act :)
Dinner time has become the time when we see the most of Dan's laughter, jokes, and talk talk talk talk talk! Here is a glimpse of some of Dan's laughs when I tease him a bit.
For me??!! While Grandpa and Grandmom were here, we had an early birthday celebration for Dan. He loved it!!! As you can tell, he was a little surprised by the cake and candle. He wasn't quite sure what was going on, but he quickly got the hang of things.
Presents, presents, presents! Dan loved ripping the paper off of the gifts that Grandpa and Grandmom brought for him. He didn't even eat the paper! He went right for the sweet gifts inside :)
Dan LOVES his new train, Bible, and book! Thank you Grandpa and Grandmom!
Dan is quite the talker these days (no actual words yet except "daddy" which is precious!). We took this video a little while ago. He chatters away and loves it when we get down on the floor with him. We become human jungle gyms!
After my parents left, Joe, Dan and I made our way home. It was a rainy morning, so we bundled up and headed to the train station. Here is a picture right outside our hotel with a great view of Edinburgh Castle.
My mom and dad came for a visit to St. Andrews and we had such a great time. Dan LOVED having them here and I feel like we saw so much. To start things off, we had high tea at our house. I had so much fun making the menu. It was as follows: scones (of course), oatcakes and brie, chicken salad sandwiches, vegetable plate with tzatziki (not exactly scotish), fruit plate with yogurt dip, chocolate spice cookies, and tea! We had a great time and it was a fun way to welcome them to our home.
Dan had lots of time in Grandpa and Grandmom's laps. This photo captures one of these precious moments. On the Monday after they got here, we took a road trip to Perth. We stayed in a fabulous old Scottish home outside of Perth, close to Scone (procounced "Sk-oo-n"). This is a picture of the view that we had right outside our hotel...absolutely beautiful!
Here is Grandmom with Dan in front of the hotel, Murrayshall. We had an amazing dinner there...one of the most formal and elegant I have ever had!
We visited Scone Castle while there. The grounds were gorgeous (we even accidentally had a view of the grounds that were off limits to ordinary visitors like us..oops! :)
Later in the week, we all headed to Edinburgh. Our hotel was situated right below the breathtaking Edinburgh Castle. Here's our group at the top of the hill, in front of the castle.
Dan was a trooper as he viewed everything from Daddy's back! He was so cute and excited!
And of course, the excitement usually leads to...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I just had to capture this nap on film, because it was raining and we faced some of the strongest winds ever! They closed down the castle after we left because the winds were no longer safe. All the while, Dan slept...that's my boy!
A close up of the drool and precious sleeping babe.
We said goodbye to Grandpa and Grandmom in Edinburgh. This is the morning that they left. We had such a wonderful time and hated to see them go! We love you!!!! Thank you so much for everything!!!
Grandmom had to get in one last blubber...priceless!
It's a beautiful Saturday here and we started the day with a walk through a part of St. Andrews that we had not seen. The walk is entitled "Lade Brae's Walk" and it passes through the back side of town and takes its travelers along a brook, beautiful homes, and fanciful parks for the "wee ones". The first two pictures below are taken of some of the views while we were still in the heart of the town.
At one of the parks, we saw our friends and the dads took our littles on the horsie. Our friends joined us for the rest of our walk...we had alot of fun getting to know them better amongst beautiful scenery.
This spot was our destination and the end of our walk. It truly was picturesque.
What's full Saturday without some rough play with Daddy at the end?
Here is our home. We love it! It is what we call a duplex, but what is called a "semi-detached home" here :) Our neighbors are great and the beach is really close. I love the red ivy and will be sad when the leaves fall. We have room for visitors...make plans for a trip!!!
Just one block behind our house is a beautiful park. Dan loves to swing and so far we have gone just about every day.
We headed to the "West Sands" Beach (we live by the "East Sands") one weekend. Here, Daddy and Dan are enjoying a banana-sand combo.
A view of the town from the beach. This is the beach where "Chariots of Fire" was filmed.
Dan loves the water and especially the seagulls! He looks up right away when he hears one.
This was taken in the heart of the town in Church Square. The library, a fun bakery and the church where John Knox preached are all just a few steps away from this spot.