Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas party

this year we had the opportunity to go to a children's Christmas party at the home of the US ambassador to the UK, Louis Susman and his wife! let me clarify 'home'- they live in the Winfield House, which is the second largest private garden in central London, next to Buckingham Palace! (google it, it's pretty amazing, and has a very interesting history....)
anyways, we had a fantastic evening, the house was decorated beautifully, with a couple of Christmas trees, and other decorations. there was a ton of food, and those guys who stand around with trays of drinks, super fancy. the ambassador and his wife greeted each of us personally, they were very nice and gave the boys high fives!

the boys in front of one of the trees, they were too busy looking at the ornaments to look at the camera... oh well.

this is blake standing in line to sit on santa's lap, he was SO excited, it was adorable!

blake could hardly contain his excitement, adam was more interested in the tree, but at least he didn't cry.

another beautiful tree

ambassador susman read 'twas the night before Christmas' to all the children

jonathan and blake

me and adam

after the story we all sang Christmas carols.... and the boys danced! (yes, blake has his boots on, there was 3 inches of snow outside!)

our family in front of the tree... all looking at the camera.... it's a Christmas miracle! :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

christmas cards....

.... are so not happening this year. SORRY! even at home, with all my resources available, i still struggle every year to get them out. which makes sending them from here pretty much impossible for me. i did get as far as making one on, but they never got ordered, and it costs almost $1 to send each one, (not that you're all not worth it), it's just another excuse! Here's the picture I was going to use at least....

we are grateful for each of you in our lives!

Happy Christmas from the Holmans!

Monday, December 20, 2010

London- Round 4

my baby sister came to visit us in November... it is her 4th time to London! with us living here, how could she NOT come, right!? i heard a rumor that they were thinking of giving her dual citizenship, or maybe hiring her to be a tour guide. :)

anyways, she got in around 2 in the afternoon, the boys were SO excited to see her, they showed her around the house, all their toys, their beds, etc, etc, she hardly had time to sit down. she was worried if she sat down she would fall asleep, so we decided to go do something 'london-y' and try to keep her up for a few hours.

the first thing i did was have her take a picture of all 4 of us- since most of our pictures are of 3 of us at a time :)

we went to see big ben, parliament, and Westminster abbey

another family picture

she stayed for a little over a week, and we had a TON of fun. it was nice for me to have her here to go shopping with, see the sights, and just hang out with. almost every night after jonathan got home from work, her and i would go out and play. she also watched the boys one night so jonathan and i could go on our first date in about 3 months!

we did lots of shopping, and walking

we went to see Wicked, it was amazing, phenomenal, fantastic, best show ever!

we all went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park... giving auntie some lovin'

she was here for thanksgiving, which we had at our friends house, we had a lot of fun, and great food!

and of course PLENTY of play time! marilyn is so great with the boys, she loves them so much, and it shows! they completely adore her too, she is always so much fun to play with!

some other things that we did, that i don't have pictures for were:

-a visit to Highgate, where she lived when she was going to school here, complete with dinner at her favorite pub.

-changing of the guards at Buckingham palace, and a glimpse of the queen as she was leaving the palace!

-Portobello market

- Jack the Ripper walking tour

-shopping at Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Regents Street, PRIMARK


-lots and lots and lots of walking

i feel so grateful to have such an amazing sister, I'm so glad that we're so close, we had so much fun together! it was hard to watch her leave!

thanks for coming to visit 't,' blake and adam were in heaven (they miss you tons), we love you lots!


Saturday, December 18, 2010


have i ever mentioned that my boys have the best grandparents in the world!? since we've been here we've received a package from them almost every other week! they have everything from dryer sheets, and mapleine (for syrup, since it cost almost $9 for a TINY glass jar of it!) to crafts, fruit roll-ups, mac & cheese, crystal light (because the water isn't that great here) and holiday decorations (the list could go on....). but it really wouldn't matter what is IN the package, just getting to open it and see what pa and grandma sent is SO exciting! :) my sister and her boyfriend sent one too, filled with toys for the boys! we are so spoiled!

of course they always include some licorice for me, since it's my favorite and i can't find it anywhere here!

fruit snacks and decorations

glow sticks for halloween

sock puppets!!

the coolest finger paint ever... it's clear until you put it on the special paper, then the color shows up... NO MESS!!

tons of stickers... including these Noah's Arc ones, great for a little FHE

airplane fans

since we couldn't bring very many toys for the boys, auntie marilyn sent some over, they were SO excited to have new things to play with!

in this last package were 3 books for the boys that my parents recorded themselves reading! they open them up and get to hear pa and grandma read them stories.... they absolutely LOVE them, and listen to them ALL the time. blake likes to talk back to 'grandma & pa' when they're reading, like when grandma says, "it's time to turn the page" blake says, "ok grandma, i will." or when pa says, "we're going to read you Frosty the Snowman, how about that?" blake says, "oh yeah, that would be great."
thank you pa and grandma, we love you!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

likely story

the reason that i haven't been blogging is because we've been too busy playing with THESE GUYS!

and last week we were having too much fun with this girl:

lots of updates coming soon.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

christmas lights & lord mayor's show


every year in London the switching on of Christmas lights in the West End marks the beginning of the Christmas season, various streets turn on their lights along with performers, carolers, and celebrities. between last week and this week it seems like there is a street lighting every night! last week we were able to go to the Regents Street lighting, and it was amazing! there were TONS of people, it was freezing cold, and Hamleys had fake snow blowing off their roof- it really felt like Christmas!

not only were there lights over head, but also many of the stores along Regents and Oxford (two major shopping streets) had lights on their buildings and beautiful window displays.

we had a lot of fun walking around looking at all the lights, hearing Christmas music, and just being together!

on saturday the boys and i went with another family (who we totally adore!) to see the Lord Mayor's parade & fireworks. every year the newly elected Mayor makes his way from the Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice to pledge allegiance to the Crown... this tradition has been going on for nearly 800 years!! the parade was awesome, we all loved it! we were planning on going to see the fireworks, but got stuck in traffic on the bus and missed it! so instead we met up with jonathan (which was no small feat--trying to find him on a street with a million people and a wife who is sometimes directionally challenged, made it a little difficult), then we went out for pizza with our friends. it was the best day ever... i could not have done it without the help of Bryn, Nate, and their boys! Thanks guys, we had a blast!!

Lord Mayor Michael Bear