Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Olympics - Party on the Thames

Garett and I attended a black tie party on a luxury yacht which cruised down the Thames last night during the Opening Ceremony.  There were 200+ people on the boat. The men looked debonaire in black tie (including a couple of men in white tuxedo jackets channeling James Bond).  The women wore all different styles of sparkly, beaded and feathered dresses.  The mood was festive, starting with the champagne as we boarded the boat.  Being London, it rained a couple of times - but otherwise we could enjoy the evening air.  It was really amazing to see London at night from the river and to pass beneath the Olympic rings.

Ryan was back at the flat with Diana and stayed up late to watch Romania (Diana's home country) and team USA enter the stadium.  Ryan's assessment of the show: "The first acts were really boring and endless except when the Queen parachuted down from a helicopter".

Shelly & Garett

 Cruising beneath Tower Bridge and the Olympic rings

The O2 Centre (where gymnastics will be held)

Cheeky souvenir

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grace is a Bicycle Rider!

Grace learned to ride her bike without training wheels tonight. She had been working on it without the pedals on the bike for some time now.  She was doing really well, so John put the pedals back on and she worked on it for about an hour.  John and Paul went off to the hardware store and by the time they returned she had figured it out.  All the neighbors were out watching as well.  In the first video you can see our neighbor, Lisa, mowing the lawn.  Notice her 2year old, Ara, come racing down the hill with the toy lawn mower to help her.  The neighbor on the left is Jan Staton from across the street.  The second video is just 45 minutes later.

Paul's Boy Scout Camp

Paul was at Boy Scout Camp during the 3rd week in July. Here are a few photos from the last evening. One is a photo of the whole Boy Scout troop as well as the Adventure Crew, which is co-ed. At one point everyone was asked what their favorite and least favorite things from the week were. Paul had a hard time coming up with his favorites and I captured a photo of him "thinking". Finally, Paul's troop did a skit at the closing campfire. Paul is wearing his orange and black hat. Since some of the audio is difficult to hear, let me summarize. Paul and his friend encounter a "magic" wall. Paul throws a stick over (oops!), then a penny, and finally his friend spits over the wall. The rest is self explanatory.

Close Encounters with the Olympic Torch

Today the Olympic Torch passed right outside of my office around 9:00 a.m.  I thought about watching it from my 7th floor window, but my friend Matt convinced me to go down and get close to the action.  It was a beautiful sunny morning and thousands of people lined the street as the Olympic flame made its way up Ludgate Hill towards St. Paul's Cathedral.  In addition to all of the people in the street, there were people hanging out of windows and standing on the rooftops.  The atmosphere was festive and even the gigantic corporate sponsor vehicles didn't spoil the excitement.  Too bad I can't get Matt's video to upload properly.

About 8 hours later at 5:00 p.m. Garett spied the Torch on Oxford Street.

The anticipation for tomorrow night's Opening Ceremonies is building!  There are lots of people with official Olympics badges on the tube, at my smoothie shop, and everywhere else you look.  Stay tuned for more updates.

The crowds line Ludgate Hill in central London

British pride

Who is this goofy guy?  Wenlock the weird mascot

Can't believe I was THIS close to the Olympic flame (apologies for the torch bearer's fist)

Garett spied the Torch later in the day on Oxford Street - can you see it on top of the bus?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grandpa's visit

Tim visited us in the middle of July. Khuslen loved spending time with grandpa Tim. He went to see the  " Curious George" exhibition with his grandpa at the Children's Museum and Khuslen loved playing at the museum. Grandpa loved Khuslen's new hair cut.
Тим өвөө нь Хүслэн хүүгийн гэрт айлчилж ирлээ. Хүслэн хүү Тим өвөөтэйгээ хамт цагийг их зугаатай өнгөрөөлөө. Тэд хамтдаа " Сониуч зантай Жоорж" гэдэг үзэсгэлэнг үзлээ. Мөн тэрээр гэртээ өвөөтэйгээ зөндөө их тоглолоо. Өвөө нь Хүслэн хүүгийн үсээ тайруулсаныг хараад их хөөрхөн зохиж байна гэж хэллээ. 

Opening the birthday presents

Opening the birthday presents

1st time in South Bend, IN

Khuslen went 1st time to South Bend, Indiana with his parents on June 30 to July 4th. We spent the saturday afternoon and evening with Sean, Beth and Liam. Then next day, we drove to South Bend. On the way to South Bend, Khuslen enjoyed seeing all the trains passing by and he was entertained a lot seeing all the trains. He was also so happy to see his cousins and  spent time with them. We went to the swimming pool and Khuslen enjoyed playing in the water with his cousins. He also loved the zoo and liked seeing different kind of animals at the zoo. He also celebrated Elizabeth's birthday.
Хүслэн хүү анх удаа аавынхаа ахын амьдардаг Индиана мужиийн Саут Бэнд хотод 6 сарын 30-наас 7 сарын 4-ны хооронд айчлаад ирлээ. Замдаа аавынхаа найз болон Шооны гэр бүлтэй бямба гаригийг тухтай өнгөрүүллээ. Тэрээр Саут Бэнд хот руу явах зам зуураа зөндөө олон галт тэрэг өнгөрөхийг хараад маш их баярлалаа. Хүслэн хүү өөрийн үеэлүүдтэйгээ хамт бассейнд очиж, усаар тоглохын зэрэгцээ амьтны хүрээлэнд очиж цагийг их хөгжилтэй өнгөрөөлөө. Мөн тэрээр үеэл эгч Элизабэтийн төрсөн өдрийг хамт тэмдэглэлээ.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chess Finals

The English Primary Schools Chess Association Finals were held on July 3rd-4th in Brean (3 hours west of London on the coast).  Ryan's team was in the top 8 teams across England to advance out of 109 schools that qualified for the semi-finals ("Under 9").  Interestingly, most of the schools in his age group were from London.  UCS finished 6th and Ryan won 50% of his matches.  He was the only member of his team to beat his opponent from the school that won the overall championship.

It was a dreary and rainy couple of days, but the boys had a great time.  Ryan missed the last day of school yesterday, which meant he missed prize giving day.  He found out that he won the academic award for his form (class) which goes to the  boy with top academic marks for the year.  His prize was a book.  All-in-all it was a good way to end the school year.  Now summer can begin...if only the weather would improve!

Ryan with award

UCS "A Team" - Solal, Tim, Jazel, Ryan and Tim (and Sheila the chess coach)

Ryan and Solal get a little iPad time between matches

Village of Lympsham - Beautiful pink hydrangeas

View from our B&B - Burton Row Farmhouse (note ducks)

Tired of the rain

Round 7 - Ryan is at the end (to the left of the guy leaning over).  Strangely, they had individual chess lamps for each board.