Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Keep Calm

The motto here during the war was "Keep Calm and Carry On." I have seen the motto altered in several ways, one of my favorites being "Keep Calm and eat a Cupcake." On Sunday night I attended a women's meeting that chose the motto "Keep Calm and go to the Temple."  It was a great night and it reminded me of how flippin lucky I am that our current temple is 3 1/2 hours away (close enough to do a day trip) and that my temple at home in Bountiful is just 5 minutes away.  I truly believe that regular temple attendance helps people to be calm, and to carry on.

"Holiness to the Lord. The House of the Lord." Those are the words etched on the outside of every Mormon temple.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Preston in the Kitchen

The highlight of today was getting to go to Preston's Secondary School for the final cook off of the S2's. ABout a month ago he won the semifinals in his class, and today he got the chance to compete against all of the other semifinal winners.  He didn't win, but was able to enjoy an afternoon off from his normal schedule, and got the opportunity to experience the stress that comes with attempting culinary perfection.  Well done, Preston.

We woke up to two little sweethearts who needed some good morning cuddles.

Owen cheering on his big brother Preston.

Who doesn't love to cook with a nice white dress shirt and tie? A very good looking group of chefs!

Sunday, April 28, 2013


7 months ago we drove from Salt Lake City, Utah to Tucson, Az then up to Mesa, AZ.  We flew from Phoenix, to London, and then on to Edinburgh, Scotland.  We started the trip with 19 bags, and ended with 18.  Preston's luggage, that contained many new articles of clothing was lost.  I woke to an email this morning, with the blessed news that the bag has been found. The bad news is this: in the last 7 months My 13 year old son has grown out of 3 sets of new trousers, and is now over 6' tall.  I seriously doubt that anything will fit, but it will be fun to open the time capsule of what he thought he would need when we got to Edinburgh.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Edinburgh Zoo

Today was finally lovely enough, mostly sunny, to turn heading to the zoo into a reality, and not just a dream.  The whole family was there, soaking up the sun and fresh air.  It was lovely.  I love the zoo. I love the animals.  I love being so close to so many of God's wonderful creations.  I love seeing the excitement in my kids eyes as they come upon each new animal.  I love the stinky smells and lifting my littles to get a better view. I love the zoo.

Simon and Calvin posing with the sea eagle.  It has very large talons. 

Calvin with approving of the penguin exhibit.  It really was fantastic.

Edinburgh Soo actually had this totally sweet ropes course.  Preston, Calvin, Simon and Annie couldn't pass up the chance.

Monkeying around at the zoo.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Baller

Calvin and some of his classmates are on a school basketball team.  Every Friday afternoon, they compete against other primary school teams at the local secondary school.  It was so fun to watch.  He had a great time. There was even an empty court where Annie, Simon and Owen got to practice dribbling while Calving played.  Preston even got in on the action, since he towered over everyone there and had no competition on the rebounds.  I must confess, the song "I Wish" by Skee Low was stuck in my head the entire tournament.  It is an absolute favorite, and Ryan and I listened to it in the car about 30 minutes before he proposed to me, over 14 years ago. If you want to hear this Lindsey endorsed song, then go to grooveshark.com and look it up.  The song is ridiculous, but makes me smile.  You will wish you were a baller, too.

Calvin after working up a sweat.

Calvin and the Craighlockhart Primary School team.  Co-ed. Co-ool.

Tonight was finished off by some artistic performances.

Clown show courtesy of Owen and Calvin.

Why did the (name a food) cross the road?
So the (food name) could be eaten.  They finished with a wrestling match.

SImon and Annie wrapped up the show with a choreographed dance to Calling all the Monsters.  Annie was a dead bride. SImon was a vampire.  It was great.

The final bow.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mrs. Butterworths

How happy were my children today when they sat down to buttermilk pancakes and "real" syrup, brought fresh from Washington, D.C.  Here in Scotland most folks pour a sweet concoction called Golden Syrup on their waffles, but unlike haggis,  we haven't quite taken to it.  It was a wonderful morning.  Ryan made the pancakes this morning and brought four syrup bottles back with him on his flight yesterday.  I don't think they will last the weekend.  Don't fret, however,  because we still have a supply of Nutella and whipped cream that can help to fill our daily empty calorie quota.

Reality:  Real maple syrup costs four times as much as the processed corn syrup.  My kids and wallet prefer the fake stuff, but I am still a deliciousness advocate. I can appreciate Mrs. Butterworth, but will always prefer mother nature's maple syrup.  

Hailing a Taxi

I think that I hailed a taxi for the first time in my life today.*  I did it just like a I've seen it done in the movies, with a Stayin' Alive point into the sky.  We walked to dinner with Troy and Crystal, but my boys had to be at the church by 7:00pm to work on a program called "Faith in God." Dinner was late in coming, but still wonderfully delicious, so a taxi carried the day.  We have just loved having visitors. Dear friends and family, if you miss the Smith family more than words can express, and have ever wanted to check out Scotland, contact me and book a flight!

Strike this pose when trying to get a taxi, and you won't have to wait for long.
*I totally forgot to post yesterday because I was chatting with my house guests into the wee hours of the morning.  This entry is for April 24th, 2013.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

First Visit From Family!!!

And the winner of the first family to visit the Smith's in Scotland goes to Troy an Crystal Bowman!  Boy were the kids excited!  Troy is taller than I remember.  And Crystal can still hold the most fascinating conversation in the wee hours of the night.  It is just so night to see family.  The arrived just in time for dinner: fettucine alfredo, chicken, salad and baguette.  The food was good, our company are fantastic!

Owen in all his awesomeness removed our fish with his bare hand so that we could change Chippy's water.  he was so proud of himself.  I was so proud of him.

My children snuggling with their Aunt Crystal and Uncle Troy.   So glad to have them here.  I'm already planning to sabotage their return flight.  Any good suggestions?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Buisness in Washington

Guest Post: Ryan E. Smith reporting from Washington DC.

My flight was cancelled to Washington on Saturday, so I ended up spending the night in London to catch the early flight out to the states.  Since it was a prepaid room, when I arrived in Washington around 1:00 pm, I caught a cab to the hotel and got checked in immediately.  Once I finally got online I looked up the meetinghouse locator on lds.org and discovered the only ward that still had a sacrament meeting available was next to the Washington DC Temple.  I got dressed, grabbed a cab and went to Lexington near DC.  I barely arrived in time to partake of the sacrament.  Apparently this was the temple matron ward - literally all the members were missionaries called as temple workers to the DC temple.  Think about 30 couples, all white hair, quiet in sacrament meeting.  You could have heard a pin drop.  A visit to the temple visitor center and walk around the temple finished my afternoon.

I usually do not bring a razor when I travel because I like to get a brand new one, albeit only a duo-blade, from the hotel where I stay.  Hotels have these nice shaving kits and like to try the shaving cream options.  At home I simply use soap.  It is not ideal, but it does the job.  Because I had an extra day added to my trip, and the day I arrived in Washington I hurried off to church, I got back tired and went to sleep.

So this morning, when I woke up for my meeting and after 3 days of not shaving, I called housekeeping and they brought me a shaving kit.  Good so far.  I opened the kit and found neatly packaged shaving cream and a separately packaged razor.  Still good thus far.  I placed shaving cream on my face, lathering it up really good and thick, and now this is where it gets bad.  I begin shaving pressing lighting with the razor.  I figure since this is a new razor the chances of a cut are increased and so I take it easy.  I might as well have been trying to shave with a butter knife, but one that grabs every hair and yanks until it comes out.  This was the dullest razor I have ever experienced.  I do not know what it was, but this new razor was not performing as a new razor, unless it was intended as a torture device.  I screamed, I cried and my eyes were watering great drops of agony.  About half way through I thought about asking for another, but this one was packaged so, what gives.  I also considered going down to the local CVS to get a new razor, but 15 minutes later I had a clean face, red from the torture. 

Something wonderful happened this morning however.  Because of the time difference between the UK and Washington, I woke up inhumanly early in the morning and could not sleep, so I finished my presentation for the day's meetings and then headed to the gym for a run.  I was running on the treadmill not more than 2 minutes when I noticed pictures in the mirror in front of me reflecting photographs mounted on the wall behind me of the Lincoln Memorial.  It suddenly hit me, you are in Washington!  So I jumped off the treadmill and headed out on a morning run.  I must admit, it felt amazing to run with the smell and sight of the cherry blossoms out.  I ran about a mile from the hotel to my favorite installation of the 20th century, the Vietnam Memorial and then on to the Lincoln Memorial.  There were many runners this morning, likely having the same thought I did in their hotel rooms, reading the first and second inauguration addresses where he spoke to abolish slavery and end the Civil War.  Truly a man "fitted" for his time and place by God.

Now I am done with meetings for the day and off to buy American groceries for my family...again.  Missing my family and loving living in the UK, but feeling very patriotic today in the capitol - God Bless America, Land that I Love!