Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer...What Summer?

Around this time year people are always asking “Did you enjoy your summer?” And I have this urge to say “Summer, what Summer?” Oh yeah, it was that one week in June…I think I blinked sometime during that week, maybe took a nap...or two. Oh well, there’s always next year right? Right??

Anyways, Fall is setting in and we even have some leaves falling. This is my FAVORITE time of year. The air is cool and crisp, the leaves beautiful, and holidays are just around the corner. I sure do miss our family around this time. We’re halfway through out time here….so yup, homesickness is right on time. Must find ways to occupy myself for the next year and a half.

Well, for one, Hunter will starting kindergarten soon! We are homeschooling, so it’s not quite as exciting for him as it would be if he were actually going to school. I’m excited though! I’m using a wide range of curriculum instead of a one company box set. I’m sure it’s easier that way, but since when do I choose the easy route? Anyway, if anyone is interested the books I’m using just shoot me an email- I’ll be happy to share :)

Since Aaron was away for most of the “summer” in Germany we didn’t get to do any traveling, so we’re trying to make up for it now. Next week we’ll be heading to Wales for 5 days. It’s Aaron’s turn to plan our trip and I think he has the itinerary jammed, so I should have plenty of picture to share when we get back. I’m really looking forward to it! Something I didn’t know until recently is that the Welsh still fluently speak Gaelic. Even their road signs are written in the language. Can’t wait to hear it spoken!

And as always- the Ollis BnB and “tour guide” operation is open year around!!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independant Women

It's been a crazy week! Hunter and I finally made it to Germany on Thursday...it was some journey. The plan was to take a military flight which would be free for us, but that didn't happen because an important document didn't come in. So we finally broke down and took a flight out of London. To all those moms who have flown alone with their children- kudos to you!! Can you say stressful!? Cause that's what it was s-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l! At one point I almost took out a china man's most favorite body part with our luggage....why do those things happen to ME!?

All that aside, we landed safely at the airport in Germany. One feat down, a few more to go....Now to rent a car. Thank GOD most Germans speak English. That made renting the car easy. Next feat- driving on the right side of the car, on the right side of the road (which I'm no longer used to!), in another country where I can't read the signs, and don't know their driving customs (can I turn left on red if nothing is coming!?)...AHHH, is this day over yet? Fortunately our GPS/SatNav worked in Germany which got me where I needed to go, but it's still unnerving not being able to read signs...especially the warning signs!

Next feat- picking up Aaron from a restaurant, one that I don't know how to get to. This would have been easy had I had the zip code. After driving around for an hour, and turning around somewhere around 20 times, Aaron eventually walked to the base where I picked him up. FINALLY- we get to see Aaron after a whole month! Hunter was estactic and wouldn't let Aaron out of his sight. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder!
The rest of this week is going to be spent exploring the local villages, and next week exploring the local countries! The French boarder is a mere 30 minutes away...Have I ever mentioned I love Eurpe!?

Stay tuned for my post about driving on the Autobahn!


PS- sorry for any mispelled words...the computer is checking for mispelled words in German...not helping me much since all the words are lighting up....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Crazy Life

Well, just in case being a military family and living in another country wasn't exciting (and sometimes stressful) enough, we decided to add our own excitement (and a bit of stress). After living here for a year our little house began getting smaller by the day- so we decided to find another one, which we did- quickly. And of course, as soon as we began the process of getting the house, the military throws in it's excitement (and LOTS of stress)! Just a few weeks later, Aaron would be leaving for a six week class in Germany. We had just enough time to finish paperwork, move into the new house, and clean the old one with just a few days to spare. It was a little too close, but it all worked out and Aaron is safely in Germany. The house is halfway unpacked and Hunter and I are adjusting to the new house nicely. In a week or two Hunter and I will be joining Aaron and Germany and will be visiting with some friends there.

The BEST part of our new house (aside from the added space!) are the views. The home is actually a parsonage- so to the left is a horse pasture and the church which was built in the 13th century! Behind the house is the Nene River with beautiful English countryside on the other side. Long river boats can be seen floating down the river several times a day, more so on weekends. We're is a small village where we kind of stick out as Americans. Aaron's truck is a dead giveaway. We've had several neighbors come and introduce themselves, and they are all super nice.

Here are a few pics

Side View- loves those horses!
View from the back
This photo doesn't compare to real life!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the fabulous moms, grandmas, and aunties in my family's lives! We appreciate all your love and support. Hope you have a pampered and relaxing day!
A special thank you to my mom- I wouldn't be who I am today without you! I love you and miss you Mom.
~Candace (and The Ollis Family)
My Mother's Day flowers from Aaron and Hunter- Calla Lillies were Aaron's and mine wedding flower. Thank you hun- I love you!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

In Hibernation

Hey Fam and Friends!

It’s been 4 months since I last posted- am I lazy or what? I guess we’ve been hibernating all winter, so not many things to report. Winter was cold, grey, wet, grey, windy, and did I mention grey?? But we survived and are ready for a fabulous summer! The weather has been really nice the past few weeks with hardly a gray day (why is there two ways to spell that word?) Spring here we come!
Our summer plans include a week in Wales, possibly a trip to Ireland, a few castles, the “seaside,” and Lego Land a few times. That’s lots of plans so we’ll see what time and budget allows!
We are possibly moving houses in the next month or so. This place is a bit further away but it has much needed space, and another big plus- it’s in the country so we feel right at home! There is a horse pasture right next to the house, a 13th century church beside that, and a river in the back. Lots for Hunter to explore. As for me, I plan on sneaking the horses apples :)
I’ll post some pics as soon as I know the place is ours.

Another big thing going on in our house is homeschooling!

Hunter and I started about 5 weeks ago and it’s going really well! It’s preschool work focusing on phonics and math,

and of course art projects........

I’m hoping he’ll be reading fairly well by the end of the year and we can start kindergarten work. Say a prayer for us as we travel this road!

Lots of love to everybody- hope all is well!


PS- I’ll be back posting some the trips we took earlier this year and late last year pretty soon. I guess we did do a few things during the winter…

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Divided by a Common Language- Round 2

So here is the second of 3 parts to differences in American and British English! To my British friends- Please correct me if I'm wrong!!!

Lorry- semi-truck
Bill- check (as is restaurant check)
white coffee- coffee with cream or milk (makes sense...)
tostie- toasted sandwich (not to be confused with paninis- they have those too!)
Holiday- vacation
Seaside- ocean
Nappy- diaper
Cot- crib
Toilet- bathroom, restroom
mobile- cell (phone)
Football- soccer
Services- rest stop (but with restaurants and gas stations)
Telly- TV
Fortnight- two weeks
Trolly- shopping cart
Prawn- shrimp
Lift- elevator
ground floor- first floor
first floor - second floor (and so on)
decorator- painter
hire- rent (like rent a video- they say a video for hire)
primary school- elementary school
secondary school- middle school
upper school- high school
University- college
Advert- ad (advertisement)
Scheme- program ( ex: like the store cards in America- you get benefits for using it when you check out)
Ring- call (as in call me- ring me)

Have fun using your new words!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!!

To all our family and friends- Merry Christmas!

Only one day left until the big day! This month has flown by. Funny how when you're a child time passes slowly, but as an adult it goes quickly. Those 24 days can be torturous for a kid!

This is a view from our front door the day after the first snow.

This is our tree over three weeks ago when it was nice and green, and the limbs were pointing down!!
I hope you all are enjoying this Christmas and take time to focus on the real reason of this holiday- a gift from God to save us all.
May you all have a blessed Christmas and safe New Year!!
Love to all-
~The Ollis Family

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Commentary of the Nativity....

Hunter was so funny tonight. We just finished making some sugar cookies, and we opened the next box containing a piece of the nativity scene. We now have three pieces- Gabriel, Mary, and Joseph. Hunt starts playing with them like they're action figures or something. Here is how the commentary went:
Joseph to Gabriel: "Hey dude, how's it going"
Gabriel to Joseph: "Good. I'm just waiting for baby Jesus to come out of the box."
J to G: "When's he coming?"
G to J: "Oh, in about 3 hours..."

Hunt's nativity set...

That kid acts like it hurts to smile!
It's hard to imagine angel Gabriel saying hey dude! I guess they used slang some two thousand years ago too :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Ollis' in Stonehenge

A few months ago in September we took a trip and stopped at Stonehenge. We had heard mixed comments about it so we weren't really sure what to expect. Many have said it's much smaller then they imagined.

The thing that surprised us both, that you can't see in this picture, is that there is a highway right next to the beautiful field that Stonehenge in on.

Although Stonehenge is fairly small, it's still a pretty amazing thing to see. It dates back something like 5000BC and the stones actually came from Wales. The fact that people were able to move stones that size, that far of a distance is impressive to say the least.

Some of the stones were less intact than I realized. Even though it was a windy, cold day the sky was clear and perfect for pictures!

A wall mural of the original structure in it's entirety.

Love that wind in the hair!

Just the two of us....

This was the B and B we stayed in that night, before heading to Bath the next day. This is a really, really old wind mill converted into a home and B and B. I'm sorry I can't remember it's age, or when it was converted! I do know it was abandoned in the sixties, so the renovation is fairly recent. It was a pretty cool place- the bed was round, Hunter had a little cot to sleep on, and the bathroom was great! There was a few steps up into it, and there was this nice jacuzzi! Breakfast the next morning was a little awkward though... there were two other older couples, so no other kids. We ordered pancakes to be on the safe side, but they were strange and had a weird apricot sauce....not our thing but it's fun to try something new.
So despite what others say, I definitely think Stonehenge is worth seeing! If you get the chance-take it! Or you can come visit us and we'll take you :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterns Day Salute

Thank you to all those who have served and are serving today. We appreciate your sacrifices to protect our country and its freedoms.

Special thanks to my Grandpa and his service in Germany. Will never forget what you did.

Another special thanks to my dad-in-law, brother-in-law, and of course my own special Sergeant.

Love you all.


This is a photograph of Madingley Cemetery. It is near Cambridge, England, about 30 minutes from where we live. It hold American soldiers from WWII. On Veterans Day a ceremony is held to honor those who gave their lives for their country.

We hope to one day be in attendance of that ceremony while in the UK.

Take time to thank a veteran today!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Divided by a Common Language- round 1

NO language barrier? I'm not so sure!

The other day as we were taking the tube (subway) into London, a man said something that made me laugh. He and Aaron were having a hard time understanding each other. They were actually saying the same thing- just pronouncing the word differently. "I suppose we are two nations divided by a common language" the man said.
So, I thought I would publish a list of words that we've learned since coming almost 7 months ago. Some you may know, others not so much. Then there's a few that you just think, "What?"
The list became quite long, so I'm only posting part of it. I hope some make you laugh!
Pram- baby stroller
Bangers- sausage links
Cooker- oven
Car park- parking lot (ok, this one makes sense)
Rashers- bacon
Scones- biscuits (usually made with fruit of cheese)
Biscuits- cookies
Lounge- living room
Extractor- over head range fan for the stove
Water closet- down stairs half bath
Rubbage- trash
Hob- stove top
To let- for rent
Motorway- Interstate
Garden- yard
Boot- car trunk
Bonnet- car hood
Fueling station- gas station (that one is kinda duh)
Cheers- thanks or bye (very versatile word really)
Till- cash register
Quid- buck (as in money)
Mash- mashed potatoes
ATM- cash machine
SatNav- GPS
Chemist- Pharmacist
Trousers- pants
Pants- underwear
Cinema- movie theatre
Chips- french fries
Crisps- potato chips
Hoover- vacuum

More to come later!

Love to you all,

The Beautiful City of Bath

Back in September we took a trip to Stonehenge and the city of Bath. Bath has to be the most beautiful city I've ever seen! (Not that I've seen a lot cities, but WOW!) It's very picturesque and romantic; and for some reason strangely quite. We saw the most famous tourist attractions, but there is SO much more. It would be easy to spend days there.
One of the most interesting things I learned there was that Jane Austin lived there, and drew inspiration for her writings from the beautiful area. There is a Jane Austin museum there I would like to eventually visit.

In this first picture is the famous Pulteney Bridge- though I'm not sure what it's famous for. Just on the other side of the bridge we found Aaron's new favorite shop, an antique map store. He purchased a map of the city we live in that is over 400 years old! For a little perspective, that's older than the Declaration of Independence!

We didn't get close enough to this monument to see what it really was, but I thought it looked like an exact, smaller Washington Monument!

The beautiful streets of Bath :)

This was beautiful to see in person.

For a funny (and a little disturbing) note: For those who have seen the movie Wall-E, remember seeing the pictures of all the captains, with Auto in the background? That's what the security camera behind the statue reminds me of...Big brother is watching!
The gorgeous Bath Abbey Church! This is still an active church today, and was originally founded in 1499! I would LOVE to attend one of their Sunday morning services. They are well known for performances from their choir and visiting choirs.

So, it took us a while to figure it out- but these were real people! They were really good, and we wouldn't have known if it weren't for them VERY slowly raising their cups to their mouth as if to take a drink. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it must be to be completely covered in gold paint!
This is the Roman Baths (hence the name of the town!). The hot springs were thought to have healing powers, which is why the Romans turned it into a bathing place (don't know about you, but public bathing doesn't sound good to me!). There is still a spa today! The original pump room has been turned into an elegant tea room, where you can also sample the hot springs water. It's warm and has a strong mineral taste, but if I live to be 200 we'll know why (I really don't want to live to be 200 for the record).

Second floor view of the baths.

Hunter touching the "healing waters." :)

So this was a first for us....it's not secret that the English like their cafes. Almost every store of reasonable size has it's own cafe. But a CHURCH with a cafe??

So that's the highlights of Bath! We definitely hope to visit it again while we're here in England. There's just so much to see and we didn't even put a dent in it. And it's just plain pretty!