27 October 2012

Making Jack-O-Lanterns

Amanda and I decided to try this last year after picking up a kit in Houston.  The kit contained a few patterns and some tools to make hacking a pumpkin into a little safer than using a knife which is what we used to do as little kids.

Pumpkins pre butchery
This is Daddy and Fiona working on Fiona's pumpkin

Fiona assisting
Fiona and Daddy

This is Mummy working on the toughest of the three we completed this year a haunted house on the biggest pumpkin we had.
Mummy working hard

Still working on it

Removing pieces

Steps to make a Jack-O-Lantern 
1. Cut base of pumpkin ensuring you notch the base for easy reassembly.
2. Remove the pumpkin's insides and scrape the walls thinner.
3. Transfer design to the outside.
4. Cut out design making sure you remove the right parts.
5. Use a candle to illuminate lantern from the inside.
6. Turn out the lights and marvel at the wonder you have just created.

Tools of the trade
Fiona's Pumpkin
Daddy's Pumpkin
Mummy's pumpkin
All lit up
Seeds to be roasted

26 October 2012

Alaska update....

Hello all again,
Following on from this post http://itsnotjustaboutabike.blogspot.com/2012/10/alaska-no-they-dont-all-live-in-igloos.html
It now looks like we will be in Alaska for Amanda to start work in early December.  
The countdown is on

This page has a nice video about Anchorage, Alaska

Once again we are super excited to be going, an although there are a lot of things we will miss about Bogota, we are both looking forward to the challenges that moving to a new location will bring.

Current weather

PS At the moment our to do list keeps getting longer and longer each and every day..... only now we have just over a month to organise everything and make some big decisions arrrrgh!!!

19 October 2012

more holidays in the USA

Once again the Blades family managed to get out of Colombia for a whistle stop tour of the USA.  This time we were going to Missouri to meet with Amanda's family who I have not yet had the chance to meet.

We left Bogota on a Tuesday morning and arrived at Auntie Emily's who very kindly put up with us for a few days.  During this time we managed to get my driving licence (thanks Mum and Emily), meet some people Amanda will be loosely working with, get a hair cut for Fiona and Amanda, buy clothes for Fiona, have lunch at Pops,  get Amanda's phone fixed, test drive a car and all before we left for Missouri.

The drive to Missouri started off wet and stormy but before long it had turned out hot and sunny which was really nice.  We stopped at the state welcome centre which had a really nice play area for Fiona.

Welcome home Amanda
After we had got to the hotel we made the trip to see Amanda's cousin Dusty and had a great evening chatting and learning I am really bad on the Xbox Kinetic though I do want one. 

Saturday brought a planned trip to Incredible Pizza to meet up with some of Amanda's friends from school and university.  Once we had all eaten all we could from the buffet we headed out to play games and drive go karts in the recreation part of business.  Thank you to Stormy, Ian, Venji, Joe, Justin, Liz, Dusty, Linda,  Kayla, Barbara and all the kids for meeting up with us.  We had a blast.  

Driving the train

Tornado watch
After a short power nap in the afternoon for Fiona we headed down to Bass Pro for some dinner.  We had a great evening and just as we were paying the bill we were all informed we need to head to the basement for shelter as there was a tornado on the way.  Lucky for us it hit north of where we were.  Also if you are going to get hit by a tornado its best to have some survival equipment, I'm sure we could have found something in the store, they even had Fish, Turtles and Alligators to survive on. 

Springfield Lake

On the Sunday morning we headed down to Cabool where Amanda grew up to have breakfast with some of her friends from school.  Thanks to Samantha, Rusty, Ella, Ian, Amanda and Jasmine for meeting up with us.  After a relaxing breakfast we headed down the road to see Katie, Bob and the dogs in Arkansas.  On the way we stopped at Mammoth Springs.  The spring flows a steady 10m3/second all year and since a feasibility study in 1981 it has been determined unsuitable to tap the hydro electric potential of this.  Seems crazy but alas that is the world we live in.

Dingle Dangle Scarecrows

The Big Gun
Mammoth Spring

Once we arrived at Katie and Bob's we settled in then headed out to a great Mexican restaurant for dinner.  Luckily this time the weather had improved so no Tornado warnings were required.  We spent the evening hanging out at Katie and Bob's.

Monday morning saw us hit the road again and head back to Oklahoma City for the remainder of our holiday.  The driving was nice and easy especially for the first part where we were able to follow Katie and Bob, they even took us through nowhere land according to the Sat Nav.

Mass tickle tickle 
Rest stop in Arkansas
This holiday's budget rental car 

Back in Oklahoma relaxing with Toba

Tuesday was mainly spent relaxing for Fiona, Amanda and I while Emily got to go to work.

Wednesday was our final day of the holiday however as we had arranged an overnight flight back to Colombia it meant we were able to spend the day hanging out with Emily.  We choose to go and visit a Pumpkin Patch.  Having looked online we settled on the Orr family farm and it was a good choice.  Although I have been informed that normally you get to go into the field to pick the pumpkin Fiona seemed to enjoy picking hers from the selection. The farm also had a train, peddle karts, giant slides, animal feeding and hay rides it was really well set out for both big and little kids alike.

The usual suspects

Goat feeding
Giant pillows
Pumpkin selection
This one
Thanks again to everyone we saw. We once again had a great holiday and are now looking forward to our next trip which should hopefully be the move to Alaska.  

Alaska.... no they don't all live in Igloos

Hi all just a quick update on what we are doing and where we are going.

So it seems that the Blades family will be moving to Anchorage, Alaska at the end of 2012.

For the people back in the UK, Alaska is BIG!!!!

This is a comparison of Texas to Europe 

This is Texas compared to Alaska

And this is Alaska compared to the lower 48

We are all excited to be going, well not sure about Fiona but mum and dad are.  Will keep people posted as we get more information with exact dates.  

The countdown is on