Now for another installment of photos from Hannah and I's trip to Europe (London and Paris). Here are links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5, if you haven't seen them already.
Today, photos from Windsor... the queen's "favorite weekend residence." We were all totally delighted with our (self-guided) tour of Windsor.
Windsor just seems to go on and on and on.... unfortunately, no photography was allowed inside of the castle, so you'll just have to take my word for it. The artwork and opulence were astounding.
A fabulous garden... in what once was the moat!
We arrived in time to catch the "changing of the guard." It was a much longer ceremony than I anticipated (all of 30 min).
With music too!
Some more floral elegance.... it was *everywhere*, it seemed.
On our way back to the train I had to pause and capture a bit of cobblestone history... just imagine all of the people who have trod this street!
Check out this little leaning restaurant! The crooked house of Windsor. Built in 1718. I suppose if I were that old I might have a bit of lean to me too!
I have one last post yet to come with photos from the Paris part of our trip.... hopefully later this week.
And, on the home front, we've been fully entrenched in summer here. Our oldest son Nate was home for almost a full delightful week on vacation from the Army (Ft. Benning, GA). We so thoroughly enjoyed our time with him. He totally doted on his siblings... taking them swimming and kayaking, playing ball in the backyard, playing card games. I enjoyed our late night talks.
Tom and I even took the older children and Nate to Worlds of Fun, an amusement park here in Kansas City. Tom and I's tickets were an anniversary gift from our oldest daughter Micah and her husband! Cool anniversary gift, huh? I hadn't been there since I was in high school. (which was, um, a few years ago!) Our main priority at the park was to ride the roller coasters as many times as possible. (I *love* roller coasters!) It was so hot (95 F.) that we had no wait in lines at all. So we were able to terrify ourselves to our heart's content.
We were all sad when it came time for Nate to return to his responsibilities as a chaplain's assistant. We do have fabulous memories from the past week and we can look forward to the next visit though.
This summer, although young, has already been punctuated with lots of bicycling and swimming. I *love* getting to live, fully-engaged with my family. Until I injured my hip last week Tom and I were running together too. (more on some things I am learning about running as a result of my injury soon)
Are you like me? When you embark on a new passion, do you tend to totally immerse yourself in that topic? My topic of late has been triathlon... swimming (*so* much to learn here), bicycling and running. It is never good enough for me to simply read one book... I am always compelled to completely deplete our public library system of each and every pertinent book on the topics of choice that were written in the past 5-7 years. You never know... there could be some really important info in one book that is not covered in another!
The problem with my approach is that I can tend to let other important things slide. Can you imagine? My family actually wants meals... and three times/day, no less!
So I am gradually cooking large quantities of meals, for us to eat now and enough of each dish to freeze several extra meal-sized portions. Here's a link to one of my ground beef cooking plans.
I am planning some chicken meals for this week. That's usually how I plan my batch cooking. I don't cook lots of different meals for weekend straight like I used to, but instead I'll plan 5-10 different recipes each featuring one type of meat. Then I simply cook a super-large quantity of one meal each day, eating one portion for dinner and freezing the other meal-sized portions for a later date. It is so helpful to have lots of meal options in the freezer.
Yesterday we butchered about 100 Cornish Cross chickens (meat birds) then tucked them in the freezer today after icing them down in coolers for 24 hours. I'm so grateful that we have enough space to raise these delicious birds... affordable organic meat~ so yummy! So tomorrow I'll begin on some of our favorite chicken freezer meals. Perhaps I can post those recipes later this week... we'll see how things go. (read, "how much time I spend reading tri books rather than attending to my responsibilities here!")
I'm also beginning to plan for our next school year (yes, a little late due to my triathlon obsession), but it's ok... it'll get done. We're having a great time together in the meantime!
Enjoying summer here,