29 December 2012

Quilting Secrets are coming out.

Wow this sounds wonderful!  It's a blog hop!
6 wonderfully talented quilters are going to share a few of their Quilting Secrets !
Christine from Quilt Monster in My Closet 
Melissa from Sewbittersweet designs
Barbara from CatPatches
Sharon from Vroomans Quilts
Sue from Quilt Times
Hayley from Mrs.Pickles Garden

Wow! Wow! and Wow!

So they said to share and I am more than happy to share, I can't wait it starts on Monday, December 31st till January 6th.
Sounds like a lot of fun, if you want to learn more you can go here.

26 December 2012

A trip to Trikala

Today we took a little trip to Trikala and it just made me so thankful that we live in a fairly small town, there was so much SMOG from all of the people keeping warm with wood fires.  I would say it looked even worse than Los Angeles and I think that is saying something.  Not very many people can afford the governments taxation on the heating oil for the house, the price is 1.40euros (from 1euro last year), about $8 a gallon.  We filled up our 500 litre tank at the beginning of the month and hopefully it will last us about 2 maybe 2 1/2 months.  So a lot of people are using wood stoves to heat there homes, I am so glad we don't have to do that, because Greek concrete/brick homes are very cold in the winter.
We went out to eat while in Trikala, I ate a cheeseburger and Arthur and the kids had a Gyro and fries, we had leftover piggy at home but I can really only eat it one day so Arthur's mom is going to have to get creative with the leftovers.
Here are some pictures of our absolutely gorgeous sunny but cold winter days.
Click on this picture to see the snow on the back mountains

St. Nikolaus

A view of the rocks

both kids completely excited about petting a cat

we are way up there, both kids have no fear of heights.
Our monastery trip yesterday was really nice, we met 2 of the resident monks, they were praying when we came in but either the kids were squealing so much over the cat (that let them pet it) or the prayer time was over, because they came out and the older one had a little chat with Arthur.  They really are very friendly up there in their little worlds, when I was in Varlaam one time a monk gave me a little tour of the monastery, very neat, and it still makes it my favorite monastery.

25 December 2012

Opening Christmas Presents

My poor kids only got 2 presents, 1 "Cars" car each and some Micky and Minnie play dough.  It was so funny because Arthur came home one day and told me he had bought the kids a present and it was downstairs.  So while they were napping I went to go check out what he had bought, 2 play dough sets, ha so funny I had bought the same thing a week before.  They are less than 1 euro at the grocery store and the week before they had the toy section 35% off so I got mine for .65cents.

Why did they get only 2 toys, because they have no respect for what they get, all toys are thrown around and well I am tired of picking everything up.  Katerina is happy with her babies and plays with them pretty much all of the time, so maybe when the sales come I will get her a new baby doll.

Nik though won't be seeing anything with a price tag on it until he starts respecting his toys, his play dough from this morning already has all of the colors mixed up and now he is using it as a ball and bouncing it everywhere.

For Christmas lunch we enjoyed a 1/4 of a little piggy with potatoes, in the oven.  This is the typical Christmas dinner for Greeks.  We then went on a drive around the  monasteries and even went inside of Agios Nikolaus Monastery, a first for all of us, I will talk about that more in another post.

22 December 2012

My son asking for his Christmas present

So Nik just randomly asked for fabric for Christmas, I thought it was so cute so I asked him to repeat his request while I videoed him.  This is something I will keep for 30 plus years and show his future wife.

16 December 2012

My Christmas Present

Arthur's present to me via Amazon UK was a pair of Organic Timberland Jeans and a Bra (that fits) with matching underwear.  The Jeans were on sale for 16 pounds so like $24 a really sweet deal.  He is also getting my sewing machine transformer fixed (or I should say a brand new one) since I blew it up using my slow cooker from the States, trust me I won't be doing that again.  We will be staying close to home for Christmas and Nik will return to school after the break.

15 December 2012

And we are back

We spent 5 nights and 6 days in Thessaloniki, we arrived on Sunday and Nik had his operation on Monday, it went fairly quickly.  This will have to be his last surgery the doctor's say that they can not do any more, his colon will have to remain the way it is, if he has constipation issues they will be dealt with the way everyone else does (i.e. enemas, cod liver oil, etc.).
I think Nik behaved fairly well and it really helped that we had the computer with us and he was able to watch Cartoons while on bed rest.  Katerina is a true nurse and gave her brother many hugs and kisses and helped push his drip system around when he went on walks.  She actually wanted to give all of the babies "huggies" and I had to point out that they had daadaas (greek baby word for ouwies(sp?)  It was also very helpful that the hospital had a small school the kids could attend in the morning hours from 9-12, the teacher's were very nice and had projects for the kids to do, Nik excelled at painting and Katerina at taking care of the animals and cutting paper.
Kat did not want to be separated from me at any time, and the 2 times that I sneaked away with out her looking she ended up throwing huge fits and the last one she threw up all over the hospital room.  I am so glad that this time Nik was a little older and he let me go out, on the visits before he was the one who wouldn't let me out of his sight.
Things have not changed much in the almost 5 years that we were in the hospital, the doctors still do the majority of scheduled surgeries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  They make 2 group rounds 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening, the parents are sent out of the room while the doctors visit the patients, most kids cry because they are afraid of the mass amount of blue and white coats in the room.  Even the roads have not changed much, just a few blocks from the Hospital they still have part of a road blockaded and it was that way 5 years ago also, I think it is supposed to be a future entrance to the underground metro system that they are slowly, very slowly making in Thessaloniki.  P.S. if you don't know, in Greece, when they say something is going to be completed multiply that # by 10, so if they say 5 years expect it to be more like 50.
Some things have changed there were a lot more Albanians in the hospital this time around and they decreased the amount of rooms used (-3) so our room was full a lot of the time and they even had girls in our room, that has never been the case before.  A lot of shops in Thessaloniki are closed and you can see rental signs everywhere, even the McDonalds closed that was next to IKEA (so bummed about that).  Hotel prices are cheaper, the room that we rented about 4 years ago was half price, so if you are looking for a good travel deal you can probably find it.  And one other change that I kind of like and wish we had was that the parents look after the infants in this wing of the hospital.  When Nik was an infant the nurses looked after him and we were only allowed to visit twice a day, that was super hard, now the parents and infants stay together there are 3 infant beds and a few rented lounge chairs in the room.  I feel that this arrangement is better for both child and parent, because before the babies are just left alone except for when a nurse goes in to feed and change the baby otherwise it could be very lonely for the little infant.
Okay that's enough about that, we are just so happy to say that Nik should be fairly healthy now and he will go back to school after Christmas and hopefully like school better.

08 December 2012

Vote For Me

Okay total Self Promotion and only 1 day left.
On my Meteora Greece, Roka post over at my Travel Thru Greece blog I showed you an English Paper Piece that I made and now they are voting on the best one, it might not be the best one but it is fun.

But right now they are voting on the Travellin' Pic Stitch over at Quokka Quilts, I am of course in the Europe division.  You can also check out the ones done in Australasia and Americas(#27).  SO GET ON OVER THERE AND VOTE FOR #17.

Thanks Mara

For the "In Your Words" blog hop I hope to make something a little special using these words.
Keep your eyes peeled for the reveal, of course this is all dependent upon my getting my sewing machine back in working order.

06 December 2012

St. Nikolaos Day

We spell Nik's name like this (Nikolaos or Νικολαος) and today they celebrate his name day World Wide.  He is named after his Papous and the Saint day is after the Nikolaos of Myra a Greek Bishop who did many good deeds.  My favorite tradition is the one that they do in Germany, you can get all of the details here and as for our family I am sure you remember when Mom did it for us as kids.  So this year, since Nik is older, I decided to resurrect the family tradition.

We got "rods"/sticks in our boots
That one is yours!

Checking out each others gifts.
They also got a bar of chocolate, I would have put an orange (mom you'll understand) but Nik is not allowed to eat them so we just stuck with chocolate a toy and a stick because trust me they have not been all good and need a little reminder of when they are naughty.

01 December 2012

Darn Update

Okay, so we stayed in the hospital 3 days and 2 nights, on the 2nd day they took Nik up and basically did a Colonoscopy (he was knocked out). 
The Verdict: an operation set for Dec. 10th, they will remove a little more of his colon and will staple it up, I think this should resolve any issues that we have been having.
Here's a couple of pictures taken at the hospital.
Sleeping beauties

The hospital has this nice horsey that Katerina spent hours on.

Playing Legos a good way to pass the time.

Notice Arthur's Frappe in the upper left corner
The first night we shared the 6 bed room with 3 other families, but on the second night we had the whole room to ourselves.  When we first arrived there were 4 boys but one left after we got there, the crazy thing is that they all had peeing issues (1 had ball problems) very interesting.
Of course what Thessaloniki trip is complete with out going to the mall, we ate KFC and brought a bucket home.  Nik's diet for the next 10 days is to be meat and milk products, definitely not a vegetarian's dream diet, lucky for us the kids love meat.