Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our Boy Rooster

We had a little photoshoot with our horse, Rooster.  He is literally the sweetest and most gentle thing I've ever seen.  He's only 6, but so calm and loving.  I hope y'all enjoy the pictures (:


















Tuesday, May 20, 2014

london/edinburgh 2014 {part two of europe trip!}

*if you haven't read the first part of the europe trip posts, the link is here*

After two days in Amsterdam, we left on a flight to London/Gatwick at 5:00pm.  It was only a 45 minute flight.  We arrived at the hotel (Holiday Inn Gatwick).  After we got settled, we went out to dinner at an Indian place.  It was absolutely amazing.  Everyone there was sooo nice and we loved the food.

we got little ice cream penguins!  so cute!


The next day, we went took a bus to the airport train station, then got on a train to the London Victoria station.  From there, we went to the British Museum and saw the Rosetta Stone.  That was so cool.  I didn't realize it was so big.

After that, we went to something that I've been dreaming of going on since I knew it existed- the London Eye.  Wowwwww.  Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed that.  




p.s......this was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole entire trip (:

We also went and got a few pictures with Big Ben, of course.  Who goes to London without getting to see Big Ben?


That night, we went out to dinner at the same Indian place we went to the night before.  Our waiter, Wilfred, was so sweet and we loved talking to him.  

The next day (btw, was February 12th), we took a train to Edinburgh, Scotland.  From where we were in London, we had to take a bus, to a train, to the Underground, to another train!  lol The ride was about 6 hours.  6 hours of pure bliss, that is (:  The train originated from London Kings Cross station (if any of my fellow Downton Abbey fanatics are out there, this place means so much to me after season 4 (: lol ).  We got to our hotel around 8pmish (what kind of word is that....).  We stayed at the Apex City Hotel.  Then, we walked halfway across Edinburgh to go to a restarant called Howie's...turns out, there were two locations of Howie's- one three miles from us, one literally 2 seconds down the street from our hotel.  But, we unknowingly went to the wrong one.  The food was very good!  

The next morning, we had breakfast at our hotel.  No, to all of you who are wondering if I tried haggis.  No, no no and the answer will always BE no.  lol  After breakfast, we walked to the Edinburgh Castle.  Absolutely gorgeous.  mhmmm.  Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to King James I there!  We got to walk in the very room she gave birth.  So amazing.  


photo creds to my sister Mary


That day, it just so happened to be windy and freezing.  I'm not talking hurricane windy.  I'm talking hurricane mixed up with a tornado windy!  Not to mention it was like 35F.





We toured the castle and watched a little skit about doomsters.  I had no idea about doomsters, but the man was so nice and we talked to him for a while afterwards.  After the castle, we peeked in the Writer's Museum.    We then walked the Royal Mile.  The Royal Mile is a street a mile long (obviously) that goes from the Edinburgh Castle to the Queen's Palace.  Then, we hiked up a mountain...

*sidenote*

I saw this mountain thing a few miles down the road when we were at the Edinburgh Castle.  I had the biggest urge to go to it!  After struggling to convince my Mom and sisters, and I mean struggling, I finally got them to walk to this mountain thingy.  

*end sidenote*

This mountain thingy's real name was Holyrood Park.   This is what I saw from Edinburgh Castle, and now you know why I absolutely HAD to go...

cred to wikipedia 
ISN'T THIS THE MOST GORGEOUS THING EVER?  We made it to the park, and started walking.  It was getting dark.  I was practically running, while the rest of my family was lagging behind me.  My poor older sister Mary had shopping bags, and she was lugging them up a mountain.  I was having the time of my life, while the rest of the Mattox Family was kinda irritated, to say the least.  lol  We didn't get very good pictures because it was dark, but I found some, thanks to Google.  


We climbed that very ledge!
The highest point of the park is 831ft.  The whole park is like 600 acres.  So wonderful. 


us girls.  emma was describing what everyone felt except me!  lol



When we were at the ledge, the wind was blowing so hard that it was literally moving me back and forth.  Once we had been up there for like 10 minutes, we hiked back down, and alllll the way back to our hotel.  It was freezing, but SO fun.  We just ate dinner at our hotel that night.  

p.s. wonder why my Dad wasn't in these pics?  He took a train to Aberdeen for the day for business and didn't get back til late.  

Valentine's Day, we started the day of right by walking to Prince's Street and went to Starbucks for breakfast.  While we were eating breakfast there (btw, Starbucks has a killer breakfast, guys), a young guy walked in with an armful of roses and he was getting his wife/girlfriend coffee.  It was absolutely presh.  Starbucks had an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle.  

We walked around a bit, then had to go back to our hotel because we had to change hotels.  Initially, we only booked a few days for our hotel room, and they were going to be full the weekend our stay was ending.  When we decided that we wanted to stay a bit longer, we moved literally 5 steps down the street to the Apex International Hotel (Edinburgh has a lot of places with the same name...lol).  I liked this hotel better.  We then picked up my Dad, and walked back to Prince's Street.  Us girls got a picture with a bag pipe...est...er???  Someone correct me please.  


We then looked around Jenner's.  We kinda just looked around the city that day, then went to the Hard Rock for dinner.  It's a tradition to go to a Hard Rock Cafe wherever we travel if we can and get a t shirt.  It started snowing while we were there!  So beautiful and romantic for Valentine's (:
Edinburgh was my favorite city, hands down.  
 Saturday, February 15th was our last day 'across the pond'.  We caught a train to London Kings Cross at 8:30 from Edinburgh.  We then took the Underground to Heathrow and got into the Renaissance Hotel, right beside the airport.  All of us girls were dying to see Highclere Castle, aka Downton Abbey.  That was a top thing on our list.  But, we got to our hotel, and it was 4pm.  A cab driver said it would take two hours to get to the castle, and not to mention it would cost a bunch of money for a cab that far.  But, a lady that was helping us figure this out felt bad for us, and gave a name to a cab driver that she personally used, and he would be a lot cheaper.  So, we hopped in the cab, and it seemed like 5 minutes later we pulled up to the Highclere Castle entrance.  Our cab driver was literally going 90mph.  Not even kidding.  When we got to the gate, it had a big sign that said CLOSED.  PLEASE DO NOT ENTER.  Either the little cab dude didn't see it, or he didn't care.  We zoomed past the sign, and all the million other ones on the way to the castle.  Then, we pulled up.  My heart totally stopped.  IT WAS HIGHCLERE.  DOWNTON ABBEY.  I was starstruck.  My Dad told us not to get out of the car, but we kinda didn't listen because of all the adrenaline running through our bodies.  Our driver was so cool.  He pulled right up to the gate, and was saying "You can just climb over the gate!  It's fine!"  I was a little too nervous to do that...lol.  But, he was even taking pics because he said his wife loved Downton.







leaving downton.  I was soooo freaking out.
So, after all the screaming and freaking out, we headed back to our hotel, and packed up.  The next morning, our flight left at 11:00am.  We got to the airport and had to say good bye to my Dad.  He was staying in London til that night, and then flying to Kuwait for business that popped up.  That was sad ):

We got on our flight, and headed home.  I can't put into words that fun I had on this trip.  I will never be able to thank my parents enough for the opportunity to go and learn what we did.  I'm so thankful and can't wait to go back.


So lange, jetzt Deutschland, Holland, England und Schottland! german
Zo lang voor nu Duitsland, Nederland, Engeland en Schotland!  dutch

So long for now Germany, Holland, England and Scotland!



Friday, May 9, 2014

the missing blogger is back...

GUYS!!!!!

OH MY.

How has it been TWO MONTHS since I've posted?  I apologize...life has been busy.

I have so much to tell you! Here's a quick synopsis, and I hope to go into more detail later:

1.  the braces are OFFFFFFFF....FOREVEEERRRRR
2. I had an almost major accident with the grill.  Let's just say that I don't grill very often and forgot how to turn the dreaded machine on, and when I finally figured out that yes, I do need to lite it first, gas had been building up for half an hour.  Long story short, I got burned.  Not bad, but enough to hurt and singe my hair.  I now sport a hair style 3 inches shorter...okay.  moving along!!
3.  I threw a surprise party for my Mom at the beginning of April.  I've never been so stressed out in my life.  But, I think she had a good day (:
4.  We had an amazing Easter.  A small group of family and friends over for a cook out.
5.  My family and I went to the Big Sandy ATI Conference.  It was amazing!  I had the privilege of being a teacher to little kids in the Children's Institute, and then also to be apart of the orchestra there.  It was so much fun.
6.  My cousin graduated from college, and my other cousin, his younger brother, graduated from high school the same day!  So proud of them(:
6.  Emma got a horse...this just happened today!  She's been working at our neighbor's horse ranch down the road, and today we settled on a horse.  Welcome to the family, Rooster (:

I think that's most everything going on right now (:  Here's a few pics!

no more braces!!!!


mom's party (:

mom's party (:
Easter at the Mattox's (:

Emma and sweet friends at the ATI Conference (courtesy of www.iblp.org)

teaching precious kids (:  (courtesy of www.iblp.org)

Team N!

sweet friends and amazing coffee

my cousin Chad who graduated from college.  Yes...he's really 6'5.  I LOVE MY TALL FAMILY.
Our new addition as of today...Rooster (:


I hope to be posting more soon (pics from the Europe trip are coming your way!)

Love Always,
Grace


‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
 May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace.’
Numbers 6:24-26