Come along

Posted by Clayton & Company at 7:08 PM

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Somehow a lot of people missed the link for our new blog in the last post. You can find us here. Sorry for the confusion.

Closing the book

Posted by Clayton & Company at 1:46 PM

Monday, October 4, 2010

We boarded our flight with much more confidence than we had two years earlier. With our kids now being seasoned travelers the only worry was how in the world I was going to endure the long flight 32 weeks pregnant. Luckily I had my doctor's note in hand, otherwise I'm not sure they would have even let me on the airplane. I was out of my seat more than Henry and after about a dozen trips to the bathroom in the first 5 hours of the flight, I stopped counting. I'm sure the other passengers were a bit annoyed.

We were lucky to be able to fly in an upgraded class (in between Economy and Business), so we had more room and the seats reclined farther back. That said, none of the kids slept until about 45 minutes before we landed. It was at this point that Ruby and Henry conked out and couldn't be aroused. I can't really blame them seeing as how it was about 9pm Swiss time. Unfortunately, neither one of them was too happy to be woken up in order to deplane. They were both in tears and refused to walk. Pete and I had no choice but to pick them up and carry them along with our carry on bags and theirs. I know angels must have been holding me up because that's the only way my large belly and I could have endured any extra baggage.

When we finally arrived at the passport line Ruby was hysterical. I'm sure we were quite the scene as she cried and screamed to get back on a plane and return to Switzerland. Her tears only served to work Henry up as well and Pete and I were desperately working to calm them both down. After getting our passports stamped we were sniffed out by an airport dog who discovered we had an apple in our bag (whoops!). We were then rejected and sent over to the customs line where we had to send all 10 of our bags and carry-ons through another scanner. We finally made it out to the curb where our favorite driver was waiting to load us up into his gigantic van.

Pete and the kids at the start of our flight from Paris
Henry happy to have his own TV screen

Our first week in America was a bit rough. We stayed in a hotel for four nights, my brother's house for 2 nights and my parents' house for two nights. The kids complained and cried every day that they wanted to move back, especially Henry. We did our best to show them all of the perks of America that they had forgotten: the beach, the weather, family, friends, Disneyland, eating out....the list goes on, but they were not to be swayed at this point. We finished up the month of May with the following:

The happiest place on Earth
Big Thunder Mountain

Henry's birthday

Memorial Day breakfast with cousins

Four months have now passed since our move from Switzerland. In that time we have moved three times and added baby number four to our family. We have gone against everything I know and had a schedule-free summer. The kids went to bed later than usual and had sleepovers with cousins. We hit the beach and the pool more than a pregnant/new mother should. I took a long hiatus from cooking and we ate out too many times. We soaked in as much time with family and friends as was humanly possible. The kids started school and were amazed at how well they could understand everything.

Life has definitely continued for us but we are finding that we are different. I remember when I arrived in Switzerland a friend there told me that when I moved back I wouldn't be the same and I would always miss it. At the time I laughed and told Pete she was crazy. Funny thing is, she was dead on. I am changed, as is our entire family, but it is for the better. We still miss Switzerland...just yesterday Henry was asking me when we could move back there. Even with all of the amazing things here that he has come to love, he still thinks of it as home.

It is with these thoughts that I bring this blog to a close. The whole reason for this blog was to chronicle our adventures in Switzerland. Now it is time to move on. If you'd like to continue following our family, check us out at I will promise monthly updates on our family with perhaps a little bit more here and there. For the next month I will leave this blog up and then it will become private as I continue working on my blog to book. Thanks for following us on our journey. It was one heck of a ride. In the words of Tolkien:

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
The End

Last Hurrah

Posted by Clayton & Company at 1:21 PM

Instead of flying right out, we checked into a hotel for three nights in order to catch the Monday (less expensive for Pete's company) flight. We used our last weekend in Switzerland to visit Lake Geneva and eat gelato one last time. We also visited a park right around the corner from our house to play and meet up with friends for a picnic dinner. Finally, we attended church in Geneva for the last time and had the pleasure of eating one last Swiss meal (raclette) with friends. I wasn't great at taking pictures (too busy crying I guess), so the links provide a few more visuals.

Ruby on the trampoline

Alex flying high
Ruby chasing down her brothers on a four-wheeler
The boys in the lead
photo courtesy of Henry

Last day of School

Posted by Clayton & Company at 1:07 PM

When I complained last year about school getting out so late (July 2nd), who knew that this year the kids would be ending extra early? Their last day of school was our last day in our house so it was quite emotional. There were tears every time a neighbor stopped by to say goodbye. There were more tears when the kids said goodbye to their teachers and friends. It is really hard to leave a place and the people there when chances are you will not be returning.

The kids with their favorite crossing guard. He was so much fun. He often was hiding behind the bushes and would jump out to scare the kids as they came around the corner. On Halloween he was even wearing a crazy monster mask.

Henry with his teachers-Dominique and Valentina
Ruby with her teacher Laura
Alex with his teacher Sylvie. This was an extra hard goodbye because she had been his teacher for two years. She was the one who helped him in those early days of learning French.
Evan, Elliott and Alex
The boys of Chemin Raulan

Packing up

Posted by Clayton & Company at 1:16 PM

Monday, August 30, 2010

Once again, we watched as the moving company packed up our entire house. It was crazy as the kids were finishing their last days at school, I was trying to sell our Swiss appliances, visiting my OB to get a written permission slip to fly, showing the house to potential renters and tying up any other loose ends.

They packed a lot differently in Switzerland...
...with lots of bubble wrap! You can see the enormous roll of it in this picture.
Instead of carrying everything down multiple flights of stairs they got creative. They handed it over the second floor balcony to the waiting men outside in the backyard.
They were also creative with boxes. You can see that they used boxes and tapes to "wrap" up our kitchen table and chairs.
The kids didn't seem to mind. When they came home from school it was lunchtime as usual.
And no I don't always serve froot loops for lunch...only on special occasions.
Here is the gigantic truck that pulled in ready for all of our things
There was barely enough room to fit our van. 4 inches to be exact.

Chez Clayton

Posted by Clayton & Company at 9:21 AM

Before the movers came and started emptying the house, I went around and took some pictures. This post is mostly just for me so that I can remember our house in Switzerland.

Front door/Family room
Family room/view of backyard
Looking from Family room to Dining room
Dining Room
Upstairs hall (Alex's room on left, master straight ahead)
Master bedroom

Master bathroom

Alex's room

Henry's room
View from balcony into backyard
Upstairs bathroom

Attic/Playroom/Ruby's room

Going Away Party

Posted by Clayton & Company at 8:38 AM

On one of our last days in Switzerland, my good friend Toni (her son Ethan is Alex's best friend) had a party for Alex and Ruby. She decorated with red, white and blue and made some amazing cupcakes (see below). She had each of the kids make a card and then took lots of pictures. The next day she had all of it put together in an amazing book that the kids loved. It was a lot of fun mixed with sadness...we were really closing in on the end of our Swiss experience.

Alex, Ruby and their friends from school
Cupcakes with Swiss and American flags
Ethan and Alex
Elliott and Alex
Basile and Alex
Manon and Ruby
Ruby, Elie and Carolina
Henry and Todd