J’s Birthday

July 13, 2015

J’s actual birthday was when Nane and Dede were here. We did her party in between her birthday and SK’s since it was a joint party but it was fun to get to celebrate on her actual birthday with Nane and Dede too!

The beautiful 8 year old! Love your signature braids, J. You don’t go a day without them! You decided you wanted to be a ‘tom boy’ this summer and have temporarily  boycotted dresses. You are an awesome swimmer, runner and great at rhythmic gymnastics. You love it when the teach uses you for an example to the class and your splits are awesome! You are an incredible peace maker. You love both your brother and sister so well. Just the other day, you told me that you love being the middle child. You fill your role well and it is so encouraging to see you step into the things that God has ordained for you with such grace! Happy birthday!!

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J wanted to have a beach bonfire for her birthday. Sounds like a good idea to me! We also went to an afternoon movie and had dinner at our family’s favorite restaurant, Otto Burger!

J also LOVES matching clothes with me so I got her a matching shirt for her birthday. Matching mother daughter clothes are currently all the rave here. I know they aren’t so  popular in the states but I wear my shirt with pride! Who wouldn’t want to match this beautiful 8 year old?

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Eating smores

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The campfire

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The beach moon

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May God bless you as you grow!

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Nane and Dede’s Visit

July 10, 2015

Baba’s Mom and Dad came for a visit this May. We had such a great time with them. During the 2 weeks that they were here, Dede got to go to work with Baba. Nane and the kids and I shopped around town some. The kids continued their home school and preschool schedules so Nane got to take part in everyday life with them. It just happened to be SK’s turn to ‘bring your mom to preschool’ when they were here so Nane got to go too and we did a little picture presentation for the class on the differences between this country and SK’s home country. We took an extended weekend half way through their visit and went to a beach resort. It was much-needed rest before Justin’s partner left for the summer and long work hours began. No summer vacay for us, but we’ll make up for it in the fall!

When Nane and Dede first arrived, we went to a village breakfast. It was Mother’s Day and their first full day here with us. We wanted to celebrate and keep them awake on their most difficult jet lag day so village breakfast seemed like the perfect plan.

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Happy to see grandkids!

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The weekend was the best part of the visit!!

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The kids loved the beach and water slides!

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This was the all time favorite water slide.

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A park on the beach as part of the resort…great idea!

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There was also a kids club area where kids could watch movies, do crafts, play at the park or ride carnival type rides. Awesome.

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Each day, much to the delight of the kids, they folded our towels into a surprise.

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Wanna come visit us?

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Thanks Nane and Dede for the visit and the encouragement you are to us when you come!

Bird Troubles

July 7, 2015

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Spring has turned to summer. We usually are awakened to the sounds of birds singing at dawn. This is what happens when you sleep with the windows open each night. I love the bird songs. When they are outside…

But, we’ve also had our share of bird drama this spring. This little guy made its way into our house. Unfortunately, I was just walking out the door and had planned on leaving the kids with a babysitter. We falsely assumed that the bird had flown back out of one of the many open windows on its own.

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Hours later, when I returned home, the bird was still in the house. God bless the babysitter! Baba had to come to the rescue. After a few lively attempts, he was able to catch the bird in a hand towel.

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Unfortunately though, the failed attempts to escape, resulting in flying into the glass one too many times, left the bird stunned and helpless. So, Baba gently laid it on the second floor window sill, hoping that in time it would fly away.

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Concerned and curious, sweet J watched and waited. Her patience paid off and she got to see the little guy fly to freedom.

But, one month later, we weren’t so lucky.  A baby bird had attempted to fly out of its nest but landed on our balcony. His wings weren’t yet strong enough to fly over the balcony wall. Again, Baba came to the rescue. I let the bird flounder all day until Baba got home. Saving birds falls into the husband category in this house. Oh but the kids sat by the window and watched that little guy all afternoon, checking him periodically. Its mother would come feed it and coax it to fly. We prayed on more than one occasion for its successful delivery. Baba picked this one up with a paper towel, because I had gotten wiser and didn’t want to contaminate another hand towel with birdness. Everyone watched in anticipation as he gently threw it off the ledge.

Down down down to the patio below where it too lay stunned. For a second too long.

A cat darted across the yard and the bird was in his mouth before we could blink. National Geographic before our very eyes.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the very  next day, I was driving into our housing complex when I noticed a baby bird floundering on the ground. I tried to swerve but he fluttered right under the car and I smashed him. In front of all the kids. Two birds in two days. They cried the second time.

Hopefully there won’t be another chapter to our bird drama stories!

J and SK’s Birthdays

July 4, 2015

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This year, J and SK had a joint Frozen birthday party. I was thankful to do two parties at once! I made their cakes at home and then sent them to a bakery to be decorated. This isn’t possible in America due to health codes but is  convenient  here because I can have an American tasting cake but not have to spend the time decorating it. In hindsight, it wasn’t really worth it to cut this corner but live and learn, right?

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SISTERS FOREVER!!!

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We played ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’

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There was also a third birthday girl celebrated that day. A friend’s party was scheduled to be outside that same morning but it rained and her party was canceled. Unfortunately, her mom couldn’t cancel the cake order! So, they brought their cake to J and SK’s party and we celebrated her too!
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J’s local best friend.

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SK with some of her friends.

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One by one, we sang to each birthday girl.

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What a special day with special friends! Two of my neighbors helped with the food which was a tremendous blessing. I wanted to serve both American food and local food, a time consuming task!

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What a fun day with fun friends. Blessings over you, J and SK!

SK’s Preschool Show

July 1, 2015

This week was SK’s preschool show. It was somewhat like a dance recital with boys included. SK was so excited about her ‘belly button shower’ costume. Typically, belly button showing isn’t allowed in our family but we allowed it for the show.

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SK was such a great little Indian dancer, even telling the other girls what to do at one point in the dance.

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Her second number had a speaking part as well and she was a butterfly. She said her English lines…with a local accent. So cute!

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Dancing with the zebra.

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Afterwards, when all the kids were called on stage, she smiled and waved at us like a rock star!

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Two of our neighbors came to support SK. They also came last year. They are so kind and loving to our family- cooking when I am absent or ill, coming to birthdays or sharing a cup of coffee. I am thankful for them and the way the love us.

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Family pic with the star .

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Afterwards, like last year, we walked across the street to have ice cream with our neighbors. It was fun to celebrate together,

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Sisters

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I know I’ve said it before but I’m so proud of SK for her perseverance in local school. She’s done a great job of going day after day and her language has continued to dramatically improve. Way to go SK. May God bless your experiences!

Summer Fun

June 28, 2015

Baba works 10 hours per day this summer while his partner is away. We are thankful for their partnership as it allows us to take  breaks every other year as well. We still want to make the best of the summer so last night we had a family brainstorm and came up with this list:

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I wonder what the summer will bring and if we will complete them all? It was fun to dream…now onto living it out!

Snow Day!

June 25, 2015

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One day, this spring, it snowed in our housing complex. We live in a set of about 50 duplexes. The picture above shows two that share a center wall. It hadn’t snowed this much in 30 years in this city and it was quite an event!

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Ok. I realize, now that I’m posting the pictures, there REALLY wasn’t that much snow. But, at the time, it was such a big deal!

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The kids were supposed to start their language class but of course, I let them run outside for a few minutes. As they ran down the driveway, Each home had a woman standing in the window with a smart phone, taking videos of the snow. It was a chain reaction. Each house wife, started to yell at my kids as they went by, “You’re going to get ill!” they declared! It is a common cultural belief that children get ill from being in the cold. We once had an elderly man yell at us, “You sinners!” because we were taking ouf kids sledding. We work hard to stay within cultural permaters so as to not draw extra attention to ouselves but, sometimes you gotta know when to let it all go!

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It may not snow again for another 30 years and we made the most of it!

Snow Day!

June 25, 2015

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One day, this spring, it snowed in our housing complex. We live in a set of about 50 duplexes. The picture above shows two that share a center wall. It hadn’t snowed this much in 30 years in this city and it was quite an event!

February-April2015 003

Ok. I realize, now that I’m posting the pictures, there REALLY wasn’t that much snow. But, at the time, it was such a big deal!

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The kids were supposed to start their language class but of course, I let them run outside for a few minutes. As they ran down the driveway, Each home had a woman standing in the window with a smart phone, taking videos of the snow. It was a chain reaction. Each house wife, started to yell at my kids as they went by, “You’re going to get ill!” they declared! It is a common cultural belief that children get ill from being in the cold. We once had an elderly man yell at us, “You sinners!” because we were taking ouf kids sledding. We work hard to stay within cultural permaters so as to not draw extra attention to ouselves

Quote from N

May 28, 2015

Today, N said, ‘I was just thinking. It’s almost as if as you grow older, life gets harder.’

Hmmmm. Enjoy those Legos, buddy because you’ve stumbled on some truth!

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Home School Co-op

May 18, 2015

Co-op has been going strong this semester. We meet every other Friday. We alternate between studying a composer or an artist. The kids have a time of recitation where they recite all that they have memorized since our previous meeting. Then, we do a little value added learning on whatever subject seems pertinent. On this particular day, we learned about Vivaldi, an Italian composer. Check out The Piano Guy’s mix of Vivaldi’s Winter and Frozen. Incredible! After that inspiration, we had a knot lesson. With a rope for each child and a few YouTube videos, we made some knot tying experts! :) Then, we went to a local naval museum that also had naval knot tying stations.

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The guys think more along the lines of knots to hang the war enemies they capture.

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The girls think more along the lines of knots to tie off the necklaces they make! There were knots for everyone and we had a great time!

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Rockin’ the naval museum!


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