Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Morning

Elijah and Anna waited in eager anticipation to open their stockings. It was actually Christmas eve night that they got their stockings. They both took a minute to realize that there were presents in the stockings too.

On Christmas morning, we had their gifts all set up for them to walk out of their bedroom door and see first thing when they woke up.

After hunger finally tore them away from their gifts, we sat down to crepes with peaches and whipped creme. This is a tradition that Brad and I started the first year of our marriage.

After more playing, lots of cookings and even more eating, the kids were ready for a nap. Anna decided to start her nap at the table, while ELijah opted for the sofa. Both kids really wanted to have a birthday cake for Jesus, so we managed to get the candles lit and blown out before both of them went to bed.

Elijah's 4th birthday

It is hard to believe that we are parents to a 4 year old! this was the first year that Elijah really seemed to understand that birthdays mean presents and cake and the world revolving around you for one single but marvelous day. We started with the now traditional birthday meal of hotdogs, baked beans and french fries. A little more expensive these days since they have to be bought at the local import grocery store, but all well worth it.

No birthday is complete without cake. Elijah insisted that he wanted a pink cake, so I tried to make it really dark pink so that we can call it "red" when he is a teenager and looking at the picture.

Elijah got a spiderman costume and Anna got a princess costume (for her little sister gift)among other things. Both costumes were a huge hit and provided hours of quality pretending.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Decorations

We spent last night decorating the Christmas tree and playing Christmas music. Now all we need is to bake some Christmas goodies and we will be all set. Even in tropical heat, there is something so exciting about Christmas time! The kids loved decorating the tree, and trying on some reindeer ears that they had forgotten from last year. After their baths they suddenly turned into little exhibitionists and streaked around the house wearing only the reindeer ears! I cropped the picture to spare ourselves expensive therapy bills when they are older.

Wedding Festivities

If we have learned nothing else since arriving to our Island home, it is to expect everything to take longer than you think it will. This held true this weekend when we went to our friends younger brother's wedding. Usually at weddings here, you show up, shake everyone's hand as you walk through a receiving line, eat a plate of food and then go home. It is a quick "eat and run" type gathering. This past Sunday, we arrived to our friends house at 8:30am and realized that we might be in for a longer day. Normally guests only come to the reception and only a special chosen few go to the actual wedding, which is very formal. I guess we are special, because we arrived at the grooms house to have a formal meal with both sets of families. Then we traveled with 6 tiny ladies all squished in our car to the brides house, where we separated men and women and had a formal religious ceremony. After that, we all went outside and had another huge meal. My only question is how everyone here is so tiny but can eat so much. Our second full meal of the day (huge plate of rice, vegetables and spicy goat and chicken) was all before 11am. We arrived home hot, exhausted and not wanting to eat again for days, but thrilled to have a glimpse into the culture of our host country. Unfortunately, we forgot our camera, so we only have a picture of us after we got home.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Autumn Events

Living on a tropical island does not lend itself well to autumn celebrations, so we are having to be a little creative to teach the kids about fall, harvest and thanksgiving.
It all began when Elijah saw a picture of a jack-o-lantern on one of his cartoons. Since we are far away from all things American, we felt at liberty to embellish a bit regarding normal jack-o-lantern traditions. Now Elijah and Anna think that carving a pumpkin is the first step in roasting a pumpkin for pumpkin pie. This served the double purpose of satisfying both Elijah's craving for a carved pumpkin, and our craving for pumpkin pie!

We have decided to celebrate Thanksgiving all month really since we didn't realize just how much pumpkin comes from a medium sized jack-o-lantern.

It was enough, for 2 pies, a cake, a batch of pancakes and a large serving of what I told the kids was pumpkin sauce. (Kind of like applesauce, but with pumpkin.)

We also spent our family fun day, (Our day of rest for the entire family with nothing but fun and hanging out with each other,) decorating the house. Thanks to my mom and some really nice guests who brought us some decorations from the States. It really helped to make our house feel more like home. Elijah is now even saying that he wants to be a "pillow-gram" when he grows up. Took us about an hour to figure out that he was trying to say pilgrim.

We tried to turn everything into quality time, so the kids even got to help wash the dishes. So far, they still think this is a treat since they get to get covered in soap bubbles and drenched to the skin!

We ended the day with reading David and Goliath (Elijah's favorite) only to discover that Elijah had really taken the story a little bit differently than we had hoped. He wanted to be Goliath. When we went to check on him after he was asleep, we discovered that he had fallen asleep with his "sword and shield" aka a plastic playdough knife and Anna's toy teapot.

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Baby

We have a new baby in the house that has caused quite an uproar, or should I say an "up-mew"...a new fuzzy baby kitten that is. Elijah has wanted one ever since his Grandma and Papa's cat had kittens in the States. He now has someone to tell all his stories too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stuffed to the Gills

Today marks the last day of the month long fasting holiday, or Ramadan, that is celebrated in our new country. Today is actually called Eid ul-Fitri and I'm not sure how that is translated since it is arabic, but I am guessing that it means "Eat yourself comatose." Either way, that is exactly what everyone here does. Everyone makes large quantities of sweets, cookies, cakes and fruit punch, which is an appetizer for the traditional meal of steamed rice cakes that are topped with spicy curried vegetables, boiled egg and topped off with a side of stewed beef in spicy coconut broth. Tradition dictates that you drop by each of your friends homes and eat some of their food. What I didn't realize was that you eat the full spread at each house! Thankfully, we only had two homes to visit today, but lets just say I have never been so glad in my life to come home and put on pants with an elastic waist!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

washing away our cares

Water has always been an escape for us as a family. No matter what else is going on, or how crazy the children are, water in any form (oceans, rivers, ponds or even wading pools) seems to have a calming effect. It's a good thing for us that we live on an island. With some guest from the States, we had a good excuse to take a trip to a water fall and to the beach. The waterfall wasn't really a place to go swimming, but we couldn't resist dipping our feet in at least. At the ocean however, we stayed as long as the setting sun would allow us.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mango Cobbler

Stress is a funny thing...sometimes it makes us lose our appetites all together, and sometimes it makes is eat more than ever. We seem to be going through the latter after our recent earthquakes. Tonight it was mango cobbler. Not as good as peach, but they are the closest equivalent. Two days ago we made a batch of sugar cookies and even splurged and added some of our M&M's that were brought to us by Brad's mom and dad during their recent visit. The cookies are long gone and we made a pretty good dent in the cobbler tonight. I thought about feeling guilty, but when you spend your day timing your husband running up the stairs of your house to see how long it would take to get ourselves and both kids out of the house when the next quake hits, I decided to cut myself some slack and have another bite of cobbler instead.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Anna's 2nd Birthday

Anna celebrated her 2nd birthday on August 23rd. Due to the fact that she is a poor neglected 2nd born child and that she has a forgetful mother, the pictures are just now making the blog. She is becoming quite the little knock-out lately with a sassy little personality to go along with her good looks. She is starting to talk a lot in sentences, but you have to speak "Anna" in order to understand. She hums half of the word in the sentence. "I hmmmmm Oooo Mama!" and "Hmmmm mulk" means I love you Mama and Want milk, in Anna-language. Too cute!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Adventures in Thailand

One of the things we miss most while living abroad (besides our families) is just the comfort of eating familiar western food. One of the perks of living in Asia, is that airfare in very inexpensive between countries. On a recent business meeting we met with our company in Thailand. We almost made fools of ourselves in the middle of a busy mall when we spotted (of all things!) a Dairy Queen. The locals must have thought either that we didn't get out much or that we were starving. We somehow managed to get back to our hotel room before we devoured the hotdogs and blizzards. The kids couldn't eat fast enough. They wouldn't even pause long enough to smile for the picture.

We also went with some friends to an elephant park where they put on a show and then let you feed and ride the elephants. I was okay getting my picture taken with the elephants up close, but when it wrapped its trunk around my leg, neither I nor Anna were so sure that a picture up close had been a good idea. Much to our relief, it let go after the picture. As huge as they seem, these elephants in the picture are still just babies.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Grandparents visit

This past month Elijah and Anna's Grandma and Granddaddy braved the 24+ hour flight to visit them. With this visit, both of them learned lesson that is vital to grandchild development...Grandparents come with perks, such as cartoons and storytelling...

...canoe and merry-go-round rides,

and lots of icecream.

After about 2 weeks, we all decided that our 600 sq. ft. home was becoming a little too cozy for six people and opted for a trip to a nearby resort island. We couldn't get to the pool fast enough...

...and to the beach! (Which is where we spent most of our time.)

We took Grandma and Granddaddy out to try a lot of the local food.

Some of it was better than others.

Mostly we just hung out a lot...

...made new friends,

...laughed our head off,

...and fell exhausted into bed every night.

All in all, a good time was had by everyone.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Favorite Food

Elijah has discovered the joys of fresh grilled corn on the cob. This was made especially for him by a very nice man at a food stall near a waterfall that we visited a few weekends ago.