Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

Last night we had a little goodbye party for our wonderful friend Brent. He is the only other member on the island that we know of and has been fabulous to have in our home and hold church with. He is so good with the boys and always brought such a happy spirit in our home. We are so sad that he is leaving, mixed with happiness for him to be back with his mom in Australia, and hopeful that he will be getting his MBA next fall at BYU so we can see him at Christmas. We had so hoped to see more expansion of the church here in TImor wile he was here, but these things take time. We are just so grateful that we were able to meet him and become such good friends. SIngle girls in UT this guy is awesome and will need someone to show him around eh eh.
I also made Abby a doll this week as her birthday present. I think she really likes it :) Or at least I will shove it in bed with her every night until she does ha!
We are excited to celebrate a little bit tomorrow, the big celebration with have to wait until we get back from Jakarta (heading up to get a root canal and Abby to get her 1 year old immunizations). Doesn't that sound like a great trip? Luckily seeing Tanner and Cherylyn will totally make it worth i!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This is amazing

i am IN LOVE with this video. I don't know if it is the photographer in me, the mommy in me, the love of traveling with children in me, my excitement to go to Paris or what but I have watched it soooo many times. Watch it, I promise you won't regret it.
Click HERE to view it
Isn't it the cutest thing ever!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So flattered

Yesterday, my sewing blog, Sewing In No Mans Land (you can see it HERE) was featured on a fantastic craft blog Luv In The Mommyhood. The author Shannon was extremely sweet and of course made me cry with her review of my blog. I am still rather shocked that it has received any attention at all. If you would like to see the feature you can click HERE. Don't be shocked when our kiddos have different names, we did it to maintain some privacy and safety for them. In other news We are getting all geared up for Abby's birthday celebration. We are headed up to Mobisse, a little village up in the mountains, on her actual birthday so we will be partying away on Saturday. I cannot believe she is one! I am sure I will take a zillion pictures!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

First Lady Cup 5K

This morning the kiddos and I participated in the fundraiser 5K that the first lady of Timor sponsors every year. Since Chris is gone it was just going to be me and the 3 kiddos. The night before I had everything prepared, snacks, books, water, more snacks, money just in case. The boys had their outfits laid out and wanted their shoes to be on their bed side table all ready for the big race. Of course this morning was the first time in history that Sam woke up at 6am and Liam slept in. I had to wake him up after I got everyone else in the car.
Us at the starting line
When I was up with Sam earlier it had rained and I thought aw man I am not doing this in the rain, but luckily it stopped and was just insanely humid :) The other great part was walking with jan and Meredith. Everything is more fun with company and it was nice to have the support just in case anything happened. The boys shared their books with Amanda and Amanda shared her sippi cup with Abby so everyone was happy. The boys had their feeties up, rubbing in that they could relax while I hauled them!
Sam kept saying "hurry mom or we won't get a trophy". This got everyone around us laughing pretty hard. It was so inspiring to see those with disabilities running. There were a handful of people in the Timorese wheelchairs
(they crank the pedal in front with their hands to turn the wheels)
This little guy was marching a long grinning and totally stopped and let me take a picture.
Our friends the Harries ran up behind us and surprised us. Noah and Roman had ridden the entire 10K on their bikes. Sam was sooo jealous, we really need to get him a proper bike.
At the finish line they were handing out water and soda and what looked like orange juice. A guy handed the boys a juice each and I thought nothing of it until my friend let me know it was an energy drink, aw crud. They totally didn't take a nap today, either of them, and mommy was soooo tired. All three of them were way better then I expected, even though Sam was really bummed we didn't get a trophy.
First Lady Gusmao chatted with me for a few minutes. I asked to take a picture with her and she obliged and then proceeded to ask me questions. She totally remembered me from taking pictures of her at other events. Wow, that is a good politician. She also has three children so we talked about that. I wish I was a better screen writer because I would TOTALLY write a movie script about her and Xanana (her husband's (pronounced shanana) courtship and marriage it is INCREDIBLE.
Chris jokes that I always agree to do things and then drag my feet right before doing them and then am sooo glad I did after. While this is usually true I enjoyed this one start to finish.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This party is on FIRE! (literally)

Chris has been in Jakarta and Singapore the past few days and won't get back for a few more. He always hates when I mention he is gone while still gone but I challenge anyone to travel all the way to Timor and then get past our guards and gate... seriously lets see you try. Anyway, since he has been gone I have tried to make the time go by fast with lots of fun activities and outings. Last night my friend Jodi and her little girl Mackenzie (whom the boys love) came over and we camped in our backyard. We bought cheapo tents that pop up, NO assembly required, from the local grocery store. The kids were soooo excited. I of course was prepared for a sleepless sweaty albeit fun night. I blew up our air mattress and shoved it in the tent while saying "I'll MAKE it fit" (it was fun having a little girl around who caught the Cinderella reference in my childish humor). It was only 5pm but Sam was already asking to get his jammies on.
It was rough being so far away.... from the grill.
The poor kids were subjected to Jodi and I yelling "ZIP THE TENT!" every time they went in and out, thats all we needed was to contract malaria while going on a fake camping trip. We had fantastic grilled chicken for dinner while the kids had hot dogs and chips. Then Jodi single handily got the fire going for s'mores. Sam and Liam LOVE doing s'mores, although I really have no idea if they have ever EATEN one because they always light their marshmallows on fire.
Sam even flicked his across the yard while trying to put it out ha! We had the bounce house going and the kids got pretty sweaty so we decided we needed some home made ice cream, mint chocolate chip. YUM! When it was time for bed Abby headed inside and I brought out the baby monitor. We read MacKenzie all our favorite books and then snuggled into our tents. Sam's head hit the pillow and he was OUT, it was 10 PM by this point. Liam on the other hand talked and rolled and sang and poked until I finally said "I am going to put you in your bed if you don't stop" This totally back fired and then he was begging to go in his bed, dang it. He eventually fell asleep only to wake up dripping sweat needing to go to the bathroom. I took him and then put him in his nice cool bed. Then I had to decide wether to stay in with Abby and Liam or go back out with Sam. I was really torn since Sam wakes up every now and then with night terrors and I didn't think I would be a very good hostess leaving my shrieking son with Jodi. So i literally DRAGGED his heavy limp body out of the tent and put him in bed with me. By 2am I finally got to sleep. The next morning we had a pile of pancakes and OJ and then went out to clean up our mess. I put some water in the ashes (which had been out for more than 9 hours at this point) and then dumped them in our trash. The girls headed home and I went in to feed the kiddos lunch. I went to wash the dish's and looked out our front window and saw a HUGE fire. This will tell you how used to seeing weird things I have gotten. I literally thought "hmm that's weird that our gardner is burning trash in our yard" Then it hit me that is was Sat. and there was no gardner today and I had dumped a bunch of ash into that same trash can about two hours ago! I ran like a crazy lady to get Sam and Liam in the house (they were playing on the deck like nothing was happening) and waved frantically to our guard who came running back. I dashed into our house, it seemed like it took FOREVER to yank the fire extinguisher off the wall. I had it charged and ready to go in seconds. We stood there for about five minutes putting out little flare ups and then he doused everything with water. Apparently it was STUFFED full of dead grass and leaves etc. I immediately called Jodi thanking her PROFUSELY for having the fire extinguisher demonstration earlier that week. Talk about a blessing. Had I not had that class I would have been hopeless with the extinguisher. If it had been 10 minutes later we would have all been napping and it would have gotten out of control. So many little things that make such a big difference. The boys were of course thrilled to watch Momma put out another fire. We all were fine... but the trash can is toast.
This was not REALLY the excitement I was going for ha! Chris if you are reading this you should give us a call, lots has been going on haaa!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Science Day, Safety Day, Space day oh my!

Jodi has been running a fantastic camp for the few kids that have been here over the summer. I don't know what I would have done without it. The boys would have killed each other for sure. This past week we had Science day. The kids all got super cool safety goggles which they wore diligently
Okay so some better then others :) They did tons of fun little experiments and then to top it all off nothing beats a baking soda volcano. Sam was so excited when it erupted it was hilarious.
Carmen who is such a little smarty was asking all sorts of good questions about why it exploded etc.
Liam sort of looked confused
But gave me a big smile when I asked him if he liked it
(They love their shirts by the way mom, thank you!) What is great is since it is at the Embassy all the Daddy's can come and watch the experiments or demonstrations and then we all eat lunch together. Is it sad that the past few weeks I have been ordering off the kiddy menu? Abby liked being held by her daddy.
They also did this cool experiment using hot and cold water, empty bottles and balloons.
liamballoonThe kids were totally fascinated.
Wednesday was safety day. They learned how to do some first aid and made little kits to wear around their necks when hiking etc. They also learned a lot about fire. The practiced climbing up and down a ladder safely
Um that doesn't look to safe on Sammy's part. Abby liked roaming around the tennis court with no obstacles in here way
They also learned to stop drop and roll, which Liam was awesome at. He would just FLING his body onto the ground and roll.
Abby thought this was hilarious. She really cracks up whenever Liam "performs" for her.
Then the piece de resistance putting out an actual fire with a fire extinguisher! They combined water and petrol in a bucket and then lit it on fire with a long pole. (The guy then proceeded to put the fire out by rubbing it in the grass... um grass fire ring a bell to anyone in Timor? No, one huh.)
The kids were then shown how to charge and hold the extinguisher.
Each one got a turn to put the fire out. The safety goggles came in handy again.
The parents got to take a turn also. It was nice knowing how to do it. maybe now I won't be afraid to make doughnuts ha! We also took the kids out for dinner for the first time in as long as I can remember. We headed to Dili Beach hotel to have pizza with the Hiemstras. The kids chowed on french fries and then vegged on the couch.
The people that run it were kind enough to turn one of the TV's from soccer to playhouse disney leaving us to have a nice quiet dinner with only Abby and Adrienne at the table. My girlfriends in Dili ordered me that Fedora for my birthday. I had mentioned it once to Meredith (Saying I would never spend that much on a hat even if it was that awesome) and she totally remembered. I am trying to pretend to have enough confidence to sport it ha! Anyway, today was Space day and they have making rockets and milk planets on the docket. Thank heavens for camp!

So nuts

It has been INSANE around here. I think Che Che thinks I am nuts, literally. I run around like a crazed person all day. In out in out in out. Our guard must think I am crazy too. Although funny story, I was of course speeding out of our drive way and pull up to the gate... honk... nothing... honk honk... nothing. I look in the guard house and no one is there. Che Che looks in our yard and no sign of him. I get out to open the gate and hear frantic banging and yelling. He was totally locked in the tiny bathroom they have. I felt so bad because I couldn't understand him at all. We got the gardner to come over and we tried a zillion keys. I called Jan who is in charge of all the guards and he sent someone over. I really had to go so I left but when I came back Che Che let me know in the end they had to bust the door down. I just wonder how long the poor guy had been stuck in there with zero air circulation etc. In better news the boys have been having the BEST time ever at camp and I have sooo many awesome pictures. I have been doing a hefty amount of photography but the internet hates me and won't let me upload pictures. The only one I have is from a photo shoot today with this gorgeous girl
She is wearing a dress I made, my birthday present hat and Felicity do you recognize your shoes? She has been staying in Timor for the summer and is a budding photographer and has come on a bunch of shoots with me. She leaves wednesday though and we thought it was high time she got her own shoot. Ahhh to be 16 and look fabulous again, actually I REALLY like the point I am at in my life, I really just want my 16 year old body back ha! Okay so tomorrow fingers crossed I will get some photos up. Otherwise I have to wait until Chris gets back with the laptop and head to my fav cafe... "both good options" (Chris that is for you!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Noah turns Five

Sammy's little buddy Noah turned five this past week and we had a great time helping him celebrate. His mommy Krista makes the coolest cakes in Timor and this one was no exception
There were lots of games, including Pass the parcel.
Which is usually accompanied by music on a CD but we had our very own live entertainment!
Since he was from New Zealand we kept teasing him about being Bret from Flight of the Conchords (If you have not seen this show you HAVE to watch it, it is soooo funny). Under each layer there was a buggy for the kids to keep. Liam was excited for his grasshopper
This is Oscar (his dad was playing the guitar) I am fairly certain he is the only red head on the entire island of Timor.
The kids all took lots of turns beating the pinata Krista made but in the end Steve had to beat it down
Noah thought the broken pinata made a great hat
Steve spent the night using our water balloon maker to make over 100 water balloons for the fights and Krista spent the night making her traditional stripy jelly.
It is so yummy but I would never have the patience to do it. The kids got to swim in their awesome pool, Abby kept track of the goggles.
Noah waited patiently and then blew out all the candles with no help... ok so there were only 5 but still.
Then Oscars mom and I painted all the kids faces with this stellar face paint she brought back from Australia. The kids had so much fun and came home and crashed. Thanks for letting us celebrate with you Noah you are a great little guy and we are so glad to have you as a friend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Down Under

This Wednesday I was in charge of Camp Crocodili. I was asked to do Music and Movement in the morning (thank you thank you thank you Cady, once again your CD saved me) and Photography in the afternoon with the older kids. We had a blast jump around and making our own shakers for music time. The minute Jodi asked me I had the perfect idea for photography for both the older and younger kids. Our friend Brian is an underwater photographer. He is creating a book about all the fish species here in Dili. He had never shot in a pool before and I thought "how cool would the kids think it is to have pictures of themselves underwater?" He was kind enough to oblige and even let the kids take a turn with the camera! Liam and Sam of course were cold (my boys are ALWAYS cold, what are they going to do if we live in Switzerland next?) But we got a few good shoots with them.
Sammy enjoyed it a little more and even tried to smile
He was on cloud nine getting a picture with his little crush Carmen
He was driving in the car with me today and out of the blue said "Mom Carmen loves me huh?" When I said "she sure does" he just smiled. Since I was the only Adult in the pool aside from Brian I got to take pictures with the other little cuties. I love how this one with Amanda turned out
It was so fun doing it with another person who enjoyed taking pictures as much as me. We tried all sorts of crazy things. We just couldn't get a cool picture of diving with out all the bubbles, the pool just wasn't deep enough.
I had fun taking some pics, although to be honest it was WAY harder then I thought it would be. Half the time I didn't even know if I was taking a picture of what I wanted it to be of.
The kids were great with their poses though.
The kiddos loved it though and I can't wait to show them at camp tomorrow how they turned out! After the pool I had them running around the embassy with their cameras on a photographic scavenger hunt. I asked them to try and take pictures from new angles etc. and they did such a fabulous job, I think we definitely have some photographers in the making!