Monday, July 21, 2014

just the girls

Sometimes you need a girl date.

Actually, my girls would argue that they almost always need a girl date!  They LOVE it!

I do too.  So fun to get some time away with just them.  It feels very grown up to be "out on the town" with an 8 year old and almost 7 year old.  Our maturity level jumps significantly when we leave the little boys behind :)

We headed over the bridge and down the greenway to a favorite local drink stand.

We talked about all sorts of things, some significant, others not so much.  And just had a good girl-y time.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

tetris (the refrigerator version)

Remember that game?  Tetris?  Where you twist and then place different shaped pieces to try to fill up your empty space with as few gaps as possible?

Until earlier this week I played Tetris with remarkable regularity.  Only I played the refrigerator version.  Our fridge was small, but if I played my pieces right, I could fit just about everything.

And then sometimes I couldn't fit everything, and other times I got tired of playing Tetris with my refrigerator.

Then I resorted to whining and complaining.

[I only wish I was joking.  My children and I are all working hard to break the whining/complaining habit.]

Anyways, I finally played my last game of refrigerator Tetris.  Thanks to a scratch and dent appliance dealer we went for a MAJOR size upgrade.

From this

to this.

Funny thing is this is the second time I've blogged about a refrigerator upgrade :)  In June 2008 we jumped sizes.  And now, 6 years (and three additional children) later, we jumped again.  I think this is our last fridge for a good long while!

You can read the other fridge post here.  Check out tiny Julianna (age 2 1/2) and Lydia (just about to walk).  I think it goes without saying that our daily food consumption increased significantly during the years we used that old fridge!

Friday, July 18, 2014

lunch yesterday

Yesterday friends came over to join us on the neighborhood playground.  I think the basic rule of thumb here is this: if you're gonna be dripping with sweat watching your kids play hard outside, might as well sweat with friends :)

It's been quite hot and (I'll blame the humidity for this one) we all have rivers of sweat running down our backs pretty much anytime we step outside :)  And to think our suitcases were full of layers and layers of cozy winter clothing!  I'm so grateful for seasons!

Lunchtime rolled around and we rolled down the sidewalk, a troop of kiddos (12) on scooters and three moms trying to herd the crowd.

We stopped for bowls of noodles - with a side serving of fried rice -  and filled up the many empty tummies.

then it was back home again!  Grateful for cooks who sweat over huge pots of boiling noodles so I don't have to make lunch!  {double bonus that they wiped the tables and washed the dishes too.... my kind of lunch!}

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

my view

I spend a lot of my day looking at this.... this is the view from our dining/kitchen area through our living room to the school porch at the far end.

I call this "relatively picked up".  It gets tidier, but also a LOT messier.  My kids cannot leave those seat cushions on the couches and I'm about to forfeit the battle :)  he he.  [Not really, I'll not forfeit this one.  But I am learning that the pull of the couch-fort is irresistible.  It's give and take around here.]

And this other frequent scene ... cooking with the littlest two.  At 9:15 this morning Luke climbed up onto a bar stool and told me he was ready "to help you cook supper".

Unfortunately, I was not yet ready to "cook supper".  We compromised and went to the pool instead.  But early afternoon rolled around and we were busy :)

Cooking with these guys can make a simple recipe quite complicated.

But worth it :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

gorgeous (our weather!)

Yesterday started out as a disappointing drizzle but by midday our skies were blue!!!  First time since our arrival almost three weeks ago!  I took a picture to document the occasion :)

We've struggled through lots of cloud cover and a fair bit of rain, so these blue skies were a big big treat.  Matt decided it was time to wash the family fleet.  The two-wheeled fleet, that is.

Apartment living doesn't lend itself to outdoor water taps.  There are outdoor faucets, but you need a special "key" to turn them on.  But my kids have (mostly) charmed the groundskeepers (the unofficial keepers of the water tap keys) so we sent Julianna out on her bike to scout around for a open faucet or friendly staff.  She came back victorious - one of the building ayis turned on a faucet for her/us.

I gathered a few buckets and rags and the kids got right to work.  Yes, Luke's hair is out of control.  I cut it last night (after this pic was taken).

He calls this little scooter thing his "bike".  Desperate to be like the big kids.

Isaac loves his bike, and has a new found scooter love too.  Just like his Daddy.... life on wheels is good for him :)

The bike washing session was partly a celebration - we are back in business with our electric scooter!  We arrived and discovered it needed a bit of work .... Matt picked it up from the shop yesterday.  Luke loves these scooters (calls them 'motorcycles') and I knew he'd be thrilled when he realized his Daddy had one!  I was not disappointed.

Yes, Daddy owns a "motorcycle".  Life just got a whole lot better!

It's sunny and blue again today... we are off to the pool!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

biking campus

Our first date night back in Asia (best to jump right in to this commitment - we have a date night swap with our neighbors and watched their children 8 days after arrival... pay off came a week later when we headed out on our date!)

Friends once advised that we aim to go out on a date within a month of baby's birth (of course baby came with us, unless we kept it really short, but the principal stands: make time to get out and away from the particular demands of home).  I think the same principal applies to an international move: aim for a date night within the first month.  

We look hot and sweaty because we were hot and sweaty!  Hair in a ponytail and red marks on my forehead from the bike helmet.  I'm classy like that :)

We biked to a new restaurant and then rode all over a huge university campus, ended up at a riverside park, then back to a different restaurant for dessert, and finally home.  

I'm always pleasantly surprised how fast we can travel by bike.  Matt is practically as comfortable on two wheels as he is on his own two feet.  He can navigate just about anything!  I'm not nearly as savvy, but he is patient and it's a fun activity for us to enjoy together.  

Grateful for this date, and so many other blessings from our first weeks.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

bikes and ropes

Jump ropes did not make the packing cut and got left behind in America.  [We hardly ever used them there.]  But after just a few days here in Asia the kids were clamoring for replacements.  Easy to buy (just a few blocks from our house) and everyone is happy again.

The girls jumped home from our Saturday morning jump rope buying trip.  The elementary school gate is on their left, our complex is one block east and one block south of this picture.

While we ladies bought jump ropes Matt took the boys to the bike shop.  Seven months of sitting unused and our bikes needed more TLC than Matt could provide with his toolbox alone.  Matt loves riding and our three oldest each had Giant brand starter bikes... they have a shop near our home and offer free service.

We met back at the apartment and surprised Isaac with a new jump rope of his own.

The boys surprised us with our family's newest bike rider :)  John Paul inherited Julianna's old bike - Matt simply lowered the seat and re-installed the training wheels and he was set to go.  [Try to ignore the purple unicorns!  Today I took the kids shopping and we replaced the girly bike basket with a royal blue one.  And we're dreaming up ways to de-purple the frame.]  In the meantime, John Paul is a riding machine..... definitely a natural, just like his Daddy.

Julianna is temporarily borrowing a bigger bike from some friends who are out of the country.  She's clamoring for one of her own, but we're holding out for a birthday/Christmas gift opportunity.  Her borrowed bike has gears and she is really getting good!

No surprise that Luke is asking for a bike of his own.  Here he settled for a solid dose of kisses.  Both girls had friends spend the night, endless giggles and much fun.

Can't beat that for a Saturday.... for the girls, and the little brothers too.