Friday, July 27, 2007

5 Wonderful Years

Yesterday Marvin and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. It is hard to believe that time has gone by that quickly. Anyone who is married can attest that it only gets better. I didn't quite understand that concept 5 years ago, but it is so fun to look back and see how closer we have grown together. It is fun to think that 5 years ago I didn't know about his sleepy "it's time to get up" sigh/stretch, or the way his eyes get big and smiles every time I make bread or his favorite foods, I didn't know that I would almost get goose bumps when I catch him staring at me and my pregnant belly. There are so many little things like that that make 5 years so much sweeter than the day we got married. We are so thankful to be able to journey together and I am so honored to have Marvin as my husband.

Every year we try to do something out of the ordinary for our anniversary. This year we decided to go swimming, it’s out of the ordinary here unless you want to go to the river. Some friends went to a pool at a hotel outside of our town last year and said it was awesome. So since it has been incredibly hot we thought that would be a great place to spend the afternoon. For a few hours we escaped Nineveh and entered an entirely different world. We had fun relaxing in the water and enjoying being outdoors for the first time in a couple of weeks.

Later we headed to one of our favorite restaurants in town that has little huts where you can eat at in the summer. It proved to be a great relaxing evening and we even had live entertainment that wasn't too bad. It was a perfect way to celebrate 5 years! We can't wait to see what is in store for us these next 5 years. Thanks to everyone who has supported us along the way.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Almost our Backyard

Last week we were able to go with the FOCUS team to a mountainous region about an 1 hour and a half away from where we live. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day, it was sunny and the temperature in the mountains was perfect. Our journey took us to the Blue Lakes, yes they are really blue, through a tunnel in the mountains, to the remains of a 13th century fortress located in the mountains, and we ended the day with a dip in some hot springs.

The entire drive the hills and mountains were breathtaking. The mountains in this region are jagged, rocky and many times include an insane incline. We saw a few cliffs that were literally just dropped off at 180 degrees. We also learned that the tunnel is new and we were able to walk on the old road on the side of the mountain, no guard rails just fear keeping you alert and attentive. I am very glad they build the tunnel; I think all of us would be a little nervous if we had to actually drive on this road.

The fortresses that we saw were build high on each side of the valley; enemies would be attacked from both sides of the valley. The holes in the towers were where they would shoot out of. This structure we assume is an old barracks as it is located right next to the tower. It is pretty cool to see how the walls are still in tact and we had fun imagining who lived there. You can see that there are a lot of rocks on multiple levels of this hill; we are assuming that there were multiple story buildings all along this hillside (our architecture student pointed this out.)

As you can see it was quite a hike up to this tower, and believe it or not I made it all the way up to the tower and was one of the first people to do so! (This was all thanks to my amazing husband who found an easier route up this hill.) After we started our ascend, the thought accured to me that this would probably be against all doctors orders, but we made it safely. The funny part is I actually tripped when we were on smooth ground, nothing was in my path I just fell right on my knee. I was pretty bummed because I ripped my jeans. Go figure I find a way to injure myself walking like normal! Well at least I only landed on my knee, PTL. It was a great trip and we are thankful to be reminded of the beauty that surrounds us.

First we had to cross the river on an old rusty bridge and we began to make our way up to the tower.
Marvin couldn't resist taking a few river shots.

The Accend

This little structure was right next to the tower, You can still see divided room.

Close up on Tower #1

Tower #2

View from Tower #2 The other side of the valley

Checking out the View at the Blue Lakes after our picnic lunch.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Who needs the Market

We love summer produce here, watermelons are starting to make their appearance, which makes me very happy. Last year I think I ate my weight in watermelon. I had it for breakfast lunch and dinner. It was my main dish for every meal last year. I don't think it would be wise to repeat this again this year, since I am needing the growing guy in my belly, but you better believe we will buy our share of watermelons this year.

Marvin just came inside from the garden and brought all of these wonderful garden treats. We love fresh produce and are super excited about fresh green beans again. We are taking advantage of this last summer of having a garden and so far everything looks great and we are looking forward to enjoying all of this produce.

4th of July Treats

Every now and then I get inspired to try to make something new, so with Cherries in season I thought I would try my luck at a few cherry desserts to help us celebrate the 4th of July. The pie turned out great, but the cherries bubbled over the blue on the flag, Marvin called it our rustic flag, either way it was tastey. I pitted 2 Kilograms of cherries, which is a little shy of 5lbs, in a few days to help make these little treats and I also froze enough homeade cherry pie filling to make 2 pies at a later date. YEAH! So dad, I hope you enjoyed a cherry pie this year. I was thinking of you as I made it.

The Bump-23 Weeks

Sorry it has taken us so long to post a picture of my growing bump. It seemed like whenever we had a camera I was wearing a shirt that didn't show it off, so we finally took one the other day. Right now I am in the 6th month and can't believe we are over half way there. We aren't sure if he is going to come earlier than expected, as both ultrasounds we had done a couple of weeks ago estimated that I was a week to two weeks farther along, but who knows if that is accurate. My doctor wants another ultrasound done the middle of August, so hopefully we will get more information then. We are just trying to decided if we need to leave the country earlier than planned right now.