Saturday, January 29, 2011


Here are a couple videos of Calvin "sliding" (as he calls it) down the sidewalk by our apartment.  I wish you could hear his little whoo hoo and him laughing the whole way down.  It's pretty sweet.  He even does the same sound effects with his little lego guys as he pretends they are sledding.

Unfortunately our snow all melted this week, so we'll have to wait until we have more snow or go up to the mountains to go sledding again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

why I love our apartment

#1001, we only have to step out the door to go sledding.  Our sidewalk makes the perfect spot to go "sliding" as Calvin calls it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

it all started............

1 broken rattle + some fabulous fabric

A new monster friend!

I've enjoyed being creative recently, but I'm thankful to have my table back again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Detsky Cad {Preschool}

Wow, this is scary. As a mom it's second nature to want to protect these sweet little things and shelter them under my wings. It seriously breaks my heart to think of causing them pain….. it's been a tough decision to send Calvin to local preschool.

I know that by going to a local school he will be singled out since he can't communicate in this language.
I know the teachers will do this too.
I know there will be a few kids who will pick on him.
I know they'll make fun of him.

It's scary stuff, willingly saying:
"Yes Lord, we'll trust you for this."

But trust we must.

We're about to navigate through finding a school for him, which I am dreaded, but it's something he needs. This past year we've had a nanny who came during my language lessons. Calvin adores her, they have so much fun together, but unfortunately she speaks English, and even after we beg her not to, she still does. Calvin has a few words in this language but not near as many as we had hoped he would. Our kids need language, our kids need local friends, they need to be able to communicate independently. We want our home, this culture to feel like home to them. We don't want to run away from the culture, but rather embrace it and we want our boys to enjoy it too.

In taking this step we will also jump into anther cultural difference, boys here are ROUGH….another big gulp. It is expected if someone hits you, you better hit him back, if you don't people will walk all over you. It's a macho culture for boys and we want him to learn to be a boy here, to be able to hold his own, so he's not picked on. But there is a point where we have to draw the line. So we'll be navigating this with wisdom from the Lord of where that line is.

I know I'll look back on these fears and wonder why I had so little faith, but for now I'm just putting one foot in front of the other.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Day of Many Firsts

Calvin had many firsts today. 

He got to play his first computer game during school today.  I wish you could have seen the smile on that boys face when I gave him permission to use the mouse by himself. 

Since we woke up to a nice blanket of snow it was necessary to go out and play in it.  We bundled all up and headed out with his sled.  He was actually brave enough to try it today and guess who loved it???  We stayed out for an entire hour (mainly because Micah was so bundled up, tucked under the rain cover and sleeping in his stroller while we played, we weren't rushed at all, it was beautiful).  ***he also experienced his first sledding accident too, the other little boy's sled left a mark.

And since we enjoyed some time sledding, I had to give him the complete sledding experience.  When we came inside I gave Calvin his first cup of Hot Chocolate.  I wish I would have recorded his reaction, it was PRICELESS. 
What a Yummy Day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


A few things this guy has been saying lately that I don't want to forget:

Love it when this kid says elevator,  instead it's a "elegator".
He's quick to tell me when Micah has "spit out". (spit up)
We use the microphone to warm up our food from time to time.
Every morning I hear repeatedly, "Mommy I want brefest"

We've been doing a little school a few days each week and he's in LOVE with it.  I have to force myself to plan something because I know he's going to ask.  At breakfast one day last week you would have heard this:
Calvin "What are we going to do in "Kool" today?"
me "We're going to do lots of things today."
Calvin "Is it like a "prise" (surprise)
me "yes sort of like a surprise
Calvin "YEA it's like Christmas"

So far we've been working on some cognitive skills I've noticed he loves or things he needs to work on a bit like knowing his shapes, patterning and getting closer to learning to read. One of the most exciting parts of school for me has been starting scripture memory with him. I found this awesome website where this woman has put verses to tunes you'd recognize so that it's easier to learn, she has coloring pages and other activities you can use for readers and kids who are writing.

I wish I had that same desire for learning, its pretty fun to watch him get excited over what he is learning. The second Marvin get's home he's telling him all about school that day. We're also about to embark on a local preschool, which is a post in itself, right now 90% of me is terrified, but know it's the right direction. Even though he'll be going to a local preschool a few days a week, I still will do some school with him. Who knows how this reading thing will go once he starts school, since its different alphabet here that he'll be learning in the local school. Anyone had any experience with duel language learners and reading?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little dose of randomness

It took 29 years for me to taste chocolate cereal.  For some strange reason I always thought it would be gross, I was sure wrong.

Speaking about cereal I recently came to the conclusion that I'm lactose intolerant, which means no more dairy on my cereal.  Marvin's giving me a hard time about this self diagnosis but I've noticed it got worse after having Micah.  This makes me so sad because I love milk and all milk products, (well I don't love Ayran or Kefir) but I love not feeling horrible after I have a glass of milk.

I tried researching dairy free recipes, and it's quite depressing as most recipes or sites have you substitute something we can't get here. Sigh……I hope to try my hand at making almond milk next week.

This is why I was so excited to find Soy milk at Metro, think Sam's club. It was over 3 times the cost of a box of cow's milk but it's so nice to have that as an option from time to time.

Metro just opened in a city about an hour and half away. We were able to stop there on the way home from visiting friends last week. We also found some fun finds like peanut butter, plain tortilla chips and tortillas. We also finally bought a toaster; it's been so nice having "quick: toast" for breakfast the past two mornings. If you are wondering "long toast" would be the old school way of toasting it in the oven. I tell you it's the little things that make my day!

On our way to Metro we saw signs for McDonalds. We seriously were in disbelief and wondering if it was real, but then we spotted the golden arches. Wow a real fast food restaurant is only an hour and a half away. Crazy.

We also made a trip to IKEA over the New Year holiday. Since I broke all but 2 of my plates it was high time to stock up again. We also were able to pick up lots of random stuff I wanted to get like new kitchen chairs (ours are falling apart), a crib for Micah, and a bunch of random kitchen doo dads. Our van was filled to the brim coming home and surprisingly it has all found a home now.

We watched Food Inc. last week and it was so very eye opening, makes me wonder about our food sources here. I highly recommend it and I liked that it urged you to make a difference in how you spend your money at the store. Point taken.

New Years Eve we received a ginormous package from my parents. It was so much fun opening. It was filled with all sorts of Christmas goodies like Twizzlers, Reese's Pieces, Animal Crackers for Calvin, taco seasoning, some new games, toys for the boys and a few clothes to help diversify our wardrobe. We love packages and it was so fun to get it before the country literally went on vacation for 10 days. Thanks mom & dad!

I generally don't make New Year's Resolutions but here is my goal this year: wake up early. It's much easier to do now since I feed Micah at 6 a.m. I hope that this trend soon becomes a habit, I love having a little quiet before the boys wake up and it's also nice being able to work out without having to answer a million questions mid workout from a certain 3 year old. Once it warms up and there isn't any more ice around I hope to start the Couch to 5K. I'm getting excited about jogging again.
And that's a wrap. Thanks for bearing with my randomness.

Monday, January 10, 2011

fa la la la la la la la la

Christmas 2010
in pictures

I'm pretty sure this is our last Christmas morning where we get to sleep in.  We had a little Christmas Eve worship time with friends and stayed out late, so Calvin was SUPER tired and slept until 9:30, his gift to us!  Micah woke up smiling and ready for his first Christmas, shortly after that!  It was beautiful.

We started the day by opening stockings. Marvin's mom made all of them and I just LOVE them. (Thank you so much Kathy!)  It's so fun to have things made by family, especially around Christmas!

 Calvin loved opening his stocking, although Christmas morning is a little overwhelming still.
 showing of his play food
 hooray for Kinder eggs
 Micah got some necessary local winter wear, tights.
After we finished opening stockings we read our last reading for our Jesse Tree
My mother-in-law made this sweet advent calendar; it was the perfect place to put our Jesse tree ornament each day.

Calvin hanging up the last ornament.  I'm so glad we did this; it's going to be a part of our yearly Christmas tradition.  I hope to work on making some more permanent ornaments for next Christmas, as well as a better Jesse tree.
After our Bible time we sang a few carols then it was time for presents.  This year we didn't have to shop for any Christmas presents, Marvin's parents brought a ton of gifts for Calvin and we already had a few things for him that we picked up earlier in the year.  It was such a blessing as he was sick, sick, sick before Christmas and we wouldn't have had time to shop together.
 He was pretty cautious with the wrapping paper at first, but quickly got into ripping the paper off.
After presents we enjoyed some homemade donuts and my favorite tea of the moment, Christmas mystery.
Our language teacher called to see if we were home, so she came by to meet Micah and of course we had to have her taste a few of our Christmas treats.   
We wrapped up the day by a nice Christmas dinner, and then skyping with our family.  We saved decorating cookies for the next day because we just plain ran out of time.

Calvin enjoyed putting M&Ms on his cookies.

We were able to take cookies to our neighbors after they dried.  It was a fun time and we are glad that we were able to share some our traditions with those who live around us.

I think I enjoy Christmas more and more each year, we certainly had some sweet memories this year, we hope you did too!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

one year ago

One year ago, we were adjusting to life abroad with a 2 year old; honestly it was much easier with an infant. We were relearning some cultural expectations of us, and learning a few we had never experienced (such as Calvin must always wear tights and be bundled up to the point where he can barely move when we go outside in the winter). But overall it was so good to be home.

  • A year ago we were digging deep in language study only to be reminded that we're ALWAYS going to be language learners. We've made some progress but have a long ways to go.
  • A year ago we didn't anticipate the job changes we experienced this year, but we are thankful for the support we have been given with this new role of leadership.
  • A year ago I my heart desperately wanted another child; today I'm so thankful to have my arms filled with another sweet little boy that has been entrusted to us.
  • A year ago we would never have guessed the things that brought us out of comfort zone. Those things have stretched us and grew our relationships with our local friends.
  • A year ago we thought it would be several years before we saw any of our family. Thankfully a sweet little guy's birth brought a few visitors our way.

So 2010 you threw a few surprises our direction, but overall it was a year that we were able to see your faithfulness. Thank you Lord for the gifts you've given us this year. In the words of Calvin "Bring it on" 2011!