Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mr. Calvin, in the living room, with a shoe horn

Nope it's not a new clue game.
I switched out Calvin's puzzles the other day and also a few toys and started to feel bad because he doesn't have very many to choose from, but that didn't last long. You see his FAVORITE toys aren't even toys. Here are a few of his favorites:

#1 Shoe horn- I brought this one back from IKEA in Turkey this summer because I was tired of hearing our metal one hit the floor. So glad I did as he plays with it every. single. day. So far the beloved shoe horn has been transformed into………
a hockey stick
a sword
a light saber
a ramp for cars
a gun
a hill for his lego men to go "sliding"
a bat
a hook
a "potting cope" ie spotting scope
a fishing pole

It's also great to reach things that go under the couch and chairs, among many other things.

#2 Hangers…..this one is slightly annoying because we really don't have any spare ones and the second I get some out of the closet to hang up clothes here comes a little boy ready to play with them.

You might be asking yourself, what can you do with a hanger? Well you can certainly hook it to anything and everything and drag it. They make great wings, or "Buzz wings" as Calvin likes to call them. They are also great swords and guns. (A little tangent, I never intended my child play guns, but guess what, he's a boy and they do that. Also he sees them a lot more in our part of the world.)

#3 String, rope, my resistance bands, or grrrrrrrr my sewing measuring tape
So many possibilities with this one, there's the obvious tying something up. (I am not sure why but all boys I've ever been around love that game.) A rope can also be used as a leash, a river to jump over, a measuring tape, something to rescue someone, a fishing pole, to practice repelling, etc.

I am very thankful for his creative imagination, and also thankful we don't have a billion toys to clutter our home. I seriously would go crazy.

Friday, February 18, 2011


We bought some frames for pictures in our living room a year ago at IKEA.  Since we have a small apartment we don't have a lot of place for storage and Calvin kept playing with them so we just hung them up empty.  We had high ambitions to get pictures printed for them, but never got around to it until two weekends ago.  It was super easy, not sure why it took us an entire year to do so.

(Please tell me we aren't the only ones who have this problem.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Very Blue

Sunday, Calvin melted when I started my work out because he wanted me to skip a part of it, so I sent him to his room.  Then he woke up his brother with his crying, so Marvin was taking care of the littlest one while I worked out.  Since both parents were busy Squeezicks was in his room for a while, 30 minutes, a long while, the next thing I hear was "Mommy I painted my hands."

The rest was history.  I opened the door to find a little boy laying on his bed with his hands proped up on his chin with not only blue hands but blue circles of paint around his eyes, imagine a racoon.  So I told him to go wash his hands and face, but didn't specify the order....wrong move.

He washed his face first......with his blue painted hands.

He comes out of the bathroom with slightly blue hands but a completely blue face.  HILARIOUS.  Sorry no pictures he was a bit embarassed.

How horrible of me but I could not look at the child without bursting out laughing, so Marvin tackled the 20 minutes of face scrubbing.  Most of it came off, but he did look like he was rockin some blue eye makeup.

Never a dull moment when you have kids.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How did this happen?

It's amazing how quickly time flies, especially when you have a baby.  It's crazy how much Micah has changed, he just gets sweeter as time goes by though.  Here are a few videos of him I FINALLY uploaded.  Enjoy!
Getting Dressed for the first time..............minutes after birth

Snuggling in my arms.....................2 hours after birth

First pacifier..................2 weeks

Smiling.......7 weeks old

Baby Gym Love............ 11 weeks old

Talking.......just shy of 4 months

Rolling Over......Saturday one day shy of 4 months

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One way to bug a house

My sister sent a Christmas gift for the boys and the post office called and said it arrived. So after lunch we used our legs (Calvin was disappointed we had to walk) to go pick it up. Unfortunately Calvin thought that Aunt Natalie would actually be with the package. After the lady gave us the package he asked where Aunt Natalie was, if she was back behind the door. Poor guy was crushed to learn she wasn't there. (I mean big crocodile tears of disappointment).

So we finally collected ourselves and made our 30 minute walk back home to open our package and see what goodies were inside. My parents filled it with other goodies too, Calvin loved his new shirt from Aunt Nat and we love Micah's K-State board book. We've enjoyed some yummy goodies like twizzlers and Reese pieces. But the smallest thing included caused the most drama, a little tiny little wiggling bug. You turn it on and it takes off. Calvin of course loves it.

That evening I went to the kitchen to start dinner and bake some strawberry bread. Calvin came in with his bug and I thought no biggie, surely it won't go in that little crack by the stove. You know where this is going.

So it went in that crack, Marvin wasn't home so I started prepping dinner and making bread.

5 minutes later Marvin's home and the bug is still going crazy behind the stove. We contemplated letting it run out of battery, but it was annoying, so he pulled out the stove.

Crazy bug takes off behind the cabinets; we hear it hitting the washing machine.

Marvin moves the washing machine out, crazy bug now moves under the sink cabinet.

We take everything out from under the sink and pull out the vacuum.

20 minutes later VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

40 minutes later we now have a clean kitchen, clean oven, and clean floor behind two appliances.

Thanks small bug for helping us get to those places we rarely clean.

Now you know why that small bug is in a safe place for the time being.

Friday, February 11, 2011

pilgrim's progress

Today my language teacher told me I say my "r's" like I have a hot potato in my mouth, which just made me laugh much for progress.  Oh and our teacher is very encouraging like that ALL the time, I love her blunt comments, it makes it fun.

We had our language examined in January and we got the results back this week and we were where we thought we were, middle of the road, although Marvin did better than I did in two areas.  This was not so shocking to me, but because he underestimates his abilities he was pretty shocked by it.  It was good to see these results and see what we need to work on, and for me, ahem I need to pronounce words correctly so I don't sound like I have a hot potato in my mouth on top of a slew of other things.  But at the same time it puts things in perspective of how far we have to go.

Someday I will be able to open my mouth and sound intelligent and not like a blubbering idoit, until then I'll dream about that seemingly impossible dream.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Cultural Norm I'll never Embrace

We finally got together with some good friends last week.  Of course they brought a present for Micah, who they knew was a boy.  They brought this...........

Lovely huh?  In fairness it was VERY sweet of them.

It's so strange to me that such a masculine culture would let their little boys wear something like this.  Needless this sweet gift will have to wait to be worn......until we have a little girl, then she will get to wear this little number.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Ninety Nine

So I graduated high school in 1999, and one of the guys in our class made up a rap song for our class which for some strange reason the administration let him sing (I guess that the verb you use to rap) during morning announcements one morning. It was super cheesy yet, none of us forgot it. EVERY time I hear the number 99, my mind goes back to the last week of school sitting in my English classroom and hearing, ninety nine, ninety nine, nine, nine, nine, nine ninety nine. Thanks 99 guy, sorry I have forgotten you name!

There's your random story of the day, now onto numbers 99-135
#99 Road Trips
#100 Coming before the throne with sweet friends
#101 BBQs in the snow
#102 Sledding
#103 A Bouncing boy ready for school each day
#104 WHOOO HOOOs heard as Calvin flies down the hill
#105 Biggest grins after a sledding run
#106 IKEA finds
#107 Pursuing new stores
#108 Spotting of the golden arches, closer to home
#109 Toaster
#110 A Washing machine
#111 A thoughtful husband
#112 Giggles that bring on hiccups
#113 A husband who can drive a large vehicle well
#114 A few meals left in the freezer
#115 Teachers who don't give up on you
#116 Walking distance to everything you need
#117 Encouragment from friends
#118 Corn tortilla chips
#119 Giant fluffy snowflakes, slowly falling from the sky
#120 Eagerness for learning
#121 Toothless grins
#122 Leisurely walks
#123 Clean house…even just for a few hours
#124 A break in dishwashing…thanks honey
#125 A little hand hanging on for dear life to my shirt during bath time
#126 Freshly washed babe
#127 Sunshine
#128 Clear view of the majestic mountains at our doorstep
#129 Laughing as a family
#130 Watching brothers play together
#131 Ex pat friends
#132 Reconnecting with local friends
#133 Giddiness from playing hide and seek
#134 Working Elevator
#135 Bread of Life

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Changes

It's crazy how quickly a place changes. We first stepped foot in Nineveh 5 years ago and oh my have things changed. Marvin and I had a good time reminiscing earlier about some fun memories with some dear people. Since our part of the world doesn't attract many visitors each team member or visitor makes for some sweet memories.

So for those of you who have lived here and have moved on, or those who have come to visit I would like to share a few things that you may or may not be SHOCKED by.

I have fond memories of trying to furnish our apartment when we first arrived, trudging through the slush and ice in the market, going back to the B's apartment to warm up our feet before we went back for another round……then hauling that all back to our apartment by public transportation. Today we have plenty of places to go indoors to find these things. It was such a different experience a year ago, filling a grocery cart, or two full of things we needed, then loading them into a van and driving back home with most of the necessities in a matter of hours. 5 years ago this would have been CRAZY talk.

And speaking of stores we have several large grocery stores, one of which is within walking distance to our apartment. I can't tell you how much of a blessingit is to have a place that sells some of the harder to find items  just right up the road.

We still use the market when we need a lot of random things, but it's tough to manage with two kids. They are revamping the market too. There is now a building for dishes, a building for clothing, a building for fruit and vegetables, and we no longer have a candy room but a candy building. The cheese/candy/ chicken building is also being updated. I'm telling you it's CRAZY.

We now have several buildings with escalators going BOTH ways. The "mall" is now a grocery store with a great toy store on the top floor. (Some things will never change:  the prices of clothing, toys, and everything is still outrageous.)

We have a real mall, with an ice skating rink inside, that's ALWAYS busy. This mall also has a sweet movie theatre, new bowling alley, a sushi restaurant, and a real western fast food restaurant (with a great play place for kids).

Marshrutkas are now 12 p instead of 6p and there's talk that's going up soon.  Prices of most things have doubled.

There are twice as many cars around, but they all still drive just as crazy. Since there has been an increase of people driving the city added about a billion speed bumps to slow them down.

With all these changes it makes me wonder what else will change in the next 5 years?????????????
It will be fun to see what crazy talk right now may be a reality in 5 years.

P.S. We miss our old teammates, and you always will be our teammates even though you don't live here anymore. We sure did have a lot of fun together didn't we?

I smile every time I see deodorant, or dolphin shower curtains, L.
Walk past the coke cans during the summer, J.
See a hand towel for sale, or little ladies selling baked goods, D.
And P your phrases are iconic and still make us laugh.

Well that's a long post, I better take P's advice and trail off, trail off, trail off………

Monday, February 07, 2011

3 Month Sugar Lump

Our little sugar lump is certainly getting bigger. At 3 months he was 24 ½ inches tall and 14 ½ lbs. He's a chunky little guy, but oh so sweet.

He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES his hands, he prefers them over toys.

He loves his big brother, tracks him around the room loves to smile at him, to which big Bro loves and has to report to me every time Micah is "piling" at him.

He's still our little cuddle bug, loves being in people's arms and loves the sling (which is how I wash dishes most days). At one point I thought we were getting close to being able to lay him in his crib awake to fall asleep but well that's just not happening right now. So I will savor my days rocking him to sleep while they are still here. I know they are numbered.

He's our little side roller, but hasn't quite made it over on his own yet. Usually he'll get distracted and find his hands and then life's peachy, who needs to roll over when you're munching on delicious hands.

At 3 months he's been waking up once around the middle of the night 3ish and PTL started going to bed earlier!!! No more night owl, which means I've been going to bed before 1:00 a.m., which makes for a much more rested and better mama.

He's the king of "aaaaaaaaaa gooooooooooooo's." Our conversations are so precious these days.

And most days I can't get enough of his sweet little kissable cheeks. I so wish you all could give him a big squeeze and kiss those soft delicious cheeks.

We love you little buddy.


Friday, February 04, 2011

The list continued……

So I've been really bad about blogging my 1,000 blessings, however I keep adding to it in my journal. So it's time to play catch up. I'll start out with #54-98, more to come later, promise.

#54 getting to hug our family
#55 first time in grandma's arms
#56 first time in grandpa's arms
#57 laughter of familiar voices around the table
#58 Having a dishwasher for a few weeks
#59 A dryer…sigh……..
#60 Grins that melt my heart
#61 Simultaneously sleeping boys
#62 Sling that makes house work possible
#63 Doxology being belted out while playing cars around the house
#65 Games being passed down from one generation to the next
#66 Eagerness of finding a "fug bug" first
#67 Comfort arms bring to a crying baby
#68 Spending holidays with dear friends
#69 walking the streets of Ephesus
#70 letter of invitation completed
#71 Delivery of a yellow envelope that brings us one day closer to returning home
#72 Confirmed seat on a flight home
#73 Sweet and helpful strangers while traveling
#74 Not exceeding baggage limits
#75 Being able to change Micah's diaper on my lap
#76 Sunsets above the clouds
#77 landing in the Motherland….
#78 landing again in the Motherland, only in the right city
#79 people pushing me to the front of the line
#80 strangers carrying my luggage
#81 being reunited with my family
#82 seeing good friends once again and them meeting Micah
#83 sleeping in my own bed
#84 cooking in my own kitchen
#85 a little clothing diversity
#86 being able to communicate
#87 preparing for Christmas
#88 sparkling lights in a dark room
#89 Pumpkin puree
#90 A happy little artist, paining the day away
#91 First little giggles
#92 Cubby little legs
#93 Decorating for Christmas with the help from 3 year old hands
#94 Excitement of Christmas
#95 Sleeping in Christmas morning
#96 Unexpected visitors Christmas Day
#97 Spreading Christmas cheer to our neighbors
#98 Enthusiasm for our Jesse tree reading each day