Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Days 2014

 Once a week, Lauren has dance class at this location.  She absolutely loves it.  Katherine always wants to come along because while we wait there is a nice green area for kids to play.  Well, last week Katherine decided to bring our Frisbee to play with.  It was so funny.  The kids there had never seen a Frisbee and got so excited when they found out that we would "let " them play, too.  I intended on all the kids standing around throwing it to each other, but the local kids all lined up to have a turn throwing it to Katherine. So Katherine was very happy that she got a turn every time :)
 At the same place, a lady brought out her pet ducks and them go.  They were running everywhere when she wanted to catch them again.  Katherine got one :)
 Not a moment too soon!!  The kids have been working together on a quilt for their new brother.  They finally finished it!  I am so proud of the work they did!  They all worked together and all had turns using the sewing machine.  It's not "perfect", but it's absolutely PERFECT.  It turned out smaller than they were hoping, but it will work just fine.  We can always make him another one that is bigger later.  They can't wait for him to get here!

 This is the look of shock, joy, excitement, and disbelief all rolled up in one.  We surprised the kids with a kitten (they have been wanting one for awhile)  They all had to sit on the couch with their eyes closed. Lets just say the cat has not been put down much ;)  They named him Charlie, and he is the sweetest thing ever.

 Lauren's turn :)
 Regan's turn :)
 Mommy gets a turn, too :)
Benjamin's turn :)
 I have to say, the cat seems to really love Katherine though...or maybe it's the other way around.

 Jonathan took me out on a date this week.  I had such a good time.  We found a new restaurant run by a foreigner.  It was so good to taste some western food again, especially that Dr. Pepper in the background.
After dinner, we went to see the newest landmark of our city, the big ferris wheel on top of a building. 
 This was one of the views from the the ferris wheel.  It was neat to see our city at night from up high.
I also enjoyed walking along the river at night.
 I was looking for the cat and found him...he was comfortably sleeping between the girls.
 I still need to get a picture of all my kids together in uniform, but here is one of the two little girls in class.  They are too cute in there with all those boys.  The teacher said that my girls say their "huh!" better than anyone in the class.  haha!
 It's a little difficult to fly a kite when there is no wind and you only have a short string, but it's amazing how much fun it can be if you keep running fast enough :)
Proof that kids can wear anyone out ;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Village Life

 Our family went by bus to our friend's village for four days.  It was a great trip and it was hard to choose the photos to put on here.  This is us at the bus station waiting for our bus to pick us up.  It was a busy travel day because it was a holiday for everyone.
 The bus stopped half way and let everyone go to the rest room.  YEAH!  My kids were about to explode ;)  I knew it would be a long trip, so I would not let them drink much.  There were about seven stalls.  My friend was very happy.  She told me afterwards that they had improved the rest stop this month and the bathrooms now had walls separating you from everyone else.  Before it was just a trough and everyone went together....very glad for the improvement!
 This is her street.  The neighbor's son got married the night before so they set off tons of firecrackers to celebrate.  They were still sweeping them up all of the following day.
 She took us to the only school in town and the kids immediately found a tree to climb.
 Exploring the village.
 This guy caught a rat on the side of the road.  He had it dangling from his bike, but decided to show the kids.  Don't really want to know what he's going to do with it ;)
 We drove up to the top of the mountain to have a better view of the area.  It was very pretty.  I can only imagine how beautiful it would be if the pollution were not so bad.
 Wood for cooking
 Two little boys playing
 At the village at the top of the mountain (My friend's village is at the bottom)
 We really enjoyed just walking through the village.  One family even invited us into their home to see what their homes look like.
 This cutie followed us for a few minutes.  He was adorable .  He and Katherine are the same age.
 Some of the ladies in their village clothing.  They offered the kids a drink and the kids started to take it, but when they got close we could smell the alcohol!  We quickly told the kids not to take it :)  I believe it is their version of moonshine ;)
 Some of the girls did a show with some of the traditional songs.
 At my friend's home, we (as in Jonathan) were asked to fix an American meal.  We knew ahead of time and came prepared.  The beef was delivered by motorcycle that morning....just one was just a slab of beef...about 6 pounds of it.  Jonathan had to make ground beef the old fashion way!
 Katherine always likes helping her daddy in the kitchen.
 We took a bag of suckers with us to give away to the kids.  They had the best little smiles.
 We enjoyed the change of pace.  We were still busy the entire time, but the kids just played with the other kids.  They chased crickets, jumped rope, played tag, and other made up hand games.
 A lady on her way back from the market.
 A man at the market selling brooms, a stick for washing your clothes, and a flat basket for drying fruits and vegetables.
 We were given the challenge to figure out what this was.  We all kept thinking that it was some kind of lunch box, but we finally guessed's a heater.  You put the coals in the basket and then it can warm your feet or whatever is near it in the winter.
 My girls were quite the attraction at the hair bow stand.
 We went on a boat ride.
 It felt really good on the boat.  The weather was cooling off (a little bit) and we were still in the mountains.  It was a relaxing 40 minute ride.
 This is one of my new favorites of Benjamin.
 Me and Jonathan on the boat :)
 Another village
 Katherine was determined to get this grasshopper to move.  She has always loved bugs.  It cracks me up that she will be the one that the other kids will go get to help them with a "bug problem."
 Again...trying to get a grasshopper to move.  She thought she was scary ;)
 My friend's dad preparing some intestines for a meal.
 Regan helping to cook in the kitchen.
 Love this...pregnant mom, toddler, dad, and a box of diapers
 sitting down for dinner
 This is how it looked EVERY playing, parents and grandparents talking.  They enjoyed playing with the kids.  Regan made several little girl friends and they played little games with each other until I called Regan in for showers and bed (around 10:00)  
 This is one of the four gates to the village....surrounded by a moat and everything!
 I tried several times to get this picture and this is the best I could do.  Jonathan was in panic mode every time we went through these cement barricades.  They are literally about 4 inches wider than a car and are meant to slow traffic down....let's just say it has only made the drivers more skilled.  They can thread the needle at about 60 mph....although it felt as if they were going 120 mph.  Who knows.
 Breakfast on the bus ride home...corn and a hard boiled egg.
More scenery...

 Selling peanuts and roots
Regan and our friend
Little girl from the village
 So besides the trip with a gazillion pictures ;)  We went to a friend's wedding.  They had asked Lauren to be the flower girl.  Lauren took her job very seriously.  She practiced all the time at home and loved every second of the wedding itself.  She walked down with one of her friends...the flower boy :)