Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Eat up

Wow. A friend just mailed me a box of baby food! Do you have any idea how hard this stuff is to come by around here? 

Asher is gonna be living it up at dinner tonight!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Our world

The baby has THRee teeth coming in. The boys were out of school Friday. We decided to hike to the top of an old fort. It was hot, and I am really out of shape. Hubs took the boys camping, inside our apartment complex park. He evaded the security guards, who have most definitely never thought to make a no-camping rule. They lasted until 8am.  Last night a family of six stayed in our apartment with us. They have four boys. We stayed up late laughing.  It was so much fun that Jude cried big tears on the way to school today after they left.  Thus week we have a serious kindergarten project going that involves moong dal. It's a lentil. (The last project never made it to the blog. It was an igloo. Out of ice. Not my best idea in equatorial living.) Silas cannot stop aggressively kissing Asher or singing  the 'war song' from Les Miserables. 

I think my vacation day lost effect somewhere along the way.

Who needs a vacation from this kind of fun though??!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

a day off

Hubs took a vacation day just to give me a day off.  What, you might ask, will I be doing?

1. Sleeping.  I'm gonna sleep a lot.  I forgot how babies make you tired….lose-your-mind tired.

2. This:

I've been waiting for this one.  Please don't judge me. I'm not sure I'm her target age range but I love her!  I started reading this series ten years ago…when I worked at a retirement home.  I'm not ever disappointed by Ms. Karon's work.  

I'm trying not to finish it today,  though I know it will require self-restraint.  Because, if I do finish it…that would have impacted goal #1: sleep. 


I'll be back after a few naps. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Asher, 7 months

Asher. Sweet, Asher! He's just a week shy of his 7 month birthday and all full of smiles.

He had his shots yesterday and has two pearly whites popping through the top gums so this isn't his happiest of days. But, generally speaking, he's holding to the laid back, happy third child model beautifully.  He hasn't really taken a shine to any of the food we've offered him this month but he likes the idea of it.

He's weighing in at 19lbs. He's sitting up and took his first 2 crawling steps on Friday.  He's mainly scooting along though and grabbing everything.

We l-o-v-e him!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

on returning

We've been back in the land of rickshaws and curry for about three months now. And I'll admit, it was much easier to settle into life this time.  We know a bit of the language.  I don't sit on the couch every night wondering how on earth to feed the family in the land of (in)convenience foods. Jude's plain rice (without spicy curry) at lunch is no longer a school issue. Silas knows how to hold his own in play school. Asher has adjusted fairly well to the cheek-pinch.  Hubs is enjoying more time to press forward in work now that I'm not juggling a language class schedule. Overall, we're settled.

It feels like home.  In an away-from-home kind of way.

Therein is the hardest point for me.  The first time we left our families, adventure was before us.  The second time, I knew what to expect….for better or worse. And, just like any country, there's plenty of better and plenty of worse. The first time we left, it felt like there was more light, at least in retrospect. The second time, certainly there was affirmation, but it was more of that long push toward obedience….obedience that feels like it might be staring you in the face for another 10 years or so.

The realities felt harder.  My kids won't get to share birthday parties with their cousins for another three years.  The grandparents will miss huge gaps in those lightening speed baby years. I'll feel lonely, a lot, and my sister will be asleep when I'm awake and ready to talk.

Settling back in certainly made it easier.  And I suppose it did, to an extent.  But the sting is still there…and the awareness that even after another 10 years, if I'm loving people like I should, the sting will still be there.  It's part of the package.

I have a few choices in the matter.  Life is so full of choices. I can obey joyfully, leaning into the Promise Giver. I can obey begrudgingly, tallying the cost at every turn and tapping my foot in impatient waiting.  Or, of course, I can disobey and bear the consequences that will inevitably follow. I'm working on the former rather than latter choices.

A friend who has been here much longer than I have stopped by the other day for a play date.  She made a simple statement that I found extremely helpful in processing.  As life seasons move forward, the cost of obedience keeps changing. You have to count the cost all over again because in every new season it's different.

But the promises never are. They are written in ancient stone, settled in the heavens, sealed for a coming day we can set all our hope on. Faith steps out again and again and again into unknown and sometimes back into the known-hard. It hopes for what is to come and lights it's eye on the promise of the Faithful One.

Self-Portrait, by Silas

Friday, September 11, 2015

Jude's Art Portfolio

I love this phase of art with Jude. He's finally confident enough to draw animals and objects on his own, without a lot of prompting. Every time I turn around, he has the crayons out. This has not been the case in the past. My boys always seem a little too distracted with wrestling and jumping in the preschool years to do much coloring.

Since we are too far to bring the grandparents, aunts and uncles an original for the fridge, I thought I'd post a few of his latest projects here. 


Zoo / Cheeta / Octonaut Headquarters / Landscape / Flowers

Thursday, September 10, 2015

You, again?

My little friends really love to have their picture taken. Today, I suggested we do individual shots so I could print them out as a little gift. 

Um, it was a lot harder than I thought. 

I guess the concept of standing in line is just a little lost in their world. There was a lot of pushing and shouting. A whole lot of photo bombing. Chaos ensued. 

Once I looked at the pics at home, little Miss green-and-white-stripes seems to be the primary culprit. She's in about half the pics!

Gotta love a kid who doesn't hold back;) 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

jake & woody

It was dress up day at school today.  Nothing like a little Jake & the Neverland Pirates or Toy Story to keep the week rolling along.  I know I'm biased…but seriously, they are so cute! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

les miserables

Just in case you don't know…..I'm pretty sure if David could have an alternate do-whatever-is-fun life, he'd be Jean Valjean on Broadway.

True to form, Jude and Silas are currently obsessed with "Do You Hear The People Sing." We listen to it on repeat the entire ride to school while they belt it out. Silas told me yesterday to stop singing since it was a war song for boys.  I told him that girls used to make bullets in the factories during the World Wars and no one could have fought without the girls helping. He'd better let me keep singing. (Is that bullet thing even true? I decided not to delve into the women's lib movement, female soldiers and equal rights at 8:30am. )  He's all about fighting to rescue princesses these days. Fight on, son.

Here's the Sunday afternoon car rendition. Don't you just love these guys?!

Because things are not agreeable," said Jean Valjean, "that is no reason for being unjust towards God. 

- Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Thursday, September 3, 2015


My man's back from the village. I'm happy! There's not much better than a lunch date with these two;)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Food, lately

I've been more adventurous since we returned from the States. Somehow tasting all those American dishes again gave me a little more confidence that I can re-create more of it here than I do. So, I'm learning more about spices and creams and garlic.  It's fun.  I'm not sure why I enjoy cooking so much more here, but I do.  I think it's because I feel incompetent at so many other things within a foreign culture.  At least in the kitchen, I have a little freedom.

The boys were in love with the Chick-fil-a grilled chicken nuggets.  This certainly isn't the same, but it's definitely a favorite for us on this side.  Here's the recipe from over at Allrecipes.com.

Krystal's Perfect Marinade

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c olive oil
2 T worchester sauce
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 t pepper

(Note: The original also includes 2 T sesame oil but I don't have access to that and it is still fantastic)

So I'm all about rolling food into another meal these days.  e.g. If I make beans for Mexican, the next night, we're probably having veg burgers.  Here's the roll for this marinaded chicken:

Chop a few tomatoes, marinade in garlic and balsamic, then grill for 20 minutes.  Make a garlic cream sauce using real cream, butter and some sautéed garlic.  Then add in the leftover chicken and tomatoes, pour on top of pasta. Wah-lah.  Friends, it's almost as good as Pasta Milano at Olive Garden.

On the ethnic food front, I thought I didn't miss the food here. But I did.  Breakfast in particular.  I found a little spot near our house that will serve me up a pretty plate of poori and some coconut and peanut chutney for a grand total of 60cents. It's possible that this is the best breakfast in the world for that price.  Seriously. 

Last week I went to a party for a friend from another region. They are known for their varied meals, served on banana leaves.  It was delicious. (Ok, most of it. Even after 4 years, I cannot stomach raw mango chutney. I just can't.)

There you have it: our food lately.  Eat up!