Thursday, 27 January 2011
I've posted my first "real" post (daily pictures, of course) over at my new blog. The address is www.junglewife.wordpress.com
If you want to subscribe to my new blog, there is an easy e-mail sign-up option on the right hand side of the page. Or you can use a feed reader like Google Reader, which I use and love.
Xanga has been a great place for me to blog these past 5 years, but I don't think I'll be posting here anymore. See you over at my new site!!!
Sunday, 23 January 2011
...Xanga, that is.
I started blogging on Xanga right about the time we first left to come overseas... way back in June of 2006. Almost 5 years ago, crazy! There are a lot of things I like about Xanga. It's pretty user-friendly, easy to use, intuitive for the most part. I like that I could sign up for e-mail subscriptions and get my friends' new blog posts straight into my inbox. I like that I can just hit "reply" to comments, and my response would be e-mailed to them.
But, some things have changed lately. I don't like that they want you to sign up for a premium account in order to use some of the features, though. (nothing has changed there, it's always been that way.) Lately, though, the e-mails have not been working properly. I have changed nothing on my settings, but I have not been getting notifications when people comment on my blog, and I have not been getting any of my subscription e-mails. Some of you have written me and told me it has been the same for you, too. And a lot (but not all!) of my friends who used to post on Xanga have moved over to other blog hosting companies as well.
Oh, and one more thing, even though it's kind of silly. I can't sign in on Firefox (my usual browser!) I sign in, and it won't "take" - Xanga just keeps asking me to sign in over and over again. So I have to use Internet Explorer, which has its own quirks when it comes to Xanga. It's not really important, but it's just one more thing...
So, I'm thinking about leaving Xanga. If I did, would you care? I'd still import my posts into Facebook. There's still lots of options out there for having my posts automatically e-mailed to you. I just wouldn't be on Xanga. Just wondering if anyone has an opinion about it.
I'm thinking about moving over to Wordpress. For some reason I am drawn to Wordpress over Blogger, I am not sure why. I've already created a site there - www.junglewife.wordpress.com, even though I haven't posted anything there yet. Anyway, since I've been here for almost 5 years, and many of you have been reading for that long, I just thought I'd ask your opinion before making a big move
Friday, 21 January 2011
Saturday, January 15 - There is a tradition among the group of expat women here in Wamena that when someone leaves (provided they've been here at least 3 years - there's a lot of turnover here!) they get a handmade quilt, made by the rest of the ladies. Tricia moved to Sentani from Wamena this summer and when I came back from furlough I volunteered to help finish her quilt (along with 2 others!) The way it works is we have a couple of get-togethers where whoever wants to help comes and makes a block (simple applique - using fusible web and then outlining on the sewing machine.) So, my job was to put all the pre-made squares together, quilt, and bind it all up. So, this is the finished quilt! Tricia happened to be here in Wamena this Saturday so a bunch of us got together to give her the quilt.
Sunday, January 16 - My Saturday afternoon project... making capes so that Dora's baby brother and sister could be "Super-babies"! Natalie and Claire received this Dora doll from Uncle Dave while we were on furlough and absolutely love it. Well, Claire has been watching the Super-babies DVD recently and so I thought it would be fun to surprise her with capes for the babies. Batik of course. About 15 minutes of work on my part, and she was thrilled!
Monday, January 17 - It looks like I'm taking a picture of myself, but really it was Claire She wanted to take a picture of me, and couldn't quite figure out how long to hold down the shutter button, so I was helping her!
Tuesday, January 18 - The girls and their friend T wanted to play outside in the water this afternoon. My first instinct was to say "no" but then on second thought, I said, "Why not?!" and let them put on their swimsuits and go outside. Of course playing in the water turned into playing in the mud and I ended up having to give the girls a bath before dinner, but it's all good, right?!
Wednesday, January 19 - Rain, rain, rain! We're always glad for rain here! Like I tell the girls, it fills up our water tank so we will have water to drink and wash the clothes and the dishes and take baths! It looks brighter than it actually was, but I took this at night and the rain was coming down HARD. (the light you see at the top middle of the picture is a streetlamp we have here on the base)
Thursday, January 20 - A lady came around selling these little mandarin oranges today so I bought a bunch and thought I'd squeeze them, make juice, and then put the juice in the ice cream maker to make sorbet. So, I did. And it was delicious. Although, unfortunately, not super cheap. These little oranges cost about $1 for 5 of them (that's the normal price, she wasn't over-charging me!), so my little container of sorbet ended up costing about $5. Well, I guess, for that price, it's as good as Haagen-Dazs, right!?
Saturday, 15 January 2011
A new year, more daily photos! I was going to update yesterday but the internet was out all afternoon. So, this morning it is! Here you are:
Saturday, January 1 – Happy New Year! We are thoroughly enjoying our vacation in Timika. Instead of being woken up last night with hours of loud fireworks, we all slept peacefully in our beds! That is why we are in Timika this New Years’ instead of in Wamena! We will probably be here next year, too! The girls are LOVING the pool – we have been swimming at least once every day, and the girls are getting more and more comfortable in the water. Love it!
Sunday, January 2 – Today we went for a walk outside on the grounds of the hotel. I tried to take some pictures, but the lens of my camera got all fogged up and I couldn’t take very many pictures. You can see here that my lens was still a little bit foggy.
Monday, January 3 – Home again, home again! Here is the view of Wamena as we are coming in for landing! You can see the airport on the upper left side of the picture, and the MAF compound is near the lower right corner of the picture.
Tuesday, January 4 – Back to flying again for Dan! Today he is doing some more Caravan training (and getting closer and closer to finally being able to fly the thing himself!) Our friend Isaac took this picture of Dan flying the Caravan.
Wednesday, January 5 – Yum, mangosteen! This is one of my most favorite fruits, ever! I usually only buy it when we are in Jakarta or Bali but I was so surprised to find it here in Wamena! At about $3 per pound it is a little pricey but boy is it worth it, it is so tasty! Yum, yum!
Thursday, January 6 – Off to the market to buy some fruits and veggies! I don’t usually go to the market but ended up going this week just because our schedule has been all messed up with being on vacation and the holidays and all that. It is quite the menagerie of sights, sounds and smells!
Friday, January 7 – I went outside this afternoon to play with the kids. Claire climbed up on the hill, and wanted me to take pictures of her “dancing.” I am not sure that she understood that the still camera does not capture movement like a video camera. I still got some cute pictures, though! She is turning into quite the silly girl!
Saturday, January 8 – My crazy husband, riding his motorcycle side-saddle! I guess he posted on Facebook “If I hear one more time that I ride my motorcycle like a girl, I might just have to ride side-saddle!” And of course he got all kinds of comments that he needed to do just that, and have me take pictures of him… so here I am, taking pictures of my husband riding his motorcycle side-saddle! He is so crazy! I am just glad that he didn’t fall off!
Sunday, January 9 – I have been promising Natalie for a few days now that I would make a snowman craft with her, and so finally today we did it while Claire was taking her nap. I had some of these big craft sticks on hand, and we painted them up to look like snowmen. Natalie just loves doing crafts, and although I also love to do crafts, I am not very creative – I need someone else to come up with the ideas for me! So, I need to do some more searching online to come up with some crafts I can do with my daughter to keep her happy J
Monday, January 10 – The art gallery in our hallway. I put up this string in our hallway so that I could display all the different things that Natalie makes, usually has been seasonal crafts, but now it is just a mish-mash of projects. The butterfly on the far left was what she painted with the leftover paint from the snowman craft we did yesterday. The pictures in the middle were Christmas presents from her to Dan and me. And that sort of thing is what adorns our hallway – I love being able to enjoy her artwork!
Tuesday, January 11 – This morning we took care of baby A for a few hours while his mom was busy teaching at the Dutch school. Usually a couple other ladies take turns babysitting him, but they all happened to be gone this week, so we filled in. The girls actually did very well with him around, and we had fun having a baby around… although it makes me realize how glad I am that my girls are not babies anymore!!!
Wednesday, January 12 – My crazy Claire. Today she dressed herself – a long sleeved shirt, with a long sleeved dress over that, and leggings underneath. She also had a sweater on top of that, which she took off in order to wear her purple princess dress! And then she found her half-eaten silly vampire-mouth lollipop and was walking around with that in her mouth. What a silly picture! (And no, it wasn’t cold here today – it was actually pretty warm! But she wore her layered long-sleeved outfit all day long!)
Thursday, January 13 – Oatmeal, it’s what’s for breakfast! My kids love oatmeal, and I’m glad they do. But they also love to eat colored oatmeal, I am not really sure how that started but it has turned into a tradition. Never mind the artificial colors they are getting, I’m just glad that they are eating their oatmeal! The colors get “watered down” once they mix in yogurt, but you can sort of see that Claire has purple oatmeal in her purple bowl, and Natalie has yellow oatmeal in her pink bowl. Me? I have come to realize that I like my foods to be the color they are “supposed” to be!
Friday, January 14 – Another craft! I know that it’s only mid-January but I found a tutorial online for this Valentines Day project so we just had to do it. We happened to have some leftover candy canes (from TWO years ago, my friend Cristina brought them when she came for a visit! I have no idea how we STILL have some left over!) so I made these heart-shaped lollipops with them. Now the trick is going to be keeping the kids from eating them, since they make such a nice decoration! Maybe we will just have to make another decoration so I can give in and let my kids eat their lollipops already!
Friday, 07 January 2011
So, if you don't like pictures, skip this post I know it is a bit of overload but bear with me here. I know that the grandmas will appreciate them at least!
First up is Christmas Eve. I have started my own family tradition (this is the 3rd year now) of giving the kids a new set of pajamas the night before Christmas. I thought about including me and Dan, too, but honestly, since we don't grow out of our pajamas (I hope not anyway!), that is a LOT of Christmas pajamas that end up accumulating! It takes a bit of planning on my part: last year in the after-Christmas sales (online) I bought 8 sets of coordinating Christmas pajamas for the next 4 years! This year I brought back sizes 3 and 5 in our furlough luggage but the ones for the next few years are in the crate... and yes this means that Claire will always get Natalie's hand-me-downs to wear as well as her own new pair!
The girls getting their presents (no, none of the rest of the presents are under the tree yet. Are you crazy? With a 2 and a 5 year old?! They will go under the tree after the kids are in bed Christmas Eve and not a moment before! ) Yes, it's still light outside. The sun sets between 6 and 6:30 pm here all year long. And I let the girls open their pajamas early because I needed time to get them bathed and ready for the Christmas Eve service that started at 6 pm (yes, they attended in their jammies )
I love how Claire always has to look over at Natalie to see what big sister is doing.
Again, notice Claire looking over to Natalie to see what to do!
Next up, Christmas Day!
We planned a quiet Christmas at home. No getting together with friends or anything, which was fine. I think that not getting together with anyone kind of made me miss family back home all the more, though
The girls were allowed to open their stockings first, and then I made them wait until after breakfast until we opened our big presents.
The day before Christmas I went shopping with Natalie, just needed a few things at the store. Natalie saw these little pink boxes that had Barbie on them near the checkout lane and wanted one, so I told her I would buy one for her and Claire for Christmas. I ended up putting them in their stockings. Honestly, I had no idea what would be in the boxes. It looked like maybe a little candy or a sticker or something, but you just never know here. Most of the time it is junk, and just because it has a "brand" character on it doesn't mean anything. We live in Indonesia, after all! Anyway, the girls opened up their little boxes and I was pleasantly surprised! Each one had a little packet of individually wrapped candies, some stickers, two sets of dangly plastic earrings, a little ring, and... a set of fake fingernails! All for abotu $1.50! Of course Natalie immediately wanted to put the fingernails on! Each plastic fingernail had a corresponding sticker. And of course the stickers didn't come off easily. When I tried to peel them off the sheet the paper came right along with it - the sticker with paper on both sides. So it took some work to get all those little stickers off, applied to the fake nail, and stuck to Natalie's nails! But, as you can see from the picture below, she was pretty happy with it!
And... Claire wanted hers too! Hers were green. I said, no way Jose am I spending another 15 minutes fighting with those $?#$% stickers! So we pulled them off of Natalie's fingers, and put them on Claire. Everyone was happy!
After breakfast, it was present time! We have a few big presents in the crate but like I said... we are still waiting on that. so we'll get them when we get them...
The girls both got princess dolls from Granny. They are all about the princesses lately.
And Littlest pet shop. Those little animals have taken over our house!
I found that stuffed animal Littlest Pet Shop cat at a garage sale this summer, and bought it for Natalie. She got it for Christmas, and it was one of her favorite presents! She named it "Pink Strawberry" and it goes EVERYWHERE with her now!
I didn't get a picture, but I just had to give a shout out to my grandparents - my Nana bought the girls little cats this summer one day when we took a shopping trip to Shipshewana. We saw these cute little cats on display in Yoder's General Store, and when you press their ear they meow, move their heads and wag their tails! We couldn't resist, so Nana bought them and I packed them up, and the girls opened them for Christmas. I was a bit disappointed at first because they were meowing but nothing was moving. Eventually we got everything working okay, and the girls are just THRILLED with them! Especially Claire. She has another stuffed animal kitty that looks JUST like the one that moves and meows, and she has to have them with her all the time. I'll definitely have to get a picture here soon...
And lastly, our New Years' trip!
The original plan was for another pilot to fly us down there as part of his flying sked for that day. But, the day before, the plane broke. Well, we roll with the punches! Thankfully Dan is a pilot, too, and we quickly made new plans: he would fly us to Timika in his airplane!
Some of the scenery on the way... note the rugged terrain. Can you imagine how long it would take to hike over these mountains! This is why we are here!!!
My little seat-mate!
Natalie was Daddy's co-pilot!
More rugged terrain.
And right in the middle of all that you can see some beautiful waterfalls! It just makes me wonder if a human being has EVER been to the site of that waterfall. There are probably lots of places in Papua completely untouched by humans.
On the spur of the moment (Dan wasn't sure if the weather was going to be good enough) we landed at a village not too far from Wamena to see some of our friends. He is a 2nd generation missionary to Papua and they live in a village called Silimo. They actually just got back from the States just a few weeks ago because his mom just died right around Thankgiving. So they were glad to be back in their home for Christmas! And back with their kids, who were in the dorm at the high school in Sentani for the last semester! Anyway, it was a lot of fun to see their home and where they live. We didn't get to stay very long because the clouds started rolling in, and I think if we had waited much longer we may have spent the night in Silimo! Which wouldn't have been bad, it just wasn't our plan...
Celebrating the new year at about 7 pm before we put the kids to bed! When we got back to our hotel room after swimming on Friday, Natalie said, "Someone left some stuff for a party on our bed!" And indeed, there was a hat, a crown, streamers, and several noisemakers! What fun! Dan said that he has been in LOTS of hotels on New Years Eve, and never had anything like this! Well, we didn't intend to stay up until midnight, but we let the kids have fun with the party favors before they went to bed!
And, I had to get some pictures of us swimming...
The beautiful pool! Those are the hotel rooms in the background. Our room was on the other side of the building you see there on the left.
Claire sure had fun. At first she wanted to wear the water wings (we've gotten some good use out of them, Aunt Melody!) AND be in the inner tube but by the end of our time there she had gotten the hang of the water wings alone and was swimming around like a little fish.
Yes, Natalie has water wings, too. We've tried working with her to be able to put her head underwater but unfortunately when the closest thing we have to a swimming pool is a bathtub, we don't actually get much practice!
As you can see she is pretty careful to keep her nose out of the water, even when jumping in from the side!
We sure had fun at the pool. We went swimming every day at least once. The kids loved it and I am sure it helped tire them out as most mornings they slept in until 7, even with all of us in the same room!
And here are some pictures of our hotel room:
Dan and the girls roughhousing on the bed. We asked for extra sheets and blankets from the hotel and made little "beds" for the girls on the floor. Claire slept near Dan over on the left, and Natalie's bed was to the right of the picture above.
Another view of the room. It was a pretty big room, nice for hanging out in and relaxing and watching TV! We also had a balcony that had an overhead fan and was screened in, so we didn't have to worry about mosquitoes. Dan and I would go out there every night after the girls were in bed and watch movies on the portable DVD player
And the last view of the hotel room. There was even a little fridge that was NOT stocked full of mini-bar items, so we ended up buying milk and cereal and stuff so we could just eat breakfast in our room (we brought bowls and spoons with us) rather than having to go out every day.
We sure enjoyed our long weekend in Timika. The hotel there is called the Rimba Papua but it used to be a Sheraton. I am sure that the only reason it is there is the huge Freeport mining company that has operations nearby. But it is sure nice for us when we need a weekend getaway every so often!
I grew up in Quito, Ecuador...went to college in Indiana...married my high school sweetheart...and now am a missionary in Indonesia.