Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ethen's First Day of School

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life is too sweet

Thursday, February 23, 2012

December 16-31

Update:  I forgot to add this video from TSO!  I'm totally going to encourage Maya to learn to play her violin like this.  We'll just have to limit the bow breaking!

Here is the last page of my 2011 book.  Now to get it printed.  I am not using Shutterfly this time...for 2 reasons.  One is that the quality isn't good.  The bindings aren't strong enough to handle how many times my books get looked at and the pages are falling out of my last 2 books.

Secondly, I have 124 pages in this book.  Shutterfly has a limit of 100.  So I am trying a new company called  We'll see how it turns out and I'll let you know in case you experiencing the same frustrations I am.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smiling at Adversity

I awoke to this email in my inbox from my mother-in-law.  Maybe it's the cold I'm battling or just old-fashioned pms, but this has run particularly true the past week.  Thanks Ronda!  I needed this.
"A few days ago, we had a fairly good snowstorm.  Cath brought her kids to sled down the hill--the first we've been able to do this winter.  I could even build a snowman!  However, last night it rained. When I looked out the window, I just had to take a picture of the snowman.  His smile was crooked, one arm was hanging down. He had lost his hat.  I went out to replace his hat, and take another picture. When I put on his hat, HIS HEAD FELL OFF!  "Sorry Mr. Snowman, I was just trying to help!"  
His eyes were still intact, however.  (I had replaced them yesterday when they fell out)  I picked up the pieces and went inside.  While I was on my walk, I thought of some interesting analogies.  At the end of the day, do you ever feel like this snowman?  You're trying to smile, but it's forced--somewhat crooked.  Are your arms hanging down with tiredness or discouragement?  And with one last burden of the day, do you lose your head?

Well, we've all been there, and with some time we can even smile at those days.  The snowman's eyes were still intact and open.  Hopefully, we can see that these kind of days come and go, and hopefully we can still smile.  When I looked at the snowman's arms, I thought of the scripture, "Lift up the hands that hang down."  One way to be able to smile at adversity is to help others through their bad days.  THIS MESSAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY A LOVING MOM WHO IS TRYING TO FIND THE BEAUTY IN EACH DAY!"

Monday, February 20, 2012

A couple of pages

[photo of Maya by Harmony Roundy Photography]

Both of these are old pictures. I'm just trying to "catch up" if there is such a thing...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Doi Suthep

This is the last of the Thailand Trip #1 pictures. Now I need to begin on the 600 pictures I took for Thailand Trip #2.

Wow. Who knew life would bring such interesting adventures? Sometimes I can't believe the things this small town Idahoan is doing/seeing. I guess this is the upside of the expatriate lifestyle.

The downside is that the store is out of Miracle Whip again. And that Target doesn't ship internationally.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Deepavali 2011

Okay, so I'm finally getting this layout finished because I just got some photos back of our family that Dave's boss took.  You know that game "One of These Things is not Like the Other?"  Somehow Batman made it's way into our Diwali party.  He refused to wear his Indian kurta and threw a massive fit.  At the party several Indians tried to put it on him and it resulted in several meltdowns.

Here is a video of Maya dancing:

Oh, and I had to take a picture of this one guy's shoes.  They were too awesome.


While I was browsing through my pictures I found these videos.  They were meant for your birthday, dad.  Sorry that I never sent them.  But they are worth a look even though your birthday has passed.  Watch Maya first, then Ethen.

He's saying "As I said, Thomas is a very busy engine."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I love my family.

This morning, I was awakened to Ethen blowing a toy trumpet and announcing "Mom! It's time to make cookies ... and cake ... and cupcakes for Valentine's Day!" Really? Where has he learned this? "And...," he went on, "we gotta watch out for monsters!"  Love this kid. Today he made me his first craft in preschool (a clay heart -- painted blue, of course) and my heart melted.

When I picked him up I asked him what he did in school today. "I cried. And I ate cookies." Sounds a lot like what millions of people will be doing this holiday, Son.

It will be interesting to see what Maya does in school today. I had to get permission from her teacher to even send valentines to school. I think she may be the only kid bringing them in her class.

"Islamic officials in Malaysia warn Muslims against celebrating Valentine's Day, linking it with vice activities. Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the celebration of romantic love was "not suitable" for Muslims. Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, head of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), which oversees the country's Islamic policies said a fatwa (ruling) issued by the country's top clerics in 2005 noted the day 'is associated with elements of Christianity,' and 'we just cannot get involved with other religion's worshipping rituals.' Jakim officials planned to carry out a nationwide campaign called "Awas Jerat Valentine's Day"("Mind the Valentine's Day Trap"), aimed at preventing Muslims from celebrating the day on 14 February 2011. Activities include conducting raids in hotels to stop young couples from having unlawful sex and distributing leaflets to Muslim university students warning them against the day." -Wikipedia

As for us? We're gonna spread the love!

"On Valentine's Day 2011, Malaysian religious authorities arrested more than 100 Muslim couples concerning the celebration ban. Some of them would be charged in the Shariah Court for defying the department's ban against the celebration of Valentine's Day." -Wikipedia

Wow. I was in a hotel last Valentine's Day. Didn't know it was so dangerous.

Monday, February 13, 2012

December Daily 26-31

I know that Christmas is so last year, but my goal was to have this project complete by Valentine's Day. I barely made it.

...And only 2 more layouts to go and my Life in Malaysia 2011 book is complete!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


We've just had another 4-day weekend. Monday was Muhammed's Birthday and Tuesday was Thaipusam. Consequently, Dave and the kids had holiday vacation so we decided to take advantage. It only costs $100 to get a plane ticket and the flight is only 1 hour to get to Phuket, Thailand.

The first day we took a tour on a speedboat around Phang Nga Bay. This place is absolutely stunning.

The boat took us around several of the islets but we didn't disembark. We saw lots of people in canoes and kayaks. There are caves around this area that you can take the small boats into.

Next we arrived at Ko Tapu, better known as James Bond Island because a portion of The Man With The Golden Gun was filmed here. We rented the movie before we came and it looks just the same -- give or take a few hundred people. The Chinese mobbed Ethen and Maya, swept them out of our arms and kissed and held them. Dave drew the line when they were trying to get Maya to pose by their naked little boys. Fun times.

It was stunning. My only regret is not buying a necklace from the island.

We then got back in the boat and headed to a gypsy village built entirely on stilts.

Here we stopped for lunch. We toured the little village that has 1500-2000 all descended from 2 families. Think Arco, Idaho. Just kidding, it's bigger than Arco and not as isolated. :)

They have a school and monkeys in diapers. Oh, and a mosque. Maya scored a ring and again, my only regret is not buying anything. Cath, this would have been a great place to get you some pearl earrings. Sorry!

Our final top was Khai Nai island where we played on the beach for awhile and enjoyed this:

It was as good as it looks.

There was a small lagoon off the island with lots of fish. Maya and I tried our hand at snorkeling, but discovered neither of us are any good at it. She likes to put her head under about as much as I do. Thank goodness the fish were willing to come right up to us and swim around our feet.

*These pictures were taken with a disposable underwater camera and will be forthcoming after development.

Whew! End of day 1 tour. It was fabulous and highly recommended. Again only $100 per adult (unlimited drinks, fresh fruit, lunch, beach chair and umbrella included). Can you see why I love Thailand?

The next day was Sunday, so we spent the day around the hotel. Our hotel had a fabulous kid zone with lots of entertainment for the kids. The pool had a great water slide that Ethen couldn't get enough of. And I...snuck off for an aromatherapy massage - $30 for 1 hour at a Marriott?! Score!

Maya painted a batik print on a t-shirt that she is ultra proud of. "Mom, it looks like an ARTIST did this!"

That evening we watched the sunset on Kamala beach. Maya wrote words in the sand and can now spell Phuket. (pronounced Poo-ket)

Day three we decided to take another boat out to a nearby island. We did only a half day tour, because we were worried about sunburns. We went back to the Khai islands, but went to a different island than before.

The afternoon sun was super hot here. Dave snorkeled around a bit. A lady brought over some bread and the kids fed the fish and they swarmed around us. We had the place almost to ourselves when we arrived, but then more tours came along.

Can you see why I love Thailand?

I took about 600 pictures. These are just a smattering. I will probably end up making a whole album about Thailand in the end. So, watch for layouts about the above-mentioned.

Any takers? I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012