Friday, July 22, 2016

Photo Friday [145]

This week:


A low-key birthday for me with just our family.  I was a bit burnt out on birthday cake, so I opted to have a childhood favorite, eclair dessert, instead.



One of Kate's favorite games is when Brian plays "Daddy Kate-Beard" with her.  This time the boys insisted he wear a hat.


 Greg started first grade on Wednesday.

 He is pretty happy to be back with his friends.



And today was Caleb's first day of Pukpuks (three year old preschool).

 
It was pretty strange to leave both of them at school this morning.  Caleb was proud to have a backpack of his own now, but Kate threw a fit when I wouldn't let her have one.



 As soon as we got to his classroom he pretty much ignored me and had no problem with me leaving, for which I'm thankful.


 So now it's just us girls here this morning!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Photo Friday [144]

A small smattering of photos for you this week.  The day after Greg's birthday party we went to Lae for a four-day holiday.  I left my camera at home on purpose.

This is the only photo I took during the trip, of Greg wearing a headdress in the stationary store.  Brian remembered that we had taken the same picture of him when he was about Kate's age.



From May 2012.


 As usual, we did lots of shopping in the "big" city, but for me, the best thing that we brought back with us was my birthday present:


A clothes dryer!!!  And my wonderful husband installed it the same afternoon that we got home, even though he'd just spent four exhausting hours driving on the highway.  And the next day was even rainy and drizzly, and I had tons of laundry from our trip, so of course I had to try it out and dried two loads.  I feel so spoiled!

I've gotten along just fine for eight years without a clothes dryer, and most of the time line drying works great.  There are always days, however, when you've hung out the laundry and taken it back in multiple times because the rain comes and goes, and at the end of the day it still isn't quite dry, and you think - "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to pop this in the dryer for 15 minutes, instead of hanging it out again tomorrow?" 

Will I be using my new luxury appliance every day?  Well ... we haven't figured out the exact costs of running it for ourselves yet, but a friend said that she just estimated it cost about $5 USD per load to run.  Yeah... electricity is expensive.  But it's awful nice to know that it's there if I need it... for my mental health and all.



 
Painting continues on our house. 
 The whole place is snowy white with primer, and it already looks so much better. 



 The boys are at a playdate this morning, but I have my little helper next to me as I write, drawing a "pik-ow."  There was a bit of drawing on the wall too, when I wasn't paying enough attention, but that's why we have washable markers, eh?

This morning as I was dressing her she was saying to herself in a sing-song voice, "No want pants - want pretty dress, pretty dress."  You see that I did put pants on her, but the top was deemed pretty enough, and we didn't have a tantrum.  Having a girl is very different, that's for sure!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Happy Birthday Greg!

He's six!  And this morning he is wearing a new t-shirt that I remember buying at the mall on our furlough three years ago, thinking at the time, "surely he'll never really be big enough to wear this!"


The birthday boy with his dragon cake.


 A few days ago I nearly panicked when he said that he'd changed his mind about a dragon, and instead he wanted a cake that had "a knight with a sword and his shield raised, fighting a dragon that is breathing fire!"  Thankfully I was able to convince him that a dragon cake would be awesome... since that was what i was prepared to make!  I think he turned out looking pretty scared.  Probably because he was surrounded by eight knights!


 We had a party for Greg yesterday afternoon, to which he invited six of his friends.
 
 When the boys arrived they decorated cardboard shields.  These proved to be a big hit.


I also sewed up a bunch of these tunics from secondhand pillowcases and some red felt.  Each boy got to take one home.  A bit time consuming, but, as I told Brian, I paid less than K10 for all the material (about USD$3).


We laid siege to castles,  seeing which team could shoot the most Q-tip "arrows" into the enemy's castle (see below).





 I had made marshmallow catapults, but one of them broke on the first try, so we didn't have much of a competition with those.




Gifts.


 And finally, a dragon pinata to slay with a wooden sword!


Here is the birthday boy slicing off it's head on his second swing.


A brave Sir Caleb faces the dragon.




Happy birthday Greg!  

Now to see if I can clear the table of the new Lego set that he got yesterday so that we can have breakfast this morning...

Friday, July 8, 2016

Photo Friday [143]

This week:

 Lucky Kate was the only one small enough to get pulled around in the trailer.  (She enjoyed it more than it looks like in this photo!)



We went to a 4th of July picnic with some other Americans... and a few other nationalities as well.  Our holidays are like that here.  In fact, the Canadians cheekily invited any Americans or Brits who, due to recent developments in their respective countries, "wished to identify as Canadian" to celebrate Canada Day with them!


The kids played on the school playground until it got dark.



 When it got dark we celebrated with paper lanterns (from eBay China!) and steel wool "fireworks."  Kate loved it, and talked and talked about the "balloons" that "go up."


One man decided to spin his steel wool using a power drill!  Greg bragged on the way home that he didn't even get burned once from the flaming bits of steel wool that were flung into the crowd.  Yeah... we know how to party!


Brian fixed up some trim boards on our house, because the long-awaited house painting has finally arrived!   We purchased paint from Home Depot in the US back in December, waited months for it to arrive on a sea-freight shipment, and now finally have hired a painter to paint the exterior of our house.



 Kate was very "helpful" and had to be right there with Dad while he worked, getting into all the tools and whatnot.


After a few days of washing and sanding and repairs, the primer coat is finally going on.  I'm so looking forward to having a fresh coat of paint.  Our house needed it badly.  (I hope I still like the colors I picked out last year...)


We have a birthday in the house today!  Greg is six, and is having a knight-themed birthday party this afternoon.

I've got all the scales on the dragon cake, but it still needs some more work, and I need to clean my house for the party, so that's all for now.  Photos of the party to come later.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Photo Friday [142]

This week:

 A rocking chair in the stairwell?  Sure, why not!



This one loves board games - not to play by the rules, but just to play with the pieces.  



"Nose."  Her favorite body part to name.  Although this week we've also been hearing "teeth" a lot, as the poor thing is getting four new ones all at the same time and hasn't been very happy.



We have a guava tree at the end of our driveway.  No one in our house is really all that crazy about guavas, so we neglect picking them.  That means that when the fruit is ripe, we often have kids knocking on our door asking permission to pick them.


One day we had eight kids up our tree.  
Caleb asked for the camera so that he could take pictures of them!


Before I knew it, Caleb had handed the camera over to them, and they started taking photos of my kids and of themselves.




Friday, June 24, 2016

Photo Friday [141]

A lot of cell phone photos for you this week.  My spare time this week has been spent planning and prepping for  a certain someone's sixth birthday party coming up in just a few weeks.


What better way to spend a cold and dreary Saturday than taking a cozy nap curled up in front of the wood stove?



Some real American sweet corn that we planted in our garden was ready to harvest. 
Kate was a huge fan. 



 She is really good with those Duplos!



 We hung a second swing in the backyard so that the boys can swing together.  That has provided many hours of fun this week.



"Anything the boys can do, I can do better..."



 Well, hello, orchids in my tree!


Yesterday I drove a group of ladies into Kainantu to do some shopping.  This is our main department store - Papindo.  See the little sign on the left with the store name?



 Meanwhile, the AIDS prevention slogan on the building is much larger.  One time not too long ago Brian and I brought the kids with us to Papindo.  

Greg:  What is A-I-D-S, mom?
Me:  AIDS is the name of a disease
Greg:  This is a disease store?  They sell diseases here?



 And what kind of things can you buy at Papindo?

 How about some Curry Duck Balls?!!  Anyone....?


That's all for this week!  Thanks for stopping by.