Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pics, As Promised

Well, it's been busy, as usual, around here. But I am very proud to have remembered to take some pictures of Abby's family birthday party, which finally took place last night. It is getting harder and harder to find a time when we are all at home at the same time!!

I love this last one with that sweet, sweet smile. I was reading her birthday card to her - apparently she really liked it!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Abby!!!

It is hard for me to believe that Abby turned ten today. She still looks much younger, and definitely acts much younger - ten in my mind sounds like such a "big" kid.

She definitely had a fun filled day, but I beat myself up because even though I reminded myself about ten times I forgot to get my camera on my way out the door.

Part of the advantage of having a birthday on a Sunday is you get to go to church to celebrate - which I think is pretty neat. We started off by going to the morning service, although we usually go in the evening. We wanted to leave room for all the other things we had planned later on in the day.

Church was followed by one of Abby's favorite places on the planet - brunch at the O'Club. On the way there we were discussing what we each wanted to start off with and she said "I'm having BACON first!!!" Hmmm, a girl after my own heart......
She did indeed feast on a giant plate of bacon and eggs, followed a a mountain of shrimp and tomatoes. She even got adventurous and tasted the crepes - but didn't go for more than one bite of that. Then she shocked us again by putting sprinkles on her ice cream. Usually, she will tolerate ice cream but only if it's vanilla with NOTHING on it. I love seeing her willingness to try new things. Long gone are the days when we struggled to get her to eat anything.

Later on in the afternoon we went to the theatre to watch Yogi Bear. She seemed to enjoy that quite a bit too. Then she cracked up on the way home when I made a stop at the commissary and told her "This is the BEST part of your birthday. We get to go grocery shopping." She was a very good sport about getting dragged through there on her special day. I just knew that with tomorrow's holiday it would probably be closed and our pantry was EMPTY.

The girls are right now capping off the day with some Mario Party 8 on the Wii. The big boys are gone and so it's pretty cool to them that they totally own the video games and can play exactly what they want without being kicked off.

We're holding off on the cake and presents until probably Tuesday, because Daddy and the boys are on a snowboarding trip. They called her to wish her a happy birthday, and you could tell she felt like the most special girl getting that phone call. Same thing this morning when Grandma and cousin Tommy called her. She's not used to getting phone calls, so she thought that was pretty cool.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Singapore Details

Singapore was absolutely perfect - one of those vacations we will remember for a lifetime.

For starters, the flight was free. And they fed us like crazy - I mean, the kids were turning food down towards the end and I was grabbing it and stashing it in my backpack for later. They even came around with FULL SIZE CANDY BARS. Snickers, etc.... Yes they did.

We stayed at a military lodging facility that charged us a whooping $90 a night for a three bedroom apartment, with two bathrooms and a kitchen. Laundry service was directly outside our front door. Free movie rental. Pizza Hut, KFC, and McDonalds all delivered to us. Oh - and of course, someone cleaned the apartment and did the dishes every day. I could have stayed just in that room and been happy.

A short walk away we could get on the metro, which would take us pretty much anywhere we wanted to go, or pretty close anyways.

When we got to our room, we noticed a sign that said "Feeding the monkeys has a fine of up to $5,000." We're going "What monkeys????" Well, as we found out from the noises outside our window bright and early one morning, they do roam free around the island. We got to see a couple on our walks back and forth to the Navy post - that was probably one of my favorite parts.

Singapore is only about 85 miles north of the equator, so the weather is spectacular. We had solid 88 degree days, perfectly clear, the entire time we were there. Well, truthfully there were showers every afternoon, but they came and went so fast you just felt refreshed. The weather is the same year round.

I absolutely loved the abundance of fresh tropical fruit everywhere we went. Guava, mangos, papaya, coconut, all the things I grew up loving in Puerto Rico were sold in every corner. OK, fine, I don't really like papaya, but I just feel like I should, you know. I did get to drink straight out of a coconut which I hadn't done since, well, since I ate at the Thai restaurant in China last year, but it was a REALLY long time before that.

We stayed pretty busy but still made it back to the room early enough each night to just enjoy lounging around and having no responsibilities. Which makes having roomy lodging very key.

The food was a great part of the experience as well. There is such a mix of cultures on the island that it makes for an interesting selection of grub. We enjoyed getting giant plates of authentic Chinese and Indian food for dirt cheap, mostly $3 to $4. Abby in particular probably ate a truckload worth of noodles while we were there. My absolute favorite were these "crunchy" meatballs I had on the beach - I could've eaten them every single day. Jim had a fair amount of seafood, including the popular "chili" crab.

We explored the beaches, the zoo, night safari, Science Center, Chinatown, Little India, spent two days hanging out on Sentosa Island, and still had time for a "down" day on Sunday, giving us a chance to go to church and hang out by the pool after Sunday brunch.

We got back on Wed. evening, and already this morning (Sat. morning to us) my three big boys left on a snowboarding trip. From the equator to the slopes in less than 3 days.

Here's a few pics from our time in Singapore:

The cool pool we hung out at.
Beautiful beaches on Sentosa*.

Look at those plates of food for $4.

A little Luge action.

And a very special little girl is turning 10 tomorrow, so be on the lookout for more pictures.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Life is Rough

I am typing this poolside, while I digest my awesome Sunday brunch. We have had the most amazing week of clear and beautiful 88 degree weather, and taken in probably every Singapore tourist site. We shot down a zipline over the rainforest, spent some time on the pristine beaches, and took in the nighttime safari. We have also eaten to our heart's content. The mix of cultures here is evident in the great variety of traditional food available. Genuine Chinese food, Indian food, you name it.

We are in heaven.

Sent from my iPod

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Peach Fuzz

I can't post to FB, 'cause he'll see that.

But I think I'm safe here.

Jim just went upstairs to teach our 14 year old how to shave.


Where'd my baby go???

Friday, February 4, 2011

Can't Wait 'Til Today Ends

Tonight Jim and I are speaking at our chapel's women's group Valentine's event.

I'm honored to have been asked.

And Jim certainly has no problem with it.

But I'm terrified.

I'm shaking in my boots. Literally, because it's a Western theme (Spurring Each Other On).

And I won't be able to relax until it's all over with.

My son said it'll probably be really good and then they'll be asking us to speak at ALL sorts of events. So I might have to purposely blow it.

I'll let you know tomorrow if I survived.

And fill you in on day 2 of swimming lessons.

If you're really lucky, I might let you in on the really big news.

But I can't right now. I have to go run through our speech for the gazillionth tim.e

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Prayers Needed

John 16:33 is the verse I'm hanging on to today:

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart - I have overcome the world!!!"

A needed reminder when it seems that more often than not these days my posts involve prayer requests.

Our VERY beloved brother in law, Jason, has just learned he has a sizeable mass on top of one of his lungs. I fully trust God for his healing, and have confidence that through the prayers of many that love him dearly this will all turn out to be "no big deal". But it really makes me sad to watch those I love go through stuff like this...... And it makes it specially hard to be SO far away from family when you just want to give them all your love, well, in person. I want very badly to give him and his wife a big'o hug and hold their hands and actually pray TOGETHER with them - but I'll just have to hit my knees on this side of the world and ask all who would join me from your particular corners to do the same!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Back Up

I love that God cares about the little things that matter to us.

Like internet access.

And I know He cares because if it had been up to my ISP I'd still be without service.

Anyways, it's not like I had much time today anyhow.

Cy had his first swimming lesson.

We talked about it for about two weeks.

Over and over again I explained that I couldn't go in the water with him.

I told him I'd be on the other side of the plexi-glass, watching him intently.

That if he was a big boy, I'd buy him an ice cream (yeah, I broke out the big guns).

In spite of all the careful preparation, he cried through pretty much the ENTIRE thirty minute lesson.

Maybe for the last five minutes he finally sat there and WATCHED - without crying.

But he would not go anywhere near the water.

Maybe on Thursday.