Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Pictures

Here are some pictures from July.  IMG_5895Sienna loves playing with Ethan’s cars.

IMG_5908But, it’s even better to drive a “big” car!

IMG_6042                      Our little Pebbles

IMG_6055 “This door in front of all the pretty glasses doesn’t open!”

IMG_6267       Ethan and Sienna both LOVE to read!

IMG_6322   IMG_6334

IMG_6374Reading while Mommy and Daddy get ready for church.

IMG_6475                       Playing some music

IMG_6377 Brotherly love IMG_6379

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ethan, the Budding Theologian

IMG_6327 Gary has sung "Yes, Jesus loves me" to Ethan many times.

In May Ethan started singing, completely unprompted from Gary, "Yes, Jesus is God, yes, Jesus is God..."

Gary praised him for his theological insight.  When Gary asked him if he wanted to be a theologian when he grows up, Ethan said he wanted to be a cowboy.

A few weeks ago when Gary was putting Ethan to bed, Ethan explained to Gary, “Jesus is God but He’s not the same as God.  God and Jesus are the same, but they’re different.” Gary again asked if he wanted to be a theologian, and Ethan said no, he wanted to be a cowboy.  Then Gary said what about a theologian cowboy, and Ethan said yes. 

I’m not sure where the stuff comes from with him wanting to be a cowboy because we don’t really talk about cowboys, he doesn’t play cowboy-type games or even have cowboy toys.  He has a pair of underwear with the cowboy from the movie Toy Story, but he’s never seen the movie.  Maybe some of his friends have talked about it, or maybe it’s just because he’s a boy. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pools are Also Fun Without Water

Who says you need to have water in the pool to have fun?!

IMG_6244Anyone up for playing ball?

IMG_6251“Since no one wants to play ball, I’ll just watch Daddy kill some spiders.”

IMG_6248 Ethan creating a game to play in the pool.

IMG_6256He was throwing the tennis ball and trying to catch it with the spade.

IMG_6260Sienna loves watching the tree leaves blow in the wind.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Water Play

We finally got out our kiddie pool when the weather hit the 90’s (at the beginning of the month).  The director of the school brought this over from the States when they moved here 9 years ago, and they used this with their kids (who are now in middle school and high school).  They gave it to us a few years ago, and we are so thankful for it!IMG_6057Can’t wait to get in!

IMG_6071 IMG_6078  IMG_6079Gary just picked raspberries from our bush, and the kids were eager to eat some.  They both love raspberries!  Gary and I have hardly eaten any raspberries this summer because the kids want more than we can pick from the bush. IMG_6208 IMG_6215

Sunday, July 22, 2012

At Last, Sienna Walks

Sienna finally started walking!  She’s been walking with us holding her hand or with encouragement to walk a few steps to us, but Gary and I haven’t considered it “real walking” until she’s walking around on her own without us encouraging her to do so.  And that finally happened the day after she turned 17 months old.  I had started getting a little concerned because if a child isn’t walking by 18 months, then it’s a problem.  To us it has seemed like she has developed fairly slowly with most things, but thankfully still within the acceptable age range.IMG_6332 Walking around the living room 

IMG_6362She has changed some of her crawling to where she is doing it on her hands and feet.  Ethan never did this, but this is how I crawled around when I was a baby.  My mom has a picture of me crawling like this outside, so I tried to get one of Sienna too.

IMG_6369Happy to be outside!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Surprise Birthday Party for Gary

I already wrote about our team having a dinner and party for Gary’s 50th birthday, and I actually had tried to plan a surprise party that would correspond with that evening.  It didn’t work out, so I planned it for a few weeks later.  I was determined to do something special for such a big birthday.

I was very pleased that he was totally surprised.  That was hard to pull off with the party being at our house and me making a ton of food since the timing of it was around dinner time. IMG_6223We have had problems with our refrigerator and lots of food has been going bad this summer with the house being so hot (no AC).  I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made several things that required refrigeration.

I made ham and cheese pastry type things, tortilla pin wheels, bacon bread sticks, peanut butter/raisin/granola roll ups, pumpkin bread (using pureed pumpkin that I did in the fall and froze), chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, Oreo truffles (with the last of our Oreos that came from another country), a salsa dip to go with nachos, and then had fruit and veggies and dip.IMG_6241I was able to find this banner and some napkins that said 50 on them for the celebration.  Since Gary isn’t such the party buff/people person, I decided to only invite a handful of people besides those on our team.  If it were me, I would say the more people the better, but he isn’t that way. :-)IMG_6229Trent, our team leader, led a time where he interviewed Gary.  He asked him questions about each decade of his life, and then gave everyone a time to share something about Gary.  The part that people seemed to be interested in the most was Gary’s 7,000 mile bike trip across the US with his best friend after high school.DSCF9098I attempted to make a brownie ice cream cake.  It was not a success.  Once again, I’m not sure what I was thinking of trying to do something like this in the heat.  Even though I didn’t let the ice cream get too soft before placing it between the cake layers, the ice cream melted and went to the sides before it set.  I’m not sure if the problem was our freezer, the heat, or a combination of the two.  So, I ended up just serving ice cream along with the brownie cake.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 4th and Ethan’s 1st Taste of Ice Cream

We have gone to the Stirlings’ house for a July 4th celebration for the past 4 or 5 years.

IMG_6125 Ethan loved playing with the “big kids.”

IMG_6145Check out Gary and Ethan’s profile.  I decided that a pair of hair clippers would pay for themselves after me giving them a few hair cuts.  I used them for the first time a few days before this picture.

IMG_6147Ethan’s FIRST taste of ICE CREAM!  It was home-made vanilla.  He tasted it and said it was cold.  After we told him that it was supposed to be cold, he took another bite, and said he didn’t like cream (he actually doesn’t like milk or foods with a white sauce).

IMG_6152Vivian, our team leader’s wife, with Sienna.

 IMG_6156Ethan trying to pop the bubbles

IMG_6173Time for sparklers! 

Ethan learned a valuable lesson.  After the sparkler finished, Ethan touched it where it had been hot and burnt himself.IMG_6174 More sparklers! IMG_6185What do you know—everyone is looking at the camera!

Friday, July 13, 2012

City Park

On the US embassy website we saw that there was to be a July 4th celebration on Sunday, the 1st, in a park in the city and that it was open to all Americans.  So, we thought we would take advantage of going to something like that.  It actually was hosted by the Democrats Abroad and the Republicans Abroad and wasn’t an embassy thing at all.  Most of the food was gone by the time we arrived, and it was in an area with tables and chairs on the dirt ground.  There were no other children at all.  Since it wasn’t quite what we were expecting, we ended up just going to the pond for the kids to see and then played in the park.IMG_5982  The kids enjoyed watching the ducklings.  IMG_5991Ethan and Sienna were both watching a dog when I took the picture, but at least they were smiling.  I can’t believe how difficult it is to get two kids to look at a camera and smile at the same time.  It was so easy with one.  I can’t imagine how it is for families with 3 or 5 kids! IMG_6001Sienna enthralled with the ducklings.IMG_6004Just love how she has her arms folded like this.IMG_6026 Gary and Ethan playing ballIMG_6028while Sienna looked at books.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Little Hike

A few weeks ago we invited one of the Korean families from my Body & Soul exercise class to join us for a little hike one Saturday.  I say “little hike" because it was just on a nearby hill, so-to-speak.  A husband of one of the women in my exercise class told Gary about it and said that you can go hiking there.  It ended up just being the Korean dad who went, but the mom said that we all can go hiking another time.IMG_5922  “This hiking is easy from up here!”IMG_5924Hanging in there on such a hot day… It was in the 90s.IMG_5927Yes, the easy life… getting carried around and being able to drink water.

She actually dropped this water bottle near the end of our hike, and we didn’t notice until we got back to the car.  Since it was a very nice water bottle, we ended up going back to look for it.  It fell in the grass, so Gary didn’t hear it fall.  We thanked God that we found it.IMG_5935Ethan wanted to be carried on my shoulders for a while, so we took advantage of getting a family picture.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sienna’s 1st Outdoor Pool Time

It’s hard to believe that Sienna is 16 months old (almost 17 months) and hasn’t been to an outdoor pool yet.  Her first time in a pool was at our church retreat this spring.  She loved it, but we saw how Ethan reacted and realized that we had better expose the kids to swimming pools more often. 

So, we decided to go late one afternoon (when the prices are lower).  When we went we realized that we never went last summer because Sienna was only 4 months old, nursing and not taking a bottle, and napping a lot during the day.  I think it just wasn’t worth it to pay that for her to not really do anything other than nurse and sleep.  Sadly, that meant that Ethan didn’t go either.  So, the last time he went was when he was 18 months old (which, of course, he doesn’t remember).IMG_6123Sienna absolutely loved the pool today.  She especially enjoyed the deep pool where we were totally in the water with her, and she could be thrown up and down and kick her feet a lot.  We actually ended up spending more time with her in the big pool and toddler pool than the baby pool, so it’s like she just skipped that pool.  Sadly, we only have a few pictures, and it was from when we were first there before going to the big pool.IMG_6116IMG_6117Ethan enjoyed being there.  He liked going down the slide in the toddler pool, but wanted to go over to the big pool.  There, he had moments of loving it and moments of being afraid.  We got a one-piece suit with built in floats from a consignment shop, and it seemed to do well with helping him stay up in the water.  It didn’t keep him totally up where we could just let go of him though.  IMG_6111IMG_6104Tosha, Ethan, and Evan all on the slide together.IMG_6120The Beattys just came back from the States in June and brought this float-type thing that Evan is wearing.   My mom managed to fit one in an envelope and mail it over here, so we will try that out on Ethan the next time that we go.  Thanks Mom!