Tuesday, November 30, 2010

He Ha Her

I love the days that playgroup is our biggest 'obligation'.

 It's not like we segregate them upon arrival.  Why does this always happen?

 Dad do you recognize this new kitten?
 This is Theo's first bike ride.  It had a big sturdy sitting area he had a great time being pulled around on it!

 This is the woman who introduced me to blogging.  Bless her.  Also she doesn't speak German but is reading a book in German.  Pretty entertaining. 

 She gave me a bread recipe that I excitedly ran home to try this afternoon.  This is the first bread I have ever made in my life.  It didn't turn out right.  I am pretty sure the two loaves are supposed to be bigger than my fist.  I am going to have to sheepishly ask for more interactive directions.

 This is our front door.  I put a bungee in the gap to tighten it so the cat would stop coming in.  If you close it too hard though Kaia can't come in either.  So I taught her to push quickly and really hard and grunt 'heave ho!'  Only she now loudly pronounces 'he ha her' every single time it is a little tight!!!

Incidentally, since we are talking about doors, this is our office door.  Last year when I spent one of our holidays organizing the pile of keys that came with the house I searched high and low for this key.  Can you see what is wrong with this lock?  Want to guess why it didn't matter in the end.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mismatch Day

Nice relaxing day after a hectic week and weekend.  This week looks refreshingly quiet.  We will set up the tree this weekend.  Uncle Dave is coming on the 16th.  Holiday starts on the 18th.  Theo's birthday the 20th.  Lots to look forward to!

 The other night Theo got to open his first 1st birthday present.  Kaia helped a lot! 

 Luckily she liked the paper more than the gift and Theo spent some quality time perusing the pages without competition.

 This week is spirit week at school.  Today was mismatch day.  Wasn't hard for either of them to come up with something to wear.  I have never seen Kaia so excited to get dressed in the morning! 

After I droped off Kaia I was tutoring in the cafeteria.  When I look around to see what is causing a huge ruckus I see that Kaia's class has come in to do PE.  What an attention span these kids have! They did about 15 different things in 20 minutes... the scooter section being the most interesting to watch.

But the highlight of the day had to be the quilt that Grandma just finished.  Go Grandma!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday - Christmas Fair

Santa Claus is Coming to town

 Quite literally the event of the year.  It is held at the TGT fields and venders from all over Tanzania and Kenya come to sell their goods.  Everything gears up for the fair and everyone tries to have something new and different.  All the proceeds go to charity and it is a social must.

 Santa came and gave out gifts.  A mob scene!  Kaia got a lollipop, bubbles, and a pencil sharpener with a little mirror on it.  Here is Carl holding Kaia and Richard holding Kaia's friend Gracie.  Great Dads elevate.

 Minnie and Micky were there too.  Minnie gave Theo a high five.  Oh, did I tell you Theo is giving high fives now?  He will also hand you something if you ask for it, although he usually expects to get it back.

 Santa was also there but he was a seriously cruddy one this year.  Kaia did ask for a stuffed gecko, and she said please (all so quietly that even I could barely hear it).

 Mommy shopped and chatted, Daddy ate, Theo rode the rocking snail...

...and Kaia did the bouncy castle!  

Awesome Day!!  But it doesn't look too much like Christmas back at home... I am loving that (and the kids beautiful smiles) the mostest!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Caleb's Birthday

Very nice relaxing day again.  Started off a little crazy though because we woke up to no power and really wanted our morning coffee.  So Carl took off to Mirjam's house with our coffee maker and brewed it there.  Thankfully we have friends that understand our drama!

 This is the Batik material I bought to make cushion covers for those terrible couches outside that I am still trying to referbish.

 Both Carl and I were trying to do things around the house today and asked Kaia to occupy herself.  All her dollies went for a train ride.

 Then Caleb's birthday party in the afternoon.  His is now 3.  We bought him a bird watching book (Kaia will get one for Christmas too) and made him some blue-glittery-minty playdoh.  We make the best playdoh in town!!

 She may look a little bored but she honestly had a great time at the party.

Caleb asked for an airport cake.  Luckily his mom is amazing!!  She is a surgeon who volunteers at the hospital that Theo was born, she is also a pilot, and apparently a soon-to-be-famous cake decorator too!!  If you look really closely each of the guests are featured on the tail wings of the plane. 

Movie night tonight: Winnie the Pooh.

Moses' Identity Card

Last night we didn't get home until around 9pm.  So we decided to let Kaia play hooky from school today and we spent the day together.  

 First we went to music makers.  Our friend Victoria hosts this every Friday but since I have started tutoring I can't fit it in.  I tutored Thursday this week so that I would be free to go today and it was extra special to have Kaia join Theo and I.  We sing songs for about a half an hour, then we dance for a little bit, then the kids play while the parents drink coffee.  I am so pleased that Victoria just changed the time from 1000 to 1030 so I should be able to squeeze it in every Friday again.

 There were about 6 families this week with at least 10 kids... the place is always a total disaster by the end.  Victoria and I also share books and she just lent us 'Gruffalo's Child'.  Awesome read!

 Then grocery shopping, quick lunch stop at home, up to ISM to tutor, and finally to the POOL!!! I asked Kaia to get on her swim suit and continued chatting with Daddy.  When I looked down this is what I saw.  When we did get changed and to the pool she wasn't ready to swim on her own with me yet.  I put Theo in too even though the water was pretty cold.  He didn't like it initially but once he realized he could splash we were good to go.

Our gardener was given a new identity card today.  As it was explained to Carl... 'You must give this to Moses.  When he is walking around at night the police may think he is suspicious.  He can show the card to show he is a respectable working person and then they won't put him in jail.'   Now honestly in this picture our sweet little Moses does look a little suspicious... but he doesn't when he smiles.

Also a huge thanks to Carl today.  When we came home I took a nice shower and then headed out with the girls for my last night out with Martina before she leaves for Switzerland in two short weeks.  I appreciate it so much.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Police Escort

So today we went photo crazy but once the pics are taken and so adorable I have such a hard time not posting them.  Besides the power has been out a lot!!  So with only a few minutes to post I will just let you adore the children.

 The president, or someone else who thinks they are important, landed at the airport just as we were passing on our way to school today.  So the police stop traffic for 15 minutes or so... however long it takes for them to disembark the plane, pack up their bags, and get their 20 cars ready to go.  This is the entourage as they are leaving the airport.  I think the gold car is holding the important guy.  You should notice my unimpeded view of the entourage.  I was lucky enough to be the first car asked to pull over.  Happy times.

 This is Kaia buying an ice cream from Rosie at the school shop.  Such a big girl. 

 Kaia posing in front of the sets we have been painting.  This is Cinderella's floor, the one she has to clean.  Pretty kid friendly play this year!

 This is the beautiful bird, whose name I do not know, that is nesting on the roof above Carl's office.

 After a guelling day of tutoring and set painting we headed to the park to wait for Daddy to finish his day.  

 Seriously too cute right?

 Theo is interested in where she is going but still more interested in Mommy.

 But even when I go to the other side he still just waits for us to return.

 When Daddy finally finishes we head to TGT for dinner.  They have a beautiful and spacious property with football fields and a kids park.
 Theo chills out and has a cider.  This is our favorite drink and what the heck, it's only 6% by volume.  After this we head up the art exhibition for the high school students.  I was really excited to go, and it was very impressive, but it ended up being a really really long day.

Now this may just look like cucumbers but there is a good story behind them.  Two days ago Mirjam, a friend of ours, was eating an ice cream.  This is what got Kaia into ice cream the past few days.  I called her a temptress.  Today we saw Mirjam again and she told Kaia that she had just finished eating a cucumber.  Well... that was ALL Kaia wanted for dinner after that.  Man it's great being 3!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snake Park

Today was a very exciting day!!  Kaia went on her first field trip.  They are doing a safari unit at school and today we all went to the snake park.  She knows a lot more about snakes than I do! 

It was also the first time for her to ride a yellow school bus :)

 Today was also feeding day for many of the snakes.  They didn't feed them in front of the children but there were live mice and dead chicks in many of the cages.  Luckily the kids didn't notice the birds and only thought the mice were cute. 

 She likes to tell you which ones are dangerous.

 Theo came to but didn't enjoy it quite as much as Kaia did.  The Snake Park is also home to a few injured birds that cannot survive in the wild anymore.

 There are a whole bunch of baby crocodiles in this enclosure.

 14 little ones on this trip.  I have no idea how their teacher Ishbel does it every day!!

 I was surprised at how keen Kaia was to hold the snake.  Last time we went as a family last January she wouldn't go near one.  This time she was so curious and confident.

Then they were able to ride camels if they wanted.  Kaia was really excited to do this.  But she didn't get in the first group and after she had a chance to see what was going to happen she wouldn't even go near to them to take a photo.  Fionn is in front on the back camel and Daniella on the front camel.  Her teachers Ishbel and Ann Joyce are on the back and front camels respectively.  

Can you imagine a field trip like this in the states!!  They violated about 1000 safety regulations.  Camels are scary enough for an adult... riding is one thing but holding on while the camel stands and sits is really scary.  Originally the man was going to just put the kids on the camels and we had to explain why we wanted an adult on each one!  Then when 3 boys were sitting on a camel for a picture he instructed the camel to get up!!!  I am a pretty easy going person but was terrified and the three 5 year olds were holding on for dear life as the camel sat back down again. Oh well, we all made it back safe and sound and have lots of great shots to show for it.

Today Kaia also swam by herself in the water for the first time!!!  They have been swimming in school for 3 or 4 weeks now and watching her classmates has been very motivating for her.  Today for the first time she swam without holding on to Ishbel.  She had her floaties and a noodle.  This is huge because if she can go in the water by herself we can go to the pool much more frequently.

Today Kaia also went to the canteen and bought an ice cream all by herself.  I gave her money and she made her way there, bought the ice cream, and made her way back to the art room where I was painting sets.  She is really becoming a big girl.

Theo also took a big step today.  ISM offers a playgroup on Wednesday and I left him there with Ann Joyce.  He did really well and 'didn't cry at all'.  But he was cuddled up with her the entire time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Playgroup crowns

So for the first time in what feels like forever we stayed home today.  We hosted a playgroup and we all made crowns.  Remember how Kaia made such a cute crown last week?  Well then she accidentally left it out in a rainstorm so she needed a new one.

 She was a pro this time around.  
Without even being asked she started gluing everyone's together for them. 

 It was a touch chaotic.  

 When Fionn was reluctant to pose with his crown Kaia was more than willing to do it for him.

Everyone was more than happy to help Theo sport a hat too.

And 5 minutes after playgroup.

For dinner we had a special treat.  I have had a pumpkin hanging around since Halloween that was screaming to be turned into soup.  I also have a generous friend who is an awesome cook.  She brought over HER PERSONAL COOKBOOK for me to peruse at my leisure this weekend and let me photo all the tempting recipes that I wanted!  Yo baby Yo baby Yo!  I am doing my happy dance!!!