Sunday, December 23, 2012

Theo is Three!!

Three years has got to be one of the best years for a birthday!

 The waiting in advance is torture!!
They finally GET it, more than last year anyway.
They know EXACTLY what they want their cake to be.
EXACTLY what games they want to play.
The uncontrollable excitement...
 and endless giggles are the most precious things in the world. 

Can you ever remember being so happy about a cake or about candies in balloons?
Thank you Theo for the reminder of what is most important in life.
My heart is full and overflowing.

 As the kids get older it is getting so much easier to throw parties!
Kaia helped with some of the food preparations this year... here are her egg mice.  
Biggest hit at the food table, completely gone!!

 Lots of bubbles.  

 Never ceases to amaze me how much kids love bubbles!!

 The box bump game.
Objective... to knock down boxes.
Also another shockingly huge success.
Kids are so funny!!

 Our cutest onlooker was just a bump in mama's belly last year!!

 Parachute game is another HUGE success!!
This one makes more sense to me.
This parachute was so huge it almost filled the yard!!

 Theo can't remember what it is called but keeps talking about it anyway.

 We all got turns under it.

 My favorite game was cat and mouse.  
One mouse under the parachute, a cat above chases him.  All the people at the edges fluff it up and down... so the cat cant see anything.  Absolutely hilarious!!

 Kaia's favorite was 'Mountain'.  We fill it with air so it looks like a mountain and then someone gets to trample all the air out of it. Funny funny funny.

 Theo's was the popcorn game!!!

He has been excitedly anticipating the balloons filled with candies.  His utmost favorite game.  You jump on them to break them and then eat candy. You see the draw.

This year we bought cheap balloons, it was all the store had.

We put them on the parachute for popcorn and they they were so cheap they started popping!!!  Kids went crazy!!!  Best popcorn ever!!!

 Kaia was pretty proud of the gazillion candies she scouted out in the aftermath.

And the finale... 
Finally that promised cake!!!
Spiderman, just as ordered.
I was definitely a little nervous at moments that this wouldn't work out... but I am a pretty proud mama!!!

So there it is again for you...
made with love (and a little sweat and just a few tears).
(minus the hands which weren't much to look at)

And now my littlest angel is three.  How can it be?
He has a Spider man backpack and is all ready to start school with his mates, sister, and Daddy in January.  I know these years fly by, but no matter how tightly I try to hold on and cherish each minute they are slipping through my fingertips.

 The two's have been awesome!!

My lil' man... I love you more and more every day.
Bring on the threes!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

St. Nikolas

Guess who got to be St. Nikolas this year!
The main reason was to get photos of him in this dress!!

I absolutely love that our kids don't bat an eye if Santa...
is dressed in a big red suit with fat belly surrounded by reindeer...
is clearly a girl and arrives on a horse...
comes in a purple gown and awful white gym shoes... 

 We figured Kaia would recognize him and didn't want to spoil her belief in Santa so we had some preparation to do... we decided to talk to her in advance.  She already knows that not every Santa we see is really Santa, he is way to busy for that!  Many are elves dressed as Santa and we are very lucky when we do get to see the real Santa.

So we explained that not only was Santa busy this year, but the elves were too!  So this year they asked Carl for a special favor.  We explained what an honor it was to be asked and how important it was that it was all kept secret.

As we packed ourselves in the car to head off to Melanie's Carl and I were scrambling around doing last minute chores.  When we came back to the car Theo told us how DADDY was going to be Santa this year!!!  Oh Kaia!!  How could you!! 

Luckily Theo's memory is as short as he is.  When St. Nikolas walked in the gate Theo commented how much he looked like Daddy, but that was his last comment on the matter.

 Lots of kids.  

 Theo was so brave and went to get his present and compliments all by himself.

 Kaia too... but even though she knew it was Carl... she was still shy!

 Theo got playdough cutters and his very first ISM tshirt for EC.  He is VERY excited about starting in EC after the break!!

Kaia got a few necklaces, some fancy lotion, and a new bath scruchie.  

Not bad for two parents that had zilch at 8am and both worked all day.  Kudos to our creativity and Carl's newfound wrapping abilities!

Afterwards... when Carl came back... Theo told him all about how Santa had come and dragged him over to show him where Santa had sat... etc.  I think our secret is safe for this year :)

Here is another blog with photos.  He has a great camera and I am even in some of them :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Miss Tanzania

traveling to the states for the Miss Universe pageant wearing Schwari.
My 'job' at Schwari has been uber interesting lately!!  Generally I do odd jobs like making candles, painting murals, and making playgrounds.  A lot of creative or organizational behind the scenes stuff.

In September we had a fashion show in Dar Es Salam and Schwari did SO well!!  Uproarious standing ovation and clips have been shown on the Social Life section of the news for weeks afterwards. Tanzanians are so proud that all her designs are entirely made in Tanzania and it has been amazing to see the staff shine with pride!

She was then asked to dress the entire Miss Tanzania Pageant with a week's notice.  And somehow we did it!!  And now she was asked to dress Miss Tanzania on her trip to the states for the Miss Universe Pageant.  A few designers were asked so she won't wear Schwari every day but here she is arriving in America.  

Awesome Schwari is getting international attention and publicity!!  Very exciting time at work!!  
Sad that I won't be around next year to see what the future holds.  I wish we had a decent website to send you to for more shots of the amazing clothes and jewelry at the fashion show... if we ever get it up and running I will let you know.  For now here is the site that will follow Winfrida through her trip in the states... it is a total fashion and gossip blog... we will be watching to see what she wears every day for sure!! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Plastic Heels

 The great thing about not doing the blog for so long is that when I return there are loads of great pictures to choose from!

Kaia in blue heels.
Kaia definitely has her own unique style and the confidence to pull anything off!  Sometimes I don't get it, but she has taught me fashion lessons like... 'if you don't tuck in your shirt really tightly then you won't be able to look down and see your skirt'.

Theo in pink heels.
Theo is still developing his style... more developments to come.

Monday, November 26, 2012


 Guess those lessons Kaia has been giving are beginning to pay off!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ken dolls

 Carl came home with 3 Ken dolls...
this is how Kaia played with them...
 Ken and Ariel are getting married and living happily ever after.

This is how Theo plays with the other two...
Obviously fighting it out until the bitter end!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Without getting too optimistic too quickly, we may finally have solved all our computer problems.  I now have a very nice new computer that was hand carried all the way from the states.  It arrived with a broken hard drive so now I also have a nice new shiny hard drive too.   All sorts of things that I don't understand but apparently 'use and will appreciate' have been installed.  I am cautiously excited.

We were also convinced to invest in a new camera when the flash on our day-to-day camera surrendered to old age.  12 years isn't too shabby so no complaints.  But the new one is fantastic and was even able to capture decent shots on safari with a pathetic zoom... so now that I know this we will soon be overloaded with many many grand kid shots to share.

And also... finally... back to blogging.

This weekend we went camping to Tarangari with friends.

 The rains, although short, were strong.  The landscape was stunningly alive and green.

 Ha ha.  Not all moments were calm... Melanie bought a few bracelets for us all and attracted a crowd.  Mine is so pretty :)

 The site was... breathtaking!!

 Kids LOVE to look out the sunroof!!   Kaia spent most of the trip in Melanie's car.. she adores Melanie and Clea.

This is Theo's first real safari.  We thought he might be a bit bored but he loved it!!  He was great at spotting things and he loved to sit and watch the animals for as long as Carl and I, even longer than Kaia.

We saw 'iraf'


 and by then Theo was excited enough to get himself up to the sunroof too!
 I personally identified with this tortoise... with a wide vast world in front of him :)

 Kaia's favorite was the Zebra (a close second to her lollipop anyway).

 And Theo loved the lions and elephants the best... although his answer changes each time you ask him.

We haven't been getting out to the parks much because it costs a small fortune and it has been difficult to get around with Carl's leg.  But we gave notice at ISM this month and are leaving at the end of the year... so with Carl's leg on the mend we are excited to soak all of Tanzania that we can before we leave!!  Helps that the kids are awesome campers!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pray's Visa

Hey everybody!!!

Missed everyone.  My computer cord has broken and I am waiting for it to be replaced.  It should be ready this week.  But that was also true last week, and the week before, and the week before that.  You get the idea.  Patience is a virtue as they say.

Acclimating to the Mac and to the Ipad have been a little slow.  Eventually I will get it and just take over Carl's computer.  Then we will be up and running again.

I had a great birthday.  Thank you!

Carl's much needed break is coming up next week.

But I really wanted to update you on AMY & PRAY's saga if you are following her story... Basically the adoption went through a month or so ago.  She went to Dar last week and got Pray's Tanzanian Visa.  But America then denied him a visa.  The reasoning is something like... they can't issue a Tourist Visa because eventually he will be applying for an Immigration Visa.  But there is no one here that can do a home study.  So he can't be formally adopted in American eyes here in Tanzania.  And he cannot immigrate until he is adopted.  You see the problem?  The Embassy recognizes that this is a problem but they 'have no advice'.

Somehow Amy is staying strong.  You can read the whole story on her website (with wonderful photos)...  And feel free to share any ideas you may have to help this progress faster.  Following even the faintest possibility is occupying her life these days.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Body Paint

One day not too long ago our friends Christiaan and Catharina came over for some play and a bit of dinner.  We were fortunate in that Christiaan brought over his homemade body paint!  Not exactly sure of the components but it was body cream at least and a bit of food coloring ... they said it was easy!
Here is Theo at the start ... just getting comfortable with the idea ...
Kaia chose to not take part - we were a bit surprised but ... she of course eventually at least got her legs colored!
It was remarkably easy to get off as well, no soap needed ... just a bit of rubbing off in the bath ...
Anna (Christaan and Catharina's daughter) was a pro at it - it was her second time .... she encouraged Theo to take some risks!
The end results!  or maybe that should have been the caption for the previous picture!  Haha!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Home Fun

So we are just about caught up now with our pics/updates - at least until last week when school started ... and here are a few 'around the house' shots that are worth putting up ...
Daddy with his cast ... AGAIN ... and Theo - 'Oh no, not another 6 weeks of this again!'
I LOVE this shot of Theo on the driveway with the chalk ... how cool huh?
Theo helping Mommy relax after a yoga workout ... now do you really think he is HELPING her relax or ???
Theo and Kaia sharing clothes ... oh we need to keep these pics for when they are older ... sort of a 'show this at your wedding' type of shot yes?
and Kaia with some of her classmates and teacher Diana behind -- Kaia has really seemed to enjoy her new challenges in P1 this past week and a half ... yeah!!!!  Nice to see our little girl blossoming!