Saturday, March 31, 2012

Twin-sanity

Some days having twins really kicks me in the hiney.  Today was one of those days.  haha
I'll just give you a run down.
We started potty training the boys...this was their 1st pair of underwear...they wanted to wear the same ones....those lasted about 15 minutes. hahaha  needless to say...we had lots of underwear changes today.  a couple of hours into potty training...I realized that I had greatly underestimated how much underwear we would need.  With brownouts and low water pressure...I can't count on doing laundry all the time...  Thankfully, I could run to a store in town and get some more.

BTW...I use the timer/reward with candy method. hahaha  We set the timer and go to the bathroom every time it goes off...  They get 1 piece of candy for going pee and 2 pieces for going poop.  I had some Nerds in my cupboard...so they only get a tiny piece of candy. haha  Love this age...they are thrilled...even with a teeny tiny piece.  :)
Brian took our dog for a run...I finally was able to get a shower...and Brian did the dishes in between taking the boys to the bathroom.  Littlest girl decided that she also wanted to potty train.  Thankfully, the novelty wore off pretty quickly...because I am just not up for potty training 3 @ once.  Besides...she's sooo tiny she would need a step ladder to get on the toilet. 

We spent the AM taking the boys to the bathroom & cleaning up messes. I ran to the store to buy more underwear and some stuff for lunch. I made lunch.  Yay for sloppy joes.  Brian had a guy here working...he built me a table to put my herbs on (so Bear doesn't dig them all up)...and did some other yard work.

The afternoon...was more taking the boys to the bathroom...  I also finished up the kids palm frond craft...I don't have pics of it yet...but it was not a craft for young children. 

Skye woke up after less than an hour nap...

Brian went to pick up my chicken order(I have to order ahead if I want boneless, skinless chicken breast). He also picked up a quilt that I had washed at a laundry place in town...as it won't fit in my washing machine.  He bought worm medicine...cuz well, you know...it's that time again. hahaha  Gotta deworm every few months.  :)  The joys of being a missionary.  He also picked up some printing from a printer in town...another Visayan Grammar book for us....and a paper on Missionary Stress...which kind of made us laugh today!
I planted some herbs...which I'm very excited about...so, I hope they grow. You can't really buy fresh herbs here...1 time I saw parsley and about 3 times I've seen cilantro.  So, i'm really praying that these grow...cuz I LOVE to cook with fresh herbs!
I also tried my hand at making ricotta and cottage cheese.  The ricotta turned out awesome...but my cottage cheese turned out exactly like the ricotta...which I don't really mind cuz I love ricotta...but I really wanted some cottage cheese too.  Anyway...I'm going to have to work on the cottage cheese recipe...and figure out what I'm doing wrong. 

Took the boys to the bathroom about 20 more times. Made supper..FRENCH TOAST!  yay!  Everybody loves breakfast for dinner.  By this time the boys were pretty tired about going to the bathroom and were almost begging to put diapers on.  haha 

We made it through bathtime and bedtime and Brian & I are pooped....oops...tired...sorry...Ithink that's what's on my brain... 

Why is potty training soooo exhausting?  It could have something to do with taking the boys to the bathroom about 100 times today...and unfortunately...that's NOT an exaggeration.  I remember being sooo tired after potty training Asia all day...and seriously...she was potty trained in 2 days...  The boys...well...the boys are different.  :)  My mom told me to have VERY, VERY low expectations.  I told her...it's a good thing I'm a natural pessimist.  :) hehe  The boys did pretty much how I thought they would do...it's going to take quite a while to get them trained.  hahaha  I knew it would be much harder to potty train twin boys versus Asia...but WOW!  It was hectic! 

Anyway...that's a glimpse of our Twin-sanity Saturday!  Wonder what tomorrow will be like?!? 

So thankful that I know WHO holds the future!!! 

For I can do all thing(including potty train twins) through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Countdown to EASTER

Today is 12 days until Easter...How do I know this?!?  Well, I have a silly daughter who asks me EVERY day how many days it is until Easter.  :)  Anyway, I saw this Countdown to Easter on Pinterest...
 
and we decided to do a version of it...as a way to teach the kids...that Easter isn't really about bunnies and candy...and well, Asia does ask EVERY day how many days are there until Easter. Anyway...you can check out the following website for more info...I am changing things around to suit me...but I think it's a cool idea.
Day 1 is based in Luke 1 with Gabriel telling Mary that she will have a baby and she is to name Him Jesus.  Asia sat for the story...and the boys...well, not so much...they ended up with timeout in their room.  :(  It's talking about what the name Jesus means...and we also talked about what their names mean. I was able to go through this with the boys @ bedtime when they were "calmed" down for bed. 
 Anyway...the day before I just used glue to draw on black construction paper...obviously, older kids could do this themselves...but I can't imagine giving glue to my darling boys @ this point in time. haha
 So...today when the glue was all dry...they used chalk to color all over the black paper.  they had a grand old time...and made lots of handprints on the table too! 

 They really egg each other on...1 starts being crazy and the other joins in...then, it becomes a contest of who can be the craziest.  :)
 Here's the finished product...it's a super easy simple craft for young kids...and it required very little prep work for me.  You could make lots of designs with the glue.
On funny note...I bought this pack of "farm" animals...as I want on the Plagues/Passover (which begins on Good Friday @ sundown).  Anyway...I had a good laugh over this set...check out the right side of the picture...since when are tigers, monkeys and dragons FARM ANIMALS?!?  hehe

Monday, March 26, 2012

Crazy=Normal

Lately, I've been wondering if the craziness of our life is just what our life is going to be like.  Maybe CRAZY is our NORMAL.  hahaha  Just something I've been pondering.  :)
 Brian takes the kids for a walk around the neighborhood almost every AM...it gives me around an hour of "quiet" language study time.  On this particular AM...he noticed a huge gathering of firefighters...they were having a firefighters olympics.
 My 2 little firefighters LOVED watching.
 Here we are with one of the groups competing.
 Just a shot of my crazy kiddos.
 On Wendel's last day here...he asked me to make tacos...  Since we have to make our own tortillas...I "made" him roll them out.  :)  actually, he loved it...and we all had some good laughs.
 Normal sight @ our house...this makes me laugh!!!
Last Thursday, we made the attept to go back to immigration...it also, happened to be the day that Wendel was flying back to Manila...  So, Wendel, my helper Bebe, Skye & I rode the bus for 3 hours...and thankfully, everything went pretty smoothly and quickly @ immigration...  We even got to go to Starbucks...where Wendel made me take a picture of him in his Kaamulan shirt.  haha  The guard also got on us about giving Skye "outside" food(goldfish crackers)...so, I had to put it away...which of course, resulted in a breakdown from Skye.  haha  But don't worry...about a minute later one of the baristas came over with a mug and told me just to put Skye's snack inside of it...so it couldn't be seen. hahaha  Anyway...we said goodbye to Wendel...and rode the bus 3 hours back home.  :)
Then, on Friday, I rode the bus back to Cagayan.  It is the closest "big" city...there is a starbucks, mcdonalds, movie theaters, and has quite a bit of American food available.  I hadn't been there to really shop in almost 2 months...  I had an amazing time.  Brian let me stay overnight...and I was able to get almost everything on my list.  I even got my haircut(hadn't had one in about 7 months), a pedicure, a massage(the perks of living in a developing country...it's really cheap)...and I got to see a movie!!!!  But honestly, the most enjoyable part of my time there was sitting in Starbucks waiting for the mall to open so I could finish up my shopping.  I ordered 2 drinks... haha  I know...  But seriously, you need the cold one to get the caffeine in quick...while the hot one is too hot to drink.  Honestly, I wouldn't do that if I lived near a starbucks...but honestly, I don't know when I'll be going back there...so, I get it when I can.  :)  Anyway...I sat there for a long time reading my kindle...and it was awesome...  I reminded me soo much of the times before we had kids...Brian & I loved to sit in coffee shops...reading books and sipping coffee...we could do it for hours!!!  Anyway...my overnight was awesome...and I went home feeling like a "real" person. 

On a side note...after having my haircut and a pedi...the girl asked me if I wanted my eyebrows plucked...ummm...not sure how to take that...are you saying my eyebrows need to be plucked???

Anyway...on Sunday....I was the slave...oops, I mean, MOM again...  I spent the day in the kitchen...made runzas and a double batch of muffins.  But after supper...Slater went running towards the playroom.  He stopped, turned and around and said, "Mom, you're the best cook."  Then, went running on.  AWWW...Just what I needed!  It is sooo worth spending all that time in the kitchen...when my sweet little boy who doesn't talk too much...says something like that.

Well, that's a bit of our CRAZY NORMAL.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Can Chocolate Taste Like America?

Yesterday, we got a few packages from the USA.  It's always exciting to get packages from home...but for some reason yesterday...when Brian & I ate these dark chocolate covered coconut cream eggs...which by the way were all melted into strange shapes...we almost cried!!!  Ok, fine...we didn't almost cry...but it was almost an emotional experience.  haha!  Seriously though...the 1st thing I thought was...this tastes like America.  We had a good laugh over that...but it's true...I don't know how to explain it...but when we get stuff from the USA...it smells or tastes like the States.  Anyway...totally made our day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Life Lately

This is kind of a random post...on things going on in our life...and just to show you what our life is normally like.  :) As usual, Facebook has more pictures.   
Skye loves to have her hair done...it's the 1st thing she asks when she sees me in the AM...and lately, she insists on having a bow...such a girly-girl.  :)
Lunches look like this...Wendel's been here for 3 weeks...and our helpers eat with us...unless they need to go home to do something.
We put the lock up really high, so the kids couldn't reach it...  the 3 oldest worked together to collect chairs from all over the house...while little sister was the lookout.  :)
 Skye @ Sunday School
 Trying to get a family picture @ church...but the kids weren't cooperative.
Having green mango shakes...yes, I have crazy eyes.  :)  We've been enjoying having Wendel here...and he's a huge help to us in our Visayan language study.
Having coffee with the ladies...except we weren't able to have coffee cuz there was a brownout...  But, we found out today that there is an actual rotation schedule for when we are going to have them...  it goes like this:
Day 1: 10am-2:30pm
Day 2: 1pm -2:30pm
Day 3: 3:30pm -6pm
Day 4: 6pm-8:30pm
Today we are on Day 1 again.  It kind of makes me laugh...that there is an actual schedule...but I have to admit knowing when we are going to have a brownout is really nice...  It's just something to add to our planning...We have to make sure we get things done before or after the brownout. 
Grilling our porkburgers...I add bacon to the mix...to give it some more flavor...but we sure do crave a real beef burger sometimes.  :)
We were finally able to get a sofa for the basement...here they are trying to get the sofa in the basement/playroom/family room...they had to take off the legs.  it was quite hilarious to watch...

In other happenings...Skye needed to go to immigration for fingerprinting & picture taking...so, last Thursday...we left for the bus station @ around 5:45 AM...we rode a bus for 3 hours to the city that has the closest immigration office...we waited there for a couple of hours...then, they told us they were having problems connecting to the Manila Immigration office...so, they told us to leave for a while...We went back to be told they were still having a problem...and didn't know when it would get fixed...as in maybe next week.  So, we got back on the bus and rode the 3 hours home.  So, basically, in 12 hours...we were able to accomplish NOTHING.  Well, I can't say "nothing"...cuz I was able to go to Starbucks.  hahaha  But, it means that we have to go back this week...if the computer problem is fixed.  :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Normal"

Yesterday, I felt like we were a "normal" American family. Usually, my Saturdays start with me going to the market at around 6AM...buying my meat, fruits, veggies and rice for the week.  Then, I come home and deal with it...dividing my meat into ziploc bags and putting it in the freezer...washing and prepping veggies, etc.  Sometimes it means that I make food and freeze it, etc.  Anyway, all the prepping of food I do for the next week...often takes me the majority of my Saturday. 

But yesterday was different...we spent the most of the day working in our yard...Come on...isn't that what normal Americans do on Saturday?!?  Brian & I have moved sooo many times in our lives...and sooo many times since we've been married...we pretty much feel like the house we are living in is always just temporary.  Which is how we are supposed to feel as Christians, Right?!?  I tell myself that so, I don't get depressed. haha  Well, we don't know how long the Lord has us here...or how long we'll be living in this house...but it's the 1st place that we've ever really done yard work...  Sure, we've mowed the grass, rake leaves, shoveled snow in our previous places...  But, yesterday...we actually, bought and planted plants in our yard and flowerbeds.  CRAZY!!!  And the kids had a blast "helping" us.   
Skye mowing the lawn...Ummm, Skye, there isn't any grass right there yet. 
Asia stayed right with Brian...ask Brian what it's like trying to shovel with a kid hanging on to him.  :) 
She sure does like to be in the thick of things.
And of course, the boys shoveled/played in the gravel/sand pile in our backyard...still no permanent fence...as you can see. 
Asia posing by the flower bed right outside her bedroom window...We had to build fences around our flower beds so our crazy dog wouldn't dig up the plants...AGAIN!  I know that Cesar Milan would be very disppointed in my dog training...but frankly, I just don't have the time to sit outside and train him not to get into the flowers/plants.  The time I have to train him...I spend training him on how to act with my kids.
The plants sooo far...eventually, we'd like to add more.
Brian made me pose for this.  :)
This one...not posed...Brian just called my name... 
Watering the plans in the evening... BTW, like the color of my gate?!?  The landlord painted it just before we moved in...apparently, there have been a bunch of accidents @ our gate/fence...We heard that 2 people even died...so, I say...Yay, to the white/orange fence...Please don't die in front of my house.
Thought some of you would like this one...

Anyway...I'm not sure what "normal" people do on Saturdays...cuz, well, I'll be the first to admit...that we are NOT normal.  :)  But we had an awesome day together as a family.  We've been sooo busy lately...it was nice to take a day and do something together.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Trying....

This year Brian & I have wanted to do better about sending out updates, blogging, etc.  For about 6 months...we were in major transition...living in the mission guest house...and it was pretty crazy and hard on the family...  So, last month...I blogged a couple of times...and this month...I'm trying again.  ha!  No promises people...  Anyway...just to catch you up...  We moved to a different island...tried to find a place to live for 6 months and now, we are studying a new language and culture.  
I spend my days being a mom to the 4 kiddos, preparing meals(everything has to be made from scratch), keeping the house going(we do have 2 wonderful helpers during  the week) and language learning...oh, and being a wife. hahaha Thought I'd throw that in there for my darling husband.  :)  No, honey...you have NOT been forgotten...but have we even talked today?!?  :)  No, seriously...have we?!?  :)  Sometimes, it feels like we are 2 ships passing in the night.  :)  But such is life with 4 little kiddos.
Anyway...here it goes...

 Skye loves her older siblings...and tries to do EVERYTHING that they do...she is 19 months...but thinks that she is going on 5 years old.  haha  She talks a TON...and even knows quite a few Visayan words. 
 Here we are @ church...palm leaves for a roof and no walls...  it's awesome...and it's pretty much purely in Visayan(the language we're trying to learn)...so, it's a huge help to us. 
 Just leaving church...hot & sweaty from playing with their friends...but they really love it...they can even sing a song in Visayan...and have learned part of another. 
 gotta love 'em!  Asia is still our little princess...she loves all things GIRL...  Hoping to start Kindergarten with her in the next couple of months.
The boys always keep us busy...we're never sure what they are going to do next.  They are finally starting to dress themselves...and sometimes they dress the same and sometimes they don't.  I still haven't potty trained them...I keep planning on doing it...then, some more unexpected craziness comes up...and I don't want to start when things are crazy...but, I'm beginning to think that our life is just always going to be like that...and I'm going to have to figure out a way to potty train them amid the insanity. 

Well, I'm going to end this for now...kids are finally down for the night...  It's been a hectic day.  We've had 2 brown-outs...and I already lost a previous blog.  :)  That along with very low water pressure...so, I haven't had a shower today...not to mention the piles of laundry that are stacking up.  An unexpected visitor from a different city a few hours away...that we spent over an hour talking to about language learning(he is also trying to learn Visayan...but doesn't have any help).  It's almost the end of Kaamulan...so, I went and bought some plants for our flowerbeds...our dog dug up all the other ones(I had a fence built around them).  :)  I did my 6 hours of language study  and I still haven't eaten supper.  I'm not sure if I need to though...As Leif grabbed my belly fat and giggled today! haha!

Street Dancing-Kaamulan

Some pics of the awesome day of street dancing...I have sooo many awesome pictures...but will only post a few.  :)
 Waiting for the parade to start.
 Everyone trying to see better.
 Some cute boys dancing
 The kiddos watching the parade...
Some of the guys on stilts...



 Skye enjoying the parade.

Wendel with the guy who made the awesome hat from palm leaves.  :)