Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bear Drama

So, Sunday morning we woke up to a bloody dog. Somehow he got sliced right down his face and was not a happy puppy.
Thankfully, the Vet answered on the very first ring, and even though it was a Sunday morning, she was willing to come over and fix up our poor 65-pound puppy.
I was the assistant...making sure he didn't fall off of the operating table/picnic table.
It took 8 stitches to put his face back together, but he slept through most of it. 
And, we had time for a very abnormal picture....because he NEVER sits this still. He is a hyper puppy even though he's basically full-grown. But with anesthetic, he's a pretty quiet dog.
He's been quite the conversation starter with his massive Victorian collar. All of our neighbors have been asking what happened to our doggie...We're still not sure how it happened, but he seems to be on the mend. 

Good dog, Bear. Good dog. Not a super bright dog, but a good dog.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Milo Madness

For those of you who don't know, Milo is a chocolate sports drink in the Philippines. But, even though Milo is a popular drink, it's easy to imagine that more people run or walk in Milo races than actually drink Milo. I ran the 5-K with my Doktora friend. We shared the race day with over 11,300 other people...there was a 3-K, 5-K, 10-K and 21-K happening the same morning. It's a BIG production.
For a claustrophobic person, standing in the starting gate with 11,000 new friends and then trying not to get trampled when the gun goes off is definitely a stretching experience.
The Milo Marathon series is now in it's 37th year in the Philippines. The first race had less than 800 people. But now, there are 3-K, 5-K, 10-K, and 21-K combination race days in 17 locations around the Philippines, leading up to the final HUGE marathon day  in Manila. If it seems like every school kid in town is in the 5-K race, it's because they are. It's often required for PE class.
Race completion certificate, baby!
And yes, since you're asking, I was the only person in the crowd of 11,000 that didn't wear her race shirt for the race.
In all those thousands of people...we actually spotted people that we knew.  

If you are a runner in the Philippines, sooner or later you have to have the Milo Experience!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Now & Then: The Twins

Now: 5 years from the day these boys changed our lives forever. They have grown up and are becoming very sweet boys. (usually) 
Then: 5 looong years ago---(and 75 pounds ago) saying hello to the insanity of raising multiples while already having an 18-month old. We know we raised them because we have the pictures. But...the first year or two, or maybe the first five years, are pretty much a blur.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Transformer 5th Birthday

It was the big 5.0 for the twins today! We started out with a pancake breakfast (their request).  Then, we were able to talk to both sets of grandparents, and even got to talk a bit to Brian's Uncle Dave and Aunt Barb, who happened to be visiting his folks. It was fun to hear some birthday greetings from around the world!

We were almost ready to go to church, but when we went outside we discovered that Bear had a HUGE cut on his face requiring multiple(8) stitches. So, we called the vet and ended up having to stay home to take care of him. That changed our plans, but we still had a really special birthday. Poor Bear. He has been stumbling around all day, as the anesthetic takes quite a while to completely wear off.
For lunch the boys requested Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and a picnic outside. It looked like it wouldn't work out, because we couldn't find the cheese. But, just two days before their birthday, we found some cheese that would work. Everyone was pretty excited about that.
After rest time it was family party time, complete with Transformer cakes and yummy ice cream.  They wanted toys on their birthday cakes.
And I had to ask the Tiegs birthday question:  "How does it feel to be  _____(whatever age you are)?" And, there were a few minutes left over for cuddle time. You have to grab those moments whenever you can. When they turn five, you know the cuddle clock is ticking. Soon, it'll be, "aaaww, mom, somebody'll see you hugging me! How embarrassing!" Sigh.
And, for the boys, the highlight of the day was Legos. They got some cool new sets and played quietly and intently with them for most of the afternoon. The best part: they can pretty much figure out how to follow the assembly directions all on their own now. Just another perk of being five years old.

Check out more adorableness at some of their previous birthdays here.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Durian. It's a fruit that elicits strong reactions pretty much everywhere. For those who have tried or smelled durian, it is almost impossible to remain neutral. Usually there are two camps for eaters of durian. Lovers and haters. There are very few indifferent eaters of durian.

For those of you who have seen Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods, you may remember durian as one of the few foods in the world that he truly struggles to appreciate. That from a guy who regularly sucks down such delicacies as cockroaches, beating frog hearts, and fermented fish heads.

For reasons known only to them, the German Research Center for Food Chemistry decided to break down the aroma of durian, and found 50 diffferent compounds that made up the smell. Four of the compounds were previously unknown to science. It is a smell described by Food writer Richard Sterling as, "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away." That was from an article in the Smithsonian magazine. That's a pretty serious publication. If they have an article about the way a fruit smells, you know it's pretty serious.
Now with that kind of an introduction, and knowing that Andrew Zimmern himself can't stand it, you know that if you have the chance, you at least have to try it. That's my Skye, apparently not impressed by daddy's enthusiasm.

Oh, It's also my father-in-laws favorite fruit. 

Actually, I like it. It's not my favorite fruit in the world, but it's actually really good. A very creamy texture, somewhat indescribable flavor, sort of like a custardy, fruity,...umm...I don't know. And I hardly detect the hint of dirty gym sock. Really.
If you are ever in Asia, or at an Asian food market, you really should try some. Andrew Zimmern smiles while eating snakes and fermented whale blubber. Maybe you can smile while eating durian, and feel like you're giving Mr. Bizarre Foods a run for his money.

Just don't bring your durian onboard public transportation in Singapore, or you could get fined $500. True.
My three-year old, although she may have appreared reluctant, has eaten durian before and really enjoyed it. And this time as well, after making a few faces, she took a bite and once again enjoyed the mystery wrapped in an edible enigma that is durian.
Mr. Zimmern, you have us beat in almost every other category when it comes to food, but bring on the durian, and we might just have your number.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

50 Days

The first 50 days of the school year have come...and gone. My young Lego engineers, when they aren't constructing another high-tech speedboat or police SUV, are almost done with their Letter-of-the-Week. We are now on X. They are getting excited to move on to numbers!
Speaking of letters, Asia is getting downright handy with a pencil. She is learning to write thank-you letters, postcards, and the occasional I-love-you note to mom or dad.
Skye is loving her time in school. She is learning how to combine shapes, make her letters, and also count pretty well.
And, as we continue to discover more about our kids learning styles, we are finding that this is Skye's preferred location to do just about all of her schoolwork. Hmm....

It's been a great first fifty days! Busy, crazy, and lots more art, music, and ancient history have been added to the homeschool mix. 

Their history timeline is getting downright crowded. This last week they added the Chinese T'ang Dynasty, Vivaldi, and Jackson Pollock. They were quite excited to see how close Pollock is on the timeline to their grandparents. (sorry mom and dad and dear father and mother-in-law :)

And, when Asia informed her dad today that "a stomata is the mouth that a leaf has and it's called that because stomata means mouth in Greek,"  we know that they're not just having fun. They are learning, and they're learning to love learning. Here's to the next 50 days of discovery!


Well, after a lot of Michelangelo, we needed some Impressionism in our lives. So, it's on to Claude Monet. One of the most appreciated practices of Monet, at least in our house, is his love of painting outdoors. We headed outside and our enthusiastic crew quickly turned their plain pieces of paper into a watercolor wonderland.
Thankfully we had some good weather for our Monet days. As I write this, it is once again raining, raining raining in our mountain home. Monet would have liked the changing light, but even he might have had his paintings ruined by the amount of rain we usually get around here.
Everyone liked Monet! And hopefully, when we visit the States we can go see some real Monet in a museum!