Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween to Ye!

Rather than be too wordy, I'll just share some pictures of our Halloween celebrations!
Pirate fairy Jane and pirate mate Harry!  I enjoyed making these costumes (all except for the white shirt and tights).
Enjoying the party at the embassy!  Everyone did a great job and I especially thank friends (like Shennie and Tina) who helped keep an eye on Jane and Harry while I handed out candy and helped with face painting.   

We hosted a Children's Halloween Party again this year.  Activities included the Spider's Lair (upgraded to the guest room) and a Forbidden Forest filled with flying witches!  I plan on keeping the trees up on the walls throughout the holidays, decorating them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Waste not!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Family Picture time!

We try to be good about taking the occasional family picture, taking advantage of nice weather and good backgrounds.  Here's what we came up with this year.  Enjoy!

For additional pictures -- click here!

Witch's Brew!

Last year I started a tradition of having the "witches" leave something behind for the kids to get them excited for Halloween -- a Halloween book, an activity, candy, etc.   Jane tries to see the witches flying around or hopes to catch them when they come to leave the surprise.  So far, I haven't been caught!

For one of the activities (by far the most elaborate), I gave the kids some ingredients to make their own witch's brew.  I used edible, less-frequently-used items from the kitchen and pantry.  At the end I kinda hoped that we could drink it, but as you look through the pictures, you'll see why that didn't work out.
What the witches left behind for the kids to find.
The kids enjoying putting the ingredients together.  It was fun to hear them say, "I need more Vampire Tears!" or "Can you pass the Bone Powder?"
And then, what we all expected... It all just started to get mixed into a big, huge, mess.  Luckily, I was ready and just dumped it all into the sink before it ended up on the floor.   It didn't taste good anyway. 
I was glad I used ingredients I didn't care about so when it came time to throw it all in the sink, I didn't feel bad.  Next time I think I'll plan it out better so we can actually enjoy drinking it in the end. Still, the kids had a great time mixing things up and making a yucky brew!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Parent Exercise Program

My Parent Exercise Program:

Arm and neck muscles  
Back and legs
Stomach muscles
Mind and emotions
And that's why I don't have a regular exercise program right now.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 7th - Astana Days

Astana City Day is July 7th.  Here they do a lot to make the celebration fun and interesting.  We didn't see everything that went on throughout the city, but we did get to enjoy a few things.  The celebration lasted the whole weekend (July 5-7th).  Here are a few pictures of our adventures.

Harry at the playground.

He's definitely having fun!

Jane climbed to the top of this climbing structure.   I love her facial expression!

Riding a ride in Happlylon.

Kazakh shields on spears look pretty cool. 

What's a festival without arts and crafts??

Love these costumes.  Very traditional Kazakh.

Inside the National Museum "riding" a cart.  I know, it's totally blurry, but it's the best one of four.

Inside the tunnel of lights in the National Museum.  

Inside the National Museum.

Jane, watching Nils play bumper football.

Nils makes the kick and SCORES!  Okay, not really, but you should have seen how that guy ran into him and Nils seriously sent him flying!  Too bad I didn't get a picture of that!

The fountain outside the National Museum and looking over the other monuments and mosque.

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Pages!

One thing about being a mom is you need a constant flow of fresh ideas.  That sometimes includes a new look at some old ones.  As I've been gathering ideas, I feel like I need a place to share them with you guys.  So, I'm using the "page" feature on blogger to store and update things I gather.  I'll do my best to keep them organized and easy to copy.

You can view the pages available at the top of this blog, just above the post.  Each page is represented as a tab.  Feel free to comment on each page if there are ways I can make them more accessible.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nicer Weather and Fun!

Now that we have nicer weather, we've been able to get out and do things!  Of course, we still have fun inside on the rainy days, or the cold windy days.  Here are a few things we've been enjoying lately:

Visiting Borovoye, a beautiful national park not far from Astana.  We were lucky to be joined by a friend to show us around the park.
Here we are working on a local friend's garden.  The missionaries joined us and we had a lot of fun creating furrows and planting potatoes.  Harry really wanted to get involved in the gardening work and would walk around stealing people's tools.  We waited a minute before stealing them back...
Our friend is so talented with children.  She brought along these toys and pillow so that Jane and Harry had a place to play while we worked. 
We just received this scarf Grandmama made for us and the kids absolutely love it!  Jane put this ensemble together this morning.  I love that it has the "boa" look without the feathers!

Harry has been growing so much, talking and getting involved in everything.  Here he is with his lunch box, on his way to "work".  "Bye, Mommy!  I go to work!"  
One last little treat.  I made some easy dancing "ribbon" with streamers and a straw.  The kids enjoyed putting on a show for me.