Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27, 2013

This was Fall Break for Justin's school so he was home all week long.  Ryan still had school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings as usual.  Let me just say that it was a looooooooong week.  Justin seems to have forgotten that I don't always just sit around and watch TV all day.  He was a bit annoyed when I would do laundry, cook dinner, or do something else besides play with him or rush to meet his every need.  There were a few play dates, but it is amazing how many hours are in a day. I can hardly wait for Christmas break when I have them BOTH for over three weeks.  Hopefully new birthday and Christmas presents will help keep them entertained.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ryan complained that he was itching.  I ignored him because (1) he tends to itch a lot and (2) he seemed to itch the most when he was asked to do something.  Put away his shoes?  No, of course he can't because he itches.  Well eventually I looked and he seemed to be getting a rash under his arms, on his stomach, and in the groin area.  Soon I saw a bit on his face.  It spread and seemed to get worse.  I gave him benedryl and put him in a cool bath.  I asked Rob to find out what is available here to help with itching.  Evidently not much, but he brought some zinc oxide home.  More benedryl and a body coated with zinc oxide had him comfortable enough to sleep.  By the time I got ready for bed and checked on him, he was cleared up.  Go figure.

Isn't he pathetic looking?

It got a lot worse than this, but no naked shots for the blog.
 With so much extra time to play, Justin was bored because of course the kids don't own any toys.  So what did we spend hours doing?  Yep, drawing on cardboard boxes.  We made cities by drawing directly on the boxes and by adding additional touches created on other paper.  I knew I saved out some boxes from the move for a reason.
This is Justin's first of three boxes.  He made bridges to connect them.

Ryan didn't get quite as into it, but he had fun adding to J's so I gave him his own.

I bought some straws for a project we are going to do.  It was cheaper for me to get 500 straws than 100, so we have plenty of straws.  These were individually wrapped and I need them unwrapped.  We had fun shooting the straw paper off of our straws and seeing how far we could get them to fly.  Justin was the champion.  He could even shoot off multiple straws at a time.

We also made cookies.  Well, I made the cookies and the boys got to help frost some of them.

Ryan made some pretty scary ones, right?

Plenty of pumpkins so we could share and have our own. :)
 We made some Halloween bags for some missionaries who are here from the US.  Along with the cookies, we had a variety of candy and a few other snacks.  The boys had fun coloring bags and then filling them up.  They could hardly wait to deliver their bags and the missionaries enjoyed getting some American treats.
 On Saturday, we went over to the Hansen's for their garage sale.  Their kids are younger, so we knew we didn't need what they were selling, but a local farm was selling some pumpkins there as well.  We had to pick up a pumpkin for Halloween!  Ryan's preschool was also selling goodies to raise money for charity.  The boys were more than happy to support a good cause by eating cookies and hot chocolate.

After that, we went to church to help clean it and get it ready for Sunday.  The boys would have been in the way more than they helped so we parked them on chairs and let them play on the iphone and ipod while we worked.  When we were finished, we headed to KFC for lunch.  Who could ask for a better treat than that?  The boys were excited.  Funny how we don't go to KFC in the US, but when that is your fast food option, all of the sudden it is awesome.  Justin is eating more lately and Ryan less.  Funny to have their roles reversed, but Justin probably needs to eat a bit more if he is going to get taller.  Don't know that he could get much thinner.  We went to Yum Yum Doughnuts after KFC and got ice cream as a treat.
J loves to pose making funny faces.

Ryan has to try to be as funny as Justin.
 On the way back to the car we passed a bouncy thing by the Opera House.  We let the boys enjoy the nice October day by running and bouncing around for awhile before heading home.

I think this building is interesting and since we were stopped at a red light I took a pic.
 At home we were able to get to our pumpkins.  Since the boys can't carve yet, they had markers, stickers, wiggle eyes, and pipe cleaner to decorate their pumpkins with.  It kept them busy for longer than I thought.  Ryan also got to choose what kind of eyes he wanted me to carve on the larger pumpkin.  Justin chose the mouth.  I tried to copy their drawings and fortunately they were simple enough. :)  They couldn't agree on a nose, so our jack-o-lantern went without.

Left to right: Justin's, mine, and Ryan's


Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 6-19

I'm doubling up on weeks here for a couple of reasons.  One reason is that not much happened Oct 6-12.  We did try to continue to take advantage of good weather.  We got out to play basketball and ride around on the scooter and the bikes.  One of my favorite things was watching Justin pause for pics.  It cracks me up that he thinks he is some sort of awesome model or something.  He comes up with his own poses and wants to send pictures to Grandma and other people.

The boys had a good Saturday with their friend, Charlie.  He came over for a few hours in the morning and were sad when it was time to go.  I like him to go BEFORE my boys are too tired and start to have meltdowns.  Sure enough, just as his mom got here to get him, a meltdown occurred.  Sigh.  Charlie is almost 8, so just over a year older than Justin.  He is so good with both boys though.  Ryan idolizes him, kind of like an older brother, but THIS older brother is always patient and kind to him.  He's a really good influence on Justin and I wish there were more kids like him.
On Sunday we watched our church General Conference on TV.  Well, technically we watched it on the internet.  It was broadcast the previous week, but with the time difference we watch it a week later than church members in the United States.  My boys LOVE General Conference.  I try to make it a fun time and motivate the children  to listen.  They got to build a fort to sit in while they watched.  They got to play BINGO using words they heard and keep tally of frequent words.  Winning BINGO or getting ten tallies of a single word meant a candy reward.  Yep, they listen.  Perhaps they don't have the most spiritual reason to listen, but they listen and learn and we have some fun.
I did a couple of things Oct 13-19 so I actually have something to write about.  I went in to see the kindergarten at Justin's school today.  I have concerns about the math curriculum, the long school day, and a couple of other things.  I was very happy with what I saw in the classroom.  The teacher does a great job teaching what she needs to teach while making it age appropriate for the children.  She seems to have the same philosophy I do with how much children should be moving, talking, etc.  I feel if a child is learning, the teacher can teach, and other children are able to learn, the behavior is probably okay.  Ryan is a wiggler, so I was glad to see that the kids aren't expected to be still as statutes and that children are given the opportunity to move during transitions and not expected to be with any one thing for an inappropriately long period of time.  I think it is a good fit for Ryan.
There was also a meeting about the Fall Festival.  It will be a bit crazy to have it the day after Halloween since our family is already going to a Halloween party.  I think that the kids will have a lot of fun with it.  It is fortunate that someone stepped up to be in charge of this event so that it can take place again this year.  Justin doesn't necessarily like hanging out while I am at the meeting, but  he will enjoy the payoff of a fun evening.
Friday was a busy day for us.  Ryan's class had a field trip to see some farm animals and I went along.  It was also early release day for Justin so teachers could have parent teacher conferences.  I had Justin come home with Skyler.  The boys love her as a babysitter so he was thrilled that I needed her to watch him.  After the field trip, I brought Ryan back home and left him with Justin and Skyler while I went to Justin's school.
The bulls got a bit aggressive and the kids enjoyed watching them.

The cow provides milk for the family to drink and sell.

The house
I was surprised that the kids didn't try to climb the ladder.
Ryan asked me if he could.  Uh, no.

The owner went to let out the turkeys so the kids could watch them eat.

There were several turkeys.  Ryan thought it was cool that they were white.
They don't look like "Grandma's" turkeys, but they sound like them.

The owner keeping most of the animals contained as the kids chase turkeys out front.

Moving on to the next place where we can see the pigs and sheep.

Waiting for the rest of the group to catch up so we can go.

This is the trailer where the family lives.  I imagine it must be freezing in the
winter and hot in the summer.

One pig peed on the other pig's head and of course the kids thought that was hysterical.

I have no idea why they had the table covered.

Feeding the sheep.

Ryan adored the sheep.  I think he would like one for a pet.
I had a good conference with Justin's teacher.  She communicates regularly, so there were no surprises.  I know that he is doing very well academically, but I was thrilled to also hear that he is a polite, thoughtful child who is concerned about others.  Sometimes at home I wonder...  I guess it is good that he is a good human being at school, even if I don't see that all the time at home.
Justin and Ryan would normally be unhappy to see me return and have Skyler leave.  They didn't mind so much this time because I brought Nathan and Nael over to play for awhile.  Nathan is in Justin's class and Nael is his older brother.  They played outside, upstairs, downstairs, and in the basement.  They got along well and there were no arguments or problems. Their mother came to pick them up in time for Nael's music lessons.  Unfortunately, not too long after they left, the busy day caught up with the boys and they were quarreling with each other.  Sigh.
Saturday was a lazy day finished off with pizza and the movie Shrek 2.  Not a bad way to finish off the week.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 5, 2013

I've had some issues with sun poisoning lately.  Since the Embassy Health Unit doesn't have doxycycline, I got it at a local pharmacy.  Many things here are just OTC.  You ask for them and they give them to you.  The pills ended up costing under 3 cents a piece so I don't think I will try to get insurance to reimburse me. :)  Unfortunately, I didn't think to look up precautions to take when using doxycycline.  Since the weather has been nice, we have been trying to enjoy Saturdays outside as a family.  Saturday night or Sunday morning I would wake up feeling awful.  I would be nauseous, vomit, and feel dizzy.  I would be feverish and have a horrible headache and my skin would feel hot to me, but not to the touch.  Evidently doxycycline and sun do not mix well for some people and I am definitely one of them!  At least my mystery illness was solved and it was an easy fix.  Once I am off of it for two weeks I should be okay again.

My mom has asked for a picture of Justin's school.  We always walk in from the back because it is much shorter to go that way.  Probably saves a couple of kilometers.  Anyway, here is a picture of J's school from the back as we are walking down the hill.  I will take some more pics for next week.  The front is nicer and you can find a picture of it here:

On Friday, Rob and I had some paperwork to fill out in order to renew our passports.  When we finished, we went out to eat.  Nice traffic. :(
We walked around downtown for awhile and ended up eating at Dolmamama.  I had the Dolma Dolmamama which is spicy rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves.  I should have taken the picture BEFORE I started to eat.  It looked better with 6 on the plate and no juices spilling out.  Oh well.  Dolma are probably not the prettiest things in the world anyway.  I know what my boys would say that they look like.  Rob had the steak au poivre.  Both of our choices were good, but I think his was better.

Skyler, who lives across the street, babysat the boys.  They LOVE her!  It had been raining earlier in the day and Ryan was afraid that we were going to cancel.  He had it in his head that we were going to get food at a restaurant (probably KFC he said) and eat it in the park.  We could relax because he and Justin wouldn't be there so it would be quiet.  I told him that we were going to eat inside a restaurant and that it was going to be a grown-up restaurant.  He's hoping we do the KFC and park thing soon so Skyler can watch them again.

Life is pretty routine and fairly unexciting.  Still enjoying the warm weather!