On Sunday the 19th we had some of the missionaries and a marine come eat with us after church. There were nine of us plus Justin and Ryan. We had tacos and fajitas, which was a good choice because it helped keep the boys occupied at the table with their food as well. We had pineapple upside down cake for dessert and there wasn't any left the next day. I decided that I will make another one for my birthday because for some reason because I didn't get my fill. Funny how I hadn't made one in forever and now I keep craving it. The boys are always excited to have people come over for dinner and we had a good time eating and talking.
Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day so Rob didn't have to go to work. The boys went off to school and he was able to enjoy watching some football from the previous night. Justin came home from school anxious to go to Monika's birthday party. Seemed like forever until it was time to go.
Monika's party was the most extravagant birthday party for a 7 year old that we have ever attended. We got there at 6:00 (the time the party started) even though we are in Armenia. Oops. Not even Monika's family was there yet. We walked up the stairs to the party room, tracking the dirty, wet snow from our boots. So lovely on the white tile and quite obvious who is tracking it in. Of course there was someone there ready with a mop to clean up after us.
There was a lifesize Monika cut-out over by a spring background. Later I saw her get her picture taken next to it. It was like she was twins. Between the children and adult sections was an open area in front of the stage. Balloons covered the floor and provided a fun activity for the children.
|Yep, just us hanging at the party. Already got the |
funky light thing going on though.
|One of the girls in J's class.|
|That's the birthday treat station behind the boys. The mini sized|
Monika cut out is on the right side of the picture.
|Sweater dude is one of the guys taping the party.|
I had to get a shot of this kid though. I have NEVER seen
a kid in the US dressed up like this.
|Short dresses like this one make me glad that I don't have daughters to dress.|
|The adult tables|
|One of the children's tables.|
A clown, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh joined the party to dance and play with the children. Not long after two more juggling clowns arrived. I thought they had a gypsy fortune teller hired as well, but she ended up being the parent of one of the children attending. Oops.
|Birthday girl (in blue) with her mother and siblings|
|Justin with the birthday girl|
|That's my crazy little Ryan!|
|No alcohol at the children's tables, but plenty of soda.|
Ryan thought he was going to throw up when he got home.
It was very interesting to get to go to Monika's party. My children certainly have been to a variety of parties from super low key to extravagant. It is nice that at this age they don't seem content with all of them.
The rest of the week was pretty dull by comparison. I wanted to place a grocery order, but gave up when I saw they were out of milk, eggs, chicken, ground beef, cheese, butter, and produce. Nice. They did have potatoes and onions, but not even carrots or cabbage. I am glad that we have a fridge and a freezer in our garage so we can stock up on things. The alternative would be to eat like the locals, but I don't know how fatty meat and heavy breads would work for us day after day.
On Friday, J's school had mother son night so he and I left Ryan with Skyler to babysit while we headed off.
After taking a picture of us, we were able to find a table and play some games for awhile. Justin chose to play Battleship with Noor, a new boy in his class. I played with Noor's younger brother so that their mother could help Justin and Noor figure out the game which was new to them both. Justin opted not to make a picture frame, but continued to play games until treasure hunt time.
I could not keep up with Justin on the treasure hunt. He was running around quickly and we were the first to finish. He got to choose a bag filled with goodies, pencils, balloons, an eraser, and a noisemaker.
Next we gathered in a circle for dancing. The first dance was the chicken dance. Justin hid behind me and then wanted to sit out for the rest of the dancing. He didn't know the chicken dance and was sure that everyone was going to laugh at him if he did it wrong. Uh, yeah. I don't know what professional dancers he was watching, but I he would have to do something pretty major to call attention to himself. Perhaps if his pants ripped out or he took a nose dive. Oh well. We sat and watched the others dance. Luckily it was only about 15 minutes.
Next was food and a show. We had pizza and juice. This was the most exciting part for me because it meant that I didn't have to cook dinner. Ryan had a sandwich and Rob could have leftovers. Yay! We watched a rather horrible show about a little engine that could, but not THE little engine that could. When it was finished, they showed clips of all of the boys who were there that night. They each said what they like to do with their mothers. As this started, the boys started to hide under chairs, cover their heads with their coats, or pretend in some other manner to be embarrassed. My son asked if he could go sit by Charlie and his mom. It was very cute, but I guess Justin was expecting some major special effects because he was disappointed in how the video turned out.
We walked home and Justin was very excited to spend some time with Skyler since Rob was working late and still not home. I explained that since I was home they did not need to be babysat, but needed to get ready for bed. Justin was devastated that Ryan got to spend time with a babysitter and he did not. So unfair.
Got the boys in bed and Justin let me know what a sad day it was for him. School "wastes" most of his time. His teacher ALWAYS gets to decide what they are going to learn and when. She also makes him infer a lot when his brain would like to be busy doing other things. Rough life, huh? Then mother son night had not lived up to his expectations. I am sure that my birthday will be a big disappointment to him as well.
Speaking of birthdays, Justin did not understand that grown ups are not generally as excited as children are about birthdays. The way he sees it, he still has plenty of birthdays left to celebrate, but I am getting old and don't have too many left. Nice.
Saturday brought a fear of a tornado. No, Justin, it was a plane flying by, not a tornado. And no, I don't even think Armenia has tornadoes. Then he freaked out about scorpions. He didn't want to take a bath because maybe a scorpion would come into the bathroom and climb in with him and sting him. Are there scorpions in Armenia? Yes. Have we seen any in our neighborhood or house yet? No. He wanted to know all about scorpions and what would happen if he were to be stung, blah, blah, blah. Rob found a picture to show him. I was thankful that he didn't click on the link about the five year old Armenian girl dying from a scorpion bite. I had just assured Justin that would NOT happen. Now I just need to hope that he doesn't worry about a tornado bringing scorpions and having them fly all around us.
Justin continued to worry. The new boy in his class did not have a notebook for French class and the teacher told him to get one. Could we buy Noor one? I said that his family could take care of that. Justin worried about the cost of notebooks and if the family could afford it. I said they could. How did I know? Well, his dad works at the Embassy too and makes enough money to buy a notebook. Of course Justin wanted to know how much people who work at the Embassy get each time they go to work. Sigh. Is it any wonder I get more gray hairs each day?