Friday, January 31, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 17

Hello again.  Here is a look at our week:

Greg went back to preschool again last Friday, after a five-week break.  And he didn't even need me to walk with him (sniff).

Brian helped with a community work day to build a new playground.  I'm very much looking forward to bringing my kids here when it's done.

On Sunday, Brian and I celebrated our 6th anniversary.  We got a babysitter for the boys, and then Brian took me out for lunch to... well, the only place where we can go out to lunch without driving for two hours.

The road into town doesn't look that promising...

.. but once you get to the Kainantu Hotel, they actually have a very nice little outdoor dining area.  (Bring your own steak knives, and a tupperware so that you can bring home leftovers or bones for the dog...)

I made chocolate donuts.

Greg being pouty about something... 

A spider having a little snack in our back yard.

Caleb loves running with his big brother.  The often race through the house, but sometimes, especially in that dreadful hour of the day just before dinner, we just need to go outside and run... a lot!

Caleb can't always keep up, but do you see his happy little face back there, even though he fell down?

They were practicing hugs.  It was such a cute and rare moment that I was glad I had a camera handy.

Ahh... the sound of Legos being dumped out all over the living room twenty minutes before bedtime...

Thanks for stopping by.  See you next week!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 16

Welcome back.  Here is recap of our week:

Let's start with the bougainvillea renovation.  Check out last week for the before photo.   Brian is using a chainsaw to remove most of what it left of the tree.

 Watching daddy work.

 And the aftermath.  I know it looks drastic, but this baby will be up and blooming and into my laundry lines again in no time, trust me!  Our yard meri, when she saw it, was delighted.

On Monday and Tuesday, Brian and I attended the Multi-Language Initiative conference with about 170 others.  We were discussing strategies for initiating new multi-language translation programs in the country, and picked two new areas where the branch intends to start programs in the next six months.

 A teeny-tiny banana.

The boys enjoy a slushie on a hot day.

 Our friend Amos came over one afternoon to get some help from Brian on his homework.  He is a heavy diesel apprentice and alternates between working in the shop here and attending classes in Mount Hagen.

Caleb didn't want to let them get any work done.  While they  struggled through hydraulic theory, he brought Amos all of his trucks to look at.

 I've been playing with a new 50-200mm lens that came in a Christmas package. 

 And last night we tried out a new recipe - Mustardy Beef Sausage.  It promises to be a good one, though we haven't tried it yet.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 15

 This week things are getting busier.  I think our Christmas Break is finally truly over (even though Greg won't start preschool again until next Friday)

We got a few more Christmas packages this week.  The one from my parents included Legos, of course.

Caleb looks very heroic here in his helmet, doesn't he?

We viciously attacked the bougainvillea monster in our backyard (again).  This time we chopped off everything over the level of our heads, leaving very little foliage.  I didn't put in an after photo because we're not done yet.  We feel like we actually have a chance at conquering this thing now, and so today Brian plans to borrow a chainsaw and remove most of the limbs at the bottom, leaving only a few of the more upright and attractive ones.  I have high hopes that in a month or two we will have an attractive and manageable purple tree in our back yard.

Of course, all that pruning means that the yard rubbish pile on the road next to our house is as big as ever.  A crew of Papua New Guineans comes around once a month to haul away your pile.  This is just a week after they hauled away our pile... so we asked them to come around again and get ours twice this month.

Greg enjoying a rest on our neighbors' bench.  They come back to PNG next week after some time in the States.

The boys fight over who gets front row "seats" on the stool to watch the smoothie-making magic happen.

Caleb is full of tantrums these days.  Boy that child can hold a grudge!  I remember Greg was the same way at this age.

Checking out apparel from the 1890's.  Auditions for the High School production of The Importance of Being Earnest are in a little more than a week.  I'm in charge of doing costumes, and I'm really looking forward to it.  Drama has always been a big thing at our school, and they usually do a fabulous job.

 Greg plays a math app that we downloaded before we left the States.  I'm amazed at how good he is.  As Brian likes to remind me,  Greg will never know a time when there wasn't touch screens...

"If only I could get over this railing..."  (I think he was watching the front-end loader.)

Brian flew to Madang and back yesterday, to do some diagnostics on a generator there.  It was weird to have him leave on a trip in the morning, and then drive out to the airstrip to welcome him back the same day!  I guess the pilot hung out with him and helped him until he was ready to leave, and then they flew back, stopping at a bush airstrip on the way to pick up another passenger.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 14

Wow… I just realized that Caleb got more than his fair share of the photos for this week!  I must have been low on inspiration for things to photograph, because there aren’t as many photos this week either.

Caleb is at the age where he does not want to ride in the stroller, but mom still wants him to!  Here he strains against his straps and says, "Let me outta here!"

Tuesday is garbage day in Ukarumpa.  All departments had been closed for two weeks over the holidays, and so most people had three weeks worth of garbage this Tuesday.  Predictably, my boys love to see the garbage tractor come around.  

 Playing with rocks.

Looking out the window.  Thanks to cousin Rylan for the cute shirt!

The land that Ukarumpa occupies is on lease from the government.  A stipulation of the lease requires that a certain percentage of the land be used for agricultural purposes.  Hence, the cows.

The magic "golden ticket" that everyone hopes to see in their mailbox.  It usually means that you have a package waiting for you!

It's not that he wasn't excited about the present, Jess - he was just overdue for his nap!

Playing with trucks and trains never gets old.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Greg's Photo Saturday

This morning I took the boys for a walk and I had my camera along.  It soon evolved into Greg telling me when to stop and what to take photos of.  And so here is a little glimpse for you of what Greg deems interesting in Ukarumpa.

"Look at this green hook!  And green is my favorite!" 

A painted skull mounted on the top of a van.

"Stop and take a picture of this fence!" 

"Now take a picture of me behind the fence!"

A very interesting grate. 

A reflection in a big mud puddle.

 And this very lovely sign near the market.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 13

Happy 2014 everyone!  I’m up at 5am this morning because that’s when Caleb has been waking up lately needing a diaper change.  And since the boys share a room he usually wakes up Greg, who demands that Caleb come back to bed because he’s lonely.  So Greg ends up getting up too.  Oh the fun we have while dad is still in bed!

Last Saturday I went with several other ladies to a get-together at a coffee plantation about 20min drive from Ukarumpa.  We were invited by the daughter-in-law of the owner.  It was a lovely time.

They had a new hornbill. 

Greg was very deep in thought while he munched this banana.

Most of the week was spent tearing out our old fireplace, laying tile and installing the new wood stove.  As you can see, Caleb was a big "help."

And here it is!  We will have to wait a few weeks for the paint to come up from the port city before we can paint the chimney.  To see the old fireplace, look at last week's post.  A big thanks to all of our "technical advisors" and those who offered practical help during this project: Michael, LaVeryl, Matt, Todd... there are probably more that I am forgetting.

I bought a heap of strawberries at the market on Monday.  A cease-fire agreement was signed just before Christmas which put a halt to the tribal fighting in the valley, and now the strawberry sellers can come back to market.

I drove a few friends into the town of Kainantu for a shopping trip.  We were in the middle of a two-week-long closure of all our departments here on center, and so we were all a little stir crazy.

Time to power-wash the back sidewalk again.  The moss is pretty, but slippery!

And finally, a few scenes from our back yard....

Ruby's favorite toy.

Boys and dogs... both very hard to catch on film sometimes!

Greg patiently awaits his chance.  Caleb seems to know what is coming....

... and there it is.  Baths for everyone tonight!