Friday, May 30, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 34

Our week started off with Sports Day at the secondary campus (actually a two-day event).

The students are divided in to two "houses," Alpha and Beta.  Your family gets assigned to a house when the kids are old enough to start participating in primary school.  As of now, our family remains unaffiliated, so we won't know for a few more years whether we'll be blue or red.  In addition to traditional track and field type events, the students do things like chariot battles (above) and tug-o-war to earn points for their house.

The real reason we come to watch though, is for the cotton candy - available only at special events like this. Actually, Greg really got into watching the races and didn't want to leave when it was Caleb's nap time.

 The sticky, sticky aftermath of said cotton candy.  The photo doesn't really show how it got all over his clothes and shoes.  The next day we found his sandal covered in ants because we had forgotten to wash it!

This is an outtake from my attempt at taking passport photos for Greg.  Don't you think the gum in the mouth is a nice touch?!  We are prepping for a visit from the U.S. consular representative next month, so that Greg can be sighted for a new passport.  Although his doesn't expire for another year, we were advised that it might be best to renew it now, before we travel to the U.S. in September.

For comparison, here is a passport photo taken when he was just a few days old, though it's not the one that ended up in his actual passport.  (That's another story).  Big change, huh?

 The boys got out of bed one morning determined to have a bad day.  That all changed when they got to the dining room and saw what was on the table.  Dad had come home from a trip to Lae after they were asleep the night before, and he brought a giant watermelon and cereal!  For weeks I have been telling the boys that we can't afford to buy the cereal that is on the shelves in our store, so it was a special treat to have some at last. 

 random photo of big spider

 These guys are all over our house.  This one got caught in a bucket and I found him in the morning and released him.

 What do you do when you're trying to make dinner and the kids are driving you crazy?  Let them play in the back of the truck.  It's got dirt and rocks and a built-in jungle gym!

 Homemade english muffins for breakfast.  (Thanks for the recipe Crystal, I've made them twice this week because they disappeared so fast!)

 Caleb had a lot of fun playing with this Highlands cap.  (Come to think of it, his expression is very similar to the "passport" photo above...)

 And finally, I did some last-minute alterations on a Banquet dress for one of the 11th grade girls.  Tonight is the much-anticipated 11th and 12th grade Banquet.  The kids dress up in formal attire and enter the Teen Center, which has been transformed this week into a themed wonderland.  The theme is a very closely-guarded secret... no seriously, I can't breathe a word (until next week).  The parents go all-out to put on a lovely dinner and a play, which celebrates each of the kids.  I will actually be there tonight helping out in my own small way, but I can't tell you what I'll be doing or how I'll be dressed because, like I said, it's all very hush-hush.

'Till next week!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 33

Our week started off on a great note when we discovered Fluffy (the light-colored puppy) squashed underneath Greg's mattress.  Fluffy used to be the absolute favorite companion until he went missing a few months ago.  In the meantime, Cuddles (the black one) had usurped his place.  Here the two are getting reacquainted.  So far, they seem to have been able to co-reign as favorites.

Caleb gets his flat tires fixed.

A sheet of bubble wrap provided a lot of jumping fun.

Safety first!  It's important to wear your helmet when you are riding three to a motorcycle.

Painting some toilet paper rolls for a craft

The finished product... a family of octopi (we made one for daddy later).  It's so cute to hear Caleb try to say octopus.  ap-puh-pus.

We also had fun with a balloon rocket (taped to a straw that was threaded on the string)

This morning Caleb brought these to me and said, ""  (I've been telling him he looks like a cool dude when he wears them.)

 And this morning I also had my 16-week checkup and ultrasound.  Everything looks good, and it's always fun to see little hands and face and to watch baby flip around even before I can feel anything. And no, we didn't find out the sex.  Our doctor here, who is not an ultrasound specialist, prefers not to hazard any guesses, so even if we decide we want to know this time, we'll have to wait until we get back to the U.S.  In past experience, U.S. providers look at my medical records from PNG and, though they don't say anything out loud, you can tell they are privately doubting all the information in there from Papua New Guinea (wherever that is).  Probably because my prenatal records will be concisely recorded (in handwriting!) on just two or three pages.  All the information is there, but doctors in the States are used to seeing 4-5 pages of computer printout and dictation for each visit.  And so they will probably order up a whole slew of lab tests and another ultrasound at my first visit.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 32

I'll be honest - I scrambled this morning with my camera trying to capture a few photos representative of our week.  I didn't have many ready before this morning! 

 An attempt at a Mother's Day photo.  It was all downhill after this shot.

 Apple pancakes for breakfast.  I think these are great: thinly sliced apple rings dipped in pancake batter.  Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my family that thinks so.  They all prefer plain pancakes.

 Balloons are big at our house this week.

 We have yet to master the fine art of bubble blowing.

 I had to post a photo of this, since it's the very first time that Greg has wanted to try writing something of his own initiative.  It was a birthday card for the twins next door who just celebrated their 16th birthday.  He is a bright kid who has known all his letters since before he was two, but he just has very little interest in writing or drawing.  So I was shocked when he asked to make them a card and insisted on doing the writing himself.  (It says "Happy Birthday" by the way... I'm sure it was obvious...)

 The nesting bug has bitten.  It all started with Operation Clean Out Spare Room to Make Room for Baby.  As the first step, I moved all of our board games down to the basement.  Suddenly I got sidetracked into Operation Fix Up the Basement.  We sold an extra bed that had been stored down there, taking up space.  I mopped floors and scrubbed walls.  I took down the curtains to wash them, and ended up deciding on a whim to sew new curtains!  Whew!  And now I still have to go back to cleaning out that spare room...

 Is there anything more exciting/depressing/exhausting/stressful/marriage-testing than planning major international travel?  We (meaning mostly Brian) have spent a lot of time looking at airfare this week.  We had made the decision to travel back to the U.S. in early October for the birth of baby #3.  Then we heard the wonderful news that my brother is getting married - at the end of September.  It would seem that a few week's difference wouldn't cause much of a problem, but turns out it's the difference of a couple thousand dollars.  Not to mention the fact that we still haven't decided whether to have the baby in Colorado or in Oregon.  We still haven't bought tickets, but it's something very much on our minds.  Now we're toying with the idea of me flying back for the wedding with one of the boys while Brian stays in PNG for a few more weeks with the other.  I am so envious of people who are able to just continue in their own home, in their normal routines, right up until the time that the baby is born.  I'll never know what that is like.  On the other hand, I'm extremely grateful for the chance to spend the holidays with family, to be there for the wedding, and that the boys will have a chance to see both sets of grandparents and their cousins.

 And finally, a photo of Caleb with one of his beloved sticks.  I keep finding sticks in my house that he manages to sneak in from the yard.  He hasn't poked an eye out... yet...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 31

Here is a peek at the last week in the Frey household:

 This little guy likes to visit one of the flowering bushes in our yard.  
(Sorry - not a birder here, so I can't identify it for you!)

 A friend had a pool party for his birthday.  It was a bit too cold for swimming, but my boys, especially Caleb, pretty much refused to get out of the water, even though they were turning blue.

 I finally coaxed him out with a cookie.

 He looks really soulful in this photo, but I think that he's actually listening to either The Garbage Truck Song or The Ants Go Marching.

 Brian dug a huge hole in our basement so that he can install a sump pump.  The project isn't quite done, as we're still waiting for the new concrete to cure.  Unfortunately, it's now the end of rainy season and so we may not get to see how successful it is at keeping our basement dry for several months!

 Speaking of water... we have two water systems that feed our house. One is drinkable, and one is not.  We have a series of valves we can use to control which type of water we are using, depending on how much rain we have been getting.  However, sometimes Brian and I have little... uh... miscommunications about who changed the system.  One day this week I turned on the wrong valve, thinking we were using water from our rain tank.  I didn't realize Brian had changed the system over to RAM (i.e. the undrinkable river water) the night before.  By the time I realized my mistake, I had pumped huge amount of our precious rain water back into the RAM system, wasting it.  I finally decided it was time to print up that sign that Brian had been asking for, so that we can clearly communicate whether we are on RAM water or TANK water!

They were riding the steam tram to school.  (Can you tell we have a Thomas fan in our house?)  It is a very small steam tram, as you can see, so I guess it makes sense that you have to hug the other passenger tightly to keep from falling out.  Greg has been making up very involved imaginary play scenarios all week, and Caleb just goes along with it, though I doubt he really understands the plot lines.

 Ah-achoo!  It's red grass season - the bane of allergy sufferers like myself.  I found this particular clump to photograph just a stone's throw from our back yard.

Until next Friday!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 30

It's May already?  How did that happen?  
And I've been doing Photo Fridays for thirty weeks already?

I didn't have my camera out much this week, so I don't have a ton for you.  Here is what we do have:

Just Caleb.

 He loves to stop people on the street to say "morning!" or "ha-llo" and shake hands.

 Caleb never seems convinced that hugging his brother is really such a good idea...

 Just Greg.

 The English course I was helping with ended this week.  Now these students are in for an intense six weeks of the Translators Training Course.  Please remember to pray for them, and also for the families that they left behind in their respective villages.  We often see that one of the main ways that Satan tries to cause problems during these training courses is by attacking the translators' families, distracting them from the work or even making them leave the course early.

A smile.

And last, but definitely not least, you get to see our little announcement:

(No, the blue shoes don't mean we know we're having another boy... when in PNG you have to use the props you have available!)  We plan to return to the U.S. to have the baby.   If anyone has a lead on a housing option for our family in either Colorado (Ft. Collins area) or in Oregon (Stayton/Salem area) from early October through late January (or part of that time), we'd love to hear from you!