High Three for Friday #12: Shorter, but With an Adoption Update!

May 28, 2015

  Whew!  This has been one heck of a week for me.  Work has been ridiculously busy and I've feel like I've spent most of my days just treading water, barely able to make it.  All the stress at work hasn't left me much energy in the evenings and what I've had left has been spent on just keeping the family going, which meant we didn't do much.  I wish I had more for you this Friday, my friends, but all I can manage is a three out of five today and to cheat even more, D wrote one of them!

Memorial Weekend

May 27, 2015

Living on a military base means that Memorial Day is more than sales at the mall and the first day of the summer pool season.  Living someplace that was a battlefield during World War II makes the day even more poignant.  Most of our weekend was just a weekend but I made a point of taking the kids to the Memorial Day commemoration this year.   They're young enough that I don't think they understood the point of it but I thought it was important to make them aware of the day and why we celebrate it.


May 25, 2015

  When typhoon Dolphin hit Guam last week it the edge of it caught Kwaj and caused something very special to happen: waves in the lagoon.  The lagoon here is well protected and while the king tides can cause very high or low tidal changes, there usually isn't much swell inside the barrier of the islands.  Because the typhoon affected the ocean currents around our atoll, we had 4-6 foot waves cresting at Emon beach, something a friend told us hasn't happened in 10 years.
  D and I took the kids down to the beach after dinner and it was amazing.  Sky and Fire lost interest pretty quickly and headed for the playground but D and I watched the waves for over an hour and D got some amazing pictures.  It was a great reminder for us of how lucky we are to live someplace as special as Kwaj.

High Five for Friday #11 : Running, Kindergarten, and Loosing on Purpose

May 21, 2015

  High five, we made it to Friday again!   How was your week?  Ours was pretty normal, with the usual beginnings and endings that make up every day life.  With the school year coming to an end, a lot of the activities are wrapping up for the summer holidays.  I love the slower pace of life on Kwaj when school's out but I know that by August, I'll be anxious to dive back into being busy again.

  They say the best place to begin something is at the beginning, so let's start with one of those for our week in review:

A Beginning:
The blog's new look!  I followed Shannon's advice and took a look at the blog templates available on Etsy.  I found the perfect one from Maira Gall. Installation was super easy and she was really great about answering my emails and helping me format the template so that it worked for the blog.
 Know what I love most?  The scrolling picture at the top.  I love to move the page up and down and see our picture disappear.  Go ahead and try it, I'll wait.
Fun right?  That little bit of HTML coding just seem magical to me.
An Ending:

Help, I Instagrammed and Don't Know How to Hashtag!

May 20, 2015

  I need help!  I'm so incredibly out of the social media loop that I don't know how to use a hashtag.  When I left America to work in Antarctica in early 2008, texting was still so new that most phone plans didn't include it.  Facebook had just started to become something that people used regularly and Twitter and Instagram didn't exist.  While I've been away social media has grown by leaps and bounds.  High speed internet in the homes on Kwaj was only installed last year and the Marshall Islands cell phone network isn't up carrying an internet connection so I've missed out on learning how to use social media platforms organically, as they grew.

A Little Time for Myself

May 17, 2015

  It's been a while since I've had some time to myself.  Lately I've been carrying the load when it comes to watching the kids on the weekends since D doesn't go to church and isn't comfortable visiting our family on Ebeye when we go on Mondays.  To be fair, there are some Marshallese cultural taboos regarding the Monday visits that keep D from going but it still leaves me managing three small children on my own for several hours.
  D repaid me in kind this weekend when he took all the kids to one of the (many) birthday parties they had been invited to.  I had two whole hours all to myself at the house.  The first thing I did was to make a list of all the things I thought I should do: tidy up the house, empty the diaper pail, pick up Fire's shoes from a friend's house, sew up a tear in Sky's dress, hand-wash some clothes, empty the dishwasher, and make our bread for the week. 

High Five for Friday # 10: A Week Full of Winners

May 14, 2015

  Happy Friday!  How has the weather been where you are?  It's been crazy here with lots of rain and wind.  Luckily the typhoon that had been predicted to hit this weekend has shifted north (unluckily for Guam) but we're still catching some of the edge of it.  I'm hoping it doesn't put a damper on our weekend plans, which include a dinner at the beach and three- yes, three- birthday parties. 
  We had a whole lot of winning in our family this week- see the count below for more specifics but my favorite that didn't make this list is that D and I went on a date to a new restaurant on Ebeye with some friends.  It's been ages since we've been out together without the kids and it was good to get away.  The conversations were wonderful and the food was great.  I was just what D and I needed to be ready for the weekend.

On to the winning!

D won a photo contest this week

Black Pepper Cheddar Bread

May 12, 2015

  I stumbled across this recipe in one of my favorite baking cookbooks and decided to give it a try. It was amazing!  D ate almost half of a loaf as soon as it came out of the oven.  Originally I was going to give the bread away for Mother's Day but I was so glad that the recipe made four loaves because I wanted to keep some for myself.   The black pepper gives it an unexpected bite and the cheddar cheese adds a savory contrast.  This bread is excellent plain or toasted with butter or as part of a grilled cheese or egg sandwich.  I hope you like it as much as we do!

How I Ruined Mother's Day

May 11, 2015

  How was your Mother's Day?  Was it full of love and flowers, appreciation and kindness?  If so, I'm so glad that yours was better than mine.  My Mother's Day was awful and it was all my fault.

Five for Friday #9 : With Love

May 7, 2015

  How is it that another week is over already?!  Didn't the week just start?  Regardless, I'm happy it's Friday again and I'm looking forward to the weekend.  Let's start this wrap up off on a happy note:

The TV fast is almost over!!

I'm so excited to be able to watch TV again.  While I have cheated (just a few times and does watching Fixer Upper on YouTube really count?) a little bit, I'm looking forward to being able to just crash on the couch again once the kids are in bed and turn my brain off.  D and I will probably still restrict how much we watch since we both liked how productive we felt in the evenings but at least a few nights a week, we'll be tuning in again.

SDA School Carnival

May 5, 2015

Last weekend there was a carnival at the SDA school on Ebeye that Fire's sisters attend.  Since I love a good carnival and I knew it was a school fundraiser, I packed up all three kids and headed over with some friends from church.  My kids weren't that into the carnival (they can be really shy in new situations but we're working on it) but they enjoyed watching other kids play games.  Elizabeth and the girls were there and it was great to be able to interact with them in new way- usually we just sit around the house and make small talk but now we were both following kids around, handing out tickets, and laughing about me carrying Water's stroller up and down stairs. 
We had lunch with Auntie and some friends, talked about Water's kemem (how is that baby old enough that we're talking about a kemem!), and caught the ferry back in time for naps.  Definitely a morning well spent!

On the ferry to Ebeye

Fire's Family Day

May 4, 2015

  In our family, each child has a special day, their Family day; the day we celebrate all our child's family, the first ones and seconds ones, the ones here in the Marshalls and the ones far away.  As Family day approaches, we'll make a point of reading a child's Special Book, one that I made that tells their story and has pictures of everyone who loves them.  We'll talk about their adoption day and remind them of how happy we are to be a family.  On your Family day, you get to pick what we have for dinner and what we do as a family that evening.
  This past weekend we celebrated Fire's third family day with homemade chicken nuggets and mac and cheese while watching the Avengers, one of Fire's favorite movies.  I can't believe that it's been three years and at the same time, I can't believe that it's only three years.  Fire, you're amazing in every way and our family wouldn't be as wonderful as it is without you!

Adoption day, 2012
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