Tuesday, December 27, 2011

they love each other.

mary and luke in their christmas pjs... 

a little explanation about their christmas pjs:  i had the pants made by a woman here... i gave her a pair of mary's pj pants and told her to make one that size and one a 2 inches shorter.  they're the most awkardly shaped pants (nothing like the originals) but i love them!  i put the little stars on the white shirts.  i keep telling indonesians that it's an american tradition for children to wear matching christmas pajamas.  danny corrects me and says it's only in my family.  i still hold my position.  it's my culture.  :)  


i love luke's teethy grin.  



she is so sweet to him.  sometimes she's not, but she usually is.  she's started comforting him a lot... 'it's okay bubs, mama will be right back.' or 'i'm sorry bubs, are you okay?' after he falls.  and he loves her.  she loves to make him laugh and he loves watching her be silly.  it's the sweetest thing to watch them enjoy one another.  



racing to mama, luke's walking in action.  his legs go just as much to the side as they do forward when he walks.  it's so cute.  






LOVE THEM.


Monday, December 26, 2011

first christmas in indonesia

we had a wonderful christmas this year!  though it was very different than any i've had before, we were thankful and had a great time.  instead of having 45 family members and a hired santa come to my parent's house we had our little family of four, auntie kim and leslie. 

Christmas eve we went to a church service here and then came home and started our first annual christmas tradition.  we sang two christmas songs together and then read the story of the birth of Jesus from mary's kid bible.  mary loved the story and luke loved dancing to the songs.  it was a sweet moment for our family and one that i look forward to expanding as our kids grow up.  

Christmas morning we woke up, open presents and then had a delicious breakfast (involving bacon, which is very special if you live in a country like ours).  here's our one family picture from the day... awesome, right?!?


luke was entirely clueless about christmas, but he did enjoy the wrapping paper and his new basketball.  mary is enjoying his other toys (especially his animals and safari truck).  :)


mary didn't really know anything about christmas except that it was "jesus' happy birthday" (as if she even understands what that means).  she was pretty excited when we told her there were presents and surprises.  after she opened the first few presents we had to convince her to open other ones... she didn't get that there were more.  but, she got the hang of it and was wanting to open everyone's by the end of the morning.  :)  

one thing that danny and i really wanted to get her was a guitar with real strings.  though it was only $7 she thinks she's the real deal now.  she carries it around and sings nonsense songs all of the time.  and, she sways her hips back and forth as she sings.  she's a trip sometimes.  


and they got swings!  i'm really excited about the swings.  playgrounds here aren't great (in fact, i think i've seen one baby swing in the country thus far) so this is fun for both of them.  



if you're wondering what the swings are hanging from... oh, our metal grating over our entire little backyard.  it's used to keep theives out and to hang swings.  perfect.  



danny and i watched "the navity story" during nap time.  first of all, i love watching movies during nap time... i feel like i'm on vacation.  it's a great movie and we went out to dinner with some good friends of ours here and then we ended the night with this... 


happy birthday, jesus!  


though it was sad to be away from family and friends, we're thankful for the grace that God has given us during this season.  we've tried to look at the positive things about being here right now and are thankful for the opportunity to establish our own family traditions and really enjoy our kids during these young years.  it's kind of neat to be away from the commercialization because we can really shape what our kids know about christmas.  we want to always remember that it is our Savior that we are celebrating.  as i've had longed for "home" here God has really encouraged me through scripture about His incarnation... that Jesus left His place in heaven and came to earth.  as i wrestle through hard days here (days of really missing family and friends or days of just wanting to not stick out or day of not wanting ants everywhere), God reminds me that Jesus gave up so much, not only in His death but in His life here on earth, and that He gives me the grace to walk the path He's marked for our family.  i'm so thankful that i have a humble Savior, who though He was God on earth, He didn't use it to His advantage (Phil 2) and became a servant.  even the story of His birth speaks of His humility and His love for the lowly.  I'm thankful for Jesus.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

mail!!!

we love getting mail!  all day i was listening to the gate, hoping that someone would come with our package from my parents... and someone came!  with one from my parents, one from my aunt and uncle and one for leslie.  they were such fun and timely surprises!!!  we realize that getting packages here isn't easy or cheap and we want to say THANK YOU!  it's really special to know that you all thought of us during this Christmas season.  Thanks mom and dad, joe and debbie and katie (for leslie).  :)  


here are the goods.  it's the little things, pumpkin pancake mix, a new dress, spices, cake/brownie mixes, cans of pumpkin, books, clothes for the kids... oh, and the adorable baby toms for mary.  :)  thanks!  



merry christmas eve, from the pierces!  

Friday, December 23, 2011

fun in batu


Auntie Kim is here!  mary and luke have been having a good ole time with their auntie.  on tuesday we went to a really cool zoo in batu, a city outside of malang... i was SO surprised at how nice and cool it was!  we were there for four hours and didn't even see all of the animals.  we're definitely going back!  and, of course, i took like five pictures because luke wanted to be held the whole time so he could see the animals too.  :)


mary checking out the turtles

this was one of my favorites, a white peacock.


the next day we went to this batu's town center.  they had a great playground, but unfortunately we didn't know that the local kindergarten was meeting there (with their parents) to pass out report cards... random.  so, it was really crowded!  this playground was the closest thing to the usual american playground, so i was really excited about it.  here's mary climbing the wall and all of the older kids waiting on her... :)


and they're still waiting... 


luke got some love from auntie kim too.  



luckily, those aren't auntie kim's legs  :)

one funny story from the night away... we were at the hotel's restaurant for dinner and there was a singer and a guy on the keyboard.  mary of course wanted to go dance in front of the singer so i took her up there and she danced away.  then the singer offered her a microphone and they sang twinkle, twinkle little star together.  it was so cute!  though it she was a little quiet, i was proud of mary for singing.  and she made the singer very happy!   



and one last cultural note.... THINGS YOU DON'T SEE IN AMERICA!


this was the sign in the stall of the bathroom at the zoo.  i died laughing.  traditionally people use a 'squatty potty' here but in most nicer public places there are toilets.  but sometimes people prefer their regular 'form' of going so they take their shoes off (yes, sometimes you can see empty shoes in bathroom stalls), stand on the toilet and sqaut.  apparently it isn't allowed at the zoo.  :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

baking away

mary loves to bake and we've been doing quite bit lately... and we'll be doing even more this week.  these pictures are from when she 'helped' us make the sugar cookie dough.  we didn't have time to let her 'help' us cut them (her helping usually increases the time and mess by at least 30%) but we're going to do that with auntie kim this week.  


who is auntie kim, you ask?  danny's sister who is coming to stay with us for two weeks from africa!!!  we are so excited to have her coming for christmas... the excitement of her coming has helped me deal with (or not think about) the sadness of missing family in the states.  something that makes her visit especially neat is that she actually hasn't met luke yet.  so, they'll get some good bonding time.  mary has yelled "AUNTIE TIM" (yeah, she says 'tim') as she hears someone coming in the house.  she's anxiously awaiting her special visitor!  


back to baking... i think mary actually like to cook for two reasons: 

1. because she eats every ingredient i use (flour, salt, sugar, butter... she wants a bite of it all, or 18 bites).  do you see the sugar on the tip of her finger?  she's happy about it!



2. because i let her crack the eggs by herself and she gets really proud of herself.  it's hilarious!  she slams it on the counter top (usually winds up really high and i think she's going to smash the egg everywhere, but she slows down right before it hits the counter), finds the crack and usually uses her pointer finger to dig the shell away and guide the egg  as it falls out.  



her little pointer finger in action.  :)

while i was taking pictures it was actually leslie helping her.  leslie, thanks for always being a great sport and letting mary 'help' you!  she loves it!  



while writing this post i was interrupted by mary... and it was funny.  she went to bed about 40 minutes ago and usually talks and sings for awhile.  she all of the sudden started moaning and whining for me so i went in and asked her what was wrong.  she said 'layla hit me.  layla hit me hard, like that...' while she smacked herself in the forehead kind of hard.  layla is her baby doll.  i laughed.  about once a week she tells me that layla took her blanket or layla kicked her in the back or some other offense.  for some reason i think it's funny every time.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

we have party every night?!?

earlier this week we had a little gathering at our house for the girls that leslie lives with.  leslie lives in a kos (hard to explain... kind of like a dorm, kind of like an apartment) with 9 other girls and we wanted to have a night to share a little bit of our culture with them during this Christmas season.  we hung out for awhile and mainly did this... 






that's right, just watch my kids play, sing and dance.  our kids did great with all of the new girls at our house.  then the food came and we had dinner.  after that, the real fun began and we decorated the Christmas cookies!  it was so fun!  


after the girls decorated a few cookies mary took over.  she sat on leslie's lap the whole time and leslie helped her...  she decorated a ton and ate way too much sugar!  she had a blast and especially loved the sprinkles!  we took her shirt off because of the food coloring... usually she wears clothes if there's a party at our house.  :)




the next night i was putting her to bed and she said, "mama, my friends come over more-gin (that means again)?!?  we have party every night!"  i think she loved it!  


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

side rolls.

first things first, do you see luke's side rolls?!?  so cute.  



sometimes luke is obsessed with me and just stands at my legs and yells until i pick him up... and carry him around all night.  so, i've started using the 'gendong' at home, like our babysitter does.  he likes it and i can get more done.  if you're wondering what that big light in the upper right hand corner of the picture is, that's our mirror and the flash shows you exactly how dirty it is.  luke likes to look in the mirror and put his sweaty little hands all over it.  and today we found mary rubbing a slice of cheese on the mirror.  not sure why she thought that was a good idea but that helps explain the gross mirror.  

more side rolls... 



the last few days ibu sri has come to babysit the kids her daughter has come along too.  she's in her last year of highschool but had less class because of finals.  mary loves when farah comes with ibu sri.  she's such a sweet girl and our kids love her.  

i think mary was telling her a story... a very serious one.

do you see what mary is wearing?  again, she picked out her own outfit....very usual.  a tanktop that she loves, a diaper with underwear over it  (after christmas we will again try to wear the underwear without the diaper underneath!) and luke's crocs.

Monday, December 12, 2011

i love it!

today i'm thankful for our neighbors: kasih (age 10), setia (age 8) and langgeng (age 6).  they live down the street from us and visited often for a month or two.  we didn't see them for quite a few weeks and then on luke's birthday they showed up with the sweet homemade card and a ball for luke.  i can't even remember telling them when his birthday was, but they remembered.  it was really sweet!  since then we've visited their house twice and they are just such an enjoyable family.  so inviting and so sweet to our kids.  we're thankful for friendly neighbors.  oh, and their mom is an english teacher so the oldest child can speak english... that's a plus for mary.  :)  unfortunately i can't find the one picture i have of them... but soon i'll post one.  


and i leave you with some fun pictures of my one year old... whom will be written about soon.  



sometimes when he's naughty he gets put in a laundry basket.  i wish.  

look at those chiclet teeth.  love them!  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

what, those don't look like cookies?

mary helped me make cookies last night... she loves to bake with me.  i now let her crack the eggs all by herself (into a different bowl so that i can remove any small shell that might find it's way in) and she loves it!  she saw me rolling the cookies and wanted to help... 


just your normal cookie, right?  i promise, they tasted better than they look (which doesn't say much seeing as though they look like... well, you know).  


she was proud of her little 'cookies' on her own cookie sheet.  



disclaimer... the first picture kind of makes me look like bad mom alert.  her elbow really wasn't that close to the candle... i promise.  she is really secure on the counter.  and, most importantly, the backsplash in our kitchen is white board so it's okay if i write the week's menu on it (and my little brother's phone number... i intend to call you soon, michael!).   :)  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

angry boy

oh no!  i can't reach the balloon.  
what do i do, mama?

get me that balloon!!!

don't just take pictures... help me, mama!
luke is generally a smiley, fun little guy but he also knows what he wants.  and when he doesn't get it he has a way of letting us know, as you see above.  sometimes his angry faces crack me up.  he also usually has a 4 second delay before he starts crying about something... which is also a little funny and really cute.  his bottom lip slowly comes out, he looks at me like 'how could you do that to me, mama!??!' and then 1-2-3 WAIL!  like if i take his milk cup away because it's all gone or i take him away from the dirt he is trying to eat.  crazy boy.  i love him.

Monday, December 5, 2011

i love it!

to continue my series on reasons i love indonesia... 

today i'm thankful for the flower market.  we went there for the first time on luke's birthday and it was so nice!  the flowers and plants were abundant and beautiful.  we went on a weekday during the day so it was so quiet and peaceful.  i hope to go more often.  i feel like it's a good place to practice talking to people because no one seemed to be in a rush... and it was peaceful so maybe it will ease my nerves a bit and i won't sweat so much when i try to speak in indonesian.  :)


we also bought one little bunch of flowers and i love them!  they're called 'sedap malam' and they smell so good in the evening (malam).  and, they were less than a dollar!  they're in our bedroom now and i'd like that to be a regular occurrence.  :)