Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Idul Fitri 1435

a look at the idul fitri prayer time at our neighborhood's mosque...

idul fitri is the most important holiday on the muslim calendar, celebrating the end of the month of fasting.  for a little more insight (and a few more photos) you can take a look at last year's holiday here

Monday, July 28, 2014

the bbq battle

a few weeks ago i tried to take some photos of mary for her 5 year photos (3 months late)… didn't really get anything i like because she determined to pose her body awkwardly and give me cheesy smiles.  after a few minutes and seeing her determination to dominate the shoot with cheese, i told her she could be in charge of this shoot and i'd be in charge of the next.  :)  we'll see.  

then luke wanted me to take a few pictures of him when we got home.  we went to little porch because it was almost dark and he posed for me too.  what's with the awkward head tilts, children!?!

luke has been eating his one heaping scoop of shredded bbq chicken for almost 2 hours tonight.  (two hours is not usual, but it's very usual that he is at the dinner table by himself 30 minutes after everyone is done eating).  with one bite left he has to go pooh.  of course.  he comes up to me and says, i have a surprise for you!!  he shows me his undies that have no pooh in them… it's a miracle that he is very proud of! (poohing in the potty before soiling his undies happens about 1 out of 15 times.  awesome.)  he wants me to go tell daddy, who has just been released from the "bbq battle of 2014"… daddy's only question is "is the chicken done?!"  i go back to luke, who is on the potty, and with a proud sparkle in his eye he says, "did you tell daddy?  what was he like!?!"  i couldn't break it to him that daddy thinks that it should be normal for him NOT to pooh his undies and it should also not take 2 hours to eat 12 bites of chicken.  i told him daddy said he was awesome.  he threw his head back, laughing in delight at his achievements.  

but clearly, he's very manly on most occasions.  

on another note, today mary watched bob ross (the painter from the 80's) for over an hour.  she loved him!  she cracks me up.  as soon as she finished him making this amazing mountain landscape she says, can i paint now?!?  i was slightly concerned that she would be disappointed at her finished product after seeing bob's… but luckily she was pleased with her painting of me, her, daddy, a sun and a cloud.  can i just reiterate, she watched an hour of bob ross!  ha!!

she and luke also played Little House of the Prairie for approximately 4 hours today.  that is currently a regular occasion.  it's magical that they play so well together right now.  it's new and a blessing from God.  the only annoying thing is that for some reason my bedroom is always the river, the flood or the wagon.  i'll take it for hours of entertainment and watching a sweet friendship bud. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

we love the village!

a few weeks ago we had the honor of going to our friends' village for a special occasion.  their younger brother was going through a "rite of passage" and we were able to be there to celebrate with them.  the ceremony was at a pesantran, which is a boarding school where kids receive a muslim education.  my friends stopped going to traditional school in 3rd grade but spent a few years of their teenage life there.  we were able to see where they lived at the school and meet some of their teachers.  we were also involved in an extensive, spontaneous photoshoot with the current students.  :)  my kids weren't impressed!  luckily we had invited two American friends to come along for the experience so they were able to be the models while i protected my over-stimulated kids.  :)  

here is mary and luke hiding out in one of the rooms… trying to escape the attention.  i mean, i understand… look at those cuties in their indonesian attire!  mary knew that everyone would be wearing a veil there and that, out of respect for my friends and their community, i would be wearing one also.  she wanted to wear one so badly… and i think she looks pretty darn cute.  

"mama alif" putting mary's head covering on...

mary and our buddies, alif and adik fahri

that afternoon we just hung around the village.  we met a ton of people hanging around and they were all relatives of some sort!  the relatives just kept coming!  here's an adorable little baby that lives next door to my friends' grandma.

many of my friends' relatives farm ducks (i mean, how do you even say that?!?)… i've never seen herds of ducks before and it was amazing!  they move in waves… our little friend (who is 18 months) walked through the pack of ducks and they ducks beautifully shift their position in a way that is so fluid.  it was incredible!  we watched them for a long time!

on our walk… so green and fresh!

and here are my friends eating together.  they had the food on a piece of wax paper and then just all dug in. 

the aunt who was eating a chicken foot.  if i'm honest, i could hardly handle watching her eat it!  she was talking to me just chopping on the foot… toe ligaments flapping as she flung her hands in expression.  it was so sick!  i've told my friends' my true feelings about chicken feet… they were dying laughing at how grossed out i was at something so normal to them.  

then luke and alif got to feed some goats just before it got dark…. and another crowd of relatives gathered.  

this was now about a month ago but i didn't want it to go "undocumented".  we're planning on going back next week for idul fitri, it's the big holiday at the end of the fasting month.  looking forward to our time there again!  so thankful for the friendships, green space and fresh air!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

my birthday highlights...

today was my birthday and i'm going to bed thankful.  here are a few of the highlights i don't want to forget...

danny surprised me and bought me a sewing machine!  (mine broke in transport to indonesia 3 years ago)   it was out of the ordinary, thoughtful and very unexpected.  thank you danny!  i love it!  i can't wait to make matching bow ties for you and lukey.  ;)

i dropped the kids off for their first day of school.  i know i'm biased, but i just think they are so cute all ready for school!  luke was a screaming mess when i left him but they assured me it was momentary. :) so thankful for all bright school… we really love it!  and, i just can't get over luke in that uniform.  

 then i made dinner and my birthday cake… you kind of have to have a birthday cake if you have kids that want to celebrate you and baking a cake is a bit above danny's culinary skills.  so, i baked my own.  :)  and these littles played in mary's room together for over 2 hours with no fighting… something is happening in their little friendship and it's beautiful.  it's a gift to me.  and they were happy to be called to the kitchen to lick the icing beaters.  

somewhere in between making the cake (and being in the kitchen for far too many hours!) and going on a walk, i had a low moment.  overwhelmed, tired of working my tail off at home and wanting to be in america with friends and family.  i went in my room, cried out to God and told him how i really felt.  then, i repented of my self pity and lack of belief in God's goodness towards me…. and he met me with his kindness and mercy.  i had the strength and joy i needed to keep pressing on.  so thankful that i have a Savior who is so there for me, even in the day to day moments.  

we went on a walk around my neighborhood and found the performing monkey.  at the end he grabbed his "prayer mat" and did the forms of muslim prayer.  a trick i hadn't seen before!  :)

mary wanted to buy me a movie for my birthday… it's the first time she's chosen a present for me.  luke spoiled the surprise today and she cried.  but, danny assured her that i didn't know which movie they were getting so it would still be a surprise.  apparently in the store she said, "i know daddy!  mommy probably thinks we're going to get a kid movie but let's surprise her and get a movie for just you and her to watch together."  sometimes i can't get over how sweet she is.  

the movie was accompanied by this beauty from danny.  :)  get it?  i'm 33.  33 is larry bird's number.  danny has been really excited to celebrate this birthday!  he was so impressed with his craft.  it was cute.  

the kids drew on the inside.  mary drew her and i in matchy-matchy dresses on a walk together.  luke drew a big black bean.  he was excited to tell me about it too!  hilarious.

lastly, we brought cake and ice cream to our friend's house and sang/ate the cake together.  this is the best picture i got.  :)  they eat outside on a mat every night so we joined them.  we ate cake, the kids played on the street and the parents chatted (about half of which i didn't understand because they use their people group language, not indonesian).  though i couldn't draw up people much more different than us, they have welcomed us into their family and make us feel almost normal here.  we're not "special" anymore, we're just normal friends and i love that.  

thanks for making my day special, danny.