Monday, February 28, 2011

Misc.

This is one of the neighbor boys. He is the same age as Ana and drives a yellow motorized motorcycle. When they're not zooming around the HDB, they exchange candy, and talk about very random things. It's very amusing to listen in! Because his family are conservative Muslims, he is not allowed to come into our house. Ana wanted me to show you her fingernails and
face paint. Although it disappeared the same day in the Wong's pool, she still loved it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

SAS County Fair

We went up to the Singapore American School this morning. (This is the largest American school outside of the US--somewhere around 3, 000 students. Their campus is awesome!) At their County Fair they have a HUGE book sale. (The quality and prices are really good.) They also have games and great food. We ended up eating pulled pork sandwiches, dunkin donuts, a s'more, and an icee. It is about an hour trek up to the North part of the island--so I wouldn't recommend this every week, but once a year is OK!

It was, of course, much more expensive than our carnival. I liked how different student groups ran the games to raise money for different international charities and how many students were participating. We saw a few people we knew which was fun too!
Ana got her nails painted, and

her face painted, and
rode a little train, and
played in a fun bouncy castle.
All these pictures were taken with Matt's phone camera. I carried my big camera all the way up there and my battery went out. (It was my second battery that I don't often use--need to get it properly charged and use it more often!!)

There's A First Time For Everything!

Matt came home with a very unique gift-YAK jerky! We gave it a try at dinner. Spicy, but very tender. It would be great for a road trip. (And yes, this is my fourth post today!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Pattern


I just finished this new pattern. It's a reversible tunic. I made it a size too big, but because it ties at the waist and shoulder, it's still really wearable! I'm planning to add another strip near the bottom and perhaps change the red belt. The flower buttons on, so that it can be removed for washing. I think this is a really useful item. I can just picture her spilling something on one side. All you'd have to do is take her to the bathroom and turn it inside out!

India Team Workout


Our India team got some practice leading and playing games with our first graders. Although this is a much smaller group than we will have, it's still a great way to get everybody in the right mindset. Our team did a fantastic job leading and Ana enjoyed the playing. It was BLAZING hot--so she esp. enjoyed the piggyback ride after we were done!

Relief

The owner of our flat e-mailed us the other night and asked us to contact her. We were so worried! (We don't LOVE this apartment, but it is BIG, low rent, and SUPER convenient!) "Is she wanting to raise the rent? Are they coming back to Singapore?" It ended up that the relatives had walked by. Seeing the Chinese New Year decorations they assumed we were subletting to Chinese people. We reassured here we were living here. (She wasn't that worried and told her family that Americans decorate for EVERYTHING!) She is coming back at the end of May to clean out the storage room! That indeed is a HAPPY thought!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Independence


Independent. PINK! Ana picked out this outfit. She put on everything by herself including the shoes and socks. Although it's not what I would have picked, it matches and required no effort from me!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Preview


I'm excited to say that I have all the blocks for Mitike's quilt pieced! Now I just need to get them laid out and sewn together! It will definitely be a "cheerful" quilt!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

International Night

On Friday we went in to school in the afternoon. We had a good dinner with the Tans at a Chinese noodle shop. (I had pumpkin noodles and they were great!) We loved the show this year. Ana actually sat there for two hours! It was pretty entertaining I guess!




Ana went "American" this year! Here she is with another staff kid wearing her traditional Korean outfit. There was also a part of the show displaying saris from different parts of India. This girl is one that always goes on our India trip.

The Korean fan dance was Ana's favorite. There was also a couple of Indian dances and a very cool Korean pop dance.

There was a country song, traditional Korean drums, and Filipino singers and dancers.

My personal favorite was the New Zealand chant. This is one of our seniors who led the chant. (He isn't from New Zealand, just big and loud!) This chant is to challenge other tribes--supposed to be intimidating!

We didn't leave school until 9--so Ana wasn't in bed until 10:30! It was still well worth all the grouchiness of Saturday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pattern Testing



In the last week and a half I have tested two patterns for online shops. The first was a nice, long top. It was very simple and had some problems (but that's why you test it!). The second was for an Israeli lady who has been writing patterns for a Chinese clothing company. The pattern was near perfect (in my estimation). I learned some new tricks and it came out sooo cute!! Everybody at school loved it! I hope to be working with her again in the near future.

My Birthday



I had a great birthday. Matt came home early and both Ana and I got some nice gifts. Ana got a Chinese jewelry box and a new necklace. I got a new camera lens and some blue Chinese lanterns. Valentine's day here is crazy--everyone goes out and the prices are raised really high! So, we ate in. We had Palak Paneer (spinach with goat cheese), daal, naan, and rice. For dessert I made a pumpkin cream cheese pie. It was a strange combination, but very delicious!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Big Purchase

I think the last really expensive thing we purchased was my camera. We're cheap BUT somethings are important--like sleeping well. One night I went in and slept on the bunk bed and had great rest (until Ana discovered me at 2 am!) So, we (rather I took the husband along) decided to go mattress shopping. There was a new mattress store in the mall next door. We walked in--no prices on anything. I almost turned around and left. I'm glad we didn't. The owner showed us a locally manufactured mattress that while having some of the great qualities of foreign mattresses (A serta here can run 3,000$) is cheaper because it's made right here. It also is esp. made for heat/humidity and people that don't use the air con. He took some money off. He threw in two pillows and a mattress protector. He promised free delivery and removal. We went and ate chicken rice and went back and bought it. My back says hurrah!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Choosing To See

I just finished reading "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman. Some of it was very difficult to read, but I really liked how many of Steven's songs come straight from life. I also appreciated these two quotes as they encourage me as I wait and wait and wait!

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory. William Barclay.

We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. C.S. Lewis

CNY Day 4

Here are some of my favorite red packets this year!
Looking very Chinese :) (She really though she was!)
On the fourth day we went to church. I happened to to be the helper in Ana's class. All the children (even the really good quiet ones) were SO wound up. After church all the aunties handed out red packets and the kids really went crazy!! We then went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch and were suprised by a lion dance there too. This was the best one I've seen recently--the guy doing the head did a great job! Although Ana was scared at first (it was really loud and really close!) she was glad when the god of prosperity handed out candy afterwards!

video

Saturday, February 5, 2011

CNY-Day 3

We had quite a peaceful morning and Ana actually took a nap. She even fell asleep in five minutes! Then we went to visit a new staff baby. He was very sweet. Ana loved his little toes and fixed his hair repeatedly. From there we headed over to the Wongs for dinner.

Dinner included pork knuckle, duck, ham, eggs, rice, rice noodles, a special red soup, and vegetables. Delicious!
Ana and Joshua had to show off their chopstick skills!!

We were told this dish is very Singaporean. It's shredded vegetables topped with a plum sauce, oil, cinnamon, pepper, and raw salmon. Very Yummy! You are supposed to "toss" it and say happy things like "Big Bonus" or "Long Life."

Here's a pre-tossing view!

Here's the sweet little baby!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Adoption Update

For those of you we haven't spoken with lately, here's the latest!

-The Ethiopian courts are now requiring a death certificate for the parents of the children. It's not impossible to get, but much more difficult as you are supposed to have two pictures of the deceased person. Some of these children do not remember there parents. Therefore, the Ethiopian orphanage (not our agency) will try to find the people that dropped them off and get the necessary information from them. This of course takes time. In China's case it could be exceedingly difficult.
-The Ministry of Women's Affairs is now threatening to not give any more approval letters until all adoptive parents have caught up on their post placement reports. (You do four the first year and then one every year until they are 18).
-The US embassy is now investigating and/or requiring more information on 90% of all Ethiopian adoptions! While it used to be about four weeks from court to embassy appointment, it can now be much longer. One family that passed court in late Nov. still has not been invited for their embassy appointment!

To sum it all up: We have no idea when we'll be traveling and/or coming to the States. We are glad it does seem that it will not interfere with our upcoming India trip!

Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year can be a little slow if you don't have a bunch of reunion dinners to attend. A lot of the shops close for a couple of days (although each year more stores stay open). We went out in the early mornings and were glad to be going home as great herds of people were going out!