Friday, October 26, 2012


Missing good friends, curry, chicken rice with lime juice, English being spoken (in the street (beyond hello :) ), warm island air, Fairprice (although a new grocery opened just up the road-I'm going to check it out today), and the beautiful trees of Singapore! 

Don't get me wrong it's great here too, but as we tell everyone Singapore was home for eleven years.  You don't get over that quickly!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ana Wanted You to Know...

She  completed her first 100 piece puzzle (with a little help on the dogs faces).  This was a tricky puzzle--Good Job!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Massive firework displays are pretty common here.  There are also lots of firecrackers.  At first the kids were alarmed, but not anymore!  They're loving all the noise-as only kids can!

Singapore Flashback 1

It was great fun to meet up with four alumni from ICS. One of these students I knew as a fifth grader! They've done a lot of interesting things already.  Over Northern Indian food ( I SO MISS IT!), we chatted about future plans.  We hope to meet up with one when we next come back to the States-he's in medical school in Ohio.  It's beyond encouraging to see former students doing well, tackling hard things, and becoming leaders in their community.  Hooray for Third Culture Kids! (Kids that grew up in another culture.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Kitchen

Although this kitchen is MUCH smaller than my kitchens in Singapore, it does have lots of storage space.  I love the view from the window and there is even room for the water dispenser!  We had to do a little gluing as all the facings were falling off the cabinets, but besides that it's been an easy room.  As I cook almost all our meals I'm really GRATEFUL for a nice place to spend time in!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Just so you know...I've been subbing in kindergarten this week.  I'll get back to posting shortly!  See you soon!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pirate Party in the Park

Ana had a great time at the Pirate Party.  The sculpture park where it was held was beautiful too.  I'd like to explore it more!  Ana dug for treasure, made a pirate necklace, and consumed lots of sugar.  We got lots of stares on the way to the bus in our pirate gear!  Thank goodness for scrap fabric.  If we would have had black paper we would have attempted a pirate hat too! 

Make Your Own!

So granola bars about 10 dollars a box here!  All the ingredients are easy to get, so we've been looking for our go to recipe.  I tried the pioneer woman's first.  We didn't like the molasses in it. 

Then I tried these.  I wasn't too keen on a whole can of sweetened condensed milk, but with all the healthy stuff I added I figure they cancel each other out!

changes I made:  I added an egg and a 1/2 cup of peanut butter.  I omitted the butter.  My three cups of extras included wheat germ, flax seed, coconut, peanuts, chocolate, and almonds.

Give it a try.  They fill you up and are delicious!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Our Flat (part 1)

 The bedrooms in our house aren't huge.  China's room is especially small, but his loft bed gives him a lot more space.  We hope to put a desk under his bed and repaint everything white.  We're also thinking of removing the ceiling fan (it doesn't work anyway!) as it's a hazard as you get into bed!  As his quilt went missing in the container we'll have to think of a new theme!  Who knows maybe we can find some soccer material here!
Ana and Mitike's room is really cute.  I have a few other things to hang up, but it's mostly done.  It's a fun, colorful room! I'm glad that I had most of it done in Singapore!  The company supplies really beautiful dressers and wardrobes and they repainted everything before we got there.  Now if we can keep it looking this nice!

More rooms to come!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I'm finally to the point where I can sit down and work on some things just for fun--it's nice.  Today I worked on recovering some pretty grungy potholders.  As I can't get the heat resistant batting here, it seemed like a good idea to just recover the ones I have.  Seemed to work pretty well and only took about 15 minutes per potholder.  The best part about it is that it used up scraps and cost no money!  Yeah!

The Birthday Gift

Ana has quite an interest in sewing--probably because I sew all the time.  So for a friend's birthday she drew this cute little flower.  She then (quite decisively) picked out all the material and buttons.  We learned how to sew on a two hole and four hole button as well as doing a little bit of straight sewing on the machine.  How's that for an educational gift?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Around Town

 On Tuesday we went with our host family to Taidong.  We saw lots of nice shops, the expat tailor (Matt wants to get a dress coat made), the women's and children's market (can you say toys, shoes, and clothes galore???), and Wal-Mart.
 So what if it is NOTHING like a US Wal-mart.  They did have "Great Value" (Wal-Mart brand) pork floss.  I was hoping for some Fritos or something.  NO such luck :)
This is an amazing "sculpture" that they put together for National day (I think).  It's a violin made entirely from plants.  Kind of made me think of the Rose Bowl Parade!  You never know what you'll see--life is interesting here!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


 As I still don't have a home computer, I haven't edited any of these pictures!  I would like to edit this one though!
This is the entry way at her school.  They always have the birthdays up--it just happened to be a spirit day too.  Ana borrowed an Australian hat from another family.

This is Ana's  classroom.  Yes, there are only seven students (with two teachers!!!)  I think it might be my dream job!
Ana's birthday gift was a little Japanese kitchen.  Daddy had to slave over this the night before because one piece wasn't made correctly and had to be adjusted.  But, in the end everyone was happy! 

The Outdoor Classroom

 Ana's preschool, which is an extension of ISQ, has an outdoor classroom.  There is a water table, a sand play area, a garden, and lots of other areas to dig in.  (This area is on the third floor!) They've brought in stumps to jump on, shells to turn into mosaics, rocks to sort, and lots of other fun things.  Why?  For city kids--like Ana--they are often completely away from nature.  This gives them the chance to experience nature without having to make long field trips.  Besides what little kid doesn't like to dig in the dirt? 

Monday, October 1, 2012


-In Singapore you could speak English and almost always be understood.  Here you speak English and everyone speaks back to you in rapid fire Chinese.  No one understands--or occasionally you find a young college student willing to try out his English!
-There are no hawkers.  We were told that the city was "cleaned up" for the Olympics.  This removed many of the street vendors.  Oh what I wouldn't do for a plate of chicken rice or bowl of fish ball noodles!
-In Singapore we were surrounded by water and rarely saw it.  Here we're seeing, walking by, and smelling the ocean every day.
-In Singapore I got hot/sweaty almost every day.  It's a rare thing here and a nice change!  I can mop the floors without needing to take a shower!
-In Singapore the bus stops are relatively close together.  Get off early here and you'll  be walking a block or two to the next bust stop!  There is a subway being built-I'm looking forward to that!
-So I knew China was the land of the firework/firecracker, but I had no idea how frequently they use them!  We've seen a couple of fourth of July shows already and firecrackers were used hourly during the hungry ghost festival.  Yesterday was the first day of autumn (on the lunar calendar) and there were lion dances/firecrackers galore.  Singapore had all these things in moderation :)
-Because of where we live, the nights are much quieter.  We have no traffic noise, no Hindu temple, and no drunks breaking beer bottles underneath us!
-We stand out here much more than in Singapore.  Singapore has so much diversity.  Plus with three kids of different races, we are considered a "wonder."
-Singapore was often much more convenient.  I remember whining about walking to the store.  What I wouldn't give for my mall next door!  Here it is a 16 minute walk to the closest grocery.
-Singapore had 12 hours of day and night the whole year.  Here in the summer the sun rose at 4:30 am.  Now it is rising around 6 and getting later everyday.  This has helped my kids sleep later!
-Here our school is almost 80% Korean.  In Singapore it was around 25%.
-In Singapore (on staff) the school had three stay at home moms.  Here there are around 20!  It makes for a really nice family oriented environment. 

To sum it up there are things (and PEOPLE) that we desperately miss from Singapore, BUT we are enjoying some of the wonderful, new things here!
To add to this random post... Here's a picture of the golf course by the ocean (on a rainy day) for all you Eilers that want to come golf!

The joys of an Ayi that can cook!

After we first got here I didn't really feel like we needed an Ayi.  Matt talked me into one day a week.  The Ayi we have has lots of experience cooking for Western families and she is a HARD worker.  She does a lot of different things in one day!
 Fresh tortillas anyone?  Notice how perfectly round they are!
 Ana loves to cook and the Ayi is teaching her lots of Chinese.  Here they are making dumplings from scratch!
 It's not uncommon for them to make 100 at a time!
 Ana's job was to fill them and pinch them closed.  She was pretty good by the end!
Here's some finished ones.  You stick them in the freezer and then they can be pulled out and easily used.  They were yummy!!