Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Easter 2010

We are so thankful for all the blessings we have been given, especially the gift that God gave us... His own dear Son, who rose from the dead that first Easter morning!
These crosses were left from the Indonesian Christians celebrating Easter morning in Tembagapura.
A nice family picture before we ate brunch at the Lupe...
Even though we could not spend Easter with family this year, we celebrated Easter with some friends, who have become part of our family. Stu, Michelle, Will, and Alexia. When we were getting ready to move to Indonesia, I prayed that God would give me a friend.... (I have been sitting here for five minutes trying to write down a description of what I prayed for)...... I guess all I can say is, it's Michelle! He sent me Michelle... to keep me from being home sick.... to laugh with.... to talk to.... to walk with...up and down these hills twenty times a day...... to have lunch with.... to just hang out with..... Oh, do we have a good time! I am very thankful for Michelle...... aka "The Other Blond" and "Bar"!
A picture of all the kids in front of a (I think) haul truck tire. Hmmm, is someone standing on her tip toes???? This is not in the middle of town.... at least I don't think so.... but it is one of the very few town decorations!
A picture of all of us after a wonderful meal.
Walking home..... Why are we walking... other than it was a beautiful day..... Pak Chris lost his drivers license! Doing 25 in a 15....that's kilometers!
Anyway, Gabby in her, kind of, sort of, matching polka-a-dots.
Dad and his oldest holding hands on the walk home.....
So, that was our Easter. It was a wonderful day. And if I can remember right, the rain waited until late afternoon. So we got to enjoy most of the afternoon outside.
Happy Easter to All!
aka "The Other Other Blond" and "Bee"
Ps Having some fun with the computer and a photo program. I just get a kick out of these kinds of pictures. I always seem to make myself laugh out loud!
"The men in Tembag, have the biggest HEADS!"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

While you have been waiting.....

I know it's been a while, and you people don't think I do anything (those of you who keep sending me messages that I am behind on my blog :-).... but I have been busy.... as you soon will find out! And just for some added sympathy, I was sick on top off all of this.... I know, boo hoo to me :-) So here you go, my lovely audience...
Christmas in March!!!
At least that's what everyone told us it would be like when our sea container came.... But I am sure their container didn't come like this....
(One more thing I have to put in here before I tell the story is that the kids and I were in Australia when our container arrived. It is very important as the story goes on!!!)
Well ok, carrying on, all sea containers come up the mountain on trucks like this.... It is quite amazing that these big trucks can even come up the roads that we have here. It probably takes 2+ hours for these trucks to go from port side to Tembagapura....that is if they didn't have to clear customs and sit in the low lands just for the heck of it. From the time the sea container hit port, it was one month before it made it up to our house. (This is also important as the story continues!)
This is our container number. Don't really know why I put this picture in, but it was definitely important for the facilities guys.
And this is why that number was so important! When the facilities guys opened our container, this is what they found.... Yep, That is WET cardboard! YUCK...with a capital Y!
Now at this point the facilities guys didn't know the extent of the damage, they just called Chris and told him it didn't look good!

After the facilities guys pulled out the wood crates from the metal sea container, this is the water that was left. Lovely....
And all of this, because of this one little hole....
Chris calls me while we are in Australia with the good and bad news. The good news...our sea container arrived...the bad news...of course that it was wet. We still did not know how bad everything was. Chris stayed home from work the next day so the stuff could be delivered to our house. The things that were wet, were left outside...
Wet movies... So far, we have not found any that were ruined.
Our ottoman, that we have had for almost ten years, is off to the dump. This is where I am soooo thankful I was not at home! I hate mold!
A basket we brought, covered with mold!
This is where I am even more thankful I was not at home....Chris took everything out of the wet boxes to start drying them out. Most things were saved...at least the ones that were just wet and didn't already have mold growing on them. Did I already tell you, I HATE MOLD!
This was only part of the stuff drying out. The kitchen counters were full!
So after Chris had everything cleaned up, this is what was left for me to unpack when I got home.

Because things were drying out on the table, our living room floor served as our table, for the next few days. I don't think the kids minded at all!
So even though our things didn't come totally unharmed, we are very thankful to have our own creature comforts back! The damage could have been so much worse. The "experts"...the facilities guys, and Chris....think what happened was our crates were put in a damaged sea container, but our container was on the bottom, or covered by another container, so the water from the sea didn't get in.... If that would have happened, the mold would have been everywhere! They think that all the water came from the container sitting down in Timika, (the lowlands) and rain coming in because now it was uncovered. Because it took a month to get up mountain, the conditions were ripe for the mold to grow. If it had come up the hill right away.....well, I guess we will never know...
It has taken me a while to unpack, but we are very close to being done. When everything is put away, I will post pictures of the "finished" product.
Sorry for the delayed postings!
One more thing..... You know, the Christmas deal.....the kids now have all their toys that we sent over the sea..... Well, this is what they played with..........the BOXES!!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Finally our trip to Australia....

Warning: This may not be what you expected!

So we have been here for almost three months, and we were finally released from the jungle to go to Australia.... at least the kids and I were. (Chris has to work for the company for six months before he can leave on vacation.) So why did we go to Australia? Orthodontists Appointments! Yep, that's right! Mersades already has metal in her mouth..... because if we didn't get her teeth fixed right away, they would have fallen out. (Dad, that's for you!) :-) The boys on the other hand were recommended in the states to get started, but we decided to wait until we got over here. For some reason Chris' and my genes didn't mix in the teeth department. All four will eventually have something done. So for those of you who feel sorry for us, I have a donation jar set up on my desk.... No checks please... :-)
Ok, sorry, back to Australia...
So from the last post, I explained how we got down the mountain. This is how we get to Australia...
We hop on this shuttle/bus.....
Which takes us to our "playground" in the sky.....
I am not kidding you, there were about 30 people on this plane, and over half of them were kids! 16 kids under the age of 15.....to be exact! Why the "playground"? Because over half of the plane was made into a fort with blankets thrown across the seats! Man, these kids have it tough!! (Rolling my eyes here!)
After a short flight of two hours of fun, we are making our decent into Cairns. (Again, for those of you in Rio Linda, it is pronounced "Cans".) Ha Ha Ha! I will give Gavin credit for these next two pictures.
I had Gavin take this picture for my dad to show him the fields of sugarcane. We are just about in the ground.... oops, I meant ON the ground...if you didn't catch that. :-)
So now we are at the Coconut resort checking in, and the baby turtles are keeping the kids entertained.... They are soooooo cute!
So now when I am talking about kids, I am talking about 8 to 12 of the 16 kids that were on that plane. There were three sets of a mom and four kids, in our group. We all ended up getting cabins by one another.
So after we were all checked in, we had to head back into town to get x-rays for the next days ortho appointments. We got the x-rays, got some food, and headed back to go swimming. It was an early to bed night because we had all been up since four in the morning, to catch the "playground" ummm, I mean plane.
The next day, Tuesday, we hop on a shuttle bus to get to the appointments. Appointments went well. Mersades got part of her herps appliance off, and both the boys got the molds taken for their retainers. Because the Orthodontist works with the families who travel these crazy distances to do this, the boys were set up for an appointment, on Thursday, to get their retainers.
So what do we do for the next five days that we are "stuck" in Australia? We PLAY!!! Here are some pictures of the kids playing....
Teddy and his girls...... only when they weren't Gavin's girls!
The kids jumping on the bouncing pillows.
Gavin with his girls...
The next two pictures are of the kids trying to break open the coconuts that were all around the resort.
Mersades with a friend/classmate taking off the outside layers. Very difficult to do! They were using a butter knife!
Once they drained out the milk and got the outside layers off, they would throw the coconuts on the ground to get the meat. One of the workers came by and said that there were many grown men who couldn't do that. Let me tell you, this was one of the best forms of entertainment for the kids!!!
One day, when my friend Christy (mother of 4 girls) and I watched all 12 kids, we rented these pedal bikes for the kids. By the end of two hours, they were hot and tired and ready for the pool!
The other mother, Sondra, while she was out, found sparklers for the kids.
There is Sondra with the kids.

Here is Christy.
And last, but not least! My favorite picture.... Sometimes I get lucky! :-) ......taking a picture, duh!
So hence the warning at the beginning.... this is what we did for the week in Cairns. Because Chris wasn't with us, we didn't go see anything "cool" like the Great Barrier Reef. We are saving that to do with dad when he is released from the jungle.
So now you have the story on how we get to the Orthodontists. Pretty Crazy, huh?
Straightening Teeth, and Emptying Dad's Pockets!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Weekend in Timika

In order for us to get to Australia, we had to get down the mountain. Since our flight to Australia left early Monday morning, we had to get down the day before. And because you never know what the weather may be for the choppers to fly, we decided to chopper down on Saturday and spend the weekend with dad in Timika. Timika is as far as Chris can go before his six month "imprisonment" is up.
If it is a good weather day, no low clouds, the chopper gets up here around 6:45 am. So we have to be at the helipad by 5:30. Then they "check" your luggage, and weigh you....this is because only so much weight can be on the chopper. Now this in no where close to being like the States.... they weigh you right out in the open with everyone watching!!! They don't give a rip to your privacy and really could care less if you complain..... so since I am always wearing a backpack, I tell them I have rocks in it! :-) It is a 15 minute flight, so we are in the lowlands/Timika by seven in the morning.
Here are the kids waiting at the helipad... Not too crabby for this early in the morning!
Our choice of limos. (It's really not a choice...) Most people get on the blue one coming in. And that day, that is the chopper we took.
The walk... Our bird's awaiting...
The sun rising over the mountains.... Yes, those are the ones we live in.
Because we were down so early in the morning and our rooms were not ready, we put the swim suits on and headed for the pool. It's about 85 degrees all the time, so you can swim from sun up til sun down. You just have to be out of the pool before the mosquito's come out.
My boys... Good looking chaps!
Mersades jumping off the rocks.... isn't it amazing?? You can jump off the rocks, and not get in trouble here..... You crack your head, it's on you!
Also in the back ground... a picture of the hotel.
Hollywood, aka Gabrielle, came to town with us...
This is probably my favorite plant/flower here. I have no idea what it is, but I just like it.
On Sunday, we went into "town". This is a picture of one of the shops.
After some shopping, we headed back to the hotel and more swimming. It was probably the first time I ever went through a whole bottle of sunscreen! After swimming, we had an early dinner and then off to bed. The next morning was going to be an early one!
Next up, Australia!