Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Christmas Season Begins

After we set up our Christmas tree on November 22 (we wanted to get a good head start), the children were so inspired that they sat around the bottom and sing Christmas carols with festive hats.

Snow Waves

It's so windy here in Astana! The wind just blows the snow around all winter. I love how the snow looks like waves in the park across the parking lot.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Rocking Bear

Brucie got a rocking bear his first Christmas/New Years in Moscow. He loved it! Instead of singing "Horsey, horsey on our way..." (a popular nursery rhyme), I used to sing "Medvid, medvid (bear)" or "Meeshka, meeshka (teddy bear) on our way..." whenever Brucie would rock on his bear.

Unfortunatly, after a few years, the poor thing broke with so much love (and I think it was not made well). It wasn't supposed to make it to Kazakhstan, we were going to leave it behind, but the moving company packed it up before we noticed.

We kept it for a while, but it was time to get rid of the sad thing. We were just going to stick it in the dumpster, but I wondered if there might be someone who would want it and may be able to fix it, so we just put a free sign on it and set it downstairs by the elevator.

Brucie wanted pictures to remember his bear.

So sorry, Brucie dear! I know you loved your rocking bear. Sometimes it stinks to grow older!

*Brucie (age 3) and his bear*

Wonderful, Beautiful Produce!

When we first arrived in Astana it was kind of a challenge to get to the grocery store, and we would often run out of necessities before we went shopping again. One thing our family especially missed was not having fresh fruits and vegetables consistently on hand! We live for fresh produce!

Over a couple months later, a man started a business of delivering fruits and vegetable and he'd bring them right to our apartment! This was one of our first orders. It was such a beautiful sight! 

The produce delivery man has since vanished since the store downstairs opened, but we were SO grateful for him at the time! In fact, we'd probably still occasionally order from him if he was still around. There were things we could get from him that we just can't get downstairs.

Time Cafe

One night dinner just wasn't happening, so we took the family to the restaurant on the main floor of our building. It may be a long time before we go back with the kids, at least, but it's nice to be able to have somewhere to go not far from home for date nights.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Mom and Daughter Date

Kate and I both wanted our haircut, so we decided to make a mother/daughter date out of it. We are lucky to have a restaurant and a hair salon on the bottom floor of our building, so it was quite convenient! We made our appointment at the hair salon, then went to eat lunch at the café.

The service was super slow at the cafe, but we enjoyed ourselves. We shared a dessert at the end.

-This is supposed to be cheesecake-

It was fun getting our haircut together. There was only one hairdresser that was used to cutting women's hair, so we just shared her. The hairdresser was very meticulous, so it took a lot longer than we had planned. Kate went first.

Kate's lovely, long locks before:

-Kate saved her ponytail to donate. Our Kazakh hairdresser had never heard of donating hair, but thought it was a great idea.-


My hair before:

Us girls riding in the elevator home.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

William the Bunny

"You are what you eat". That's what they say. As a baby, William's favorite bottle of baby food in Moscow was rabbit stew. Hmm...

William loves this bunny costume. I made it for Bruce last Halloween from footed pajamas. The ears are from the feet that I cut off.

NU Faculty Housing Atrium

Our building has a great atrium that all the apartments surround! It gives you the sense that you're actually going outside when you walk out the door without facing the frigid temperatures in winter or bugs and heat in the summer. :-) I love the massive skylight where I can see sunshine, floating clouds,  and blue sky, or snow.

The atrium would be such a fun place to play, but as you may imagine it is VERY echoey. No matter what floor you live on, you can always hear when children are playing in the atrium, so we don't go very often. You can hear it even when you're inside your apartment. Sometimes I feel like we're living in an indoor swimming pool -- that's kind of how it sounds. 

-William singing-

It's also a quiet place for Kate to read a book in the evening. Though, once it starts getting dark, you're completely out of light!
-View looking down from near our apartment. Kate is the dark dot sitting on the wall on the left side.-

Getting Bulbous

This may be a silly post to share, but I couldn't leave it out. In the fall, Jon showed the children the Homestar Runner music video "Fish-Eye Lens". I thought it was so stupid the first time I watched it (and maybe the second and the third times…), but the children were always huge fans. One night we watched it again, and I was admittedly getting a little bit into it, and I got a free fisheye lens app. Fun and silliness proceeded.

Interested in watching the music video? Click the link:

Kazakh Armor

These Kazakh suits of armor were temporarily displayed at a mall near us. They were SO cool to see in real life!