Friday, August 22, 2014


Eliana has really been into making lines, toys, seems to be her theme right now. She created this line while I was cooking dinner yesterday...

I love seeing her personality come out more and more. Lots of fun at three!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I wanted to get a picture of Eliana's side ponytail because it was so cute but she was just interested in being silly. That's okay! She is cute no matter what!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Home Improvement

I have been wanting to change up Eliana's room for a long time now but at first we thought we would move out of our apartment after our stateside time and then we had to work out with the landlord getting rid of the two enormous chairs and the sleeper sofa that were in her room. We were able to get rid of the furniture a couple of weeks ago and this weekend finally had time to go out and look for shelving units and a twin-sized bed for her. Everything was delivered and put together yesterday and I just love it! Finally she has a space that is all her own and we have somewhere to put all her toys and books. I just feel so happy inside! You guys know I LOVE organizing so this task was weighing on me and now I just feel light and free!

I am especially thankful that everything came together so well and that we were able to find decent looking, reasonably priced furniture, which is not always the case here. The fact that we bought it on Saturday and everything was here and assembled on Sunday is an extra bonus. Did I mention I am excited?

Here's the new room...

We found this great twin-sized bed frame. The mattress is a bit hard but for now it's okay for Eliana. We will get some foam sometime soon. I brought back the bedding from the US. Thank you Target! That quilt has been on the wall from the beginning. Drew's Aunt Peggy made that for Eliana when she was born. I think Eliana was most excited to have more room for more animals on her bed!

These two shelves have mostly all her toys, books, game and puzzles. I wasn't thinking we'd get any with doors but in the end I like that some things aren't showing. A tub with her blocks, more stuffed animals and her baby strollers are next to the wall.

This end of her room has her kitchen and the bin with her kitchen items. My life-long friend's mom made the quilt hanging here for Eliana when sh was born. It now has a new home on the wall!

I am super excited about this cabinet. Finally I have space for all the crafting supplies. Now we can easily access coloring books, crayons, paint, paper, stickers...everything! It was such a pain digging through stuff before and now it's so easy to get to. I am excited! I tried to put all the things that I don't want her to have without my permission on the top shelf. Hopefully I am doing some damage control with that move. I also had good success finding storage containers around here and they also weren't too expensive. Yay!

Now this area can actually be just used for displaying things and for a place for her to sit in the future. It looks so much better and will be easier to keep clean.

Finally, this is how we found Eliana this morning. Not sure what this says about how she liked her new bed but I guess it worked for her!

I know things like this aren't the most important things in life but I am so thankful to have been able to do this for myself and for Eliana. It will just make a huge difference around here. Thank you Lord for the small (and big!) blessings!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Morning Fun

Eliana was awake really early one morning this week and she is not allowed to come out of her bedroom before 8:00 so this is what I found when we finally went in her room:

All of these are the toys for her baby's birthday party. Quite a long line of items!

I took the chance to get a couple of pictures of us. Yep, I got my hair chopped off too!

Eliana took this one! Love my sweet girl!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


They didn't last long because the desire to suck her fingers at bed time overcame her desire for cute nails, but it was fun for a few hours! The toenails are a much bigger success. She is into having two different colors these days with one foot being the "Daddy" foot and the other the "Mama" foot. I bet you can figure out which one is which.

Anybody else out there just love those chubby baby hands and feet? Some of my favorite things!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Curious Crafting

Last week at our Sunday group Drew and I were in charge of the kids. We took supplies to make suns for our craft- white circles yellow and orange triangles and crayons. All the other kids made their suns like most of us would have made them- something like this (minus the smiley face):

Here is the "sun" Eliana crafted:

Interesting... :-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Domestic Life

I spend a lot more time here cooking and doing things from scratch in order to enjoy more tasty foods. I realize how much more time I do this now having just returned from the US. I did not even use my rolling pin once while we were in the US and I certainly didn't can jam! Anyway, it's work and therefore takes time but it is worth it to have yummy food products to enjoy on a day-to-day basis.

Here is what is in our fridge right now...all except the jar of tomato sauce have been prepared since we returned...

1. Peach butter (like apple butter, but with peaches. I canned 6 or 7 of those small jars. 2. Raspberry jam- raspberries are crazy cheap here so it's an easy jam solution. However, this year I didn't measure my berries correctly and therefore added too much pectin so it's really thick. It tastes good though! 3. Strawberry sauce- I just made one jar of this with some strawberries we had left from Drew's birthday. Yummy! 

4. Tomato sauce canned last year by my house helper. 5. Salsa I canned last week. I think I filled six jars that size and one that is a quart size. 6. Bread and butter pickles- I made one recipe of these and they are easy and tasty.

I don't think I'm super special for doing all this. It really is only out of necessity, though I do enjoy providing for my family. I also really enjoy all these things already being provided for me but hey, you have to work with what you've got! I will do a large batch of tomato sauce canning at the end of the month and we'll be ready for winter!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Drew!

Yesterday was Drew's birthday and we had a fun day of celebration! Eliana helped me make our traditional birthday breakfast of biscuits, gravy, eggs and bacon. We had lunch at the office with hot fudge cake. After work Drew and I went out for the evening (we had a babysitter!) and he enjoyed a massage while I just relaxed and read a magazine. We went to the Korean restaurant for Drew's favorite food here in the city. And, we ended the night with Drew's favorite cobbler. It was fun day celebrating another year of Drew's life! Eliana and I are two blessed girls!

(I didn't get many pictures of our activities so these will have to suffice...)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dinner Guests

Two guests joined us for dinner last night...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Growing Up

Eliana is growing up so fast...she is even washing dishes these days!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Charis is Here!

My sweet niece, Charis Agape, was born yesterday! Yay! I am so thankful she and my sister-in-law, Melissa, are doing well. I am so sad to not be there to hold her and give her kisses. We only missed her arrival by 11 days and there really was nothing we could do about it. Missing family events like this are really hard for us. I am just so thankful that our families are so understanding and supportive and for great technology that allows us to "meet" Charis even from so far away.

Congratulations Blake and Melissa! We love you and we love Charis and can't wait to meet her in person sometime in the future! Welcome to parenthood!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Somehow the tiny mandarin orange Eliana left in her purse inside a box for six months while we were gone didn't rot and attract simply fossilized....weird! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

We are Back!!!

We made it back to our Central Asia home this week! We have been getting over jet lag and getting our stuff back into our apartment. Things are going well and we made our first purchase for upgrading the apartment...a new oven! Our previous one was quite awful so this was a priority to us. Here's to another three years of life in Central Asia!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Last Family Party

We had one last party with the family on Friday. We hung out at Aunt Laura's pool, had yummy food and even celebrated Pop's and Drew's birthday (a little early). It was fun to see everyone one last time and of course fun to go swimming and enjoy another fun day in the sun. We love you all and are thankful for our time with you! Thanks for everything!