Monday, October 26, 2009

Mail Love

Pictures are worth a thousand words!!

Katrina....thanks for the surprise t-shirts!! Haddon loved having "Boo-boo bear" she's already "needed" it twice tonight! Haha

He's been dying for his favorite.....thanks Grandma!!

Way too heavy to have been shipped, but everyone was glad you did!! :P

This doesn't even need words.....but YUM!!

A boy and his biscuits!! LOL!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bye Bye American Pie

Campbell, "M", and Haddon before their food adventure!

French fries and some chicken nuggets in the grocery store! (I buy mine pre-bagged:))

Haddon found some Jack fruit on her level!! These are SO heavy!

Well, they ate fried noodles, fried rice, some salty veggie soup and octopus!! They had a lot of fun and "M" said they were talking non-stop!! I was proud of them for trying everything she bought, even the octopus. I thought that was very adventurous of them! Campbell likes it and says she would eat it again but no way for Haddon, she did not like it!

She did however say that if it was the only thing to eat, she would eat it. Funny, she didn't know about the previous blog, and yet she knows what I needed to be reminded of!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"How Much is that Doggie in the Window"

Remember, you can click on my pictures to enlarge them!;)

Again, one of millions! These little stands are everywhere, and that is the dreaded Durian hanging on the sides! :(

One of the many different types of pizzas here, today I saw a "Mayo and Mango" pizza commercial from Pizza Hut!

May not look appetizing, but it's yummy! :)

So..if you think this is about us getting a cute puppy, it's not. If you think this is about a cute dog that the kids are begging for, it's not. This is your fair warning to slowly back away from this post before .........well, before things get ugly.

It all started with a tutoring session. Sounds simple and easy enough. Talk a little, learn some new vocabulary, laugh at mistakes then in an hour it's all done. Except this Wednesday the conversation took a turn to another topic. Food.

So we talk about what types of "Macchiato" foods I have tried and she begins to mention things, that quite frankly, I didn't even know they sold least not in our little city. So she asks Campbell to go out to her motorcycle and bring her the bag hanging from her handle bars. When Campbell brings it in, "M" opens it and proceeds to show me the supper she has bought for her family, which they will eat with their rice. She pulls out cow liver (gag!), cow intestines (feeling a little throw up in the back of the throat), and congealed steamed cow blood (passing out!)!!!!!

Awkward situation here, I am repulsed by what she has lovingly purchased to feed her family!! Fortunately for me, she is used to Westerners and just laughed at my reaction. But she kept saying I must try it sometime, that it is "enak sekali" or very good! Ya, well, not today lady, maybe, maybe if it the last food left on earth.........and even then Heaven will be sounding pretty good! :)

Now onto the title. Campbell and Haddon come over to see what she is showing us. Kids do not hide their reactions well......FUNNY!!! Then she tells Campbell that just last weekend she and Campbell's teacher (a single American woman) went and ate DOG.....cause they like it! Campbell was mortified and said, But Miss "S" loves dogs!" to which Barry replies, "Well, she loves them in more ways than one!" ACK!!!! So anyway, just a peek into our screened and always open windows!! Makes you want to come visit doesn't it? :)

Lastly, I wish I had a picture of this so that you could see it, but as we were driving the kids home from school today before lunch (they had a half day), I looked into this large open building where all the trash is dumped. Yes, it is incredibly nasty, but shockingly every week it is cleaned before being refilled. Today as we drove by I saw a lady sitting in the trash pile. She was eating things she found as she rummaged through the filth.

Well, the CEO has a way of putting things in perspective for us doesn't he? So pardon me, I need to go rub my toes that got stepped on, they hurt!
HEADS UP: My tutor is taking the girls out by herself for them to try new foods Saturday afternoon......should be a funny blog coming soon! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Princess and the Pedagang Kaki Lima

In front of our home
Campbell went and ordered ten "Kue Putih"(Kue-ay Poo-tee)

They are rice cakes (not the tasteless American kind) steamed in bamboo tubes!

He pushes them out of the tubes, the brown is palm sugar!

Next he sprinkles sugar and fresh coconut on top! (Green was new to us, but they tasted the same!)

He then wraps them in paper and gives them to you! All in front of our house!

I thought you all might enjoy seeing what is a daily thing here in "Macchiato", that is the "Pedagang" or "trader". They walk up and down the streets all day, or pay to have a regular spot on the side of the road and sell their goods which is usually, bakso (meatball soup- no, I haven't had it, can't take the smell, but I hear it is good:)), kue putih (rice cakes), lumpia (kind of like a spring roll but often with sweet potato, I prefer the cabbage ones), etc.

Each type of food has a special type of call, like a whistle, prerecorded tune, or flute music. We haven't figured them all out yet but my kids have the ice cream man sound down pat! :) Barry loves these little rice cakes but hasn't been able to find the guy or has missed him when he has been down our street...until yesterday.

We were in the middle of a tutoring session when we heard this strange humming sound. We realized it was a kaki lima (five legs). He them saw the little bamboo tubes and politely excuses himself to ask Campbell to stop the trader and make a purchase, which she gladly did because she loves them also!

So little Miss goes out there and orders ten, for Rp.500 (US 50 cents) and waits patiently for him to get them all made, paid for them, and then we shared them with our tutor! They are pretty tasty and I'm not really a big fan of fresh flaked coconut.....but I am learning to be! :) To make them he puts steamed rice in the tube, a spoonful of palm sugar, them more rice on top and lets them steam! Sweet and simple!

Here is a little fact for you: Most of the "Macchiato" people do not cook or sit down and have family meals together at home. usually everyone purchase from these traders or they are traders and eat what they make. To them you have not had a "real" meal if it doesn't include rice. Once a waiter at a restaurant came back to our table after we ordered because they were sure we had not ordered enough rice for everyone!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Are You Smarter Than A Unit 5'er :)

Hungry anyone? :) Welcome to my world, and no, I haven't had pigeon!

Coffee date with my wonderful husband at the Bizztro!

My two cuties!!

My two handsome shaggy boys, I know, time for a trim! :)

Can you read that? Unit 5 "Learning to Read and Write".....I guess at my age it's about time!

Interesting Culture Issues discussed in Unit 4:
  • Where are people buried? On the West end of this island there are people who still bury there family members in their yards. And I might remind you that this island is heavily populated and homes are extremely close to one another. This came up in the lesson about things that a foreigner may have to face but never considered before..........uhm, ya' think? :)
  • To whom do you give a greeting? After living here for 5 months and heartily greeting every soul I came in contact with :), I learned in this unit that the locals think that this is very funny, they normally only greet those they know, never those they don't! However, this town in particular is used to foreigners so they kind of "play along" when the new Westerners arrive and they will greet us in return!
  • Can you stroll hand in hand with your spouse? Girls who are friends may walk hand in hand or arm in arm, or guys who are friends can put an arm around their guy friend, but you don't usually have any physical contact between genders. Whether friends, dating or married, it's a "no touchy" policy here! :) You are to keep at least an arms length from the opposite gender when talking.
  • How do those of opposing faiths get along? The government has gone to great lengths to ingrain into it's people to live in peace with their neighbors who practice different faiths. In fact the Gov't has legitimized 6 faiths, interestingly enough, ath*ism is not one of them! There is a "code of conduct" so to speak and one of the things listed is that they all have a faith in G*d, or a g*d, might be more appropriate. Obviously from current events that play out on a regular basis in this country, this "tolerance" does not always happen. However, in day to day life in these towns most "cousins" and Chr*st*ans get along fine with each other but I think this "code" has hurt the cause for EV because it is kind of a "peace at all cost" attitude that most everyone adopts. To many of the Chr*st*ans here, EV has never crossed their minds, or if it does, fear usually stops them from ever doing anything about it.
  • What things are appropriate to display openly in your home? I learned that in this culture it is a big no-no to have a shoe rack by the front door......which we had. Or to have a bunch of little photos framed and placed around your front room......which we do. Or to have books displayed on bookshelves........which we do. Or to have a television out where it can be seen by visitors in your home........which we do!! UGH!! So in light of this discovery I moved the shoe rack, but am holding out on the others as they are the few possessions I have and there is no where else to put them! In their culture you can have a large family photo on the wall and just chairs and a little table in your front room, otherwise people who come in might think you are trying to show off what you have or they will gawk and see how big or little your TV is or whether your shoes are expensive. It's different I know! I never really considered these things!
  • What about healthcare? Only gov't employees or large business employees have health insurance. But this health insurance is only level three, the bottom tier to a three level system. You are treated just as poorly with this insurance as those without any insurance. Doctors and nurses usually don't treat them kindly and there are about 20 people to a room in the hospital. You can get level 2 or 1 but you have to pay for it yourselves and most here could never afford to do that.
  • What do the local people think of foreigners? Their general opinion is that Westerners are generous and always want to help (phew!) :) But they have very different opinions of people from other Asian countries, and one European country in particular, that have large amounts of people living here. They often encourage their children to marry a Westerner because they believe we are all rich (which in comparison, we all are!) and they believe the children will be beautiful (maybe....maybe not:)
  • What do they consider beautiful? Almost every single lotion or facial product in this country is "whitening". Most commercials on TV extol the virtue of their "skin whitening" products. My local friend thought it was funny when I told her most Westerners are trying to be tan like them while they are all trying to be white like us! Barry told her that I think they have one of prettiest skin tones and she couldn't believe it. Isn't that crazy.....grass is always greener I guess!

Well, hope you enjoyed your cultural briefing. Please have an essay about each topic emailed to me by morning! Oops, sorry, I thought I was a Pelatih for a second! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's Like Sacrifixtion

Here is a sampling of the T-shirts, our "in-store" entertainment:

If you understand this......then explain it to me!

This.....well.....I just never knew before, but it explains the Cobra Kai Dojo in "Karate Kid"! :)

Hmmm....the phrase, the smiley face, the command.......nope, I don't get it.

No one told us Michigan changed their colors to two shades of purple!!
And the biggest change of all....
The Chicago White BOX!! In green and navy no less!! :)

Here is another confession for you; Sometimes when I am meeting with one of my tutors he messes up an English word, now I don't necessarily find joy in this per say.....but it reminds me that we all make mistakes when using a new language. For example, one time I asked him to explain what this certain word was and he said, "Well, it is like sacrifixtion, you know." I was like, "Oh, that makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up, really. Because, I know what sacrifice is and I know what cr*cifixtion means but when you put them together it all becomes clearer!" :)

Okay...I didn't really reply that at all....I just said that for a laugh! :) Instead I kept him talking until I could make sense out of what he was trying to say, which I figure is what most people do for me on any given day that I use my new language!
So in the areas of your life, what are some things you should overlook for the sake of kindness? There are certainly things worth standing up for and challenging, but on a daily basis there are many things that we can just let go and extend grace to those around us. Think about it, the truth is you would like them to do it for you! Just a sip from the glass of my life! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pic's from Hudson's Birthday

Nothing says Happy Birthday like breakfast rolls! :)

A new Manchester United Jersey (soccer) and dessert at The Bizztro!

Hudson and "Z" at the pool, every picture I took looked like they were dancing since they were wrestling in the pool! So I posted the still shot! :)

"Z" gave Hudson a pocket tool/knife gizmo that he loves!!

About to open gifts with the family! And yes, if you are wondering, we did find Legos, although for the price I thought for sure they would be pure gold bricks! :)

We went to a beautiful local pool with Hudson's teacher's family. Mr. B has a son in the class and "Z" and Hudson have become good friends. They also have a daughter a year older than Campbell and another younger son so fun was had by all!! Our pembantu (cook) made him cinnamon rolls on his actual birthday and then made (beef) bacon, egg, and cheese rolls for breakfast on Saturday. (which is what we put his candles in!:)) I still have not figured out how to make a cake here that actually tastes good and doesn't outweigh the family, so I made him a big chocolate chip cookie (with my last chocolate chips....not a hint ;)....I'm just saying :) to share with his class. On Saturday we went to the Bizztro where he was given free ice cream and also ordered a hamburger, onion rings and a piece of cheesecake. He really had fun but was also a little homesick, special days have been a little bittersweet.
While on break this week I plan to post some interesting things about the culture that we learned this Unit! Stay tuned!! Also please pray for our evaluations know the drill, lie prostrate and fast all day! We don't want a repeat of the last evaluation!! Hahahaaaa

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm a Pepper, He's a Pepper, Wouldn't You Like to Be a Pepper Too?

Yippee!! A package!!
They put the red string on after they open it to check the contents...still adjusting to that! :)

Wait for it......

......Wait for it....

Yay!! What an awesome surprise!!

It's a beautiful sight, all six made it intact!! Thank you Daniel!!!
Now, the dilemma.....
there are six cans, do I share? :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Hudson Taylor!!

What a difference two years makes! Same confidence, just taller with longer hair! :)

Today my second born turns eleven! This child who once had the nickname of "Winston Churchill" in the "business" nursery because he always looked so serious, now has an incredible sense of humor! He is a good son, brother, and friend we are blessed to have the privilege of raising him.
Just last week he came into my room and told me that I had a smart, strong, intelligent and handsome son! If I had been thinking quick I would have said, that was so nice of him to compliment Marshall! Haha Of course he was referring to lift him up, obviously there are self-esteem issues! :)

Like Campbell, he is also named after someone who was faithful to the CEO and we lift up that he follows the example of those who have gone before him, that fear never keeps him from doing what he is called to do, that he becomes a man in the truest sense of the word and that by serving others he finds his greatest joy!

A favorite quote by J. Hudson Taylor, M to Chin*:
"It will not do to say that you have no special call to go to Chin*. With these facts before you and with the command of the The Son to go and share the truth to every creature, you need rather to ascertain whether you have a special call to stay at home."
(italacized words changed to my words)

We are officially celebrating on Saturday so more pictures to come later!

Monday, October 5, 2009

High School Musical "Machiatto" Style

ACT I - Today, Marshall's school hosted select Jr. High from a National school. These students are learning English and they are to ask our students a series of questions. This gives them a chance to speak and hear English as well as learn about other cultures.
After school I am tutored by "M" the kid's "Machiatto language" teacher from their school. Now, Marshall is not home yet because of soccer, so she proceeds to tell me about this visit by the Jr. High school. She said Marshall got mobbed! The students asked all their questions and then when the teacher said, "If you want to get pictures, take them now." she said all the girls surrounded Marshall!! Hahaa I asked her what he did, because he is not one who wants all the attention on him, and she said he just stood their shyly and let them take their picture with him! She thought it was so funny to watch. I wish I could have seen it! So Marshall comes home and she is still at our house and we teased him, he said he was so embarrassed!! Then the girls hear about it.......
ACT II - When the girls hear us talking about it, immediately in unison they start singing, "Can you feel the love tonight......." from the movie "The Lion King"!! So of course he starts chasing them around the house trying to make them stop! It was precious! Just another day in paradise!

Word Order Issues.....Everybody's Got 'Em

It is nice to know that I am not the only one struggling with word order!!

One thing that is very fun here (sad..I know) is to go to the stores and read the t-shirt's!! Some of them are hysterical, some are just wrong, and others make no sense whatsoever....but people still buy them and wear them!

One day, I saw a girl wearing a shirt that said "Friends are born, not made." Really? Who knew?

I'll throw a couple of wrong ones at you later but enjoy this for's free!! :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wow! What a Week!

There's a new one in town, and it's a biggie!!

As most of you know, unless you have been hiding, this week this part of the world has faced many natural disasters. We appreciate all of the concern many of you have expressed by contacting us by email, FB, Skype, and even calls to my mother! The CEO has been gracious to us, we are fine but we ask you to please be lifting up the people affected, many died having never heard the truth.

These disasters are terrible wherever they occur, but over here there don't have the heavy machinery, quality materials, and resources like we have in America. For instance in our city, except for the largest of buildings, they construct bamboo scaffolding!! Seriously! And the concrete usually doesn't have rebar (sp?) in it. Often they take chunks of rock and stick them together with a sandy concrete that they make on site (no cement trucks). So you can imagine why there is so much damage when earthquakes occur like in Padang, the buildings just crumble! We fear the death count will go much higher as thousands are still missing.

I urge you to give as the CEO leads to LMO or your local B*pt*st relief effort, such as the BGCO, in Oklahoma. Already teams from OK and South Carolina are on their way to provide help. (If you need help with acronyms email me at

I have many more blogs coming but my time has been greatly reduced due to essay writing, but I am seeing progress! My Pelatih said I need to have more faith in myself, he was very kind and I realized maybe, just maybe, I was freaking for no reason...surely not?! :D I'm always so stable! Haha

Thanks for lifting us up, we consider you partners in the work! FYI- Last night I saw the largets coackroach I have EVER seen, yes, in my home! ACKK!! Joan, it rivaled the "Hissing Madagascar Cockroach" that the man decided to place on my shirt on the field trip a couple of years ago!! Disgusting!!

Please Go to the CEO on Their Behalf

Manila, Philipines........Padang, Sumatra........Samoa and American Samoa