Rare friends

It’s not that often that you find friends that you and your husband and all your kids get along with great all in one family. So it was a special thing when we got to hang out with the Doane’s one evening before thanksgiving. We talked and played and then walked to the neighborhood park before walking to dinner at “the habit” (their hamburger addiction). Such great friends are they that they are fish-sitting for Malachi’s new beta, Luke (as in Luke skywalker) while we have been traveling around for the holiday’s. 

 

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Lily and A have been friends for a couple of years. I remember when they were about 4 at their house dressing up in the same outfits and coming to show us. Lily is one of the most compassionate, sweet girls I have ever met. The kind you want your kids to hang around.

And something extra special about this family is Marie, below, and I were pregant together with Taron and Seth. She was a few weeks ahead and since she is a nurse practitioner she performed my first few ultrasounds on Taron before we returned to India.

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Agra: The hotel pool

The place we head to most in Agra is the pool. We can’t get enough of it in this India heat and humidity. It is also great to be out in the sun and feeling the shunshine on your skin, not so when we are in our city, covered from head to toe. The kids have become quite water bugs. A swims completely on her own. This trip I showed her how to do a somersault under water and she mastered it, despite the water up  the nose. M learned the “dead mans float” and loves to swim short distances under water. He even tried to walk on the bottom of the pool. Vange thinks she can do it all. Why not? her sibs can! So we have to keep a close eye on her. Whenever she has a mishap she comes up gasping for air, coughing and ridiculously smiling! Crazy Girl!

One of my favorite things about this hotel pool is this big shallow end before the “drop off”. I can sit and let the kids all play around me

 without being prepared to lunge for one.

“Peace!”, M and A learned this great pose from Kayti.

Vange was into giving some love.

With all the visitors we have had lately she has mastered how to win them over  since she has a little competition from A and M. She mianly says : “I want to cuddle wis you!”

India through Kayti’s eyes

We had the priviliage of some visitors from Indonesia. Kayti is our friend from Sac and Jonny is her Fiance origionally from AZ. They arrived the day Steve and Devon left for language school. We got to hang in our city for 2 days then took an adventure to Agra. I ventured on my last Taxi ride during this pregnancy. Truthfully I prob wouldnt have gone if I have known how bad the road would be. Monsoon made it into every four-wheelers desire, but any 8 month pregant women’s nightmare. But it was worth it. Here are some Pics Kayti took. She is another one of my friends that is a talented Photographer ( see her llink to the right under photography). So here is some of our city in photos, below.

schoolgirls pumping water from a well

our chicken guy, the sweetest man

one got away

A decked out auto rickshaw

The guy on corner that sells roti

 

 

Rasberry and Blueberry pickin

So as you can see we made a visit to Josiah’s college buddy Beth on there farm in NY. There kids are practically the same age as ours and it was so refreshing to let them run ALL OVER the farm and not have to worry about what they were getting into. It was also great that we never had to interfere with directions or discipline cause they got along so well. The only thing I can think of was my “talk” when I caught M running around BUCK NAKED in the kids bedroom, but thats another story…

We picked raspberries, blueberries, basil, carrots, and fetched fresh eggs. We made pesto, raspberry smoothies, ice cream with raspberry and blueberry topping, and had yummy fresh eggs for breakfast. So relaxing and so much fun!

Thanks Beth for your hospitality! One sad story is that they had given us homeamade Maple syrup that they had harvested last fall. We were SO looking fwd to eating it but it got confiscated in the DC airport because I forgot to get it in a “check” bag. We are still grieving the loss of that yummy jar. In the above picture of the pontytail, I practiced a new “do” that Beth showed me how to do. So easy and so cute!

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Cooking Day 2: Enchiladas

Can you beleive that Kubra and Ekrom have never had enchiladas? Well, actually Marleen, on the far right has only had them once before now but her excuse is that she is Canadian!

We met at our house this time to pass on my mother’s famous recipe for enchiladas. It was because of these enchiladas that I was asked to open my own restaraunt! But I had a little hiccup. When I went to the store to get the Lawry’s seasoning packet to make the sauce with (the key ingredient), they didn’t have it. Not only did they not have it but they looked at me like I came from another planet when asked if they carried it or at least a can of enchilada sauce. One lady said ” try Taco Bell, ” when I asked if they even eat echiladas on the east coast! So I went home and made a sauce from scratch. But of course when I got home I doscovered I was missing all the necessary spices to make it. So I improvised with some taco seasoning and chili seasoning and a little of this and that. It ended up fine, but a little on the spicy side because I had to use a can of enchilada sauce that Mar brought over to mak ethe sauce go farther. It had a kick to it. Side note: it took M three whole meals to finish his enchiladas because he thought they were too spicy. By lunch the next day he was starving and eating everything in the kitchen once he finished his plate.

We went on to have allthe gents join us and celebrated Kubra’s husband
Mohamed, birthday mexican style. We had sugar cane and Sangria (soda), and Erin’s yummy mexican style soup!
Feliz Complianos Mohamed!

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A final playdate

 

Tiff and I have been friends since 6th grade! Crazy to think we have been through weddings and births of babies over the past 17 years. I think she knows me the best and I can be “me” completley, more than any other friend, and whatever “me” is that day is totally fine with her. One way that she has challenged me is how teachable she is. When I was retraining myself to not feel like a complete failure when I would get any kind of criticism, I would think of Tiffany and how well she listened and humbly accepted feedback without it shaking her identity completely. I also look up to her ability to overcome discouragement. When she puts her mind to something, nothing will stop her. Even if she faces alot of obstacles. I give up too easy, but I have turned a new leaf in this area and I think of Tiffany when I need inspiration. But the thing I love most about her is how compassionate and giving she is. She will go extra miles apon miles for her friends and she doesn’t keep score about it. She is an extravagant, unconditional giver. I want to be more like this!

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Two visits in Pasadena: Oliver’s and Ryan’s

 

All a girl needs is a skirt and a gun! Fun at the Oliver’s

After having some wonderful mommy-break at a local coffe shop with Josiah’s cousin Heidi, we headed back to the house and I got to take a pic of cute little Iris.

Cousins

So the one pic that I get Heidi to smile with her beatiful smile, I look crazy because I was blinking during every shot. I had to do the “open them on three” trick and this is what came of it. ARG! Heidi is also my fellow GREEN woman, who takes joy in cloth diapers and taking better care of our earth. She prides herself in being different and that is one of the many reasons I love her!

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Month Long Road Trip: Harmon’s part 2

I kept making Josiah re-do the “toss up” cause I wasn’t getting my timing right with the camera. When he saw this one he said “that one is great”, even though her head is chopped off he said that it shows that she was really high. I think He was just done throwing 37 lbs up in the air:)

When M was jumping off the diving board he was asking daddy to come closer and closer so he could practicly jump on his head. Apparently he hasn’t learned to trust daddy to catch him no matter what, part of that might have to do with the fact that when they ask him to catch him he responds with ” I’ll try…”. I would jump on Daddy’s head too:)

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