Sunday, August 28, 2011

The view on the way home from Church


This is our view on the way to church.
We call it Rattan Road because it is lined with business making rattan furniture and baskets.
Many of the storefronts are closed because it is close to the end of Ramadan and
many people have headed back to their villages.

One of the many mosques in Pekanbaru.
This is one is located directly across from our hotel where our church meets.
It doesn't matter where in the world you are people love to chat before the start of church.
Brooklyn ready to go to sunday school.

Brooklyn loves the after church meal. It is always spicy and Asian just like her.

It is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
This is our hotel getting ready for the breaking of fast.
The view on the way home from Church

Thursday, August 18, 2011


One thing I have learned about teaching in Indonesia is that it often requires a lot of flexibility. You do a lot of improvising. As part of the kindergarten curriculum we cook on Fridays. I love it and the kids do too. Today was our first cooking day. I was excited to cook "Kissing Hand" cookies. They fit perfectly with a book we are reading class call the "The Kissing Hand" by A. Penn. As I have said many times before I am planner. I found this great cookie cutter this summer in Seattle.
I was feeling quite prepared. I even had the dough chilled and ready to go. After I had all five kids in their matching aprons we began to prepare the cookies. They were absolutely adorable with their tiny rolling pins. It dawned me that I had not preheated the oven so I quickly did that. The oven was warming when I began to smell a strange odor wafting from the oven. My assistant Ida looked and me with a confused look. She obviously smelled the same strange odor. I decided to investigate so I opened the oven door. To my horror I saw clumps of fur. I quickly closed the door. When I started the oven I had inadvertently cooked nesting jungle rats in my oven, and just so you know they do not smell like "chicken".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

First Day of School

Tomorrow is the first day of school. And in attempt to make life easier in the morning we took our back to school photos before church today. I can't believe how big the kids are getting.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Forever Day, Brooklyn!

Forever Day 2007

Happy Forever Day our little Chinese Dragon. We love you!!

Things DON'T Always Go as Planned!

All of you who know me well know that I love to plan and organize. Procrastinating is not really a word in my vocabulary; neither is rolling with the punches.

In June, we found out that the new teacher family at school was from Carnation. We were thrilled. We were even more excited when they offered to let us put food in their Shipment. You have no idea how excited we were at the thought of a full pantry. We not only shopped for an entire year of staples for us but also bought groceries for three other teacher families. It took us three full days of shopping to get everything and two pickup truck trips, and one Envoy to get all the food down to Carnation. It was a beautiful thing.

Once the shipment stuff was delivered I began concentrating on our suitcases. We get ten suitcases at 50 pounds. I was confident that packing back to Sumatra was going to be unusually easy. It was even easier than expected because John's folks helped us stuff all of our items into Zip lock bags. Thanks, Norm and Pat!

In true "Kathi" fashion I had our bags packed, weighed and ready to go two days before leaving for Sumatra. I absolutely love checking things off my to do list and this was a big one. So for a day and half John and I enjoyed extra time with our families and friends. Perfect! Well, ALMOST PERFECT.

On Tuesday, the day before we left, I decided to make a quick trip to Burlington to do a few returns and pick up a few last items to put in the kids' carry-ons. Just as I was pulling up to Starbucks for my last "Chai Tea" latte, I got a call from John. It sounded like this.

John: "Well, do you want the good news or the bad news?"
Kathi: "Good News"
John: "The new teacher family is really nice"
Kathi: "Good"
Kathi: "What's the bad news?"
John: "Are you driving?"
Kathi: "No" (Sinking feeling in my stomach)
John: "Well, Indonesia has decide the new family can not ship any food or aerosol products." I am bringing everything home including the bug spray".

At this point I just about fell over. It was one o'clock. That meant in less than six hours everything that could be returned needed to be sorted, unlabeled (we had written our names on everything), matched to receipts, and returned, then ten bags unpacked and repacked with items that were now essential, weighing exactly 50 pounds. Oh..and replace all our aerosol bug sprays with pump sprays. Talk about total craziness. We were able to return about half the food. The poor staff at Costco had never seen such a big return. We had ten boxes stuffed full of food. Our Costco return was just over $900.00. John to also make a big return to Target. Walmart was a stinker about our returns so most of that food was stuffed in Sydney's closet or our freezer. John was even able to make another trip to Carnation to put the last of the items we pulled from our suitcases into the shipment.

We have a ton of people to thank for their help. Without you I would probably have ended up in the mental hospital.

Thank you, Klein family, for keeping Kade and Sydney for an extended play date.

Thank you, Austin family, for taking our kids, feeding them, helping us figure out essential items that we forgot.

Thank you, Trent, Sarah, and Trey, for the nice goodbye gifts. The kids love them.

Thanks, Shannon, for the ice cream snickers and for understanding the weight of this change.

Thanks, Dave, for driving down with John to Carnation and helping with all the last minute details at the house.

Thank you, Steve, for jumping in and helping sort and get things organized.

Thank you, Aunt Toad, for dropping everything to help repack 10 suitcases.

Thank you, Dad, for delivering Pizza.

Thank you, Mom, for leaving work to help me, sort, pack, prioritize, and just stay sane. You will never know how much this meant to us.

Thank you, Steve and Mom, for taking us out for breakfast and down to the airport the next morning. Thanks for keeping it light and fun so I did not have a nervous breakdown.

Thanks, Adam and Rebecca for stopping by to say "Good bye" with Starbucks and taking care of Ember.

Thanks, Shannon, for the Rupiah! It came in handy in Batam.

I am happy to report that we made it to Sumatra. Exhausted but made it. Jet lag has been a bit brutal this time. I think it was made worst for me because I slept from Seattle all the way to Tokoyo. John and I headed back to school on Monday. The kids first day is the 15th.

We are really excited to see what the next year has in store for us. If the few days before leaving our any indication it is going to be a wild ride.