01 June 2008

O Canada

After confessing my weakness of forgetting my camera (time and time again) last week, I have now made it a strength once again. I took my camera out with me almost every day this week, and I was glad I did. We had a fun filled week, and we captured a good part of it.

We saw Anutra and Bird this week for the first time since our trip to Utah. We were happy they could come over, and Jane was SO excited to see Khun Bird! She was jumping up and down yelling, “Khun Bird, Khun Bird!” I don’t think she left his side the entire night, except when Bird was giving Jack superman rides. He’s such a good sport!

One of the major highlights was being invited over by Ashley for his birthday on Wednesday. He’s been reminding me of this for a couple of weeks now, so I knew this was something he was really looking forward to. Jeff and Jack had been to visit, but Jane and I hadn’t gotten a chance until now. As my regular readers will know, Jane and Ashley have a special bond. Even when she is extremely tired and clingy, he can always win her over. He loves to chase her around, give her as many sweets as she wants (something I’ve come to accept since we don’t see them too often), and show her off to everyone else. He’s really just a sweet “big brother” to her, and I’ve loved having him there to help me out when I’m running around church like crazy trying to arrange this, organize that, and keep other people’s kids happy! So, we knew that we couldn’t miss an opportunity to celebrate Ashley’s birthday with him.

Ashley and Vibushen are in the process of completing their paperwork to head to Canada soon. This is a BIG step for these sweet brothers, so they are ecstatic! We thought a Canadian flag cake was fitting. They laughed like crazy when we took the lid off. I told him I was bringing a cake, so I don’t know what he really expected. What do Sri Lankans usually do for birthday cakes? Didn’t Jeff do an awesome job on the maple leaf?

We thought we were the only ones that Ashley invited over, so we were excited when we had a chance to visit with the Elders as well. Even if we could all hardly fit in their little room! This was the first time I’ve gotten a chance to visit with Elder Davis, and although Elder Zufelt was with us for Christmas Eve (he was brand new to the area at the time), I still didn’t know him as well, so this was a treat. We had homemade fish balls (by Ashley), fruit, a few Thai dishes, cake, and because Jane started melting down for some reason, Vibushen took her and Jack both down to Family Mart for ice cream. Can you say SPOILED?

I show you these pictures so you can get an idea of how a lot of people live here. This is really common to have a room, a “kitchen” and a bathroom. I wasn’t sure if they’d have a western toilet, but was happy to see that they did, just in case. Ashley wanted to show me where he prepared the fish balls. Although I’m sure they just purchase most of their meals at food shops as they need it, he still has a lot of spices for when he wants to cook. He fried them on a propane canister that lets out a little flame. I thought it was hilarious that all the spices came in little tiny jars except the chili powder. This container was HUGE! They use it a lot over here! Oh, we will miss these guys!

Jack and Jane were extra cute together this week. This picture was in the elevator taking Jack to school one morning.

They love to take turns being a dog lately. They’ll be doing their own thing, then suddenly, one of them will get on all fours and start barking at the other one and immediately the other will go into “owner” mode. They’ll feed out of hands, go for walks, lap up water out of a bowl, and apparently this morning, Jack was even helping his doggie get dressed! I think this is a great game. They always get along and take great care of each other. How could I lose?

Jane’s been hilarious this week. We’ve been noticing that she sings a lot lately. She will sing one tune and put whatever words she wants into it. She sang “I’m a Child of God” start to finish, while saying nothing but “Jam” (we were making her lunch at the time). Also, she’s started to sing all of Jack’s violin pieces with random words, or she tries to sing the fingerings like Jack. She’s not quite as accurate, but I think it’s hilarious that she picks up on this stuff just from wandering in and out of our practice sessions occasionally. She doesn’t even realize she’s doing it.

Jack had school off on Friday as well as tomorrow for his mid-term break. Having a more relaxed morning and having him with me for most the day really made me excited for summer. He and Jane always do so well in the morning when we can have a little more time to play before rushing out the door! We met Jack’s friends and their mothers at the mall at the play area. If Jane has ever had a best friend, Brandon is it! These two have some great connection and have since their first day together. I love watching them together.

Afterwards, we went to lunch at the food court, and Jack loved being with his current best friends, Sasha and Kazuya. I love these kids too. I’ve had them both at my house at different times, and they are genuinely good, well mannered kids. Not to mention, I get along with both their mothers really well. It was a fun morning out!

Jack’s such a climber. He loves to climb poles lately, and he’s pretty good at it. This one was particularly easy because it’s all padded, but he’s pretty good at just the metal poles at his school too. I think he about gives some of the teachers a heart attack when he does it.

I think I mentioned last week that we were moving to a new church building. It was a big ordeal, and so well worth it! I spent most of Saturday at the new building unpacking nursery/primary stuff and figuring out how it was all going to work with Alice and Crisse. These two women are so awesome! Jack came with me this day and it was SO fun to have him be such a good helper! He really was an asset when it came to getting things done!

Alice ordered pizza, which was heaven sent since there was no end in sight at that point. Have you ever seen pizza like this before? It’s pretty tame compared to what you see on their ads. You should have seen what they advertised as the American special several months ago. It looked disgusting. This was actually quite good!

As soon as Jack and I got back from the church, we headed off to his friend Omer’s birthday party. He was SO excited for this party, as he is for all of them. It was at a family fitness center, and they had drummers and a dance teacher doing activities with them. It was fun and different, although Jack tired of it after a while and was more interested in throwing the fit balls and sword fighting with the foam rollers. He and Dylan loved being together, as always!

Our first Sunday in the new building was a success! Our meetings changed from 9am to 11am, which I thought would be awesome because then we don’t have to leave as early, right? Wrong. We left around 8am, so we could attend the baptism of a Sri Lankan family. I was asked the night before to speak at it, and although I’m not a fantastic speaker, I really enjoyed the opportunity to think about baptism and why it is so meaningful to me personally.

This building is SO GORGEOUS! It felt gigantic compared to our other one. We had more than 2 stalls in the bathrooms, a huge chapel (although there aren’t pews, just chairs), we doubled the room size for most classes, and there’s a beautiful, grassy courtyard that I got to take my nursery kids out to play on! We also had a “linger longer” out here afterward, and it was fun to visit with new members, say goodbye to some, and let the kids play with all their wonderful church friends they don’t see often enough! We all felt so spoiled!

Ashley took this one while Jane was running one of the races the kids put together. They were loving it!

Jack found Stephen Griffiths and for some reason decided he wanted to beat him in an arm wrestle. Jack was undefeated, I hear.

The heat was almost unbearable after a while, so most of the kids ended up playing in the overflow (no gym, but yes, we have an overflow!). Christopher, on the bottom, was such a good sport! Is it obvious he comes from a family of 9? I’m pretty sure he’s used to kids piling on top of him.

Jack loved getting a horsey ride from Shannon. She’s another one that is so good with kids! She and her brother just started the violin with me a few weeks ago, and I’ve loved having them come each Monday for a lesson and play!

Personality differences are so fun to watch in these kids. Emily Quan (Alice’s daughter) is also amazing with my children, but she usually has them completely involved in a book. She explains each thing and reads with so much personality. Jack and Jane both adore her.

So, it’s been a good week. We’ve enjoyed some nice evenings home, and some nice afternoons out. I also realized one of my FAVORITE things this week. I LOVE when my kids ask me questions where I can answer “Yes!” I feel like too often, I have to tell Jack he can’t climb on that, or Jane can’t color on this, or we have to wait for this, or we can’t go there today, etc. It gets so exhausting some days. I love when Jack asks, “can I give some to Jane?” SURE! “Can we play this game?” You bet! “Can we read this book?” Of course! It’s so nice to answer in the affirmative. I’m determined to figure out how I can answer “yes!” more often! It feels so good!

You can even ask me if I’m going to have my Utah video done this next week. Yes!


Team Hanni said...

That Canada cake is fabulous! My cake making skills are so bad!

It is so true that we most often say,
"no, not now, or not today." I need to look for more opportunities to say, "you bet!"

Mimi and Papa in Provo said...

ABSOLUTELY loved the pics of the kids and all your beautiful friends and ward members. You all look very happy and healthy and that makes me happy and healthy too!