Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 28

This week:

Coming home from church I thought our neighbors looked so sweet walking down the street holding hands in a line.

 The pirates are ready to plunder the market.  The matching p.j's were a big hit, thanks Grandma Kathy.  The boys have never seen the Disney show depicted on them, but that doesn't matter - they match!

The pirates at the market.  I always feel like I'm providing the live entertainment when I bring them to the market with me, because my boys inevitably do or say or sing something that makes everybody within earshot laugh (or at least shake their heads and say, "I'm glad I'm not her right now!")

 Someone tumbled down a slide the wrong way...

The Ukarumpa fire truck being tested by our neighbor, who is on the volunteer fire team.

I wanted some updated photos to hang on the wall, so this is what I ended up with.  
What a handsome guy!

 With a smile...

...and when a cow right on the other side of the building mooed loudly!

 Greg, as usual, was more resistant to the idea of photos.  I did get one of him smiling, but I kind of like this more serious one too.

 One morning we had six little boys at our house for a few hours.  At lunchtime, Caleb was so worn out that he fell asleep with a cracker in his mouth.

 Caleb has started "reading" himself to sleep.  It kind of solves our nightly bedtime dilemma.  Greg always asks to go to bed right at 7:00, but insists that he can't sleep without Caleb in bed too.  Caleb does not want to go to bed that early.  So we put him in bed with a few books, and he reads happily for a while until he conks out too. 

 Speaking of Caleb, his vocabulary is just exploding this week.  It has been increasing steadily for a while, but this week he's been coming up with at least two new words a day.  Some of his new words this week include: box, flakes (Corn Flakes), daddy and mommy (as opposed to dada and mama), pee, pancake and phone.  Short sentences too.  This morning he saw me pouring milk in my coffee and he wanted me to do something else for him, so he said "No cup of milk!"  Or he'll say something like "want another cracker."

 And lastly, a hairy caterpillar from our back yard.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 27

Welcome back!  Here is what we had going on this past week:

Daddy was away on another work trip, but his shoes still managed to be all over the house this week.

 "Seriously mom?  Another picture of me?"

 Papua New Guinean students walking home from school.

 The cherry guavas are starting to ripen.

Greg wanted me to play hide and seek.  
"I'll hide here mom, and you go away and count and then come find me."

 A Duplo version of our family, created at 6am one morning...

Caleb loves to sneak away and pound on laptop keys.  Every once in a while you have that dreadful moment when you realize that Caleb has been very quiet, and then you realize that someone left the office door open again.  You rush in to find him happily pounding away.  One day this week he managed to change the orientation of our display!

 Ruby's water dish gets a lot of attention.

 Did I mention her water bowl is also a truck wash for all those muddy backyard trucks?  We have to change out her water quite often...

Yesterday Greg and I made a snow globe with a little cowboy figurine.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 26

Just another regular week in the Frey household.  

I wish I could represent in photos how busy Brian has been at work this week..  In his words, "This has been an exhausting week to be an administrator."  All week long he was meant to be participating in a course called "Coming Together Through Conflict."  However, he had to keep skipping out on parts of the training because he was dealing with real life conflicts!  He thinks that most things have now been resolved though, and hopefully we'll have a nice quiet weekend.

 Caleb cannot wait until he's big enough to do everything Greg does.  Here he is on the monkey bars.  He'll climb as high as he can, then dangle and drop to the ground.  He lost a button on his shirt because he pulls himself up onto furniture on his stomach all the time.

Greg has a much more cautious approach to life.  He's big enough to climb the monkey bars, but still prefers to have mom or dad close by.  This mom doesn't mind that at all - Caleb worries me sometimes because he thinks he's invincible!

 Greg has been getting these little photocopied books from preschool - one for each letter they study.  We now have most of the alphabet, and the books are a huge hit with both the boys.

 This past weekend we stopped in at one of the teen hostels for a chat with the house parents.  They were enjoying a nice quiet house for once, since all the kids leave during school breaks.  The boys loved playing this hockey game with "Mr. Mont."  He's way crazier than mom and dad, and the boys had a blast chasing him around the big empty hostel.

 A new haircut for me!  The Ukarumpa community is really blessed right now to have a professional stylist here who has set up a little salon in an outbuilding in her backyard.  In addition to her regular job, she does hair a few days per week.  I always cut the boys' hair myself, but over the years it has been hit and miss for getting my own hair cut, as people with various levels of experience come and go in the community.

 Caleb loves to prolong our family walks, as long as we are going downhill.  When it comes time to walk back up the the house, however, he usually asks for a ride.

You gotta be quick when photographing kids.  Two seconds before I snapped this photo, there was an adorable, brotherly pose going on, I swear. :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

What's on the menu when PNGns come for dinner?

What do you serve when you have Papua New Guinean dinner guests?

Tonight we will be having three Papua New Guinean guests for dinner, none of whom we have ever met before.  We volunteered to host a few members of a translation committee that will be spending the week in Ukarumpa for a spiritual retreat.

I'll confess, having nationals over for a meal always requires a bit more thought then when we host other expats.  Our typical diets vary so differently.  We Americans love to have variety - lots of it!  Many Papua New Guineans eat the same thing every single day, and they like that!  One of our primary school teachers told me that when she asked her students to tell their favorite food, a Papua New Guinean girl spoke fondly of kau kau (sweet potato) roasted on the coals.  It's probably what she has had for breakfast nearly every morning of her life.

Americans like flavor, spice!  Papua New Guineans prefer bland food, and the only condiment that is regularly used is salt.  Americans love cheese - everything is better with cheese!  Papua New Guineans are suspicious at best of most dairy foods.  Why would people want to eat solid milk?   Disgusting!

In my experience, having nationals in our home is always slightly awkward anyway, if only for the reason that Papua New Guineans do not typically spend time inside other people's homes.  Most social interactions take place out of doors, or on a verandah.  So you definitely don't want to invite your national guests to take a tour of your house when they arrive.  They don't want to see your bedroom!

So tonight I'm trying to come up with a meal that will blend two different ways of eating.  Not that we haven't served PNGns American-style food.  We've served pizza to house guests when they showed up unexpectedly and that's what we had planned for dinner.  Brian admits that he gets a sort of guilty pleasure when he sees Papua New Guineans struggle to politely eat Western food that they don't particularly like.  It reminds us of many times when we have been in villages and have been served things that we didn't particularly like!

So here is what we're having for dinner, and please keep in mind that all these things I'm saying are generalizations.  They don't describe every Papua New Guinean, and there is a pretty good variety in people's tastes throughout the country.

Rice... a LOT of rice.   We are always astounded at the quantities that our PNG friends can put away.  Most PNGns don't eat rice every day, and so it's a bit of a treat.

You can't go too far wrong with root vegetables.  I filled my crock pot with chicken, potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and beans to make a sort of soup/stew that can be served over rice.  It's got enough flavor to make us wait skins happy,  but not so much to be overwhelming.

A big batch of rolls.

 Salt on the table.

 Banana bread is always a safe bet for dessert - sweet but not too sweet.  PNGns are not as concerned as we Americans are about ending a meal on a sweet note.

Here's hoping our little dinner party is a pleasant one!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 25

Hello again.  Here is a look at the past week:

 A rainbow around the sun

 Little, beautiful things

 An airplane, hastily made from a box for our little aviator.

Anyone need some lettuce?  I have quite a bit in my garden.  (Seriously, Ukarumpa friends who read the blog, feel free to stop by for some lettuce!  I like salad, but not that much...)

Waving goodbye to daddy's airplane in the early morning (you can just see the tiny speck to the left of Greg) as he goes to Madang for a few days to do some work on their generator (again!).


I joined the steering committee for the Markham Multi-Language project.  The paperwork doesn't look very interesting, but our first meeting was exciting.  This is one of the multi-language, or "cluster" projects that our branch decided to really focus on as a result of the Multi-Language Initiative conference held in January.  There are currently two families working with two related languages, but there is a potential of having up to 14 different languages (represented by the blue on the map there) involved, working together to do translation.  As a part of the steering committee, I get to help encourage, advise, pray for and keep the team accountable.  I'm very excited to be involved.

 Last night we broke out the candles after dinner.  We were without power for a few hours (I'm not sure how long... I woke up in the middle of the night and turned out the light in the boy's room, which had been left on, so the power came back sometime after I went to sleep.)  As far as I could tell, ours was the only house on the street without power, though I know that I wasn't the only one in Ukarumpa.  This is not a complaint, because typically our backup generators work very well, and our power is really quite reliable.  We're thankful for the guys in the CAM department who were out there working on the problem.  I can't count how many evenings Brian has been out there in the dark trying to work on generators!

 We picked a ripe suga frut in our backyard this morning.  Caleb couldn't wait to devour it - he loves those things!  It's a variety of passion fruit that is just sweet and not at all tart.  It's delicious!

 We're still into matching, even if it means long sleeves on a sunny day.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 24

Our week started off with a swarm of bees.

 The bees decided to take up residence inside our gas barbecue on our front porch (which can be seen through the window).  After Brian convinced them that it was not a good location for a nest, killing a large number in the process,  they still swarmed around the porch for a few days. Last Saturday they decided that they would try to come inside the house, through our dining room window, which doesn't have a screen.  The louvers don't shut tight enough on this window to keep bees from crawling in, so I resorted to stuffing rags in the cracks until they eventually gave up!

 I was watching this scene one evening and suddenly it struck me that I ought to take a photo.  Sometime, in the not-too-distant future, my boys will look back on this photo of them playing Angry Birds on daddy's iphone as sooooo old fashioned.

 A parking garage made of Duplos was the favorite toy for a few days, until eventually one too many sibling squabbles over which level the cars ought to parked on demanded it's immediate disassembly.

 You can't let a little rain and mud discourage you from digging in the flower bed.

 And what is more fun that mud puddles after a good rain?

Someone is going to need a bath!

 When he's sleeping, he still resembles the baby he was not too long ago.  Has to have Froggy and a truck when he goes to bed.

 Anyone doing taxes lately?  We get to do two sets - US taxes and PNG taxes.  We have an automatic extension to file US taxes, so we haven't gotten around to those yet, but we did get our PNG tax forms done this week.

 Caleb enjoys the new "jumping stump" - a fringe benefit of having our tree cut down.

 A new playground near the store was recently completed, and the boys have been loving it.

 And finally, sunrise this morning from our front porch.

See you next week!