Sunday, October 28, 2012

Little Engineer

My parents are here in Ghana and it is SO AWESOME! We are having a nice visit and time is going by very quickly.  They have been relaxing, taking lots of pictures, meeting our friends and playing with Joshua.  (Dad has even learned to play "Super Mario".)

One of the first things we did was celebrate Joshua's birthday (again).

Above, Joshua is sporting a really cool train whistle and engineer hat from Grandma and Granddad Edwards.  They bought it when we were on the White Pass and Yukon route in Alaska earlier this year. 

Of course the best present of all is simply having them here.  Look at that smile!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Bliss

Joshua had a fabulously fun fourth birthday last week.  Dave took the day off from work and we played all day.
 Joshua got to be in charge and he was very happy to insist that Daddy play "Super Mario" on the Wii.

His first present of the day was from our good friends on site Krissy, Slade and Jack. It's Joshua's first cricket set. Did you know Littleton has a group that plays cricket at a park near our house? 

Then the dogs got into the presents giving mood and Joshua received some "Match Box" cars.

Joshua's cousin Anthony and his family sent along a very cool pirate puzzle and fun book that were a definite hit with Joshua!

We let Joshua pick out food for his birthday supper.  We had french fries, quesidillas, and "Kool-Aid". (French fries are a very big deal because he never gets to eat them with everybody else here in Ghana.  There is too big of a risk that peanut oil was used in the fryer at some point.)
We had a super hero cake thanks to our dear friend Jamie who sent along special cake pans and supplies for special occasions.
Then we opened the rest of the presents including a cool boat from Mommy and Daddy.

After playing with the new toys for a bit, it was time for a good night's sleep. Joshua was disappointed the next morning when he didn't get to dictate the day again.  Only 362 days to go until next time my dear boy!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Checking in

I haven't kept you up to date!  Shame on me!  Some of the ex-pats have come back to site from travels and life became "busy".  Busy is certainly a relative term.  Here it consists of getting up in the morning to meet all of Joshua's needs before walking, then pool time, then home in time to prepare lunch, then teaching preschool a la Mommy, then perhaps some tea with the ladies, then cooking supper and finally fun time with Daddy. Last night Dave was in Accra so Joshua and I had movie night.  We watched Madagascar 3 and I thought it was a good show. Tomorrow is Joshua's 4th birthday so I will take pictures and post more on Friday.  It is a simple family day but we will certainly have F-U-N!

Monday, October 8, 2012


So when was the last time you were shocked in the shower (and not the good, 50 Shades kind of shocked)?  Anyone, anyone?  Why would I ask such a strange question you wonder?  I mean getting shocked in the bath could be deadly right?  Well….  I was shocked by our plumbing on Saturday and lived to tell you about it.

I was trying to figure out why life had been extremely boring and then I remembered – we have had workers in the house every day since last Thursday trying to fix our electricity.  All of the lights in the house are on the same breaker switch. The switch decided to continually turned off the lights.
The maintenance crew on-site has been extremely responsive.  The first day they were here and suspected a light bulb.  It was that Christmas tree light theory – one light bulb out and the whole string goes. They checked all the bulbs and replaced a couple.  It didn’t fix the problem.
The next day, they were able to recreate the issue (because it just got worse and the lights would hardly stay on more than 5 minute). They completely rewired the lights and switches in the house.  That fixed the switch “trip” issue but unfortunately one of the wires wasn’t grounded well enough.  When I added water to the ungrounded wire during my shower and touched the plumbing – ahhhhhhh!  The really scary thing is I had just given Joshua a shower before I hopped in for mine!
The crew came RIGHT away and fixed the shock issue but unfortunately the fix also took out all of the electricity to the side of the house that supports things like the stove, washer and dryer.  Back out they came and I am happy to report that we have been maintenance free today.

What else?
It’s hard for me to believe that in just over 2 weeks, my parents will be here for a visit.  It’s even harder to believe that Joshua turns 4 next week!  He’s growing so fast.  We packed presents in our crate so he will have a couple of nice surprises on the big day. I usually bake a very fancy cake but I am not sure I am going to be up for the challenge here.  I have some great supplies so I will probably fake it and we’ll all just pretend that it’s fabulous.  It’s kind of like we still pretend we have no idea where Joshua is hiding.  Can you find him?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

These flip-flops are made for walking

We have taken up our daily walks again and boy am I glad. The dogs started becoming serious escape artists so I decided it was better to have them exploring with me than without.  Plus,  I love walking and sometimes I forget that it's a great activity for many reasons.

Above are an assortment of flowers that Joshua picked for me today.
Joshua is very proud to walk a dog by himself. We bought no-pull harnesses before we left CO and they really, really work.  I still take over if I see a hazard and every time we leave the house we talk about what he should do to keep his body safe if he's in charge. Joshua normally walks Tate because Tate is more his size and they RUN!
The last two days have been too rainy in the afternoons to swim.  If it were a CO rain and there was no sign of lightening, we would still go.  Joshua goes stir crazy around 3 if we don't do something.  We have a Wii exercise game we play and that helps a bit. Yesterday, I let him ride his bike in the house.  I have roller skates but am fearful of a broken bone.  I am sure that will pass soon enough.  I have pads and a helmet and he's had lessons so...
Out-of-focus but you get the idea.
Now shall I walk
or shall I ride?
"Ride," Pleasure said:
"Walk," Joy replied.
~W.H. Davies

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shhhhh - the place is sleeping

Isn't it funny how some of our greatest late night worries often turn from fraught to naught? It is so, so quiet on site right now. There are no other expat families with kids. They either don't exist or they are on leave. When the last family pulled out a week ago, I was very concerned for Joshua and really for me too. I was afraid of being bored and lonely. On top of them leaving, Dave was a traveling fool so Joshua and I were alone a lot and I was depressed. Then, as often happens, I consciously invited God into the room, changed my thinking about the situation and life got fun again.

We went in search of adventure and tried a bunch of new things and games.  We played on other people’s yard equipment (we were invited).  We switched up preschool from practical to more play and have been working on a curriculum about castles, knights, dragons and I included pirates. We invite the local kids over when they get home from school by putting balls in front of our house and filling up water bottles with cold water.  
Swinging with Jennifer
Here Joshua is a prince trying to score points by hitting a bulls-eye with rocks.  I think this is a celebration face but he told me it was him heading to a time-out which is possible.

Joshua is making a go of baseball while the other kids are playing their version of cricket.  Eventually the older boys take over and a game of soccer starts.

IT also helps to make a point of swimming every day and playing lots of water games with Joshua on top of getting in some exercise.  We even got Jennifer into the pool for the first time in her life!  She had a blast and I felt so proud that I looked what I perceived as convention in the face and invited her.
There are still lonely moments and by the time I see Dave, I am exhausted and craving adult conversation. I feel like I did when I first made the switch from working outside the home to care for Joshua.  No diapers or puke or bottles and LOTS more sleep, but the feelings of isolation are the same.