Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Week 2012

Today the kids were supposed to dress up for book week. Colin and Grayson after some serious thought decided to choose characters that would allow them to dress as regular kids, no uniforms. I think they may be sick of uniforms. Grayson chose Horrible Harry, and Colin chose to be a moron from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  Alonzo decided on Malfoy.  Most kids would choose Harry Potter, but Alonzo chose the villainous Malfoy. So I have a Horrible Harry, an unnamed moron, and Malfoy.  I am so proud.

 Choosing costumes was tough. Grayson wanted me to run right out and buy a ready made costume. I tried explaining that there are no costume shops in Malawi so that would be a bit difficult.  He was ready for me though.  "Mom, you are supped to hire a tailor."  Ummm...Yeah.  Perhaps it might just be time to look at a DC posting.  I think baby boy has been overseas a bit too long.

A moron, Draco Malfoy, and Horrible Harry. That's a whole lotta trouble on one couch.
Reading selections.

Apparently the choice of moron was related to hair length. I did offer to cut his hair so he could be the main character Greg, but he declined. I guess as long as he is happy, I'm happy. In any case he is at school and I can have some coffee in peace and quiet. Ahhh...Life is good.

Monday, April 9, 2012

He deserves it!

Today David was running some wires in the attic to hook my TV in the kitchen up to AFN. Yes I know that a TV in the kitchen makes me a little spoiled, but I don't mind, besides I spend a ridiculous amount of time in there since there is no such thing a convince food here.

Colin was in the living room playing video games on the computer when he heard a scratching sound in the corner, he was unaware that Dave was in the attic. Then dust started falling from the ceiling as David made a small hole to pull the cable from the AFN decoder into the attic. Colin jumped up and went tearing down the hall screaming, and I do mean screaming, "THERE'S A RAT! THERE'S A RAT! IT'S CHEWING THROUGH THE WALL! I SAW IT! THERE'S A RAT! DAD? WHERE ARE YOU? DAD? IT'S A RAT!"

I managed to keep it together long enough to accompany him back to the living room with a broom to kill the rat. Colin pointed up at the ceiling just as David let out an obliging rat-like squeak. Colin about fainted. I totally lost it giggling like a mad woman. It wasn't until David started to laugh up in the attic that Colin caught on that the only rat was his dad.

He is not pleased with either of us and feels we were being unfairly mean. I reminded him of this video but somehow he feels like terrorizing his mother with a ginormous spider is not at all the same thing as the possibility of a rat chewing through the ceiling. Apparently parents should know better. I am sure we pay for this little stunt at light's out time tonight, but seriously, I think he deserved it. Don't you?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vacations - Past, Present, and Future

This week's BRU topic is vacations. Interestingly Dave and I were just talking about how this will be the fourth year in a row we have taken a family vacation. A real vacation, not a weekend camping trip, not R&R or home leave, but a real honest to goodness family vacation.

When we lived in the states we really didn't do family vacations. We occasionally went camping overnight, and we made a few day trips to the beach every summer, but we didn't have the budget, time, or the inclination to take family vacations. In fact before we moved overseas I can only remember two vacations, and one of those was our honeymoon. The other involved a RV. Let it be stated for the record that stuffing 3 kids (2 in diapers), 2 kittens (and their litter box), and two adults into a small confined space for 14 days is NOT the way to family happiness. At one point Dave offered to drop me and the kids off at the nearest airport with enough money to get home. I think he was serious.

In the last four years we have taken trips to Bavaria, England, Victoria Falls, and this Christmas on the way back from R&R we are swinging through Cape Town for a week. Everyone is excited about the upcoming trip, and each for different reasons. Colin wants to see Table Mountain. Grayson wants to see penguins. I'm not sure what Alonzo wants to see/do but he does seem happy about the chance to check off another country visited. Dave and I are just looking forward to having a bit of time to decompress after R&R. Seeing family and friends is wonderful but it can be a bit crazy and exhausting.

So why the change? Why do we take vacations now when we didn't before? Lots of reasons. Probably the biggest reason is where we are living. We are only going to be here in Africa for 3 years. After that we may never pass this way again so we are eager to get out and see as much as we reasonably can, while we can. Then, of course, we are at a different stage of life. The kids are older and more independent, we have more money, and Dave earns a heck of a lot more leave time than he did at his previous job. All that adds up to some pretty fabulous vacation opportunities.

I hope we continue to take family vacations every year for a long time to come, even if we end up back in the states. I love the time we spend together, exploring new places, and enjoying new experiences. One thing I would change is documenting our vacations, I tend to do a lousy job of that. I get so busy all caught up in the moment, that I forget to take time to reflect and write it all down. Looking back through my archives, I realized I didn't manage to do much more than post a few pictures of the trips. I will do better this next trip. Well, I'll try any way.

Next Family Vacation: Cape Town, South Africa.

*Update: Alonzo just informed me that he wants to go diving with the sharks in Cape Town. Umm....NO! I watch shark week too. I've seen the sharks jumping out of the water down in South Africa. This falls in the same category as tattoos, bungee jumping, and motorcycles. If you still want to do it when you grow up, leave home, and can pay for it yourself, then go for it. I am NOT going to support this insanity. Sorry Charlie.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Things Kids Say - Colin Edition

"Mom, Where is tortellini from? Italy or France?"

"Italy? Why?"

"Can we move to Italy? Please? They have good food."

We had this conversation as we cleaned up after dinner. I made tortellini with pesto cream sauce, yum! I love that kid, and Italy is OK with me. Too bad we will have to wait until this fall to find out if it is on our bid list.