Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Birthday Picnic and Other Photos

The view from our window the other night - spectacular!

The Wandering Family, from time to time, manages to wander themselves silly, to the point where blog updates are left by the wayside. That's my excuse, anyway.

And really, it's not like our lives have changed dramatically in the last two weeks. Well, we did make another trip out to "Paradise," the village we've been living/working in recently, and our coworkers are back, but that's getting ahead of myself. I should just let the pictures do the explaining:

Yes, our long-lost coworkers are back! With their twins in tow! And they are predictably cute.

And our boys enjoy them being back as well. Steven and Matthew had missed some of their favorite playmates, but no longer.

And, just to prove that the seemingly-interminable winter is actually over, here's an outdoor shot.

Of course, it's not all been fun and games since they got back. D and C's apartment is exactly the same layout as ours (not as rare as you'd think, since they all had to be approved by a bureaucrat in Moscow back in the Soviet days), and they decided that they'd like to remove the wall in between their living room and kitchen. We had also been thinking about making that change, and now we really want to after seeing how it makes their apartment feel.

Anyway, this photo is not of the work going on, which I don't have pictures of, but the work "glove" we constructed out of duct tape for lack of better options when hauling broken concrete out. It worked great!

And we have managed to convert some of our village friendships into town friendships; this is our host family enjoying a meal at our apartment recently. I don't know how much they enjoyed the American-style baked beans and fried chicken, but they didn't really give us enough advance notice to cook a more T-palate-friendly dish, so I guess they're stuck with it!

We did manage to wander our way out to the village where we've been teaching English and studying T culture and language. Somehow the student on the right doesn't seem to be appreciating the dynamic nature of my teaching style. I can't understand it.

Steven thought he could do a better job of holding their interest. Unfortunately, he's only qualified to teach the lower-case "l."

We happened to be out in the village for Matthew's 2nd (!!) birthday, so we took advantage of some nice weather and went out for a picnic. Two of our students fell in with us on the way, and we hiked up into the hills as far as the boys' little legs would carry them.

We tried to get some birthday photos; I like this one of Daddy and Matthew, who seems to be intent on tasting the flavor of his bubble thingy.

Like all good boys, Matthew likes bubbles. Here, one of the students is helping him blow some.

Meanwhile Daddy and Steven were playing in the dirt with sticks. Because that's what you do when you're a man.

Matthew managed to cap off the day by setting an international record for cuteness.

We brought him home to tuck into some birthday cupcakes and milk.

After which he was so tired he fell asleep standing up. Actually, this was taken a few days later, but I still like how he can manage to fall halfway off the bed and still not wake himself up.