Friday, May 28, 2010


Going here this weekend to stay in this!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I haven't updated this week, so you get a variety of topics. Hence the title Smörgåsbord.

The painting is finally finished! He put the last coat on, on Sunday night. Then on Monday I arranged the house the way it was. It's so great to have some color on our walls. I hope I get to do this at every post, it makes such a big difference.

This week has been really mellow for me. John's been very busy at work so he hasn't been able to check with the reference for P (the house keeper). I was hoping that we'd be able to have her starting this week, but I guess that's not going to happen. Hopefully by next week we'll have her here. EDIT: John emailed the guy who had her working two years ago and he's out of the office this week. Boo!

The screen doors to the balcony in our bedroom are broken and have been since we moved in. The screen doors in all of our house have issues staying on the track. Usually you can just replace them and walk away. These are pretty difficult to even replace because they come off track right away. So the Embassy contacted the land lord who hired a contractor to come look at them. He said he was going to buy a part that he could attach to the door to make it tighter on the track. He was supposed to come by Tues or Wed afternoon and hasn't come by yet.

I found out earlier this week that Malachi will be old enough this fall to start Kindergarten. This is really exciting for me and a little weird. I don't feel old enough to have someone going into school (on a side note, someone here was telling Malachi that her oldest daughter was almost as old as me - she's 32. Apparently I don't look my age anymore (I'm 29)). So the school I'm trying to get him in is quite a drive, but I think would be worth it. My sponsor's kids go there and she can't say enough good stuff about it. I feel like Malachi would get a great education at this school and he'd be with his friend. If he doesn't get in, it wouldn't be the end of the world, there are other schools, but I'd love it if he could get into this one.

Simon is continuing to grow and develop. He's still really enjoying the gym that we're borrowing from our sponsors. We've attached the mirror to it and he likes looking at himself in it. He's drooling more and more now which makes me think he's getting close to teething. I scheduled a 4 month well check at the Embassy on the 7th at 2:15. I was hoping to have a car by then, but I don't think it's going to happen. I have used a couple of taxi's that speak English, they're both very nice, so I'll just have to use them again. Malachi continues to love Simon - sometimes a little too much I think.

This morning I heard Malachi and Simon playing in my bedroom and discovered Malachi sitting by him with a pillow on top of Simon. Simon seemed happy, but I kind of freaked out. I tried to not make Malachi feel too bad about it (because after all Simon was laughing) and just told him that he's still to young for the pillow because it's too heavy. I showed him that it's fun with one of Simon's blankets too. The next issue was that Malachi wanted to keep him covered "for a few minutes" so I explained that babies like it if you pull it off quickly. He didn't quite understand that, so we moved on to a different activity.

It's taken me quite a long time to construct this blog entry because so much has been going on during it (including making the well check appointment). Some guys are here to work on our gutter. Remember the flooding? Hopefully this will prevent that from happening again. We did have some really, really heavy rains this week and I was pleased that we didn't have any flooding from those.

No word on the job at the Embassy, or our Diplomatic status (therefore, no HHE or car). Maybe, MAYBE, I'll get some word on that next week. I'm not holding my breath.

I think that's it. I hope you enjoyed your update full of all kinds of stuff. I really should just update more often. Then they wouldn't be so long and take so long to read.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Maid Interviews

We had two interviews set for today, one at 10am and one at 2pm. The 10am came, we'll call her G and she was very nice. Nice enough to tell us that she usually works for singles who just need her for a few hours a couple of days a week and thinks we should look elsewhere. That interview lasted about 15 minutes. G traveled almost three hours for that.

I got to take a two hour nap today between interviews - woohoo!!

The 2pm came, we'll call her P. P was driven by her hubby and when traveling in the car it takes 5-10 minutes to get to our house. But if she works for us she'll walk, so it'll take much longer.

P is great! We're going to call the references that the Embassy has and look at her resume. Unless something doesn't checkout there we're going to go with her. She was willing to negotiate with us on her pay, but we made sure she new that we'd be giving her a raise. She's willing to come here four hours a day Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri. On Wednesday, the day I'll be working if I get the job at the Embassy, she'll come 7:30-5:00 giving her 23 1/2 hours. I think we'll just be paying her for 24.

P has an 11 year old son and a 20 year old son, so she's experienced with kids. She's willing to watch the kids if I need to go out, and she's willing to work nights when John and I want to go out! That's very exciting for me! More Embassy functions, yay!!!

She loves to clean, and is willing to iron even though she doesn't really like it, which is good because dry cleaning here is outrageous! Having her here everyday of the week is great because that means certain things that have to be done frequently (floors) can be done frequently.

We told her that eventually we want her to go to full time, either when I get my job, or when the new year starts. She said that would be fine too. She's very accommodating.

She was great with Malachi when he wanted to show her his castle in the back yard. She's over all very sweet. Both sides have a 30 day trial period to terminate the employment without any consequences. After that I'd have to pay severance and other penalties. So I hope any problems come out before those 30 days are up and either are solved or it's easy to find someone else.

She's worked for Embassy families before. Hopefully those are her references so I can easily talk to people about her and see if she'll be as good a fit as I think she will.

I really, REALLY hope she works out and that we can start using her this week. I hate cleaning. Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate cleaning. The last couple of days I've been able to use the painter as an excuse to not clean the downstairs (except the kitchen of course) but that doesn't really work for the bathrooms. Am I cleaning them anyways? Nope! Did I mention I hate cleaning?

On non-maid topics:

I went shopping at the "Costco" down here again today and bought a few things not on the list of course. Who can go there and not do that?! For grocery shopping today I went to the nice store. It's called Auto Mercado and it's really nice! Shopping there was so peaceful. For those who have lived in VA it's like going to Harris Teeter after shopping at Shoppers, for Texans it's like Simon David after Fiesta, and for Minnesotans it's like Byerley's after Cub (although I do remember Cub quite fondly). I did have to pay to have the nice store, but I think that it might be worth it some times. We'll see how often my husband lets me go there.

The dining room is completely painted! There are some spots that I might touch up - we'll see. I don't know if I'm even skilled enough to do that. Tomorrow he's coming in the morning to do the living room. Hopefully he can work fast enough to do it well and get both coats done. We'll see though, the living room is quite a bit bigger than the dining room and it took him about three to four hours to do one coat in the dining room.

Other than that tomorrow we have no plans.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Earthquakes and Early Mornings

Yesterday I experienced my first ever earthquake. It was very short, but still pretty scary for me. I think mostly because of the kids. By the time I picked Simon up the shaking was done. Malachi enjoyed it. He stood in the open doorway with his hand on the staircase railing. Our complex renaissance man made sure to get off of his ladder (he was here painting).

Like I said it was short. It was over very quickly, but it still scared me a lot. I had shaky nerves for quite a while. My husband called about a minute after it ended. He was super excited about it! I wonder if me having the kids tainted it. Or if I was scared because the friggin ground was shaking!!

Yesterday Simon slept in late! He didn't wake up until almost 7:30. Malachi woke us up at 6:00 and it was so, so nice to sleep in. Today Simon woke up at 5:00, just like normal. I know yesterday was the first time he'd slept so late, but I was kind of hoping that it was going to be the new pattern. Oh well. At least he didn't get up before 5.

Simon knows how to roll from his stomach to his back. It's very hard to get him to do tummy time now. He just want to turn over onto his back. It's great that he's learned a new skill, but I sometimes wish he wouldn't use it. Now it looks like he's trying to push himself from his back to his stomach - might not be much longer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Black Out Curtains

The day we moved in I knew that Malachi's room had black out curtains. I didn't realize that they were also in Simon's and our rooms too. But as soon as I found out, and figured out how to use them (the bars installed by the Embassy were getting in the way) I started using them in our room. I think they've been effective at helping Simon sleep in.

This morning he slept until about 7:15 I think. That means he went about 12 hours from the beginning of his feeding last night until when he woke up this morning. Not only did he sleep in, he woke up happy! He was smiling and cooing with daddy and when I got into the room he was smiling and cooing with me. He was very excited to see us!

What a great beginning to the day. I really needed it too because I got to sleep until six when Malachi woke us up. It helped for my morale today also. Yesterday was kind of a depressing day. I think I've been with out a car for too long (oh btw, car is NOT in the country. The new ETA is the 29th). I really have a hard time being stuck at home. I guess I don't really know what I'd do if I did have a car. Although there is a really nice mall not far from here that me and the boys could go to. One of my neighbors owns a shop there too. Having the car will mean that I'll be making appointments though. I need to make a Well Check appointment for Simon at 4 months, and everyone with teeth in this family needs to see a dentist.

I wish I knew my neighbors more. It's so hard since I don't know if people speak English. I have met people from four of the houses and they all speak English. I haven't really built a relationship with them though.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A week?!

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last posted an update. I log onto the blog every day to check what other people are doing, I guess I just don't have much to say.

I love having A/C but didn't even need it in our room last night because it was cold last night...cold! I used the sheet and blanket!

I bought paint supplies yesterday and our complex renaissance man is going to come tomorrow after his shift and put the base on. Hopefully he can come on Friday to paint - I can't wait!!

Still no car, and no HHE. Don't know when we'll have them.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What was I thinking?

There's no way I can read that many books in that amount of time. I mean, who has time to read? I do, I just don't do it, which is unusual for me. I love to read! With some books I can't put them down. It gets on John's nerves.

Today and tomorrow work men are here to install A/C units in the bedrooms. It's unfortunate that we won't have them in the common rooms, but apparently the common rooms don't cool well. It's meant a lack of sleep for Simon because I can't leave him in the bedroom and he doesn't sleep for very long on me when big brother is loud.

I started attending a Kay Arthur Bible Study on Philippians on Wednesday nights. This morning John reminded me that we did a commentary on that particular book of the Bible in our hermeneutics (how to study the Word) class. I'll have to pull that paper out when it comes with HHE.

Speaking of HHE, it's been in country for two weeks and still no sign of it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interview Part Dos

I'm very critical of myself. It's not very good for me. So when people ask me how the interview went yesterday it's very hard to say "I think it went well." And I do think it went well, but I always doubt myself. I think they liked me, and I do have some pretty good qualifications, however, when it comes to the main task of the job (composing the newsletter), I have no experience. I don't know how to use Publisher, or Power Point. I've never written a newsletter before.

I did write for a blog though, and I edited John's papers for his English degree. I also transcribed for a friend who was doing his Master's Degree. Hopefully those are qualifications enough for that part of the job.

My experience at CFNI as the Admin Asst and even at the hotel in Dallas before Malachi was born seems to be perfect for this job.

I don't know how long it will take to find out if I got the job. If I do get the job it will be a couple of months before I start because I would need to get a security clearance (cool!). That's good though because that leaves me time to get a house keeper who can stay here with the kids on Wednesday's.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I have an interview at the Embassy tomorrow! This is very exciting for me! Then again, I haven't interviewed for a job in almost two years, and this interview is a lot scarier than the last one. Unfortunately I don't have the right shoes or clothes for it. So I'll be wearing a sleeveless shirt with my skirt and sandal heels with no stockings. Oh well (I seem to be saying that a lot lately).

In all honesty I know the person I'm applying to work with and I really like her. I get the impression that she likes me too. It helps my fear that I've been to the Embassy a few times already and know that it's just a normal work place when it all comes down to it.

I don't know how long it will take to find out after my interview what will happen. But as soon as I know something I will let y'all know. Wish me luck/say a prayer tomorrow at.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bringing Up Geeks

Today I finished Bringing Up GEEKS Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids how to protect your kid's childhood in a grow-up-too-fast world. By Marybeth Hicks

The day I posted the list of books I was reading, John went to the bedroom and immediately pulled this book out of hiding. He did tell me it was there, but I didn't see it.

If you were to boil the book down to one sentence you would say that this is a guide on raising your kids to remain kids as long as possible and to grow to be smart, authentic kids who have a very high self esteem because they know who they are and their place in this world. I certainly desire to do that. How do you ask? Marybeth has come up with 10 rules for doing just that.

Rule 1: Raise a Brainiac
Rule 2: Raise a Sheltered Kid
Rule 3: Raise an Uncommon Kid
Rule 4: Raise a Kid Adults Like
Rule 5: Raise a Late Bloomer
Rule 6: Raise a Team Player
Rule 7: Raise a True Friend
Rule 8: Raise a Homebody
Rule 9: Raise a Principled Kid
Rule 10: Raise a Faithful Kid

Going into the book I knew this is what I wanted to do when raising my kids, so this book has acted as a good starting point and has given me a lot of good ideas on how to Bring Up GEEKS.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I didn't realize it had been so long since I'd blogged. I really thought it had been a day or two tops.

John's going to be gone until about 11:30 tonight for work. It's the new President's inauguration tomorrow and there are some higher ups coming from the US (no one I know - don't get excited). So he's going to the hotel they're staying at to be there in case they need him. So from what I understand, he's going to sit in a room for 10 hours and do nothing. And because of all that's going on they're not conducting visa interviews this morning. So...before he goes to the hotel to spend 10 hours doing nothing he's going to spend five hours at his desk doing nothing. I wonder why they didn't let him stay home until he had to go to the hotel. They would've had to pay him overtime for five fewer hours. Oh well.

We've had a boring week. I don't know about other FS wives/moms, but I really think that my honeymoon period here lasted about one night. This week has pretty much been normal. I've realized that no matter what country I live in, I'm the same person. I don't know why I thought I'd be different, but I did. But nope, I'm still just the same ol' boring me. Poor kids.

This house we live in is huge! It's so much work to take care of! I should really clean the floors every day, but I've only done the bottom floor once this week, and the top not at all. I really need to get better at that.I haven't had to clean a house in so long that I'm having a hard time getting back into it. Hopefully next week John can start calling people for me, since I can't speak Spanish, who we can interview for maid work. I can't wait to have someone here to help out!

Still no word on the job at the Embassy - not even a call for the interview. I guess it takes a while to see if I'm even eligible for the job (I am).

John and Malachi planted the top of a pineapple last night. We probably won't get any fruit from it, but it's supposed to be really pretty as it's growing. The next family that lives here will have some nice pineapple though.

I have a flickr account with some photos on it. I'll put a link on the side bar so people can see what's going on here. There are only a few pictures so far because I can't dump a bunch of pictures onto our netbook. Our computer should be here in 2-3 weeks (the HHE is in country!!! It got here on Monday!!!), so then I can start uploading more pictures. I have pictures on a few different memory cards, so I'm going to have to organize it all. Bleh.

So, I guess I'm in a down mood right now. You can probably tell. I'm not always like this. I promise.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I have a question for you...yes you. I'm putting together an interview form for house helpers and I'm wondering what you have or would ask prospective employees. Hm...that's less of a question and more of a statement but you get it, right? Please help me out! Thanks!


I feel I have failed to give a link for the Spring Read Thing so click on this button to get to the official page:

I'll also put it on my side bar.

We had a good Sunday. We went to Price Smart with one of John's co-workers. She brought us first to Chez Christophe for breakfast and it was amazing! John and I are breakfast people and we were so happy to find a good place that is close. She mentioned that we'd always find someone from the Embassy there, and sure enough one of their co-workers from the consular section showed up when we were eating.

Price Smart was busy for Price Smart but it was the same as Costco on the weekend in my opinion. We got a few things and then came home. In the afternoon everyone but John napped...for four hours. John had to wake us up. During our nap John made donut holes...mmm. Then dinner, Skype with my mom and sister, bath/shower for the kids and bed. We started watching Chocolate and then stopped half way through so John could sleep.

I couldn't sleep...and I couldn't sleep. Finally after an hour and a half as I was about to fall asleep John's alarm went off. You see, last Friday morning we had a power outage for just a few seconds. Long enough to reset his clock of course. I reset the time, but failed to reset his alarm. DOH! So a little bit after that I finally went to sleep. When Simon got up to eat in the wee hours of the morning, I had such a hard time getting up. And then when Malachi woke me up it was just as hard.

And now here we are. I was blogging and feeding Simon breakfast at the same time. And now I'm done feeding him and I have nothing else to say except that I'll post a couple of pictures soon, but we don't have a regular computer yet to download pictures on (just a netbook and it doesn't have the space for our pictures). So I haven't put any pictures on our "computer." I'll do a couple though, I suppose.

Oh, and one more thing! Our HHE is in country today!!! It's supposed to take a few weeks to go through customs. Maybe it won't. That would be nice. No word on the car (which I'd rather have more than the HHE honestly).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring Read Thing

I realize I already have a blog entry with the same heading, but I haven't really registered for this yet and I wanted to make sure that I actually do it because I really want to.

I don't have very many books here with me unfortunately, so from now until June 20th I'll be reading the following books:

Bringing Up Geeks: Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids by Marybeth Hicks
I actually started this one, and am probably about 2/3 of the way through it but I've lost it in my new house.

What is Reformed Theology by R.C. Sproul I started this one after losing my other one. This was highly recommended by my hubby, and I've been wanting to read it for a couple of years, so I'm using this as a way to push me to finally do it.

America and The World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft and Moderated by David Ignatius
Since my life now revolves around American Foreign Policy I think this will be an interesting read. This is another one recommended by my hubby.

I've Got to Talk to Somebody, God by Marjorie Holmes
This is a collection of different prayers she's said to God about all sorts of topics. The title really caught my attention shortly after I moved to DC because I didn't have my best friends from Dallas and hadn't made strong friendships in DC yet and I really felt like I didn't have someone to talk to. I did read part of it back then, so I'm going to finish it. This one probably won't take very long.

Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald
Basically a book on how to feel good about being a Housewife when so many people look down on it. This was recommended by someone in my mom's group in DC. I actually started this one too a while ago, but didn't get very far into it before I got my Christmas books and put it back on the shelf for the other new and shiny books that looked a little more interesting. I'm excited to finish it though.

Being Real...Living What You Really Believe by Dean E. Landis
Sometimes I struggle with the balance of living out my Christianity in a secular culture, I hope this book will help.

All of these books have some kind of application in my life. I realize now that I don't have any "fun" books in there. I might have to add one or two in the midst, but we'll see. I don't know where I'd go to buy one with out spending an arm or a leg. And if I order it online I'm looking at a week or two (or three or four) before it gets here, so we'll see.