December 24, 2006

On the 3rd day of Christmas...

Our parents arrived safely Friday- 5 hours early! They've been here 3 days, so it's like its been Christmas for 3 days.

Day one
- We just went to KFC near home and had dinner. Friday, our water stopped working. Just the thing folks who have been traveling for 30 hours want to hear. Not sure what happened, only that its never happened before. Its fixed now and all are clean. Also, Sharon's mom couldn't wait and gave us a big surprise... our Wedding Album! It's been 2 and 1/2 years since May 28, 2004, and after overcoming hurricanes, a 4-state away move, and then another move across the world, we finally have it! And it looks AWESOME!

Day two
- We hit the big city- took the train into town like the cool 'city folks' we are and showed them our vast knowledge of the public transportation system. We did some Christmas shopping and went to an amusement park inside one of the malls. Back in October we came here but didn't ride. Of course the first thing Sharon's dad wanted to do was ride the roller coaster. No pics from that, but we got some on another upside down ride.

The earrings' position should prove the upside-downness of the moment.
Us with Sharon's parents in the 10-storey mall that holds the amusement park.

Day Three- a.k.a. Christmas Eve- Sharon and Mama spent most of the morning making the Durrance traditional Spritz Christmas Cookies...made every Christmas Eve since like 1984...
Before heading to our boss's house for a Christmas Eve get-together, Mom made her delicious lasagna for all to enjoy at the party. She's half-Italian, so naturally it tasted amazing despite having to find the ingredients in a foreign grocery store.
At our boss's house we exchanged "Secret Santa" gifts. Several people got very fun things (batik wraps, flashlights for climbing mountains, etc), but by far the best, in Sharon's opinion, was her gift to Justin. If you're a fan of Napoleon Dynamite then you'll laugh at the next picture. If you're not you need to watch it again and recognize the humor in the movie. If you've never seen it, go buy it now...make it a stocking stuffer for yourself.

All he could say between his tears of joy was, "I want that!" Sharon is enjoying her 32 piece set.

More pictures and stories to come. We hope your Christmas Day is great and that you remember the reason we celebrate- the birth of the King of kings!

Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2006

"Visions of Sugar Plums..."

are dancing in our heads!
Our parents are coming and will be here this Friday!
We're doing last minute preparations- getting beds for them to sleep on, painting, buying towels, grocery shopping, etc...
They'll be here before we know it...
Kaelyn knows how fast they're coming...

December 14, 2006

fresh cool

Our parents will be arriving in a week and a day. Even though this is December, we have ALL the windows open in our house right now, and a ceiling fan is going...I'm still sweating. Right now. As I type this post. I love the tropics.
To help our parents' visit to be a pleasant one we had these installed today. (you should be looking at the white boxes above the windows)
Now after they get out of their hot showers- provided by the handy-dandy electric water heaters we had installed a few weeks ago- they will be able to cool down, "fresh cool" down if you will, before coming downstairs where there is no air-con and where they will begin sweating again.
We do what we can.
In other news, I stepped in cat poo (see post 3 down for details) while taking the picture of the guy on the ladder. Good thing I didn't know it until I had wiped my feet on two of the rugs in our kitchen.

December 09, 2006

"6-inch ribbon curls Honey!"

"That's Impossible!"
"6 INCH!"
Today, while listening to the soundtrack to "Elf" and a few other Christmas favorites, I decorated our Christmas tree.
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."

First, we went to IKEA (wonderland I tell ya) to get all the supplies. They were out of white Christmas lights, so we hunted some down at this shop that was way too crowded and was playing some Christmas song about going to Jamaica.
"I passed through the seven levels of the candy-cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel."

I put part of the tree together (artificial of course- although they DID have 10-foot live trees at IKEA- I prefer the reusable kind and a pine-scented candle) and decided to go ahead and put the lights on because the branches always scratch my hands. I plugged them in and BOOM!

The thing blew up in my hand.
"Son of a Nutcracker!"

Opening the next box I was more careful.
"Watch out, the yellow ones don't stop"

But they worked fine and I began putting them on the tree...until I got the poo shocked out of me and turned them off to finish the job.
"I'm a cotton-headed ninny muggins."

But of course, we were short on lights. So while Anthony went to go find more lights, I kept myself busy with this little guy...
"Call me an elf ONE more time!"

Cute huh? This one is real. And it smells like Pine-sol.
"You stink! You smell like beef and cheese. You don't smell like Santa."
Anthony triumphantly returned with more lights and I finished the tree...

"Do you see this place?!? Corporate sent professionals."
Most of our downstairs is blue- and with the success of a friend who went the blue and silver route- I decided to go with blue and silver (with a touch of lime's the tropics...looks me). Nice huh? Other than the fact that the lights blink and have a good chance of burning our house down, it looks great and helps this tropical foreign country feel even more like home.
"I thought maybe we could make ginger-bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice-skating, and maybe even hold hands!"
Christmas is here!

December 04, 2006

An Unforgettable Celebration

This is a pretty innocent looking party, right? A wedding perhaps, or maybe a big birthday party. It was a party alright, but the guest of honor never even left the house. His entire extended family + 2 very white people ate until their stomach's nearly burst, slept in front of the TV, then returned to eat some more. Kind of like Thanksgiving Day, except the TV was spitting out words I didn't understand and there were definitely no Lions or Cowboys playing. What were we celebrating? I can tell you what I was celebrating - the fact that I wasn't the guest of honor. You see, the guest of honor was inside recuperating from a little surgery. He was circumcised the night before. Oh joy. People do not get circumcised here until they're around the age of 10-12, and the entire family celebrates the occasion.

Here is Sharon cooking some "ayam merah" (red chicken). One of the ladies just handed her a big spoon, spat out some directions in a foreign language, and enjoyed the sight of a white woman cooking what had to be 5 or 6 cut up chickens in a ginormous wok. Luckily Sharon has already learned most of the cooking terms in our new language, isn't shy about attempting new things, and had several ladies to step in to help her.

Judging by the way these sweet ladies are smiling in this picture, you'd think that we were all dear friends or at least good acquaintances. Truth be told, we've never met them before, don't know their names and we didn't even talk to them at the party. As they were leaving, one of them looked at Sharon and asked, sheepishly, "Can take picture with you?" Ah, the life of a movie star... who isn't in any movies... who isn't famous... who only vaguely resembles a famous person (click here for proof)... but who must be famous because all white people are movie stars. These ladies would be sad to know that the only thing we've done in L.A. is eat at In-and-Out Burger, although we did stand next to Tori Spelling once while waiting for our bags in the airport. I know what you're thinking... "You've stood next to Screech's girlfriend?" Yep. Be jealous.

December 02, 2006

The Grass is Greener...

in my yard. It's true. We laid sod in our back "yard" and it looks great.
Apparently this little guy and his family think so too... I mean, look at the other yard behind him...yuck.
(We're purposely ignoring the fact in this post that most of our neighbors think the Americans are weird because they've even bothered with the back yard that no one really sees)
We put the sod down in order to do fun things like BBQ and I (Sharon) have even considered buying one of those kiddie pools to lounge in while reading.
But our plans have been postponed by this..

Yup. Cat poo. You may wonder about the odd color...we do too..but the plastic spoon in it should explain some of that.
Before leaving for the Highlands last week we put up this stuff to block our back gate, the gutter, and the bottom of the chain link fence...
Except we didn't buy enough.
And the Kitties let us know it too.
Can you count the piles?
Don't miss the one in the top right hand part of the grass.
Ya'll thought we were just being wimps about not BBQing.
We love living here. And having the grass that all the cats in the alley want to poo on.
It's a great compliment, but it's been received and now it's time to buy some more of the fence stuff.

November 26, 2006

A Highland Thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving weekend we traveled with some of our co-workers up to the mountain highland areas about 3 1/2 hours from home.
We are so thankful for the Lord's blessings in our lives. This was the first major holiday we spent overseas but we were blessed to spend it with 11 other people who loved on us and made this place feel like home. We were lacking nothing! The picture is the view from the Chalet we stayed in. In the 75 degree weather it even FELT like Thanksgiving (well, Thanksgiving in Florida that is!)

We were busy with fun the whole weekend. We went hiking in the jungle...this jungle had a moss floor, fog, and mud. Mrs. King noted everyone's thoughts as she exclaimed- "Wow! It feels like we're in a jungle!" We are so thankful to be with each other over here. The tropics are wonderful for our marriage!

The Highlands- because of the climate- produces some of the best tea in Southeast Asia. Mrs. King and I sure enjoyed the tea plantation visit. The other picture is of a machine from 1935 still used in making the tea. These folks are serious about their tea. We are thankful to have friends over here to have fun with!

At the Butterfly farm we visited- K3 was the designated butterfly boy as we piled as many on him as we could. Then oddly enough there were other creatures there so opposite in nature to soft happy butterflies like huge blue (it was blue. Promise.) scorpions. I am thankful for ALL God's creatures- some just for the fact that they don't live in my house!

We did other stuff like hang-out, watch "Hogan's Heroes," eat, and have a talent show. K5 swung a lot. And K3 and K4 played together like best buds do. Anthony and Justin found huge pencils at the butterfly farm to play pencil break with.
It was a memorable first Thanksgiving abroad that's for sure. We left feeling refreshed and...yup, you guessed

November 19, 2006

Bond Girl

This is a true account.
Last night after seeing the new James Bond Movie (Highly recommend it by the way...although they cut out any sex scene type stuff here, so it was PG + blood...check the ratings in your country) my husband and I were driving home in The Rush- our 1.8L Toyota SUVan.

While coming up to a toll booth we noticed that in one of the two "Touch-n-Go" lanes the cars were backing up and moving into our Touch-n-Go lane.


Because the guy trying to touch his card to get through the toll didn't have enough money on his card.

So there we were.
About 5 cars from getting through ourselves.

I say to Anthony,
"I should just jump out and use our card to tap him through."

I was ready for my own action scene after the all the Aston Martins and bombs.

In an instant, also having elevated adrenaline levels from the new 007, he says,
"Yeah. Go!"

So I jump out of The Rush, run up to the stranded Chinese man in his nice Mercedes, hold out my card and say,
"Do you need this?!?!"

He was still fumbling around and was probably shocked to be a part of such an heroic act.

I asked again.
Then just tapped the card on the box like any highly trained MI6 agent.
(Double 0's always have cool gadgets)
and said

As the red light changed to green and the bar raised in front of him,
he said,
Like all 'extras' in actions scenes do

At that moment Anthony was pulling up in the next lane.

Hurrying so we wouldn't hold up traffic,
I leaped over one cement barricade and then another.

After a quick hand-off of the card, Anthony touched it to the box and we were on our way.

All toll lanes safe and sound.

November 18, 2006

A post to tie you over...

"Tie you over" is a funny phrase. Leave us a comment if you know why "tie you over" means " I'm giving you something right now that will help you wait until I give you something better." I don't have a clue. Even if you don't know either, just make up something. We won't know the difference. I never knew how weird the English language was until I tried to explain some American slang in a foreign country.

So here - as the title suggests - is the post to tie you over. Let the over-tying begin...

We'll post a decent entry later on today or tomorrow, since some of the goings on in our lives will happen today. In the meantime, here's some pictures from last spring of our friend Micah expressing his feelings over The Di Vinci Code. You can feel his conflict between enjoying the suspense and feeling saddened and dismayed with Brown's utter disregard for factual, historical information. [As a side note, when I first wrote that last sentence I used the word "udder" instead of "utter"... cow anatomy has nothing to do with The Di Vinci Code... or does it? - there's no telling how deep the conspiracy runs.] I think the yellow earplugs add just the right emphasis to all his emotions. Forget Mona Lisa's smile, check out Micah's secret underneath these grins.

Quite a breath-taking display of the range of human emotion.

November 10, 2006

Ain't no poor in Singapore...

We had a great time on the famous island as this post will surely demonstrate in picture-and-caption form. Tuesday night we went to "Little India" and "Chinatown" ...sorry, no pics of little India. In Chinatown we remembered our camera. Here's Anthony getting in the spirit of things...

We found this little guy in a shop...he's a lion, not a dog. I promise the music isn't dubbed over...

I still can't believe we didn't buy one. There was a dragon too. Maybe next time.

Wednesday night we went to the "Night Safari." Very cool. (Thanks for the recommendation Brad!) The lights they have to see the animals are special so you can see them with your eyes, but not on a camera (and no flash of course)- believe me I tried and they all came out black.

One trail has an area with bats free-flying around. I thought it was fun, but Anthony unexpectedly found himself wanting to leave. Quickly. Apparently he has a previously unknown fear of bats. Funny. The African section was more his style.

Then there are the requisite tourist photos. One is in front of a mosque in little Arabia. The other is the skyline of Singapore from our hotel. And I promised I would take a picture of any poor people I saw. A taxi-driver told me 2-years ago that there were no poor people in Singapore. He was right. I couldn't find one. This guy looks a bit down. But his clothes are clean, his hair was cut, face clean-shaven and he looked folks in the eye. He probably isn't rich, but he didn't seem poor.

Singapore is renowned for having rules...and consequences for breaking those rules. (Remember the American kid who spray-painted a car and got caned?) The rules work. Only a few people dare light cigarettes, there's a slim chance you'll ever step in chewing gum, and the subway is rated as one of the safest places on earth. There are signs reminding you of the rules. This was one of our favorites.

According to this, we technically owe Singapore $1000SingDollars. (We brought drinks onto the subway-but no one caught us- in our defense we couldn't find a trashcan). For more Singapore Pictures click here.

We recommend Singapore. It's a nice little island. Just be sure and leave your durians at home.

And a shout-out to Mamalou on her birthday today!

November 02, 2006

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet...

It's been a while since our neices, nephews, and cousins (who might as well be in the 'n&n' category) had significant airtime. We didn't celebrate Halloween here, but folks back home did, and boy were the kids (and some of their parents) cute this year! Above is Adrienne Faith Diaz sporting her FSU cheerleader outfit. Red-headed cheerleaders are all the rage this year!

I know. Cute right? The cape blowing behind her is almost too much.

Jeremiah "Spidey" Diaz...

Mobster Z "the Lefty" Diaz...and his smokin hott wife...

Chief K. Black here to save the day! I needed him during my sparkler in the eye accident!

Katie DOES look delicious huh? I can see why she's taking a bite...

Kate Durrance is in da hood...with the requisite Big Bad-Bobby-Wolf played by her father (my cousin)