April 19, 2008


FINALLY!The plumeria tree we planted 19 months ago has finally bloomed!

I was beginning to think it didn't like me.
Or that I had a black thumb.


Plumeria trees grow EVERYWHERE here.
There are some behind the dumpsters at the gas station we go to.
No lie.
I'd drive by in disgust looking at the gorgeous tropical trees and its flowers that smell so wonderful going to complete waste with no one enjoying them, while my tree at home sat annoyingly with no blooms. People don't go to gas stations (er...excuse me Petrol Stations as they're called here) to smell flowers. If they smell anything its the wonderful fumes of the gas being pumped. (you like it too...don't deny it!)

I thought I was banished to gas fumes forever until my family came a couple weeks ago, and the bloom stalk-thingy popped up on two of the branches and gave me hope.

Here it is when we first planted it back in September 2006 after first moving in. The guy at the nursery said it could take up to 6 months to flower...Hmph.Look how much taller it is now! (compare it to the green fence behind it)We "miracle growed" it and also treated it for some sort of bug/pest/fungus thing it had. And our hard work has finally paid off.
Plumeria flowers are so fragrant and now I have some of my own and they smell great!

April 04, 2008

Family Circus- Day 7

The last morning we headed over to Abang and Kakak's again for nasi lemak. They enjoyed meeting the family and finally seeing in person the people we constantly tell stories about! Jeremiah and Isaac watching Shrek the 3rd before breakfast.We sat on the floor this time... Adrienne LOVED being so close to the food!Jeremiah and Kaelyn played "football" with Adik...it's amazing how kids don't need to understand each other's language to play together!After breakfast we headed to a nearby park. This park has been well taken care of... and sections of it are rainforest. There are usually monkeys by the waterfall, but maybe because of the weather (or maybe because the trashcans had been emptied and cleaned out by the park staff) they weren't around. We did catch a glimpse down the road as we were leaving though, and also saw a 5 foot monitor lizard! (no pics, sorry!)

The guys had fun playing frisbee on the waterfall in the rain.I think this picture is hilarious.After coming home and getting cleaned up and packed up, it was time to take everyone to the airport. Here, for Annie, are the cousins together (Jeremiah wasn't exactly the most cooperative and Adrienne can't sit still... but Kaelyn smiled for you!) Kaelyn fell asleep on the way to the airport sitting next to Isaac... she wasn't ready to go home!We can't wait until we get to see them again. We love our family so much and have such great times together!

Family Circus- Day 6

We decided to take the family to eat at our new favorite Middle Eastern restaurant- Sahara Tent. The inside is designed to look like the inside of a tent in the desert and it totally does! The food is delicious and the whole family agreed. Here's everyone enjoying the freshly baked naan with hummus and other middle-east specialties (of which I have no idea what they're called)Sure this isn't the new culture (or food) we live with everyday, but we figure if you travel to another country anything new is fun!

Zach and Mama waiting for me to stop taking their picture so they can eat!Anthony's lamb was as big as a hand...
Kaelyn and Adrienne by some of the authentic decorations. (the Houkka's-sp?- really work. Every time we've been to this restaurant Arab men have been there and several have ordered something to smoke from a houkka!)Next we headed to something that appealed to everyone's Floridian side... the mall with the amusement park inside.
The whole family on the kiddy train. There were black lights on one part of the train ride... Isaac's outfit looked cool! (and he looks a bit head-less:)The only adult ride any of us rode was the roller coaster... it was fun watching the kids ride all their rides!What a fun day!

Family Circus- Day 5

The morning started off with us getting ready to drive out to Mt. Smile, but about 30 minutes before we planned to leave, Jeremiah hit his head on the corner of our banister. Nothing like a bleeding head to make you change your plans. Instead, we just chilled at the house all day again and then went and watched "The Spiderwick Chronicles" at the mall by our house. We really don't have very many pictures, but here are a couple of the kids around the house.

April 02, 2008

Family Circus- Day 4

What a day!
We did "4 things" all day... but those 4 things lasted from morning until bedtime.
First... The Train...
Living in a big city means public transportation. Since Jeremiah and Kaelyn are huge fans of Thomas the Train, we couldn't resist taking them on it.
They got to put their tickets into the turnstiles and everything! Second...Central MarketWe took the train to Central Market. It's where you can buy all the "cultural" type things (as opposed to Chinatown which offers a wide-range of "Original Copies" of everyone's favorite brand names- Gucci, Prada, Polo, etc) My mom found some bowls made of cinnamon tree-bark (they smell like cinnamon!) and Heather bought a pashmina shawl.After taking the train to the twin towers for lunch (and Mama and Zach buying cheap prescription glasses and contacts:) we headed out of the city...
Sorry couldn't resist posting this pic...Adrienne's pigtails look so cute! The kids took naps on the way to our 3rd stop...MONKEYS!
There's a place that's unofficially a "monkey park"We had a great time feeding the monkeys.
But the locals thought Adrienne's red hair and fair skin were more interesting! People kept taking pictures of her!
The monkey park is up on a hill overlooking the straits... there's a lighthouse and everything up there... its got a great view!After sunset we headed over to the firefly park and saw the fireflies. They were as twinkling and neat as ever and everyone enjoyed them (this time we didn't try to take any pictures... we learned our lesson the first time... you can't catch them on camera!)
What a fun day!

April 01, 2008

Family Circus- Day 3

By Day 3, jet lag had caught up with all of us...even Anthony, Isaac, and I. So we chilled at home most of the day. Being together is the whole point of their trip here, so just hanging out was nice:)
Grandmama found a kitty in the back alley (about 4 mommy cats are pregnant...apparently one already had them). One of Kaelyn Joy's favorite things in the world is kitties... tallest twin towers in the world are nothing compared to a sweet soft kitty!ANOTHER suitcase full of goodies came with the family- this time mostly food items. But one special package was Anthony's Taylor Guitar that he had to leave behind when we came (we've since checked FAA regulations and the little guy at Miami International security checkpoint was WRONG!...anyway, I'm calm, what?) In order to carry it over safely my parents bought a new flight case for it. What a great gift! The green lining is even Anthony's favorite color. We haven't been home much the last few days, but the Taylor has already been re-strung and played... Anthony's glad to have a familiar 'friend' around again.For dinner that night, we loaded the circus up and went to eat sate at our favorite chain of sate restaurants. Sate Kajang restaurants make the meaty-est sticks of sate around.Jeremiah is proving to be the "Amazing Sleeping Boy"...unable to be woken up by any adult, child, food, loud noise, or even poking. He slept right through the whole thing!
Adrienne on the other hand just might be a zenophyle....(sp? A person who likes all things that are different) She dove right in and showed that sate stick who's boss!
Kaelyn took some coaxing, but she eventually tried it and liked it.
the fun continues on Day 4!