Thursday, July 19, 2012

Swinging and other new things

 I was thrilled to find this swing on our travels. It is amazing what you can find in this part of the world! Now,  we hope to find a kiddie pool and swings for the big kids......

I heard Scott and the kids opening the box and a while later I ran outside when I heard my baby giggling. This is what I found. I think he likes it!!  This mom thinks this is one adorable little guy!
 This picture captures some of the summer fun for these 3 kids. Books and kittens!! The older 2 have been reading like crazy since Dad was able to ship some books here from our old home. There are also plenty for Katie and Will to enjoy too!  Katie is also reading really well. We are thrilled!
Michael must not have wanted to be distracted from reading to take this picture....

This picture is from the day of our party. "What is going on around here anyway?"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A week away

 We had an unexpected week away last week in order to get new visas and we had a really nice time. The city we visited had lots of fun things to do including public pools! The place we went had several big pools and slides and such but the highlight for Will was this little baby pool. His first "swim!"

 We had fun at several places including a park with lots of rides and these bumper cars!


Monday, July 2, 2012

How to host a lavish party.....

This week, we hosted a party for our neighbors. We moved into our house in late May, and since we moved close to where we lived before, we know some of our new neighbors. Others, we wanted to meet and so we invited them, too.

In order to throw the party, there was lots of planning and things to do in advance......
  • Decide how many people to invite and then go around house to house to invite everyone the day before the event
  • Find someone to make osh- the national dish that is always served to guests
  • Work with a friend to make sure she could come and make the other dishes, which are for the women guests: salads, soup, meat pastries, etc.
  • Do LOTS of shopping to gather all the necessary foods and other things necessary to throw a party.
  • Borrow LOTS of dishes from your neighbors so that you have plenty for the big day
  • Clean your house! We have a smaller guest room where we can normally host people and welcome visitors, but for this big day we need the biggest room in the house, which is the kid's room. So, we emptied it of the kids' stuff and set it up with a  big tablecloth surrounded by mats for our guests to sit on.
We had a great party. Here's some pics from the big day!

The men came at 7:00 am to eat! We were up late the night before getting ready and the osh cooker arrived at 4:00am to get started.  We were pleased that around 25 men came

 The osh was cooked outside in a huge pot over a fire. Here is the cook with a few of our guests eating their osh outside. Osh is made with lots of oil, onions, meat, carrots, and rice. It is yummy (though rather oily!).

 Here I am while the men eat getting more goodies on plates for the women. The women require much more food and stay longer than the men. We added homemade juice, a huge cake, lots of homemade goodies, 2 kinds of salad,  and cauliflower coated in egg and fried to the tablecloth before the women arrived.

 Here is the tablecloth before the arrival. We're ready!

 And thankfully, lots of lovely ladies came! They arrive at around 9:30 am. They each brought something, homemade bread or cake or some other treat, or money. Some of the ladies brought potatoes or cucumbers fresh from their gardens.

I enjoyed myself. My friend Rachel and I had a weekly English club with some of these ladies kids this month and we had the kids come in and say their English greetings and some proverbs that they had learned.  I was happy to see faces that I recognized and ladies that I was meeting for the first time.

While they ate, we put bread, treats, and a small gifts into the bags the ladies had brought.  We also had bags ready to prepare  for the ladies that brought money. All of this is part of Central Asian hospitality!! We served the ladies a bowl of soup, then osh, and then we cut up the huge cake and served that as well. 

This picture is of my helpers! I sure am glad they were there to help. After the guests left, the clean up began.

Now our fridge is full of leftovers and our heart are full of thankfulness everything went smoothly and our neighbors came.