I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We did enjoy ours. AJ was up early to open presents but was locked in his room until I let him walk eyes closed passed the Christmas tree to my room. We put the tree upstairs in the sitting area at the top of the stairs between all the rooms. The puppy was in our room so that occupied AJ for a bit. I went in and woke Aiden and Atticus at 8, AJ had been waiting for 2hrs by then, Matt woke Abby and started the video camera, so we could catch all the screams when the kids discovered what they got. I think we all made out well. AJ got the cell phone he has been bugging us about, Abby got a PSP, Aiden a video game for the PS2 called Naruto and Atticus got 4 Blue's notebooks, a Steve shirt and a Thinking chair from Santa. In total they got 10 new games for the Wii, so that has been taking up most of there free time. Though Aiden and Atticus got some building toys that they have had fun with. There were a bunch of new movies as well, so family movie time has been fun.
What hasn't been fun is the lack of water. We came home late Christmas Eve to no water, no city water and none in the cistern. Thankfully we had it water back after opening presents Christmas morning. Then again on the 26th DH wanted to shower before work but no water, he had to settle for a quick wash up with bottle water. A few hours later we had water, that last for a short bit I got shower and dishes got done, before once again no water. We had called for a water truck delivery when I found the cistern filling, but even once full we didn't have water in the house. So that lead to a call to the Embassy, and I learned that when the cistern empties the pump needs turned off so it doesn't burn out. The day before this I hadn't checked the cistern to see if it was full or not except that first day when it was empty. This time I knew it was full. However once again around lunch time on the 27th no water, AJ wanted a shower. I called the Embassy and the plumber came, he said the cistern should last us 3 or even 4 days, it didn't last us 24 hrs. However he couldn't find a leak anywhere so now we just hope and watch I guess. We did have a water delivery that afternoon. I checked the cistern a bunch of times yesterday to find it full each time. Hope it stays that way.
The puppy is learning. Matt lasted 3 nights of puppy duty before he wanted to call it quits. I couldn't do that, give the puppy back to it's mom on the street. I am not attached to him so much but a life on the street isn't fair to puppy. So now Abby has the late night hours, 9 or 10-midnight. She is often up at that time anyhoo, so she just makes sure that around 11 or 12 she takes him out of his crate for a potty break and bit of play if he needs it. Then I have been doing the care after that. The first night he was up at 1 and 4, then just 4 and last night he made it till a little after 5. Hopefully he will take to potty training as well. He has yet to have an accident in his crate which I will take as a great sign.
Atticus latest is say back at you "no you are ....", like I said "Atticus you can't run around outside your nakid", "No your nakid" We had a bit of fun with that as you can say "Atticus you're cute", "No, you're cute", "Atticus you're beautiful", "No you're beautiful"
It has been a busy week, which is good. We had our kids Christmas party at the Embassy on Tuesday. It went well Aiden did good about Daddy being Santa's "helper" and Atticus seemed clueless. However the party was at the Restaurant on the Embassy compound, it also has the Ambassadors' residence. The parties we have been to there before, we had no Ambassador so the kids roamed and played "man hunt" were ever, it is nice as it is a huge safe area. I forgot to tell the kids to stay away from the house. Apparently Aiden met the Ambassador and was questioning him about his house and following him around. Of course he looked a bit of a ragamuffin as it was muddy and humid, so running around he was sweaty, mud splatter legs and somehow half his face was cover it dirt. At least when I go to the dinner at the Ambassadors tomorrow he won't know it was my son. My friend here had been following her boys and so she got to meet him with the kids. I do hope he is a family friendly kind of person as the kids LOVE to run when the have parties and they are held sort of in his backyard.
The dinner at the Ambassadors was nice. The Ambassador was very nice and friendly and mentioned the kids he had met the evening of the Santa party. As the tone was friendly when he said it I claimed one of those he met, who was very impressed by his house. It was nice chatting with adults and not wondering where the kids were and what they were up to. So good food and adult conversation what more is need??
Yesterday we went to a get together. It was fun, I was a bit worried about knowing some of the people other than the gentleman who invited us. Of course I should have known better as I have met enough people that any gathering with Embassy families invited I will know someone at least. It was nice, they house was kid friendly for the younger two and friends of the older two were there so I didn't have to hear, I am bored, can we go yet. Atticus was a little, OK a lot upset about leaving. He really thought we should bring the "cute baby" home with us. He went on for some time about that, which is unusual for him. They had a golden retriever which the kids LOVED. He was so calm and quiet, well maybe not calm while chasing the ball the kids threw but he did lay peacefully even while there were lots of plates of food close by. Again more good food and adult conversation, with happy kids..
I have been doing tons of baking, yum yum yum. I gave away most of the first batch of fudge, gingersnaps, peanut blossoms, sugar cookies and chocolate pixies. So we are doing another round of baking though I doubt all of those get made again before Christmas. I did do Chocolate pixies today and tomorrow the Peanut Blossoms will be made to take with us to one party and I think Spinach Balls and a Cheesecake for the dinner with our friends tomorrow night.
The newest and biggest news is the addition to our family. A1 and A2 don't even know about it yet as I am typing, they have been out for the afternoon, they will get a big surprise when they come home. Our family grew while we were in Manila and it is growing again. Yes we have a puppy. His name I think will be Oreo. His mommy is a street dog and the puppies are in the park across the street, although I am not quite sure where in there. The guard for the residencial across the street had brought them to the attention of friends who live there. Who brought it to our attention, I have seen one of the mommies around, I guess there are 2 liters over there, as I don't recall seeing the mommy to this one. He brought us two, I guess there was only one male and we choose him or maybe that is Matt choose him. He snuggled right up to Matt or actually anyone who will hold him. He doesn't like to be left on the floor or grass, so maybe Matt will get his lap dog. He did go right in his crate without a peep and napped. I will take that as a good sign, as he needs to be crate trained.
How's your Christmas shopping going? I mine for my kids and Matt is done and most of it is here. Hopefully the rest will be here before Christmas. This weekend I plan to finish up all family shopping, so packages can be sent out. Still deciding what to do about Christmas cards, as I didn't plan ahead for the stamps...hhmmmm.. We are once again having a warm Christmas which isn't really new but still hard to feel like Christmas while it is warm out. Our residencial has lots of Christmas lights up which helps and the boys LOVE it. They want to go out and see them nightly and will even just sit across from a house with lights and watch them blink. We have a few of our lights up. Hopefully a Christmas tree stand will arrive soon and we will put up our tree. Ours was not with our tree and after looking at 4 stores for one, we gave up and ask help from Grandpa in getting one.
Matt has a new job around the house, mowing the lawn and I guess you could call it a lawn it is more than a grassy patch but not by much. We had been paying someone to do it but the money we paid for the little bit of grass was just not worth it. It just a few mowing the mower will have paid for itself.
However the guy who comes and washes the car I wasn't sure he was worth it, but I have changed my mine. Besides being nice having a clean van (he does inside and out), I dented the back bumper and being that it isn't a metal bumper he fixed it. The van looks much nicer without a big dent in the bumper. Oh and he comes to the house, instead of Matt taking it to some bar/car wash and being gone for hours.
Looking for a new ornament this year and not sure what to get, here is one and the proceeds benefit CASANA (Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America), snowflake ornament
It has been far to long again. We had a nice Thanksgiving with friends, I made a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, homemade rolls, a couple of vegetable dishes and a couple of pumpkin desserts. It was a lot of work but yum!!! Abby and AJ mentioned missing the Thanksgiving day parade. I think the reference was about not really watching it but just having it on the TV to catch bits and pieces. Then a couple of days ago a package arrived bearing Christmas presents and my niece (Thanks Ashley) and taped part of the parade. It was great. Apparently there were other shows on their as well that Matt, Abby and AJ checked out. They miss having cable, sometimes I wish we had it but only to entertain Aiden and Atticus which is better that I don't so....Maybe in the new year we will get it again.
Abby and AJ went to the play Carol Morgan's high school is putting on called Rumors. Hopefully AJ's drama class will put on a play for us to see, they do have a comedy night coming up. The dates have been all rearranged due to the Tropical Storm a few weeks back.
Atticus has taken to saying "I wuv you too" or "I wuv you too Mama", the "too" is always said whether he is replying to you or just coming up to say it. It is so adorable. I got it on video to share but it was too long or to big or something so I will have to try again.
We survived the rains better than alot of others. We had no water damage to our house or our belongings. They did have trick or treating at the Embassy the Thursday after Halloween and the kids got plenty of candy. They didn't get as much as we did trick or treating in the States but who really needs that much. They had fun and that's what counts. It did rain during it but the timing was good for me in that we didn't get rained on going between the different buildings. We did cross some lakes coming home and I was glad Matt was driving.
Matt got to go back to the States this past week for a week of training in VA. He didn't have much to say about it except that it was cold, definitely not a problem we have unless I go into Abby's room. She keeps the ac on a bit low for what I find comfortable. Aiden really missed him this time. I don't think he asked about him when we were apart for the 4 months as he did this past week. He cried for him just about every night. This morning Matt got up and went out to play golf and Aiden was mad that he was leaving again. He calmed down quickly and hopefully won't be mad at him when he comes home.
AJ got his first report card from Carol Morgan and did very well. He had 4 A's and 3 B's in subject area skills. Carol Morgan has 3 grades for each class, one is subject area skills which it more of what a typical grade would be. They also give one for conduct and responsibility. I do like that the school has a website were you can check his grades at any time and they list the assignment grades there as well. Just in case he isn't turning everything in or maybe he turned it in and didn't get credit.