Monday, April 28, 2008

Our Driver

Moving to Malaysia, we knew life would be full of new and different experiences. One of the "perks" of living in Malaysia for many expats is that their company gives them a driver. A driver is a luxury that one would never experience at home but it is quite common here. Some companies give employees a driver for a period of time so that you can get used to driving on the other side of the road and learning your way from point A to point B. Other companies include a driver for their managers and instead of sitting around waiting for the boss to get finished they drive the family around. Having a driver is nice because you never have to drive around looking for a parking spot nor do you have to pay for a parking spot. And by the way you pay to park everywhere, but that is another blog. Also with a driver you do not have to worry about getting directions because most of them know the city very well. They are ready to go when you are and willing to wait around if you want to stay a little longer. You never worry about where your umbrella is because you get picked up at the door.

Since Brian has been allowed to go back to work he has been in a walking boot. The first week he was on crutches and the next two weeks he was allowed to walk but only short distances. Brian can drive the problem was really parking and getting caught in the rain. Originally Brian was just going to take a taxi to and from work. Getting to work was not a problem, but one night he got caught in the rain waiting for a taxi and another night he could not get one to come for 45 minutes and did not arrive home until almost seven. So we talked about it and decided we would hire a driver. After asking around, we were given the name and number for Winston, a very nice indian man who has spent the past three weeks driving us. Winston would start his day at seven by taking Brian to work and then come home and drive Carley to school and take me to yoga, the grocery store and all those little errands moms run during the day. Winston would finish his day by picking Brian up around 4. I was a little worried when Winston first came what Carley would say. Recently she has not taken to new people very well. But Carley took to Winston the first day he came. On Winston's first day Carley was out of school and we needed to take the car to the shop and then go meet a friend to play. I had Winston follow me and assuming that Carley would ride with me I put her in her car seat and got ready to drive. But she promptly informed me that Mr. Winston was going to drive her, and so he did. An instant friendship was born. Carly loves to talk to Mr. Winston. He taught her several colors in Bahasa, the native language. When given the chance, Carley made sure that Mr. Winston drove her. She even went so far as to tell me one afternoon,when I was driving her home from gymnastics because Winston had gone to pick up Brian for physical therapy, that I was a bad driver. Mr Winston is much better driver than you. I like his driving. He should drive us all the time, she informed me. She gave him flowers and colored him pictures. Rushed out to see him when it was time to go to school and told him to drive carefully when he would leave for the day. Sadly this was Winston's last day of driving for us. Brian is better and can handle the walk from the parking garage across the street up to the office. Carley was very sad when Winston got ready to leave, but insisted on having her picture made with him. She gave him another picture and once again told him to drive carefully on his way home. She waved good bye out the window as he drove his moped out the gate. She shed a few tears because we told her he was not coming back. Little does she know how lucky she is to be a little girl who has had a driver.

Have a great day. Paige, Carley and Winston

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Were you one of those kids who used to love to dig in the dirt or sand. My dad asked more than once if I was trying to dig to China as I played on the beach. Well here you go. Now you can with the drill to China machine.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bali, The Final Chapter

I am finally going to finish telling all of you about our trip to Bali.

Our fourth day in Bali was Balinese New Years Day. Also known as the DAY OF SILENCE, yes that is right I said silence. Once all the evil spirits have been scared out of hiding the whole island is still. The belief is that the evil spirits will see that the island is uninhabited and leave. SO I am sure you are thinking what does the day of silence mean. It is truly a day of silence. No one is allowed to go out. No planes come and go at the airport. Cars do not drive. TV's are turned off. People are supposed to stay inside and keep quite. When I first heard about the day of silence my initial thought was how in the WORLD am I going to keep Carley silent. Luckily we learned quickly that hotels have special allowances since people are visiting and you are allowed to move around, we could watch TV even swim in the pool. We had to have all our meals at the Westin. But we were not allowed on the beach or in the ocean. It was a little odd to see the security men standing at the front door and at the edge of the beach making sure you did not go out and break the rules. When we were checking in we met a man originally from California that now lives in Bali. He told us that lots of families with children check into the hotel for the day of silence so they do not have to worry about breaking any rules and getting fined. And he was right. The hotel was packed with kids, pool over flowing not a chair to be found, the kids club was packed and when it started to rain. Suddenly there were all sorts of indoor activities for all ages. The next day the island returns to normal and the hotel became a ghost town. The pool was empty and Carley did not have to wait in line for the trampoline. We spent the day of silence swimming, reading , eating and napping. It was a great day.

On Saturday we could leave the hotel, so we went out. We went to Uluwatu. A temple that sits high above the ocean and has a beautiful view. It was built in the 11th century and after the original one fell into the sea they rebuilt it again in the 16th century. There were a lot of monkeys and the temple was closed but the view of the ocean made up for it. We then headed over to Kuta which where a large number of hotels and resorts are located. The beach here is very popular with the tourists and locals. It is famous for its surfing, rip tides and many beach side vendors. You can have a massage, buy souvenirs, shells, t-shirts and sarongs, and have lunch ordered and delivered all with out leaving your towel. We hopped out of the car long enough to take a picture and dunk our feet in the ocean. For lunch we searched out a restaurant that is supposed to have the best Mexican food this side of the Pacific ocean, but alas it was closed. Like many other shops and restaurants they were shut down due to the New Year celebration. While driving around town I took this picture because I was just amazed to see how much western culture has seeped into this little island. I am not sure if you can see the third sign, but yes Lou that is a Krispy Kreme But luckily it is limited to this very touristy area. After Lunch it was off to the beach, now many of you know that I love the beach and my daughter has also inherited my love for sand and sea. But this was James first excursion to the beach where he could sit up by himself and really play so I was not sure what would happen,

But luckily it looks like my love f all things sandy must be in the blood. We hit the beach at low tide so there was plenty of sand. The beach has very little waves since it is protected by a coral reef about 500 yards out. We watched many fishermen walk across the flats looking for their dinner. We even did a little exploring and came across this beauty

as well as several sea urchins. They were very scary looking and that would explain the signs at the top of the beach to watch your step and not to swim beyond the buoys. Since before the buoys the beach was clean of most creatures and coral. That night we dined by the sea on a delicious dinner of barbecued seafood.

Our last day in Bali was spent packing up. Carley did manage to get in one more swim in the BIG pool as she liked to call it. She even learned how to swim with her floaties. We had an afternoon flight out and we were home by dinner. Bali is a beautiful island that I would like to go back to one day. But our travel list is long and our time is limited. But I really think we will get back there especially since I need to have a gong.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday Craziness

Do You Know Who This Is?

Well if you do not let me tell you. It is flat Stanley. He is a character in a book where he gets squished flat and he is then mailed around the world to all sorts of fun places. Our friend's daughter in Texas is doing a Flat Stanley Project and we have had Flat Stanley for a while. The idea is to take Flat Stanley places and take his picture. He went to Bali with us and some other places, but on Saturday Afternoon in the course of about 3 and a half hours we drove all over Kuala Lumpur taking pictures of Flat Stanley with famous sights here. We learned several new facts and found out that our city has some great sights that we have not even ventured out to see. Here are a few of the high lights. Carley did a great job of holding Flat Stanley and James got into the act to. There is lots to see here and Brain and I decided that we need to get out and see a little more of our city. We hope you had a great weekend too.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back on the Blog Wagon

I know it has been a long time since I posted my last blog, but until looking at the calendar I didn't realize quite how long it had been. So here I am Back on the blog wagon and I will try to catch you up on what has been going on. My last post was on March 21st just before Easter.
Easter here is very uneventful. No chocolate eggs in the stores or giant Easter baskets wrapped in cellophane. Actually I could not even find jelly beans. Luckily I knew this might be a problem so Brian brought us some plastic eggs, jelly beans and an egg dying kit from his last trip to Texas. Carley and I did dye eggs she did a great job even dying one blue and another green for James. Eggs hidden and baskets stocked we had a great Easter egg hunt. We hustled off to church to celebrate the real reason for Easter, our savior rising from the dead Hallelujah. We still have not found a church home but we went to our favorite so far. DUMC is a mega church here in Malaysia. The worship center is brand new and seats about 3000. It is a great church filled with the spirit and very alive. We had a wonderful celebration.
On the 26th we went back to the doctor, for a follow up on Brian's foot. In case you do not remember Brian was putting away some dishes when a glass bowl shattered and a piece severed his extensor tendon of his big toe. Big toes are pretty important if you did not know they are the keystone to your balance and push off when walking and especially running. Our doctors visit was very disappointing since it was confirmed that the initial surgery did not work and that the tendon was not connected. Another surgery was now in Brian's future. We choose or should I say I demanded that we seek out another doctor. We had a very stressful couple of days trying to find a specialist here, even looking at plane tickets back to Houston to have my favorite surgeon Dr. Rechter fix it. Dr Rechter was very kind and interrupted his office hours on Wednesday morning to talk with me and basically give me a phone consultation on how he would handle the situation. He even agreed to take Brian into surgery the next Monday if we decided to go that route. But God is good and after my Wednesday morning mom's prayer group I was talking with one of the mom's and she said I know a group of specialist and the office is really close to your house. We ended up seeing Dr. Low their ankle specialist on Friday. I made it very clear after asking some specific questions that I had some background in the field of orthopedics and he was very knowledgeable and put most of my concerns at ease. Brian had surgery on Monday the 31st of March. The whole process admission, surgery recovery and rehab is all done at their out patient surgery center. I was very impressed with everything and I am very happy we found them. Brian unfortunately starts the healing process over again and he spent the next full week working from home. He was fitted with a walking boot on the 7th of April and went back to work with limited walking the next day. He is walking now using crutches for long walks and when it gets sore at the end of the day. He will be in the boot for several more weeks. This week is very busy for him since all of the managers and supervisors for his group from around the world are all here for a meeting. It is good to have face time with all of them and most of his night meetings for at least this week have been canceled.
In the midst of all this Carley's preschool director who I have completely fallen in love with decided that God was really calling her to do other things with her life and she sold her school to one of her teachers. Needless to say there has been a LOT of DRAMA. For now Carley is staying but we will see how things go.
We finally bought our plane tickets to come back to the states. We are leaving here on the 26th of June and coming back on the 12th of August. More to come on when I will be in your neck of the woods. Because unless you live in Alaska I will probably be nearby at some point. My tickets home were true miracles we have been watching them waiting for the price to go down and all they did was go up about 200 dollars a week and then one night we happened to find some for 1700 and that is 500 less than we had seen them in a month. The crazy thing is I am on the phone with my uncle, the travel agent, and he can not find these tickets in the system. He says quick book them before they disappear and so I did. Thank you God for small miracles. Now if the price of gas would just go down.
Lastly I am just tired and have been going to bed early instead of blogging. James is still not sleeping through the night, so that means that I am getting up at least once. We are in the process of trying to stop that and go to milk and bottles but that is another blog. Unfortunately I am afraid he might be lactose intolerant. Not allergic like my sister Heather, but he seems to have bad burps with little spit ups after his milk bottles. Hopefully he just needs to get used to it.
Well there it is the good the bad and the ugly. It has been a crazy couple of weeks and there is lots more to talk about. I still have to finish telling you all about our trip to Bali and I have lots of other things to blog about. But it is bed time and the rest will have to wait for another day. Love to all.

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