Friday, August 29, 2008

Water Water Every Where But None In Our Pipes

August is supposed to be Hot, Dry and Hazy by Malaysian standards. The trade winds blow in from Indonesia and that brings the smoke from their burning. This year however it has been amazingly wet. The haze is here, but the rain washes it out of the sky. Now I know I have talked about the rain before, but usually it only rains in the late afternoon. But since we have been home it has rained at all hours of the day and night. Wednesday the rain storm was amazing. Carley and I were driving home just as it began and two road we had to take were already looking like rivers. A construction site I walk by daily had a land slide and several parts of KL flooded. As I type, the sun has gone in and the dark clouds are forming and I can hear the thunder in the distance. Funny thing is today we have woken up to no water coming out of the tap. We have this problem occasionally. The longest we have gone with out water is three days and we spent one night in a hotel then. We seem to go months with out a problem and then we will lose our water several times in a couple of weeks. The water situation is very deceiving too. We have a water tank in our attic so we often will have cold water coming out of the taps, but the pressure is low, toilets take a long time to fill and the hot water is nonexistent. But we no for sure when the water stops flowing in the kitchen. The kitchen cold water comes straight from the filter at the street so when it stops running we know to curb our water usage. I was checking out hotels for the night but realized that we can not leave the house overnight. We have house guests again of the four legged kind. Pauli and Becky are back again and unfortunately probably for the last time. Their family is relocating to Bangkok at the end of September. We will be sad to see them go.
I am not sure if you can tell but here is Carley a little closer. She has been letting Miss Alma put her hair into pigtails and pull the sides up and add bows. She looks so grown up and I am so excited that bows will be in our future. Until now Carley has just pulled them out and thrown them down. She has never minded wearing a hat, but she hates bows.
Finally here is a picture of Carley and James having fun in the car. They love to pretend they are driving, going away on a trip. They are very good and even take turns at the wheel. The only down side is that when you turn on the car and get ready to drive away for real the wipers are usually on high, the lights and hazards are on. The heat may be on high and the mirror is always out of place. But that is okay. They have so much fun.
Hopefully the water will be on soon. I am sure we will see some fall out of the sky, maybe I will set out some buckets. We will go bum some water off of friends and take showers elsewhere tonight if necessary and I am sure (fingers crossed) the water will be on tomorrow.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rainy Day

It has been a rainy Saturday here in KL. Actually it started sunny and Brian and Carley went to the park this morning while James napped. But the morning gave way to clouds and then to rain and thunder. We have had a long week. Wednesday night Brian came home complaining of being achy and feeling not so good. Of course I sent him right off to the doctor since he was bit by a tick in Tennessee. They give him meds for the flu and said to come back and they might test him for Lyme. Carley, James and I went to the aquarium on Thursday. We had a great time seeing the sharks and many turtles. Brian came home early form work feeling really bad, fever and other things followed. My eye started to bother me thursaday night but I thought there was something in it. Friday morning dawned and I could not open my eye and Brian felt fine. My turn to the doctor and Brian worked from home. We are all on the up and up today. My eye is almost back to normal.
I thought I would give you another installment of our trip this summer. Mom, Heather, Carley, James and I said goodbye to the Mixter clan and drove down to Woods Hole out on Cape Cod. Here we hooked up with the Wagner clan, my mom's family. Her youngest brother Steve and his wife Carol live in Woods Hole. Their children Paul and Julia joined us for the weekend as well.
Along with mom's other Brother Charlie and his wife Beth. Unfortunately my grandparents did not make the trip. We were coming together to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. But my Granny started feeling under the weather and after two trips to the hospital and consultations with many doctors she was told she could not leave the area. Granny has since had surgery after being diagnosed with cancer in her colon. She is up and doing very well, but starting some chemo soon.
Missing my grandparents terribly we headed down to the beach for some pictures and a lobster bake. Yes that is right two lobsters in one week. I was a happy girl. We had a blast. Carley played with her Aunt Beth, whom she just adores. They has a great time chasing waves and jumping off rocks. James hung out in the sand. I will get some more pictures scanned in later.
The next morning started at six when James woke up. So we went for a walk. We watched the ferry load and leave for the Vineyard. James waved to all the cares and said bye bye as they drove on the ferry. Then we headed down towards the labs to see the boats. A new word that James said often as he pointed all of them out Boat, Boat. After that it was off to Pie in the Sky for some yummy breakfast pastries. Once everyone was up and moving we went to have a tour of my Uncle Steve's ships. He is the captain of two ships for NOAA. I really enjoyed the tour and the kids loved seeing where Uncle Steve sleeps, but most of all they loved getting to steer the ship. Do not worry the ship was at the dock and the engines were not on, but do not tell them. After lunch and naps, a swim was in order and after the kids went to bed I got a break and the grown ups headed off for a dinner without kids.
The next day was a new adventure. We said goodbye to Charlie and Beth as they were headed back to the city. Mom, Heather, the kids and I boarded the ferry and went to Martha's Vineyard. First Stop Flying horses. The Flying Horses is the oldest running carousel in the country. Kirsten, Heather and I took many a ride on it as kids. The coolest part about the carousel is that you grab rings as you go around and if you catch the brass ring you get to ride again for free with out waiting in line. This is another one of those things that I was so excited to share with my kids. Unfortunately their daddy missed their rides. But guess who got the brass ring and got to ride again. Carley. She was so excited. James after a little nap took a ride with Grammy. What fun. We had a quick lunch shopped at the Black Dog, and hopped back on the ferry. Carley and James really enjoyed the ride, watching the sea gulls fly by and all of the boats. Once we were back in Woods Hole we stopped my Noname. This house belongs to the Gardner/Balentine family. It is a house I spent a lot of time in as a child and more recently for a small reunion with the Alton family just before my father passed away. The house is on the water and has a beautiful view. It was always a favorite spots of Dad's. The reason for our visit was to see the memorial rock that had been placed there after my dad passed away. It is a beautiful memorial very fitting to the man, positioned next to the water his favorite place to be.
After a swim and a lovely dinner with the Steve and Carol it was home to pack again. We had a very early morning ahead of us and a flight to Florida. The reunion between Marleigh, Carley and I was full of laughs, tail wags, licking and kisses, but that is all for another time. Love to all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mixter Madness

This is the night of the big party. My grandparents with the younger cousin, and then exchanging gifts. They have been married 60 years.

Grammy and Carley all dressed up.

James is so excited about throwing rocks.

We Mixters love to eat Lobster and we take it very seriously. Check James out he managed to get some ice cream while Kirsten and I shared our dessert.

Hanging at the beach with the cousins. Uncle Mike helping Carley catch some air.
Carley laying out doing what the "Big" kids do.

I think loving the beach is in their genes. James had just had enough fun in the sun.
Crazy cousins jumping in the surf. BRRR it was cold.

Ellie, Grandad and James. Poor Grandad had a run in with a wall about a week before we came. I was happy it looks much worse than it was. James enjoyed story time with Aunt Kath.

Carley showing the "big boys" Sam and Jay how to have some fun. She was loving all the attention.

Uncle Phil is always good for some laughs. And I am not sure what deep conversation Ben and James are having.

Carley thinks her cousin EB is pretty cool.

As you can see we had a great week, we made lots of memories. I forgot to mention that it was really cool to take Carley and James back to this beach in North Hampton, NH because this is one of the first places I remember my Mom and Dad taking me to the beach. Just wish Dad could have been around to see them play.
Love to all of you

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

We made it back to KL last Thursday at about 11:45 and managed to make it home to our house by 1 am. Our children were in good spirits since they thought it was the middle of the afternoon. We got lots of looks in the airport as Carley pushed James in his stroller because we had two luggage carts full of bags to get through customs. The flights back to this side of the world were uneventful. But I would be lying if I told you our 27 hour trip is easy. I hate the trip while I am in the middle of it. I get frustrated and get very little sleep. I am grumpy, cry at least once and swear I will never do it again. The kids were restless, but for the most part good. Below is a picture of
Carley being silly she kept pulling the pillow over her head and making James laugh. The other picture is what you see out the window from 33, 000 feet when passing over the top of the world. There is a really cool program that charts the progress of your flight on the TV. Carley asked if we could go look at the ice and I told her we could try. I was surprised when we could actually see it. I can only imagine how big these chunks of ice really are. Carley claims she saw some penguins and a polar bear. But I could not find them. We were blessed with three people that were willing to switch seats with us so that Brian could sit with me and the kids. But once the trip is over I calm down and say that it is really not that bad. But let me just say that jet lag STINKS. Brian bounces back so well. I struggle and it is made harder by the fact that the children do not sleep all night. James got up several times a night for four nights and Sunday morning he decided it was time to get up about 4:45 am. Brian is a saint and helps out with the kids. He did major duty on Saturday night Sunday morning with James. But I am feeling less like a zombie and more like a human. I managed to get to Yoga on Monday and today we were off for a play date.
I wanted to share a little more about our trip to the US, mostly because I want to document what we did. Part of the reason I am blogging is so that one day I can get it printed out and made into a book to show what we did in our time here.

So next stop on our tour after leaving Granny and Burt Burt was the Mixter Family Reunion. My Grandad and Granny Claire have Five children and we all have managed to get together every summer for more years than I can count. We sit down via email in January and start looking for a weekend in the summer than can work for everybody. And most of the time everybody comes. We rented a beautiful house right across the street from the water. We had plenty of room, great breezes and when the kids got crazy they were always up for throwing rocks in the ocean.

When we are all together our family is 25 strong. I have six cousins. My older cousin Kirstin married a great guy named Mike two years ago. Kirstin, Heather and I had some great times growing up and we love our "little" cousins. They are not so little anymore 22, 18, 18, 17 and 14 years old. They are little to us because they are younger. But the boys tower over Kir and I now. I had a blast watching my kids play with their cousins. And Carley and James were full of smiles the whole week through, never before had they had som many "Big" kids that wanted to hang out with them. I loved being all together because there was always a set of hands to help with the kids. But most of all we really love each other. No matter what even after a week of living in close quarters and getting on each others nerves, when the chips are down this family sticks together and we just keep on loving one another. The Mixter family is such a blessing.

We spent most mornings running around on the beach, hunting for sea glass, shells and sea creatures in tide pools. James was so worn out he would usually crash and take a nap right there on the beach. The evenings were full of big family dinners including our annual pilgrimage for lobster and the week culminated with a party to celebrate my grandmother's 80th Birthday and my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. Both of which occur at other times in the year.

I have included some photos but I have more to share, so I will upload some more tomorrow, for now it is bed time.

Missing all of you in the US


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