Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advent - Gingerbread Houses

Repeat after me...the key is using a glue gun!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Advent - Make Your Own Pizza!

Christmas Trees and Candy Canes!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ernesto the Elf

Our elf on the shelf is named Ernesto. Normally, he doesn't do many troublesome things...yesterday, however was a different story.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Decorating Madness

The Embassy kiddos were invited to a Christmas Tree decorating party. It was an hour of sheer madness - markers, cookies and chaos...but hey, the tree got decorated and O got to hang out with his BFF.

O dressed himself in this old Christmas shirt, red shorts and shoes and the snowman necklace!
This is Nora one of his best friends.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Our Advent Calendar

So I was thinking that this year would be the perfect year to try an advent calendar with O. I looked online and thought about making one. Saw super cute ideas at etsy and thought about just ordering one but the one I fell in love with was over $100...ouch! Back to the drawing board and this is what we came up with. I used 12 activities and 12 little treats and filled the bags according to what's going on in that week - that way he opens them up in a certain order and I don't have to stress about trying to bake cookies on a work night. Know what I mean?
our advent list had to be modified from a bunch of ideas I found online. I love the pizza!

the old half of a drying rack that O and I found on a bike ride - we spray painted it a bright red and hung it on the wall!

This is the completed calendar. I stitched 24 little bags and trimmed them out. In hindsight, I wish I had made the bags a little bigger so things fit more easily but on the other hand the small size forced me to keep the trinkets small!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thinking about Entoto, Ethiopia

Just outside of the city of Addis Ababa is this pretty amazing church and old palace grounds in a place called Entoto. Entoto was the capital of Ethiopia under Emperor Menelik II. We took a drive up the Entoto road, past all sorts of donkey's and people hauling all sorts of things. The drive was beautiful and the old palace pretty amazing. For some reason I keep thinking about this place...the day we visited was beautiful - clear blue skies, crisp wind and quiet.

cow horn hangers - these were used to hang up meat

super short doorway

The roof of the palace veranda...amazing work

huge tree that was significant but I can't remember why...maybe it was planted when the palace was still in use?!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Addis Insanity

View from the plane - so incredibly green and different than Djibouti

I love love love this billboard! Vibrant, indeed!

See the red car coming down a one way street towards us? Hilarious!

These old Itallian cars called...I can't remember what are all over the place

Big beautiful archway to the University

We got caught in the middle of a student protest - complete with marching band!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Afternoon at the Beach

This lovely little beach is about a five minute drive away. We met some friends there yesterday afternoon and spent a couple of hours just chilling. No swimming but exploring the super shallow water, looking for crabs and soaking it up.

See that tiny spot way out there? That's the tall one!

Our new kites flew so great...check out the online kite shop called Into the Wind!

 And the most amazing sunset!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So Ready for Halloween!

Around these parts we are so ready for Halloween. We've been decorating since O's birthday and, if I do say so myself, the house is looking pretty great. One of my colleagues at work found a bunch of old VHS video tapes and we cracked them open and used the black tape for decorations - that along with another old branch from the street and we're set.

VHS tape makes amazing spider webs

and a "really spooky" doorway said O - making his zombie look

love the Drexel heritage dressed up!

and the bathroom cause I'm like that...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Karate en Francais

Tonight was Orion's first karate class and it was super interesting to watch. I actually can't believe that the class happened. It is being held at the Djibouti Cultural Center which took us about 45 minutes to find the first time. Then we thought the class started last week but it turns out that was only inscription (registration) and then we had to find a karate uniform...yowza! So...the class was finally held tonight and so far so good! This class meets twice a week for 45 minutes a class and this class is for 5-7 year olds. The teacher is pretty strict and I'm loving that. The kids bow before the enter the room and they have to sit certain ways. I have never been involved in any sort of martial arts class so its all new to me.

He is so not paying attention

OK now he's paying attention
cute little sets of toes

warming the purple head scarf


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Orion turns 5!

On October 5th Orion turned Five. His golden birthday and what a celebration we had...about 35 people, a warm summer afternoon, a clear blue pool and what else? Ohh yeah...chocolate cake with pink frosting and tinkerbell - per my sweet boys request!

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Butter Saga

We can order foodstuff from this bulk foods company called Seven Seas - its a great perk of living here in Djibouti and makes it easier to cook and bake. On the last order I decided that I was going to give my favorite French butter a rest. You see it is super expensive - about 4 bucks for 250 grams which is about 1 stick of butter or about 1/2 cup. I mainly bake with the butter so I thought we should try the butter from Seven Seas. Now ordering off of their catalog is difficult - its basically an excel spreadsheet with lots of abbreviations and many numbers. We had never ordered butter before so I found what I thought was a 4 pound box and ordered away...but when it came boy was I in for a surprise.

I took one look at the box and started to panic and then when I opened it...

I laughed hysterically...yes, these are individually wrapped pieces of butter? Dinner roll anyone?

In case you are wondering...10 pieces of butter equals 1/2 cup

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Is it Pimms Time?

Missing summertime in London!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

5th Birthday Prep!

I'm a scrounge. Always have been and living where its hard to find things has made me even more of one. Last year, I found dead plants that looked like cornstalks and tied them to my front porch. I used a broken side of a crib for a magazine rack in the bathroom. Big rocks spray painted gold made great leprechaun gold for St. Patrick's Day. You get the point. Well, the other day I was riding my bike home and I found this great branch in the ditch. You see being a beachy, desert kinda town - there are not many branches to be found. This branch wasn't from an evergreen tree but it still had pretty good lines and it just called to me. So being the resourceful girl I am, I jumped off my bike and made it down into the ditch (high heels and all) with a full audience of Djiboutian men. I got the branch, threw it over my handle bars and finished my journey home.

Orion and I cleaned up the branch a bit and I think its going to make a great birthday tree. We've been working on decorations for it - using up all of our extra bits of crafting stuff - along with scraps of paper from the cutter at work.

He's good at spelling his name

"Show me what 5 looks like"