Wednesday, August 28, 2013

wordless Wednesday

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tea anyone?

Monday, August 26, 2013

all is well


well since my last post. the sun did shine the next day, and the rainbow that follows the rain came out.

All is well.

My husband finally came home after 2 weeks away.  I spent over an hour yesterday chatting to my daughter and things at home – Papua New Guinea are all good.  It’s hard not too worry about family and siblings so far away.  But everything is well. 

And we had a lovely weekend.

I hope your weekend was a good one too.

I’m continuing my count to 1000 blessings over here.  Even in the tough days there’s always something to be thankful for.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

one of those days….

no picture today for ‘wordless wednesday”.

Only words…..

All sunny skies would be too bright

All morning hours mean too much light,

All laughing days too gay a strain;

There must be clouds, and night, and rain,

And shut-in days, to make us see

the beauty of life’s tapestry.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A week ago…

28 adults and 36 children loaded up onto 3 buses and headed out to a farm, a Camel Farm.

I have said that this year I wanted to go out there, and experience this place.  So when the email came out that this trip was being planned, I told my kids - we’re going!



The family farms camel milk.  Now I’ve been to a couple of farms and they’ve always been the large ones where most manual labor is complimented with machinery.  At this farm no such thing.  And with the amount of camels they had it looked like a nice size farm.

I saw these people work.  Manual hard work.  I saw young boys walk/run out to the camels and bring them in close.  Close enough for the woman to hold their buckets up and support it with their thighs, and then milk them individually.  They didn’t fill their buckets to the top. not because the camel wasn’t able too but only because the bucket would be to heavy for them to hold up comfortably.

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It was hot out here.  Dusty and hot but I watched them work. work because this is their way of life.  Their livelihood.

But they were also happy.  happy to show us their farm, their camels and the way they live.  Happy that these curious expats wanted to go out their and see how they live. 

Here are some more photos…….

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This photo is the entrance to the area they dug out and use it  like a fridge.  they store their milk and meat. _MG_0972_MG_0971Here is a frame of a yurt.  I think they were in the process of assembling it together.  _MG_0975 _MG_0979

And yes, their outside potty, which when you have to go – you have to go.

_MG_0983And the kids who live on the farm.

It was an interesting trip. 

We contributed money as a group to show our appreciation to them but I think we  - 28 kids and 36 adults walked away with an appreciation of their culture, their way of life.

I know I did and that’s hard to put a monetary value on that.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

weekends are for….

finding beauty and enjoying it.

watching the children in camp run around and play outside.

enjoying the last summer days at the pool and

still cleaning through my clutter.

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hoping your weekend was a relaxing one.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

photo hunters - swanky

here’s my take for this weekends word – swanky

exotically swanky

The Maldives - 2013

maldives 3photo photo (1)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

another school year begins

here they are again – first day of school.


they are sooooo ready, and so am I  (wink, wink).  As you can see there’s only 2 this time.  Not too sure how I’m going to manage this year juggling through 2 different school calendars.  Renee is already in her 3rd term and the other 2 are just starting. 

It should interesting.

well after I left them at school I went for coffee hosted by the empty nesters in our community.  So sweet of them to do this for us every year.


Are your kids off to school yet?

Is it just going to be another year or are you hoping for something more at school and maybe at home?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

wordless wednesday


Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I’m o.k

so it’s been almost a month since my oldest daughter packed her bags to leave us and start her life as a boarder.

And it’s been 2 weeks since we got on a plane and left her behind. It’s different.

It’s not the same,  but it’s ok.

renee and nysha renee, josh and nysha Some parents wonder how I can do it and I say why not.  my dear friends in this community keep asking how I’m doing and I tell them I’m doing fine.  I know boarding school is not for everyone.  I did it and my husband did it and we shared our experiences with our daughter. So I think she saw it as a natural thing to do and she’s thriving.  She’s loving it by all accounts.  I’ve spoken to her on the phone a couple of times and she sounds happy.  Busy and happy.

I miss her.  of course that’s natural, but she’s loving it so I’m happy for her.  

That doesn’t mean I’m not counting down the days till she comes home for school term break!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

a new day

and the beginning of a new week.


With 2 weeks left before school starts I think it’s time to slowly get my kids back into a routine.  no more late nights, maybe waking a little earlier than we have been in the mornings and reading a little longer in the evenings.

And not just for the kids.

It’s also time for me to make a schedule for myself.

I’ve started today with some unpacking.  And just some general clearing up of stuff.  Lots of ‘stuff’ to clear up actually  Lately I’ve been reading about trying to keep things simple – it’s a very general term I know,  but that’s where I want to be – simple.  to live simply and to not be surrounded by stuff.  unnecessary stuff.  I have a long way to go but I’m going to start somewhere and now just seems like the right time.

I also know it’s not going to be a one time clearing and then I’m done deal.  It’s going to be a journey. how the journey goes,  I don’t know but I’m determined to get there.  I don’t even know what ‘there’ will look like, or how I’m going to feel at the end of this process.  But we’ll see.

I’m trying to put my plan together – which rooms go first.  what gets kept and passed on and what gets given away and thrown away!!.  I’m going to do this.

Anyway how about you.  How do you feel about schedules and routines – do you make “to do lists” and follow schedules?  or are you the spontaneous kind of person?

do share……

Have a happy week.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

another year over…

IMG_0324 this photo above is one of the first ones I posted on this blog………………….

Today marks the end of our 2nd year here in Atyrau and tomorrow will be the beginning of our count into the 3rd..  

I can’t say for certain how many more years we have left,  but i do know this for sure - I better get out and explore this country some more.

whenever I’ve gone back to my last blog (, just to read I realize that compared to Thailand I  haven’t explored much or ventured out into the community. I think that’s evident in my lack of blog posts about this adventure of mine here.

I can’t say for certain why but here are a couple of reasons why I think that is,  just off the top of my head;

Firstly, this place, Atyrau is a working city – this town makes a whole lot of money for this country – literary.  It’s definitely not the tourism. so here the locals aren’t  interested in selling this place to us.  After all you only end up in this city for work.  And maybe because of this there really aren’t many places to go and see.  Unlike Bangkok – well that is a tourist destination.  Tourism fuels their economy!

Another reason maybe the language. I’m not going to kid myself – Russian has been difficult for me to learn.  I know enough to get me through the market or grocery shop, but its a tough barrier to cross.  having a full fledged conversation in Russian is hard!!  Funny thing  I’ve noticed though is when the locals here come across an expat they see that as an opportunity to practice their English.  their opportunity to converse.  talk about getting lost in translation…...

Anyway these are the only 2 reasons I can think of right now.  there maybe more out there. 

Their pathetic reasons I know, pathetic!  So……….  starting tomorrow I’m going to make an effort.  An effort to get out there to explore and engage.  And to also  remember to carry my camera with me and just take photos.

I’m also going to try and not be embarrassed about my Russian and just give it a go!!

IMG_0009 this photo is of my market lady friends – the chicken lady, the ham lady and the pork lady.  they are always happy to see “the expat”.  I could just buy  all that I need from one of these lady’s but I always find it hard to do so (but that story is for another time!!)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

where do i start……..again

it’s been a while.  so long in fact I’m not sure where to start blogging…….again.

summer is almost over – actually 2 more weeks to be exact before my other 2 kids start school anyway.

well we’re finally back in Atyrau, Kazakhstan.  Finally back home.

it’s been a long 2 months since we’ve been away from home visiting family and getting my daughter ready for school and leaving her at boarding school.   I’m happy to be back home and done with travelling for now and with living out of suitcases.  But I’m already counting down the days till I leave to go pick up (or at least meet halfway) my baby girl when she comes here for her school break,. 

It feels different to be home and minus one child under the same roof.  I miss her.

Anyway I get to sleep in my own bed tonight and for that I’m thankful.  we traveled over 21 hours to get back home, so I’m grateful to be able to rest in my own bed. 

My kids and hubby are feeling the same tonight.

my bed


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