Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

No Rank Among Wives

Me and my Gardener - wife of Lieutenant Colonel McCullough.

We have a huge beautiful yard that has been in need of some TLC for quite some time. I, however, have had no idea how to tackle such a large feat on my own. I have been doing internet research on pruning roses. I have tried searching pictures of common Herbs and plants, trying to identify these mysterious green things that grow all around us. After about 2 weeks, I gave up.

Then I visited Jen's garden. It was beautiful. My hope of a lush and fertile garden was reborn.

A few days later Jen came over, with her 3 kids, tools in hand. She taught me what to do with all the plants in my yard. She hacked through blackberry bushes (which were BRUTALLY thorny), pruned back the currant, cut the Iris down and walked me through which plants needed watering and how often. We discovered hidden strawberry plants, and an apple tree that had been completely taken over by the blackberry bush! We spent 5 hours hacking, pulling and pruning the flora and fauna. By this time the kids were completely covered in mud, and hungry. We stripped off their clothes, hosed them down and took them inside for a warm bath. Afterward we had oven baked smores and went out for dinner.

Jen, working her magic!

Connor and Van playing in the mud.

Ava & Avery did not think the hose spray could reach them....

She was Wrong!!!!

Mason, Van and Connor

Ava and Avery scrubbing off the dirt!

Snack Time!!!

Princess Hair

My little Princess and her "Princess Hair!" I just had to share!

2 more rooms

This post is especially for my sister who wants to see our house as it comes together. So here is a peak at what my our bedroom looks like. Here it is from another angle. Note the absence of closets - we get these lovely wardrobe armoire type things instead. It makes storage a bit tricky coming from a large walk-in closet in California.

This is my FAVORITE little nook in our house. I read here, relax here and drink my morning beverage here. The curtains are more of a cream color than the light yellow they look in the picture. The doorway that you can see on the far left of the picture is the entrance to our bedroom. To the right (not pictured) is Ava's bedroom.

PS The chair on the left is mine...

Candy from Strangers

Even though we have been in Armenia for less than a month, we could not pass up the opportunity of going to Tbilisi, Georgia for the weekend. The Community Liaison Officer put together a trip for all interested Embassy families. We rode up by bus... It was advertised as being a 4-5 hour bus ride. It took 6.5 to get there, and almost 8 coming home.
The kids did great for the most part. After checking into our hotel we were thrilled to turn on the TV and find American cartoons! Van and Ava were in 7th heaven as they laid on their beds and watched Samurai Jack and Spongebob Squarepants. When we woke up the following morning, the kids didn't want to leave the room. They thought that it would b fine to spend our entire vacation in the room watching cartoons! Finally their hungry stomachs convinced them that we needed to go find some food. We found this little pastry shop where they had these incredibly flakey pastries shaped like a slice of pizza, filled with caramelized crushed nuts. It was so good!

After breakfast we went on a "walking tour" that had been arraigned for the group. It was Horrible! The woman literally walked us around the backroads of Tbilisi pointed to buildings and said "This building is very old. It is not in good condition because the city cannot fix it up." Seriously? We paid $35 a person for this? I was not thrilled with that. As we were standing there listening to our "guide"This little girl walked up to Ava and started talking to her. Ava just smiled back. So the little girl pointed to a park not far from where we were standing, grabbed Ava's hand and started walking to the park! They both started giggling and were instantly best friends.

The only interesting thing we saw the whole day was a Cathedral, and once inside, we couldn't even take pictures.

On our walk home, we saw this cute puppy and the kids were so excited! They thought that he looked like Kaiser, my sister's German Shepherd. We also saw this restaurant/bar, and it just made me laugh!

After taking a nap in our room we headed off to the Restaurant where the CLO had made reservation for our group. The meal was served family style. Jared and I thought the food was really good. The kids however had a very expensive meal of bread and chicken! Oh well.

Towards the end of the meal the live entertainment started. A woman sang Georgian songs and played the electric violin. At this point Ava had hit her "I'm past being tired, now I'm just silly" stage and decided that she wanted to dance. So she got up and did her twirls and jumps for everyone to see. Then, she wanted Daddy to dance with her, and being the princess that she is, Daddy acquiesced.

The next day we did a little shopping! Conveniently located between the Marriott and the Mcdonald's was this little street bazaar, filled with "authentic" Georgian stuff. As a tourist I was inevitably sucked in. We ended up coming home with a pair of Horns, decorated with stones and engraved metal, a dagger with a hand-made metal sheath, a hand-made jewelry box for Ava and a mini set of knives for Van, and a ceramic pot. Jared laughed at me because apparently I am not great at bartering. I thought that everything was such a good price, that it HAD to be what they were worth. I guess at one point the little old Georgian man told me he would sell me the ceramic pot set at 30 Lari, instead of the original 35 Lari. But after I had picked the set I wanted, I handed him 35 Lari. He looked at me and said "ok!" As I walked away, admiring my pot, Jared started laughing at me and told me what happened. I don't care.

Later that afternoon we were able to visit a few Monasteries outside the city. They were so beautiful. I am putting up the pic's of the kids/family on this blog. For more of the scenery/artsy pictures, visit Jared's blog.

Georgia is a beautiful place and the people there are so friendly! They LOVED Ava. People would just come up to her and touch her hair and face. Of course Ava would pretend to be shy and look up at them through her dark eyelashes and smile. There was one old lady who kept going on and on in Russian about Ava and Van. She reached into her purse and gave them each a piece of candy. The kids, of course, were thrilled. I however, feared for their life... LOL They happily ate the candy, (under my protest I might add) and lived to tell the tale.

Ode to Glass containers

Although I have been enjoying almost everything Armenian, the milk is a major exception. It is sold off an un-refrigerated shelf, in a cardboard box. There is no easy way to open the aforementioned boxes, as both flaps are glued completely flat. If you are successful in prying the flaps up, you are faced with two choices: 1- cut the flap completely off, leaving a gapping unclose-able hole, (where the milk promptly picks up each flavor of the things sharing the refrigerator) or 2-try to run a knife/scissors/sharp object in between the two completely sealed pieces of cardboard, which if done properly will leave you with a somewhat decent (albeit SOGGY) pouring spout. However if the second option is your choice, know that if done wrong, you are left with an awkward slice through the side of your box, and you have to pour the milk by squeezing the box and hoping the output of milk lands in approximately the same spot you were aiming the slice at. (And by "approximately" I mean that some of the milk actually gets into the bowl as well as down either side of the bowl and onto the floor.) Realizing that neither option worked for me, I decided to use one of my plastic containers to hold the milk in. This worked for about 2 days, when I realized that the plastic gave the already foul tasting milk an even worse aftertaste than it already had. But now I have been saved. My purchase arrived much quicker than I expected. I unwrapped the box and found my sparkling glass milk pitcher, complete with pouring spout, lid and handle. It is the small things that make me happy. This morning, as I was getting breakfast for the kids, I did not despair when the last of the milk was gone. I stabbed a hole into the top of the villainous box, and emptied it into my perfect pitcher. It poured beautifully onto the kids' oatmeal.

(why do I feel a post is incomplete without a picture attached?)


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