August 2015


We teamed up with some buddies and spent a day at one of our favorite spots in Penang, The Spice Garden, learning about gardening.  Not sure how relevant the tropical information will be for our semi-arid planting at home, but Miles sure had a blast with his friends playing in the dirt.

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A swing on the huge swing, a paddle around at Spicy Beach, followed by Monkey Juice and Pineapple fried Rice at Monkey Tree, and the day was deemed a success!

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This year’s Wee Concert had Hazel in a major (Mandarin) speaking role, dressed in a (Japanese) kimono, and reminding us that it really is a very Small World:

Asked what she wanted for her birthday, Hazel responded: “A Ponytail”.

Third birthday came and went, no ponytail.  Her best friend at school has waist-length, silky straight, jet black hair.  The curly mop was not doing it for my little girl any more.

Then grandma came to visit, and produced out of her bag – a ponytail!  Fourteen inches of platinum perfection.  I pinned in that weave and my baby girl got her wish.

The next day, she showed up at school with the bobbed curls again.  The best friend asked, “Where is your HAIR??”  Hazel, cool as a cucumber, replied, “At home.”

Tim had to go to the US for work, and I was feeling homesick.  Well, I was feeling sick, which always makes me homesick.  Plus it was August, and I kept thinking of the cottage and summers with my parents.  I suggested the kids and I come along on the trip home.  Two months before we move home.  Obviously I was not thinking clearly, so Tim suggested an even better idea.  I tried it out on my mom and she was in – Grandma Valerie was coming to Penang for a final trip!

It was a short stay, but we didn’t pack it in, so it felt really nice.  We took the kids to school and got to hang out in the mornings.  Going for walks, even trying out bootcamp (go mom!).  We did some shopping and ate at some favorites, made some outings around the island.  There were some rainy, packing days in there, lazy days where we didn’t do much at all.  These were perfect too.

I loved this special time with my mom in our final days in Penang, in the early days of my pregnancy.  And I didn’t feel homesick at all.

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Realizing that life will not always be lived oceanfront, I’ve made a conscience effort to increase our time spent seaside.  On the Sunday my mom was visiting, a trip to Spicy Beach seemed in order.  Followed of course with the requisite hike up to Tree Monkey for lunch and an umbrella clad money juice.  What’s a beach trip without a little paper umbrella anyway?

I’m about 16 weeks along in these shots – first belly pics on the blog!

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There ain’t no thing like a choreographed sports performance.  This year’s Learning Garden Sports Day did not disappoint, with both kids hitting their cue expertly in both the opening procession and the events.  The theme was animals, and corresponding sound tracks accompanied each competition.

Miles, the Iguana, was on a silver medaling team:

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While Hazel, an Industrious Ant, brought home a Gold:


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