July delights

Our summers are sizzling hot, since we live in the desert!  But we also live in a massive Chinese city - surrounded by concrete.  Here are some glimpses of Summer life in our little corner of the globe:

Eden : sitting on our deck (8th floor) eating a nectarine
We have a tiny blow up pool that fits nicely on the deck - the girls love carrying buckets from the bathroom to fill it up.  It takes forever, but it keeps us cool!!  We also love to eat lunch on the deck in our bathing suits.  

Asia : playing babies with our sweet Uyghur friend
We have known little Linda since she was born - her parents are amazing friends of ours, and they help run a yummy restaurant in our city!  She can speak English, Uyghur, Chinese and some Spanish too! 

Hands on Pottery class @ the local bookstore!  
Only 13 kuai per project!!  ($2.03)
We found out about this nifty art class downtown - the girls love it!  This sweet Chinese lady helps teach the kids how to spin on the pottery wheel, among many other art projects too!  We are hooked.

Sydney painting some kitties

Birthday banner wishes for a special Jamma!!
We miss you Jamma ~ and we hope you had a lovely birthday!!

Eden & sweet buddy playing at the park

Sydney being silly with her best buddy & some large watermelons
happy Summer to you all! 


turtle buddies

We went to the fish market today in hopes of finding some tadpoles (to observe them grow into frogs!), but instead we came home with 3 baby turtles!  Yes, I am a sucker for having pets in our house - I know they require work, but they are so educational!  I have no idea how long they will last....

...but three little girls were very excited to add some turtles to our clan.  Asia chose out three special blue rocks, Sydney is holding the turtle food, and Eden is holding the 3 baby turtles.  Let's pray they survive.**

Here are the turtles at the Pet Shop area before we took them home : in a tiny tank climbing all over each other.  This can't be sanitary.  I am pretty sure turtles carry diseases too, right?  They are so cute though.

all three at home getting their first soak & bath & scrub by the mom.

this is Mary.

this is Henry, sitting on a piece of cabbage.
Mary, swimming by the filter.  She loves the bubbles.

all three together : Mary, Henry & BB.  BB stands for "blue back" and he/she is quite camera shy.  BB is an incredible swimmer though.  

Eden loves to watch her turtle.  This is where we got the idea to try "planking"

such fun turtle buddies.  

Mary loves to dive down deep.

**Henry died a few weeks later.  He was too little and definitely not thriving.  He must have come home already sick.  We replaced him with Joseph, who also died soon after.  Now we just have Mary & BB - who are doing ok.  I wish it weren't so hard to keep animals alive out here.  The girls are still enjoying them, even with two dying.  Mom is not really enjoying cleaning the tank though.  All for the love of animals, and JOY of our kids!!  :)


July 4th highlights

1.  Mixing business with pleasure : all three Ice Mountain Creamery families celebrating America with a patriotic BBQ and water gun wars.  
What could be better?

2.  Sisters protecting each other : and that little Santa Cruz shirt has lasted thru 3 kids!

3.  My husband is so great. 

4.  Grilled mushroom burger : seriously better than beef. 

5.  Homemade Root Beer floats : topped with IMC ice cream, of course!  This was a special treat!  Making root beer isn't easy!

6.  Brave Sydney petting an iguana : she's incredible. 
Happy fourth of July to all!!


yurting 2011 ~ in pictures

Time to get out of the city and explore the Tian Shan mountains!  
But first, a quick roadside stop for some delicious Xinjiang melons.

Then we must get to know our neighbors.  

...And take a hike up the mountainside....frolicking in nature!
These girls are like goats bounding up the mountain.

Sydney was working on her bouldering skills, while mom & dad held their breath.  She made it.

Asia finds beauty wherever she goes.
A little family photo by the tiny waterfall.  Awww....precious.

...and Justin makes a friend.  Even though he isn't smiling, he's very happy.

Kebabs & baked potatoes for dinner!

Staying warm inside the yurt by the tiny fire/stove. 
It rained for about 12 hours straight!!
sleeping bag silliness

 three girls in the rain
The next morning - after a cozy nights' sleep!

Sydney holding a worm for the first time ever.

Bless you Kazakh friends for your wonderful hospitality and the use of your humble abode.
we love yurts!