We had a great Christmas with friends and family. Oh, and lots of cookies.

D got to sell some of mom’s goods to local shop owners. He sold out in 10 min. He was really happy. The barber down the street ordered another batch the day after. Molasses seems to be the hit followed closely by snicker doodles. The folks love to decorate the cookies here. It’s a pretty new concept.

B a few weeks ago almost went into the local lake. After Christmas shopping we went to a lake and rented out a paddle boat. We had a great time pedaling around the lake …well I pedaled an they played. It was fun. As we were coming back to dock the boat Baden reached out and grabbed at pole in the middle of the lake. But, he forgot to let go so as the boat powered forward he went horizontal. D yelled “Dad B’s going into the water!!!” There was a collective gasp from the multitude of curious onlookers and Davis jumped out forward to grab him… I rushed too and pulled him by his shirt to the safety of the front of the boat. Only his boot got filled with water. From that day on older brother has had the upper hand by using the phrase ” I am a boy scout and I saved your life….” He has tried to secure some favors from this.

I went to the dentist a few weeks ago. I was in the chair for 1 1/2 hours. The issue was when I went to driver’s class I had KFC for lunch. Whilst chomping on a chicken fillet I felt and heard a large crunching sound. Later I found out half of my molar was gone. I guess folks were right about Coke rotting your teeth out. Well back to my story. The dude built a new molar, replaced a filling and stuff all for about 60 bucks. Not bad….

My wife went to a mini golf course to give a demonstration of home baked Christmas cookies. The owner had lots of high roller friends over to show off this home tradition. The folks really liked decorating. They gave my wife a hamburger for lunch as payment. You could make a career out of cooking demonstrations.

School is still going…. I skipped Christmas Eve class. No way dude.

Hope your Holidays are restful.

Been wanting to post but just been flat out….

Mom’s Birthday Report-

We took Mom to breakfast.  She got a Feta Cheese Omelet.  I forgot to have the kids buy her something.  I also didn’t give her something to unwrap.  Maybe not the best decisions I’ve made.

Driving Class-

I went to a 5 hour driving class.  It was a review class on test questions.  Glad I did it.  I was unaware that one should give salty water to someone who has been burned in a car wreck.

Davis’s Birthday Report

I and a friend took Davis and his friends on a camping trip.  The weather was perfect.  We took two taxi’s to the camping area. Then we marched up the vertical hill to our spot.   The kids loved to just muck around the small area.

Mostly, they shot the crossbow and slingshot up there. Can’t believe no one got hurt.   It was fun just to be out of the city and see the sunset.  I was the host so I got busy setting up the tent.  Thankfully, I color coded the thing so it went up pretty quick. For years I have been trying to beat my personal best of 20 min’s at putting those blasted things together.   I then got on food detail.   I should have watched the hot dogs on the grill closely as the camp dogs ate about four of my favorite chicken franks.

After dinner it was ghost story time.   That lasted for a short time.  Then I unveiled the most crass thing ever for outdoor camping.  I whipped out my laptop and we watched Star Wars “The Clone Wars”.  My friend suggested this as we were leaving the house.  It turned out to be a success….the kids loved it.

I didn’t sleep much as my Baden and I shared a bag.

We did a short hike up the mountain in the morning. We didn’t go too far but we stopped at a shack for some tea eggs and potatoes.

Got home later that afternoon and had chicken dinner.

Baden’s birthday is next.   It’s gonna be low key.

Hey there…..I post occasionally cuz I am not the kind of guy that wants to tell folks when I floss my teeth and when I am going to bed.   So….In about 2 days it will be a year since I departed the Old Country for Orient.  A decision I have not for one moment regretted. In fact, many days I wonder why it took me so long to get here. Wait a minute…a year…that’s ridiculous!

Some memorable moments…..

My first two nights of total jet lag here…watching NBA games on national TV at 3am with the kids bouncing around

My first tutor lesson and the trip home….you can read the post.

Christmas with 70 degree weather.

Easter

Climbing up to the world’s lowest glacier

Eating Yak meat and loving it.

Almost crying in the fetal position when trying to learn the language

Father son trip of a lifetime

Making some good friends at school

Dona Donuts, Salavdor’s, Silver Spoon, Samona

Grandma coming to town

Stone Forrest

My jam with Marko in front of 100 or so people

1st trip to the hospital

The Office seasons 1-4 consumed in a  couple of weeks and the warm tears that flowed as a result

Family scooter rides (5 people on one bike)=got us in the newspaper

Bus and taxi rides

Observations

I have only seen 3 other foreigners outside my complex since arriving.

In on my several visits to Wal-Mart (yes our city will have 4 next year) I’ve never seen another white face

Wal-Mart’s are taking over this city

Traffic gets worse every day

I like it here, we like it here

Weather is awesome

I miss driving (with a Tim Horton’s and good music)

Detroit traffic isn’t so bad all things considered

My kids blonde hair is strange here

We made a good decision to come

I miss hanging out with friends that speak English

I don’t miss much…that surprises me the most

What’s been going on around here….

Autumn took a 12 hour bus trip to Vietnam over the weekend. She went there to help a friend out.   The bus broke down 20min from the border but she eventually got there and chilled out for 5 hours. She liked it.  She bought a cup of coffee for 20,000 dollars…Vietnam bucks.  Basically, walked around town bought some cheap leather belts and came home.  Not much sleep as the bus felt like it was going down a tractor two track.  I give her major props for braving the bus and bustin through the language barriers.

Levi bashed his head so now all the kids have a half inch scar somewhere on the scalp.  It was bloody an d stuff but thank God not so big as to need stitches.

Halloween was kewl. We went to the Expatriate Halloween Gathering it was very typical. Lots of games, lots of fun, tons of candy and even rice crispy treats which is a major find in the region.

Been studying my butt off for a mid-term.  All in all did pretty well.  Totally rocked the verbal and totally got rocked by the grammars.   Just keep on keepin on.

Davis and went to Scouts this week. I usually take the Death Tunnel to get there. The Death Tunnel is a four lane road under an expressway over pass.  The exhaust and dust is thick down there. Usually you can feel the grit in your teeth about a mile down the road.  Most times its is gridlocked with huge rigs, busses and stuff.  We saw a dumptruck had swerved to miss a motorcycle but hit it unfortunately.  In doing so, he went into the other lane hit a minivan head on and crunched it like a pop can against the expressway pillar.  It was dastardly.  I think I will use the death tunnel only in emergencies from now on.  Oh. In the middle of the road about 2 miles in there is a pothole about 8 feet wide and 3 feet deep.   I have seen many a car get hammered by this obstacle.  Why its not be fixed is odd.

While studying before class last week I found myself at a small drink shop sipping a mango slushie whilst listening to Nickelback on the PA.  The fact that there was actually western music playing was pretty odd and why Nickelback I thought to myself?  Maybe they thought its better than the Carpenters or Kenny G which is the standard western fare here.  Every sha-la-la la….every whoa-whoa-whoa…la-la…..this is melody is fixed in my skull, hear it all the time.

Started working on my business plan with my friend.  It’s going to be a long process but we are both pretty stoked about the possibilities.   

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