Enjoying my karate journey.

Back in January of 2017, I started my karate journey....... again.  I had tried it back in 2012 but I believe I got injured (not from karate) and so had to stop.  And I never returned.

But when I came back again to Kazakhstan I decided to start again just to add another option of exercise for me.  I wanted something different and I thought karate would be good.

Well 2 years later it has become so much more than just another form of exercise and a way to keep fit and active.

Somewhere along the line of me going into train and practice, I started to enjoy it and I made that switch from it being more than just exercise.  It became a mental thing.  Karate has become so much more than just doing the movements, and learning the kata's and blocks and attacks. 

image from google
I don't really know how to explain this but something happened and I'm loving my karate classes.  I look forward to going and learning and practising.  My Sensei still gives instruction to me in Russian and speaks no english at all, and I don't understand too much Russian but somehow it's worked.

I try to remember that karate is to become a way of life for me, to further understand myself and to make sure my life is one of discipline and purpose.
Like I said it's hard to explain and share what happened or how that switch occurred.  But with each grading and progression symbolised by the different coloured belts - a change has happened inside.  Inside my mind and my heart - if I can put it that way. It is no longer just a form of exercise but a journey of self discovery.  And I'm loving it.

Oh and if push came to shove you bet your  *ss I'd be able to defend myself if I had too, but it's not about fighting, it's about discipline.  

image from google
A couple of weeks ago I earned my brown belt.  It's come with a lot of bruises and constant repetition of the katas, and practice and practice and more practice.

The more I progress I feel like the less I know.  There is an emptiying of the mind happening.  The more repetition that I do, the more second nature my movements should become.
I hve a long way to go, but thank goodness there is no rush.  I want to learn more.  I don't want to go too fast because the mental lesson and discipline of karate has been enlightening for me.


Melted Away.

We came back last night after 10 days away for spring break and the Ural River has melted away.  It's amazing how quickly that happened and today the weather is really nice.

To think that only 3 weeks ago I took a my son's 5th grade class out onto the river to ice fish.  This was my last after school activity for the term and I thought it would be great to finish off with an experience for these boys to ice fish like most of the men and boys here do.

I remember it was a horrible winter day but we were not going to be detered, we were gonna go fishing - even if we froze our little toes off.

Here are some photo's of our experience ice fishing on the Ural.  I'm grateful that we did it only for fun.

I'm happy that when we leave this place my son can at least say he tried his hand at ice fishing.  The boys were determined no to leave until we caught something .......but alas, it got way too cold.

And now the Ural has melted and we are ready from Spring.  So ready!!


So we Mardi Gras'd last night and it was so much fun.  And a great way to close out what has been a very busy month of February for me. 

Boy Scout Blue and Gold Party, a monday afternoon commitment of exploring this city as an After School Activity with a group of boys who were always excited to leave our little bubble and be outside.  And then there was the travelling to London and back and then London and back again with my daughter who came home for her mid-term break.

so last night was fitting to just "let the good times roll" with some cajun food and good music to dance the night away.

I'm not expecting this month to be that busy, but you just never know.  I do live in a community where we can either make things happen or not.  I think that totally depends on us.

It is community living.

Happy March.


Hello February !

Thirty one days just like that!!

Where did the month go....have I been that busy and not really taken notice or has it just been the grind and monotony of life that every minute, hour, day just blends into one?? 

Not so sure, but either way, today we start a new month.

We've still not had much snow this winter season, which is kind of sad to me because the cold is bearable when it's a pretty white. 

I already know that this will be a busy month.  I'm helping with  Mardi Gras for our expat community, our Arrow of Light Boys will become Boy Scouts, I'll be travelling to London to collect and return my daughter.  I'm looking forward to that.  It'll be good to get out of this fish bowl for a litttle bit.

Oh and I joined a Wellness, weight loss program.  I'm hoping to finally stop being that girl!!  90 days!
Come follow my journey.

Otherwise life is moving.  We're all in a good place.  And I'm grateful.

Happy February!!



was the first day of an After school Program I'm offering to the 5th grade class at our small school.  I've called it -  Adventures in Atyrau.

an example of the iconic yurt - apparently they moved with the change of every season.
And today I decided to take the kids to The Atyrau National History Museum.  I thought it would be a good place to start.
We learnt what the word Kazakh means - which is 'to wander' reflecting the Kazakhs nomadic culture and of course the word stan means land.
So the boys walked away refering to Kazakhstan as "To Wander Land".

I always thought these where like water bottles.  But I learnt today that they are for the Camel milk and Horse milk.
I think the boys enjoyed it.  I believe it's important to learn as much as we can about our host country and so this is the real reason why I decided to offer this as an after school activity.

model of a beautiful city that once was - not it is a ruin.  We learnt kings lived in this city call Saraichyk.
Next week - I havent decided yet whether to take them to the Mosque and Russian Orthodox Church or take them onto the frozen Ural and do some skating and sliding/tubing.  I think the boys would prefer the latter πŸ˜‰


empty house ...... again!

so my hubby came back tonight from London after returning our 2nd daughter back to boarding school.

And now both girls are back in Londond to finish out this academic year.  I'm so grateful that this works for our family and that my girls are thriving.  And that makes my heart happy!

Boarding school isn't for everyone and every family.  And having kids in college leaving the nest and finding their way is also difficult on my heaart - but isn't that what we set them up for?  Is that not our ultimate goal - to prepare our kids to become capable adults?

Full disclosure here - we learnt many things when it comes to boarding school with our first kid.  So with our 2nd one we made sure not to repeat those and it's been a positive learning curve.  So with my third I should get this perfect.....right😜.
But actually each kid is so different so we'll do what's best for my son when the time comes, and that may be different from what we did for the girls.

We are constantly learning when it comes to our children.  It sure is a journey when the learning should never end!!

#happyparent #happykids


Weekends are for.....

doing laundry, going grocery shopping, taking our dog on his walks and getting my daughter ready to return to boarding school.

Its never easy letting go and sending your kids off to another city, another country for an education.  But we do it.  Because we have to, but lucky for us, because she wants to, just like my oldest one did.

Both my girls are thriving and really enjoying themselves in London and also remembering why they are there (thankfully!!)
And now my son will be all alone again.  Only for a short while anyway.


Caption This .....

The locals here tell me that it's not cold....it's lovely.
I beg to differ.  It's cold for me regadless.

Happy Wednesday!


This year I Promise .........

Almost every beginning of a new year I always make promises to myself and make resolutions.

image from PIXABY
And almost without fail,  by mid January those promises are broken and I loose my resolve to honor the resolution I've made.

So............. this time around I've decided that I'm going to do this differently.  And if by fate I come across this quote last night by Henry Moore.  But I'm paraphrasing.

I will think in terms of daily resolutions, and not the year.

Doesn't that not sound much easier - to win the day??!!  to promise yourself that today, I will drink more water, or read a couple of pages of that book so I'll finish it by the end of the month.  Or To do something nice for someone in my community, and to study that chapter so I don't fall behind in ymy course program and the list goes on and on.

So here's to winning each day!!

I definitely plan on approaching it this way from today onwards.  I've made those resolutions and promises and really want to make them stick.

Did you make some promises for this year?.  Share them with me...



And so It's the Last Day.....of 2018

And so here we are.

the last day of the month, the last day of the year.  Wow!!  We made it and I'm sure like most of you, it's been a year full of many highs, lows, new paths, new relationships, new discoveries.

And tonight as the clock gets to midnight, and the the minute hand does one full rotation, things may still feel the same.
But really, are they?

2018 all in all was a great year for me.  And I'm looking forward to crossing over boldly and gratefully because we're being given another day with the opportunity to make it a great year!!

So before I do that I'd like share some highlights of my year and a few things I learnt along the way.  Here's my top 8!

1.  We added a new member to our party of 5.  And we've loved every moment with River.  He's changed our dynamics, brought joy and so much fun to our household.


Our Christmas was Merry!!

Hey there friends,

Hoping your Christmas was Merry and Bright!

Ours was spent travelling after spending a week in Hong Kong. I was surprised to see how busy the airports were on Christmas day!

I guess it really was just another day for most, but for me (although we spent it travelling) I remember the birth of Jesus Christ and the lengths Mary and Joseph went to to find a place to make sure their son, my Savior was safe.  I'm grateful.

Gosh it's been forever since I've been on this little space of mine.  Life has been busy since Halloween..... and now in a couple of days we're crossing over into another year.

Baure's in Hong Kong.
I loved Hong Kong.  For some reason to me it's a perfect balance of both the East and West in the place they affectionalty call Fragrant Harbour.
We defineately ate our way through Hong Kong and we learnt a few things about feng shui.....which I love.  I'll share about this in another post.

Well my countdown to the new year will begin .... a time of self reflection, and new promises and challenges for myself.

6 more days......

Enjoying my karate journey.

Back in January of 2017, I started my karate journey....... again.  I had tried it back in 2012 but I believe I got injured (not from karate...