we made it......

To India!!

my oldest daughter joined us in Bangkok from London and we flew into New Delhi arriving just after midnight.  You would never have known that it was the dead of night cause the hotel was bustling and people where moving in and out like it was broad daylight.

I'm going to get to bed now.

We have a busy start tomorrow.....and our adventure begins.

our hotel room (image from google) but this is what our room really looked like!!
I'm Excited but also tired.


Two more Days....

and we're out of here.  YAY!!!

image from pixaby

I'm getting excited now.  With almost everything wrapped up at school and community we're just down to counting down the days.
Some families have already started their travels back home to family for Christmas ...  We went home last year and so this time we've decided to check out India.

I'm not too sure what to expect but I'm going.  Going with an open mind and an open heart, and it's exciting. 
Actually back when we lived in Thailand and Josh was only 2 maybe 3 years old I wanted to travel to India but my Thai friends convinced me not to just because Josh was too young.
Well my son is now 9 and we're finally going!!

Excited......3 more sleeps and 2 more days.


Weekends over and now I start my countdown!!

The school Christmas play, company parties and a Boy Scouts Christmas Party.

We were a little busy,  but we wouldn't have it any other way.  This is community living and just life in general and it is just that time of the year.

my husband being a good sport 
making their houses

And after this weekend I've started my count down.  In 6 days we're off to India!!
My Indian friends have promptly told me that it won't be so much a vacation .......but rather an adventure.  

And I'm excited about that!!

image from pixabay.


TGIF....for real!!

Why are the last couple of weeks before winter break always so busy?  And no matter how much I think I prepare for it - I'm never quite that ready or prepared!

Anyway I'm just glad it's Friday.

Well the highlight for me this week was my karate test .....and the fact that I passed!!  Yes I did!!  And now I can finally put my yellow belt to rest and proudly wear the next color belt.  And coolest thing is that my son also passed his test so he has a new color too.

I also finished up the after school activities I do (beginner photography and Middle school bowling).  These activities have been satisfying.  Especially the photography where I was so thrilled to hear that the kids actually listened to what I taught them.  That's got to count for something!!

Well the school has it's Christmas play on tonight and then its a weekend of company Christmas parties.  Actually they are called New Year parties seeing that here in Kazakhstan they don't do Christmas!

Have a great weekend everyone!!


winter days

The days are shorter and cold but beautiful.
It's unusual not to have that much snow right now in December, but that's ok.
I'll take it.

Hope you had a relaxing weekend.  (the real crazy is coming ahead this week......I'm ready!!)


December is Here!


have i really been away that long......almost 6 months?!  WOW alright.

It's hard to believe.  I have missed blogging but at the same time have felt absolutely no pressure to write and post.  No pressure at all!! 

Life has been busy.  My mom and brother flew to London to see my daughter graduate, then we took a family vacation to Antigua Barbuda   All my kids celebrated birthdays.  I have a teenager in the house again and I also now have  an adult child....- yikes, for real I have an 18 year old!!  Oh and my husband and I also celebrated another year of marriage.

family - Antigua and Barbuda

Summer came and went and then we got right back into school.  With my second daughter entering grade 8 that means next school year she'll be off to boarding school.  Not to sure where exactly she wants to go but it's going to be a boarding school away from us....sigh.

Our one year of being back in Atyrau Kazakhstan came around again.  I'll be honest - it hasn't all been rosy and smooth sailing, but that's life.  Re-entering any community has got to be difficult but as I've learnt it's how we choose to deal with it....that's the real challenge.  But I think my little family has handled it well.

Well I can't believe 2017 is almost done.  24 days till we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  30 days till we hop on over to the new year.

Yay!  It''s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

And I'm ready.


It's Friday....

And I'm going to take a break.

A break from blogging to find my way again as to what it is I really want to blog about and what I really want to say.

I've gone through 3 different blogs which i did when I started this expat life of mine.  With each move I started a new blog.

I'll be back, cause I like to keep a running diary of sorts as to things that happen in my life, in our lives.

pakka...... (see ya later)


back at home.....

I wish I could say I was back in Papua New Guinea, but sigh.....I'm back in Kazakhstan.  But it is home....

It was a busy 2 weeks with my daughter graduating, taking mum and my brother sightseeing around London and doing all those things tourists do.

Schools over now.  the kids are out for the summer and I'm ready for a slower pace of life.  I have a few things lined up to keep me busy and I'm working on a schedule for my kids so their not sleeping all day, or watching TV or playing on their electronics.

Don't worry they'll get to do those things too, but not everyday!!

What are your plans for summer......


26 hours and 14 mins........

or a total of twenty two thousand, six hundred and ninety four point four six kilometers later ......... I'm finally in London along with my mum and brother.

somewhere over Turkey.

 I've been travelling since Friday to go and collect my mum and brother back to London with me.  They've never traveled this far and I couldn't let them do it alone.

meeting them in Singapore .

boarding the plane.
happy to have landed in London.
Why are they here - well they're here for my daughter's graduation, and to also be tourists for a few days.  I'm so excited for them.  They are a little jet lagged and are thankful to be lying horizontally for some shut eye.

As for me well it feels like I'm back home and it feels good.
I 'HEART' London.


favorite things Friday

So another week done and dusted!

Is it just me or do the days seem to be going by quickly?  Or does that only happen when you have like a million and one things to do.

Well it's been another busy week.  Between the things I've committed to do for our little school, to packing, and preparing and doing my karate exam and also making sure that my mom and brother are ready to fly and meet me in Singapore, it's been hectic.

But in the midst of it all I have managed to slow down and get through the week by grace and see the beauty around me and be thankful.  So here's my five.....

1.  This first one is a big one for me......and my daughter cause she has officially completed her exams and now she waits.  I am so proud of her and this accomplishment.  It made my heart smile.

2.  Passing my karate exam.  I'm so thankful for this and I'm so glad that I am sticking with it.  I have bruises and aches but to know that I am acquiring a skill set to be able to defend myself should I need to, well that's motivation enough for me.  The photo below is my sensei, getting the paperwork done before we start.

3.  I finally managed  to run a sub 10 min mile without hurting too much.  Of course now I want to lower the goal....but I think I'll stay here for a little longer.  Another fave about this, is that both my husband and I are out early in the morning getting a run in.  It's a good feeling.

4.  Lovely local gifts.  Do you do teacher gifts?  I know there are many different opinions out there.  Tell me your thoughts.  

5.  And lastly being celebrated!  My hubby and kids made me feel like a queen for a day.  I put my feet up for the day and it was lovely.

How was your week?

Do share....


monochrome Monday

Today my daughter completed her exams.  As a mother I could not be more proud of her that with sheer determination she has gotten through this school year ....all without us being by her side.

Of course we've been a phone call, or a face time call away but for her to stay focused and disciplined to complete her final year must not have been easy but she did it.

So why this picture today for Monochrome monday - well it kind of reminded me that it takes a village.  The little stones underneath the solid concrete reminded me of all the people and experiences that my daughter has experienced in her young life so far have in one way or another contributed to where she is today.
Whether we like it or not the people around us and our individual experiences make us ........or break us.

We decide.

Have a great week.


weekends are for .......

hosting a birthday party for my son, a Das Vidanya street party, bike rides and planning summer vacations.

Also for remembering my Dad and being celebrated for Mother's Day.

It was a pretty busy weekend.


monochrome Monday

Today is Defenders day in Kazakhstan and my husband has the day off.   Yay!!

So we've been out and about on our bikes.


late fave five

May already!  Wow, this week was a blur.

An anxious one for me and my daughter as she began her IB exams.  The final chapter of her school days are now down to double digits.

Oh and I jumped on the bandwagon that is the Whole 30.  Let me just say it was a tough week to go cold turkey on sugar and coffee without dairy!!

Anyway here's five favorite things that made my week;

1.  These beauty's that greet me each morning.  It helps me to remember that 'something wonderful' is out there.

2.  a facetime call from my daughter and hearing her tell me that her first exam (Biology) went well.  You always want the first papers to be good.  I think it sets the tone for the week.

3.  Getting my RUN on.
It's been a while since I hit the pavement running.  Not since I ran 114 miles in 28 days!!  So it feels good to be out there running again with my husband.  Early morning runs seem to be going well for us now.

4.  Drinking my morning coffee without milk isn't so bad.  I thought this would be the hardest part of doing the Whole 30, but it isn't.  Not being prepared is the hardest part actually.  Cause when I get hungry I usually grab for the first convenient snack, which isn't always the healthiest.  So preparation for meals and snacks has been the difficult adjustment for me.  But it got better as the week went on.  Oh and I'm drinking so much more water, which is great.

5.   Enjoying my karate classes.  I've been doing karate for about 3 months now and I'm really enjoying it.  the bruises not so much, but no pain no gain right..... ;)
I'm onto my yellow belt now and I have an exam coming up next week.  I think I'm ready.

I know this is late but I had a good week and we should share when we have a good week.
How was your first week of May?


Friday's Fave Five

Gee the week went by so fast!  And I'm even late with this Fave Five, but 'm not going to let that deter me from sharing with you all my fave five for this busy week.

1.  A Calm River View.
It's been a crazy kind of week for me.  A busy one too.  Hubby and I were busy preparing an 'Amazing Race' for the middle school kids here in our small school.

There's a lot of work involved.  From thinking up the challenges, going through the logistics of the race and then collecting everything we need for the race.  Let's just say I'm thankful it's Sunday!  The race was yesterday and the kids had so much fun.  And seeing that is rewarding.
And as for the calm river view from my bedroom window, well it was a great place to sit for a couple of minutes just soaking it in and then getting back to work - refocused.

2.  Receiving that word........
I've subscribed to this website as I suspect many of you are probably familiar with.  Anyway what she shared on 1 Real Cure for Burnout.....well that message was for me and I read it just at the right time. Don't you just love that...receiving an encouraging word just when you need it.
It's time for me to remember that there in only One Person I need to be concerned about.

3. Words of encouragement
Last week one of my faves was social media platforms and well this week it was there for me.  In the way of a friend sending me an encouraging message through messenger from the other side of the world.  It was very thoughtful of her.

4.  Music
Most days I'm home alone for a good part of the day.  And music is my companion.  Whatever my mood - there is a music genre for that!    And I love it!

5.  House help.
I'm so thankful that I can have help in the house. As I said this has been a busy week for me so to have Asem help me stay on top of those daily chores is a blessing.

Hope you all had a great week too.  looking forward to visiting your blogs.


monochrome Monday

we don't necessarily need color to remind us of how beautiful nature is....

Have a great week.


It's Never Easy......

And I don't ever expect it to be.  Saying goodbye to our kids and sending them off will never be easy.

on our way to the airport this AM
This morning my daughter packed her bags and headed back to London.  She only has 2 weeks till her exams begin so this will be a busy time for her.

10 months ago when we found out we were moving back to Kazakhstan Renee told us that she wanted to stay back and if we could please find a way to allow her to finish her final year in London, without us.
Of course as a mom this request worried me but everything about it made sense.  Why would we move her in her final year to a new school and have her try to settle without us and navigate through new surroundings, all while trying to complete her final year,  and do well.  That would have been unfair.

What worried me the most was that she would have to board.  Have student accommodation somewhere, be responsible for her meals, her laundry, paying rent and all the other responsibilities that come with living away from home.

Well 10 months on she's made me and her father proud.  She's worked hard, she's grown up and she's proved to herself that she can make it out there.

She's had an offer on a couple of Uni's/colleges out there and now to prove to herself that she has what it takes.....
the sky is the limit Renee......and it's all up to you how far you go!


Friday's Fave Five

I've decided to start doing this again, and wow what great timing.  Our host at Living to Tell the Story has been doing this for 427 post and in her latest post she explains why she started doing this.


Life gets busy and that's true for all of us. I get caught up with just wanting to get things done and keep on moving forward.
So by doing this I hope it helps me in my quest to slow down, to live simply and a desire to cultivate a heart of gratitude.

So here's my Fave Five for this week:

1.  Having my older daughter home in Kazakhstan.
It's been 4 months since she's been with us. The last time I saw her was last Christmas.  She's lived and gone to school in London on her own while we moved back to KZ.  And she's not even in a boarding school.  She's grown up and she's managed to keep her head in her studies without us.  I'm proud of her.  She's almost done and then she'll be moving onto the next chapter of her life.

2. having all my kids under that same roof again....... even if it's not for that long.

3.  Juicing.  Grapefruit juice to be specific.

For over a month now I have been drinking grapefruit juice every morning.  When we went to Malyasia I tried one and really liked it so I decided that when I'd get back home I would make them for myself.  It's not a fad or anything like that.  I like the juice I make but even more pleasing to me is that it has curbed my desire for sweet food.
And that's a positive I'll take!!

4.  Spring Time.
I love seeing all the flowers popping up around the camp.  It's beautiful.

5. Last one for this week.  Social Media and the internet and Large Families.
It's expensive to call home (Papua New Guinea) so I'm grateful  for the different social media platforms that are available to me so that I can keep in contact with my family, back at home.
-photo of my kids with all their cousins.  I love that I have many siblings  - which means lots of nieces and nephews!!

Share your Fave Five with us.!

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend.


monochrome Monday.....

tyres, check.  helmet, checked!
the weathers changed and I think it's time to get back on my bike.  some days the wind is brutal and others, well it's gorgeous.

Have a happy week! 


weekends are for.......

putting up our trampoline, clearing the back patio, going to a goodbye party, celebrating my birthday and of course celebrating the Resurrection of  Jesus Christ!

Happy Easter!!

And the icing on the cake, my daughter is here for a little bit.  #familyfirst