Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snax Beef does not melt.

Take a little more than rain to keep Snax Beef inside. It is clear that he
is not made of sugar because he is not melting.

bestie list

I just can't say enough about her.

1) She tries her best to keep me current and trendy. Can't wait until my
big reveal at the airport!

2) She's my Dairy Queen and I'm her Diary Queen.

3) She sent my kids pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and googly eyes.

4) She sent me a very, very nice nail clipper and didn't even know it!

5) She emails faithfully and makes nothingness sound so exciting. It's a

6) She makes me drool with her baking and cooking and I'm living as
physically as far away from her kitchen as I can possibly be. That takes
talent, folks. Real talent.

7) Dino-sours. She just gets me.

8) She's married to my brother. That's awesome cuz she'll be around

9) bum slappin' (I know I said that last time, but it just has to be said

Miss you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh baby

Dad sent me a 'lensbaby' for Christmas. It's been lots of fun - thanks Papa
bilong mi!! Likim yu tumas!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Xmas prep

Okay, so my last 'Winter Blues' post was an attempt to get a little sympathy
which didn't work. I guess I shouldn't have posted those beautiful tropical
photos in the next post. Crystal, you know I'd rather be freezing my tushie
off with you than be stuck here in Madang with Coconut trees, dolphins, and
the warm Pacific Ocean out my front door. :) Serious, though. Serious.

Snax Beef and Bill had the best of times decorating the tree I found in our
storage closet. They wanted to make it extra beautiful for Grandma...well,
Bill did anyways....he was totally consumed by it. Brown noser. It's
difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year for several reasons. The
first being you drip sweat the second you step out the door. Other reasons:
I can't buy boxes of 'Christmas Oranges' (did you know that's a Winkler
term?), our tree smells like mold...like everything else that's been in
storage (including all my sweatshirts), the salt dough ornaments we made are
falling off the tree due to extreme humidity, no eggnog, no Papa juice, no
Crystal, no cream cheese balls, no Dick Ville.

BUT it DOES feel like Christmas because (drumroll...) Mama V is here! She
saved Christmas just by her presence alone. She's the best Christmas gift
EVER. The moldy tree, soggy ornaments, and lack of everything else familiar
has now faded into the background. Yes, Mama V is here and we now have
family here in the flesh to enjoy the season with.

We are pulling out all the stops. We're making the VB family traditional
Christmas Eve meal. Pizza buns (homemade buns of course), Mama V's
Christmas punch (homemade sherbet), itty bitty pickles (we found some!!),
cookie salad (got oreos in the mail from my bestie - Love. Love.) and
something that will be an all right substitute for Bugles. And I
miraculously had a tin of cranberry jelly in my cupboard so we'll be making
Mama V's famous cranberry meatballs for Christmas day. We are in good
hands, folks. We are in good hands.

Mama V

Mama V, Mama V, Mama V. We are so glad she's here. SO SO glad.

Here are a few photos Snax Beef, Bill and Skolar (one of our employees)
making necklaces for Grandma, our reunion at the airport, and just hanging
out as a family!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tribute to Caleb

Here's to good times and good memories! We'll miss you.

1)Teaching Jesse how to swim
2)Whiteskin way of getting a coconut down
3)Working on a sidewalk at the centre
4)Checking out the bathing spot in Sarang
5)Caleb and his musician friends from Sarang
6)WW2 crash site
7)Playing guitar at the church in Sarang
8)??? Styling Mama Opa's hair?
9)Mama Opa with her pikinini
10)Chillin' at Jais Aben resort
11)Snorkelin' nerds...I mean dudes.

winter blues

My thoughts keep turning to home these days. I'm sitting at the table as I
write this in tropical Madang, sipping my earl grey vanilla tea and cutting
up a chocolate bar into slivers with a sharp knife, just like my Daddy used
to do. Tastes so much better that way....and it makes it more conducive to

I'm surrounded by coconut trees, tropical flowers, and the warm Pacific
Ocean, but all I want is evergreens loaded with snow, crunchy snow
underneath my feet, and a warm toasty fire going in the fireplace. I love
those magical nights when the moon is shining just so and it makes the snow
glitter like a gazillion diamonds. I love how all the little ones in my
life look when they're all bundled up against the winter cold with bright
red cheeks and noses peeking out. There's this winter atmosphere that I
love and miss so much and it would be impossible to try and recreate. It'd
be silly to even try.

All I can say is it's a good thing Grandma is coming. Today there has been
a collision of emotions. We said good bye to a good friend and at the same
time we are anticipating the arrival of our beloved Mama V. Have you ever
cried tears of sadness and joy all in the same moment? It does strange
things to your heart.

Maybe my longing for winter is this romanticized idea in my mind. Maybe
it's just all the things that come with the season that I'm missing, like
spending time with family and friends - all the extra gatherings. That must
be what it is. I just miss you.