Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bananas and Sago in Coconut Milk

I’m not what I would call a foodie, but this dish is one of my favorites here in Singapore so far. We went to a church Relief Society meeting on Tuesday night called “East Meets West”. The Singapore 1st Ward (West - expatriates mostly from US and Australia) was taught by the Tao Payoh Ward (East - local Singapore folks) how to make a vegetable dish. It looked and smelled fantastic, but they used prawns so I couldn’t try it because sea food makes me so sick. Bummer. The lady had already prepared the spices for use before she came so she could just cook it on a hot plate for us quite quickly. She said totally nonchalantly that she had pounded the chilies, shallots and dried prawns for about an hour, maybe a little bit more. You WHAT? Pounded? For an hour? Call me lazy, but even if it had tasted great I never would have made it. She said we could use a blender but it wouldn’t taste quite as fresh and she liked it really good.

The rest of the program was where we showed and tasted a desert we had made for each other. I brought Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge Brownies. That screams Western to me. Chocolate. Sticky. Sweet. Sinful. Overly indulgent. Lots of the things they made were good, but several used bean something and the textures were just too much for me. This one I loved. I hate coconut AND tapioca but this stuff was delicious. Never used coconut milk before I moved here, but here it is sold in the baking section near the sweetened condensed milk. Like I said, I’m not a foodie. Enjoy!

Bananas and Sago in Coconut Milk

This super-fast dessert is delicious served hot or cold

¼ c sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan until golden

6 ripe bananas slant-sliced into thirds

2 cups coconut milk

½ c sugar

¼ tsp salt

3 tbsp tapioca pearls (sago), rinsed in cold water and drained

1. Combine coconut milk, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Add the bananas and tapioca pearls.

2. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes more, or until the tapioca pearls turn translucent.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the mixture into individual dessert bowls and sprinkle half teaspoon sesame seeds over the top before serving.

Serves 6 - 8

Picture from here. Will post my pic once I make it at home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Getting Used to Our Life

We are pedestrians today and train riders. We got off at a train stop and Maddie asked if we were still in Singapore or if we were in a new country now.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Mashed Potato Machine

The Soderborgs came to town to visit this week.  They knew about a certain delicacy even we hadn’t heard about yet and were on a mission to find it here in Singapore.  They had been told that the 7-11s have mashed potato dispensers.  They were not disappointed.  We were at East Coast Beach today and saw a 7-11 so we couldn’t possibly pass by without checking it out.  Sure enough.  We found a mashed potato dispenser!  How cool is that?!?!

I was determined to try it, but Carl’s Junior was in the next building over.  We decided to grab lunch then return for slurpee desert for everyone else and mashed potato for me.  Before we left I  wanted to snap a picture.  It didn’t disappoint.  What do you think Brent?  First we take you for dinner at the local chicken rice place.  You translated the restaurant name, Loy Kee, into Thai and tell us it means “floating poo”.  Now the mashed potato machine ACTUALLY SAYS IN ENGLISH “poo” and “flush”.  Maybe I don’t want to try it.  We’ll have to wait for another day to find out if I have the stomach for it.  I had forgotten how B-I-G a Carl’s Junior burger can be.  All five of us were absolutely stuffed and had to pass on the 7-11 stop after lunch.  Next time…well…maybe…if the machine doesn’t say “poo” and “flush” it might help out mentally at least.

Random Childhood Memory: My family may think that blog post title refers to my ability to consume mashed potato. Boy could our family put those potatoes away! After Sunday dinner we used to scrap the pressure cooker clean of all mashed potato remnants.  I even recall one warm summer evening getting tossed out of the kitchen with my two younger siblings.  We were sent to the front porch with what amounted to a mashed potato ball.  We used the spatula to scrape the pot clean and noticed it sort of stuck to itself if we shaped it with the spatula so being the bright children we were we made balls of the stuff to play with like play dough.  We must have been having too much fun because we got booted, each of us with a mashed potato ball about the size of a racket ball.  It was so much fun and we played as we nibbled because as much as we wanted to eat our potatoes we didn’t want to be the only kid without a mashed potato ball to play with and show off.  Now as an adult it sounds a little gross.  Where had my hands been?  How many hours had it been since I washed?  Yuck.  Still, I might make mashed potato balls for my kids for dinner tomorrow.  They’d love it!

Mommy Tax

Description: cid:3DC2DD1B-F291-4F90-BFFC-7ED618AA7BFF


Today I'm thinking of Lucinda. At the Mazza home the mommy tax is taken out on an "as needed" basis on Halloween candy, Christmas candy, Easter candy and various other appropriate occasions...like at the shopping mall today. We are the ones that spent three hundred bucks at Turf City Mall at the bike shop.  Why did the kids get the candy not Brian and me? So when Jake happened to ask me to hold his candy it seemed like a good time to impose the mommy tax on him.

Thanks to Brent for spotting the cheap scooters but dang that man sold all the other things we needed to fix the broken bike in the backyard, a bike rack to strap to the car to take the bikes to the beach and a kid seat to replace the one that was stolen along with our second mountain bike in Virginia. We stopped short of buying another bike. Singapore is a cash society and we were emptying all our pockets just to come up with enough for what we bought. I figure i can email my neighbor and ask if I can just borrow her bike in the front yard until they get back in August.

Mommy Tax

Friday, June 24, 2011

Seven Year Old Kisses

I dropped off Ben and Brian at the ferry dock today so they could take a bum boat to an island with a troop of older boy scouts and camp in the jungle.  Brian loaded up their backpacks to a dangerously heavy level so Ben asked if he could go put his backpack down on the sidewalk and wait there for Dad. 

Best part of my day was when I said goodbye to Brian and waved to Ben on the sidewalk in front of the car.  He dropped the backpack like a hot potato and sprinted to me to give me a snuggle and a kiss (as we call it at our house).  Even the valet stopped to watch and smile at cute Ben.  I’m glad that at seven years old he still loves his mom, even in public because I sure love him.

Yoder Michaels

I can’t help it.  No matter how many times Jacob says it, I laugh out loud.  He pronounces motorcycles as “yoder Michaels” and I love to point them out on the roads here just to hear him say it.  “Jake, what’s that?” I ask almost daily.  He squeals and yells, “A YODER MICHAEL!!!” as he points out the window.

Malaysia has not left me short on opportunities to amuse myself.  My rule of thumb for driving in rush hour traffic is this: Pick a lane and don’t move.  Those motorcycle guys are plain nuts.  We live right by the border and about a zillion Malaysian men and a handful of women come into Singapore everyday on their motorcycles to work.  If I ever find myself on the highway when they are coming in to work all I can hear is the sound of the motors ripping past me.  The come from the left and from the right at incredible speeds.  Even if you wanted to change lanes and you checked your blind spot by the time you turned your head back to the front of the car a yoder Michael has usually come out of nowhere darting between you and the car in the next lane over so it just isn’t safe to move.


When my brother Shon and his family were here visiting we finally got it figured out.  When changing lanes you must signal not once, but twice.  Once to move into the lane that is delineated by what I used to refer to as the painted white line. Then you must signal again to move out of the painted line into the lane in which a regular sized car can fit.  This is because the motorcycles consider the lane line to be their own lane, full sized in their minds and a legitimate place to be.


One morning traffic was only moving at about 60 km/h instead of the posted 90 km/h.  In 1 kilometer I counted 26 motor cycles whiz past me.  Today we came home at 5:30 from downtown and between the exit before mine the the place I got off (about 1 kilometer) I counted 32 motorcycles in about 1 minute on my side of the highway.  Then I exited and counted 26 entering the expressway.  Bees I tell you, it sounds like the buzzing of bees all around you and it can be unnerving at times, especially when I have proximity sensors on the four corners of my car and they sometimes set them off they get so close to me!


All that being said, Singapore can’t hold a candle to what we saw in Bangkok.  Now that was pure chaos and at any traffic light you’d see double or triple the number of motorcycles.

Happy Random Thoughts

I've been waiting and waiting but I'm pretty sure it's just not going to happen. What sucks about summer? Burning your kids legs while you try to buckle them into the car seat and having the other kids pass out from heat stroke in the back of the car because it's been baking in the sun for a few hours while you were in a store somewhere. I know exactly how bad it hurts. Makes a grown person wanna cry to be scalded by searing hot metal on their inner thigh. We never have scalding hot seat belts here. Considering the heat and humidity never quit here, I think it's pretty darn amazing! Realize we've parked in parking lots in full sun for the last six years - including having a parking lot at our own darn house instead of a garage or carport, I'm a very happy momma now. The ONLY relief in the entire state of Virginia was the basement parking at Wegmans and you better believe I used it every time. In Singapore there is no such thing as parking in the sun. This densely populated metropolis is all about high rises and parking garages. Even the kids school is four stories tall and a parking garage. In fact I've gone entire days in this country without exposing my head to the elements at all, neither sun or rain. There are perks to life here and I'm going to enjoy not burning my kids when I strap them into their car seats every time I do it this summer. I just hope they can all do their own belts and we're done with five point harness seats by the time we move home in three years. So for today, I give three cheers for parking garages any and everywhere in this tiny, delightful island country.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Double Take

The finale event at Camp Angie was a field trip. We went downtown with the kids today to Ion Mall. It is one of the newer, nicer malls in Singapore, a land where two kids is a lot. Obviously we were quite a sight. Two adults with nine kids ten and under. Two favorites stick out in my mind.

Going up and down the escalators. Admit it. When you ride one you casually check out the people going the other direction or look around at least as you ride. As people passed us today they would look as I passed and about the fourth kid their brow would wrinkle. They would look forward to see Brian then back to see me and start counting with wide eyes.

The purpose of our visit was to get some Japanese yakitori for dinner. Basically a bento box of rice and marinated and grilled meat on a stick. It's some good stuff! We also hit up the fresh fruit juice place for an ice blend or six. So we walk up to the little place at the mall to get our food.

It's a lot like a food stand in an American mall with a little grill behind a glass display case. The guy behind the counter looked up at me and smiled. I hung back for a minute letting all the kids gather next to me as I explained that we were going to get in line and everyone could choose two sticks of meat and i would order rice. Then we all got in line as the guy started to point and gesture clearly asking if they were all mine. I gestured in reply "two families". He smiled and pointed to draw his three coworkers attention our way as we all crossed and got in line. By now there was a crowd of people stopped watching us and all the cute kids. Everyone was counting over and over with their fingers raised in the air trying to get an accurate count as children moved like ants swarming on a candy discarded on the sidewalk.

The lady taking the order and I did our best to get everyone the right thing in the bags while the other employees giggled every time the next kid came up to tell me what they wanted to eat. Still they counted and counted. After they placed their orders they crossed the walkway to wait against the wall with Brian who had collected his own audience of elderly Asian women who were smiling, counting and laughing at the little ones while they patted their heads and pointed to the ones with glasses.

Such a hilarious experience for me. Jana figured it out and it is actually possible. She had three kids and from that point on we alternated having a kid a year. We both agree though, nine kids in nine years is a whole lot of kids. We will be really sad when they leave Singapore in three weeks. I wish they could stay the whole three years with us.


Ben thinks he looks like an alien after he has had his goggles on for an hour of swim lessons. I think we should loosen them up a bit but he says they are just right.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Passports, Black Socks and Orange Julius

On Monday I had to report to the US Embassy to claim my passport. I count myself as incredibly lucky that it was found AND returned to the embassy. I didn’t even notice it was gone. I would have freaked out next time we tried to travel and I couldn’t find it. I put it in the drink holder of my backpack after we returned from Hong Kong. Somewhere between the visa checkpoint and the parking lot it fell out. We didn’t even check luggage, just walked straight out. Inside the passport was my Singapore Dependent pass too so that is gone. I feel like an idiot.

In any case Brian came home from work early to take the kids to swim lessons since the pickup window is only open from 3:00 – 3:30 pm. I got my passport and then hit Toys R Us for diapers for Jacob and searched for black socks for Ben. Apparently there is a law here in Singapore that I didn’t know about. Thou shalt not wear black socks. Or maybe it’s a commandment. I had previously looked at three different stores for black socks he could wear to church with no luck. Right outside the Toys R Us is an entire level of specifically children’s clothes. I went into eight different shops (I counted). I looked myself and then asked each and every clerk for black socks. Nope. Only 3 of the stores even had navy blue socks. In the end, I paid $30 for three pairs of navy blue socks which I hope will pass for black. Rip off. Note to self. Only buy navy blue dress pants from now on.

The weather being as it is here, I was parched and as I went down six levels of escalators to get back to the basement any and everything cold seemed to be calling my name. Finally on the last level I caved when I saw a Dairy Queen/Orange Julius stand. The classic Orange Julius sounded cold and fantastic. I placed my order at the counter with the twenty something employee. He looked a bit surprised and repeated my order. Yep. Orange Julius, but now I was doubting myself and asked if they had that. He said that they had real, fresh juice if I would prefer that. It’s made of real fruit. Still confused I asked if they had the original orange Julius drink. Yes they do, but it is made of milk powder and sugar syrup. The juice is real fruit. Ummmm…. Okay. Kid, you have no idea the history I have with powdered milk. If you only knew. Let’s just say I don’t really have a problem with powdered milk. I was raised on it almost from birth and only just recently stopped drinking it because I can’t import that quantity of food into your lovely country. Yes. Gimme my drink kid. I’d like one sugary syrup, artificially flavored orange drink with milk powder. More power to you if you wanna be organic. It’s just not my cup of tea.

It was really good!

Am I Nuts?

I set appointments to do my visit teaching.*  We only have two people to visit.  One gal is home in the states and the other is here so we have one appointment this month. We are going to visit with her after church on Sunday.  She moved last month from one street away from me to living downtown just walking distance to the church (a 30 minute drive or 1 hour train ride). Our husbands can drive the kids home and me and my partner will take the train home after our visit.


Am I crazy to be wildly excited about visiting her?  Just the idea that I can get out of my house. Without my children.  It feels like I will be liberated.  Free to walk without a stroller.  No tripping over sandals or scooters as children stop and start directly in front of me on the sidewalk.  No one will fight over “doing it myself” when it’s time to swipe the train card or be too scared to walk through the automatic gates after they swipe the card and wait too long so they slam back closed again before they go through.


I feel like I am drowning here these days.  All the babysitters in the world have shipped themselves back to the US for the summer to visit extended family. There is literally no one left to play with on our entire street for the kids to have play dates.  Beechwood Grove used to be littered with kids and bikes and balls after school let out.  No more.  Today the road is silent, hot, sticky and uninviting.  The ear infection that has kept Maddie down seems to have dissipated but by dissipated I mean that while it has departed her right ear, she still has a runny nose and cough but now Jacob and Ben have it too.  Everyone is tired and whiny and sick. 


Today I was so looking forward to going to the Science Center to just get out of the house even if it wasn’t kid free time at least my grown up friends from playgroup would be there.  We bought a season pass a week ago but couldn’t make it.  By the time it was time to pack up and head out at 9:30 am my kids had sunken eyes and dragging bodies.  Everyone looked ready to nap. I had to call Brian to talk me out of going.  As much as I need to depart from these concrete walls, they needed to rest even more.


Oh how I wish I could have gone to play with my friends today.  Or out to a movie (I vainly checked the show times knowing there is no way that’s going to happen anytime soon). On the up side, Mary came today and my house is really sparkling clean today.  I do like Wednesdays.  A clean floor makes my outlook on life dramatically better.   And I made homemade lasagna for dinner.  Then I realized Brian has to go teach scouts tonight downtown after work. Sigh.  Good food but no one will care or appreciate it.  Maybe we all need to go to bed early tonight.  For now, I’m going to remain really, really excited about my train ride and walk home in the sticky heat after church on Sunday because I really, really need it.


*Visit Teaching is a program in the women’s group of our church.  Two women teams are assigned to watch out, care for and visit with other women in the congregation.  It’s awesome and helps make sure that people aren’t forgotten or overlooked.  We’re only really asked to do two things and even that is to be tailored to meet the needs of the individual.  We should check in at least once a month with our ladies and deliver a spiritual message to uplift them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day vs. Mother's Day

It was Father’s Day last Sunday.  Or was it? I couldn’t really say. I planned on it.  I realize I’m in a foreign country and things can be different here, but Mother’s Day was Mother’s Day.  I got fliers in the mail telling me to buy makeup at this place or that.  The pizza we had for dinner a week before came with a promotional ad to order pizza for Mother’s Day and get a free box of chocolates “while supplies last.”  The morning radio show banter was all about mothers and what they do and mean to us.  There were signs in the malls and the regular hoopla I have come to expect in the States.  At church the speakers talked of mothers and memories. After the service they asked each mother to stand and wait to receive a beautiful single red rose.


I naively assumed that Father’s Day would be a similar affair here based on my Mother’s Day experience in Singapore.  I wasn’t out and about at the malls as much the two weeks before Father’s Day so I didn’t see anything advertised or the lack of as must have been the case.  I simply planned to have a nice dinner and desert for the Father in our little home. 


We arrived at church during the opening song so I naturally assumed that we had missed the big “Happy Father’s Day” type of opening announcement and welcome.  I was surprised that the topic of the service was “repentance” not “fathers” as I had anticipated.  At first I thought the speaker was taking an odd, round about way to get to the fatherhood topic (a not so flattering path I might add if he was inferring that fathers were in need of repentance).  Nope.  It was just repentance, plain and simple with no fathers singled out to be in need of an extra dose.  The service ended with not a single red rose or “Big Hunk” candy bar for the dads in the congregation.  I left scratching my head.


In sharing time when we split into classes after the big family meeting they did a game where the kids dressed up like dads, but the lady in charge of that activity is fresher than me to Singapore and straight from the US.  No clues there.  I asked someone in the hall while we waited for the elevator.  She didn’t know either but had overheard a kid ask his mom about it and she told him they celebrated it in September.  We concluded that it must be in September here and Brian had stumbled upon the great fortune of double dipping this year.


Upon our return home I promptly googled “Father’s Day in Singapore” to figure out when I was supposed to celebrate Father’s Day.  Only to find out that it was in fact this week.  We had it right.  Apparently no one here in Singapore cares.  No sales on BBQ grills or gift cards or golf gear or tickets to sport events.


As for our family, we celebrated despite the locals.  Brian got waffles, eggs and hash browns for breakfast.  Pizza for lunch.  Steak for dinner and butterscotch treats for desert.  I helped the kids make cards and at dinner we talked about all the reasons we love dad.  In typical kid fashion many of their ideas began with “I like dad because he gives me ______” or “I love dad when he ______ for me.” At least they were genuine in their comments.  Cute kids.  Awesome Brian.  We’re a lucky family to have Brian around.  We all love him.

Just the Facts

Maddie is intense.  Especially when she’s frustrated.  By Jacob.  Destroying the play things she spent time arranging in the most intricate ways.  She clenches her teeth and tightens every muscle in her body.  Then she reaches out for Jacobs hand and takes a tight hold and squeezes or shakes it or leads him in a not so friendly way to wherever she wants him to go speaking in a regular volume but she is so intense that her head and shoulders shake as she moves her face within millimeters or Jacobs face.


Right now they are upstairs in the playroom.  This is all I need to see.  Nothing. I can hear it all. I holler up the stairs with a vision clear as day what is happening on the next level up.


“Maddie.  Are you being nice?”

Pause while she thinks.

“Well Jacob was just –“ I interrupt.

“Maddie.  I asked you a question.  Are YOU being NICE?”


“Jacob says ‘No.’”

“Okay then.  Let’s do better.”

With a voice of resignation, “Okay.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

No Swimming? and an Ear Infection

I was supposed to take the kids to the community pool yesterday and everyone was excited about it.  Then the air con man was able to come from 10 to noon so it threw the schedule off. When he was done it was time for lunch and naps then swim lessons for my two big kids.  The kids were okay with it because I promised them I’d take them today and we spent about two hours at the school playgrounds during swim lessons again.

Today the crew had a late breakfast then played Wii or Barbie dolls.  We had lunch and Brian and I figured out where to take Maddie to a doctor on a Saturday afternoon for an ear infection.  We spent several hours up with her last night writhing in pain and agony.  All morning she said she was fine.  Finally I sat with her in a quiet moment on the couch and asked how her ear was again.  She said it felt fine.  I gently put my finger in her ear and asked if that hurt and sure enough it did.  Then I put my finger in her other ear.  Nope.  Didn’t hurt at all.  She is terribly afraid of getting shots so she didn’t want to go to the doctor.  We explained what they doctor would do and how quickly the medicine could make the hurt go away forever.  She just wanted to take the medicine again we gave her last night that took away the pain and figured that was good enough.  Finally with Maddie on board with the doctor plan I sent her and Brian off to walk to the 24 hour walk in clinic down the road.

I was ready to tackle the pool alone with eight kids.  Only no one wanted to go.  The three older boys were deep into their spy and war games.  Emma had a book she was happily devouring.  The two little girls wanted to watercolor so I started them into making Father’s Day cards for tomorrow.  No one seemed to care about swimming at all so I finally asked if they wanted to skip it and play. Everyone except poor Abby voted to play here.  I figured a way to convince sweet Abby that she had already been swimming today since the girls and Jake all “swam” this morning in about two inches of water in our front yard pool and she seemed satisfied.  So I decided to just put Jacob and Rebecca down for naps.

When Maddie returned from the doctor (with SIX different medications) she happily joined the crafting at the kitchen table. Everyone is happy and I now get the afternoon at home instead of the public pool.  Unfortunately I think I’m going to spend it preparing for home school lessons next week instead of having fun.  Such is life.

Oh yeah. About medical care in Singapore.  I’m still in love with it. Brian walked to the clinic. No appointment.  Saw a doctor.  Got six medications prescribed.  They hand you the prescriptions right there in their office.  $30 consultation fee, $60 in medicine.  Seems like a whole lot of medicine.  When Jake had an ear infection in February we went to the doctor downtown and he got decongestant plus antibiotics for $17.  It was enough for him.  But for Maddie they gave her some ear drops, congestion medication, pain medication, flu medication, antibiotics and something else I can’t remember right now. Hope Brian listened closely to all those instructions!  I don’t think she’s actually supposed to take them all, but we have them all in case it develops into the flu, etc.  So far, medical help has been fantastic here!

Friday, June 17, 2011

He's Home from Tokyo

Brian got home during dinner tonight. He says the food is gross. The country is a bit overwhelming for a non-Japanese speaker. He met up with our old exxon mobil friends that were expats in Fairfax, Nobu, Tamami and Anna Ito. He really enjoyed that night and they were kind enough to take him to TGI Friday for dinner for some good old American fare.
Guess what my boyfriend learned while he was there...how to say beer in Japanese. Now that is gonna be so helpful when we visit as a family. Not.

Thursday Stats at "Camp Angie"

I went to swim practice yesterday with my three and the Hyatt six.  The ladies at the pool were teasing me when I walked in with nine children.  After Maddie’s class got started I took the rest of the kiddos downstairs to play on the playgrounds.  Tess stayed at the pool with Maddie and Maren and I took Maron’s older brothers.  I’d been down there not five minutes when another mom friend walked up to pick up her son from basketball camp in the gym.  She was texting on her phone and I said hello as she approached.  She says, “Hey!  I hear you’re having Camp Angie this weekend.”  I almost died laughing. Well, yeah, sort of. 


I only had two kids right next to me when she approached so was baffled that she would know anything about it.  She’d been texting with my pool side friends.  Word travels fast.  As I mentioned before, at the time, I had the Clayton twin boys too (the ones who lick my hands in Sunday School).  That makes an even ten kids.  I also had candy I found in my diaper bag from Thailand (they are sort of like Starburst candy) so the kids kept coming and going like swarming flies while I talked with my friend.  She thought the whole scene was funny. And it was, especially because with the humidity the candy has to be individually wrapped and sealed so I had to open every single one of them for all ten kids.


So far we’re having a blast at Camp Angie.  A few tears last night from two of the girls that wanted mommy.  Nothing we couldn’t handle. Once I finally decided that Jana’s idea was wiser than what the kids were trying for little Rebecca bedtime was easy.  I put her in her crib and in about two minutes she laid down and fell asleep.  Abby needed some extra love too.  I didn’t get a shower yesterday and smelled terrible so after we said a special prayer together she asked to sleep upstairs near me.  We went up and she laid down on the couch in my room.  I took a less than five minute shower and when I opened the door she was out cold.  Sweet girl.


Here is the Camp Angier Schedule for Thursday:

7:30 am 3 Zufelts – wake up, breakfast, home school

10:00 am 3 Zufelts, 3 Claytons – Claytons helper Tess drops the three kids off for a play date of bey blades, wii, Barbie dolls, dress up, bike races and bike car wash

12:00 pm 3 Zufelts, 3 Claytons – macaroni and cheese with carrots and apples

1:30 pm 1 Zufelt – drop off 3 Claytons and 2 Zufelts with Tess (love her)

2:00 pm 1 Zufelt, 6 Hyatts – pick up Hyatt clan downtown to come for the weekend

2:30 pm 3 Zufelts, 6 Hyatts – park at Claytons and walk with them to the school for swim lessons

3:00 pm 2 Zufelts, 6 Hyatts, 2 Claytons – Tess stays with the girls at swim lessons while I take the rest of the crew downstairs for fun on playground #1

3:45 pm 2 Zufelts, 6 Hyatts, 1 Clayton – swap the three boys for the two girls when it is time for the next swim lesson to begin and go back to try playground #2 and the sand box

4:10 pm move to playground #3 to keep the crew happy

4:30 pm 3 Zufelts, 6 Hyatts – walk back with Claytons to get the car at their house, Jonathan and Aaron race us home to our house two streets away while we get the other seven in seatbelts

4:45 pm 3 Zufelts, 6 Hyatts for the rest of the night – finish dinner in the crock pot and shuck eight ears of corn

5:00 pm Skype with Dad in Tokyo, kids were beyond distracted so I finally took the laptop into the kitchen to talk while I wash the lunch dishes

5:30 pm dinner is served

6:30 pm clean up dinner while the kids play, everyone is happy and the Hyatts typically go to bed later than our family so since it’s party weekend I let them enjoy the fun

7:30 pm Jungle Book starts on cable, eight of the nine kids are totally glued to the tv set, Anna is miffed that, “No one will even play pretend with me! Not Emma or Abby or even Maddie.”

8:00 pm whining begins as I tell them I am recording the show for them to watch tomorrow, but for now it’s time to start getting ready for bed, Jacob’s already asleep on the hard wood floors so he’s the first to get a groggy diaper change and deposited in his bed (my actual plan was if they were speedy they could finish the movie and most of them would fall asleep before the show ended at 9:30 anyway but no one moved quickly so I abandoned that plan almost as fast as I thought of it)

8:30 pm play room is cleaned up but no one wants to go to sleep.

9:00 pm half are in pajamas and a handful have brushed – it’s so easy to dodge the adult instructions when you genuinely don’t know where to find toothpaste and it’s so much more fun to goof off with your buddies, just one of those kid things where they are in perpetual slow motion aimlessly walking around a room so as not to attract adult attention by just sitting but not getting a single inch closer to the end goal – any parent knows all about that

9:15 pm scripture and prayer time - everyone is ready to go to sleep (physically at least), beds are made, pillows for everyone have been procured from across the house, pajamas are on, teeth are brushed, no one can stay quiet or stop poking their neighbor (especially Maddie Mae)

9:30 pm the kids thought the best thing for Rebecca was to have her sleep “with” them in their beds, real fun idea but after 15 minutes of her disturbing the boy room and the girl room by constantly going back and forth I took the port a crib upstairs into Ben and Maddie’s room, she cried when I took her away but settled into her bed almost immediately and fell asleep

9:35 pm I check the kiddos downstairs again and find Abby quietly sobbing, we prayed and she came up to sleep on the couch in my room

9:40 pm shower and lights out for me too


Ready to Shop

I told Maddie we had to do our grocery shopping the day before we left for our Hong Kong trip so we could stock up on groceries while Jana was at the house with nine kids and no car.  Maddie was not pleased.  When I said it was time to go, she was magically all smiles. “I’m READY!” she declared. Maddie Mae had made up her mind that if she couldn’t control whether or not we went, at least she could control what she brought.  Here she is ready to go.  The birthday gift bag is full of Littlest Pet Shop toys like the one she is showing off and she’s got her pink water bottle and a warm sweater on top of her t-shirt, shorts and jumper.  The forecast for that day like all the others was over 90 degrees with humidity.  Sticky hot.


Not wanting to be left out, Jacob held up his rapid fire Nerf bullet gun, “I WED-EE SHOPPING TOO!!”


We had nothing else on our agenda for the day so we arrived about when the store opened at 10am. There was plenty of parking but as soon as Jakey notices we have entered a parking garage he starts calling out with dramatic enthusiasm “Another level!!” (Sounds like “an-udder yevel”)  He loves to go up and up and up or down and down and down.  Instead of parking on the second level at Sembawang we went up to the third and got a front row spot.


Walking in on the third floor I happened to glance to the side and remembered being told about a water attraction in Sembawang Mall.  Perfect.  With nothing else to do we went to check it out.  The water doesn’t turn on until 11am but there was a good sized dry play area.  I let the kids explore, play and I took a ride on their train a few times with them.  When it was getting close to water time I scooted them out and down to the basement to do our shopping.


We took the escalators down, down, down which always makes them really happy.  Escalators and travelators are our favorite here in Singapore.  We checked for dark socks for Ben on each level with no success and when we made it to the basement we followed the signs to the bathroom so Jake could freshen up shall we say.  I was met with the most amazing smell as we walked.  It was that fresh, amazing smell of warm bread.  I almost stopped in my tracks to just enjoy it.  Usually Singapore smells of fish markets and hawker stalls.  Not my favorite.  At the moment I figured out it was bread Maddie says, “Mom, I’m hungry.”  We had Subway for lunch and it was the best American food I’ve had in a month.  I miss American food terribly so we got two chocolate chip cookies with M&Ms in them as a special treat.


After lunch we bought a grass trimmer to use on our five foot by eight foot patch of grass and picked up our groceries.  The kids were perfectly behaved walking up and down the aisles holding hands and following behind me. Maddie even pointed out all the kids that were being naughty by running around the store and playing wild and not staying with their mommies.


Such a great day.  Instead of getting in and out with groceries in an hour, we were at the mall for about three hours and had such a fantastic time together.


May 30, 2011

Sushi for lunch

Brian has been in Tokyo all week. On one of his calls home to the kids he tried to tell them about some of the weird food he had for lunch. Of course they wanted to see pictures which he did not have. He got smarter and photographed his lunch yesterday then emailed the pictures to me for the kids to see BEFORE he called last night.

It looks horrible, but that is coming from someone that is allergic to seafood so maybe my opinion doesn't count.

Begin forwarded message:

Here is what I had for lunch today.  Yes that is raw fish of various types on a bed of rice and a bowl of soup with prawns.  I am not a big fan of sushi.

Brian Zufelt

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Ben to his friends:

“If I could earn three extra hours of Wii time by picking up just one toy, I’d clean up EVERYTHING!”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Do You Think When You Hear "Singapore"? Round Two

More About Living in Singapore…



Singapore is the nicest, cleanest city I’ve visited.  There is a reason for that.  The government is strict and punishments are a real deterrent to bad behavior.  When our Bishop visited our home he made the comment that there is nowhere in the entire country that he would be worried about his wife walking alone at night.  I haven’t been everywhere, but I concur that I feel safe everywhere I go.



Sometimes I think it’s odd that there seems to be a person to do every single job in this country.  For example I often see people that hand sweep parking lots.  The parking lots are super clean as a result.  Back in the states if my kids crushed up crackers in the car I would brush the crumbs on the ground at the parking lot at our house and let the birds eat them up.  I just can’t do it here.  First everywhere has underground parking structures to there wouldn’t be any birds, but second, the parking lot is just too clean to do that.  I’d feel way too guilty!



As we were making our plans to come here, the Boy Scouts were doing a fund raiser selling popcorn.  Ben got the paperwork and quickly picked out his prize.  He wanted to sell $600 of popcorn and get the grand prize – a marshmallow crossbow.  Before I jumped on board, I had to stay up late that night researching to see if we could  even bring the toy into the country.  The government website was pretty clear about no guns allowed, but also talked a lot about no toys that resembled real guns.  It took a while but I finally found a picture reference guide and was able to determine that he could bring in the marshmallow crossbow without getting in trouble because with all the neon colors and obviously plastic parts it wouldn’t be mistaken as a real weapon.  I have since seen lots of toy guns for sale in Toys ‘R’ Us here.  Ben did earn the crossbow by the way. That kid was dedicated!



Caning is a punishment for all sorts of crimes from vandalizing government property to rape.  The number of lashes depends on the severity and any caning offense is also accompanied by a prison sentence.  I’m not totally sure what the big deal is over the whole thing.  I don’t believe it to be a comfortable or happy thing, but it isn’t meant to be.  It’s a punishment.  It’s like a serious, serious grown up spanking.  Bare bum hitting with a stick while your ankles are strapped to the legs of a table type support bent over so your back side is accessible.


About that 18 year old American that got caned, Michael Fay, I support the idea that a citizen of another country must abide by the laws of the land where he is.  As an expatriate, I recognize myself to be a guest in this country and as a guest I must play by their rules.  He received the same punishment a Singaporean would have received.  He confessed to the vandalism when he was arrested then changed his story.  He does still maintain his innocence on spray painting cars, slicing tires, hitting cars with hatchets, putting paint remover on cars, etc., but did admit to stealing road signs.  That being said, I don’t know anything about his innocence or guilt.  I just believe that I am subject to the laws here and have no special privilege because I’m an American.



The government is much more involved in a persons everyday life that what I am accustomed to in the States.  They have something of an equivalent to the grocery store loyalty cards here, but it is issued by the government and one card works for all stores.  You can do anything at an ATM kiosk style machine at the grocery – from top up your parking card, to pay your electric bill, to pay your taxes, to reserve a camping or BBQ spot at the park.  I applied for a season pass to the Science Center and have to provide my government number equivalent to my social security number.  For the kids to get a discount MRT (train ticket) I had to provide a passport and their Singapore country ID cards.


At the MRT (train) stops I find it a bit eerie in a weird theatrical sense.  I think it was the movie Joe vs. the Volcano where the opening scene is the colorless world and people going to work in trench coats in the rain.  It feels a bit like that to me sometimes. Take for instance the Woodlands MRT stop near our house.  The train stops in the very middle of a big city block.  Completely surrounding the train stop is a huge open grassy field spreading out in all directions and one seven story shopping mall, small in size actually compared to many others.  From the train stop going diagonally out to all four street corners are long, long, long covered walkways leading to high rise after high rise after high rise of HDBs.  I think it’s really just a mental image I created in my head of people in trench coats trudging to their carbon copy HDBs living a dismal life.  It isn’t really that way.  Just how I imagine it when I see that particular train stop on my way to the mall in the middle.


All that being said, I haven’t really seen a huge problem with them being so involved with me.  As an American I feel naturally skeptical and protective, but I have to admit, I’m letting my guard down a little as I become more comfortable with the idea.  I still think I’ll be just as feisty about the US government butting into my life though.  I think they are a total disaster and heading for a self-created explosion someday.

Maddie Says

Driving home from the water park with the kids my Maddie says:
"Mom, does it cost to do a parade?" "Do you mean to march in it or watch it?"
"March in it."
"Yeah. Somebody has to pay for you to go in it. Why? Do you want to march in a parade?"
"No. I just want to be in it. I want to be the guy that just breathes."
"Huh? Which guy just breathes?"
"The one that stands on the driving things (the floats) and doesn't have to walk."
Later in the drive...
"UGH!!! Mom, it feels like some air is just stuck on my mouth."
Never did figure out what she was talking about. She is feeling under the weather and after me dragging her to the water park against her will I decided it was in my best interest to mask my giggle over her question and not probe for anymore awesome quotes or she may break down and cry.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This is how we nap these days. Breaks on. Stroller back. Must be a third child. No parent would ever let this happen to a first born.

More On Lizard Poop

I'm halfway trying to potty train Jacob. Mostly when he says he's interested or when life is slow and I happen to remember to put him on the toilet. Turns out someone else is potty training too. The last two mornings I have had to scrub the downstairs floor when I woke up because there was a bunch of lizard poop around the toilet. This morning I lifted the lid to use it myself and I found lizard poop on the sit down portion of the toilet seat. Gross. At least someone is paying attention to the potty training lessons. Maybe next time the lizards will actually get it into the bowl. We continue to have too many lizards around here. I've been to three stores and haven't found lizard traps yet. I often have to clean their poop and pee off the walls and if I don't catch it soon enough it leaves the walls just the slightest bit discolored. Three years of this and the walls are going to look atrocious. Brian couldn't sleep the other night so he went to the couch downstairs. In the morning he mentioned that he heard something like continuous clapping going on all night long and couldn't figure out what it was. I'm 99% sure it's the lizards making their chirp type noises. They have even knocked something off the counter once. Pesky tails I guess. Our cleaning lady, Mary, mentioned that I still need to get the traps so I proudly reported that though I couldn't find the traps yet I had squished some and killed them. She recoiled with surprise and concern. Sure, squishing a lizard is gross, but why should she be worried? She said that if the lizard gets scared it will drop its tail off and it will keep wiggling across the floor. Still not sure that it is a problem I asked what the problem was. I had a hard time not laughing at her very serious response. If the tail is still alive and wiggling across the floor and my kids are laying on the floor watching TV the tail might get in their ears. Right......Okay.....I'll watch out for loose lizard tails jumping into my kids ears. Maybe I misunderstood what she was telling me. That is totally possible, but I'm not overly concerned about it and here is why. This is how I picture the scene going down. Mom sees a lizard and knows she has to kill it. She finds a shoe heavy enough to inflict a proper blow. She swings, making a huge splat noise. The lizard isn't totally dead and starts running or hopefully limping away. Mom lets out a classic high pitched girly girl scream and is jumping around on the floor trying to stay away from the injured lizard (and apparently his detached tail) while still keeping an eye on it and planning my next attack strike. You tell me the kids aren't gonna be right in the middle of that action. They'll either be scared and running for their dear lives or helping me get the darn thing with their own shoes. Sure as the nose on my face they won't be laying down watching TV pretending like nothing is going on in the room. Maybe Mary meant that the tails can wiggle for four hours or so and they could get in their ears later in the day? That makes more sense. I have so much left to learn about living in Singapore.

Monday, June 13, 2011


> Like lots of parents do, I check on my kids as I turn in for the night. I check their legs to see if they are cold to the touch from the air con and feel the back of their necks to see if they are sweaty and need the fans cranked up. When everything is just right I give each of my three sleeping angels a soft kiss on the cheek and head up the last half flight if stairs to my own sleepy dreamland. > > Tonight, as usual, I put one foot on Bens bed to boost me up enough to check on the princess atop her bunk bed throne. Ben stirred a little bit and turned over in his sleep without so much as opening his eyes. I climbed back down and gave him a little squeeze and whispered my love as I softly kissed his cheek and slowly, calmly recoiled from his sweet angelic face. His sleepy flip flop to the other side had left fully exposed to me and my motherly kiss a healthy sized river of drool covering his entire cheek. Does it make a person a bad mom if she regrets giving her kid a kiss? >

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Do You Think When You Hear "Singapore"?

Before I came to Singapore I knew only a couple of things: Some American got caned there a long time ago. You can’t chew gum. It’s safe and clean. No guns. Government is very strict. It’s somewhere in Asia. The weather is warm. When Brian said Singapore was becoming a legitimate option for us, I had to go look it up on a world map to see just where it was. It is lots farther south than I thought. Only 85 miles from the equator and the year round summer heat and humidity prove it. I also didn’t realize the continent of Asia was so incredibly spread out and that it actually extended below the equator. Lots of people have emailed me questions about things here so I thought I’d answer them here on the blog. Just a compilation of my experiences living here and some online research mostly on the great Singapore Government website but I used a few other sources too. Singapore is a real “Fine City” First thing to know is that Singapore is a “fine city.” That common phrase has double meaning. It’s a fine place to live and work. And any little thing you do wrong will cost you in the form of a fine. For example, the ERP system is like a the EZPass Toll Road systems back in the states. Money is automatically deducted from your card as you pass through electronic gates on the highway or in parking garages. In the states you load a balance and refill it with a credit card set to autopay when you reach a lower threshold amount. Here you stick a smart card in a device every car has on the dashboard and it transmits and deducts from your card balance. You take the card out of your device and “top it up” as you go in or out of the grocery store at a machine like an ATM. It is also used for almost all parking garages in the country so the balance goes down quickly on ours all the time. Here is where the fine city part comes into play. If you are on the highway and forgot your cash card it isn’t a huge problem. Instead of paying the regular $0.50 road toll, you will simply be mailed a ticket for $10.00 to your house. So if you know your balance is too low for your trip you can always decide. Is it worth running home to get the cash card or finding a place to top up? Or if you are really in a hurry just pay the fine. Gum The most popular/quirky thing Americans pick up on with Singapore seems to be the ban on gum. It was really odd to get to the grocery checkout stand and see rows and rows of breath mints but not a single pack of gum. Before we moved I checked online to see what the rules were. Google brought me to tons of expat websites with write ups and opinions but no government sites hit the top of the search screens and I didn’t look any farther than that. They told me that it was illegal to buy or sell gum, but people could bring a few packs in for person in home use. Wrong. Since arriving I found out that there is no such allowance made for in home use of gum. I also found that going to the government website directly and searching for what you want quickly brings any answers I need. (I can only dream of laws being so easy to find and understand in the USA.) Bringing in any gum is a crime here. I have a friend here who took his kids and their cousins to Malaysia (a 15 min drive from my house). He bought a couple boxes of multiple packs of gum. Coming back across the border he was searched. Of course they found about 500 pieces of gum. The gum was confiscated and he was ticketed. If I remember correctly it was something like a $200 ticket for the offence but I won’t swear to that. It makes me laugh a little bit when I find gum in my house. I have found it as I unpacked the contents that came from my nightstand drawer. All three purses I own had at least one half eaten pack of gum. Those super-secret pockets in my winter coat that you only think to check when you are putting your coat through the washing machine. Ants even found one package in my scripture bag. I had to take my Bible out to the front yard and leave it there until all the ants crawled off of it. (I found the ants at bedtime so left it out overnight. Of course then with the humidity the pages were a little moist and wrinkly. Ugh.) It surprised me to learn that you CAN buy gum here. The government relaxed the ban on gum to include gum for “therapeutic uses.” You may buy gum from either a pharmacist or a dentist. They must write down your name, government ID number and how much you buy for their records or face stiff fines. (See? There they go with fines again.) Therapeutic uses include things like gum that claims to strengthen the enamel (the government regulation I read details the exact amount of ingredients that must be present to qualify for the medical exemption to the gum ban) and gum like Nicorette to help people stop smoking and things like that. Even though a pack only costs just under $1.00 I find it to be too much trouble to go to a dentist to get gum and I’ve broken my gum habit when I had my tooth extracted and had to wear the classy fake tooth retainer contraption for ten months last year. So it doesn’t bother me at all anymore to not have gum. I do however appreciate knowing that I will never find gum on my shoe, never stick my hand in someone else’s gum on the bottom of a table at a restaurant or have to see it on a wall. The only reports I can get on the reason for the gum ban was the cost and expense of gum clean up. From many, many, many internet sources I did find that the original gum ban was conceived as a response to the cost of cleanup. Most Singaporeans live in government housing called HDB, Housing Development Buildings. They are nice enough places, but the population density here is so extreme that the buildings even in the suburbs near us are often over 20 stories tall and can have multiple wings to house hundreds of families. With all those people crammed together, just a few gum littering folks can cause big problems. The streets and buildings are kept really clean, but gum was getting stuck and breaking the street cleaning machines. People were poking it in mail slots, elevator buttons and inside keyholes in the HDBs. It was also being found on bus benches, public tables and chairs, etc. The last straw for the ban is reportedly in 1987 when the public train system began operating. Public vandals began putting gum on the door sensors of the MRT trains causing disruption of the train service and repairs. In the busy train stations it was difficult to find the culprits. That finally lead to the ban. And there it sat for twelve years until the United States and Singapore began talking about free trade between the two nations in 1999. The gum company Wrigley helped push a deal through that relaxed the standards to include the “therapeutic uses” I mentioned above. According to the government website fines for your first conviction is a fine not to exceed $100,000 or imprisonment not to exceed two years or both.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Great Day

Here are four of my favorite people. Our swim date got rained out at Kathi's place so we settled for Chili's lunch, Ben & Jerry's ice cream treats and a few minutes at the playground before we had to come back home for swim lessons.

We all love Kathi. Jake calls her "my wed Kaffey" for "my red Kathi" because she once wore a red shirt on a day the church choir sung. Jacob was a bit loud and wiggly that day so I tried to distract him by having him find her in the choir seats. It didn't work. He was real quiet. Until he found her. Then he went nuts. Oops.

Today when he saw her waiting in the curb for us to pick her up he squealed and yelled and kicked his feet all over the place in his car seat. Ben and Maddie and I love her too. And she loves us.

I Shop In The Ladies Section

We just went to find Ben a swim shirt so he can stay warm enough to stay in the pool for the entire 45 minute lesson. The mall is being completely renovated so I couldn't find kid sizes at all but spotted some goggles in the women's section. We ended up buying him an adult women's shirt - size small - for my seven year old boy who measures 10th percentile in the States. Don't worry. It was black with a royal blue racing stripe down the sleeve, not pink with flowers or anything embarrassing. He refused to borrow Maddie's purple one for even a day because, "That is way too embarrassing! It's purple!"

The whole thing just made me feel a little bit better about the idea that I may have to wear a size 4X here. I am just not that big. They actually carried 4X at Metro and I may have to go back sometime to shop for myself.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Use It Or Lose It

We found tons of places here in Hong Kong with free Wifi. Museums, airport, cafe, breakfast restaurant and our hotel lobby. It's made blogging lots more fun to write as we go instead of get home and try to squeeze it into my regular life. I could blog while we rode the train or waited in lines or rode a taxi. Then just connect and upload when we found Internet connections. Awesome!

After we went through security at the airport Brian emptied his pockets and counted his cash. HK$246 left. Use it or lose it is what I say. We got a cool chocolate surprise for our fantastic babysitter (and family if she so chooses). Thanks a million Jana!!!

Cup Half Empty Or Half Full

Despite my attempts to be a positive person, sometimes I have a hard time seeing the glass half full. In this case however I believe I am fully justified in seeing the paper cup as half empty. I had a hard time deciding if I should go with regular or large frozen yogurt last night. Glad I chose large. They weighed the serving and everything so I know I must have got that I paid for, but that large cup isn't even half full. No wonder people here are so thin.

Short People

Hong Kong was built for short people just like Singapore. I can reach the subway handles!

Hipot For Dinner-Lunch

Last bit of adventure before we head off to the airport.

Friday, June 3, 2011

And A Little Something For My Honey

Chicken rice for Brian tonight.

Dim Sum at the Peak

Dumplings for dinner.

We Got Out Nails Done

Okay. We each got one nail done. Some lady chased us down in the mall at The Peak. We got a sea salt hand exfoliation, body butter moisturizer squirt and one thumb nail each polished to a gorgeous shine. I feel pretty and so does Brian. At least one tenth pretty anyway. Had to walk away in the end. It was $900 for everything even after, "Promotion today. Good deal for you." That is $115 US. Yikes!

Big Buddha

Just climbed this! 256 stairs if brian counted correctly.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Marketplace by Jason"

Hey J, thought you should know I buy my groceries at your supermarket both in Singapore and Hong Kong.

River Cruise in Hong Kong

Beautiful scenery. Hot date. Good life.


Went to the temple on the afternoon. Shon really does need to go see it. It is beautiful and so peaceful. Then dropped our luggage at the hotel and called the kids. Saw Times Square downstairs from our hotel which took about 90 seconds. Then ramen for dinner. This isn't your typical $0.10 college meal here. It was delicious and HUGE.

Now we are waiting for the Star Ferry to take us on a one hour harbor tour at night where we can watch the laser light show over the water. We decided to count this as our anniversary present to each other. This is our first real get away since Ben was one and he stayed with Patches while I met Brian in London. It is so great to get away and do something really fun after six years! I love my husband! He is lots of fun. We forgot when we don't take the time to date each other.

Hong Kong Airport

Hey Kristie - You know how weird it is to drive under approaching planes on the interstate in Buffalo? Got another weird one for you. In the runway approach in Hong Kong the red lights showing the approach path were a bunch of buoys with lights in the ocean. Cool, huh?

I've never been to a country where I didn't speak the language solo like this. Soderborgs did all the talking for us in Thailand. Of course I've got Brian but between us we can say "what is this?" and "this is a cat" (thank you Maddie and Ben for teaching us those two very important phrases). Maybe if I speak English with a Chinese accent they will understand me.

Circle K

This one is for you big girl. Haven't seen one of those since I was a little kid. Probably before we even started going by initials at our house. I suppose than translates to mean the pre-whiteboard days of moms chore chart for us.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rate Our Toilets

It is amazing the things you miss when you are dragging three kids, luggage, car seats and making sure you got five passports in order before you miss your flight. At four AM on a Thursday I rate your toilets "Excellent!"

Heading to Hong Kong today WITHOUT kids. Thank you Jana Hyatt for taking our kids for three days we get to explore the big city without worrying about nap time and go to the temple together.

US Embassy

Brian and I went to the US Embassy for the first time in our lives yesterday to get a document notarized. It was kind of cool. Security like at the White House or Capitol building in DC. Doors and windows like in the refinery I worked for in Houston. They were seriously hard to open. I guess that is to be expected since both places need to be explosion proof.