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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Things I've Noticed

Here is a random list of things I've noticed.
1. I could blame every bad hair day on my scarf.
2. I would have to blow dry my hair here in the winter.
3. There are many foods here that I didn't expect to see like candy bars, cereal, and fruit cups.
4. The school here looks like other schools in the states. You can tell if the teacher is female by all of the colorful decorations, or if the teacher is male by the more minimalize way of decorating.
5. The chicken I've had twice is amazing.
6. Taking a nice hot shower is one of the biggest blessings here.
7. Kyle can make friends no matter where he goes, even if there is a language barrier.
8. Sherry and Perry really do like living here.
9. Hal is quite the story teller.
10. I use chapstick every couple of hours here, yet my hands aren't nearly as dried out as they were at home.
11. Facebook is really important when you are on this side of the world.
12. I think I would read a zillion books and crocket blankets rather than scarves if I lived here.
13. I miss family back home a lot.
14. There are no lines on the roads. People drive as they please including horse drawn carts, boys selling gum, police vehicles, and lots of cars depending upon where you are in the city.
15. The grocery store is similar to the Rainbow Mart in that you buy what you want now because it might not be there next come you come.
16. Boys wash cars to earn a living. They really like when they see Perry coming.
17. Perry has done a great job building relationships at his hospital. You can really tell that they guys there respect and enjoy Perry. They even get his sense of humor.
18. It is very dusty here.
19. Family is taking very good care of me and the baby while we are here.
20. We are heading out to celebrate New Year's Eve with a friend of Perry's.

Sherry's School

Today we went and saw most of Sherry's school. I loved it! I don't understand all of the street drama, but school, I understand school. I have felt the safest while walking around Sherry's school. Her classroom is quite nice. I took lots of pictures that we'll upload later. They have a library, playground, and computer lab. We'll get to see the music room and the high school tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Safe and enjoying our stay

Greetings all,

Perry, Sherry, Hal, Tasha, and I are all safe. We found out today that there were bombings in Afghanistan yesterday. This was far away from us. Afghanistan, as a country, is comparable in size to Texas. There were two bombings. One was at the Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost Province and the other was in the south-eastern province of Kandahar. The Khost Province is over 80 miles away from Kabul if you measure as the crow flies. Kandahar is over 250 miles away from Kabul if you measure as the crow flies. Both of these distances would be much greater if they were measured by road travel. Again we are safe and our updates will continue during our stay.

Love you all,

Kyle and Tasha


Do I look Afghani?

Street boys that wash cars for 100 Afs, which is approx $0.50 US.

In the US, the richer buy houses on hills. In Afghanistan, homes on hills are for the poor. This is because there is no water or electricity on the hill sides.
Chicken anyone?

Neighborhood and vendors.
Young street vendor.
Street picture.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I made a friend

We landed in Kabul on Tuesday. Perry told us not to let anyone help us with our bags or carts because they would then expect money. A boy, perhaps 14 years old, asked to help me and I said, "nay tashakur" (no thank you). He hung out and talked to me in English. When I'd ask him something he'd repeat what he said before. So I figure that he just knew enough English to offer help with luggage and greetings. I tried to keep him from helping but to no avail. So we gave him a fruit bar and grandpa gave him some pretzels. He had no idea what the fruit bar was so I said it was "nan" (bread). He really liked it. He then helped load our luggage when our ride picked us up so we gave him $2 US.


During our last full day in Dubia I ate SO much.
Before breakfast: a bowl of Rice Krispies
Breakfast at 9:00: 2 waffles, a piece of toast, orange juice, and a scoop of oatmeal
Lunch: Subway
After my nap: a bowl of Rice Krispies
Dinner: Chili's cajun chicken pasta
After waking up at 11:30 to get ready for our 3:00 am flight: a bowl of Rice Krispies

We did quite a bit of walking in Dubia, but still I'm eating more than I ever have in my life.

I'm surprised at how things taste amazing one day, and then terrible the next. There are so many food that don't interest me like they used to. For example, overall sweet things don't sound good. I used to eat a sweet treat over chips any day. Since I'm pregnant, chips have become my very good friend. Normally I love the tomatoes and chicken in Chili's pasta , yet I didn't even touch them that night.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Tasha is laying down for a nap. I was going to try and stay up but my eyes are burning and screaming for sleep. Oh well.

We had breakfast with the family and got to meet some new people. I am sure that we'll continue networking with them. During breakfast, we had someone come in and tell us that the airport had found Tasha's luggage. We went out to meet the driver and sure enough, that was it.

We walked to a Starbucks this morning and then took a taxi to a mall. Here in Dubai you see so many people of different origins. People here like big sunglasses. I think they think that they look Hollywood, or perhaps Baliwood. You know these people have lots of money because of the clothing they wear and the cars they drive. This place is a high abnormality; not what I expected.

I'll post pictures later today. Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We flew 11 hours to Amsterdam. The flight was fine. I didn't get sick! The Pixar movie Up was one of the movies I got to see. For those of you who don't know, I love Pixar movies! Overall I couldn't sleep on that flight.

The lack of sleep made me VERY sleepy on the flight to Dubia. I slept nearly the entire way. Again, I didn't get sick! We have since gotten some rest and breakfast is within the hour. Being pregnant and all, Sherry helped me find some cereal before breakfast time.

We got 7 of our 8 pieces of luggage. In the form of percents, that is a nice big percent. Sadly, the one piece missing is my only piece of luggage. Luckily, I have some food and my prenatal vitamins in my carry on. Sadly, my music books and two library books along with many other things are in that missing piece of luggage.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Silly Question

Today I had several vials of blood drawn as requested by my OBGYN doctor. I flinched quite a bit when the kind, older lady stuck a needle in me. My face showed quite a bit of pain. With the needle in, she had me readjust my arm. She explained that my movement makes it hard to find the vain.

Then she asked me a silly question. "Are you okay?"

I'm trying not to let the tears in my eyes spill over as I say, "It just hurts."

She responds, "Of course."

Maybe she was afraid I'd faint, and thus the question.


Kyle and I are going to have a baby! Today we got to see the baby at my first ultrasound. We heard the baby's heart rate at 178 beats per minute. Apparently, the smaller they are, the fast babies heart's beat. The baby is due July 19, 2009. That puts me at 10 weeks and 1 day.

Things I know about our baby:
1. The baby is hungry often. I eat more than I ever have in my life. Well, maybe as much as I did at the height of swim season in high school. Do you know those burrito especials at Rubios? I had a WHOLE one all by myself. That NEVER would have happened a few weeks ago. Then a few hours later I had a frozen strawberry bar. Food has become SO important to me. Sherry visited us, and she just laughed as I brought up food of some kind every couple of hours.

2. The baby is hard a work. I now get up nearly every night to go to the bathroom. Sometimes I even get up more than once a night.

3. The baby has arm and leg buds. I saw them move today!

4. The baby causes people to genuinely ask how I am doing and how I feel. Luckily I haven't run to the toilet or thrown up outside my classroom yet. I almost did lose my breakfast one morning, but thankfully I didn't. I did switch to taking my prenatals to night time and that has helped tremendously. Plus I have crackers and dried fruit on my desk.

5. The baby needs a LOT of fiber. Some of you can read between the lines there. Let's just say that I now have Fiber One for breakfast. I often drink unfiltered apple juice. It is very common for me to eat an apple at lunch.

6. The baby doesn't like all foods. Anything mushy looks and tastes terrible. This was very sad to figure out during my three Thanksgivings over three days. That meant mashed potatoes, stuffing, and yams weren't my friends anymore.

7. The baby is dearly loved by Kyle, me, and our extended family. Taylor loves to say that my eggo is prego.

Things I know about me:
1. Those mood swings people say pregnant ladies have... they weren't lying. I normally am a people pleaser by nature. I normally analyze multiple ways I can respond before saying anything. Those filters that people have grown accustomed to have disappeared, got lost, or are MIA. The thing is, I normally think so many thoughts, but I tend to mold them into a way that most people can handle. That whole process of thinking before talking went away. So my first thoughts are often spoken with a lack of please and thank you. My wonderful husband has had all kinds of things said to him. The sad thing was that I didn't always realize how mean they were until I got a look back from him or his cousins.

2. This lack of a filter made me realize that I am definitely a sinner in need of a Savior. I've been praying about the words I use, and those harsh words seem to be calming down a bit.

3. I am so blessed to be carrying my first baby.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Where Ain't God

Kyle sent this out as his daily word. I was so impressed that I'm posting it. I LOVE the last line.


Hosea 2:19-20

God speaking to Israel, “I will accept you as my wife forever, and instead of a bride price I will give you justice, fairness, love, kindness, and faithfulness. Then you will truly know who I am.”

En Espanol, Oseas 2:19-20


Bride price: It was the custom for the husband to pay his wife's parents a bride price.


Where Ain’t God

He was just a little lad, and on the Lord's Day, was wand'ring home from Sunday School, and dawdling on the way. He scuffed his shoes into the grass; he found a caterpillar; he found a fluffy milk-weed pod, and blew out all the "filler." A bird's nest in a tree o'head, so wisely placed on high, was just another wonder that caught his eager eye. A neighbor watched his zig-zag course, and hailed him from the lawn; asked him, where he'd been that day, and what was going on. "Oh, I've been to Sunday School." (He carefully turned the sod, and found a snail inside.) "I've learned a lot of God." "M'm a very fine way," the neighbor said, "for a boy to spend his time; if you'll tell me where God is, I'll give you a brand new dime." Quick as a flash his answer came, nor were his accents faint; "I'll give you a dollar mister, if you'll tell me where God ain't."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another November Walk

Kyle and I went on a short walk this morning. It is so gorgeous out today!

Every morning in the fall, I am greeted by the beauty of this tree. I just wish the beauty didn't also leave leaves in my home.

Believe it or not, these were found on the ground that is part of a loop from our close freeway to our home.

I don't know what they are, but their color is amazing to me.

I love that an orchard is near us. It is quite the sight in the spring.

My husband choosing to wake up a little early to walk with me is another reason why I love him!

My husband

I love my husband for so many reasons. Let me share a few of the recent reasons.

I am fighting a sore throat, so Kyle picked up some grapefruit juice and cranberry juice for me earlier this week.

I was still fighting the sore throat, so he bought a Vic's vaporizer to plug in by my nightstand two nights ago.

Kyle brought me my music books to school on Thursday in between my busy conference day. He even got to know some of my students out on the yard! One of them asked who he was. He said, "Mr. Guess".
The student said, "So... that makes you Mrs. Guess's wife?"
"Did you just call me her wife! That means you are in trouble!" he replied.
The student covered his face and kids started laughing. The student walked away, and the others followed.
After dropping off the music, Kyle found the same group of kids and gestured to the one with the grammar error to come talk to him. The student looked a little scared, but he came. Kyle let him know the he was just joking with him, and that I laughed at the story. The student relaxed and the rest of the kids came to talk to him and show off a rocket and other things they had.

We bought a space heater on Thursday night when our heater went on the fritz again. Kyle wanted my input as we looked at multiple options.

Kyle was flexible with where we ate out last night. Instead of waiting to be seated and then wait for our food at a Mexican food place, I suggest Panera. He tends to be a little hungry when he leaves Panera, so he opted for Slices, a pizza place. Yum!

I love my husband!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Fall Walk

Kyle and I had a great time at Woodward Park. Enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cross Country

Look at the face on this kid trying to pull in air.

Go Hillberg!

Unleash the hounds!

Tasha's previous student ran in this race. We saw him after the race, in which he metaled, and he had gotten spiked in the shin. Ouch!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Before and After

When you have 3 pumpkins after Halloween, creative must ensue.

The seeds that Rachel later baked for me after out multi-hour endeavor.

Rachel and Ruli helping puree the pumpkin after boiling and peeling.

The pureed pumpkin with bumps from sitting in the strainer.

After: The delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

Plus, Rachel and I have 4 premade batched of the pumpkin puree left over for a rainy day.

I don't remember which relative blessed Rachel with the recipe, but boy am I glad they did. They were like a pleasant mix between a spice cake and a chocolate chip cookie. They stayed much more moist than chocolate chip cookies which get hard after a day or two. Yummy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream 1/2 C shortening, 1 1/2 C sugar together, add 1 egg, 2 C pumpkin and mix. Sift together 2 1/2 C flour (which we didn't do and they were still delicious), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt add to the pumpkin mix. Mix well then stur in 12 oz package of chocolate chips and 1 c of nuts (which we didn't use). Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

EDIT: Halloween

Tasha was typing the post as I was studying Hebrew. The details were foggy and I did not convey them accurately. So here is the accurate version.

Kyle remembers his parents setting up their house as a haunted house. His grandma June was legally blind (possibly had cataracts) so her eyes were glossy. She was recruited to be a witch that stirred a brew in a metal cauldron, which was filled dry ice so it bubbled and gave off smoke. She was posted in Troy's bedroom doorway. Kyle's mom had put packing peanuts all over the ground and told kids that they were ghost terds!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Today I was remembering Halloweens of the past. It is hard to miss when we had a vampire and a lady my mom's age dressed as a baby serve us breakfast! We also had a pirate winch take our photos for some visas!

Kyle remembers his parents setting up their house a haunted house. He had an elderly aunt who was legally blind (possibly a cataract???) dress up as a witch with a metal caldren filled dry ice. She was the greeter at the door. Kyle's mom had put packing peanuts all over the ground and told kids that they were ghost terds!

As a kid, I remember going to many Harvest Festivals at my old school. As a teen, my family went to Boomers often and played miniature golf on Halloween. In college, Kyle and I went to our college group's parties. I remember someone coming as Bart Simpson with yellow paint all over his face. A couple dressed up as characters from the Drew Carry Show. The guy dressed as Mimi with lots of blue eye shadow. The girl dressed as Drew Carry. When Vons was picketing, someone dressed regularly and made a picket sign! As a newly wed, I remember joining some good friends of ours as they passed out candy. We enjoyed a great meal together and a kids Halloween movie. One year, I think it was The Great Pumpkin staring the Peanuts gang.

Today Kyle and I had goodie bags and an extra supply of candies if we ran out. You won't believe how many kids came to our door. You can't even count them on one hand. That is right! A big, fat ZERO! Kyle did have fun dressing up with stuff he already had at home though. I opted to work on lesson plans rather than dress up.

I told Kyle that he was scary with the paint ball mask. To which he replied, "But, I'm smiling!" So... he got creative.

Here is Kyle using REGULAR paint on his face. Let's just say I wasn't thrilled with this idea.

I then decided to make it a photo shoot and took a dozen shots of him painting his face. This is my favorite one!

A morning walk

Fall is on its way! I love when the leaves change colors. Cool morning walks are so inviting. Kyle and I went for a walk this morning and enjoyed some yummy breakfast at a local downtown coffee shop! We also had to stop by one of my favorite spots to take leaf pictures. Of all places, it is the post office:)
This turned out to be a fun angle to get the leaves.

There are still flowers blooming here!

I love lilies!

It is still early in the fall season leaf wise, so many of the leaves are still green.

Aren't these cool!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rudiger Maul

Well I haven't been playing my drum much. :( I went looking for a frame drum tonight and came across some great doumbek videos on Meinl's site. Check out Rudiger Maul>

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

As an outreach, our church had a pumpkin decorating contest! We had so much fun! We had some new people join us that hadn't come for the ice cream making event. There were 3 grand prizes of $5 gift cards to Target. Everyone got a goodie bag and cookies too! Plus, we had several left over pumpkins, so we also gave out pumpkins!

This was our winner for the funniest face!
Here is my Bible character, the great fish from the Jonah story!
A little girl loves the Miss Spider books and tv series.
When we picked out the pumpkins, Kyle looked at this one and said it would be a great strawberry!
I love the trunk on this elephant!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day Light Savings- November 1, 2009

I found some information on Day Light Savings that I thought was interesting.

Daylight Saving Time has been used in the U.S. and in many European countries since World War I. At that time, in an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power, Germany and Austria took time by the forelock, and began saving daylight at 11:00 p.m. on April 30, 1916, by advancing the hands of the clock one hour until the following October. Other countries immediately adopted this 1916 action: Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, and Tasmania. Nova Scotia and Manitoba adopted it as well, with Britain following suit three weeks later, on May 21, 1916. In 1917, Australia and Newfoundland began saving daylight.

The plan was not formally adopted in the U.S. until 1918. 'An Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States' was enacted on March 19, 1918. [See law <http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/usstat.html> ] It both established standard time zones and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Too much fun

We had SO much fun making these silhouette pictures! Can anyone see the message???