Sunny Day

Sunny Day
Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet

 

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Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame Street

 

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Come and play
Everything’s A-OK
Friendly neighbors there
That’s where we meet

 

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Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street

(Sesame Street theme song)

Rainy season is almost over!  Which means that it’s getting hotter!

See what Biff and Sully have to say about the end of rainy season:

(Can I tell you how happy this video makes me?  Biff’s scary voice aside, I think this might be the best thing I’ve ever seen on YouTube!  Although that Panda sneezing video is still pretty awesome!)

Normal

I don’t know how it happened, or when it happened, but I realized the other day that life in Indonesia seems normal.  I’m no longer surprised at the sights, sounds and smells around me!  I could almost forget that I’m living in a country different from the one I grew up in…almost…(if only we had a Target here!)

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A drying rack.

 

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A woman selling things on the street outside of a school.

 

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Peanuts drying in the sun.

 

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Chickens in the market.

 

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Gasoline sold in jars.

Come August, when we move to Papua, we will have to learn a whole different kind of normal, but for now, it’s really nice to feel settled and normal! 

Stay tuned…many adventures lie ahead!

Teamwork

Ok fellas, listen up!  Here’s what we’re going to do.  This moth needs to be moved to that spot of dirt over there before we can eat. 

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So, Marty, you fake left and Jerry, call for reinforcements.

 

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Alright good, now a little more to the right!

 

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Almost there gentlemen!  Lift that left wing and pivot!  PIVOT!

 

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Fantastic.  Now, go let the others know that they can clear out of Becky’s kitchen.  Dinner is on the front porch tonight!

Under My Umbrella

I walked over to Brian and Heather’s house yesterday while it was raining.  It still rains just about everyday, so the view from under my umbrella is a pretty normal view of life here.  (I realize that I could make some Rihanna references here, but I won’t.)

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From here (our house) to there (Heather’s house) there is mostly jungle and houses.  The little gully on the left of the pictures fills with rain water every time it pours. 

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It seems that everyone here has some kind of front porch furniture and boy do they use it (except when it’s raining)!  Indonesia is definitely a “front porch” culture. 

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Believe it or not, there is a mountain in this picture.  Most of the year, we can’t see the mountain.  I often forget that we live in the mountains because most of the time they are all covered by clouds!  Actually, the largest active volcano in Indonesia is only a few miles from Salatiga!

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I’ve always loved this little bamboo house.  Bamboo is abundant here.  Extremely abundant!  Indonesians make just about anything and everything out of bamboo: houses, fences, drying racks, baskets, scaffolding, furniture, shishkabob sticks…and I’m sure a bunch of other thing that I’ve forgetting about!

Is it really almost the end of April already??  Time flies!!

One Year

April 21, 2009.  The day we left Indonesia to seek medical attention for Nathan.  It was a long 36 hour trip back home, but thankfully, because of two morphine patches (both Nathan’s, I unfortunetly didn’t get any morphine…) the trip was not as bad as I had been imagining.  It’s all kind of a blur now, but I am so grateful that we made it back safely!  About three days after our return, Nathan was admitted to the hospital and four days after that, he had surgery. 

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May 13, 2009.  This picture was taken about three days after Nathan was released from the hospital.  He had lost 20 pounds after a 3-week intravenous liquid diet.  (Playing Wii with my brother, Billy and our niece, Daria)

Fast-forward to September, mostly because I lost all of my picture from June-August.   : (   <—–that’s what my face looks like when I think about my lost pictures.

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September 2, 2009.  Still in America waiting for our visas to come through.  Nathan was cleared by the doctor to return to Indonesia in June and then we began the long process of reapplying for visas.  We enjoyed spending time with these two girls, Daria and Violet, our nieces.  I know this is a blurry picture, but I love Daria’s facial expression.  Remember the days when a sit-and-spin was the best thing ever??

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October 12, 2009.  Nathan and I spent 6 weeks working at MAF headquarters in Nampa, ID while waiting for our visas.  Nathan logged 0.4 hours in the new Quest Kodiak!

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October 27, 2009.  After many months of waiting, our visas came through!  Yay!  We had about 2 weeks to pack up and leave for Indonesia.

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November 15, 2009.  We arrived back in Indonesia and welcomed the humidity once again!

And the rest, as they say, is history!  We are so grateful for all of your encouragement and prayers over the last year!  It has been a roller coaster ride!  And we couldn’t have done it without you.

The Sliding

Here’s some math you can’t argue with: pool + slide = fun

But there are always rules…

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Shoot!  I really wanted to walk on the sliding!! 

But I opted for the traditional method of sliding on the sliding…

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While Nathan opted  for the face-first mode of sliding on the sliding.

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Headed back to Salatiga tomorrow, but we sure enjoyed our time in Jakarta!

Baby Back Ribs

“I want my baby back, baby back, baby back.  I want my baby back, baby back, baby back….Chili’s baby back ribs, I want my baby back ribs.  Barbeque sauce.”

Do ya’ll remember that commercial?  I’ve been singing that song ever since we ate at CHILI”S!!! 

 

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It has been a long time since we ate at any kind of western restaurant and man was it good!!

 

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Fajitas, Queso, Southwestern Eggrolls, oh my!  (nope, we didn’t order baby back ribs)

 

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Even kitties like Chili’s!

I found this great website that recreates restaurant recipes, so you can make Southwestern Eggrolls on your own!  I haven’t tried this yet because I haven’t found all of the ingredients, but I will someday and it will be yummy!

The 12th Largest

We are in Jakarta right now so that Nathan can take a bunch of test to get his Indonesian pilot’s license. 

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia.  It’s the largest city in the country and is home to 8.5 million people (about 3 times the population of Chicago!)  Actually it’s the 12th largest city in the world!  The first American city to make that list is New York City and it’s number 13.  So, Jakarta is big.  Very, very big. 

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While Jakarta is a big, modern city, there are reminders all over the place that we are still in Indonesia, including the rooster that woke me up this morning!  I’m not sure why there is a rooster in the middle of the city, or why I can hear it from 33 floors up, but the fact remains that it is here and it did wake me up. 

Chili’s for dinner tonight!  I can barely contain my excitement!

My First Cheesecake

Nathan has been hinting for awhile now that he would LOVE it if I made a cheesecake.  I’d never made a cheesecake before and I was intimidated to do so because I’ve heard that there is an art to it.  But, nonetheless, I told himif he bought me a springform pan I would try.

So, last weekend, when we were at Ace, he bought one.

And so I tried.

Strawberry Cheesecake

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Directions

    1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter.  (I also added a little cinnamon to the crust…yum)

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    2. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    3. In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries and cornstarch; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce; cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.

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    4. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add lemon juice; mix well. Add eggs, beat on low just until combined.

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    5. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust. Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer. Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce. Drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top. With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry sauce.

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    6. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set.  (I put a pan of water under the cheesecake while it was baking to prevent it from cracking) Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan. Thin chilled strawberry sauce with water if desired; serve with cheesecake. Store in the refrigerator.

     

    About 45 minutes after I pulled this out of the oven, I realized that I completely forgot to add the eggs.  Seriously, sometimes I wonder what happend to my brain.  Am I the only one who feels this way??

    Anyway, in all of my worry about the lack of eggs, I also forgot to take a picture of the final product.  Plus we ate it all up pretty quickly.  Turns out that eggs aren’t a completely necessary ingredient for cheesecake.  It still tasted AMAZING!!

    Next time I want to make this cheesecake!