Monday, March 30, 2009

The Pout

Wow ... no lack of drama in the faces here this week! I shot this little girl in our neighborhood ... and I don't think she was too happy about it.
Can dogs pout?

Go be inspired!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Creative Currency

Phuket, Thailand

Lindsay was collecting shells on the beach today.

Lindsay: Mommy, what is this one?
Me: Oh that's a sand dollar honey - very cool!
Lindsay: Sand Dollar? Mermaid Money?

She cracks me up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Paddy's Day

Mom always celebrated St. Patrick's day big in our house. There were green bagels, green mashed potatoes (ok, so those weren't so appetizing), corned beef (no cabbage - thanks Mom) and the ceremonial green beer as well.

In honor of all the Torpeys, McCauleys and other Irish ancestors ... here was our day.

The hoodlums happily donned whatever green they had, including a headband with long green braids from my Mom. I fed them green, shamrock shaped pancakes. They baked sugar cookies with my Irish themed cookie cutters shaped like shamrocks, a pot of gold, and a leprechaun. We played Irish kiddie music all day. I fed them Irish Stew (not a hit, oh well) with Irish Soda Bread. We did not have green beer because I just plain forgot. Next year.

It was a blast. I'll post pictures when we come back from vacation.

I'm sure our celebration will be all the rage in Nepal next year.

Erin Go Bragh!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Keeping Connected In Our Crazy Expat Life

I am a relational hound. I love and appreciate both the family I come from and the one we were blessed to help create. I know they say that blood is thicker than water but I'll tell you, my friends are right up there because they are the extended family I've chosen.

In my husband's line of work we move ... a lot. My seven year old has lived in four homes and gone to two schools so far. Yet, I value continuity, consistency and deep relational connection so very, very much.

So what can we do to foster those things as we move, move, move? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is what we are able to do in this season of life. I am also reminded that no on promises us tomorrow, so what we do today is always important. Have I said "I love you" to my husband and kids today? Have I actively tried to "be a blessin'" to them as I tell my kids to be every time they leave the house?

Here is my list:

1) The biggest constant in my children's lives are us right now. Bill works a lot but if he has to work at night he often comes home to put the kids to bed and so that we can connect about our day.
2) Praise the Lord for Skype. My parents got to see Swift's early steps from the other side of the planet, live! The kids can talk to their cousins. I get to wear my jammies for all my near and dear ones to see and mock (smile). I "see" my friends and family for free. It has to be one of the biggest boons ever for we global nomads.
3) We do have a family meal and it is breakfast. Bill's work day is too long to make it dinner. I imagine as the kids get older and schedules change this will change, but I am grateful for it now.
4) We have some routines. I sit with the kids for their after school snack to ask and hear about their days. We all snuggle up to read every night before bedtime. We have pizza and ice cream out once a week or so. We go to Sunday worship together. Not terribly creative - but very comforting.
5) We don't do play dates or activities on weekends because it is family time ... unless it is a whole family play date and we like those!
6) I try to celebrate both the little firsts and the big milestones. Any holiday is an excuse to celebrate something together.
7) The bedrock foundation under all this is primarily our faith. Our second priority is our marriage and from those two, we hope, the deepest and most satisfying connections are forged on all levels.

This is my first mental pass at this and I'll give it more thought. Go see what others are thinking on this topic here. Heidi has a "Living Lovely with Family" Mr. Linky going on!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SITS Spring Fling ...

And the winner is .... Kat at Sunshine and Lemonade!!

In the spirit of solidarity with the Sitstas over at The Secret is in the Sauce ... I will give away a summer weight Nepali pashmina in a color of your choice! They are 70%cashmere and 30%silk and tissue thin.

Leave me a comment with your dream color and I'll pick a winner using random number generator (Ok so I've never used this thing ... but I've seen it elsewhere and I'll figure it out or if that fails ... I will pick a number out of a hat.)

It is bedtime here in Nepal so I'll miss most of this party but good luck to all!


Holi '09 - Dodging the Dye!

Holi is called the Festival of Colors. Historically, its religious significance is that Krishna's Aunt Holi was killed before she could kill her nephew. I don't know why she wanted to kill her nephew - jealousy perhaps. The holiday is mostly celebrated by children and young adults who stalk the streets in packs. They throw water balloons with different colored dye in them and attack each other from rooftops and windows. Motorcycles speed by driven by metallic painted faces. Everyone's clothes are a wreck - but everybody is smiling.

I had to brave it to get these shots! Not exactly combat photography but I was hiding behind and in the car trying to avoid getting hit the whole time. (I wasn't worried about me - I'm washable - but my camera!!!)

This last group cheered when they saw my camera. They were having a good ol' time!
So Happy Holi to you - don't forget to look up.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Maha Shiva Ratri - The Kids

I have been a lazy blogger of late but I promise to catch up.

Last week was Shiva Ratri. While most people associate this holiday with the ganja smoking Sadhus at Pashupati (yes ... I will post those soon!), it is also a holiday for the kids here in Kathmandu and they make the most of it.

Gangs of kids line the side streets to put up their rope road blocks and demand rupees from the captive passers by. They will use the day's take to buy sweets at the end of the day. It is all kind of cute but you can tell the motorists get annoyed by the end of day and practically gun the poor things down.

I took these right outside our gate. I brought out some lollipops for the kids and they hammed it up a bit.

Sort of like a snow day!

Waiting for their next victims.

Caught. Pay up big guy!

OK, we'll break for a minute to pose for you but we are keepin' our eyes on the prize down the road Madam!

I took a bunch of shots of this little guy.
I'll post the Pashupati Sadhus soon. Namaste!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I laughed when I read the theme for this week at I Heart Faces: Messy!

How many messy pictures do I have of my kids? This was a good lesson in archiving well. I know I have them but where in the heck were they? Adults are a bit harder to catch being messy but even better when they are:). If this week's theme was just a week later I could have captured pictures of this year's "Holi" - a very messy affair.

My child entry is my little girl ENJOYING that ice cream - I love the color and the expression!

The adult entry was shot during Holi last year.

The Tea Party

We tend to focus on big milestones in our children's development but yesterday was a reminder of the many small wonders and joys we get to witness and be thankful for.

Lindsay asked me to join her tea party. She turned over a cardboard box, set out the plastic tea ware (including broken crayons for tea sandwiches) on it and said I had a special place set aside just for me. She made me color her a picture first and not show it to her and then she placed my picture, rolled up, in front of her place and one she did for me placed in front of mine. When we sat down she poured our "tea", encouraged me to eat ("Eat Mommy!!!") and then declared it was time to see our pictures. She unfurled the one she had drawn for me and proceeded to explain, in detail, what it was all about. I did the same - not as detailed to be sure.

When I looked across at my little five year old I just filled up. She looked like a miniature Eliza Doolittle with her very dirty face and straw hat with plastic flowers set askance. She was so earnest about her tea party and so delighted to share it. Her still baby toothed smile just lit up her little face. This won't last long and I was really cherishing the moment.

There have been countless tea parties at our house with two little girls. Some more elaborate, some simple like this one. Some of them have had various stuffed animals as guests. I think I liked this one the best.