Sorry about the delay, had problems with the app I was using (blog press) crashing. We spent Thanksgiving weekend here in Boise, with friends and family. All 4 of Amy brothers were in town, so Mom and Dad's house was quite busy and noisy on Thursday! We shared great food and lots of catching up with each other. Mom had found a neat idea, creating an alphabet using kids to pose as the letters

So we set up a makeshift studio (sheet hung for background + extra lights) and made our own kidphabet with all the grandkids. I can't wait until I get a copy so I can use it for cards etc.

Later in the weekend, we went over to our neighbors house.

Dong and Hui are from China and invited us over for Hot-pot, a delightful cuisine in which the food is brought to the table raw and is cooked in a pot of boiling broth (usually with a slick of spicy oil on top; this is from Seschuan province). We got to try this when we visited China as Peace Corps volunteers and loved it but never thought we'd get to try it outside China. One word for the evening: yum!

While we ate, our kids played together....something involving guns and sneaking around as a group. They appeared to be having fun, no arguments, so all in all it was a very enjoyable evening.


Starting up, heroica

Here, I'm starting to blog again because several folks have asked that we keep in touch while we're in Africa starting next year; I think this is one of the easiest ways to do it.  By starting now, I'll be in the habit of doing it by the time we leave.  (Plus, I can have fun recording our progress, planning, and panic along the way! :)

This week the boys have been fascinated by the Lego game Heroica, and have taken over the floor of the den building their own extended version of the game.  We played it and other than being a bit slow because we don't have the right pieces to make the game board (so we play that every 'dot' on the lego is one space, which quadruples the time it takes to move anywhere), it's actually been pretty fun.  Michael has been 'adjusting' the game play and rules as we go along (and somehow, almost always to his characters' benefit....;).

Juana and I have been dealing with the initial oh-my-gosh feelings related to accepting the contract to go to Africa for 3 years.  Checking with a housing manager to see if we can have the house rented and managed while we're away, beginning conversations with friends who are international teachers about the process and their advice, starting to tell friends and relatives, etc.  (We've already told our employers - they knew as soon as we started thinking about it.)

There is so much to think about and it seems like next summer is already just around the corner.  This is exciting, even more than when we joined the Peace Corp (in part, I think, because we already had that experience so we know a bit of what we're heading into).  May your life be interesting...