Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We had a great Christmas, and right after that we jumped straight into packing for our move. Our things were stored all over the place: 4 different locations. Monday morning we picked up the U-haul (who knew they are so expensive?) and headed for the storage unit. It was actually quite pain-free to move the stuff from the unit to the truck, since everything was already packed up. Next we headed to Katie Morphis' house, who had our king bed frame, bookshelf, and my new table. This table is amazing! It goes from seating 4, to seating at least 16. Our next stop, my friend Tracey's house, who had the antique trunk and Joe's mountain bike. We were feeling pretty good about our accomplishments by 5pm.

We took the night off, and headed to downtown Dallas for a last Benac pow-wow. 7 out of 9 kids were in town. There was plenty of yummy food, a fun wagon ride through Highland Park, swimming, and of course lots of fun cousin conversations.
Today, we had to get back to work. Joe was thinking we wouldn't have much to do, but after a full 10 hour day of working, realized that packing up stuff from all over the house takes a lot of time. Plus, we had to pack all the nooks and crannies of the moving truck in order to fit everything. I'm glad we opted to get the 20' truck! All of our belongings except the harp and a few of Joe's tools are in the moving truck, and I can't help but be a little nervous about it getting stolen. Did I say ALL of our stuff is in there? That would NOT be good to have it stolen! Maybe Joe can disable something, so if someone tries to take the whole truck, it just won't start. Hopefully we can get an early start tomorrow morning, as we have about 12 hours of driving to do to Albuquerque. With only 1 cell phone, I hope we won't lose each other. I plan to drive a little bit ahead of Joe, since I'll have the dog who needs longer breaks, and of course I'll need more potty breaks too.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


We decided to go with the security. And it feels great! Joe starts as the facility manager at the University of Utah on January 3rd. We also found a basement to rent in Midway. It's a typical rental house with hideous bathroom and all, but since it will be temporary I'm not too worried about it. The best things is that Midway only has 1 elementary school, so even if we move across town, the kids won't have to start all over making new friends.
The past week has been a week of projects. I started sewing cloth diapers, and just as I was getting into the thick of it, I bought a bunch of furniture from a barn. It must have been sitting there for years. I bought Katie Morphises dining room table which can expand to about 15 feet, but which didn't come with any chairs. So as I was looking on Craigslist, I found this barn. The dining chairs aren't exactly my style, but for $5 a piece, beggars can't be choosers. The past few days have been spent scrubbing, fixing, and painting furniture. It's been a real blessing to have access to Earl's shop with all the needed supplies, and access to Joe's skills. After the projects are getting done, I plan to do a sort of tutorial/step-by-step post.

Of course it's also almost Christmas. Everyone has been making gifts for each other, and going shopping. It's really fun now that the kids are old enough to actually think about what the other person might want, and then make something. Several of the kids have spent quality time with their grandpa in his woodshop. Others with their grandma and mom in the sewing room.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Not perfect yet...

The best thing has happened and we've pretty much got 2 job offers (we don't know how good yet). HOWEVER.... now the hard part is deciding which option is the best for our family

Option 1: University facilities manager.
positives: stability, great benefits
negatives: stay in Facilities field, limited opportunity for salary raise

Option 2: Consultant company
positives: potential to make a lot of money, Joe loves consulting and would love to make a career switch, work from home 2-3 days a week
negatives: risk making very little money the first year, high working hours (60), no benefits whatsoever,

So that's what we have to figure out in a nutshell. It's so difficult! The normal Jessica wants to just go with UofU and have that security. But I also realize that IF Joe is successful with the consulting, he'll be much happier there in the long run.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In my perfect world

In my perfect world the following 3 weeks look as following:
  • Wednesday Joe gets 2 job offers. We pick the best one for our family.
  • Next weekend Joe goes back up to Midway to look at a few rental properties. We find a great house, through networking with our friends, and rent it.
  • December 19th Joe flies back to Texas and spends a week of vacation with me and the kids.
  • We celebrate Christmas in Texas.
  • A few days after Christmas we load up a moving truck, and drive to Utah.
  • We celebrate New Year's Eve in our new rental home.
  • January 3rd the kids start their new school in Midway, and Joe starts his new job.
I can visualize all of these great things happening!! Until the job offers come in, all we can do is wait and hope and pray. Pray with us!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cloth diapers

Really? cloth diapers (CD)? What image does that bring to your mind? Maybe the pre-fold and plastic covers your grandma used? Well, cloth diapers have come a long way since then, and I'm super excited to switch from disposables to cloth (with my other 3 kids I only used disposables).
The first time I was really introduced to CD in their new shape, is a few years back when my friend Renee used them. The diapers looked so cute, and the process didn't seem too difficult. As I was perusing a home renovation blog the other day, she had a few posts about why she chose to use cloth. This put the idea back into my head, and I started researching.

When I do research, it's hard to stop! Of course I initially found a few good brands of CD, but then quickly suffered from sticker shock. $250 for 12 diapers? Sure, that might save you money over disposables, but still! I think of myself as a pretty crafty seamstress, so my very next step was to look for good CD patterns. And of course which materials are best suited for CD. And where to buy those materials. Needless to say it was past midnight before I could tear myself from the computer, which was only after I bought all the supplies to get started.

In the end I spent about $170 for the pattern, snaps, fabric, and elastic. This will make about 27 diapers. So instead of paying $21 per diaper, it comes to just a little over $6. I can live with $6 per diaper! Especially because the pattern in for a one-size diaper which should fit this baby (and any more to come) from 10-35lbs. It would probably take less than 6 months to spend $170 on disposables!

Here's what I bought
  • Pattern: One-size Cheekies $13
  • Waterproof outerlayer: PUL fabric $7.50/yd - 6 yards total in 3 different colors
  • Wicking innerlayer: Alova Suede $5.50/yd - 6 yards total
  • Absorbent soakers: Microfiber terry: $9.95/yd - 2 yards total (they ran out of stock, or I would have bought 4 yards). Another option is to buy Microfiber cloths in the automotive department of a big box store.
  • Pliers for plastic snaps $22.95 --Buy one, get second for $2-- I will try to sell the second pair on Ebay and recoup some of that money
  • 300 Snaps: 3 different colors to match the PUL colors: $5/100 snaps
  • Elastic: 3/8" braided elastic $0.38/yd - 10 yards total (this is a guess, since I haven't actually received the pattern yet)
The only additional supply I anticipate needing is thread, which I have tons of already. And of course a lot of time, which shouldn't be an issue either.

The hardest part of ordering online, is the waiting. You can't just bring it all home, and start immediately. Which is what I usually do when starting a new project. Maybe the waiting will be good for me?

Life altering decisions

Weeks just fly by, and then I realize it's been forever since I blogged. Which seems impossible with the amount of time I spend on the computer.

Joe is still in Utah, and interviewing for jobs. He had an interview with a consulting company that went well and he is very excited about. This is a big career switch, so there are a lot of uncertainties, but it also has a lot of potential. Then he is also interviewing with the University of Utah for a position that is more in-line with his pre-MBA career. We'll see how that one goes today.

At the same time as job searching, he bought himself a Jeep. And of course like all the Jeeps Joe has ever owned, this one needed some extensive work. Good thing he is so handy! When Angela put this photo on Facebook, it gave me flashbacks to the Boise days.
In the mean time the kids and I are settling into a routine at my in-laws house. The kids go to elementary school, and I try to take care of a few things while they do. The hardest thing I've dealt with is medicaid and WIC, but those are taken care of now.

This coming month won't stay routine though, as it might include making a potentially career altering decisions, celebrate the Holidays, move across several states (hopefully not in snow), and settling into a new place. Although all of this is challenging, I'm excited about the prospect of finally settling into our own place, in our chosen location, before this baby comes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Test your patience. I dare you!

Anyone who has nothing to do, wants to be asked tons of questions, poked and prodded, and test their patience, should head to Parkland Hospital in Dallas and try to get a Rhogam shot. Sounds tempting? Maybe not after I walk you through such a day.

7.45 Drive to Parkland in Rush hour traffic
9.15 check in without an appointment, settle into waiting room and read Twilight
10.15 Register with a financial advisor and reapply for medicaid
11.00 Settle into waiting room, read some more Twilight
11.30 Blood pressure check and urine sample
11.35 Settle back into waiting room, watch Charlie and the chocolate factory
1.10 Assigned a room, and handed a paper gown to put on
1.15 Told to put clothes back on
1.20 Go over medical background with "Educator" who said some strange things that would scare any pregnant lady who didn't know any better.

Some of the things that came out of his mouth:

"Be careful when you walk, if you fall your baby could die"
"Don't eat any fish or seafood while pregnant. Autistic kids have mercury in their brain, and we don't know for sure how much mercury is in sea food. Just don't eat any while you're pregnant"
"Drink 8 cups a day, but only a sip at a time. If you drink too fast, you can throw up"

He also gave me plenty of scaring literature, which included a ridiculous list of "don't eat" foods. I've never met anybody who harmed their baby by eating soft cheeses or hot dogs!

There's so much I could say about how wrong these statements were, but instead I just nodded my head, and said okay. This was also I would have to head back home to be there in time for the kids to get back after school, and I still hadn't even seen a nurse. Luckily Earl was home, so I could stay and finish the process.

2.00pm back to the waiting room, watch Toy Story
2.40pm Sent back to the nurses room, and told to put on a paper gown
2.45 pm Examination by nurse. And then I mean, all the possible examinations you could possibly get. In Holland the midwife measured my belly and asked if I was feeling okay. Not here! Good thing I don't have an aversion to needles and probes!
3.35pm To the lab to donate 7 vials of blood. Every test under the sun will probably be run.
3.45pm The awaited moment has arrived: the Rhogam shot gets administered, and I feel somewhat like I'm getting a horse shot
4.00pm Drive back home through rush hour traffic.

And they want me to come back next week to do more tests! Diabetes, and then the week after that for another ultrasound. Have I mentioned I've already had 3 ultrasounds this pregnancy, and it's a low-risk pregnancy???

There were several instances when I considered leaving the building, driving home, calling a "normal" OB/GYN, and handing over a wad of cash, just to be put out of my misery. Instead I persevered to the end, and now feel totally deflated.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Not having a job, also means no health insurance for us. Holland has a great health care system, where all adult get mandatory health insurance for €100/ month. Kids under the age of 18 are free. This is basic health care, and if you want supplemental coverage you pay slightly more. This €100 gets you 100% coverage. No co-pays or deductibles. You visit the doctor, and at the end of your appointment you just simply leave.

The US unfortunately has no such system. Even if your job subsidizes health insurance, it's normal to pay upwards of $380/month. This will only get you 80% coverage, and co-pays for each visit. If you are unfortunate enough not to have a job, or sufficient income for insurance, there is the option of medicaid. We now officially fall into this category, so I started the process of applying for medicaid. It brings back memories of my citizenship application. Lots of forms and copies of important documents need to be submitted.

Having no insurance makes me nervous on many levels. First of all, if anything happens to the kids (like a broken arm) it could bankrupt us. Or even worse, if something goes wrong with the pregnancy, or there are complications, it's a sure path to bankrupty. Everything we've worked to build up can disappear in an instant. So even though I am hoping Joe will find a job with great health benefits soon, I have to be prepared for the worst case. So I apply for medicaid, and hope they understand our unique financial situation.

Putting a driving force behind this, is the need for a Rhogam shot. I have the RH factor, which means I need a shot to ensure my body doesn't attack this baby or the next. It needs to happen around 28 weeks, which I currently am. Tomorrow I head to the Parkland hospital in downtown Dallas to see if they can help me there. I'm feeling a little apprehensive about it, since I'm worried they won't help me, and that it will take all day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving thanks

I have many reasons to give thanks this year. It was great to see Joe's grandpa AC Ashurst after 6 years. Him and 2 of Joe's aunts flew out from Utah, and Josh drove from Louisiana. We had a wonderful feast with all the trimmings.
We had 4 generations of Ashursts together
The kids learned to play chess. Something I've never learned myself. It has just always seemed like a mysterious impossible thing to learn. Maybe if Winter and Sterling can learn, so can I??
We ended the day with a bang with a party at the Benacs in Dallas. There's nothing like eating leftovers and catching up with a bunch of cousinsAt 27 weeks, I'm just a few weeks ahead of Kelsey (Billy's wife)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Defected time machine

The time machine I designed must be defected, because it took forever to be November 22nd. And I had to do all the work without skipping any! But we did make it, and the past weekend will always be a haze and slightly bad dream I will remember. Saturday was completely insane. We worked, and worked, and worked some more. And just when our bodies said no more, we still have lots more work to do. We took 3 trips to DI, had 3 different families pick up stuff, and also took a trip to the dump. We cleaned and sorted and packed, and after all that, ended up with 7 large, 50 lbs, suitcases, 4 carry-on bags (each about 40lbs), 4 stuffed backpacks that barely left the kids standing up straight, Coco's pet carrier, a roll of drawing, and my 20lbs laptop bag. At some points walking from gate to gate, I just closed my eyes, and thought positive thoughts about being able to survive.

Anyone who has been a teenager and pulled an all-nighter, knows what jet lag feels like. Your whole body aches, and it almost feels like an elephant is standing on your back. And worse, sleeping on the new schedule won't make you feel any better until several days after the switch. Sleeping is not an option, but the only thing you want to do. And that feeling lasts for days.

But I'm soo relieved the worst part is over, and now we just need to settle into our temporary home. We started unpacking this morning, with the goal of making everything disappear before the arrival of Joe's grandpa from Utah who has never been to Texas. It almost sent me in a panic flashback mode to Saturday, but at least this time the quantity was limited to 11 bags. Even with all the sorting, 6 of the 11 bags ended up full in the attic. Those mostly contain items we will need in our own home, or things we'll want like the wii, DVDs, etc, but are not needed for the limited time we will be staying with the in-laws. After hours of unpacking, sorting, and storing, the house looks almost as if we haven't even gotten here yet (with the exception of our closets of course), which makes me feel good about crashing here. Now if we can just keep it that way!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time machine

If I had a time machine, I'd travel to November 22nd. I'd skip the sorting, packing, weighing, cleaning, traveling, and wishing I had my own body for just 2 days. It seems like all of a sudden time has evaporated. Somehow we only have 1 full day to get everything done. It all has to be done by Saturday (tomorrow) night, because Sunday morning is church, the owners are coming for a walk-through right after, and we're spending the evening at my mom's house with her fiance Roger.

We're creating piles all over the house. This pile is for my dad, that one for Emma. There's a huge pile from a lady in the ward, which won't get picked up until after we leave. The brommer still needs to be sold, and I feel bad leaving a house full of boxes to be taken to a goodwill type store for my dad. All the beds and washer and dryer and couches and dining table also stay until after we leave (which is nice), so it's hard to get a good feel for the progress we're making. Right now it just looks like a tornado swept through the house...

Today was the last day of school for the kids,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stay positive!

Unfortunately our current reality is that our official net worth is less than $0, and our current immediate forecast is looking down. All things considering (the fact that one year of school cost us € XX), we are still in pretty good shape. But still. I don't feel comfortable with a negative net worth and no concrete way to change that yet.

I never thought I'd ever have to care so much about the exchange rate of the euro. If it it goes down, our student loan could easily cost us thousands less. Or the opposite direction of course. We chose to get a loan, so when we got to the situation we're in now - end of school without a job - we'd have a cushion to live off. Of course we can't just say: Yeah... we have $ XX in the bank, lets have a party! Because we know that that money is offset by a $XX loan.

Plus, we're moving to a new place, and need to buy 2 cars, insurance, (hopefully) move from Texas to Utah, and all those costs add up quickly. $ XX in debt can quickly multiply into $ XX in debt if we're not careful.

So I try to focus on the positives. We have more freedom than ever to move to our location of choice. We have a place to stay in the meantime --big thanks to my overgenerous in-laws!! Joe is a smart man, and now has an MBA to help him find a good job. We're all healthy. Plus we got to live in Europe for a year!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

25 Weeks

It's been a while since I posted an update on my pregnancy.
I'm now 25 weeks, and starting to wonder how in the heck I can go another 15 weeks without looking like a whale. Right now my belly is actually kind of cute, and I bet that any professional photo shoots of pregnant women is done around this time.
These past few weeks, and hopefully the next few weeks are the easiest of the pregnancy. My energy is (mostly) back, and the baby doesn't sit under my ribs 24 hours a day yet. I am surprised at how much movement I can already feel and see. The other day Joe was sitting next to me on the couch, and my belly was touching his upper arm. The baby kicked a few times, and without me asking Joe if he felt it, he actually looked over at me and gave me a look.

Sleeping still doesn't created too much of a problem, except for the fact that I miss sleeping on my belly (which my chiropractor forbids anyways). Turning from left to right is getting more challenging, but doesn't wake me up yet. The biggest challenge I'm living with is wicked bad heartburn. Anything I eat can set it off. It's pretty much a given that I'll have heartburn after dinner every night, but even the middle of the day isn't exempt. None of the meds seem to do much good either. Overall I'm not complaining though, as I just LOVE to feel the baby inside of me, and the good complexion that has finally decided to grace my face.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

One last day

One last day to site-see and do fun Dutch tourist stuff. That was today. Next weekend we visit my grandpa one last time, and the weekend after that we pack up all our stuff. And just like that our year in Europe will be over. We've visited all the really touristy attractions when visitors were in town, so we opted for a fun children's science museum in Amsterdam. I almost see the Nemo museum as a great indoor alternative to a playground. The kids might even learn something (although that's doubtful).
As we were checking out some old boats, this bus came driving up, and drove right into the water!
The Scheepsvaart museum has an amazing replica of an old ship. It had me imagining what it would be like to sail this baby on the open wide ocean.
Every time we visit Amsterdam, we get into the city the same way. Parking inside the city is about €5 per hour, so that's out of the question. Train tickets for 5 people also adds up. Instead the city has a genious system set up. If you park in one of the parking lots in the outskirts of town, you pay a flat fee of €8 for parking, which included a free public transport ticket for up to 5 people. Not too bad of a deal, as long as time isn't an issue.
Our last visual on canals, bikes, and old houses in Amsterdam

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


My life is craziness right now.

We move back to the USA in less than 3 weeks.
I work for 2 more weeks
We have to liquidate our whole household (again)
Somehow we need to fit everything we want to bring into suitcases
Many services have to be canceled (like phone, internet, insurance etc etc)
We still don't have a job, or any solid leads for that matter.
I'm still 5 months pregnant.
Both my mom and my dad are dating someone - my mom getting married in less than 3 months

So the current plan? I say current, because it is liable to change by the end of the day.
We go to Texas for Thanksgiving. A week or so after thanksgiving, Joe takes off to Utah and Colorado to network and job search, while the kids and I stay with Joe's parents to give the kids some stability. The kids will attend Andrews Elementary for the 3rd time, with no idea how long they will stay in the school. At least they'll know some kids already.... Meanwhile, Joe looks for work, and I try not to get too stressed about the fact that I have NO idea how we will have health insurance. I must keep the faith that everything will work out. Somehow...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday with the Cornishes

As our days count down, we try to cram as much quality time in with friends and family. A cloudy Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to go on a hike through the woods and sand dunes with my cousin Talita and family.

We're gonna miss these guys!
Fun fact: Talita's husband Camaron is also my chiropractor!
Poor little Coco has become a lady. She's going through her first heat, and just absolutely hated to wear her fancy diaper pants. This photo captured a rare moment of relaxation.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Poop and pumpkins

Trying to keep an American tradition alive, we participated in a few Halloweenish activities. Winter and Sterling attend activity days with the American ward and had a pumpkin painting activity. Ginger got to carve her pumpkin with Joe.
It was very difficult to find suitable pumpkins for carving/decorating. I must have visited 6 different garden centers and grocery stores, to find these specially marked pumpkins for decoration. They even came with stickers marking where to cut, which is exactly how Ginger believed it should be carved and no different.Our ward organized an amazing Halloween party. The kind of party I remember going to when I was a kid in Holland. I'm not sure why Americans don't go all out like this, perhaps because of the massive cleanup that is required.
Ginger dressed up as a princess, with her new dress from India. It would have been funny to video the response she got from virtually every person passing her on the street.
Sterling chose to be a zombie, and really enjoyed ripping up some of my old clothes to create his costume.
Each room in the church had a different activity. The nursery housed a poop-disecting station. The kids had to dig through (fake) feces to find some egg larve (jelly beans)
All in all it was a great success. The kids were a bit disappointed with the small quantity of candy they received, but I was relieved. No sugar-induced coma for just one year!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Staying off the computer was especially hard after dinner. But some great results have come out of it already. Things I got out of it:

A trip to the library
Sorting through Winter and my clothes, getting rid of old/ ill-fitting clothes
A picnic on the living room floor
Reading 4 books to the kids
Better supervision of chores
Cooked dinner (alright... it was pizza, but still!)
And an overall better mood from myself.



[uh-dik-shuhn] Show IPA
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically

According to this definition, I am addicted to spending time on my computer. And as with any addiction, it takes away from other important things in my life. Such as house keeping, spending time with kids, and personal development and spiritual growth.

It came to me last night as I was pondering the disobedience and consistent bad mood of my kids. Kids in India have many more chores and responsibilities, yet they do them without complaining. The only conclusion I can thus come to, is that it's somehow my fault that they haven't learned obedience and content.

In order to somewhat keep the level of my addiction private, I'm not ready to divulge just how much time I spend on average every day. However, I am ready to share my goal as to overcome and/or improve myself. Somewhat like a test. Starting today, I will not get on my computer AT ALL while my kids are home and awake for a week. No more early morning email checks, or afternoon TV show watching. This plan still leaves me with plenty of computer face time. At work I still have nothing to do but sit on the computer, and of course the kids go to bed around 8pm, which leaves me with an additional 2 hours at night. After the first week, I will assess the results and see if occasional email checks won't hinder my other goals.

As with all addiction I anticipate some withdrawal symptoms, but hope the benefits will make the process easier. A clean house, cooked meals, and time spent with kids are enticing benefits!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 4 - Friday

Every day the children get up at 5.30am to clean the dormitories. They do it without complaint!
I wanted to bring something for the children, but it had to be small and light, so we could bring enough for everyone. Sterling loves his silly bands, which is the perfect solution. They are all different shapes, and they are colorful. Trying to find a good system for passing them out was difficult. They all just gather around and hold up their hands.
It was interesting to me how almost all of them asked for a blue one. I was expecting to get requests for pink from the girls.
October is supposed to be monsoon season, but year has been especially dry. This is why an impromptu playing session was initiated when the rain came pouring down.

Pathway sits on a large plot of land, which is kept up and worked on by local workers. Today while walking from our "quarters" to the school, they were shucking coconuts. They opened one for us, and it was delicious!
Our plans to go to the village for more shopping this morning didn't happen, since the school bus needed to go to the hospital. Instead, we had a speed-shopping trip after classes and before dinner. I bought 4 saris (3 for sisters), and some other little gifts. The blouses would take too long to make, but those could also be made in the US (by me). I prefer to make my own blouse anyways, since the last one they made is too short, and also dips too low in the back: that's the Indian way, but I asked specifically for some alterations which didn't get executed.
This is in the middle of town. Notice the mud, trash, and shacks
Sunsets are shorter in India for some reason. But they sure are beautiful!
After tutoring some girls for their 8th grade algebra, we headed back to the dormitories to teach me to write my name in Tamil. Anytime I'm with the kids, they gather closely around, which makes it even hotter!
Power outtage is a regular thing here. Some buildings have backup-generators, but most buildings including the school and dining hall don't. So when the power goes out while dinner is served at 7.30pm, the kids eat in the dark with flashlights.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 3

In the mornings between breakfast and school, kindergarten through 4th grade gathers on the porch of the girls' dormitory to recite the alphabet and counting. Children take turns standing in front. That girl says it, and then the rest says it. The girls and boys are separated a lot of the time. For eating, downtime, and of course their dormitories
This is Anna. Anna is from Utah, and is an amazing figure drawer. She is here for the next 2 months, before starting BYU. She is teaching art classes to 7 & 8 grade, as well as the drawing class for the special kids. It has been very nice to have another American girl around, and we are so similar! It's weird to think how old I am... She's 19, and by the time she is my age, Winter will already be 22! I might even be a grandma by then; Now that's a scary thought!!
Today I acted as the school photographer. I wanted to get class pictures are well as individual shots of these super cute kids. I only finished about half of the school. The hardest thing was to make them smile. For some reason they are insecure about their smiles, even though their teeth are pearly white.
Joe showed some of the kids a video that my kids made in the summer.
Pathway has to feed a lot of kids. And each meal is a warm meal which is prepared by the cooks. Most meals consist of rice with a sauce. Then there's a side with vegetables, or tortilla type things, or rice made crisps.
They make us sit at a separate table, and they cook different food for us. I wish we could just eat the same as the kids, but they are very worried that that food will be too spicy for us. My favorite is the warm sweet milk that is served with breakfast and dinner. It comes fresh from the school's dairy cows.
I think I might have a rash on my forearms. Heat rash, or maybe some little insect.. I can't possibly have that many mosquito bites on my arms! Plus, the itching is under my sleeve.

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