Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I had so much fun with last week's scavenger hunt, I thought I'd try it again. Of course, this week's turned out to be much more of a challenge than I originally anticipated.

1. My Town
Picture from the peninsula of "town".

2. Something Vintage
Don't know how "vintage" this is, but seriously! There are better barbecues out there.

3. Tilt-Shift Photography

This was fun to try. 

4. Dress-Up

5. Chocolate
I've never been a huge doughnut fan, however, these are to die for!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writer's Workshop

Link up and show us something you’ve created for Halloween, anything qualifies…costumes, recipes, crafts, party invites, treats, decorations etc..

On Monday, I finally found a pumpkin, after having searched all the week before. I've been having fun. I made pumpkin bread for the staff meeting, and pumpkin risotto for Ethan. I haven't baked with pumpkin in the past, and all the recipes I came across called for canned pumpkin, so I didn't realise how much pumpkin I'd be left with.

Staring at half a pumpkin in my fridge, I decided to try something new. Muffins! Not just any muffins, but pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! They are unbelievably easy!  

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (I used mashed pumpkin)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C, and line muffin tin with liners.
2. Mix sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and water.
3. In separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Fill muffin cups with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Ethan was already in bed, so he didn't help me. I can't wait till morning, so he can try one out. I still have tons of pumpkin left, so maybe I'll get him to make some more this week. Either that, or I need more pumpkin recipes.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happiness Project

Happiness is...
Watching Ethan and his dad goofing off at the beach

I'm joining Leigh and her quest for happiness.
What makes you happy?


Monday, October 25, 2010

Lazy Lagoon

Ethan and I had our end of term break this past week. We spent the 1st half of the week, relaxing, running errands, getting our hair cut. Then, for the last 4 days, we went to Lazy Lagoon.

Lazy Lagoon, is gorgeous! We woke up to the sounds of the waves. Had breakfast, then sat by the pool for a while, before jumping in and swimming for hours. Get out of the pool, have lunch. To settle our tummies, we played some card games, Ethan kicks ass at Uno (or Uh-oh as he calls it). Then we'd head out to the beach, roll around in the sand, looks for crabs and seashells. Mid-afternoon meant going back in the pool. By 5pm, we'd head back to our banda, shower and get ready for dinner. Ethan had an early dinner, followed by more card games, then dinner for the adults.

Asides from an utterly relaxing vacation, this vacation, I learnt alot. From Ethan, of course.

Our first night, for dessert was a lemon meringue pie. Ethan took a bite, and liked it. At the second bite, he changed his mind.

"I don't like it mommy. It tastes like shark eggs."
Shark eggs? What does that taste like?
"They taste like crocodile eggs."
Crocodile eggs? Really? How does he know what they taste like?

Ethan also reminded me how to play Sleeping Statues. His cousin Kahzmir taught him how to play it this past summer.

First, you fake a yawn.

Then you freeze, like a statue, but in a sleeping pose. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I love taking pictures. I've put a new camera on my Christmas list. In fact, it's the only thing on my list. And I love finding blogs that offer photo challenges. In comes Ramblings and Photos. Every Sunday she offers a scavenger hunt. And I just had to give it a try this week. 
The 5 senses.
I can't remember where I read/heard this, but an apple is suppose to represent the 5 senses. You can see it's shiny colour. Feel it's smooth skin. Smell it's wonderful fragrance (especially when it's being baked in a pie). Hear the crunchy sound it makes when you take a bite, and of course taste it's fresh, juicy flavour.

My favourite child, of course!

Ethan eating dinner. Oh wow! That's shocking! He never eats!


Don't you just love the sunset?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Writer's Workshop

A time you feared for the safety of a loved one.

It is so sad that this prompt is an easy one for me, however, this is be one of those moments you will never forget, even if you want to.

Ethan's first Christmas we stayed in Dar. We'd just gotten back from having him, and Scott had started a new job, so we really couldn't afford to fly back home. We spent Christmas with our wonderful Little Theatre friends, and shared Christmas dinner with Roy and Zack. 

We decided, we needed to do something for New Years! So Scott planned a wonderful trip to Ruaha. Joel was our driver back then, and we adored him. We thought it would be nice to take him and Thomas, his 9 year old son with us. It was our Christmas present to them, and since we were driving there, Scott and Joel could share the driving while the kids (Ethan and Thomas) and I relaxed.

We reached Ruaha around 4pm. The park closes at 6pm, and after having been in the car for the past 2 days, I just wanted to relax. Scott could tell that Thomas was itching to see some animals. This was his and Joel's 1st time at a game park, and they couldn't wait to get started.

Ethan and I hung out in the dining hall, while the boys grabbed a map of the park and headed off for a short game drive.

A little before 6, Scott and the boys weren't back and I knew something was wrong. Even though they had until 6 to get back, knowing Scott, he would have aimed to be back by 5:30. But since he still had time, there was nothing I could do.

Around 6, people started to come to the hall for drinks and share their stories on what they saw. Still no sign of Scott. By now I'm freaking out. What should I do? And, to top it off, there was no network, so I couldn't get a signal to call Scott. 

By 6:15, I couldn't take it any more. something has happened. I just know it. It is not like Scott to be late. He's out there! Somewhere. I find the lady that runs the camp we're staying at, and I let her know. By now, the staff is getting ready for dinner service. The more I talk, the more upset I get. She tries to convince me to get something to eat, but I can't handle it anymore. I want to know where Scott is! Ethan and I head off to our cabin, while she makes some calls.

By 7 pm, it's pitch black outside. She comes to my room, with food (bless her) and informs me that they've done some searching but cannot find them. How far could they have gone? They left at 4pm. She asks if I know which direction they would have gone in, and all I can think of is "go 45 minutes in all directions"! They can't have gone to far.

Nine o'clock rolls around, and there's still no sign of Scott. I'm convinced he's trapped somewhere, fending off hungry lions, and trampling elephants. She comes by, notices the untouched food, and informs me, that it's now too dark. They've called off the search for the night. Seriously? We're leaving him out there? What if he gets eaten? 

I have to give them a lot of credit. There's a raving woman with a barely 6 month old, freaking out that her husband and mates are out there being mauled and she's so calm. She leaves a Maasai with me, to stay outside, so I don't have to be alone. He was great too. I couldn't sleep, but had to get up a few times to change Ethan, so he would come inside with his flashlight so I could see what I was doing. (No generator at night).

The next morning, I'm sitting in my room, ready to be told Scott's been found. But no one comes to see me. And once again, my imagination gets the better of me. I'm thinking I need to get in touch with Scott's dad and tell him he's gone missing. I need to call my family. I need to get out of this place and back home. 

I start to head for the office, or even restaurant. Anywhere where someone can tell me what's happened to Scott and the boys. And then it starts raining! Oh great! Just what I need! Now Ethan's crying, I'm freaking, and have no clue what to do. I'm outside a cabin, and one of the guests sees me and comes over with an umbrella. When he sees I'm crying, he asks what's wrong, and well now I loose it. I'm convinced Scott's dead and can't articulate myself. He takes us to his cabin where he's parents are. His mom gets me to calm down, and gets her son to get me some breakfast. She sends her husband off to find some information for me. Ethan and I spend the morning with them. I will always regard them as angels that came when I needed them.

Finally, at noon, I'm told the boys have been found. I can breathe. He's not dead after all.

Scott, Joel and Thomas finally show up at 4pm. They took a wrong turn somewhere and when they tried to turn around, they got stuck in the mud. They spent the night sleeping in the car. In the morning, they realised how far off the road they were, and figured it would take a miracle to be found. So they got out of the car. Yes, that's right. These bright boys thought it would be safe to get out of the car, and walk in a game park and search for help! They were armed with a tire iron, an umbrella, and a stick! That would really scare off a famished lion!!!!! It also turned out the reason they couldn't be found the night before, is they weren't just 45 minutes away. They were on the other side of the park. A good 2 hours away!!!!

But they came back, safe. I wanted to leave and head back to Dar immediately, but the car was in a state and needed repairs, so we stayed. It turned out to be a lovely week, but I honestly would never have guessed it. To this day I still get shivers thinking of that night.

Mama's Losin' It

Our New Pet

Ethan's had this whole week off, and most of his mates at the French School have not been on holiday. So after a few days off, Ethan got a little bored of being stuck at home with me. So today, we got ourselves a new pet!

Once again, I thank Janne for her wonderful idea of approaching the Tinga Tinga guys for an unpainted animal. This time, we chose a turtle. And Ethan had a blast.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Photo Scavenger Hunt

One of the swaps I recently joined at Swap-bot was a photo scavenger hunt. I enjoyed some aspects, and had trouble finding some pictures. But I'm always up for a challenge. 

Black and white portrait.
Ethan and his football mates after a lesson.

Interesting door.
While in Zanzibar, I thought this would make a lovely picture. I noticed the woman, and didn't want to offend by taking her picture. I thought it I were far enough away, she wouldn't notice me, but she did, and covered her face. Kind of have to say, I think it gives the picture a little something more.

Single leaf.
I couldn't choose just one.

A Christmas ornament.
It's not a traditional one, but it's a special one. I love dragonflies and this one was given to me by a student.

I searched all weekend for a real pumpkin and couldn't find one anywhere, so instead, I had Ethan paint me one!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Muffin Tin Meal

This week Ethan was given a Muffin Tin snack. 

We've got toast with peanut butter, strawberries, grapes, almonds and a chocolate chip cookie.

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth