Saturday, April 18, 2015

A home!

Ben comes back tomorrow! He was able to accomplish what he set out to do!

After touring the area, other houses and discussing options with the realtor we are now in the paperwork part of making this cute townhouse our own!!!! I can hardly believe it!! It is in West Springfield, VA! The commute on train for Ben will be good time wise for the area. The kids and I will have good schools,  a community pool, walking trails and playgrounds only seconds away!

I want to share the inside, but I want to do it when I do one of our "home tours". Right now, obviously, there is nothing of us in there, so I'll get that tour on this blog this autumn.

For now we celebrate! I'm off to make some ice cream for tomorrow!

Our next assignment

This has been a long process. We got the bid list in August and normally one would know their assignment in November, but this year was a funny one and hundreds of employees were in the same boat we were, without an assignment.

Ben was hired five years ago in the big hiring influx and the state department had a lot of new officers. Now those officers are mid level officers and the job scene changes. There are adjustments in job titiles and types to be made and it takes time to get things organized. 
Aside from that issue there just weren't a lot of posts that suited us. Everyone wants to go to Europe, but often officers in war zones get their pick to go there first. Normally there are reasonable places leftover, but this time they were few and places like Somalia and the Congo were plentiful. I'm not taking my children there.

 So we looked stateside. We were hesitant because being abroad is more beneficial financially and it is exciting to be somewhere new! But jobs are good in DC and it is our best option this go around. We love DC so we are happy to be going. We still don't have any official paperwork to say we are going and the semi official statement that we will go there only happened in March just before we left Utah to go back to post, so I forgot to write about it! Anyway, here is the resulting story of our wait the past 6 months! We will be in DC for two years starting in early August.


A lot of my pictures outside are of the beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Although that isn't realistically in proportion to what we experience, most days here in Beijing are grey ones. I do not mind grey skies, but I hate what they mean for us! Here in Beijing overcast skies trap in pollution and are an almost sure guarantee that we won't be playing outside because of bad AQI. So when I wake up, look out the window and see this again, I start planning our day inside.
We call up friends to play! Sometimes all they can do is dream of being outside!
We watch spring pass by from our window. There are these crazy puffs that come from a type of tree around here and carry seeds around. It looks magical in the sky, but it is really messy and in our face anytime we go outside. Still, it's fun.
We had a few beautiful air days this week when kids dug in dirt and ran outside. I love Ezra sitting there with bare feet as if he were on the beach digging. Someday!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sneaky kiss

This is a fun story. I was practicing Spanish with my dear friend R (we have been practicing for a handful of weeks now and it is so helpful!) and Ben popped  by the house before heading to the airport. You see, he was off to Northern Virginia to go look at houses for us to buy!! I got a little kiss, but that would not do for a loved one leaving for a handful of days, so I said- let's step over here so we don't embarrass my friend.

Then he did this! I love this funny guy! I love Mila's face here too! We all laughed and had to do a replay for a picture :).
I'll just throw in one of these baby pictures from that day. Oh how I love her sweet face! 


I must say, when we were home for three months I missed real Chinese food pretty bad. Especially the tasty jiaozi and the vinegary vegetables.
We had a double birthday party this week for my dear C and a sweet friend E. There were about 17 of us at the restaurant so we had two tables. We had peiking duck, flat bread that looked like quesadillas but was not at all, fried rice, crispy chicken, fried pumpkin, a sweet greens salad with peanuts, bauodzi, a beef and veggie dish, and greens with peanuts in vinegar. We ate like queens. And, again I love China for this, we all are for about 10 bucks! I do love eating in Beijing!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Three months

We are coming out of the fourth trimester and starting up on staying awake more and sleeping on a sort of schedule. This little girl truly loves her beauty rest.
She wasn't super into our photo shoot this time around and after two tries I decided we would do a medley of fun photos this time.

Sleeping and holding her hands in the carrier
This open mouth smile melts me

Decorating baby

At first I was about to say, don't put that on her face! Instead I laughed, took a picture and then said don't do that again please. They were pretty pleased with themselves.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Positives and negatives

I'm really grateful for days when I can take a deep breath and recognize memories made rather than another disaster at the hands of little boys. Today we were blessed with much.

I got my sixth blog made into book in the mail today. 7 years of blog keeping. I'm grateful for this family history.
We needed another shield for obvious reasons. I thought, when I was a kid that meant looking for car board. So I got to make some very loved shields for my boys!
A little boy tornado hit our library this morning while I fed Mila. I am grateful we have so many books to enjoy.
Kids on the playground found this hose. Why couldn't they find it four months later when we are gone!! What messy boys I cleaned up, but what a fun afternoon they had!
We got amazingly yummy dried pepperoni in the mail today. Thank you nana for being our ever willing to serve collector and mailer of great goods!

Friday, April 10, 2015

My squirrels

Liam the astronaut at preschool
Ezra the stealth acrobat
Mila the entrepreneur. If smile were money then she would be able to afford a Tesla.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Morning photo booth

When this lady wakes up she smiles soooo big at me! It is like she is saying- oh good it's morning now! Ezra comes in and I say good morning and he says hi mama, hi mula! :) then he normally tells me where el-am (Liam) is. Liam comes in and we all snuggle in bed for a bit before going downstairs. It isn't like that every single day, but often enough. These are the moments I want to remember. The crazy moments, where my head is spinning, I want to suppress!

Egg dying

It was a fun fhe activity. I like this tradition of painting eggs the day after Easter. Even doing a hunt on another day!

Someone didn't conform to using the spoon to get the egg out! Ha!


I love how they love her. It finally feels like everyone is in rhythm with our newest addition. That helps. It is so amazing to see these boys want to take care of her. How they soothe her by sweetly talking or lightly bouncing her bouncer. I love that they love her. Don't get me wrong, it can be scary to have such little guys love on such a tiny one at times, but for the most part it is great.
A helmet for sis
A Lego gun for sis

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter feast

I think we are going to try separating the days we celebrate "spring style" Easter and celebrating the ressurection of Jesus Christ. I want to make sure the focus is as it should be on the actual day.

We had a great day at church and then a great roasted lamb dinner. We are so grateful for the sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ and for the atonement he made possible that we might live with him again someday. It was a good Easter.


They say girls are more attracted to human faces than boys. I have found that to be true in my experience. When I walked by a mirror in our house Mila took interest in that little person. At first she was confused.
Then, I think she got it and I'm pretty sure she thought, man, I'm cute!