Monday, March 16, 2009

Time for Some R&R...

We leave Wednesday for our vacation to Palau!  I am almost packed and ready to go.  We were going to leave on Saturday, but we got bumped off the plane due to an increase in business travelers that day.  So we decided to leave early and take the Wednesday flight.  This means that we will have about 4 days in Sapporo, Japan before leaving for Palau on Sunday.  Fine with me, I love Sapporo!  After Palau, we will be in Guam for 2 days and then back to Yuzhno via Sapporo.  In case you are wondering where these places are, I found this on it for a larger version...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Day at the Mountain

Some pictures from our trip to the mountain for a little skiing...the weather was much better today than last week, but the wind was still blowing pretty hard at times.  At one point it blew so hard that it literally made me stop on the slope!

At the top of the bunny slope

Shane skiing down....good form babe!

Amanda's action shot

Sledging Fun

With all the snow we have around here now, the kids can enjoy sledging, as Adam calls it. Sledding is the "American" English term, but he has learned the British term at school.  The snow in front of our house is tall enough now to make a pretty good hill for them to go down.  I got the good camera out and took a few photos of all the fun... 

Coming down the hill on his sledge

He looks like the Michelin Man in this is still a little big on him, but he likes it

Adam and Colby, our next door neighbor

Down we go!

Sliding down

Such fun!

Falling Down

The front of our house now that the snow and ice has fallen off the roof....well, most of it, anyway - as you can see there is more to come...pretty soon we won't be able to see the street from that window on the porch.  And yes, that is my Christmas wreath still hanging by my front door.  No judgment, least the tree is down and put away!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wiped Out

It was back to school today after a 3 day weekend.  After school, Adam went next door to play with the my neighbor's kids for an hour or so.  I brought him home and next thing I knew, he was asleep on this ottoman...

My Chariot Awaits...

As you know, we are not allowed to drive here.  It is days like this one that I am glad.  Who wants to have to drive in all this snow?  Not to mention digging a car out each morning?  No thanks!  I didn't think I would like not being able to drive, but after being here in the winter, I am definitely okay with it!  

Monday, March 9, 2009

That Shed is Toast

This was my view from my back porch when I let the dogs out yesterday afternoon.  My neighbors are aware of the situation and realize that they might be making a claim on a few kid's bikes soon...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Skiing on Gornii Vozdukh

We finally went skiing on the mountain in Yuzhno!  It was great fun, even though the weather wasn't great.  We got a storm Friday night that brought wind and snow, and that continued all day Saturday.  At some times the visibility was close to zero!  Shane and Kate got a lesson from a neighbor (thanks, Peter) that used to be a ski instructor in Canada.  They started out on the beginner slope and I went up to the top with some of my other neighbors.  The wind was blowing so hard I didn't feel like I was in control, and so I kept falling!  I fell again when I hit a big patch of snow that wasn't cleared from the run.  After that, I decided to find Shane and Kate and see how their lesson was going.  They did great!  All in all we skied for about 3 hours.  We are hoping to go back again next weekend...who knows how much for ski weather we are going to have!

One of the runs on the mountain

The clouds cleared for a bit and I was able to see the town

It was snowing pretty hard at times...just check out my hat!

It was beautiful up there...that's Shane (red), Kate (yellow) and Peter (green) in front of me

Starting to Thaw Out

The weather is starting to warm up around here, and that means that all this snow is starting to melt.  I have heard that it won't all be completely gone until April or May, but the process seems to be starting now.  Here are a few pictures from the compound...

The back of my house...the icicles are starting to fall off the roof


That's one big icicle!

More icicles...

February's Birthdays

There were at least 6 people in our small compound that have birthdays in February.  I happen to be one of them, and turned the big 34 on the 10th.   It seemed we were celebrating someone's birthday every weekend!  Here are some pictures from the past month:

Going out to lunch with the girls for my birthday

Adam getting a "rock star" makeover at a birthday party

Adam the rock star, complete with the "yeah, so what" look on his face

Adam and his "band", singing a song from High School Musical

Wigging out at Mike's birthday party/Carnival celebration

Adam the space man with Conner the Soccer player at Mike's birthday party

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random Pictures of Yuzhno

I know I am behind updating this site, as my Mom keeps reminding me.  I am going to try and be better, I promise!  I am posting a few pictures of Yuzhno that have been taken over the past few months.  Just a little of what I see on a regular basis...

A shot of the mountain in the background

People selling stuff on the street

Most people walk everywhere or take the bus

Apartment building

Shipping containers with windows?  I hope this isn't someone's house...

Slaviansky's Complex has one of the better grocery stores

Another apartment building

Azbuka Detstva (Childhood ABC) is Yuzhno's version of a Toy's R Us

Russian Orthodox Church

Gornii Vozdukh, the ski mountain

Another church; I thought this one had an interesting look with the stained glass windows