Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday, Adam!

Adam turned 5 this week!  He had a very eventful week.  He started off by getting a black eye two days before his birthday!  He was jumping on my neighbor's sofa and fell and hit his eye on a table behind the sofa.  By the next morning, it was completely swollen shut and black and blue.  Poor thing, and right before his birthday!  He had a party at school in his classroom, and we had a big party on Saturday at a mini-golf place near our house.  The kids ate pizza, cake and played was a great party!

He was very excited about taking cupcakes to school on his birthday
you can almost see his shiner

5 years old!

Shane and Adam playing mini-golf

Adam hitting some balls

Pizza party!

Adam's cake

Playing mini-golf

All the kids

Make a wish!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where Are We???

The City Mall has been under construction for a long time, and now it is finally open.  The only stores open are a supermarket, a Christmas shop, and a few cell phone stores.  There are going to be more stores added, but for now we are happy with the supermarket.  The number one thing it has going for it?  It's location.  It is only located about 15 minutes away from Olympia, which is much more convenient than going all the way into town, which can take up to 40 minutes.  It is also enormous in comparison to all the other shops here.  And the shopping carts are "regular" sized....and not the Walgreens minis that we find at the other stores in town.  I know that this may not seem like much, but to us, it's a lot.  I felt like I wasn't even in Yuzhno anymore....

The City Mall

It is HUGE!

They even have carts for kids

It looks like a real supermarket!

Winter is Here!

It's heeere....the beginning of Winter, the longest season in Sakhalin.  Adam was so excited to see snow again!  It is so beautiful when it snows.  I took some pictures of our first snow of the season....

Adam at School

I chaperoned a school field trip to a market in town a few weeks ago.  I had about an hour to kill between morning drop-off and the departure time, so the teachers asked me to come in and watch the class.  The kids have circle time first and talk about the day of the week, that day's weather, and the day's activities.  After that, they had some free play, so I decided to take some pictures.  Here they are:

Sakhalin Bonfire

The 2nd Annual Sakhalin Bonfire was lit on November 7.  The guys in charge of it worked for several weeks to get all of the wood cut and the bonfire built.  The bonfire was a mini-replica of the Texas A&M Aggie Bonfire, but since Olympia is such a diverse community, it was set up to include everyone.  A few of the ladies painted the outhouse, which goes on the top of the stack.  It had all of the college and university logos from our community painted on it.  Here are some pictures:

The bonfire stack

Adam and the fire

All lit up

Amanda and Adam

Family pic....don't you just love Adam's face?

All the Aggies with an Exxon Neftegas sign

Another picture of it lit up


This year, Halloween in Yuzhno came both early and late.  Our camp held a Halloween/Fall Carnival for the kids 2 weeks before Halloween.  We couldn't hold it on Halloween because there were many people that were going to be away from Sakhalin.  Halloween fell on the weekend before the mid-term break at the school, which is when many families take vacations.

Just like last year, we invited the kids from the Zima camp to join us in our celebrations.   Adam dressed up as an astronaut, or since we are in Russia, a cosmonaut!  Our little temporary community center was packed!  There were many games for the kids to play and there was also a HUGE bouncy house.  It took up almost 1/3 of the building!  After the carnival, the kids went around Olympia to trick-or-treat.

My little cosmonaut

The huge bouncy house

Playing games at the carnival

Playing a golf game

Costume parade


My tired boys

The adults celebrated Hallween a few weeks late.  On Friday, November 13th (a good substitution for the Halloween party), we went to a costume party at on of our neighbor's houses.  Everyone was dressed up, and it was fun seeing our friends in their costumes.  Shane found a Zorro cape and mask, but couldn't find a hat, so he wore a bandana and Aerosmith shirt and called himself "Zorrosmith".  I went as his groupie....and yes, I know I look ridiculous in a black wig!

Posing for pictures with some of the girls

Shane with some of the guys