Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018

CAC Invitational Swim Meet

Both Mason and Cadyn were invited to compete in the CAC Invitational Swim Meet.  There was some tough competition, but they swam their hardest and did very well.  We are so proud of them!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Hurghada Spring Break

Spring break started earlier than was scheduled for us so that we could meet up with the Youngs in Hurghada.  This was our first experience at an all-inclusive resort which the kids absolutely loved, of course.  It's never been our thing, so hopefully, they don't get to use to it.  But it was nice to see everyone and to meet the newest members of the Young family.

And we haven't even snorkeled yet!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Pyramids of Giza

It's been two months since we first arrived in Cairo so it was time we took our first touristy trip to the Pyramids of Giza.  Mason was particularly fascinated by them which is not surprising since history is one of his favorite subjects.  The girls (including me) thought it was cool to actually go inside the Great Pyramid and climb to the top.  It was nothing like I had envisioned.  I thought there would narrow sandy pathways with flame torches on the walls leading me to a grand, golden tomb.  Nope.  Not even close to that.  I guess I've watched The Mummy one too many times.  Meh.  At least I get to cross another one off my bucket list.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Half Way Over The Hill


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Almost A Teenager

Our first born is 12 years old today.  I know I ask this question every year, but seriously, where has the time gone?  In just another year, he'll officially be a teenager.......I'm not sure how I feel about this yet.  I guess we'll have to see how this year goes first.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Dang, It Snows A LOT In Japan!

We have been to several different ski resorts over the years and I have to say we have never experienced the amount of snow we received in Hakuba!  It snowed every single day during the 10 days we were there and on a few of those days, the snow flurries were falling all day.  Oddly enough, we actually wished it would stop snowing because occasionally, the lifts to the very top of the mountain would close due to the weather conditions.  But that didn't stop us from enjoying the other runs.

Mason decided he wanted to switch to snowboarding, so he spent a week at snowboarding camp and is now hooked.  Cadyn wanted to stick to skis so she joined an advanced camp group.  Now with Ember we weren't sure how she would feel about spending the day in the cold, trying to glide on two sticks.  She tends to be a little timid when it comes to anything athletic which is the complete opposite of her siblings.  But her instructors were very patient and fun and by the end of the week, she was zipping down the blue (and sometimes red) runs like it was nothing.  The kids have decided that Japan is their favorite place to ski now.  You can't blame them.......soba noodles, apple KitKats, and a trip to the onsen after a long day on the slopes.  The Japanese know how to do a ski holiday the right way!

Cadyn is the one on the far right.

"I like to go fast!"
Home of the '98 Winter Olympics

Seeing the monkeys in the hot spring has always been on my bucket list.  Luckily, we were only 30  minutes from where they live, so we took a day trip to Jigokudani to see the little rascals.

Monday, December 25, 2017

First (and last) Christmas in Nepal

We just had to do it.  We had to tell Mason the truth about Santa.  He was practically the only kid in middle school who still believed in Santa only because his parents told him he was real.  And we knew he would only get teased by his friends for still believing that an old, overweight bearded guy flies around in a sleigh pulled by a bunch of reindeer to deliver gifts to kids all over the world all in one night.

But instead of just coming out and saying, "Hey, by the way, Santa isn't real.".  I found a letter that a writer from the New York Times gave to her daughter explaining Santa and decided to give the same letter to Mason (with a few edits).  Mason admitted he was disappointed in the news and we don't blame him.  We almost feel like we've taken away his innocence.  But he's a good sport and doesn't want to spoil it for his sisters.  However, I think Cadyn is catching on.

This Christmas will also be our first and last Christmas in Nepal.  It feels kind of strange to be writing that because we were originally planning on staying for three years.  Sure it feels a little sad.  But there are many exciting opportunities ahead and we will always cherish the short time we were able to live in Nepal.  The kids still had a wonderful Christmas and they're looking forward to their big ski trip to Japan!  We've shown Ember videos of kids her age skiing and she can't wait to try it herself.  Hopefully, she can handle the cold because it's going to be FREEZING!

Oh, and here is what the letter to the writer's daughter:

Dear Lucy,
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: "Are you Santa?"

I know you've wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I've had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the Christmas magic stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won't make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can't see or touch.

It's a big job, and it's an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents, and in your family. You'll also need to believe in things you can't measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he's filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

So, no, I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I'm on his team, and now you are, too.

I love you and I always will.


Friday, December 8, 2017


My friend wanted to take me to a Tibetan furniture store about 20 minutes from home.  Little did I know that it was right at the entrance to the famed Boudhanath Stupa.  Since she was running late due to bad traffic, I decided to explore on my own..............

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Now that we know we'll be leaving Nepal, we're trying to squeeze in as many day trips as we can.  People always recommend Bhaktapur for its architecture and laid back vibe.  Although it was also affected by the earthquake, the damage was not as substantial as other places.