Saturday, December 26, 2015

Weeks 50 and 51: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Tuesday, December 8

On our daily walks we've been enjoying handfuls of mulberries picked from trees along the costanera. They're so big and so tasty!

Thursday, December 10

Ivan has been trying to grow rhubarb and this year we finally had enough for a pie! Well, half a pie. I harvested the rhubarb from all three plants and ended up with enough to add to some strawberries for a strawberry/rhubarb pie. Grateful that we can buy pre-made gluten-free pie dough from the new store in town.

Sunday, December 13

While taking out the garbage this evening Ivan saw this huge rainbow! No way to get it all in one shot so he took pictures of each end.

Monday, December 14

After my dentist appointment I walked around town for a bit, stopping by a store that sells home goods and toys. On my way out I picked up this advertisement. The prices are for individual items, not sets. Keep in mind that the exchange rate was (at that time) just under $10 pesos per dollar. Still pretty pricey, in my opinion.

Wednesday, December 16

In Sta. Rosa for a week! Because school just let out and most things are on hold until after the holidays, we had no commitments between the 15th and the 23rd, so we grabbed this opportunity for a much needed break. I know I've shared photos of the euchalyptus trees before, but I just can't help myself. I love how the bark peels and shreds. This particular tree was peeling all the way to the top (which was quite high!).

Thursday, December 17

Today is a very special day: It happens to be Jon's birthday, Kyle and Tina's anniversary, and it was also the day the Wright brothers took to the air for the first controlled flight, back in 1903. Some pretty special things have happened on this day.

I haven't had time to do anything crafty since finishing Betsy's quilt so I brought the sewing machine and a box of fabric to play with.

Friday, December 18

Late in the morning we drove into Belgrano to do a little window shopping before the stores closed for siesta. I always enjoy seeing what the chocolate store has created for the holidays. They had reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh but I didn't get a decent photo of that. Instead I'm sharing the chocolate chess set.
I'd find it very hard to eat something that pretty.

Saturday, December 19

The house in Sta. Rosa is part of a neighborhood called La Rinconada, and we've enjoyed keeping tabs on the new construction there (five new houses in various stages of construction!). Mostly these are summer houses but two homes are lived in year round. There's this cool tree along side one of those, but I don't know what it's called. Anyone out there know? It's got fern-like leaves and fuzzy flowers that remind us of feather dusters.

Sunday, December 20

In our meanderings in Sta. Rosa, I spied this cool mosaic tile floor on the lower level of a building. I see things like this and automatically think "That would make a beautiful quilt!"

Monday, December 21

The first day of Summer here in the southern hemisphere! Google had this fun graphic to celebrate the occasion:

I created this little collage of funky Christmas trees. The one on the left is in a courtyard of shops in Belgrano. No idea what the form is made of, but it's covered in some kind of shiny fabric and decorated with balloon "ornaments". The one on the right is outside a new tire business located just off Route 5 on the road that we take back to the house. Each day we'd go by and they'd have a little more done, until finally it was all finished with a green paint job, gold and silver paint dots to serve as ornaments and plastic red bows that will withstand the elements.
What's the strangest Christmas "tree" you've ever seen?

Tuesday, December 22

Another very special day: Simon turned two! Kyle and Tina created the cutest train table for our train-obsessed grandson and he loved it, so I borrowed their photo.

I am not going to show you every single thing I made during our break in Sta. Rosa. Suffice it to say I went a little crazy and had way too much fun sewing! I started out making some fold-up totes using this tutorial. I ended up making five and cutting out enough for 13 more.

I also made six hanging towels (four were gifts and two I kept to use in Sta. Rosa), a couple of fabric covers for notebooks and colored pencils, an artist's brush roll-up kit, and a padded camera strap cover. Here's a sampling of what I made:

Thursday, December 24

We arrived back in Carlos Paz Wednesday evening. We thoroughly enjoyed our week in Sta. Rosa but it's always good to be home. Especially as the weather heats up, and we have the benefit of having air conditioning in the casita :)

We have rarely gotten Christmas cards since moving overseas, so imagine our surprise when Ivan went by the post office today!
Not only were there lots of Christmas cards, but we each received some birthday cards as well. So much fun opening the mail!

I love, love, love this Simon/Betsy mashup that Tina created using the same outfit and pose on each kid. Isn't this great?!

We got to Skype with both our kids and their families today. Here's a photo that Kyle took while we were watching Simon help his mom decorate the cookies.
We love the technology that allows us to stay connected from so far away!

For the second year in a row the Molinas invited us to join them for Christmas Eve. Ivan made himself comfortable in the living room and chatted with Pastor Jorge while the women put the finishing touches on dinner.
This is the only picture that turned out okay. I'd forgotten the flash was turned off until I was taking this one, so all the others were fuzzy, and then I was too busy enjoying the meal to remember to take more. At midnight we watched the fireworks from their balcony; fireworks have actually been outlawed but that didn't stop a good number of people from using them.  

Friday, December 25

Merry Christmas!
¡Feliz Navidad!
Our gift for one another this year was a small, hand-painted, ceramic nativity set reflecting the cultures of northwestern Argentina.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#betsyboodle turns one month old today!

Before I even get started with Betsy, I wanted to share some adorable family photos Kyle and Tina had taken shortly before her birth. I mean, seriously, how cute are these?!

Betsy followed in her brother's footsteps, arriving two weeks early. Kyle and Tina welcomed Elizabeth Ann Herschberger in the wee hours of Monday morning, November 9th. She weighed a whopping 8 lb. 8 oz. at birth and measured 20.25" long. A shorter delivery than Simon (thankfully!) left Betsy with the most perfect little round head -- no cone head! Our first photo was this one they posted on Facebook:

That was one of many taken by a photographer who came to the hospital in the middle of the night to document the labor and delivery. As Tina expressed on Facebook: "She captured a ton of awesome photos that I will treasure forever." Here are a few more I put together in a collage:

And now I want to share this essay Tina wrote many years ago regarding babies:
Please take time to enlarge the photo and read it. My baby has always loved babies!

Our first glimpse of Betsy was via Skype, of course, while they were still in the hospital:

The next day we skyped again once they were home:
Betsy was born while Jon, Nat and Adalyn were here so it was fun to experience that together.

When Betsy was about a week old, Tina had a photographer take some newborn shots but she hasn't gotten those back yet. Tina took a few pictures herself that day and I absolutely LOVE this one!
There's just something about those chubby little arms and cheeks that make you want to kiss her all over.

Tina traded a lifestyle shoot with another photographer friend and I want to share a few of those. I adore this all-piled-on-the-bed-reading shot:

This photo cracks me up:

Here's a precious shot of Tina with Betsy:

What's not to love about this daddy-and-daughter picture?

There were so many good photos I decided to do a little collage:

Kyle, Tina and the kids were planning a trip to Michigan so good friend and photographer Jen Buehrer could take some Christmas photos. Jen set up some crazy cool Christmas sets this year and Tina was über excited to go... And then they got about a foot of snow and had to cancel their trip :( Instead Tina used the tripod and they took a bunch of photos in their living room (one of the whole family is featured on their Christmas card!). Testing, testing...1, 2, 3...

It wasn't long after that Tina made this collage which I refer to as "The Many Faces of Betsy". She did that with Simon, too, and it's just so fun to see their expression change from second to second.

Simon wasn't too sure about Betsy to begin with, and still doesn't like it when she requires more of dad and mom's attention than he feels is warranted. But he is warming up to his role as big brother and even asked to hold her recently:
I had to laugh at someone's comment: "Seriously mom? You're letting him hold me??" Betsy really does have that expression on her face, I think :)

There were so many great photos and I had some serious DMD while determining which to include. TOO MUCH CUTENESS! I will end with a little collage of the weekly photos. So glad they're doing that with Betsy, just like they did with Simon!

As you can imagine, I can't wait to meet Betsy in person! We're scheduled to go on furlough next summer so until then I'll just have to content myself with photos, videos and Skype calls.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Weeks 48 and 49: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Monday, November 23

While in Sta. Rosa on Friday Ivan met Brian, who bought a tricked out rig and plans to discover Argentina via a huge road trip. He came into our friend's tire shop looking for hydraulic fluid. He'd already been to several other shops between Belgrano and Sta. Rosa and was desperate by the time he got to Jorge's. He doesn't know much Spanish so he hadn't been able to communicate his needs at the other stores (all of which probably had what he needed). Anyway, Ivan was able to help him find some other things he needed as well, and took him back to his rig which was parked at a campground in Belgrano. Ivan extended an invitation to visit us if Brian came to Carlos Paz, and today he arrived!
We had fun showing him around our fair city, and he camped out in his rig overnight, leaving early the next morning so he could get to his next destination. We were pretty impressed with his set-up; it's like an RV but in a 4-wheel drive rig. It was late (and dark) by the time I saw inside, so I didn't get any photos, but he has all that he needs as he travels. And the cool thing is, he can be completely off grid since he has solar panels on the roof! This shot of the truck is from the website of the company that makes these customized trucks.
 What a grand adventure he's going to have over the coming weeks!

Saturday, November 28

This evening we were sitting on the couch, working on our computers and I realized I hadn't taken any photos since Monday so I set the camera on the little bookshelf next to the sofa and took this shot.
These side views really show my age, but hey, what can you expect from an old(er) woman? ;)

Sunday, November 29

We were all excited when Rodolfo walked in with HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. People, this was momentous! Thiago was born in July and this was his first Sunday in church. Although he'll have to remain on antibiotics for a full year, he's doing well enough that they finally felt comfortable taking him out. As soon as the service was over, all the women clustered around to see him, and he rewarded us with lots of smiles!

Wednesday, December 2

We had to make a trip to Sta. Rosa (a quick one, there and back) and we planned to eat at La Rueda, a very nice restaurant we've been to a couple of times over the years (most recently with our son and his family). Sadly they were closed, but fortunately the German restaurant across the road was open and we enjoyed a fabulous meal!
Naturally smoked pork chops, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. Yum! Too full to eat a whole dessert, we shared a flan. Sort of a pre-birthday lunch.

Thursday, December 3

Had to go downtown on errands and saw that this bakery/coffee shop had reopened (it's been closed for a really long time). They completely remodeled and took off the plaster, revealing the brick underneath on one wall and they hung old metal mesh racks that they used to use to make bread in brick ovens.

On another wall they painted large stalks of wheat.
Even though I couldn't eat anything, I did enjoy one of the best cappuccinos I've had in Argentina.

Friday, December 4

My birthday! For a whole month Ivan and I are the same age, and then he's older again :) He took me out to breakfast, something that's only recently become possible because Vitto's added some gluten free options to their menu.
Breakfast in Argentina means bread... or bread :) And what I got was bread, but of the gluten free variety. My meal included two biscuits, a pack of crackers, cream cheese, marmalade, freshly squeezed orange juice and café con leche. Ivan shared the fruit salad that came with his breakfast. I can't even express how happy I am that I can once again go out for breakfast!

Later in the day we worked on lunch together. Lunch is typically our big meal of the day. The original plan was to grill a chicken and some vegetables, but stormy weather quashed that idea. Instead we roasted the chicken, made mashed potatoes and Ivan whipped up some gorgeous (and delicious) salads.

Saturday, December 5

The barrio next to ours has a community building that has evolved from an open air facility when we first moved here, to a fully enclosed building. Recently a mural appeared on one end of the building. This is equivalent to a two-story building, so this mural is HUGE.
It takes some work to coordinate a Skype call with both kids simultaneously, due to the five hour time difference between us and our son in California. So thankful that Jon's always up for organizing the calls. It's so fun to see both our kids and all the grandkids on the screen at the same time!

Sunday, December 6

Dear friends were visiting Kyle and Tina so we ended up getting to Skype with them for a while. So fun! I thought I'd taken a screen shot, but apparently not. So I stole this one that Kyle took on that end.

Monday, December 7

Ivan found this tiny egg in the middle of the foundation for the house. How did it get there? It would have broken if it had fallen out of the tree (but it was too far from the tree for that to have happened, anyway). It's a mystery!