Thursday, December 27, 2012

A beautiful moment

It was a wonderful trip to Pittsburgh. We spent time with our families, enjoying the city for an 80th birthday (from the same room where we had our wedding reception!) and spreading holiday cheer!

We spent the holidays enjoying the children with their wide eyes, big grins, new accomplishments, opening the presents...always an exciting time for the little ones!

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and will spend the New Year in peace and health.

I wish you all love, joy and happiness in 2013!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snowy weather ahead!

Today we leave the warmth and sunshine of Florida and head to the snowy weather in Pittsburgh. I hope it is enough snow to last through Christmas! I hope it snows for the Steelers game we are going to on Sunday!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
(but not delay our flight!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Corner view Wednesday~Lights

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.

This week's topic is Lights...

I wanted to share a photo from my travel day on Saturday. It felt like the airport, London's Heathrow, was glowing. Can you spot the Christmas tree towards the center? It is small in the photo, but looked so pretty outside the window.

I hope everyone enjoys their Holidays, in all corners of our views! See you in January, corner viewers. Stop back throughout the holidays for more posts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Home sweet home

Could it be? Did I just find the APP for iPad and now I can blog from here?

That means more posts...on the go, on my travels and just an easier way for me to blog.

I like my iPad...a lot. I like the two finger typing. I like the new retina display. I just enjoy everything about the new gadget!

So, the was another airport story....but it was just a 2.5 hour delay. It got us in late of course, but since I slept 8 of the 9 hour flight, I was able to drive the 3 hours to our home. We arrived at midnight to Denny's and had a late night bite before continuing the next 2 hours. We got in around 3 am and then we were all ready to sleep. Jet lag is tough coming here...less on the way back. I'm not sure why. We all went to sleep really early last night and all woke up by 5:30 am.

Now we are enjoying our home, our family time and the deliciously warm weather!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Airport Story #1

Welcome to this edition of
Airport Stories...

It all starts in London.
The weather looks clear.
All checked in and ready to board.

But wait....

There isn't a plane.
Delayed two hours.
I still could make the Amsterdam to Atyrau flight.
Delayed again.
Nope, better change it for the following day.
Delayed again, and again, and again.

This was the story on Wednesday for my husband.  No reason given, just kept being delayed.  It was funny on my end to watch, because online, they kept delaying the flight by an hour, then two hours, then 15 minutes, then every ten minutes.

so, he finally made it to Amsterdam where he at least got to enjoy his Papa Rellena, a delicious Peruvian stuffed potato!

He should arrive here Thursday evening around 9pm, and we leave for the airport for our Winter break on Friday at 7 am.
10 hours...

Welcome to another crazy airport story!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home for the Holidays

Yes, to answer a few people that have asked, 
we are going home for the holidays.

For those of you that followed my blog from before, we added an addition on to our house.  It is a new master bedroom and bath.  We love it!

From the chandelier in the bedroom
to the amazing bathroom (picture to come later, but here is the house from the outside!)

it is seriously becoming a place we never want to leave!  We look forward to the days when we do not have to, but for now, we enjoy it every chance we get.
We will be here for a week, off to the East Coast to spend Christmas with family, and then back here for the New Year...

but there's already an airport story, like old times, right!
It's like I never left blog world!

Want to hear the story?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Corner view Wednesday

As I started reconnecting with my blog, I was checking out a blog from a friend here in Atyrau.
Here is a link to her blog:

I would like to join her and other bloggers taking part in Corner view Wednesday.
Corner view is a weekly appointment- each Wednesday- created by Jane, and hosted by Francesca.
It's where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.

This week's theme is 

This picture is from last winter and I thought it would be good for a cold December day here in Atyrau.
We do not have any snow yet, but I bet by the time we return from winter break in January, there will be some waiting for us!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

am I forgotten?

I could use the last post title, but why copy?
I could give you excuses, I could place the blame on a busy life...
but all of that is not me.

I just was not inspired to write.
And now I am, again.

I can't guarantee how often nor about what..
but I am back.

Did anyone miss me?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's been a long time....

What can I say.
I have no, rather I have excuses which I will now list:

1. Spain
Traveling to Spain was never top on my travel lists, but I really enjoyed learning about this culture, the people, the cities and history.  It is a beautiful country with gorgeous tile work, rolling hills, wonderful seas and just a great penchant for living the good life.  We enthusiastically took part in tapas, flamenco, sightseeing, and just enjoying the relaxing qualities that vacation brings out.
I will post some of my favorite pictures from Spain soon...but that would make this post too long!

2. Florida
After I returned with the children to Atyrau, I left two days later for our home.  We are adding on a new bedroom/bathroom.  It was so much fun to be there while walls, roofs, floors, joists, rafters and everything construction involves was going on around me.  There were some very important decisions needing to be made while I was there, so it was a good time to go.  For instance, the architect drew it two feet longer than it actually was...entry door problems associated with that, as well as shower and interior wall issues.  He also gave the wrong pitch for the roof...luckily not much was done, but what was had to be taken down and rebuilt.
I ask why I paid him the money I did?!

3. Atyrau-Pittsburgh
I returned to Atyrau to start having some serious medical issues.  I basically turned around in 3 weeks and returned to my family in Pittsburgh to have my gall bladder removed!  They thought it was acid reflux at first, but I knew something more was going on.  Luckily they trusted me enough to run some tests and decided I needed to go ASAP.  I spent two weeks in Pittsburgh.  It was an easy surgery, laparoscopically, and the recovery was swift.  I had a great time visiting with my family, so that was certainly a bonus!

4. Atyrau
So here I am...back in Atyrau for the gorgeous weather and last two weeks of school.  I am so happy to be back with my family, but ready to start the summer fun!  Just a few more days and off we will go again.

That's where I've been and what I've done!  I can not post from my ipad which is a shame.  If anyone has figured out how to do this then please let me know.  Maybe the posts would come more often if there was a way!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Adventures coming soon...

The children leave tomorrow for Space Camp!
What a cool childhood they have. These experiences are amazing and something that most children never even realize are out there.
We are very happy and proud that we can provide them with these opportunities and hope that they will one day realize what an amazing childhood they are having.

We are also on a countdown to Spain.
4.5 days and we are out of here. I need it. I need to remove myself from the drama that seems to encompass everyday life on a camp!

Spain should be wonderful. The weather seems to be in the high 60's F, sunny. We are traveling to many different cities, never staying in one more than 3 days!
The new iPad comes out in Spain while we are there...and if I have the luck to get one (since mine smashed from falling flat on it's face!) then I will try to post.
If not, then I will have to catch up with everyone on my return in a few weeks!
Happy Spring!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Melting away

The days are staying light longer, the air is slightly warming up...
so that must be Spring knocking on our door!

The weather always amazes me here. At this time of year it is constantly changing. By no means is winter completely over. There is still snow on the ground.
Just the other day, ALL of the roads and sidewalks were covered by a thick sheet of ice. It was treacherous to walk or drive on. I left my house to take my children lunch at their school, and it was like an ice rink.
Then by about 1:30 pm, as I was returning home, it was all melting away.
Yesterday we went out in just a fleece. Granted, the tennis court is close by!

I guess our blood has thickened over this past year and a half we have been here. It certainly had to make an adjustment from the tropical temps we lived in prior!

So the countdown begins...
~2 weeks until our Spring Break trip to Spain
~4 weeks, approximately, until the snow melts, we are able to see the river flow again, and the flowers and trees start their beautiful blooming cycle.
~5 weeks until I return to the warm weather of our house to oversee some of the construction of our addition!
~12 weeks until summer break and going to see Roland Garros, the French Open!!

Exciting times are ahead...
Spring, my favorite season that brings new hope and gorgeous days!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought I'd write about the word.

First some quotes that I found regarding love:

  • Love is not to be purchased, and affection has no price-St. James
  • The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched-they must be felt with the heart-Helen Keller
  • True love begins when nothing else is looked for in return-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • You know you are in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams-Dr. Seuss
I found these on a site for love quotes, and they were some of my favorites.
What prompted me to write this post is with Valentine's Day approaching, I'd like to see a change in our vocabulary.

Love to me is of the heart, fulfilled in my whole being, felt by my whole self...from my head to my spirit, I love.
I love my family. I am so grateful for every one that has touched my life.

Where the change needs to happen, in my opinion, is in the casualness.
I love these potato chips, I love this car, I love this tv show....
it cheapens the word, makes it less valuable. You can prefer these chips over those, even really "like" their taste. but can you love a chip?
A chip, (or anything else inanimate), can not feel your affection. It doesn't return, or spurn, your feeling back to you.

So, let's take charge of our words, feel our heart and
LOVE, with our whole being, those things that make a difference in our life!

Happy Valentine's Day to my husband, who is the greatest gift that I have received.
We are blessed with two beautiful children whom we LOVE with all of our hearts and with whom we share our lives together.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bitter cold

It is cold.
There is almost nothing else to say...
the snow finally stopped falling after days of this fine mist. I could not imagine how what looked like a wet snow, very fine snow, could accumulate to the amount that it did.
But now that the snow has stopped, the cold air has set in. We wake up to mornings, with the wind chill factor biting at our cheeks, at -26 this morning...
We are in the tough stretch right now. The air is freezing, the daylight is short, and the roads are not the best to be driving on...

Ah, well, at least there is a chili cook-off fundraiser this weekend, the middle schoolers will watch Gone with the Wind, and I will join them, and of course, there is always cuddling next to the fireplace!

Happy winter, from the frozen North!
Here is one of my favorite houses here:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Buried in

Wow, this is how I remember winters from when I was a child.
A lot of snow, piled up to my knees....

Check out my last post to see the first photo of this chair on my back patio to see how much snow has fallen!
The funny thing my children noticed, though, is that since the children walk to school here, it is right on our village camp, there are not any "snow days"!

Good thing my refrigerator is stocked!

Bella is interesting in this weather...she like to play in it for awhile, but then her paws must get really cold because she barks to come in.

A different type of fun for us, but still fun all along!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Ohhh, it's a good day here if you like the snow!
The flakes are falling. Even though they are fine and seem like just twinkles in the air, they are accumulating on the ground.
The weather forecast is calling for much more snow to fall throughout the weekend.

Perfect days to for me to snuggle in near the fire and watch some amazing tennis from the Australian Open!

I love the purity of the white snow and how fresh it makes the ground look.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Here in Atyrau, my friends and I are always up for an adventure. It is hard to find much to do besides exercise, cook and get together with friends.
(not that any of these activities are bad, but any sort of city wide festivities, outside of our village, are not the norm).
So when an opportunity to walk on a frozen river to get to the site of Christshenya came up,
we all jumped on it.
Christshenya is the Russian Orthodox celebration where the water in the river is blessed 12 days after the Russian Orthodox Christmas. Believers follow a procession from the church to the river where the priest says his prayers,

and blesses the water.
The most hardy of the believers then submerge themselves three times for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Their sins are absolved and they begin the year anew.

They had a scuba diver ready in case tragedy struck...aka...someone lets go of the ladder and falls underneath the ice.

Musical entertainment provided by the man with an accordion.
Changing room...(term used lightly!)

Those that can not fathom jumping into a frozen river in extremely cold air with only their undies on can collect the blessed, holy water and keep it in their homes until the following year, using it medicinally, to drink or however they choose.

We walked from our village down the frozen river. The ice is strange to walk on, half of me feeling secure, but yet feeling a little nervous in case I were to fall through!

It makes beautiful bubbles right underneath the surface.

The sunrise was beautiful behind this lone ice fisherman.

It was definitely a not-to-miss opportunity here in frozen Atyrau!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012

What a vacation this has been!
We've enjoyed the Florida sunshine, our family in Pennsylvania and back to the sunshine for a few more days before head back to Atyrau.

I hope that everyone has a peaceful, healthy, and Happy New Year for 2012.
May we all find our own happiness in our corners of the world!

Ballerina Girl