Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Holiday's

Well this is the first Christmas that we have spent in Cairo.  We have been living here for three years but usually we are traveling during the holiday.  This year we decided that we would stay home and enjoy our first Christmas in Egypt.  It was sooooo much fun!  On Christmas day we got up early and read the Christmas story and then opened our presents!  What a great time that was....Norris got me the best gifts ever! 

Notice all the great food that he got me in my stocking!  Ranch Doritos, Nilla Wafers and Hershey Kisses!!!  YUMMY!  Plus he got me an awesome Thai Street Food cookbook.  I can't wait to try out some of the recipes!  I wish my aunt Doy would come out and help me with the recipes!  Also he got me this book called "Simple Solutions".  It has all kinds of different ideas to do with house hold items.  Things I would never think about and how to save money!  I can't wait to try some of them out!  My favorite gift is as always the teddy bears!  Norris has gotten me a teddy bear every year we have been married and this year he got one for our sweet little baby!  I can't wait to cuddle our baby next to it!  

  I got Norris this large Beanbag.  He has been wanting one for a while and he loves it!  So far he has slept in it 2 nights.  He says he is getting prepared to take naps with the baby!!!!  Also I got him the Apple TV but now we have to figure out how we are going to use it in Egypt!  I guess I did not do quite enough research before I got it but Norris says we can make it work!!!

After we opened our gifts we needed to start our baking for the next day!  We had a Day after Christmas, Christmas Movie Marathon with our friends.  So I tired my hand at making homemade bread.....
Not to bad...I just had to wait for it to rise...........
UMMMM that is right Complete failure!!!!!!!
Attempt Number 2:
When I talked to my grandma she said she will show me how to make homemade bread this summer!!!!!  I definitely can use the tips!  After I finished the bread I got to try my hand at making a 23 pound turkey....First attempt was much better than the bread!!!

Our Turkey leftover sandwiches were great!  Thanks Norris for lifting it for me every hour for 5 hours so I could baste it!!!!!! 

Food and presents are always a nice part of Christmas but it is not the reason we celebrate....Our God is why we celebrate and we thank him daily for the friends and family that he has put into our lives here in Cairo!  

We thank you for our friends and family and we thank you for the greatest gift of all!!!!!!  You are an amazing God and we love you for all the joys and blessings you give us.....

Monday, December 27, 2010

23 weeks and Kicking!

Well Norris and I are about 23 weeks along and we are enjoying this fun moment in life!  It is weird to think that soon this little thing will be out and we have to take care of it!!!  YIKES!  It will be fun but I am sure there will be many moments that we will have lots of questions!  

How Far along are you?   23 weeks and feeling fine!

How big is Baby? He/She is getting huge....or at least I think so!  At a pound going strong

Weight Gain? Well it is really confusing to have everything in kilos!  I am at the smallest weight I have ever been!!!!!!!!  Just Kidding... I think it is about 16 pounds!

Sex? We hope to not know until the big day!

Maternity Clothes? Oh yes we are definitely in maternity clothes!

Stretch Marks? None yet!

Sleep? Not to bad... Now that we are on Christmas Vacation sleep will be great!

Symptoms? I am so blessed...I have not felt much different. 

Movement? YES!!!  These last two weeks I can feel the baby getting bigger and stronger!

Food Cravings? Not really...I could eat a salad a day but that is normal!

Labor Signs? Praise the Lord not yet!

Belly Button in or out? It is beginning to flatten.  I have a feeling it will be out soon!

What I miss? Running.  This time last year I was training for a marathon and I miss doing that!

What I am looking forward to? I want to know if it is a boy or girl!

Best moment of the week? Norris got to feel the baby last week!  IT WAS AWESOME!!!!  He was so cute with his reaction!!!!  WHAT A MIRACLE!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Half Way There

Well it has been about 4 months since I have written on my blog.  Life is finally getting back to "Normal", whatever that means.  Since last June Norris and I found out that we are expecting...

We are very excited!  We are over half-way to the joy of adding our little bundle to our family!  I am not sure that April 24th can get here soon enough.  I am not sure if that is because I get to take the rest of the school year off or because we are having a baby!  I think it is the latter one but at times I am not sure!

How Far along are you?   I am at 21 weeks...still a long way to go but it has gone by so fast already!

How big is Baby?  Our baby has finally hit the 1 pound mark!  Now I can say that some of my weight is baby!!!

Weight Gain? 13-15 pounds.  Not really sure.  My doctor only weighed me once and then he will not weight me again!!!

Sex? We hope to not know until the big day!

Maternity Clothes? Yup...Just started needing bigger pants!

Stretch Marks? None yet!

Sleep? Well is it 2:30 in the tell me!

Symptoms? I am so blessed...I have not felt much different. 

Movement? YES!!!  It is wonderful!  I can't wait until Norris can feel him too!!!

Food Cravings? Not really...I could eat a salad a day but that is normal!

Labor Signs? Praise the Lord not yet!

Belly Button in or out? It is beginning to flatten.  I have a feeling it will be out soon!

What I miss? Running.  This time last year I was training for a marathon and I miss doing that!

What I am looking forward to? Wearing my old clothes again and having my baby!!!!!!!

Best moment of the week? The sweet people who have told me I look cute....I was having an "I feel fat nothing fits week!"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

10 years

So today is my 10 year reunion from high school.  It is funny how fast and slow the time seems to have gone.  I can definitely say that I never thought I would be here.  The only thing I knew after graduation was that I was going to go to Bethel College.  After that I knew nothing.  I can say that these last 10 years have brought some amazing memories and joy along with many tears and frustrations... and I would not change a thing!  I am grateful for all of the situations the Lord has brought me through.  It is fun to see how he has changed my paths and tried to bring me back to him daily!

Graduation day 10 years ago!  Oh Charlie was the best dog ever!!!!!

What fun 4 years at Bethel to meet new girl friends!  They are such a gift from God!  He is so good to send us people that we can love with, cry with and laugh with!

There was this silly, awesome, fun, wonderful boy that came into my life that I am grateful has never left it!  This was our first date!  Yes we did draw each other!!!!!
He was always there to support me!  My Senior Recital 2004!

Then my parents moved to a new place in Michigan.  It was strange to know that I would not be going 
"home" to Petoskey anymore...But it was great to know that my family was just the same!

Then finally graduation day from Bethel came!
We were gifted with New Bethel Glasses.  After all the hard work......Uhhmmmm or something like that!
It seemed like time just flew by after graduation. From Graduation to Wedding DAY!The best day to Marry the man I love!
Hw then swept me off my feet and took me "far away from Home" to Atlanta Georgia!  We had a blast getting to know each other and learning how to love each other every day!
We loved going to Hockey games together and making quesadillas with our awesome Quesadilla maker!

After that adventure God brought us to Egypt where we have spent the last 2 years meeting awesome people from other parts of the world!

WOW I wonder what is going to happen during the next 10 years!!!!!!!  :-)  I can't wait to find out!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Camel Market

So Norris and I went to the Camel Market today.  There was a group of teachers that wanted to go so the school provided a bus.  Now we had heard this place was not for the faint of heart.... they do not treat the camels well.  These camels are all being sold for food.  They are not racing camels or camels that you would see at the pyramids.  Apparently people come from all over, Sudan, Saudi, and other places to buy these camels.  These camels are going to be the bottom, left over camels that were not bought at other market places.  Well needless to say it was an experience.  One that I am glad to say I will never do again.  I was actually trying to figure out how it is a tourist attraction.  We were not sure what about it said.."yes please come and watch us sell these camels..."

I think though through the whole process it was not the hitting of the camels that bothered me the most...It was the extreme CHAOS of the entire event.  The camels were running around and boys were hitting them with sticks to make them go the right direction.  My biggest fear suddenly became the fact that in a matter of time I WAS going to get trampled by camels.  THEY WERE HUGE.  I forget how tall camels are.  They really are large, strong, ornery animals.  Although I have to say if I was getting hit by a stick all the time I would probably make growling noises too!!!!!!!!

Norris thought these camels looked like they were auditioning for the Rockets!

I love that the camel is smiling at him!  I think that we should have bought that camel but they wanted a little more than we were willing to spend!

I just like this picture.  I could not do enough to show the chaos and crowds that were whirling behind us!

This is the area that the camels were getting auctioned off.  They would all stand around and yell and then they would mark the camel so they knew which family it was going to!

If you are interested the small young camels go for about 2000 LE...... Camel Anyone?

Monday, May 31, 2010


CHALLENGE:  for the month of June and more than you ever have before.   Read the word more than you ever have.  If you read it everyday read it more.....if you do not read it often try to read it more!  I am trying to do cover to cover by August.  What are you going to challenge yourself with?!?!?!?!!  


So I know that I just put up a post but a lot of things have happened in the last couple of weeks!  Two Fridays ago Norris and I got to lead worship at church on Friday night.  It was a night of just singing and celebrating.  We love that we have been given this path at HCC.  We feel so blessed that we have the ability to meet all the different people at the church.  They are from all parts of the world and they all bring something different to the table.
We have two guys that are really good friends of ours that have just learned that their Mom or Dad have a brain tumor.  It is just great to see how they are able to take this and pray for it.  It is great to see how HCC has come around them to help them.  We got some news about one of our friends Mom and her cancer is very slow moving and benin.  It is such an answer.  He will be home this summer and he will be get to be there for the surgery.  The other one was not as good of news.  His dad has a very advance form of cancer and has been given about 12 weeks to live.  But it is great to listen to him talk about his dad.  He knows that he will either be healed here on earth or when he gets to heaven.....It is neat to see how he has such faith in the one we know!  It is interesting how when these things happen it only brings you closer to HIM!
I have been learning that I have to believe in Who HE Is not What He does.  What a hard lesson to understand.  I am not sure I will ever be able to completely understand, or comprehend that!  I am trying.  I want to believe in Who He is.  He is compassionate and loving and just and powerful.  How wonderful to have that in our lives.  How can I sit here and try to understand what He does.  I can't see the whole picture, only He can.....  How presumptuous that I would say He should do something different or change what He has done......  But how easy it is to do that!  Focus on having a heart like 1and 2 sam. to get a great example of that!!!!!!


So today Norris and I thought that we would take a simple little walk to the mall and grab some dinner.  Well we think that Costa Coffee has the best caesar salads in Cairo.  So we love to go and get some salads from there.   Usually Norris can get some grading done and it is a nice time that we can hang out.  Well today as we were walking up to the mall we noticed there were a lot more young teenagers then normal.  Now this is a place full of children so we just kind of thought there must be a holiday we missed!  When we finally waded through the groups of boys and finally made it to Costa we could barely even hear.  We decided to leave after dinner.......if we could just get the check!  Well we asked for the check and realized that they charged us for a different size drink than they gave us.  When we showed it to the waiter he could not understand what we were saying.  We even showed him the drinks we had to let him know.  Finally Norris took the guys pen and wrote it all down for him!!!!  He still did not get it so our waiter went to get a manager.  Now all they needed to do was take away 20 LE......
When the manager finally came he gave us an estimate us to how much we owed.  He just wanted us to pay 100LE and call it even....but we did not owe 100 LE.....  Norris was not about to pay 10-15 LE more than we needed to.  The manager said it was going to take a long time to get the bill back.  So Norris just looked at the manager and said.."Tell you what you have 5 minutes and then I am gone"  Miraculously we got the bill in about 10 seconds!!!!!  Norris does not freak out to often but this was just one of those moments........ to funny!!!!!!!!!!

As my friend says..Peace and Love from the Sandbox

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Scary moments

Well yesterday was an interesting day at the Ham household.  Saturday afternoons we tend to wind down and get ready for school.  We try to get lunches ready for the week and make sure we have gotten all the stuff done we wanted for the weekend.  It is nice not to have too much stress going into the week. 

To say the least yesterday was not to be one of those Saturday's!  I had gone out with some girls to have a jewelry brunch which was so much fun!  One of my friends was selling jewelry with all the money going to Ugandan women who have lost their husbands and jobs because of fighting and other reasons.  Where was I ...Oh yes Saturday........  Well on Saturday afternoon I was messing around with my camera, I am trying to figure out new shots I can take with the camera, and I was sitting out on our porch.  Norris was getting a little sick of me taking pictures of his face!  I love reading "The pioneer woman"....She teaches so much about cameras and all sorts of things.  Well I decided to go outside and try some of the stuff she had mentioned on her blog.  While I was on the porch, there was a funny smell coming from downstairs.  I did not really think anything of it.  I came back inside and then I heard some yelling.  I noticed that it was not a man yelling for recycling but it was different.  So I went back outside.  I started listening to what they were saying and it sounded like they were saying"Fire!" 
    Now I am not sure what the Arabic word is for fire but I was convinced.  It did not take long.  Well Norris said he would check it out and I knew it was not good when he came back in and told me to grab my camera and the computer.  I kind of started to freak.  I did a good job of keeping it least for me.  We ran around the house and got all that we thought we needed.
   Norris said that when he leaned over the side to look off the porch he saw flames coming from the side of the building.  Luckily when we got down stairs there were people there with a bunch of hoses to put the fire out.  We think someone was smoking and they threw the bud into some dry leaves and they caught on fire.
After it was all over we were so grateful.  We now it was not a bad fire.  We are so blessed they got the fire out before it got worse.  The people on the first floor were also very blessed that it was not worse.  I am so thankful for the men that were walking by that saw the flames and alerted the building!!!!!!!!!!!!    

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ants are Taking Over

Well this weekend was going to be one of rest and relaxation.  Quickly that turned into stress and frustration!!!!!  Ants were taking over the world, it felt like.  I guess it was just our kitchen but that is bad enough!  There is nothing more disgusting than having ants all over.  I definitely made Norris go out for dinner on Friday because I could not take the ants!  We had a nice little bug bombing party but sadly that did not seem to work.  Instead it brought all the ants from the kitchen into the living room!  So all day Saturday was dedicated to cleaning off all parts of the kitchen that had been sprayed and the dishes that were sprayed and the living room!!!  I am pretty sure I lost some brain cells but I guess it might have been worth it because for NOW they are gone.  Moved out probably just long enough for us to put everything back.  I guess I will take one day of a ant free kitchen!!!!!

Does anyone know how ants multiply???  It seems that there are just millions of them all of a sudden!  Out of no where they just turn up to destroy sanity!!!!!!!!!!
But I can say that I am so blessed to have a place that ants can come.  At least I have a home for them to enter.  At least I have food they can get into.  At least I can go to the store to buy new apples!  Priase Him who takes care of our every need!  HE is great and awesome and a wonderful creator even of the little things in life!!!!    

Friday, April 16, 2010

Easter 2

Saturday= Starbucks.  Well it quickly turned into Zamalek Saturday.  I woke up super early because I am on a schedule.  Well we did not really have much to eat in the apartment so I convinced Norris that we should go out to breakfast.  Well Norris remembered this great place on Zamelek called "Arabica".  It has the best stuffed Fatir ever.  Fatir is the incredible bread that is flaky and warm and fabulous!  Well we invited some of our friends to come and join us for the hour.  After we arrived at the restaurant we put in our orders.  After about on hour we received our drinks!  After about 2 hours we still had not received our food.  Luckily there was paper on the table and crayons that we could draw with, on the table!  So we started drawing what our feet looked like.
                                             Norris definitely won the weirdest feet award!

 Then after about 3 hours Norris talked to the owner and finally we got our food.  It was excellent!  It was a long wait but it was well worth it!!!!!!  After we finished our food the owner came and told us we could order any drink we wanted for free, so it worked out!!!!!! 

Later that afternoon we did walk to a coffee shop and grab a little pick-me-up from Starbucks and it was delicious as always!

Sunday= Singing.  Well Easter Sunday was awesome.  We met at this cemetery in Cairo in front of a beautiful cross and had our service.  We have communion and a time of fellowship after.  It was soooo awesome.  Norris and I were lucky enough to be able to help with the singing and it was a really neat time.  We started at 6 and ended at about 8 then had a time of hanging out with friends.

  Norris and I were then pretty tired and came back home and took a nap so we changed the title of the day to SLEEPING Sunday.  Then later on that evening we had another service that Norris and I got to lead and it was soooooo much fun.  It was pretty funny because it was our new pastor's second week in Cairo.  Talk about diving in.  They had no time to adjust.  They got here at the busy season and started rockin' out!  It was neat to see their excitement and what they will bring to HCC!  

Monday= Cleaning.  This one is the only day we could not make match with the day of the week.  It was a great day though.  Don't you just love those days when you get up and clean the house and you can feel so organized and refreshed?  That was our Monday.  We cleaned our whole house and just hung out around the house.  We watched a couple movies and just had fun Norris and Angie time.  I LOVE THOSE DAYS!  They are my favorite.  When we can just talk about our future and dream about what might be brought along our path.  It can sometimes be so fun to not know where we are going to be directed.  It is ok though because HE knows.  He will take us where we need to go and protect us along the way!  YAY!  Gotta love HIM!  

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter :-)

Norris and I decided not to travel anywhere for the holiday weekend this year!  Last year we headed to Greece but this year we thought we would spend it in Egypt.  There is plenty going on with our church family so we knew we would be busy.  We decided to have an alliteration weekend for the days of the week.
Thursday= Tivoli Dome
Friday= Felucca
Saturday= Starbucks
Sunday= Singing
Monday= Movie
Now being in Egypt this long this dod not work out as planned.  Egypt always knows what is "better", or what will actually happen.

Thursday= Tivoli Dome.  Well there is this new place by our apartment called the Tivoli Dome.  It is filled with all sorts of restaurants.  There is a "Outback Steakhouse", "Popeye's Chicken", and about 800 different coffee shops in a tiny little space.  It is a really nice place!  There is a fountain with water and just a great place to hang outside!  Well Norris and I decided that we did not want to spend the money for "outback" so we decided to walk to the mall and eat at the "Rain Forest Cafe".  Well after the 30 minute walk we got to the restaurant only to find that it was closed.....FOR GOOD!  We were sooooooooo sad.  So we had to go to "On the Border", (our new favorite restaurant).  We had a great time in our normal booth and a great chat for the 30 minutes there and back!

Friday= Felucca.  Well Friday was an awesome day!  It started with a great time at HCC for the Good Friday Service.  Then we took a 30 minute nap and then headed over to Maadi.  For those of you who do not know, Maadi is close to the Nile River.  Well to go on a Nile Felucca it is not that expensive.  The problem is it is hard to make change.  All we had was 100LE and we did not need to give that away.  Magically if we handed them that bill they really would not have any change!  Well there is a "Friday's" right next to the dock where you get boats so we thought if we could run over and grab a drink than we could break our 100 and plus we could have a nice cold soda for our boat ride!  Well we forgot to factor in that fact that "Friday's" would not have to go drinks!  Well needless to say after the hour we wasted we finally were on our way in the Felucca!  Except there was one MAJOR issue!  There was NO wind. If you have ever been on a sail boat you know you can not get far if you have no wind!  Well after about 50 minutes we had moved about 5 feet from shore!  Norris and I were laughing soooo hard.  The poor man in charge of our felucca was sooooo bored he fell alseep over the rudder!

  Well after that we made it back to shore and met some friends and went to this fabulous Korean Restaurant "Gaya"!!!  IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!  I can't wait to go again.  We ended the evening playing cards at our friends.  We learned a new game called Monopoly deal!  If you have never played you MUST!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


So poor Norris has been doing sooooooo much work these past few months.  He is taking classes and teaching classes and trying to help the school become a better place, leading music at HCC and being a husband.  That is A LOT!  Well one of our favorite snacks to make is homemade popcorn on the stove, we do not have a microwave.  It is really tasty! Well when I make it for Norris I do not salt it because he likes it with way more salt that I do.  I prefer to taste my popcorn he prefers to taste the salt!  Well our salt dispenser is the giant container we bought at the beginning of the year.  The other day we made a comment that it has lasted us forever.  We bought a new salt a little while ago thinking that we would be running out soon but it is still going like a champ!  Well at dinner a couple of nights ago we could not find the opened salt container.  We looked and looked and I just assumed Norris had used all of it and thrown it away.  He could not remember either, so we got out the new salt  and life was good!  That night I went to wash my face before bed and when I opened up the cabinet, there staring me in the face was the salt!

  Poor Norris had put the salt in the bathroom not the kitchen!  It was too funny!  We were laughing sooooo hard!  Well Norris is working hard and this weekend to sleep will do him a lot of good!  What a funny guy!  Gotta love him!  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You know you are new in Cairo when.....

So Norris and I were reading this magazine and we came across this list......


1. You stop for pedestrians.
2. The secret code of flicking lights and tooting horns has yet to be decoded.
3. Rules of the road have also yet to be decoded-actually and ancient mystery!
4. shopping is still exciting and an adventure.
5. Every time you go to cook a meal you discover yet another basic ingredient you don't have on hand!
6. The cats are cute and the donkey carts are "picturesque".
7. Starbucks/Caffe Greco is a sanctuary-actually that never changes!
8. You carry a map and hope it will soon make sense.
9. You have a purse load of kleenex packets.
10. You have no idea where you live relative to anything.
11. You get nervous walking across a road-and so you should.
12. You pray before every highway journey- well, this doesn't change either!

Some of these things never change.  I still think that shopping is an adventure and I like to try substituting different ingredient in my meals.....It will never be the same way twice that is for sure!  And I always have kleenex, you never know where you will need it and where there will be toilet paper!  I must say the cats are anything but cute and the donkey carts......

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Starbucks.... :-)

Interesting little fact about the Hams:

So Norris and I like to walk to Starbucks on Saturday mornings to plan our life.  We laugh that it is usually changed after the 30 minute walk home but while we are there our plans sound perfect!  Well neither one of us is a coffee drinker, so when we are there we usually get these "Ice Blended Frappuccinos".  For about a month they did not have the Syrup to make the drink so the only way they could make it was if they put coffee in it.  Well we just got used to it and now we always just order it with the coffee.  Because there is so much sugar in it you really can barely taste the coffee.

       On Tuesdays and Wednesday's there is an option to go to school early.  The only problem with that is the bus meets in front of McDonald's.  Oh Dear......I have been rewarding myself for getting up early by ordering a Cappuccino.  Well when Norris was gone last week I decided that it was important for me to go outside everyday, even though he was not here.  So I would walk to the Starbucks and order a "Carmel Ice Blend Frappuccino."  I kept getting the kind with coffee and by the end of the week I would walk in and they knew exactly what I wanted!  YIKES!  Well I think it has finally happened.  Norris and I are becoming addicted to drinking coffee.  I think it is happening more to me than to him, because he drinks so much soda, but nonetheless it is happening!  I have to say we both still do not like regular coffee but when it has all the sugars and ice stuff in it I am hooked!

YUMMMM.....I am heading to Starbucks......wanna come??????  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New and Old Memories

Well Norris and I have been redecorating.  We know that we only have a couple of months until we move into our new apartment but I decided to decorate anyway.  I have created a wall in our apartment that is my memory wall.  I have printed out some pictures from my favorite spots.  There are of course many from Egypt and Thailand!  Those are probably my most favorite spots.....  I am excited to add more pictures to it!  This is just the start of the wall.  It is fun to look at it though and see all the places I can add new or old memories!  It is neat how you realize that there are many things yet to come.  Some times it is easy to get into a rut and feel like you are not really going I can look at the wall and see where we have come and what we have to look forward to in the future! 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Summer Plans

Sooooo, Norris and I have the month of August to do some traveling.  We have been to Thailand, India and Egypt and we don't really want to do Europe.  We want to save that for when we are a little older.  We love to do backpacking and outdoor stuff.  So anyway I want to ask your opinion on where you would want to go.  If you could spend a month somewhere where would it be???????? 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pigeons Attack

So Norris and I have had an attack of pigeons lately!  The other day we were walking up our stairs and there was one sitting by our doorway.  It did not move when we walked up the stairs so we knew it had been hurt.  when we went out in the morning there was evidence by the amount of feathers that a cat had gotten in our building and the pigeon was gone.  It had flown through a window in the hallway and it was not going to make it. 
Well the other day when I was washing dishes I had a FRIENDS moment.  There is an episode in FRIENDS where a pigeon fly's through an open window in the apartment and Rachel has to catch it and put it back outside.  Well the other day that just about happened to me.  I am glad that the pigeon could not quite figure out how to get in.  It scared me to death.  I shut the window faster than he could figure out how to get in. Good thing he did not get in.  With Norris not here I am not sure what I would have done!  I would have just opened all the windows and hope he found his way out!!!!!!

Well I did not have to worry because he did not quite make it in but it made me laugh, after I realized he would not get in.  I hope that the other pigeons learn not to come through the windows because I do not want to have to through a pigeon out!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Days, New Challanges

Well today I got new students!  I know it is hard to believe that it has been 6 months and we have just started our 2nd semester!  Well I really like my new students!  I know it has only been one day, but they were cute.  They asked some good questions and many of them already have fun nicknames!  Except for one boy who was very concerned by the end of class that we had not come up with a nickname for him!  I told him that I am sure by the end of the year we will have one for him too!  Another boy proceeded to tell me that last year he spent many days in "Time Out" because he did not like music class!  I told him that I hoped he would make better decisions this year!  I then asked him why he signed up for music class if he did not like music!  He did not really have a response, but whatever!  Just some of the joys of funny middle school students!

Then you get the other students who refuse to sign the syllabus and have to be taken to the principles office before the day even starts!  Now that is what I call good teaching!  Oh MY!  I am not sure if they will be back for more of me but they did not leave a good impression!  Oh well that is also the joy of being young, sometimes you don't make the smartest decisions!  Well teaching always comes with its good and bad days!  I hope that I have more good than bad when all is said and done with.  Somedays I think that there could never be a good day and then other days I think that I want to do this for the rest of my life!!!!!  Oh the joys of life!    

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Relaxing Days

So today I had many plans to clean and workout and get a lot of stuff done for school.  Oops!!!  Instead I watched "You've Got Mail" and made homemade popcorn and Chai I bought in India!  It has been one of those times in life that I need some veg. time to be with my thoughts!  Who said growing up was fun!  Well I guess it is!  I love being married and traveling the world and meeting new people and loving my friends more and growing with Him who made me!  But sometimes it is hard!  Where are we going to live next?  What job should my hubby take?  When should we have kids?  Am I EVER going to learn this language!!!!!!!  Do I want to teach or sing?  How are my decisions affecting other people?  Are we in His will or just floating close by?  How can I make my relationship better with Him?  You know just the simple questions people ask all the time!  :-)  Then I just have to stop and remember, He is perfect and He knows all these questions and answers already!  What a comfort to know he is not shocked by one of my questions!  I only wish he would share with me some of the answers!  I know he will in time but sometimes it seems to take him a long time!  BUT then it always, funny enough, is the perfect time!  Don't you just love how that works!  He is perfect!  Everything about him is just perfect!

Well I guess now I can clean and workout.  He is in control and I don't have to worry about a thing!  Like the song "don't you worry 'bout a thaaaaaaang".....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Food Challenges!

Ok so today Norris and I went out with some of our friends to grab some dinner!  We do not do this often because some times it can get pretty pricey!  They just put in an Outback Steakhouse around the corner!  So tonight we went to have a little American Food!  It was great company with friends, thats about it!  We all ordered and a couple of them wanted to get the Bloomin' Onion!  Well the waiter said they had none!  NOW how in the world do you not have an onion!  We offered to go down the street to the alley to get them an onion but they did not take that to well!!!  So since they did not have the onion they also did not have some of the burger stuff and it was so funny!!  It worked out we eat what they did have and left!  We then decided to go to the Starbucks to have a coffee.  Norris and I have no become addicted to the Iced Frappaccino Carmel with coffee!  It is soooo good!  Well two weeks ago we went to get our Saturday dose of coffee and they did not have any cream for the frappaccino!  Well today they did not have any Frappaccino!  I am not sure how you can run out of Frappaccino at a Starbucks but it happened!  We were laughing so hard!  We told the man that we would try a carmel Mochiatto.  He then said is that all.  Norris in the way he does said: "well that is unless you got some Frappaccino in the last few minutes!"  The man did not get it and again went into the explanation how they did not have any frappiccino!  It was so fun!  Just some of the fun moments of being in a different place!  It is always an adventure everytime we step out of our doorstep!  What a blessing that we have the opportunity to be here!  Sometimes we can get frustrated and then we just have to remember that we must be here for a purpose even if we don't know what it is right now!      

Saturday, February 20, 2010

India Pictures

This was our boat ride down the Ganges River.  It was fun to go at sunset and see all the people around the city!  Many were swimming in the river and it was cold!  But notice Norris in his shirtsleeves and shorts!  We got to boat by different parts where people were swimming, drinking and burning bead bodies!  I think that was the most intense part of the whole time in Varanasi.  I don't think I will ever get used to seeing bodies being burned!  

These were the beautiful ladies washing themselves in the Ganges River.  They were from southern India.  It is amazing to see how far people would travel to wash in the Ganges River.

            This was Norris and I waiting for the sun to rise over the Himalayas!  It was sooooooo pretty!  But it was VERY cold!  I thought I was going to freeze to death!  Once the sun came up it did get a little warmer!  Not much though!  I am wearing my new wrist warmers!  That is what Norris calls them.  I love them.  I can still use my hands but keep them warm too!!  He was very jealous that he did not have them this morning that is for sure!
This was Norris and I at the Taj Mahal!  It was awesome!  We just sat in front of it for about an hour!  It was soooooooo beautiful!  The people were so respectful of the area and it was so clean and white!  I never realized how big it was but it was huge.  There were a lot of people around that day so it was hard to get a picture that a bunch of other people would not be in!  

There,There,There and Back Again the Hams Tale!

Strangely enough the subject line could mean more than one thing.  First, it could be for the crazy Luxor Full Marathon we ran last Friday, OR, it could stand for how many times we keep coming back to Cairo.

Well...............last weekend Norris and I and two of our friends flew down to Luxor, Egypt to run a marathon.  It was a lot of fun.  We were excited to get started with it because after months and months of running and training we were ready to be done with it!  It turned out to be fantastic.  I know this is hard to believe coming from me, but I really did love it!  I did not like training for it that is for sure but on the day of the run it was so much fun!
It was difficult to train here in Egypt.  There are not a lot of places that have a good flat ground to run on, plus being a female makes it all the more challenging.  Well we did end up finding this great place to train.  There is this club that has a gate around the outside.  You could get through the gate but not have to go into the club.  The only problem with it was the mile and a half giant hill at the end of the run.   The whole loop around the club was 5k or 3.1 miles.  Well after about 18 miles and having to run up the giant hill 5 times I never thought I would make it through.  I think that it why my goal for the marathon was 6 hours.
As it turns out the hill was just what we all needed to help us get great times for our runs.  Norris finished in 4 hours and I finished in 5!!!!!!  For my first time I was pretty satisfied!  Norris took a little break to wait for me, so had he not done that he would have finished under 4!  That is ok though 4 hours is pretty amazing.  That is until we realized he would have to cut off an hour just to qualify for the Boston Marathon!!!!!!!!  CRAZY!  We met this guy who is in the Marathon Maniacs club.  He has run 137 marathons in the last 4 years!  His goal now is to run a marathon in 20 different countries!  I am not sure I want to do that but I do think I would like to run another one just to see how it compares to this one!

There were a couple of obstacles we had to get through on the day of the marathon.  There happened to be big groups of children that were hanging out.  They just wanted to touch you and talk to you as you ran by.  I tried to be nice to them and speak to them in Arabic and give them a little fist dap when they wanted to high-five me!  I think they just wanted attention from the foreigners.  Well that was all great and dandy until kilometer 38.  Up to this point they did nothing but want to give me a high-five.  But all of a sudden these 3 little boys got around me and thought I had money in my pocket.  So the next thing I know the littlest boy was reaching his hand in my pocket.  I started yelling at him and saying the strictest things I knew in Arabic.  Little did the boy know the only thing in my pocket was a used tissue.  He was not to excited when he realized what it was!  He tried to reach in again and I realized he was not going to leave me alone.  I had to stop and yell at him and after a few moments he ran away.

Then when I was about to turn to the last little bit to the finish line this man walked up to me.  He was in a button up shirt and I thought he was part of the marathon crew.  He started talking to me and asking me where I was from.  I told him and then he decided that I must look like someone who wanted to buy his post cards!  At this point I got a little upset!  I looked at him and said: "what about my appearance right now makes you think I want a post card?"  "Do I really look like I care about anything you have to offer?"  Well he did not like that very much and he stormed off!  This was just what I needed because it made me laugh almost all the way to the finish line!
It was quite a moment when I crossed the line!  I realized I had finished in 5 hours and I knew it was all over!  It was an incredible accomplishment!  I never thought I could have done it but it was fun to have a husband who would support me and friends who would always help me when I wanted to give up!   I now can't wait to run another one!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Favorite Quotes from India

Here are some of our favorite quotes or conversations that we had on our trip to India:

1. Oh My Gosh...Check This!

2. You look like a mummy only scarier.

3. Comparing the treatment of cows in India compared to Egypt.... "We Praise them, they eat them....That's Different"

4. "Are there windows in the Pyramids?"

5. Are there still mummies in the pyramids?

6. Teach me all the states and capitols of Australia.

7. Emily: "I think I could do crunches in here."
Waiter: "Wait, what kind of crunches?"

8. When Norris refused to buy something.... Salesman: You look like the devil

9. Norris was talking to a man about running and his weight and how we have not run since we had been in India. Norris said that he needed to run..Response by salesman:
"I think your body is good"

10. Norris while we were lost walking around Rishikesh...we had just been ripped off by a Auto rickshaw driver, and we were starving and we had just barley survived a 16 hour drive earlier......
"This is the worst day ever!"

There are many more but I thought those were the best ones!!!!! Enjoy!

From Pushkar to Jodphur to Rishikesh

Well last place I left it we were heading from Pushkar to Jodphur.  We decided to rent a driver and a car to take us to Jodphur.  It was not that far away only about 3 hours so we did not think it would be bad.  It was a pretty nice drive.  It was a little scarry at times but our driver knew what he was doing so we were not to worried!  We had a nice time in Jodphur but it was not our favorite place.  The fort we saw was amazing but the rest of the city left much to be desired.  It was the first time that we felt like we were being followed and asked for money.  It was the most intense place we went for sales.  The people also we quite rude but that was ok.  We could just hide out in a coffee house and drink fun drinks and look at the city and fort.  It was nice!

When we got back to Pushkar we decided that we would have our same driver take us up to the mountains to Rishikesh.  It seemed to work from Jodphur so we thought we would do it again!  We were sick of being on trains and the last one we were on we did not have much fun!!!!!!  Well the drive to Rishikesh was 16 hours and we were three to the back of a tiny car.  It was not the smartest decision we have made.  It was actually the most terrifying thing I have done.  Emily slept most of the way so she did not really know how bad it was but Norris and I got quite nervous.  It was like a giant game of Chicken just with a small car and giant trucks.  Luckily we won!  Norris definitely yelled at the drivers a couple times and threatened not to pay but we got there just fine!  16 hours later!  It was a long day!  One we got to Rishikesh we were sooooooo excited!

Rishikesh was my favorite place.  It was sooooooo beautiful!  It was awesome to see the mountains!  We got to take a trip up into the Himalayas to watch the sun rise!  It was beautiful!!!!!!  It was awesome to see snow and the fresh air.  It was so polluted in India and it was nice to smell fresh air.  It was also the first time that we stayed in a nice hotel.  The other places we went to we either did not sleep there or we did not get the best place.  Here we decided that it was time to get a nice place....PLUS it was Christmas!  It was such a great place to have Christmas!  We went to this awesome Bedouin place for dinner and had GREAT food!  It was sooooo much fun!  There were a lot of monkeys in Rishikesh and it was crazy at times!  I did get scared some times when I had to walk by them!  They hissed at Emily when she tried to take a picture of them and that made me a little nervous!  I did not want them to bite us!!!!!!!!!  I did not want to get Rabies!
After that we just headed back to Delhi and got on our flight back to Cairo!  What a fun whirlwind of a vacation! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Taj Mahal and Pushkar

Well after our quick train ride of 13 hours we arrived in Agra!  It was really neat!  There is not much to see other than the Taj but that is definitely enough.  It was the most amazing thing......What a beautiful gift to his dead wife!  It was very sweet!  It was soooooo white and big and beautiful!  We were able to finally show that day though and that was great!  We went to a little hostel and took the coldest shower I think I have ever taken!  But at least we were clean!!!!  The people were not to bad, at least not as bad as we had been told.  We had heard some stories that made us a little anxious about what we were going to experience but it was not like that at all!  We were able to see Agra Fort which looked a lot like the red fort in Delhi....I mean it was big and red.  I liked it and we had a really fun time!  I think we sat and looked at the Taj for about an hour and it was nice to relax and get out of the chaos of the city for a while.
That night we went to Pushkar.  I think that was my favorite place.  Disaster struck the night before we got to Pushkar.  We were on another train and we had yet to stay in a room for the night and when we got to Pushkar station we walked out with our bags and stuff but we left ALL our cameras!!!!  IT WAS THE WORST!  That is why there will be no pictures to prove that we were there!  It really was the worst news in the morning!  Norris felt so bad but that stuff happens and it is all just stuff.  We did all we could to try to find the cameras but there was not much we could we walked around the city of Pushkar for a while and did some shopping...Norris felt sooooo bad that he left the cameras that he tried to buy me everything I looked at!  It was very cute!  It was a rough morning but the rest of the day was AMAZING!!!!!!  It was much less chaotic in Pushkar than any other place we had been.  There was supposed to be a lake but it was the dry season so it was more like a little pool.  We also got to see one of the only Brahma temples in the world.  It was pretty neat.  My friend and I went in and we were just looking around when we got yelled at because we were walking the wrong direction.  We felt really bad but we just turned around and started the other way....then I do not think they were toooo happy when we did not go up front and buy flowers to lay in front of a statue.  We decided that it was time to leave after that!  But it was pretty cool to say that I have been in one of the Brahmas temple!

Delhi and Varanasi

Well Norris and I decided to take a "relaxing" trip to India this Christmas.  It was quite an experience.  After living in Egypt for the last year and a half has helped us deal with all the wheeling and dealing that comes with bargaining in a third world country but the people!  There were soooooooo many people!!!!!  We thought we lived in a place with a lot of people but that was nothing compared to India.  Delhi was a bit overwhelming but after we went to Varanasi we realized that it probably was just because it was our first day there!  Even while we were still in the airport in Delhi people were trying to rip us off....even at the pre-paid taxi booth with the prices written on the was pretty funny, Norris held his own very well!!!
We decided to take night trains so that we could have the opportunity to see more places.  We were glad we did it the first night!  We were able to get a great place on the train and we were able to sleep very well.  And when we got up we were in Varanasi!  It was great!  We got to see the Ghats where people go to wash themselves and it was CHAOS!!!!!!!!  We thought there were a lot of people in Delhi, this was x10!  Apparently they believe that if you die and your ashes are put on the river than it is the most holy place you can be put.  So as we were taking a great trip on a boat down the Ganges people were being cremated right in front of us!  It was a little more that I wanted to see but whatever!  We then went to a fun place for dinner that night and saw a giant herd of Monkey's.  They were soooooo cute as long as they were far away!  I did not know that there were so many monkeys in North India but we saw them EVERYWHERE!!!  It was crazy but they were cute!  We were just hanging out and we decided that we should start heading back to the train station just to make sure things were going ok.  We had seen everything we wanted so we headed back early.  Norris kept telling us the train left at 8 but we headed for the station and got there at about 6:07.  When we walked in we looked at the sign and realized that our train left at 6:15.  We looked at each other and started running.  What was great was that we needed to get our bags from the train station and then head to the train....BUT WE MADE IT!  We got on the train and about 1 minute later we were moving!  We were sooooooo glad that we made it!  It would not have been fun trying to find a place to stay in that place!  It was great!  We had another fun night train ride and when we woke up we were in Agra!  I love those trains!