Pictures from my phone

Snuggling with all my girls.

Smiles with Ellie.

The little girls playing on the playground at Reece’s school. We play there every day after dropping Reece off in the mornings.

Snuggles with daddy after work.

Lily swinging at Reece’s school. There are rocks everywhere because they are in the process of building a wall around the school yard.

Ellie in the flowers.

Ellie doing lily’s pretty hair.

Have to use the teeth to get the pony ready.

I went out to get them for dinner and found them up in this tree. 2 1/2 years old and already claiming trees!

Enjoying a fire started by joe on the chilly evening.

I’m so glad this one enjoys reading. It has changed her world! But she still loves for me to read out loud to her, which I really enjoy.

Published in: on March 6, 2014 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Picture post

Some of these pictures are from a quick weekend trip to the coast and some of them are from grandma’s visit.
I will let the pictures speak of themselves in this post!









Published in: on December 5, 2013 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Thanksgiving Camping Trip

This Thanksgiving marked our 3rd year if living in Indonesia. We have yet to take a camping trip for a few good reasons. One: the ages of our kids did not seem conducive to camping in our minds and two: you can’t just call a state park and make reservations. Here, you have to hunt out your own spot. Daniel, knowing my desire to carry out the Wortley family tradition of camping on thanksgiving, came up with a great plan. There is an old MAF base in a village called Bokondini which is a 10 minute flight from wamena. There are some empty MAF houses there and one other western family who lives there. So Saturday morning our awesome pilot flew us there and we settled in for a quiet, relaxing weekend. Here were some highlights:
-watching Daniel try the art of getting the wood oven/stove going (to his credit, the wood was wet!)
-hiking into the village and finding a spot to let the kids splash in the river.
-having our thanksgiving feast by candlelight (there was no electricity)
-spraying for roaches three times before I could even think about lying down to sleep.
-the little girls getting all the outfits I packed for them wet and/or dirty in the first 12 hours of the trip.
-Reece commenting on how she could hear the peaceful sound of the river from our porch when it was actually the sound of the toilet running!

Here are some pictures of our adventure:










Since the last picture is a little strange, I’ll explain…you can see the MAF kodiak in the back ground and the kids sitting on an old airplane next to the old maf hanger. That plane’s engine ran out of time and apparently it was too expensive to replace the engine so the plane has just been sitting there for years.

I’m thankful for these fun memories we could make together as a family!

Published in: on December 3, 2013 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Reece turns 7!


Reece, Grandma and the rest of our family had a lovely time celebrating our little girl (or should I say young lady!) on her birthday. After school, I picked up several of Reece’s friends and we headed to our house for a tea party. Again, I was SO thankful Valerie was here to help me with the preparations, plus it was way more fun to do everything with her. We made lots of goodies to serve at the tea party and, despite all the Canadians and Dutchies who were at the party that actually like tea, Reece opted for kool-aid instead. We played several games that always left the girls in giggles and Valerie led the group in two very fun crafts. One was making bracelets out of buttons and the other was making sun catchers using clear beads. The girls created patterns and designs in the little metal trays we gave them, then we baked them in the oven. They turned out beautiful! Valerie always comes prepared with lots of fun ideas. Reece was thrilled to get a fish tank for her birthday, but all three of her new fish already died. We already made one trip to the local fish store but, in true wamena fashion, they were out. Yep, the fish store was out of fish. So, maybe next week the fish tank will be active again!

Anyway, here is Reece’s birthday interview:

What is your favorite color? Purple and blue.
What is your favorite food? Hot dogs.
Who is your best friend? I have 5…both Naomi’s, Kayla, tirzah and maddie.
What is your favorite thing to do in wamena? Play. With your friends? Play…. With your family? Have Christmas with them.
What are you most excited about when we go to America this summer? See my friends and my family.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t know.
What does your dad do? Flying airplanes
What does you mom do? Stays home…oh, she’s a nurse.
What is you favorite thing about school? Art.
Are there any other questions you want me to ask? {says, “no, no, no…”in the tune of “go tell it on the mountain”}

I guess I caught Reece at a rare moment of not wanting to talk much. So, I’ll put my own des descriptions in.
Reece loves to read anything and everything. She loves school. She loves to run around the base with her friends and play all kinds of pretend stories. She loves being in the water, whether it’s a pool, beach, river, stream or just on the trampoline with a hose in the backyard. She loves animals and always says she wants to be a vet and she won’t even be scared to take care of a sick snake. She is obsessed with singing Christmas music and she is currently obsessed with our Christmas advent calendar. She has to have music to fall asleep every night. She is still not a great sleeper. She has lost 3 teeth and she is getting really good at riding her bike-she begs me to let her bike to school but I’m not ready for that yet!

I could go on and on but that’s all for now!

Published in: on December 3, 2013 at 11:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Joe turns 5!

Published in: on December 3, 2013 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Short Indonesian Currency Lesson


Greetings from Wamena!  This is Valerie, Becky’s mother-in-law.  I arrived here this past Sunday after a very long trip, and I asked Becky if I could write in her place.  She leads a very busy life – life with two year twins is busy anywhere, but add a 7 year old and a 5 year old, and living in a developing country, and well, her days are very full.  The other thing is that she’s been here in Indonesia for awhile, and she’s feeling more at home.   I know lots of you all are curious about what life is like here, so for the next few posts I’ll do my best to give you a look through fresh, “outsider’s” eyes.  Warning: upcoming randomness.

Reece has lost her front tooth.  I asked her what the tooth fairy brought her, and she said “a blue one.”  (Some of you remember the difficult time Reece had with a tooth problem and a practicing non-dentist.  Keep that in mind when you consider the tooth fairy’s generous pay out.)  I laughed out loud.  Later I heard Joe talking about something he deemed very expensive, as in, “Bet that would take about ten of the pink ones, wouldn’t it, Dad?” 

When I came to visit, I was bringing quite a lot of extra baggage, so on the next to the last leg of my journey here, from Makassar to Sentani, a “local” flight, I had to pay the extra fees in rupiah.  Credit cards are not accepted at the baggage check-in counter; I had to go to another counter where a friendly man wrote down the number of rupiah I needed to pay.  Was I seeing correctly?  Over a million and a half?!!  I had been to the ATM in this same airport, and because I had to pay for my stay in a guest room (another blog) and eaten dinner, I had taken out the maximum withdrawal allowed.  I began counting it out – not enough!  The kind man kindly pointed me once again to the ATM upstairs, where once again I withdrew the maximum allowed – a thick stack of bills, all in the same denomination: “blue ones” – that is to say, 50,000 rupiah each.  Worth about $5 each in U.S. currency.  My maximum withdrawal was about $135 in U.S. currency. 

 Daniel says just take off 4 zeroes.  FOUR zeroes?  Honestly!  Reece and Joe have the right idea, one I as an adult didn’t latch on to until I heard it from them.  LOOK AT THE COLOR!  “Blue ones” are $5 bills.  “Pink ones” are $10.  Don’t look at the zeroes.  They trip me up every time.  Too many of them!  But still it’s a good thing that I won’t be doing much marketing here on my own.

Published in: on November 1, 2013 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Reece’s School

Every school day since I arrived I’ve walked Reece to and from school.  It’s a short walk to Hillcrest International School, where Reece is a first grader in Mrs. Ambrose’s class.  Mrs. Ambrose teaches first and second grade in the same room, and she has seven students.  The school goes from grade 1-8, and there are three teachers.  As a former homeschooler, I’m quite frankly jealous of this school situation, and delighted that Reece can attend here.  The students are American, Canadian, Dutch, and Indonesian.  They play together before and after school, they eat lunch together, and celebrate together.

There is a library with check-out pages for each student as well as each family.  (FYI – the Perez family has checked out the most books.  Their page is full up, I saw today when I checked out a Boxcar Children book to read to Reece and Joe.)  Reece is an avid reader, and impresses me daily with her skill.

There is a computer lab.  There is a LARGE playfield with interesting puddles when it rains.  There is a well-tended garden with a variety of produce growing, tended I suppose by the groundskeeper.  There is a playground with enough of an element of danger to make it really interesting and fun.  There is a large covered play area, because after all, this is the jungle and it rains here quite a bit.  There is a volleyball game there a couple of times a week for anyone who wants to play, adults and students alike.  Reece won a jump-rope competition in her grade there.

Friday there’s a Harvest Festival.  This is high excitement.  There’s a big party after school, and all the kids and their parents will be there.  Becky and Daniel are doing games.  I baked apple pie.  There will be hot dogs, and pumpkin carving, and other competitions. There is a scarecrow competition, and Team Perez is plotting their strategy.

You might be asking, “Harvest Festival?  Don’t they live on the equator, where there are no seasons?  Where every day could be harvest day, and there is no winter to store up for?”   The answer is yes – but nostalgia and customs and remembering “home” runs deep.  Interesting note: You can buy pumpkins here, but they’re not orange.  They are green with white spots – very attractive.  There are four on the hearth right now.

Becky and Joe and Ellie and Lily and I had lunch with Reece at her school today.  Joe ate at the boys’ table with his friends.  After eating the kids all (including Ellie and Lily) played until Mr. Ambrose rang his handbell for the students to go back to work.  Then Joe and Lily and Ellie played some more.  When it was time to go home, Joe’s pants were soaked from running through the puddles, and Ellie and Lily were worn out and took a good nap [unlike some other days : ) ].

Published in: on November 1, 2013 at 12:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Constant cuteness

A lot of cute things happen around our house. Here are some snap shots of a few if them.













Published in: on October 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  


Every year, we get called to the “big city” in Papua to go to the immigration office and get our fingerprints taken (even though I’m pretty sure they stay the same through the years), get our pictures taken and sign a bunch of papers. But I don’t really care what it’s for. To me, it’s a paid for weekend away, a chance to do some shopping, to see some friends we don’t see a lot and, most of all, to go to the beach!! Here are some pics of our weekend trip.







Published in: on October 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  


Today was Saturday. Normally, we have pretty quiet Saturdays. I will do some grocery shopping sometimes alone or sometimes with Reece or joe. Daniel will work on projects around the house and the kids will play. Today wasn’t anything super exciting, but we did get out and about a little bit so I thought I would share it with you.

We started out by taking one of the MAF cars down to the police station to pick up daniel’s new drivers license. We were waiting in the car while he ran in. Notice we are not using car seats! I try to use them, but for a quick, close trip, I don’t…even though I probably should!


Here is a picture of all the motorbikes lined up in front of the police station. o


There were some boys selling flowers so I decided to buy some.

They cost me about $2.00!


Next, we planned to take joe for a hair cut and the girls and I would go get an ice cream across the street while we waited, but the hair cut place was closed, so we just went for the ice cream. Notice, joe forgot his shoes…but here in Papua: no shirt, no shoes, no problem!

This store is called Multi snack. There are TONS of snacks in this place. This is a typical store in Wamena, packed full of all kinds of random things.


Here are some of the things we bought: joe loves seaweed flavored crackers. You cannot buy a huge pack of toilet paper here. Sometimes I can buy a four pack, but I have only seen them like this for the last few weeks. Oh, I miss buying in bulk! There are also some fried chicken flavored crackers, but the crackers themselves are baked, which I think is funny.

Now, time to enjoy some ice cream on the front porch!




Next, Daniel took Reece and joe to a friends house to play for a little while. I walked the twins next door where our kind friends, Esther and Kyle, along with their two teenage girls, were going to watch lily and Ellie for us for a couple of hours.

Daniel and I rode the motorbike out of town a little ways and went for a nice, long, VERY hilly jog.





Next, we headed home, put the girls down for a nap, had some lunch, finished up some chores and had a short rest before Daniel went to pick Reece and joe up from our friend’s house. The girls took such a long nap that I got to do some cleaning, putting laundry away and made some granola for the coming week. Daniel was able to take joe again to get a hair cut but when they got home, Daniel got the clippers out and finished off Joe’s haircut himself. I guess they could get it quite how we wanted it. Next was dinner time, evening chores, stories for the kids and bed time. Now, I’m writing this blog post on the couch while Daniel watches Top Gear. We will soon be in bed!



Enjoying some left-over baked ziti.  I was so happy to have left-overs!  No cooking tonight!




I have no idea why Reece wanted to wear a leotard and jeans to bed, but I could not convince her to change!
Well, that was our Saturday. I’m trying to post this through my phone, so forgive me if the pictures are a little out of order!

Published in: on July 13, 2013 at 11:10 am  Comments (1)