Sunday, March 17, 2013

20 Questions

It's been pointed out to me that many people may have questions to ask about our time here.  Being that I am technologically challenged at times, I have no idea how to open a Q & A section on here. Instead, I am asking that anyone with questions send them to my email,, and after I receive 10 or so questions, I will compile them all into a post. I do plan to include at least the first name of the questioner, unless you ask me otherwise. I will try to answer any and all questions, but I do have to make sure they are appropriate. Lets keep it clean and family oriented!

I'm really looking forward to this, so let's have fun!

Soooooooooo, let's play 20 Questions!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big Girls Don't Cry

We had our first international incident last night! We went to the grocery store yesterday, got groceries and bought a new knife. Ours here was so dull it wouldn't cut hot butter! When we got home, we put all the groceries away and Tatum was trying to open the knife to put it in the sink to wash! I guess the way she pulled it out of the plastic, it finally gave and came out and cut her arm, up near her inner elbow. Cody and Tucker weren't here, they had ran out to put air in a low tire on our car. I immediately kicked into Nurse Mommy mode. We washed it with soap and water, and used a first aid kit that Cody thought to bring and used butterfly bandages to hold it together until Cody and Tucker got home. We had gotten me a phone while we were out and I told Tatum...guess I'm going to get to use this phone to call Cody sooner rather than later! I called Cody and asked where he was. He said getting ready to pull in the driveway why???? I said, I think Tatum needs stitches! I'll meet you outside.

We went out to meet him and explained what happened. In a pretty quick fashion we all loaded up and off to the hospital we went. Cody called his friend to ask which hospital to go to while we were on the way. We found the hospital very easily. We walked in and straight back to the triage area and then to a "room." The doctor came in in no time. He was super friendly, spoke amazingly great English and explained everything he needed or was going to do to me and Tatum. He showed a lot of concern about whether Tatum was in pain or feeling ok. I watched the whole time, he answered all questions and never once acted offended or above me like the doctors back home can. The whole experience, driving to and from the hospital and all took an hour! One hour!!!! It would take that long back home just to get registered!

Tatum was great! She never shed a single tear! She said she was more worried she would be in trouble than anything! :) Now she'll have a lasting memory to show people from her time here! I'm very proud of how well she did.

She said its a little sore this morning, but nothing to write home about! She is more bummed out about not being able to swim than anything! No swimming till the stitches come out. I told her to just sit on the edge and read a book and work on her tan! That's what I do! It's relaxing!

Overall, our first trip to the hospital wasn't a bad one at all. The doctor gave us his card and cell number. Told us if we have any problems or concerns to call or text him and he would be happy to help us out! I will definitely be holding on to that for future reference! Even if I am hoping we don't need it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kentucky fried what?

Last night a few of us country folks got together for dinner. Before we left, Cody advised the kids to eat. What? Why, they asked! Because its all seafood and you all probably won't like anything there. They all ate, but all of them were excited to go to a "real" Malaysian restaurant and try some new food. Let the adventure begin!

We ate at Permas Village Seafood. As we were driving there, we turned onto what was almost a dirt road into the woods...the asphalt was in bad need of repair! It was more dirt than asphalt and I literally said...who puts a restaurant back in the woods? As we continued down the short road and turned the corner, it opened up to a large gravel lot and quaint open air restaurant. There were large tanks with fresh caught seafood and a beautiful view of the water and city. I forgot my camera! Next time I won't!

Marlena & Brent Welty and Scott were already there waiting. And of course little Mr. Klayton. I will be the first to admit I was a little apprehensive about eating there...and I know Tatum was! I love seafood, but you just don't know! We ordered drinks and looked the menu over. Our waitress was great, very friendly and decent English! I think between us all we ordered nearly everything on the menu! Curry crab, Chinese Kai LAN, black pepper venison and ostrich, wet noodles, fried sotong, prawns of all types and lots of Tiger beer and Apple Cider.

Anyone who knows my kids, knows they are "meat and potatoes" kind of kids. Fried chicken, fried potatoes, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, Mac & cheese...down home country food is what they like! It is so far out of their box to try anything new. I thought I was going to fall out of my chair when I saw Tatum eat squid! Squid!!!!! She willingly put it in her mouth, chewed it up and swallowed! Haha! She said it tasted like rubber bands! Uhm, how does she know what rubber bands taste like? She tried everything on the table and decided that next time we go back, she is ordering curry crab! Wow! Of course I'm not sure she realizes how much work crab is...they served the whole crab, you really gotta work to get that meat out of there! The food was delicious, all of it and the company was even better!

We sat there for nearly 3 1/2 hours eating, talking and enjoying the company of others from home! Our waitress did a wonderful job of keeping the drinks flowing, and food coming! Klayton, Claire and Tucker ran around and played like crazy. I'm sure they were all happy to have a friend around to play with! Tatum and Olivia joined in and seemed to enjoy the conversation with the adults! We talked of Duck Dynasty, American Gypsies, and tv we wanted to watch but couldn't...yet! Nathaniel's untimely demise came up, and then stories of how we've all gotten lost a few times! How horrible the driving here is and 2 wrecks (not their faults) by other NAS employes. Overall, it was a wonderful, fulfilled evening! Just what we all needed!

Once the bill was paid and we were leaving, our waitress came to say goodbye and goodnight! She fawned over all the kids, especially Klayton and Tucker. I believe someone told me it's good luck for them to touch blond hair. She was rubbing all over Klayton and Tucker's hair! She told all the kids, "You call me Auntie!" Lol! It was so sweet and cute!

And I drove home...again! I'm more than willing to drive when it's not peak hours, but its still strange to be on the "wrong" side of the road and have your seat belt crossing your body in the opposite direction but maybe in 8 or 10 months I'll be used to it! And we will definitely be going back to Permas Seafood Village...who needs Kentucky fried what?!?!

Klayton, Tucker and "Auntie"

Marlena and Brent

MMMMM, good!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nathaniel can spell

We went to Singapore last Sunday to sight see! What a beautiful and EXPENSIVE place to live! It literally looked like they had incorporated a city right in the middle of the jungle. Palm trees, flowers and greenery everywhere! The drive over was painless and we got through immigration/customs or whatever you call it in relatively quick time and found parking. Nathaniel did his job well, so far!

The area we were in was obviously all about the shopping. Some very high-end names mixed in with a few more down to Earth stores...Dior, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo for example. And then there was Toys 'R Us! The architecture and design was beautiful. There was a building that was supposed to look like a flower, lotus blossom, I think I overheard someone say. One was supposed to look like a durian, which is the smelliest, most disgusting, foul fruit I have ever had the displeasure to be near!

We took the subway all around. It's much easier than trying to park...once you get it figured out! We must have taken the same 2 trains back and forth between stations 4 times before we realized how to get where we were going! :) I think the kids enjoyed their first adventure on a train...they were all smiles!

Our lunch choices for American food were the typical fast food places and Chilis, Hooters, and Hard Rock Cafe. We walked around for awhile and settled on Hooters. Ugh! It's no different here than at home. First, I should say, I'm not a fan of their food anyway. There isn't anything special about it. My burger was burnt to a crisp! But at least I got my belly full!

After we ate, we went to Chinatown. Can someone say tourist trap! It was full of I <3 Singapore shirts, keychains, coffee cups, etc. All poorly made I'm sure. The people watching was the best part of Chinatown. We sat down for a drink in one of the restaurants and there were what appeared to be a group of college guys getting sloppy drunk. They were wearing silly hats and flirting with the waitress. We all got a kick out them. Skinny jeans are really in here too! Men everywhere in skinny jeans! YIKES! I'm all for a nice fitting pair of jeans on a man, but NOT skinny jeans. To each their own I guess! I made a comment about the fashion and Tatum said we probably looked stupid to them! While we were walking through a women, probably a tourist from somewhere else in Asia, took a picture of Tucker. Everyone seems to love my little blond haired, blue eyed man! :o) He gets a little shy at times. I think he is unsure of the attention. Him and Claire definitely stand out in the crowd here. It is sure different being in the minority! Everyone is super friendly and nice though and communication hasn't been a real problem...yet!

There was one full alley/road that was full of Chinese food places! Boy I wished we had waited to eat! It smelled delicious! We continued walking and heard drums and wandered into a temple. I'm not sure if it was Indian or Hindu, but they were performing some ritual with tree branches and flowers, burning incense. It smelled fantastic. There was a sign out from asking you to remove your shoes and pay 3 dollars for photography. They must be used to the tourists. We watched for awhile, but I have to admit I felt like an intruder on their private ceremony. I wouldn't appreciate people coming into my church back home and snapping pictures during a baptism or service! After we left there, Cody had another temple he wanted to show us, so we walked on. We ended up at a Monastery I think. It was so intricate in design! Bright colors, gold leaf everywhere, and so neat and clean. There were tabled lined up inside with books on them...maybe a school for young monks?!?! Very cool thing to actually see in person!

After that we headed back toward the car...with a pitstop for some STARBUCKS! We've been drinking instant coffee since we got here and man was that heaven! I told Cody it was the best part of my day! Haha!

So we load up, all exhausted and begin the drive home. We were all prepared for a long wait to get back across the border...and to our surprise it was fairly short! But Nathaniel, he was doing poorly! When we left our parking garage, we put in our home address and when we got to the border on the Singapore side, he said we had "arrived at our destination!" Liar! We decided to turn him off until we got thru the border crossing because he obviously had a few drinks at Hard Rock while we were site seeing! ;)

Cut to the Malaysian side of the border crossing...we are through and now we know we only have maybe a 45 minute drive home baring any unforeseen traffic or detours. What does Nathaniel want us to do?? Turn around and go back...he's obviously still drunk! We spent 2 1/2 hours driving around in circles, trying to find our way home! Over half of that time Nathaniel was telling us to take the next left and go the wrong way. I kept threatening to throw him out the window! Of course I didn't because I knew it would be costly to replace him and I had hopes he would sober up! Finally after listening to him give us wrong directions for what felt like forever...Cody put him out of his misery! ;) He now has permanent brain damage and will no longer be getting us lost. We will just use a regular old street map and road signs!

We ended up following the road signs to get back home, which is no small feet because these people don't prune the trees and most of them are half blocked by tree branches and crap! In all the crazy drivers, we had to slow way down so we could see the signs and make exits in time! Cody and I navigated the crazy roads together and although we took the long way around, we got home! We make a pretty good team!

Nathaniel, he's Cody's words..."If Nathaniel could give directions as well as he can spell, we'd have been home a long time ago!"

The Monestary or school...which ever

Still the Monestary

China Town

Cheap souviners

Walking to China Town

Hooters was down there in all those cool colored buildings. You can take boat tours. Maybe next time.

The front building is Louis Vittion...a little out of my price range! The back one is the one that is supposed to be shaped like a flower.
The building that looks like it's topped by a boat is Marina Bay Sands. That's where all the shopping was. Apparently the top has some resturants and hotels in it. Also an infinity pool...I could never swim in it...I'd freak out!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Hate the Mall

I hate the mall. I do not enjoy going at all. I really don't even like to shop all that much. I have to really be in the mood to enjoy any shopping experience. When in Louisville, I only go to the Summit. Never to the malls. I avoid them at all costs!

We went to an actual Mall the other day. Plaza Plenangi. It smelled like....home! Just like a mall should! Lol! It was HUGE! I think 4 or 5 stories high. It had all the "mall stores" from home and then some!

We wondered around for some time, just looking around and taking in the scenery. It wasn't too overcrowded like the local markets. Air conditioning! It actually felt cold in there! It was nice to find it and then find that we could pretty much find anything and everything we want or need there. And it's a nice place to wonder around killing time on the weekends. There were multiple food choices, Rainbow House restaurant, a stone grill something or other, McDonalds, Burger King and of course , more local food choices. We hit up McDonalds! Cheap and fast! Lol!

We also went to Cold Storage while we were there. It is a grocery that is suppose to cater more to Americans, or westerners. It was ok, but I feel like it was "played up" much more than it should've been. I was more excited over the wine selection than the food! :) They had a whole liquor and spirits section! The pork was hidden in the back with it! I still honestly feel like the only thing that we would need to go there for is salad dressing! Only time will tell...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Ride

Driving.  Easy right? Right hand side of the road, everyone obeys the rules for the most part and we all know "flow" of traffic! Not here! They drive on the left hand side if the road...the steering wheel is on the right. Typical for everywhere but the US. OK. Not so bad, right? WRONG!

You could swim in the potholes, speed humps (as they're called here) are the size of a small mountains  and the people on scooters are everywhere! Whole families on a scooter! When I think of a scooter I think...Mo-ped, but their scooters are more like small dirt bikes!

Tatum said..."I know how they control the speed and how people drive, the horrible roads and obstacles!" It's insane! I can not put into words how CRAZY these people drive! Let's say you're all the way to the right on the interstate and realize you need to make a left at the next exit and its coming up fast. These people will force their way across multiple lanes of traffic at a fairly high rate of speed with a million other cars in the way!  No signals, no fair warning! Just be ready to break!

We were sitting in traffic going to eat the other day and a man on a scooter squeezes between our car and the one in the lane next to us. I guess we weren't over to the right far enough for him because he kicked the front fender of our car! KICKED IT!! And just road on down the road!

We pulled into the Kip Mart to get some groceries. There was a man, his wife and small kid all on one of these scooters! Both parents had helmets on but the kid, a baby probably 18-24 months old was STANDING on the moms legs! I just stood there with my jaw on the ground staring in shocked disbelief! Cody looked at me and laughed asking..."you're traumatized, aren't you!?!?!" I think all I could do was shake my head!

It's impossible to describe riding in the car here, especially during rush hour. Once I figure out how, I'll try to post a good video! It's like a really bumpy roller coaster except the other riders all have to control their own ride! It's a scary, exhilarating, breath holding, close your eyes and pray adrenaline rush experience every time! With 4 kids giving you a "funny voice" play by play of everything!

And then there is Nathanial. :) Nathanial is our GPS. The kids named him. He gives pretty good directions, when we can get Mr. Droddy to listen to him! Nathanial's British accent adds to the hilarity of the experience...if he can't pronounce something, he spells it. It cracks me up...take a left in 750 meters onto Jalan T.A.B.R.A.U. Instead of saying it...Jalan Tabrau! So, while Nathanial is trying to give us directions to wherever it is we are trying to go and Cody's new motto is "if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em" and the kids are in the back having a blast, I am sitting in the passengers seat wondering...should I have taken a Xanax or something before we left! lol!

Every day continues to be an adventure and is a fun and crazy learning experience!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

This little piggy went to market

The convenience of living in the United States is amazing. We can go to the grocery store and pick up basically anything we want and most meals are quick and easy to prepare. Buying fresh produce and meat, well that depends on how you look at it! It's fresh in our meat and vegetable department, but is it fresh really??? How long did it take to ship it to our local grocery store? Not that I am complaining, we love salad, fresh fruit and veggies and even fresh meat! But you've never saw the likes of the fresh produce and meat selection here!

Every single item is FRESH! Fish caught that morning, chickens just killed and plucked that morning-heads and feet still attached! And veggies and fruit! I've never seen such a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetable all at one place, at one time! We have to wait till things are in season at home! Not here...want a watermelon, sure, they're on the left of the isle! Strawberries, blueberries, honeydew melon, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower...the list goes on and on!!! Oh and lettuce! Lots of yummy lettuce for salads!

So, all who were worried we wouldn't find anything to eat can STOP! There is more than an adequate selection of food choices for us. All fresh and ready to eat! As Cody said..."We might just screw around here and get healthy!"

The challenge comes in cooking everything fresh  and finding the "small things," like salt. Every single trip to the market is challenging and an adventure! We have managed to find pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, flower, sugar, rice, dried beans, tuna, pickles, Lays potato chips and much more at local markets. There is a store here called Cold Storage that we can go to. It apparently caters to Westerners and has many of our convenience foods from the States. So far, the only thing I can think of that I would want from there is salad dressing. But then again, if I can find olive oil and balsamic vinegar..viola! Salad dressing!

Half the fun here is embracing the challenges! GETTING to the market (I haven't even talked about the crazy driving) and then going on the hunt for what you want/need! Every day is presenting a new adventure and experience that we will never forget!


On any given day sitting in Kentucky, I would LOVE to have a housekeeper. What working mom doesn't dream of having someone to change the bed linens, sweep the floors, do the laundry,dishes , etc.? We live in such a fast paced society in the States that fitting all of our "must do's" into 24 hours  is nearly impossible! Oh, how I have dreamed of taking a break while someone else does the mundane housework.

Today, living here...we have housekeeping! WOW! It's great...I think, maybe, but I am still not sure! It doesn't feel normal to have a stranger come into my house and clean while I am watching TV or helping kids with school work. Isn't cleaning up after the kids and Cody my job? Living at Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort we don't have the resources available to do laundry and clean like I would at home, so I guess I should embrace it? I still don't know. Maybe once we move into our permanent residents and have the resources available I'll miss having the extra help!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A little background...

I'm new to take it easy on me. I'm creating this blog mostly for friends and family to follow our year in Malaysia. :o) I will try to include as many pictures and be completely honest about how things are here. But first, I figured I would give a little background to anyone wondering how we got here!

Cody spent 2 months here last summer for work. It was the longest 2 months ever! They briefly talked to him about coming back for 1 year, but it wasn't the right time for our family. End of discussion...or so I thought.

Fast forward to December 27...he gets a text from his boss asking if he would still consider coming. We immediately start talking. There was so much to consider, including our family and friends. Obviously we decided we were up for the adventure.

I was completely unprepared for the amount of time and work it would take to get our family ready to move this far. Gathering immunization records, birth certificates, passports, etc. I became a full time secretary...or executive administrative assistant as Cody said.

After all the hard work, organization, packing, unpacking and repacking...we arrived in the wee hours of February 26, and we slept!