Saturday, February 28, 2009

Backyard birding #2

It's great to have birds in our yard again! Spring is on the way--I'm so happy.

The robins have been eating the remaining rowan berries--I'm surprised we still have so many on the tree, and lots of berries are falling on the ground too.

This morning C and I saw some new birds eating berries--Cedar Waxwings!

We managed to get a few pictures through the window.

In January I had a different kind of backyard birding experience--I was looking out the window while on the phone, and saw a Merlin falcon swoop down and capture a robin. It landed on the snow in front of the window, robin in its talons. After a few seconds it flew off, carrying its prey with it. A few feathers were left behind, and that was it.

Merlin falcon photo from here

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Little Travelers

We finally had a chance to watch The Little Travelers Japan DVD last weekend, and the vote is unanimous at our house--we love it! I'd been wanting to see these DVDs since I heard about them and I was not disappointed. Since we don't get to travel as much as we'd like right now, we plan to get more of these DVDs--they are fun to watch, especially for the kids, and bring back great memories of past family trips and adventures. So far in addition to Japan you can see their adventures in Bali, the British Isles, Iran (the DVD is almost done, I think), and they are on their way to Germany to film another trip.

I think these shows are great on so many levels. For us, obviously, we love to travel, and have been traveling with young kids for a long time. The DVDs are narrated by the children, and do such a great job showing how wonderful and magical it can be to experience new places and make new friends. It's great to see young kids eating and enjoying new and unusual (to us) foods. (And I am positive that it's no coincidence that at dinner after watching this, our pickiest eater S requested some Chourico and Peppers and happily told us all that she liked it!)

And more than ever, we all really want to visit Japan someday! But regardless of whether we will actually visit these places ourselves, it was fun watching the experiences the girls had there, and we enjoyed learning a little more about Japanese culture.

You can see trailers for the DVDs here, and read their blog here.

You can join the Little Traveler Flickr groups and upload your own photos to the groups for a chance to win a DVD for yourself (winners are chosen periodically). See details here:

Family travel photo contest

Global crafts, activities and celebrations photo contest

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Local restaurants

B and I have missed the fresh, authentic Lebanese and Indian cuisine that was everywhere in the UAE, but there are a couple of good local restaurants we've tried here. The first is Da Pineapple Grill, Island Grill-Sushi Bar. I've really liked everything I've had there, especially the sushi. Plus, they have Volcano Sushi and Volcano Cake on the menu, and you know how we feel about volcanoes. We highly recommend it!

The second place is Original Thai. I'm not an expert on Thai cuisine, but again, everything I've had there I've liked. Their curries are delicious, and I can't wait to try more of their offerings!

Volcano Sushi

Blog organizing

I'll be cleaning this blog up a little, as time permits. I've decided to move our Arabic practice words to a new blog. I'm also going to have a Russian blog, not for the kids, just for my own practice. I'm hoping to update my blogs at least weekly, but no promises. Especially when it gets warmer and I can go outside. :)

More spring cleaning yet to come, I'm sure...


Sunday, February 1, 2009


Saturday was the annual SnowFEST at a nearby park. B took the 3 big kids, and they had a lot of fun--sledding, snow painting, treasure hunting and more.

By the end they were really tired and cold, but it was a good day. Winter is so long here, I'm glad there are some fun things the kids can enjoy even when it is freezing outside.