Sunday, December 22, 2013


This is why I went down there: observe sampling methods to make sure results are up to par. There is a guy down there...

This is about the deepest I was allowed to go. Those footholds were not engineered for my Canadian girth.


The locals found a Chameleon and brought it into camp for the visitors.

This guy did not have a bottle so he improvised one. He got water from a nearby stream and I can tell you he spent 1 minute looking for crawlies before taking his first sip.

This is a Zebu which provides meat, milk, transportation, and they carve the horns into implements.

The ingenuity that the workers showed for getting the rice pot on the fire was amazing.

Looking down into the Caldera.

The typical agriculture in the area consists of cutting and burning the forest (bamboo and palm) then planting rice just before the rainy season.

This is the camp where I stayed. I kept joking that the fence was meant to keep zombies out because there are no big animals here.

One of my hotels had a little Christmas spirit (probably year round).

The view out my window. I was astonished to see the people transporting goods in traditional Red River Carts pulled by a Zebu, wooden wheels and all. These were used in 1800s by settlers in western Canada. You cant argue with good design.

Typical house on the highway.

It is illegal to sell dead crab so they coat them in mud to keep them alive longer.

The Market (not for tourists).

We were passing through a resort town and decided to stay the night.

The capital city of Antananarivo is a bustling center.
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I'm beautiful

Estelle tried on Lucy's clip-on party earrings. She's so glam!

One of the family

Jimmy likes watching TV just as much as the rest of us!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Santa and his elf Jimmy

Santa paid a visit to our local garden center where we buy our tree. It was a pretty reasonable waiting line, and we were able to enjoy the lovely decorations and tropical temperature while we stood in line.

Excited Estelle

Nice, natural smile.

The picture of patience...

Pretty AND civilized, what a combo!

Many of Alice's friends at school were getting notes from secret elves and one even trapped her own elf.
Luckily our showed up a couple of days ago, so nobody feels neglected.
His name is Jimmy and he's not too naughty, but still a little shy with us.
Pleased to meet you!

We're not allowed to touch Jimmy, as it could cause him to lose his magic. Estelle's sneaky smile lets you know she wouldn't dream of it...

(ps - it's HUGE success already and it's only just begun...)
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Friendship + Squabbles = SISTERS!!!!

Early December has been swell, waiting for Guy to come home from Madagascar (Mada-whaaaaa?????), waiting for Christmas, and waiting for our well desreved vacation to San Diego (more to come on that later...)

We haven't decorated the house yet, but still broke out the Santa hats.
Stylish, seasonal and warm.

Clever and delicious advent calender from the Lavergnes. 

Someone has to occupy the couch while Daddy's away...

Which one is most likely to have a real mohawk later in life?

Naked tree... waiting to decorate when Guy comes home.

We made cardboard spaceships and are floating in space...
in our jammies!
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Pet shop party

The friends meet they have a snack.

The pets eat cake.

It's present time. Caramel is curious.
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pet shop fun

Piglet and mousy post their Christmas list. 

It's Christmas we open presents.

The pets go shopping to a candy shop.
The pets go to the farm.

The little pets look out the window.
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candy village

the candy friends are watching their candy babies play..
they play hide and seek

they go for a carriage ride

Friday, November 22, 2013

J'ai cinq ans!

Fall is a busy time in our family for birthdays, and last weekend was the all-important festivity-filled birthday weekend for Estelle.

She had breakfast in bed (Lucky Charms), gifts and a friend party on Saturday, and a visit from the Potters and Trudels on Sunday.

Many good times and far too many gifts; but she was a happy girl!


Heh, heh, all for meeeeeeeee!

Lots of icing sugar and time went into this Fluttershy cake...
See Renard Bleu's instructable video.

Monster doodling from Janette and Dave

Awesome 3D card from Gran and Grandad

BOYS!! There were BOYS at the party!!!
Thought we had another 10 years before we crossed that bridge...

Happy next to her friend Melina.

The second cake. (Littlest Pet Shop, Minka)
More icing...

Grandad and Emma share a piece.
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