Christmas decorations at Lakefront Park in Hudson Wisconsin

Rumor has it that there is going to be a movie filmed in Hudson this month. And Lakefront Park is decorated to the nines! I heard it'll either be a Lifetime movie or a Hallmark movie, and it's going to be called "A Christmas Wish". I signed Trent up to be an extra. He's got … Continue reading Christmas decorations at Lakefront Park in Hudson Wisconsin

30 Things about Me.

1. I have several middle names. The birth certificate from when I was born reads "Laura Janine", but when I was a dumb college kid, I couldn't find my birth certificate when I applied for my first passport.  So I ordered a new one from the state of Pennsylvania. My duplicate came written "Laura Jeannie", … Continue reading 30 Things about Me.

Nikoi Island

Thursday and Friday with teacher inservice days? Yea! We needed to get out of here, so luckily, back in March I booked a four day get-away at Nikoi Island. Nikoi is a small Indonesian island, leased by three expat couples in 2004. They had a vision, and saw it though, and today, it's booked months … Continue reading Nikoi Island

Pulp Fiction

I often have people telling me that I look like their cousin, neighbor, best friend. I have a very common look I suppose, because this happens to me all the time. Just last night, while playing Bunco, a new friend told me I looked just like her best friend, who also happens to have the … Continue reading Pulp Fiction

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maria loves to bake, and she especially loves to make chocolate chip cookies. So one night a couple of months ago, she decided to teach Leny how to make the cookies too. We are the first American family that Leny has worked for, so chocolate chip cookies were new to her. She tells me all … Continue reading Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fortune Cat

The Cat with the waving hand, you've seen them, right? The Fortune Cat. This one is great. I have seen them on teachers desks, on the dashboard of taxis, in stores by the cash register, they are everywhere. Supposedly every time the cat waves it's hand, it's saying "Money, money, money" and brings good luck … Continue reading Fortune Cat

Superstitions

I love all the superstitions the Chinese have, I find them fascinating, and am even more fascinated by how much they are followed. Most of these superstitions have been passed down through the generations, and while many do blindly believe and follow, most here do not behave like nervous wrecks, jumping at every sound and … Continue reading Superstitions

My very own “Three Star Gods”

After being distracted by the two snakes in one day ordeal at the pottery place, I gave up on my trying to choose a Peranakan piece, and instead choose to get my very own trio of Chinese deities. Three wise men are Chinese gods who are " Fu, Lu, & Shou". They are also called … Continue reading My very own “Three Star Gods”

Two Snakes in One Day!

Can you believe it??!! I saw TWO snakes in ONE day!! And I didn't have a heart attack!!! Well, maybe my heart was pounding a bit. Okay, I was terrified. Here's the story: I was with my Singapore BFF Jacki and I were off on one of our weekly adventures. (Jacki is a Philly girl … Continue reading Two Snakes in One Day!

Human Body Experience

The Science Center Singapore recently had an exhibit called "The Human Body" and from the little I had seen and heard about this temporary exhibit, I just knew I had to take my kids to experience this. It was quite interesting, to say the least. It all began with a journey down the food tube: … Continue reading Human Body Experience

Swimming in the USA, Summer ’14

This past summer, the kids and I traveled to back to the USA for eight weeks, our plan was to visit family and friends, but our main goal was to re-connect with our Hudson Wisconsin coaches and compete in some competitions. Our transition to swimming in Singapore has been difficult, and the kids were desperate … Continue reading Swimming in the USA, Summer ’14

Singapore Sling

Yummy! The Raffels Hotel is a must-see here in Singapore. The Long Bar is famous for the Singapore Sling, and of course Trent and I just had to have one (or two) of these. Here's some information I found on-line: "The Singapore Sling is a South-East Asian cocktail. This drink was developed sometime before 1915 … Continue reading Singapore Sling

Sharing the road with motorcycles

Sharing the road with motorcycles. That's what we do here! It's about constantly looking in the rear-view mirrors for motorcycles that are coming up on you. They overtake the cars & trucks, passing right on the dividing line, sometimes with barely enough room to squeeze through. They weave in and out while at high speeds, … Continue reading Sharing the road with motorcycles

Leny

I have been so lucky to have to opportunity to live in another culture, and experience new things, new ways of doing things. Most families in Asia, including expats, hire a live-in maid. A "helper". I had no intentions of participating in this, as I have never had help, nor have I ever needed it. … Continue reading Leny

Summer 2014 in the USA

June 5th was the last day of school for Maria, Shane & Cale, and on June 7th we were on a flight home to the USA. After a 24 hour commute, we were so excited to be on American soil that I thought my kids would kids would kiss the ground. From the airport we … Continue reading Summer 2014 in the USA

Top 10 List of “What I notice in the USA” while home this summer

Since landing back here in my home country for a few weeks this summer, there are a few glaring things about the USA that really stand out to me now. Things I hadn't really paid much attention to before our move to Asia. So this is my Top 10 list of things in the USA … Continue reading Top 10 List of “What I notice in the USA” while home this summer

Happy Birthday Daddy!

So blessed to be with my dad on his 75th birthday! He's been the Mayor of Zelienople Pennsylvania since 1996! And for years prior to being elected Mayor, he served on the town council. 100% volunteer, no perks, no benefits. For a few years he was President of the Pennsylvania Mayors Association. He knows everyone … Continue reading Happy Birthday Daddy!

Dengue Outbreak

Despite all the mosquito fogging, dengue is a very real problem in Singapore. It rains here nearly every day. It's humid, all the time. Perfect conditions for mosquito breeding. Fogging cannot possibly control all the mosquitos. And the numbers of reported cases of dengue fever are on the rise. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dengue-cases-on-the-rise/1208520.html http://www.dengue.gov.sg http://www.dengue.gov.sg/subject.asp?id=74 There is one … Continue reading Dengue Outbreak

Fogging for Mosquitos

When we first landed in Singapore, we knew that mosquitos might be a problem. I mean, it IS a tropical climate, its hot, humid, and it rains nearly every day. Perfect for mosquitos. Except that Singapore has it completely dialed in on how to handle the mosquito population. It's called "fogging". It's done in public … Continue reading Fogging for Mosquitos

Sydney Australia in April

Okay, I'm a bit behind on my posting. I'm only up to April!! Yikes! I am going to do my best to get caught up, so in the next few days, you will see lots of new blog posts! Our flight left Singapore at 2 am on a Saturday morning. Which to the kids, is … Continue reading Sydney Australia in April

The Easter “Scoot” home from Sydney

Our return home to Sydney fell on Easter Sunday. Trents flight left two hours earlier than the kids and I (he met us in Sydney as he was already in Australia for work the week prior to our arrival). Sadly, Trent's flight didn't have the Easter entertainment that ours did, and being so quick with … Continue reading The Easter “Scoot” home from Sydney

Australian National Age Group Championships

What an adventure in swimming Shane is having. In April he was scheduled to swim in Sydney in the Australian National Championship meet. Cale and Maria didn't qualify for this meet, but they managed to convince us that they should take a week off from school so they could support their brother. Trent was scheduled … Continue reading Australian National Age Group Championships

SAS Math Excellence Award

Each teacher at the Singapore American School is allowed to award two exceptional students at the end of each year. Maria was surprised and honored when she was recognized by her math teacher! This has been one heck of a year, a lot of ups and downs, adjusting to a new school, a new culture, … Continue reading SAS Math Excellence Award

English class

Maria loves her english class. It's her favorite subject, her favorite class. And it shows consistently in her work. She has a terrific teacher this year, who totally appreciates her effort. Here are some snip-its from him on some of her work. And of course, you cannot help but love anyone who sings to Maria, … Continue reading English class

Lyssa zampa

In the last few weeks, there have been hundreds of sightings of a huge moth in Singapore, the Lyssa zampa, also known as the Tropical Swallowtail Moth.  They have been spotted all over the island,  there are photos of them trending on Instagram, Facebook is cluttered with photos, people everywhere are talking about this bug. … Continue reading Lyssa zampa

Cales IT Media video

 My creative Cale made this video for his IT Media class at the Singapore American School.   I was super impressed when I watched this!!!  Here's what he wrote:"After a long couple months, I have finally completed this 5 minute long video. It is about a bank robber... but will have to find out the … Continue reading Cales IT Media video

Don’t take the toilet water

Seriously, a sign is needed for this? I saw this posted in a public restroom this morning, at a park where I was joining a Dragon Boat crew for the morning . Here is a pic of what the water looked like Seeing how dirty the water is, perhaps the toilet water is cleaner? Oh, … Continue reading Don’t take the toilet water

Baby Pufferfish

Today Cale and I spent a couple hours at the beach, where we met a man who was fishing by casting a net into the surf.  We were swimming nearby him, thinking there was no way he was going to catch anything exciting so close to us.  Boy were we wrong! He caught the cutest … Continue reading Baby Pufferfish

Bangalore sights and sounds

My videos from Bangalore India.  The sights and sounds of India!   http://youtu.be/ksY3D6LiFp4 http://youtu.be/6lm7_CEv7ac http://youtu.be/au-un7ATIds http://youtu.be/rKcjeoGVukw http://youtu.be/jxOkt6jfVxg        

Things you didn’t know about pythons in Singapore

Okay, ever since the python in the pool incident, I am freakishly hyper-focused on pythons in Singapore.  So I did some digging, and here's some information about them, this is my list of things you probably didn't know about pythons in Singapore. **   Back when there was more 'wild' space in Singapore, snakes were more … Continue reading Things you didn’t know about pythons in Singapore

Python in the pool

Yup, you read it right!  A very long reticulated python slithered into the competition pool!   This is NOT the pool where my kids regularly practice, but they HAVE competed in this pool, on two different occasions.   No, I did NOT take these pictures!  I did NOT see this snake in person.  But, seeing … Continue reading Python in the pool

My favorite photos of India

This beautiful young lady wanted her photo taken, but was really shy.   Old lady with psychic parrots   This sweet boy also wanted his photo taken,  but became super silly when I went to take his picture.  His friends in the background were all laughing at him.     I met this young man … Continue reading My favorite photos of India

Bangalore, India

Trent travels all over Asia for his work.  He leaves Sunday evening and returns on Friday evening.  He regularly travels to Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India.  Some of these places he loves and enjoys (Hong Kong) and some others he doesn’t care to go to much. As you know, … Continue reading Bangalore, India

Grand Opening

When a new business or office opens , expands, there is a Grand Opening. This is not unfamiliar, it's a common business practice around the world. When I first saw the flowers sent to the business hosting the Grand Opening, I thought they were sympathy flowers! They are gorgeous arrangements! And so grand! It always … Continue reading Grand Opening

Selfie with the famous Ang Peng Siong

APS.  Has two meanings in Singapore. APS is the famous Ang Peng Siong.   He held the world swimming record in 1982 in the 50 Meter freestyle with a time of 22:69.  He was all set to go to the Olympic games in Moscow and represent Singapore, but that year the Olympics were boycotted.  He … Continue reading Selfie with the famous Ang Peng Siong

Singapore Nat’l Age Group Swimming Championships … SNAGS

Swimming in Singapore has been very interesting and exciting for us.  In so many ways Singapore Swimming is similiar to USA Swimming, but then in so many ways, completely different.   Adjusting to swimming in Singapore has been a big stressor to our family, as so much of our lives revolve around swimming.    All … Continue reading Singapore Nat’l Age Group Swimming Championships … SNAGS

Two Broken Noses

Two broken noses in two weeks.   It really is a good story ...   In gym class, Shane was swinging his long arms, I think because his arms get tired from swimming so much, and also because the kid cannot sit nor stand still.  Ever.  So he’s in  gym class, swinging those long arms, … Continue reading Two Broken Noses

Sweet & Sour Chicken by Leny

INGREDIENTS chicken breasts, cut up into cubes egg corn flour fresh pineapple, cut into bite sized chunks.  save the juice. salt (pinch) white pepper (pinch) tomato sauce green & red pepper cucumber onion oil for frying DIRECTIONS: Beat egg.  Add 2 big spoonfuls of cornflour, a pinch of salt, a pinch of white pepper, and … Continue reading Sweet & Sour Chicken by Leny

“12 Year A Slave” Movie Rejects

You've seen it, right?  "12 Years A Slave" was a great movie, about American history.  It's a true story, and we Blinkmans, along with millions and millions of other people in the world, wanted to see this movie. We bought our tickets, at $11 each, asking the ticket attendant if perhaps there was a discount for … Continue reading “12 Year A Slave” Movie Rejects

Australian Christmas! Happy 2014 from the Gold Coast

Okay, it's mid-March. And I am FINALLY getting blogging about our holiday in Australia.  The part that started AFTER our adventure in the airport with our illegal Subway sandwiches.   Our rented condo was in Surfers Paradise,  right on the ocean.  From our 12th floor balcony, we had a view of miles and miles and … Continue reading Australian Christmas! Happy 2014 from the Gold Coast

Loot from the USA

Trent was back in the states last week, and he was sent with a shopping list of some items that are either unavailable or too expensive here in Singapore. Folgers coffee, protein bars, rice-a-roni, sports beans, cereal. Black and white kitty, Miss Jayda, is a princess and loves to have her photo taken.

Thaipusam Festival 2014

Thaipusam … ever hear of it?  I vaguely remember seeing something about this on Nat Geo TV a long time ago, but never in my life did I think I would get to attend this festival in person.   When I heard that this would be happening soon in Singapore,  there was no way I … Continue reading Thaipusam Festival 2014

What is it?

While in Perth we passed a lake with these signs by the road, of animal crossing. I just don't know what kind of animal this is ... Do you? We asked several people at the swim meet, even showed them this picture that Maria took. No one was really certain what kind of animal this … Continue reading What is it?

Cottesloe, Perth

Our last afternoon in Perth,  we totally enjoyed this beach.  The kids new Aussie friend Brody recommended Cottesloe Beach, said it was one of the nicest around.  He was right.  This beach is famous for it's terraced lawns overlooking the Indian Ocean.   The water was crystal clear, the powdery sand had a few shells, … Continue reading Cottesloe, Perth

Western Australia Long Course Swimming Championship

Last week I took the kids out of school so that they could compete in Western Australia's Long Course Swimming Championships. All three kids qualified, and since I am THAT mom, you know, the one who thinks swimming is as important as school, (if not more important)  we took off Sunday morning for a 5 … Continue reading Western Australia Long Course Swimming Championship