Friday, December 21, 2007

Twas the Weekend before Christmas

But then again...every day feels like the weekend when you're unemployed. Sigh. Moving on, B, C and I all made it safely from CO to PA and are feasting on the sweet meats and salty treats of
the Shiffler home. Now, without further ado, pictures from CO:
This snowsuit is a bit big....

A pensive moment for Grandad

Two months young!

Chillin' like upstanding citizens

Happier than your baby

Robert Van Wagenen with I

She Bangs

Please send us money or jobs for Christmas-its the reason for the season.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A smile!

In other news, Brooke's looking for work within a couple of hours of either of our families. So we'll probably be either in the Denver area or the mid-Atlantic region. We'll be in Carlisle starting December 19.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hello, World!

Yes, we Van Shifflerens are still alive! Now that Isobel is one month old (gasp!) it's time for her to make her official blog debut. So, here she is:

If anyone still reads this pitifully neglected blog, it's probably somebody who already knows the details. But just in case:
Isobel Emeline Shiffler was born Oct 12 at 11:19pm here in Colorado Springs where she and I (Christina) are staying with Nana and Grandad. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 6.5 oz., and was 18.5 inches long. As my aunt Sarah once commented, isn't it funny how we're always declaring newborns' sizes? It's sort-of like the catch of the day or something.
And that was much funnier when she said it. Here's Isobel with her pacifier, which she seems to love more than life itself:

And here are a few more pictures, since we know that's what you really want:

If that doesn't satisfy your insatiable need for cuteness, you can check out "Stina's flickr" (see link to the right) for more, so much more. And for those of you who are worried that this is going to become one of those baby blogs, we have a little game. Of the following two pictures, one was taken in Kazakhstan and one was taken in the American West. Can you guess which is which?

In a related story, we have decided to move back to the U.S. That means we'll need to change the title of this here blog, and we're hoping to get some ideas from YOU. Yes, you.

Finally, here is a video of Isobel in Action:

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Taste in Your Mind

It's me-Brooke. and Christina. Here is a picture where it is really obvious that Christina loves that pink shirt.

We went to Restaurant Marrakesh for our anniversary. Nice atmosphere, nice couches, nice tiled walls, great Moroccan cuisine.

This monument celebrates the Soviet Union's victory over Germany in WWII. You say don't mess with Texas, I say don't mess with the guy walking across the street there.

One of these things is not like the other...These posters were everywhere around the time of the release. I think this is a new and improved clouseauesque look for Keira Knightley.

This is the taste in YOUR mind. Sounds like propaganda from Big Brother.

Tomorrow we arrive back in the good ol' USA for hamburgers, fries, shakes, and whiffleball. Looking forward to seeing (some of) you there. End of transmission.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Little Freshlia

It is mostly official that we are having a baby according to the Sun. So here is a little taste of tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, goodness that will shine a blinding ray of sunshine into your cubicle. or workstation. or "home".

You'll hafta crane your neck a bit to get a good look at her. Yep-you heard. Her. Girl. Female. In the picture on the right you can see her profile and arms and bumpy spine. She kind-of seems to be looking at her arms. Nothing much is recognizable in the picture on the left. This here is a picture of the picture of the ultrasound. That's because the nurse at the hospital didn't put our pictures on our CD correctly. Ironically her name is Кущкшгвкл.

This is me and some girl at the clinic for embarrassed couples. At least I don't look embarrassed. .........Possums...........

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Petrov's Panned Pizza

Welcome to our home. We have been feeding Dagny new catfood that claimed to give her XRay vision on the back of the box. Christina laughed. Now who's laughing?

Christina's obvious weight gain. She can't lay off the Magnum bars here. Obviously neither can Dagny.

This is our new piano named Petrov. He is brown and instead of feet, has two cute wittle gold pedals. He enjoys Radiohead, improvisation, quiet walks through the Almaty streets, milkshakes, and jumping rope.
Alicia Keys, comments about his weight, bungee jumping.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Germans and Mountains and Gluhwein

Guten Tag,

More than you know, it has become a blooming spring in Almaty. It is no longer a pale soviet gray with angry babuskas shoving children to the ground at supermarkets in order to get the last pound of beef tongue. Now, with the warm weather tempering their otherwise spiteful spirits, the babushkas are wearing short shorts and Rolling Stones tanktops much to everyone's chagrin. Mostly mine. I took a cable car to some foothills above the city with Andreas- a German landscape architect temporarily living in our building. Here is the view.

There was a yurt there.

Inside the yurt.

Another view.

And a carnival for the kids. And adults. And monkeys.

While we were there dombra music was playing on speakers cleverly hidden throughout the foliage.

Andreas says "Tschuss mein schatz". Till next time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Video Killed the Super Duper Pancake Batter

This week is full of surprises. Like BIG font. And secret links. We made a professional video that shows the glimmering lights on the Almaty new square and also me providing commentary. And a scary face at the end. IT was cold then. It is warm now. Enjoy the video.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fatty Fatty Fat Fat

This is me in MY office. Mine. Me. At MY desk. Mine. It's ugly. And that big fat calculator over there? Mine. Mein.

We witnessed a wedding party prancing by. Actually it was more like 5 wedding parties. Everyone in the city has their wedding photos at the exact same three locations.
This is Igor. He is waving to you.

Welcome to Almaty's Green Bazzarrrrrr. Its the place to come for all of your produce, spice, meat, cheese, clothing, electronics and other needs. Your need is currently for Central Asian Salads. Here you be:

Red, yellow and green. and orange too.

Meet your meat:

A video is forthcoming. Details, like angry elves, shall be posted later.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


This week marks the symbolic Kazakh new year called Nauryz. It's a non-religious Kazakh folk celebration of the vernal (spring) equinox and of the symbolic renewal of nature. So here is a picture of a shiny camel with tinsel-y flowers surrounding it which has something to do with the aforementioned holiday.

We do our grocery shopping in a mega superstore called Ramstore. Its mascot is a Kangaroo because there were probably once carnivorous kangaroos who roamed the steppe hungry for the taste of human flesh. And then the villagers got scared and formed an angry mob intent on wiping out the 'roos and they suceeded. I mean have you ever heard of a carnivorous Kazakh Kangaroo?

Here is a yurt. Its like yogurt without the "o" and the "g". We went to a craft fair and saw one set up. We didn't go inside for fear that they had those kangaroos in there.

Even though we didn't go in the yurt, we did buy this fine wall-hanging.

This is the Almaty Opera house interior. We took it the night we went to see Turandot.

That is all for now. If you want more, you'll have to send us a package. Then you shall have more than you can stomach.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Black Cats and Turandot

Greetings party people in the place to be. I am called Brooke. Please hand over your monies in a paper or plastic bag or I'll sick Crispy on you so fast it will make our head spin.
We took a walk today to see some of the older parts of the city and the Almaty Ballet and Opera Theatre. We are going to see my favorite opera, Turandot, this Thursday at the said location. Christina tried to keep it a secret, but I am simply too wily for her. I am also too wily for that homeless guy who tried to get me to buy him Vodka-snap!
Here's me with Fatty-D.

One of the mostly walking streets in Almaty

The Almaty Theatre

O Solo Mio

In other'll have to wait.