Saturday, May 30, 2009


The other night I was busy working in the kitchen fixing our supper. We were having my Romanian version of Alfredo sauce over spaghetti with cajun flavored chicken and some broccoli thrown in for a veggie, along with some rather yummy garlic bread (even if I do say so myself:)
Everything was going quite well, I had the sauce already made, the water for the pasta was boiling (finally) and the chicken was just about finished cooking. It was time to warm the sauce so that it would be hot to put over the noodles. Since both front burners were in use I went to light one of the back burners (you have to light all of them, including the oven with a match) Since I haven't done a lot of cooking here I had never tried to use this particular burner before. I turned the burner on, moved the pot out of the way so that I could get to the burner and put the lit match next to it and..... KAABBOOOOOM!!!!! the blast hit me in the chest, Curtiss (who was in the other room) said that the windows rattled (he came out to the kitchen rather quickly:)
I don't remember ever being told not to light this burner before (but I probably was since it has been several months since I have been here to use it) but when Curtiss came out he said he vaguely remembered it not working before. Anyway, the burner itself might not light but it does get gas cause it blew. There was a fire somewhere underneath the stove top and I turned all the burners and the oven off (before Curtiss even made it into the room, I was fast:) and the fire went out. After waiting a few minutes (and after Curtiss turned the gas off completely and then back on) I very nervously lit one of the burners and supper was a great success :) But I won't ever use that burner again and Curtiss has now insisted that we get a new stove cause to quote him "That things gonna blow up one of these days!"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Plus-and-Plus = Equals

Esther + Chocolate Fountain + Marshmallows = a very happy sticky little Princess
Jesse + Hide-and-Seek + Blanket = Big Smiles
We did have a slight problem taking pictures when we were playing hide-and-seek though, he thought it was a lot of fun to hide from the camera. So if I couldn't capture a still of him then I would capture him on video.
(I thought you would enjoy this Joanna)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Picture My World

Other wise known as the bathroom

is going to be the first room in the house that I tell you about.
Yes, we do have indoor plumbing (for which I am very thankful)
and we have one of the two water heaters in the whole apartment building
(at least as far as we know, something else I am truly thankful for)
The shower and toilet complete the list of things for a working bathroom
(in most American minds anyway)

The bathroom also holds the reason for this room being the first on the picture my world list.


Why is it the first you might ask?
Well, because the washer is an adventure every time we use it.

As you can see from the picture it really is most interesting, this was probably a week ago when my mother in law and I were trying to get the laundry done and I opened up the washer after it had finished it's cycle and my feet got all wet.

As you can see it is a front loading washer
(which most washers are here since there isn't much extra space in any ones home and there is usually something above the washer, in our case the water heater)
and it never drained so we got to wash the floor as well as the clothes,
such a handy multi use machine :)

So we tried to find the spot on the dial that was suppose to drain and ended up with a VERY full machine.

That line across the top, do ya see it?
that is where the water was.
It was so full that water was coming out of the drawer that you put the soap in.
Any way we ended up getting our laundry out (eventually)
and now every time we put a load in we wonder "what's it going to do this time???"
Today Curtiss called someone who fixes them and he is going to be coming sometime Monday or Tuesday to see what needs to be done with it.
In the mean time I have all the laundry done
(I only washed the floor one more time while using it:)
and we shall see what happens now.

I have a slight problem...

It is booksale time again... and with it comes the hastle of trying to fit all the new books in with all the old books, and sometimes it can be quite the task. As you can see in the picture above that the end of my bed is already quite full, and now I have a whole new stack of books to try and fit in. Maybe I should start stacking them three books high, or maybe I should just go and buy myself a bookshelf.

(Joanna the rest of these pictures I posted mostly for you, I knew you would enjoy seeing what I got.)

The best "catches" of the day.

Three books by one of my favorite authors.

These three I call my "just because books." I bought them "just because" they looked interesting.

The oldest book I bought, Printed in 1851 with a inscription on one of the front pages dated 1856. I wonder who Mary Davis was???

Here are all my Treasures. Beautiful aren't they???

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Friday, May 22, 2009

All By Ourselves

Yep, Curtiss and I are on our own here now. We drove Mom and Dad to the airport yesterday and we found out this morning that they had a safe trip and are now visiting with Daniel, Whitney and of course Baby Nate for a few days. We had a safe and interesting drive through the Romanian countryside yesterday both on our way to the airport and on our way back.
Let's try and make a list of unusual things we saw, One truck tipped on it's side in the ditch, it must have gotten to close to the side when it was going up the hill and over it went.
Two VERY rusty, VERY dented 55 gallon drums being filled with gas.
I don't remember how many near head on collisions we saw, (but then again that is a fairly usual thing to see around here)
Many, Many construction sites where one or both sides of the road were closed. Romanian road construction is always very interesting and most of the time incomprehensible. Ok, picture this you are driving down a main road and you get to a constuction site and you wait your turn to go through (by a red light or a man holding a little ping pong paddle with a red and green side) Not too unusual your thinking right?
but then you go half a mile and there is another section that is all torn up and being worked on. And so on it goes every few miles or so there is another section of road with either one side or the other torn up or perhaps both are and then you have some kind of by-pass that you need to go through. One time yesterday we went through a site that had both sides of the road torn up and they had us drive through the parking lot and by the gas pumps of a working gas station. Now where do you see that in the U.S.? Life is never dull around here, there is always something happening that makes life interesting.
Today Curtiss and I are taking it easy after spending most of yesterday on the road and we are also getting ready for church on Sunday and doing a little laundry (well Curtiss is doing the church prep and I am doing the laundry:)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh Brother-in-laws, Thou Art Weird!

What can I say, I love my brother-in-laws, but sometimes they are a little strange. Now I can't say anything against them, because I am a "little strange" myself. But I think that these pictures will prove that my brother's-in-law are a little bit weird!

Celery wrapped in a pancake... Yes, that is what he is eating. Now this concoction was kind of my fault since I am the one that gave Curtiss all the celery. But I did not have him eat them together, I may say that that was completely his idea.

Joanna's face is priceless... She looks really weirded out!

I think he looks rather proud of his concoction.

Josh said he fell into my closet and this is how he came out... I don't think the closet was completely responsible though. Maybe I should ask Joanna if I should give him that bath robe to him for is birthday, I think it fits him very nicely.

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Our Address

I added the address for Curtiss and I here in Romania on the side panel of the blog for those of you who might want the info :)
I will add it again here so that you don't need to go looking. If any of you do send anything please make sure that you copy the address exactly or else it won't make it ;)

Fam. Archer, Charles

sat Bretea Romana

bl.1 sc. B, et.1, ap.9

Judet HD, Romania

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Picture My World

I got enough "GOOD IDEA" comments from everybody that I thought I couldn't let you all down now :) After thinking about it, I decided that the best place to start would be where I live while on this side of the pond :)

(pronounced bloke)

This is the apartment building where we own a small, three room apartment.
Consisting of:
one living room
one bedroom
one den/family room
a kitchen
and hallway connecting it all.

It is about 700 square feet and is considered large for living space here.
In the picture above you can see our porch where the clothes are drying on what we would consider the second floor.

It is the only apartment building in the village and is right in the middle of the town,
it is hard to see from the picture below but the other side of the apartment building is the town park. This spring we got permission from the mayor to care for and spruce it up so that everyone can enjoy it.
In previous years the only time it had the grass cut was when someone wanted it for hay.

The people here have no idea/no desire to care for much of anything that isn't their own
(and all too frequently they don't care for that)
So it is a very different idea for them to see someone picking up and caring for something that if they don't have to.

(Next time I will move inside the building:)

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Quick Hello

Howdy from Bretea Romana Romania. I just had to share the wonderful, wonderful news.

Are you ready????

Ok, here goes.

We have FAST internet!!!!

Exciting isn't?

Well, I think it is.
Curtiss and I were so excited when we learned that fast internet was available in the village a few months ago. But knowing the way that things are here we didn't really hold our breath that it was completely true.
I mean what is fast? does that mean it is just faster than what we already had?
Which, by the way, took a good 2-5 minutes just to load a simple page
even longer if you wanted a few pictures to load.
A small video clip? forget it, it will just stutter it's way through if it does anything.
And don't forget that the connection might space out at any point and you have to start all over again.

Last summer I tried several times to have voice chat
(don't even bother with a webcam)
with my family and we got it to work a couple of times,
(that was after trying for an hour and a half)
and then it would die and we would have to try again or just give up and type everything.
(which isn't the easiest when you are trying to plan a wedding:)
Don't get me wrong, we were very thankful that we had any but that doesn't mean that we won't celebrate now that it is even better :)

Curtiss and I are like kids with a new toy,
we'll just smile at each other and say "did you see how fast that went???"
We can't wait to get on the computer.

Anyway, I thought you might all enjoy a small glimpse into some of the way of life here
I was thinking of having a special (maybe weekly) post called
"Picture My World"
where I would have a post about some aspect of life here that might interest all of you.
Whether it be some kind of food, what traveling is like or maybe what it's like to cook on a stove that has no temperature gauge.
What do you think? Would it interest you?
Let me know and I start working on it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Be Funky

What can I say this is one of my newest favorite things to do. It is so easy and it is cool to see some of the effects that you can do, and the best news is that is doesn't cost a thing. Sarah introduced me to the website and I am forever hooked. It is

I thought it would be a fun way to share some pictures with Joanna while she is on the other side of the world.

This one of Curtiss and Joanna is one of my favorites

I wish I could paint like this

It is also a cool way to save fuzzy pictures, this picture was quite fuzzy and now it looks pretty good.

It is also a fun way to show my patriotic side.

Even Dad and Mom can get Funky. ;)

Monday, May 11, 2009

We Made It

Hey everybody! I thought it had been long enough for all of you to know whether we made it safely or not. Obviously since I am writing this I must still be alive :)
Curtiss and I had a good but very tiring trip. We left our home in S--- last Tuesday morning and met my parents, siblings and friends in B--- to have a goodbye lunch at a local diner. From there we headed south so that we could spend a couple of days with Curtiss's brother and family. They live near D.C. so Wednesday we all headed to the subway and spent the day sightseeing in the city. We had a really good time going through a couple of the museums there, we went to the Haulocaust Museum and half of the American History Museum.
Thursday we headed t0 the airport about 1:30 in the afternoon and made it through checking in and security fairly quickly. We loaded on time and thought we were going to be leaving on time until the co-pilot came on the speaker saying that we had to go back to the gate because of some mix up with luggage. We got back to the gate and they took a few peices of luggage off the plane and then we headed out again only to be told that no planes were taking off (atleast not going the way we were) due to weather in N.Y.C. SO we ended up sitting on the ground in the plane for two hours before actually getting in the air. After that everything went well, we had a long enough lay over in Germany so that we didn't miss our connecting flight and we got to Romania at about 1:30 Friday (that would be Romanian time, which is 7 hours ahead of the U.S. east coast) we then had a three hour trip from the airport to the apartment. By the time we got here we were both beat and were in bed by 9:00 and slept (for the most part, I was awake for a couple hours in the middle of the night) until 11:00 the next morning.

Now we are slowly but surely getting adjusted to the time change and getting settled in.
I have to go now, as we are going into the city this afternoon to get a few things done that we need to do. I'll try and update again soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name

Last night at Prayer and Praise I wasn't feeling much like blessing the name of the Lord, in fact I just wanted to go to bed. After saying our goodbyes to Joanna and Curtiss earlier that day, I was just feeling down. And as I was sitting in the G---'s home I wasn't really thinking much about anything. But after having someone toss me a penny and whisper, " A penny for your thoughts." I started to half heartily think about what is was I was feeling, I was feeling sorry for myself. Well I was sitting there twirling the penny in between my fingers we started to sing, "Blessed Be Your Name" and as the room began to fill with the sound of music, I realized that blessing God's name is a choice, in the good and the bad times we have to make that choice. And as we sang, "You give and you take away, You give and you take away, my heart will choose to say Lord, Blessed be your name." I was able to make that choice of blessing God even when I didn't feel like it.
So to that someone who tossed the penny, "Thanks for tossing it."
Blessed Be Your Name
By Matt Redman
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name