Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day trip to Bahrain.....

So since Brad and the kids were off of school and work this week we took a little trip to Bahrain with two other families. We had the best time. The Masons rode with us and we followed the Moselys. There wasn't much traffic on the causeway so we got there in record time. We went straight to Ric's, our favorite American restaurant in town. We got our fill of bacon and sausage since we can't get that here in Saudi. After we ate all we could, we drove over to the Gulf Hotel and checked it out. It's is super nice and we were all tempted to stay the night and if we had brought extra clothes, I know we would have. The pool was beautiful and so tempting! (There was some talk of a ladies' slumber party there at the Gulf when all the kids and guys are at Youth Conference) We headed to the Seef Mall and caught some movies. The choices weren't great for once. Whitney and I saw "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" or something like that- not great. The guys saw something else. We shopped around awhile then ate at Johnny Carino's. Delicious! More shopping at City Centre and some Cold Stone ice cream. Whitney had heard that Pinkberry was open there now but we could only find the sign that it was "coming soon". Cold Stone was just fine! It was such a nice day.
Here are a few scenes from the day:

Whitney outside the mall in front of the Johnny Carino's sign

All the kids relaxing at the Gulf Hotel

Evan posing with the newspaper man. (Notice he is holding Evan's hand in the picture. Haha Here that is just a friendly gesture. He was a nice guy and happy to pose with us!)

At the Grand Mosque posing behind some columns

Whitney and Tori by the Ric's sign

The whole group enjoying a good old American breakfast complete with all the pork we wanted!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A little spoiled?

Quote of the week: I think we are getting a little spoiled. We drove in the driveway last night and noticing that the light outside the garage was burned out, I commented that we needed to change it. Without a second thought, Brad says "Well, call maintenance." Uh...serious?? We both had a good laugh. "No, I'll change it tomorrow." (He really WAS serious until he realized how ridiculous that would have been.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009


If you would have told me last year that I would love to eat dates, I wouldn't have believed it. I'm not a very adventurous eater and I'd just never been introduced to dates before. But let me just say, they are delicious and very abundant here.

They are heavy on all the trees so the outside maintenence guys trim the trees and they just drop down in the street. Our friends gathered a bunch and brought them to church for whoever wanted them. We put them in a bowl and have been eating them all week. I did a little research and found that they are about 20 calories each. No wonder they taste like candy!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Sorry I haven't been doing very good at actually writing and giving information on my blog. Sometimes it's just easy to stick up pictures but that's just not the same.

* The kids are all back in school and things are going good. Whitney is taking "Beginning Guitar" at the Acadamy and she's really liking it and catching on. We took her to Rashid Mall and she picked out a nice acoustic guitar and a white strap with pink flowers! Evan is excited about Rock Band (not the game). At his school, there is an enrichment class called Rock Band where they learn the basics of some instruments and preform some music. He already had taught himself to play the guitar so he loved that class last year. This year he tried out for the after-school preforming Rock Band and got one of the lead guitar spots. He'll love that. (He still plays the trumpet in the regular band.)

* We've been having fun doing some actvities with friends. Some girl friends and I have decided to have a Phase 10 game day a few afternoons a month and we had the first one last week. Our ladies group from church also has a Lunch Bunch one day a month and Book Club one night a month. This month we read The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans. I didn't love the book but the discussion was fun and uplifting. Next month is Three Cups of Tea. I'm just getting started on that but think it'll be a winner.

* For those of you who don't know, this is the holy month of Ramadan here in Saudi Arabia. (well, in all Muslim countries) It's been SO interesting to witness. Basically, they fast all day then after the evening prayer, they feast! Brad says that the Muslims at work generally leave about one in the afternoon, go home and nap, then party with friends and family. The word 'party' has a whole different meaning here, though. No alchohol allowed in this country. They seem to just be out and about with friends and family enjoying themselves. The stores and malls all stay open until the middle of the night. We've been at nine or ten and things are just starting to liven up. We had heard about the Ramadan sales but haven't been that impressed. Brad did get his prescription glasses at a huge discount and that was good.

* We had a "girl's night out" to the Dhahran Mall the other night and that was so fun! Me and a few friends and Whitney and her friend, Tori went on the 9:00 bus and took the 11:00 bus back. I think we all got a pair of shoes. Whitney bought a pillow. Nothing too exciting as far as purchaces but lots of fun and laughter.

* When you move to Saudi Arabia, there is a whole lot of lingo that you have to learn that you've never heard before! One of those words is "eid". Everybody is always talking about what they are going to do "over the eid", etc....Actually there are two eids. One is the week after Ramadan from what I can gather and work and schools are closed. That will start next week so lots of people are planning trips, etc. I think we're gonna stay here and plan some little day trips and beach days, etc. For whatever the reason, the kids having a few days off school is always welcome! And it'll be fun to have Brad home, too.

* We got the kids rooms painted and they look really good. Whitney's is bright blue and Evan's is bright orange. And when I say bright, I mean bright! I'll get some pics up soon. I haven't yet because we don't have curtains up or anything so I want to wait until you can get the whole effect. A funny thing that happened the day the rooms got painted: We'd gone down to get the paint the night before and made arrangements for the painter (from the store) to come the next day. The guy we bought the paint from drove the painter to the house. (of course I had to go to the security gate and sign them in) The painter didn't speak English at all. Well, maybe a few the main guy dropped him off with his supplies and left him with me at the house for the day! (all the workers I have ever encountered here are super sweet and respectful and this one was no different) He of course was Muslim and fasting so I tried to eat my lunch in the living room, etc., so as not to make him hungry. So he basically painted all day long with no food, no water, no breaks, no trip to the bathroom, etc. We were amazed. So his boss called late in the afternoon to see if he was done. I went to check and realized that he'd been done for awhile and was just standing in the room! He would never have dreamed of coming out into our living area without being asked or even taking a seat in the rooms he was painting. So I invited him into the living room while he waited for his ride. Next thing I knew, he was sitting on the front steps in the 115 degree heat so I insisted he come in and sit. The kids were home by now and playing American Idol in the living room. I thought they'd get quieter with him in there but just the opposite. At one point, Whitney is blasting into the mike, "I tell you what I want, what I really, really want.....". That poor, poor man!! He smiled the whole time and was truly entertained. At one point they even offered him the microphone. He politely declined. I think he was very relieved when his ride got there and he could leave this home of wild, crazy Americans!

So ok, I feel better now that I've actually typed some stuff about our life as we know it! To all our friends and family, we miss you all, but we are doing fine!

* To Andrea- stop working so we can talk more! I can't solve the world's problems without you!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The road to Aramco.....

I decided to post some pictures of the drive into Aramco. It is honestly, well....not so pretty! Soon I will do a contrast post on how beautiful things are inside the compound. They really do a great job of keeping things nice and green. Anyway, this is what it looks like when we drive back home from Al-Khobar, the next town over.

....the highway, the security posts, the guard gates, some medical buildings, some workers....then we reach home, sweet, home!