Friday, September 27, 2013

Snapshots of the Week

Highway side goat/sheep market
Potty training in Ikea parking lot!
We visited the new El Chico at the other Aramco camp!
The manager helped make the experience festive for us!!!
Not like El Chico back home but better than nothing!! :)
Highway side watermelon stand
Reading letters from back home.
SO happy to see a Razorback picture that needed coloring!!  Thanks Aunt Georgia and Uncle Josh!
Digging into another package full of goodies!!!  Thanks Nammie!
This girl loves her some Selfies!! : )
Diva in the making
 Not a cat person... but hard to resist a good snuggle!!!
 Love our lunch time hugs!!!!
 My kids are such lovers these days... Ethan has mastered giving out hugs!!
 Group hug!!!  Melts my heart... and makes the reality of having to prep and clean up 3 meals a day much easier to handle!
Sophie likes to cuddle up for a good book!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Addyson's Water Day

Addyson's class and the other preK 4 classes had Water Day at school today.  She was excited to get to wear her swimsuit with flip flops and packed a bag with her towel and goggles... she insisted on the goggles!  She was ready to go!
I also go to go participate in Water Day and helped out at the different stations.  I love being able to go help at the school and get a brief sneak peak into Addyson's little world!  She is always singing the songs they sing throughout the day and talks about their circle time and this morning I got to be a part of it all!!!
There were several fun stations set up and the teachers took the students around to all of the stations to explain what each one was before turning the kids loose to have fun.
Addyson is making her colorful coffee filter (this is a project Owen did last year at his school and was so excited about it that he made us buy coffee filters so he could show Addyson how to make them at home.... and now Addyson is a pro.... although she goes a little heavy on the coloring! ; )  )
There was a pool set up with fishing rods for the kids to go fishing.... another Brewster favorite.  Her is Addyson's whole class around the pool!!!  A good looking international bunch!
A bubble blowing station.  Addyson with her friend Celine.
A painting station
Look at that concentration as she works on her masterpiece! : )
A couple of swimming pools... she knew she'd need her goggles!!! : )
There were also several bins set up with different activities like fishing out small objects, objects that sink and float, and objects that squirt water.
Once all of the stations were explained, there were a couple more that I missed like painting with water on the ground, chalk, and a no splash pool, the kids were free to do as they wish.
Here is a picture of the whole playground area!  This area is used for the preK3 and preK4 classes.  It is amazing.  And today there was SO much fun to be had!!!!  I love that it is covered and I don't have to worry about her getting burnt while playing at school!  Such a great school with so many fun activities for the kids!
I think Addyson's favorite part about the painting station was washing off the paint with the sponge and water hose!!!  Her teacher and teacher's aide are great!  Ms. Heidi and Ms. Nancy are great at involving the kids and interacting with them!  Addyson is blessed to be in their class this year!
School is 3 hours long for her and the kids spent the whole time outside playing!  It was awesome.  I had to leave a bit early so I missed out on the popsicles and popcorn but I heard the snacks were the perfect ending to water day!!!
What a fun day for the kids!!!  Thank you teachers for planning such a fun event!

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's a Shark, It's a Sting Ray, It's a......

Along our area of beach there are know bull sharks and sting rays that swim out past the buoys and I have been really hoping to see some!  We can't wait to get our stuff in so we can take our kayak out and go exploring!  This morning while we were swimming, I saw something big in the water moving and I got excited.  I started to get close to it to figure out what it was and I told Brad I thought it was a sting ray so I ran out to get my camera!
 Brad starts taking pictures and draws the attention of the lifeguards on the beach.  It is their job to keep us safe so they needed to know which creature was swimming among us.  The brave life guard dove down to check it out..... it's a shark.... no, it's a sting ray.....
NO, its just a towel!  
Oh geez!!!  What a laugh we got out of that one!!!!  Gotta love litter and the entertainment it provides!  Folks, I promise I know what a sting ray looks like... in my defense let me say that it was covered with sand on the top so it looked gray and it was really windy today so the waves where making the uncovered parts "flap" like a sting ray would showing the white on the bottom of its body... which is why I thought it was a sting ray... and my anxious mind hopeful to see one probably played tricks on me!!!  Next time I'll be sure to check things out before drawing the attention of a crowd!!! ; )

Last Day of the Holiday Weekend

Our holiday weekend started with the kids and I enjoying a morning at the beach while Brad had to work.  I knew that morning that I wanted to bring him here with us to enjoy the beautiful scene so that's just what we did on our last morning of the holiday weekend!!!  And it was beautiful!!!
THIS is what our adventure is all about..... time together as a family enjoying all of the many blessings that surround us and taking full advantage of all of the opportunities that we are presented with!  I don't want to leave this experience with any regret of what we should have done or didn't do!
Mornings don't get much sweeter than this!!!
So here is a bit of honesty.... I try to keep the blog upbeat as that is how I try to look at things but, there is also the reality of the fact that what we are doing is really hard!  Picking your family up and moving across the world to a place that is REALLY hard to live in and leaving behind your family and friends isn't for the faint of heart.... that's why not everyone is doing what we are doing.  There are times that I've questioned, "What on earth have we done?!?!" but it is really just me.... everyone else in my family "seems" to be adjusting fine.  Brad is busy at work and really enjoys what he does.  The kids all love their school and are making friends.  That just leaves me back at home trying to figure out where I fit in to this equation and on camp all while trying to juggle the logistics of moving, unpacking, getting settled, paperwork for the kids, worrying about the kids.... you get my point.  I forgot how hard it is to make friends.... especially for someone like me who is not super outgoing in the beginning (those that know me well find that hard to believe but that is because once I'm friends with you, I'm super outgoing but until then... I'm the opposite)..... I forgot that finding a true friend that "gets you" takes time.  I left behind some amazing friends in Arkansas and starting over hasn't been so easy..... really, it has sucked!  With that being said, I think I tried to jump into finding a "best friend" to quickly.  I was wanting to find that best friend so bad that I think I was willing to settle.  Looking back, it reminded me of being 20 and all of my friends were getting married and I SO desperately wanted the same that I was willing to settle.... afraid that what I had was the best I would ever get.... but thankfully I took a step back and realized that the relationship I was involved in wasn't 100% of what I wanted.... and I learned that good things/ relationships come to those that wait for it.... wait for the perfect timing, the perfect person to walk into your life.  Thanks to Brad, he helped bring me back down to reality and reminding me that what is important most right now is US.... our family adjusting to this adventure.... friends will come.... naturally.... no need to force need to settle...... so..... I need to just sit back and enjoy the ride..... good things come to those that wait.... heck, I waited another 6 years to find Brad.... I waited 3 years for this adventure to happen.... and already, as I type this, I find myself surrounded by friends here on camp! :)
No more worrying about what others think.... others who don't even know who I am..... others you judge without fully understanding..... others who want to criticize what I write or say....others who want to comment on what I wear or don't wear... others who have different opinions than my...... no more wasting my time thinking about that.... thinking about that has really driven me to the brink of insanity..... Where do I want to put my time in energy?!?!  Where it matters most!
With my husband and coming up with a plan on what we want out of this day, this month, this year.  With my children, to teach them about the world/ culture around us and accepting and understanding people and our similarities and our differences.  With friends that want the same out of this experience as we do.  With family and friends back home to maintain the relationships we do have with the people that love and support us.  In my home, and getting it set up to where we all feel loved and welcomed in it and where it is inviting to others.  And in this new country we live in, to try my best to understand it and experience it to the fullest!
It is funny how my brain works.... I why over analyze the negative interactions which leads me to forget about some of the positive ones (and let me say, I'm really talking about some interactions I've had with people and not really experiences we've had as a family).  All my negative worrying had me forget about one of the best compliments I received lately..... A lady on camp told me she was very impressed with how I was embracing my experience here.  She commented on the fact that I've only been here and month and a half and I've totally jumped into life here in Saudi more than she's seen out of people that have been here for several years!  I've been car shopping, grocery shopping, signed up for Arabic class, interacting with the locals, and taking full advantage of what is around us.  At times, as a mom, you feel like you never are doing enough... you could always do more.... but that compliment reminded me that I AM doing a lot and doing the best I can for my family and I as we make our new home in the Land of the Sand.... could I do more... of course... but then I'd really make myself crazy... so why focus on more.... it is all about QUALITY NOT QUANTITY, right?!?!.... thank you for that compliment... I needed that!
This holiday weekend was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me but one I needed... you have to hit a wall to figure out how to get around it, right?  So now, I start the week with a new perspective.  With my eye on the prize.  Thankful for a long weekend with my family and a small break from the craziness of Saudi and start this week refreshed and ready to take a new approach to life on camp!
Life really is good.... you just have to choose to focus on the good!!!!

Saudi National Day

The Saudi National Day (Al-Yaoum-al-Watany,اليوم الوطني) is celebrated in Saudi Arabia on every 23 of September. This day represents the nation's identity and is greatly associated with the unification of the country by the late king Ibn Saud in the year 1932.  We had plans to go to our fruit stand this day and we got to experience a bit of the celebration.  There were signs like this all over town, people wearing green and white, and lots of people with lots of commotion... like yelling out of their car windows.  For us, it meant a day off from work and school with the rest of the country.  I hope to learn more about Saudi and their culture the longer we are here and maybe next year I can speak more about this national holiday!
Our main reason for going into town was to take our fruit stand guys some sugar cookies we made this morning.  They are also SO sweet to the kids (and Brad and myself) giving them bananas every visit to eat while we shop and offering us other fruits to try.  We love our weekly trips to visit them and wanted to give back a bit!  And it was a nice treat that the day we had planned to bring them goodies was a holiday for them!
Addyson was so excited to take the guys our yummy treat!  This is the guy that we do our shopping with and there are other guys around (about 3 main ones) that interact with the kids while we are there.  The other guys ate half of the cookies while we were shopping!  I was happy to see that...... see, I'm really weird.... I think my cooking is good until I have to share it with others and then I loose all confidence so I was so worried they'd think the cookies were yucky and then I'd be too embarrassed to ever go back..... SO glad that wasn't the case!!  When will I ever learn to have a little faith in what I do?!?!
Happy Saudi National Day!