Saturday, September 29, 2012

Super Hero Friends

We have been blessed with a great diverse group of friends here in Saudi and I found it pretty amusing that probably two of our closest friends here both had Super Hero Birthday parties! I loved also that one of them were old and dear friends that we have done life with for years and the other being friends that mean the world to us here and I love that they are from Washington state so there is hope that we can continue to all live in the same place!

The first Super Hero party was for Peyton's friend Gavin. We always love getting together with the Perry family and had such a fun time at the party! Peyton was so incredibly excited to see Gavin and insisted on hiding and surprising him! 

Gavin's mom is so incredibly crafty, creative and went all out! We have a laugh almost every year how all our party planning ideas started during a drive to Palm Beach in Galveston with the kids while we were talking about their upcoming first birthday. It is fun to watch us both have so much fun with being creative in our kids parties! She had personalized capes for every kid that greeted everyone as they came in. Peyton still loves her cape with a "P" on it! 

Graham wasn't too sure about wearing the cape but we came prepared with a super hero shirt that has a velcro cape on the back. He never noticed that it was there! He had a great time with his friends and it is so nice that we are at an age with him where he goes and does his thing and is more independent and it is nice to watch him play with friends his age.

Lindsey makes the most amazing cakes. As soon as Peyton saw Gavin's cake she came up to me and told me that his cake was so cool and asked why she didn't have a three level cake at her birthday party. I just responded that all moms are good at different things and that making cakes was not my thing. Maybe one year I will get my act together and not try to deal with a cake the night before and surprise her....or order one from someone much more creative than me and surprise her.

There were tons of games which were so much fun to play including jumping over lava, the bat cave, and spraying silly string at villains and a piƱata but the best part was spending time with friends and celebrating a great friend! 


A couple of weeks after this Super Hero party we had another one celebrating our friends two little boys who were turning one and three. It was filled with so many friends and kids of all ages and it was a blast! 

She had a photo booth set up with props for all the families to get their picture...I am not included in the picture as I am the one taking the pictures!

The kids got to make their own capes and decorate them. We are certainly obtaining a large cape collection!

One of the best parts of the party was trying to free the super hero from ice. The kids had water guns and tried to melt the ice. They had so much fun! 

We have been super busy with birthday parties since these and they were the perfect way to kick off birthday party season. I love celebrating kids birthdays and are so incredibly thankful for the great friends our kids and us have here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I live here....

Since just saying....we live in Saudi Arabia doesn't exactly narrow things down when describing where we live, I saw this map on Facebook that a friend shared and thought I would share it here....

So....this is where I live.....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Our First Visitor to Saudi

Just after Peyton's birthday we welcomed our first visitor to Saudi, John's mom and the kids Grandma Martha! Peyton had been looking forward to it so much and was even more excited that she would be sleeping in her room. Despite almost missing her connecting flight into Bahrain and then her bags not making the flight and showing up a couple of days later, the flight went well and she got here safely! She flew into Bahrain and John went and picked her up and helped her go through the customs process on the causeway as opposed to the Saudi airport which is a little more overwhelming especially when you have never been over here. The next morning the kids both woke up to a wonderful surprise and were so excited!

We spent the next couple of weeks showing her our life here, taking her along to swimming lessons, ballet, the beach, the coffee shop and what our life is around camp. Martha and I went out one night on the shoppers bus without kids to give her a taste of the mall and shopping here with the prayer schedule and differences. I enjoyed the time just to ourselves to catch up and spend time together without the distractions of kids. One evening we went out as a family to the souks and a store called Desert Designs to look for some souvenirs for Martha to take home.

We also took a trip to Bahrain to show her the difference between shopping in Saudi and in Bahrain as well as visit our favorite breakfast place. We also spent the next weekend overnight in Bahrain and visited the Grand Mosque which was educational for everyone.

I really did an awful job in getting pictures while she was here. I know that Grandma Martha did so I will have to get them from her later! 

A quick trip but we were very thankful for the time together and that she was able to come over. It was so much nicer and easier to have her visiting us than to try to manage a trip down to Texas with our crew! We are hoping more family will be visiting us in the future....hint...hint!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Day of School

After about two weeks of being back, the start of the new school year for Peyton finally started. She misses the school cut off date by 4-5 days and so she didn't get to go to the PreK4 (prekindergarten) class at the big school this year which we knew and although I loved her preschool/mothers day out last year, I thought it would be good for her to experience having to change teachers/classrooms and go through that one more year prior to real school. The school that she is going to this year has a long waiting list and we actually called last year when we arrived to make sure she had a spot this year. I have heard amazing things about it which helped make the decision to have her switch. What I also love is that the school is a short walk down the street and around the corner!  

Here she is on her first day of school. She was very excited and ready although she was not too willing or excited about getting her picture taken and this was the best I could get.

I went back and looked at last years picture to see how much she has changed and I have noticed that she has gotten so much taller and her face just looks more grown up.What has changed a bunch is how willing  she is to go to school. She is not only incredibly excited, she is also just completely fine with me leaving and runs right in. She has done that since the first day and is  having a blast. I have really seen her grow up when it comes to being away from me and knowing that I will come back and that it is alright to go off and have fun without me! Such a big difference! Looking forward to this year and preparing for big kid school next year!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Butterfly and Flower Brunch for the Birthday Girl

A couple of days after her birthday was the big birthday party! Now that she is at an age that she has many opinions about life in general she naturally had an opinion about her party. We started with an art party, then a mermaid/pirate party and finally settled on a Butterfly and Flower brunch because she said she loved breakfast foods.

It was kind of surreal to be spending our second birthday of hers in Saudi. Last year at her party we didn't have our shipment, and life here felt so new. What I love is that many of the friends that were at her third birthday were at her fourth which was a wonderful reminder at how thankful I am to have found a good group of friends for her (and us) so quickly!

Of course I brought almost everything from the States when I was home this summer. We decorated throughout the week in lots of pinks, purples, blues, oranges and bright!

The gift bags were so cute and I found them on sale at Michaels during the summer. The girls were felt pails with flowers on them and since I thought they should have pails instead.

We played several games...musical chairs and pin the petal on the flower but by the far the best activity was decorating your own flower pots and then adding dirt and a flower. It was fun to watch the kids decorate their flower pots and then see the excitement of having their own flower in them.

Graham even had a friend there and they sat at the small table and had a blast together. They really probably had more fun than some of the big kids. They were both so into all the games, sitting at their special table and just had a blast.

We enjoyed breakfast type foods and spending time with friends and then it was time for the birthday cake! 

We ended the party with a pinata which was Peyton's favorite part of the party and she 
was so excited and still talks about it!

We were so thankful that her friend Gavin was there to celebrate with us and it is always such a joy to see them together and watch them grow up together!

Our family....Happy Birthday Peyton! We had a great time celebrating your birthday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Peyton!

It absolutely shocked me that Peyton's birthday was already here. It seemed like just the other day we celebrated her third birthday (and first birthday in Saudi) and it was just another reminder at how much has changed in one year! 

This morning I gave her some birthday cards from the grandparents and then a stamp pad set and Chef costume gift that my friend Megan had sent her which I was hoping would entertain her for the rest of the day but instead.....

We celebrated her birthday during lunch time mostly because she couldn't wait any longer for her cake and presents. John was home for lunch and I didn't want to do another 4 hours of constant asking about her birthday! She helped me make a cake and ice and decorate it and then it was birthday time!

After her birthday we had her walk into her room to see her present....

Which was a doll house! John had went around and around while we were gone and got the doll house and all the pieces from several toy stores in Bahrain and Saudi and we set it up the night before and snuck it into her room during lunch time. 

We had a great day celebrating Peyton as a family and are so thankful for the four years we have had with her. She consistently brings so much laughter to our family! We love her confidence and boldness and she constantly amazes us with how much she knows and how mature she is. Being her parent and guiding her has been by far harder than we have ever anticipated but yet it has been so rewarding! We are so in love with you Peyton Pumpkin and look forward to this next year with you!