Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

This year we celebrated our first Christmas in Saudi Arabia and for me (Che), my first Christmas away from my family. It was a lot quieter than usual but it was a great, relaxing and wonderful day!

We set out all the presents the night before. The kids big presents are two bikes hidden behind the tree and their chairs from Pottery Barn Kids. I have always wanted to buy them these chairs and just never wanted to spend the money on them. With them now sharing a room with the arrival of Baby #3 I thought it would sweet for them to have matching chairs to have a reading space in their room and help tie the colors/theme together in there. 

We did our note to Santa and put reindeer food out front before they went to bed and they both went to sleep so quickly and were up and ready to open their gifts. 

I got some nice headphones to use on the airplane. With flying as much as we do I was tired of using the ones they give you on the plane. I was excited to use them the next day when we flew home to Washington!

We then had breakfast and the kids played and played and played while we cooked and prepared desserts and other sides for our Christmas dinner with friends later.

We had Christmas dinner with our core group of friends here, our family here and it was a great evening of absolutely delicious food (we have some good cooks in our group) and hanging out with people that mean so much to us and our support here and our family.

A wonderful Christmas Day spending the day celebrating the birth of Jesus, our family and being so full of thankfulness for the community we have here!

And then it was off to bed because the kids and I were flying to Washington the next day!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Activities

With it being our first Christmas away from the States it was nice to try and bring some Christmas cheer and activities to our life here while keeping out the materialism and never ending advertising. I loved being able to celebrate and reflect as a family on the real reason for Christmas without fighting the shopping frenzy. We did make sure to include fun festive Christmas activities.

Our Elf Noodle arrived back from the North Pole…..

And he brought the kids new Christmas PJs that I managed to pick up in October at the Gymboree here :)

We took a trip to Bahrain for the weekend to finish up Christmas shopping without the interruption of prayer and loved listening to Christmas music in the stores, a winter wonderland and enjoying the Christmas atmosphere.

John and I took the time while in Bahrain….and the hotel baby sitting service….to go out for dinner!

We spent lots of time as a family and soaking up time together since I was heading to Washington shortly. These two are such good friends and it is such a sweet phase of life watching their relationship grow.

Another weekend was Visitor from the North put on by a group on camp. It is always so well done and this year was no exception. They decorated the theater in a winter wonderland, have junior high students dressed as elves as helpers and of course Santa who gives each kid an age/gender appropriate gift. Of course both kids had no fear about seeing Santa and were full of requests and conversation!

We decorated gluten free sugar cookies! It is a family tradition that I had growing up to decorate cookies so we had to continue it. I did find that gluten free cookies break a whole lot easier so we didn't have too many left that were able to be decorated but the kids had a blast!

A wonderful Christmas season and thankful to be able to include so many traditions and also still experience the Christmas atmosphere being so close to Bahrain! A busy and fun month!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Graham's First Trip to the ER

It was bound to happen sometime and thankfully it took over 2.5 years for us to have to make a trip to the ER with Graham. And even more thankful it wasn't more serious. 

So….what happened….we had come home from the Visitor at the North event where the kids get to see Santa and they get a present each. At our house we have two living areas, a nice living room that the kids never play in and we only use with friends and for John and I to relax and then their playroom where we are almost all the time. We decided to let them open their new presents in the nice living next to the Christmas tree and enjoy a nice family afternoon in front of the tree. Well, we also have these two cube ottomans that have a soft top or you can flip over for a wooden tray top for drinks. They are always on the soft side but we had our coffees in there and had one flipped over. Graham decided to crawl around of the couch, lost his balance and bam….hit right above his eye on his eyebrow right on the edge of the tray. It was loud and bloody. Thankfully we were able to get the bleeding to stop surprisingly fast and look at it and see it was a deep one and would need stitches. So, we got everyone ready and headed to the ER.

He was such a pro waiting and being strong and letting them look and then we had to start the procedure. It was horrible. They had to use a sheet to bind him to hold him down and he was so scared and just keeping pleading with me, "mommy, please tell them to stop, please let me go, please stop touching me." It was rough. Thankfully they had one person holding his legs, one holding his head and I was at his arms while the doctor worked. He was crying so hard, I started getting teary eyed and I was so thankful when he was done…four stitches later. 

He is such a sweet boy though and when the doctor was done he said, "Thank you doctor for fixing me, Merry Christmas." That statement shows so much about his heart and how kind, loving and appreciative he is. He has done great in letting me put new tape on it and didn't have very much bruising. I did make John hold him down when they removed the stitches which ended up being worse than when they put them in because he knew what was happening. Thankfully it is past us and now we just have scar management to tackle. He has a pretty brutal scar where it was but we have been putting on scar cream and then also making sure to have sunscreen or a bandaid over it when he goes outside to keep the sun off of it. The doctor said that keeping sun away from it was key. Thankfully we are heading to Washington and that shouldn't be a problem but I know it will be work in Saudi….I am praying it isn't too bad and heals up nicely. 

Poor guy and praying that there aren't too many more visits to the ER in our future…..

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Visiting the Duck Pond

Both Peyton and Graham's schools scheduled field trips to the Duck Pond. They were supposed to be a couple of weeks apart however weather delays and rescheduling caused them to be the same week. And, Peyton did't have school due to a broken water pipe and flooding on the day Graham's class went so she got to come with him which he loved.

Unfortunately because of some serious bad rain and flooding we had the weeks prior it was more a of mud pond but either way the kids had a blast and loved it. A fun (couple of days) at the duck pond!