Saturday, November 29, 2014

Digging for Roses

A very cool geological formation called Sand Roses exist here under a certain portion of the desert a few hours from our house. We have wanted to go and dig for the "roses" since we got here, and we finally went last weekend. It took us a while to find it, but once we found the rusted-out, upside-down car, we hit the jackpot. Literally. Holes everywhere in this one area with roses already taken out of the ground. Dale insisted on starting his own hole in a different area as he didn't want to cheat. Notice the rusted car in the background.

The trip was great for the kids as there was pretty instant gratification in finding the roses. Once you dug about waist deep, you could feel around with your fingers and wedge them out. They are pretty fabulous to see. 

And then, the camels came to play. They were completely enamored with our group and super friendly. I love them so very much, but I do have this fear they will spit on me. I'm starting to think that is just not true as we see them all the time, and they never spit. Their herder also loved hanging out with us for a while. 

We brought home about 15 of those beauties and cleaned the sand out of the grooves to display all their loveliness. I'm sure this will be a yearly trip for us. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cold Hard Cash

Mom and dad made the difficult decision to head back to their home in Arizona after three months here in Saudi, and so we had to rearrange our plans of having Thanksgiving and Christmas together. Instead, we decided to throw them a Thankschristmagiving event at our house. Sean, Katherine and Augie came down, and we decorated the house, ate a whole turkey and had all the fixings. Not as good as the real thing, but it sure felt nice to have 2/3 of us together.

Mom and dad decided that, since they didn't have a Christmas present yet for Sojo, they would give her some of their Saudi money. The plan was that she could use it for Legos since that was what they were planning on giving her. If you could have seen her face when she saw the cash--it was priceless and quite possibly the coolest gift she has ever received. Totally gobsmacked. 

Not even how can we compete with that! 

Friday, November 07, 2014

Repurposing Yet Again

One thing I love about our family is how we can repurpose something and make it feel so special. Living in places where there aren't materials needed to make something or else no store to buy it at has made us pretty resourceful. I enjoy watching Sojo take pleasure out of something handmade and slightly wonky versus something purchased from a store.

Enter our latest project--the "new" basketball hoop outside our house. We noticed this awesome hoop set back in a little alcove down the street away from the houses, but we also noticed that no one has been using it. Well, except for one of our dear middle school boys who carries a basketball with him wherever he goes, and he takes a shot on the way back to school after lunch.

Dale and I decided to drag it back to our house and see if anyone said anything. We also asked a few neighbors to see if maybe it was theirs, but their kids had grown up and moved out or something. One neighbor laughed and said he and his friends had dragged it from another area on camp years ago, so we felt ok about repositioning it.

And what a hit it has been. From Sojo practicing her shots to tons of games of Horse with us to it now being the hangout place in the area for kids of all ages to come and have a good time, it's downright perfect. Just one more reason why this place reminds me of my own childhood. We played in the street all the time growing up. I distinctly remember moving out of the way when cars came up the road, only to start right back up again when they left.

And the diversity in this community is downright dreamy for me as a parent. In this photo alone, there are 5 nationalities represented with two more on the sidelines of the photo. So cool.