Sunday, December 18, 2011

Catch up....

I really need to get better at posting on our blog. I take pictures and think of things I want to post but just don't get around to it. Then I end up having to do "catch up" posts like this one here.

Several weeks ago we purchased a 51" Plasma TV for the family but as you see here it has mostly been used for football.....When Gavin has a chance, this is his favorite position and place to be. Right in front of the TV, remote in hand and either watching football or UFC in HD TV. Typical male!!!!
Nicole has grown into quite the beautiful young woman. I can't believe how grown up she is. Yes, she is allowed to wear a little makeup but doesn't really need it. She is absolutely gorgeous.
On Thanksgiving morning I (Coree) had to coach the middle school volleyball team at a tournament on Aramco and actually was able to come home and bake two pies before heading back to Aramco for our Thanksgiving dinner with some friends. Jonny's "girlfriend" Monique and her family invited us to have Thanksgiving with their family. Her father is from America and her mother is Lebanese but lived in America for several years. She has quite a bit of family here so we were able to join them all for Thanksgiving. It was awesome. Unfortunately, we didn't take pictures but we had some great food, great conversation, and made some new friends.
Nicole was so anxious to get an Abaya. Girls aren't required to wear them until they become of child bearing years (what we would call puberty). She is at that age where she doesn't have to wear one but still felt uncomfortable not wearing it. We don't have to wear the Bhurka (head dress) but she learned how to do it and came out dressed in the full attire. The real traditional women wear gloves and sunglasses as well.

Since the women here can only express themselves with their eyes, they pretty them up with lots of cool makeup. I have seen some gorgeous eyes here. Nicole doesn't need any makeup to make her eyes expressive.
A few weeks ago we were invited by Monique and her family to go sailing at the Aramco Yacht club. Aramcon's have some great benefits like their own private beaches where they can wear normal swimsuits. This was the Yacht club where only members who have boats can come. They can come pitch tents and camp if they wanted to. There were nice tables and bbq's along with a nice park, and restaurant. It was a beautiful sunny day with just the right amount of wind and temps in the high 80's. Perfect for sailing.
Gavin has always had a dream of buying a sailboat so this really was a highlight for him. Hopefully he will be asked to help crew for some of the members here.
It really was a perfect family day which we all enjoyed.
Not sure what these two faces are but they don't express how they really felt.
We got out into the bay (Half Moon Bay) and were escorted by a pod of dolphins. It was so cool. You always hear how dolphins enjoy leading ships and we actually were a part of it. There were about 6 - 8 dolphins with babies swimming and playing all around the boat. We tried to get pictures of them jumping and were able to get a few. They stayed with us for about 10 minutes or so then went off to play somewhere else.

This is the back crew. Gavin, Nicole, and Vika were on the front.
It was absolutely beautiful out on the water.
Vika's smiling face shows it all!
Yes, this picture below just looks wrong! We had a little Christmas party at our neighbors where Santa came to visit the kids and I looked over at the boys and saw this. Doesn't quite look right. Alcohol is illegal here but they love the fake stuff. They have fake beers, wine coolers, wine, etc. These were just sparkling juice but the way they were holding them and drinking just looked wrong!
Of course they had to ham it up for the picture once they noticed I was taking them.
The little kids were able to decorate gingerbread men. Vika and Lilly were having fun decorating but mostly enjoyed eating them after.

Santa finally came and the kids all gathered around to get their Santa gift. Vika was waving to Santa to make sure he knew she was there.
The older boys were Santa's elves and helped pass out the gifts.
Vika was so excited to get her Bratz doll from Santa. It was exactly what she asked for. Wonder how he knew?
It was a great evening. It has been a little hard getting into the Christmas spirit here because you don't see it all around you like you do at home. Most of the villa's on our compound have Christmas trees and decorations so it feels a little like Christmas walking around our compound. I try to play Christmas music as much as possible to get in the mood. Next year I'm planning on bringing lots of our decorations from home but this year is simple. We were fortunate enough to get a tree with a few decorations.

It's kind of nice to not be bombarded with all the commercialism of Christmas. We have been able to really focus on what it is all about. We will be visiting Jerusalem and Bethlehem for Christmas this year where we can really remember our Savior Jesus Christ. We don't need all the fluff to have the Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas!!!!