Friday, October 10, 2014

End of Summer Update

We are back from our summer vacation and finally settling into a new normal routine.  It's been a month since the girls have started school and they are enjoying new friends this year.  Garrison is finally potty trained! Yeah! Sadly, Samuel is still not. ; )

Cooler temps are on their way.  100F feels downright pleasant when you have been living with 115F for 2 months.

Pictures of Samuel....just because we think he is so cute!

He is about a month old in these last two.

Evelyn turned 7 in September.  I can't believe she is in 2nd grade.  She is loving school and some new friends in her class this year.  

Sunrise view from our recent vacation of the Burj al Arab 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Birthday Pictures!

We've celebrated a few birthdays recently, Garrison turned 3 and Maeve turned 5!

The kids love these candles.  It starts as a closed flower and then after lighting the center candle, the petals open with lit candles and the entire thing rotates and plays the "Happy Birthday" tune.  

Pinatas are not common around here.  Thanks Gigi for bringing one over!

Garrison, amazed by the flames.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Muscat Musings

This is a painting of our family done by Maeve.  Gabe and I are on the far right, he's the one with the "curly" hair on top.  To the left are Garrison, Maeve, and Evelyn.  In the middle if you look closely she has added a picture of our latest addition that is due to arrive in August.  The kids are excited about having a baby brother or sister.  Garrison really wants to hold the baby and they all like giving my tummy hugs and kisses.

I posted most of our pictures from our recent trip to Muscat on facebook but here are a few extras.  We enjoyed 4 days on a private beach on the coast of Oman.  It was so nice to see more green grass and trees than we are used to.

Now we are coming to the end of a 2 week spring break for week would have really been enough.  It gave us a chance to visit the zoo before it gets too hot.  We've also enjoyed the pool since according to our kids it is HOT now!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Recent Outings

Since the weather has been so nice, we try to spend time outside as much as possible.  Enjoying the cooler temps while they last! 

We took a walk to a nearby park.  This is Jahili Fort and you can see the small mountain, Jebel Hafeet, in the background.  The parks are popular and become crowded in the evenings. We ended up leaving not long after arriving as the kids were a little overwhelmed by the number of children playing on the playgrounds.  Lots of families come to the park and picnic or grill out.  

Sunset at the park

Maeve enjoying an evening bike ride outside our apartment

Garrison on his trike

Sometimes I forget that we really do live in the middle of a desert.  

The kids enjoy looking for camels on drives out of town.  

Maeve getting her feet wet at a local oasis.  It's winter here and the water is still hot!

We took a trip out to the sand dunes with friends and my cousin who was in town visiting.  Climbing in sand is not easy and I was completely out of breath after conquering only a small hill.  And I reached the top only to find higher dunes in front of me.  There is something beautiful about looking out at a sea of sand with the sun setting.  I would have stayed longer but was afraid getting hit by people on 4x4's riding the dunes.  This was a popular place for riders.  : ) 

Gabe was invited to take a ride.

The kids and some friends enjoying playing in the sand.

A few of the camel/goat farms from the top of one of the dunes.

Another view from the top

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fall Family Fun

So the month of October flew by...we must be having fun now.  : )  Life activities feel like they are picking up and our house is feeling like home now.  I'm realizing we are in the middle of November and I have given little thought to Thanksgiving and even Christmas.  Maybe it's because it still feels like summer here with the highs in the mid 80's.

We recently enjoyed visit from Gabe's parents which was wonderful and allowed us to take in some of the tourists attractions we've wanted to see and do.  Our first activity was a desert safari.  We spent what seemed like hour racing up and down sand dunes.  Sliding on the side and coming just short of rolling over.  It was a wild ride which ended in me feeling a little sick.  The kids loved it and were begging for more.  Next we stopped at a camel farm where a mother had given birth about 30 minutes before we arrived.  The baby was lying on the ground and was trying to raise it's neck and our guide said that in a day it would start amazing.  As the sun was setting we arrived at the location where we would have a traditional Arabic meal.  We enjoyed a camel ride, some henna painting for me and the girls, a wonderful meal which ended with a belly dancer.  Gabe got called up on stage and I may have included some of those photos.  ; )

We also made a trip to Dubai and took a ride up the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

He was so excited about petting the camel

Garrison was with us but was not in a mood for photos at this point!

View from the top of the Burj Khalifa. This was the view from the 124th floor.  The Burj Khalifa houses a hotel, apartments, offices and restaurants.  

View of "the Burj" from the base.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In N(Eid) of a vacation

We recently returned from a much needed vacation.  Evelyn had a week off from school in celebration of Eid Al Adha so we decided to head to beach.

On Sunday, before our trip we had a BBQ with our friends, the Bunch Family, which involved roasted pink marshmallows.

Enjoying roasted marshmallows

On Monday morning we spent a day at a desert resort where the kids got a camel ride and falcon show.

Waiting for a camel ride

Finally...they have wanted to ride a camel since we moved here!

Up close with the falcons

On Tuesday we made it to Dibba in the Fujairah Emirate.  The beach was great with lots of shells to collect.

Sunset on the Fujarah coast


The Neals