Friday, December 31, 2010


Every Christmas morning starts with Stockings filled from Santa. Here are the boys in their Christmas jammies checking out their goods.
*This may be the only photo I have of both boys in their Christmas jammies together. Carter loves the stars for his ceiling... and well, pretty much everything in his stocking.Most exciting thing in Owens stocking was the candy cane. Owen LOVES candy canes. Every time we would turn around he'd have one in his mouth plastic and all. I eventually had to remove them from the tree. He also loves his Mickey Mouse cups.

Owen with his camel that Yvette (Our good friends, the same family that picked us up from the airport) gave the boys for Christmas.

This year I made our stockings. I'm really happy with the results. I made them from Indian wedding tapestry. (They take small swatches from Indian wedding dresses and make table runners and tapestry. They are gorgeous, different colors, beading, very detailed and each piece is an original.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Christmas Eve was celebrated with friends. Homemade lasagna and other delicious foods. A white elephant exchange and a lot of laughing and talking. It wasn't the same as being home with the Dille bunch, but it was a close second. With all the celebrating we didn't take our camera out very often while at the Reynolds.

Here are a few of us at home and of our home during the holidays.
The boys and I after Christmas Eve Dinner.
Carter 3.5 yrs.
Our Christmas Tree.
Our living room after Santa's visit, but before the kids woke up.
Our Dining Room. The ONE room in the house we've actually hung things on the wall. I'm waiting to paint, I think, still can't decide where to put things and what to do with our new house. This is one of the first room you see when you walk in the door. Our entertainment center. It's an original Saudi Design and is made from an old door.I didn't have much to work with when it came to decorations. I was most excited about the four strands of garland that arrived in our shipment and a few garlands of berry. All in all, I think it turned out pretty good. Once just a few things were up it began to feel like Christmas.


In the morning it was just a small overpriced pumpkin. A pumpkin shipped overseas from the States that had been sitting in our kitchen for one purpose since Halloween... A PUMPKIN PIE!Well the original purpose was to be carved into something spooky and then light up our front porch. But as that day came closer we couldn't do it. We still hadn't found canned pumpkin in SA and thought we paid too much to just let this thing rot on the porch.
A pie it would be. When I was brave and ambitious enough to make it happen.

Yup, I did it. Two from scratch pies. Even made the crust from scratch. I've outdone myself.
They were desert on Christmas Eve and I'm proud to say they were delicious!

The Seasonal Visitor.

If you ask the kids here they may tell you he came on a camel and not by reindeer. No matter his mode of transportation, he DID come. As they call him around camp, "The Seasonal Visitor" ie: Santa came into town to see the expat kiddos before Christmas.
It was magical in every way. Seriously had to hold back the tears at one point. Santa knew the boys by name and a few personal things about them and then gave them a pre-Christmas present.

Carter was so excited to meet him. SC took the time to sing the ABC's with Carter because he knew that is what he's been working hard to learn. Carter loved it!
Owen was a little hesitant but still sat on his lap. No tears and no real smiles. He did like the present in the end.
I believe I was more excited about this visitor than the boys were. Such preparation was made for his visit and I was astonished by the effort made from those around us for it. It was a night I won't forget and am grateful that our first Christmas out of the States still included Santa.

*It's so fun to have little ones excited about Santa. I can't get enough of it. Although I'm a little sad we won't be able to use this line anymore, "don't do that... you better be good... are you being nice?... if not Santa won't come." lol
The night before Christmas Owen was having a tantrum before bath and Carter kept telling him to be good so Santa would come. It got to a point where Carter began to cry because Owen wasn't being good. He was devastated and thought Santa would skip our house all together because of Owen. We had to separate the two, one in each shower until Owen calmed down (he was really tired) and then explain to Carter that Santa would still come after all. He was taking everything very seriously this year. Cute, endearing and the start of new holiday traditions and excitement for our family.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas.

Dear Friends and Family,
Merry Christmas. We hope your day is full of traditions, family, yummy food and love for the Savior. As we open our presents and celebrate we remember the greatest gift of all. The birth of the Savior in a small manger. Like we tell our kids, it's His birthday we are celebrating today.

We love and miss you all.
Love, The Dille's

Friday, December 24, 2010


Owen loved spending the afternoon sledding at the sand dunes. However, I do believe his favorite part was eating during the camp fire. He made the rounds to everyones stash and begged. It's hard to resist a two year old, let alone one with a face like this.
Sandwich in one hand, marshmellow in the other.
He chased the marshmellow with his mouth for a few minutes. Finally success. Sugar Cookies at the Dunes.
Pretty sure Owen just licked the frosting off and tossed the cookie.
Owen was an absolute mess at the end of the night. Covered in sand, marshmellows and icing. Drop it in the sand, not a problem he'd still gobble it up. You have to watch this little one like a hawk.
Mess and all, still the cutest kid around.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


A new tradition.
Christmas Sledding in SA.
We spent the afternoon with 10 families out in the desert sledding. I never would have thought people could sled out here. Sand sledding isn't bad at all, alot warmer than snow, and we all had a good time.
We drove about 45 minutes outside of camp into the desert. Even had to slow down for some crossing camels. This is what it looked like on approach.
The trick, Carter and I learned afterwards, is to walk around and then up the dune. Rather than straight up like we did. About five steps, Carter crawling, me right behind him pushing him up, and then a short break and another five steps. I'm telling ya, I wouldn't need a gym if I could just run up these all day.
We packed sleds and cardboard (CB didn't work that great). The boys actually preferred just sliding and rolling down on their bums.
When the cardboard box you brought doesn't work, RUN down the sand dune as fast as you can.
This is how it's done in Saudi.
Sand Angels.
Lawson and Carter. These two are becoming great friends.
Finally, these two were given the opportunity to run and play in the sand until their hearts content. Not a nook was left without sand after this trip.
We ended the afternoon with a small fire and roasted marshmellows (thanks grandma for the package).
It was neat to see a different side of SA. Miles and miles of sand and rolling dunes. Makes me grateful for the camp we live on and how hard they work to make it green and like home for us.
After coming home and shaking all of our clothes out outside, Mike proclaimed "Next time, less pockets."

Polar Express.

We were invited to Polar Express night earlier this week and had SO much FUN. The boys loved it and it really put us all in the holiday mood. It's Christmas time no matter what part of the world we are in.
We came dressed in pj's ready for a "train" ride. First the boys were greeted and handed tickets for the train. We had dinner and then set the movie up. Several pillows, blankets and 16 kiddos all comfy and excited. Owen and Carter were snuggled together and held hands for awhile- awh, melt my heart.
Tickets were punched at the same time as they are in the movie. Then we stopped the movie during the hot chocolate part and had our own hot chocolate and cookies. At the end each child was given a bell. Here they all are with their Christmas bells. The girls, well Moms, from the night. I have met so many amazing people since we arrived and am finally starting to feel like I have a place. That alone, is a Christmas present. Filling the days with friends and holiday traditions has chased away the home sickness. Yes, we are still sad we are not heading home for the holidays. But this is part of the adventure. Making new traditions with our little family and paving our own path. It's been a wonderful holiday season here for us.
Did I mention we also had carolers the other night? Nights like the past few I forget where we are. We are all excited for Christmas and hope you are too. Hugs, A

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shipment Arrival Day.

I mentioned earlier that our shipment from Houston arrived this week. Can I just say that is was amazing.
Amazing in that our things are finally here.
Amazing in that trucks kept pulling up with crates of Dille stuff.
Amazing in that the amount of boxes and shipping supplies covered the ENTIRE front yard.
Amazing in that we had everything unloaded by 12:30- Just in time to avoid the Sand Storm that sat on Dhahran for two days.
There were about 10 workers there to unload and about five of us (3-4 ladies from church came to help.)
This is how it went.
One person stands at the door and checks off an inventory list of boxes. They call out a number, double two five, and then you find it on the list and check off.
Then they carry the box in the house. I had each room numbered. You then tell them which room and off they go. Then you unpack and check things for damage. This continues for hours depending on how much you have. Constantly moving and the pile of trash just builds out the front door.
I was giddy with excitement, serious happy dances down the hallway when they first arrived. By the end, we were happy the boxes stopped. We fed the crew, filled out some paperwork. A few things damaged in the move, a few things missing, which have since then arrived. Then everyone left and Mike and I were left in the now full of stuff without a place house. We made some great headway and then picked up the boys that afternoon.
Carter walked into the house and exclaimed- "Our Stuff is here!"
A few more photos of the trucks and crates.


Carter has been requesting to wear a tie to church for the past few weeks. Our shipment arrived and lucky for him, so did a Tie just his size.
Carter was excited all morning about his church clothes for the day. He was also happy to take a few pictures for Grandma when we got home that morning.
My two handsome guys in ties. Carter and I, the view up the street.
Owen on the other hand was not as excited about the photos. Church time here is hard for him and he usually comes home flat out exhausted.
My babies still seem like babies to me. It's only when I take photos and see them on the computer I begin to realize how big our boys are really getting.
How lucky I am to be here with them each day and watch them grow.