So I've talked about imported pumpkins here before. They are heck of expensive. Last year I splurged on one, but remember I couldn't bring myself to carve it and instead made two from scratch pumpkin pies. This year, we decided no imported pumpkin purchase. Instead we made three wooden pumpkins earlier this month. Then we had a friend bring us two fake carved pumpkins from Target. I thought we had our pumpkins covered.
Then a neighbor and friend, Jen, decided to make a pumpkin patch. She hand painted almost 50 wooden pumpkins (after her husband cut them all out) and invited friends over for a night at the pumpkin patch. It looked something like this. Carter is at the bottom in orange. Every pumpkin has it's own personality. They were a bit expensive, but we know she spent a lot of time on them and we wanted to support her. Also, the boys thought they were super cool. And we can use it again next year too.
Here is the pumpkin Carter picked. There was no reasoning, I was hoping for a silly face or smile. Nope. Both boys liked the ugly one. I'm just glad we managed to make it out of the
'pumpkin patch' with just one.
So now this little pumpkin has a place in our front yard.
The day after the other post Carter drew this Robot.
We also had a chance to meet with Carters K4 teacher at the school yesterday. Two of the things he is really excelling and enjoying at school are, 1. Arts. 2. Reading Books.
There is a book in the classroom where it breaks down how to draw animals based on basic shapes. She said this is usually what he chooses during free play. He grabs this book and sits quietly drawing animals. Funny thing is I remember having a similar book growing up and learning how to draw horses in a similar way.
She also mentioned how great he is with chalk and that the other teachers are so impressed by her students, when really she looks around and thinks, yup, that one was Carter, Carter there, over there and here.
Carter loves to pour over books during quiet time at school. She said he really takes his time on each page and focuses. He loves story time when she reads no matter what book she reads he generally sits and listens enthrawled with the story at hand.
A few other things that we pretty much already knew about Carter is his intensity. He can struggle at times if he's not able to do it the way he wants the first time. Almost like a perfectionist. He gets mad, yells he can't do it or sometimes gives up in frustration. This is getting better, but something we are also working on with him. But in all honestly his intensity we think will be a great attribute for him.
He likes to be the center of attention in class and sometimes will act out to get attention. For instance, the teacher asks him to draw a number on the board. He can do it, instead he writes it backwards or upside down to get a few laughs. Then later during free play he sits quietly by himself at the erase board and draws all of the numbers perfectly.
For being one of the youngest in his class he is doing well. She agreed this is where he needs to be and is excited to learn.
I see so much of myself in Carter. Some of the things that can frustrate me are really attributes he gets from me. I think once I realize this we get along better. It's finding a different better way to communicate together. Amazing to me how different each child can be and how different they need us to be for them as parents.
Today we laid down for a nap together (he doesn't have school this week b.c of teacher conferences) and we talked. He told me about his day. Digging for snail shells (his favorite past time for weeks), his friends, the letters he is learning, what he did in school and then we held hands as he fell asleep. He whispered I love you and I whispered it back. I laid there and thought how lucky I was to be his mom and to be there for that small and brief little moment. What a blessing it is to be a mother, to be his mom and to have him in our family.
Carter has found his niche. He LOVES to color and draw. He will spend hours sitting at the table with a box of crayons. Lately, he is really starting to catch on to looking at things and in turn drawing them on another sheet. After lunch he busted out this awesome robot, all from a tiny sticker from his morning preschool. I think this may be his best masterpiece yet.
Here's our artist showing off his handy work. In the last month he has also learned how to write his name. He LOVES the K4 program here and all of the arts and coloring the program has. The moment he gets home from school he pulls out his backpack to show us everything he did! They paint and color almost daily, which is right up this kids alley.
...Not this pumpkin... This one is from the local newly renovated Tamimi's (aka: Safeway). Guess how much this bad boy costs? Ready for this, $73.60? Sounds like your kind of jackolatern huh, yeah, not likely. I couldn't resist not sharing.
I was really referring to THIS pumpkin below...
Me and our little pumpkin hosted Bunco. A Witches Night Out Bunco. The witch tutu was a last minute addition, I busted that lovely out in about an hour. Along with the rest of the festivities.
Living Room set up and ready to go. I also used the dining room table in the other room.
A closer look at one of the tables.
The vinyl signs I made for a few prizes. Yup, finally busted out the Silhouette and I LOVE it! I gave out each sign with a few gourds and small pumpkins.
The entry with the Halloween tulle wreath I made for another prize. (Remember - holiday shopping here in the Sandbox is pretty non existent. So I had to be creative this time, and well for most holidays now. That or very well planned ahead to bring it back with me on repats.)
The entertainment center complete with the Target pumpkin Mike's old co-worker Tony brought with him for me. Yeah, awesome. Tony came into Khobar for a client for two weeks, he also came across the ocean with a suitcase full of US goodies and holiday supplies for me. Yes, he's awesome and I'm a lucky, lucky girl who now has a dozen Panera Bread bagels, cherry craisins, Twizzlers, Halloween costumes for the boys and jackolaterns that didn't cost 70 bucks a pop. The boys think these pumpkins are fantastic!
The only photo I captured of all of the "witches" at the party, chatting in the kitchen and enjoying festive appetizers and deserts. Since I am still kicking off this new Bunco group and hosted again (third actual Bunco night- I've hosted two of them), add to that my little preggo pumpkin, and teaching Boot Camp that morning, I had each witch bring a dish to share. Took a lot of stress off of me and actually gave me the extra hour to make the pumpkin witch tutu.
Mike was a trooper and took the boys to dinner, then came back and watched movies with them in the back room so the ladies could play a wicked game of Bunco in the front of the house.
After over 12 hours on my feet all day at the end of the night I felt like a pumpkin. Ready for bed and spent the next day recouping from the festivities. Worth it in every way. Just another reason to be busy in the sandbox. Most times we have to create our own bewitching activities.
Just for fun. Here is a side few at 21 weeks. We're really starting to blossom the last few weeks. You know, how I can really tell how much I've grown. Now everyone seems to rub my belly openly and a lot. I don't really mind, but it's funny because this action alone assures me we ARE growing.
Owen had his first big birthday party. Last year we had just arrived to the sandbox so it was a family affair, this year we decided to do it right. We invited six other three year old little boys over for a morning of birthday celebrations and dinosaur hunting. Owen was the spotlight and loved it!
(This took a bit of planning over the summer- I brought a dishbarral box on the plane with just Owen birthday supplies. Presents, good bag supplies, decorations, wrapping paper and such. I came back prepared.)
We colored dinosaurs, read a book about dinosaurs and then "Dino Dad" aka: Mike, took the boys on a dinosaur hunt in the backyard. We then chowed on pizza, fruit and veggie trays, took a quick ten minute play break and dino tattoo installation break, and busted out the dino chocolate cupcakes. Sang a little Happy Birthday, covered little boy faces in chocolate icing, handed out balloons and goody bags and off the happy hyped up little boys went. It was a great party. Needless to say entertaining that many little guys takes a lot of work, so instead of snapping constant pictures we entertained and played.
Here are a few of the pictures we did get.
The only photo I have of our guests and I'm missing several of them. We had Sam, Noah, Benjy, Max, Louie and Jax, and several moms for the morning. It was a great group, no real throw downs, just a good time all around.
The Big T Rex Balloon and goody table.
Dino Chocolate cupcakes. Great idea mom for cupcake toppers.
I didn't even manage to take a photo of the goodie bags.They had dino tattoos, mini m&m's, lollipops, dino finger puppets, a dino party blower and a set of dino's that expand in water.
I'm so glad Owen had his time in the birthday light. He loved having his friends over. He loved the dino theme, searching for blow up dinosaurs in the yard, chasing his friends with his dino nose on and hasthoroughly enjoyed all of his presents. The biggest hit is a huge Spiderman bouncing ball, you know the ones with a handle you bounce on. Toy of choice right now.
We've got one happy little 3 year old. Although calling him 'little' no longer seems to fit. He's all big boy these days.
Here's to a great third year Owen. Happy Birthday!
Owen has been waiting and waiting for weeks for the magic day to arrive. This past week, he's even been singing Happy Birthday to himself, complete with his own name inserted and pretend blowing out of candles. It's hilarious and so cute. After that you couldn't help also be excited for his birthday to come.
So Wednesday was the big day.
He requested pumpkin cake cupcakes to take to preschool for his classmates to celebrate. I know this kid is totally mine after that request. I was happy to make those with cream cheese icing to boot.
For dinner we let our little three year old chose. His request, chips and salsa. So off to Chili's we went. He devoured. Then we ordered a molten cake. That may have lasted three minutes. The boys went to town on the chocolate goodness.
Back at home, the troops rallied dad to bring out the presents.
Grandma Anderson called and we opened her present.
Carter offered his assistance.
The big present.
A Dinasour Train set.
Carter did really well letting Owen have the spotlight. Although right after dinner, we overheard him telling Owen when they open his presents they can decide which ones Owen gets and which ones he will give to Carter. We then let him know it was once again, Owen's birthday and Owens presents which he could share.
Happy Birthday Boy!
We opened all the presents and then he asked, When are my friends coming?
We've been working on making this sandbox feel a little more like fall. Which some days when the temp continues to reach 100 degrees can be a bit of a challenge. Add to that, pumpkins are being sold at one store in town for a whopping 6 bucks a pound.
So we got creative and made our own pumpkins for the porch. I put the fall wreath back on the door, planted new flowers and washed all the sand and grit off. Now it feels like we live here again.
Not too shabby are there?
Festivities continue in the kitchen nook. It feels like fall inside too.
Mom per our converation: These little vines, were in deed "little" back in the spring when we planted them. They grow in the heat and are really starting to take over. Mike added the wood support on the top in hopes they will continue to grow and block out the other house. In the morning they have pretty little purple flowers. We spent last weekend in the yard cleaning up from the summer. We still do all the yard work ourselves. No gardner here, just the Dille's getting down and dirty.
The nesting has hit full force. The past week (well two weeks) our master bedroom was on the list. It got a full makeover. New bedding, new nightstands, a fresh coat of 'Moss Beach' and finally after a full year here, pictures and Mirror on the wall. The only thing missing is the Farmhouse bed Mike is going to make... soon. :) It's that nesting thing again. I did decide another room slightly blue would be ok because I'll get to paint our little girls room something pink and girlie.
This picture has been a long time coming. Our NEW ride. Well, new to us. :) We had some good friends move to Oklahoma this summer and sold us their sweet ride, V8 Nissan Armada. I LOVE it. It has the bells and whistles, including a DVD player which the boys are also in LOVE with. Funny thing is, we like it so much we'd rather not take it into town. It's our camp car and long distance car, our not into Khobar and the souq area car. So we've held onto the Suburban too. Add to that, Mike purchased a scooter this summer as well. The best commute ever and he gets to park right in front of his building. The boys call it his motorcycle, and we both laugh about it.
This past week we also hit our official 1 Year Mark in the Sandbox. Honestly, the first month here I thought we'd never make it one year. But after a year, I can see us reaching at least 5. I really do like life on camp and the family life balance Mike has with work. What we have here we can't have in the US right now. Hopefully sometime in the future an opportunity will arise back in the States but for now, we know we are suppose to be here. I would move here all over again for two things, selling our house and having a little girl. Yeah, I think we scored! *Making the best of it is how we roll.
*This statement does not mean however that I will not complain or gripe about living in the sandbox occassionaly. Some days a little whining is totally acceptable.