About Us

We left the US to live in the Middle East in 2005 with one child and 10 suitcases. We've been here for over 5 years now and we have three children, each born on a different continent!
Welcome to our Blog! This is where we try to keep everyone up to date with news, stories and pictures from our lives! More about us...


2 years old!


4 Years


6 years old! First Grader!


Yvonne & Kenzy


Scuba Instructor Dad

The Camel

The Camel

i snort pizza!

Posted by Tim 30 November 2005 0 comments

so during our language tutoring tonight we were talking about coffee... Our tutor said that his wife loved coffee and the way to say you love something a whole lot is by saying:

"I snort coffee" (in Arabic of course) ... kinda like cocaine i guess.
He was trying to explain it by pretending to snort something off of the back of his hand. So I asked him could i say, "I snort pizza" in arabic and he said "bezabt", which means "exactly!"


we read in a book tailored for our area called, Culture Shock, that the following might happen...

so last night we were coming home from the maktaba kabirr (the giant stationary store... that is about 1/8th the size of office max) and to save time our cab driver decided to go down a busy one way street... going the opposite direction.
he honked his horn a ton to let people know we were coming and landon, whose car seat was sitting in the dining room because it is worthless here, was having a great time!

haha... wow.

we had a housekeeper come in today and do her thing... place looks great. she worked for 4.5 hours for $6.08.

timmy likey

our pad...

Posted by Tim 29 November 2005 0 comments

well... here are the pictures from our flat... finally...

This is a pic of our family room. we rarely sit in here except when we have guests over. the couches are not quite as comfortable as say... the sidewalk. har har

Here is our Dining area... it is just to the other side (left) of the above mentioned family room.
The chairs are a little richety... but hey... it's home.

Note Landon trying to open the cabinet doors on the buffet... we keep that sucker locked because he plays in it all day long. He loves to pull out daddy's paperwork and electronic toys and toss them around.

Now... just to my back of the above photo... turn around... and you can see the hallway.
  • 1st door on right - kitchen
  • 1st door on left - TV room
  • 2nd door on right - bathroom (1/2)
  • 2nd door on left - Landon's room
  • 3rd door on right - bathroom (full)
  • straight ahead - master bedroom
Note the artistic greatness that the pictures below are layed out according to the layout of the hallway.

Here is our kitchen...
the gigantic American style fridge is to my back (it's bigger than the one we had in the states) which is very unsualy (the size) because most fridges here are rather compact. We have a ton of cabinet space, a lovely Caloric brand gas stove and oven (which I adore) and of course the George Forman grill we brought is to the right just outside the picture... too bad the base shattered. :(
Well it still works...

This is one side of our TV room. The couches look nice but yet again feel like you're sitting on a park bench. :)

We like to chill in here and watch our 1 free hour of English TV each night... well actually we are longing to do that as of late because we have our language lessons from 8-10pm and the free hour is from 8-9pm so we haven't gotten our daily dose of hedonistic US TV for nearly a week :)

The doors in the back right are to one of our three balconies. We go out there to hang up our clothes to dry :)

This is just the other side of the same room... the only reason I am including this picture is because you can see where I am sitting when I am blogging, emailing, etc.

Here is our first bathroom... nice and small. There is this little hole in the back of the toilet.. you can actually see it in the picture. If you look just inside the bowl there is a dot dead center... it is a hole to shoot water out of (there is a knob on the right side of the toilet) and you wash your bungey off with it (left hand only please).
That egg shaped lookin' thing hanging on the wall in the top right is our water heater.

Welcome to our humble commode. haha.
Just to the left of the cabinets you see under the sink is a washing machine... small but satisfying.

Here is Landon's crib... no pun intended... well yes there was! He also has a balcony... which remains locked.

Thought you might enjoy a nice pic of Landon and his train that was hauled about 6000+ miles. Luckily it was light weight or else he would playing with toy rocks.

And last but certainly not least...
the Arabic Love Chamber. Haha!


Posted by Tim 25 November 2005 0 comments

A taxi from our house to the babysitter to Chili's... $1.50
Fajitas for two, two drinks and an appetizer at Chili's... $19.00
Two movie tickets to the Wedding Crashers, a bottled water, a popcorn, and two ice cream bars... $10.50
Not having to worry about sex scenes in the movie because the government automatically censors them out... priceless!

Seriously y'all... it was so nice. It was wierd because two people would be in the bedroom and then bang... it would switch to having dinner in the dining room.

so i am not used to cooking with gas, which means i have never expereinced "even" cooking. wow... do i love my gas stove and oven! i was watching the pies as they cooked like a hawk! I was not about to let them burn or anything. this was big responsibility on the new guy's shoulders.
the crust was super flakey... the "priceless pecan pie" was amazing! i got it off of allrecipes.com and it had cream cheese in it too. wowsers. the pumpkin pie was great too but the pecan pie was definetly the hit.

here is that pecan pie recipe:


new header

Posted by Tim 23 November 2005 0 comments

There has never been such a display of blood, sweat and tears poured into two pies in the history of man. Let me tell you what...

On Sunday we were asked to pick something to cook for the Thanksgiving dinner we are having with friends here. We heard the run down and what was missing was the deserts. So we decided to make a pecan pie... and once we kinda realized that these types of items are rare for people here, i really wanted to make a pumpkin pie too. So I have been on this quest for ingredients that has spanned 3 or 4 days now.

The hard to find items were as follows (listed in degree of difficulty from easiest to hardest)

  • Karo style corn syrup - while impossible to find in our local markets which the mainly the nationals (and us) shop at... it can be found at a few expatriate markets if you know where to look.
  • Crisco or some substitute (preferably one that doesn't involve butter flavored water buffalo fat... argh!) - Crisco would be another one but that same friend had a friend that had bought some for her so she gave some to her friend (me!) because she would be able to partake in said pies involving made-with-crisco pie crusts (run on sentence? yes. i know. back off!). Otherwise it would have been a 45 minute taxi ride to the other side of town where I heard it could be bought. But then later today, after I already had it I heard where I could buy it within 10 minutes.
  • Pumpkin pie filling - We hadn't really even considered pumpkin pie until we saw a "thanksgiving combo pack" at a local market which had a can of pumpkin pie filling, a small bag of walnuts and a can of jellied cranberries. Once we did see it that is when the quest began to really do a great job of deserts for our friends. I asked at the same market saying, "Ana eize pumpkin pie filling lechen ana misch eize walnuts wa cranberries". Loosely translated that means, "I want pumpkin pie filling but I don't want the walnuts and cranberries." I said all that to basically ask do you have just the pumpkin pie filling. This was met with a search through store and a big fat "lah" or "no." So I looked at Massoud market and didn't find it, so I looked at Metro market and found it there (yay!)
  • Pecans - Well pecans really should be the hardest because they are only available once a year at one particular store in our whole megacity, but... a friend of ours had several bags in her freezer that were shipped to her from family.
  • Evaporated milk - what a nightmare! So last night I went down to exchange some money before CSI Miami came on the tele... yes CSI Miami (we get 1 hour of free American television a night from 8-9. Sunday is WWF so we don't bother)... and I stopped at a local Metro market to see if they had it. They didn't so and I ran into an expat who said it was a mission to find. He told me to go to a place called Carrefore, which is sorta like Walmart. So I did later that night but they didn't have it. So I called it night in terms of evaporated milk. Today we met with some language tutors who told us that the bigger Metro market near them might have it. They didn't. So later I tried a place, Maryam Market, recommended by an expat we met yesterday. Nope. So I tried an old faithful, Kimo market. Nada. While I was at Kimo's I saw some old friends and they said they were on the identical quest. They said that Saoudi market might have it so we joined forces and I got a free ride (and they were more polite than some taxi drivers) and lo and behold... Saoudi's had it! So I bought 11 cans... 5 for a friend and 6 for me. The end.
Here are some pictures of the spoils of war...

All of my finds... except the crisco cuz I already have the dough made in the fridge.

Like I would know what this is if it wasn't printed in English on the other side... whew!

Have a good thanksgiving!
We love y'all!

fridge pics

Posted by Tim

fav photo

Posted by Tim 0 comments

One thing a day...

Posted by Tim 21 November 2005 0 comments

It seems to me that if we plan to do more than one... maybe two things a day that we are getting in over our heads. Yesterday I scheduled a plumber to come by at 11:00 this morning. Well... nothing is fast here and at 12:30 we decided to go see what was taking so long. We were told that he still had a good hour ahead of him before he could come and work on our flat. Argh.

Anyways... just venting.

One good thing is beef is really cheap and still good quality. We found a butcher that we will frequent. His name is Ibrahim ElAraby. A kilo of beef (2.2 lbs) ground up runs about $5.50 US... and a kilo of Filet Mignon is about $6.10 US... 2.2 lbs. of filet for $6.10! That totally makes up for th plumber.


So the other day I took a picture from our balcony because it was some of the worst pollution yet. It was horrendous! I was going to take a picture later, because it usually clears up as the day progresses. Well today was a good day to take the second picture of the horizon all cleared up and pretty like.

It reminded me of a John Denver song. The song name is "Some days are diamonds." All of the lyrics except for one line are competely and utterly inapplicable to this story but hey... the one line sure does make sense: "Some days are diamonds, some days are stone."

Please keep in mind... that these two pictures are of the same view... the second one is just zoomed in a little.

Here is the stone day...

Here is the diamond day...

Okay... so we went to an outdoor bazaar today called the Khan al Khalili. It is a great place and a tourist trap... but fun nonetheless. The best part is that we are not mere tourists anymore. So when they would try and sell us the touristy stuff we would say, "la shukran, ana sikeen hina. Ana misch touist" which means "No thanks. I live here. I am not a tourist." The cool part is that they would then leave us alone... well about half the time :)

We were joined on the 20 minute taxi ride with our friend kim. On the way back I saw 3 grown men riding one motorcycle! So I pointed it out to kim and yvonne. Kim then said... "oh yeah... i saw a mom and a baby on one the other day... nursing!" HAHA. wow. Not a minute later I saw a boy in the front, the dad, the little sister and a mother all one motorcycle... however there was no nursing going on.

the insanity!

he's a charmer alright!

Posted by Tim 18 November 2005 0 comments

well... we had heard this rumor that when we go to restaurants if they like our kid (and who in their right mind wouldn't?) they would just take him out of his high chair (without permission) and take him out of our sight and show him off and show him around! well y'all... it's true.
we were at chili's tonight... yes the same chili's as in the U.S. and towards the end of dinner they snagged him and took him to the bowling alley in the next door shopping area, to the patio area of the restaurant and I think at one point he made the rounds in the kitchen. yvonne and i had discussed this possibility beforehand in case it did happen and we agreed we would have to find out how we felt about it once it happened. well, once we realized what was happening we were totally at peace with it. we spent the next 5-10 minutes that he was gone enjoying each other and mainly laughing at the whole situation. it was such a riot to see 5+ adult men going crazy over our 14 month old.
after that we hailed a cab (which costs about 50 cents to go a few miles) and got the nicest taxi driver yet! he loved landon too and played with him (while driving) and made noises and kept him entertained. so i got his cell number and name (fowzi) so we can call him to give us rides from time to time.

this place rocks.

PS... earlier today we went to this awesome park that was really quite beautiful. it was called al-ahzar park. it used to be a garbage dump and then it was all fixed up. we ate at a nice french restaurant there (mmm... quiche lorraine) and then we walked to a kiddie area where there was a lot of playground equipment. landon made a 2 year old friend there, named Ali.
the first pic is of our kid in the park and the second is of some girl on a bungee/trampoline contraption with a great shot of the city in the background.

We have arrived...

Posted by Tim 14 November 2005 0 comments

well today was insane but great. we just know that we had many people thinking about us and talking about us to everyone's dad and family. only 1 piece of luggage has been misplaced but otherwise... everything went incredibly smoothly.

no pictures yet... we're still in a daze.
more to come!

tim, yvonne & landon

we're outta here!

Posted by Tim 13 November 2005 0 comments

4 suitcases
4 rolling duffel bags
2 ginormous duffel bags
2 backpacks
2 carry-on size duffel bags
1 mini-rollerboard bag
1 baby bag
2 pillows
1 stroller
1 car seat

whew... be thinking of us as we go with all this stuff!

freakin' out!!!

Posted by Tim 0 comments

okay... i'm freakin' out! but don't worry... it's a good freakin' out.
we have been awaiting this time for so long and it is here.

we will be leaving tomorrow morning from my wife's family's house in South Carolina and will be en route for about 20 hours or so.

on a poopy note... i busted my ankle yesterday so be thinking of us when we're on our way. we know we are going to be safe and protected and we always have a strong tower to lean on. i will post a pic of us and our plethora of luggage tomorrow morning.

"sorry... 'he said he's dead' "

Posted by Tim 09 November 2005 0 comments

so we got a telemarketer tonight and they asked for my father-in-law who was standing right next to me. I asked him if he wanted to speak to a telemarketer and he said, "tell them i'm dead." So i put the phone back up to my ear and said, "he said he's dead" to which, obviously not believing that, the telemarketer replied, "well, is mrs. so and so there?" to which I replied, "nope... she said she's dead too." The telemarketer then said, "well i'm sorry to hear that you have a good night." Man that was fun.

Oh I'm sorry... please give my regards!

in-laws' names have been omitted for conscience sake

man oh man... my sister-in-law gave me the mad hookup for Christmas tonight. i got a bag apple fritter mix. she had given the same thing to us a few years ago and it was incredible... so i am way happy to have another bag. she said we could try and make it before we leave but i declared "forget that! i'm taking it with us and saving it for a special occasion" ... like my birthday which is later this month... oh yes apple fritters on my birthday.

the other great gift was the bag... BAG of macadamia nuts. there has been this long standing tradition in my family where we would always get a little jar of macadamia nuts on Christmas. Well once my father died the tradition became my future wife's resposibility... which i explained to yvonne before we ever got married. well anyway... i got my macadamia nuts most years but this year i got this ginormous bag of macadamia nuts.

it is amazing what you can make room for in your luggage when you are properly motivated.


We will be leaving this sunday... therefore we are celebrating Christmas this evening with close family. Here is a pic of Landon all decked out for the occasion.


reedy river falls...

Posted by Tim 08 November 2005 0 comments

Yvonne took Landon down to the Reedy River Falls in downtown Greenville today. I had a meeting downtown and so she met her sister there. Her sister brought our nephew, Andrew along and they had a grrrrrrreat time playing in the creek below the falls. Needless to say... their diapers were quite heavy by the time they were done.


ps... we need to get yvonne doing some posting don't you think? she should be coming with some posts soon.

I haven't quite figured out this face yet... but it is funny... well at least I think it is. Yvonne just doesn't see the humor in this look as much as i do.

Here is one of Landon and me. I just wanted to make sure that you see the falls too :)

bathtime fun

Posted by Tim 06 November 2005 0 comments

like i mentioned in the previous post, Landon and Emily took a bath together. Well we just looked at the pictures and this one was simply too cute not to post. it is awfully cute. enjoy...

We had hoped that we would get to see some of our great friends, Grant & Karin, before we left and it finally came together. We are spending the weekend here in St. Simons Island, GA. It is an awesome community with a beautiful beach, lighthouse and a lot of early American history. We got a great little house here for the weekend provided by a group here for free. What a blessing! Here is a few pics of us here with our friends...

Here is grant and me with our kids. Of course you all know Landon and his precious little girl's name is Emily Grace.

Here is Yvonne and Karin outside the St. Simon's lighthouse. We went all the way to the top on a spiral staircase. Whew! My legs are a little sore. I knew both Grant and Karin from high school in Colorado Springs. Grant was one of my groomsmen and Karin was one of Yvonne's bridesmaids. We had a nice tradeoff because one of Yvonne's good friends from college was a guy so I gave him a place in my lineup of groomsmen.

Landon seemed to be really excited about his new girlfriend here. He's got his arm around her and everything... getting a little fresh for their second day of knowing each other.... what a smooth operator.
They have gotten along famously in our time together. They share and have a great time. They had a fun time getting a bath together tonight too... we can't wait until they're in their teen years and we can blackmail them with the pictures of them together butt naked in the tub. haha.


it's real...

Posted by Tim 04 November 2005

we are getting so close to leaving now... it feels real now.
we've packed a bunch of stuff already and we keep finding more stuff to pack... including a nice george foreman grill (if space permits... but we'll make space if you ask me).

anyways... my first newsletter is bombs away in a few minutes. if you got this blog address from the newsletters, then welcome to our blog. We hope to share our thoughts and how we are feeling about stuff here. We also hope that you would take what you read here and kinda get the gist of what we are needing in terms of lifting up. We love all our friends and family out there and hope this will sustain them with pictures of Landon until we will return with him in the flesh... we know that we don't matter and we're okay with that... it's all about Landon.


giving thanks...

Posted by Tim

Here it is obvious that our son, Landon, is giving thanks for his apples and bananas at lunchtime.

har har,

today is my mama's birthday

Posted by Tim 02 November 2005

happy birthday mama!

love, timmy

Landon's Dedication - Sept. 2004

everyone could please remember us as we try to create a balance between many activites that are pulling at us now. we first and foremost must remember to spend time with Dad every day. it seems that is the first thing to go. this ought not be so. Please remember to think about this when you talk to Him.


the timing is right.

Posted by Tim 01 November 2005

Not all of you know that we were delayed 2 weeks. Now I know why...We would have been gone when this was released.
Oh Yes.... His timing is always perfect.

no doubt 'bout it!

You talkin' to me?

Posted by Tim

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