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

my little friend is back

Posted by Tim 31 May 2006 1 comments

hey all,

i have been revisited by little friend the amoeba. he is currently throwing a party in my stomach. his name is ahmed. he should be leaving in the next week and a half or so. i guess he never heard to the proverb by benjamin franklin that says guests and fish go bad after 3 days.

go home ahmed. are you too good for you home?!?

good ol' down home barbecue

Posted by Tim 20 May 2006 0 comments

we had some friends over last night for a barbeque. they had had us over to their place for some local food a while back... so it was finally time to repay the special treat. it was a long day of cookin'.

all in all we had:
-barbecue chicken
-baked beans
-potato salad
-french fries
-green beans

we also made southern sweet tea and raspberry lemonade but we totally forgot to bring them to the table and then ended up drinking pepsi... oh well.

and for desert we made brownies and had vanilla ice cream. we explained that barbecues is something that we do in america when we get together with friends in family in the summer.


The quiz...

Posted by Tim 18 May 2006 0 comments

so once again i purposefully (i'm lying) extended the period of the weekly culture quiz. so here are the results...

the secular...
you guys are too smart. you guessed correctly and they say that the bacteria in the dog's mouth is very dangerous!!! i told him in America that people say that a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's mouth... to which he implied that we were crazy. i then had to explain how they are pets and don't roam the streets rooting in garbage bins all day like they do here.

the spiritual...
i gothca on this one... the answer is that they will scare away the angels! I was told that angels are everywhere, which i seem to think that we have forgotten in America, and that they don't like dogs too much. i disagree because i think that the angels would rejoice in all of creation. but anyways... i was told that people don't have dogs as pets because they want the angels around but if you have a ground floor apartment or a villa with a garden you can have a dog and keep them there for protection and the angels will still hang out in your house.

here are the results...

we have a lot of the same types of toys here that kids love in the states... they just usually break quicker. we also have some that aren't quite available in the states... such as

the rocking camel...

and the butcher puppet covered in blood and wielding a meat cleaver...

one cute kid...

Posted by Tim 0 comments

he sure is one cute kid, no?

i opened a new bank account today and the application had the first three lines reading as such:

first name: _________________
father's name and grandfather's name _________________
last name: _________________

so i put

john horace

so according to the bank... my name is timothy john horace semmens.
that is how the id cards work here. for example a guy name could be "ahmed refat mohammed helmy" which is his name, his dad's name, his grandfather's name and then his family name.

here is a copy of the top of my bank deposit slip...

so george foreman tried several times to make a comeback but it just wasn't in the cards. well let me take you down the journey of the comback of our george foreman grill!

before we left the united states we bought the big mamba george foreman grill... the biggest one that is a counter top model. it had the timer and temperature control... everything... and it was glorious! we never even actually used it because we bought it solely for use overseas. i knew that it, or anything of any quality like it, is not available over here hence the purchase and packing of george.
well anyways... we took george out of his packaging and put him in a suitcase to save room (you don't pack air when moving overseas), nestled by lots of clothes in hopes of keeping him safe and comfy. it didn't work... observe the carnage of the airport baggage handlers...
«exhibit a: busted george foreman grill totted in from the states»
now the bottom part where all the wires and the circuit board are was not exposed like that. the purpose of this picutre is so show you the base is currently crushed into lots of itty bitty bits and some big chunky parts hanging on by single screws.

so anyways... with the help of certain objects to prop it up we could still use it. however, because of the exposed metal, due to the big chunks missing, i would burn myself a lot on the 400 degree plates. ouch :( After burning myself a dozen or so times i decided that it wasn't worth my skin.
so some friends came to visit us here from america and they asked if they could bring us anything... to which i gleefully replied... well if there is space bring us a george foreman grill model GRP 99! There was space and there was much praising to be done in the Semmens household.
«exhibit b: *new* george foreman grill brought in by friends from the U.S.»

we had just moved to so i was getting everything ready to use it in the kitchen. i got out my 2000 watt transformer and plugged it in and then plugged in the grill... but i was a big dummy head and had the cords in the transformer accidently swapped. so basically...
i fried the brand new george foreman grill.
the horror!

i was recently over at a friends house and he showed me some nice speakers that he had. he said that a friend of his had zapped them on the electricity here (much like my new grill!) and gave them to him. he took them to an electrictian here and the guy swapped it all to 220! yay! they worked! immediately my mind conjured up doing the same thing with george. so i took him on down to this place we know of and opened george up on the gurney (table) and saw...

«exhibit c: george #2's little problem»
... that his heart was working on only one ventricle (i blew a transistor). the guy said he could fix it but the timer wouldn't work anymore. no problem said i. so the next day i go to pick it up and discover that the on/off button doesn't work and the temperature control doesn't work either! argh! not what i wanted! the beauty of this model is the temperature control. i can time it with a timer but i'm not going to bust out some jerry-rigged temperature control! so i tell the guy i want it all wired back the way it was when i brougt it to him!
i decide that i am relatively smart guy with the computers so i should be able to fix this myself. scary i know but bear with me here... i still had the old broken-down george foreman grill with what i believed would be a properly working circuit board.

so i busted the both out side by side... grabbed a pencil and paper and began to diagram out everything the way it was in the 1st g.f. grill.

«exhibit d: diagram of the circuit board»
«exhibit e: diagram of george's innards»
after diagramming everything i proceeded to swap out what I hoped was still a good circuit board for what I knew to be bad. after surgery it was wheeled out into the recovery room and the result...

grill glorious grill!!! SUCCESS!

Praise the Lord and Bless George Foreman!

check out our new kid...

Posted by Tim 03 May 2006 2 comments

we went to the doctor (in arabic, "docktoor"... that's a toughie)... and got the whole sonogram bit done. it was pretty cool... got to see the little fingers and toes and the arms and legs that came with them. the machine that the doc used was a lot nicer than the one they used on us last time in the states... it even had that cool "4-d" capability.

so here is a pic of our new kid all decked out in his new 4-d awesomeliness...

and for those of you who are sonogram impaired...

meet chudson.... i mean hudson

Posted by Tim 02 May 2006 0 comments

meet our new cat... hudson. i think he looks like a chester and subseuently catch myself calling him that all the time. so i get confused and now think he needs to answer to both... like a cat answers to anything. har har

he is really nice and relaxed for a kitten. he is a little OCD when it comes to litter box cleanliness though. i had never met a clean freak cat until now. his little behavioral issues are far outweighed by how chill he is in every other aspect of kitty life. we think he's a keeper.

and plus... he is so ugly he's cute. all these little flat faced cats are... just like pug dogs.

so we got a new comforter for our bed... and shams... and a bed skirt... and a tube pillow... and four small pillows... and i think that's it... i'll let you know if i find some more stuff.

anyways... we love the people here but their taste is basically the american equivalent of hideously tacky and vomit inspiring. so the bed-in-a-bags here aren't quite feasible (metallic gold fabric and lace and other gaudy disgusting looks). so we went to a local fabric mart (outdoors of course) and bought 18 meters of fabric. We then turned it into this guy who does this and he turned it into a beautiful bed-in-a-trashbag... guess he didn't have those nice little comforter bags.

one thing though... the thing is pretty thick and i think he doesn't get that it is going to be 115 before long. oh well... thing sure is perty.

A photo extravaganza!

Posted by Tim 01 May 2006 0 comments

I have lots of pics from my camera phone that I just off loaded and have been dying to share with you so here we go!

--------------------Begin Photo Extravaganza--------------------

Excuse me, miss? There seems to be a mistake. I believe I ordered the large cappuccino. Hello! Look at the size of this thing. It's like Campbell's Cup-O-Chino!

Got this at Costa Coffee... this is the massimo size! It comes with two stinkin' handles just to give you added stability when you're lifting this bohemoth to your grill.

Brother... if you're eatin' off this plate... you already done been invited.

this truck here is affectionately known as the bone truck. ya see... we ain't into the whole aged beef thing here. they just do the killin, deliever the bodies off to the butcher and then the bone truck comes around at the end of every day to collect all them bones.

so we went to another part of town to get landon's picture done up like back home at the portrait studios... except it wasn't exactly the same. here is an example of where they put the picture of your child at the end of the cartoon character droopy's six-shooter... so basically it looks like he is about to blow your child's head off. that's pleasant.

we were at carrefour the other day (the equivalent of walmart) and here are two fun things...

1. there is a mosque inside with a sign leading you down a long corridor... just like the hallway at the malls back home that lead you to the restrooms...

2. there was another store inside called in & out and they don't allow you to bring your carts inside so you must leave it outside... which is all well and good... but i don't know if i would LEAVE MY SLEEPING CHILD ALONE IN THE CART OUTSIDE OF A STORE THE SIZE OF HOBBY LOBBY!!!

Search Our Blog

Search Posts by Label