Dano, Melissa, Kennedy, Ethan, Erin, Abigail, and Emily

Dano, Melissa, Kennedy, Ethan, Erin, Abigail, and Emily

27 June 2011

Abbaya Thoughts

Do you remember times as a little child always knowing which legs were your mom's to grab onto? Have you ever had a child mistakenly grab onto your jean-wrapped leg only to realize you weren't his mom? Now imagine a little child here navigating a sea of black clad women especially if their faces are covered! Initially Abby was okay with the women coming up and kissing on her and stroking her golden hair. Then after a few months it started to make her feel, well, we'll just say less than comfortable. However, these are some of the things we'll miss when we leave.

I came across this picture some time ago and found it quite funny probably because it is so true!

We had to give our own version of a family picture. Fortunately for Dano, we are still quite easily discernible.

Abby loves her very own abbya and wanted Emily to wear hers. Yes, Emily has one, too, thanks to my parents.
Erin, loving the green and wondering how she'd blow bubbles with her gum if she had to cover her face.
Kennedy couldn't stop laughing. If she really lived here, though, she wouldn't think it was very funny. Once you start wearing this, it's "goodbye" to co-ed mingling.
Who says this is confining? I say it's freedom!
No more worrying about doing your hair before going out. You only need to worry about eye make-up, and that's only if you're not wearing the part that covers your entire face. Freedom.

Wearing the abbaya cuts back on time spent in the gym as this baby is virtually a sauna suit. Run all your errands while exercising. And when you arrive at your destination, no one will even see your sweat!

Freedom from embarrassing halitosis. Not to mention, those unformidable stray pieces of leftover lunch lodged in your front teeth that no one will tell you about.

There's the awkward "unmentionables" in your nose that, again, no one will tell you about which stay perfectly hidden under a hijab.

Freedom from worrying that someone will notice if you wore the same outfit two or maybe three days in a row. Heck, there have even been a couple of times we've been on the run and I've thrown it on over my pajamas and no one was the wiser! That is a far cry better than what I've been told about other women who in the heat of the summer wear only their skivvies underneath. Freedom!

You don't trip on it that often and your children only step on it when they're not looking. You learn to pick it up getting off escalators (there are even signs to remind us) and getting in cars. When completely covered, you can walk around and no one will even know who you are. You're essentially a black ghost.

So who wouldn't want to wear this? (only forty-three more hours...until real freedom.)

When all is said and done, we think this is what they're really doing under the hijab:

17 June 2011

A Good Heart

We’ve always known Kennedy was a thoughtful girl. We’ve always known she has great potential. As she grows, it is exciting to see this potential take shape.

Last fall after watching the news reports regarding the cholera outbreak in Haiti, Kennedy wanted to do something to help the effort in Haiti. She went to talk to her form head to propose an idea for a fundraiser. She quickly arranged a “Hats off for Haiti” day where students could wear a hat to school if they donated 5 SR (Saudi Riyals). She ended up raising 320 SR which is approximately $85. She was very excited by the response and was glad she was able to help make a small contribution. As her form head gave her jurisdiction of where to donate it, we wired a transfer to the United Way.

Then last month tragedy struck in Joplin. We have some good friends from our Stillwater, OK days who live there. The husband of this family was Dano’s first boss at MerCruiser upon graduating from OSU. We were very concerned about them and everyone else whose lives were devastated by this tornado. As we sat watching everyday and wishing we were closer so we could do more, Kennedy was preparing to take action. She again came up with a fundraiser, got approval, enlisted the help of a couple of friends, and set to work. For three days they sold candy grams.

First notion to consider, fundraisers are not practiced here. Many kids didn’t really understand the concept. Second, most of the kids at school as well as the teachers did not know what candy grams are. Some bought one to be supportive then sent it to themselves.

Kennedy, though, was in her element and loved all of it. She did great with the organizing and the collecting of funds. She and her friends did great delivering the candy grams. It was because of its success that it went for three days. After the notes were all delivered, the candy all eaten, and the money all counted, Kennedy, with the help of her friends, had raised 2011 SR ($535). She is so very thrilled with this outcome. (We are so very proud of her driven desire to initiate charitable causes.) We don’t hope for any more natural disasters. We just hope for more natural leaders like Kennedy. And, when disasters do happen, we know Kennedy will always be first in line to help.

09 June 2011

Like Mother Like Daughter

When I was a little girl I had several bad experiences with eggs that resulted in my pure hate relationship with them. I can recount stories involving eggs scrambled, poached, fried, boiled, and in egg salad sandwiches…all of which end quite badly; in some cases for the egg, but in most cases for me! Actually I can think of two ways I like eggs: in quiche and cookies or cakes. I do like a good Cadbury egg at Easter time as well. But, I digress.

Abigail has turned out to be a very, very picky eater. Her dining repertoire consists of as many foods as I can count on both hands. We are always trying to get her to try new foods, but she is quite reluctant to touch anything to her lips that she is uncertain of. So, while sitting in the Frankfurt Airport lounge we were happy to see her show some interest in a hard-boiled egg. Her original interest, I believe, came because it had been dyed pink for the upcoming Easter holidays. She brought it to us and asked what it was. We told her it was an egg, like what we make quiche with. She is a fellow quiche-lover and an expert egg-cracker when assisting with any baking. Her curiosity piqued, she decided to take a bite. The following photos are of the reaction that ensued.
By the time it was actually shelled, it was too late. She had already traded up for a biscuit and told Erin to get it away from her. (Frankly, I can't blame her.) P-U!