Sunday, 29 June 2014

Paintball boys

Lucas was invited to his friend Sam's birthday party this weekend. The main activity was going to be paintballing, something Lucas had never tried before. I tried to prepare him by saying that it's not quite as a Nerf war, it can hurt! So then I found him the days before the party watching some YouTube videos from different paintball games as preparation! Ha ha!

Anyway, both Sam's dad Stu and Nathan went along, and all the boys, big and small, had a great time. A few small bruises has developed from getting hit, but nothing major. They were all wearing overalls, chest plates, face masks and all the proper protection gear.

Guess what Lucas wants to do for his birthday...

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Loopy looms

The latest craze for our kids, is making Rainbow Looms.
I know, they are pretty late to jump on this trend, compared to kids in the US or Singapore and even here, but they are both so into it, and they love it! They got a few bags each in different colours as end-of-year presents yesterday.

Rainbow Looms are small rubber bands in all different colours, that the kids make bracelets with, either with their fingers or by the help of a peg board (that we haven't been able to find here, but it's the first thing I'm going to buy when we get to Europe).
There are an abundance of movies on YouTube on how to weave to make different designs, and the kids just haven't stopped. Both of them are all into it, working together to come up with new designs and colour combinations and it's great to see how they help each other when they get stuck.

They are super busy making bracelets for themselves, for each other, for their friends and even for Mummy and Daddy. Lucas made these for us yesterday when he was supposed to go to sleep. ♥

Hot and bothered

Having lived in the tropics for nearly seven years I thought that I would be able to handle the heat in the desert alright. Thing is, it's a very different kind of heat, and I've now reached the state where I'm hot and bothered nearly all of the time. Yuk.
We are certainly heading for complete indoor living for the next couple of weeks, until we leave on our summer holidays.

In Brunei, the temperature was the same, pretty much, day and night, all year around - unless when it rained and it dropped a few degrees. It was very humid, around 97-98% humidity, so you got used to sweating, all the time.
Here, it's a different story. For those of you who have never experienced extreme heat, it can best be described as scorching.

It's so hot that your sunglasses fog up as soon as you go outside.
It's so hot it feels like sticking your head right in the heat that comes out when you open the oven door to check on your food.
It's so hot that going outside is like turning a hairdryer on full power and aiming it at your face.
It's so hot that if you don't put up the sun shield or cover the steering wheel when you leave your car for even five minutes, you can't sit on the seat or touch the steering wheel, and it takes a good 15 minutes for the AC to cool down the car.
It's so hot that if your sunglasses are metal, they burn your face when you are outside, and so does your necklace and other jewelery.

It's so hot, you just don't go outside for anything else than getting in your car, and driving somewhere else - to go inside.
A bit like Scandinavia in the coldest winter I guess.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

School is out!

I know, it feels like we just got here, but somehow this term is already done! Today was the last day of school for this year and now the kids and I have nine whole weeks of summer holidays ahead of us. I sure am looking forward to no scorching hot school runs for a while, no lunch boxes to prepare and no homework. Yay!

I went to school a little bit before pickup today, to take part in the 2R class party.

Linnea and her fantastic teacher Mr Richard, who sadly is leaving school this year to go back to NZ. He has been great, and I don't think Linnea could have asked for a better start at Raha. She was truly sad to say goodbye to him today.

The class mum had collected money from all of us and organized to get Mr Richard and his assistant Ms Sweet some lovely presents as a thank you.

I also visited Lucas' class before the bell. His teacher Ms Caroline is also leaving school, and leaving teaching all together so she was rather tearful telling the kids that they will always be her special ones, since they were her last class.

Lucas had spent the day making a movie together with two of his friends, about their class. They got to present it to the class at the end of the day:

Lucas with Ms Caroline and his buddy Emerson, who was the one that looked after Lucas when we first arrived.

Nine long weeks... I can already visualize my happy dance across the sand dunes on the 1st of September!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

From Russia with love

One of the nice things with changing outfit is that you get to fly to other destinations that the same old, same old. For Nathan Etihad has brought some totally new ones into his log book, he's been flying into many airports where he has never been before, and have been on overnights in quite a few new places to him.

This passed weekend he went to Minsk for the first time, but he didn't really leave the hotel there this time. Today he is in Moscow for the second time, and ventured out for a bit of a walk. He sent us these pictures:

Lucas first comment when he heard Daddy was going to Moscow was "That's where they blew up that building in 'Ghost Protocol'! Can you take a photo of that Daddy?!".
He means the Mission Impossible IV movie, where they blew up the Kremlin. This building:

The Spasskaya Tower, with the Ruby Star:

Lucas and Linnea were also mighty impressed with these pictures from the Red Square, of the Saint Basil's Cathedral.

A random shot on the way back to the hotel:

I'm not quite sure what this building is, and ha ha, I'm not sure Nathan really knew either! It sure is majestic though. (Edit: Could it be the Radisson Blu hotel?)

Other than doing a bit of sightseeing, he is apparently enjoying their local beer, and their borstch!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Happy Midsummer!

When I explain to my expat friends about Swedish Midsummer, I tell them it's our most important holiday of the year, after Christmas. That usually gets them to understand.
Deep inside all Swedes are all agreed on what Midsummer should look like and how it should proceed. If you want to get and idea, check out this short little clip from

But, if you don't have flowers enough to make a maypole, a meadow where to put it; herring and new potatoes nor spiced schnapps - you make the most of what you got!
I went to IKEA to find some flowers, cornflowers, daisies, poppies and more. I wanted to make my own flower wreath for the hair, and I got pretty pleased with the end result!

Then yesterday, a big group of flower clad Swedes descended on the very fancy Yas Viceroy Hotel and their Friday Bubbly Brunch, for our own take on an Abu Dhabi Midsummer celebration!

We had brought our own decorations for the table, of course!

We were 10 adults and 14 kids so we took up a big part of the restaurant! The adults on one table and the kids behind us.

Linnea found the sushi, and had some especially made to her liking!

The kids could come and go though, as there was also a huge play room where they could hang about, which had a big screen TV, games, special snacks and attendants to play with the kids. 

- "Skål"!

The brunch lasted between 12.30 and 4pm, and we made sure we kept eating (well, and drinking..!) all that time! There was just so much food to choose from, it was no problem!

We even managed to sing "Helan går"! Vodka shots for all!

The desserts... mmm... There were so many it was impossible to try everything, but we sure did our best!

The only three men represented, an Australian, a Swede and a Kiwi!

Happy Midsummer from us!