Sunday, May 18, 2008

I survived prom!!!

One would think that going through 2 proms with Mike I would be a pro at this. But alas, each child is sooo different. At least I have a year to recover before the final one (say it isn't so!!!!!) Here are pictures from the pre prom event. I'm not allowed to attend the actual event or the after prom (and I'm not sure I want to).

I am so thankful I have boys. Frank started getting ready about 30 minutes before he had to be there (6:00 PM). Ashley started getting ready around 10 AM. We had Frank's suit made a couple of weeks before prom - the girls start shopping in the summer for their prom dress. The tailors ovr here have a tendency to mess up prom dresses for some reason. It's easier to bring them back.

Frank's date was Ashley, the one in the brown dress. Almost all of the junior class met for photos, mostly to get the moms off their backs about taking pictures. The kids, I mean young adults, looked fabulous, so much so I didn't recognize some of them. I know I'm biased, but I thought Frank was the best looking there (he'll hate that I wrote that). Judge for yourself. PS They're drinking sparkling applejuice - I know - I tasted it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Steve, Frank and I went to Phuket, Thailand for spring break this year. We had a fun, relaxing trip which is a little different than when Steve's in charge. When he plans, we come home more tired than when we left. I was in charge of this trip - I guess opposites really do attract.

An agent for the local travel agency filled us in on the particulars of Phuket. Basically - don't trust anyone. It's a safe place to be but people will try to take advantage of you monetarily whenever they can. I guess that may be typical of a touristy kind of town. She also warned us that Frank should not go into town at night by himself. The prostitutes would get him, both male and female. YUK!!! I thought she was exaggerating just a teensy bit until we went into town late one evening. Phuket has many, many massage places that are very busy at night. Most are legitimate. I know because I had a thai massage. Ladies would stand in front of the stores and try to get people to come in. These ladies are the ones that couldn't keep their hands off him. While I think Frank may have started liking the attention after awhile, I took it upon myself to run interference for him. I became very good at it.

Don't get me wrong, Phuket is a great vacation spot and there was only one small section of one particular street where this seemed to be a problem. 99 percent of the town is great to be in. The food was great, expecially the thai restaurants and also very cheap. None of us got sick so what more could you ask for. None of us ate anything "American" for an entire week.

We went snorkeling one day and saw the islands where The Beach was filmed along with the James Bond Island. They all looked the same to me but were all very pretty.

As usual, I've included some pictures and, for those who have been requesting pictures of me, I've finally included one.

No wonder the girls had their eye on him!!!

The tide greatly fluctuates in Phuket. The first time the tide was low, it was sooo low, I immediately thought a tsunami was headed our way. Obviously that wasn't the case but the tsunami signs are located all over the islands.

This is the view from our balcony (where Steve did all of his "work") I've come to accept the fact that he always works just sometimes doesn't go into the office.

The preferred and only available mode of transportation other than walking is the tuk-tuk.

Shopping is great. These shops are typical of what lines the streets. Any and everything you could possibly want(me) and not want(Steve and Frank) is available. This is the place to buy anything imitation. They even take you to special hidden rooms for the really good fake stuff!!!

I wan't very impressed with the electrical wiring. Some of the wires were low enough to walk into, but then again, one would only do that once.

Boxing was advertised by these guys boxing each other or making loud punching sounds on the tops of trucks that drove around using a loudspeaker to give the details.

Last but not least, the long awaited picture of me (and Steve). By the way, this trip was also in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary on April 30. Don't know why he's put up with me that long but I'm grateful he has. I think this island may be called phee-phee(it's pronounced pee pee don't laugh).

Picture me putting my hands together just under my chin and bowing my head slightly which is the traditional thai greeting. So long for now.

Friday, March 28, 2008


For as long as I can remember, EBCI has always had a sunrise Easter service. The weekends in Dubai are Friday/Saturday, Friday being the holy day. So, churches meet on Friday. A sunrise service allows those who work to celebrate Easter and still get to work on time.

I've always been a little nervous worshipping as a group on a public beach. After all, technically, it is against the law. In the late 90's I remember praying for safety for I feared being arrested - nothing to base that fear on, just me being weird I guess. But God, being rich in mercy, love and compassion, caused a fog to roll in and we could barely see in front of us. I knew we couldn't be seen by patrols from the road and I could worship in peace (in MY mind).

This Easter weekend was a little different. The police patrols I once feared were now protecting us. Rumor had it that Christians had been threatened specific to Dubai. So, for some churches, on Friday, cars were parked away from the building and people were bussed in. For us, meeting in temp facilities, we had undercover policemen in the parking lot. Now I no longer feared the police as something greater had taken their place. I guess the next loogical question is was I more nervous with a threat against Christians in Dubai - could I actually focus to worship? Well, as I sat down to begin to prepare myself to worship, I asked God to help me relax and give wisdom to the leaders and cops to spot any bad guys. As I was thumbing through my Bible, it fell open to Psalm 37. 'Do not fret because of evil men'....I really didn't have to read any further (although I did and I was most comforted) and was able to concentrate on who God is and praise His glorious, holy name. The comfort from Psalm 37 carried over to Easter Sunday and I was able to worship without any distraction, the slight fog bringing a little smile to my face. Hallelujah - we serve a risen Savior!!!

Anyway, here are some pics Steve took at the Sunrise service.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Frank has kept very busy this year. He was cast as LaFou in the fall musical Beauty and the Beast. For those of you who aren't familiar with the musical/movie, LaFou is Gaston's assistant. It was a rough part for Frank who was constantly getting thrown to the ground as part of the choreography. He ended up wearing knee and elbow pads under his costume.

He then began the process of auditioning for the International Honor Choir. Students from international schools around the world record an audition tape at their high school. That tape is then sent off and listened to by a panel of judges. Frank was chosen to participate as a first tenor. This is his 3rd year to be chosen. He had to memorize several pieces of music in various languages. His choir director had to pass him off before he could make the trip to London. After a passport fiasco at the Dubai airport, Frank and I left one day later (the worse 24 hours of my life) and made it just in time for him to go through the 2 days of testing and rehearsals before the performance last Sat. It was phenomenal.

Right before honor choir, Frank was Mr. Kirby in the play "You Can't Take It With You." A slightly different part for Frank but he was faboulous if I may say so.

So, needless to say, he is now sleeping regular hours and even has time to go out on the weekends. Oh yeah, during all of the extra curriculurs, he still had time to make the high honor roll. Following are some pictures of his various roles.

Gaston and LaFou

LaFou with Beauty and Mrs. Potts

Honor choir rehearsal.

2008 International Honor Choir

Honor choir and band students from ASD with the 2 directors.

Mr. Kirby in You Can't Take It With You

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Our church in Dubai, Emirates Baptist Church International, has been around for a little over 10 years. We started going there in 1998 when it was less than a year old, meeting in a villa. God grew the church and worked in the landlords heart. He also moved tenants in and out of the adjoining villa (like a duplex) so that when He grew us, we just knocked down the common wall and moved into 2 villas. Of course, this meant that the pastor had a support column right in front of the podium but one gets use to things like that in Dubai. Traffic chaos occured when a semi mega mall was built across the street from the villa. We looked at it as if we had our own parking garage, movie stage and starbucks. Safety was a MAJOR prayer request on AWANA evenings.

There are laws governing renters and rentees, but no one really knows what they are for sure. One rumored law is that a landlord cannot kick out a tenant unless he is going to do major rennovation or needs the villa for a family member. They are not suppose to raise the rent more than 5% every other year. There are many loopholes in the law. Rents have more than doubled in the 5 years we've been here this time, so it wasn't surprising to learn that our landlord wanted to do major rennovation. We were in need of a new home. We had grown soooo much, we were in need of a new home anyway. Religious communities are not allowed to meet in schools - at least that's the rumor. However, some schools don't fall under the Ministry of Education, so we can rent from them. Al Noor school for special needs kids warmly opened their arms to us. It's a win win situation for all of us. We have a place to worship, and they get income. The unpacking setting up, taking down, packing.....reminds me of the early days at Fellowship of the Woodlands. Mind you, I didn't attend there then but have heard the stories which I'm sure are true, not rumors.

I'm not sure how many nationalities attend our church. One Friday, Pastor Dan did an unofficial survey and counted more than 15 different first languages spoken by attendees. The congregation has changed significantly over the past years. Newcomers came from all over the US and we would try to guess which state they were from. (Texas usually won). Now, we try to guess which country people are from. They come from all over the world. It's truly amazing.

Here are a few pictures from a recent service at our new location.

Praise and Worship team....

the somewhat hidden worship band...

the gym is full....

a close up.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Camels were a novelty when we first came to Dubai 10 years ago, November 1997. We would see them around the city in trucks, along the side of the road and in the desert. Every camel we saw would bring us to a standstill and we marvelled at the sight of them. Now we have to drive at least 30 miles out of the city to see a camel in the desert. The closest we get in the city is at the camel race track. Since camels are associated with the desert and Dubai is built in the middle of one (desert not camel), I'd thought I'd share with you some pictures I've accumulated over the years.

Riding a camel is easy - getting off and on is difficult. They bend at 45 degree angles a couple of times in the process. I went head over heels for one camel:-) I don't have pictures of that and if I did, I probably wouldn't put them on my blog, but here are pictures of the process.


Baby camels can be quite cute...and come in many different colors, well at least 3.

.....speak no evil....(no they don't make these for teenagers- I've checked.....)

Smile for the camera!!!!!

Camel shower!!!!!