Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My first homemade tortilla!

After our trip to the Maldives, I was determined to learn how to made Roshi bread (a Maldivian flat bread). It was so good! Everybody in the family loved it! After some research on the internet, Roshi's seemed pretty simple to make.

The Roshi bread was a huge hit! Since it tastes pretty much like a tortilla, I make them every time we have tacos, or quesadillas... The fam LOVE them!

Here is the recipe I have been using if you are interested!

Makes : 10 roshi.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time : 05 minutes

2 cups plain flour
A big pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp oil
1 cup BOILING water ( approx)

1. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add salt. Make a well in the centre and add oil. 
2. Add water, be careful as its boiling hot water!!!. 
3. Using a metal spoon slowly mix in the flour with water. It will start to form clumps and may look dry but don’t add any more water. 
4. When its cool enough to handle, but still warm, start kneading with your hands.
Once you get a nice soft dough divide it in to 10 balls , knead each ball and ,flatten them a little.
5. Dust your work bench with a little flour, and roll each dough to a nice thin flat bread like a chapatti or the Mexican tortilla.
6. Heat a a large non stick frying pan,over a medium heat .Once its hot , place a roshi in the pan .
7. Cook until the underside turns brown , and the top begins to show little air pockets beginning to rise. Flip it over, flatten it a bit with a wooden spoon and brown the other side. Continue the same with the remaining roshi.
Serve with any of the curries or mashuni . 

Here is a link to the blog:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Playing catch with dad!

I just love seeing Jon go out and play with the kids! Tonight Julien wanted to play catch so even after a long day Jon grabbed his glove and tossed the ball. #playingball #fatherandsonbondingtime #familylove

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New Bike for Kiki

Jon and I went out and picked up a big girl bike for Kiki today. She was so excited that it followed her everywhere she went. Even into the bathroom! Funny Girl!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Homework Time!

I just love this sight! Kids working hard at their homework!

Eden first trip to the ER

Eden took his first trip to the ER today. But no need to worry, it was nothing serious! After several attempts at making a doctor appointment for him Jon and I decided to just take him to the ER. The poor kid had an ear infection in both ears. He is always such a good little trooper, even with  2 ears infections he was all smiles.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Living in a country which does not celebrate Christian holidays can make it hard to remember and plan an event in advance because stores and media is not reminding you weeks, even months in advance that the holiday is coming up. However, it does put things in perspective. Candy, toys, planning parties and dinners is not what is important, but being here helps me keep the holiday and the season much more centered around Christ and his gift to us.

I did manage to make a nice dinner, and have a little easter egg hunt.

Bunny Rolls!

Finding the Easter eggs in the stores was a hunt of its own. 
Only one or two stores sold them, and they were quite pricy so I only got a few eggs.

My good friend Nicole brought a chocolate bunny back from Germany since you can't find them here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Julien's roman empire project

Julien had a huge project due in Social Studies on the Roman Empire. He worked so hard at it! Along with a big written assignment he had to do a 3D project to compliment his paper. 

He made this Roman Empire soldier.

And a soldier training camp.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Just another day in Paradise: Our amazing adventure relaxing on the beautiful beaches of the Maldives!

For spring break Jon and I planed an awesome vacation in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. The MALDIVES!!!

Off we go to the airport headed for Chaaya Island a beautiful island located in the Indian Ocean. We were all so excited to visit, and relax in such a paradise.

Kiki's friend Rafaella gave her a few snacks for the road! 
She was pretty excited!

Jon spoiling Kiki with a flower fan!

Eden had fun taking it from her. 
He loved to look at all the lights lighting up!

Traveling is so tiring!

Getting on the plane is quite chaotic!

Day #1:

After a long 7 hr flight we finally arrived!

Our ride to our island, a speed boat!

Upon arrival at the resort we were staying at, Chaaya Island Dhonveli, we were greeted with cool scented towels and nice fresh orange juice.

Once settled in our villa we headed straight to lunch!

We brought Eden's mat so he could enjoy sitting, rolling and scooting about without getting hurt.

Much needed nap time after a long trip!

First time at the beach!
The water was so beautiful! Quite honestly I don't think I have ever seen water this crystal clear and beautiful in my life. It was gorgeous! True paradise!

Before the trip we got snorkels and fins for all of us. 
We snorkeled every day!

Eden enjoying playing in the sand!

You will see much of this throughout this post, Eden asleep.
The sun made him pretty tired, and he had a fever for the first part of the trip due to teething!
Those darn teeth!!!

Jon relaxing on the deck!

That night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner with  awesome saxophone ambiance music.

Enjoying the beautiful sunset!

Day #2:

One of the things we loved to do while on the island was picking up and observing hermit crabs. There were so many. The kids were so fascinated by them. We had a little competition with who would find the smallest which Julien won, the biggest which I won, and find the one with the most interesting shell which Julien won. It was fun! 

Julien showing off of the hermit crabs he picked up.

Eden thinking about waking up after a snooze on the beach.

Enjoying basking in the sun with Kiki and Eden!

The kiddos and I

Jon took these cute shots of Eden and I!
I thought I'd share a few...

Julien and Kiki playing with some sea snails I grabbed along the steps of our villa.

Kiki was so cute asking the snail to smile for the camera!

More hermit crabs!

Eden Zzzzz....

I love this shot for Eden and Kiki!
They are to cute!

Jon putting Eden down

Kiki and Julien walking home from lunch!

Julien and Jon spent every day, sometimes twice a day lugging our snorkel bag from the villa to the beach. That bag was HEAVY! But I was so glad they did so I could enjoy the beautiful marine life below!

Jon and me

Kiki digging in the sand!

This girl is to cute!

Jon, Julien, and Logan joined in on a beach volleyball game. 
They had a lot of fun!

Jon showing off his mad skills spiking the ball!

Battle wounds from volleyball!

That night on my way back to the villa, the fish in the water kept jumping. I flashed the flashlight of my phone to the water and saw a stingray less than 4 feet from shore.

Day #3:

Eden's "Aye Aye Captain" photoshoot! I bought this cute pirate onesie a while back and was delighted to know that it fit Eden just in time for the trip!

This boy has the most beautiful, sweetest face!
I love him so much!

Pool Time!

Jon stretching pool side!

Julien and Logan got to take some windsurfing lessons.

Julien got it right away. His one hour lesson turned into a 2 hr lesson. 

Samir giving Julien a few pointers

Logan's turn to surf

Samir and Mod teaching Logan 

After a little while Logan too got the hang of it!

 More hermit crabs

Eden loved chowing down all sorts of delicious fruits, and fruity water drinks.

I also had fun doing a little photoshoot with the kiddos!

Our handsome Logan!

Our dashing Julien!

Our beautiful princess Kia Ora!
While I was taking Kiki's pictures, an Asian man walked up with a huge camera and started taking pictures of her.
It was kind of bizarre, although I should be used to it by now because it happens quite a  bit.

Our sweet little prince Eden!

Logan, Eden, Kia Ora, Julien!

The long days in the sun made Kia Ora and Eden very tired. 
They would go to sleep around 6:30 pm every night which was about 4:30 pm Saudi time.
It worked out great because we could go eat dinner in shifts and have a peaceful relaxing meal.

Logan and Jon took the first shift and had a daddy date. Julien and I took the second shift and had a good mommy date.
Julien is so adventurous. He and Logan tried a lot of new foods: squid, octopus, all sorts of curries....
Logan, our little bread, crackers, and cookies only boy would go to the wok station every night and tried something new and exotic food every night. I was so proud to see him be willing to experience new food.

Julien eating octopus!

Julien and me on our mommy date!

Once Julien and I got home, Jon and I decided to go on a little stroll to the gift shop and the tailor shop. This was our first date in a long time!

On our way I found the biggest hermit crab!

When we got home Julien was walking the baby back to sleep because he had woken up. 
It was good to know that he is becoming more responsible.
Throughout the trip Jon and I actually got to go on 2 other dates because Julien had done so well the first time!

Day #4:

On day four we decided to lay low, snorkel a little, and spend some time at the pool.

Kiki and Eden!

Few family shots!

Breakfast Time!
The food was so good! There were a lot of curries served at every meal which Jon and I loved since curries are probably on of our favorite food. Logan and Kiki loved eating this very good Maldivian bread, called Roshi which is pretty much a tortilla (so no wonder). 

The kitchen staff and waiters were amazing. They were very very nice. Lalith, and Naufal (our waiter) would hold Eden every morning while we ate breakfast.

Abdul serving up some bacon and eggs.
Abdul was the pasta boy. He cooked amazing pasta!

Akesh's specialty was salads and meat. He was very very cool!

I cannot remember his name but he was in charge of all the fruits and desserts.
He love playing with and holding Eden.

Toward the end of the trip, Kiki finally got the courage to pick up a little hermit crab!

me taking a little dip in the water right outside our villa

On the resort was a very big tree with hundreds of fruit bats perched in it so around 5pm we headed to the tree to see them.

The Tree


This is what I came to when walking up to the living room; 
Kiki asleep seating on the floor crackers in hand!

Day #5:

Second to last day in the Maldives, we were pretty sad our vacation was coming to an end so quickly!

Eden, Jon, and Kiki enjoying the beautiful scenery!

Logan, Kiki and me.

Naufal our waiter made a fish and fishing pole out of coconut leafs for Kiki she loved it!

Kiki going fishing pool side!

Julien and I were snorkeling about when off he dives down deep to the ocean floor. 
He comes back up with a key, that looked a lot like our villa key.
He than tells me to take a closer look, and indeed it was our key.
He proceeds to tell me that the Holy Ghost had prompted him to grab the shiny thing below.
What a cool experience for him!
We were very glad he found it. Had he not followed the prompting we would have never found the key.

Jon and I had a nice little surprise for the boys.
We arranged for them to go tubing!
They had ever been before. 

I got to go with them so I could take pictures. 
I loved seeing them have so much fun!

Having a BLAST on the tube!

Kiki found new friends at the pool!
She was chasing them all over!

Eden out!

Sattar, the pool boy loved Eden.
He held him close to 2 hours when we were at the pool!

Jon discovered "rainbow jewels" on my iPad, and got pretty addicted playing it!

Shipon our room boy was so nice. On the second to last day he said he wanted to decorate our room for us, and kindly asked us if we could give him a little more time alone in the room so he could decorate it.  The room looked beautiful!

Kiki loved her "princess" bed!

For lunch Naufal had another surprise for Kiki.
A grasshopper made out of coconut leaves. And another waiter name Azzam made her and Eden a lizard.

Kia Ora enjoying a nice bath in the jetted tub!

Julien took a couple of good pictures of Jon and I. 

Jon looked so cute! I just had to snap a shot of him!

Eden and me

The boys enjoyed a quick game of badminton!

Jon booked us hour and twenty minute massages. On Wednesday he got a deep tissue massage, on Thursday it was my turn to relax to a Balinese massage. Since we had booked two massages we got a third one free, and because Jon's back is always bothering him I thought it be best he get it. So he enjoyed 2 massages in one week. Luck Duck!

Eden, Kiki and I waiting for Jon to finish his massage!

Day #6:

On the last day we snorkeled right outside our villa. The front desk had asked us not to because of strong currants, but Jon and I did not see any strong currant the entire week. So on the last day we decide to break the rule. After all why have an over the water villa and not be able to take a plunge right outside your door step. To be frank lots of people were snorkeling there all week, and the snorkeling was amazing. I wished we had broken the rule earlier.

We saw sting rays, manta rays, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, all sorts of tropical fish such as piper fish, and unicorn fish, fish with vibrant neon colors. It was spectacular. A grey reef shark about 5 feet long swam right passed Jon.

Jon found a Chiragra Spider Conch seashell.

Than Julien found 2 more!

One last dip in the gorgeous Indian Ocean.

Kavinga and Eden.
Jon and the boys played volleyball with him a few nights back.
He is the sustainability engineer for Chaaya island and a few other islands!

Kiki admiring the beautiful flowers before going back to the dry barren Arabian desert!

Boat ride to the airport!

The kids had fun picking a souvenir to take home!

Most expensive Burger King meal EVER $15 per combo!
That was pretty ridiculous.

Off we go!

Stuck in Sri Lanka!

When we arrived to Sri Lanka Jon went to check where our next gate was only to find out there was not gate and no plane leaving for Damman that day.
How did we not find this out til now? After talking so someone, because Sri Lankan airline has NO customer service, she let us know that Sri Lankan airlines never flies to Dammam on fridays or saturdays. Jon and I looked at each other, giggled in disbelief and said: "how is it than that we bought tickets from Sri Lankan airlines website to fly home to Damman on a saturday if their was never a plane assigned to that route?" Her answer was: "That is a good question? I don't know!"

Jon and I were slightly frustrated, but knowing there were no planes leaving til the next day, we wanted to make the best out of the situation.
And we wanted to plan a trip to Sri Lanka anyway, so this was a good preview for us.

Sri Lankan airlines did put us in a hotel with all meals included.

Before headed to the hotel Jon asked the person helping us with accommodations about what we could do the following day since we were not leaving until 6:30pm.

The conversation went something like this:

Jon: So what are we suppose to do let say from 8 am to 4 pm with 4 kids. Sit around in our hotel room and play video games all day? (remember we were pretty ticked off about the airline not telling us that they sold us plane tickets to a flight that never existed)

Sri Lankan representative: YES!

Jon and me: NO!

He than made arrangements for us to tour the city of Colombo.

Kids very tired!

Poor Kiki fell asleep she was so beat!

At our hotel at last!

Our hotel room! It was pretty nice. It had a colonization feel to it. 
The room that was assigned to us only had 2 twin size beds for a family of 6! Lol!
I couldn't help but giggle when Jon told me he had to draw a picture to show that all 6 of us would not if in 2 small beds. So they showed up with a crib which was nice... but the baby does not sleep in a crib. Then after asking several times, and showing them that we could not fit into 2 small beds they brought us 2 extra beds.

The hotel had so many fruit trees: date trees, king coconut trees, mango trees, tamarind trees, jack fruit trees...

Julien picked up a jack fruit!

The next morning, we woke up early, had some breakfast and started out tour around Colombo city.

Our first stop was a Hindu temple. We had to take our shoes off and walk around and inside the temple bare foot.

Everyone was so interested to see us. I'm sure they don't get very many visitors touring their temple.

The temple was very interesting. There were many statues (their gods) that the people would worship. Jon noticed that there was not a set way to their worship. Some laid on the ground, some kissed the stones and wall, others brought flowers.

There were groups of children going to school sitting around the temple.
Their beliefs are really integrated into their education.

A few cows outside the temple.

One of the beaches.

There were little 3 wheeled cars everywhere. I think they were taxis but I could be wrong.

Our next stop was a Buddhist temple. This was my favorite visit of the day. The Buddhist were so nice! One of the Monks took us around and gave us good luck bracelets, and put 1 kilo of gold on our heads (I'm not sure exactly why, but I think it might have something to do with good fortune)

This guy wanted me to take a picture of him with the baby.  Lol!

And these 2 girls just grabbed Eden from me and started posing for the camera too. 
You would never see that in the states and in most places I am sure.
Everyone was very friendly.

The Monk loved Eden!

One Kilo of gold on all our heads except for Kiki, she did not want anything to do with that. 

Good luck bracelet!
Eden loved playing with the strings of his bracelet!

These guys were playing music to a buddha statue.

There was an old man blessing people in front of a large tree while another man would walk around the tree with incense and flowers.

An elephant lived on the temple grounds. We got to go pet it and feed it bananas and mangos.
Kiki was to afraid to touch it and feed it so she stayed away. She was sad to leave him when it was time to go however.

We then stopped by a lake to pick up some popsicles to cool us down. 

2 snake charmers was there with 3 cobras, and 2 python.  
They wanted us to hold the pythons 
(for money of course, but they didn't tell us that until after we held them).

Kiki was afraid to touch a baby elephant but not a huge python! 
Crazy Girl!

The guy had 3 cobras dancing at the same time. 
I was afraid for him to be so close to those deadly snakes.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, but seeing the poverty that exists there was gut wrenching.
Looking at people bare feet walking along the streets wearing what seemed rags, and seeing houses made out of gathered material puzzled together was very eye opening. 
And the thing is that those people are happy no matter how little they have. 
They will still have big smiles on their faces.

People playing cricket bare foot on the hot dirt floor in 90 degree very humid weather.

One our way back to the hotel we stopped at a little fruit shop by the side of the road to try some new things. We got bananas, mangos, and other fruits of which I don't know the name.

Waiting to board the plane Kiki had a little fun taking pictures with my phone!

Home at last and ready for our nice comfortable beds