Modern Day Pilgrims

Friday, April 30, 2010

I Bet You Didn't Know This About Me....

I don't know that many people know this about me, but I love auctions. I mean love them. I get so caught up in the excitement, the emotions, and the fun that goes along with them. Chris gets into them, too, so it's something we enjoy doing together. Out here in Bahrain, there aren't many auctions to be had, but today we got to go to one! Woohoo! The D.O.D. (Department of Defense) school had an Asian-themed auction to help raise money for the senior class. They shipped in a ton of items from China and Japan for people to bid on. All of the profit will go towards their graduation ceremony. I guess it's not cheap to rent places in Bahrain, and the seniors apparently think the school is either too small or not cool enough to host a graduation ceremony. So even if the cause wasn't what I'd consider "worthy", it was still fun and a great excuse to BID! :-) :-) :-) And boy did we bid. We came home with way more than we bargained for.

They had the auction split up into two parts: a silent auction and public auction. Everything we ended up bringing home was from the silent auction. We bid on a handful of things in the public auction, but well, that didn't work out as I'll explain soon. It wasn't the best ran auction I've ever been to. Students were the auctioneers and didn't have a clue what they were doing. They were moving way too s l o w and giving people too much time to decide if they wanted to bid more or at all. Unfortunately, there were also some high rollers who weren't letting anyone else in on the fun, even though it was supposed to be a friendly high school fundraiser and not a Christie's auction. It's frustrating that a couple people decided to ruin the fun for everyone else and might even have discouraged people from wanting to come next year. Not me, though. I'm resilient! :-)

I'm pretty sure one guy was a vendor who was planning to resale what he won, and another guy was just an annoying Bahraini who we later found out is part of the royal family. They had these amazing Tiffany-type lamps that I was in love with. The royal family guy bid on almost all of them and wouldn't let anyone else win. He kept his paddle up until the competition gave up. Why did he have to ruin everyone else's fun when he can buy a genuine Tiffany lamp anytime he wants? He's probably just going to put them in some storage bin with every other nonsensical purchase he's ever made. He reminded me of some rich, preppy high schooler who likes to flaunt his wealth to all his classmates through the name brand clothes and car that his daddy's money bought him. He did nothing to earn the money; he was just lucky enough to be born into it. This guy's arrogance made me so frustrated. I know there's high rollers at most auctions. I just wasn't expecting one at a friendly high school fundraiser auction. But oh how I love auctions - even when dumb stuff like that happens.

We had good time overall and were able to get some cool things through the silent auction. We definitely came home with more than we anticipated and our house has been totally "Asianfied"!

Here's some photos of our purchases:

A rice box. Apparently this box is meant to hold rice, but I'm assuming this one was just painted for decorative purposes.

This is something Chris really wanted. They are some sort of hand exercise weights from China. Why he wanted them, I'll never know, but to each their own.

Chris surprised me by bidding on this during the silent auction. I have a thing for pearls, so he thought I might like this multi-strand necklace. I do!

This is a Japanese vase that has different paintings all around it. If anyone can read Japanese, could you let me know what it says? Hopefully not something like, "He who buys this is a sucker."

These are terra cotta solider statues. When I first heard the story about the terra cotta soldiers, I was really intrigued by it, so when I saw these today, I immediately bid on them!

This is a beautiful vase that is much more gorgeous in person. It has really pretty paintings on it with a really nice finish. It's really big...probably 3 feet tall or so.

This is a jewelry box I won. I bid on a beautiful one during the public auction but it went higher than I was willing to pay. Imagine my delight when I won this one in the silent auction!

A smallish chest I won in the silent auction. I also have a thing for chests so I was drawn to a lot of them at the auction. I think this one looks more like a chest you'd see inside a cottage than one you'd see in Asia, but I liked it nonetheless.

Now this is awesome. This is a motorcyle rocking horse. This thing is solid. It is quite heavy and I don't think it would be possible for Charlotte to break this thing. It will be so cute when she's old enough to ride it! It will be her first introduction to a motorcycle! Haha!

This was a bargain chest I decided to get last minute. No one bid on it during the silent auction, so they discounted the starting bid by 75%. I wouldn't have paid the initial bid price, but I figured it was worth what I ended up paying for it.

I'm sorry I have no Tiffany lamps to share...annoying Bahraini! Hopefully next year! :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thrifty and Cute!

Today I was looking at JJ Heller's blog (one of my favorite singers), and I fell in love with something she made for her daughter, Lucy. It had to do with old t-shirts, which I have way too many of. A lot of my t-shirts in women's sizes are too short for my long torso and it's been a long time since I've worn them. I just haven't let them go because I love them so much! Well, JJ loves sewing as much as I do, and when I saw that she made her old t-shirts into baby dresses, I couldn't help but give it a try. Really, I'm being very modest. As soon as I saw what she did, I got so excited and immediately started making one. It only took an hour and a half, and I plan to make many, many more. The first attempt is a little big, so Charlotte will definitely be able to wear it for awhile. I kept the original neck hole of the t-shirt, but perhaps next time I won't since it looks so big on Charlotte! If you want to know how these are made, check out this blog post, where JJ Heller got the idea. If you want to see the dresses JJ made, go here and here. I think the next t-shirt dress I make will have the rosettes and ruffles, because they are so CUTE! Here's some pics from my first attempt:

Unfortunately, I didn't think to get a picture of the t-shirt before I transformed it into a dress. Here is the after.

This is what the shirt says...can you see why it's one of my favorites?! You've gotta love Paul Frank.

Charlotte wearing her new t-shirt dress.

Charlotte and mommy. I think she's in mid-yawn in this picture! Haha.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our British Baby

One of my favorite things about living in Bahrain is that we can shop at the British stores in the malls. You've gotta love these pj's!!

A Thought for Earth Day

While God gave man the privilege and responsibility to guard and care for the earth, we know as Christians that the earth will one day pass away and a new earth will be put in place. Until then, God has established a covenant with man, as a result of the flood, that:
"while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22)
Summer will come after spring and winter after the fall. One season will faithfully follow another until the Lord returns, and until He does, He promises reason and order.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guess What's New With Charlotte?

Look at this picture of Charlotte and see if you can notice anything different about her, then scroll down to see if you guess right:

A new tooth! This picture doesn't really do it justice, but it's broken the surface and is growing fast. She has another coming in right next to it and I think there might even be one coming in up top. Yay!

Play Date

As I've said in prior posts, Charlotte gets the pick of the litter when it comes to boys. We have yet to meet another baby girl at any of the play groups we've gone to so it's all boys, boys, boys for my baby girl! Today, her friend Shahin came over to play. Aren't they adorable?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our Little Weed

Charlotte's getting too big. :-(

Thursday, April 8, 2010

President Clinton

Today was quite the day! President Clinton came to Bahrain to meet with the Crown Prince, and on his way out, we were able to meet him and get a few pictures. Even though I can't say I care for his political views (or personal life while in office), it was still truly amazing to meet a former president of the United States. I didn't think I'd be so glad or excited to meet him. You see, he came to Nigeria while we were there to attend a conference. Karl Rove came to Nigeria to attend the same conference, and I was more interested in meeting him than President Clinton. In fact, I wasn't interested in meeting President Clinton at all. So when Chris told me about the photo opportunity this time around, my first thought was, "No, I'm not interested - just like last time. Although I could wear a pretty blue dress...." :-)

After thinking about it some more, I decided to do it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet a president and an experience that most Americans never get to have. I also caved after considering what a great opportunity it would be for Charlotte. So I obliged even though it meant a lot of waiting at the airport today and having to be very diplomatic, both in speech and dress.

So President Clinton came up to meet us, and Chris and I both introduced ourselves separately and then introduced Charlotte together. He was very nice to us, and I found it was very easy to be genuinely friendly and happy at that moment. In the past, I didn't think that would be the case. I thought I would start lashing off about his presidency, his infidelities, his lying under oath, his seemingly evil wife, etc. Alas, I learned that I am more diplomatic than I thought. Yes, I know he's a politician and that he can be nice when he wants to be, but he was going on (literally) 2 hours of sleep from the night before and he was still willing to talk to us and get a picture with us. I really respected and appreciated that. Oh, and did I mention that I wasn't nervous at all?

He loved Charlotte and wanted to hold her during the pictures and he kept commenting on how beautiful she is. Although, he misunderstood us and thought her name was "Mandy", so he kept saying, "Oh, Mandy's so beautiful." Haha. Oh well. Unfortunately, Charlotte's head was covering half of President Clinton's face in every picture and we didn't realize it until we got home and looked at them! I think if we had handed her to him differently or if President Clinton had held her a bit lower, it wouldn't have been a problem. Oh well. The pictures are still sweet.

After getting a photo with us, he got a photo with a couple girls who work with Chris and then with a group of Marines who also work with Chris. After that, it was a few pictures with the Bahraini Royal Delegation before taking off to his next destination. I don't know how he does all this traveling at his age with little sleep. It may be a contributing factor to his ongoing heart problems! Anyway, I can honestly say it was an honor to meet him today. I hope he's only one of many historical figures that I'll get to meet in my lifetime. Here's some pictures:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

6 Months

Charlotte turned 6 months old yesterday! This morning we did our monthly photo shoot, and as usual, Charlotte was very smiley! Charlotte is getting very good at sitting up. That's probably the most notable skill she's acquired in the past month. She'll stay upright for long periods of time and play happily with the toys I put in front of her. Occasionally she falls, but it's not often. Like I said, she's getting really good at it. She's still doing great with solid food, too. She's had so many things I won't even list them all. She's eating solid food three times a day and is still taking 4 bottles. She definitely takes after her mom and dad in her love for food. We still haven't found a food that she refuses to eat. She's definitely found her voice and especially likes to talk (or scream) when daddy gets home from work. Here's some pictures: