Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wii-nerful Christmas

A wonderful Christmas has come and gone in the Agren family, which was not too bad for being in a Muslim country. We also found out that it looks like more presents if your tree is only 2 feet tall. As the title suggests the family got a Wii, which has been the hit for all. April enjoys the DDR, Carl loves Mario Galaxy, and Ha-Na and Madison like bowling and DDR. Madison loves to shake and boogy to the DDR, although has yet to hit any arrows. Yesturday was Madison's big third birthday! She had a great one. We went and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks, which was suprisingly amusing. Then we came home to cake, ice cream, and presents. The picture is the cake the Carl baked for Madison. Carl did the whole thing, with a little help from April. April deserved a baking break after creating a ton of other creations throughout the holiday season.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chirstmas Caroling and Tear Gas

I have come to understand that the blog is only useful if we use it (thanks Julie), so we are back, and hopefully in full swing. If there are any excuses it is that we have been crazy busy, and when I say crazy busy I mean partying like a rock star in Bahrain. We have had a bazillion little parties for the kids and for the branch. The kids, who are beating each other up at the moment (Ha-Na and Madison), have had more Christmas excitement than ever.

Since the last post we had a visit from Carl's sister Stacy and her lovely family, who came from Germany (insert Leiderhousen joke here). They came for a week and we had a tooten blast. We ran all over the island. One of the ladies from the branch took all of us around to different historical sites on the island. We also found out how wussy we are since their kids were swimming everyday in the pool that we refuse to go in because of the cold, brrrr. It was a brisk 80 degrees (brrr, break out the down coats).

After they left we broke into a fit of sickness, which we passed around the family like a Christmas fruitcake.
During that time all of the kids had a holiday concert. Madison was a rock star dancing and jamming to Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, she can really move and shake.

Then Ha-Na was a fairy princess, and despite the 103 temperature, was truly amazing for about the first half of the dance and slowly slipped and the energy went away. She was brave, but really sick. Carl's presentation was a Halloween presentation for Christmas (Brits never did get everything 100 percent correct).

We went from concert to class parties, the next week all of the kids had different parties on different days. Each class required a different food creation. There was also the obligatory class presents for each member. April went truly over-the-top creating Snowman cakes and Christmas Tree cakes. She also created gifts for the teachers and other friends, which was a teapot with Hot Chocolate Mix and Biscotti.

After that off to more parties. The kids have not been to sleep before 11PM all week. Which has lead to some rather nasty behavior --- turd sized piece of coal might be coming to one if they do not shape up.

Now to the title, most of you were probably wondering what Christmas Carols and tear gas have to do with each other? Well we would have thought the same thing until this year. Here is how this shook down:
We made these fantastic plates of cookies and then headed out for an exciting night of caroling. It got much more exciting when we went to a friend that told us to go another route, besides the normal because "there is something going on". Something going on to us might mean an accident or a small chipmunk in the street. In Bahrain, apparently this means a violent protest. We drive up to a street by their house and the police had blocked off the street and there is a gaggle of riot police, well-equipped. We finally make it to our friends house and go inside. The entire time there we can hear the sounds of a helicopters flying overhead. As we go out to get in the car I notice a burning pain in my eye, April too. Turns out that a copious amount of tear gas was being dispersed in the village next to our friend's compound. I am not big on tear gas, it hurts. So we left that area for more peaceful areas.
**** MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL ***********************