We have been frequenting the Harbor Public Library each Friday afternoon.
I am actually going to start helping out with the storytimes here beginning Tuesday! I am very excited about this. The age group is 0-3, so Eben and Eleanor will join me. My hope is that we will be able to hold two storytimes for this age group a week. There really is not much in KAUST for this age other than storytime and what we call "The Playroom." The Playroom was established by the first year moms. They arrived last October after spending nine weeks in a hotel in Jeddah. When they finally came, there were no pools or playgrounds so at first they all donated their old toys and eventually got funds to purchase toys for this room. I take Eben and Eleanor here about twice a week. We have met two other families from central Texas here. One comes from Austin and the other San Marcos. It's truly a small world!
Luckily all of our children are avid readers. They will spend long periods of time just reading or looking at books. Both older girls love to read to the twins.
The house is so open and full of tile which makes it quite echo-ee. I hope that the echos dissipate after all our things are here. The echos really upset Eleanor in the middle of the night when we first arrived. Their room in particular is very bare and when she would wake up her screams would be increased due to all the echos. After a few nights of not being able to console her, we decided to put the maid room mattress in the twin's room. What a difference this has made. Their room is way less echo-ee and has a great "plumping" mattress to play on:
We love reading and just having little relaxes here.
There are many nice parks and open spaces here as well. Each play area is surrounded by either soccer or cricket fields. Unfortuantely all the playgrounds are as of yet under the open sky, so we only go play on them in the evenings after dinner. The building with the "playroom" actually has two covered playgrounds but alas, we have a slight issue with these. The playgrounds here have some sort of untreated recycled tire mats and the kids get covered in black when we go there. I do take the twins to these once or twice a week in the morning and then we go home to bath. The schools also have these recycled tire mats on their playgrounds and Marcella and Theresa need their shoes washed frequently.
The open air playgrounds do not have the tire mats. They either have the sand that I love so much, straight from the beach with nice sharp coral and shell pieces or grass. We tend to play on the grass playgrounds the most.
Below, Marcella is demonstrating the handy "pout benches."
Another thing we do a lot of is crafts. The twins love drawing with crayons and markers. We usually do this while Marcella is working on her homework. After she gets home from school we have snack and then do homework. It is a nice time when the kids and I are all at the table doing our work. Sarah and Mary helped us to establish this good habit. Sarah and Mary walk home to Oma's from school and after snack do their homework. We would work with them while we were staying at Oma's for the month before we came to KAUST. Thank you girls! I actually found plums for the first time at the Tamini (they came from Italy). We had some for snack the other day and it reminded me of our snack time with you two!
Now back to our crafts....the girls have made so many wonderful creations. An alphabet wall and sock dolls are a few:
The sock doll idea came from the Nuckels. They had a friend who made Katie a sock doll. Marcella remembered this and asked if we could do the same. The dolls are made from five socks and are stuffed with three of Casey's old T-shirts. Their clothes are made from some old shirts of mine. We plan on making some more clothes with bandanas. Marcella is sewing shoes for her doll in the above picture. Theresa named her doll Charlotte, but has been known to change this to Rose. Sometimes the doll is a boy too. Marcella calls her doll Annabel. The day after we made the dolls we went to the library and found a great book on making things for your doll! We were not even looking for such a book, but there it was on top of a shelf. Incredible! The book is called Things to Make for Your Doll by Kathy Ross. The ideas are simple and can be completed with mostly common household items. Some of the neat ideas are a doll picture frame from flip top lids, a hermit crab for your doll (perfect for us), and a wardrobe and hangers.