Friday, December 30, 2016

Last Friday at Redeemer Church of Dubai

Today was our last opportunity to attend Redeemer...was really hard.  We love it so much.  Alvin Litonhua spoke from Psalm 27.  He challenged us with the question, 'What are you waiting for?'  A new job?  A wife? A child to be born?  A child to come home?  

Then he explored how God wants us to confidently, courageously, and actively take three steps...

     Remember who God in verses 1-3
     Delight in God's beauty in verses 4-6
     Seek God's Face in verses 7-12
     Hope in God alone in verses 13-14

Very helpful and watch the sermon on their website if you like.

Glen Jones was back leading worship for the first time since we've been here...he had a serious case of mono. We missed him!  Love his leadership and his music.

The congregation is so good about singing with gusto and feeling.  We sang 'I will Glory in My Redeemer' and 'Behold the Lamb' for communion and I love both of them!  So meaningful and meaty!

Besides new friends, we will miss Redeemer the most about being inDubai!


Every week on our way home we see lots of mosques and lots of cars parked in front of the mosques.  They just pull up and park any which way.  We can hardly get through some weeks.  It's crazy!


Only one lane open...just barely.  We laugh every time.

Andy and I had a light lunch - then he took a nap and I made two egg casseroles for breakfast tomorrow.  I did leave the dishes for him to clean up!

It's our Forsan Chicken night so I just have to make Arabic Rice - a very nice recipe.  I'm serving Texas Sheet cake and cookies from the freezer for dessert.  Wanna stop by?!?

All for now.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Happy Birthday

I've had a good day celebrating my birthday...from morning til night!


A Birthday fruit plate/fruit cake!!!  It started with a celebration at breakfast with a group of friends....

And ended with a flame grilled PERi-PERi chicken dinner at Nando's with Andy.  We shared a slice of chocolate nut tort with Nutella.  Yum!


As you can see, we are out on the patio!


Our servers sang Happy Birthday to me and were delighted to pose for a picture!


Andy looked on while I got the first bite!

We left around lunch time and went to the beautiful large Creek Park in's the closest we have come to a hike!




Lots of people rented these little cars and paddled around the Park.  These little girls were happy to pose.


Rings of Friendship...


The interesting and pretty Banyan Tree...






Water taxis with the floating bridge in the background...

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club...



This was our view as we ate dinner outside on the patio at Nando's.


The Festival City Mall has just opened their new canal front renovation this week.  It's beautiful!




Can you see the world's tallest tower in the background?


They added a Fire, Light, and Water show!



Fountains, music, water, lights, and now holograms and bubbles did their magic on the hour and half hour all evening.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

More relaxed day...

Greetings!  Feeling a bit better today.  After breakfast for 30, Andy and I went to 3 malls running errands.  Went to Mirdif City Center to pay some bills and return something at CarreFour.  Then drove to Dragon Mart to buy an air compressor. Last stop at Arabian Center to buy some picture frames and get some supplies.  By then it was 1:30 and I told Andy he needed to 'Feed Me'.  So we had lunch at the food court.  All in all a successful circle around town.

Made spaghetti, salad and garlic bread for supper.  Three elementary age children didn't especially like the chicken broccoli casserole last night but they smiled at supper tonight.  They liked the pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, too (which I pulled out of the freezer - nice!)

Now I'm on the sofa reading FB and writing Blog - as in down time.  Not many exciting adventures in the past few days.  I kept thinking I'd get a walk in, but it never happened.  Cold and snowy at home - still in low 80's here!

Still lots of fun and encouraging to hear stories from friends here....amazing.  Love the comments of little ones, too.  They are so adaptable and adorable.

Haven't taken many pictures recently.  Wish I could have walked on a couple of the roads we were on today...saw some gorgeous new construction....palatial estates!  I took this driving by an incredible mansion.  Hard to get the full effect....


The wall around the house blocked the beauty of the home.  Quite an entrance tho, don't you think?

All for now...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What day is it?

I've completely lost track.  Breakfast for 30+, grocery store run, made batch of granola, put together dinner.  Too tired to say much more tonight...


The batch of granola (recipe  X  4) in a turkey roasting pan....

It seemed to have a bit too much honey but tasted pretty good.

Time for bed...

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Beat Goes On

The next week is going to be a tough go...lots of people, lots of work.  Hard to even find time to talk with friends.  

Continue to pray...I need good sleep, I'd like to be able to take walks, and I am having dizziness more than usual.  Appreciate it!

After breakfast for 30+ and clean up, I made a shopping list and was off to the grocery store once again.  My shopping cart was full to over flowing.  I should have taken a picture!  By the time I got back to the house and put things away it was time to make salad and dessert for supper and a baked oatmeal for breakfast...the beat goes on.  

I had asked Rommel to cook a Filipino meal for us tonight.  He did a great job and everyone loved it.  One of the young boys put his plate on the table and said,  "Yum, all of my favorite foods!"  Another young guy celebrated his 5th birthday - I made a cake and JoAnn decorated it.  Very fun.

Chatted with a young man tonight for a while - interesting guy and very encouraging.  Had to say goodbye to JoAnn and  Gord.  Andy is taking them to the airport as I write.  Will miss their extra hands and help.

Thanks for keeping in touch and following our adventures.  I'm headed for bed...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Bonfire in the Desert

Had a new experience tonight...a Christmas gathering in the desert at dusk around a bonfire with 75-80 people...eating, singing, sharing the Christmas story.  So glad we could go with 15-20 friends.  Andy and I need to get to bed but wanted to share a few pictures!


Getting the fire going around 6:30...everyone was asked to bring any scrap wood they could share.


Andy enjoying the view.


First time a little heat felt good in Dubai...


I had a hard time walking up and over the sand dune to get to the bonfire.  You can see in this picture how uneven the sand was.  With my dizziness, I had to ask a friend to hold me steady.  Andy was carrying mats and chairs so he couldn't help me.


These guys were cooking kabobs over the coals.  Others brought potatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes wrapped in foil to cook and eat.



We gang several Christmas carols and Doug read the Story of Jesus' birth.  Really cool!  Wish I knew how to insert a video!


Wonderful way to end a great Christmas weekend!

Christmas Day

Up early to make muffins and an egg casserole for a Christmas Brunch at 10:00 this morning.  We set out cereal and toast for those who had children and needed
a little bite to eat early.  Many slept in a bit and several had their gift exchange.  So having brunch was a good option.



We served 2 quiche dishes, 2 egg casseroles, 2 kinds of muffins and a platter of fruit along with waffles, oj and cranberry juice.  We had 1/3 of one egg dish left over when it was all said and done.  Gord and Andy are great with clean up - JoAnn and I are grateful for that!

Our friends really really liked it so that was satisfying!

I took an hour to put my feet up and then started in on the 3:00 tea and light supper (leftover turkey sandwiches, leftover salads, a fabulous fruitcake, and assorted sweets.). Now we have packed up water, watermelon slices, veggie trays, flatbread and hummus in coolers and we are headed to the dessert for a bonfire and carol sing to close out Christmas.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  Wish you could join us for this unique experience.  I'll post pictures later.  



Hope you have had a very meaningful merry Christmas wherever you are today!  I'm tired (nothing new about that) but have enjoyed the day.  

I hope no one expects a repeat for New Year's.  JoAnn and Gord leave tomorrow and we will be here this next week by ourselves...keep praying.  Eight more days...I'm starting to think about returning home to the cold and snow.  It could be a 60 to 80 degree swing in temperature!  Burrr!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from Dubai!  Hope you have had a fabulous day with family and friends celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus.  What a wonder....What a gift....

We were up and at 'em early this morning.  Breakfast for 30 plus was a little crowded, but filled with the chatter of friends.  Lots of kids around right now, too.  Then after clean up we started the turkeys!  Yum!  Who doesn't like turkey and it's wonderful smells.

Mid morning we were making vegetable casseroles, stuffing and salads.  We were in the zone.  Suddenly I asked JoAnn...'What are we serving for dessert?'  We were flabbergasted.  Yikes, we didn't plan dessert.  JoAnn suggested cheesecake - we have all the ingredients.  She started to get them when I remembered. We were up until Midnight making apple and pumpkin pies!!  We started giggling and couldn't stop!  What a pair!

We had Christmas Dinner planned for 3:30.  Didn't quite get it all together until 3:45 but we got er done.


We have some leftovers so I can make turkey pot pie again!


Evidently Andy was pretty hungry!


I enjoyed it inspite of working with food all day!

Several of us wanted to go to the Christmas Eve service at Redeemer Church of Dubai.  So we hustled to get the cleanup done and headed off to church.  I'm so very glad we went.  It was wonderful!


One of the ballrooms in the hotel was hosting a wedding was beautifully set up.  This was the woman's party - they meet separately.


The hotel was all decked out for Christmas...  Lots of people were taking pictures in front of the tree.


The gift shop was festive and featured Santa himself...


Very colorful!


The service was in the main ballroom and it was FULL by the time it started.  We sang 9 or 10 carols...and was beautiful.


They had a huge choir and several musicians.  All of the staff and participants were dressed up and wore red, white and black.  Haven't seen that many that dressed up in all the times we have been here.  Looked nice.

The Christmas story was told through monologues and readings of the story characters from Matthew and Luke...with carols in between.

Pastor Dave spoke...I really felt the spirit of Christmas for the first time this year!  So glad we were able to go.


Now, I'm ready to head to bed...  It's 9:40 - I'm weary but not heavy laden.  It was a full busy day but a nice Christmas Eve!  Trust you had a wonderful day with family and friends, food and fellowship, and maybe a gift or two!

Merry Christmas!