Sunday, March 15, 2009


Yes folks, E.F.X. THREE.

After the demise of efx2, a few of the more capable folks tried to do something to save it, but with no help from the original developer, they couldnt do much, so they decided to start anew with efx3.

I don't know how many of the fellow refugees would go back. But I feel obligated to tell you that at least some of the old community is back. And, I feel obligated to tell you that if do want to go back, you can.

I have started to build my place in efx3, but I'm still uncertain of what I'm gonna do with it. I might end up blogging on three places - Here, there and FB.
To tell you the truth, I really miss the modblog/efx2 folks, but, BUT, I'm kinda like in a "twice bitten many times shy" mode right now. I am sure many of you are as well.

I am a pessimistic and hopeful person though.
I can't promise you the same wonderful modblog/efx2 experience, but I'm sure if we give it a little time, we might get pretty close :)

Just wanted to share this with you guys, so that you know that if you're still looking for a home, there's a place where you can go :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ops Jalan Sakan : Planning for Road Trip

We've been talking about wanting to go to Oman for years. YEARS!

Ever since Taufik was stationed in Muscat for a short time even way before Ilham was born and came home with pink shells that he collected on the beach. When he was offered the job in Saudi, the first thing he thought of was how we would have a chance to visit Oman. But then I got pregnant (hey it wasnt my fault alone, k?), and we had to wait for Izani's passport. I was so jealous when Lollies went there a few years ago, but we chose to go back home for the winter holidays instead. Then we travelled somewhere else instead (not that I'm complaining). Finally, finally, prompted by our impending return home, we decided to make this trip happen.

We are making this trip with a good family friend whose kids stayed together in the same house with my kids when we were doing our Hajj together. Heck, we spend so much time sleeping in each other's houses, we're practically family. I think my kids are gonna be glad of the company, and I am looking forward to having some complete family pictures taken (instead of Taufik taking a picture of just me and the kids or me taking a picture of him and the kids).

Kak Faridah borrowed some books on Oman&UAE from the library and gave me one to read and I also browsed the net alot. I was put in charge of accomodation which will then govern the activities that we get to do and places that we get to visit.
Now basically we're 80% done with the planning. We've got the general idea and timeline and I've booked all of the accomodations. We've just got to work on the details.

So here's The Plan:

Click for larger map.
Blue line is our route. Numbers in orange dots are dates in April.

April 2
We'll drive from Khobar/Ras Tanura really early (so early that some kids will need to be carried to the car in their jammies), stop for breakfast in Hofuf, then hope to reach Abu Dhabi by lunch time. I had planned to stop at a friend's house for lunch, but we'll see how it goes. If we dont get to, maybe we'll stop by on our way back instead.
We'll drive on to Al-Ain, and spend the night there.

April 3
We hope to be able to drive to Highway 21 to Nizwa via Al-Qabil (and not go through Buraimy), but we're not sure whether we can do that. We hope to visit the Bat Tombs (if we can find it), Bahla fort, Jabrin Castle, then Jebel Shams before going to Nizwa for lunch. We'll spend the afternoon in Nizwa before heading to Ibra to spend the night there.

April 4
After breakfast, we'll shop for some stuff for lunch and head for Wadi Bani Khalid for a swim and a picnic. After Asr we'll drive to Al-Mintirib where we'll meet the guy who'll drive us into Wahiba Sands for a night in the desert, sleeping in a bedouin wool tent. I am *so* looking forward to this.

April 5
We'll drive out of Wahiba Sands and drive towards Sur, where we hope to take a look at some traditional dhow making, then head towards Muscat via the coastal road, with stops at Wadi Tiwi or Wadi Shabs if we have time.
Sleep in Muscat.

April 6
Full day to spend in Muscat to sightsee, shop, visit friends, etc.
Must. See. Muttrah Souq!
Sleep in Muscat.

April 7
Travel to Dubai, with detour thru Nakhla and Rustaq. Hope to reach Dubai by lunchtime (if we're not detoured by anything else) or at least the afternoon.
Sleep in Dubai.

April 8
Full day in Dubai.
Wishlist items here are Madinat Jumeirah, The Aquarium in Dubai Mall and meet up with Nazrah somewhere, anywhere.
Sleep in Dubai.

April 9
Maybe visit a few friends for breakfast, then head home.
Maybe visit that friend in Abu Dhabi if we didnt get to visit her before.
Important: Must get into Saudi border by noon, and reach home by dusk because Saudi highways are very poorly lighted!

So that's our plan..
Would appreciate if you have any suggestions or tips for our travels. :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

High Five!

I just finished cleaning the house (read: the bits that are visible) and thought I'd give myself a little pick-me up.
I would like to high five these people. If you're one of those people, high five me back!

*high five* If you have a messy kitchen!

*high five* If you have dusty shelves!

*high five* If there's junk and dust bunnies under your bed!

*high five* If you wrap the round metal thingy under your burners with foil and they.. well.. look like they are wrapped in foil !

*high five* If you have enough bread crumbs under your toaster to coat a chicken!

*high five* If your store room looks like a store room, and not a store front!

*high five* If you let your clean laundry sit in their baskets long enough to leave wrinkles!

*high five* If you always think about clearing out your closet but never get round to it!

*high five* If sometimes you just feel like vegging out!

*high five* If it's noon and you're still in your jammies!

This is not a tag, but if you feel the need to high five people too, go ahead, knock yourself out.
hey, you might even find me high fiving you back!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Anis is 7 :)

Anis had been counting down to her birthday since about a month ago. She had made this calendar at school. It had her drawing of the four seasons and a month-to-month tear away calendar stabled on it. She had been crossing out dates and reporting to me "its something-something more days to my birthday!".
Even then, I still forgot to make some cupcakes for her classmates on the day, and I forgot to plan a party.
I didn't forget to wish her though. That was the first thing I did when I saw her in the morning. She was all smiling and excited, humming tunes for an upcoming school production.

Even though Taufik was out at the customer's office from 9am till 4pm that day, he managed to squeeze in some time to make Anis a birthday card before he came home.

I thought that was really sweet of him. :)

I asked Anis what kind of cake she wanted and she said she wanted a chocolate cake and that she loved the walnut brownies I made last weekend. So I decided to make a brownie cake, in a round pan, slap on some whipped cream and arrange some marshmallows as decorations.

We had to wait for her to finish her dinner before we could cut the cake (because or else she'd be full on cake) and it took her forever! I had time to come upstairs, check on messages and read friends' FB statuses before she came up to tell me she was done with dinner and we could cut the cake.
She liked how the marshmallows look, but didnt like to eat it :P Izani, on the other hand, would happily help eat other people's marshmallows.
I cut up some leftover brownie-cake and put it in a tupperware for her to take to school the next day.

I hope she feels as special for the rest of her life like she did on her birthday.

Happy Birthday and I love you, little bear!