Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Al FAW Palace, Baghdad, Iraq

Hi. I had an opportunity to visit al FAW palace outside Baghdad and wanted to share some of the photos I took. Al FAW is located about 5 km north of Baghdad International Airport and served as a hunting and fishing retreat for Saddam and select members of the Ba'ath party. The palace is 450,000 sq. ft., has 62 rooms and 29 bathrooms.

The chandelier in the rotunda is the focal point of the palace and contains 234 light bulbs. It's estimated to have cost more than a million dollars.

The throne at al FAW was a gift to Saddam from Yasir Arafat. Uncle John took one look at this picture and said "You should fire your decorator."

Most of the ceiling looks like carved panels but are actually cast. This picture doesn't do it justice, they are really beautiful to see.

The palace is situated on an enormous man made lake complex that also contains many smaller palaces and villas. Both of Saddam's sons and his daughter had villas here.

You can see some of them in the picture below. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can also see the air traffic control tower at Baghdad International Airport and Sather Air Base.

It is really a beautiful place. Unfortunately, the entire complex was built at the expense of the Iraqi people. While Iraq was suffering from a serious drought, water was diverted from irrigation and used to fill and maintain the lakes. It's surrounded by a high wall and most Iraqi's were never allowed to visit or even see the complex. Its really a testament to one man's greed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

just hanging out...

...doing nothing, watching T.V.. I just thought you'd like to see some of the boring stuff we do too. That is all for now.
Love and contentment

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some good ones from Gymnastics day

These are just random shots from the Gymnastics day... some were taken by me, some by T. But all were lots of fun. I'll just let you enjoy them.

Love and... we just miss you.

Track and Field competition

I took some random pics from the final Track and Field day to share with you. She felt good about her performance, and we were all proud of her too. she ran the hurdles in 6 seconds... very fast!
note the family support in the background for the javelin throw.

I never heard her distance... but her tape was furthest for the standing long jump.

look at that perfect form in the shot put.

And uncorrected red eye aside... I love the look on her face, while showing off her very nice medal.

and a shot with her coaches.
A fun time was had by all
Love and Competition

Monday, March 23, 2009

The boy's day...

The last post featured the girl... so this time I thought I'd show some things the boy keeps busy with.
enough of that. Lets go this way...never mind, he wants to go the barn
After blowing bubbles and wondering aimlessly for a little bit.... We go inside to wear cooking pots on our head.
And that is about it.
Love and simple things

busy from sun up to sun down

Saturday morning I woke up and took the dog out... and the sunrise was so beautiful. We ate breakfast, then left for Track and Field practice. Today they ran relays.
Threw the "shot put" with baseballs as substitutes.
And learned how to pass the baton.After Track and Field. We ate lunch, then returned home to enjoy the beautiful weather.
Oh, did I mention that we bought a kite today? She is a champion kite flyer...
We really missed having you here for this honey, It doesn't seem right to fly kites without you around.

After we were done with that, we decided to start some seeds. We have about 8 weeks until time to plant in the garden.
There will be plenty of tomatoes and peppers this year. We started daisy seeds too, just because I love daisies.

After staying outside all afternoon, we came in for supper and to relax before bed.
When I took the dog out one last time. I noticed the sunset, it was the perfect end to this great day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When out in the Kitchen there arose such a clatter...

I sprang from my computer to see what was the matter.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear? But a sweet little boy all tangled and stuck in my Pampered Chef entertaining plate holder. Okay so the poem loses a little something in the adaptation. But it was kinda funny to walk out in the kitchen to find him stuck tight. I don't know how he got in there, but he was like the proverbial turtle stuck on his back. He couldn't get up, or move anywhere really. He was just waiting for someone to come rescue him. After I finished laughing, called in his sister so she could laugh, and took pictures, I carefully dislodged him from the tower. It was a rather complicated operation, but he hasn't tried to play with it since... so lesson learned.

Love and tight places.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Track and Field updated

Okay blog followers. Here are the first week pics from Track and Field classes.They began by running lots of relay races, sometimes running, sometimes skipping or hopping. K tried really hard to come in first every time. (I see a competitive spirit in her.)
Then they learned the finer points of the standing long jump.She did very well... it brought back fond memories for me. I loved the long jump when I was in track.

On to week two...

Here are a few shots of Track and Field training held every Saturday at the YMCA. We help set up the "hurdles" so the kids can run a race.

While big sis practices throwing a javelin. She is really quite good. She threw the farthest in her group.

Here she is running the hurdles race. There is another kid racing off to her left. She beat him a couple times.

Okay until next time.
Love and.... (wait for it, wait for it.)
Hurdles (heehee that one is for you Jessy)

It occured to me....

That you haven't met the newest member of our family yet. This is Snicklefritz, he is our new cat. He lives in the barn. Please don't feel sorry for him, as the weather is nice and he has all the amenities. And he is WAY better off than the place we rescued him from.
I believe he has been getting more attention than the indoor cat lately. We all want to be outside while the temps are in the 60's and 70's and "Snick" is never too far away.

He is so happy here he is smiling.

Love and Meow.