Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

East Meets West in Maddie Mae's Kitchen

Yesterday Madison went to a cooking class by a French friend here in the compound. She taught them how to make the most amazing, flaky Apple turn over pasteries. Once left to make their own however she decided to try combining her skills and make her French apple pastry into a dumplings cousin. Our other Chinese friend taught her and Jacob how to make dumplings for Chinese New Year in February. This girl loves language, culture, cooking and food.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

An Added Measure of Patience Today

Today was one of those horrible, awful, rotten, wanna run away from home type of home school days. I was yelled at, cried at, verbally assaulted and beaten down like I can't believe for a solid three hours by two of my three big kids. God obviously blessed me with an added measure of patience today because the real Angie could have never endured that without losing her mind and blowing up. I did snap back on two occasions when they over and over and over started getting too personal in their attacks and just seemed to be going for the jugular vein. So it was a pretty bad day at home but we survived. And I think that one of them may have actually caught on to the fact that if they don't whine and cry they can finish their entire day of learning super early. The non-crying one does that every single day. Heaven is helping us but all four of us still hate our situation with a passion that is hard to put into words. The emotions are so raw still and there is or of anger all day every day directed at whatever is the closest target.


I am part of an expat facebook group. Discussion today was started by an American 35ish year old observing all her US friends are married with kids. Not a single European friend is. She asks why? And the mentions she doesn't want to move home because she doesn't fit in anymore.  It's interesting to read opinions from people all over the world. Here is my take. 

Culture has a big bearing on what a person thinks is the "right" thing to do in this. I happily married at 20. We both considered waiting because of our super young age but in the end took the leap because when we talked about our long term goals they fell right in line together. So we made the conscious choice to just do all those big wild dreams TOGETHER. We are so incredibly happy we did. 16 years together, 2 degrees, 20+ moves, 3 countries, 4 kids. Life is awesome together but it is a deliberate, eyes wide open choice we made to make it such. Not all are ready so young and it frustrates me to see people both pushed into marriage and told to be scared and run away from it.

Use your heart and your head. You'll know when it's right if you do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Daddy Was In Charge

I had Boy Scout committee meeting tonight while Ben had his patrol meeting so we both took off right after dinner. We ride in style these days. Ben had a bike and I ride the electric scooter.

Dad was in charge of dinner clean up and bedtime. I'm curious what precipitated this wardrobe for Ashlyn. My hypotheses is she was whining it was too cold. She got socks for her feet but when she wouldn't stop crying over it she was told to put socks on her hands too. I have vague recollection of myself telling one of the other kids to do the same thing many years ago.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fighting Reentry

Tis the season of grief and goodbyes for expats. This was an awesome read as I am already in mourning over being ripped from my happy life and thrown into the unknown even if it is my home country. 
Favorite quote, "Here is permission to not have your whole life figured out in one week or one month or even two years.  Here is permission to just survive for a while.  Here is permission to just do what you are able for today.  Here is permission to celebrate the little accomplishments {even if they don’t seem big to other people}.  Here is permission to not have all the answers about what happened overseas or what you are doing next.  Here is permission to take a season focused on recovery and not on serving.  Here is permission to just be yourself {even if it is a messy and confused self.}

I wish someone had told me that the answer to re-entry was not figuring out something to do that would give me a new identity, but rather just being myself in this new place."

All I know today is grief is real and necessary when something precious is lost. That's how I feel about our move. It is awesome here and we were deeply happy. We don't know why but God wants us in Texas next so we will "go and do what the Lord has commanded" because he wouldn't ask it if we couldn't do it with his help.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Saudi Summer Arrived Too Early

I was trying so hard to have a good attitude about the heat and not complain until I checked in thinking it was probably about 100 F today. I was totally wrong. It's only April 12 and it hit 108 F today!!! Moving out of Saudi sounds like a great idea now.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Heath Care in Saudi

Brian had a check up tonight and I have to say after that experience how much health care scares me in this country. The doctor actually asked, stethoscope in hand, "where is your heart?" 

But she was cute so we will forgive her her shortcomings and probably visit her clinic again soon. I was highly entertained when she kept taking into the stethoscope and then pulling it away because it was so loud in her ears. Such an amazing thing to figure out it made her laugh.

What Made You Red?

Ashlyn was giving me a massage tonight. She pushed my shirt up a little bit and poked my belly button. Then she saw on my side a mark and asked, "Mommy, what made you red there?"
"You did."
"All my babies did it."
She thought that was pretty cool and started listing off all my babies I had that made that mark. You know, "Ben and Maddie and Jacob and Ashie and Brian and Gina. All my Zufelts did it. Mommy is Gina a Zufelt?"

It's Hot

We can't leave the front and back doors open all day every day anymore. After over 3 years in Singapore it has been amazing to be cold, have a winter and leave my doors and windows wide open for gorgeous fresh air to fill my home. I'm sad to say goodbye to nature as it gets hotter and hotter here until it's unbearable. Part of me wants to leave now while I can't remember how horrid the 144 F heat index days were when we arrived last August.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Way to High Five?

We had an interesting conversation as the kids were heading to bed last night:

Madison:  Jacob and I high-fived with our tongues before.
Dad:  You and Jacob high-fived with your tongues?
Madison:  Yeah.
Dad:  That is sort of like kissing your brother.
Ben:  Yeah, only a lot grosser.
Madison:  Its like licking a lollipop stuck to your brother.
Ben:  How did it taste?
Madison:  It didn't taste like a lollipop for sure.

We had a difficult time to stopping laughing after this one.

We Have to Move. Again.

Wednesday was announced that ExxonMobil will relocate all children out of Saudi Arabia. Many of you have been aware that we have been locked down in our compound more than we ever dreamed. It’s been on and off since September. In December/January we were down for 5 weeks – our friends were for 48 hours. This time we locked down again first of March and basically understand that we will not be released again. We will just move.


You should know that corporate made this decision based heavily on events in 2004 when they were not fully prepared. There was an event then and they had to evacuate everyone in hours. They are the only company planning this move right now. All our friends and neighbors thus far are staying and we are lead to believe there is no discussion of leaving at all right now though no other company is locked down like we are.


Men and wives are able to stay because our housing compound is very secure, we travel in armored vehicles with GPS tracking at all times and the plant where the men work is secure. The issue is the school location.


All families with children will return to their home countries and we have now confirmed that we will be heading to Houston.  The company would like us to go immediately but will allow us to stay together here as a family until June at the latest. We do not feel at risk in any way at home. We will see what the school has to offer to support our kids for completion of their current grades in school with me as the teacher. I am looking at home school programs. We cannot buy a house fast enough to enroll the kids before the last couple days of the year in Houston because they end the year in May.


Don’t worry. We are being watched over by Exxon and from above. We have been stretched spiritually here in ways we have never known and learned to trust the Lord and it has been a great experience. We love Saudi!


We will let you know when we know any more information.