Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Start of December

December was quite busy with lots of events, some illness, and a hospital visit thrown in there. We started the month with Madison getting sick first, then Evelyn (who got it the worst), and Olivia scraping by with just a slight fever (so that as a win at least).

  1. Madi starting the weekend off being ill.
  2. Evy joining her the following Sunday.
  3. A cultural introduction - french fries dipped in frosty at the newly-opened Wendy's here.
  4. Our typical illness activity - painting!
  5. The girls' finished trees. 
  6. CeCe cat stare down.
  7. Sooooo tall!
  8. Thankfully everyone was better for their Awana Christmas program singing. The Cubbies class sang Jesus Loves the Little Children.
  9. And the Sparks 1 class sang The Happiest Christmas Tree

We started getting into the spirit of December by decorating the house! I just love this nativity set we purchased in Bethlehem this past May on our trip to Israel.

Our school hosted Parent's Night and we got a chance to spend individual time with each girl and have them show us the materials they like to work with during their day. 
  1. Evelyn showing us transferring water. 
  2. Olivia showing us how to use a screw driver.
  3. Madison showing us how to sort cubes back in a specific order to fit in the box.
  4. The girls got to see a friend's mom perform in the pantomime of Beauty and the Beast.
  5. And afterwards they met some of the cast and posed for pictures for me.
  6. Evy asking me to put a billion clips in her hair. 
  7. Zoey protesting my attempts to start packing by sleeping on the packing cubes.
  8. Olivia slipped on her scooter and cut her chin (over the same scar that she received in February) so we got to figure out the hospital here and get some glue on her chin. 
  9. Madi the monkey scaling the doorways. 

There is a new marina being built close to our compound that hosted a big light show this month. We went early and on the first day to minimize the crowds and the girls loved seeing the rainbow lights and walking the boardwalk. 

In preparing for our first Qatar National Day, I headed to the souq in search of outfits for the girls. I was able to get some and enjoyed walking the aisles and seeing the different treasures this gem has to offer. I will definitely be back to shop and take any visitors that come to Doha. 

  1. The girls made bath salts as part of their teacher gifts. 
  2. They also made cookies and we delivered presents this past week before class finished.
  3. Madi's gymnastics had a parent watch last week and we got to see her perform. She loves the class and is good. 
  4. Over the weekend Jason's company hosted a family day. The girls danced on the stage.
  5. Beach picture looking at downtown Doha during the family day.
  6. Our compound hosted a small Christmas event for young kids with a Santa. Two of the girls had no interest until they heard there was chocolate being given after you got your picture taken. 
  7. Madi spent a good bit of time intricately decorating her gingerbread cookie. I think we've been watching a bit too much Great British Baking Show with her - ha.
  8. One of the pros of warm weather year-round is gardening! We have missed having one since Houston and planted last month. There's been a lot of growth!
  9. And we have some baby cucumbers coming in as well!

School officially ended for the girls last Thursday. The school celebrated Qatari National Day early (it's actually December 18) along with a Family Fun Day to wrap up the term before winter break. These are the outfits I bought for the girls at the souq. They had a blast running around eating cotton candy and popcorn with their friends to finish the term. 


Christmas Card 2018

Wishing you the Merriest Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Our cards officially went out last week so hopefully will be in your mailboxes just before (or slightly after) Christmas! 

I love the pictures Alisha took of our family before we left Baku and used them in the design. I created the card myself and found the background image online (credit: Kjpargeter). I ordered through Vistaprint's postcard mailing services. (Apologies to our friends overseas, you will only receive a digital copy this year because I haven't figured out the postal system yet in Doha, ha.)

I miss checking a mailbox and seeing stacks of Christmas cards from friends and family all over the world. I would love to have a digital copy if you're willing to send me since receiving mail is a bit tricky. :-)

Here's our past Christmas cards: 2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012 (A moving postcard in lieu of a Christmas card) and  2011 (along with pictures of the pre-blog cards from 2008 - 2010).


Sunday, December 2, 2018

November Events

It feels like just yesterday that I was finally getting around to finish our October Happenings (since apparently all I can keep up with these days is a monthly recap...) We kept busy during November as well with quite a bit going on.

We kicked off the month by attending an airshow that was along the boulevard downtown. It was nice weather and the girls liked seeing the airplanes. We also got a chance to test out our kites afterwards, but there wasn't too much good winds.

We received free entry tickets in a happy meal to the new Angry Birds theme park inside one of the malls and decided to check it out. They were running a promotion with discounted entry for Jason and me along with free credits to rides so overall it was a good value for the money (because of the free entry + promotions). The girls had a blast! We arrived shortly after they opened and stayed until late afternoon. There were a couple rides the girls were tall enough to do (Evy and I rocked at the gun bumper cars!) and they had a trampoline area and play area that we spent most of our time at.

  1. We finally got around to hanging up some of the wall decals in the girls playroom. I love the setup!
  2. Another angle of the girls kitchen area. :-)
  3. A sweet gift from my friend Tricia - Barbados coffee + Trinidad sweets. 
  4. Ms Liv strutting into church. 
  5. Another Friday church set of outfits. Look at those cheese smiles. They barely let me dress them anymore (and sadly their fashion sense usually trumps mine - ha!)
  6. Sister love after I said I was done with pictures. 
  7. The girls each had a planting day at school and I was happy to be able to volunteer for both.
  8. Madi however was not happy when it was time for me to leave and couldn't muster a better smile. Sigh. 
  9. Evy and Liv reading during Madi's gymnastics class. 

We've finally been able to spend some time outdoors this month as the temperatures have dropped slightly. I've made a game of guessing how long people have lived in Doha based on their attire. Nothing = <1 year; Sweater = < 2 years; Fleece = 3+ years; Puffy jacket = you've lived here way too long, haha

One of those nicer weather Saturdays we visited the nearby playground and decided to bury the girls rather than pay for a babysitter that evening for our date night. We left jackets and blankets in case they got cold. Ha - kidding! We did obviously bury them though. :-)

And that evening we did go for a much needed date night (but with a babysitter and the girls at home ;-) ).  We visited the beautiful Mondrian hotel and did happy hour at Morimoto restaurant. The cocktails and the food were delicious and we will definitely be visiting there again!

There were also more rain storms this month which the girls took full advantage of with puddle jumping and scootering through the water. 

  1. I've mentioned before the compound has peacocks. We had never seen ones this close before and Madi insisted she get a picture with them. 
  2. Later that day I actually saw a peacock on the second story of the house across from us. I have never seen them up that high before!!
  3. This cat. Ever since she recovered from her ear infection she's been a handful. She's affectionate and cheeky. Never before has she ever jumped onto the top of the cabinets. :-/
  4. And then there's the fat one who tries to squeeze her backside into a basket she's too big for. Sigh. 
  5. The puddle jumping' fun!
  6. Evy Grace. :-)
  7. There was a dog show just around the corner from us and the girls loved petting all the dogs and getting ice cream. 
  8. A fun movie night with friends to see Ralph Break the Internet. Definitely not as good as the original (are they ever?!) but a fun excuse to check out the theater since we hadn't been yet. 
  9. Swim lessons. We've found another amazing teacher and the twins especially have just blossomed in their ability and comfort in the water without a flotation device. He is so good!

This month was also Thanksgiving. It hit me especially hard this year feeling like a regular Thursday with the normal school and after school activities. We haven't built the same community here yet and it's been challenging for me. However, I know we have so much to be thankful for though and chose to focus on those things - one being the delicious Mexican meal that we had with a family we knew in Baku. 

Flashback to last year in the same outfits (because if it still fits, we will use it for two years - ha!). I can't believe how much the twins have grown and changed!

The last big thing we did this month was celebrate my 33rd birthday! Jason had noticed awhile back that there was The Melting Pot franchise here in Doha. It's one of our favorite places and holds a special place in our hearts since we had our rehearsal dinner there. We were excited to go and take the girls for their first fondue experience! 

The meal was amazing and very similar to the US. We definitely missed the cocktails, but enjoyed the ambience and delicious chocolate. They've got great specials during the week as well so we will definitely visit again!

One of the things I am very grateful for is this tribe of mine and the adventures we get to have together!

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