Friday, March 29, 2019

March Happenings!

There was a lot that happened this month - from Jason's birthday, to exploring outside the city, to school and other activities. It was a jam-packed month that ended with us heading on holiday after the girls second school term finished and was very memorable. Here's some of the fun stuff that we did this March.

  1. The beginning of the month kicked off with the cutest train-themed birthday party. You know a party is going to be fab when a party planner is the host!
  2. There was even a real mall train that came out to the party at the special request of the birthday boy who frequents them at all the malls. How amazing!
  3. Fun Elsa playdate with school friends!
  4. We got surprised with friends from Baku during their layover in Doha. The girls had fun together at the playground.
  5. Here's the whole crew of us after dinner together!
  6. Lazy cats, but they are getting along better.
  7. Sweet sleeper.
  8. We headed out of town to visit Fuwairit Beach and enjoyed hunting for shells.
  9. And enjoyed friends and beverages. 

We took a Saturday with friends and drove out to visit the Singing Sand Dunes. It was a bit windy, but the girls had fun listening to the dunes and playing in the sand. 

This month the theme at school was healthy food choices (as we've been hearing the girls sing the song all day long and ask us if such-and-such is healthy). For their sharing we printed pictures of them helping make salads and a poster with their favorite fruits and vegetables. They also brought in vegetables and their kid-safe knives and cut veggies for their class. Brilliant. 

One evening we headed to the Qatar International Food Festival with friends of ours. If you've never had a gold-dusted, white chocolate chai tea in an ice cream cone then you are missing out. Ha! The food was wonderful and the girls loved the cotton candy larger than their face.

  1. A sweet picture of Madi's friends in her room. She's had the unicorn frame since we left Baku and her friend in Doha decorated this sweet picture of them and then laminated it for her to keep in her room. 
  2. We celebrated our favorite guy this month with a birthday cake for breakfast and precious singing (see video below).
  3. Happy birthday Daddy!
  4. We got a chance to sneak out for dinner that evening at a fab steakhouse where they cooked our steak in boiling butter (also see video below).
  5. Celebrating Jason's birthday at Nusret Steakhouse!
  6. I got a chance to go horseback riding with friends and saw this Colorado train on the ride. How crazy is that??
  7. Me and my horse!
  8. Loving with CeCe.
  9. Madi is so amazing! She finished her Awana Sparks I book and then did her entire review in one evening! That means she said over 21 verses at one time. Wow!!


The other wonderful thing this month was the Mother's Lunch that the school hosted. The Qatar Mother's Day was in March and we were invited to have a meal with our children and they surprised us with songs and a gift. It was so special to spend some time with them. 

I am the Room Parent for Madi's class and thanks to these sweet and fabulous mothers we had some amazing decorations, a fun photo booth by Once Upon A Party here in Doha, and I would not have been able to do it without their help setting up!

  1. We visited the mall for an interactive Teddy Bear Hospital with the girls. 
  2. We battled some illness this month with the twins meaning that I had company during the day when I worked on my Bible study. 
  3. And she dressed herself with some questionable fashion choices and shoes. Oh well.
  4. Puzzle teamwork.
  5. The school also had pictures this month and I took the opportunity to snap these shots before they headed to school because who knows if those shirts stayed white or those headbands remain on - ha!
  6. Sweet siblings. 
  7. The last day of the term the school did crazy hair day and let them go without uniforms. Madi appropriately chose her "crazy hair, don't care" shirt.
  8. I was able to attend and make the diaper cake for the sweetest cactus baby shower for a friend. Look at that delicious spread!
  9. Prepping for our trip to Jordan with packing cubes, beach bags, and personalized tags thanks to my new laminator. 

It was a pretty jam-packed month with lots of memories and fun times with friends. Excited for our trip to Jordan now and will be sharing pictures soon. :-)


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Eventful February

Oh February! It's the shortest month, but still pretty eventful for our family. We celebrated Valentine's Day with friends and enjoyed some other fun (and not so fun - hospital) things.

  1. Fancy malls around Doha - this one is the Mirqab where a robotics event was being hosted that we decided to attend. 
  2. So the robotics event was actually just legos for the older kids and then making vests for the younger ones, but after waiting for the event for almost an hour (because clocks don't work in Doha) we definitely weren't leaving without doing the activity. 
  3. The finished products of their robot vests!
  4. We visited Red Lobster where Olivia cleaned an entire plate of fried shrimp and the girls got to meet a live lobster.
  5. Finally getting around to hanging some of our chandeliers from Baku and scenery pictures from Norway. Love it!
  6. Peacock on the upstairs patio - it's quite amazing to see them glide up onto the roofs.
  7. This sweet from from Baku (also transplanted to Doha) and I got a chance to catch up during her week off with a delicious Dutch lunch.
  8. Evidence of the delicious Dutch sandwich complete with cheese my neighbor brought me from Amsterdam. 
  9. A delicious dinner and movie with friends. The meal was superb and the projector outside was a win allowing us adults to converse inside peacefully.

  1. After two years of making and canning salsa, I finally decided to give selling it a shot. Here's what 10 liters of freshly made salsa looks like. 
  2. And here's what it translates to in canned jars for sales. 
  3. I designed a label and got a website running for those friends in the Doha area that would like to give it a try.
  4. A fun birthday party at the arcade.
  5. Shimmery and stylish new backpacks from our dear friend Emma in Baku.
  6. Our camping trip got cancelled last minute due to extreme wind forecast so we had s'mores over the fire pit instead.
  7. And let the kids "camp" on the carpet with a movie. 
  8. Aren't they adorable?!
  9. And our girls slept in the tent in the playroom to console them missing camping in the desert. Hopefully we will get to try again one day soon!

  1. Loved seeing the American flag and Qatar flag together in celebration of National Sports Day.
  2. We had a few birthday parties this month and the girls enjoyed decorating the presents with stickers and drawings.
  3. The most tolerant cat ever. (See video below.)
  4. Evy shot out of bed early excited to help me make lunches.
  5. Swinging fun at a favorite playground closely.
  6. Hanging with the birthday boy at the same playground.
  7. This month we finally got all three girls in for dentist appointments! They were champs - here's Madison getting an exam and cleaning. Yay for no cavities and getting her new back teeth.
  8. Evelyn did very good as well and needs to brush more on her back teeth.
  9. Olivia was also great, but we need to keep an eye on her. She's already showing signs that she'll most likely need braces in the future and also has something called cross-bite that will need to be corrected. :-(

The other things that happened this month was our first hospitalization. Evy had a cough since last November that mysteriously disappeared when we went to Sri Lanka and returned less than four days after returning to Doha. 🤔  The cough didn't have fever accompanied with it the majority of the time, but then she did spike a fever one Wednesday. It disappeared for 24 hours, but then Friday she woke up with very labored breathing that had us decide to take her in to urgent care for a chest x-ray. They immediately hospitalized her after confirming what they suspected - bacterial pneumonia.

She was a trooper and logistically it worked out for us to tag-team and spend alternate nights at the hospital with her. We had lots of friends offer help or meals and we greatly appreciated knowing that we have support here in Doha in an emergency. Evelyn was thrilled with her pink room and was thankfully discharged just a couple days later and got to spend a week at home with me.

  1. Zoey hanging with Madi's other favorite cat.
  2. The girls had a birthday party this month for one of their closest friends. When the mom said her daughter would love something homemade I panicked, plotted, and then painted (or rather the girls did). We taped off her name and let the girls go crazy painting it. 
  3. Here's the final product. Love how it turned out!!
  4. At the birthday party they had the most adorable cookies you could paint yourself! Olivia had a blast.
  5. Madi and her two besties loved painting and eating the cookies equally. 
  6. The mom was so sweet and sent us with cake and food and a cookie for Evelyn to paint in the hospital! It cheered her up emmensely since she was sad to miss the party. 
  7. Sister snuggles while missing the third one. 
  8. Exhausted Evy after having to run a couple necessary errands with Mommy.
  9. Lo mein. All three girls love it and we've discovered that once a month the Malaysian embassy has a food market where we can buy the noodles and freeze them to make ourselves. So good!

The month ended with the most adorable International Day Parade and Potluck celebration at the girls' school. It was amazing seeing all the different country attires and listen to the children sing songs they've worked hard to prepare for all month. 


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Valentine's Day 2019

Valentine's Day 2019! 

We had fun making valentines for the girl's classes even though the holiday isn't celebrated here. Their classmates and teachers were excited and appreciated the kind gesture.

We gave the girls some small gifts - a sticker activity book, some cute jewelry I snagged on am amazing sale at Monsoon, and these fun interactive sequin shirts from H&M. {The girls are obsessed with swiping these shirts and hopefully this stops them from doing it to random people wearing this style of shirt. 😳)

The weekend after Valentine's Day we had some friends over for a small Valentine's party / brunch with cookie and valentine making activities.

We took some of the extra cookies to friends around the compound. It was a perfect way to celebrate the holiday!

I also had fun looking at past year's pictures from Valentine's Day.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Fun-filled January

This month felt busy. The usual start-up of school and enrichment activities plus some time with friends and a mini getaway for me it was a good busy and not too overwhelming. Let's hope all months feel like this in 2019. ;-)

Those who follow me on Instagram or Facebook know that Olivia re-cut her chin (first time in February, then again in December). Well on holiday in Sri Lanka, just a couple days after she'd gotten the bandages off she cut it again. No joke. It was less-than-ideal while overseas and after running away from the hospital when they started using words like "stitches" and "plastics surgeon", we began texting a couple nurse friends and ended up re-bandaging ourselves with steri-strips (using cuticle cutters to cut them since we didn't have scissors!) and praying for the best. We took her to the hospital when we returned to Doha and are happy to report its completely healed - woohoo!

We took advantage of the time off and sales to take our girls and their friends to Build-a-Bear. They had a blast picking and making their animals and re-discovering all the clothes we already owned for them at home -ha!

We started 2019 correctly with our usual New Year's Day Meal of ham, black eyed peas, and cornbread. I'd never actually known why except that you just did growing up so here's the history for each of those dishes.

  1. New Year's Day meal!
  2. Flying kites in Al Bidda Park.
  3. Battling the post-holiday depression with waffle spread.
  4. First day back at school car ride - so excited and giggly!
  5. Love those laughter faces. :-)
  6. Bible study started back up and I brought this delish baked brie.
  7. Putting the girls to work cutting vegetables for our salads, hehe.
  8. The delicious end result.
  9. Gymnastics started back up and the twins were thrilled to be old enough to join "Madi's class"

These cats are so awkward. They were quite needy once we returned from holiday and took it upon themselves to follow up and be weird. 

When I heard there was a coffee festival closely in Katara I knew I needed that in my life. I ended up taking the girls with me after school and we all enjoyed a treat - the best hot chocolate ever for them and a super delicious rose latte for me!

  1. Delicious dumplings made by my friend Cherish when she learned I have a love/slight obsession with basically all Asian food.
  2. Camel crossing outside the souq.
  3. The girls started up swimming lessons and earned ice cream at the end of the week as a treat.
  4. The first two months of school have an International focus before they'll conclude with an International parade and potluck. For sharing day the girls brought these neat facts to share along with the map in the next picture.
  5. This framed poster is actually a workbook I was gifted with flag stickers for each country. The girls are adding the flags to the countries as they visit them so they can see how they've travelled the world. 
  6. Delicious pot roast and potatoes in the instant pot.
  7. Survived another sandstorm and loved this warning sign.
  8. We finally brought our pizza stone to Doha last September...and then promptly busted the bread machine after without getting to use it. We finally found a bread machine here and were excited to get to use the pizza stone and back to making fresh bread weekly.
  9. More ice cream fun, but with friends after a playdate!

I loved the popular first and recent Facebook picture challenge many were doing. I joined Facebook back in 2005 when it was first offered at University (and only offered to students), but my picture wasn't that old. However, I think March 2007 versus November 2018 is still pretty good.

The last and most fun (for me!) event this month was a fun evening away with some friends form church. We stayed at a hotel for a mini mom-cation and enjoyed massages, delicious food, lots of laughter and tears, and some much-needed rest and fellowship with these beautiful women. I am thankful for the church community we have found here and how supportive they are! Thank you Jason for giving me the gift of an evening out!

We've gotten a great start to 2019 and I can't believe it's already February!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year's Eve 2018

We decided to go big for New Year's Eve and book a dinner and hotel at the Doha Marriott with some friends here in Doha. They were having an International Buffet and hotel prices were reasonable for the mini stay-cation.

The delicious food! They had each of the hotel's restaurants opened with different cuisine stations. Everything was fresh and amazing. 

Party animals were out loonnggg before midnight. Jason and I barely made it to the ball drop and then promptly took the girls (who had awoken to the noise cranky and annoyed) up to the room to go back to sleep, ha!

2018 was a year full of changes, challenges, and celebrations as we moved countries, had our 10 year anniversary, and are settling into life in Qatar. Click on the links to catch more 2018 Highlights and our Best Nine.

Let's do this 2019! Happy New Year!!

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