Tuesday, September 1, 2020

First Day of School Pics!!

It's hard to believe that the summer is gone and we are back to school. Things in Qatar have slowly started opening back up and school was delayed to start from August to September with a hybrid approach learning style. The girls have varying days they are in school and the rest of the days online. 

It's definitely going to be a challenge given the girls are currently assigned opposite days, but we are thankful that Jason is still working from home to help and that the girls got to meet their new teachers in person and see their friends after their abrupt dismissal last March. 

Welcome to second grade Madison!

Welcome to kindergarten Evelyn!

Welcome to kindergarten Olivia!

The new norm for walking into school (temp checks and directed traffic flow) plus a small treat we brought for our new teachers and helpers. ☺️


And a glimpse into our home classroom setup. The girls have new headphones on the way with inline microphones to hopefully help the few times they have simultaneous learning. 

These goofballs are ready for the new 2020 - 2021 school year!


Monday, August 31, 2020

August Update

The majority of the month of August was spent mostly outdoors (despite the humidity and 100+ F heat) enjoying the water at the beaches and our pool plus the sand and some water sports. However we did also have some fun with family sleepovers, house updates, and also celebrated our 12th anniversary!

  1. We can successfully fit five kids in one bedroom for their first sleepovers. It's been a favorite this summer to do family sleepovers and made for a great Eid break since we couldn't travel. 
  2. While the kids slept, the parents played games. 😉
  3. Jason's pretty much perfected his pizza game and we've enjoyed Friday night pizza most of the summer.
  4. We baked name cookies and got to decorating them with our friends!
  5. The final products. 😍
  6. Decorating fun!
  7. CeCe refusing to give me any time alone.
  8. Zoey enjoying some time on the balcony.
  9. Family game night with Monopoly Junior. 

  1. Pool ready with their sunglasses and swim bags!
  2. Olivia enjoying the diving board.
  3. Madison running and jumping off!
  4. Evelyn ready to make a splash.
  5. We brought the GoPro to the pool and captured some fun shots (and video, see below).
  6. Underwater Madi
  7. Enjoying the unicorn float
  8. We've loved going to the pool with our neighbors!
  9. Living my best life with an iced coffee and adult float. 

  1. Evy holding a turtle - one of her favorite animals! They allowed a certain number of people to attend the turtle hatching this year and we were fortunate enough to snag tickets. The weather moved the season up and so we went on the last night, but were thankful to still see some turtles.
  2. Madi holding a turtle.
  3. Liv with her turtle. 
  4. We decided to add fake grass to our upstairs balcony for a hang out when the weather cools down.
  5. The best tie dye shirts made especially for them by our Baku friend Emma
  6. Jason built an awesome fire pit in the backyard!
  7. Delicious breakfast tacos!
  8. My first girls night out for curry and a lovely catch up. 
  9. Jason bought a truck 😁

So much beach and water fun outdoors with friends! The girls tried tubing and kneeboarding and I tried wakeboarding for the first time and didn't do too bad (the video below is from my third ride and I was able to get up only second attempt). We have been thankful the beaches opened back up in July to allow us to spend time enjoying sunsets and sand all month long. 😊

It's crazy to think we start school tomorrow as the summer has flown by quickly in some respects, and slowly in others. We never imagined spending a summer in Qatar, but have been very thankful for the time as a family, time with friends, and lots of adventures together still and enjoying the beauty in this country. 


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Happy 12 Years!!

 This August we celebrated our 12 year anniversary married (16 years together!) and got to go out for our first date night since I think the middle of March! 🤭

We had a lovely night out celebrating together and having delicious Thai food (full of peanuts and cashews since we didn't have Olivia with us 😂)

Here's a collage for our 12 year anniversary and a video below with all 16 years we've been together. 😍

Thank you Jason for the amazing memories, laughter, and learning we've experienced in our relationship! There's no one I'd rather do life with than you and you are a constant support in everything. Happy Anniversary!


Friday, July 31, 2020

July Happenings

We kicked off the month of July with a fun Fourth of July celebration and also celebrated our favorite twins turn FIVE! We've spent a good amount of time at the beach. The rest of the month was filled with staying busy, indoors and outdoors, with different activities!

  1. Since our compound pool was still closed we finally caved and bought this pool second hand for the girl to have some water fun!
  2. Afterwards homemade popsicles (I blended strawberries, greek yogurt, and added little honey for sweetener and they loved them.)
  3. Some DIY - I painted a dresser to convert to a side table and also this kids vanity we got for free. 
  4. The new arm - temp checks at the museum.
  5. The fire station museum had a Picasso exhibit and since the twins did a big art unit in school and learned about him we decided to check it out. 
  6. We were able to participate in online VBS with our church back in Houston and were so thankful!
  7. CeCe relaxing on the new sofa. 
  8. Zoey interfering with a game of Uno Attack by laying on the discard pile.
  9. The cheese fiend in her element making nachos. 

  1. We dragged the kids and our friends out early one morning to bike the Lusail boulevard. It was super humid, 😓 
  2. Thankfully they had the sprinklers going and these two jumped in to cool off.
  3. Afterwards our friends came over for a movie and playdate.
  4. Delicious blueberry muffins for everyone!
  5. The girls new favorite game - Spot It!
  6. CeCe helping Madi build her circuits (highly recommend this toy, which we love!)
  7. Zoey escaping the chaos by jumping on top of the cabinet 🙄 
  8. Olivia with her birthday gift Lego she built by herself!
  9. Evelyn with her birthday gift Lego set she built by herself!

The other things we decided to do this month to mix things up was have a family sleepover with our good friends. The kids were so excited and the adults stayed up playing card games and visiting!

  1. Madi has been doing virtual ballet and loving it!
  2. We were surprised with a gift bag from some sweet friends who we also "miss berry much" 😊 
  3. Chocolate chip scones for a Saturday morning snack.
  4. Gaming with a cocktail after bedtime.
  5. The girls have also been doing Generation Pound classes and one them!
  6. Madi has been begging me to show her how to sew and she helped fix some toys and clothes that I've been meaning to get around to fixing for awhile.
  7. Jason upped our pizza game with this new pizza oven!
  8. Mad had a lovely catch up with one of her Baku besties.
  9. New level of quarantine - movie in the pool  😂 

The girls have been practicing their tricks with Zoey!


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Beach Fun!

On July 1 the beaches opened back up for visitors in Doha! We didn't go straight away because we were concerned about crowds and sure enough we heard stories of packed cars along some of the popular spots. As the allure of finally getting out settled some we have ventured out to the beach and on the water with friends. 

We've usually gone super early in the morning to avoid the crowds - and when I say early, we are leaving the house between 4:30 - 5:30 am to arrive at the beach by 5:30 - 6:30 am and we have never been the first there! The sun is up here between 4:00 - 4:30 am so we've never quite made the sunrise, but it's been gorgeous still!

We also took the kids tubing for the first time and they loved it! 

One morning we headed out the cloud cover was absolutely stunning!! We arrived so early the tide hadn't come in all the way and we were able to walk out pretty far into the water and slowly move backwards as the water began to rise. It was a refreshing and relaxing time and just what our family needed after a bit of chaos at home!

The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.

Psalm 19:1 (ESV)


Monday, July 27, 2020

Spelunking in Sinkholes

After seeing some friends post a picture of a relatively well-known sinkhole I knew I had to visit it. A couple months ago, before the heat had gotten too bad, we headed to adventure there with some friends. The sinkhole had a big, cavernous opening, and was very easy to maneuver down and play at the bottom and explore a bit with the kids. 

We were hooked. It got me wondering and thinking if there were possibly others around Doha that we could go explore. I found an old PDF that listed a handful of ones in Qatar. Unfortunately most aren't big enough to be able to go inside, but one looked promising. I shared the article with a friend and her family graciously took on exploring the cave first on their own. 

Once restrictions started to ease up a bit in Qatar and we could go visit together we made plans to head there.  This sinkhole was definitely more narrow, technically challenging, and required headlamps because it was pitch black at the bottom. It also had a fun surprise at the bottom that our girls loved... bats! 🦇 The kids sat for a long time watching and listening to them (and also counting the cockroaches scurrying one level below them - this sinkhole is not for the faint of heart - ha!)

Due to the heat we explored the sinkhole in the late afternoon and then sat outside to see if any of the bats would come flying out at sunset. Only handful did, but we enjoyed watching the sunset and letting the kids run around and explore some more. It was nice to get back in nature and see more of Qatar's hidden beauty.

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