Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Surprise, surprise they were out of what we (Brooks) were looking for, popsicles! So we bought ice cream instead. And since I LOVE ice cream and severely miss Bluebell, I thought this would help with Haagen Dazs portion control! Nick said it was like a box of cereal. Actually Barrett only had one, so I guess they are perfect for him. But the rest of us had way too many. Honestly, we used them like Frito scoops...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Duning and the Inland Sea

This weekend we took off on a little adventure. Never intended to do what we did, though. Saturday morning we headed out in our swimsuits with all the gear to check out Sealine Beach Resort. We were thinking of spending the day there. You can pay a daily fee to enjoy their beach and nice pools. Turned out to be a cloudy day and not worth spending any money on.

The road actually ends at the resort but lots and lots of people venture off on their own. No road = all sand! Its definitely advised not to off road your vehicle unless you're experienced or with a professional tour. Huge sand dunes run right up to the shoreline where we were. Nick, owner of the FJ cruiser has had the urge to off road just a little! So he asked a couple of guys where they were headed and how the drive was. They were going to the Inland Sea, a popular sight to see and one of the most scenic in Qatar. And a place we've had on our list to see since we've moved here. Most lay eyes on the Inland Sea by taking a professional tour. BUT these guys seemed trust worthy and knowledgeable. They invited us to follow and said we could turn around at any point.

Turns out our adventure didn't include massive sand dunes, mostly flat terrain and a few slightly rolling dunes. Which is all the risk we're (or I am) willing to take. Getting stuck in the sand with the boys and very little food/drink doesn't sound like a fun afternoon. We had a few adrenaline rush moments to say the least. The boys loved it. Mostly we enjoyed the scenery!

We drove from Doha south to Khor al-Udeid (Inland Sea). The water is beautiful. One side is Qatar the other is Saudi Arabia.

Prepping for the soft sand...letting some air out of the tires.

Off into the desert and the dunes.

We made it...and the dunes off in the distance are the ones we stayed away from. Those are for professionals!

Bear and Saudi

Since this was an impromptu adventure we didn't have the freedom to stick around the Inland Sea to swim and play. We certainly would have, but the guys we followed were headed straight back. No chance we were going to try to find our way back to the resort on our own.

Saudi and the beautiful water

Duning our way back...may look simple but that sand is soft and it takes some courage to head up the dune not knowing what's on the other side or if you'll get stuck.

Last little dune of the day....

We finished our afternoon by stopping at a beach on the way home for just a little while. Then to top it off as we were driving home we saw 8 or 9 random camels just hanging out in the middle of the desert close to the highway. 2 were baby camels. The boys loved every bit.
Since we didn't get much playtime I didn't get many pictures while out and about. Then just about the time we saw the camels, my camera battery died.
Shortly after we got home, we experienced our first lightening and thunderstorm in Doha since we've moved here.
Great Spontaneous Doha Day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cultural Day

Today was Cultural Day at the boys' school. Every child was supposed to bring or wear something that represented their nationality or culture. They were also encouraged to bring food from their home country. As usual I took lots of pictures...I'm taking so many that my Mac keeps warning me that we're running out of storage :0 But these pictures are for our family that cares about every single detail. Of course, the boys went dressed in their football gear. Obviously that's our Junod/Watkins culture and we're staying strong while we live in a country that refers to football as another sport! Oh no...not at our house. Its soccer! So we took pigs-in-a-blanket to represent little hot dogs. The boys LOVED wearing their football gear.
I was actually shocked to find out how diverse their school is. They go to Apple Tree, one of the many nurseries (aka...preschools) here in Doha. Their school has only been open for a year and its packed! Packed with expat kids. There are only a couple of Qataris. I was amazed at all the different nationalities. We have a flexible window of time to drop off and pick up our kids so I don't usually run into other moms or mums ;) The directors are from Ireland and they are absolutely incredible. So professional and nurturing to the kids. The boys school was one of the first experiences that paved the way for opening my heart and changing the way I look at things. Our culture and western world brainwashed me into thinking that our way is the best and only way for everything. Now, there ain't no school like Parkway Hills Preschool in Plano (directed by our Honey), of course. But I'm really not even talking about schools...its just a mentality even in the simple things that's changing for me. Our God is the God of the entire universe. His children are from every nation and tribe. What a blessing it has been to be exposed to the beauty he created in His children. I'm so thankful my boys get to see and hear the diversity. Today was a great Doha Day!

This is artwork from Barrett's class. Each paper child is holding a flag representing their home country. Barrett is the only 100% American in his class. There is one other child with one parent that is American.

Another artwork display with representative flags.

Parents were invited to join their kids for the special party celebrating Cultural Day. What a spread. I was really hoping for some little description tags on everything. We played it safe and ventured only a little...the scones with fresh whip cream were our favorite.

Nursery Director from Ireland

Bear's hat that he made with handprints

This little boy's parents are from Lebanon and Scotland


Netherlands...look at those precious Dutch shoes


Flags in Barrett's class room

A few hours after celebrating with Barrett's class, I went back to school to celebrate with Brooks. Some of the 4 year olds spoke up in front of everyone to do "show and tell" plus Brooks' class sang a few songs. Sweet Brooks was as shy as could be but enjoyed some serious food.

Our BFF Macie was first to speak up loudly and tell us she was from Houston and show her Texas star..."atta girl"

Miss Hannah (Brooks' teacher)

Brooks enjoying a Belgium waffle with Macie

Monday, March 23, 2009

We had an incredible long weekend in Dubai before Tatty left to head back to Houston. Dubai is more than pictures or words can describe. Its similar to NYC or Vegas...there's too much to do. You can always go back and do more or different things. Its is heavily influenced by the western world and everything is done BIG and expensive! We enjoyed downtime at the beach and pool plus seeing the famous sights of Dubai. This was actually the very first time Brooks and Barrett have ever stayed in a hotel, which turned out to be just as exciting as the indoor ski slope :) The malls were incredible. They were so huge...no chance for seeing all of them. We were thrilled to eat mexican food twice and it was just as good as we hoped it would be!! Ski Dubai was unreal...right in the middle of the mall. The ski resort had 5 runs including a "black". Hopefully we'll be back another time to experience it. We spent our last evening at Madinat in Dubai...absolutely incredible! Its a master planned development with hotels, shopping, restaurants, and the most amazing atmosphere. The architecture is reflective of the middle east and ambiance feels very traditional and authentic. We took a sunset boat ride that was dreamy. What a great weekend and getaway from Doha. Back to the real middle east, desert, tradition, etc. We needed a break and Dubai was perfect.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Play Days with Tatty in Town

Villagio Mall in Doha

Doha DQ

Playing Blocks with Tatty


Golf Course in Doha



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bad Doha Day

(This is a personal journal entry of a bad Doha Day, just for kicks...feel free to bypass.) We had such a great weekend with Tatty. BUT...Not only did she get to see the dunes and celebrate Bear's birthday with us, she also experienced a bad Doha Day. I'm so sad she got drug through such a lousy day but I'm also very thankful she was here for support. If only we would have had a couple bumps or surprises, instead of so many little ones all on the same day! Some of the challenges were self induced and some were just part of living in Doha. Unfortunately, Doha tends to make little problems into big problems because of traffic, language barriers, dust, no left turns, etc. I absolutely have to make record of our Sunday, but I had to distance myself from it before being able to laugh a little. After such a busy weekend we were just planning an easy day with a simple picnic, that's all. Here are some of the events...
  • Both boys woke up during the weeeeee hours of the night not feeling well therefore needing doc appointments
  • Tatty cracked 2 eggs for breakfast...one was accompanied by feathers the other was too firm to break...what came first the chicken or the egg? hum...gross!
  • Had a severe language challenge over the phone ordering food for lunch but we made it out the door and on the road
  • Picked up our lunch and headed to meet Daddy for lunch at the park
  • Made it to the park but Brooks fell asleep before we got there so we left him sleeping in the A/C car (just a few feet away)
  • Opened our lunch to find that our order went completely wrong
  • Brooks woke up, asked for the park toys and bubbles we packed...ooops, I forgot the backpack with the toys and diapers for Barrett
  • Finished a quick lunch and headed to the doctor for the first time here in Doha
  • Waited for about an hour, then the doc we were going to see had an emergency so we waited another 45 minutes to see a different doc
  • While we waited Barrett had a horrible dirty diaper...diapers were in the backpack at home. So I asked a very sweet French lady who I assumed by the looks of her little boy, if she had a diaper I could "buy" from her. Of course she was very sweet and gave me one.
  • The nurses said they had wipes but turned out they didn't, so we used a wet paper towel.
  • Finally we saw the doc who was very nice. She diagnosed and sent us away with scrips to fill.
  • Made our way to the pharmacy inside the hospital as Brooks started throwing up in the hallway. I rushed him to the bathroom, which I quickly found out was the "Mens".
  • Finally got all the meds and headed out.
  • Got in the car, started looking for my cell phone to call Nick. And as we're sitting in typical Doha traffic at 3:30pm...BAM...I conveniently rear-end the car in front of me! We pulled over across 3 lanes of Doha drivers :O to talk to the poor Arab women I scared half to death. Thankfully the cars weren't damaged so we walked away.
  • Couldn't find my phone anywhere so we headed back to the hospital...hoping its there. Thank goodness it was at the pharmacy. But we added a good hour to our afternoon just because I forgot the phone and had a fender-bender.
  • Ahh...finally headed home to get out of the craziness and help the poor Bees rest and feel better. Both boys fell asleep on the way home so we were hoping to take them straight to their beds for a nap.
  • Barrett went right up stairs and finished his nap. Unfortunately, Brooks woke up with car stopped BUT worse we opened the front door to the most awful smell EVER!
  • One of the dogs was sick and had diarrhea in the kennel and both dogs had been laying in the mess, for who knows how long!
  • Opened the kennel and they shook like wet dogs...the entire laundry room and my body were sprinkled with NASTY!
  • Obviously the dogs were whisked quickly out side. I gagged my way through getting the kennel outside (with rubber gloves) and Kathy flipped the emergency mom button on and put it in full gear. She mopped the fire out of the tile floors and walls 2x and I took care of poor Brooks who was still throwing up.
  • As soon as possible I called the husband and summoned him to start making his way home! As soon as he was home he washed the kennel and the dogs.
  • Brooks started feeling a little better and Barrett woke up from his late nap. All 3 adults finally got showers and were looking forward to wrapping up the day when I couldn't locate Barrett. Nick was sure he went downstairs and he was right...Bear was not only downstairs but outside all by himself in the dark in the middle of the cul-de-sac having a ball playing the the water. Mother of the year!!
  • That just about wraps up the day. We all made it to bed and had a much better day on Monday! Thank you Lord, our Sunday actually could have been much worse but we're certainly glad its over!!
If only our day would have been as cute and fun as these pictures :)