Friday, October 30, 2009


We've proved to ourselves that having a birthday in Doha is no different than at home. I've been blessed! I've had a great couple of days thanks to incredible friends and a sweet husband. I woke up to breakfast in bed, plus a gift (new watch) from Nick. Then I dropped the boys at school and went to my dear friend/neighbor's, Karen for another birthday breakfast. After eating all morning I met 2 of Doha besties, Dede and Jackie at Chili's for a birthday lunch. They are absolute sweethearts and mean so much to me.

Finished up my day with beautiful flowers and a cake from Nick when he walked in the door. Brooks was very concerned about not having a cake all day...Daddy pulled through, except the Bees were very disappointed there weren't candles.

Brooks the photog

Doha knows how to do some "flurs" and Nick does too. He's so good at giving amazing flowers. Never fails and its always a treat.

Last night Nick and I had a birthday dinner out. We finished and said it was our best meal yet, out to eat in Doha. That's saying a lot. We went to Restaurant 29 in Beverly Hills Tower. They serve USDA beef and the chef is from Michigan. So we had a tasty home grown cow. Horrible picture of the flash. More importantly the pictures of the food "do tell".

Wedge Salad - yes, its beef bacon on top, not pork...duh. You may think we have sunk to an all-time low by eating it. Usually I don't...but this did the trick. Is was delish. Remember we live in "the land of almost".

Next up our home grown cow!

This is what they call peach cobbler. Once again we're in "the land of almost". It was served cold! What? That's not cobbler. It tasted good but not for cobbler. Pretty presentation though.

And finally these special people...Dede and Jerry Jackson are new friends to us, who we feel like we've known our entire lives. They are such a blessing to us. They just moved to Doha in August and we have a mutual friend, Vicky Habecker. Dede and Jerry have 3 grown boys and are the best resource as friends and mentors. I'm learning a lot from them, plus we love their company. So while we dined for my birthday they kept the boys for us just a few floors down. They live in a high rise apartment in the same building of the restaurant. We dropped the boys off at their place for a few hours. I'm not sure who had more fun.

Cushion slide they made.

Nonstop entertainment...let's just Aunt Dede and JJ know BOYS! And one day when they're still not old enough, they'll be incredible grandparents. I go back and forth between Dede being the comfort of my friend and/or my surrogate Doha mom. She's so fun, she loves God and has raised some really special boys. Plus she's from Dallas! Yay! They've been a long time coming on our blog!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Holding Baby Graham!

Last week I got to spend almost 5 whole days with The Sister and The Baby Boy, Graham! What an incredible week. I'm so thankful God planned it the way he did. Why do I always thing I have everything under control and planned the way it should be! For months, I was planning to be in Dallas for Graham's arrival but the doc insisted he arrive sooner. Instead of being born on October 19th, Ashley was induced on October 14th. Obviously my flight was a little late but instead of hanging around the hospital being worthless for Ash, I got to be with them for their first week at home. I was able to give my mom a break so she could go to work for a few days and sleep in her own bed. Plus, I was able to help Ashley and Dave with both kiddos when duty called. It was such a blessing to me. It takes living in the middle east to get that opportunity. If I still lived in Houston, I wouldn't have left the boys and Nick for a week to stay at Ashley's house. So all that to say our week was full of lots of memories and moments I'll never forget. Had I missed meeting my first nephew I would have been pretty miserable! Also got some special time with Anna Lou!
HUGE thanks to my incredible husband who got the Bees all packed up ready to go every morning and picked them up right after work for the normal nightly routine. Also BIG thanks to my precious friends who kept the boys while Nick was at work. This time last year I prayed God would give me one Christian friend. He's given me way more than that and these special girls help make my life complete in Doha. Thank you Jackie, Amy and Karen!! The boys had a blast. Nick unfortunately started off the week with a little food poisoning and then they ended their week with Brooks puking at Amy's house a few times. ugh! Poor Amy! Other than that the week was a success. Needless to say they picked up a few extra Happy Meal toys while I was gone but who cares when they get good lovin'!


Lou Lou and her Halloween cookie

Daddy and Anna at bath time

Happy Birthday Ash! What a treat to celebrate her birthday too!


Aunt Rosie (basically our babies' great grandmother)

Graham's first bath



See you soon G-dog and I'll bring your crazy cousins next time! They can teach you how to be rough and you can teach them how to be quiet and careful with a baby! They're gonna need it!
I love you little buddy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

News from the Middle East!

Our future family portrait

Here's the NEWS from across the SEA.
Instead of TWO there will now be THREE!
(author: Honey)

We are excited to announce Baby Junod #3 is on the way expected in April.

Where will you have the baby?

Have you been to the doctor yet?
Actually I've already been to the doctor in Dallas and will get the opportunity to do that a couple more times when in town over the next few months. And I have also already been to the doctor in Doha. I just had my 12 week appointment where we met the doc and heart a great heartbeat! I will have a standard 12 week thorough ultrasound next week.

Who is your doctor in Doha?
Dr. Deniz (her first name). Dr. D is a very high qualified female, Iraqi, Muslim doctor. We really liked her and felt she covered every detail that an American doctor would be concerned about.

Will you find out what you're having? When?
We WILL and it should be in early December before we head back to Texas for Christmas.

Where will you deliver?
Ah Ahli Hospital (private hospital in Doha) Very similar to a Western hospital. Looks and feels the same.

Is it safe and do they know what they are doing?
So far everything we've heard and experienced has exceeded our expectations and been completely up to American standards. They follow a normal schedule of routine doctor visits, ultrasounds and tests. For L&D things appear to be very similar as well. Epidurals, Inductions, C-Sections, etc...all very common.

Do you know anyone who has had a baby there?
YES! One of my very best friends here, Jackie had a baby last November. She has been literally a gift from God for many reasons. She loved her experience here and actually enjoyed it more than her first, where she delivered in Houston.

Why wouldn't you just come home to have the baby?
My doctor in Dallas would insist that I fly back to Texas for the entire last trimester if I wanted to deliver in the US. Therefore I would be leaving Nick and pulling the boys out of our normal Doha life in mid-January. I honestly can't imagine the separation and disruption of routine without Nick and away from our home. Ultimately it's not how our family should function if we don't have to.
One year ago we trusted God to follow Him to Doha and today we're convicted to continue and trust Him with our baby as well. There is no perfect hospital or doctor. We know and believe God is All-knowing and He will ultimately take care of every detail that's involved. I continually have to remind myself of God's goodness and blessings since we've been here. He's been so faithful to provide more than we've ever prayed for or imagined. I know He will do this same for this pregnancy and delivery. I have found that when I'm disciplined and intimate with God, then I find a great amount of comfort. It is completely by His grace that I can have peace in this circumstance. Being away from family and the comfort zone of sweet T.E.X.A.S, plus in the middle of the desert, across the world might be my last choice for having a baby. But the Truth is that God is good all the time. He will take great care of us and we will rely on Him completely...No doctor, test, hospital, etc.
A few verses I find myself reading often...
Jos 24:17 He protected us on our entire journey.
2 Sam 22:2 He is my Rock, my Fortress and Deliverer.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of Peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with all of you!
Isa 12:2 I will trust and not be afraid.

When will you come home to Texas to introduce the new baby?
We have plans to come home 4-6 weeks after the baby arrives (mid to the end May). My cousin, Louisa is getting married and we wouldn't miss it. Plus Brooks has been honored to walk the isle in her wedding. Not sure what our summer plans will be exactly, but we'll definitely have an extended stay like last summer.

What do the boys think of having a new baby?
They are excited. We just told them last night. We made Brooks guess the surprise by giving him hints. A couple of his guesses "ball, basket, robot, dog, chair, table" Once he figured it out he looked back and forth from Nick to me, just looking at my tummy very confused. Then he finally said "B...Baby?" Brooks, and Barrett too have been talking about the baby quite a bit today but as expected it hasn't changed much of their wild world quite yet :)

I'm sorry for the lack of personal touch by announcing this on our blog rather than a phone call or at least a personal email. The time change and our 2 crazy little camels keep me from being on the phone at convenient US times.

We (and our families) covet your prayers as we prep for baby #3!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Growin' Boys!

Brooks and Barrett got a very special package today in the mail. One of my best friends, Ann was incredibly thoughtful and picked this Baylor Bear poster up for us at a recent football game. I can't quite describe the excitement in our house (from all of the boys, including Nick). Pretty awesome birthday present for Brooks. Apparently this was a marketing ad for milk, which completely applies to our house.
Months ago Brooks preferred juice over milk. We told him real football players drink milk and if he wanted to big and strong like a football player he had to drink his milk. Now-a-days Brooks prefers milk so that he can grow big and strong. So he loved the poster. He is actually terrified of mascots so we are praying this doesn't backfire in the middle of the night. Until then we'll be drinking our milk and charting our growth! Thank you so much Ann for thinking of us.

Aaaaaaaaa........Sic'em Bears!

Speaking of growth...this little boy has officially moved! Out of his CRIB! We decided that the transition might be best done as soon as we returned from our summer break and it worked. I was more than willing to let him go back to the crib but he hasn't once looked back :) He and Brooks now share a room and he loves to sleep in his big boy bed. We've hammered out a routine that's working so far. We usually have to give a warning about chit chatting but for the most part they are doing great and enjoying the slumber party.

One little monkey jumping on the bed...

Two little monkeys jumping on their beds...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yay for Birthday!

Over the summer Brooks decided he wanted to go bowling for his birthday. Turns out Doha has a great bowling alley. So it was a cinch and we had a great birthday party. Can you tell Brooks loved his new BU hat? Works for me...those Bears are making us proud!!

Thank you Honey for the perfect bowling birthday shirt!

Birthday Bowler Brooks

Barrett, Macie, and Brooks

Miss Amy and little Brennan

Bear, Jacob and Brooks

Mr. Mark and sweet Isaac...bowling for the first time. You can see his dimples in this picture. One of the cutest babies I've ever laid eyes on.

Brady and Barrett

French Fries vs. Bowling???? French Fries!

Birthday Boy

Dear Lord forgive me for being so angry and stressed while making this cake for the boy I love so much! It was almost worth it when I saw Brooks' face full of excitement. Almost! He decided he wanted a "big" cake not I tried with lots of hesitation. Just like I thought...not my thing. I'll order a cake next time. I like a cake that tastes good and looks good. Not sure this one has both!

Another special request from Brooks was "birthday hats".
If you're going to go...go BIG! Thank you Doha!

Calum finishing up the mess of cake.

Opening presents...

We all agreed it was a great party and stress free minus the cake :) One thing I've learned since living in Doha is to spend my time on things of value. In the past I have spent lots of time, money and energy on parties that were fun but in the end, some of the details weren't nearly as important as I made them out to be. Doha doesn't have the best of selection in much of anything. After looking hard for really cute wrapping paper...I quickly realized it TOTALLY doesn't matter. Who cares what the paper looks like? No one! Brooks will never care...he won't care when its his 18th birthday. There are always going to be details I enjoy adding to a party and there's nothing wrong with that but I'm learning that my time, energy and money should be spent on things of True value more than anything else.

We woke up this morning with some serious Birthday hangover. I could hardly get out of bed, the house was a disaster and I had to wake the boys up around 8:15 so we could get to school. I promised Brooks we would take something special to his class to celebrate his birthday. BUT after the cake experience over the weekend, I was a bit tuckered out from all the activity in the kitchen. So after dropping the boys at school, I came home threw some cupcakes in the oven and thanks to one of the latest and greatest from Pillsbury, I iced the cupcakes and took them to school just in time to celebrate after lunch. Of course I didn't buy this in Doha. My bestie, Shannon stuck this in my suitcase just for kicks a few hours before I flew out of Houston. THANK YOU, SHANI!

Singing Happy Birthday with his class.

Dino birthday boy and his awesome and very sweet teachers.