Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in Doha

This week has been the usual Doha week with school and work but still we managed to throw some Thanksgiving tradition in there!

Started off our week with tons of excitement for Brayan, the newest addition to our family. I have been saying for YEARS, seriously years that I wanted to sponsor a child through Compassion but just never made it happen. SO ridiculous! So now FINALLY we're connected to a precious little boy in Guatamala who Brooks helped us pick out. In just a few weeks we'll have all the info we need to mail letters to Brayan but for now we've got a little collection going. Brooks and I worked up a little encouragement card as pictured below. Since we've been talking so much about different countries and cultures, Brooks wanted to immediately draw Brayan's flag on the card. He also drew a picture of Brayan that's hanging next to the card. We've got one enthusiastic 5 year old in our house! I couldn't be more encouraged myself!

Brooks has been giving a lot of attention to the fridge this week. Along with referencing Brayan we talk multiple times a day about the Texas chart. We whipped this little daddy up last weekend so that Brooks could count down the days (or sleeps as we call them) until Texas!!

Although Brooks goes to the American school its actually more like a true International school. He's 1 of 4 Americans in his class of 15. School and work actually carries on as usual on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. And for some funny reason PreK had pajama day on Thanksgiving Day.

Woody with his "thankful feathers"

Brooks' Thanksgiving Card

Thursday evening we enjoyed the usual shwarma delivery and then I made my first ever pecan pie, which rocked thanks to Pioneer Woman! Obviously I didn't make the crust which I know causes both of my grandmothers and my own mother to feel that they absolutely failed at raising me right but come on...when you see a premade frozen pie crust in Doha, YOU BUY IT, and you buy all of them to share with your closest! (thanks Dede!)
I don't think Baker, the 100 lb lab was trying to save me a few calories but he did! He managed to get just enough to ruin this pie crust, so I only made one pie. We had another!

My pie encourager!

After church on Friday and before actually eating Thanksgiving lunch we played a little T-ball!

BIG BIG thanks to our Uncle Jerry who is in serious grandparent training with our kiddos! He's so awesome and they LOVE him! He came to the (organized chaos) t-ball game this morning and he also brought the camera!

Thanks to the sling blox and our new friends, the Goldens we enjoyed the afternoon. The smells, sounds and tastes of Thanksgiving were plentiful!!

Macy's parade and the Cowboy game...just the sound of football on TV made our day!

Kids had a blast outside in the incredible weather!

So thankful for this turkey God added to our bunch.

Chris carving the delicious turkey they made!

Kids dining outside.

Adults inside!

Brooks went full steam ahead into their screen door, which left a mark!
Happy Thanksgiving Goldens! Thanks so much for having us over! Hope you like the doggie door!

We'll have our feet on Texas soil next weekend. It seems like the closer we get to coming home the more homesick I get. Or maybe its just anxious excitement! I can hardly wait to just be in my mama's house and of course see all the sweet peeps in our lives that we miss so much! See you soon Texas!!
And in less that 24 hours one of my absolute best friends, Tracy will be in Doha! She has been wanting to visit and offered to come now so she could help me tag team my 3 small crazy children back to the USA! Talk about being thankful for someone! Nick will join us about 10 days later but we want to make the most of our visit, the lengthy plane ride and the powerful jet lag so we're outta here!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Radically Thankful and Changing

Its Thanksgiving. I'm feeling thankful and blessed more than ever and at the same time ashamed for what I've done or not done with all of it. Honestly its like I've been slapped in the face. I just finished reading the book Radical, by David Platt. (and I'm not a reader) This insightful biblical book was the last straw after 2 years of living away from "home". I have found myself at a place of freedom instead of guilt...for that I am most thankful! BUT truth is, I've been a snobby American Christian and its not what the Jesus of the Bible desires nor is it what I want. I've handled things, money, time, people and this blog in way that's not a reflection of Him or who I want to be. I've been influenced heavily by my environment or other people rather than my own God-given desires or the will of God. I really don't know who reads this blog but writing this today is about making a mark for myself in my spiritual-time-line more than anything else. I want my heart to be changed and I don't want to live by a manipulated version of the gospel because it feels more convenient and accepts luxuries that American (even American Christian) culture encourages.

Truthfully, 2 years ago I just moved my American bubble from suburban Houston to a compound over here in Doha. Time to change and get global minded.
I've got children to raise and my sole priority and responsibility is that they grow into followers of Christ, not just living good lives believing in God. I want to equip them to leave our home for anywhere in the world to serve His purpose. I want that desire for the rest of my life and a mama's heart can't do that without God's supernatural power. He's given them to me for His purposes and that alone. Lord, help me because I'm clueless doing it by myself.

I want to use every good thing I've been given to His glory, whether it be my children, husband, extended family, money, time, house, car, computer, vacation, groceries, church, etc. Praise the Lord for his grace because its gonna be hard work for me and I don't know how to do that. I'm thankful He's patient. I have such a ways to go but finally, its something I really want to do instead of feeling like I have to. I want to be obedient in action not just these pretty words and I want to go beyond what is just acceptable by the world's standards and church standards. Christianity isn't an association, a church or an exclusive group. Its my essence and I need to stand alone with it, no matter what situation I'm in or who is around. Being in church and with other believers is great but I'm slowly learning its not my salvation or a substitution.

As we head back to the United States for Christmas in a few weeks, I'm praying for my desires to be in line with the desires of God's heart. There are wonderful things at home that I should consider blessings, if not completely unnecessary. My attitude of entitlement for those things needs to change. I want to be driven by eternal desires not worldly ones. No doubt I love football, shopping, my camera, the Baylor Bears, TexMex, Sonic, Target, Christmas traditions, Santa Claus and the list goes on and on and on. All of them are pure luxuries compared to the brokenness in the world and what I've seen for myself now. I don't want be frazzled by luxuries in the next month. Joy comes from my Savior and His will for my life far more than sitting in my comfort zone in the great country of really does. While they are not bad things, Texas skies, the perfect pair of skinny jeans, trendy boots, cute clothes for my babies, eating delicious fajitas and queso, attending the perfect Chritsmas Eve Service and even seeing the joy of my kids' faces Christmas morning are all temporary. Lord, please remind me of that!

On a regular basis in Doha I can see with my own eyes living without a purpose and I have started reading a couple of blogs to remind me of the real world. If you read my blog, I would ask for you to read these too. Way more interesting!! Blog 1 and Blog 2. They are really cool people, just like you and me impacting the kingdom like you wouldn't believe.

Put the Radical book on your Christmas list.
You won't be disappointed and you shouldn't be nervous. Its awesome!
I look forward to reading it again soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Singing Dunes and the Pearl

With a drop in temps it was time for us to head to the Singing Sand Dunes with Grandma and Grandpa plus a few other friends. We had a total of 13 cars.

They made it all the way up...something to be proud of!

That toy car is Daddy on top of the dune.

Sunflower stuffed dune basher and dad!

Brad and his Pringles!

Melissa, Lindsay, Emery and Georgia

Cres and Bear

Grill faces by Brad and Jerry. Happy faces by Gary and Nick.

Girl corner

Georgia trying out a few layers for her future trip to the US where its a lot colder!

For their last night in Doha we went to the Pearl. Makes for pretty good eye candy plus a great dinner at the Noodle House.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Work and Play

We took Grandma and Grandpa up to Daddy's office.. The boys LOVE, I mean LOVE being at Daddy's work. There's cookies, drinks, markers and a pretty awesome view of the Corniche.

We left Daddy at work for the afternoon and went to the park.