Saturday, February 26, 2011

Boot Scoot 2011

Well this was our 3rd Boot Scoot to attend. It was different for a lot of reasons but still a great night out full of country music and a great time with the best Texans I know here in the desert. There was even a big group of Texans that flew over from Muscat, Oman to attend the Boot Scoot this year. When you need a taste of Texas you'll do just about anything.

There seemed to be a lot less people this year which changed the energy a little. Last year I was very pregnant but walked away with a pretty awesome party favor from the silent auction. This year the auction items weren't as exciting so Nick was happy I didn't put our name on any lists. My favorite part of the night was probably the was a close to TexMex as I've tasted. No where near the real-deal but good enough for Doha. Fajitas, quesadillas, guac, queso, chips, salsa and of course margaritas.

Nick, Chris, Brad

Carmen (married to Chris), Lindsay (married to Brad) and me.

Junods and the Scotts

This year was the first year for the Boot Scoot to actually have a dance floor. Makes a big difference but of course it came apart and we had to take a time out, turn up the lights and fix the floor...
Always in the land of almost.

Lindsay and Brad cuttin' a rug

Kim and Jamie - sweet friends and soon to be neighbors, yay!

I love this picture of our good friends the Jacksons and Warners. Good times had by all.

My Boot Scooter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Culture Day at Apple Tree

Today was culture day at Barrett's school, Apple Tree. Students are asked to wear traditional dress and bring a food from their country to share. Hello, we're from the great country of T.E.X.A.S.
So Bear was ready to ride.

The cowboy and his Daddy on their way to school

If I could bottle him up and save it forever, I would!

Parents were invited to join the older classes for a little reception. We chose to contribute Snickerdoodles (which we practiced saying many times) and brownies. Last year we took Krispy Kremes and that was a total bust. This year our American/Texas contribution was well accepted.

So many countries are represented at Apple Tree.

A few of Barrett's classmates and his teachers.

Miss Mary and Miss Julie

Barrett in his classroom with lots of crafting and art specific to their "countries and cultures" theme.

Few other kiddos...

There she is as happy as can be showing her new sweet teeth.

Honestly some days I can't get enough of the melting pot of cultures, languages and differences that surround us in Doha. And other days I desperately miss the comfort, feel, smell, look and ease of Houston, Texas. I'm leaning towards missing home these days. I take some serious pride in who we are as Americans and Texans and I could use a little bit of the Lone Star State. And thankfully one of my best friends will be here in 2 weeks. I love the spirit and loyalty Texans share with each other. There is nothing like it and there is no doubt our kids will always know where they're from! (side note: Its funny how people here are so easily annoyed with Texans and the way we do know our volume, special vocabulary, drama, excitement, cooking, parties, pride, etc. With quite a few of us here in Doha, we stir up some dust.)
But more importantly, I know that the boys have been exposed and introduced to something that can never be taken away or replaced. I pray these experiences bring glory to God and help mold the minds and hearts of my children forever. May all of our eyes continue to be open to what the world truly looks like. While Heaven may look, smell, taste and feel like Texas its not quite the real world.

Perspective on Events in the Middle East

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Barrett in boots, RIDES BIKE!

This little nugget tugs at my heart in a special way and this weekend was monumental! He's gaining on that big bro in a lot of ways and yesterday he definitely decided he wanted to keep up. With only 10 days until left until his 4th birthday Barrett is now an official bike rider! This facial expression is just pretend but I had to include it because its shows his sweet eyes that are one of my favorite things God gave him. Bear's got me wrapped around his little finger and I was so proud of him yesterday.

He asked Daddy to take the training wheels off. Buzz shirt and boots are the winning combination!

Mission Accomplished!

I was so disappointed in the pictures I took yesterday. Video camera in one hand and clicking the big camera in the other which makes for blurry pics and a puke session after you watch the video. So I took some more today when he was back on the bike!

First, this bike "the Chopper" was key to learning how to ride. Santa brought this bike which at the time was a total bummer present in Barrett's opinion. Completely not interested. A few weeks later with a little Doha boredom he was crusin' on the chopper. Since it doesn't have pedals or training wheels he's forced to balance. Now he loves it and especially down the ramp.

Little peanut.

Full of expression.

Living in Doha makes for year round bike riding. Within a few months we'll be moving to a new villa in a new compound. Leaving the cul-de-sac will be one of the hardest things to let go of. I'm so glad we don't have snow days and have had the safe street for both boys to play and learn to ride their bikes. Big Doha Days have happened here on "the Sac" for us!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Valentine Cards

These cards were so memorable and truth be told they will eventually be in the trash. That's why a blog is so great. Its transitioning the Junods to be paperless. Well not all the artwork and special things but most of it can be saved here instead of in a drawer.

First up my card from Barrett. Daddy helped with the front text a bit.

Barrett seems to really care less about letters and well...learning. So, seeing his sweet name in his own handwriting for the first time makes for a special Valentine.

Brooks made his card at school.

The inside was done all on his own...another first. He wrote a sentence...

...what you can't read that? I couldn't either but Nick totally guessed right.
"I love my brother and mommy and daddy"
Kinda surprised he left out Georgia as much as he adores her. Recently the "broverly" love has been lacking so I'll take it with a happy happy heart.

And last from my one true Valentine. This is awesome! There is nothing better than a bacon heart card from your sweetheart when you live in the pork-less country of Qatar. Hilarious!

And in typical fashion, I didn't buy a card. Cards are expensive and Hallmark in Doha jacks up the price 3-4x more than at home. I can't stand the cost of a $4 card in America much less at $10+ card from here. I prefer a verbal card. So, thats what Nick got :)

And big thanks to our sweet families because they sent the kids Valentines which absolutely made their day! Takes some seriously planning to get those things here.

Valentines Day

We started our Valentines day with some celebrating at home because Barrett's nursery school doesn't do much to recognize the love day. So we had a breakfast valentines party.

Sister got a kissin' camel from daddy.

Opening their valentines.

I made these awful colored whoopie pies that we referred to as Qatar Whoopie Pies. I ran out of red food coloring so risked it all with burgundy. Since they are in our house, they have nothing to do with College Station. However if you do like College Station the burgundy Wilton food coloring might be great for you're next "whoopie" pie.

We made cake balls for the teachers.

Georgia celebrated with some tutu luv!

Since I'm one of the homeroom mom's for Brooks' class I helped with the school party. His teacher started the party with a game of musical chairs. They were so hesitant to sit down and we're more excited to get out of the game for a prize.

Working hard to decorate his heart.

One of my Valentines!

Brooks' class

For dinner we got the grand idea to take all 3 children to a steakhouse we've been wanting to try. JW's at the Marriott. Getting settled in the dark formal dining room was a little stressful but we survived and enjoyed our steaks just fine. For the Doha people, I thought it was a little over priced. The salad was poor but the steak was awesome, as well as the creamed spinach. Nice atmosphere and decent service. Oh and onion rings reminded me of what was served in the Armstrong Middle School cafeteria that used to be presented with pizza and wacky cake. All that to say, I'd still go back. Just don't order onion rings or the wedge salad.
Brooks and the Menu

Waitin' for a steak

Georgia, who was quite squirmy during the steak dinner.

Family pic with shoe-less baby.