Sunday, October 7, 2012

Brooks turns SEVEN!

We had lots of fun celebrating Brooks' 7th birthday this week.  He's been counting down the days of course so we were all very aware of the BIG DAY!  We are holding off on an actual party because he wants to take a few friends to the movie when a particular show finally makes it across the ocean to Doha.  So the friend party is on hold but we knocked it out pretty good on the real day.

Just in case I forgot I was in Doha, the rice krispy treat attempt was a complete failure.
Up and at em bright an early with a few presents and cards and of course a plate full of donuts!
Coolest Batman card from the Halls! 
Honey and Papa stayed up late to call Brooks on FaceTime.  They sent some presents with mommy when we left for the summer.
A new backpack and a the annual birthday number shirt. Barrett was the absolute sweetest little supporter for the whole day.  He is always so animated with opening his own presents and just the same way when Brooks opened too.  At one point he just kept asking how long he had to wait until his birthday but he never got upset.  Birthdays are hard when they're not your own!

7 candles!!
Look Who's Seven!!
I went up to school for snack time for Brooks to share cookies and celebrate with his class. 
A few of the many boys in Brooks' class.  Wow! God bless his teacher!
  Every Tuesday is a half day of school at ASD.  We started a kids Bible study a few weeks ago.  We call our little group the Pickle Pack because we're learning about people in the Bible who were stuck in a pickle and prayed for God to help them.  
Pickle Pack Pizza Party Picutres! 
Brooks and Emery (his best friend).  Pretty adorable best friend and its still so sweet and innocent.  Really it is!  The influence of girls at age 7 is better than boys I think.  This mommy who never grew up with brothers is starting to understand the God given wild heart but there is a time for everything and for now I'll take Emery as the BFF...7 more years from now, not so much!
Pickle Pack minus Georgia 
Silly string, thanks to Mrs. Lindsay!
Birthday Boy!
Brooks chose Chili's for his birthday dinner, simply because he wanted to hear them "sing the loud song"! He's not a foodie like his mama and daddy.  And he barely touched the vanilla ice cream so it really was all about the song.
Love love love the volume and enthusiasm from these sweet Filipino servers at Chili's.
Someone else was really happy to help with the chocolate brownie! 
Just as we got home Tatty called on Facetime to talk to the birthday boy!  She showered this 7 year old with all kinds of Legos over the summer for his birthday!! So they had already celebrated in their own special way!
 The ever so anticipated presents! 
Brooks is a popcorn lover and he would tell you its his favorite food.  In fact he wanted a popcorn birthday party, which is what lead us to plan a movie party in a few weeks. Brooks was SO excited about this popcorn maker! Unfortunately Air Crazy has already bit the dust thanks to the power issues in Doha. We're on the hunt for a replacement.   I'm sure this little Target purchase would work just fine back in the US but even with our adapter/converter we smoked it! sad! We enjoyed 2 really delicious bowls of good popcorn!
Sic em bears!  BU basketball jersey.
He adores little Georgia and asked if she wanted to help open his last present.
  Dear Lord Bless the iPod and the boy!
The Apple love is passed down to a new generation in our family. 
 We had an awesome day packed full of celebrating our William Brooks.  We moved to Doha just a few days after his 3rd birthday.  I must say 4 years is like eternity at this age (and in this country). Wow, what a different child.  Mama, Daddy and Brooks have all grown up over the last 7 years.  Thanks to God's grace this sweet boy teaches me more than I teach him.  He's totally the guinea pig for these parents!  He challenges me in ways I didn't know I needed, bringing out the best and the worst.  He is full of character and on the verge of all out BOY.  He loves baseball, Legos, swimming, music, math, doing chores for allowance and thankfully still loves to cuddle.  He's rough and tough but at the end of the day wants to be held in our arms.  

God, I pray we can serve him well by loving him in a way that always honors You and the generous blessing You gave us in Brooks. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

LaRovere's back in Doha

I've made everyone aware that we met some pretty special people about 4 years ago in Doha.  We were instant friends and have stayed that way while the LaRovere's moved around the globe since our first Doha days. Jackie and Mark now live in Angola, Africa with their 3 little boys.  Mark had meetings in Doha last week so Jackie and boys tagged along.  There aren't many who come back to Doha after having moved away.  This girl has now been back twice!

We were so thrilled to have them here and pretend like it was it was the good ole days!  We had a houseful and enjoyed every minute.  The boys hated going to school but it kept things a little routine while everything else normal was tossed out the window.

They arrived on Friday mid morning.  We picked them up from the airport and went straight to Ric's Kountry Kitchen for breakfast.  Then finished the day with lots and lots of swimming across the street at our compound pool! 
 Brooks made me promise we would celebrate his birthday early at the beach with the LaRovere's.  So we packed up the gang and headed to the H.O.T. beach. 
Georgia, Barrett and Isaac
 Mark and baby Caleb
 Singing happy birthday!
 He wanted donuts instead of a cake...somehow we found white donuts in Doha on our way to the beach. Meant to be.
 One particular night Nick worked late and we had an extra large lizard-visitor make its way into our house!  I freaked to the say the least and the LaRovere's came to the rescue with air freshener, WD40, flashlights and a variety of other reptile killing skillz.  I haven't screamed or laughed that hard in a long time! After much drama, we slept well knowing that giant lizard wasn't crawling into our kids' beds!
 Coloring with Georgia while boys were at school.
 These two friends remind me so much of each other. I was excited for them to meet.  Lived in Doha at separate times but richly blessed my life here!
Me, Amanda and Jackie
 The Bees on their way to the bus stop with their buddies as escorts!
Baby Caleb...sweetest easiest baby ever!! 
 Boys played some serious Wii including Mr. Mark
 Our sweet friend and babysitter Morgan braved all 6 kids on Friday night so we could have a childfree night out. 
 We went to Trader Vic's at the Hilton!  Amazing food and unlike any other atmosphere in Doha!! Loved the lamps.
 Jackie and Mark were very excited to do some shopping in Doha, which is humbling since we so often feel deprived.  They stocked up on mostly pantry items and yummy snacks.  I'm pretty sure there might be some Angola days (similar to a Doha Day) and now they're set with some comfort food.
 Best buddies!!
 Sending off our sweet friends!  What an awesome time we had together!  Thank you LaRo's for coming and blessing us!  Lots more Doha memories made!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Skipping ahead - Back to School!

We had the most perfect summer vacation after finishing up the school year last June.  I will get back to those memories and special days but for now I'm jumping ahead so that I don't forget more details than I already have.  

Brooks started a few days ahead of Barrett because ASD likes to give the little their own first day without a bunch of big kids cramping their style.  So off he went to 1st grade!! He was so excited and more than ready!! 
 Humidity was so thick you could taste it!!  Which is why photos were taken indoors!
 Finding his locker/cubby...very excited!
His amazing teacher Mrs. Beck! Love her and so thankful for great teachers.  Now I get why moms are so crazy excited when their kids get a good teacher.  Its so important and they spend sooo much time with them!! She rocks!! 
 Sweet goodbyes from Georgie!
After school snack with the whole gang! 
An after school present that was high up on the list of "wants".  Back in Texas B had major melt down at Bed Bath and Beyond because mommy wouldn't buy him a $20 tervis cup on the spot.  Teaching moment that came very close to CPS intervention.  It was a very good afternoon when he opened this little sussy after his first day of first grade. 
 This first grader is #1 for sure at our house!!  We love him and can't wait to see what happens this year.  He's already upped his game with a lot more reading and homework...which also means mommy has to up her game and try not to pass on the same shotty study habits I mastered so well a few years ago. 
 A few days later it was time to kick off a new year at ASD for Barrett as a Kindergartener.  His adjustment to KG wasn't like it would be in the US because he was at ASD for PreK last year.  The only difference is a longer day. 
 And Little Missy was off to her first day of school too.  She is going to Apple Tree every Monday and Wednesday. 
 We all headed for ASD to drop Barrett off for his first day of KG.  Ran into our buddies at the gate. 
Barrett and Cres (Cres's first day of PreK)
 With the dragon!
 Literally skipping...he was so excited!!
 Happy to find his cubbie right away!
 And his fabulous teacher Mrs. Yamazaki!!! She is so amazing with incredible xperience at other international schools as well as lots of teaching in California.  She teaches the usual ASD curriculum and adds tons of her own that she's used at other schools.  Over achiever and I couldn't be more happy we benefit from that!  Barrett is constantly singing her songs and repeating what she's taught them!!  I feel so blessed he has her teaching him at such a foundational time!!
Little Missy sat down like she was starting Kindergarten too. 
 Off to Apple Tree with daddy!  This is the same nursery the boys went to.  Amazing place!
Georgia sat right down, jumped right in and had the best time on her first day.  Not at all what we were expecting. 
 Donut treats to celebrate first days!!
 One more little something for Kindergartener. 
I can't leave this picture out.  I took a ton of diapers to Georgia's school so they're stocked up when she needs them.  We know we're back in Doha when we loose the American Elmo character and have the camel! Gotta love it and what's not to love when they're really good diapers.