Sunday, November 24, 2013


We signed Jaden up for T-ball this year, but Nicholas didn't want to play.  The teams are mixed ages 4-6 years old, so they could have been on the same team.  But Nicholas didn't want to play ... for the first 2 games that is.  Game 3 and he was ready to play.  Lucky for us, Jaden's team had a few extra Tshirts and a low turnout for that particular game, so we put him in.  First time up to bat and he hit the ball through the infielders legs!  Go Nicholas!!!  Of course it's T-ball and most ball go through their legs, but we were excited for his big debut.  This week Nicholas "caught" a line drive (stopped it with his body).  Poor thing was scared to death!!!  He sat out the rest of the game!  His T-ball career maybe be short lived. 

And as for Jaden ... I'm not sure baseball is in his future.  Bless his heart, he is having fun, but the poor kid overthinks everything!  His swing is awkward, he throws like it's a shot put, and he can't catch a thing!!!  Maybe I'm too critical.  At least he can run fast and get to the ball quickly.  Of course, he spends more time with his glove over his face than anything else. 

Game 1 - let the season begin!

Jaden steps up to bat

Jaden has the ball!!!
By game 4, Jaden covers his face with his glove
Jaden has an interesting way to "cover" 3rd!

And now he sits on the base!!!  Makes a parent proud!

Game 3 and Nicholas joins the team.  He looks ready for anything.
Nicholas is trying to figure out Jaden's strategy.  He has moved positions, but still covers his face...

At least the gloves are out when the ball comes at them. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our children are brillant! :-)

Parents are allowed to brag right?

Last night were parent teacher conferences and first stop was Jaden's teacher (1st grade)... Jaden received 4 out of 4 in every area (reading, writing, math, science, PE, art, music, etc, etc, etc).  Would you still be impressed if I told you it was a self assessment?  :-)  Clearly Jaden thinks he is a rock star at school!!!  But truth be told, he is doing well.  He has already started math extensions with one other boy in class.  They pull the advanced kids out of class in order to provide more challenging math concepts.  He was in it last year too.  He has already surpassed the reading and writing expectations for the end of the year, so his teacher will have to continue to find ways to challenge him.  He is reading through the Magic Tree House books all on his own now!  Go Jaden!!  According to the teacher, he is also very well liked and respected by his peers.  The only negative aspect of the conference was when I mentioned a growing concern of Jaden about recess.  Seems one of the girls from his class last year chases him all through recess trying to kiss him and he doesn't like it one bit!!  He just wants to play!!!  Can I love him anymore??!!!

After glowing reports from Jaden's teacher, I got more of the same from Nicholas' pre-K teacher.  He too has started math extensions with several friends in his class to challenge them more in math.  She also wants to assess him for reading, but she wants to wait to see if any of the other children are ready.  The assessment is simply a list of sight words to see what he already knows and then start giving him very simple little books to read ... and then assess again at the end of the year to see what words he learned throughout the year.  That will be exciting to see him read even more than he already does.  His favorite books to read right now are the Fly Guy series.  Yes, he skipped "Bob Books" and went straight to early chapter books -- in preschool!!  He has to compete with Jaden after all!!! :-)  Socially he is very different from Jaden though.  While Nicholas is my talkative, silly, funny, creative child at home, he is very different away from home (or really away from Jaden).  For years, Nicholas wouldn't even talk in nursery school!!  He has come a long way thanks in large part to his amazing teacher last year, but he still has quite a bit of social anxiety when Jaden is not around.  We continue to work on it, but he is getting so much better!!!

Can you tell I'm over the moon with our children?  God has blessed us with 2 beautiful gifts and it is such a joy and privilege to parent them!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nicholas' field trip

While I've got some time, I might as well get all caught up with my blog posts ...  3 in one day!!

I had the pleasure of going with Nicholas on his class field trip this morning.  It wasn't anything extravagant, but the kids love going just about anyplace all together.  Even the bus ride was exciting for some of those that don't ride every day. 

The field trip was to Carrefour.  It's a large grocery store chain that is about as close as we get to Walmart here in Doha.  Each child was responsible for finding and purchasing a particular piece of fruit and then tomorrow they will make fruit salad.  I helped Nicholas, Suzanna, and Shreya find a pear, a banana, and a lemon.  It was pretty cute, but I don't understand why I don't get the same enthusiasm when I have to take the boys to the grocery store?? 

Checking out with all our fruits

PreK-G Mrs. Garber's class at Carrefour
Riding the bus with best friend Lucas
Terrible quality, but great picture of the best buds!!

Birthday party

Jaden was invited to a birthday party this weekend by one of the girls in his class.  I was rather excited for the opportunity to take him as it was a Qatari family and I've never been to a Qatari house.  The party was outside and I wasn't nosy enough to come up with an excuse to go inside, but the birthday girl wanted to show her friends her room.  Jaden came back out saying, "WHOA!!!!  It's so big!!!  I almost got lost in all the rooms!!!  It's like a castle!!!"  Which later spurred all kinds of questions like "why can't we have a house like that?" 

This is the house as we pulled up the driveway.  From what I've seen around town, this would actually be on the modest side of the spectrum.  It is certainly large, but it's not as decadent as others.

This was the outside seating area designated for the kids.  Outdoor furniture with separate tea and coffee service.  There is a large screen TV set up as well ... guess you can do that in a place that hardly ever rains.

Jaden and friend Carl at the party

Jaden with Carl and Lucas ... but really showing the huge play set in their side yard.  More like a something you would find in a park, not a yard.  The entire area was shaded with canvas tents and the flooring was that soft flooring you would find in a nice park, again, not a yard.
 The party had an art theme and there were painting stations in one part of the yard where the kids could put on a smock and paint / decorate several art projects.  But once the giant bouncy slide went up, all the boys lost interest and they spent the entire time running around between the slide and the playground equipment.
Giant bouncy slide with popcorn and cotton candy station set up in front of it

Jaden, Lucas, and Selena with cotton candy.

They also had a lady with a polaroid camera taking pictures of the kids in front of the rainbow streamers.  Very cute idea and the kids loved seeing their first polaroid picture develop right before their eyes!!  :-)
 I tried to catch a glimpse of the candy table set up in front of the streamers, but I didn't want to be too obvious.  They had a crazy amount of candy and snacks for the kids to munch on.  It was all so coordinated with the artist theme.  The cookies and cupcakes looked like a painters palate with different color paint.  It was very colorful and very cute!!!  And there was a ton of everything!!!

At the other end of the play area was his massive spider web climbing structure that the kids loved to play on as well.

All the kids had a great time at the party!!!  And all the parents joked that whoever is next in the class to have a party, has a big act to follow!!!  It was really very nice. 

I didn't get to talk to Moza (the birthday girl's mom) very much since she was busy be hostess, but I very much enjoyed meeting her and look forward to getting to know her more through the year.  My first Qatari friend.  :-)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Random stuff

The boys read a book "How to Make Slime" and it inspired a little slime making of our own!

Making slime at home was so much fun!!! 
 We took the boys to a karate championship a few weekends ago.  There weren't many spectators, but it was cool to watch.  We had no idea what was going on at first ... flags were waving all over the place!  But you didn't have to know much to see that Iran was kicking butt.  Their team was SO aggressive!!!


We had a full Halloween weekend!  The boys had a great time wearing costumes to school and enjoying a class party.  Then their school had a huge carnival Thursday night - complete with trick - or - treating, haunted house, bouncy castles, and carnival games.  It was hugely successful and a ton of fun!!
Then on Friday night, our compound had a Halloween pizza party before trick-or-treating.  The boys got entirely too much candy!!!  But I guess that's just part of the fun right?! 
Nicholas' class party
Our little ninja and Wolverine

With Jaden's friend Levi at the school carnival.