Saturday, May 24, 2014

Jaden's Piano Recital

Jaden performed in his very first piano recital last week!!  We're so proud of his efforts at the piano!!  Amazingly, he practices every day without any complaint.  He really seems to enjoy learning how to play!!  For the recital, he played Three Blind Mice and Turkey in the Straw.  I was afraid he would be nervous so we invited friends over to play after school and they left right as we were leaving for the recital.  He didn't have a chance to think about the recital and he went in and was second to perform. 

He didn't seem to be nervous at all but afterward he said he was nervous, but he "just pretended like he was playing in our living room."  So smart!!!
Ready to play
Playing at his first recital
Isn't it nice to have friends with great cameras??  Love this close up!!!

Mrs. Ellen (in the blue skirt) with all her students



Sunday, May 11, 2014


We had several celebrations this past week ... last Tuesday was "Author's Café" in Jaden's class.  All the parents were invited and they sang songs and read poems they wrote themselves.  It was really cute!!  The kids loved to get on the stool and speak into a microphone!  They wore silly newspaper hats, gave the parents paper flowers, and we had cookies to snack on afterwards.  It was a very special day for his class.

Jaden's class for "Author's Café"  .. Jaden is barely in the picture, on the far left. 
(I didn't know where he was sitting when I snapped the picture.)

Jaden's class sang "You are my Sunshine" and "This Little Light of Mine"

Jaden reads his poem about cats

Jaden shares his acrostic poem about family.  There was definitely a theme about working together.  I'm glad that's the way he sees our family!

The final song was called "Everything Grows and Grows"...

After the poems and songs

Then last Wednesday, we celebrated Ken's birthday with his favorite dinner and an ice cream cake!  We haven't had ice cream cake in forever!!!  Jaden was in love all over again.  He has already requested the same thing for his next birthday!!!  That kid loves ice cream!!!  Ken had a nice quiet birthday, just the way he likes. 

Then on Friday, we celebrated Mother's Day.  The boys made Mother's Day cards with Ken and then more cards in their Friday School classes at church, so I got 4 cards!!  :-)

We started a Mother's Day tradition when we moved to Doha and we celebrate with a formal tea at the Ritz Carlton.  It's so fun!!!  We love the scones and the tea!  Plus it's nice to have an excuse to go some place fancy all together as a family.  I hope we can find a hotel in Houston that does something similar when we move back!  But I'm pretty sure we will enjoy one more Mother's Day here in Doha before we move.

 Happy Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring updates - March / April

I can't believe there are only 5 weeks left of school!!!  Where has this year gone???  We have much to do before the end of the school year, and we are anxiously waiting for our annual trip back to the states!  We can't wait to catch up with friends and family in both Houston and St Louis this year!!

But before I get ahead of myself, I better post updates from the last couple of months ...

Back in March, I went with Jaden on his class field trip to the Museum of Islamic Art.  I think they enjoyed the playground more than the museum, but the school did a great job giving them a mission at the museum.  They had to search for shapes and patterns in the art.  They even got to use iPods to take pictures of their favorites. 

Silly faces!


Then in April, I was invited to Nicholas' music class for a little demonstration of what they learn in music class.  It was super cute!  The kids love having us there!

And randomly Jaden and Nicholas got into setting up and knocking over dominos this month.  You should check out some of the amazing creations on youtube!!  The boys were inspired!!  This was Jaden's first creation... a lesson in patience.

A successful run!
We also took the boys to see Annie.  They loved the show and especially loved that their vice-principal played Rooster.  After watching the show, we rented the movie too!  So fun!  I love musicals!!!

Our soccer season ended back in March, but the boys continue to play as often as possible.  It's become our new routine when they get off the bus ... we go straight to the park and play soccer with friends and have our snack before heading home.  I'm rather impressed we all still go even though the heat has really picked up lately.  I'm sure it's near or over 100 every day. 

Jaden's team picture

Nicholas gets his end of season trophy

Jaden gets his trophy from his coach.  Both boys had terrific coaches this year!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Jordan - the dead sea

I totally thought I posted this 2 weeks ago with all the other posts from the our trip to Jordan, but looks like I forgot to publish it!  So here is the final post from our trip ... a day at the dead sea.
At sea level ... heading down to the lowest spot on earth

We weren't expecting the fancy resort with all the swimming pools when we arrived at the Dead Sea! 

We wandered through the resort and down to the Dead Sea to have a float in the cold and super salty water.  Then we covered ourselves in the mud from the Dead Sea before heading back to the swimming pools and the resort.
The Dead Sea

You can just barely see Israel on the other side of the Dead Sea

The water was freezing!!!  Okay, that might be a tiny exaggeration.  It was probably perfect for people living in normal parts of the world, but we are so very acclimated to extreme heat and warm pool/ocean water, that we are total WIMPS when it comes to cool water!!! 
Jaden and I floating in the Dead Sea

Nicholas floating in the Dead Sea, but he didn't stay in for long.  He has pretty bad excema and the salt water didn't feel very good on his legs, so he didn't stay in very long.

Relaxing in the Dead Sea ... So easy to float!!!! 

Time to get muddy!  Of course, I was the first one to start putting on the mud.  I gave Nicholas my camera to take pictures.  He took 60, yes 60 pictures of me!!!  Some of them even included my head!  :-) 
Trying to convince Ken and the boys to get muddy too...
Ken is the first to agree... the boys thought it was gross!
You can see the stand full of gooey mud in front of us.
Ken with his GQ pose! 
Ken was the only one to put it all over his face
Except for my face, I'm finally just as dark as Ken!  :-)
We finally convinced Jaden to get muddy too!
Roar!!  Silly mud pose!
Nicholas was not to be convinced to get muddy or get back into the Dead Sea.  I think it stung his legs too much with the salt content of the water.
Ken relaxing in the Sea, washing off the mud