Thursday, June 12, 2014

The last days of school

Today was the boys last day of school!!  We are now the proud parents of a 2nd grader and our baby is in Kindergarten!!!!  Yikes!!

Yesterday was Jaden's year end party and I think I had just as much fun as he did playing minute-to-win-it games with his friends.  I picked up Nicholas at 12:30 (the end of his day) and we killed some time eating lunch and reading books until it was time for Jaden's party...

Just killing time until Jaden's party ... typical face from Nicholas.
 When we arrived in Jaden's class, they were all working on their iPads with head phones on.  You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet!!!

Jaden focused on his computer work on the iPad.  Love the head phones!!

Nicholas being silly! 
It was finally game time and we started with "Stack Attack" (they had to stack 28 plastic cups into a pyramid in 1 minute).  Then we played "There She Blows" and you had to blow a plastic cup back and forth across the table using a straw (this one was much easier for them).  The 3rd game was "Bean There Done That" and they had to transfer beans from one plate to another using only a straw to suck them up and drop them. 
Transferring beans in "Bean There, Done That"
Another table playing "Bean There Done That"
 The 4th game was the Cookie Challenge and they started with an oreo cookie on their forehead and they had 1 minute to wiggle their face to maneuver the cookie into their mouth without using hands.

Jaden's class trying to move the cookie across their face and into their mouth.  HILARIOUS!!!
The last game was "Thread the Noodle" and they had to thread penne noodles onto a spaghetti noodle without using their hands.  They had to hold the spaghetti noodle in their mouth and then thread the penne.  It was a blast!!!

After the games, I gave out Candy Awards (found on the internet) and gave each kid a certificate with a matching candy bar ... like M&M award for being "Mighty and Marvelous" or Milky Way for having ideas that are out of the world and so on and so on.  It was really cute and super fun!!

Today was their last day and it was only a half day of school.  They had an assembly and watched a movie and basically just played all day.  A great way to end a great year!!  They came home with stellar report cards and we celebrated with friends over lunch.  It was a great day!!

At the clubhouse on the last day of school.  Officially KG and 2nd grade!  Yikes!!!

I am my Father's Daughter

I remember as a child my dad struggling with all the electronics in our house.  It wasn't until the world switched to the DVD player that he finally mastered the VCR and he had to start all over again.  By the time he figured out the DVD player, the world changed to Netflix and DVRs.  He could never keep up with all the changes and I must admit it was a tiny source of frustration and embarrassment to me that my dad (who knew every answer on Jeopardy) couldn't work the VCR!!!  Well I owe my dad a huge apology!!  For I am most certainly my father's daughter!!!  I can NOT keep up with all the changing technology!!  It's supposed to make our life easier, but why do I feel like such a fool?!! 

Before you read further, please don't judge me for how very far behind the times that I live ... 

My project for the year was to convert all my CDs into digital files on my iTunes account (which was actually very easy to do praise God).  Unfortunately, once I got them on my iTunes and then on my iPhone, I couldn't get them to play on my car!!!  Bluetooth what???!!!  Embarrassed to admit it took me months to figure it out, but I finally did!!!  And yay!!!  After nearly 2 years in a country with only 1 English speaking radio station, I finally have music in my car!!!  :-)

But that was just the start of my troubles ... this week I've been determined to link and sync all our devices in preparation for the summer.  I want to be able to access my files and my music from everywhere.  I started with my laptop.  Ken put all our files on Google drive last year and it's a great way to access our files between all our devices, but we have a new laptop and I thought I'd tackle the job myself.  Bad idea.  I don't know what I did, but the laptop was completely frozen.  Had to reboot and try again ... except the same result.  I'm determined, so I rebooted and tried again.  5 times later, I put the laptop aside and Ken fixed it up for me in about 20 minutes that night.  Why does he make things look so simple???  He is my electronic hero!!

Next step was to download some new (free) aps on the iPhone for the boys on the 16 hr flight to Houston.  I tried downloading the game Nicholas wanted, but we didn't have space on the iPad, so I clicked on the link that took me to storage and we went through a long list of aps and deleted the ones we no longer play.  It was very easy and I was proud to be able to handle this without Ken.  When we were finished, I went back to download his choice and the iPad was completely frozen.  There is no control-alt-delete and nothing I did made it power down.  :-(  We had to wait for the battery to run out.  Of course Ken got home before that happened and he fixed it in minutes.  (Apparently you press and hold both the front button and the power button at the same time to force a reboot).

So this morning I decided to buy a few new songs on iTunes and sync my phone ... yep froze the iPhone in the process!!!  So in 3 days, I've screwed up the laptop, iPad and the iPhone.  Do you see why I am my father's daughter??!!!  I just can't seem to ever make them work!!! 

So dad, I owe you a public apology for all the times I teased you and rolled my eyes at you for not being able to work the VCR.  I get it now!! 

Happy Father's Day Dad!  Love you!! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Grace J.O.U.R.N.E.Y.

Angela and I hosted our first year end party for the children's ministry at Grace Fellowship.  We invited all the children, their families, the volunteers and staff.  I wasn't sure what kind of response to expect since this is a first and it's a very busy time of year.  I hoping to get 50 people to attend and we had over 100!!  God is good!!  We kicked off with 2 songs of praise and then we gave appreciation gifts to all our staff and volunteers.  We also gave promotion certificates to the children moving up from one class to the next.  And the parents got a laminated prayer calendar with 31 days of prayer for your child.  After the ceremony, we enjoyed a huge ice cream sundae bar!  It was great fun!!!

We also unveiled our new name for the children's ministry.  We wanted a name that represented life in Doha - a journey for many from around the world.  We also wanted a name that represented our life in Christ - a journey of growth in our faith.  So we named it Grace J.O.U.R.N.E.Y.  which stands for Jesus Our Ultimate Redeemer offers Never Ending life for You!

That's me at the front asking the kids to raise their hands if they wanted ice cream!  :-)
We had a great turnout for the party!  Over 100 people all together!

Why is this upside down??  The picture is not upside down when I open it from explorer!  Only on this silly blog!!!  Sorry!  But you get the "picture".  :-)  This is my new favorite gift to make for people at church.  I made this one for Angela - our Friday School Coordinator in appreciation of all she has done this year. 
Jaden's teachers also gave out Bibles to everyone in the Camels class (6-7 year olds) on Friday.  Since this is the age children begin to read, they wanted them each to have their own Bible to read at home.  Jaden read the entire way to the ice cream party and couldn't wait to get back to it when we came home.  That night we had some extra time to play and he says, "I'm going to read the Bible ... I'm at the part where God floods the earth and Noah is in the ark."  So sweet!!! 

Jaden's toe saga

So last weekend, Jaden tells me his right baby toe hurts.  It looked red and irritated, but I didn't know what may have been wrong.  I had him go to the school nurse and she couldn't see anything wrong either.  I could tell it was really hurting, so I made an apt with a pediatrician.  Her first available was the next day at 6pm, so when he woke up with a blister full of puss on his foot, I sent him to school in flip flops and planned to take him to the doctor after school.  More than anything I wanted to pop it, but I didn't since we already had a dr appointment and I was afraid it was an ingrown toe nail.  He comes home from school, limping off the bus, and it's 4 times the size as it was that morning!  It was so gross!!!  We went to the pediatrician and were happy to find out it wasn't an in grown toe nail, just an abscess, but SHE WOULDN'T CUT AND DRAIN IT!!!  She said she wasn't comfortable doing it herself and I asked if she wanted me to??  Isn't this like Mom 101??  She quickly assured me, no that I had to go to the ER where they have the "proper" tools.  Are you kidding me???  So I call a friend and she convinces me to go to the pediatric ER just to be sure it's not an ingrown toe nail.  So off to the ER.  After several stations, we finally see the doctor who tells us it was just an abscess and needs to be cut and drained.  Great!  That's why we're here.  Doctor proceeds to say, he can't do it here!  WHAT??  Apparently it's deemed a surgical procedure and the pediatric ER is not a surgical center.  He wanted me to take him to the adult ER.  It's now 8pm and there is NO WAY I'm waiting in line at the ER to pop a blister!!!!  We went home and I took care of it myself -- just call me Dr. Mom, blister "surgeon".  Jaden felt better instantly!!!  Poor kid suffered all day when I should have just followed my instinct that morning and popped it right away!!!  Only in Doha are the doctors not qualified to pop and drain a blister!!!
Waiting in the ER to see the doctor ... all for nothing!  Should have used this time to give him the haircut he DESPARATELY needs!!!  Would you look at that mop??!!!

This is the blister no one would pop.  What's the big deal?  Sterilize needle, pop, drain, slather in antibiotic cream and bandage.  Is that so hard???

The end of the year is HERE!!! -- Nicholas Update

Today was Jaden's last Sunday of 1st grade and Nicholas' last Sunday of PreK.  In just 4 days, another school year is over and we will have a 2nd grader and KG-er on our hands!!  Today was "step up" day at the boys school ... Jaden spent part of the day in a 2nd grade classroom and Nicholas spent part of his day in a Kindergarten class.  They loved seeing how things might be different next year. 

Nicholas had his portfolio day last Thursday.  All the parents were invited and they showcased a giant portfolio of their work from throughout the year.  It amazes me to see how much he has grown and how much he has learned and accomplished this year!!!  The teacher also showed a slide show while we had snacks.  They made it a very special occasion for the end of the school year...

PreK - G ... Mrs. Garber's Class.  It was hard getting a picture of everyone standing still.  They were all so excited to have their parents in the class room, they couldn't help themselves.

Nicholas was surprised and excited that Ken took the day off and came to portfolio day. 

The many faces of Nicholas...

After school, Jaden was invited to a going away party for his friend Jakob.  We've spent many afternoons playing with Jakob this year and we're sad to say good bye.  His family is moving to Milan, Italy over the summer.  Nicholas was feeling a little left out since he wasn't invited to the going away party at the bowling alley, so we set up the slip n' slide to distract him.  I think it worked.  He had a BLAST!!!
More silly faces from Nicholas.  He was so happy he couldn't stand it!

And Nicholas' other big news this week is that he can now swing all by himself!!  He was so proud of himself.  He had to have me video him.  Never mind it was 6:30pm and pitch black out!!  Enjoy the super dark video!