30 July 2010

Things I'll Miss

We had a wonderful time in Qatar! There are many things we'll miss.

Here are a few:


I'll miss watching H excitedly feed the fish!


I'll miss Landmark Mall. I went here many times in our week and a half!


I'll miss looking at the gorgeous villas like this,


and this. And wondering what life is like inside.


I'll miss hearing our boy point out "bulldozers,"


'ex-skaters,'


and 'ca-wanes' fifteen thousand times a day. (Lots of construction going on!)


I'll miss this road! It would take us from


this amazing villa (which I'll really miss)


to this pool


and this pool. Both of these pools I'll miss very much!


And this... my 'happy place'. I'll miss floating in this pool with a book!

Goodbye Qatar... we hope to see you again!

Damages, the Conclusion

You'll be happy to know that the washer fixed itself, the fish didn't die, I scrubbed the orange crayon off the floor, Mikey removed the yellow from the microwave with nail polish remover (don't laugh... it works), we cleaned the coffee and spit up off the various surfaces, I thoroughly washed all of innocent-girl's bedding, we never had even a ding on the car, and we found a replacement part to the expensive-as-all-get-out blender!! So I don't have to ask Mom to pawn my wedding ring after all. he he



See? Such a glorious piece of red plastic and metal, wouldn't you say?

So we celebrated!



With smoothies! (No spoon this time.)



Cause these bags of frozen strawberries only cost about a dollar. A DOLLAR! That's enough to make me want to pick up and move here.

Almost.

But not really.



Mmmnn.

My husband makes the best smoothies. Unless he uses a can of pineapple. Cause then they're just gross.

One of Those Moments

The other day I wanted to go to the mall. And I wanted go by myself. So I did (during naptime, of course.) I climbed in the car and felt almost giddy about the fact that the carseats in the backseat were empty, baby! I was feeling good!!!

So I'm driving down the road. Alone. In a borrowed vehicle. In Qatar.

I had a few thoughts. The first one was "Whose life is that that I am living?" I get these feelings every so often living overseas. It's like I step back from my current activity and see myself in a strange, weird, foreign situation. And I think the usual "Whose life is this that I am living?" Sometimes my life just feels weird.

I never imagined I'd be driving a big car around a roundabout in the Persian Gulf. I just didn't.

Aaaaayway. That's what I was doing.

And my next thought was "I wonder if these other people driving on the road with me realize that I have NO IDEA what I am doing."

HA!

They probably didn't know. But that's okay cause I never wrecked.

Amen and Halleluiah.

And THEN I started singing along with the CD...

Sing to the King Who is coming to reign
Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain
Life and salvation His empire shall bring
And joy to the nations when Jesus is King

Come, let us sing a song
A song declaring that we belong to Jesus
He is all we need
Lift up a heart of praise
Sing now with voices raised to Jesus
Sing to the King

For His returning we watch and we pray
We will be ready the dawn of that day
We'll join in singing with all the redeemed
'Cause Satan is vanquished and my Jesus is King



And I was looking at this skyline.

And I had a moment. A moment more meaningful and powerful than my 'whose life is this that I am living" moment.

It was one of those moments when I could sense the reality of this world. The reality that some places are light and some are dark. And the reality that God can use ME to spread His light in the darkness.

And so I raised my hand (leaving the other safely on the wheel, of course) and stretched it out towards the skyline as I sang this song. And I believe something changed. Maybe nothing profound or concrete. But something changed. Something spiritual.

I believe that every word we speak has spiritual impact. I like to call it reverberations.

Speak something negative or judgmental? And something changes for the worse according to your words. Speak something positive and loving? And something changes for the better according to your words. It's biblical folks. Our words have power.

And so I sang this song about all nations knowing Jesus as King over the city, and I threw a bit of the light that Jesus has put inside of me onto that skyline. And by faith, I believe something changed. For the better.

Road Trip

We thought: "Let's not spend all our time in the city... let's see what there is to see outside Doha!"

Road trip!!



So we loaded up the kids and the supplies and hit the road.

We drove all the way across the country (about 1 hour) to Zubara.

And on the way we saw a whole lot of nothin'.



Just us and the sand.



Just us and the construction vehicles.



Just us and the piles of rocks.

That is until we saw this on the horizon!!



It's not quite the 'castle' we thought we were headed toward. But at least it's not a pile of sand, a pile of rocks, a truck carrying piles of sand or rocks, or an empty patch of sand where a pile of rocks once sat.



I wish I could tell you what this was all 'intellectual-like.'

But I can't cause I can't remember what it was.

I know. I'll ask my husband. He knows everything. And by everything, I mean EVERTHING.
As in never, ever play Trivial Pursuit with him. Ever. Unless you're on his team, and then congratulations, you'll probably win.

Hold please.

...

Okay.

Got it.

He says it's a fort from the 1800's that was used to defend the country.

I knew that.



That explains these holes in the side of it. For guns, right? I mean bows and arrows (?) to shoot through. I'm clueless folks. Really.



Or you can just peer through them to see more piles of sand and rocks.





Here my boys are peering over the edge to see the view. Which happened to be more sand and rocks.



And N is peering over for a view of her Daddy. Cause he's cute and she knows it.




[Scene change]




A couple days later we thought "Let's see if we can find something interesting if we drive south!"



We found boats!





Then we parked and I nursed the screeching baby in the front seat while M and H explored the beach...



... for about 2 minutes until they came back drenched and exhausted. It's hot out there folks. I recommend viewing the beach from the comfort of the climate controlled SUV with leather seats, plenty of leg room and cup holders holding Diet Pepsi.

Next time we come to Qatar (?) we'll probably just stay in the city.

:)

29 July 2010

My PJ Sweeties



It's our last full night in Doha. So I thought I'd show you my PJ sweeties. They look so cuddly in their winter PJs! Gotta keep 'em cozy in this central air conditioning!

Dhow (Wooden Boat) Ride

Tonight we found our way to the Corniche in Doha. We were hoping for a boat ride and we got one!



We rented the whole boat for about ten bucks. Fair price I'd say for a ride on the Persian Gulf with a gorgeous nighttime skyline to look at!



It really was so beautiful! It was an inlet and the city and all it's lights wrapped around us. I love the bright modernity of the city contrasting the older worn look of the wooden boat.



Once we left shore the driver turned down the lights and turned up the American dance music. I loved it. Part of me even wanted to get up and shake my booty in this empty patch of red carpet. It was calling out to me to use it as my own personal dance floor.

But I restrained myself. I settled to discreetly shimmy my shoulders to the beat. I hate to actually support the stereotype that us white girls like to shake our booties for the whole world to see (or at least one Indian boat driver who doesn't know me to see). Cause that is what the rest of the world believes, in case you didn't know.



Here's my proof. When this family boarded the boat and it floated away from the shore, what do you suppose the Indian driver chose for their listening pleasure?

Some relaxing Arabic instrumentals. He didn't expect those ladies to enjoy the booty-shakin' music, now did he?

28 July 2010

Damages, Part III

This just keeps getting better.

And by better, I mean WORSE.

This time there is no good news.

Only bad.

And that bad news is that Mikey forgot to put H in a diaper before his nap. (I'm not casting blame here honey. Just stating facts.)

Dun dun DUN.

You guessed right, folks. It's not hard to guess really. H peed and pooped in the bed.

And now the poor, innocent, thirteen year old girl who so generously allowed my toddler boy to sleep in her bed is gonna regret it.

Oh.My.Goodness.

Damages, Continued

So, we spent all morning searching for a replacement blender/pitcher/part.

There is good news and bad news.

Bad news first. This is a rule.

The bad news is that we found out that Mikey managed to break the MOST EXPENSIVE BLENDER I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.

Please note that all capitals were absolutely necessary here. The thing costs almost as much as my wedding ring. Seriously. And not the cheap plain wedding ring I have worn since we moved overseas. It costs almost as much as my real wedding ring, with diamonds on it (okay, small diamonds... but still... DIAMONDS), that lives in my parent's bank deposit box.

Oh my.

The good news is that we have a lead on a Philips parts supplier in the city. We have reason to believe they have have the one teensy part we need and therefore we might not need to buy the whole thing.

Please please please have the part we need.

In other damages news... I now seem to have broken the washing machine.

Repairman en-route.

Lord help us.

Damages

This week, as you know, we are enjoying the amazing generosity of some friends in Qatar that we just met. We're staying in their amazing villa, driving their amazing car, and using everything in their house while they are gone.

Or maybe I should substitute 'using everything in their house' with 'damaging everything in their house.'

Here is the list of damages. We're not usually so accident prone, and frankly, this list is rather embarrassing.

1. First day I burnt popcorn in the microwave. I mean smoke-pouring-out-of-microwave, whole-thing-turned-yellow, reeking-forever kind of burnt microwave. Still can't get rid of the smell or the color...

2. Then H used orange crayon to color the tile floor.

3. Then Mike overfed the fish and we had to frantically scoop out all we could so they didn't explode and die.

4. Then I spilled coffee in the car.

5. Then I spilled coffee on the couch.

6. Then I spilled my girlie's medicine on the other couch.

7. Then N spit up on the couch, the rug and the other rug.

8. Then Mike stuck a wooden spoon in the really fancy blender and broke it. The blender, not the spoon.

Lord have mercy. And silly me thought we might be able to come back someday.

We have a couple days left and I'm officially paranoid. This morning as I was borrowing the blow dryer I was thinking "I probably shouldn't even use this thing, cause it's probably going to break too!" And I'm gonna say an extra prayer when we all pile in the car to go hunting for a replacement blender this morning. All we need to do is add a couple thousand dollars of car repairs from an accident to the couple hundred dollars we're about to have to spend on a blender.

So, grab that strawberry smoothie that we never got to make, and let's toast to the gracefulness of this family this week...

Cheers!

26 July 2010

Something New

I went shopping today.

Halleluiah and Amen.

But that's not the point of this point-less post.

The point of this point-less post is that when I brought home the toilet paper my boy didn't know what to call it. He said "You got some dis paper towel stuff Mommy?"

HA!

I guess it makes sense. H wasn't potty trained in the States and in Africa we don't use toilet paper. We use tissues from a box cause they're cheaper. But we don't use paper towels either, so I don't know where he got that idea...

Anyway he thought it was quite interesting stuff. Before I took these pictures he was kicking it around watching it unroll.









It's the little things, huh?

24 July 2010

Six Years Ago




That's Just Gross

Today I had a choice. We could either have Coldstone Ice Cream when we were at the mall or we could order in food for dinner later in the day.

Yeah. Who needs dinner? I want Coldstone!

But it was almost ruined.

The kid in line in front of me ordered coffee ice cream with gummy bears mixed in.

That's just gross.

European City Transplanted (The Villagio)



Today's outing took us to Venice!

Wait, what?

Oh. I meant to say 'Today's outing took us to another mall here in the Gulf.'

Yes. Back to the sparkle.





I never did ride a gondola when I was in the real Venice, but we rode one today! (Never mind if it was powdered by a small almost-hidden propeller instead of just the push-stick-thingy that we all think of.)





Then H and M played in the biggest playplace known to man. Well, known to us at least. Check it out.





They had a great time. And apparently H was climbing circles around his Daddy. Literally. Mikey was struggling to climb up an enclosed corkscrew slide thinking he was spotting for H just ahead of him. But then H came up behind him! He climbed all the way up, slid down another slide, and had climbed up again BEHIND his Dad. H kept saying "I can help you Daddy!" I guess Mikey needed the help. He could barely make it to the top! HA! Funny!

Meanwhile I was frantically scanning every piece of women's clothing in H&M deciding what to purchase with my saved-up clothing budget! So fun for me!

Then Mommy and H jumped on the trampoline. You only have to pay for the kid and not the 'chaperone.' But, um, I probably should have paid cause I had way too much fun.

"I was jumpin' on da tampoween!"



However. I'm gonna tell ya that two kids hasn't done much for my bladder control.

Ten minutes on the 'tampoween' and my jeans have gone straight in the wash.

Did I really just say that?

As the PW would say: "Just keepin' it real..."