Sunday, February 2, 2020

Fall 2019

Just like all the other recent falls....they blow by in a furry....lol. I'm typically playing catch up on summer blog posts, this year I had a new job again which kept me busy with the 'new job learning curve' and getting used to the new normal, we had the chance to meet a real life Astronaut, Dr. Mary Ellen Weber, who came to Doha for a few days (She talked at some of the Universities, she spoke to the middle school at ASD, and then at the Embassy. After not really wanting to go, I was quite surprised when Clarissa got super close and right next to her for the group photo!!).


In addition to being Clarissa's brownie girl scout troop leader, I am also a USAGSO committee member (for those of you with Girl Scouts stateside, GS Overseas committees are the equivalent of a service unit), so we kicked off the year and had a big campout event. I also frequently have to explain to Isa that cats can not be girl scouts...even though she's a girl and she scouts for birds that doesn't make her a girl scout.


Clarissa has also been doing ice skating twice a week, so I've been playing the role of 'ice mom' (yes the thought of making myself a cheesy shirt has crossed my mind, but is so cold on the side of the rink I'd have it covered up so no one would see it...lol). She likes to do the lunge and spins (skating backwards not so much). She is also good at skating on one leg with the other up in the air about half way across the rink!


I was at the one shop in the country that sells sinful things like alcohol and pork. I nearly passed out at the price of a bottle of champagne (I don't drink wine/champagne....so the googles does tell me this is a pricey brand in general).....but needles to say I DID NOT buy any! 2,803 QAR = $769.84!! Eeek!


Mason was super busy with the Academic Games team. You can read the school's student run newspaper articles about training, prepping for competition in Kuwait, and how the teams WON in Kuwait. Now Mason is a writer for the newspaper and has penned and published an article on Cult Classics!

Now that I'm done with the proud momma bragging. We also did a staycation to Banana Island. I'll give that it's own post since we stayed a couple nights...coming soon-ish.

I had the pleasure of being a chaperone on the Kuwait Academic Games trip, so Clarissa took my place as Richard's date for the Marine Corps Ball.


In addition to the cutest up-do (yes that is her hair made into a sparkly bow) and a sparkly dress, she had a blast being the youngest attendee and all the Marines wanting to get their photo taken with her!


Even if mommy is not out of town for some reason, she has already expressed her desire to attend again next year!


We, of course, had the birthday marathon.



If all that busyness hasn't tired you out, I'll leave you with a Saturday afternoon nap photo. I walked into the den and found Richard and the cat napping. Clarissa joined in and posed. She has a hospital band on her finger as we had spent the morning going to the public hospital and then getting a referral to another hospital for x-ray. She had smashed her finger and as it was swelling and turning 50 shades of blue and purple. We wanted to make sure it wasn't broken (luckily it wasn't, but she had a brace to wear for two weeks and doctors note excusing her from PE for 3 days).


Thanksgiving came and we had some special visitors arrive....so stayed tuned to find out who it was and what adventures we had!

Friday, January 24, 2020

20 in 20: The Plan

So I recently saw a news story about how making art is good for your health! One thing that really bummed me out last year, was having a sewing room but not having the time to get in there and use it. So I am making myself a goal to get 20 sewing projects finished up in the year 2020....I think it's totally doable! I've already started to make a dent in my goal!

Last year, I saw this blog post on making a rainbow flag bunting. We have a cut through between the kitchen and dining room. It's the perfect place to hang a bunting. So last year, I had the idea it would be fun to make holiday buntings to decorate that opening for the different holidays. On R&R last summer, Clarissa and I had a lot of fun going to fabric stores in South Carolina, Missouri, even stopping at a huge fabric outlet in Amish county of Ohio on our road trip, and in Maryland. At these stores, we had a checklist of our holidays and how many patterns we were still looking for. We didn't need much of each pattern (only a 1/4 yard/fat quarter or two of each) and you can't order amounts that small online. Also, primarily US celebrated holidays (ie St. Patrick's Day/4th of July I'm looking at you) would be really hard to find fabrics overseas. So our mission was totally necessary!

Last year, I was able to get the Halloween bunting made (both kids even helped out and it was fun)! Then we hit the birthday blast and I did not get that one made. Thanksgiving came and went and I failed again. I did manage to get our Christmas bunting made!! Woohoo! So depending on how I do on other projects...buntings may count as one project or multiple projects....lol.

So I have my first project of 2020 done! A winter bunting to brightening up the house after the holidays. The house always look so empty after de-Christmas-fying the house. So it adds a bit more color.


A close-up of the patterns - snow flakes, blue flurries (it has glitter), and then a mix of snow flakes, shells and sea stars!


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Summer Adventures 2019 Part 6 - Maryland

I have finally made it to the sixth and final installment of our summer adventures! In Maryland, Clarissa had a chance to catch up with her younger cousins, aunt, uncle, and my parents. We had a couple weeks of cousin fun. In SC, Clarissa's cousins are Mason's age - so she's trying to keep up; in MO, Clarissa's cousin graduated a few year back and is grown; in MD having cousins that are a couple years younger....definitely the most fun!


One day we went out to Historic St. Mary's - Maryland's first capital. There has been a lot of archaeological research done to reconstruct buildings with historic accuracy. One building we went into was the Print House - original owned by William Nuthead, Maryland's first printer.


This is obviously a reenactor (and not the real Mr. Nuthead) but he showed us how the real press worked and let the kids use it to make a contract!


It was hard work pressing it down hard enough!


But when down, there was two copies of the contract printed, one for each person signing it to get and keep! Which was cut and both of the 'cousin printers' got a copy!


We played some old time games (like through the corn cob through the grapevine hoop).


We checked out some more old buildings as well as a refurbished ship that was docked. Some camps/groups get to take trips on the ship apparently.


Cousins in a tree!


There was a good bit of walking but all the cousins did good.


When we had been in St. Louis and had gone to the trampoline park Clarissa ended up bruising a foot bone! At the time we didn't know that (we'd already gone to a doc-in-box and ruled out a break), so after our day of walking it was really hurting. So the next day, we went for an x-ray to rule out a fracture (and found out about the above bruising). We then went bulk shopping for someone's birthday party!


There was a photo booth at the birthday party...I see an uneven distribution of photo booth props on the cousins!! The much anticipated cake time (we had gotten the cake the day before and asked/sweet talked the woman at Costco to ice a birthday message on top. It's a little disconcerting when you see the face of the knife holder ready to cut the cake! It has provide many a laugh!!


The next day, Clarissa got to ride in a Cessna plane!! She was the co-pilot!


Posing!


Getting clearance for their flight from air traffic control.


If something less than favorable would have happened, this photo would have haunted me forever!


Plane starting to taxi.


Lift off!


Super high in the high sky. I may or may not got in a debate with my nephew as to how high they were in the sky (I said no, they were not 30,000 feet like big jets....).


We celebrated the successful flight and landing with some lunch, a trip to target, and then some Sweet Frog!!


We also had a couple fun days! We went to a water park one day and then we went to the local beach. I had found some info about it and the cousins had already been once....we went to Brownie's beach and since Clarissa is a Girl Scout brownie...naturally we had to go....and we could find shark's teeth!! Which we did (and a few pieces of sea glass)!


One day, we drove to Virginia and met one of Clarissa's friends from Fiji!! Her friend was stateside from Madagascar for a bit!! 


The girls had a blast at Chuck'E'Cheese while the moms caught up. Then we continued the fun with some more frozen yogurt at Sweet Frog again (Clarissa had 4 coupons and was determined to use all 4!).


Mason flew back in from Texas. I somehow had a funny filter on at the airport (drawback of letting little people use your phone - btw Grandpa's make great subjects for fun filters).


Mason had a day in Maryland and fit in some cousin and grandparent time.


We squeezed in for a selfie! Lol. There were lots of giggly fails.....


Then the kids and I headed back to South Carolina. It rained a good portion of the drive back. Apparently, the weather gods felt that living in the desert deemed it necessary to pour rain on me every time I drove in the US...lol. It was a pretty bad storm...so bad that it knocked a pine tree down into the road and was blocking traffic. Have no fear....being in the south - there were some good ole boys with their pickup truck who were able to pull the truck out the way.


Note we aren't that far back! Either a lot of people turned around or that tree had fallen just a few minutes before!! Eek!

We had a couple days in South Carolina. I got all the suitcases all packed up, saw a couple more friends, and we headed back on the Charleston - London - Doha routing. The flights were full. Since a lot of Europe holidays in August that wasn't a complete surprise. When looking around at the gate, most of the people on our flight were UK citizens, not a lot of blue passport holders. Once back in Doha, we had about two weeks to get over jet lag before school started (though my job had started so I immediately dove into catching up/climbing up the learning curve).


Someone was too busy to stop for a photo on the first day, but she did pose for retake in January...so that was our R&R for 2019....only six blog posts six months late...lol. We're now starting to plan 2020's R&R....but who's really counting....I'll try and be better this year....no promises.