Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ringing In the New Year

We rang in the new year, modified for the 4 and under crowd.  We had a dinner of appetizers, then the celebration ensued.

Oversized balloons

Times Square ball drop, courtesy YouTube & 2013

And toasting

Cheers to a New Year!  Happy 2014!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Wrap-up

As we bid farewell to 2013, we reflect on the blessings and experiences it has brought.
  • We visited Abu Dhabi & Dubai in the neighboring country of United Arab Emirates.  There we visited friends, snorkeled with sea turtles, took in the view from the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and played in the snow.
  • Mirah Delaunay joined our family in May.  She is everyone's favorite family member and is full of smiles.
  • We spent another warm summer in Doha, though this year, Travis wasn't teaching any summer courses. We took part in the Ramadan festivities of Garangao (see here and here) and the sunset cannon.
  • Fall semester marked the beginning of Travis' 5th year teaching at Qatar University.  
We have been so blessed this year and we are so thankful to have friends and family who love us.  I am also grateful for the internet that allows us to keep in touch with you even though we are so far away.

The Wilsons

Photos courtesy Tony Murray
(more from Tony also here & here)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Katara Eid Celebration

We headed over to Katara for their Eid celebration, which included a presentation of Alibaba and the 40 Thieves with giant puppets (more here).  We left before the fireworks since our kids find them far too loud.  Instead we headed to the gelato shop to cool off from the heat.

The Arab man & horse puppets in the background

Almost full moon

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

At the Beach

Since it was the Eid holiday, we headed out for a day at Dukhan Beach with several members of our ward.  We had a later start than everyone else, and I didn't take pictures like I planned, but we enjoyed the breeze and fresh sea air.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another Year Older and Wiser, Too

We celebrated Travis' birthday, and this year, he actually got his cake ON his birthday, probably because I had such willing helpers.

Dinner was french toast, as requested

Finished off with cupcakes

...and a singing telegram?

Monday, October 7, 2013

At The Ballet

I braved an outing with all three kids alone to the ballet.  I thought it was crazy myself, but Leoni really wanted to go.  Katara had a Russian ballet school performing a special version of the Nutcracker for children, which was just over an hour long.  It is traditionally Christmas-y, but not being a Christmas celebrating culture, October seemed right I suppose.  I didn't know what I would do if we had a meltdown, crying, etc. because my kids are too young to leave alone while I take another out.  I was surprised at how well they did, especially when there were 15+ kids running up and down the aisles right next to us.

Before the performance

Treats afterward

We were also part of it

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Muddy Moment

On a very busy Thursday, where we were going from one thing to another, I was grateful for a small reminder to let go and have fun even if it isn't the most convenient.

The moment Mom walked into the fun

Not sure how to react and a little confused as to why Mom is shooting pictures

Pure joy...

...and elation

I wasn't thrilled that the afternoon baths in preparation for church the next day were null and void, nor did I love that the mud stained Leoni's clothes (including brand new shorts), but at least they will have a memory that their mom did allow them to just be kids, at least I hope they remember it.