Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Day of the Semester

Most students know that the last day of classes don't usually have big assignments, so they don't bother coming to classes. Since Travis has to still go to class to teach, he figures they should have to come to class, so he offers and incentive. If they come, they get to meet his kids. Not a bad deal, and those who show up are glad they did. Here is Leoni seeing how she likes being a university student.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On display

So, the furniture that was provided in our villa has lots of room for displaying things. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of display items and could use more "out of sight" storage. Some things we have, though cute, aren't exactly display material...or are they?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

National Day

December 18th is Qatar National Day. It is one of the biggest celebrations in the country. Yes, the day (or an observed day) is given off work and school. There are festivities all over Doha with Camel Dressage, poetry reading, and other events. The big parade the morning of the 18th is a huge draw, so we decided to brave the masses and participate this year. Here is a little of what we saw.

Dhows (fishing boats) sailing in the harbor

It seemed that every branch of the military and public service was represented in the parade. Most took place on the street, but our pictures are from further back, so it is harder to make out the tanks, horses, camels, filing down the street. There was plenty to see closer to us in the harbor and the air.

Military helicopters

Qatar Airways sent a huge jet to fly by

You may wonder how we traveled to the festivities. Well, we went by car and then took a bus from a designated parking area to the parade route. On the way home, we enjoyed the views of other transportation.

Cars with elements of the Qatar flag

Shrink wrapped in scenes that include images of the emir and heir apparent

If you forgot to put a flag on your car, they were available everywhere from street "vendors"

And, no, one flag is not enough

Nor is one sticker

And, if you car isn't normally white, like so many, but you want to do the Qatar flag thing, just spray it white

Big flags get more attention

Who needs seatbelts, besides, they don't put them on the roof

Just to be sure your flag can be seen, stand on the roof and wave it

It was a warm beautiful day, and everyone seemed to be in good, patriotic spirits. We had fun watching all the locals and expats celebrating and having a great time together. Some things I probably would not do myself (standing on my car waving a flag), but it reminds me a lot of the 4th of July. Noisemakers/firecrackers were heard throughout the day and night, and there was a huge firework show in the harbor that night as well. I hope we continue to take part in this tradition while we are here in Qatar.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The "Singing" Sand Dunes

We were able to go with a group of "friends" to the Singing Sand Dunes for a Christmas celebration. Although hardly anyone I have met claims to have actually heard the sand dunes sing, they were in full force that night...aided by the ward choir.

Everyone had fun hiking to the top of the dunes

Football & sliding down the face of the dune were favorite activities

Dad & Leoni watching the sunset

Leoni LOVING sliding down the dune
(If there had been more light, I would have had more pictures. It was dark at this point, but I was able to catch this one with the flash)

Leoni enjoying time with Dad & her friend "Boom"


Friday, December 10, 2010


Two great families we are friends with are moving away from Doha. There was a going away open house that we attended, although Travis wanted to boycott. He ended up going, but he feels like not enough was done to try to stop these moves. Even though everyone (who we got pictures of) is smiling, we are sad to see them go. Obviously, from the smile, Leoni has no clue that we won't be seeing them every week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Out Walking In The 'Hood

Our exciting days normally include at least one walk around our compound (neighborhood), at least when I can get Leoni to put on her clothes to go outside. There is no play area for children, so we do exciting things like look for stray cats and walk up and down the ramp our neighbor has for their car to pull up onto the area next to their house.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Doha Book Fair

There are often exhibitions that come to Doha that we decide we want to check out. There was a Book Fair with international publishers, so we went over one morning. There were hundreds of school groups there, but there were also lots of books. Most books were in English or Arabic, but if you have children needing English books over here (or games, toys, etc.) they were definitely set up for that. We just looked around, and Leoni was admired by many of the school age girls. It was also right before the World Cup announcement, so there were these girls dressed up and being filmed by the news. Their signs say 2022 Qatar (in Arabic). And, you can't tell, but the girl second from the right is in a dress that is a burgundy and white Qatar flag inspired waterfall of ruffles.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Umm, yeah...Still catching up

So, I did well for a few weeks, and now I have even more to add. Working on it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Softball Games

Sometimes, Travis has a softball game that is early enough for Leoni to attend. Although it is at the American School, there isn't any play equipment in the area of the fields. But, Leoni doesn't mind playing in the sand of the planters.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bears and Dolls

Cute that Leoni is setting her Baby Bear & babies on the stairs with her

And sometimes they even get a blanket

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meeting Papa

Papa John that is. There are franchises here, and they are real Papa John's. They even have the garlic butter, being shipped and held up in customs.

Trying Papa John's pizza

She loved it and ate THREE pieces

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Over the Eid break, Travis got rid of some greenery and added some we wanted. Many of the villas in our compound have plumerias out front, but we had an oleander. Leoni has started taking an interest in flowers and leaves, and the oleander was not favorable to such a practice. So, Travis dug the whole oleander out (roots and all) and replaced it with our own plumeria.

Before (well, before planting & after digging up)


Another plumeria in the other planter

And a fig tree in the third shared planter

Lastly, he dug out the weeds in our backyard that covered the planter as well as about half the yard, but we haven't replaced it with anything yet. We'll let you know.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Draw Draw

Leoni has now taken interest in drawing and often asks, "Draw, draw?" I wish I knew what was going through her head as she concentrates.

Especially because she is so pleased after she is finished.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Million Faces

Leoni has such a cute scrunchy faced smile right now, but I also love the other faces she pulls. I don't know where they come from, but I am glad some get captured on camera, too.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oh my "Heck"

People find it hysterical that Leoni has already learned the Mormon slang word "heck." We know better. She is just referring affectionately to her friend Hector.

Leoni & Hector

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Riding along

We often go for walks in the compound now that Leoni will actually wear shoes. One of her favorite things to do is borrow the neighbors' toys. Hopefully, they don't mind.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shoes from Aunt Tracy

Before we came home to Doha, Aunt Tracy sent Leoni some shoes. They are Dr. Seuss Thing 1/Thing 2 shoes. Leoni loves them and doesn't care if they are currently too big. They go with everything...and nothing.

Putting them on

Happy as can be

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Halloween is primarily an American holiday, but it is also a favorite. Our house was decked early, and we tried to do things to celebrate the season. Our compound, being mostly non-American, doesn't really celebrate with trick-or-treating, but we were invited to go with some friends. They live in Education City Housing, which is predominantly American, and they have a big party. They also graciously let us borrow a costume for Leoni, which saved me from trying to throw something together. The party was fun and spirited, complete with a costume contest, which Leoni won! She received a Virgin Store gift certificate. Wow!

Leoni as a fluffy chick


My favorite costume-
Leoni's Halloween pajamas & goggles