Saturday, March 26, 2011

Definitely not M&Ms

So, this is what you turn around to see when you give your child a small piece of chocolate. I now see why the slogan "melts in your mouth, not in your hand" was so appealing to parents. It is also why you never try to sneakily eat chocolate in the same vehicle as your child. They always know and request some. Blast!

Friday, March 25, 2011

If a Tree Falls in Your Yard, Does It Make a Sound?

One of the very first plants I remember in our yard growing up was this pine tree. For many years, it was the only greenery in our yard of desert sand. I remember carrying pitchers or dragging the hose out to water it. We eventually landscaped everything, and the installation of a sprinkler system helped it flourish. Well, flourish it did, but last year, a portion died.

We were afraid it was diseased, but upon inspection found that some of the roots strangled others, causing it to die. Rather than remove the dead portion, it was recommended to remove the entire tree because of its proximity to the house. Removing a portion might throw off the balance, and in a wind storm, the remaining portion could topple onto the house, causing major damage. Unfortunately, this meant that the large shady area it provided would disappear along with it. Now my parents need to find a new tree.

Beginning removal

Crane lifting out portions of the tree

The last section of the trunk



Sunday, March 13, 2011

TESOL Arabia 2011

Travis attended TESOL Arabia again this year. It is held in Dubai, so he also visits IKEA. This year, one of his professors from BYU, Dr. Anderson, was one of the speakers. They were able to meet up for lunch along with Heidi and another friend, Jonathan.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The first time successfully convincing Leoni to wear her hair in ponytails. It only lasted about 15 minutes while she was drawing, but it was darling.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Birthday Beach Celebration

After dropping Heidi off at the airport, we headed out to Al Wakra for a birthday beach celebration. A friend was celebrating a big birthday, so we joined in the festivities. Before the sunset, everyone enjoyed the weather and water.

Walking back to shore with the McCollums as the tide started coming in

A wet Leoni visiting her friend Xavier, who opted to relax back on the beach

I didn't get many more photos because night fell. We had fun visiting and wishing well for the coming year.

Bonus Day With Heidi

Due to the political unrest in Oman, that portion of Heidi's trip was cancelled, so she was able to stay an extra day in Doha. We loved that because we had a chance to spend a little more time. We went back to Souq Waqif during the day, which is full of very different sights than night. Here are some of the things we saw.

Chasing pigeons

Souq animals

Including suicidal turtles

And technicolor chicks

Man with Wheelbarrow

A view of a corridor

Al Qudsi--Sweets Shop

Fresh Arab Sweets

Various Spices

Woman shopping

More spices

Spices, dry ingredients

Dry ingredients (rose hips, dried lemons, chickpeas, etc.)

Textiles (some from camel hair)

Man in thobe on cell phone

Dunkin' Donuts & Baskin Robbin

Two men greeting each other

Outside the Mosque

Arab Instruments

Heidi bought a tambourine from the instrument shop

Local men in an outdoor cafe

The cobbler corridor


Traffic police

Heidi checking out saffron in a shop


Waiting outside a rug store

Headed home

We were so glad Heidi came to visit us

Yemeni baskets

Yemeni honey is regarded as some of the finest honey in the world. It is heralded for its medicinal qualities, and it doesn't come cheap. There are actually a few varieties. Since I will probably not visit there any time soon (not the safest for US citizens), I enjoy the honey from Yemen here in this little shop (you get a taste of it when you visit) as well as Mr. Askar's sense of humor. He is a crack up.

At Souq Waqif, there is a shop called the Yemeni Honey Center. The family that runs it has a fancier shop in the well trafficked area, but the father (Haytham Hussein Askar) has a smaller shop with more stock on the other side of the souqs. I was introduced to his shop by our friend Kerri-Ann, and we enjoy taking our visitors there as well as occasional visits ourselves. We took Heidi and had the most entertaining time to date. My face hurt from all the laughing.

A view of the shop
(notice the shelves shaped to look like honeycomb)

Heidi checking out some of the Yemeni baskets

Haytham showing us how wonderful the honeycomb smells

Leoni asking about the benefits of honey
(notice the bee pollen in the lower left)

Not as thrilled about posing for a picture

Putting a basket on Leoni's head like a hat

He wanted me to be in a picture too

Posing with Heidi
He asked where her husband was, and when she said she was single, he took off his glasses and stood up a little straighter. Hysterical.