Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Best Day!

We had such a great Christmas this year. We really missed family, but it was so relaxing to just stay in our jammies all day and play with all our new toys.

Calvin was up first, right at 6am and ran down the hall to check out the gifts before he even came in and told us he was up. We were actually able to convince him to eat breakfast first since his sister was still sleeping. After breakfast Alayna was still sleeping so Calvin went searching for HIS gifts!
From 2008-12-27

And he made himself a nice little pile of "Calvin presents"!
From 2008-12-27

Calvin's patience was about out, so we decided to wake Alayna up. Then the real fun began!

Both kids are just at great ages this year where they are excited about everything, can open presents on their own, and know how to wait their turn. Opening really was fun for Ryan and I to watch the joy on their little faces.

Calvin's favorite gifts were all Star Wars related, but he loved the Light Sabers, the Storm Trooper Helmet, and game for his Leapster the best.
From 2008-12-27

From 2008-12-27

Alayna loved her new twin babies, her Tinker Bell headband, and Aurora Doll the best.
From 2008-12-27

From 2008-12-27

From 2008-12-27

Nana also bought them an easle and some paints. Both kids enjoyed this, but it was only about 5 minutes till there was paint on the floor! Mommy is going to have to learn some patience to be able to enjoy this with the kids. (click below pic if you want to see more)

The kids also got to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eat the cake we had made the day before.
From 2008-12-27

Santa brought the whole family a gift this year: A Nintendo Wii! And wii are sure having a lot of fun playing it! Here is us trying to rock out on Guitar Hero.
From 2008-12-27

From 2008-12-27

Thanks to all our great friends and family who sent us all the wonderful presents. You helped make our day exceedingly fun. We love you all and hope your Christmas was just as wonderful.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas From Kuwait

From Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas!!! We were invited to our friends house for a little Christmas Eve get together and since this was our only excuse to get dressed up this Christmas we all put on our Christmas best. Now really look at that picture.....It truely captures my children's personalities. Alayna yelling something at the top of her lungs and looking cute doing it, and Calvin scratching his chin deep in thought and also looking pretty cute! That about sums up the two of them!

From Christmas Eve

More proof!

From Christmas Eve

Finally one of them both smiling nicely for the camera.

When we got home we got to open our one special present from Nana and Papa. (it's always pajamas, but sssshhhh don't tell the kids)

From Christmas Eve

From Christmas Eve

From Christmas Eve

See I told you, PJs!

After that we got the cookies out for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer and then we sent the little ones off to bed. Santa had a lot of work to do after all!

From Christmas Eve

From Christmas Eve

WOW! I think we are going to be opening presents all day! Should be fun. Luckly we have no plans, just to stay in our new Jammies and play with all our new things all day.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. We dearly miss all of you this Christmas and can't wait to see you this summer.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! HO HO HO

Birthday Cake

making cake

Calvin and Alayna love any reason to eat cake, and Christmas is Jesus Birthday right?? And what is a birthday without cake? So, we made the cake today (Christmas Eve) and we will eat it and sing Happy Birthday tomorrow. As you can tell my daughter clearly loves chocolate! Click above pic to see more.

I'm Addicted!

Ok, so I think I have a problem.......I'm addicted to my maid already! It's kinda like what they say about Meth, it only takes one hit and you are hooked for life! Our maid, Lorna, arrived on Sunday evening and by Monday at noon my house was clean and the kids were loving all the time they were getting to spend with Mommy. I have to say I have had the best few days in a long time with my kids. It's truely amazing how freeing it can be to know that you have NO obligations other than to care for and play with your children. We have been baking cookies, playing games, watching Christmas movies and just having a blast. Even baking cookies with the kids, which would normally stress me out by the way, was really enjoyable! Lorna hung out in the kitchen with us and when one kid needed their hands washed she went and did that while I continued on with the other child. And the best part.....When we were done, we just left the kitchen and went to play something else and magically the kitchen was cleaned!

OMG! All my Mommy friends out there, you can't even imagine what this is like. It's not even like having Dad around, who is kinda your parenting equal, you have someone standing there just waiting for you to tell them to do something! It's CRAZY!!! I don't know how I am going to cope when I have to come back to the real world in a couple years. I will have to check myself into Rehab for detox!! But trust me it is totally worth it.

Merry Christmas to ME!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Green Island

We went to a park today called Green Island. We met a couple other Moms there so the kids could play. It is actually a small little island that I would actually call more of a glorified sand bar! It isn't very far off shore and they have just made it into a nice "green" area with places for the kids to play and places for BBQs and picnics. It was nice. The kids rode there bikes out there since you can't bring cars onto the "island". They had fun playing with the other kids, ate alittle lunch and then we came home. It was a perfect day....about 75 and sunny with a slight breeze. We had a nice time and I am sure we will go back again with Daddy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ryan's Trip to Jordan

So I will take my first swing at this Blog thing. I am back from a 5-day work trip to Jordan. Jordan is home to one of our largest suppliers of fuel for Iraq and this was my initial visit to gain an overview of their operation.

From Jordan

I flew into Amman, Jordan from Kuwait City. Jordan is an awesome county that is rich in Biblical history. Unlike Kuwait, which is very flat, Jordan has breath-taking topography. Some of the houses are built right into the side of severely sloping mountainsides.

From Jordan

During the trip I traveled to the Iraq/Jordan border to witness our fuel trucks crossing into Iraq. I was not allowed to take any pictures of the border, so the best I could do was to snap a picture of the border sign ten Km before the border itself.

From Jordan

From Jordan

Following the border, which is in the NE corner of Jordan, we drove to the SW corner of Jordan to the port city of Aqaba. Our supplier has large fuel storage tanks at their facility in Aqaba. Aqaba is on the Gulf of Aqaba, which is the northern tip of the Red Sea.

From Jordan

From Jordan

Along the way to Aqaba, we drove to the lowest place on earth -- the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is 1 mile below sea level. We were able to see Israel, which lies on the west side of the Dead Sea. While traveling down, down, down, to the Dead Sea you could feel the pressure building in your ears. Much like being on an airplane your ears kept popping.

What a great experience. I got to see the Red Sea, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River (where Jesus was baptized), and the Iraq border. I will have the chance to go back to Jordan every few months.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pretty Boring Week

Well this week was kinda boring and uneventful in Kuwait. I think Ryan will be posting later this week; he and the camera were in Jordan all week and I am hoping he will come home with some good pics and stories that he will be willing to share with all of you.

As for what we were doing with out Daddy around, we spent a lot of time in our jammies! We did have 2 little play dates with Alayna's friend from school, Chloe, who lives in our neighboorhood. It was nice to have some adult conversation! Oh yeah, the kids had fun too! Calvin and I are still sick with this cold/possible allergy thing. We both have had this cold on and off for over a month now, so we are trying allergy medicine to see if it is an allergy to all the dust here. I just am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Can Santa bring Calvin and I a cure for the cold??

Stay tuned for Ryan's Jordan trip report!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


YEAH! We actually did it.....We closed on our house in O'Fallon. It is final and the money is in the bank. Now of course there were more than a few bumps along the way including the title company going bankrupt and having to start over with a new company a week before closing, and then the little detail of the address of the property we were selling was WRONG on all the closing documents! Then the person who was handling our closing quit on closing day! Good Grief Charlie Brown!

But, the bottom line is that it is done and we can move on with our lives. Goodbye Keck Ridge Drive. We will miss you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Very Special Day!

First of all it is my Dad's 60th Birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!! We all love you and hope you enjoy your day!


Then we got to see Brooke today at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait! She had a pit stop there on her way back to the states for R&R. We drove up to the base and met her at the McDonalds and had lunch with her. It was soooooo good to see her. The kids were happy to see her too. Alayna just couldn't get enough of Auntie Brooke. We ate our lunch and then went to the USO there on the base and played some cards for a little while. Then we let them run around outside for a bit before we had to take off back home. We had a great time. It was a bit sad though, like a teaser to see her and then have to say goodbye so quickly. We hope to see her again on her way back through after R&R. I have my fingers crossed! Click the pic for more pics!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Eid

Yesterday began Eid here in Kuwait. At 6am the prayer man started up like every morning, but this time he went on for about an hour! I thought it would never end.

Part of the celebration includes the slaughter of a sheep for their dinner. So people on Sunday were out buying their sheep for their Eid Feasts. We actually saw people with live sheep in the back of their cars and SUVs. Seriously, a live animal in the backseat of the car!! And there was a guy right outside our neighboorhood selling sheep on the street corner. He just set up a little corral and had as many sheep as he could fit in there. I wish I would have had my camera. I am sure we will have more Eid stories before our time in Kuwait is over, but just had to share these.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Maid Update

A couple of you have asked about the Maid thing. As with all things in Kuwait, things never go as originally planned! We have had a few changes to our plan since I originally posted about this. First we switch maids, we now will have Lorna working for us, not Nor. Also the start date changed, and now Lorna will be starting with us on the 21st of this month, not the 1st. Lorna did come on Friday for 4 hours to do some basic cleaning and she did a great job. The kids loved her and she even had time to play with them for a while when she finished cleaning. I am glad we had her come in on Friday, it made all of us more confident and comfortable about her arrival on the 21st. I am very much looking forward to it!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Embassy Fun

Embassy Fun

We were able to make it to Happy Hour again on Thursday night. We had a nice time and I only had 1 glass of wine this time! hehehe The kids got to run off some energy and play in the bouncy castle.

Then on Saturday afternoon they had a Children's Christmas party at the embassy. The kids even got to see Santa and sit on his lap! No tears this year! Both kids did some crafts and decorated some cookies. Alayna made a little candy cane with beads and a pipe cleaner all by herself. I couldn't believe she had the dexterity and patience to do the whole thing! She even got the pattern of red, white, red, white with out any help. She was so proud of her work!

Once again the Embassy has proven to be a real blessing in our lives here. We have a great time every time we go there. The kids love it when we tell them we are headed to the Embassy. Don't forget to click on the pic to see more!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

St Nick

St. Nick

Ok, for those of you not from the motherland (Wisconsin), you probably have no earthly idea what St Nick Day is. Here is a little explanation I found on Wikipedia to fill you in:

While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis celebrate St. Nick's Day on a scale similar to the German custom.[4] On the previous night, children put one empty shoe (or sock) outside, and, on the following morning of December 6, the children awake to find that St. Nick has filled their previously empty footwear with candy and small presents (if the children have been "good") or coal (if not). For these children, the relationship between St. Nick and Santa Claus is not clearly defined, although St. Nick is usually explained to be a helper of Santa. The tradition of St. Nick's Day is firmly established in the Milwaukee, Cincinnati and St. Louis communities, with parents often continuing to observe the day with even their adult children. Widespread adoption of observing the tradition has spread throughout the German, Polish and Belgian communities throughout Wisconsin, and is carried out through modern times.

Ryan and I both grew up celebrating this tradition. We put out our stockings on December 5th and when you wake up on the 6th it is filled with little treats. Usually candy and some pencils or new hair bows, little things. We have added a new twist with our kids. We have them write their letters to Santa and put them in there for St Nick to take back to the North Pole. Calvin actually wrote his letter entirely himself this year! Along with some very creative spelling! I was smart enough to scan the letters before they got taken to the North Pole. If you click on the pic you will get to see them!

The kids were very excited this morning to find that St Nick had left them some goodies in their stockings. They both got some new Christmas jammies and a new holiday movie. Calvin got a little talking Yoda and Alayna got a Color Wonder coloring book. We had a fun family morning with pancakes for breakfast and all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

School Holiday Parties

Christmas parties

This week both kids had their school holiday parties. The muslim holiday of Eid starts on Monday the 8th and Christmas of course is fast approaching. The kids last day of school was on the 4th and they don't go back till the 4th of January!

Calvin's party was on Wednesday and they played some fun games including this dancing one that you see here. Then they sat down to some special treats. Alayna loves Calvin's school and a few of the little arab girls in his class love Alayna and her blond hair! So you will see her partying right along with the rest of the class. You also will see pics of me with a couple Mom's Caroline is from Jerusalem and Nena is from Nigeria.

Then on Thursday Alayna had her party at school. They also played some games and got to eat some good food. Her class had made reindeer hats so they also all got red paint on their noses to be little Rudolphs! Very cute! There is a pic of a little girl with a pacifier sitting on a teachers lap, that is Alayna's friend Chloe. She actually lives right in our neighboorhood and we have met them outside of school a couple times as well. (don't forget to click the pic to see lots more)

Now we just have to enjoy/survive a month off of school!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For the LOVE of HONDA

WOOO HOOO!!! I got my car today! Finally, and not a moment too soon either. The Muslim holiday of Eid is approaching and all the locals will be off of work from Friday the 5th till Sunday the 14th, so if we didn't get it now we wouldn't have until the earliest of the 15th. We shipped it from IL on September 8th and it arrived in Kuwait on November 2nd. We didn't get it till today a full month later! That is middle east bureaucracy for you. She looks good and is running great. I am so happy to have my van back, and so are the kids. They can't wait to watch a movie in there!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter Wonderland Bazaar

winter wonderland bazaar

Today was the Winter Wonderland Bazaar at Calvin's school. The kids had a blast and I got some Christmas shopping done. It was a very good time. Calvin loved the big slide as you can see, that is him in the green shirt. He would jump and literally fly about half way down before his little butt would even hit the slide! And Alayna got to have her face painted with a pink butterfly. She sat really good and looked so cute! Oh, how different boys and girls are. She went down the slide once, but was much happier to get her face painted and Calvin had to be pulled of the slide when it was time to go home. Click to see more pics!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving at the Godwins

Here are some pics from our Thanksgiving at the Godwins house. Mainly I am putting this out here so you can all see how amazing their house is! We had a nice time and the kids had fun playing and staying up late. We are so thankful for our new friends this year. We can't imagine Kuwait without them!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends. We are cooking the Turkey and all the fixing's right now. We have a lady that Ryan works with coming over to eat with us about noon and then we are heading to Stewart and Anita's for dinner this evening. Should be a fun filled day with about 3 weeks worth of calories! But that is a worry for January 1st! We have a lot to be thankful for this year. Here are our lists:

Dawn: For our family being together, Our Skype phone, The sale of our house, Stewart and Anita, That I am Ryan's Wife (as opposed to his possession) and that I can wear what I want and have independence and freedom, for a house with maids quarters! (can't wait!!!), our scanner, AFN, signs in English, the kindness of those who don't have to be kind, English schools for the kids, Starbucks McDonalds and KFC - A taste of home!

Ryan: After living here in Kuwait almost two months, I am very thankful for two things: my Christian faith and the fact I am an American. Other items I am thankful for: selling our house, my supportive wife (moved half way around the world to keep the family together), our awesome kids, our health, my free Yukon - with free gas, books on CD for my long drives with Arabic radio, and term limits - at worst we only have 8 years of the Big O.

Calvin: My Mommy, for God and all the people, school, for Thanksgiving, for playing Noggin on the computer and playing with my Dad.

Alayna: Pizza, Peanut Butter, Baby Baby and cheese.
(can you tell my little girl likes to eat!)


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Day!

We hired a Live-In Maid today! I am so excited! She will move in on December 1st. We spent the weekend interviewing people and decided on one and offered her the job this morning. Her name is Nor and she is Filipino. She has good english skills and she holds her own sponsorship paperwork so we will not have to assume responsibilty for her. If I have to be in Kuwait for two years at least I can take advantage of some of the good things about living here. Hopefully this will go well and she will do a good job. We are a little nervous, but we are hopeful as well. Merry Christmas to me!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Peddlers and Paddlers

What an exciting week! Alayna learned how to peddle and is loving riding around the courtyard on the "red rojo" tricycle. And Calvin is an official swimmer now! Once a week at school they have swimming lessons as part of the PE program. He has made an amazing amount of progress in a very short time. Thursday at his lesson he actually swam from the teacher to the edge of the pool. With his head under water, kicking his feet, and doing the "crawl" with his arms he swam right to the edge! Then we went to the pool today and he just couldn't do it enough! And he loved holding the side of the pool and then going under to touch the bottom with his feet and pop back up. And he didn't want me to help him either. My babies are growing up!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thank you!

Here are some pics of the kids with some goodies from the grandparents. We got "Giant" cookies from Gramma Puffie and Grandpoly and new clothes from Nana and Papa. Many of our family and friends have sent things to us, and we are so appreciative! We feel so loved! The kids love getting boxes and finding out what treasures are inside. Thank you to all of you who have sent us wonderful things! We miss you all.


Calvin is doing so well in school! They really push reading and math skills and he is rising to the occasion. Here is one of the books he is reading now. They send home 3 books each week for them to read at home and then they work on group reading while at school and individual assesments routinely as well. One Proud Mama!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A little Holiday Spirit

Well, I decided to add a little holiday spirit to the blog. I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but now that we are overseas we have to starting thinking about Christmas a little earlier. Since I have to be worrying about gifts and Christmas cards when it is still 80 outside, I need to get creative to find ways to feel in the Christmas spirit! Speaking of which I still need lists from some of you out there. You know who you are! I know I haven't given ours yet, but I promise to get on that this week. I have to go pick up Alayna from school now. I might even put in some Christmas music this afternoon! HO HO HO!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We knew it would happen!

Well I knew it would happen eventually, but never thought it would happen this soon. Calvin is picking up the British accent! You can hear it when he speaks and even in his word choices. He tells me that he "sat Beautifully" at school today. And also said the other day that we better "Tidy Up" before Daddy got home. He has a friend that's name is "Adam" and he says it with a very British accent, it is too funny. Alayna has avoided it so far, but Calvin is in school 5 days a week and it is beginning to show. Oh well, we will have plenty of years to re-Americanize his speach.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dinner Party

Friday night we had our friends Stewart and Anita over for dinner. It was their daughter's birthday so they brought cake for dessert. I served my Chicken Tortilla Soup and it was a big hit!(Thanks Steve and Dianne)! It was a lot of fun and the kids played together really well and we got to have a nice meal. It felt good to do some entertaining and have the house cleaned and get out all my fun dishes. Sydney is their daughter and she was turning 6 and I think Calvin has a bit of a crush on her! He told Ryan, as Ryan was putting him to bed, that he thought Sydney was the prettiest girl he has ever seen. Ryan asked Calvin if he wanted to go tell Sydney that and he got very worried and said "No Daddy, it is a secret". My little boy is growing up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Hour

Every Thursday night at the Embassy they have "Happy Hour". We hadn't been able to get there yet because Ryan usually gets home a little too late to go. This Thursday he got home early and we decided to try it. We weren't really sure what to expect, but we were very pleasantly surprised. There is food to order, everything from chicken nuggets for the kids to steaks! And best of all you can drink alcohol! I got to have a glass of WINE!!! I was so happy!!! There were lots of kids there and they had a bouncy house set up as well as soccer goals and balls to play with. There was also a room with some toys and a Disney movie playing for the kids. The kids had a blast running around and bouncing, and Alayna had nothing but popcorn for dinner! They even both got to have a Diet Sprite! It was a lot of fun. I had 2 glasses of wine and lets just say Happy Hour was very HAPPY for me! Oh my goodness did I get drunk off 2 glasses of wine!!! I guess that is what happens when you haven't been drinking for over a month! I told Ryan from now on I am going to be a very cheap date and only want 1 glass when we go. I think it is this next Thursday that "THE" Papa John of Papa John's Pizza is going to be there making pizzas! Alayna will be in heaven! We are going to make a point of trying to go as often as possible. It is a great way to meet other Americans and the kids get to run and play as well. We are so lucky to have access to the Embassy and all of the privileges that go with it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Good Week

Hello Everyone! We had another good week full of all kinds of fun. Calvin was invited to a birthday party on Tuesday night at McDonalds. Now this is not what you would normally think of as a "McDonalds Birthday Party". They have a special party room with a sounds system and an employee to lead the kids in activities and games as well as another employ to video the entire thing! Calvin had a blast. There were about 30 kids there, kinda crazy!

Then on Friday our friends Stewart and Anita's daughter Sydney had her birthday party. It was co-hosted with another little girl and this one was on the beach in a party tent. Now when I say tent, I need you to think, elaborate wedding tent, not backyard tent. This thing had clear plastic sides, a red fabric ceiling and chandeliers! They had about 800 balloons in the room! (I am not making that number up, Anita told me how many there were!) The theme was a Luau so there were lays and inflatable palm trees as well. Then we of course had a DJ and a "hostess" to lead the party games. WOW! The kids had an absolute blast and when we got home they both took HUGE naps!

Saturday we went to the pool again. This time we were smart and packed the kids some lunch, so we got to stay a lot longer. The kids could have stayed all day! They really love it there. And Calvin is getting very brave; going under the water all the way and jumping in off the side. For dinner on Saturday we went to Applebees! Isn't that crazy! It is like 5 minutes from our house! It is amazing how "normal" things feel here. We are really enjoying our time so far.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Miracle at 1500

We got the craziest phone call tonight! Someone put an offer in on our house! Yup that is right, we now have a signed contract to sell our house in O'Fallon! We can't even believe it and the other weird thing was that within the same hour as the offer, we also got an email that someone had applied to rent our house. I guess the stars had aligned and today was the day for our house worries to be over. We are still in a state of shock and we are feeling so blessed right now. Thank you to everyone that was praying for the sale of our house. Thank God for answered prayers!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Week in Review

Wow what a busy week! On Monday Alayna had a field trip to Pizza Express to make her own pizza and then get to eat it! One would think that this would be the best day ever for Alayna, for those that don't know Pizza is Alayna's favorite food. Well that morning she woke up feeling a little under the weather with a very runny nose and a cough. My plan was to drive her there and then have a coffee right next door at the Starbucks with my friend Anita. Well Long story short Alayna is still having a rough time with this school thing so the teacher asked me to stay and I had to drink my coffee amongst 20 3 yr olds! Lovely! Monday night I was invited to a get together that the women from ASG - KU do on a monthly basis. ASG-KU is all those who work at Camp Arifjan. So there are only 32 positions on the base that allow you to bring families with you and of those slots there are currently only 15 spouses here at this time! So they have a little get together once a month. It was great to get to ask some questions that are specific to being a military wife here. It was a nice group of ladies and there is one that has 3 little ones about the ages of my kids so we are going to try and get together sometime and play. Just nice to meet some women and get out of the house for a night. The only bad news was that I was told that doing my Taste of Home Entertaining business here is pretty much not going to happen. There were a few other ladies in the group who also do direct sales businesses and they said it is just not something that they allow here because of some Kuwaiti Laws here. I am a little sad about that. Then on Wednesday I had a coffee meeting with the other Mom's in Calvins class. There were 5 of us that showed up and it was just amazing to sit at a table with 5 women from all over the world! We had one from Nigeria, Cyprus, Jordan, a Christian from Jerusalem, and Me the American! What a neat experience! You really learn that we are all the same as mothers of little ones and go through the same battles every day. We also had to go the the Embassy several times this week, we inprocessed the Health unit on Wednesday. Back to the Alayna illness.....we ended up back at the Health Unit at the Embassy on Thursday and she had an ear infection and was put on antibiotics. She is really starting to feel better, but now Calvin has started. Hopefully he can avoid the ear infection; no fever yet! The weather has turned cooler here and it was in the mid to upper 70s last week and tomorrow it is suppose to rain and only be 68! It is actually quite pleasant on most days. Overall it was a very good week and we are feeling very happy about being here as a family! Miss you all very much!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Swimming in November!

Radisson Pool

Saturday is the only day for us that both the kids are off school and Ryan is off work, so it has pretty much been deemed Family Fun Day! Today we went to the Pool at the Radisson SAS Hotel. With our Embassy badge we get a free membership to their Viking Club, which includes a gym, outdoor pool, and indoor pool. The outdoor pool was amazing! There is a little kiddie pool as well! The kiddie pool was heated and felt like warm bath water and the big pool was just the right temperature to feel a bit refreshing with out being cold. When you get to the pool there is an employee to walk you to your chair and get you settled and put the umbrella up for you and you can also order food or something to drink (non-alcholic unfortunately). And the best part is that this is less than 10 minutes from our house!!! I think we will be spending many Saturdays in the next 23 months at that pool! As always click on the picture above to see more!

Friday, October 31, 2008



We had a great Halloween! We went to the US Embassy for their Halloween Celebration. I really thought we wouldn't be able to do Halloween this year so I hadn't bought costumes for the kids. They pretty much were the same thing as last year! Calvin was a baseball player, or more specifically Ryan Braun of the Brewer's, and Alayna was a princess again, Aurora (sleeping beauty) this year. We really had a great time. There were games to play and kid friendly food to eat like chicken nuggets and little tiny pizzas. It was a well planned and organized event that just let the kids be kids and run around and have a great time. Then at about 6:30pm the trick-or-treating began. We went door to door to the homes on the embassy compound and they made quiet a haul in a short little distance. It really was fun and Ryan and I got to meet a few people as well. As always click on the picture above to see MANY more!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Playing in the Courtyard

Playing in the Courtyard

Here are some pics of what the outside of our house looks like. The other day we were all out there as a family playing and going through the sprinkler. The nice thing about our "yard" is that we are completely enclosed by a concrete wall and everything but our little patch of grass is tile. The kids love riding their bikes and scooters around the house, and I know that they are safe and no one can get in or out. There is also a picture of our front door and the rental car I am driving till my Honda gets here. It is a Toyota Prado and is probably the most popular car in Kuwait right now. Make sure you click on the picture above to see all the rest!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our First trip to the Gulf

First trip to the Gulf

On Saturday we had some free time so we decided to take a drive on "Gulf Road" which runs all along the coast of Kuwait. It is so funny to see Pizza Hut and McDonalds right on the water with outdoor playlands. We stopped at the McDonalds and let the kids play at the play land and we went down to the water. They had a lot of fun and we will do it again I am sure. Calvin and Alayna sure are the world travelers! They have had their toes in the Persian Gulf!! Isn't that Crazy! Ryan and I have been in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf! I just can't believe how blessed we are to have had the opportunity to travel as much as we have. What an amazing life the Air Force has offered us! (click on the picture above to see more)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting Settled

Well we are starting to get settled in more each day. We are entirely unpacked and starting to get organized now. I feel like I really know my way around the area and can find just about anything I need to. Calvin completed his first full week of school and loved every minute! Everyday I would pick him up and he would be so excited to tell me what he did that day. Each day is a little different, one day they go to the school library and get to pick out a book to bring home, one day they go to the Computer Suite and work on the computer, and on Thursdays they have swimming lessons! He is really going to thrive at this school. He is even excited to work on his home work!

Alayna is a different story! She is still having a hard time adjusting to the new schedule with late afternoon naps and has to be woken up almost every morning to get ready to take Calvin to school. She is also not very happy about going to school yet. She crys when I drop her off and they say she does settle in later, but has a hard time whenever they transition to something different. On Wednesday she had a particularly rough day and was so tired she fell asleep at school while they were eating lunch! Poor thing! Hopefully in time she will adjust to everything.

We did accomplish a lot this week. I finally got a couple grocery shopping things accomplished. It is just not a one stop shop around here. I am probably going to need to hit 3 places just to get everything I need. Everything here is so unbelievably expensive! I actually placed a big order online for a bunch of grocery items that I use alot and had it shipped here. And even with paying shipping it came out cheaper! So we will shop online, get meat and dairy at the PX, and produce and incidentals at a local grocery store. Everything you do here is difficult and includes a lot of traffic to boot!

We also got to the US Embassy this week to get our badges. That was a great thing to accomplish. There is alot of activities to do there and there is a pool and playground for the kids as well as a medical clinic. The best part is that it is only about 10 minutes away and very easy to get to. They are having a Halloween party on the 31st with games and trick or treating for the kids. We are definitely going to attend that. Unfortunately we didn't plan on doing costumes this year so the kids are going to be stuck being the same thing as they were last year: A baseball player and a princess! Alayna is fine with that, but Calvin has asked to be Yoda! I told him he can be Yoda next year. The Embassy also hosts "Happy Hour" twice a week where you can go and have some food and a couple drinks. A lot of families attend this and I think we will be able to meet some other Americans that way as well.

Also this week Ryan was able to figure out his Off Days situation. He was only going to have off on Sundays, and that was a problem since Calvin has school that day and we wouldn't be able to do any family things. He was able to get it worked out that his Deputy (who is a civilian) Now has off on Thursday and Friday so Ryan can have off on Saturday and Sunday!!! We are very excited about this! It will give us one Family day and one day to actually get some things accomplished while only having one kid in tow.

Overall it was a good week. We are doing really well for only having been here 3 weeks. Please keep the emails and calls coming from home. We miss everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Never Ending Food

Here is some of the food that our Kuwaiti Neighboors have brought over for us. I am not kidding when I say the food never stops! I think they have brought over food no less than 5 times in the 2 weeks we have been here! They have been very kind and even offered to have us "use their help". I may be taking them up on some of that!

House (Before)

Kuwait House

Ok, so these are the "before" pictures of the house. This just gives you a general idea of what things look like. I am pretty much done unpacking, and in the "decorating" phase now. Once things are looking pretty I will post some more pictures of the house. At least now you have some idea of what it looks like. Note the KFC we are eating! In Kuwait, isn't that crazy! Again remember that you need to click on the picture above to see all of the rest.

Calvin's First Day of School

Calvin's First Day of School

Calvin did really great on his first day of School! He is attending "The English School" and his first day was Sunday October 19th. (the weekends in Kuwait are Friday and Saturday) He goes to school 5 days a week from 7:30 - 1:30, so this is the real deal, homework and all! I told Ryan it felt like Sunday was the first day of the rest of our lives.......Getting everyone up early, rushing out the door to school, and ending the day with homework and packing lunches. Kinda Crazy! To all my mommy friends who have another year to go, SAVOR it!! I already feel like poor little Calvin is done with having hours to just play. Our day is now school, nap, snack, a little play time and then it is homework, dinner, bath time and off to bed he goes. My little boy is growing up! He really seems to LOVE school though, and I really think he is going to thrive there. Make sure and click on the picture to see lots more of the school!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Household Goods Arrive!

Hello All! On Tuesday our Household goods were delivered. So we have Boxes, Boxes Everywhere right now. We are making good progress, but the house is a complete disaster in the meantime. Hopefully I will be all unpacked soon and then I will have time to upload some pics and get them out here for all of you to see. Calvin starts school on Sunday so that is when our "routine" will get kicked in to high gear. Not much else to report for now. I will try to upload pics by Monday so check back then. Miss you all!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alayna's First Day of School

Ok, so Alayna's first day of school was today. She did really well! There were some tears when she first realized I was leaving, but big brother Calvin came to the rescue and found her a cool toy to play with and she started playing and we were able to slip out the door! I stuck around to fill out some paperwork and by the time I was ready to leave I had the administrator peek in on her before I left and she was doing fine. When I came back to get her they said she had a "wobbly" start, but had "settled in quite nicely". Don't you just love how the British can phrase things! For those of you who don't know, she is attending "Happy Chappies" Nursery school 2 days a week. It is run by the British and is a Montessori school. My only concern is that more than half of her class has Arabic as their first language. The teachers are British and teach entirely in English, but I am concerned a little about how she will play with the others and if they will play with her. On the bright side maybe she will pick up a second language! I guess time will tell if this will work or not. Calvin will be starting school on Sunday. (Kuwaiti weekends are Friday and Saturday).