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!