April 20, 2014

Arabian Gulf and Just Hanging Around

Yesterday we went to the Gulf to enjoy the nice morning. Our first stop was the Kuwait Towers, a famous landmark in downtown Kuwait. The towers have been under construction for a couple of years for visitors to go up, but we got to take some nice pictures from below.
Next stop on the Gulf was for coffee and snacks at Starbucks.
Then we were off to the Aquarium. We are very lucky to have this nice aquarium so close to our house. Caleb know what animals are in the aquarium. Grandma Betty was a little unsure when he told her there were cats, bats, and snakes in the aquarium, but sure enough there is! We also have otters, lots of fish, penguins, and some pretty big sharks.
 After the aquarium, we took the boys to their first IMAX movie, which surprisingly was called Santa vs. the snowman in 3D - yes showing in almost May. Caleb loved the movie, even without his cool 3D glasses on. Ben wasn't so sure about it, so he and dad left a little early. We were excited to see how much Caleb loved the movie experience, and it will be fun to do more movies as a family as the boys get older.
That afternoon, Betty and I took one more trip to the grocery store while the boys napped. Then, the boys played in the pool while Grandma cooked us a delicious chicken dinner.
Grandma read the boys a few books and put them to sleep.
She and Tes bonded a lot this week, and they enjoyed getting to know each other.
We are so thankful for our visit with Betty this week.  In usual style it was a power week, and a lot of fun. The boys had a great time with Grandma. They loved all the special attention, and we are so glad for the time they spent together. It was wonderful just having here here, and being able to share a glimpse of our everyday life with her. It is always hard to see our family leave, but we are so thankful for the time we had. 

April 19, 2014

Good Friday and Souk Mubarakyia

Yesterday was a full and fun day. We went to our church's Easter service in the morning. The day of worship here is Friday, so we technically had Easter service on Good Friday. Before going to church, the boys helped me make pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Earlier this week, Grandma Betty also made Nathan's favorite cookies, peanut butter blossoms. We have been enjoying them all week ;).
 We took some family pictures before leaving for church. Grandma brought the boys some darling new Easter outfits.
We were glad Betty could visit our church and meet some of our friends. The Easter service very nicely done, and different than our usual services. The room was dark and everyone sat on the floor.  In the beginning of the service everyone placed a piece of paper with their name on a wooden cross, to represent Jesus dying for all of us. Afterwards, the children placed roses at the foot of the cross. Being in the Middle East, we do not have reminders of the Easter season outside of our home, like we have in the United States. But I am reminded in my heart and thankful that Jesus was raised from the dead. And that through his death, burial, and resurrection, He paid the penalty for the sins of all who believe in Him, so that we many have eternal life in Him.

After church, we stopped by our neighborhood falafel restaurant to pick-up some lunch, consisting of falafel, chicken kebabs, fries, and hummus. The Mosque was getting out right as we pulled up, and it was packed with people. We placed our order and Nathan came back to get our food, since it was going to be a bit of a wait. It was delicious and worth the wait!
After everyones' naps, we went to the Souk Mubarakiya, in the downtown area. Visiting the souk is a very cultural experience, and we love to walk around and watch people. Before entering the main souk area, you walk down a long walkway with old Kuwaiti doors. There are shops behind the doors, but  we rarely have seen the doors open.
After crossing the busy street, this is the main entrance into the souk. This section sells a lot of perfume, dishdashas, and abayas - the traditional Gulf Arab attire for men and women. Perfume is sold just about everywhere around here.
It was warm out, and we saw a man selling mango smoothies. We all enjoyed one, and apparently Betty and I got slightly ripped off after hearing how much Nathan paid for his. They were very refreshing though!
Similar shops are typically placed together. Some of the sections are rugs, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, teapots, clothes, toys, hardware, etc. It is a busy place to be on the weekend!
This kind shop owner called us in to see the abayas, and he found the perfect fit for Betty.
He was a very sweet man and happy to meet people from America.
We walked around for a while, and found the colorful teapot section.
The shop owner we usually visit for teapots really likes the boys. Last time we were there Caleb got a blue teapot. Well, he and his brother now have blue teapots.
Then the boys played for a little while.
Caleb was pretending he and his brother were chop choo trains.
We finished the day browsing the fruits, vegetables, and delicious dates.
And Ben made a few friends along the way.
It was a fun afternoon together, and we were glad to have the chance to show Grandma Betty one of our favorite places to visit in Kuwait!