July 19, 2014

Triple Birthday Playdate

Earlier this week Caleb turned 3, our neighbor, whose daughter shares the same birthday as Caleb turned 1, and another friend's son turned 1. We decided to have a triple birthday playdate to celebrate everyone's special day.  We had a full house with 19 adults and 15 kids, and surprisingly I felt like the day went very smoothly. We have some very talented cooks and baker friends, and a lot of people cooked different dishes. Thank you to everyone for the delicious foods!

After filling our bellies, we sang happy birthday to the the kiddos. Everyone enjoyed the Middle Eastern explosive candles :).
 How did he become 3 years old already!
 Anna looks mad in the picture, but she turned it into a smile after trying the cupcake.
 And Rowan enjoyed every bit of the cupcake!
Proud parents of the birthday kiddos. I was so caught up taking pictures, surprise, surprise, that I didn't get one of our family.
 Kiddos playing and enjoying cupcakes.

 Mom and the birthday girl :).
Watching the bigger kids play, Caleb discovered some interesting ways to wear a birthday hat. Of course, he is a dragon!
 Our attempt to get a picture of the 3 birthday kids. This was the best picture we got.
 Anna went from a mad cry to big smiles in 2 seconds.
 We had a fun afternoon with everyone. It was nice to get together to visit, and the kids certainly had fun running around. After everyone left, we all took naps and had a low key afternoon. This was the end to our night. Batman and Superman enjoying leftovers and watching Team Umi Zumi.
Happy birthday Caleb, Anna, and Rowan!

July 18, 2014


Earlier this week, a friend from the Embassy invited us to her home for an Iftar dinner. An Iftar is the evening meal when Muslims end their fast at sunset, and before the evening prayer during the month of Ramadan. This was our first Iftar, and were excited to be invited to someone's home. The meal was, as she told me, non-traditional for an Iftar meal. She made delicious lentil and carrot soup, home baked bread salad, a delicious beef stew, apple crumble, and a fruit meringue pie, accompanied with figs, dates, and grapes. The food and company was great.

My friend, as I found out is an outstanding cook! She and her husband are from Mauritius, and lived most of her life in the United Kingdom. Her family came to Kuwait a few years ago for her husband's job, but now he works out of the country and gets to visit every few weeks. He was in town, so we were glad for the chance to meet him as well. They have a 9 year old daughter that is very sweet. She played with the boys, watched movies with them, and then at the end of the evening, she played songs on the piano for us all to enjoy. She has been playing piano since she was 4 years old, and it was very impressive to listen to her play. It was a fun evening, and we were very glad for the invitation.

Today we had a low key day at home, then Nathan took the boys to play at a couple of parks while I went grocery shopping and prepared some food for a triple birthday playdate that we are hosting at our home tomorrow. More pictures and probably lots of mayhem to come!

I wish I took pictures this week, but I didn't so I'll leave you with these two smiling faces before bed tonight :). Happy Friday!

July 14, 2014

Caleb is 3 years old!

Happy 3rd birthday, Caleb! This has been a year of big changes for you. The big ones were moving to Kuwait, starting pre-school, and transitioning to a big boy bed. You have brought so much happiness and love into our lives.  You keep us laughing every day, and we adore your great sense of humor. 
You have learned so much this past year. You speak very well, and are constantly talking about things going on around you. You know your ABCs, you can recognize many of the letters, and know what sounds they make. You had a great year in pre-school and enjoyed the play, learning, and new friends. You know your colors and shapes very well, and often point them out to us. You can count to 20 in English and to 10 in Arabic. You are learning your days of the week and about telling time. You love being read to and looking at books. Some of your favorite books are Curious George, The Three Little Pigs, What are you Doing in My Bed, and Lady and the Tramp. You like to watch cartoons and movies. Some of your favorite shows are Mike the Night, Arthur, and Sesame Street, and your favorite movies are Monsters Inc, Stuart Little, and Peter Pan. You pick up new words every day, it is amazing watching you develop!

You are very curious about your surroundings, and want to know how things work. You like to take things apart and try to put them back together. You have a great imagination and we often see you pretending to be many types of animals, from cats, dogs, snakes, monkeys, birds, donkeys. Your favorite these past few weeks has been a dragon! You like to paint, color, and do arts and crafts. Most of all, you love to be outside. You can run very fast and don't slow down often. You enjoy swinging and climbing at the playground. You can ride your tricycle, and we think you will enjoy more as time goes on. You enjoy being in the baby pool at home or going to the Embassy to swim. This year you learned to float with floaties all by yourself!
You love your brother very much, and we love to watch your friendship grow. Together you play monster trucks, trains, pretend to be animals and play in a rock band. It is fun to watch you chase each other and race around the house laughing. You love to smash burger  Ben, though he may not want to be smash burgered all the time. During naps and at night we can hear you laughing with each other. Since moving to your big boy bed, we even sometimes catch you two playing together in his crib!
You have a love for music, and enjoy pretending to be in a rock and roll band. You can turn anything into a guitar, trumpet, or violin, and you like us to join along with you and sing. You love to listen to your dad play guitar and make up silly songs for you. Maybe one day you will play the guitar like daddy, too. You favorite time to sing songs is before you go to sleep. Every night while you lay in bed, you ask to hold our hands, sing a song, then give a hug and kiss before going to bed. 
You have a great eater and willing to try new things. You love all kinds of fruits and vegetables, yogurt, eggs, cereal, waffles, beans, rice, hummus, crackers, peanut better and jelly, chicken nuggets, pasta, chicken, pizza, chocolate and marshmallows, juice and milk. You can drink well from a big boy cup (no lid), but you prefer to have a cup with a lid and a straw most of the time.
You are growing fast! You have all of your teeth, and show them often with your big smiles and laughs.  You are about 3 feet tall and 24.5 lbs. You wear a size 5 diaper, and we plan to start potty training soon :). You wear 2T bottoms, 2-3T tops, and size 6 shoes. You sleep from about 8pm to 6am and take about an hour to hour and a half nap a day. 

This evening we celebrated Caleb's birthday as a family. We had his favorite meal of macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, and this year he said he wanted cupcakes for his birthday, so cupcakes it was! Of course, Middle East style :).
After our bellies were full, Caleb opened a few gifts. Ben gave Caleb a couple of trucks for them to play with together, and he got some books and a few other gifts are on the way in the mail.
This year we asked Caleb some questions about him and some  of his favorite things. It was fun to ask the questions, I think we started a new birthday tradition:).

1. What is your name? Caleb Purcell
2. How old are you? three
3. Who is your best friend? Thomas the train
4. What is your favorite thing to do? robots
5. What is your favorite color? grey
6. What is your favorite food? cold pizza
7. What do you like to do with your family? Go to the aquarium
8. What is your favorite toy? monster trucks
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Superman
10. What makes you happy? Batman and monsters
11. What makes you sad? Porcupines hurt
12. What is your favorite TV show? Stomp-a-saurus
13. What is your favorite book? Busy, Busy Town
14. What do you love to learn about? dinosaurs
15. What was the best part of your birthday? birthday cupcakes
16. Where do you like to go? The aquarium
17. Who was your teacher? Mrs. Grace, but she got sick because she had babies in her belly
18. What is your favorite treat? Chocolate and strawberries
19. What do you think about before you fall asleep? falling out of my big boy bed
20. If you could meet someone famous, who would it be? Thomas the train
21. What was your favorite birthday present? I want to make a wish

Caleb, you are an everlasting ball of energy, laughter, and love, and we couldn't imagine you any other way! Happy 3rd birthday Caleb. We love you to the moon and back!

July 11, 2014

Early birthday treat

A couple of days ago, Caleb received a birthday gift in the mail from my parents. He has been wanting to know what is inside, so while skyping with Grandpa Art and Grandma Sue this morning, we let him tear the box open. 
The boys were so excited about the easel they immediately turned the box it into a slide from our coffee table, then wanted to ride on each other shoulders :).
The boys love to help dad with everything, and they are pretty good helpers!
Thank you Grandpa and Grandma! We have lots of coloring, painting, ABC and number practicing to come!

July 5, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Happy day late 4th of July from our little Patriots :).
We are proud to be Americans!

June 30, 2014

Imagine That?!

Caleb's imagination is running wild! On any given day, he's a cat, a dog, a spider, a baby bird, a fire breathing dragon, buzz light year, a cowboy, a nemo fish, a shark, he is anything he wants to be!
Caleb is so much fun to be around, and is always finds a way to make people laugh. And in his busy life of imagining things, Caleb is a sweet big brother and friend!

June 27, 2014


We are about to enter the month of Ramadan, where Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. The root of the word Ramadan, ramida, means scorching heat and dryness, which is definitely what the weather is like this time of year. Adult Muslims are required to fast this month. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with belief in one God, prayer 5 times a day, giving to the poor, and a pilgrimage to Mecca in one's lifetime. Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, which is supposed to bring one closer to Allah. While fasting, Muslims will pray more frequently and recite the Quran.
It is a very fascinating part of the culture here, and one that we hope to understand better, since last year we arrived only weeks before Ramadan began. It is a slow time of year for non-Muslims, which we really enjoy. It is illegal to eat or drink in public, so that makes being out for long a little difficult in the heat. The only thing open during the day is grocery stores, and everything comes to life late at night and into the pre-dawn morning hours. Maybe this year we will get to experience an iftar, which is the evening meal when Muslims break their fast at sunset. To our Muslim friends, Happy Ramadan!

June 21, 2014

Until Next Time

Our last couple of days in Illinois were relaxing. We really enjoyed the time we got to spend with Betty, being able to see Nathan get indcuted into his high school sports hall of fame, visiting with family and friends, being outside, and enjoying the beauty of southern Illinois. 
On one of our last days, we went to one of Betty's good friend's home to see their pony and mules. They were beautiful and quite impressive, thogh the boys were most impressed with the playhouse and baby dolls. At one point Caleb came out with the baby in the carrier, and then they both pushed the baby so nicely in the stroller. It was cute!
The boys love riding on tractors and golf carts. One of the neighbors took the boys and I for a ride to see their pony and chickens.
And to go pick some fresh eggs.
That evening we went for a walk on the nature trail.

On the day we left, we visited a neat park with turtle sculptures near the St. Louis zoo. Both boys enjoyed climbing on sculptures and running around the park.
And swinging like monkeys!
It was sad to say goodbye, but we know we will be back soon and have many fun times ahead. Thank you so much Grandma Betty for the wonderful couple of weeks, and for all the love you and Mark have for our family. We love you, until next time...
Well, our flight out of St. Louis was delayed a bit and we ended up missing our flight to Kuwait by about 25 minutes. It was late at night, we didn't have luggage or a stroller, the airport was packed with others who missed flights, and we ended up getting a hotel room around 2am. The boys did so good, they really got the super trooper award for being so flexible. The great news was we got an extra day in the Virginia. We drove through Haymarket, checked in on our house, went to get cupcakes and cider from our favorite coffee shop in town, and we spent a few hours at one of our favorite places, Manassas Battlefield. It was a treat to have the extra day in VA.
We made it back to Kuwait with no problems at all, and our luggage was first off the plane. It is a very different place from where we have been, but it's a great place and is right now our home away from home.