Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's beginning to look a *little bit* like Christmas.

Another Sunday, another sick family member...


Poor Sister is feeling pretty crummy today. Fever, body aches, coughing, sneezing...an exact match to what Brother and I had last week. 
Not awesome.

But, I'm grateful to be able to stay home with her and care for her, and that we have Netflix so she can lay down and rest while being entertained endlesssly =). It also allows me a little extra blogging time while we cuddle.


Over the weekend we decided to deck our halls!

David got our little tree set up...




It was Brother's turn to put the star on top this year...



The twins got to decorating...




We hung up the little handprint tree canvases we made last year...







Sister had made this picture sometime towards the end of the summer, and I saved it and picked up a cheapy little frame at IKEA for it.
I thought her little details were just too precious, and it would make for a lovely Christmas decoration...and it does!



Not to be left out ( =) ), Brother drew a Christmas tree all decorated, so of course I framed that up too because TWINS.

We also put out our lovely, hand-and-home made Nativity that our sweet homeschooling friends made for us last year...

 (Thanks Ali!! It's such a special piece to us and I LOVE having it on display this year!)


Our little frosted tree, and lighted snowman...



We have our stockings up, and Christmas lights all over the front room, so it's fairly festive here =).
It's nothing like Christmas at home, and I'm fighting the urge to miss my big totes full of fun family holiday decorations...this will be our last Christmas here in Kuwait, and that is special in it's own right.

My annual pic of my babies in front of the tree...






...they weren't really workin' with us when it came to big ol' smiles, but I suppose that's what I get for forcing staged pics each year!


Here's one from their first Christmas, because CUTENESS...



We ended the evening by introducing them to the movie "Home Alone"...


Classic.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

So much to be thankful for this year.

While we miss our families and friends back home very, very much, I'm still so grateful I have my little family, and I am thankful for our health.

We celebrated Thanksgiving today, Friday, (which is the first day of the weekend here), by going to David's boss's house for a giant feast and games.

We woke up this morning, Skyped with some family and left Skype messages for others (Mom and Amanda, how do I not have your Skype contacts?? Must remedy this ASAP) and then I took a nap (don't judge me!!! I'm still kinda ill) and then got up to make a spinach lasagna to take to the feast, after that was finished, I hopped in the shower. 
When I came out of the bathroom, I walked into this scene...

video

Who needs a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when you've got THAT happening in your living room?!?!


Since the twins were tiny, I've always made a "Thankful Tree" for us on a wall in our home during the month of November, and we've written what we're thankful for our leaves and taped them to the branches.
Trying to instill gratitude in our children.
And ourselves =)


My goal of each of us writing a leaf every day of the month clearly failed. 
That's a pretty sparse lookin' tree, man. But this momma is still trying to figure out how to work 35 hours a week and do all the other stuff I wanna do...obviously, some things are falling behind.
(Like the cleanliness of our dining room table you may of noticed in the video above.)
(Or the overflowing laundry basket on the floor in the video above.)
(Or the dust everywhere...could you see that in the video above? Likely not...you'll just have to trust me. It's dusty up in here.)


But! I did remember to nag ask my husband to set up the camera with the self-timer so we could take a family pic for our Thanksgiving 2016.

He captured this cute pic while testing the settings...



Nearly every day here in Kuwait, we meet someone who is here working, without their family. I'm so thankful I get to be with mine every day.



Clearly, elevator selfies are where it's at though...




We drove thirty minutes into the desert and finally arrived at his boss's house. 
The twins quickly entertained themselves by turning her home into their own personal jungle gym...






We played the "Name Guessing Game" where you have a famous person's name taped to your back, and you have to ask yes or no questions to try and guess who your person is.
Dave was Adolf Hitler.


I was Ghandi. 

So naturally, I had to get a picture of Hitler and Ghandi, together...



Such a fun crowd of people!




Dave's sweet coworker taught the twins how to play with snapchat and then let them play with her phone...



Our table had such a lovely time chatting while we ate...





 The twins were entertained while waiting for the food to settle and dessert time...


...and then it was time to roll ourselves outta there and head back to our apartment, bellies and hearts full.

So much to be thankful for. 



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lately...

Bronchitis always hits me so weird. Instead of a wicked cough, it just knocks me out. Out cold. It's like my head and chest become filled with sand, and my heavy body demands to be horizontal at all times.
Every time I get diagnosed with bronchitis, I end up sleeping like 18 hours straight. It's really a strange feeling...I don't get up to go to the bathroom, eat, drink, anything. I just conk out.
So even after resting most the weekend, I still slept from Sunday afternoon through late Monday night. I just completely missed Monday- day.

God bless my husband!

Seriously, I don't brag on him a lot here, (and he doesn't even read this regularly ;) ) but he has been Man of the Year lately. 
He tackled all things home and kids while I was in Portland, and then again for several days this weekend and week, he's done EVERYTHING. All the grocery shopping, the laundry, the meals, the dishes, getting the kids to and fro...all of it.

I stumbled out of the bedroom last night, trying to orient myself, and was beyond amazed to see everything clean and orderly, kids asleep and uniforms for the next day all laid out.
I mean, what would I do without him???  I'm feeling so thankful for him lately.


I'm upright this afternoon and actually even managed to shower (and my family members shout "hooray!") and run the vacuum and fold a load of laundry, but that's about all I've got in me =). Laying on the couch with the laptop however is doable =).
Perfect time to catch up on posting some pics of our days here recently...

Sister decided to keep David company while he was making dinner, so she set up a little writing station in the kitchen...




The kids are learning about Nomads at school, and one project we had to complete at home was making a tent.
Paper plates, straws, and paper for the win!




Brother playing out in the hallway with a dozen ladies =)...





David's parents sent these fun build-able straws back to Kuwait with me for the kids, they've had so much fun playing with them...








Their class won "best dressed" and earned a uniform-free day at school the other week. Our kids did not mess around with this kinda freedom, and went in full on costumes!
Brother was Boba Fett (Star Wars) and Sister was Hiccup (How to Train Your Dragon).
They were SO excited to go to school like this!



My In - laws also sent some zen coloring books back with me, and one evening I was coloring, and Sister joined me on my picture, then David and Brother started their own. We ended up coloring for over 30 minutes, and it was really peaceful!!



...of course when it was time to finish and go to bed, the peaceful time gave way to whining and complaining...but it was nice while it lasted =)



The weather in Kuwait is just so perfect in November. Still warm, but a light breeze in the evenings. 
The other night we decided to go out to eat and play a bit...




(I love how Brother is winking in this one!)



We walked around the paths and ended up at a fun playground...







We've done some painting with the neighbor kids...




Brother and I played Kids Scrabble...



And we've enjoyed beautiful sunsets...



And that about wraps up life lately around here =).


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mem's wedding...and the rest of the trip =)

When the clinic gives you a letter that looks like this:




 And sends you home with a giant bag of meds like this:


You're left with gratitude for a husband who can keep all things running on the home front while you sleep and cough the weekend away, and appreciate the extra time to catch up on blogging.


So, where were we?


Oh yes. This is little cutie and I got to sit next to each other on the three hour drive to Seattle.
Sweet sleeping angel never even made a peep the whole trip!
I on the other hand was super noisy, because I like to talk =)


We arrived ahead of schedule (**miracle**) and stopped by the Church to see who we could visit with before heading to the hotel to change. 
Lucky for us, we ran into our sister Vanessa...


...and our Daddy!


I even had the chance to hug the groom-to-be prior to the ceremony...

He's good people, that one. I'm so glad my sister snagged him up, and it does not go unrecognized to me that I genuinely love and like all four of my brothers in law. HUGE blessing!



These two are pretty great, and God is going to do great things through them. I feel so incredibly blessed I was able to witness their special day!


We popped over to get our fancy wedding clothes on, and then it was back to the Church for the ceremony!

A HUGE bonus of this day was also getting to see my in laws! David and I are ridiculously lucky that our families are close.


My dad walking his fifth daughter down the aisle...


It was a lovely ceremony, and I did my best not to cry...which was not very good, as I made it about 3.2 seconds before the tears came.


All five of us, together.
I'm so lucky to have such wonderful sisters! Growing up with four sisters was not always easy, but man, it was never boring ;). And having four adult sisters is awesome. 


I love this one because it looks like our poor new bro in law is quite distressed over what he possibly married into...



My beautiful Mom and Aunt...


The reception was next door and loads of fun. I mean, any wedding reception that has donuts instead of cake has got to be a blast, right??



I missed my man and kids so much at this point! They would have LOVED dancing around with all of us! 


The Fab Five.


Love my sweet in-laws...


Three aunties doting on baby LJ...




The fun had to end at some point, and then it time to head to the hotel and catch some zzz's...
 My dad and stepmom had rented a lovely flat that had space for me as well =), so I crashed at their place, which also allowed for us to have breakfast the next morning with my in laws...


Then it was off to the airport for the long journey back to Kuwait...

 (that reads "ADMITTED POO" and I felt the need to note it and photograph it, because I am very mature)


The flight from Seattle to Amsterdam was ten hours, and our plane was two seats/five seats/two seats. The seat next to me was EMPTY because Jesus loves me.
So I traded out my shoes for slippers, and settled in with a book and some earplugs...


Landing in Amsterdam...lovely looking, isn't it? I hope to go back and see more than the airport someday...


I had a five hour layover in Amsterdam, and I spent five minutes of those five hours relaxing in one of these thingys...




Then a trip to Saudi Arabia, very short layover there, and then finally a short flight back to Kuwait...




BOOM. Home. Just like that.
It was a really large amount of travel in a short amount of time, but totally worth it. I feel so blessed I was able to see so many people I love so much!

I of course also missed my people here in Kuwait like crazy as well, and did not come home empty handed =)
I brought Sister a Hiccup costume...




...and Brother a Kylo Ren mask and lightsaber...



I also had a suitcase full of things I'd ordered from Amazon and Zulily to be sent to my sister's house.  
Have we talked about how there is no postal system here?
I can't remember, and I'm far too lazy busy to look, but the basics are this; there is zero postal system here. Like, we do not have a mailing address. David's work has said we can use his work's address, but the head of the mail department has told him they have about a 40% success rate. 
40%.
That means SIXTY PERCENT of what is mailed to them is simply not received.
This is just accepted as fact here.
Forget that Kuwait is among the wealthiest countries in the world, they just do not see the need for a postal system.
Because Kuwait.

So I had several things for Christmas sent to Natalie's that I then brought home with me to Kuwait =). 
Also I stocked up on things like vitamins (crazy expensive here), and bought a new water bottle ($10 at Target)

($26.22 here for the EXACT same bottle)

And I brought back new sandals!
Good-bye, Target sandals I bought for less than $20 over eight years ago.
You served me well, and I loved you dearly. But you were no match for the harsh desert.



They'd been like this for over a month prior to my trip, but I just couldn't justify buying another pair of sandals when I knew I had a pair waiting for me in Oregon. So I walked around in these and prayed I didn't break any more toes.



Hello, new, non-busted, Toms sandals...

...you complete me.



Alright so there you have it. My whirlwind trip to the Pacific Northwest and then back to the Middle East. 
It was hard to say goodbye to all things "home" again, but good to catch a glimpse of it, and also good to realize we are but literally a days travel away from being back. I'm trying to use that perceptive to make the most of our time left here. Lots to see and do while we are on this side of the Earth =)