Thursday, September 4, 2008

Various Events in Doha...

A cooking class at the Movenpick Hotel...
Many of the finer hotels in Qatar offer cooking classes here. I have taken a couple, but this one was on Oriental stir-fry Asian cooking.
So after reserving 6 spots, I called on some friends and neighbors to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the pros with me.
I love the fact that this class only allowed a maximum of 12.

Here we, Karen, Master Chef Mastika (from China), Penny, Darla, Evelyn, and Denise is taking the picture.

So what's included?
We were invited to the hotel's breakfast at 8:30 am, with the class beginning at 9:15 in the conference room. Master Mastika cooked up 4 different types of Asian dishes, all recipes were included in our own folder. We were able to watch and ask questions, while sampling all four of the dishes prepared in front of us. The waitresses kept our glsses filled with fresh juices and water, good thing, because some of the dishes were quite spicy.

He provided recipes that included various ingredients that can be found here in Doha.
You can guess we were very grateful.

Then it was off to the kitchen to take a tour and watch them cook up what was offered to us for lunch at their 5 star resturant,"Wok Mee Noodle House".
Were we hungry? No. Were we going to pass up lunch at the "Wok Mee". Not a chance!!!

I love a resturant that allows you to to tour the kitchen. Don't you?

Here is what I ordered...chicken...what else. Even though I was about to bust, I ate every bite of this gingered chicken with noodles, yummy!

After lunch we were presented with a cooking certificate and an professional linen apron pictured on some of the first photos, with our own chef hats ( I got two for each of my boys).

Awesome fun! We hope to do it again soon.
Want to see the biggest fly in the World?
Here he is. He landed on our door step and I just happen to be passing by and it literally caught my eye and stayed long enough for me to call the boys and take a picture which was taken from inside my glass front door.
This picture does not show it's enormity. Trust me it was huge!
This is just for fun.
While parked at a red light and this truck pulled up next to us. I pulled out my camera and asked the guys if I could take a picture. After a thumbs up or maybe a strange look, we took this one before the lamb chops were made. They were cute and noisy.

Some relief from the heat.
Mrs. Penny pulled out her little water guy and let the kids play in the street.
Colin is behind Ethan in the first picture.
Then it was off to the pool with Daddy...
Here is our sweet next door neighbor Elizabeth. The boys love her so much!
And they love each other so much...
Coffee Morning...
It was my turn to host a coffee morning with our neighbors on First Avenue.
Here we have Nancy, Karen, Penny, and Deanna, all are from Houston except Deanna who is from San Antonio.
Here is Evelyn ( from Holland ) and Penny.
I served quiche, apple spice cake, fresh fruit and of course coffee.
An after dinner dessert...
So sorry Evan...I just could not resist....
Wondering what the red stuff is on his face and belly?
I always make the boys take off their shirts when eating spagetti (except at resturants and in front of company of course)! It's easier to clean the bellies than to clean the red sauce from their clothes.
The rule in my home is..."If you eat all your food you can have dessert (if there is any)"
Tonight it was chocolate fudge brownies...

Sooooo good Mom....look at my big belly!
There is something about chocolate that makes the kids so happy and Dads too!
Evan enjoyed this moment waaaay too much...
and so did I!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mom's Day...

It was Mom's Day! The Pegasus Club treated all of the Mom's to a big beautiful brunch catered by the Sheraton. Oh, how I wish I would have taken a picture of the spread they provided. We had everything from breakfast to lunch food to partake of. A very nice treat.

Our boys gave us carnations...and were very grateful for this day too! It meant they could have all the pastries and waffles they could eat!

This is Eirck (pronounced Irck ) and Magnus they are from Norway and you know the rest. Colin is Evan's best buddy (he's 3 years old) Penny's little guy.

It was a sweet day!

The ladies from our Bible study group had a "Ladies Retreat" at the Sharq Hotel and Resort.
This was the room I stayed in. I thought it was impressive.

There was a large square shower head inside the shower stall that poured out the water from the ceiling like rain. Nice.

This is Lynn and Lori, we took out own personal tour of the hotel before the events began.
It was fun to do this while here in Doha.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Flowing with Milk and Honey...

We kept hearing about the fruit and vegetable souq (or wholesale market) but had not really had a chance to stop and look for it. One day while my goal was to visit the plant souq, I turned into a small building and parked. The kids were not at all interested in stopping to find out what was inside, but I made them stop complaining and come and see. Well to our amazment here it was all along, we finally found what seemed like a hidden treasure chest! We stood at the entrance of this building and just stared at this glorious sight. The boys kept saying, wow Mama, where are we? Ethan could not believe his eyes. In fact, they still talk about it.
Maybe, it's because our eyes are now accustomed to the tans and taupes of living in the desert, with an occasional splash of green and the color of aqua blue when by the sea side. Maybe, we thought that Doha could not possibly import such richness and beauty. Maybe, we just needed a reminder of how great God is and how much he truly loves us.
This was my very first thought.... How could God be so mindful of man??!! How could He provide so much for His children and yet we take all of this for granted and with such common acceptance. I reminded my boys that God gave us such wonderful colors, various plants , fruit and vegatables to enjoy and they are so good for us. Even if we don't like the taste of some we can at least appreciate the fact that so much is provided for us to chose from!
God is most assuredly good!!!

Do you see the cart in the picture below? We had a man following us around with one just like it and asking us what we might like (in Arabic, I think). I finally got him to understand, unfortunately, we only needed and wanted what our own hands could carry. Besides, because most of it is imported, it does not last as long , even if refrigerated. I didn't want to be wasteful and our fridges are so small. I knew we would be back soon...very soon.
Better price? Yes, everyone was happy to offer a better price.
So you might ask, what do the grocery stores stock? Most only offer a very limited selection, some of the bigger grocery chains offer more but not as much as we saw here and as inexpensive. Also, this wholesale area is literally across town for us, so it is not as convenient.
There is no electricity, so they use the old fashion scale and weights. We are weighing a big beautiful bunch of celery, which costs 15 QR., about $4.12. Expensive? I've paid almost $10.00 for celery before, trust me this is cheap! Especially when you shop for a specific item (like celery) and the whole country is out or maybe have had delays in shippment. You quickly realize that when there is celery and the price is good, get it while the getting is good, even if you don't need it.

Isn't it funny how your perspective changes when your circumstances change? I will never look at a U.S. grocery store the same. Sights like these will forever change the way I look at the simple abundance and blessings we enjoy everyday. A new sense of gratitude has been etched in my heart, and hopefully my children's heart as well.
We have been back several times.

Here is just one of the plant souqs. "Ethers' agricultural souq", one of the most popular ones. Plants are shipped in from Holland and some from within the surounding regions, while some are homegrown. I have enjoyed decorating our home here with some plants and flowers from this souq. Again prices are better than grocery stores but still expensive compared to U.S. standards.
To a very small extent, I can imagine that Joshua and Caleb must have been taken back the way we were, when they were spying out the land "flowing with milk and honey", the land of Cannan, that God promised would be theirs. Their heart and excitement must have been hard to contain, because they knew that this was a treasure indeed and if God said it would be theirs, then it would just be a matter of time.
As the songs says...."count your blessings, see what God hath done..."

"...enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; and His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 100