Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Some cool things have happened since my last post... I met a really nice woman from South Africa at The Scientific Centre who is not only home schooling her six year old daughter, but "happens" to be the leader of a Home School Co-Op here in Kuwait.
She immediately found me on Facebook, and added me to their group.
The twins and I already have a Costume Party on the books for next week, a field trip to a Bee Keeper Farm shortly after that, and an outing to see "the Bubble Man" after that.
So, so cool.

Some less cool things have also David and our daughter currently having a nasty stomach bug.
Not cool.

 The boy and I seem symptom free, and I'm praying we stay that way as I wash sheets and watch my loves for signs of dehydration.
So it seems like a good time for some random, discombobulating updates from our life in Kuwait.

We babysat our sweet little three year old neighbor for a few hours the other day, and I decided to get creative and have us bake and decorate cupcakes...
 The table, the floor, and the children were sticky and covered in sprinkles by the time all was said and done...but fun was had =).

I am telling you, these Bendaroos are just the coolest. I'm so glad we brought them over here with us. Both our kids can spend a ton of time just being creative with them...

We also brought some for paints and painting supplies (thank you Grammie and Bopbop!) and recently had the neighbor girls over to paint with us...

The other morning the kids clearly needed to get some energy out, so we bailed on our Home School plans and walked to a park on the beach nearby. It was early enough in the morning that it wasn't too hot yet, AND I remembered TWO water bottles. 
Mom Win =).

Even though the park wasn't in the best shape, the scenery made it worth it...

The kids played for a good hour before tiring out. We walked to get some pizza for lunch, popped into the nearest grocery store real quick, and then took a taxi home. 

Recently we went to dinner at one of Dave's colleague's houses. A sweet family of five, also from the States, that have been living here in Kuwait for just over four years. Their kids were only slightly older than ours, and the twins had an absolute blast running around their apartment playing with them! Dave and I enjoyed the conversation, in English, and learning more about expat life in Kuwait. 
It was so good for my soul, for many reasons. One of them being the easy English communication =). And another was the availability to bounce some things I'd witnessed off them to discern if they were cultural vs situational. Was this (whatever it may be) something I should expect to see/deal with everywhere? Or is it perhaps just that particular family/person/situation?
The Mom was a HUGE help to me and encouraged me in many ways. 
We're joining them at their Church this weekend -assuming we're all healthy- and I'm really looking forward to it.
 (Katie, we haven't yet found a Church, mainly because I was hoping for a personal recommendation from I'm grateful for this opportunity! They invited us to join them at their Church, and also recommended another one they also liked if their current Church wasn't a good fit for us. I'll blog about the experience I'm sure, but likely keep it fairly vague as far as what actual Church we choose to attend...just for privacy reasons (the same reason I haven't mentioned the college Dave is working at, or shown pictures of the outside of our apartment building...) just wanting to keep our family semi-private/safe while still maintaining a public blog =) ).

Their daughter had outgrown this little vanity, and so they sent it home with us. Our daughter has logged plenty of time playing with it since it landed in our playroom...

I let A paint my toenails...=)

Home Schooling is going well...I'm working on a post about it. It's far from easy and I don't always love it, but I'd been warned it's normal to feel overwhelmed by it in the first several weeks (I'm looking at you, Leggett!!) and I'm clinging to that encouragement that it WILL get easier and better in the weeks to come. 
Yesterday part of our School Time included making Jack-o-Lanterns to decorate the apartment for Halloween =)

And what better way to tie up this all-over-the-place post than some pictures of our cuties?

Sweet boy in Momma's reading glasses...

Crazy girl rockin' out to Daddy's music on his headphones...

Happy (almost) weekend to all of you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


We woke up to some booming thunder at four in the morning today.
Kuwait had a major storm, with the loudest thunder I have EVER heard, and crazy bright lightening right on top of it. 
Add in some wild wind and heavy rain, and we had ourselves a little morning drama around these parts.

David took this video at about five am, after things had significantly calmed down:

The roads here do have drainage systems, but they are not equipped for such a heavy, long lasting downpour. So schools and many other places are closed today due to flooding in the streets. 
It's so strange to look outside and see everything wet as opposed to dusty dry. It reminds me of home =).

It feels like fitting weather for the recent days we've had as well.

It's felt stormy here as we navigate some recent culture shock, and some frustrating hurdles we learned we need to jump...just one of them being learning my Tourist Visa is about to expire, and so I have to fly to another Country (likely Bahrain) for a bit, visit the Kuwait Embassy there, and have several tests done and papers stamped, then hop on a plane and fly back here.

Sound crazy to you??? Because it did to me. And after I completely lost my mind  calmly explained my concerns about this to David, he went to the HR department of the college, and they've agreed that it will likely take more than one day to complete all this ( I knew it!), and heard my concerns about doing all this alone...without a translator or guide/representative to assist me. So they are sending all four of us there for 3-4 days. 
Thank you Jesus.
And the head of HR.
And my husband for advocating for me.

It's been a long few days, isolation has reigned supreme, and I've been feeling weary.

But it's amazing how God continues to show me He has me in the palm of His Hand. I opened my gmail yesterday to find an email from a dear friend (I'm looking at you, Phifer!) letting me know God had intensely laid me on her heart, a day before, right when I was in the middle of some drama going on here. 
How great is our God? What matters to us matters to Him. And I was brought to tears reading how the Holy Spirit had led her to pray for me, without even having any clue I was in the thick of it. 

He is the calm in the storm.

Friday, October 23, 2015

our apartment I've been working on this post to document our apartment for a long time now, and think I'm finally done. It'll be fun to show you all where we're living, and a nice way for our family to look back on our home in Kuwait in the years to come =). 

The apartment is long and narrow, and I'm going to start with my least favorite room, because it's at the very end of the apartment and two because it's always better to end on a positive note.

Our Kitchen...which I also refer to as The Surface of The Sun.

Our kitchen is small, both in counter space and just space in general. It gets ridiculously, crazy warm in there. The apartment has fantastic AC, but it doesn't seem to work in the kitchen...?? Then, if you add in the stove and/or oven being on, and are washing a hot sink of dishes, you can very nearly be dehydrated by the time you're finished. 

Also, the clothes dryer is in there, because OF COURSE.
(and yes, that's our trash bag hanging on the wall. We do it like that because it's far too hot in there to leave trash for more than about a day, and because we're classy like that)

You combine all those things, and it's the hottest, stuffiest, worst room in our home.
I'm no engineer, but i feel like this could be part of the problem:
The dryer vented out the window. Poorly.

At least twice a day (often three or four times) I fill the sink up with hot, sudsy water and dirty dishes, and walk out...both leaving them to soak and giving them the opportunity to have a Beauty and the Beast moment where they come alive and wash themselves.

A girl can dream.

The view from our kitchen window...

Next up is our Laundry Room:
David and I both laughed when we saw that plug-in heater stored in there. Like we'll EVER need a heater in the desert!! But, apparently we will. Word has it Nov-Feb are downright chilly at night around here. I'll believe it when I see it. 

 The college provided us a brand new washer, for which I am very grateful. 
However, it is the tiniest washer ever and clearly made for Hobbits. It can handle two towels at a time. Two. Or like four grown up shirts and a few items of kids clothes. So, I am forever and always doing laundry.

This is where we store our luggage we brought over, and all our cleaning supplies. It's a nice little "bonus" room to have.

Coming up next down the hallway is The Playroom...

I love having the kids' art hung up on the walls =)

I took some time to make a few of the wardrobe shelves in the playroom all nice and organized with arts and crafts supplies. 
My OCD was so warm and fuzzy.
It stayed like this for exactly four minutes.

But, the kids love to go in there and just create. They can spend a good chunk of time in there just cutting and glue-sticking and coloring and I've decided to care less about the organization in that room =). 

A rocket our daughter made...
Some more creations...

Directly next door is A & L's bedroom:

Again, we gave them the option of separate rooms or sharing, and they both opted to share. We had their (two twin) beds apart and against the outer walls, but they requested this set up...all the better for jumping on =)

We tried to bring over several things from their bedroom in Portland to help the transition to this new home. Dave had our awesome friend Tim (Shout out to Affordable Framing in Salem!!) put all those Star Wars posters (thank you, General Mills cereal boxes!) on mat board, so they made the trip in perfect condition. We also brought those clouds with rainbows hanging from the ceiling that they'd made in Church, and a set of sheets for each, as well as some particularly loved blankets and eleventy billion stuffed animals. 
They mainly view just the apartment building next to us...

Across the hall from their room is:The Main Bathroom
Our original housing assignment had four bathrooms. FOUR. I was all kinds of excited to declare one of those a "Momma Only Bathroom" where the toilet seat never ever ever ever ever went up. Alas, our housing assignment changed right before we left the States, and this apartment only has two. But two is still an enjoyable upgrade from the one we had in our home in Portland =).  

(note the bidet hose parked next to the shower curtain. The twins still find this feature novel. And awesome =) )
A few people have asked, so I'll break it down for ya. It goes like this: You spray with the hose, wipe with the toilet paper, and then put the toilet paper in the trash.
Toilet paper does NOT go in the toilet.

Related: I take the trash out twice a day because EW.

The Master Bedroom is at the end of the hall...
(Master bath off to the left there)

The master bedroom is really large, by far the biggest one we've ever had. 
 The college provided all the furniture (king sized bed - can I get a Hallelujah?!?) and linens, including the baby poop gold yellowish curtains. 
(Full disclosure: the bed has been fully made like this -accent pillows and all- exactly zero times since I did so to take this picture)

A wardrobe/closet that houses all our clothes...

A desk/vanity in our bedroom, mainly used for displaying pictures...the twins two year old pic, our wedding pic, and a collage my best girls made for me of many of our shenanigans together =). (told you I have amazing friends!) I love having those touches of home in an room otherwise made up of things that - although still very nice - were picked out by someone else.

Our Master Bathroom...
We never use this shower, but we do use the building's pool all the time, so we made this our "drying area" for all our swimming crap accessories... 

So remember I said "long and narrow"? 
Well here is the view from our bedroom down the hall, to the kitchen at the very end...otherwise known as...
The Eternal Hallway...
It wouldn't be such a big deal, if the dining room table wasn't in the Living Room at the entire other end of the apartment. 
The family joke is to say "see ya in two hours" when one of us goes from the table to the kitchen. 
(I know, we're hilarious)

This made no sense to me, until I learned that most homes in Kuwait were designed with a live-in maid in mind. The maid's room would be that tiny laundry room, right off the kitchen. The maid would do all the cooking (and cleaning up after) in the kitchen, and then serve the family in the Living Room/Dining area. 

We have zero maids, nor room for a table in our kitchen, so we just make the trek back and forth before, after, and often during meals, and enjoy the time to ponder life. 

The Living Room/Dining Area:

(That picture makes me smile because when I tossed those gerbera daisies in the cart at Ikea, while we were there for "necessities only", David told our son "see, this is why you live with girls...they make things pretty."  Truth.)

That door is the entrance to our apartment...

Views from our Living Room windows:
Straight ahead...
 A little to the left...
 Far left...

Our ground floor lobby...

There's a ping-pong table for tenant use....

A little seating area...that I've never seen anyone sitting at...and you can see part of the pool in the background...

The Gym... 
It's not much, but it has everything we need. There is also an elliptical machine to the left of the weight set. 

So, there you have it. Our home for the next 20 months. 
It'll do just fine =)

P.S. the playroom can TOTALLY serve as a guestroom as well, so book your tickets! =).