Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016


This gorgeous boy has been defending our home with his sword and shield...

...and playing with his Dad's old GI Joes...

We've had friends over to goof around with...

(yes, Sister is still in her jammies when we were hosting friends)

We went and visited the Scientific Center ...

The Discovery Place has a new exhibit, all about protecting the planet...

The kids loved learning about building eco friendly cars...

...and towns...

They quickly made friends with some other kids who were experts at this particular game...

Then our friends arrived, and we headed over to the aquarium part of the building.

Poor kids have zero personality...

Checking out the turtles...

We got to see the penguins get their afternoon meal!

Sister inside the jaw of a shark...

And we rounded the day off with ice cream...because SUMMER.

We got to swimming with our fun friends again...

(Kids: Moooommmmmaaaa! Quit taking pictures and let us go in and swim already!
Momma: But you're growing so fast I can't believe it! I just want to pause this time in history!
Kids: Enough about history and press the button please...cheeeeesssseeee!)

And some shenanigans indoors with our buddies...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Spa Time =)

Babygirl got her first professional hair cut recently!

Yes, she is six and a half years old. But her previous trims have just been done by her momma =). She's always wanted to have long hair, so why would we pay someone just to trim the ends up from time to time? 

And I'm super good at it too.

Except the opposite.

So I finally decided I'd spare her another momma trim, and take her to someone who actually knows what they're doing =).

The problem was I've only had one haircut in the 11 months we've been in Kuwait, and while I LOVED the cut I received there (really, it was a fantastic hair cut, really great service, and nice place!) I ended up paying 20KD ($66.39) when it was done.
And that felt a little steep for a wash, cut and dry.

I asked a friend whose lived here several years for a recommendation, and she gave us a great place to try. It was only 6KD ($19.92) for a wash, cut and dry.

Sister was a little apprehensive at first, but as we both laid back in the chairs and got our hair washed, she started to relax.

Big girl post wash...

Looking so grown up after her cut and blow dry...

Poor Brother, just hanging out, playing on his Kindle, waiting on the girls...

Luckily, he's a pretty good - and cute- sport about it =)

When we were leaving, Sister said "Momma, I LIKE the spa place!"

Me too, baby girl. Me too. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


So. It's still wicked hot outside, so we've still been spending most of our time in our apartment.

It's just as interesting as it sounds.

And yet I blog about it!!
You're welcome.

What have we been up to?
Reading. On car seats. On the couch. Naturally.

David continues to teach the kids different poker games. They are now proficient in 5 Card Draw, Blackjack, 4Up 4Down, and Texas Hold 'Em. 
Which is to say, they're now better card players than their momma.

Another post, another picture of our daughter's creations...
(two crabs in the ocean, complete with kelp ("not seaweed, momma") and a small lobster in the bottom corner)
I am not great about keeping all of the children's art projects - there are simply too many - but I feel better about that when they've at least been documented in picture form =).

Brother drawing a family pic for Daddy to hang in his office...

We've had playmates over to help fill the the day, and logged many hours doing crafts...

...and being goofballs...

While we had the car, David and I snuck away for a dinner and movie date. We saw the new Bourne!

I took this little cutie with me to run some errands one day last weekend...

It's always a favorite when Daddy comes home from work!

Our friends ran into a childcare snag, so their kiddos got to hang out with me and the twins a lot last week. We had a ton of fun, and at one point I decided to take the four of them out for a bit... 

Little Adventurers! =)

We all lived to tell about it, and I offered up Thanks that God knew better than to give me quadruplets =)

Sister caught a little bug, and was down for a day or two...bless her heart, she fell asleep mid afternoon, watching a movie...

When you're indoors most the time, you may as well bake some cookies!

Over this last weekend, we packed in as much fun as we could with these fun friends, as it was their last weekend in Kuwait. 
Their jobs have them moving elsewhere, and we will miss them terribly!

We walked over to the mall - who needs a taxi when it's only 109! - and met up to see The Secret Life of Pets...super cute movie.

...and played...

...and hugged "see you soon..." because we don't say goodbye =)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Driving Miss Daisy

Okay so I haven't actually been driving anyone named Daisy, or chauffeuring anyone really, except for our children, but I needed a blog post title that had to do with "driving" and that's all I could come up with.
(If you've been around here for any length of time, you've likely already discovered that titling posts creatively is not a strength of mine)
But while I have not been driving Miss Daisy around, I have been driving!!

When my older sister learned of this, her first response was "but I thought you said the drivers there were crazy?!?"
She's absolutely correct.
A) I have always said that
2) they totally are crazy

I just channeled my crazy and joined in.

For our first several months here, the cars on the roads completely overwhelmed me. 
Even a ride in the taxi with our trusted, calm, safe driver could leave me jilted because of the chaos going on around us.

Two sets of friends here, who drive around on a daily basis, have both previously lived in Egypt, and they both have remarked that driving here is much easier and more organized than driving in Egypt. And I'm all like...Lord, please don't ever move me to Egypt!

I remember when Dave and I lived in Mexico, even though I was only there two and a half months, I began to notice a rhythm to what had first appeared to me as chaos in the streets. 
When first there, it felt like everything was a near-miss. I could not believe how many accidents *almost* happened. But the longer I was there and observed things, I began to realize there was actually a flow to it all...almost an understanding amongst all the drivers and pedestrians and bicyclists and stray chickens. It may seem insane and completely without order, but it works for them.
It's been a similar story here in Kuwait.
And while I'd still prefer the order and safety and laws of driving in the States, when some friends generously offered up their car for a month, enough time had passed here that I'd started to recognize some rhythm to the driving here as well.
So we said YES, and I've had the freedom of OUR OWN CAR for the last month!!!!!

Our friends were headed home to Europe for a month and said there was no use their perfectly good car sitting around gathering dust while they were gone. They were so kind in sharing it with our family, and so relaxed about the whole exchange - it was such a blessing. I was nervous in accepting their offer at first...what if something happened to the car while in our possession? It's a very nice, newer Prado Land Cruiser. 

They were quick to assure us that it's "just a car" and not only were they not worried something would happen, but it was replaceable if it did.
Pretty amazing attitude, right??

So, we took them up on their offer, buckled up, said some prayers, and off we went!

My first trek out was to the nearest grocery store, and I practically needed a nap when we got back.
I was SO tense from being hyper alert.

Each outing I went a little further, and soon enough I was cruising all over Kuwait like a boss. 

Similar to the last eleven months, there was a lot of "when in Rome..." kinda mentality to my driving. 

Is this a two lane street? One lane? No one knows...until a car passes you, on either the right or the there are zero lane markers. 

Most the roads so have some sort of lanes distinguished, thankfully.
There are also Stop signs, which judging by the drivers here, are merely suggestions. 

Speaking of signs, the exits on the highway are all labeled. I mean, the sign may be well after the actual exit, but it will be there. Lots and lots of catching the next exit and turning around. 

Once I was driving on the highway and approached four lanes of brake lights. I, of course, started to slow down, thinking there must be some sort of accident. As we inched closer, I was able to see that, nope, there was no accident, but instead a bus in the far left lane was needing to be in the far right lane so he could catch the exit. Naturally, he just halted his driving, and stopped all traffic while he crossed all four lanes and took his desired path.
Not a single driver honked or expressed frustration at him.
Because, KUWAIT.

Sometimes the "lane" you're in, just flat out disappears...

...that, my friends, is a four lane highway. Or it was, before the line markers simply vanished. 

Need to fill up? Easy peasy. 
And cheap.
Filling the tank of an SUV costs 7Dinar, 500 Fills...$24.89.
Hello Land of Oil.

Sometimes you're driving along, minding your own business, and you learn something new. Like that the emergency lane that is on the left often doubles as a passing lane in Kuwait...

And no more parking spots? 
No problem.
Just pull your car up on the sidewalk and park where ever you'd like...

Most roads here are one way, with a heavy divider in the middle. This eliminates the crossing-traffic-to-make-a-turn, and offers up multiple opportunities for u-turns and really fun near-death-experiences of merging and trying to exit in these roundabouts...

Our friends returned to Kuwait, and we returned the car, and I gained more confidence in my ability to navigate life here.
And I again reminded myself to never say never, as I'd previously stated I'd never drive here. 
I also declared I'd never acclimate to the heat here, but as I dropped the car off at the airport a few evenings ago and waited for a taxi home, I couldn't help but appreciate the breeze and that the day had cooled down...only to look at my phone and learn it was 111 degrees.