Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

I hope that everyone had a lovely and very Merry Christmas! Here are some photos from our morning!

These guys managed to resist the urge to open prezzies before morning…


Ready to dash into the living room!


New gaming console to share Smile 


Honor gives the kitties some treats.


Brian gets a book that he’s been wanting and Honor and Pixie demonstrate toe washing techniques.


Honor is happy to get a big box for Christmas… silly me, thinking it was just something good to hold the used wrapping paper. Ninja was a bit jealous.


Fortunately, the box is big enough for both of them.


And then, grandma and grandpa sent MORE boxes for the cats… boxes that just happened to have a lot of nice stuff inside for us too!


Brad loves his new sweater and shirt, and you know that I’ll put my pretty new yarn to good use!


Brian LOVES his new slippers and the number keypad too!


Honor loved her new toys too. The soft plush kitties that look like our former kitties Misty and Ramses (she’s named them Mischief and Rambow) and she was very happy  to get presents to give to the cats too!

The cats LOVED their new toys too!


Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Free Cat Carrier–and Talabat for delivery

We ordered Lebanese food from Mais Al-Ghanim last night and it was so tasty! It’s a restaurant that’s been in business for a long time and their foods are simply very good and the quality is always amazing! From their website:

“The history of Mais Alghanim Restaurant dates back to the previous century when our founding father Edmond Barakat (Abu Emile), opened a canteen for the employees of Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons Co., called “Mess Alghanim”.

Over time, strong ties and personal relations grew between Abu Emile, Kuwaiti, and Expatriate Families extending over three phases and three generations. The first phase commenced in 1953 during which complete meals and take-away services were offered transforming the canteen into a restaurant for one and all.”

We ordered a mix of good grilled meats – lamb, kebab, and chicken – as well as a variety of salads and sides, like hummus, baba ghanouj (an egg plant dish), muhammara (a walnut and chili dip), fattoush (mint and cucumber and tomato salad), falafel and spinach fetayer. It was all amazing (just like it always is! It’s one of our favorites.)

Also – we placed our order through which is a great online service for food delivery, from their website:

“ is the largest online food delivery portal in the State of Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman and State of Qatar. Order your favorite food online from hundreds of our restaurants with a simple click of a mouse.”

Our dinner came delivered in handy boxes too. And we know what boxes are good for… cat containment! Pumpkin demonstrates how well the box fits. Pixie said that she will only perform if I give her treats…


Unless I don’t want her to perform…. balancing on the washer when I’m trying to load laundry isn’t helpful. (But it’s cute to have all of the help…)


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Trimming the Tree - 2013

Our tree has been up for over a week, but with homework and school and cooties and working late, we simply have not had the chance to put any decorations on it yet… until today! We were supposed to go out and join the embassy Christmas party, but Brian decided that it was his turn to get sick and so we stayed in, had cocoa (with peppermint candy canes to stir), and trimmed our pretty tree. The cats were even helpful and stayed out of the way, mostly… there were a few moments of grabby-ness and a number of wild leaps into boxes. There may have even been a few instances of bad kitty language when a sibling interfered with another’s nefarious plot, but we made it!

It was Honor’s turn to put the topper on the tree. She can’t quite reach, but she can climb – and with dad’s help – place it from the couch!


The topper is a little angel that Brad and I picked up in a street market in Germany about 20 years ago… amazing that it has survived so long!

A couple of pictures of the kids and their dad


Honor was feeling silly… Brian was just feeling hot, like 102F fever, but he was smiling anyway. Must have been those yummy spice cookies I made for them that helped.


Photos of me and the kids too.



Saturday, December 7, 2013


This is a great, very simple, recipe that I found on the side of a bag of chappati flour. I’m copying it so I won’t lose it!

Chapattis are a classic unleavened flat bread used in Pakistani and Indian dishes.

3 cups chapatti flour (finely stoneground wholewheat flour)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoon oil
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup chapatti flour (approx. – for dusting)

Combine first four ingredients and knead until you get a smooth dough. Separate into walnut sized balls. Cover. Allow to rest for one hour.

Dust rolling surface with flour. Roll each ball into a flat disc. Dust with flour, fold in half, then to quarter. Roll into a disc again.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Add the chapatti. Try to rotate constantly by hand to distribute heat until it is a uniform light brown color. Turn to other side and cook until light golden. Serve hot.

I made these today, and while the dough was resting, I threw together a ground beef sauce. Onions, garlic, red and yellow bell pepper. 2-3 tomatoes. Biryani spices and a small box of tomato paste. That simmered as I cooked the breads.

Apparently I should have doubled the meat topping as my family DEVOURED this meal. The chapatti recipe made about 20 chapattis or more.

I guess I need to find more toppings recipes. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pixie Perched on Popcorn

But at least she got off of the counter…


And here is our cowboy. Not just any cowboy mind you, but a Scottish cowboy. One of the things about raising American kids outside of America is that they really do not get all the cultural influences they might if we lived in the US. We aren’t ‘western’ and don’t wear western gear, so they have a good excuse to not be familiar with it, but we do our best to educate them anyway. Well, his school had a western day for spirit week. He had the hat – which is more Indiana Jones than Cowboy, but it works – but he wasn’t sure about a shirt. I pulled this grey plaid shirt out of his closet and he was incredulous… “Mom! Cowboys don’t wear plaid! Scotsmen wear plaid!” I had to go get my tablet and google western wear. He was also unsure about the button down shirt and didn’t want to look like an accountant. It was easier to convince him about the style than the pattern though. He eventually agreed to be a Scottish cowboy, because our country was settled by many Scots, although he was probably only fully convinced when he saw other kids wearing plaid… there was some comment about there being a lot of ‘Scottish cowboys’…

Anyway, I thought he looked quite handsome, no matter what sort of western wear wearing accountant Scots-cowboy he thought he was:

(I even brought him a buffalo… but he said that he didn’t need any props!)

Let’s see…

Pumpkin’s favorite time of day is around noon when Brad comes home for lunch. Pumpkin reeeeeeeallllly missed Brad during the day! I know when to expect Brad walking in because Pumpkin will hear him coming up the walk and will run to the door! He’ll holler for attention and lead him into the kitchen. 


He needs a ton of love before Brad is allowed to have lunch!


And here are a few bit of random wood carvings that my dad made as I told my friend Kim that I’d share with her when I found some. I’m not sure where my carved owl is, and most of the stuff that my dad gave us is put in storage, but I am happy that I have some of the pieces my father made with us. He was always crafting something in his woodshop!


He did some plaques, and also a number of 3D sculptures. This parrot is part of a set and it goes nicely with one of our papyrus pieces and our carved bench (from Egypt):


I also have this flower and horse carving:


One of these days we’ll get back together with our storage stuff again!