Monday, February 10, 2014


Jump Rope for Heart

Ruth is participating in Jump Rope for Heart at school. The event raises money for the American Heart Association.
Ruth has chosen a fundraising goal of $5 for herself.
Please help us get there!

Her personal link is:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Birthday   Charity!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Joel's Big Accomplishments!

I'm am so HUGELY PROUD of Joel.
He has never colored, never written a letter, never been into doing anything with a crayon or pencil.
After 2 weeks of preschool, he has brought home 3 fully colored pages, a page with rain and a sun with rays, and a big 10 with a smiley face in the middle of the 10!
Tonight, he wanted to mail his art to Grandma RJ, so he WROTE HIS NAME BY HIMSELF on the envelope!

We were hoping that sending him to preschool would give him more structure and get him to sit still for a while.  Our expectations were clearly too low!

Attached Pictures:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Happy Birthday   Kirk!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Happy Birthday   Angela!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Birthday   Traci!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Birthday   Ruth Ellen!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy Anniversary   Kirk & Charity!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Look where we went last night!

I'm probably more excited about this than many of our other adventures.  Familiarity is a funny thing.

The Doha IKEA opened last night and we were there.  We ate swedish meatballs in the cafe, let the kids play with all the fun toys in the kids area, strolled around the maze of aisles, and even found a few treasures to bring home.  Ruth got a dolly bed, so we fulfilled our requirement to get some self-assembly furniture.

Attached Pictures:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Publicity About the New Airport

Details about the new Hamad International Airport are now publicly available.  Commercial flights will start in April and full operations will be later this year.

I've been working here as the Quality Manager for the last year and a half. It is so exciting to be able to share details, including interior pictures, with you now that they're public.

Be sure to check out the presentation on the bottom of the article for the best interior pictures. This place is like no other airport you've ever been in.


Sunday, November 11, 2012


Family Photos

We just got back from a lovely cruise of the Western Mediterranean.  We left from Italy and visited Spain, Portugal and Morocco. 

One of the really nice things about cruises is the opportunity to get great family photos with everyone dressed up and cooperating!

Attached Pictures:

7 More Pictures...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Ruth's Art

Ruth drew a picture of Cookie Monster for Joel yesterday.  When I asked her about it, she said, "I sounded out the words!"
It is so exciting to see her developing all these fun skills.

Attached Pictures:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Volunteer Spotlight

I was recently featured on the Bechtel Stewardship webpage in a Volunteer Spotlight!

Here's what the article says:

Charity, the quality manager at the New Doha International Airport project in Qatar, joined Bechtel in 2004. She is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Champion, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Purdue University.

Charityís passion for engineering began when she was 13 years old and it continues to grow, as does her passion for sharing. She has spread her joy of engineering and construction with more than a thousand children through classroom visits.

At the McCarran International Airport project, Charity established a partnership with a local at-risk school; organized drives for school supplies, food, and holiday gifts; and visited classrooms every week. In Doha, she is involved in establishing Bechtelís partnership with Qatar University, hosting four interns this summer, and supports the projectís partnership with Reach Out to Asia and INJAZ, the Middle East branch of Junior Achievement.

What did you find most surprising about your experience as a volunteer for iftars in Qatar?
Learning about the Qatari population, social norms, and culture. When youíre a guest in another country, you hear and read things about your host country. When you volunteer there, you really start to understand. Itís the best way to experience the place where you live and work. An iftar is the feast that follows each day of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

How did you get involved?
I was part of a group of project employees who volunteered at iftars hosted by Reach Out to Asia, a local nongovernmental organization. My kids and I volunteered at an iftar for residents of the Qatar Foundation for Elderly Care.

What was the most rewarding part?
Smiles. My five-year-old daughter drew a picture for ďthe old, old man at our table.Ē He was so happy to receive her gift, gave her a kiss, and held on to the art for most of the rest of the evening. My three-year old son gave the same man the first plate of his iftar meal. My son stood there and watched him eat, so happy to be a part of making the manís day. Their gestures made me proud, and the manís appreciation made me realize the impact everyone can have.

What did you find most challenging?
Communication with those weíre trying to help is difficult because I donít speak their language. It makes me wish I had spent more time learning the basics of Arabic.

What, for you, has been the most important lesson?
Anyone can volunteer. Even if you do not speak the language, arenít an expert on the subject, or arenít a good presenter. Whatever you bring to the table is going to help.

Anything youíd like to add?
Iíve realized more and more the immense impact that Bechtelís projects have on the countries we work in. One Bechtel-built project can change the financial prospects and quality of life for entire populations. Our volunteerism in those countries just adds to that positive impact and brings a very personal touch to it.

Attached Pictures:

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday   Charity!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


A Few Recent Photos

Here are some recent photos around town.  They're mostly just the Granos being goofy.

Red Lobster Doha just opened a few months ago.  We never went there in the US, but enjoy being at an American restaurant here with a reasonable level of service.  The best part about going there is the attention the wait staff give the kids.  The guy in this picture became such good friends with Ruth that she made him a piece of artwork with his name on it before we left.

The last photos here are of the day Ruth, Joel, and I volunteered at an iftar (the feast after a day of fasting during Ramadan) at the Qatar Foundation for Elderly Care.  Before we went, Ruth had a hard time understanding why grandpas and grandmas would be living in a home rather than in their own house -- all her grandparents are healthy and on their own.  When we got there, they warmed right up to the people there.  Ruth made a heart artwork for "the old, old man at our table."  He was so happy to receive it that he gave her a kiss and held on to the art nearly the whole time.  Joel gave the same man the first plate of his iftar meal., then stood there and watched him eat, so happy to be a part of making the manís day.  It was really nice to see them happy to be involved in making others happy.

Attached Pictures:

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Birthday   Kirk!

Friday, July 27, 2012


Trip to the Maldives
Private Family Post

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Birthday   Angela!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Father's Day Post

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and grandfathers.

We enjoyed a father's day buffet dinner at the Oryx Rotana Hotel.  It was Tex-Mex night, something we can't get anywhere else here in Doha.

Red Lobster opened it's first restaurant in Doha a couple weeks ago.  Ruth and Joel were very interested in checking them out but kept their distance when the server took one out to show them.

Attached Pictures:

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