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Blogging put on hold

 

Almost two weeks ago I received the honor of having three special guests arrive!

I was confident that it would be quite easy to keep up with my friends in blogging world and of course there were many photos and stories to share!

After all, Grama had a special helper this time who agreed to spend her days changing diapers, playing games, chasing twins through the house and caring for a little princess.

Cooking, baking and crafts commenced as the three little babies were snug at Grama’s house. Meanwhile Mother and Father were off on a family adventure that had been planned for a year. They were now sad about leaving their babies but were assured that everything would be fine! img_8643

Days were spent laughing, cooking, baking and doing crafts, all with their aunts and uncles.

Days ticked by until the first little one got a stomach virus, followed by his brother, then his aunt (the helper) and eventually his youngest uncle. Grama tended to sick babies, scrubbing and wiping. Care was given in the form of hugs, fluids and watchful eyes. At last everyone seemed well and low and behold six days had quickly passed. Plans to go to the science center, play place and other Christmas events had been dashed. Auntie Fon Fon and her trusty helper Ben managed a trip to a local town hosting a Christmas extravaganza.

Mom and Dad sent photos of their out and about time

Grama and Alayna were home alone and so it was time for a photo shoot.

Auntie Fon Fon took the boys to a local play place that proved to be total fun and will be a destination in the future.

Meals were eaten at their new table

Babies were tucked into bed

And finally day nine arrived and it was time to say goodbye. Mommy and Daddy finished their adventure.

Bags were packed, wash was done and final moments were shared.

Blogging had long since been given up on and Grama was sure that everyone would understand. Special moments like these don’t come around all the time.IMG_3229

Happy holidays everyone!IMG_20181202_101320

Sacred rendezvous

I like to sit and listen

to watch the world go round

no movement or emotion

just silence falling down

see one stolen moment

and then I capture two

nothing but enchantment

my sacred rendezvous

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The list

This weekend was spent playing catch up on household work, scheduling as well as cooking. I am a list type of person and if you don’t know what that means I will enlighten you. There are menus, daily lists, hourly schedules, agendas and an assortment of variations in between. My mother has always been organized and everything is planned to the letter while I am more of a loose planner. Having spent the past 32 years keeping a household of nine children in order there have been numerous concessions with my obsessive planning and I have learned that nothing is written in stone, concrete or even sand. Lists serve more as a reminder of important things that need my attention and they keep our world in fairly good order. So this weekend and even today I am tweaking my schedule, knowing full well that it is always “tentative at best”.dsc_0048 (1)

For Black Friday my oldest children gave me some money to go shopping and I ended up purchasing a new camera. It has a zoom lens and I have always wanted one! I am excited to start watching tutorial videos so that I can be familiar with my new camera and learn the details of how to take truly amazing photos.

As I mentioned last week, I am embarking on a new journey and one that means a great deal to me.  I have started testing my recipes and will add tips, adjust ingredients and measurements where needed and of course, shoot new photos. The book will be in color and will have a picture of each dish after preparation is complete. My middle child has encouraged this project and cooks from my blog often, so he has offered to test each recipe and add suggestions for tips and directions. I loved working on the poetry book and now am excited for this new adventure.

Yesterday I made sambusa or cheese pillows as my mother nicknamed them years ago on her annual trips to Saudi.  They are a delicious pastry, filled with a mix of ricotta, feta and mozzarella cheese. I posted my recipe on the blog a couple of years ago and instead of the traditional deep frying we opted to bake these delectable little morsels. The kids have been asking for them for months and so yesterday I rolled up my sleeves and made a double batch. This time I fried them much to everyone’s delight.

https://lynzrealcooking.com/reflections/appetizers/sambusa-cheese-pillows/

We also decorated the tree that Mom and Dad gave us as they have now chosen to scale down once again. We removed the lights, added our decorations from last year and placed our smaller tree downstairs. IMG_20181202_101320

Overall it was a quiet and relaxing weekend spent around the house reviewing pictures from Thanksgiving and preparing for the month ahead!

Happy holidays

Update on writing

Thanks to everyone who participated in my giveaway and those of you who purchased, liked and reviewed my book. The final drawing was done and the last winner is  Brigid of  Watching the Daisies

Please send me your mailing address so that I can get this book off to you Brigid!

I am currently working on a cookbook and trying to keep editing my real life story as well.  I go back and forth with the real life story and kind of give up but then hear of other people who are suffering and as I have been told by many I do have a voice and can speak out. So, hopefully I will be able to complete it and maybe switch back and forth between these two ideas taking the pressure off.

Have a great Saturday and I had to share these photos of  little princess Alayna. She has a great deal of hair that is long and curly and in the morning it can be quite wild. Mom and Dad put a cute bow or make a little ponytail on top of her precious head but early one morning when I woke up with her it was natural and untamed! She is such a doll!

Bad hair day?

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First year home-2009

This is the story of our first year back in America, other installments can be found here:

https://lynzrealcooking.com/first-year-home-2/first-year-home/

https://lynzrealcooking.com/first-year-home-2/first-year-home-2009/

https://lynzrealcooking.com/2018/11/16/first-year-2009-our-story/

 

Idaho 2009

A sharp buzzing pressed in my ear waking me from a restless sleep. It was time to rouse one of the girls, spoon coffee into a filter and pour a pot of water into the reservoir.  Thoughts of school and the day before held a nagging place in my gutt. The sad little figure that lay sprawled in the grass amongst students and helpers remained fixed in my memory. I had overlooked the possibility that this was my youngest child and instead a mask of denial coated my brain leaving it in an unrealistic fog. But after his sister sat beside him taking her place in a stance of not so much concern but possibly comfort, it was clear that things would not be as easy as I had hoped. My focus turned to the thought that there were only two more weeks of the paper route and then a new routine would take shape; no more nights spent wrapping bundles, sorting orders and jumping out to deliver to each and every home. Cooking for the co-op, cleaning once a week at a building and the odd sub job assured me that we could keep afloat and each time mom and dad visited they unloaded boxes of bread, croissants, peanut butter, canned vegetables and chicken, candy, school snacks and staples. Provisions were hauled into the apartment, stacked on the kitchen floor and put into cupboards. I watched as hot coffee dripped into the carafe and pushed away the idea that I was truly at fault but still I couldn’t help but wonder if leaving Saudi was for the best. I heard his words ring through my ears triggering shooting pangs of guilt to my core. “You are torturing me and the children with your stubborn and unhappy ways, you have become one of those women that I hate”

 

In dirt scuffed shoes

DSC_0020I walk the road of no regrets
Dirt scuffed shoes and poplar leaves

Fallen heroes grieve for me
Womankind stacked at my feet

Her voice calls out in unison
I sing in tandem heart bereaved

The chime says no regrets for me
A wasted form of liberty

Family time plus nine

This past week was somewhat of a blur and flurry, guests arriving, shifting, cooking, cleaning and finally everyone packed up and made their way back to their homes. Yesterday afternoon the last of my children headed back home and now the house is relatively empty. The house is still a bit messy and today will be my big weekly clean up which means an all day effort of moving furniture, sweeping, scrubbing and finally everything will be back in place, shiny and routine. IMG_1500 (1)

Last Tuesday morning I cleaned the house, made guest beds, moved furniture around to accommodate our large family and stocked the pantry with basics.

Wednesday was spent baking and waiting for my kids to arrive. I worked on my contribution to the dessert table with a turtle cheesecake.

I did my last minute jobs to ensure that our house was once again ready to be bursting with the usual antics, and soon after Yusuf and Alicia came driving up in their brand new electric car. I am assuming in years from now the grandkids will look back and laugh at us oldies who were amazed by a car that needed to be plugged in and charged at few and far between supercharger stations!! The next order of business was a spin in the vehicle and a return home to get settled in.

My middle child flew into Spokane late Monday and insisted on chauffeuring  Grama and Grampa to our home on Wednesday. Meanwhile Saleeha and Edison would arrive around midnight, Osama, Jacki and kids made their way to Fattima and Ben’s that day around 3 and eventually everyone ended up at the family home for pizza and of course this included, home repairs, playing games, wrestling matches and some time for chatting.

That night my middle child picked up the engaged couple at our tiny local airport and everyone settled in.

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After a good night’s sleep it was time to head over to Fattima and Ben’s for breakfast and precious moments were spent with the whole family. All nine of my children were in one place and it was just like old/new times.

Babies were put down for naps, cars were loaded and it was time for the days festivities to begin.  This year I took charge and made sure things stayed on a loose schedule and it went fairly well. The family picture was scheduled for 12:30 and although everyone hemmed and hawed they knew I would not take no for an answer! I started with a picture of my parents and all of my children._DSC0019

Jacki and I switched places as photographer

Eventually Heme’s friend came over and took a photo of the whole group _DSC0056

Cooking commenced and a whirlwind of pans, dishwashers and dryers, oven overloaded with food, turkey and stuffing, shepherd’s pie and sweet potato au gratin, spinach salad, smashed potatoes and rolls were all served promptly at 3:00 p.m.

After dinner everyone pitched in and cleaned up following the jobs list to the letter. Dessert was the only thing that occurred out of order and a line that formed behind the cheesecake was inevitable. I really liked the recipe and only made a few changes, some of the batter for the cheesecake was mixed with caramel sauce and a portion was mixed with chocolate, marbling it with the plain cheesecake. I chose to make a chocolate ganache and topped that with caramel sauce and pecans.IMG_1091

Our white elephant was the best ever and my gifts were stolen numerous times, specialty candy and a puzzle of Seattle, a stack of scratch tickets, VR headset and a holiday tin of popcorn and finally I ended up with outdoor led light torches for the yard. The other gifts included; a tortilla press, a digital cooking thermometer, gift basket from the World market, snowman cookie jar, tiny pool table and candy and too many others to list.

Games, cards and movies were watched, babies carted around and general family time shared.

Cars were packed, bags loaded and slowly each family and individual went back to their place of residence leaving our cozy little household of only 4.  I think Alayna expresses our sentiment in splendid fashion with no words!IMG_1216

 

This Thanksgiving I was encouraged to take charge once again and so I found my rhythm and my place as the head of household.

Blessings to all and thankfulness for every day!

Book winner

Our house is still hopping with activity but wanted to say hi and let you know the name of the third winner of the book giveaway. I will keep everyone in the drawing please let me know if you have interest and I will put your name in for the fourth and final week. My book arrived safely to Clive Cliveblogs and this week I will mail the second copy to Annika https://annikaperry.com/

This weeks winner is:

Lynn from Lynn thaler 

Thank you for entering!

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Black Friday Sale

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2018 Family photo

For the next 48 hours my paperback book will be on a special black friday sale!

I hope this helps for those who want to purchase it as a holiday gift! In addition to this sale, my ebook will still be free for the next few days.

 

Can be purchased here

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving and free ebook

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I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Just to let you all know, my ebook will be free for the next few days!

Free ebook limited time only

Fly 'n Things

A random flight through some of my extraordinary flying adventures

Merry Motherhood

Musings of a first-time mommy

Live Out Crazy

Shreya Jindal

Life of Hayley

Making the most of my twenties

Fictionista

Flash Fiction / Musings Of Darnell Cureton

sorryless

Partake Or Nawh?

for a rainy day

Reading essential: a cup of tea.

Loveyashian

Love in the air...you feel that!😍

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Luna

Every now and then my head is racing with thoughts so I put pen to paper

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Following the Path to the Past

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Author: The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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