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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

Nigella Seed Cheese Bites

From my dear friend Gail, thanks so much!

snapshotsincursive

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Nigella Seed Cheesies! One of the benefits of making friends in the blogosphere is meeting other foodies who share the same love of cooking….and eating! This recipe comes directly to you courtesy of Lyn at https://lynzrealcooking.com/2015/10/28

She posted this wonderfully cheesy snack and it went viral! Because it is called “Cheesies”, you can use a wide variety of cheese options, including your own personal favorites. Thanks, Lyn!

NIGELLA SEED CHEESE BITES

Ingredients for Dough:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup butter, softened

1-8 ounce Neufchâtel cheese, room temperature

Ingredients for Filling:

2 cups Nigella seed string cheese

1/2 cup Colby cheese, finely shredded

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine Neufchâtel cheese and butter. Mix well. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cover in plastic and refrigerate for one hour. Remove and divide into four equal-sized balls. Roll one ball at a time…

View original post 80 more words

Thankful

It is the day before Thanksgiving and as I sit under the red blanket from mom, lights from our first small Christmas tree cast a shimmer on the window. Thoughts of previous years run through my mind, children, grand babies, turkey, game tournaments and also anxiety.img_1013.jpgNo one is up yet and as usual my 3:30 wake up comes and goes without notice. Hot steaming coffee is enjoyed from a large Christmas mug and a calm silence once again highlights the living room and kitchen clocks that keep time with a back and forth ticking pattern.

This has become my time, early morning starlight, fog, frost and glory. Some days I wonder what progress has really been made and then in quiet moments like this I remember and remind myself it is the little things that can ultimately turn out to be the quite large things.

I was once a valiant fighter and keeper of household peace and at times a stone monument unwavering and bold. Diapers, school trips, no electricity, no beds, mix batter, fold laundry, smile and breathe. In what seemed like a mere blink, I found myself reduced to a child like state, unable to manage the tiniest of tasks. But now a rebuilding and knowledge that I can move on and begin again has truly taken hold and for that and so many other things I am grateful.

I am thankful for:

1. My faith

2. My family; children and their partners, my parents, my three grand babies, my sister, nieces and nephews, my special cousin/sister, brother in laws, extended family.

3. Each child of mine and their heroic efforts to live and breathe in freedom. To love me without conditions or expectations. My heart and soul!

4. My mother and mentor who taught me to be my best no matter what.

5. My father who gave me courage and the strength to be me.

6. My sweet grand babies who have helped me to heal and have brought a new sense of purpose to my life and their amazing mommy who accepts me for the Grama that I am.

7. My friends who have encouraged and supported me

8. The ability to cook meals unhindered by anxiety for the most part.

9. Gorgeous nature God has put before me on a daily basis.

10. Being able to walk and exercise.

11. A significant reduction in anxiety and panic, good physical and mental health.

12. Overcoming an eating disorder that was part of the abuse cycle.

13. Having a home.

14. Having food, clean water and medical care.

15. Realizing I cannot be and am not perfect and neither are my family and friends.

16. publishing a book.

17. For my daughter’s marriage and her very special husband.

18. An engagement and upcoming wedding for my eldest daughter and her wonderful beloved.

19. Last but certainly not least, getting to spend special time with my lovely sister, mom and dad again as a little family unit!

One foot and then the next builds a path to freedom.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The weekend before Thanksgiving

 

 

 

The last day of school was Friday and now the kids have a week long break. This makes them happy and also brings me great joy as well. A menu has been posted, clean up jobs listed and the traditional family photo is scheduled.

Everyone will trickle into town over the next few days and guests will be divided between the newlyweds home and my house.

A competition over who has the best white elephant gift will inevitably continue from last year and a trophy that was fashioned for only one winner will be held in the highest regard! Meanwhile I will fawn over grandbabies, take the family picture and try to keep things on track in a loose but firm fashion. In other words, I am ready!

This weekend I made chocolate zucchini bread/cake and it was delicious! Moist, rich and decadent are the words I would use to best describe this cake. I am thinking of ways to change it so it is healthier and when I do, you will be the first to know!

Fattima and Ben popped over to share our special  Cougar gold cheese from Ferdinands on the W.S.U. campus. She made cheesies and I made chicken strips. https://lynzrealcooking.com/recipes-2/appetizers/cheesies/

After getting a few groceries I had the pleasure of being waited on by my gorgeous daughter. What could be better? She also made peppermint bark which turned out well.

More decorations were placed around the house and finally I just threw up my hands and announced that is was time for Christmas!img_0998-1

 

lynz real cooking

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