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Posts tagged ‘blessings’

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!

Break

As you may have noticed I have been absent for a couple of weeks! A break was needed and a beautiful beach vacation followed!

Here are some highlights, meanwhile we are busy babysitting our little ones! I am preparing a post of the bridal shower and will also give you an update on life in our household.

Sweet and salty tray -Bridal shower

The Oregon coast

Babysitting

Seven days

 

Seven days in the life of a large household can be chaotic, stressful and of course joyful. This past week was no different and included last minute preparations for the bridal shower, a trip to the lake for the fourth of July and an extended visit from the middle child.

Soos with the fan wall she created that will hang above the check in area where I will greet guests and guide them to the photo booth.IMG_E8657

Games and decorations have been finalized and as always the kids are willing to test new ideas!

A break from planning meant big sister taking little brother out for cinnamon roll French toast. As you can see this was a highlight of his week!IMG_20180629_124344

Mid week it was time to head to the lake for the traditional fourth of July celebration. Things are much quieter these days with fewer guests and simple food. It is always a great time and as usual one of my favorite people was present, KK. When asked how long we had known each other she said it was 1975. She was hired by mom and they became best friends and have been ever since! She and her husband John are truly family.

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Fattima decorated the brownie cake mom makes every year, the kids swam and played basketball and then we made our way back to town.

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It is basically countdown week for the shower and I will be sharing more throughout the week. As always blessings are numerous along with the many freedoms that our family holds dear!

 

The last birthday

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The first half of the year we celebrate 12 of our 16 family birthdays. Our last birthday until October was yesterday and now I am left with only two teenagers! I took last week off and tried to just feel better and luckily no one else in our household seems to have come down with strep throat.

I spent the week tending to my plants and flowers

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Packages for the bridal shower kept coming in and we spent more time working on our menu.

The week came to an end and it was time for a favorite meal and the last birthday for months to come!

Beef szechuan, Chinese cabbage salad, fried rice and brown rice teriyaki noodles!

Turtle caramel cheesecake topped with fudge sauce and caramel, pecan, mini chocolate chips and peanut butter cups! 

Happy birthday to my 7th child and a huge piece of my heart! I love you Mude!

Quiet

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This weekend was quiet and a nice lull in the schedule! I managed to get back out to the garden and did some jobs that were overdue. Blue skies prevailed along with warm temperatures!

We received the invitations that were designed for Fattima’s bridal shower and in general just had a nice relaxing two days.

The older kids are still fighting a virus but Heme seems better each day. An old board game was rediscovered by the younger generation kids and hours of laughter, arguing and bragging commenced!  Sumaya got out her special weed wacker from Grampa and did some work, roses were pruned and general upkeep was completed.

A Teriyaki bowl was the scheduled dinner. I marinated chicken, stir fried some veggies until crisp tender and in the end we all had a good meal!

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Towards evening a storm whipped up complete with lightning, high winds and rain. The sky eventually turned an ominous black and the patio cover Osama set up threatened to come loose, but in the end it stayed put.

This summer will be full of gardening, babysitting our little ones and planning a bridal shower and wedding!

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These blessings are especially sweet and remind me of how far we have come. It’s been nine years since our relocation from Saudi to Idaho! Thank you for being part of our journey!

Mother’s day

I know mother’s day has come and gone but everyday is the best time to celebrate those special people we share our life with. Last Sunday was one of those days and ended up being full of many surprises. First Fattima and Ben came over and brought a lovely vase and bouquet of flowers from the two of them and Yusuf and Alicia.  They also got me my favorite coffee and off we went.

We had been waiting for a sunny, blue sky day so that we could take some engagement photos and this just seemed perfect! There are many picturesque locations here in the Palouse area but with a gorgeous arboretum nearby we started off there.

I won’t show any photos that will be used for their wedding but just some fun shots of them goofing around!

It might sound kind of strange since Foof and I are so close and I love Ben, but after this little excursion I felt like I knew them as a couple much better! They are an example of compromise and doing what they can to work things out, faith and true love. They are also allot of fun!

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Glances, words and silent messages were shared as I told them just do your thing and I will keep snapping pictures!

It was wonderful to spend time with the two of them as a couple, just the three of us.

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After our little photo shoot we ended up back at home where the kids pitched in and did some yard work. Fattima mowed the front yard and Ben worked on an area that was full of weeds, leaving a nice clean look with bark. Heme sprayed our field below the house as directed by the city. It was so nice to have this help!

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Deeja got the pictures loaded and fixed them so they were the right way for viewing and about that time Abdullah called me to wish me a happy Mother’s day. He knows how much I love my coffee and so he informed me that a  gift card was waiting for me on my email!

All of the kids called me or visited and made sure the day was celebrated in a big way! Osama will be visiting soon and will put up a permanent canopy over our porch which will make the area cooler and keep us out of the sun. After resting we headed over to Fattima and Ben’s for dinner that was supplied by Fattima, Ben, Yusuf and Alicia!

It was a crazy day full of family, gifts and helping out! I mention these gifts for one simple reason, this it the first time I have felt happy to receive presents and have felt honored to have been fussed over! It was great to be spoiled and I was happy to just take it all in!

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The birthday party

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As many of you know this weekend our boys turned two! Of course time does fly but this was especially fast. To be honest I never imagined I would be feeling this overwhelming love again and it took me by surprise.

Friday after school we hopped in the car, picked Heme up from practice and left for Spokane. Osama made bbq chicken for dinner and Jacki started working on decorations after the boys went to bed.  The theme was luau/Moana and it was all done to perfection! The kids helped and an assembly line of sorts was made that evening in order to get the balloons ready and keep them from flying away!

The next morning Heme and I woke up early and took care of Aiden. He was surprised at the decorating his mom had done while he was sleeping! Bennett woke up later and poor little guy was feeling a bit under the weather!

We tried our best to help out and do what we could. Allot of fun times were spent with Aiden, Bennett and Alayna! Fun and precious moments were too many to count.

Guests started to arrive around noon and everything looked very festive!

Jacki’s dad has a large, close knit family like ours and so everyone felt at home! Osama made stacks of burgers that were amazing and Jacki made popcorn balls and delicious chicken sandwiches! A lovely array of fresh fruit and cookies were also on hand.

Gramas and Grampas, Great Gramas and Grampas, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors and friends all made their way inside, outside and wherever they felt comfortable.

The cake was served and our little ones were not sure what was going on as cameras snapped pictures and candles were lit.

A friend and cousin were also invited to celebrate their birthdays with our boys and so it added to the fun and chaos!

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We watched the boys open gifts and then made our way back to our little town!

I cannot let an event like this go past and post these blessings without reminding anyone who is in a bad situation that things can get better. I never imagined this joy was possible and I am very proud of all of my children for making the most of their freedom. With every crib that has been assembled, each finishing touch on a child’s bedroom and care that is given for my sweet babies, I celebrate changes and freedom!

 

A dress for Foof

This weekend was spent doing several things including the usual Sunday cooking, purchasing groceries and daily walks. The most important event involved traveling to my hometown for shopping early Saturday morning.  It was a blessed day and one that I had never envisioned would come to pass. It was one of those times where you stop and take account of everything that has transpired and wonder how you ended up where you are!

The 90 minute drive was one of blue skies and billowing clouds, green pastures and land dotted with barns and the occasional farmhouse. The focus was on joy, support and happiness! We met Fattima just before the shops opened and started our day!

We watched and commented, made our views known as requested and finally ended the day feeling even more confused!! We decided it was time for a break and of course lunch,  but the topic of conversation still centered around dresses, veils and shoes.

As with most events that we experience in our family, we try to keep the focus on happiness, fun and support. If this is somehow mixed up within the chaos, we refocus and regroup. I am grateful that we are able to be together and it shows how far we have come. It was nine years ago this month that we attended my son’s University graduation and then decided to stay. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

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Weekend before Easter

This weekend we spent a quiet couple of days after being with the sweetie pies on Friday. On Sunday I cooked and took a few walks and worked on scheduling. But last weekend it was right after my birthday and the kids came to stay. I really love routine and make lists on top of lists to check off my monthly, daily and weekly tasks. However, when the kids come to visit it is just plain fun and my planning takes on a beautiful come what may status.

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First I ready the house; baby proof, spot clean, prepare the guest room. Then it is time for groceries, special snacks for the boys and a menu for the big people. The toys are taken out of storage and lined up on the back wall downstairs. Last minute details are attended to and then I wait, thinking of the fun that will unfold!

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Our routine is the same, Friday they arrive and I have prepared a meal. The boys are unsure for a few minutes but then start pointing to downstairs where they know they will find toys, aunts and uncles.  They play until they are tired and fight going to bed that first night.

The next morning I am on call waiting for the kids to wake up. I quietly walk in the room and grab the boys when I hear them stir and it is back downstairs. They settle in my lap on the recliner, grab blankets and chatter away. Eventually they shift to the couch where they switch channels and argue over the remote (so much like adults). It is then time for princess to wake up, we grab her and get a bottle started.

Frustration gets the best of the boys and they head to the tiny room at the bottom of the stairs calling Heme. Then it is on to the Aunties door where they pound and try to turn the doorknob. Uncle Hehe or Auntie Deeja wake up and I head upstairs to make a coffee and bring crackers for each boy. Alayna sits watching quietly but her eyes follow every movement!

This visit was different, we had an egg hunt. Fattima took charge and bought plastic eggs, filled them and hid them. The boys were not quite sure what this was all about but they found eggs, toys and candy! Needless to say Fattima was pretty excited and it went well.

My objectives are clear for these visits:

  • Enjoy the time we get to spend together
  • Let mom and dad  sleep in and have a tiny break
  • Hold as many babies as possible, get hugs, play with toys and soak in the sheer chaos that surrounds us with love.
  • Say goodbye and wait for another magical visit

Days when I feel anxious or down I remind myself or someone else reminds me haha, that I am living my dream. I sat in Saudi never imagining there could be a future like this one!

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Blessings

The past few months have been spent working on my book, sticking to the usual routine and spending a great deal of time with Osama, Jacki and the precious ones. They have made several visits to our home and we have been there as well.

In January Jacki surprised Osama with a night out for his birthday and a sleep away at a posh hotel. We were called upon to spend the night and watch our three adorable babies. It was great fun and we were thrilled to be a part of the surprise. The kids were here this past weekend as well and as usual it was lovely chaos!

One of the favorite activities at ma’s house is a ride around in the desk chair.

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     Chair for watching t.v

Aunts love to play dress up!

Princess Alayna enjoys a quiet moment

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Blessings Love Family Blessings Love Family Blessings Love Family Blessings 

 

 

lynz real cooking

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