The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity
From bridal shower
To vacation and babysitting!
But this weekend was mundane and time was spent organizing and getting back to routine. College kids have trickled into town and classes at our University start today.
My oldest daughter started a better job and moved to Seattle. She was kind enough to leave behind some of her furniture which was added to our guest room as well as the living room. Old, worn items were replaced with new and fresh and a cute chair, dresser and a queen bed were added to our guest room.
She also purchased a new vehicle and gave us her cute little black car. The next day it was totaled. My children are alive and healing both physically and mentally and everything else is just a speck on the screen.
2017- my three precious babies who were in the car when the accident occurred.
Life moves forward with lessons, heartaches and so many blessings. Children graduate, start new jobs, get married and move away. Each step I push, encourage and let them know it is ok and even mandatory that they move on with their lives. They worry, feel stressed and it is not easy for them to leave us behind. We were formed into a unit, a well oiled machine of protection, preservation and cooperation making sure each member of our team was taken care of.
1994 apartment no electricity
We laugh, argue and support each one who moves forward with love, encouragement and the occasional toaster! They come back to spread joy and inspiration to the rest of us and of course board games, cards and cooking commence bringing back old times, memories and even some of the good times in Saudi. Pans bubble with sauce and new dishes are introduced to what has possibly become a boring routine. Laughter, hugs and new additions are all welcome under my roof. It is sad, heartbreaking and joyful but it is my job and my mission to watch them grow and thrive no matter how it makes me feel. How does it make me feel?
Proud and blessed in every way!
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
We spent a good part of yesterday at Fattima and Ben’s house. We put up some of the decorations including the beautiful flower wall that the girls made. A bride’s area for opening gifts was created and the sign in table where the fan arrangement was placed.
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.
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!
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.
Fattima decorated the brownie cake mom makes every year, the kids swam and played basketball and then we made our way back to town.
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!
We had a fairly quiet weekend with the exception of a visit from my middle child! He arrived while we were out running errands and typical of this particular member of our unit, he found the photo wall and our props and sent us a picture of his version of the girls’ pose and also let us know he was home!
Of course the usual noise from games, cards and movies could be heard from downstairs. We also spent time testing more of the bridal shower recipes. A solid timeline has taken shape as well as the final menu! Jobs were assigned to each member of our team and arrangement of tables, photo wall and various other decorated locations were discussed.
The shower will take place at Fattima and Ben’s home and so a mock up of these plans has been made. Soos and Deeja were surprised to see the old Lynn, arranging, planning and making sure every detail was perfect! Below are just a few of the things we have tried and the second time around we have new plans and ideas for perfecting everything.
The kids had fun making Chinese cotton candy which didn’t quite turn out but was still a fun project.
I am on my second course of antibiotics to get rid of strep throat but am finally feeling better. Today will be spent looking over the first chapters my daughter has edited for my book!
As the days tick away the little workshop gets more and more crowded. The girls ask me if I am o.k. with “stuff” being everywhere as they know I am prone to picking up and discarding or storing little bits and pieces of things left lying around.
I reassure them that anything goes in the untidy department as they work daily on numerous bridal shower projects.
Their creativity amazes me as they carry on the family tradition of “making do”, bonding over projects and ultimately stepping up to help their sister while sharing in her joy!
Games are stacked near the work area and breaks are taken to challenge their brothers to tournaments and matches! Movies and shows play in the background and there is no shortage of laughter as the carefree days of summer pass by.
I am a planner so I check things off of my master list, add and take away until I feel everything is just so. Testing bridal shower food and planning activities is ongoing and much of the day is spent consumed with new ideas and more creativity.
Bridal shower games, food, tables and decorations are the topic of discussion for the next few weeks and bring joy and excitement.
The family unit is once again solid and any positive aspects of our past life and traditions are now evident in the younger kids as well. Working hard to help each other, respecting differing opinions and making sure everyone has a voice, these are all integral parts of our family structure. There is always hope and for us there are pieces of love, joy and undeniable happiness that we shared even in the darkest of times.
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
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!
Bridal shower invitations have been addressed and mailed, a menu is taking shape and the theme continues to evolve.
Meanwhile the wedding arrangements are in full swing and the countdown has begun. Fattima worked hard on wedding favors and encouraged me to share some pictures but my lips are sealed until the wedding! Ben, as usual has been there helping, working hard and being supportive.
This past weekend they attended a Mariner’s game while visiting Yusuf and Alicia.
The happy couple still amaze and delight me each and every day! Fattima’s new family has welcomed her with open arms and her mother- to- be is excited at the prospect of having her as part of their clan!
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!
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!
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!