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The wedding!

It has almost been a month since Fattima and Ben said I do! Here are some pictures taken by the professional photographers!

The couple posed before the wedding for some special shots including the “first look”


Some individual photos44144642_2119183595011197_3286265162490707968_n


Special moments with family

Me and my kids and grandkids44131495_2119183611677862_7246234922187227136_n                                                           The ceremony

And finally the send off!


The happy couple a month later44471516_2121337458129144_693995225302958080_n

More photos to follow!


Before “I do” day before the wedding!

IMG_0415 (1)

I heard the little boys talking upstairs in their room, a few words here and there and some laughing. I had been awake since 4 a.m. so it was easy to just pop up there and cart them downstairs. I love seeing their smiling faces first thing in the morning. Of course the first question was “Heme wake”?
We sat together waiting for the other kids to wake up and eventually Fattima and Ben made their appearance  with handfuls of beautiful bouquets from the local Farmer’s market.


Flowers were placed in containers with water and left for the next day. These flowers would be used as part of the centerpieces along with a picture of the bride and groom in their youth.

Meanwhile we worked on our various jobs. Jacki hemmed pants, steamed shirts and made sure all of the men looked just right! Osama served as one of the groomsman and the four younger brothers were ushers.

Yusuf and Alicia arrived that afternoon from Seattle and we all got together for a little family dinner that evening.

Fattima went back and forth trying to decide if staying at Osama and Jacki’s house was best or if getting a hotel room would work better. In the end she chose a hotel a few miles away where the four of us girls spent time steaming dresses, eating snacks and reminiscing.
The next morning it was up at 4 a.m. and off to hair and makeup!

Fattima wore her hair down with a bit of curl and fluff. The bridesmaids were asked to wear their hair up and a little flower was given to each one to complement the bride’s hairstyle.

We picked the girls up from the hotel where we found Jacki working on Deeja’s hair!IMG_20180923_071617.jpg

This was totally a family effort and each member played their part making the wedding a huge success.


Bits and pieces


Love will be restored

Little girl little girl
Hair of flaxen gold
Hold my heart
Touch my hand
Remember days of old

Scattered dreams
Days it seemed
Forever would not come
Fantasy Reverie
Cherished love with one

Hold on tight
Make it right
Be true to evermore
Joy and bliss, happiness
Now love will be restored


Here we are less than a week away! I am going to post little bits and pieces of Foof in her dress and slowly reveal the whole thing before this weekend.  Ben is adamant that he does not want to see her dress until the big day and so he will have to look away and not read my posts. 



Sunday morning we decided to leave the lake early and head for home. My four children who still live with me were all feeling unwell and it was decided that being in the comfort of their own rooms would be best. As we wound our way through the Palouse  it occured to me that the next day Foof and I would be going back to Spokane to get THE DRESS.  After a break from wedding dress shopping we looked over all of the pictures I had taken and realized one of the first dresses was The one. 

Sumaya reminded me that it would be Memorial day and the bridal shop might be closed. I quickly looked on my phone and sure enough it was. I called Fattima and informed her of the news and asked if she wanted to go as soon as we returned home.  She agreed. Within three hours we were at the shop eagerly waiting to try the special dress on one last time!

A helpful young lady at the counter sighed and told us that they had just sold the dress! She checked the immediate area as well as Seattle and it seemed the dress was not to be found! We decided to try our second choice and while it was beautiful it was just not the same!

Feeling a bit deflated I spoke with one of the women and asked if there was anything else. Fattima feels she looks best in a tight waist with a bit of poof and so the clerk went to work searching for another option. Minutes later she came back with a very glamorous dress that had not been put out on the floor yet and Foof would be the first to try it on! It was a match!

We both agreed that things do indeed happen for a reason and this dress was a way better fit than our original choice! She feels like the princess that she is and Ben was thrilled that there was a happy ending!

It’s official, Foof said yes to the dress!33706732_2009681722628052_8548575895185522688_n




Update on the book

Today we are heading over to watch the boys and Alayna. We will be making our way home this evening. I have been working hard on my book and have made progress! Have a great Friday!

2006 Riyadh

He felt that this inquiry was laughable and almost an insult, but he was certain that this simple minded man did not know what he had requested.  He would never consider a poor man, a shop owner 15 years her senior, but if circumstances were favorable it would be much different. He stared at me and puffed his chest taunting me with words that stung my senses. My opinion was already well known and this conversation had been replayed numerous times as proposals came in for both girls. Each time I reminded him that it was up to them and first they would finish school and find their own way in life.  The same response was given as I sat silently listening to a list of complaints and accusations. Did I want her to be a willful, stubborn female, alone and childless. She was 16 and of marrying age and ultimately it was up to him, he was the head of this household.  He was a God fearing man and claimed he would never force her, it was not allowed in the religion, but it was clear that if the “right” man came along he would surely push until we were either doomed to relent or possibly flee. He continued his rant questioning my motives and a potential plan that lay beneath the surface. Was I dooming her to be an empty person who cared about this worldly life and its trappings. Once again I reminded him that she was a free person and had rights given to her and guaranteed by the almighty. He pulled his thobe over a ragged tshirt and grabbed a miswak (a stick used as a toothbrush) brushing teeth with a rugged motion. He stared at me one last time and warned me not to poison his daughter’s mind with thoughts of independence and disobedience.


Her short brown hair was now styled as she saw fit and a bright red scarf lay over her chest and shoulder. She walked past the mirror checking lipstick, adjusting the thin top that had been layered under a silky shirt. Her life was now her own and had become a mix of work and education. A semester in Spain had not only bolstered confidence but also helped to reinforce her third language and a sense of independence. It was time for his arrival and although they had spoken at length he was still an unknown. Her brothers stood peering out the window then casually walked away making room for the rest of us. We paced anxiously, hoping to get a glimpse of this man, he was an enigma, a mystery and it almost seemed as if he did not exist. Somehow he was a compliment to her feisty ways, calm in the storm of all that moved us, but more importantly he was in fact, of her choosing. She shooed us from the window and walked nervously out the door and into the arms of what would be forever.

Fattima’s Huckleberry cheesecake


This post was written by Fattima. She will be gone this weekend but will be back next week to answer any questions or comments. In the mean time I will answer comments and have fun interacting with my friends! Yeah for Friday!



I tried huckleberry lemonade for the first time this summer and it was DELICIOUS. I was obsessed with how amazing it tasted and couldn’t believe I had never had it before, especially having lived in Idaho for about 8 years. I had heard that huckleberries were extremely expensive and would see them being sold at the farmer’s market but never understood why they were so expensive until now! Huckleberries are similar to blueberries but taste WAY better and are hard to come by.


I was dying to get my hands on some huckleberries but did not want to pay $50 for a gallon of huckleberries. I heard that they are wild and you have to go up in the mountains to pick them. This was tricky because you would need to know the right location to find them. My bf’s grandfather and father pick huckleberries and knew exactly where to go. We made a day of it and they were nice enough to take me up there to pick. We picked about 3 gallons of huckleberries. I am SO EXCITED. I was thinking about all of the desserts I could make with huckleberries.



Below is Huckleberry Cheese Cake!



1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

1/8 cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter

Huckleberry sauce:

2 cups huckleberries

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon real lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

Cheesecake filling:

3- 8 oz packages of cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs


The first thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 350F and get out a spring form pan. Next you will want to make your cheesecake crust. Crush the graham crackers up really well and add melted butter and sugar. Mix all of this together and put it in you spring form pan. Pat it down so it is even and if possible, pat it up the sides just a little. Put the crust in the oven for about 8 minutes. While the crust is cooking make your huckleberry sauce.

In a sauce pan on med heat mix together the sugar and huckleberries. In a separate bowl mix together the cornstarch, lemon juice and water. Once the sugar has dissolved, mix the cornstarch mixture into the huckleberries and sugar. Leave this on the stove for about 5 minutes and make sure that you are mixing it here and there while crushing some of the huckleberries. Remove from heat and let it sit. Now you will want to work on the cheesecake filling.

In a mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar. Once this is mixed well and fluffy add sour cream. Mix well then add the eggs one by one. Do not overbeat the mixture once you’ve added the eggs.


Put about a fourth of the cheesecake filling in the bottom of the pan and spread it but make sure not to scrape the bottom. Put about a fourth of the huckleberry mixture on top and swirl it in with a knife. Put about a half of the remaining cheesecake filling on top and again smooth it out then add about half of the huckleberry mixture. Put the remaining cheesecake mixture on top and add 3/4th of what’s left of the huckleberry mixture on top and swirl it. Place the cheesecake in the oven for about 1 hour. I would check it at an hour and make sure that it is not too jiggly in the middle. If it is, leave it in for an additional 5-10 mins. Let it cool before taking off the spring form pan ring. I made the mistake of serving the cheesecake soon after that. I would let it set in the fridge for about 2 hours. It tasted a lot better once it was cold. I am not a HUGE fan of cheesecake but OMG this was awesome!




Precious day


I puttered around the house, sweeping and mopping, tidying little bits and pieces that were out-of-order. A quick shower, some hair gel and blow dry, a little foundation applied to cover red cheeks, age spots and a recent scar. I pulled on the black jeans that had been purchased on a trip to see Abdullah. A bright blue shirt that Soos picked out and had encouraged me to wear on numerous occasions was gently pulled on over my hair. I stood inspecting myself in the mirror, refusing any negative thoughts about weight and just felt proud to be me.

Mom’s new little red car pulled next to the curb, they headed up the walkway all smiles and were greeted with hugs and kisses. The keys were handed to Soos and she was asked to drive us to our destination and try the cute new car. We made our way up the road through the Palouse to another University town only 10 miles away.

The restaurant was picked based on location and a recommendation from the two older girls who have been there many times.  My sister wanted to sit outside and view the scenery and this turned out to be the best place. Seating on the veranda gave a close up view of the golf course, green and yellow fields rolled in the distance. We laughed and talked and had fantastic food, then said our goodbyes to the girls who had to get back to work.

We paid a visit to the creamery right on campus ( where Anne and I went to University) which of course meant buying their famous cheese and ice cream. The next stop was made for shopping so Anne could finish her list of things to take back to Saudi and then to find a box for packing.

Soos drove us home where we opened the slider to a gentle breeze and shared the rest of the afternoon discussing life in a small town, changes that have occurred in Saudi over the past few years and photos of grown children and grandkids.

It was a precious day spent with mom who turns 83 in a week, my sister and three of my daughters. I heard mom remark that this was the best day ever!

We said our goodbyes, hugs and kisses and they drove away in the sporty new car.


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