Family time

This past weekend my oldest daughter, See See, flew in to visit with us. My middle child announced he would also be popping over.  The kids and I drove to my hometown to see Mom and Dad and to meet up with all of my kids. We had quite the weekend only missing one child and daughter-in-law. As usual Osama invited everyone over for a delicious meal on Saturday and Gigi and Papa were able to make it out to the house to join in. img_2560

I met with a dear friend who I have known since elementary school and catching up was so exciting. She picked up several books for herself and other friends who requested them. She was very kind and also encouraged me to get my life story published.

The next day Mom hosted brunch and the girls helped her out. All of the kids showed up and of course it was chaotic and full of interesting moments! Ben made the mistake of taking a rest on the floor!

The little ones had fun with aunties and uncles

It was soon time for some to depart and last hugs were exchanged

An old friend stopped by for her signed copy of the book

And then we headed back to the beautiful Palouse!img_2634Finally, a selfie of me and my girl

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?

IMG_2375IMG_2368

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

 

Is it Christmas yet?

 

56348637344__77830D1E-475B-4F68-B0A7-02825EEF5106

Having a large family means keeping busy at all times. There are very few moments when the phone isn’t ringing or someone isn’t asking for food, socks or just advice. I love being a mom, it has been the best career ever and lasts a life time.  Five of my kids still live near me or with me in the house, three live several hours away and of course Osama, Jacki and babies are near enough to pop over easily.

This weekend was spent putting up decorations, taking walks and cooking. I tried a couple of new recipes and unfortunately forgot to take pictures. I have slowly set out little Holiday bits and pieces over the past few weeks. The kids know how I feel about Christmas and notice these small changes. They grin, possibly mutter or maybe even humm a bit of seasonal music, knowing that there is much more to come. It is clear that once the leaves start their annual turn, holiday season is upon us.

IMG_0120
This weekend I saw via snapchat that Jacki had already put up an artificial tree soon to be followed by a second real one.img_0966 (1) (1) Therefore, I felt that permission was given for me to also bring out my first little tree from three years ago or that was my justification to the kids!

 

Mom and Dad’s village houses went up.56348612827__0EA27CD5-37D6-4C80-A8A3-D3C195956F25

As well as my Christmas angel

And other decorations from years gone by

A walk in 23 degree weather was definitely brisk and although no snow has fallen it is in our forecast! Meanwhile the lavender that I cut back two months ago, is once again blooming! It is always amazing to me that plants show such resilience.

Fattima and Ben came over for a visit Saturday evening and joined us for dinner, cards and the usual loud antics. Fattima went to the bathroom and her brother pushed everyone on the couch, into the hall, blocking her exit. She climbed over and placed herself directly over her younger siblings! This is quite typical of our household.

Four youngest kids sitting nicely before they were pushed down the hall!

I sat in the comfy recliner that my middle child purchased for me on his last visit! I decided I was much too settled and relaxed to remove myself to take a picture! Yes it is that soft and comfortable!

It was a nice, calm weekend spent around our little University town. Frost covered fields and our deck railing, sunsets melded into a frigid sky and thoughts of this year’s festivities surely danced in our heads!

My prayers and thoughts go out to those affected by recent tragedies. I pray for peace!

The last birthday

IMG_E8405.JPG

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

IMG_E8396

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!

Mocha

Everyone in the family knows I love a good cup of coffee. Even though our town is small there is definitely no shortage of both local and well established cafes that offer unusual as well as standard choices.

IMG_7319

Last Friday I walked with Soos to a quaint little cafe that offers an eclectic atmosphere, common in our University town.

We ordered something that I had never tried before and it turned out to be dreamy! I cannot come up with a better word to describe the spices and rich flavor of this Mocha Mexicana.

Soos reminded me as she frequently does that I need to get out of the house and do things other than housework and cooking! She is a gem.

IMG_20180511_101114 (2)

My hair has gotten longer and so it was time for a cut at my favorite stylist. Soos and I parted ways and I walked a few minutes to the salon then back home where we prepared to leave for the birthday party.

As my children have made their way from infancy to adulthood they have taught me so many lessons! I am constantly amazed at how much I learn from them!