Quarantine

Crocus stands outside my door, sunshine-snow falls to the core
Robins tweet the sound of spring, reminders of what beauty brings
Green and yellow soon will roll, upon the hills of evermore
Unbroken chain and melody, nature teaches humanity

Doctor Doctor hold my hand, give us all the perfect plan
Nurse of mercy she will be, on her feet for you and me
Collect the garbage, wash and wipe, nobs and handles need a swipe
Stock the shelves now, keep the peace, teach the children from your seat

Toilet paper wipes and cans, stockpile, check out, move that hand
Online, curbside, stop the greed, offer help for those in need
Old folks, babies, chronic pain, choose to not forget the name
Flour yeast and rice to hoard, sown of mercy from the Lord

Tulip green erupts from soil, real ones always true and loyal
Moon in glory casts the shine, days gone by do come to mind
Remember me games never end, same old illness new found friend
Brother sister look no more, help the weak protect the poor

 

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

Hit publish!

Hi to all of my friends and new followers! You have been dearly missed these past few months. As many of my good friends know, the past year has been full of; baking, cooking, taking photos, testing, re-testing, editing and endless reviewing.  I finally had to say “enough” and am hoping to push the publish button on Monday! I have ordered numerous proofs, changed the cover about 7 times and have had plenty of testing and reviewing by my kids, their fantastic spouses and a special friend of the family.  So here is the final look and I hope to be back on here visiting and having fun on a regular basis as of today!

Thanks for the love and support,

Lynn

 

 

Baking, cooking and sugar plum fairies

Saturday afternoon a shiny, new stove arrived at my front door! The other stove was only nine years old but had seen much wear and tear, burners refused to turn off and heated up randomly and recently a buzzing noise from inside started catching the attention of my children. Still, I was so very grateful to have a stove as many people do not.

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Stove from Osama and Jacki!

If you have followed my blog and life story then you already know that I cooked on a stove that was purchased from a flea market of sorts in downtown Riyadh. Two of the four burners functioned and both shocked me if I used any metal utensils. We lived with no beds, chairs, tables etc. for a couple of years and with the very bare necessities when we lived outside of compounds. My parents supplied any luxury items for our family (new towels, clothing, shoes, kitchen gadgets, toys)  and we fought to hang on to those. We have all learned to be grateful for the smallest of things and realize material items cannot bring happiness, but they can make life very difficult when you do not have even the basics.

I was raised in a beautiful home on six sprawling acres of pine trees and never imagined living without the basics and also the many extras that I had become accustomed to. I was unaware of the insidious cycle of abuse until it swallowed me whole and spit me back out.

But now things are different and my children are allowed to make their own choices and to be who they were meant to be.

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My nine children

Meanwhile, I sit in my comfy recliner and sip coffee while visions of jelly roll, sugar cookies and fried rice dance in my head. Thoughts drift to concoctions that will be whipped up on a brand new stove!

Happy Holidays and remember that things can get better, there is always hope!

Is it Christmas yet?

 

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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.

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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!

Second time around is bliss

Many of you already know that I am a mom to nine fantastic children. But maybe you don’t know that I have five sons and four daughters. Recently Foof got married and a month before the ceremony my eldest daughter Saleeha, got engaged! As I have written in many of my true life stories, it was hard to ever imagine this joy and the idea that my girls would be able to pick their own careers, daily habits and most importantly their love interest. But here we are, two of my girls have found amazing partners and now for the second time I am overjoyed to witness them blossom, find love and build a future.img_0917

Saleeha met her intended through a friend and they share many similarities including their love for literature and writing. It has been a long road for my girl, building that trust and learning to relax and accept love and a warm and endearing heart but she is there and I couldn’t be happier.

Edison is a soft spoken Phd in Chemistry, a poet and he loves to cook! The ring he picked has a vintage look and is just what Saleeha wanted.

They have not picked a wedding date and both of them are not really into having a big bash so they will find what suits them. I am all about being yourself and doing what works for you, so whatever they chose will make me happy for them.

Edison proposed at their special place, deception pass. I posted pictures last year after they shared a romantic day there.

Recently wedding dress shopping commenced and she found the perfect fit for her! It is gorgeous. I will only show a bit of the dress so that Edison isn’t disappointed!

There is hope after the storm, there is peace and you can make it, whatever your struggle might be it can be part of your life and can make you stronger, not break you. Never would I have imagined that we would be here, back home, together and thriving. Don’t ever give up and stay true to being the best you!

Lynn

 

Big size family life

I grew up in a family of four, in the valley of a mid sized city. My sister was two and a half years older than me. We had one small dog and one cat. We sat at the family table at 5 p.m and politely asked to be excused before removing our supper dish. We were not a rambunctious group but a quiet, happy little family. We camped in the summer, went clothes shopping at the turn of each new season and we celebrated holidays in a joyful but calm manner. It was a nice, idyllic childhood that prepared me for whatever the future would bring.thumbnail_IMG_2987

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did not argue over card/ game tournaments nor did we prank, carry or wrestle each other through the house.

 

We never pulled our mom into the kitchen on her exercise bike insisting that she instruct us on cooking meals! And we most certainly did not carry the recliner upstairs hauling it through the kitchen and into the living room, plopping it down in just the right spot for mom! The boat was never full and there was plenty of room at the table.

 

Large family life is fun, unexpected and warm. I loved growing up in our little family unit but I adore being part of this big crazy family. Homemade cards and gifts, possibly a song production or two are thrown in there for birthdays and graduations.

 

 

Personal projects often end up being group efforts

And most certainly the younger kids never forget that they are definitely not the oldest!

 

Even in the quietest of times, there is never really a dull moment. There is no shortage of opinions, love, noise and support.

We have learned through the years to stand together, catching each other if we fall.

Big family life