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Posts tagged ‘love’

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!

In dirt scuffed shoes

DSC_0020I walk the road of no regrets
Dirt scuffed shoes and poplar leaves

Fallen heroes grieve for me
Womankind stacked at my feet

Her voice calls out in unison
I sing in tandem heart bereaved

The chime says no regrets for me
A wasted form of liberty

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

Hold on

img_e6243.jpgLay me down in fields of saffron
I cannot sing in thorns and briar

Many steps until forever
Distortion sealed in secrecy

Touch my hand and hold me closer
All the while eternally

Belatedly in solstice shower
A fool for you No more to be

Newlyweds return

Fattima and Ben paid us a visit yesterday and it is clear they are still on Island time! They were in a Reggae music, convertible top down, luau lovin haze!

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Before “I do” day before the wedding!

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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.

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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.

 

True story–No match

 

As we head towards the wedding I thought I would repost this story of Ben and Fattima’s romance!

2008

He continued with his lecture on marriage and travel until tears hung in the creases of her eyelids. No decent man would allow his daughter to travel unaccompanied, not even for educational purposes. Her tiny silhouette stood in the form of a young woman, unfortunately the feisty and willful girl who had roamed the compound streets was no longer visible. Tears slowly dripped down her cheeks and onto wistful lips that had once been playful. She struggled to eat meals and found every excuse to avoid food that seemed distasteful and at times repulsive. As an infant and toddler her weight had been low much like her oldest brother and was eventually chalked up to family genes and the transition from breastfeeding to solid food. But now a slow decline was obviously due to lack of appetite and low caloric intake. Visits to the ER were made when stomach pain and distress could not be controlled at home and this continued well into her twenties. The connection between stress, anxiety and mealtime had not been made while still in a state of frozen survival.

A raise in his voice became evident as he circled back to the topic of marriage,when he handed over his duties to a husband it would be up to him, but until then the answer was still squarely no. She would not be allowed to travel with her grandparents to Paris, it was out of the question. Her older sister had been tricked into taking this trip and there was no going back but he could still shield her from this fate. He finished by reminding her that she was not just any girl and a man of upstanding character, wealth and reputable familial lineage would be the only acceptable suitor. A silent laugh and grin emanated from curved lips as he shook his head back and forth.

2018

One last glance in the mirror produced a perfect figure but one that she was not accustomed to. In recent months bits and pieces, curves and a more voluptuous appearance had emerged leaving her both confused and frustrated. The dress fit nicely around her waist but somehow what had seemed delicate and flattering now stood as questionable. It was costly and she could not imagine spending so much for a garment that would be worn only once. A parade of dresses back and forth from dressing room to pedestal where she stood examining every detail were followed by discussion and finally a phone call to her betrothed. She giggled and smiled through a wisp of golden tinged hair until the conversation came to an end. There was no mistaking his feelings, it was up to her and she should be happy. The perfect ring of her choosing, a new home and now a dream wedding were all in her hands. It was clear that the past had faded and was no match for the sincerity of his blue and flawless eyes.

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Happy ending

Foof did get to travel with her sister and grandparents to Paris and then to the United States! A deal of sorts was struck, that they would agree to cover their hair and abide by certain rules and we were able to make it happen. They got to see Paris, stayed at my childhood home in the woods with my parents, played in the snow and went with their brothers to the Oregon coast! They were gone for two months!!

 

 

 

Bits and pieces

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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

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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. 

 

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