He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Other fall break fun

I can't say it's been all fun and games having the girls home all week while Jason's been gone, but we've managed to have our share of fun, and overall they've been really sweet. Unfortunately, I have managed to once again get sick while he's gone but I guess that's life...

One raindy day (and there have been A LOT) we covered the girls room in a massive tent with our new blankets (thank Nana and Annie). That kept them occupied for several hours- the toys just seemed so much more fun in the tent!

Here's a view of the inside of the tent- everybody doing their own thing. They even created their own "rooms" although that didn't work very well in Naomi's opinion.

Maddie has followed in big sisters footsteps this week and has started carrying chapter books around with her reading a good bit more than usual (which was hardly ever). I"m so glad she's finally getting into it without me pushing too much!

I don't have any picture but we've also done our share of fall baking this week. For Bible study on Tuesday night, we made pumpkin dip with ginger snaps and caramel dip with fresh fruit. So yummy! I love the smells of fall baking. Today we made those chocolate surprise cupcakes that have the cream cheese and chocolate chip mixture in the middle of the chocolate cupcake. I died the cream cheese mixture orange and then we iced the top with orange cream cheese icing- again, so yummy! And I wonder why I can't ever stick to a diet in the fall!

Tomorrow is actual halloween and the girls have big plans. Abbey wants to be Hermione from Harry Potter, Maddie will be Princess Lea and Naomi will be something involving pink fluffy princess dresses I'm sure although I hope to convince her to be R2D2 even though she has not a clue what that is.

Right now the girls are at some friends house for a high school musical party. They were so excited to wear their new pajamas and wigs. Get a load of this...

Meet Gabriella and Sharpay. No worries to those of you who might- they're not growing up too fast, they just love to sing and dance!

Happy Halloween!

With Jason being out of town this week AND the girls being out of school all week we've had plenty of time to do lots of fun Halloweenish things. We carved a pumpkin for the first time ever, I think. Maddie especially loved it. She stuck wiht me the whole way. Abbey got bored pretty quick and went to read and book and told us to call her when we were done. Here's some pics- I thought the girls expressions were pretty priceless...

Removing the inner goop from the pumpkin (this is where Abbey started losing interest...)

To the right is where Maddie realized that Abbey was losing interest and started using it to her advantage. ie: slinging pumpkin goop everywhere

Like I said, Maddie stuck with it and wanted to be involved every step of the way. We had this cool pumpkin carving kit that I got at target in the states that allows you to trace a pattern onto the pumpkin using these nifty little tools.

And the finished product! They were all so proud of our "wink and a smile" pumpkin!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weekend drives

One of the hardest things about living in Beirut is that it is such a concrete jungle and it's pretty hard to find inexpensive entertainment for the kids or just places to run around. However, one of the best things about living in Lebanon is that within forty five minutes we can drive from the Mediterranean up into the beautiful mountain peaks. We've started somewhat of a tradition of taking drives on the weekend to enjoy this beautiful country where we live. We usually end up adding some sort of treat into it- whether it be climbing on rocks of ruins of a crusader castle, stopping for ice cream or Starbucks or soon to be our new Krispy Kreme. We've found rivers to wade in, snow to play in the winter, and rocks to climb on along the Mediterranean coastline.

We started out along the corniche (the walkway along the Med) and then headed up to the mountains.

Jason and I love finding beautiful old homes and buildings amid all the apartment buildings. Some of the architecture is so beautiful!

Once in the mountains, out the right side of the car, we had a beautiful view of the rocky peaks that will be snow capped in just a few months. Out of the left side is the steep drop back down to the Mediterranean but it was still a good bit too hazy today to get a good picture.

Here's what we try to prevent happening during our afternoon drives, but once it happens there's no reversing it! It's amazing what a thirty minute power point can do to bedtime. Case in point- it's after 10 and Naomi just came walking into our bedroom and said, "mommy, I"m all done in my bed". Well, at least she was polite about it!

And the grand finale for the afternoon was an early dinner at Chilis! Thankfully not quite as pricey as it could have been because all Jason could stomach after a week of being sick was mashed potatoes and my food didn't taste quite right so we sent it back and didn't pay. Unfortunately, my tummy is still not too happy but the girls were thrilled and that's what counts!

I've fallen and I can't get up...

This is definitely outdated but it's a story worth telling especially since I now have the video to go with it. When we were in Jordan with the Cox family in April Naomi fell on the playground and got a pretty nasty gash right above her eye. After an unsuccessful trip to one very ghetto hospital (during which I fainted but that's not worth mentioining)- anyway, after that we arrived at a very reputable hospital in Amman Jordan and the ER doc determined that Naomi would need a plastic surgeon due to the location of the cut and her tendency as a two year old to "not cooperate" Soo... they take us up to the surgery suite and start getting things together. They did put a hep-loc in (the little IV port that they can access if needed but doesn’t actually have an IV bag attached) and then just before the procedure they proceeded to give her undiluted IV morphine straight into her blood stream. They hadn’t even taken her vital signs, her weight- NOTHING. Jason and I watched her float off into “la la” land in a matter of seconds and then they took her back and made us leave the room. It all happened so fast that my protests made no difference (the fainting incident earlier still had me a little disoriented) and I don’t think the Arab speaking nurses really understood what I was protesting about anyway. By the time they gave her the Morphine the English speaking plastic surgeon was already waiting in the OR. Anyway- longest 10 minutes of my life! I was absolutely convinced they were going to come out and tell me they had oversedated her into a coma! Thankfully the story has a funny ending- bet you guys have never seen a two year old totally high on morphine- and the high lasted another hour at least. All the way back to where we were staying from the hospital, she was singing every disney song she knew and talking up a storm. The attached (I hope) video is once we got back to the guest house wiht the rest of the Coxes. She could hardly stand up but didn't want to be held. She was grasping for things in the air. It was pretty funny once I got past the fear of how heavily medicated she was! Here's the link to the video...http://vupload.new.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=29681768198

A little help please....

As if I haven't already made it clear enough, I need to confess my ignorance about how the whole blog thing works and ask for a little help. I've been gently chided for my six month lapse in posting and it's because I'm afraid!! And I feel dumb... I mean, who am I talking to when I write and is anyone listening? I was reading John and Liz's blog (YES, I read it) and she had all these nifty things on there like where people could comment on recipes they were trying, top 10 lists- like all these continual conversations. I guess I just don't really think I"ll have enough people reading this to be doing that and how does it work anyway? What does it mean to tag someone in the blog? If someone commments on my blog with a question in order to respond to them do I comment back on my own blog? That seems weird for some reason.. Anyway, these are all dumb questions and when I got no responses I'll probably be even more hesitant to post for fear of feeling like an even bigger doofus. So, if any of you have blogs that I can be reading to- send them on. I confess that if you've sent it in the past, I've probably never looked at it because of our incredibly slow internet connection. BUT, it's speeded up a bit and I have a little more time on my hands with the girls in school so why not give it a try...

Summertime Fun

This is mostly an experimental post to see if I can get the pictures to go where I want them too... I'm so behind that I decided to just do a few pics from our summer adventures.

We moved in June and the most exciting for the girls is their new heart and rose bedroom! We were a little worried about Naomi sharing a room with the big girls but it has worked out so great, and I love that our third room is freed up as a guestroom/playroom.

> My parents visit in July was great. We literally went all over Lebanon. This is a restaurant up in the mountains away from the heat called Mounir. The flowers and view were breathtaking and the grilled chicken was some of the best we had all ever had.

Maddie's 7th birthday was July 13th and she helped me design her High School Musical cake. She also got a HSM microphone (that Mommy and Daddy especially love :)) and a HSM dance mat. Even Naomi sings a long to all the songs.

IN August we had a a surprise vacation given to us by some very generous friends whose time share just happened to transfer to Lebanon. We had a great week of family time in the mountains- explored and found beautiful rivers and streams and spent lots of relaxing days by the pool.

I know for most of you it's not major job to get pictures where you want them on a webpage but for some reason this is the first time it's worked right for me! I really want to do a better job of keeping this up- I had just gotten so far behind that it seemed pointless! Anyway, here's s a start. Now I have to go feed my starving children as Naomi just walked into my bedroom carrying a huge pitcher of milk...