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

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Jeremy, Kimberly, Shelby, Darby, and Emma arrived on the 23rd and it's been non-stop fun for the cousins ever since. We spent the first day at the mall- McDonalds, Marble slab and lots of shopping. Came back home for a few hours and then hit Chili's for dinner. Christmas Eve day we were able to stay around the house most of the day and just enjoy being together. The girls made sugar cookies according to the Cox family tradition and just had fun getting re-acquainted. Even Mia joined in on the fun and has especially enjoyed playing with Emma. I think Mia think's Emma is a dog and Emma thinks Mia is a baby like her.

Naomi has been fascinated by baby Emma. Mostly in the sense that she is very upset when Emma cries or is getting fussy, and she is always wanting to go in and check on her when she is sleeping.

Christmas Eve we sang carols around the piano (we definitely needed Nana as I was probably getting 50% of the notes wrong!) and read the Christmas story together from Luke. We did presents from each other around the Christmas tree and the kids had a blast.

Some favorite presents...

Naomi loved her stuffed Max and Ruby dolls and Maddie was thrilled with her sewing basket. (Abbey, Shelby, Darby,Emma were excited about their gifts to but my camera battery ran out)

Christmas morning we all went into the living room together to check out our stocking and their was more excitement. The girls played hard all morning with all of their new treats.

After a big Christmas lunch we headed down to the corniche for a long walk. We got cut a little short by rain, but it was still great to get out and let the girls run around together. It's been a great day and we're just all so thankful to be together!

Cooking with Bridget

My friend Bridget who used to work for me at home came over last week to cook Lebanese with the girls and me. It was such a fun day and the girls had a blast. She made three kilos of kibbeh so I have a freezer full. Kibbeh (or at least the way she made it) is basically ground beef mixed with bulgar wheat and spices. You form it into balls and fill it with a mixture of beef, onions, spices and pine nuts.

Abbey wasn't too interested in helping but Maddie and Naomi "helped" Bridget most of the day.

Football in the hippodrome

We've been wanting to play American football with several of our American friends here ever since Thanksgiving. We finally got it together and all went down to Tyre to see if it would work out to play in the Hippodrome there. It was SUCH a great experience. The kids got to run and play all day- climbing on the ruins (yes, in Lebanon you can actually do that), running around in wide open spaces, picnicing together. It was a blast. Karen (one of the other moms) and I kept looking at each other and asking why in the world we hadn't done this before in the almost 5 years that we've lived here. Here are a couple of pictures from the day.

The caves that the kids are standing in front of are actually old grave sites and alot of them had decaying bones in them- yuck!
Thankfully, Naomi was thrilled just to be able to pick flowers and didn't try to climb too much. I was a little nervous about her climbing after her recent busted chin.

To the right is what is left of the stands from the hippodrome. In later pictures you can see we set up our picnic area right in front of the stands and played ultimate frisbee and football with the kids.

Scoping out the playing field and picnic area...

Ultimate frisbee in action...


Here are some pics of the kids' football game...

Maddie and some of the other girls got bored with the games so Aunt Kellie helped them make flower wreaths. They were thrilled!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So, my oldest two have a new favorite term- fashionable. Ex, "Madde, that's a very fashionable sweater." or "Mommy, that's such a fashionable purse." I haven't exactly pinpointed where the abundant use of this word is coming from but MOST of the time it makes me giggle when they use it. Except for last week. And let me just clarify that I have my mom to thank for this. Mom, Annie as the girls call her, has gotten in the habit of sending fancy Christmas party dresses each year. Not the traditional smocked dresses, I'm talking fancy. Nothing over the top of course- I think they come from Target. Last year for example, they both had black velvet dresses with various bows, ribbons etc. This year, Abbey's is a deep purple combo of velvet and satin and Maddie's is dark navy with black velvet. Both have some sort of diamond sparkly pins somewhere on them. So, with the dresses, Annie has immediately earned herself the reputation of being a very "fashionable" grandmother. Let me add here, that this is not be any means at the expense of Nana- Jason's mom. In other words, it doesn't seem that Annie is the fashionable grandmother while Nana is the unfashionable one. No, it seems, that I get to be the lucky one who fills the role of unfashionable...

Last week in the car on the way home from school the girls and I were chatting. I don't really remember the context of our conversation, but I'm pretty sure it was related to Annie's fashionable taste concerning the new dresses. Before I know it, Abbey is telling me and Maddie is agreeing that "Well, Mommy, you're just not very fashionable. I mean you never wear fancy scarves or fancy jewelry or anything like that." (At this point I realized that not only do I have my mom to blame, but also all the single young girls that hang around with us who are always incredibly well put together- with nice scarves and fancy jewelry) I kind of laughed the whole thing off (after reminding them of course to be careful with their words because they ALMOST hurt my feelings.

The next night at dinner I was telling Jason about our conversation saying something like, "So, apparently the girls don't think I'm too fashionable." At this point I was getting exaggerated reactions from them, "MOMMY, you ARE fashionable. You DO dress nice" etc etc. I was kind of enjoying watching them squirm. UNTIL- Abbey looks at Jason and say, "It's nto that she's not fashionable. It's just that shes' kind of plain." Good grief! I give up! I just happened to be going to Bible study that night so I came out with my fancy (and only) scarf (that Annie made) and the snazziest earrings I could find (not very). The girls approved and we are all still laughing about mommies lack of fashion sense in the eyes of her 9 and 7 tear olds!