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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hish School Musical unplugged

I'm not completely sure if this worked or not but we'll see. I"m trying to post a video of the big girls singing. Seems like it's always Naomi's performances that make it on to the blog or on facebook so here is one of Abbey and Maddie. Singing has become a constant part of our family life together. Thankfully it is almost always either praise songs or High School musical both of which Jason and I love as well. Usually when Abbey and Maddie get started singing (with Naomi joining in randomly), there is usually choreography involved as well. This particular video was in the car, so they had to be pretty tame. I'll try to get a full out performance on here another time. They had a complete choreographed dance the other night to "Praise him, praise him all ye little children". Oh, and it doesn't help that one of the guys that goes to our house group with us has taken it upon himself to choreograph and teach the kids new moves to modern worship songs and it is hilarious (see the video on my facebook page for an example of a Naomi performance). You should see a bunch of kids dancing to passion worship songs. All I'm saying is "People need the Lord", eat your heart out...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Poor, sweet little "Nomi" was SOO sick a few weeks ago with pneumonia and gave us all (especially me) a scare mostly before we knew what it was. It was 6 days before we got a diagnosis and all I knew was that she had a scary high fever, was very out of it and could not stay awake for anything (despite her best efforts- see picture :)). We are so thankful for all the prayers for her and us during a very emotionally and physically exhausting week. I realized thought that really I should be very thankful because in my nine plus years as a parent, this was the sickest I've seen one of my kids and in the grand scheme of things, that's a lot to be thankful for.

I thought we had a breakthrough mid-week when she recieved her birthday package from Annie and Da and actually came to life for about thirty minutes or so but was quickly downhill again. Her new polly pockets were instrumental the next day though in getting us through our second ER visit of the week and chest x-ray and more examinations by residents AND doctors (I was probably not as understanding as I should have been about the whole teaching hospital thing considering I"m a nurse, but it's different when they're poking around on your baby!)

And here's Naomi on the road to recovery...

Several pounds lighter but feeling MUCH better...

ANNNDD- back to her old self!


Ok, so it's hard to phonetically sound out the way Jason says Darby's name with a British accent (what I was trying to do with the title of this post). Anyway, he's always said it that way, but this trip in particular it drove her absolutely crazy. So, Darby is pretty much one of the most quotable little people I've ever met so I decided to dedicate a post just to her and her funny little sayings. There's last years classic from the first day they arrived for their Christmas visit when she said, "Aunt Tellie. Where we live in Sudan, my mommy falls in holes." (she actually meant that Kimberly occasionally got their 4 wheel drive vehicle stuck in the pot holes on the roads, but she had me a bit worried at first considering that Kimberly was around 7 months pregnant with Emma at the time).
The picture above is Darby eating zataar, a Lebanese pizza type treat which she absolutely loves. I think everytime we had it she declared it the "best one EVER".
One evening over Christmas I was in the bedroom doing something on the computer, and I heard the four older girls playing in the hallway. They had apparently started some sort of secret club and were working on the passwords, code names etc. I heard the door to their bedroom close. A few minutes later I heard somone knocking on their door and a voice from inside (either Shelby or Abbey I"m pretty sure) says, "What's the secret password?". Long pause from outside and Darby says, "Let me in". Voice from inside says, "You must give the code to enter!" Another long pause and Darby says, "I don't know what that means." Again from the inside comes, "Password please!". Darby very exasperated says (as if nothing else matters), "But this is DAARRBBBYY". Thankfully I think they finally let her in because it could have gotten ugly.
Another time Darby and I were in the kitchen playing playdough and Emma was crawling around on the floor (probably eating the playdough). So anyway, Emma made her way under the table, and Maddie came in so I told Maddie to check on Emma under the table and make sure she wasn't putting anything in her mouth. Maddie gets down there and says, "Mom she is putting something in her mouth but I can't get it out." As I'm trying to tell Maddie how to get whatever it was out of Emma's mouth, Darby pipes in, "Aunt Telli, just grab her around the neck and pick her up. That's what my Daddy does.". Hee hee
So I guess these stories may not be that easy to appreciate if you didn't hear Darby's little voice or especially if you don't know Darby, but I wanted to be sure I didn't forget them.

Yuppi Park

In spite of the somewhat frightening lack of any sort of child safety regulations, Yuppi park remains one of our favorite outdoor play places in the city. There aren't really THAT many to choose from, but this one is consistantly lots of fun for everybody with open spaces to run and play in (a rarety in this city), zip lines, trampolines, pirate ship shaped play equipment etc.

I can't count how many times over the Christmas holidays during our time with Jeremy and Kimberly and the girls that I thanked God for the incredible relationship that our girls have and how thankful we are to say that our family members are also such incredible friends. The girls at times fight like sisters, but oh the tears when it came time to say goodbye! It's incredible to see 6 little girls who are blood relatives but who are so vastly different and unique at the same time.

Our time at the park got cut a little short by a winter storm so we headed to Wooden Bakery- a local fast food chain to get Manaouche- a Lebanese style pizza with cheese and zataar- combo of olive oil, thyme and sesame seed- shocking how much the kids love it!


One of our favorite memories from our Christmas with Jeremy and Kimberly and their girls is our trip to the mountains. This year there wasn't quite enough snow to ski, but we had a great time hanging out in our cabin by the fireplace and getting out to go sledding. Here's a few pictures...

Naomi started out going down with Jason or me, but after a while she was fearless and wanted to do it all by herself. At one point she was trying to drag the sled back up the hill by herself and was getting really frustrated. She kept saying, "darn it, dadgummit, this is crazy"

Shelby and Maddie- 3 months apart in age but as different as night and day... Even sledding. Shelby was our kamikaze sledder, no fear AT ALL and Maddie surprisingly was pretty timid.

For some reason, I didn't have any snow pictures of Darby, but I got some cute after snow shots of her...

Naomi and Darbs warming up by the fire

Naomi Scissorhands

So Naomi definitely seems to be the most accident prone of our three girls to date, and she recently took out this tendency on poor little Maddie. Maddie was working on a sewing project and had her things kind of spread out on my bed. Naomi came in and was starting to get into all of Maddie's stuff. Naomi had a pair of her scissors (child safety scissors, I might add- NOT sewing scissors) so I told Maddie to get the scissors from her because I didn't want Naomi walking around with them. (Maybe not the best move on my part, but considering they were child safety scissors and I was standing about 3 feet away, I figured what could it hurt?). So anyway, Maddie goes to take the scissors from Naomi, as she's reaching for them, Naomi jerks her hand away and poor little Maddie's finger ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Next thing I know, Maddie lets out a blood curdling scream and is grabbing at her end like she's dying. I'm thinking, "what in the world could have just happened?". My first reaction was to fuss at Maddie for screaming thinking she is surely exaggerating (not at all unusual) but then I noticed how much her finger was bleeding. When she would finally uncover it long enough for me to look (by now we have made it into my bathroom), I could tell that there was a pretty good little chunk taken out of the tip of her pinky ( I know, GROSS!). So, we got it cleaned up and all wrapped up, dried the tears, forgave each other (Naomi was pretty traumatized by Maddie's tears that she had caused). About thirty minutes later I was in my bathroom getting ready for church and Maddie comes in looking kind of puzzled. She's like, "UHH Mom, I think I just found the rest of my finger on your bed." She holds out her hand, and sure enough there's the little tip of her pinky. I know-- yuck!!

Valentine's and other catching up

Well the lapse in posting simply means that we have been very busy so hopefully I'll have lots of things to share in trying to catch up. This entry will be current and then I"ll jump back a couple of months to try and catch up on some things I've missed.

Valentine's day is usually pretty uneventful around here in that in 2005 a major political figure was killed so now each year there is a big rally and it's kind of a "lay low" day for Americans. This year we made our usual strawberry cake and Maddie went on a decorating frenzy with our pink construction paper. Jason and I actually got to go out for the evening because things remained calm all day so we took advantage of it. We tried to go shopping (here- there are two sales a year- August and February and if you don't take advantage of it you WON'T find decent prices). I say "tried" because I ended up immensely frustrated with stupid jeans. The zippers are only an inch long, the legs are extremely tight, and I seem to wear a size three sizes bigger than what I would wear in American styles. UGHH! AND, the price is at least three times what I would think I should pay... ANyway, thankfully we went to see a good movie to redeem the bad shopping experience! I highly recommend the movie Traitor.