24 March 2014

A Finishing Touch


Our first trip to visit the Gulf.

On a break from our life and work in North Africa, we flew to Dubai, then puddle jumped to Bahrain. Returned to Dubai, rented a car and road tripped to Oman. It was incredible. My boy H was just a babe and he was such an easy traveler.

The Gulf 085

In Bahrain we wanted to be tourists and visit this mosque.

Yes, they let you do that, just like anyone can tour Notre Dame in Paris and Westminster Abbey in London.

Well kind of like that.

Like that except that there are certain hours.

And a dress code.

A dress code for women, specifically.

Certainly I was dressed modestly as we traveled in these parts of the Muslim world. But women in a mosque must be completely covered.

So how it works is you enter a side door of the mosque to the little visitor center. Mike and H waited in a small area while I was taken behind a fabric screen by a young woman. A long black hijab was chosen off a hanging rack and she helped me slip it over my clothing. My shoes were removed. Next a long tarha (head scarf) was selected and she carefully wrapped it around my head. She tucked strands of hair carefully behind the fabric, adjusted it under my chin and smoothed it down the side.

We stood eye to eye and she looked carefully at my face to inspect her work. She seemed mostly satisfied, even pleased that maybe she thought I looked better all covered up. I liked her. But then with no hesitation, she then licked both of her thumbs and slicked my eyebrows down flat.

That was my finishing touch.

Ha! I laugh about it to this day.

The Gulf 082

The Gulf 083

Beautiful, eh?

22 March 2014

Just ‘Cause

Here’s a few photos of Lil’ A looking cute in her big floppy headband…




… just ‘cause I drank caffeine at 5pm (noon is my usual cutoff) and it’s 11:20 on a Saturday night and I’m going strong…

And cause she’s stinking cute.

17 March 2014

Soccer Mom (Day 18)

Today I added to the list of my roles “soccer Mom”. My boy had his first practice and did so very well. And he had this very grin plastered on his face the.entire.time.


Also, my hubs is home. Glory, halleluiah!

16 March 2014

Dimes (Day 17)

A few weeks before Mike left I began a new incentive program in our household for my big kids.


When they do something of note, like not get up in the middle of the night to tell me their finger hurts, or clean their room spit-spot, or play very well together, or any other behavior that I’d like to support… I take a dime from the jar and I throw it in their personal pot. I never take them away (as much as I want to sometimes for those not-so-shining-moments of theirs), but only put them in.


It’s been working rather well. (Fun tidbit… these pots were from our wedding. Our favors were tiny flowers planted in these pots with our initial stamped on them on each table. I’m so happy to be using a couple of them ten years later.)


On the weekend they get to take their pots down and count their dimes. This also serves as their allowance. Cool, huh?

Therefore enter the spend-give-save cans.


Now they each have  set of these.


So on the weekend they get their dimes and we talk about separating them into the appropriate cans. Then they practice while I oversee.

Then they have money to spend (and give and save, obviously).


We have been trying to do something like this with H for awhile longer than N. So he had more money to spend. He spotted some matchbox cars he fancied at King Soopers one day. A great start, I thought! So the next shopping trip he took along his wallet and he carefully chose two cars and purchased them all by himself.

It was a proud moment.


This girlie had to save a little longer. I suggested that her first purchase be for a coin purse so that she had something to carry her money in on a shopping trip. She liked that idea.

We spotted one at King Soopers, how handy! However she didn’t have enough money on the first spotting. That was a little bit hard for her. I resisted the VERY strong temptation to supplement from MY wallet so girlie could have what she wanted on the same day as brother.


But this goofball (who wouldn’t take a normal photo) patiently collected dimes for one more week, counted them up and this week she had enough!  Lets get three cheers for delayed gratification for four year olds!!

So today after church the four of us hauled into King Soopers for a few groceries and the well-earned “penny purse” as she calls it. (And don’t you DARE correct her). She chose her design, paid with her money and happily gathered her receipt.

Precious little kiddos learning life skills, gotta love it!

14 March 2014

Bringing the Outdoors In

So one day I was outside with my boy playing. He picked up a stick to play with it and I thought “Cool stick! I could hang that over the mirror in my dining room!” (My dining room is actually my living room which is actually my kitchen… all one big room, you know?)


Anyway, I asked my boy if I could have it and he gladly agreed.

I walked it over to put it near the doors leading inside so I wouldn’t forget to take it in later. As I set it on the ground I noticed that there was a big branch laying under the tree.

Then I thought…

“Well, if I’m gonna put a branch in my house… I’m gonna put THAT branch in my house!!” Go big or go home, you know?!

My parents were visiting at the time, so I drug it over to my balcony and waved it in front of the sliding glass doors until I got my Mama’s attention. She came on the balcony. I asked her if she thought she could pull it over and inside.

She didn’t look shocked.

She didn’t look surprised.

Do you suppose she knows her daughter pretty well?

She obliged.

So up and over it went. When my dear husband came home from work he found a giant branch laying through the middle of the house.

He thought it was a fleeting thought.

A silly moment.

Then he remembered who he married.

And he loves me! And he knows his interior decorating skill holds no competition with mine. So he dug out the hacksaw and cut a few feet off the bottom.  Then my Daddy put a screw in the wall and wired it up for safety.


And here ya have it. A family effort. A tree in my house. Beautifully utilizing all the vaulted space up there.

I’m in love.

12 March 2014

A Wonder (Day 13)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.


The trouble kids go to to eat out of the very center of the sandwich is a wonder to me. Today, in between bites of smashing her little mouth in the middle of the bread as the rest of the sandwich was squashed again her cheeks ear to ear, Sweet N explained to me that she does it because she doesn’t want to eat the crust.

Then she giggled and my heart exploded.

Oh my.

That girl.

And now I also wonder why children have a common hate of bread crust? Where do they learn this?

Kids are a wonder…

11 March 2014

Day 12

Came out of my bedroom this morning to find these two like this.


Why are they so wonderful?!


And this afternoon it looks like this outside. Wasn’t it 70 yesterday and I wore flip flops and drove around with the windows down? Colorado has such a short memory…


The afternoon brought puzzles with a friend. (Today was pajama day at school, hence the all-day-long pajamas for my boy.)



Baby girlie kept busy emptying my utensil drawer for me.

She’s so helpful.


Then she went pointing fingers.


It’s a new thing of hers. Then she babbles. And I’m certain she’s telling me all kinds of interesting things, if only I could understand.

And it was pajama day for her too. It’s all-day-pajama day for her about every other day, especially when it snows.

12 down, 6 to go.

10 March 2014


My boy is nearing the end of 1st grade, can you believe it? I couldn’t be more proud of him.

We’ve had homework this year, along with a math curriculum we have been working through at home. I’ve watched him to homework for many hours and I’ve learned his ‘concentration’ face…


Homework in the living room.





Homework on the couch.


Blurry, but you can see him concentrating here too.


Soccer concentration (at his birthday party).


Homework at the island.


Homework on the balcony.



Here Sweet N was practicing her counting one day after H was done with his hands-on math homework.


And this is an interesting way to read the comics!


Random Recents

This was before Daddy left, obviously…



Oh this face. Oh that hair!


Lovies!! For the longest time Mikey didn’t believe that at headbutt from Lil’ A was like her kiss or her hug… but it’s true! It’s her lovies!!


Her signature crinkle nose grin.


Book worms. Glory.


Lil’ A thinks it’s SO fun to watch the big kids in the bathtub.


She thinks it’s fun to join them, too!


Up to something?


All dressed up, nowhere to go… except the hallway!!


Lil’ A in the Jenny-Jump Up at the front door is fun for the whole family. And one neighbor girl.


Who says princesses can’t fight?! In heels?!


Who could fight with her? She’s just too precious.


Dinner time. Just an everyday-nothing-special-love-them-to-pieces shot.

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