Monday, November 19, 2012

You might live in the Middle East if...

-Your kids love to build things in the yard out of old pipes, pine straw, sand, and extra tiles lying around.

-Your daughter learned the saying "I've got a gun, and I'm not afraid to use it" from you dad, but she changed it to "I've got a haroof (sheep), and I'm not afraid to use it."  Makes taxi drivers laugh every time she says it when we pass the "haroofs" close to our house!

-You've actually gotten used to sitting in the back of a taxi with all three children to go anywhere.  Even more impressive, your kids have gotten used to it!

-Taking candy from strangers isn't's an all-the-time experience. looking for another way to teach stranger danger.

-Your house is dusty again the same day it gets dusted.

-You hang laundry up to dry in your living room.

-You have lemon, apricot, fig, and mulberry trees in your yard.  (But you REALLY want to plant an olive tree...not for the olives...just to cut off branches of the pretty leaves for decoration in your house!)

-Your kids build houses in the yard for all the stray cats.

-Your shoes and the bottom of your pants are dusty most of the time.

-You wear your hair pulled up every single day.

-You get embassy alerts about not traveling to Gaza or Israel right now.  (wasn't really planning on it!)

-Your couches are so hard that they actually promote good posture.

-You get to interact with some of the kindest and most hospitable people who are so gracious as you butcher their language.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

In honor of learning Arabic...

We have been learning verbs lately (like for weeks).  And almost every one starts with a "b" sound.  In honor of mixing up our verbs, enjoy this...


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Getting more settled

Just wanted to catch you up on the last couple weeks. 
We've still been having arabic on weekdays.  We're making progress!!  It's fun to be talking a little bit more!
Some visitors from the US came from homebase of our company.  It was sooooooooooooo refreshing to have a little time with some friends and get some little surprises that got sent with them.  One of the men brought his daughter, and she played at our house one day.  All of our kids loved her, but Catie just soaked up the girl time!!  That week Catie was doing letter M for school, so they built a rocketship together for Catie and Jacob to fly to the moon.  Elise, thank you for blessing our family!!
Here's our family hanging out with some good friends and some visitors!
I've gotten a few more things hung on the kids' walls.  Zach said it makes it feel more like home. 
There are some friends here in the city who we know from the US.  They're here for about 8 months studying arabic and teaching english.  One of them is an art major, and he came over last week to do art with our kids.  They're counting the days until he comes next week!
Speaking of art, John found an art store not too far from us, and we went today.  It was FUN!!  Such an amazing place.  They have FELT and teal burlap.  You know, the important things!  :)  Well, I was super excited to see these...
And I started to feel silly for taking up space in our luggage for crayons and markers.  Until I saw the price tag...8.95JD!!!  That's $12.65 in US.  OH.MY.GOODNESS!!!  So, when you come visit, you know what I'll be asking you to bring!  ;)
But we did splurge at the fancy grocery store today and buy some pumpkin and cranberry sauce for Thursday.  It was about 3JD per can.  But worth it, I think.
You may have heard on the news that there have been lots of protests in our country this week.  We stayed home for several days, and last night and today started going out.  We haven't seen anything in our area of town, but we're not going downtown.  We're not feeling like we're in any danger, but we would appreciate you lifting up the stability of this country and region.  I'm so thankful for God and His Word.  For Truth to fall back on when the world around us seems uncertain. 
Well, I gotta run.  I've got FILTHY children, a messy house, and neighbors are coming over to visit in about an hour.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


This past week has been our best one so far.  We're feeling more and more settled.  I feel great about piling the kids in a taxi and knowing that I can get where I want to go...but more importantly knowing that I can get back home!!  Some folks from TX came to our city and brought us some surprises from friends and family!!!  Really, there just aren't enough exclamation points to communicate my excitement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Construction paper, baby gifts, REAL vanilla extract, surprises from my mom and dad wrapped in cute packages.  Rumor has it that more suprises are coming with someone else who gets here tomorrow, so there might be a part 2 to this post in the near future. 

One of my VERY favorite foods in the world is this corn mixed with black beans and avocado.  We were at a grocery store the other day, and they had it!!!  I bought 3 bags and they're happily sitting in my freezer waiting for the day we have a microwave that works.

Found this beauty at the mall the other day.  My house smells AMAZING!
We also saw this sign at the mall.
WHAT?!?  Menchie's is our family's favorite fro yo spot in Roswell, GA.  We were super pumped, so I took the kids up there for an afternoon surprise one day last week.  But once we got in there, we found out that here it costs about $1.40/ounce!!!!!  We each got really small ones, but it still cost about $25.  Soooooooooo, we won't be doing that very often, but it was a fun suprise!
So thankful for each of these encouragments and just wanted to share them with y'all!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Camping trip!

A couple weeks ago we went camping with our amazing new friends...Chris, Bekah, their 4 kids, and Jessica.  We had a blast!!  The other night at dinner we were talking about our favorite thing in this country so far, and this trip was Zach's pick!
We got to watch the sun set in the desert as we drove there.
We cooked chicken and veggies over the fire for dinner.  And s'mores and dump cake for dessert!
Jacob conked out in the bedouin-type tent!
We woke up the next morning to the beauty of God's creation!  We had lots of time for walking, exploring, trying to catch lizards (one ended up in Catie's hair!), climbing on rocks, hiking, and having fun together!
(can you find our friend, Jessica, in that picture above?!?)