Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tourist time

While mom and Jeff were here, we got to have some really fun tourist time.  We went to several amazing places and just had a blast.  Mom and Dad treated us to a night at an AMAZING hotel that is just opening on the Dead Sea.  We visited an old church and just had a blast together!



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mimi and Uncle Jeff came to visit!!!!!

In January, my mom and brother came to visit.  It was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!!!!! 
Here are the kids at the airport waiting for them to come around the bend.  We were all so excited to see them!

One of our neighbors came and helped pick up mom and Jeff with us.  On the way out of the airport, our neighbor had to stop and pay.  Jeff got out his wallet to pay him back, and he said, "What are you doing?  I am not a taxi driver."  Jeff said, "I know, I just wanted to pay for the parking."  Our neighbor said, "No.  They [talking about us] are our family, so you are our family."  Jeff said that was when his perspective was blown about this part of the world.  Truly, it's nothing like you see on the news!  Anyway, we got them home and tucked into bed.  The next morning we gave them a royal welcome with an Arab breakfast.
What's an Arab breakfast you ask?  It's DELISH!  Falafal, hummus, pita, zatar bread, cheese bread, eggs, foul (pronounced like fool).  It's so delicious!!  If you come visit, we'll have the same breakfast.
Mom and Jeff brought 4 suitcases of stuff.  Here are the kids with birthday and Christmas presents from Nana and Grampa.  They also brought Catie's old baby clothes and lots of other goodies.  Toys are SO crazy expensive here, so I ordered ahead and got some birthday gifts to tuck away. A few friends had sent surprises with mom, too, and that was such a treat. 
I loved just hanging out together...playing games, fires and s'mores, reading and snuggling, of course some screen time with Uncle Jeff.
Catie and Jeff did an awesome puppet show together.  They called themselves "CJ and the no problems."  It was the cutest thing ever.  Here they are introducing the show!
Jeff snapped this picture of me one day while we were out.  I love it so much cause you can see my tummy poking out!
We went out to a few good meals.  Here we are on the last night sharing sundaes.

When a fun song came on at the restaurant, Jacob busted a move and started dancing.  Catie joined in, too.  Everybody clapped for them when they were done.  So cute!
YAY for visits!!!!  We all had such a great time and got our tanks filled up.
Love you so much, mom and Jeff!  Thanks for making the looooooong trip!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Days

Well, y'all know that I'm an Atlanta girl.  So my love for snow runs deep.  John grew up in Indiana, so his love for snow doesn't run deep.  It's one of the few major things we disagree on.  But that's ok, I still believe he'll come around to the right side one day!  : )  Anyway...we had some wonderful snow here in January.  The kids and I LOVED it!!!  I happened to be during a really busy work week for John, so he lucked out didn't get to play in it too much.

Just getting started...
I love Jacob's little crooked button job and excited smile!
Look how deep it is by Jacob's feet!!
Sledding fun!


Christmas was such a push for me this year.  You might have read my post in January asking y'all to pray for me because I was so sick.  That sickness had stretched over Christmas and just zapped my energy.  You guys who are moms know that you'll push through for your kids.  If it had just been me, I think I would have curled up in bed and slept for two weeks.  But I was determined to make Christmas as fun as I could for our kids.  I barely got any pictures, and I still have some Christmas shopping to do (we have money from mom and dad for Christmas gifts for the, am I a little behind?!?), but I think we did the most important things.  So here's a list to remind me that I didn't totally fail at our first Christmas overseas!
  •  We put up a tree, and the kids LOVED it!!!  Each familiar ornament was such a joy to pull out!
  • We decorated our house.
  • We had a cookie decorating party at our house for all of our friends in the city.

  • We had some fun celebrations!  We went out to a special meal with our work team, had a dessert party with all our co-workers in Amman, and had a fun Christmas day hang out time with our work team.  It was so great to have this extended family to celebrate with!
  • We kept some of our favorite family doing "What God Wants for Christmas" together and reading Christmas books.     
  • We did some fun Christmas baking.  We even made peppermint shakes one day...a little touch of Chick-fil-A!  
OK, writing that list really did help remind me that we did have some really sweet times.  Even if I do still need to finish Christmas shopping and reading The BEST Christmas Pageant Ever to the kids.  : )

Language field trip

Our language tutor really does a great job of mixing things up and keeping it fresh and fun.  We've had a couple field trips and a cooking day.  Our first field trip was a blast!  We went downtown and shopped and walked around.  We practiced talking to store owners, practiced vocab, and just had a great time!

Here's our language teacher ordering us some almond juice to try.
Zach loved his; Catie, not so much!
But she DID love the new shoes we bought for her on our outing.
We went to a fruit and veggie market.
We ended our day with a delicious Arabic lunch.  Zach challenged our teacher to an eating contest.  Z-man won!!!  He ate A LOT!

Catie loves an adventure!

I don't think you can be related to my mom without loving an adventure.  Catie has followed in her Mimi's footsteps!  One day in early December, Catie and Jessica (remember her from the Thanksgiving post??) went on a walk together.

While they were walking, they got invited to visit with a lady in the neighborhood.  The hospitality of people here is one of my favorite things about this culture.  They spent a long time with this lady...drinking tea and playing.  Catie explored their yard while the women talked.
and climbed a tree, of course!
I love this beautiful, adventurous girl!

Gettin' fixed up

During the week after Thanksgiving I went and got my hair and makeup done.  It was a super-treat for myself after months of feeling nauseous.  Seriously, have you ever seen me with so much makeup?  I haven't.  It lasted for 3 days!!  : )  A precious friend of mine who is a makeup artist saw my picture and sent me a message telling me what a great job I did putting it on.  Seriously, I don't think I could EVER duplicate this.  I'm back to ponytails and chapstick, but it was a blast!