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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Surprise!!

Jason returned home from a week in the states last Tuesday night around 10:30.   For some reason, this particular trip was especially trying on the girls and I.  Of course we always miss him while he is gone, but this trip was just a lot more difficult for some reason.  Typically with these late night flights, Jason will just catch a taxi home, but we were supposed to have our ladies Bible study over here that night so I told him that I could try and work out for someone to stay with the girls so that I could come pick him up.   All the while planning that I would let the girls go with me to the airport to surprise him.  No, they do not typically stay up that late, but sleep is one of the things that had really been off while he was gone, so I decided it wouldn't be that big of a deal.  Thankfully, our girls have always been the type to sleep in the next morning if they are up late at night, and selfishly, I knew I wouldn't mind sleeping in the next morning!  So they loaded into the car in their pj's and off we went. 

The Beirut airport is only about 10 minutes from our house at night when there is no traffic so my plan was to arrive around the time Jason would be coming out so that I could pull up at the arrival area and pick him up without having to park.  His plane actually arrived a good bit early so by the time we got there, he was already waiting outside.   As we were pulling up to the airport, the girls scrambled into the back seat, so that they could surprise him when he opened the trunk to put his bags in.

 

  

So happy to have Daddy home and to have him bring goodies.  We've been playing Mario Kart non stop...
 
 
I took this picture the next morning- sweet cuddles

For Mom/ food processor, blender ideas and recipes

Mom has been telling me for several months that she put money in our account so that I could go and pick out my Christmas present- a new blender.  Well, I am the world's worst procrastinator and I just this week got around to picking one out.  Things here are randomly very weirdly expensive or inexpensive (example- a shower curtain could cost $60 but I can get 2 pounds of bell peppers for $.66).  Anyway, blenders classify as one of those things that are weirdly expensive which is why I have never bought one here, so, it may seem like a boring gift to some, but I was very excited about picking one out.  I could have gotten a plain old blender but I came across this wonderful gadget that I am very excited about.  It's more of a food processor, but it has all sorts of chopping and blending attachements.  I'm especially excited about the hand blender because I can do it in the pictcher and don't have to mess with the hassle of cleaning out a blender.  It also has a mini chopper attachemtn that I can use for smaller jobs.  This is my first food processor so I would love any tips about how it could make my cooking life easier.  Thanks Mom!


Naomi's monkeys

I'm not sure how it started exactly, but Naomi has developed a love for all things monkey.  I do know when it started.  Last summer while in Memphis, thanks to my mom's grandparent membership, we made many trips to the Memphis Zoo.  At one of these many trips, Naomi picked out a little brown monkey in the gift shop.  She affectionately named him  "Curlis" and he has become an important part of the family.  Curlis traveled with us all summer and even made one trip via a padded envelope in the mail when he was left behind on one trip.  His name has now evolved to "Curtis" which I'm a little disappointed in- I loved the uniqueness of Curlis. Oh well, we still love him and Naomi is sure to correct me if I go back to calling him Curlis.   Side note- we have to be very careful with Curtis because Mia the puppy is also a big fan.

The black gorilla on the right came a few months later.  I was talking to mom on the phone and she was preparing a package to send and was asking if there's anything specific the girls wanted.  Naomi was in the room with me so I asked her if there was anything she wanted Annie to send her.  Without missing a beat, she says, "Ummm, a gorilla".  I relayed this message to Annie and  a few weeks later, sure enough a black gorilla (along with several things for AJ and Maddie) arrived in the mail. 

And, finally- the big pink monkey- a present today at Naomi's birthday party.  She was so excited when she opened hm up.  She said, "Look Mommy- it's Curtis's mommy!". 

Buzz Lightyear!

A few weeks ago, AJ and Maddie were asking Naomi what kind of birthday cake she wanted.  We have a lot of fun with birthday cakes- the girls always pick some sort of theme that is fitting for them at that time.  I have lots of cake molds that we have done in the past- a princess castle, Winnie the Pooh, Strawberry Shortcake, Cinderella, Noah's Ark, but we've also done our fair share of coming up with a design from scratch.  We've had cakes designed after Chronicles of Narnia, High School Musical, a Polly Pocket water slide etc etc.  Well, needless to say, I definitely prefer when they want something that I can use a mold with- it's just so much easier.  I'm not a naturally creative person- I can copy things pretty well, but as far as coming up with my own original idea- not so much.  So anyway, Naomi says that she wants a princess castle (which I have a mold for) and I say, "But Naomi, don't you want Buzz Lightyear???"   (yeah, no mold for that...)  Well, me and my big mouth.  Naomi is all about Toy Story these days- especially Buzz Lightyear so she was beyond excited about that possibility.   Thank the Lord for the internet- who knew that there were so many pictures of Buzz Lightyear cakes out there??   So yesterday I found some pictures of cakes, drew out a picture of what Buzz should look like and as has become the tradition got started about 10 p.m the night before the party.  Not a very proportional Buzz, and he ended up not having any arms, but Naomi was thrilled none the less. 
 
We also made chocolate surprise cupcakes.  These have become a favorite for us at holidays because they are so versatile.  You make cupcakes using a chocolate cake mix (could really do any flavor) and then make a filling of cream cheese, sugar, egg and chocolate chips that you plop on the top of each cupcake and the chocolate bakes up around it so it's a cream cheese filling.  Depending on the holiday, we dye the cream cheese mixture and match the icing on top of the cupcake.  For halloween, the had orange filling and orange icing, for valentines, pink filling with red icing, you get the picture.  Our Buzz Lightyear cupcakes had a nice lime green filling to match Buzz's suit.  I had the idea after the fact last night that I should have used my Andes Mint Baking chips instead of plain chocolate chips in the filling to make mint chocolate chip cupcakes- next time.  

 
I also found a great recipe on allrecipes.com for a sherbet cream punch that could be very versatile in America, but not so much here since we don't have any kind of sherbet but raspberry.  I was hoping to find lime sherbet so I could make the punch green, but all they had was raspberry- still very yummy.  It's also great for baby showers.  You combine 1 quart vanilla ice cream, 2 pints sherbet (orange, raspberry, lime etc), 1 quart milk, 16 oz Sprite) and serve immediately.  So yummy!
Here's a few more pictures from the party today:

 

  

 


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A few more old videos...

Here's a link to the birthday album I did for Naomi on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=145672&id=529238198&l=bcc8bb0c86

I found a few more and just couldn't resist. In this first one Naomi is around 15 months and is performing all of her "sounds". In case you can't tell, the noise she makes for "what does Daddy say?" is a burp...

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Here she is trying desperately to talk to someone who is just not on the other end of the line.

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Here is our Little Mermaid at two and a half singing most of the words to this Disney classic. Notice she appears to be straining her neck in a weird way- it's because she' s posing like Ariel on the rock at the end of the song.



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Happy Birthday Naomi!

I had such a great time this afternoon looking at old pictures and videos of Naomi. I started out intending to post one picture per year in a little album on facebook for her birthday but once I got started, I just couldn't stop! We've always said that she is our little comedian and I had forgotten how young she was when she started attempting to entertain us. In the video below she's around 11 month and for some reason decided it would be entertaining to smack herself in the head...

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In this next one, she is around the same age and is showing off her most glamorous smile


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Here she is around 18 months. Jason was putting the girls to bed and making them laugh by banging his head against the wall ( I know- strange sense of humor...) and Naomi decided she would give it a try.




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Indulge me for just a few more... I know I got a little carried away. Here's Naomi singing Jesus Loves Me- it just doesn't get much more precious!


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Hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane! I am so thankful for all three little girls in my life!! I'm attempting to get an album of pics on and when I do, I"ll post the link.