Wednesday, April 22, 2009


That was Luke’s temperature early this morning.
At about 10:30am he got the chills and his teeth started to chatter.
So here he is bundled up with two of his friends.
Watching a vast amount of Elmo and Abby,
of course.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sing Praise

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. Psalm 7:17

I have copies of hymns stashed around our home.
By the changing table.
By our bathroom sinks.
In the kitchen.
You get the idea, right?
I sing lots of hymns throughout the day.

This afternoon I was almost brought to tears when Luke started to sing with me.
During dinner tonight I told Faris he wouldn’t believe what happened today.
So right there at the table I started singing.
Luke started singing.
Faris grabbed the camera.
Luke asked for more singing.
And you get to take a peek.

A Special Walk

A late Saturday afternoon walk with two special guests.

Amo Nader and Auntie Carolyn.

Gorilla Giggle

The gorillas were Luke’s favorite part of the Zoo.
You can tell by his meltyourheart sweet giggling.
We caught the tail end of his giggling but I think you get this tender gist.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday at the Zoo

Our Zoo Picnic

We picnicked under the orangutan crossing.
It was excellent picnic excitement.

Friday, April 17, 2009

On the Pier

Welcome Back, Sun!

Yesterday the sun finally returned.
We took full advantage with an afternoon boardwalk.

Can you spy the groundhog?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Morning

Bayside Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Basket

Sunday Easter Lunch

We had Sunday Easter Lunch at my parent’s house.
I have the leftovers to prove it
but not the pictures.
I think we were so hungry from our mornings at church that a photo was not even a faint idea.

I did snag this little video of Uncle J-D and Luke.

Bunny Side-by-Side

2008 vs. 2009

Saturday Easter Lunch

A yummy Saturday Easter Lunch at my in-laws home.

*photo credit, darling husband faris.

Playing piano with Cedo.

Luke’s dinner.
Can you see his Auntie Roula cheering him one?

An Egg Hunt

My mom and I took Luke to an Easter Egg Hunt.
Luke found two eggs.
My favorite part—
when Luke and another little girl put their eggs in each others baskets.
My second favorite part—
when an older kid (old for Luke’s egg hunt age group that is) went around and put eggs in kid’s baskets that had less than he did.

A Pre-Egg Hunt Show

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


During a recent visit to Williams Sonoma I picked up a few kitchen treats:

A bottle for salad dressing making
because I want to start making all my own salad dressing.
Love it.

Butterfly, snail, and ladybug pancake molds because Saturday mornings are officially “Saturday Morning Pancakes” at our house.

And on a whim I snatched up an Easter Egg Decorating Kit.
Which seemed like a fabulous idea until just about now.
I’m staring down the barrel of a busy week and decorating eggs for a kid who won’t actually care until next year doesn’t seem worth the clean-up.
So maybe I’ll just tuck this gem away until next year.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Makloubet Zajer

That is what we had for dinner tonight.
Translation: Rice with Beef and Cauliflower.
My mother-in-law makes this dish and I l o v e it
so I gave it a whirl tonight.
I rocked Makloubet Zajer and impressed myself with my flair for international cooking (beyond quesadillas and spaghetti!).
Small child and husband loved it.

As requested here is the recipe for Tajen.

(Meatballs & Vegetables in Tahineh Sauce)


For the Kafta (meatballs)
1 lb ground beef
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small bunch of parsley, about half a cup chopped
1 ¼ tsp salt or according to taste
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp allspice
A dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg
3 tbs vegetable oil

For the Tajen
1lb potatoes
1lb eggplants
1lb zucchini
4-5 tomatoes
1 medium onion

For the sauce
¾ cup tahineh
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ cups water

Preheat over to 425.

Combine the meat, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, spices and oil and mix well. Shape into round or oblong patties and set aside.

Soak the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes to make them easier to peel. Wash, peel and cut the vegetables, including the tomatoes, into coarse cubes. Slice the onion into thin slivers and add to the vegetables. Season with the salt and spices and transfer to a large oven-proof pan. Add the kafta (meatballs) at regular intervals. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the tahineh sauce by mixing the tahineh with the lemon juice and water until you get a smooth runny sauce. Cook in a saucepan over low heat on the stove for a few minutes while stirring constantly. Let it simmer for three to four minutes then add to the cooked meat and vegetables mixing it thoroughly with the juices. Bake another 15 minutes in the oven uncovered and serve very hot.

You may server it with a simple green salad or with rice.

Cook’s Notes: I didn’t peel the tomatoes or the potatoes. I peeled the eggplant and zucchini leaving peel stripes. Regarding the sauce, we like it saucy around here so I added more of the tahineh and water. You want the sauce to be thin but with body. If the sauce becomes thick during baking or when reheating, just add water.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How I Filled In A Blank

Yesterday I had to fill out a form and list my occupation.
I confess that I flinched when I came to that line.
Until I filled in the blank with: President & CEO of my Household.
Reviewing my form, the perplexed woman behind the counter asked me what my occupation was.
With all seriousness and in full command, I replied “I am President & CEO of my Household.”
She smiled.
Told me I had made her day.
And then gave me a knowing look and proudly declared that she was too!
I’m not sure if that was before or after she told everyone in her office because they all asked me about it.
Do you think I could get some fancy official letterhead?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I don’t want you to get the wrong idea when you read what I’m about to share with you.

Benefits to living inthemiddleofnowhere:

1. Yesterday I went to replace my lost driver’s license. I was in and out of the DMV in f i v e minutes. I handed over my passport, confirmed my address, watched adoringly as Luke charmed the DMV staff, coughed up $20, took a new picture, and was promptly handed my new license and a wish for a good day.

2. Our heat went out last week and we have been running on emergency heat. When the nice man came to diagnose our problem he arrived at the tippy top of the three hour window and when he came today to fix the problem with the part from Texas he arrived at the tippy top of the three hour window again.

Maybe living inthemiddleofnowhere is actually living in a parallel universe where service counts for something.

But don’t get the wrong idea. I haven’t gone soft on my uber love for urban dwelling. If Batman told me we were moving back to the city I’d pump my fist in the air and tell him it I can have us packed in two days flat.

P.S. No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. These are real life events.
P.P.S. I’m preparing my menu arsenal to be ready for the summer fruit and produce themiddleofnowhere lovingly supplies. I was unprepared for the goodness last year but not this year!