September 25, 2016

Daddy's home!

We are all excited that Nathan is home! He is feeling good and trying to take it easy. It's a little more wild than he has been around the past few weeks, but the boys are really understanding to be careful around his foot and they are being good helpers.
The first morning, Benjamin wanted to make daddy some banana muffins.
Daddy brought back some goodies for the boys - underwear, socks, and ring pops!
 And one of the favorite gifts...Shin guards for soccer! Benjamin is doing soccer after school once a week and he is excited for his new gear. Caleb is doing gymnastics after school, but he loves his shin guards too. They may have been wearing them all weekend and to bed at night :).

We are all so happy to have Nathan home! He has been missed and has had a welcoming committee everywhere he goes :).

September 21, 2016

Cruising Around and Heading Back to Jordan

This past week Nathan has been feeling better each day, and got out and about with his parents. Watch out, Nathan is on the go and was let loose in Walmart! 
When not in Walmart, they took drives around the country.

Stopped at one of our favorite places for lemon and raspberry ice cream....yummy!
One day they enjoyed a nice dinner at a new restaurant on Carlyle Lake
And a nice stroll on the dock.
Another day, they at the all famous Chicco's, that we love so much!
He even got to see some leaves changing colors too!
And people getting ready for Halloween already. Guess we need to start thinking about costumes this year!
Beautiful sunrise and sunsets each day.
Nathan got his hard cast off on Monday and is now in a soft cast. He still has to stay off of his foot for another month, but at least he can get a good shower now :). 
Nathan will be traveling back to Jordan tonight and arrives tomorrow afternoon. I know this time in Salem has been such  blessing to Nathan and his parents, and I am so thankful for the time they had together, all the great care they provided, and for the good few weeks of recovery. 
Before Nathan left, he made a paper ring chain with the boys. There was one ring for each day he will be gone, and every morning, the boys pulled off another ring. We have been counting down the days and this morning the boys said said, look mommy, there is just one more ring left! Please pray for safe travels for Nathan and for comfortable flights with his cast and crutches...and that his wheelchair will be waiting when he gets off the flight!  See you tomorrow, babe.

September 15, 2016

Eid Mubarak (blessed Eid)

This week, the Arab world has been celebrating Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, to commemorate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son upon God's command. Islam teaches that Ibrahim was commanded by God to sacrifice Ishmael, however Christians and Jews believe that Isaac was the one to be sacrificed. During this holiday, Muslim families perform group prayers, they wear new clothes, and on the first day, they sacrifice an animal, typically a sheep or goat, as a symbol of Abraham's sacrifice of his son. The meat is divided into three equal parts among neighbors, the needy, and family and friends. People visit each other in their homes, and eat a lot of sweets, especially ma'amoul, a date cookie, and black coffee.

The start of Eid al-Adha also marks the end of Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Hajj is seen as a time to wipe clean past sins, and grow closer to God. Millions of Muslims make a five-day journey to circle Islam's most sacred site, the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and perform a number of rituals during this time. The Kaaba is important to Muslims because they believe it was built by Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishmael and represents the house of God and oneness of God. When Muslims perform their five daily prayers, they face toward the Kaaba.

During the week of Eid al-Adha, all of the schools, government, and most businesses are closed (except for grocery stores and retail). The week before Eid, boys made some festive crafts at school, and were paid a visit by the character Hajji, who gifted each student at school with a new game or toy.

People hand out sweets, especially to the children. Going grocery shopping the other night, the boys were offered about 5 cookies, of course all before dinner. These were their sheep cookies. All week, the boys have enjoyed playing with different friends, and I was off one day and we had a fun day at the park and swimming.
While our neighbors and friends are celebrating the Eid al-Adha this week, I pray that they one day they will come to know the Good News of the Gospel. Just as God provided a substitute for Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:13-14), He has provided a substitute for all who believe in Jesus (Isaiah 52:13-53:12).

September 12, 2016

Recovering from Surgery

Last week, Nathan had a foot surgery to remove a bone spur from the back of his right heel. Over the past few years, he truly gave every non-surgical option a try, but this was what needed to be done. The surgery was successful and he is recovering well in Illinois under the wonderful care of Nurses Dad and Mom. He has a giant cast that comes off on Monday, then he will be in a soft cast for another month, and then he will have some physical therapy.   Thank you for all the prayers for Nathan's surgery and recovery. The first week he did a lot of this...
The day before surgery, Nathan and his parents went to a state park to hike around, and they found Bigfoot.

 Caleb said this is where Bigfoot looks out over his home.
 And this is where Bigfoot sleeps.
 Beautiful sunset in his parents backyard.
A few days after the surgery, he got out to ride around town with his parents. One day they watched an antique car parade.

 And they drove around town taking pictures of some of our favorite places.

 Hopefully they get out of the car at Dairy Mart and get some delicious lemon ice cream!
 This is Nathan's view during the day...not too shabby!
 On the afternoon of September 11th, they went to Carlyle Lake. What a beautiful day and nice commemoration to honor the heroes that lost their lives on this tragic day.

 Nathan's mom made him her famous ice cream cake roll, for an early birthday.
We miss you Nathan, but are glad you have this time to recovery from your surgery. Thank you so much dad and mom P. for taking great care of him, and for keeping him from driving with his left foot! We cant wait to see you late next week babe :).

September 4, 2016

Back to School

The boys had their first day of school in the middle of last week, and they are off to a great start! Caleb is in KG-2 Lion Class this year, and he was excited to see many of his friends from class last year. His English teacher is Ms. Loujani, his Arabic teacher is Ms. Mira, and French teacher is Ms. Alia.  Caleb gets homework sent home on Thursday, and they say this year he will be writing and beginning to read English and Arabic!

Benjamin is in KG-1 Sunshine Class, and he too was so excited to see his friends from class last year. His English teacher is Ms. Dana, Arabic teacher is Ms. Daed, and French teacher is Ms. Alia.
The boys had so much fun riding the bus last year, that that wanted to ride it both ways this year. They are the last on the bus in the morning, and first off the bus in the afternoon, so it's about a 5 minute ride each way.
 The first day we took them to school and they rode the bus home, the second day the bus began both ways.  The boys picked out their new backpacks. Caleb picked dragons and Benjamin picked Superman.
We are excited for this new year and watching the boys grow and learn!