October 3, 2017

Festive week part 2: Eight is great!

We recently celebrated our 8 year anniversary, and I couldn't be more thankful for this sweet, loving, and kind man that God chose for me. Over the past 8 years, we have been blessed beyond measure, and I am so thankful for each day together and for our family. 
Eight is great!

Even the boys thought so ;).
Happy 8 year anniversary, Nathan. I love you, I love you, I love you!

September 30, 2017

Festive week part 1: Nathan turns 37!

One of my favorite weeks of the year is when our family celebrates Nathan's birthday, our anniversary, and Benjamin's birthday. This year Nathan turned 37, and we were reminiscing that when I met him he just turned 25 :). Nathan is an amazing husband and father, and I thank God every day that He chose me for his wife. 
We had a low-key regular day and celebrated Middle Eastern style with a delicious cake that Tes made. Nathan got a few gifts, and Caleb was gifted a box to sleep in. And he has been sleeping in this box every night since then!
Happy birthday Nathan, we love you!

September 16, 2017

Special Visitor

Here is the beginning of my attempt to catch up on blogging:). Last month, Nathan's sister popped over for a quick visit with our family. One of the days, she and I went with a couple of friends to hike Wadi Mujib. The hike begins just south of where the Dead Sea, in a slotted canyon.
Throughout the hike, the water level raises, and you have to climb up rocks and obstacles, slide down rock waterfalls, and in some places you need to hold onto the ropes to get across the water. I'll just say this is not OSHA approved! The hike ends at a big waterfall, and then go out of the canyon the way you came in.  And you can float out of the canyon, it's such a fun hike!
The next day, we all went to a place about 1/2 outside of Amman, called Iraq Al-Amir (Caves of the Prince). It's a town of about 6,000 people, mostly from the tribe of Abbadi. The area has springs and is famous for it's olive trees, and there is a small castle, Qasr Al-Abd (Palace of the Servant), which we drove by but did not visit close by, believed to be built in the 3rd Century BC. It was a beautiful day to explore someplace new.
After checking out the caves, we visited a woman's workshop, where they made beautiful ceramics and cooked Jordanian food with advanced notice. Lots of gorgeous colorful pieces.

It was a quick and sweet visit with Elizabeth, we all enjoyed it very much! 

August 26, 2017

First day!

Big day, the boys started a new school, and earlier this week they had their first days! The past two years they have attended a Jordanian bilingual arabic/english school, and this year we moved them to the American school. 

Caleb is in Kindergarten, and his teacher is Miss Reem and helper is Miss Farrah. This is him at kindergarten orientation a couple of days before school started.  
 And on his first day he was all smiles!
Benjamin had his Pre-K orientation the day before school started, a couple of days after Caleb. The day before school started, his teacher asked him to fill out a worksheet all about him, so he could introduce himself to his new friends on the first day. Benjamin's teacher is Miss Tina and helpers are Miss Farah and Miss Mahayla.
 Happy for his first day of Pre-K!
 Getting on the bus :).
 Benjamin's class picture that his teacher sent after the first day.
Both boys reported a great first day, and we are all excited for the new school year!

August 18, 2017

Cyprus Fun!

I am so behind on blogging, it's been a busy month! After leaving Lebanon, we flew to Cyprus for a few days to relax on the beach...and that is exactly what we did! We rented a villa with a pool across the street from the beach, in a little town called Aiya Thekla. It was the perfect place to be for the next few days. We would go to the beach all day long and then come home and swim well after sunset each day.
Our room
Boys room
Living room and front entrance
View from our bedroom balcony
The villa had a cute little garden in the back of the house with all kinds of tropical flowers.
The first day we swam at the pool all day. When we were getting ready to leave, we realized that the rental car company forgot to give us the key fob to our car when we picked it up from the airport, so it took them until late afternoon to get it to us. Good thing we didn't stop anywhere first before getting to this place! Thankfully we had the pool and the day was just great.
The remaining days we enjoyed swimming after the beach!
It was our own villa, so the free spirits came out from time to time :)
We saw beautiful sunsets a couple of the nights. This one was by a little beach we walked to from our villa.

The beaches in Cyprus are AMAZING!   There were numerous beaches within a 10 minute drive of where we were staying, so each day we picked a new one. The water was some of the bluest and most clear I have ever seen, and the sandbars were great so the boys could easily walk far out from shore. The first day, we went to Aiya Napa beach, which was the main beach in this area. It was really crowded and hot, but we all enjoyed relaxing in the water and playing in the sand. 

Even though the beach was packed, everything seemed really orderly and the tourists were very respectful and friendly. We heard very little english spoken in this country, mostly Russian and Greek, but people could speak some English. When people heard us speaking, they were surprised that we came all the way from America. Once we explained we live in Jordan, it made more sense to them.
The beaches were very clean, had free parking, and each beach had a restaurant and clean restrooms (which is a nice change for us). It was such a perfect model for the beach, I wish there were more like this in the US!
The next day we went to Landa Beach. This beach was smaller and had much less people. When we got there mid morning, we had our pick of seats, so we got one right by the water.
The boys did great in the ocean! We got them masks and they had so much fun using them. The jumped through and dove under waves, and swam, swam, swam. It was so fun to play with them and watch them have so much fun. We have definitely become a beach-loving family!
Just look at this gorgeous water!
It was so hot and humid, but the water made everything perfect. We all left with a hefty tan and a little burn, and that was with slathering 50 sunblock on the entire time!
The beach we went to on our last day was our favorite, Konnos Bay.  This was where we parked and then hiked down to get to the water. This beach reminded me of beaches in Hawaii.
It was early and not too busy when we got there, and the water was smooth as glass.
This beach was very unique. It was tucked into was a small cove and the water was very shallow in most places. The thing that we liked best was that there were lots of rocks to climb and jump from. Everyone jumped from the rocks and had a blast. We are so proud of the boys for being brave to jump. Once they jumped once, they kept going back for more!
We did it!
The boys liked the many minnows and tried catching them.
Such a fun beach day!
After swimming and jumping for a few hours, we at lunch, and then went back for a few more hours of sun. This was the view from the restaurant. It was the most gorgeous beach I have ever visited!
It was such a fun trip, and we were so thankful for the fun and restful time away as a family!