We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Backing Up a Little...

We have a few hundred pictures that we took over Christmas and while Beth's family was here, so we're going to try go back and share some highlights with you. These are from Christmas Day. We had fun re-enacting the Christmas Story with Lee Anna's Little People Nativity set, and then we started opening presents. Lee Anna only had to open a few gifts before she realized that there really was something fun for her in all those packages. She had fun tearing into them and helping all of us open our gifts, too.Here are our little Christmas angels! :)
Here's Sawyer trying to figure out what to do with Lee Anna's new crawl-through worm. He did finally figure it out and had a blast crawling back and forth, and just sitting inside it for a while.
Here's Lee Anna posing with her My Twin doll. She came up with this pose all by herself. She's become quite the camera hog lately. Out of nowhere, she'll put her arm around Sawyer and tell us, "Take a picture!" Of course, when we're really trying to get good family shot, that's a different story...

And here they are at the airport later that afternoon. After we finished opening presents, we all put the last few things in our suitcases and headed for the airport. The nine of us flew to Amman, Jordan, where we spent the next few days sightseeing and enjoying the COLD weather. Stay tuned for pics from our Jordanian Adventure (I promise we've got some shots of Beth's family, too)!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Welcome Back

Okay, we have this great plan to write the coolest blog-post ever and recap 2006 for everybody, month-by-month with pictures and stories, but we also have these two little kids who need lots of attention. Sawyer, for instance, takes a nap every night about 9:00, and then wakes up at 9:30 and sleeps again some time after midnight. Before this, 9:30 to midnight had been prime Blog-writing time. So, we'll save the year in review for a day or two, but let me tell you about our outing yesterday.

We went with our local friends to the zoo yesterday. It was really crowded, but we got to see the monkeys, crocodiles, camels, elephants, and all the other usual suspects. I think that most of the 15 million people who live in town were there yesterday. Lee Anna loved it, and got her face painted while we were there.

The most interesting part of our trip, however was the meal afterward. They took us to a part of town we hadn't visited before, and to a restaurant for lunch. We walked past the "kitchen" area where the cooking was going on, and down some narrow, steep stairs to a small dining room. There were probably 6 or 8 tables in the room. At one end of the dining area, there were two sinks and three bars of soap, so you could wash up before or after the meal. They didn't have napkins at the table, so most folks who eat there just wait and clean up at the end. When I was holding Lee Anna up to the water to wash her hands, I heard the sound of water splashing and noticed that the sink didn't really have a drain pipe; the water just ran down onto the floor and under a curtain to who-knows-where.

Afterward, I told Beth that this restaurant seemed to specialize in the parts of the cow that Americans make hot dogs from. We were served lots of things we had never been served before. Shymet had a soup-like product with a translucent white meat-like substance in it. They said it was from a cow's leg--(maybe cartilage or something?) She handed me a piece to eat, and I mixed it into my rice dish and worked around it. We had several other meats that were not familiar at all. We ate a little of those, and lots of bread and rice. During the meal, a cat came into the dining room through a hole in the wall. Where's the health inspector when you need him? Lee Anna at first refused to eat the rice with tomato sauce, saying it was "dirty." Later, however, she put some of the translucent white stuff in her bread and made a sandwich and ate several bites of that.

We had a fun day, and Lee Anna went to sleep last night talking about all the animals.

Here's a shot of Lee Anna and Sawyer looking at the hippos.