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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Peek

We have some special pictures to share today. This afternoon we got our very first look at the newest Arabmusician coming our way next summer. Who do you think he/she looks like? ;) At just 12 weeks and 2 days, it was too early to even make any good guesses about the gender. We'll have to wait another few months for that, but we did get to see two arms and two legs, ten little fingers, and a good strong heartbeat.
We also found out that this baby has the very same due date that his/her big sister did—June 12. Lee Anna came one day late, so if this one follows suit, we just might end up with two kids sharing a birthday!
Pictured above is one of the amazing pictures that came from the 3D ultrasound. It's hard to believe this little peanut is only 2 1/2 inches long!

And below is a 30-second video from the ultrasound. It's incredible that all that wiggling is going on inside me and I can't feel a thing!

If this one stays that active, we might be in for an exciting ride!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hooray for Winter PJs!

The kids and I are both excited that it finally got cool enough for us to pull out these long pajamas. And aren't they precious with those matching forehead bruises? Sometimes we wonder if they're trying to make us look like bad parents or something!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crazy Art Revisited

We made another trip out to one of our very favorite places today: Fagnoon Art School. "Fagnoon" is a mix of the Arabic words for "art" and "crazy," and our kids love visiting this magical place where they can sculpt pottery and paint the walls, not to mention run & jump & climb & yell in big wide open spaces.
Two of Sawyer & Lee Anna's friends just had birthdays, so we made this trip to Fagnoon their birthday present. Painting & sculpting & running & jumping & climbing & yelling & painting & getting really dirty is always more fun when you have friends to do it with you.
They climbed...
and climbed...
and, oh yeah, did a few art projects...
then got back to climbing!

The dads even got in on the fun with this crazy swinging platform!

We had a delightful time, as we always do. Tonight, after we told the kids good night and turned out the lights, Lee Anna said, "Daddy, thank you for taking us to Fagnoon today. I had a lot of fun." Being that sweet about it, I'd say she's got a pretty good chance of getting to go back!

Monday, November 10, 2008

She's At It Again!

Some of you probably remember the post I did about Aunt Stacy's wonderful sewing talent and how greatly Lee Anna has benefited from it. Well, when Stacy and I were talking recently, I mentioned that Lee Anna could really use some hair bows to go along with all the cute outfits she's been wearing.

Despite the fact that Stacy had never made bows before, she got right to work on it, and when our next group of visitors got here from the states, they delivered a whole stash of beautiful new hair bows!

Yes, we put them all in at once!Here she is wearing them in the more traditional fashion--just one at a time.

Thanks, Aunt Stacy! We can't wait to see what you learn to make next!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Yesterday was a big day for our family. Lee Anna and Sawyer got their very first pet. Ever since some friends got a fish a while back, Lee Anna has been telling everyone she meets that she's going to get a pet fish and name him Flipper (usually right after she tells them that she's getting a baby sister!). She didn't ask us, mind you, just made up her mind that she was getting a fish. Well, this has been a hard week for her with some very sad goodbyes, so we decided maybe this would be a good time to take the fish plunge. Daddy took her to the pet store after dinner last night, and she chose the very first fish she laid eyes on. They brought him home, and we immediately began the process of teaching Sawyer all the things you can't do with a fish (and, in case you're wondering, there are LOTS of things that two-year-olds want to do with/to a fish but shouldn't).
They are both very excited, and started asking about him as soon as I got to the school to pick them up this afternoon.

Here are Lee Anna and Flipper deep in conversation. I guess when you've got Arabic and English down, learning fish talk is probably a piece of cake!

Raising Her Right

Cuddling up in the office chair is not quite the same as cuddling up on the couch to watch the game, but this was still a pretty sweet moment for Daddy. He began Lee Anna's official football education with the all-important lesson one: We don't ever, EVER, for any reason, root for that orange and white and blue team.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dress-Up Fun

Despite the fact that Halloween is not typically celebrated in this part of the world, our kids have had multiple chances to dress up in the last few days. First, on Thursday, their daycare had a big party. They were Belle and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Here's our tank engine gearing up for a big "Choo-Choo!"
And here's the princess when I told her to strike a "princess pose."
Then, on Friday, we got to be with some other friends for a combination Birthday/Halloween party. For this one, Sawyer went as Diego (his rescue pack & red-eyed tree frog didn't make the picture), and Lee Anna was a beautiful ballerina.
They had a lot of fun, and are super excited about their new stash of candy. Last night, over an hour after we had put them to bed, I walked into our bedroom and found Lee Anna lying on our bed chewing a piece of gum that came from her party bag! I don't know what in the world made her think that would be okay, but I'm pretty sure she knows now that she should only chew gum before bedtime.