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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shower Time

Some sweet friends here threw a baby shower for me today. However, it was a little non-traditional because there were no actual presents at the shower. Since we're heading to the states in just a few weeks, and the baby will be born there, everyone chose a gift to order online and have shipped to my parents' house in Florida. Today each guest just brought a card with a picture of the gift they had purchased (Isn't that a fun idea? I never would have thought of it).

It was lots of fun to see those cute things and know they'll be waiting for us when we get to America! Apparently, though, the whole concept is a little abstract for a 4-year-old to grasp. At bedtime tonight, Lee Anna asked me, "Mama, why didn't they give you presents for real?"

Sadly, we did not take a single picture at the shower. I don't know how I let that happen, but I did. You'll have to take my word for it that everything was very pretty. They even had cute "baby" plates and napkins brought in all the way from the states (we can't get those here). This picture is the best I can do: the kids holding the balloons I brought home for them from the shower. These balloons provided a whole evening's worth of entertainment!

It was a fun day celebrating our newest little blessing. Now we just need to get her here so we can put her in all those sweet little outfits!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The End of An Era

We had to say some hard goodbyes today. Today was the kids' last day at the preschool they've been going to since they looked like this... For Lee Anna, it's been over three years. For Sawyer, almost two. And while they have certainly had days when they DID NOT want to go (and made their parents well aware of it), for the most part it has been a great experience. They have learned lots of Arabic (and some English), gone on countless fun field trips, made some impressive art projects, learned some nontraditional holiday songs, and gotten to wear fun clothes (see also here).

Our little princess has come a long way from her first school program to this year's Christmas singalong. It's hard to believe how little she was when she started! We're grateful for the teachers who have poured so much into our children. One teacher who doesn't even work at the school anymore found out that this was Lee Anna's last week and came by two different times to tell her goodbye!

Here they are on their last day. Walking in this morning...
...and walking out this afternoon, after one more hug for a sweet teacher.

It's been a great experience for them, and we're so grateful they've had this fun place to go!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Tonight, Lee Anna and I were looking through this book and naming all the objects. She was breezing right along, calling out the name of each item, when all of a sudden she stopped. One item on this page completely stumped her. Can you guess what it was? (You can click on the picture to see a bigger version.) Why, it was the video tape, of course! While our kids are quite well-versed in the size and shape of digital videos, Lee Anna was clueless when it came to identifying the old school video cassette. She actually has seen some in her lifetime, since we owned a VCR for her first two years, but she's lived half her life since then! I wonder if her kids will know what a DVD is, or if they will have gone the way of the video cassette by then.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Seaside Adventures

Well, I decided to start with pictures from our most recent adventure and work backwards. We had the chance last week to head to a coastal city with lots of friends from here, and a few from the states, for a week of fun, learning, and lots of eating! Our American visitors brought suitcases and suitcases full of Oreos, Butterfingers, and other priceless treasures, and they were all thoroughly enjoyed.

Papaw and Mimi got to be a part of this group again this year, which thrilled Sawyer and Lee Anna (and us, too!).
The adults put on a VBS for our kids during the week, and they chose to use one with a sports theme. Lee Anna has been talking about it and looking forward to it for weeks! The sports theme was lots of fun, and they came home every day telling me which games they had learned to play.
Here's Lee Anna (above and below) showing off some of her skills. If genes have anything to do with it, she doesn't stand a really great chance of becoming a star athlete, but she sure is cute!
And here is Jason with some of his good friends in a nice, friendly game of Steal the Bacon. These guys play for keeps!
The kids dressed up and put on a program for us, singing all the songs they had learned during the week. They were too cute in their little sports attire.
Such sweet friends!
Lee Anna actually did the motions this year!
And here's one shot of the view from our hotel room. Beautiful.
It was a wonderful week, and we're already looking forward to next year!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Wow! I can't believe it's been so long since we last posted anything. We have had some adventures this month, and I PROMISE I will post some pictures and stories tomorrow. Just wanted to let everyone know we're still here and I haven't given up on the whole blogging thing!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Good Thing We Don't Have Child Labor Laws!

We've got a couple extra kiddos spending the night with us tonight, and I thought you'd all like to see what wonderful, stimulating, exciting activities we planned for them.

I'm sure you'll all be wanting an invitation to spend the night now! Don't worry, we are equal opportunity employers, and would be thrilled for ANY of you to come stay with us--as long as you don't mind a little hard labor!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Odds and Ends

Our life these days feels a bit scattered as we make all the necessary preparations to leave our home for a good portion of this year. So far I feel like I have little to show for all the hours I've spent "packing," since most of that time has really been spent going through junk that needs to be tossed or given away. I do have several giveaway boxes, but not a lot of actual packed, taped-up, ready-to-go boxes.

So, in light of that, I thought it was only fitting that this post be a little scattered as well. Here are a few odds and ends from our week.
This week the kids took their scootering to the next level. They've always just ridden on our back porch, but when we were heading out for a walk last weekend, Lee Anna asked if they could ride their scooters out on the street instead. I agreed, and they had a blast. Sawyer stopped about 87 times to pick up rocks (which I then had to hold so that he could ride the scooter again), and Lee Anna had fun seeing how fast she could go. They took Daddy out for another scooter ride a few days later.
This pic is from today. One of the kids was talking about puppets, so I suggested that they go get some dolls and drape a blanket over the piano bench to do a puppet show. This is apparently the princess portion of the show. Sawyer never really caught on to the fact that he was not supposed to show his face. Lee Anna ducked her head down for a while, but I think it got uncomfortable. Fortunately, their audience was very forgiving and enjoyed the show immensely (except maybe for Daddy, who had trouble keeping his eyes open from his reclined position on the couch!).
And this is the very random breakfast we had this morning. Lee Anna requested blueberry muffins several weeks ago, and I told her she would just have to wait until we got back to the states, since we can't get blueberries here. Then, yesterday, as I was looking through our kitchen cabinets trying to find things to use up, I discovered a box of Jiffy blueberry muffin mix hidden in the back. She was so excited! When we got ready to make them this morning, I remembered that we also had these Halloween cupcake papers that needed to be used. I pulled them out thinking we'd just use the papers, but Lee Anna would have nothing of that. She and Sawyer generously decorated each muffin with the little pumpkin and spider flags. When I got ready to take their picture, she said, "Happy Merry Halloween!"

So that's a little bit of our week. We're supposed to be headed to the zoo with some friends on Saturday, so hopefully I'll be back with a little more cohesive post on Saturday or Sunday.