Month: June 2013

The Long, Hot Summer….

Wow! I have no idea where June went! It seems like time is flying by lately. But it is clear that summer is in full swing. School is out and the pools in Lebanon are starting to fill up. The heat is growing and when you don’t have electricity all the time, you don’t have AC all the time. Yikes! We got a fan last night that will run on the generator and that helped a lot in the sleep department.

My arabic lessons are coming along well. We haven’t had as much time to practice this last week but I have learned lots of new words and I am excited to hopefully be able to understand more by this time next summer. It is challenging to learn a new language but also fulfilling at the same time. 🙂

I made banana bread the other day and it was so yummy! I am having fun trying new recipes and also learning to cook Lebanese dishes. There is a lot I still need to learn about Lebanese cooking but my mother-in-law is such an amazing cook that I can learn from her. And all my sisters in law are also great cooks so there is no way I won’t learn soon. 🙂 I am glad I already loved to cook. That helps!

Many of you have shared that you enjoy reading the blog and keeping up with the new experiences and life in a new country. I wondered if there were any questions anyone has. It might be fun to have a question and answer post. So, comment and I will do my best to answer them.

Happy reading! 🙂

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Father’s Day and a weekend adventure

Hi! Happy Father’s Day (a day late) to my wonderful dad! Father’s Day in Lebanon is not until this next weekend but I definitely celebrated my dad from afar yesterday. It was hard not being with the family to celebrate but I am sure they made him feel special. Love you, Dad!

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This weekend we spent Saturday evening and Sunday in Ain Dara, my husband’s village. It is really beautiful and a nice place to spend the weekend as it is much cooler there than where we live. It was nice to get away and spend time with family. The weekend started off with sandwiches in the evening from our favorite place. It was super crowded!

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Then the next morning, of course, we had to eat again. 😉 We had a quick breakfast out on the balcony before church.

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After breakfast we attended church and had the privilege of hearing from two Korean couples and their children about a ministry to the Middle East that the Lord prompted them to start. They shared a bit and sang two songs. The kids were precious!

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After the Korean couples shared, the pastor asked my husband and I to come to the front so the church could pray for us and for our marriage. Then, SURPRISE, he asked me to sing “How Great Thou Art” and then the church would sing it in Arabic. It was a memorable Sunday. 🙂

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After church, we headed back to the house. We were hoping to eat light, however, when you spend time with family, that usually means you eat WAY too much food. We tried to convince my mother-in-law that she should not cook a lot and we could do something easy like hamburgers, but she loves to serve and love on all of us by cooking so here is what our “little” meal looked like. It was really good! 🙂

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Yes, that is not only one dessert, but THREE desserts. The large one with the peaches on top tasted a little like banana pudding. I have to learn how to make it, it was so good! I guess my diet and exercise program I’ve been talking about needs to start this week. Yikes!

After lunch we were all feeling like a nap was in order, however, some of us wanted to go off-roading. It was a beautiful day for it and I captured a few good pics of our ride. *Disclaimer – I am NOT a photographer so all the pics on this blog are very ‘candid’.*

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All in all it was a great weekend. I hope many more like this are to come. The journey is still ahead and I am excited to see what the future holds. Thank you for coming along with me. I will write again soon!

Anniversaries

Hi! It’s been a few days since I’ve written. Things have been pretty busy for us but I wanted to get on and give an update. We recently celebrated our one month anniversary of marriage. 🙂 Yay! I wanted to say I am so grateful for my husband. He is amazing and I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is patient, kind, loving, and fun and I am so excited about the future with him. God knew we needed each other and I am so happy that our love story was written by Him. We have so much for which to be thankful! Thank you, baby for your love for God and your love for me. Love you lots!

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This last week we celebrated my one month anniversary living in Lebanon. I can’t believe it’s already been a month! Time has passed so quickly. I have learned so much since I came here and I am so grateful to finally be with this man who I love so much. I do miss my family a lot and it has been an adjustment getting used to a new culture but I wouldn’t change a thing! My husband and his family have been so amazingly supportive and I am grateful for each of them and how much they have made this transition so much easier. This country is so beautiful and I know that God has great plans for us here. We are excited to see what the future holds.

Thank you for keeping up with my adventures. I am sure I will have plenty more to share this week. I will try not to let so many days go by between posts.

Bye for now!

 

Now, the rest of the story….

I hope my pictures will be cooperating today so I can finish the rest of the story of my parent’s visit. I missed a day blogging yesterday as I had another Arabic language lesson in the morning and then helping my other sister-in-law in the afternoon. So, where were we….oh, yes, the church up the mountain where you can see the beautiful view of the city and then on to Byblos.

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This is one of the views from the church up on the mountain. Part of the fun though is going up by cable car and unfortunately I did not get a picture of that. 😦

Next we went on to Byblos where we toured the ruins, walked around the city, searched for souvenirs and enjoyed a lovely time.

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My mom loves history so she read every sign that was posted. 🙂

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I really enjoyed having them visit and it was so nice to see things through their eyes as they saw places for the first time that I had only first seen not too long ago. It was fun to all be “tourists” together. 🙂

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On Sunday we went to my brother-in-law’s church and enjoyed a wonderful meal by his wife. Then my parents and I were able to go back to the church with him that afternoon for a food distribution for some Syrian refugees his church is assisting. It was an incredible experience and I am so glad I was able to go. What the church is doing is practically showing God’s love to these refugees and it was humbling and inspiring to watch. I was reminded how God provides for us and how much He cares about each intimate detail of our lives.

Monday came all too soon and my parent’s flight was leaving pretty early which meant they had to be at the airport very early. It was so very difficult to say goodbye this time but I know that we can stay in touch through Skype and texting and that they will visit again soon. It did my heart good to have them with us and I am looking forward to the next visit we have together. Family is so important and cherishing them is something we should never forget to do. I am so thankful for my wonderful family and my wonderful “new” family I have inherited through my husband. The Lord has truly blessed me! I am so excited to see what this new chapter will hold as I keep my eyes on Him.

Until next time!

The rest of the story….

Well, I had good intentions but didn’t get anything posted over the weekend. I probably shouldn’t attempt to do that anyway as that is usually the time I have uninterrupted with my husband. But, I am back to finish the details of my parent’s visit.

After the reception on Thursday we had planned for them to go sightseeing with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. They were so sweet to take time out of their busy week to spend time showing my parents around. We went to the cedars and to a very old castle. Since my mom loves history it was very interesting for her to visit the castle. There was a very nice security guy that told us some interesting things about the prince who lived there and we enjoyed the unexpected tour. The cedars and the grounds at the castle were all beautiful. The cedars we went to were the ones where Solomon came to in order to take cedars to build the temple.

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Who wouldn’t want to live here? It was amazing at every turn the beautiful pictures that awaited us.

After touring the cedars and the castle we were hungry (of course!). 🙂 My husband recommended a really good sandwich shop to us that was on our way back so we stopped and enjoyed the best sandwich I’ve had since coming to live in Lebanon, and according to my dad, the best sandwich he’s ever had in his life. 😉

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And my mom loved her 7up in the cute bottle. 🙂

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That wraps up Friday, and then Saturday morning we went to breakfast at my sister-in-law’s house and enjoyed a wonderful spread of amazing foods. There was so much to try and my parents really enjoyed a typical Lebanese breakfast. After we came back from breakfast it was almost time for my husband to be home from work so we could all go to Byblos. Before heading there we took my parents up a mountain by cable car to a beautiful church where you can climb up to the top and look out over Beirut and take amazing pictures. Unfortunately I don’t have any pics on my phone from that outing and I’m having some trouble uploading some of my pics so I will post those tomorrow from Byblos and the view from the church.

On another note, to give an update, I started my Arabic language lessons and they are going very well so far. I am planning to have another one today so I will update soon on the progress. Also, totally unrelated, yesterday I made biscuits for breakfast. I think it was the first time my husband had ever had them….and he liked them! 🙂 We had eggs, biscuits and cantaloupe. I told him when I get used to the oven at our apartment and felt brave enough maybe we could have some of his family over for a “southern” breakfast. I wonder if they are ready for that? 😉

Well, until next time! Thanks for reading!