Friday, July 31, 2009

Why we didn't stay up for the 4th of July fireworks

The night before last, as I was hanging up laundry (yeah, water day, and boy did we have a lot of laundry after our 19 hours in the JFK airport) I was enjoying the fireworks display. At first I thought it was just the normal wedding revelry, but soon realized it was tawjihi results. For those not familiar, these are the high school examinations that in many ways determine a teenager's options for college and career. Read this article to learn why we don't go out and drive during this time.
So why did we not attend the 4th of July fireworks in America a few weeks back?

1) Arabs love fireworks and we get to enjoy them nearly all year for free.
2) In Michigan it doesn't even get dark until after 10 and the kids were too tired to stay up for them after parading all day.

My favorite thing about the display? I called for Oliver to come out and take a look. He glanced up, said "wow" and ran back in the house calling for his younger brother to come see. Over the summer I have been astounded by my 6 year old's love and compassion for his 3 year old brother (and his baby brother as well). He just couldn't imagine not enjoying the beautiful display from our balcony without Teddy Bear with him. I am so thankful he is such an encourager, and despite the normal sibling fights, my boys are great friends. I pray it continues.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fun in America

Is this our new home? One of the boys asked us as we pulled up the drive to visit some friends for dinner. We've been traveling a lot, seeing family and friends, and having a wonderful, but busy, time. This morning we're taking it easy, and Oliver is already asking where we're going today. Luckily, today we have plans to visit some friends who also have three kids about the same ages as ours, so it will be fun. It's amazing to see how what used to be a visit between college friends and maybe a baby has turned into mass chaos with between four and ten kids including play sets, sprinklers, train tracks, and the like. I love it!

Here are a few pics we've taken. Abu Tulip's mom made superhero capes, we've seen lots of tractors, enjoyed a 4th or July parade, been swimming in a lake, eaten corn dogs and funnel cake, watched a few good movies (Juno, Slumdog Millionaire) and in general taken in a lot of American culture.

We really miss our friends in the Middle East, but so far it has been a great summer.

~ Um Tulip