Sunday, May 29, 2011

Going to the farm and another concert you don't want to miss!

One of the favorite activities of a lot of local families is to travel out of the city to the family farm.  Usually this is a few acres of land owned by several family members collectively, and Friday afternoons are a perfect time to grill some meat, drink copious cups of tea, and enjoy time away from the busy city.  We are blessed to have some local friends with a lovely farm not too far away.  A couple weeks back we joined them for burgers. Spring is a perfect time to do this, as the summer has not yet scorched the land and the green is luscious.  Of course, if you are allergic to the olive trees like me you better take some extra meds, but it's well worth it.  I'm not a fantastic photographer, and have a simple point and shoot camera, but I'm super pleased with how my pictures turned out and so I'm sharing them with you!

This is roasted hamli. What is hamli?  Fresh garbanzo beans.  The taste is a bit like fresh peas, and it's hard to believe these are the same beans we dry and make hummus out of.  We bought them from a farmer off the side of the road on our way tot he farm.  Super yummy!

The roses were falling of the stems and so beautiful.  We took a bunch of petals home and they perfumed our home for a week.

 Grape leaves.  Reminds me of a song we sang in choir -  "Bayn iddawali".  By the way, go to for more info on our next concert, Lamma Bada.  Arabic folkloric music with some great percussionists.  Rehearsals have been so much fun, learning choreography and working with props.    I love this choir and can't wait to perform next weekend.  It will be an unforgettable concert.

 They grow their own mint.  Try tearing off a few leaves and placing in boiling water for a perfect cup of tea.

 The figs weren't ready to eat, but will be great later on.

Little olives just starting to grow.  The blasted pollen from these trees are killing my sinuses right now, but you can't beat local olive oil!

I think these are green cherries, but I'm not positive.  Feel free to correct me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easter Holiday

Our holiday week started out with a bang, as it seems our darling two-year-old can't stay out of trouble.  He got a hold of a chocolate candy with a hazelnut inside.  One of those yummy chocolates I keep hidden away just for mommy, when she's having a rough day.  Well, he choked on it, and while he was breathing, he continued to wheeze and cough for half an hour after.  After calling my mom and my pediatrician, it was off to the ER.  Both suspected the cause, a portion of hazelnut had aspirated into his lung.

A chest x-ray and breathing treatment later, we saw the pediatric surgeon who recommended a broncoscopy.  So the Saturday before Easter we spent with Linus being sedated and having a large piece of hazelnut removed from his right lung.

He was up an running the next day, happily shouting المسيح قام - حقا قام  "Christ is Risen - He is risen indeed" up and down the aisles at church.  I am so thankful it wasn't worse, and while his antics continually put me on edge and the tantrums are wearing me out, I love my little blankie boy. 

We took him to Petra the next weekend for a choir getaway and he enjoyed the view from the backpack.  Despite the rough beginning, it was a great week of family time and visits with friends.  We also made a volcano with Teddy Bear and Oliver, as Oliver has been learning about natural disasters in science class.  The Arabic word for earthquake is so cool - زلزال  "zilzal" and the plural even better "zilaazil".

Now I'm back to school and we're frantically finishing up teaching material and preparing for end-of-the year assemblies.   We'll see if there's time for a few more posts this month!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Easter concert

So this Saturday we're performing Mozart's Requiem.  It's a joint concert with the Syrian orchestra and choir and is going to be amazing.  I am so excited to perform.  Viva magazine did a big article on us and my picture is huge.  I totally feel like a celebrity.  If you haven't heard Mozart's Requiem you are missing out on phenomenal music.  See the poster, find us on facebook, and read our revamped website for more information.  Hope to see you there!