Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone has had a wonderful year and continue to have more wonderful years to come!!

I am saddened to see all the negative comments about 2010 and positive thoughts towards the upcoming year, as I read the comments written by my Facebook friends. I ask myself, why all the negative thoughts about the last year?! And then I ask myself, why do they think the next year will bring better for them?! Today is 2010 and tomorrow is 2011. It is just another day, another year. It isn't a new year that will make our lives better, rather it is the thoughts inside us. It is the way we react to our surroundings. The way we respond to the events in our lives. The way we thank God for the blessings in our lives. And the way we learn from the struggles that will make our lives better. I hope to encourage everyone and myself to thank God for our blessings and to learn from the struggles he tests us with. To learn to react and respond better to our surroundings and our circumstances, so that we can be more positive about our lives -because positive thinking does make a difference.

My positive thoughts and events from 2010:

-My husband, this year he began working with the Prime Minister of Jordan as a Senior Analyst! Also he is teaching at the German-Jordanian University.

-My son, is in his first year of life and he brings joy and laughter to our life every day!

-My daughter, is in her third year of life and she brings sweetness and love to our life everyday!

-My Dad, has been promoted to Publisher of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch and deserves the very best in everything because he is dedicated to do his best in everything he does!

-My Mom, is so wonderful in every way and takes care of her family whether we live with her or live across the world from her!

My sister, and her husband, have brought home the most wonderful gift of a daughter, Grace!

My sister, is a strong young women who offers so much to the world around her!

Our family, have so many things to be happy for -Alhumdillah - and we wish you all a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas around the world and in Jordan too. About 5% of the Jordanian population are Christians, but you can see the festivities all around town. I was at the grocery store the other day and Christmas music played continuously as we shopped. The radio is also playing the occassional Christmas song and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. The malls are decorated from top to bottom with lights, Christmas trees, poinsettas, and a place for the kiddies to sit on Santas lap (and yes, Santa is there taking requests and pictures). The neighborhood stores are celebrating as well, with signs of Merry Christmas, sales, and decorations in the store windows. Depending on the neighborhood, some street turn arounds are decorates with decorated and lighted trees. The Christian homes have lighted trees and Santa with his reigndeer displayed out front. If today was a normal working day, we would all have the day off because it is a National Holiday. Last night (Christmas Eve) we drove around the streets of Amman and the people were out celebrating. The street vendors were selling Santa hats...and there was the occassional cars with people dressed in Santa hat, beard, and red coat ringing bells as they drove down the streets of Amman. Here are a few pictures we took over the last week:

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Niece is born!

My Sister!

6 pounds, 13 ounces
19.5 inches
December 19, 2010
7:10 a.m.

Congratulations to my Sister and her Husband!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Middle East has Moody Weather?!

Living and growing up in the Midwest of the United States, we always joked that the weather was moody. One day it would be warm, the next it would be cold. It would be a beautiful summer day and a huge thunderstorm came through mid-afternoon. It would seem as though Spring was here to stay and summer was on its way, then we would get hit by a snowstorm. The weather was something you needed to pay close attention to and prepare for as you couldn't predict what the day would bring.

Living in Jordan, I have not needed to pay attention to the weather. In fact, most people don't seem to care about the weather forcast. There aren't signs at every bank announcing the date, time and weather. Honestly, I rarely know what the temperature is...other than when I talk with my family who are living in the Midwest and they often ask me what the weather is doing over here. It is an interesting topic, never the less; however, the weather over the past 24 hours is an interesting topic being discussed all over Amman today!

Before two weeks, it felt as though summer would last all year in Amman. The temperature was still in the high 70's, beautiful summer blue skies, and hot sunshine. Peopleeverywhere were praying for rain, as this is normally their rain season. Then two weeks ago, the temperature dropped...dramatically. It became cool 50's with a cold wind. Inside the homes, this is a whole other story, one that Midwesterners don't believe until we live here. 50F outside means it is near freezing inside your home...and it is nearly impossible to warm the inside of your home as it built to keep the heat out. All the heat you put into your home is gone, due to the radiating cold coming from all four corners of your tile and cemented home.

In the last 24 hours, we had very interesting weather. It started with rain...lots of much rain it looked like rivers flowing down the mountain side. This lasted a few hours and was followed by about 12 hours of piercing cold wind. All of this wind started drying out the land. The wind continued at 40km/hour, the hillsides dried, and the sandstorm started! Wind and sand beating against the homes and windows. In some places they could taste the sand in their homes (even with their windows down and shutters closed) and the sand even managed to get in many of the homes. (Side note: This always rocks when you just cleaned and dusted your home!...ugh) Late last night the wind howlled, the doors and windows shook, and the thunderstorm started! Thunder and lightening through out the night. Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind stopped and the snow started! Depending on which part of Amman you live, depends on if you had standing snow this morning. We live on the highest point in Amman, so we woke up to 4-6 inches of snow this morning!

Recap: Intense rain, intense wind, sandstorm, thunderstorm, snow storm!...For my Midwestern friends who just experiences 14 inches during a huge blizzard, I know you are laughing at my choice of words, but for Jordan 4-6 inches of snow is considered a snow storm!

The kids and I got up this morning, got dressed quickly and played outside while I waited to hear if my work was cancelled for wasn't...but many of the schools were closed. I giggled to myself knowing that many of the Minnesota schools were open today despite the huge blizzard that just hit them. And I laughed with my girlfriend from work as she told me that she doesn't think there will be work today because she can't even walk outside due to all the snow. It's a matter of perspective.

Hope everyone survived the blizzard back home and I hope everyone here is keeping warm inside as we all brace ourselves for winter!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What Makes Them Who They Are...

What Makes Little Miss Who She Is...

Carrying around her beloved Bear everywhere we go - "Momma, Bear misses me if I leave him"

Still sucking her thumb and denying that she does - "I don't suck my thumb, BooBoo sucks his thumb, BooBoo is a baby!"

Being a wonderful big sister - "BooBoo you have to hold my hand, be careful, stay on the sidewalk because there might be cars!"

Enjoying the song and dance - A mix of Arabic and English music, she can sing and dance in both languages!

Constantly checking if everyone is happy - "Momma, are you happy?"

Always wanting to play in her room - "Momma, play with me in my room!"

Needing to say I love you hundreds of times a week - "I love you Momma" and "Momma, I love BooBoo so much!" and "I love my Baba (Dad) really a lot!"

Loving the beautiful things - "Ohhh, her shoes are pink!", "She has pretties in her hair!", "Wow, that's fancy!"

Favorite 'toons - Minnie Mouse, Tom & Jerry

Favorite things - Playing "Scary" (pretending I am an alligator while she hides under the covers). Hide and Seek. Making a fort with the couch. Drawing. Painting. Playdough. Children's Museum. Reading Books. Dresses. Fancy shoes.

What I love most about her - Her soft, tender, enormous heart!

What Makes BooBoo Who He is...

Taking his blanket with him everywhere he goes - "B"

Always checking for Little Miss- "AiJa, where you?!"

Kissing the one who is crying - "Momma, AiJa crying" followed by "Muuuah"

Incredible temper when he doesn't get what he wants - "AIIIIIIIJAAAAAA, NOOOOOO!"

Incredbile personality - Amazing personality!

Athletic ability - Mark my words, he WILL be playing soccer and/or sports and he will be great!

Favorite 'toons - Barney, Tom & Jerry

Favorite things - Hide and Seek. Cooking with Momma. Reading Books. Kicking balls. Walking/running outside. Jumping.

His adorable blond curles and long dark eyelashes.

What I love most about him - He is full of interest and energy!