Family time plus nine


This past week was somewhat of a blur and flurry, guests arriving, shifting, cooking, cleaning and finally everyone packed up and made their way back to their homes. Yesterday afternoon the last of my children headed back home and now the house is relatively empty. The house is still a bit messy and today will be my big weekly clean up which means an all day effort of moving furniture, sweeping, scrubbing and finally everything will be back in place, shiny and routine. IMG_1500 (1)

Last Tuesday morning I cleaned the house, made guest beds, moved furniture around to accommodate our large family and stocked the pantry with basics.

Wednesday was spent baking and waiting for my kids to arrive. I worked on my contribution to the dessert table with a turtle cheesecake.

I did my last minute jobs to ensure that our house was once again ready to be bursting with the usual antics, and soon after Yusuf and Alicia came driving up in their brand new electric car. I am assuming in years from now the grandkids will look back and laugh at us oldies who were amazed by a car that needed to be plugged in and charged at few and far between supercharger stations!! The next order of business was a spin in the vehicle and a return home to get settled in.

My middle child flew into Spokane late Monday and insisted on chauffeuring  Grama and Grampa to our home on Wednesday. Meanwhile Saleeha and Edison would arrive around midnight, Osama, Jacki and kids made their way to Fattima and Ben’s that day around 3 and eventually everyone ended up at the family home for pizza and of course this included, home repairs, playing games, wrestling matches and some time for chatting.

That night my middle child picked up the engaged couple at our tiny local airport and everyone settled in.


After a good night’s sleep it was time to head over to Fattima and Ben’s for breakfast and precious moments were spent with the whole family. All nine of my children were in one place and it was just like old/new times.

Babies were put down for naps, cars were loaded and it was time for the days festivities to begin.  This year I took charge and made sure things stayed on a loose schedule and it went fairly well. The family picture was scheduled for 12:30 and although everyone hemmed and hawed they knew I would not take no for an answer! I started with a picture of my parents and all of my children._DSC0019

Jacki and I switched places as photographer

Eventually Heme’s friend came over and took a photo of the whole group _DSC0056

Cooking commenced and a whirlwind of pans, dishwashers and dryers, oven overloaded with food, turkey and stuffing, shepherd’s pie and sweet potato au gratin, spinach salad, smashed potatoes and rolls were all served promptly at 3:00 p.m.

After dinner everyone pitched in and cleaned up following the jobs list to the letter. Dessert was the only thing that occurred out of order and a line that formed behind the cheesecake was inevitable. I really liked the recipe and only made a few changes, some of the batter for the cheesecake was mixed with caramel sauce and a portion was mixed with chocolate, marbling it with the plain cheesecake. I chose to make a chocolate ganache and topped that with caramel sauce and pecans.IMG_1091

Our white elephant was the best ever and my gifts were stolen numerous times, specialty candy and a puzzle of Seattle, a stack of scratch tickets, VR headset and a holiday tin of popcorn and finally I ended up with outdoor led light torches for the yard. The other gifts included; a tortilla press, a digital cooking thermometer, gift basket from the World market, snowman cookie jar, tiny pool table and candy and too many others to list.

Games, cards and movies were watched, babies carted around and general family time shared.

Cars were packed, bags loaded and slowly each family and individual went back to their place of residence leaving our cozy little household of only 4.  I think Alayna expresses our sentiment in splendid fashion with no words!IMG_1216


This Thanksgiving I was encouraged to take charge once again and so I found my rhythm and my place as the head of household.

Blessings to all and thankfulness for every day!

A dress for Foof

This weekend was spent doing several things including the usual Sunday cooking, purchasing groceries and daily walks. The most important event involved traveling to my hometown for shopping early Saturday morning.  It was a blessed day and one that I had never envisioned would come to pass. It was one of those times where you stop and take account of everything that has transpired and wonder how you ended up where you are!

The 90 minute drive was one of blue skies and billowing clouds, green pastures and land dotted with barns and the occasional farmhouse. The focus was on joy, support and happiness! We met Fattima just before the shops opened and started our day!

We watched and commented, made our views known as requested and finally ended the day feeling even more confused!! We decided it was time for a break and of course lunch,  but the topic of conversation still centered around dresses, veils and shoes.

As with most events that we experience in our family, we try to keep the focus on happiness, fun and support. If this is somehow mixed up within the chaos, we refocus and regroup. I am grateful that we are able to be together and it shows how far we have come. It was nine years ago this month that we attended my son’s University graduation and then decided to stay. Thank you for joining us on this journey!




Family time

Family time this weekend was spent relaxing, cooking and hanging around the house. My two older girls who live nearby went in separate directions spending time with friends and family. Those of us who reside in the house had our own little version of family time. We took walks, fell asleep on the couch, got groceries and did a little cooking. Sumaya made her banana bread again and mixed in extra chocolate chips. We watched our usual shows which means allot more talking and laughing than actual viewing!




Fattima and family

Meanwhile Fattima spent time with some family friends and then had fun with the precious boys. She cooked a meal, played games and spent the night. The next day everyone had breakfast with the grandparents and then it was time for her to return home.



Saleeha, friends and family

Saleeha went to Seattle, ate Filipino fried chicken and visited special friends. She met up with her brother and then came back ready for another work week.  She has been trying a lot of Filipino food lately and I am hoping that some recipes will follow.


Our house

At home we settled in for some cooking, little D wanted to have something different and suggested she might try a recipe from the blog. She hasn’t done that much cooking in the past but has been showing interest lately. She made Roz bizilla which is rice, ground beef, spices and peas. She did a great job!


Sunday came and she mentioned making a dessert! Again it was superb!


I made Chicken divan and mashed potatoes, it felt good to finally just wander out to the kitchen and cook without relying on everyone. The kids have been surprised lately when they come upstairs expecting to cook and see that food is already prepared and ready to go!!


Grama time and the special event

It was a relaxing weekend and will be a very special week, full of Grama time and support for the adorable family.




Weekly review

This was my week in case you missed anything, have a great Sunday!

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Family time

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Family time for our large group is not a special time that is set aside for anything in particular. Having a large family means every moment is basically family time. College kids coming and going, people dropping in for a quick bite to eat or taking me out to get groceries. I value this time and it makes me so happy to have these drop in visits.

It has been brought to my attention by wonderful  people who have entered our family, that there might be 5 or 6 conversations taking place all at once, and while everyone in the family unit follows what is going on, others can be a little lost. It takes time and eventually they come to understand our unique way of communicating!


Little brother hugging his big sister

The younger kids had no school Thursday or Friday and so that time was spent going to various appointments and making our way to Spokane for my skin check. We stopped over to pick up a special custom birthday cake that Yusuf ordered for Grama who celebrated her 83rd birthday on the weekend. thumbnail_IMG_3512

We took the cake and drove a few miles to Osama and Jacki’s house and spent time with the precious boys. Jacki is doing well but very tired and ready!

Mom and Dad arrived, we surprised mom with the cake, they visited for a bit and then took the cake for a celebration the next day at the lake. We said our goodbyes and headed back to our little town. Both boys waved and sweetly spoke the words Byyyyyeeeee



The next morning I took Heme to get on the bus for a cross country meet, we followed awhile later. The little town we went to is nearby and sits in a valley. The landscape was amazing.

Heme had a good run and did his best which for me is always what I hope for. We jumped in the car and drove two hours to the lake. Mom and Dad do not really need anything and so we hate to burden them with more stuff that they will not use. So in the past few years we bring lotion, chocolate, nuts, basically items that they really like and use. We helped put away the kayak, tied up the dock and made sure everything was up from the lawn. Mom made hot dogs, salad and we sat and ate.

The cake from Mom’s favorite place was taken out and served.

We kissed and hugged, got in the car and drove through the Palouse back to our sleepy college town where the gentle touch of Fall can be seen everywhere.



Family time

We had a relaxing weekend with crisp Fall air, a few leaves on the ground and an empty house. The girls accepted Alicia’s invitation to attend a play in Seattle. Foof and B took them there and back while I spent time at home with the two boys. It was great fun!

Saturday at our house

I spent the morning finishing up outdoor work in anticipation of winter. Saleeha popped over in the afternoon, took me to get groceries, a coffee and later took us all out for dinner. The boys sat across from us, laughing and exchanging insults but actually appeared to have a great time together.


Meanwhile the kids in Seattle ate donuts, went to a pumpkin patch and finally arrived at the play that evening! You can see from the photos below that some people made it through the corn maze before others!

Sunday morning arrived, Yusuf and Alicia took everyone to brunch and then the kids started on the trip back.

Sunday at our house we cooked and I had a new helper in the kitchen, my youngest.

We made big turkey meatballs, Marinara sauce and put that all together into delicious meatball subs.


We also made rice and Apricot chicken

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The kids got home, we ate and then listened to the fun they had with big brother and sister-in-law.

I had to finish my post with this picture of Clementine! It appears she is all ready for Halloween!

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Family time

This past weekend we went to visit our precious little family. The first night was spent relaxing, playing with the little ones and catching up. The next morning I was on duty to get the waking babies and take care of them so mom and dad could get a little extra sleep. It was pure Grama time, noone else was awake, so we sat in the recliner and snuggled for over an hour, it was total bliss! Osama and Jacki are amazing parents and don’t hesitate to give us each individual time with these wonderful boys who are all of the sudden toddlers.

After everyone woke, we got ready, picked Great Grama up and made our way to Green bluff. It was a gorgeous crisp Autumn day, no smoke overhead and only blue, sunny skies.


I had been told that it was early for apples but I still wanted to continue with our tradition before the next little one arrives!

The boys had fun, running through the grass, sampling various treats and riding on a wagon that was pulled by a tractor.

In one of the shops the boys discovered a large fluffy dog taking a nap. They cautiously approached and were fascinated by this kindly creature.

A quick look through two shops provided more fun, sampling fruit and buying pastries.

It was a lovely day and a fun weekend, so many blessings to be counted!



Time with the boys

Yesterday we popped over to see the boys. They have changed so much in just three weeks! Today we will head over to Greenbluff, a gorgeous farming area where we have gone each year to pick apples! Have a great Saturday.

Love, Lynn


My baby Heme with his nephew Bennett