Monday, December 10, 2012

Layla's Birthday

Arabic Word of the Day: little girl = bint sagiirah

Five years ago, I was blessed with the birth of my third child, my only daughter.  It seems like yesterday that she was just a prayer in my heart.  Her birthday, like everyday, I look at her with wonder and happiness.  These are the times when I do not want to kill her.  hehehe.  No matter, I love my baby girl.  Happy Birthday , Layla!

Here are some snapshots of her special day.  Photographer extraordinaire,  I am not!  If you notice, not too many pics with Rami and Adam.  I deleted most, because the boys looked less than thrilled.  Surprise, Surprise!  They had to be dragged.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Celebrate a New Baby Boy

A fun Arabic tradition is to have a party celebrating the birth of a son.  If you remember, my sis-in-law had a baby boy a few weeks ago.  He is a cutie named Laith.  He is her third child after two beautiful daughters, so you know his birth party would be an elaborate affair.

food - check
decorations - check
many people - check
dancing - check
give lit candles to children to hold - check  (When I saw this, I bit my tongue so hard, I bled a little)

Sons are very important in Arab countries.  Sons are raised to be protectors and providers for the family.  Many sons live in the family house for their entire lives, including their wives and children.  This tradition ensues that a mother and father are provided for in the twilight years instead of with strangers in a nursing home.

We had Laith's party when he was 2 weeks old at our newly built apartment.  My sister-in-law looked beautiful and radiant.  Her husband was a handsome and proud papa.  It was a wonderful evening.

My beautiful sons and daughter with their cousin.

Me and Sanaa and baby Laith

Beautiful Mom and Dad, Laith!
Arabic word of the day:  Son = ibn

You may be asking yourself what kind of party my two sons had.  We had a great, big .......NOTHING.  Which is unfortunate because Rami was the first male grandchild in Ray's family.  To be fair, we certainly did not have the funds for a decent celebration, and Ray has forgotten many Arabic traditions over the years.  Incredible as it seems, I have been the ______ American girl for many years.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Layla is my youngest child and only daughter.  She is a beautiful child inside and out, with personality, joy, laughter and play.  Too bad for me, she also has her father's temper.  This little girl can throw a mind blowing tantrum.  Her fits are loud, insane, and when it is over, the house, myself, and she look like we barely escaped the wrath of a tornado.

For the last month, I have searched for new discipline ideas for our problem.  Because I am her mother, I cannot use the same tactic that I use during one of my husband's episodes, which is ignore it, ignore it, ignore it until it is finished.  It has been proven to be ineffective to spank her, have her sit in time-out, take away her candy money, keep her inside from playing, etc.  I was in need of new ideas, fast!

My first new idea was to encourage the bad behavior.  Take her power away and laugh at her.  When she screamed, I would say, "Again!", clap my hands and laugh at her.  Boy, was she infuriated!  I kept on laughing at her.  Definitely not my finest parental moment, but at least I was in a good mood after her tantrum, instead of wanting to strangle her.  We have not repeated the performance, and never will, but Layla did apologize and quietly cleaned her mess.

I am now implementing my second idea.  Everyday she receives a star on the board for not having a tantrum.  Her job is to keep the star on the board all day, and receive another star the next day.  When she receives 5 stars, we buy a new toy.  If she has a tantrum, she loses her star for the day.  It took her six days to get 5 stars.  She only had ONE tantrum in six days.  We are taking steps in the right direction.  Now she has her eye on a more expensive toy, so today we begin our ten star journey.  Wish us luck!

Arabic Word of the Day:  Sick = Mariid

Today, Layla is home because she is sick.  All day yesterday, she did not want to go to school, because she learned that Zayna (my husband's friend's daughter, who is the same age as Layla) was not going to school while her father was visiting from America.  I tried explaining that Layla could only use that excuse when Ray was visiting.  She remained convinced she would not be going to school, and to prove it, she ran a high fever all night.

How do you say, I am sick = Ana mariidan.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Arabic word of the day:  "booboo" means "baby" in slang Arabic.


We have a new baby in the family.  How exciting!  My sis-in-law, Sana, now has a beautiful baby boy.  His name is Laith.  I know I am biased, but he is gorgeous!  (Of course, only in third place, because my two sons are tied for first place in the gorgeous boy competition.)

On another note, we have completed the apartment next to mine.  It turned out great.  I cannot tell yet whether it was worth the cleanup and aggravation.  I am still a little sore.

It is finally sweater season!  Hooray!  It seems that summer does not last forever after all.  Thank goodness!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Arabic Word of the Day:  sabanik = spinach

One of the good things about Jordan is that the government subsidizes fresh food.  Fruits and vegetables are cheap as long as you do not buy them at a chain grocery store.  The streets are filled with roadside produce vendors, markets, and even neighborhood trucks that travel from house to house selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

When you buy produce that is cheap, there is usually some work involved.  It can become what I like to call a "family affair".  Put the kids to work!

For example:  Yesterday, I bought 5 kilos (about 12 lbs.) of freshly picked spinach for 1 JOD ($1.40).  It took about 45 minutes for Layla and I to pick all the leaves, store in plastic bags for the refrigerator, and clean the kitchen floor afterwards.  The boys were grateful to have homework during this time.

But now I have 4 gallon sized bags of spinach leaves.  Green Monsters, twice a day, here I come!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Coffee at AHSS

Arabic word of the day:

school = "madrasah"


Today at Rami and Adam's school, parents were invited to watch the first three periods of the day.  For Adam, this meant I could observe his Math, Arabic, and English class.

Overall, I was very happy with Adam.  He has made so much progress since last year.  Of course, there are many things Adam and I need to work on throughout the year, such as writing and spelling in Arabic and English.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Time at a Group Yoga Class

I love yoga.  I love the way I feel when I practice yoga regularly.  But alas, I have been in an exercise rut lately.  HAH!  Well not lately.  To be completely honest, I have been exercise lazy for the last..........5 years. Whoops!

Now that the kids are back in school,

The kids are excited for the first day of school.  Can't you tell?!
I have decided to get my exercise groove on.  Yesterday, I toured two exercise facilities.

First, I toured Fitness First, a complete gym experience.  Wow!  It had lots of everything I could think of and some things I hadn't.  It was incredible, and it had the price tag to prove it.  It will have to go on my wish list.

Second, I toured One With Nature Center.  They have group yoga and pilates classes that I am interested in.  I decided to try the yoga class today, and a pilates class next week.

Finally, next week I will tour One II One's Barre class before I make my final decision between which classes I will join.

Today, I participated in my very first group yoga class!  In the past, I have always been what you would call a solo practictioner.  I was never comfortable exercising in front of people.  I am still not in my confort zone, but I have the say the class was okay.  I liked the instructor, and her voice was very soothing.  My one complaint is that we did not do too many different poses for an hour and a half class.  We did a lot of breathing.  Also, she did not play any music until the very end of class.  Is this a normal occurrence in a group class?  All in all, it was a good experience.  I may just go again next week.  We will wait and see.


I have decided to make my own energy granola bars.  I have been searching the Web for recipes, and searching Amman grocery stores for healthy ingredients (which is very difficult, that is for another post).  Today, at Cozmo, I found a seasoning pack for Cookie Spices.  It gave me a laugh.  Check it out.

I had to buy it.  It will taste great in my date oatmeal bars.  lol

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Drivers License Running Around


Yesterday, I had 48 views on this blog.  Wooohooo!  I think you guys are amused by my ridiculousness.  Since I have an increase in followers, I have a question to ask.  Do you have any questions about Jordan or thoughts that you want me to answer or share on my blog?  I am open to discussing any topic that may bring a laugh or a smile to your day.  You can either comment on this post, or you can email me at  I cannot wait to hear from you!

Back to the Post:

Yesterday, Teta and I made plans to work on my Jordanian drivers license.  You may not know that my Louisiana Drivers License expired on my birthday last year, and I have not been to visit the States to take care of the renewal.  Apparently, you can only renew an American drivers license in America. What are the odds? lol  Because my license is expired, I am having a lot of trouble obtaining a Jordanian license.

My husband and I decided before he left that I would just obtain a drivers license like a true Jordanian.  I would have to take the drivers test, obtain certification that I went to driving school, and lie and cheat to get my license.  My brother in law knows a man, Munir (not his real name), that can get me copy of the test with answers and get a forged driving school certificate for me.  So, now I am going to feel like I am fifteen again studying for the BIG DRIVING TEST!  Lets hope I pass on the first try again.  At least this time around I will fix my hair in anticipation of passing.  lol.

So today, Munir came to take Teta and I to the Ministry.  I told Munir that I did not get a copy of the test.  He replied that we would try something different before I took the test.  Taking the test would be a last resort.  Sounds good to me.   Until........................................................................................

Munir takes us to the Ministry of Interior.  I have been here before.  I have been here many, many, times before with my husband.  Ray and I came here many times to TRY AND GET MY DRIVERS LICENSE!
Last time I was here, we were told there was no way I could  get a Jordanian license with my expired Louisiana drivers license.  Guess what they told me today?  I CANNOT GET MY JORDANIAN LICENSE WITH AN EXPIRED LOUISIANA LICENSE.  I am so glad I have clarification on that.  It does not matter how many people we ask or how many offices we step into or how many people are with me, the answer is still the same.  A big, fat NO!

I am soooo glad I inconvenienced many people today.  NOT!  I feel terrible that my brother in law took off work so he could pick my boys up from school.  Not to mention, that I will have to do this again when I go take my drivers test Wednesday or Thursday.  Munir is coming tonight to give me the copy of the drivers test and answers.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Arabic Weddings

Anyone can have more fun at an Arabic wedding than at any nightclub in America.  And there is no liquor!  Just crazy, sober fun!  Arabic weddings make American weddings look like a snooze fest.  There are many differences between the Arabic wedding and American wedding traditions.  Here is a quick list of five things about Arabic weddings off the top of my head.

1.  The groom and his family pay for the wedding, dowry, and the honeymoon.  He may even pay for the engagement party, but I am not sure.  The groom and bride may live with his parents for years before he can afford his own home.  What a trade-off for a bride to get the wedding of her dreams, eh?

2.  The dowry is for the bride only.  It usually is in the form of beautifully ornate gold jewelry.  This is "her" money, to be used by her alone.  It is her safety net if anything should happen in the future.

3.  On the wedding day, the bride and her family wait at home for her groom to fetch her and take her to the wedding hall.  This tradition signifies the groom taking the bride from her parents house to his home to be his partner for life.

4.  The legal aspect of the marriage is completed before the engagement party, but the marriage is not consummated until after the wedding party.

5.  Most weddings begin with the men and women in separate rooms.   This is so the ladies can uncover their hair and dress sexy if they want to.  When it is time for the men to join the ladies, these women recover their hair and bodies.

****Please note that if there are any mistakes that I have made in my understanding of Arabic weddings, just blame the _______ American girl!

The bride was my husband's cousin.
While the Bride waits for her groom, the family begins the dancing fun and celebration.

At the wedding hall, the dancing starts with the bride and groom dancing together.  I am sorry that I cannot post the picture, because the bride does not have her jacket on or her hijab.

Next, the ladies join in.

When the men are allowed into the party, it begins with a traditional Palestine line dance.

The men dance.

Everyone dances!

The Bride and Groom posing for pictures.

Rami was old enough to attend the wedding.

Raed and I in our fancy clothes!

Where was Adam?  He was here all night!