Wednesday, December 16, 2009

HR is 5 years old!

Our littlest turned 5 this month. She loves pink, giving hugs, singing, and chattering. We love her and are so thankful that she is in our family.

Experiencing a wedding...

Attending the village wedding on Saturday night was like jumping headfirst into a cultural lagoon. Traditions are abundant during this all-night festivity. What a great opportunity for us to observe and participate!

When we and our friends arrived (all pictured above were squished in our big red car!) they served us a lovely chicken tagine and then followed it with a beef tagine. They killed the fattened calf for this one. My friend said that they probably served 50 chickens to all their guests during the day.

The women proceeded up on the roof, into this tent. It was packed with maybe 150 women, probably all of the families of the entire village represented. Wow! We sat and waited for the bride to come. (I was informed that she was in town getting her hair done.)

And here she is! She arrived around 10 pm and walked in and sat on a silver throne waiting for her groom. There was a small dance rug in the middle where my cute friends let their hair down (literally) and had a ball. This is a fun night for women.

After the groom came and the pictures were taken, they left to change their clothes. She had 3 different outfits that she modelled during the night. While she was gone changing, the "tent occupants" watched a relative open the presents and announce to the crowd, for example, "Ruth, the aunt of the bride, gave 200 dirhams ($25). May God repay her." You want to hide under your seat if you give something lame or cheap!

This is the procession of the groom into the house, surrounded by male friends. The men sat downstairs the whole time while the women were upstairs. Patrick met the groom for the first time and offered his congratulations. The groom seemed pleased and told Patrick that he was thankful that his wife will provide domestic help. The bride and groom will live with the groom's family in a village about 15 minutes away.

Here we are! Usually the place for kids at a wedding is outside getting in trouble, so we left our other kids at home. H enjoyed herself and even said the next day, "I liked that queen." The bride was indeed a queen for a day, but is probably now on to other things like washing clothes and cooking chicken.

What an interesting look into culture...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Poppy!

Poppy enjoyed some cake today (so did her mama). It's fun for the whole family to celebrate Poppy's birthday every few months because everyone benefits from a freshly baked gluten free yummy.

H is such a cutie with Poppy and her other doll Kitty Rose (who was my childhood friend too!). She likes to dress her, feed her, and stroll her around. One day on the trip to the neighborhood market, H confided in me.

"Mom, when I get too old and don't want Poppy anymore, will you take care of her?"

The question caught me off guard and a flood of emotions overcame me. "Oh, yes...I would love to do that," I choked out. We continued to walk home--me with a grocery bag and her with her baby.

I think I cried after that. I can't imagine HR without little pink bows in her hair and Poppy. How I need God's grace and courage for every step of parenting. Sometimes I just want to sit with a cup of tea and just stare at my kids. Watch their noses crinkle, see their eyes beam, their fingers move, hear their voices laugh. I'm so thankful for each of them and I trust that the days will just get better. They are changing before my eyes.

So, when the time comes, I will be the one who puts Poppy in her pink dress and bakes her a birthday cake. Because even then, the mama and the rest of the grown crew will benefit.