Sunday, December 4, 2016

Closing out September

September 21-25 we had a much too short visit from Grandma and Grandpa Knight.  We had a cookout in the backyard to celebrate the occasion.  
 Grandma went with us on a hike down to the water in St. Edward State Park.
 B is not giving up shorts this year, no matter how cold it gets.
 Sammy always has to do everything that everyone else does.  He is pretty capable, and has very good balance for his age, but sometimes he needs an assist from Grandma, or, as he calls all grandparents, "Bampa."
 He is very polite, and always signs and says, "Ay-oo, Bampa!" for thank you.
 I thought the kids would be tired after making the hike up from the water, but they informed me that one cannot ever be too tired for playing on a playground.

 Sammy's face in this picture! He cracks me up.  
 Grandma had to get home to Tucson so that she could get back to work.  We had grandparent withdrawals, even though they were only here for four days.  It didn't help that when we went to Big Finn Hill Park (our nearest park to home) to play, we discovered that the biggest playground had been leveled, and work on the new playground was scheduled to last until January.
 We were happy to discover, when we started going to library story time again at our newly remodeled library, that a picnic area was built outside of the library.  We had a picnic there after story time on September 28, and played in the English ivy, or, as B calls it, the "angrish ithy."

 Todd had a business trip to California for a couple of days on September 28-29, so we went to DQ for supper.
 Sammy had never had ice cream on a cone before.  I told him he was getting ice cream and he asked for a spoon.  He caught on quickly, though.
 On September 29 we had a field trip to a local mosque in conjunction with our study of the origins of Islam.  It was one of the best field trips I can remember.  I picked up Dorothy and Alice, and we met the Christensens at the mosque.  We were met at the door by our new friend, Sister Oraib. She brought us in, sat the children down on the floor, and told us about the basic beliefs of Islam directly from her heart.  She explained the need to pray five times a day, and the manner of prayer.  When the kids asked about what happens if someone can't kneel to pray, or is traveling and can't find a place to pray, Oraib explained that the important thing is taking time to make a connection to God, even if every ritual can't be observed.  When the kids got wiggly, and the adults were still talking, Oraib sent the kids to a gym to play while she shared her testimony of the attributes of God with us.  Finally, before we went home, they fed us lunch.  The mosque is always busy, since it also houses a Pre-K through 12th grade school.  Everyone we met told us how much they appreciate us being willing to come and learn from them.  I really felt honored to be there among such hospitable people.
Here is the thank you note Eloise wrote to Sister Oraib.  It says, "As-salamu alaykum.  Shukraan (thank you) for showing us around.  From Eloise." The picture shows Eloise and Jared sitting at the table eating lunch.
Sister Oraib coordinates furnishing the homes of Muslim refugees who have recently arrived from the conflict in Syria (particularly now) and Iraq, so we have been able to connect with her again to provide a refugee family with an extra bunk bed that was given to us.  When we saw her most recently, Oraib exclaimed, "It's my favorite family!"  We are blessed to have her as a friend.  

Finally, to close the month of September, we were invited to a princess play date with our little friend Lexi, who was turning three, at the castle playground in North Rose Hill Park.  
Eloise was dressed in her princess gear right down to her shoes.  She doesn't get dressed like a princess very often, but when she does, she goes all out.

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