Tayta left on her first international trip sans parents (though with adult friends of our family), traveling to Istanbul where she had been invited to help with childcare for a conference. Caring for babies and small children is a joy to Tayta and she took pleasure in every moment of caring for her young charges. I rejoiced in this opportunity God had given her to serve, doing something that she loves so very much.
On Friday, Active Son and Artist Son participated in the annual Dead Sea runs, Artist Son running the 10K and Active Son completing his first full marathon--a goal he had set for himself to accomplish before leaving for college. And what better place to run but to the Lowest Point on Earth. We were all up at 4:30am on race morning as the guys plus friends had to meet the race buses which would take them to their race starts. The main road to the finish was closed so friends and I took the scenic route through Madaba, up over the top of Mt. Nebo and down the back side to the Dead Sea.
Artist Son burning up the road with his best 10K run--he'd have run the 21K but for the 17 year old age requirement.
After concluding weeks of training by running a marathon, Active Son next looked forward to a new challenge, making the decision to accept Boise State University Honors College's offer of admission with a full-ride financial package. Becoming confident that he would like to pursue a graduate degree in physical therapy, Active Son thinks Boise State, just 10 minutes away from his grandparents (who have promised to teach him how to ski but were careful not to offer until he made his final decision) will be a fine place to learn and grow.
And as Active Son looks foward to beginning a new season of study, Dear Husband rejoiced that his season of formal study had come to an end yesterday, when he took his last final of his last course in his M.Div. program. This very last course was Eschatology and taught in Arabic (many of his courses were in English)--a doozy of a last course, for sure, especially since he wasn't on the same eschatological page as his professor. Towards the end my wifely encouragements degenerated into admonishments to "grin and bear it" and "just do it! "
I thought a celebration dinner in order, and I still do, but it turns out that the celebration dinner that took place that night was in honor of my birthday with my dear family made the dinner and the dessert. This was especially nice since my family really doesn't cook--unless you count egg sandwiches and grilled hamburgers. Now Tayta of course is a fantastic baker, and her overall kitchen awareness contributed a great deal to the effort. I picked the menu: Lemon Chicken, Garlic Roasted Broccoli, Greek Salad, Artisan Bread, and Apple Pie with a Walnut Crumb Crust. I handed them the recipes for the new-to-us dishes and they did a fantastic job. I'll post the recipes later. Can you guess which child made, or should I say designed, the salad?
Artist Son's Greek Salad, arranged in true Mediterranean style.
This week also saw the much anticipated first blooms of the foxgloves I nurtured from seeds last spring and Artist Son immortalized the best of them in the colored pencil sketch which graced my birthday card.
And maybe a little rest this weekend? Maybe, a little. This afternoon, freed from the bondage of Arabic eschatology, Dear Husband and the boys boarded a plan for Cairo with their Amman Little League team where they will enjoy some baseball on real grass fields--an advantage of playing near the Nile. I think Tayta and I will live on leftover apple pie and sandwiches until they return on Sunday night.