Monthly Archives: February 2014

Not all weddings are the same!

Just like in the motherland, weddings here have quite a variety in levels of intensity. Like good ol Merikans, it all depends on the family. Now, there is never a wedding without excruciating loud music, that never changes here, so turn the volume down on your device before you play this video (probably advice given to late, huh?).
Jenny and I have now been to quite a few weddings. Out of all those I have been to, no family celebrates better than my best bud Kais’ (the barber, the bathhouse companion, the wedding smasher).
I just went with him to his friends “grooms party” (the party where the groom gets celebrated before the big wedding), and it was crazy.
Here is another video of more of a cultural piece to the dancing; not just craziness.
Click here:

I only filmed a short part because as you can imagine, I had to put the camera down and get up in that mix!!
This part of language learning never gets old for me 🙂
Fellow party smasher,

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Keepin’ the spirit alive… What’s your favorite color, baby?

In case you have not seen this video yet, here you go. Let me keep you up on the CATS from NAfrica 🙂
The season ain’t over!

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Guys night.

Us guys were able to meet this last weekend and celebrate Darrell and Pete’s birthdays.  We wanted to celebrate with as much ruggedness as we could. We grilled a rabbit, had hot pepper shots, and watched The Hobbit. The time was really good.  Life is always better when you can have a good guys night! Who’s with me on that?

Here are pics of the stages of grilling a rabbit. At least we think it was a rabbit. It looked like it could have been a cat. But it tasted a whole lot like chicken.  Then, the last pic is our hot pepper shots with spicy sauce.

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Cancer is dumb.


No, these boys aren’t technically my brothers, but they might as well be… everything but blood. I’m just sitting here tonight before bed and I noticed that tomorrow is Feb 17th which means in one month it will be a year since Brian went to live in heaven  (Brian is the goofy grinning one on the left)!
Cancer is dumb.
Stevie sent Brian a message a while back trying to encourage him (for those of you who do not know the story of Stevie’s past with cancer-thats for another post). I don’t understand why Stevie is here and Brian is not. I think that even though God knew Brian would die, He was broken hearted and even sick for the family left behind. My God is compassionate and slow to anger and I think He also noticed the calendar today and is thinking of Cathy, Tom, Matt, Christina and everyone else who is just holding their breath until the dreaded 17th passes each month. Surely, God thinks cancer is dumb. He hurts when we hurt. But that doesn’t stop Him from using the dumb things to confound us and make us love even harder.

I have written and erased so many sentences of what to say next. I cannot think of how to end this post. It’s not about the words anyone can say. I just want to celebrate Brian and continue to grieve his life. I love you, Comers. 

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Max’s Arabi lesson today!

Here is Max working on his Arabic. His teacher Hejer is really good at working with kids. Max was reviewing his animals. Keeping his attention in any class session is the ultimate trick, however.

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Shout out to our newborn niece!

Happy first day to the newest Welch baby. As of now we still don’t know her name, but she is beautiful.  Hey, Meeziena is Arabic for beautiful. That’s a thought, Jon and Sma!

It’s been a long day. One of those days that neither Jenny or I enjoy acknowledging. We are far away during yet another big milestone for our loved ones back home.  These days are hardest on Jenny. Please keep her in your thoughts. Maybe send her a note or a pick me up $100 bill. Just kidding about the money. If some of you send her a kind note, I will give her money to spend from all of us 🙂  OK, I know I’m gonna pay for this post (Since it’s late I can maybe get away with writing like this). But I think you all get my point. It’s hard on us all; even our family back home.

Congrats Welches. We love you all. You guys make beautiful children.


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The Breakfast Club

You may remember just a couple weeks ago we started a kind of promotion for mens group fitness (Cross Fit type workouts for guys).  We do it early morning on the weekend hence the reason we’re calling it The Breakfast Club. This coming week we are wanting to take a bunch of footage and make a handful of training videos so people can follow the exercises from the web.  It’s fun to think that maybe in a couple of years we will be apart of helping set a new trend here in NAfrica.

We had a bunch of new guys for this morning’s workout and a local friend of mine is the one who leads the group. So it is very exciting and may have the potential to become something special!

Fit Bodies. Healthy Lives!

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Cowboy Max in an Ella Spielberg production.

A wonderful and lately an uncommon Saturday morning; We made pancakes, bacon and omelets with some freshly ground coffee.  The kids relaxed, mom relaxed, so therefore daddy is 100% relaxed.

Then, Ella Spielberg got some good footage of Cowboy Max as he continues to learn to use the potty instead of letting it go anytime he wants!!  This video was spontaneous  for both Ella and Max so we had to get it out to you all.  And we hesitated to post the still shots of Max in his undies while on the potty and in action, buuuuuuut then we figured we could ask forgiveness of him later because these pics are just too stinking awesome.

Ella’s videography:

Behind the scene still shots:

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Whats up?

Just wanted to give our blog world a little taste of what we have been up to the past few weeks. Life here carries on as usual, well, as usual as we can get in this land!

Stevie and I are in arabic class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and then on the other days we are meeting with friends, practicing language, studying with language helpers and just still trying to fumble our way through it all! Stevie is doing AmAzIng. Seriously. We really are at a loss for words on how he has acclimated to arabic. When we are out and about people sometimes even ask if he is from here. I’m not kidding. And then they ask him, ‘What is wrong with your wife? Why can’t she talk?’ Ha! I have learned to laugh at all of this. I usually like responding to them (in arabic)..something about me being at home with the kids and him being able to go out to cafes and talk to people whenever he wants. But thats not totally the truth either because I get out and about as well. It just makes me feel justified. So, one of my language goals is to not hide behind my well speaking husband. I cannot explain it and it could make for a very awkward marriage but thankfully I have not one single competitive bone in my body, so for now it works.

The gym is booming lately. We take turns in the evenings going to fitness and teaching classes and being with people. It gives me so much energy to work out and this week I start back to 4 classes a week, instead of 3. If only I could eat right I might be super skinny! BUT being skinny is for the birds. Our Kick the Kilos program has started on its third 12 week session and the ladies LOVE it. Brenda brings so much knowledge to the program and it actually is working. Last session our winner lost over 20 lbs!

I have also started working on a new project with another expat friend who use to work in a maximum security prison in the states. We have started offering self-defense courses at our gym for women. So far we have been through two session of about 8 women each time. And I love it! Not to mention I now know how to throw Stevie to the ground. Out of the sixteen women about five of them have already been assaulted in some way here on the streets. So, it gives me great power in knowing I have skills that might actually work in case of a situation like that.

Max is doing really well in the potty training area and Ella is such a great reader. It helps that she gets almost a one on one education right now. Next year there will be a new school opening up here for both locals and expats. It is classical education and I am actually on the founders board for the school. In a few weeks I will even get to meet the Minister of Education when we sign all of the papers. So the teacher nerd in me is pretty stoked about that!

Team life is grand. We love our mates and are already starting to feel sad about the “great divide” this summer. Half of our team is moving about 8 hours south, so that will leave us, Pete and Brenda, Christy, Chang and Pa, and Larry and Karen here to run everything.  We are excited to have a fresh start as our formal years of language learning come to a close in June.

Our visit with mom, Joey, Jenny, Jojo and Maddie was fabulous. We love sharing our life here with visitors and they pretty much stocked us with all of the american commodities you can think of. My Aunts Sharon, Kathy, and Linda also sent a huge care package with them…even sharing with me some of their own jewelry. And another family member sent us a new iPad to replace the one that was stolen. We are so tremendously blessed to not be on this journey alone. But life back there (in the motherland) continues on…my mom had a surgery she is now recovering well from, my dad continues to be monitored from his heart surgery last year, my sis-in-law (and best bud) will have a baby next week, and my fabulous MIL celebrated her 63rd birthday yesterday. I still ache to be near each one of you and find it hard to live in some kind of middle land, but I have to remind myself that I’m just doubly blessed.

Okay, if you have read this entire update (probably by now only my two mothers) then you should get a reward!

I’m off to arabic class! And promise to take pictures throughout my average day and report back!

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