A Happy Family Easter Celebration

We celebrated Easter at St. Andrew’s. Here are the boys sitting during the lesson time. I’m the lady in the green dress.
We had a very worshipful Easter morning service. We put both worship teams together. I normally lead 2 weeks in a row and then am off for two weeks. On Easter, we all worked together. It worked really well and was a great service. God is so good. He has provided His Place for us. We are very grateful.

After church (9am service) we hosted our family for brunch at our house. Moustapha’s parents, my parents, Melinda, Michael, Patricia, James and Christian all came to our house to celebrate. Amira joined us for the church service, but couldn’t make it to brunch. Leila and Matias’ and family were still at the ranch that morning.


The boys were adorable in their bowties!

Maddux was really happy that the Easter bunny came to visit.

Moustapha really loves good coffee!

Miss Trinity in her Easter dress.

What’s in this basket?

It’s getting harder and harder to get a good picture of all of us!

My parents with their 5 grandchildren.

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Bakri turns Four!

Our first son, Bakri was born on March 24, 2005. Unfortunately, my disk driver is not working on this computer, so when I went to put in a picture from the day he was born, it wouldn’t upload. So, I’ll just add that later. For now, we can look at this cute one from when he was 19 months old.

I would like to say a few things about our Bakri. He is an incredible kid. He is talented. He loves music, drums, guitar, piano, dinosaurs, insects, memorizing things, spelling and baseball. He has a vivid imagination and loves to act out scenes from books, movies, songs, or episodes from sesame street. And he is really good at it. He has filled the last 4 years of our lives full of surprises, firsts, laughs, and so much joy. It is amazing how much he has changed and developed in the last year. There is such a huge difference between a 3 year old boy and a 4 year old boy!- Thank you, Lord! I know there will be many more challenges and many more blessings ahead. We look forward to them and to a life of growing with Bakri as he grows into the man God intends for him to be. We are so thankful that God blessed us with Bakri. Our hearts overflow with love for our beautiful boy! Happy Birthday, Bakri. We love you!

We recently celebrated Bakri’s fourth birthday with one of his most favorite activities- a baseball game! We live down the street from Rice University and are now fans of Rice Owls Baseball. And why not? They are a great team. The ballpark is really nice and its an inexpensive way to see good baseball.

Grandfather and Bakri!

Grandma and Jiddy!

Bakri hanging out with the Rice Baseball players.

Aunt Patricia, Maddux, Christian, James and Uncle Michael having fun at the game.

The birthday crowd! We were quite a crowd!

The kids lined up in front of the field at the birthday party.
Baseball cookies courtesy of el-hakam momma’s kitchen.

The party under the tents…it was a windy day, but it only barely sprinkled once. We were thankful to have no rain!

The birthday boy! Jiddy, Bakri and Maddux (in Jiddy’s hat)

Singing and cake!

Arriving to the game and party with Trinity.

Group cousin hug!

Bakri’s friend Janie! Isn’t she adorable!?!?!

After Bakri blew the candles out (and spit on the cake, oops) he enjoyed removing the evidence. Every kid got a cute baseball ring from the cake. I thought that was a clever idea. I wasn’t in charge of the cake, so I’m not sure who thought of it.

Our Weekend Adventures- All Saints Day Party & Cesar’s Baptism

On Saturday, we went to 2 parties: The first was a Baby Halloween Party at Jordan and Brian’s house. They have an adorable 5 month old baby boy- Charlie and they live in a beautiful home in a really great part of Houston- the Heights. Several old friends from College were there that also live just down the street or around the corner in the same neighborhood. There were probably 15-20 babies/ kiddos at this party AND they had chick-fil-A, which was a huge hit with my boys!

The same afternoon we went to another party in Magnolia at the home of James and Patricia Clark to celebrate All Saints Day. This was quite the party. Their home is on a big piece of property with tons of room for the kids to run around. There was lots of great food and drinks and so many of our friends from church at First Pres were there. Most of the children were in costume and most of the parents weren’t. I had a really great time. I spent about 20 minutes enjoying dinner on the back porch. I decided to come in when the mosquitos starting eating me alive! So, I sat inside with some of my girlfriends. I was nursing Trinity (which is my excuse for why I couldn’t be the one outside with the boys) Anyway, I had some really nice adult conversations! I loved it. And then, we had to go, because the boys were driving Moustapha crazy! Bakri found the pool…and we were not there to do any swimming. Maddux was content on the swing for a while, but once they were both loose, the party was over for us!

On Sunday, I led worship at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in West U. This was my 3rd Sunday leading worship there. I will be there for 2 more Sundays this month. It has been an amazing experience for me and our family. Every week things have gotten better and better. The band and I rehearsed tonight. I am really excited about the worship music this week. It is going to be really fun!

On Sunday afternoon, we attended our nephew Cesar Ignatius’ baptism. Moustapha was honored to be Cesar’s godfather. It was a really special ceremony. And the priest called our entire family to the water to witness the baptism upclose. That was really nice for all of us, including the kids. We could actually see!

Cesar’s brother, Matias- we call him Mati and Bakri were somewhat well behaved at the baptism. They have a great time together.

Matias’ sister, Soledad is Cesar’s godmother.

Amira just returned home from spending a couple of weeks with Beatrice helping her with her twin sons. As soon as she got back she started her job with a law firm here in Houston. So, we haven’t seen her much. She enjoyed getting to hold and feed Trinity during the baptism.

Trinity wore one of my dresses. Doesn’t she look sweet? She is doing so well and getting so big so fast. We go for her check up with her pediatrician next week. Once she has her shots, she will be able to go into the nursery at church. That will be helpful.

I got really sick the evening after the baptism. We were out all day, and I was in a dress, so I had to pump- which went well. But, for reasons I won’t discuss in this forum, I still ended up with mastitis. And now I am back on an antibiotic. So, I am NOT going to be doing that again. I thought it would be nice to let some of our family members feed Trinity while we were out. So I prepared bottles of breastmilk and had them with me. But, this is the second time I’ve gotten mastitis and I really don’t like being on an antibiotic. Not to mention, I have not felt well at all. Hopefully, this won’t happen again!

Cesar and Trinity had the same due date. Cesar was born at 36 weeks and 6 days and Trinity was born at 40 weeks and 3 days- so even though they were due at the same time, their birthdays are almost one month apart.

Grandma enjoyed feeding Trinity while Athena gave her kisses. Leila and Matias hosted a dinner at the Sweetwater Country Club to celebrate the baptism. We had yummy fajitas and enjoyed some fun family time.