A Special Day- Trinity’s Baptism

Trinity was baptized at our church on Sunday. It was such a special day for all of us. The children were all invited to the front for Worship as a Child- their normal children’s message time. Which probably confused our boys a little. So, they ended up sitting on the stairs (for like a second) before getting up to entertain. Our friend Eliza, who is also an Elder at the church and she sings with me too, introduced us and Trinity.

Then, it was time for the entertainment to begin….”hit it, Bakri!” Oh wait, maybe now isn’t the time to jump from the stairs and do a little baptism dance. But, his little show did get quite a few laughs…And then, Daddy took the boys by the hand. Notice perfect Trinity in all of the photos. She didn’t cry or make a peep. And it’s funny how happy Moustapha and I look. I guess we’re just enjoying it. You know, kids will be kids. And life is too short to worry about the little things. I am really glad we are at this point and that we got there together. It is a great thing!
Moustapha read Isaiah 40:28-31 to Trinity and became emotional, which of course made all of us emotional. It was very touching. What a sweet daddy.


Trinity went to Pastor Jeff with ease. Here he is preparing the water.

He placed the water on her head and she immediately put his hand in her mouth. She is getting her first two teeth, so why not find something to chew on? That was another moment that got a lot of laughter from the congregation.
After the baptism, Pastor Jeff walked Trinity down the aisle and we all followed. The entire congregation moved to the center and extended their hands to pray for her and our family. What an incredible experience.
Grandma and her sweet Granddaughter, Trinity.

Looking quite serious.


After the service, she was really ready for her nap. So, it was almost impossible to get a happy look from her.

Here are her 2 granddads (Jiddy and Grandfather) looking at her with such adoration. Can’t you see it?Our family of five. Everybody was cooperating in this picture except Daddy!

The whole family! (at least all the family that was in town) Another picture of the family.

Our angel girl.
We were still trying to get a smile. It just didn’t work. So, she thought she would chew on her bible.

On our way out, she gave a quick smile to Michael and Patricia and their family.

And then, she fell asleep. She’s just about to close her eyes in this next photo.
At home, we had a little lunch to celebrate. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the table. But, here is the menu on our kitchen chalkboard. Moustapha gave me new chalk pens and I am in love with changing out the messages. It is so fun!
Me and Miss T. Check out the double holophane light in the kitchen. I’ll post an update about that soon with before and after pics. But, I’ll just say quickly that Moustapha did an AMAZING job restoring it, wiring it and hanging it. He can seriously do ANYTHING!

Trinity’s cake, which matched her invitation.
Trinity and Grandmother. Trinity has just started putting her thumb in her mouth. She isn’t sucking it, but I think she may be feeling her top gums for some new teeth.
Happy Trinity with Grandfather.

Our friends Jamil and Carter came to the lunch with their 2 girls. Here’s a picture of us with the babies. I love how each baby is looking at the other baby’s mommy. So sweet.

Jiddy on an international call and somehow baby Trinity stayed asleep.

Trinity smiling with Grandmother.The boys all love Trinity.

Christian came over to give her a hug and a kiss and tell her “goodbye.” He is such a sweet little boy.

Thank you for looking at our pictures and story from T’s baptism day. It means a lot to be able to share these special times with you our family and friends. God bless you.

Health Update for Rebekah-May 2009

First of all, I am sorry for not sharing this sooner. I really should have asked for more prayers while we were waiting this out. You’d think that since I have a blog, I’m not all that private of a person. But, when it comes to stuff that is just about me and not the Els, job, husband, house, etc., it is harder for me to share.

Sometime in January, I started having heart palpitations (sometimes called fluttering) a few times a day. Initially, I thought I was probably just experiencing some anxiety and I moved on. But, this persisted over the next few weeks and seemed to worsen as the symptoms came more often. I also experienced chest pain during these episodes. We decided I would see my regular doctor.

During this appointment I had an EKG which appeared normal except for a heartrate of 42. (this is a little bit low) I also had some other tests run and was referred to a cardiologist. We met with him and he placed me on a heart monitor for 30 days. This monitor can store 3 EKGs at a time and all I had to do was call them in. What this did, was validate everything I was experiencing and gave the doctor a clearer picture of what has been happening and how we can move forward. Basically, it comes down to this.

The first thing I have is sinus arrythmia- which is fairly common and just causes benign extra heartbeats. This is no big deal. The second thing that was detected is PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) which is a rarer condition. My cardiologist does not believe there is any damage to the heart. I’ll check in with him again next month. Currently, my treatment is going to include exercise and that’s it. He could treat me with a beta-blocker, but that wouldn’t be good for Trinity. It would also slow my heartrate- and that could be dangerous since my heartrate already gets into the below normal range on a regular basis.

So, basically, he described this as more of a nuisance than a serious life-threatening cardiac condition. I am thankful for his insight and diagnosis and pray that my symptoms will decrease soon.

Please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers.

lots of love,
Rebekah

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.