Day 1- School Field Day: On Friday, Iman's school had a field day at a local park. There, the kids played with hoolahoops, fought bravely in a tug of war, raced, and ate watermelon to their hearts content. It was a bit overcast and chilly in the morning, but Musab refused to be seen in a purple sweater. Maryam is a fiercely competitive racer. She will definitely give her older sisters a run for their money :)
Musab calls Sumaya, "Sumayyum"
Friday night we took a nice relaxing walk on a trail around the golf course located off of Maha's backyard. Some were too cool to walk, expecting to be pulled instead. The girls took their bikes and kept lapping us as they zoomed through without braking. They did encourage us multiple times to walk faster. It's amazing how the perception of time changes as we get older. The kids wanted to race, hide from the dads, and generally try and find the next new and exciting thing to do. Us adults wanted to stay outside as long as possible to diffuse the aforementioned energy :)
Noor loves riding her bike. Braking, not so much.
Enough pictures. Now do as you're told and push the wagon.
Planting seedlings of love..hehe
Day 2: Saturday, The Lake
Sumaya is cautious to try new things. She was afraid of the water and detested the sand on her feet. It's something that we'll need to work on with her without pushing too much. It seems like exposure and being surrounded with others who are engaged in the activity will help break the initial resistance, insha'Allah. The Abdallahs though had absolutely no qualms getting wet and sandy, really relishing the idea of throwing wet sand at Muhammad. The lake is large, but not considered one of the Great Lakes, it's actually much smaller in comparison. The land across the lake is Canada. Michigan has so many family friendly natural areas to take one's family, alhamdulillah. Adjacent to the lake is a swimming pool and water park- which really helped when cleaning off the kids :)
Musab wins the most stylish award, hands down.
Iman needs to sign up for track and field. This sweet girl has the legs of a gazelle, masha'Allah
Enjoying some sandy apples.
Musab and his quba3
Muhammad and Musab's quba3.
Sumaya wins the award for Cleanest Toddler. She had no problem however smothering herself in sunblock. Safety first.
Seaweed up, up, and away!
Attempting to put Laith to sleep :)
Building sandy structures
Maha, my sister :)
Day 3: Sunday, Hiking and the Cider Mill. This was an adventure! We left around 12 and didn't make it home until around 5:30. The weather was perfect and we definitely had some unforgettable experiences. I hope this leaves a positive imprint on our kids. May we find ways to help them grow together and love one another.
Sumaya is a city girl- I'm impressed Ahmed captured her on her feet at all. She was in the stroller most of the time, but insha'Allah slowly slowly, we'll start building an appreciation of the great outdoors with her.
Sumaya- a bit cramped
I was blessed to visit this place both in the fall time (October) and in the summer time (June). In the fall the Cider Mill is infused with the smell of fresh donuts and freshly pressed apple cider. I was pregnant then and if it hadn't been for company, I could have easily downed a dozen donuts with a gallon of cider- it's that good and I was THAT pregnant (around 8 months). On Sunday we tried for the first time their delicious custard (which is really like soft serve ice cream but better quality). The kids mostly had mango- I believe Iman had strawberry. I had a coffee espresso (need to get my fix whichever way I can, haha) and Muhammad had I believe pomegrante and black cherry. Ahmed went with the waffle cone and I don't remember what flavor Maha had. Afterwards, the kids fed the goats and pretended to steer a horse on an old carriage. Sumaya had absolutely no qualms about getting dirty with her custard. I think we may have a foodie on our hands.
Need to get in a couple of pictures of the photographer himself :)
Maha and Sumaya- may you two always be close, insha'Allah
The entire weekend Sumaya was a bit threatened by Maryam. Maybe it's because they are similar in height and close in age. Whenever Maryam came close to Laith or attempted to give me a hug a meltdown from Sumaya was undoubtedly on the way. That's why this picture is so so important. Driving home, I asked Sumaya who her friends are in Michigan. She said, "Maryam" twice before she said anyone else's name. She does love her but right now it's a bit of a sibling rivalry. Building experiences together and patience- that's what we'll keep striving for.
Heading back on the trail, we took a detour to this private lake. It was filled with pebbles and apparently Iman caught a small catfish. It was so serene alhamdullillah. Sumaya even braved it out and peed behind the bushes.
Musab, the warrior.
Maryam splitting the sea :)
Noah and Tanya were able to meet us halfway through the hike. Needless to say, Noah was in his element.
Laith, in perpetual confusion
I love this picture. Even though not everyone is in it, it's a perfect example of the organized chaos that we experienced on the hike. Everyone is in the act of doing something, or keeping an eye on someone, the random shoes, socks, knapsacks, the kids outnumbering the adults, each soul appreciating the gift of companionship with nature and with one another. Alhamdulillah. If I had a physical box of memories that I would like to create for Sumaya's childhood, this picture would be in that box.
Heading back home. Kids are starting to get sleepy here....
Maha comforting me in my endless worry of motherhood. Musab was sooo happy to be carried by Maha this way. Even though he was asleep, he smiled so broadly as he figured out what was happening.
Noor, the fairy princess.
Finally, back home after the hike. Enjoyed the last hours of the sun with cold drinks and warm pizza.
Love this shot.