Sunday, December 26, 2010

Couscous Celebration - 25 Years!

This year marks 25 years of friendship between our friend Abdelkrim Alileche and our family. This friendship has spanned many continents and many, many countries. Abdelkrim has always wanted to work as a professor here in the states and just this year his dream came true! We are so honored to have him not only as a friend but truly a part of our family.
To mark this anniversary of friendship, we thought long and hard about an appropriate gift for him. We finally came up with this desk clock. It has a mahogany wood base, gold plated columns and the globe itself is made of lapis, mother of pearl, turquoise and jade and other stones. He loved it. In fact he said this gift to symbolize our friendship was about to make him cry.
On Ab's last visit here in 2009 he said when he came to visit in 2010 he was going to be in control of the cooking for this celebration. So he and Emil went shopping for all the ingredients and the girls, Mom and I went to Sonic and McDonald's for drinks!
Ab said he was in charge and Emil was his assistant. Well, I became the assistant of the assistant. We had so much fun and the house smelled amazing!!!
While the guys cooked Charlie took a cat nap....
and Lena relaxed! Last night ended up being quite long and we were all still a bit tired!
Abdelkrim has a new Droid and to say he is in love with it would be an understatement! He is ADDICTED to it!!! Here he is showing Emil all the cool things it can do. They decided that our iPhones are now ancient!
My mommy...and the reason Abdelkrim was introduced to our family!
A rare photo of me and my Papa Bear... we've been together going on 16 years and this is probably our 5th picture together.... and I didn't even get a whole smile outta him!
Ab just can't put that phone down!
As much as Abdelkrim looks forward to seeing Emil and talking with him, we joke that my Papa Bear is the real reason Ab comes to visit!
Before we ate Abdelkrim had us all hold hands and offer a prayer, each saying what we are thankful for. Mom thanked God for bringing us together through the years, CC just said "thank you", I thanked God that Abdelkrim was part of our family and we have maintained this friendship for so long. Lena copied CC, got shy and just said "thank you." My Papa Bear thanked God for good friendship and good food and Abdelkrim that God brought two different families (Christian and Muslim) together and we are in fact family. It was so moving and touching and shows that religion doesn't and shouldn't matter. We can all get along and cross those lines if we have a pure heart and love for our fellow man.
Here Abdelkrim is pouring the couscous in a serving bowl.
The lamb couscous Abdelkrim and Papa Bear was so good. They put garlic, spices, carrots, potatoes, garbanzo beans and grapes. Oh man, we all ate until our tummies hurt!

My mommy and me.
Me and my Lena at one of the rare moments she graced us with her appearance this evening.
We had such a fun evening of talking and laughing and eating. It was just wonderful. I always wish Abdelkrim could stay longer. We talked about when I went to New York and worked with him in his lab. For me, it was one of the most memorable and magical times ever. This is a link to what we worked on, killing cancer cells with anthrax. It was an experience I will never forget. Abdelkrim has invited me to work with him again in his lab. I am so honored and thrilled and am honestly really thinking about it! It has always been a dream of mine!!
The weather has been cooler at night. It's been averaging the upper 20's and I love it... I just wish for once we could get a little snow. Now THAT would be amazing!! The downside of this cooler weather is that we haven't been able to walk in the park and man oh pants are feeling it! Darn all this holiday food!!
We have one more week left of 2010! This year came and went so fast. It brought about many changes for us. We've stayed strong through it all. I am excited (and maybe a little crazy) to see what changes are to come for us. So, I'm going to try to make this last week of 2010 the best I can...not waste one moment on anything useless or negative! And hopefully I can bring that attitude straight into 2011!!



This is the kind of friend and guest to have. One that pitches in and helps, especially cooking.

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