Category Archives: Bassam

Letting Go: Nine Days and Counting

So today we said our goodbyes to Mom and Dad and Auntie Laura. It was an emotional day for Tonia which is to be expected…For me it was a little easier as I was busy at Camp Cuisine where I get to spend the next four days teaching 27 kids how to prepare and appreciate good food. Rewarding.

We also spent some time with our boys sorting through their room…it was a little hard for them at times as they had to make some hard decisions between things they wanted to bring and the things they could not due to the limited space in our suitcases.  We had to explain a few times about the limited space we had, they did great and we are proud of their resiliency.

It is amazing how much stuff we managed to accumulate in the 8 years we’ve been in Barrie.  It is quite liberating to let go of so much of it…although hard at times as we tend to get attached to so much of the things around us.  Today we let go of our books, the big 55″ television by our cozy fireplace and the dining room table where we came together every night telling our stories of the day.  It was the gathering spot for games we played and often had great meals with family and friends. We will miss this space and these things, but all in all it is nice to let go of these objects.

A couple of days ago we accepted a deposit on our sailboat.  A bitter sweet day.  We made a lot of memories on the boat.  It is sad to see it go.  “Mast Confusion” will always be a fond memory and will continue to give us many hours of telling stories of adventures on Lake Simcoe. We are happy to know that it will give much joy and weather many storms with its new skippers!

Tomorrow will be more online work for Tonia, camp for me and the boys and of course more sorting and packing.

Then off to Teta’s to see my sister and my niece who are leaving Canada to go to their homes in other corners of the world, Dallas, Texas and Haifa, Israel.  It was a treat to  get to connect with them and spend a few days with them before we all part ways on our separate planes…..

It is very surreal that in nine days we will be in a new country and starting a new life….OMG!




Canadian Snow Day









This morning after a mid November snow storm, the boys were ready to help out…

They even did the neighbour’s porch.image
After 40 minutes the driveway is finally done and the boys are off to school and Tonia and I to work.

All I have to say…I am not ready for this 🙂 even though it looks beautiful.


Catch of The Day

After a few hours of fishing on Lake Simcoe we moored the boat and made our way home excited to prepare our catch of the day.


Lake Perch, a very nice fish to fry. Served with fresh lemon juice, spiced rice and Garlic Lemon Coleslaw.




Fish is salted and ready to go.


A few minutes in the hot oil and we are ready to eat.


One awesome day and an awesome meal.


Living in a Water World

I was looking at some videos of lost tribes and came across this video of a group of people who live on the water and have developed amazing abilities..

Take a look at the following video and share your thoughts.


Our Bucket List

bucket list, jump, leap, map

Okay, so if you have read Our Vision then you know that as a family we decided to take a stance – one that requires that we question our purpose, take risks, challenge the status quo, and begin to live confidently outside the box.

bucket list, think outside theWe are on a quest to figure out how we can bring harmony to our little world, while balancing our dreams as individuals with those we want to manifest synergetically.

How will we do? We expect to make mistakes, struggle, have doubts, and get angry with each other along the way. And we hope to successfully reach our goals through it all, proving that we really are perfectly imperfect. All of this we will share, with those of you who want to become part of Our Cosmic Community.

And so we are embarking on a great experiment, united by our vision, strengthened by our individual spirits, and driven by our desire for something more…..

So today we sat down together and created our Bucket List….with the understanding that this will be an ever-growing, ever-changing list.  But here is ours as it looks today:

  • Go on a family skiing trip in the Rockies….and while there, dream of making it home!
  • Hike on on active volcano
  • Visit Jamaica and dance, reggae style!
  • Go to Cuba and bring suitcases full of gifts for the Cubans
  • Travel in Australia for a full year and discover life down under
  • Explore where Dad grew up in Israel and get the rest of the fingerprints we need to complete our Family Tree
  • Go to Italy and backpack Cinque Terre
  • Each learn an instrument and have a family band – jam together
  • Sail around the world for a full year and hang out in coastal cities
  • Cook a gourmet meal for the homeless
  • Start a charity that promotes peace around the world
  • Camp and hike in the Grand Canyon
  • Live by the ocean
  • Travel to every continent
  • Take a road trip around North America
  • Ride around in a Food Truck
  • Get screeched in, in Newfoundland
  • Go to an African Safari
  • Become millionaires
  • Snorkel and touch fish!
  • Visit special friends in New Zealand
  • Become a stunter and be in the Olympics (Random Roo`s independent contribution)
  • Climb a really tall tree, jump out, and `break a leg` (Krazy Kid`s independent contribution)
  • Go and see our birth mom
  • Have a blog that I am passionate about that allows me to work from my computer, connect authentically with people around the world, and becomes my full time job (Tonia`s independent contribution)
  • Learn how to live in the moment, and CREATE….just because… (Bassam`s independent contribution)










Can you see us jumping out of our comfort zone?

Join us in the jump. Take the leap!



Sit down with your family, sister, brother, self, partner, or cat – and start dreaming!  Make a bucket list  and be sure you add to it, change it, and cross things off…..and tuck it away in a very special place.  But not before you share with us the top three things on your bucket list.


Share in the comments section with Our Cosmic Community.

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Why do family restaurants and stores have inappropriate content on their screens or in their aisles?

sexual images, violence

How many of you have taken your family with little children to a family restaurant only to see inappropriate content being played on their large screens hanging around the restaurant?

Last night I went out to a local restaurant for some wood fired pizza.  The restaurant like many others these days had many flat screens hanging around and after a few moments of being there I noticed that on one screen was an MMA fight being played with two fighters pounding each other to a pulp, on another screen rap videos, with highly sexualized content, was playing. I am sure most would agree that this is not content you would want your 7 and 10 year old children watching.  In fact the MMA fighting is rated for “mature audiences”.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that they should play cartoons or something of that sort, but I fail to understand the justification for displaying such content in a place that describes itself as a family establishment.

I know some of you will say that if you don’t like it then don’t go to the restaurant in question and you are somewhat right to say that.  Unfortunately though this is not just happening at restaurants but in many other places including the grocery stores where I have to go and shop for our food. Every time I am in the checkout line I am forced to pass by a magazine stand displaying titles such as “How To Have Great Sex” or  “10 Ways to Satisfy your Partner” and the list goes on and on. Don’t forget the images of half naked women on the covers for all to see no matter how old or young you may be.

Then you hear your ten year old reading the titles…it just makes me cringe at the thought of what may be going on in his head when reading or watching this stuff. it makes me wonder about the harm this constant exposure is doing to our children.  No wonder children are becoming more violent and sexually active at a younger age. Children need to have filters and it seems that we have become blind to this stuff that has become so normalized.  It shouldn’t be….

I think we need to find a way to stop this and start to think more about what we expose our children to.

We need to demand from our local stores to move the questionable content to areas in the stores where they are less likely to be read by young children and in the case of the restaurants they need to be more accountable to what they play on their screens because it is harming our children.

I welcome your thoughts on this subject.



Anniversary: Celebrating Two Years Together as a Family

Today marked two years since our boys came home officially!  Two years ago, in the days leading up to May 29th, Bassam and I lit seven candles for the seven days leading up to their move-in date….and each night we counted down, lighting one less candle, bringing us closer and closer to the night when our boys would be home for good.


And amidst the excitement, chaos, craziness, nervousness and emotional roller coaster that was that first night, we found a moment of calm and lit another candle…..this one having three wicks to represent the boys’ journey….the first wick representing their birth family, the second representing their foster family, and the third wick representing our special family….this last wick encompassing all of who they are, where they have come from, the people who changed their lives along the way, their adoption, and who they will become as they grow through life.

And so each year we continue this tradition and all week have counted down the sleeps until our anniversary day, lighting that number of candles each night.  And each day we have commemorated our wonderfully crazy adventure of the last two years by doing something a little out of the ordinary or off the beaten path.  We have set out to be light, free, and connected in all we do.

Some of the things we did to celebrate:

  • had a relaxing outdoor evening and picnic dinner with another adopted family we have grown to love
  • had a good-for-the-soul sailing day, that included us four working together to take our boat to its limit – attempting to make it heel as much as possible – concluded by hooting, hollering, and loud cheers of satisfaction after reaching a 40-degree heel.  Yahooooo!
  • went to McDonald’s where we met for the very, very first time….and sat at the same table where we laid eyes on each other for the first time (it is the only time we eat at McDonald’s so the anticipation builds well!)
  • cuddled in one bed together and watched funny youtube videos just for laughs
  • each chose an instrument and made music together (if you want to call it that, lol)
  • watched this video from Tuesday’s America’s Got Talent auditions – and talked about how we too will be the success story

To our boys:

We love you unconditionally, we are so proud of you and all you have learned the last couple of years…..and appreciate all that you have taught us too.  You are beautiful, inside and out, and deserve happiness, acceptance, love, joy, friendship, and everything you dream of.  You have completed us.  The adventure of us four has just begun! Love you, always and forever.  xxxxxxxxx

Solar Energy

I was reading the news a few of days ago and found this article about a couple who’ve come up with a way to resurface roadways with solar cells that can generate electricity while keeping the roads clear of ice.

It is a very interesting idea and I think it would be worth exploring, although I think it would be more realistic to cover parking lots and generate power.  For example, to supply a shopping mall with power than trying to cover over roadways.

I wonder what the cost is and if this idea is even feasible. I imagine the cost of the cells must be high but I think it’s worth exploring.

Take a look at this video. What do you think?

Sailing Season is Finally Here


Nothing is like sailing on a sunny day when the winds are around 15 knots. You get a nice heel going and can feel the wind on your face.. just awesome. The only thing that is better is when you are in the middle of a race with twelve or so other boats around you, and when the race is over you can go and anchor by the beach and have lunch and a swim off the boat.

The boys really love the swimming part, that’s for sure.

So glad sailing season is finally here.



Family Bonding: A Food Competition

Family Food Competition

Family Food Competitions are our way of smooshing our love for food, for a healthy challenge, and for each other all in one activity!  So here are our rules for Family Food Competition nights:

1) Has to be a night when noone has any other plans (this IS the plan) so that timelines are super relaxed…..there is nothing worse than trying this on a night when bedtime or other obligations are a priority…takes all of the fun out of it.

2) The family must be divided into equal teams. (For us, it works to have two teams, and Mom and Dad each pair up with a child for safety and logistics.)

3) Everyone agrees on a theme, food ingredient, or ethnicity. (examples: Under the Sea or Pumpkin or Japanese)


4) Everyone agrees on the number of dishes to be prepared by each team. (usually two)

5) Teams plan their recipes secretly and make a grocery list.

6) Everyone heads to the grocery store and teams shop separately and pay separately…..all food items must remain concealed!


7) Mom and Dad work out a basic kitchen rotation schedule. Easy to do – food that can be mostly prepared ahead gets done first, food that needs to be cooked right before gets prepared last.

8) Kids Favourite Rule: Teammates must spend time together even when it is not their turn in the kitchen.  Popular activities include: Boardgames, cards, reading books, and usually, a super loud dance party to try and totally distract the other team….often resulting in full family dance routines, belly laughing, and burnt food.

9) Food is served in whatever way it works (one dish at a time, two at a time, all at once….)

10) Eating involves lots of ooohhhing and ahhhhing and guessing spices/ingredients.

11) Our focus is on cheering each other on and the element of surprise in regards to the dishes the other team created. Once we are eating the focus switches from secrecy and competition to appreciation and brainstorming ideas for the next competition night. (Maybe this will evolve, when the kids are older, into electing winners.)

12) Team combinations must be rotated for future competitions.

amily Food Competition 3

For our latest competition our theme was SALAD.  Here are the dishes we came up with:


salad, food competition


salad, food competition 2


salad, food competition 3


salad, food competition


Share with us your thoughts, ideas, and what you might try for YOUR family food competition.

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