Just after Don received his Master’s Degree from BYU, we set out on a Middle East adventure by moving to Iran. After three years there, we continued that adventure with seven years in Saudi Arabia before returning to the United States and settling in Greeley. With a child born in each of those countries, and many great experiences involving friends, travels, sights, sounds and smells from that part of the world, we have very fond memories of our time spent there.
So we were delighted when our kids surprised us with an anniversary dinner at Rumi’s House of Kabob right in our very own Greeley. No, it doesn’t look at all middle eastern, but that actually adds to the authenticity of the whole experience. Because why wouldn’t a middle eastern restaurant be housed in an old home on Colorado’s eastern plains?
The kids had reserved a private room upstairs, those windows over the porch, and Nikki and Brittney handled the decorations.
The menu brought back so many memories – nothing is printed to any particular standard in the middle east!
We started with hummus, which was some of the best we’ve ever eaten. That was followed by a fabulous red lentil soup (recipe, please?) and a traditional salad. When the main course was served, we determined we’d probably ordered way too much food!
Don and I especially loved the Lamb shank with Kabsa Rice – #3 of the family style choices. The first luscious bite was enough for us to remember that we had eaten that dish at some Saudi weddings we had attended. The smell and taste transported us right back to Dammam. Don was grateful that this time he could eat at the table using a fork instead of on the floor eating with his hand as he had done at the weddings!Warning – this group shot was done as a panorama and the resulting picture is a little distorted. At least I’m telling myself that it’s the picture . . . But I’m posting it here to remember that we were all together.
After several hours of eating and reminiscing and a very pleasant evening, we remembered that we had the next generation of Butlers who probably needed some parental attention. Those children and the fact that the restaurant had closed moved us reluctantly down the stairs and out the door.
Thanks Mike and Emily, Nate and Nikki, Mark and Kate, Pete and Brittney! It was a fabulous meal, a very fitting celebration and an evening we will always remember. Your thoughtfulness has not gone unnoticed!
About the beginning of the year, Don and I mentioned that for our 40th anniversary in June, all we really wanted was to have all of our family together. Well, the kids took notice, picked a date that worked for all of us, and early in July made their way by land and by air for a proper Butler family gathering.
While the kids were all making travel plans, Don and I worked on the back yard. Knowing our group is large in number – we total 20 now, and the grandkids span a huge number of years – including two one-year-old toddlers and one 17 year old high school senior with a variety of ages in between, we decided that the back yard had to be the attraction. No house is big enough for all those people – especially one that’s only 2300 square feet with no air conditioning!
We hit up the thrift store on half-price Saturday and found a badminton net for $5.00 and 6 racquets for $.50 each. We felt like we’d hit the jackpot!
And during the week we spent hours in the back yard.
On a day trip to the mountains we discovered a great multi-generational hiking spot. The Lily Lake trail, which some of our more experienced hikers were afraid would be just another walk in the park, proved to be easy enough for the littles and interesting enough for the bigs. Definitely a hike we’d do again.
Other highlights of the week included lots of water, crazy jumping and bouncing, and even a little bit of fire.
What? You don’t have a bounce house in your family room?
Thanks to Mark & Kate for supplying the bouncy fun!
Only one old grill was harmed in the making of these s’mores.
And then they all said good bye and took to the road and the sky once again. And we were left with
which cleaned up very quickly and reminded us of the great week we had spent together.
Thanks, kids, for making it happen. It was a celebration 40 years in the making, and you did it up splendidly!
A huge highlight of the week was the anniversary dinner at an authentic Iranian restaurant.
So memorable for us that it deserves a post of its own.
To Don, Mike, Nate, Mark, and Pete:
Thanks for fulfilling your responsibilities so well.
I love you and the exceptional families you are nurturing.
We are blessed.