Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Life in cowboy country...

So this picture wouldn't seem like much...

Unless I show you where I took it.

Yes, here at your friendly Wyoming Wal-Mart you can feel free to pasture your horse at the back of our parking lot while you shop! You got to rest your legs from the road... Why shouldn't your horse???

Sunday, August 26, 2007

School this year...

Every year we have a heated debate about school. I just don't think my husband and I will EVER see eye-to-eye on the topic of educating our children. He is dead set on having them in some sort of "school" type activity. He doesn't care so much what or where. I care ALOT. I would rather have them home away from all the lovely things cowboy country has to offer anyone whose name isn't Billy Bob Smith. But DH insists that they "need" to get a real taste of the world as it is. HUMPH.

Alhamdulilah, this year they were drawn in a lottery for a spot in the University Lab School. There are a total of about 15-20 kids in each grade and their record for culture, diversity and great science programs is good. The middle schoolers were even part of an archaeological dig in the area last year. So, I am much more pleased with this year's school... But I still am not sure that I am OK with the situation we are in here. I will continue with The Well Trained Mind as a supplemental, but I am still worried about negative socialization.

What's a Muslim in an isolated area to do? I struggle with my own identity as a Muslim here, how can I help my kids feel like they are Muslim under these circumstances? I know that things will work out, and Allah (swt) guides who he will... But I am worried that I need to do more to help my children feel as if they are Muslim first and foremost. UGHHHH! I have made myself a promise that this year I will not let DH trample all over the holidays and the plans I make for the family. I will not let him dissuade me if I find an activity for the kids with other Muslim children. I will drive to Denver if I have to.

I just pray that we have a better situation as far as the deen soon. I am tired. I hate this place. I don't know what we are doing here anymore. Yah Allah!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Book meme from DP

OK, I am stealing a book meme from DP since I think it's a good one!

What are you reading now?
I tend to have two or three books going at the same time. I choose between them based on mood. One is pure entertainment, one is usually Islamic knowledge stuff, and then one practical one about herbal medicine, parenting, midwifery. So right now in those categories,
Amy Tan: Saving Fish From Drowning
Tariq Ramadan: In the Footsteps of the Prophet
Linda Delgado: A Muslim's Guide to Publishing and Marketing

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?
I think I will try to get more Tariq Ramadan... And I will get some other Islamic type stuff in case I finish it (it being Ramadan and all).

What's the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. I am not an Austin fan... Which put me in an interesting position as an English major (since there are people who get entire degrees devoting their study to her work). But I really feel she's like the Daniele Steele of her time. Blah blah, cute boys, blah blah, rich boys, blah blah, "intelligent" woman who can seem to think of nothing but said boys, blah blah.

What's one book you always recommend to just about anyone?
It depends on my mood, and the interests of the person. I don't have a one size fits all recommendation. For pregnant women, Henci Goer: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Birth. For American Muslims (if they haven't read it already) Jeffery Lang: Even Angels Ask. For anyone who thinks they are interested in saving the planet and stuff, Jim Merkel: Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth.

Admit it, sadly the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don't they?
Probably, but it's just because I come with all four kids and we check out like half the children's book section;)

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don't like it at all?
Hmmmmm... I really liked Faulkner: As I lay Dying. I do think many English majors have a deep hate of Faulkner because you need a flow chart to follow his plots if you are not paying attention... But that's why I LIKE Faulkner. I would sit and read it in one setting and let it flow naturally and it touches you on some weird level because it really is like you are in someones head.

Do you read books while you eat?
I read and eat all the time. I used to sit at the table and read whenever I ate before I had the family. Now, if I am alone at a meal I WILL read... I find myself doing it during suhoor in Ramadan since DH is at work and the kids are too young to eat suhoor really. Actually, I think DH might have married me because the first time we meet for dinner after we got engaged he was an hour late and he found me happily sipping my diet coke a reading the latest installment of Anne Rice. He was impressed that I wasn't mad that he was late (masha'Allah!!! so understanding), so don't tell him it was just because I don't even notice the time when I'm reading Anne Rice, OK?

While you bathe?
Yes, sadly my entertainment reading should be waterproofed. But once again, family and sitting in the bath reading don't mix well... So I don't do it often anymore.

While you watch movies or TV?
While watching TV with the kids or DH I will read if I'm not interested in the show.

While you listen to music?
Yes, but only when reading a book that I have to read for school or something.

While you're on the computer?
Anything more than a few pages I prefer to have my hands on it. So, something too long is not for me.

When you were little did other children tease you about your reading habits?
Well, yeah... I liked to read from a very young age, and I would read every chance I got. I was actually probably the only person in my AP English class that finished all the reading over the summer. I also liked to roll play books... When other first graders were playing Star Wars, I was playing Nancy Drew, or Little House on the Prairie. And DH STILL teases me whenever something that was a book makes it to the big screen because I want to analyze the differences after I see the movie... Oh and I actually have been known to blurt "That never happened in the book!!!" loudly during the movie. Yeah, I know.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't put it down?
The Girl With the Pearl Earring. I read it on one sitting late at night. I woke up to soak my legs (leg cramps) and started reading in the bath and never put it down(and actually that relates to 2 other answers, reading in the bath and of course when they made it into a movie I sat ruining the whole experience of seeing it for DH by comparing it to the book).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy Birthday!

The 16th was my son's 6th birthday! Happy Birthday to him!!! I made this panda cake with a GF cake mix from Bob's Red Mill. We don't really do more than cake for b-days...

We also had a doctor's appointment in Denver, so we were there for a couple of days this weekend. I got to use my
Splashgear swimsuit for the first time at the hotel. You know it was the first time in a decade that I have been in a pool. The whole family went swimming! Yeah!!!

DH and I also talked on the phone with my SIL's ex and he and I had the whole life as a convert conversation. Then DH and I had a conversation about how he thinks there is no such thing as life a convert... There is just life as a Muslim in America... I beg to differ. What do other converts think? Is there a difference? My argument would be background, family, acceptance from your piers, other Muslims challenging the very idea that you are REALLY Muslim, everyone feeling they have a leg up on you because they were "raised Muslim". So yeah, I think there is something called an American convert's experience of Islam. Just my 2 piasters.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Call Him Marvin....

You remember that book by Dr Seuss, Marvin K Mooney will you please go now? Yeah. This town for us is kinda like that. And DH just keeps insisting on staying here. I think I should just start calling him Marvin.

I went to get the key to my new store the other day only to be told that they are refunding my deposit and will not rent to me. Then, the sign we have up on a property we are working on explaining that it is under development ( you know blah blah, legal obligation to post it, blah, blah, for more info call)... Yeah, stolen. Which means I will not be getting back the $80 deposit I gave the city for it, and I will have to pay another $80 deposit. And of course when we went to the city last time we discovered that everybody already knows it some "Muslim guy and his American wife" developing it... So I have no doubt that the person who did it knows that information.

Hey Marvin, can we go now?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I live in an area of the country that necessitates thinking about Ramadan early. So, I don't know if you are thinking about it but I am. I am thinking of things like the little petit fours pan in the picture... And the fact that I need like a case of foul and another one of dates, and that needs a trip out of town. Not to mention the customary trip to a warehouse store that almost every Muslim American family I know makes pre-Ramadan...

I am also looking into going somewhere for Eid. I don't want to sit here another year, I hate it. I know I should be focusing on the worship aspect of Eid... But I think there is no harm in having fun too... And Eid here leaves me depressed. I would love to go somewhere where there is a larger community that would have some sort of festival and of course a big eid prayer. I like big.

Of course Ramadan means a new Ramadan craft, insha'Allah. And I already have some ideas;)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Camera back on-line!!!

I have been unable to post photos from my camera for quite some time now because I couldn't load them onto the comp. Now I can so get ready to see some!

This is the baby digging into the cake we got for her first birthday in June. I have been wanting to post it but have been having problems with my digital camera... Of course posting this means I finally got them figured out!LOL

These are some cupcakes I made that I thought turned out pretty well. The center is chocolate! YUMMM.