To be thankful

It’s thanksgiving and around here that means a day filled with family and good food. We all bring food and spend the whole day sitting around the table talking about whatever crosses our mind. We have never done the whole “tell everyone what you are thankful for” thing, although I think it would be nice to hear everyone talk about their blessings. It could be a positive, uplifting experience. So, I am going to tell everyone what I am thankful for and see if I can’t get that husband of mine to contribute what he is thankful for as well.

What I am thankful for:
I am thankful for my wonderful husband. He is a great father and does whatever he as to in order to take care of us. I am also thankful for my family and how then have been mostly good at accepting my conversion to Islam.

I am thankful for both of my children. Merrick makes my heart so happy everyday and Silas’s smile is a constant reminder why I love being a mommy.

I am thankful that we have a way to support ourselves and feed out children as there are so many people who are struggling to survive and find work right now. We have truly been blessed in this.

I am thankful to be alive and to be able to share this day with all of the people I love.

And finally, I am thankful that God and led me to him. I was lost, but since I have found him things just seem so much better overall and I am just so much happier.

What Chase is thankful for:
I am thankful that God has supplied me with two healthy children, with the greatest wife a man could ask for and the means to provide for them. I am thankful for my parents, my brothers and everyone else who loves me. I am thankful that God has led me where he has, and I pray that he will continue to lead me to where he wants me to be in the future.

What Merrick is thankful for:
Since he’s 3 we just asked him what makes him happy and this is what he said
“Pooping in the potty and getting my Batman car.”

What Silas is thankful for:
Since he’s 6 months this was really just more for fun and the cuteness factor
“Ahhhhhh” and a really big smile!

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. I pray that you will be able to find something to be thankful for today and always.
~The Jacobs Family

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Really, who needs privacy?

I think that one thing people don’t tell you when you are having kids or thinking about having kids is how you no longer have a shred of privacy. My three year old, Merrick, follows me everywhere. I don’t mind, maybe because I am used to it, but it drives my husband crazy to see him “stuck up my butt” all the time (his words not mine).

Sometimes I get a little jealous of my husband, usually after a particularly stressful day of screaming Silas and maniac Merrick. He gets to shower without the kids. He gets to potty without the kids. He gets to go to work without the kids. And, he generally gets to sleep without the kids waking him up. Man, it must be nice to have little bits of time to yourself. If I took a shower without Merrick coming in at least once I would probably be worried that he was trying to pick up the baby, or torturing the cats or even setting the house on fire somehow.

Don’t get me wrong, Chase helps with the kids quite a bit when he’s home. However, since he works 60+ hours a week he just isn’t home that much and a good deal of his home time is spent sleeping so he can get up and go back to work. Merrick has also decided that Dada cannot help him do anything, it has to be Mama. If Dada even tries to help it’s crazy screaming fit time. It’s really quite frustrating and stressful so I usually just try to do it myself. I’m assuming this is just a 3 year old thing and he will get back to nice, sweet, good boy Merrick soon enough.

Anyway, back to privacy. I would just like to tell all of those young girls who want to be a mommy something that no one told me until after it was already happening. Be prepared to lose any little piece of privacy you think you might have, at least if you want to be a stay home mom. I would not trade being a mom for anything in the world. I love it, most days, and I love my kids more than life itself, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.

I will leave you with a video that makes me love being a mommy. Merrick is making Silas laugh like crazy. Silas just loves his brother so much. He loves to watch him act like a maniac and gets so excited when he gets down on the floor and plays with him!

 

Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe, EVER!

Photo of pumpkin bread

nom, nom, nom!

I am making a few loafs of pumpkin bread and I thought I’d share my recipe. This is the best pumpkin bread you will ever eat. I promise! The trick? Butter!

Ingredients:
4-5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Dough:
3 cups canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie in a can)
1 1/2 cup butter
4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Topping:
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon butter
Sugar & Cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the first batch of butter and pour evenly between 3 9×5 loaf pans and coat all sides of all pans with the butter. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and divide between the 3 pans. Dust pan with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

2. In a large boat beat together pumpkin, butter, sugar and eggs. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Slowly add to pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 pans.

3. Melt remaining butter and lightly coat pumpkin seeds. Lightly sprinkle seeds with remaining cinnamon and sugar and put a small amount on the top of each loaf. Be careful not to add too much or it will collapse into the loaf and you will have a sort of pumpkin seed strudel in the loaf.

4. Bake loafs on middle or top rack for approx 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the bread is done the top of the loaf will bounce back rather than sink in when gently pressed.

The original recipe was found on allrecipes.com, but I have made several changes so that it is the best pumpkin bread ever!

The right to command

This is a quote from the book I’ve been reading for my leadership class (The Leadership of Muhammad by John Adair). This book is really interesting and inspirational and would be a great read for anyone interested in servant leadership. I really like this quote:

“Remember that your position does not give you the right to command. It only lays upon you the duty of so living your life that other may receive your orders without being humiliated.”

~Dag Hammarskjold, Former secretary general of the UN

 

And, why not, one more…the books talks about all of the different components of what made Muhammad a good leader. Chapter 7 talks about humility and it’s importance and the role it plays in a successful leader. All of the principles that are mentioned in the book are principles that we covered in our chapter on servant leadership this week so it’s easy for me to pick out the key concepts.

Humily and courtesy are themselves ways of reverencing God.
~Muhammad

You can purchase the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Muhammad-John-Adair/dp/0749460768/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321663895&sr=8-1

Ma’ as-salaam 🙂 (The book says that means go in peace, I’m assuming it’s right lol)

God, I love ya.

God, I love ya

"God, I love ya." ~Merrick

Starting with the good:
My three year old son, Merrick, has been very interested in watching my husband and I pray. A couple of days ago while I was in the bedroom praying he went into his room and got out one of his small blankets and spread it out on the floor and informed me that he was going to pray as well. He wanted his own flash cards and he took one of his dada’s hats to wear as well. It may be the sweetest thing I have ever seen, and I am proud of him. Today, when he decided it was a good time to pray he even “put his head on the floor” and started saying “God, I love ya.” It’s ridiculously cute and I can’t help but smile and laugh when he does it. When he’s done he puts his hat and his cards in his hat drawer and puts his blanket away also. These may be the only items that he has ever taken the initiative of putting away himself!

And on to the not so good:
After all of this cuteness I decided to show my mom the picture I took of him “putting his head on the floor”. She kinda killed my buzz. She acted totally appalled at the picture and that I was encouraging her grandson to do that. When I told her that we were converting she acted like she was going to be supportive. Since then she has informed me that she will not leave the house with me if I wear “one of those things” over my head (it’s a scarf mom!), seems totally freaked out by me wearing long sleeve shirts and told my husband that she didn’t want to hear him speak any Arabic when he mentioned it.

Now, I don’t wear a scarf on my head all of the time, I’m still trying to get used to it. However, it seems ridiculous that I have to take it off before I go to my moms in order to avoid her comments. Her and my grandmother are convinced that by “wearing that thing on my head” I am destined to become a victim of a hate crime. Honestly, I don’t wear it around the town that I live in because it is a small, redneck kind of town and I just don’t want to deal with the ignorance of the people here…however I do wear it when we go to the metroplex. (And guess what, I’m not the only person I see with a scarf on their head)

It’s all a little frustrating to me. I have always felt like I can talk to her about nearly anything. I was scared to death to tell her that we were converting and she told me that she didn’t understand why I would be scared to tell her and seemed like she was going to be very supportive. I guess that the supportive thing is getting old and it’s time to ignore my feelings about it.

I’m not mad at her, I’m sure this is all hard for her to understand. After all, I have always cursed like a sailor (still working on this one), worn low cut blouses and of course never associated myself with any form of religion. To say that I have changed a few things about myself may be an understatement. I am hoping that she will recognize that the changes are for the better and learn to be more supportive, even if she doesn’t agree 100% with my choice. I also hope that she will recognize that Merrick is my son and I will raise him the way that I believe to be right and respect that as well. I guess that only time will tell.