Ignorance breeds ignorance

Ignorance has always been something that has really bugged me. I know that “they” say ignorance is bliss, but the truth is that it isn’t blissful to those who the ignorance is directed toward. It also isn’t blissful to those of us who have to deal with the ignorant people everyday. Sometimes, the degree to which a person is ignorant honestly blows my mind. I often find myself pondering how a person has managed to get to this point and not have a desire to change.

In all fairness, ignorance is not a problem in and of itself. The real problem occurs when it is coupled with a belief that one is not ignorant and in fact knows everything there is to know about a subject. From personal experience these self appointed experts generally have little to no education on the topic and also have little desire to learn the truth about it. These people seem to forget that you can’t trust everything you see on TV or the internet.

This is all brought up because of the All American Muslim debacle that Lowe’s has gotten itself into. I’m sorry Lowe’s, but you certainly appear to be participating in an extremist Christian agenda which has lead you down a path of bigotry and hate.

The unfortunate part of this situation is all of the praise that Lowe’s is receiving  from the ignorant populous. It is pointless to try and talk sense to these people as they care nothing about a rational truth. Their argument points, such as telling people to go home your not welcome in America, are just ridiculous. I mean, if I’m not welcome here, which is my home…where I was born and raised…then where is my home. I’m a little confused. I guess that I wasn’t aware that all Muslims came from some far off land. All of the Muslims living here that were born here, or have become legal US citizens must be confused when they call this home.

I am also confused about how the show is offensive, to anyone. I really don’t understand how this show is offensive where other reality shows that feature promiscuity, nudity, violence and worse are less offensive. I’m not sure that you will find another cable program that is aimed for an adult audience that is less offensive than this one. I’m not saying that everyone on the show is perfect, or that I agree with everything that they all do, but after watching several episodes I can see that for the most part they are all good people who seem to mostly abide by a decent moral code of conduct. (Much more decent than say the Kardashians or a “Real Housewives” type of program)

I have always prided myself in trying to stay out of conversations or situations that I am ignorant to. I’m not going to say that I have always succeeded, but I have certainly tried. Before my husband starting researching Islam it never crossed my mind. I didn’t agree or disagree with anyone and I didn’t respond if it was ever mentioned. The best policy, in my mind, was to keep my mouth closed unless I had something of value to say. The same goes for all topics, not just this one.

If I could give one piece of advice to people as a whole it would be that they should at the very least do some real, scholarly research on the topic they are choosing to “defend”. We live in a society where people believe everything they hear or see whether it is true or not, thus ignorance is breeding ignorance. We could change this for the better if we could all learn to keep our mouths closed or educate ourselves before taking such a definitive stand for something we know nothing about.

Now, I want to share the facebook page for Boycott Lowe’s. They are running a petition for Lowe’s to issue a public apology to the Muslim community which has also been suggested by others such as Russel Simmons.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Lowes-Home-Improvement/196885343732232

Also, don’t try to argue with the ignorant people on the Lowe’s page. It’s pointless and only gives them fuel for their fire. Ignoring them is the best action you can take.

-Peace

The things we do for our family

My family may not be perfect, but whose is? Mine is judgmental, stubborn, irritating, infuriating at times…and of course loving, caring, inspirational, forgiving and nurturing. Overall, I love them all unconditionally and can’t imagine life without any of them, especially my mommy.

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.
            ~ Desmond Tutu

When I first told my mother that we were becoming Muslims she acted totally rational and didn’t understand why I would be scared to tell her about it. For the first little while she didn’t seem at all freaked out or angry about it at all. It was great. However, that understanding attitude didn’t last long.

Over the last several weeks she has gotten more negative about the whole thing and seems irritated if we mention anything about it. It seems that she is now particularly irritated that we are dragging her grandkids into this. Christmas has become a particular point of contention. I decided that we would not put up a Christmas tree or do Santa Claus this year for the kids. This would be the first year in my life without a tree; it just seemed like the right thing to do. My husband wasn’t so sure about not having a tree but he supported my decision and we thought that was the end of it.

When my mom realized we weren’t going to have a tree (after asking me about it every single day for two weeks and me telling her I wasn’t sure) she finally decided to ask if it was for religious reasons. I, of course, told her yes and that we wouldn’t be doing Santa either. She stopped talking after that. I knew I had hit a sore spot which is why I wasn’t going to mention that we didn’t have a tree or that we had decided against Santa.

I decided that we should go to lunch. She needs to see that I am still the same person. I don’t know what she thinks that I am now or why the tree and Santa are such a big deal to her. We have never celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday, after all it’s actually a pagan holiday that the Catholic Church through a Christian name on to get pagans to convert. Christmas has always been about giving and spending time with our loved ones. This was the reason she believed that we should still be able to celebrate.
I would like to clarify that we were still planning to participate in all of the family get-togethers as well as exchanging gifts

christmas treMom, this is for you

So after a long discussion with her and my grandmother I conceded and agreed to put up a small tree. (We are still not doing Santa, I wouldn’t budge on that.) Now, in the corner of my living room is a small, yet to be decorated, tree. My husband is worried that I am unhappy that we have it. He kind of wanted one anyway, but he knew that I had decided against it. He is also agrees that since we don’t celebrate for religious reasons that it should be fine. I just am not sure about the whole thing. I am, however, not doing it for myself but instead to keep the peace and to make my mother happy. I pray that one day she will be able to accept me and my decisions, but until then I will do what I need to in order to maintain peace and happiness.

I am hoping that in the future we will be able to slowly remove ourselves from these traditions. I am hoping that a gradual change will be easier for everyone to understand. After all, this is our first Christmas as Muslims; we only signed the Bai’at a couple of weeks ago.

I guess that we will see what happens…

Feels like forever

Silas and his dada

This is a few weeks old, but there he is...the puking babe.

Feels like forever since my last post.

My youngest son, Silas, has been sick for 8 days now and he seems to finally be getting better. This makes me very excited as a projectile vomiting 6 month old is absolutely no fun. I am thankful that he is finally getting better and I pray that he will stay better this time instead of getting sick in a few days like he did last week.

It is also getting very close to the end of the semester, which really only means that I have a ton of work to get done and only about a week and a half to do it in. So, you may be asking yourself why I am writing a blog post rather than doing my homework…and the answer is quite simple, which would you rather do? Fun blog post or boring homework?

We were planning on moving next week, but things just didn’t work out. I’m not terribly upset by this but it would have been nice to get away from this little town. I figure that when the time is right we will be able to move without all of the problems and setbacks that we experienced this time. My attempted move and the garage sale that failed miserably because of it, has however, turned out to be a blessing for a few lucky people.

Instead of putting everything back in storage I have decided to donate all of my baby items, most of which are practically new to a young lady who is in desperate need. I was only asked if I could donate some newborn clothes, but when I found out that she has nothing for this baby I couldn’t help but feel like I should give her all of the extra baby things that I have had in storage for the last 6 months. At least now they will be with someone who really needs them.

A couple of the bows I've made in the past

In case you don’t already know, I make hair bows, tutus, pillowcase dresses and other small items for little girls. Some of the things I have made already have been in storage for over a year, since I stopped traveling to craft shows. I have decided that they, much like the baby items, aren’t doing anyone any good sitting in my garage. So far I have found about 12 little girls who’s parents are unable to provide a Christmas for them and I am splitting up what I have left between them. I really hope that by donating these items to these children that they will have a wonderful holiday like I did as a child.

I have received so many emails from parents who cannot afford to provide for their children this holiday season which makes me realized how blessed I am that we are able to provide for ourselves and our children. We are lucky that Chase has a good job and that he does whatever he has to in order to ensure that we have a roof over our head and food on our plates. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better husband and father to my boys.

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

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!