White Pine Trail

»  olya    28 Oct 2008 @ 00:28    

Miss Predicatability

»  mark    26 Oct 2008 @ 23:53    

Anya has become quite predictable in her evening routine. If only that were such a good thing. Here is a look at our life at least 90% of the nights for the past few weeks:

10:00 PM – “Final” feeding and wrapping up for the night
10:10 PM – Anya sleeping very soundly; putting her in the swing is optional
10:45 PM – Anya awake and refreshed, big eyes looking around the room
11:00-11:45 PM – Anya back asleep, squirmy, but if you put her down, 80% chance she’ll stay asleep
12:30-1:00 AM – Anya awake; maybe will go back to sleep if you bounce 30+ minutes
2:00 AM – Anya up for food regardless of whether she ate at 1.
2:30-2:45 AM – Anya asleep again
3:30 AM – Anya awake again for food
4:00 AM – Anya back asleep
5:00 AM – Anya wiggly, wakes up; can be bounced back to sleep usually within 30 minutes
6:15 AM – Anya up again for food
6:45 AM-7:00 – Anya returns to sleep
9:00 AM – Anya awake in good spirits, ready to start the day; mom isn’t

“Just put your little hand in mine. There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb”
“Phil? Phil Collins? I thought that was you!”
“I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be gray, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.”

Public speaking

»  mark    26 Oct 2008 @ 23:34    

Today was one of those moments you just don’t get until it happens to you. I got to sit in the audience at Church and watch my oldest daughter participate in her first Primary program in Sacrament meeting. And Maya did us proud, reading her 5-sentence “talk” on the blessings of Priesthood in the home unaided. Olya and I weren’t sure she was going to handle the pressure, but she did okay.

I’m not sure who was more nervous, her or us. As her class was lined up on the stand next to the podium, Maya and her friend Ella slumped down on to the floor giggling. I’m not sure what it was all about, but she retained her composure and delivered. Best of all, she even left out the “Ka-chow” she had been practicing to say at the end.

Eid Mubarak

»  mark    8 Oct 2008 @ 23:20    

The end of Ramadan came and went with the annual festival Eid al-Fitr or literally, celebration of the breaking of the fast. Happy Breakfast!

The Eid festival is a national holiday in nations with large Muslim populations and sometimes it is celebrated for three days. It is a joyful time, as people visit neighbors and relatives, gather for big feasts, and give thanks to God for sustenance through the previous 30 days.

I was really looking forward to this day, not as the end of “suffering”, but as a celebration of accomplishment. Since I do not live in a predominantly Muslim country, I had to settle for a festival at the main branch of our Public Library.

Maya and I braved the crowds (probably at least 150-200 people) to participate in some of the children’s crafts and games. Maya made a bead bracelet and had her hand painted with henna.

In addition to the crafts, there were people writing sayings in Arabic calligraphy. Maya asked for her name to be written; I requested “Eid Mubarak”. What a fun event! You could really feel the excitement and celebration in the crowd.

This past month will stay with me for many years to come. With great support from my family, friends, coworkers, and my God, I achieved many of my original goals. I finished the Book of Mormon audio, donated to organizations battling global hunger, and learned a lot about a religion that I was painfully unaware.

Ramadan is a humbling event, pushing yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually to overcome weakness while forgiving others’. On the other hand, there is something so empowering to join millions of people united in a good cause. The unity and brotherhood of Islam are admirable, something Christians of every sect and denomination would do well to emulate.

Would I consider observing Ramadan again? Absolutely. Next year? Ask me again in 10 1/2 months.

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