Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day

This is a little belated, but I wanted to write it in honor of my wonderful husband! He is such a great father to his daughter, Abby and our two dogs, Sampson & Maya. We are so blessed to have a wonderful family. I can only imagine where the road will take us. I know that when we have children he will be the best father around. He already is! He is strict, patient, kind, loving, humorous and he does all these things while being overworked and underpaid and being a full-time student. I don't know how he does it!
Also, a big shout-out to my father. The first father I knew. Many of the attributes that Murad possesses are also things that my father has. He was always there for us as children and willing to teach us new things. He wanted to expose us to all types of lifestyles, cultures and individuals. He made sure we were raised with manners and appreciated everything we got!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Crazy Summer

So, this summer has been pretty relaxing so far. Each day I teach summer school until 11:40 and then head home for lunch and a nap. My weekends have been spent at the pool too. This week things changed drastically. Murad's uncle passed away and Abby arrived here in Dallas. So, this week, we had to get Murad's plane ticket booked and figure out plans for Abby while he is gone. She goes to camp each day, but Murad usually takes her there. Luckily, my good friend Elaina agreed to watch her in the mornings and take her to school. Abby has played with Elaina's daughter Sage, so it was a natural choice. I know that Abby feels comfortable and safe at Elaina's and Murad and I feel the same way.
Having Abby here has been wonderful. She's so funny and smart! She cracks me up daily. This year has been a complete 360 from last summer. She's made friends so easily and adapted well to our rules. We've had trouble with her forgetting her stuff everyday, but I think with some structure, she'll nip that habit. This weekend we are by ourselves since Murad won't be back from NJ until Sunday morning. Tomorrow I think we'll go the library and check out some books, buy Murad a father's day present, and make father's day cards for him. We are also going to my friend Crystal's wedding Saturday night, so that should be fun to get all dressed up. This week she's watched "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" (her favorite) and "Watership Down." I think tonight we may do something girly and watch "Teen Witch." Oh how I loved that movie when I was a kid! Today she made up her first rhyme. I go Abby you have mud on your shirt. She goes, "I was making mud pies in the sun and having lots of fun, yo!" Hilarious! She may not be mine biologically, but she inherited my love of rapping!
Summer school hasn't been too bad. For the most part my kids are pretty good, but they are really really low. It still is overwhelming and the summer school does lack.....structure! Ugh! Okay, I'm not going to go off on a tagent! I just have to remember Punta Cana 2010 (and NY and possibly a trip to KC and Denver)! I'm so thankful I have this opportunity to help pay for our honeymoon. We had to take out a lot of our "honey" money to repair my car, so this allows us to still have our dream honeymoon.
I think Murad and I have finally reached a consensus on the home-buying deal where we both feel comfortable. We had discussed buying a home wherever Murad gets in for grad school or if he ends up going for an MSW instead we'd buy one immediately after he finishes that (it's only a one year program). However, I was worried how we would save up enough money for a down payment and while we could afford not to put down a down payment, I would feel more comfortable getting the lowest possible mortgage.
So, what we decided to do is save longer while he is in grad school. We're used to living off of 1.5 salaries, so we'll have to manuever some more to save. We're going to see if we can get a 15 year loan or at least make biweekly payments if we get a 30 year loan. I know it will be hard, but it will be so worth it because ideally we could pay off the house before 15 years and not be trapped in a home if the neighborhood changes. Murad actually came up with the plan, but it wasn't until my mom commented on what a good idea that was that I came on board. Until then we'll probably just rent a house or duplex, which I am more than fine with doing if it will give us financial freedom in the future. So it may mean renting for the next 3 years, but it will help us reach our dreams.
Okay, I'm off to watch TV with Abby!

Monday, June 1, 2009

An act of terrorism

It is with much sadness and pleading that I write this entry. A member of my church family was gunned down yesterday morning while attending church service. He was gunned down for doing his job. I have never been more ashamed, disgusted or in turmoil in my life. How can someone commit murder in the House of God? Are we not safe in a House of God anymore? Is it not a place of peace?

While nobody favors abortion, the truth is that he was performing his job. Abortion is not illegal in the United States. If this radical fanatic had such a problem with abortion, then work to change the law. Gunning down someone in his church is not Pro-Life. It's terrorism. I know that. I know it doesn't represent the people who are Pro-Life, as they are against murder of any kind.

I think what's hard to fathom is that I knew his family. My father taught all his children in Sunday School. His youngest daughter taught my brother in Vacation Bible School. We attended church events with them. They were part of our family. He was a strong Christian man. I think what most people don't know is that George Tiller was a champion of women's reproductive rights. He supported women in their decisions, no matter what they decided. I was in awe of all the women who wrote about how Tiller helped them find adoptive homes for their unwanted babies, and how he helped women looking to adopt. He was not in it for the money. He wanted to help women. In addition, he helped women whose lives were endangered by pregnancy and girls raped at a young age and in an unfortunate situation.

I can only imagine what his family has gone through and and what they will face. I attended church each week and had to fend off radical abortion protesters, but Tiller's family had to encounter violence and, ultimately, death.

I think things are only going to get worse before they get better. I hope something good will come of his untimely death. I hope a discourse between pro-life and pro-choice groups will begin. I do not support abortion in general, but I know that every woman must make a decision for herself and I must not judge that decision, only He can. I know that until we provide comprehensive healthcare and support for women who choose to keep their children, then we must provide an alternative for them and that is abortion. Until we provide correct information on sexuality and reproduction to our students, we must provide abortion.

I think the only way to end this post is by calling for prayer. Not only was Tiller's family affected, but my church family was affected. The 18 year-old daughter of my youth group director was in the glass enclosed church office and witnessed the entire tragedy. Two of our family friends and ushers were threatened by the gunman. Our church has so many good memories that will now be overshadowed by this event. 13 years ago our church was built. I was part of the confirmation class that was first confirmed in the new building. My brother was confirmed there. Tiller's youngest daughter was married in our church. So please pray for the Tillers, my church family, the city of Wichita, and the nation. "Lord have mercy!' And we are so bold to proclaim and believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25)

RIP George R. Tiller