Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Friends

Rokio and her family moved to our neighborhood about a year and a half ago. Their house is next to ours. They are originally from Somalia, but they've been living in the US for 10 years now. When they bought the house, Paul, Isabelle and I visited and welcomed them to our neighborhood. Rokio and her husband, Saadiq, have two very cute children. The older one, Kamal, is 6 and the little one, Naima, is 3. Paul and Sadiq have become good friends. Sadiq had been pushing Rokio to be close to me, she told me just this past week. We have become really good friends. I visit them at their house almost twice a week and we often go shopping together and bringing our kids to play at the Mall of America or at Pump It Up. Rokio is "religious "and a very generous woman. She smiles a lot and her personality is very pleasant. She is a genuine person! Last week, when we had to admit Paul in the ER due to food poisoning, she drove us to the hospital being that I don't have a driver's license yet. Helping is a lifestyle to her. It's been great getting to know her and showing her the T and freedom we have in the LJC. I'm glad that she is a very open person. We talk about "anything" including our different beliefs. I can't wait for the "big day". Join me in telling the LJC about my new dear friend.

Isabelle and Naima at the Mall of America
Isabelle has been a positive influence to Naima in the area of eating well. See, my daughter eats well. She snacks on carrots, strawberries, grapes, apples, bananas and just about any fruit. When Naima sees her eat fruit and veggies, she also wants to eat them. Rokio told me that it has been difficult to make Naima eat. Isabelle is preaching by example. Makes her mommy feel so proud of her!

Kamal, Naima and Isabelle at Pump It Up
It was a good bonding time for the three of them. After that morning when they played there, Isabelle says "Naima" a thousand times. Kamal and Naima love Izzy too. They can't stop screaming and jumping when they see her. They hug and kiss her a lot until Izzy goes crazy and says, "top!" (her way of saying "stop!") Izzy always feels sad and sometimes cries when it's time to say bye bye to Kamal and Naima.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fire in our kitchen

Have you ever had fire in your kitchen? I have. This afternoon I was making food with Isabelle and flames started to rise and cover the pan. It licked the grease on the pan and started flying to the exhaust fan. The flames consumed some portion of it and it's only then that I realized I had to do something to put it off. I turned off the stove and the flames subsided on top of it. But the flames on the exhaust fan got bigger and bigger. I started panicking and lil' Isabelle started to cry and shake. I was looking for a pail or something to fill with water so I could throw water on the exhaust fan. I saw a big bowl and filled it with water and started throwing water on the flames. The fire was extinguished. But I wasn't sure if there was more of it inside the cupboards on top of the fan because the smoke seemed to get heavier inside the house. I opened all the windows and doors and turned on the exhaust fan in the bathroom but the smoke was still getting heavier and the smoke alarm was still beeping loudly. I think that part of the reason why I panicked was the earsplitting beeps from the smoke alarm. I called my husband at work and he called the fire station. One fire truck came after a couple minutes with its loud siren. Isabelle's eyes were big! "Was this?" She asked. I told her that it was a fire truck and the people in there would be helping us make sure there was no more fire in our kitchen. Two firemen came in and checked our kitchen. They said... "You are very lucky that you were not hurt." Nothing much was destroyed by the fire just a lot of cleaning to do and replacement of some parts for the exhaust fan.

Praise God for his protection over me and Isabelle today! I am still fighting against a thought of the worse thing that could happen to me and lil Izzy if I wasn't able to put off the flames. Reminds me of Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego. It's one of my favorite stories in the Bible.
'If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up' (Daniel 3:17-18) This has been one of the most powerful verses that have impacted my life. It is easy to be faithful to God in times when we think and feel that God is near and is changing our seemingly bad circumstances. But how about when we don't see His hands upon things that we really want to change for our comfort? Will we remain faithful to Him? I pray that I and my family and every Christian remain faithful and pledge our allegiance to the Lord Jesus whether or not He changes our circumstances.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Izzy in Concordia

Concordia College's purpose written on a rock!

Playing football with Daddy and Uncle Orgil before anything else.

Isabelle feeling so "in" and a part of the International Student Organization (ISO) of Concordia College.

Josiah, from Nigeria, was one of Izzy's favorite guys in the group that night.

Ruta is from Ethiopia. She stayed at our house during her spring break in 2006

Isabelle enjoyed playing with Josiah's Nigerian drum.

A happy pose with PEACE. Peace is Isabelle's uncle Prince's little sister, who is actually bigger than him.

Having fun with Josiah, Daniel and Uncle Prince (standing) and others.

Learning the "beauty-wave" from a new Ethiopian friend.

Isabelle and Josiah

Daddy chasing Isabelle around the auditorium during the program.

Isabelle didn't know how to deal with her emotions when she met Masaki who adored her a lot!

Driving to Moorhead last Saturday was very fun! We couldn't wait to attend the event in Concordia College that Orgil invited us to. For sure, the International Night was a blast for us! We got to see Orgil play his guitar and sing, We are the World, in Mongolian. The song and dance performances from the students of many different countries were superb! But what made it more special to us was the international students that we met and conversed with. We invited about 10 students to a restaurant after the event and 30 ended up coming! But they ended up paying for their meals because they insisted to pay. Paul was ready to spend. It was a very nice feeling to be with international students. They all sounded very bright! Made me and Paul feel uneducated. LOL! We ate and talked until midnight. Isabelle's adrenaline was on the highest degree. She had a lot of fun entertaining them. She enjoyed the attention to the max! Before saying "bye" and "good night" to them, we invited the non-Christians to go with us to church on the next morning. Nobody gave us a "yes" answer. But on Sunday morning, Masaki came.

Masaki, is a Japanese exchange student at Concordia. We met him at the hall where the international food testing was held earlier that night. He approached us mainly because Isabelle took his attention. He said that she is the most beautiful baby he has ever seen. He was so drawn to Izzy and played with her a lot. When we invited him to church, he didn't seem interested because according to him he was "not religious". But he came with Orgil and Prince, so we were very happy to see him going to church with all of us that morning. At church, he looked very attentive. He was even singing and clapping during the praise and worship time. Later, we also found out that he was really listening to the message because he talked about it. I was thinking how ironic that other professing Christians won't even clap or sing at church. But here is a self-confessed "non-religious" person singing praises to God. Anyway, I am just happy that God used Isabelle to bring Masaki to church, which was probably his very first church experience.