Friday, February 5, 2016

"My Name Used to Be Muhammad"

My mom and I recently finished reading a great book together called My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian. It's the true story of Tito Momen (whose birth name was Muhammad Momen). He was born in Nigeria, and raised to observe the strict teachings of Islam. His father woke him up before 5 AM each morning so that he could go to the mosque with the other men in the village for morning prayers. 

At age 5, Tito started his training to memorize the Qur'an, and had to copy it word for word. His father had the dream for him to be an imam in their village, so groomed him for the role and was very hard on him. He was extremely strict and physically abusive, and wouldn't let Tito do activities that he enjoyed, like play soccer or do artwork. 

When Tito went away to college, he started doing things that were not in line the Muslim religion, like smoking, drinking, going to clubs and womanizing. His father wasn't too happy when he found out. Things got worse when Tito began learning more about, and ultimately converted to, Christianity. (He was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) Tito's father disowned him after finding out about his conversion to Christianity. Tito was arrested for his decision to convert, as well. (The officials lied and made a false report that Tito was trafficking drugs.) Tito was sentenced to life in prison, and spent the next 15 years in an uncivilized Egyptian prison.

Tito petitioned Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt, for clemency several times and wrote letters explaining his situation and how he had been charged with a crime he didn't commit, but it was no use, and his petitions were always denied. Tito tried to remain positive and upbeat, despite his less than favorable circumstances. Thankfully, he was finally released from prison after 15 years. When Tito stood before a judge afterwards, the judge asked him if his decision to convert had been worth it. Tito knew that it may have been a trick question, but he answered honestly and said that if he had to do it all over again, he would still convert to Christianity.

This was a great book about one man following his mind and heart when it came to what he believes. I definitely recommend it!
Tito (on the right) and Jeff Benedict (on the left). They worked together on the book.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I know I said I was finished making all of my Christmas posts, but I remembered one more thing I wanted to write about. One of my favorite Christmas presents this past year came from my nursing school classmate/friend, Heather. She comes over on a fairly regular basis, and when she does, she always smells SO good! (I can always smell her, even though I have a difficult time smelling, since I can't breathe very deeply.) I've asked her several times what she uses or wears that makes her smells so fabulously good. She thought it might be the fabric softener she uses (which would be Snuggle).

Around Christmas time she said she had a little gift for me, and when I opened it, it was Snuggle fabric softener, dryer sheets and a Snuggle-scented air freshener. I thought it was such a sweet and unique gift! My mom washed all of the clothes I wear most frequently, as well as the blanket I cover my face with in the winter (since I get cold) and used the Snuggle fabric softener. It does smell so good, although, the only problem is that a person's nose quickly habituates to smells/scents, so I don't notice it as much as I did at first. I hope I smell as good to others as Heather always smells to me. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Last of the Christmas Posts

I have just a few more pictures from Christmas that I wanted to post. The first few pics are of my niece Sarah. She was in my room when Sharon had the camera out, so I had Sharon take her picture, and I asked Sarah to give me her best "Sarah" pose. She didn't just give me one; she continued to strike pose after pose for the camera. This tiny girl is so full of joy, and I love it (and her)!
Is she cute, or what?!! Then she wanted her mom to take pictures of her jumping, so jump she did:
It almost looks like she's levitating in that last one. ;-) Then Rachel came along. She is quite the little artist and is always working on some sort of art project. I wanted to get a picture of Rach with her latest creation, which she entitled "Portrait of Art."
The rest of the pictures were taken on New Year's Eve. I wasn't feeling the greatest and didn't even have anyone comb my hair after getting in my wheelchair, so that's why I look so rough. I think Elizabeth looks adorable in the picture of us, though!
Above is another picture of Rachel, and then a picture of Emily and me. She said that we were "buddies" and was very excited for our little New Year's Eve party, which she kept calling our "jammie party."
We had yummy appetizers for dinner and watched the movie Inside Out. Our appetizers were veggie pizza, buffalo chicken dip, bean salsa, guacamole, salmon dip, fresh fruit with coconut fruit dip and then cookies for dessert. It was a very yummy spread.

That's a wrap for another fun Christmas with these folks!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Grammy's Antique

I don't remember how the topic of typewriters came up when my sister Sharon and her family were visiting over Christmas, but it did. My mom had to get out her electric typewriter to show the kids. (This typewriter was my mom's birthday present when she turned 18.) I don't know if Sharon's kids had ever even seen a typewriter before, and I doubt they'd ever typed on one. So my mom got hers out and everybody had to give it a try. (I can relate to the kids' excited fascination, since I always loved when my mom would get out her typewriter and let me type on it when I was a child).

We had to document the experience by taking some pictures:
Sharon said that when she learned to type in high school, she learned on a typewriter. I found it surprising that the school was still using typewriters in 1993. I know that was over 20 years ago, but computers had been around for a while by that time. Sharon said that that was the last year that students learned to type on typewriters, before the school switched over to computers.

Mom's typewriter is actually in great condition, except for the fact that it needs a new ribbon. I told Mom that she needs to hang on to her typewriter forever, since it now seems like an antique!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How Low Will It Go?

I always pay attention to the price of gas whenever I'm out and about, even though I don't stop and pump my own gas anymore. We pass by four gas stations on the 20 minute drive to church, and I always compare the price of gas at the four stations. (Why do I do this? I don't know, but there's one station that's almost always a fair amount cheaper than all of the other nearby stations, so I feel compelled to see how much cheaper it is each week.) The gas there was $1.43 this past Sunday. $1.43!!! That's pretty incredible, considering the fact that a few years ago we were paying $4 for a gallon of gas here in Missouri. I'm definitely not complaining that gas prices have fallen, and I don't think anyone else is, either! These gas prices are back to what they were back in 2003 when I was still a driving gal. Gas was anywhere between $1.40 and $1.60 a gallon back then. The most I ever saw it go foragain, before my accidentwas $1.75. That doesn't seem so bad nowadays, but back then that was a lot, especially for someone making less than $7/hour, like I was. I'm sure the price of gas will eventually go back up, but for now, I'll keep watching to see how low it will go.
This is a picture I found online, since I wasn't about to ask my mom to take one while she was driving.
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