Wonderful people who make this blog worth updating

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Last snow?

We've had a few spring-like days since the 21st, but today reminded me that it is still possible to see snow for the next couple months. Last night it had been raining and getting fairly cold, but finally got below freezing during the night. I woke up this morning and noticed that the entire world was quiet and white. We got the heavy snow with a layer of ice underneath that seems to stick to everything. Layla was so excited to see it. She actually said snow for the first time today. I hope its the last time I have to hear that word for awhile. Most of the snow had melted later in the day, so I was glad to have snapped a few pics on my way out the door this morning.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Portland here we come!

So we have now been back from our whirlwind trip for a couple days. Actually, its taken us most of that time to catch up on sleep. We are also still staying up too late and getting up too late due to the time change. Layla is enjoying being back home and not having to be in the stroller for the entire day.

As soon as we drove into Portland on Thursday, I knew that it was right for us. Portland reminded me of Minneapolis and is similar in size to Minneapolis and St Paul put together. The city was really clean, had lots of stuff to do, and also struck me as being quite family friendly. I think my sis was getting annoyed with all the little kids almost everywhere we went. Being stuck sleeping with Layla for an entire week will do that to almost anyone.

When compared to Seattle, Portland was much more manageable. I realized when we were in Seattle that if we ever wanted to buy a house, we would have to either settle for a condo or be willing to live like an hour outside the city. That's not ideal for either the husband or myself. Portland has plenty of single family houses in the city, and overall prices are manageable. We're planning to get a place that needs minor updates, and do them as money allows. We are also not above buying a house in Vancouver if we find something really great.

I also don't imagine that we'll have too much trouble finding jobs there. Now I am just so excited about moving that I can hardly contain myself. No more 6 mos. of winter for me!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ethiopian food

Today was our last full day in Seattle. We kept ourselves busy almost the entire day into the evening. The early part of the day was spent on Bainbridge island, just a short ferry ride across the sound. It was beautiful and fun, but also would be an expensive and annoying place to live if you worked in Seattle. We got Teriaki for lunch, and had ice cream at a place called Mora. The ice cream is actually made on the island too. There are a lot of little boutiques selling clothing and such, but we didn't actually buy anything. Later we crossed back over to the city, went to a bookstore on Main, then walked back to Lisa's place. After we rested for awhile, we walked to an Ethiopian restaurant called the Blue Nile and had a nice dinner. Tomorrow we will be renting a car early and heading down to Portland. I'm really looking forward to this part of the trip!


We are in Seattle right now trying to decide whether to move to Seattle or Portland when the husband gets back from deployment. So far, Seattle has given me a pretty good impression. I don't have any experience of Portland to compare it with, but I still have some pros and cons. We have been taking pictures, but I don't have any way to upload them until we get back home since I didn't bring the laptop here.
The waterfront area and scenery here are very beautiful. The city is very green in March when compared to Minneapolis, and it's definitely big enough. I just have to decide whether its too big.
Some other pros would be the decent public transport, walkability, and variety of things to see and do. So far the rain hasn't bothered me at all. Seattle also has more job opportunities for the husband and myself.
So far the cons include higher housing costs, bad traffic, and higher cost of living. So far its looking like it would be hard to buy a house here with a decent sized lot in the city for a reasonable price. There are a lot of other little things that I might post about in more detail later once we have something to compare it with.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Layla bear!

Last year Layla kept warm in the Minnesota winter by dressing like a little Polar bear. I have a lot of fond memories of carrying her around in her bear suit every single day. I put it away when she outgrew it because winter was over anyway. She was too fat too zip it up when she was about 9 mos old, but somehow I fit her into it the other day. So basically, I was cleaning and organizing our closets upstairs when I found it and felt nostalgic. I looked at the suit, looked at her, and decided to try to fit her into it. She was too tall, but skinny enough to zip it.

So the end result was Layla in a straitjacket. She couldnt really move her arms and legs because it was so short on her. She actually had fun trying to stand up in it and falling down repeatedly.

The things we do for fun!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Heavy load

Layla likes to go around the house carrying things that are too heavy or awkward for a kid her size. Just yesterday she was carrying a whole package of baby wipes that weighed several pounds. She also likes to carry her dirty diaper pail when its not full, and just today she was carrying a huge empty water jug. Kids. She is also doing well learning body parts. So far she knows eyes, teeth, ears, hair, mouth, feet, legs and hands.

Monday, March 9, 2009


We had fun tonight eating pancakes for dinner. Since I was still cooking while Layla was ready to eat, I decided try something new. She had been playing with some bowls on the floor, so I put some torn up pancakes in one. I just gave her a fork and let her get at it. She seemed to enjoy eating while playing kitchen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


We definitely have spring fever here today. It finally got up to 40 something, so we decided to go out in the yard a bit today. Layla was enjoying running and falling down in the mud. I would have loved to get some pics of that, but it didn't happen. Now she's taking a nap and I'm enjoying some time getting caught up on stuff. I have a short article that I'm trying to write and also want to post on the Somali blog about Diabetes. I just realized how long it's been since I updated it. I'm also making Chicken Korma for dinner, so maybe I'll post a picture of that later. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Arabic Term Allah

A recent article on Fox News states that Malaysia has restored the "Allah ban for Christians. Basically, what this means is that Christians are not allowed to use the term Allah to refer to God in their publications. Apparently it is thought by the government that the casual use of Allah by both religions could confuse Muslims or make them angry. I suppose that some of the controversy also relates to Christian missions groups that seek to introduce Muslims to Christianity.

The banning of this term is based out of linguistic ignorance. Some Christians in the U.S. and other Western countries are also reluctant to ever use the term Allah to refer to the God of the Bible. However, both Muslims and Christians that speak Arabic use the term Allah to refer to God. In Arabic, Allah is just the default word for God, like Elah in Aramaic and El of Elohim in Hebrew. In the time that the Hebrew Bible was being written, Elohim was a term also used by the Canaanites to refer to their Gods, with El being a name reserved for the head of their pantheon.

I think that the Malaysian government officials, most of whom are probably Muslims, need to study Arabic further before they ban the usage of an Arabic loanword in their country. It makes sense that Allah would be the most common term used for God in Malay because as far as I am aware, a majority of Malaysians were polytheists before Islam came to them. The article states that Allah was an Arabic loanword being used before the coming of Islam to the area. I am not sure whether Islam or Christianity came to Malaysia first, but the point is that now most Malaysians are most familiar and comfortable with the term Allah.

It doesn't make sense to legislate what terms people are allowed to use to address the God that they reverence. I hope to see this piece of legislation overturned in the near future.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stupid cold...

I was hoping that I would make it through the entire winter without catching a cold. Well, I guess that couldn't happen could it? Thursday I felt a little stuffy and started sneezing. Sleeping that night was a little rough too. Friday I had a constant runny nose, and yesterday and today I've had a rough voice and a little bit of a cough. Last night I pretended to feel good and went out to eat Indian food for my friend Christina's b-day and went bowling after.

So far Layla hasn't gotten sick, and I hope God willing that she won't. Seeing her hyper, not sick, and laughing uncontrollably helps force me to have some energy though.