Monday, May 31, 2010

Final Week

Finally our food drive for Niles Township food pantry is over, which was pretty successful. People brought a lot of items for the drive for which we are very thankful for them. I was personally very disappointed from the school whom I asked for the help and they did not give a single item, but that’s fine because so far it was our first try and experience and blogger moms did wonderfully.

We bloggers also had a mother’s day lunch which was fun and we talked about different things. Basically that was our last day of our weekly class, so it was our class ending, mother’s day, and food drive success lunch at the same time.

Now the summer break is approaching so I have to think and plan for the whole three months of full house. I am very happy that my kids will have a break of sleep and comfort because believe it or not but these kids also need a break from school, but at the same time when I think of a messy house, arguing, and sitting all the time doing nothing, it gives me a lot of ideas to spent the three months for a little bit with work and fun if they are happy or not.. Oh God, it will be a long summer.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Every Day Is Happy Mothers Day

When I came to America I observed for the first time the celebration of Mother's Day. I was surprised to see the one special day for parents to celebrate because back in Pakistan we did not have special day for parents. Over there since most of the population live in extended family system, so it’s like every day is mother's or father's day.

Well in my opinion, mothers do deserve the most respect, love and passionate in same way that mothers feel for their children. That’s why in Islam it is very strongly suggested the most respect and love for mothers which can be described very easily in this saying that,

                                                  “Heaven is under or at the feet of your mother.”

Since I am in America for such a long time, I miss my mom a lot (she is in Pakistan). I feel like I am missing very great opportunities of  loving, caring for and respecting her. She is a diabetic and whenever she is not feeling well, I feel so sad and sometimes cry because these are the days that I am suppose to be with her for comfort and care. Instead of that she is the one who always give comfort to me and prays for my happiness, safety, health and my return to Pakistan for at least a short visit.

In elementary school my kids used to make small gifts for me which I kept them, now they just say happy Mother's Day which also feels good because I think  the best part of being a woman is motherhood. My husband always takes me for the dinner (with the kids) for the past fifteen years, but I want to say that every day is suppose to be a Mother's Day because there is nothing that equal to mother.
                               Happy Mothers Day mom (miss you a lot) and to every mother out there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Heaven is under my mother's feet

In my opinion every day is a mother's day. A mother deserves love and respect every day because she cares for her family every day every minute. Her love for her children is unconditional. A lot of mothers take care of their children 24/7. Many support their children all alone.Well, what else does a mother do for her family? The list is too long to describe here in a blog.

Do all mothers receive the love and care, they deserve? Specially when they need it in their older age? Well, I think some do and some don't. Some are lucky enough to have a caring family all the time while others wait for certain days of year to be remembered by their families. They wait long very long,to spend some happy moments with their loved ones.

Every Mother's Day, I think of the lady that I saw sitting on the couch in the lobby of our apartment building.That was a few years ago when I was coming back home with my family after spending a happy ''Mother's Day" at Botanic Garden of Chicago and enjoying a family dinner at my favorite restaurant.When we were in the lobby of the apartment building, there she was sitting all alone looking very sad. She was also a  tenant in the complex and we often smiled and said hello to each other whenever we saw each other in the elevator or lobby, but never got to talk more then that before. But that day she spoke for the first time.

"Did you had a good mother's day''? she asked me.

''Oh, yes,'' I said happily, but then realized that she looked sad . ''What about you?" I asked her. She told me that her children live in other states.I tried to comfort her by saying that ''At least they called you didn't they?"

''Yes, but its not the same '', she replied back.A year later she told me she was moving to live closer to her children. I was happy for her because I couldn't forget her sadness on that Mothers Day.

I also live far away from my mother.Some times I miss her so much that I just want to fly back to Pakistan to see her .But of course it's not that easy. I have to plan ahead and wait for summer when school is over and my kids can go, too. Its an expensive trip and I can't take it every summer. But whenever we do go, memories of those happy moments become part of my life which keeps me going for a while.

Every religion teaches respects for parents and in Islam too, respect for parents, especially mothers, is so important that there is a Hadith (saying) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) that "Heaven is under a mother's feet." That says it all, how much a mother matters. And yes I believe in that strongly because that's truly what all mothers deserve.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a good time to honor all the mothers’ hard work for her family and children. In China, children are educated to respect their parents and older people.

On Mother’s Day, I called my mom to say Happy Mother’s Day to her. After I moved to the USA, I missed my family even more for every holiday. Therefore, I always call my family whenever I'm available. 

I still remembered when I was in Hong Kong on Mother’s Day, my siblings and I were always spent the whole day with my mom. Early in the morning, we would go the restaurant having Dim Sum together. Then we would go shopping and after lunch would play Mahjong because my mom loves to play. In the evening we'd go out for a nice dinner with my mom. Of course we would give her a gift, too. Although my siblings in HK are still doing the same thing to my mom, I can’t join them.

This year I celebrated Mother’s Day with my husband and kids. We had a nice dinner in a Japanese restaurant. The Japanese food was delicious. I ordered a Beef Teriyaki and Salmon dinner set that came with Miso Shiru (soybean paste soup), salad, shrimp and vegetable tempura and a bowl of rice.

My husband ordered a sashimi (raw fish eat with soy sauce mixed with wasabi) dinner box with soup, salad, shrimp tempura, shrimp cocktail and a bowl of rice.

And my kids ordered Chicken Teriyaki and Beef Teriyaki.

We all enjoyed all the food and had a good time together. I hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Niles Township ELL Parent Center Food Drive

The Niles Township English Language Learners Parent Center is hosting a food drive to help Fight Child Hunger.

All donations will go to the Niles Township Food Pantry, which serves residents of Skokie, Morton Grove, Niles, Lincolnwood, Golf and Glenview.

Donations can be dropped off at the Center, 9440 Kenton Avenue in Skokie from May 10-14. The Center is located just East of the Jewel-Osco that's bounded by Gross Point Road and Skokie Boulevard. Protein foods such as peanut butter, canned tuna, salmon, chicken and trukey are especially needed at this time.

Please take a moment to read our posts below on hunger and poverty.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Food Drive in Pakistan

In America when you think of poverty, you think of low income families who live on minimum wages and some sort of help from other sources like government, food pantries , or soup kitchens. I think Americans who live under the poverty still live much better liver then people in third world countries. In other parts of the world the picture of the poor is totally different and the concept of food drives and helping the poor is also different. Pakistan's population is almost 1 hundred and 80 million, which makes it the number 6 most populated country in the world, while 28% of the population is living under the poverty line.

In Pakistan, people help the poor and each other on daily basis. Soup kitchens are getting very popular in these days but we call it Khairat which is basically a food drive. For the past 3 to 4 years, there are 3 million internal displaced people because of the war on extremism in Norther Pakistan. The government of Pakistan made the tent cities but that's all. These people do need a lot of other stuff to survive, so the ordinary people could give as much as they possibly could. Most of the time they help them through soup kitchens. I also want to mention that in Pakistan there are a large number of beggars (about 20 million) who go door to door asking for food, money, clothes or any kind of help and people do help them.

I want to mention one important aspect in Islam (since Pakistan is a 95% Muslim country) a very unique system of giving to poor is called Zakat, which means alms giving and is the third pillar of Islam in 5 pillars. Once a year every Muslim should give 2.5% of his or her total wealth. Zakat can be given in the form of money, food or any way of the person's need.One more way of giving is called sadqah which basically a part of zakat means charity and it's also obligated to those who can afford helping others.

There is so much to write about this topic because it is a very vast subject and writing about poverty is very emotional and heart touching. I have my three children and being a mom i feel  more passionate for those kids who are less fortunate than us well at least I am very happy and fortunate to be a small part of this food drive in Ell center at  9440 Kenton from May 10 to 15 and hoping to have a very successful food drive.

Food Drive

When I looked at CHILD HUNGER ENDS HERE's web site, I learned that there is over 16 million of Americans still facing hunger. I just can't believe it and I am really shock by those facts too. They said nearly 1 of 4 children is hungry everyday.

I never think about that in 21st century in America people still struggle with hunger.

I didn't experience hunger before. But I remember in my childhood, every time when I couldn't finish my food, my grandma always told us her story. Long time ago in China, they had been gone through a very difficult time because of food shortage. People didn't have any food to eat. My grandma had to look for tree root and tree bark to eat. Can you imagine how they taste like? They must really tough to eat. So if we couldn't finish the food, we always save for next day.

Even now, when my kids waste food, I will tell them their great grandma's story and also out there a lot of kids don't have food to eat. So they cherish what they have.

In our Niles township community, there are families struggling with hunger. Because of the hunger issue, our group of moms in this blog are going to organize a food drive for Nile Township pantry.

The FOOD DRIVE will take place on May 10 to May 15. We will have collection bin in ELL PARENT CENTER in Skokie. Please spread out our food drive event to anyone you know. Tell them to stop by and drop off some canned food to help our community fight child hunger.

Come visit our blog often, we will have more update about our food drive.