12 November 2012

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay Jr. in 1942, is best known for prizefighting. He won the Golden Gloves and the light-heavyweight championship at the 1960 Olympics. Then he turned professional and won the heavyweight title in 1964. When he became a "Black Muslim" and a conscientious objector (refused to serve in the United States Army) he was stripped of his title. However, he came back to regain the championship in 1974. He lost it in 1978, but regained it later that year before retiring. To view his official professional boxing record click here: ALI STATS.

A quote from the official Muhammad Ali website:
"His early relationship with the Nation of Islam and his insistence on being called Muhammad Ali instead of his 'slave name,' Cassius Clay, heralded a new era in black pride." Muhammad Ali was named Cassius Clay after his father, and his father was named Cassius Clay after the 19th century abolitionist and politician (1810-1903).

He has participated in many humanitarian efforts.
"For his humanitarian efforts, Muhammad has been the recipient of countless awards. His recognitions include:
• United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998-2008, for his work with developing nations
• Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the United States of America's highest civil award
• Amnesty International's Lifetime Achievement Award
• Germany's 2005 Otto Hahn Peace Medal, for his involvement in the U.S. civil rights movement and the United Nations
• International Ambassador of Jubilee 2000, a global organization dedicated to relieving debt in developing nations
• State of Kentucky's "Kentuckian of the Century"
• The Advertising Club of Louisville's "Louisvillian of the Century"

Other honors include an Essence Award, an XNBA Human Spirit Award and recognition from the National Urban League; 100 Black Men; Givat Haviva; the Oleander Foundation; The National Conference of Christians and Jews; TIME magazine and many others." -http://ali.com/legend_man_humanitarian.php

Famous M. Ali quotes about racism:
"Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong."
"I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin' hell, but as long as they ain't free, I ain't free."
"No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill, and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people the world over. This is the day and age when such evil injustice must come to an end."
"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?"

"Ali’s publically pronounced leadership and his unflinching public remarks clarified the linkage between racism and militarism, a message which was eventually echoed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in later speeches such as King’s “Riverside Church” speech and his “Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam”. Also Ali’s unapologetically brash style of public speaking shared the sense of confidence and humor that is found in the speeches of Malcolm X" -Communication Currents

He has appeared in several motion pictures.

From ali.com: "Muhammad Ali remains active in civic and humanitarian enterprises. His annual Celebrity Fight Night has raised over $45 million for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, as well as large sums for other charities."

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09 November 2012

Great African-Americans

While back home last time (born and raised in the South) I picked up a coloring book called "Great African Americans".

 It's a fairly boring coloring book (for my 2 and 3 year olds, but maybe not for older kids), but an awesome collection of great African-Americans. There are 45 African-Americans shown who helped shape our country! Each has a couple paragraphs under their picture telling of their accomplishments. This morning when my son brought it to me and asked me to read it to him I got an idea. I'd like to try to post about each one of these great African-Americans here. It''l save you a bit of legwork when you're looking for an African-American history lesson for your child(ren), and it'll save me legwork later on when I want to pull out another African-American hero story.

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Satin-line Your Winter Hats

It is very important to line your winter hats with satin to protect your hair from the hat fabric. Last winter we bought a satin-lined winter hat from etsy.com, but this year I'm going to attempt to line one myself. I am NOT a seamstress, but this video makes it look fairly easy. I think I can do this. I'll let you know how it goes.



Update: What I ended up doing was to buy a satin cap from Walmart and sew it on the inside of my daughter's winter hat using a sewing machine. So very easy. Easier than I thought. You can do it too!

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07 November 2012

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Adopted Child

This is the most important post I ever have or ever will blog. I wish I could share the information in this post with every single adoptive parent. The absolute best thing you can ever do for your adoptive child is to make a lifebook for him or her. I found out about lifebooks a while ago and had always planned on making one for my daughter, but not until I started making it and then read the finished product to my daughter did I realize how very important it is.

Like I said, when I started the lifebook I was doing it thinking it would be an easy way to tell my daughter about where she came from, and that's about it. I had no idea where to begin, how to word it, or what to include. So I did a "lifebook" search on Amazon and came across this book:

It's "Lifebooks: Creating A Treasure For the Adopted Child" by Beth O'Malley. I adore this simple little book. It has helped me work through my feelings about my daughter's adoption (feelings I didn't realize I had), and to create a beautiful, well-worded story of how my daughter joined our family.

The author lists the different pages a lifebook should have, gives suggestions as how to word sensitive situations, and gives several examples of each page. 

I bought an album with matching paper and stickers from Hobby Lobby, borrowed a straight-edge cutter and a couple fancy-edged scissors from a friend, and went to. "Lifebooks" told me step by step how best to create this treasure for my child.

It covers every situation, even when you have almost no information on your child's life before he/she came to you. It covers domestic adoption, international adoption, and fostering. The author also explains why a lifebook is such a very important  piece of an adopted child's life.

I highly recommend this book to every adoptive family out there, and highly suggest you create a lifebook for or with your child today. It's not near as hard as it seems. Promise.

My daughter adores her book. We put her name on the front and she refers to it as [Destiny]'s book. She asks us to read it all the time and has learned some bits by heart. It has also been a wonderful way for her older brother to learn about where she came from.

After much consideration I have decided to share my daughter's lifebook with you. I think it is just that important. However, I have erased and blurred much of it to keep personal information personal. I share it to give you an idea because when I searched the internet for an example I found none.


Like I mentioned before, I made it easy on myself and bought an album with matching papers and stickers. Then I borrowed a straight-edged cutter and a couple pairs of fancy-edged scissors. I am not a scrapbooker, so was nervous, but it turned out easy to do. I used photos from the internet, and ones that friends and family found and emailed to me. When I finished I couldn't wait to read it to [Destiny]. I was disappointed to discover it just could not keep her two year old attention. That's when I went to a couple craft stores and bought 3D, shiny, colorful stickers to add to the book. It worked.

If she were older I would have had her help make the book. Instead I left a couple places for her to add her own drawings when she gets a bit older. Also, because of her age, I paraphrase a bit and skip parts she won't yet understand when reading it to her. For example, she won't be able to understand the birth certificate law or care about it until she's older, but it is an important part to include for when she is older.

I know. It seems daunting. Just start. It'll come easier the more you do. Besides, it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be honest and heart-felt.

Please feel free to post any questions you might have.

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05 November 2012

Phenom

I'm back. I hope. Oh my. I have so much I want to post. Our family grew in June and I have things saved up since then, and actually since before then, that I've wanted to share. I will get there, friends. For now a quick family update.

Long story short we supposedly have a slim chance of conceiving, of it being a healthy pregnancy, and of me carrying a baby to term. As I've mentioned before, the way we found this out was by our first baby being born still. Afterward, during the adoption process, we became pregnant and put adoption on hold to see if the pregnancy would result in a baby. It did and on this blog I refer to him as "Miracle". Since that supposed slim chance was still there, and because we strongly felt we were meant to adopt, we applied for adoption again and our second daughter, referred to on this blog as "Destiny", came to us. Then I felt that somehow another baby would be born to us. Thanks to a friend we learned about the treatment methods of a certain doctor and in June our third daughter was born to us. Here on this blog we will refer to her as "Phenom". Phenom is now almost five months old, so even though the holiday craziness is starting, the new baby phase is calming, so I'm hoping to return to this blog. Here's a not-us-at-our-best, but best-one-we-have, recent family picture.


Here's hoping I can catch up soon!

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