Monday, December 11, 2006

Trip To London

I went to London, to visit my family and friends there, for a few weeks. It was really nice to go home and have some Iraqi food. My mum cooked me my favourite dish 'timen bagela'. There's a photo below. It is soooo nice. And of course we had salad with it.

I really enjoyed seeing my family and friends. It was also really nice to see the Christmas lights in Oxford Street. I even got to go to the 'Millenium' hotel in Mayfair, with my dad, for his work Christmas do. It was really posh and a really nice evening.

Now I am back in Nova Scotia, and the day I got back here, there was snow everywhere, and it was really pretty. The snow has melted now, but I'm sure it won't be long, before it snows again. We put up our Christmas tree, Christmas decorations and lights yesterday. Houses over here look really nice at Christmas time with all the Christmas lights that people put up.

Have you put your Christmas decorations up yet?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Winter is coming...

Yesterday it started to get cold and windy and chilly. Yes, this is winter knocking at our door. I've been quite busy the last week or so with life. Rachel's parents came over to visit from England. I've been to lots of Museums and Art galleries with Rachel's dad. I really enjoyed that, and I feel like I'm starting to appreciate Yarmouth a lot more. I felt inspired to pursue more artistic hobbies in the future. I found it really fascinating to walk through a museum and see a glimpse of what life was like a few hundred years ago! Yarmouth was a lot more busy and bustling with life then. It was very interesting to find out more about the lives of people who lived most of their lives out at sea. It was a hard life, but there's something about the mystery and adventure of it that appeals to me. Rachel's parents have also very kindly taken us out to many places to eat out, which was very nice.

So here are some photos:

Main Street, Yarmouth

Fishing Boats at Yarmouth Harbour

Fisherman out fishing

A beautiful path somewhere

Someone's house

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians and all those living in Canada. It's that time of year again here, when the trees display those amazing 'fall' colours. It is really breathtaking. I've posted a select few pictures below, but the photos really do not do reality justice. I wish you could be here to see what I see. It is so beautiful round here at the moment.

I've booked my flight tickets to go back to England to visit my family next month. Air Canada are doing good deals at the moment for flights between the UK and Canada. It will be nice to be back in England for a few weeks, so I'm really looking forward to that.

Seeing as it is Thanksgiving day today, I thought I'd give thanks to God for a few things:

1. I thank God that I have Him in my life. I don't know where I would be without Him, and I'm so thankful that He found me.

2. I thank God for my family. I love them with all my heart and want only the best for them.

3. I thank God for Gary, Rachel and the girls. They are wonderful and I love them to bits.

4. I thank God for giving me this opportunity to live here and meet so many lovely people.

5. I thank God for all my friends, worldwide. I love you guys!

6. I thank God for my past, present and future.

7. I thank God for the plans that He has for my life.

8. I thank God for this country and all the beauty it has.

9. I thank God for life.

There's so much more to be thankful for and God knows my heart, but I'll keep the list simple and just end with this. Jesus loves you. And I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and a happy day today wherever you are.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Politics and the world we live in

Even though I am from Iraq, (and all Iraqis somehow manage to get involved in politics - it's like in their genes or something), I do try and stay away from talking about politics, especially on my blog.

However, I am making an exception today. I found out this afternoon that a couple of months ago, one of my dad's brothers had been kidnapped by a group of terrorists in Baghdad. They had demanded $50,000 from my uncle's family for his release. My poor uncle is in his 70's and a lovely man and a really hard working honest man.

Eventually, my cousin managed to negotiate with the terrorists and get them to agree to lower the ransom amount to $10,000, as that was all that he could possibly raise, from all his friends and family members. Thankfully they did release my uncle when they got the money.

Isn't it so sick and disgusting that so many people's hard work earnings' go to people that will use that money to just further inflict terror on others? I am so thankful that my uncle is still alive, but what a horrible experience.

The world has fallen so so so far short from the glory of God, that human beings can choose to bring terror to others, and treat the rest of humanity in such a despicable way. Contrast that with Jesus choosing to lay down his life for others.

One of my favourite verses at the moment is John 15:13 where Jesus says: 'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.' The world desperately needs people who are full of God's love, people who will choose to lay their lives down for their friends, instead of people who think nothing of taking other people's lives for their own selfish personal gain.

Speaking of the world we live in, I thought that I was a well travelled person until I did this world map thing, and I realised that I've only been to 9% of the world (21 countries). I guess I need to travel the world a bit more. I love travelling and meeting people from different parts of the world.

create your own visited countries map

Try it yourself and see how much of the world you have been to. I got this from AJ's blog. Thanks AJ.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I decided to take photos of all the new additions to our household. First of, is a photo of some of Tasha's fish in her fish tank. The black one is my favourite.

Then these love birds - also belonging to Tasha. They are so cute! The male one is the one with the brighter and darker colour chest.

This is a photo of Gina's rabbit Owen. He is very noisy at times. He is a full size dwarf bunny.

These are photos of Anja's very cute hamster Cody in his little hamster ball so that he can roll around (well the ball rolls, he walks) around in the living room.

Over the summer, I took the girls to this really nice beach, the water was a bit chilly, but the beach was beautiful and clean and there were hardly any people there - it was like having your own private beach. I took this photo there a few weeks ago.

Last Sunday at church I talked about the prayer of a man named Jabez in the bible. He prayed a really short but powerful prayer and God answered his prayer. The story of Jabez can be found in 1 Chronicles 4 v 9-10 ( Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request).

So this week I've been praying that prayer every day, and keeping a daily record of the ways that God is blessing me and it's so cool and amazing because God has totally blessed me every single day. Yesterday I had 3 blessings. I was taken out to lunch, and someone's buying me a pair of Crocs (shoes) to wear, and I got taken out on my own private ride on a speed boat on our lake - it was sooooooooooooo cool!

My very first post when I started this blog last year was about stacking wood, and now it has come round to that time of year again. We had this load of wood delivered this week, and I started a couple of days ago to chuck it down the basement and then stack it down there. It's a race against time again, because I'd like to get it all down there and stacked, while we have nice weather and before it rains. I've only done a quarter of it so far, so it's probably going to take me the best part of next week to try and get it all done, so I'm praying that we'll have nice weather this week.

I really enjoyed stacking wood last year and the novelty hasn't worn off yet, infact I love stacking wood - it's a really rewarding job, because you can see the pile get bigger as you stack, and you feel like you did a good job. I get such a sense of satisfaction when I stack the last piece of a huge pile that I had thrown down the basement earlier that day. I also listen to worship songs on my mp3 player as I stack, so I enjoy singing along as I work and it keeps me really happy.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's been a whole year!

Wow! It has been exactly one whole year today since I came to Nova Scotia to work for the church here. How can time go by so quickly? I don't even feel like we've had a proper summer here and now the girls are back at school. So, what can I tell you about this past year?

This has been a very wonderful and beautiful place to live, even though, we have had our fair share of tough times and things going wrong. Yet God has always been with us even though He has been closing some doors and opening others, and I have decided to stay here one more year.

It was quite tough financially this last year, so for this coming year, I am hoping to 'tent-make' (this is a biblical expression meaning to get another job to support me financially while I carry on working for the church). I am currently trying to apply to change my work permit and get a Nova Scotia Teaching License. I hope to get some teaching work here. I think it will take a few months though to get it all sorted out.

Our house church is going well. We had felt the Lord encourage us to put greater emphasis on a more family centred service, and that is what we have been doing. On the one hand, some church members couldn’t quite cope with this transition and have left the church. On the other hand, the kids and their parents are loving church more than ever before, and they seem to not want to miss the service. So we do feel encouraged that God wants to do something new in this place.

We had some lovely friends come and visit us from England for a couple of weeks and they went back yesterday. It was very nice to have them with us, even though, they had to experience our well water running out yesterday and our car engine totally ceasing last weekend which mean't we were car less all week. We are now trusting God for another car. So for those of you prayer warriors out there, please pray for Jesus to give us a new car soon.

It was the twins' birthday a couple of weeks ago. They turned nine. Gina got a rabbit and called it 'Owen' and Anja got a hamster and called it 'Cody'. Unfortunately though, Tasha's guinea pig 'Max' died last week. Today she got a pair of love birds. I think she's going to name them 'Elvis & Priscilla'. They are really cute!

I am looking forward to another year here (even though I know it will have plenty of challenges - but nothing is too big for God to handle and God is providing in so many amazing ways). So thanks for listening and stop by again some time.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Driving Abroad

I'm sorry I've not updated in a while - life has kind of been hectic lately. Rachel has been sick for the last month or so, please keep her in your prayers.

I had my driving test here in Nova Scotia this afternoon and passed!

Thank you Jesus.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

God Is Awesome

Hello everyone,

I've been trying to check my e-mail all day but it doesn't seem to be working. Is anyone else having problems with Yahoo today? We had two power cuts (outages) today but they didn't last long so that was good.

We had two lovely gorgeous couples come over last night from Mahome Bay. They led worship today at church and gave out prophetic words to people that were so spot on. The pastors spoke a little and really encouraged so many of us in our church. I really enjoyed hanging out with them and with the Holy Spirit this weekend. I love those guys. I put a link to their church 'Bethel Outreach Church' on my sidebar - check them out sometime! God is really so awesome. I'm so excited about His plans for this place and just so excited about Him. He is just sooooo cool!

And Ken, Shelly, Andrew & Michelle - if you guys are reading this, I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming to visit with us. You are such a blessing and I love your hearts for Jesus. Can't wait to see you again.

We had so much good food too. Everyone brought something. My absolute favourite food that I ate today though were this spinach leaf, with strawberries and blue cheese salad that Jo made and also this absolutely gorgeous home-made banana bread that I think Jo also made. There were three slices of the banana bread left over today, so I had those for dinner. They were gorgeous. Anyway, I'll stop talking about food. Hope you all had a great day too, and if you don't know Jesus, I really hope that you will one day, because He really is the BEST and He just LOVES YOU so much.

Love Ash x

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Hope You Dance

Yet another one of those things I received on e-mail that I thought was cool enough to share with you:

When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.

The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other. My eyes drew back to the word Guidance. When I saw "G: I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i".

"God, "u" and "i" dance." God, you, and I dance. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and everyday. May you abide in God as God abides in you. Dance together with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life.

This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached. If God has done anything for you in your life, please share this message with someone else, for prayer is one of the best gifts we can receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards; so let's continue to pray for one another.

And I Hope You Dance!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

George Carlin's View on Aging

George Carlin's View on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!

And then the greatest day of your life .. . . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 And your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70!

After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90's, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!" May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


  1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them!"
  2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
  3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
  4. Enjoy the simple things.
  5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
  6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
  7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
  8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
  9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
  10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. And if you don't send this to at least 8 people - who cares? But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!! Have a wonderful day!!!!!!!


My Comments

I disagree with point number 6, in that, there is someone with us our entire life, and that someone is Jesus.

My favourite point is point number 9.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Invasion Of The Bat

Last night when I got home from visiting a friend, Jake the dog was besides himself jumping up and down wanting some food. So I went straight to the kitchen to get his food. I was just preparing his dinner when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a real live black bat flying about in the far end of the kitchen!

Well, I've never seen a real bat before in my life. I didn't exactly freak out, but I think I was in a bit of a shock as to how on earth a bat could've gone into the house. Fortunately, some friends were not too far away, so I quickly went out again and got them and they managed to catch the bat for me and take it out of the house.

What a relief. Jake finally got his dinner and after that I was so tired, I went straight to bed. I was trying to find a picture of a bat on the internet and the one above is the closest one that I could find that looks like the one that got in the house yesterday.

I never knew before today that bats come in different colours. I thought they were all black, but apparantly some are brown and there are some that are grey too. In Nova Scotia apparantly there are 7 different species of bats, 3 of which are more common. Some are little and some are big. Some even have long ears!

Did you know that: 'Bats are protected under the BC Provincial Wildlife Act and special permits must be obtained to kill them. The chance of being "attacked" by a rabid bat is extremely rare in B.C. As a precaution avoid handling bats altogether, but should it be necessary, thick leather gloves should be worn to touch live bats and disposable plastic ones to deal with dead bats. ' ?

Well, we don't live in British Columbia, but we didn't kill the bat. However, we didn't use leather gloves either. We just used an empty yogurt pot to capture it and then released it once we were outside the house.

Also apparantly, 'Female bats give birth to only one or two young annually and roost in small or large numbers. Males may live singly or in small groups but scientists are still unsure of the whereabouts of most males in summer.'

This bat was on his own, so maybe he was a male. I guess some male bats might try and sneak into people's houses in the summer, hmmph! Well, I hope none of them try to come in here again. Bats are definitely NOT WELCOME in this house! There's enough animals here.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Clare


Today is Clare's birthday. Clare is a very dear friend of mine. If you don't know Clare, then you are missing out and here is why:
  1. Clare and her twin sister Rachel are unique.
  2. Clare has the hugest heart.
  3. Clare is one of the friendliest people I know.
  4. Clare is a very faithful and loyal friend.
  5. Clare will love you no matter where you come from.
  6. Clare is smart, sophisticated and BEAUTIFUL.
  7. Clare is intelligent, fun-loving, and extremely generous.
  8. Clare gets on with people of all ages.
  9. Clare is funny.
  10. Clare will make you laugh.
  11. Clare gives wonderful hugs.
  12. Clare is a true English rose!

Clarey I love you babe! Thanks for being my friend. Have a wonderful birthday!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's Been A While...


I am sorry for my absence from the world of blog for those of you who occassionally do stop by. I have no idea what to tell you. So I'll just write whatever comes into my head and hope that there might be something of interest. At this precise moment, I am listening to my favourite singer of all time. Her name is Fayruz (my sister was named after her) and she is a Lebanese Christian and a legend all over the Middle East. Here is a photo of her for you...

Although she is quite old now and rarely performs any more, her beautiful songs are all-time classics and loved by many generations. In fact, if you ask any Arabic person about her, they will know who she is and probably have her music in their home too. Yeah, so I am enjoying listening to her truly unique angelic voice while writing to you.

I have the house to myself at the moment. Gary and Rachel and the girls are all in England at the moment for 2 and 1/2 weeks. I am house sitting for them and looking after Jake the dog, Bridget the cat, Max the guinea pig, and Nemo, Mo, and Flo the fish. We did have another fish called Glo but he/she (how do you tell if fish are female or male?) died and I buried it in the garden yesterday.

There's been a few changes in my life recently:
  • I am insured to drive the car now and went out a few times with Rachel before they left. I drove into town on my own yesterday, so that was cool. It's really good for me to get some practise driving on my own to build up my self-confidence.

  • I am 28 years old now. It was my birthday last week and Gary cooked me a lovely curry for my birthday and I had a great day. I am really excited about all that God has for me in this coming year of my life.

  • Our church moved from the building and into our home. I've always wanted to be part of a house church and now I am. For the next two weeks while Gary and Rachel are away, I am pastoring and looking after the church on my own. Just as well I have God with me :)

  • Speaking of God, I decided to give up my morning sleep and spend my mornings with God every day, so ever since my birthday, I've been getting up at 6am every morning (which if you know me, you'll know that I'm not exactly an early bird) and spending every morning with God until 12 noon. Although, I don't like getting up early, I have to say, that once I actually get myself out of bed, I really enjoy my time with God so much, that I am truly looking forward to every morning. And now I have two whole weeks to spend as much time as I like with God, it's so cool. He is sooooooooo cool!

I've been trying to start a fire in the furnace downstairs in the basement, but it is taking sooo long to get going. So I better go and check on that soon. Well I guess that that is all for now. Hope you didn't get too bored and hope you come back soon.

Love Ash x

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Canada Day

Yesterday morning was terrible because England lost their chance of winning the world cup. To say that we were very sad is an understatement.

However, yesterday was also Canada Day and we decided to have our church service yesterday instead of today so that we could celebrate Canada Day and pray for God to bless Canada.

It was a lovely service. It was at 3pm and everyone brought food with them that we cooked on the barbecue after the service and everyone stayed for a lovely barbecue. It was also special because it was the first service of our house church. Yes, we have decided to have church in our house instead of in the building we were renting. I think it's really cool to be in a house church and am really excited about it. It reminds me of when the Christians in the New Testament used to meet in each other's houses. I pray that it will help us as a church family to grow in community with each other.

The kids had a great time too as the Lord blessed us with a new swimming pool and we also have a trampoline so many hours of fun were a result. A couple of little girls went for a walk in the garden and came back with two frogs that they found. I let them take the frogs home with them and they were really pleased.

Love to everyone and may God bless you!

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Steven Gerrard
Great Player

David Beckham - Team Captain

Awesome Goal today!

Joe Cole - Great Player

YES! England are through to the quarter finals! What a relief!
YES! My England shirt arrived on Thursday (thanks Faye)
and I wore it today when I watched the England game!
YES! I am feeling much better again now - thanks for all your prayers!
YES! I am insured to drive the car now for 3 months
and went out for my first drive on Thursday!
YES! It's my birthday in a couple of weeks!
YES! God is sooooooooo encouraging!
YES! I went to a really cool party last week and was invited out for lunch today after church!
YES! I got given two unexpected gifts today!
The first was two really cute candles of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger.
The second was a pair of black trousers.
I loved both gifts and was really blessed by the kind gesture of those people.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup Fever

Hi everyone,

This is just a short blog to say that I am watching the World Cup these days and I'm so happy that England won today. Excellent goal by Gerrard.

My sore throat got worse and turned into a bit of a fever and I was in bed for a few days, but I am recovering now and hope to join the land of the living once again. I love the new England top - I think it's really cool and I asked my sister to send me one. She managed to get one today so I can't wait to get that.
Canadians round here don't seem to be that excited about the World Cup, but there sure is enough excitement in our household to make up for Nova Scotia's lack of excitement.

So enjoy the games everyone and all I can say is

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hip Hop Dance

Last night, I attended a Kids Hip Hop Dance performance in our local area and it was really cool. There must've been more than a hundred kids taking part, most were girls but there was a group of boys too who did break dancing.


It was a really fun night. This morning at chruch we had a family service (kids and adults together) and I talked about 'prophesy' (hearing God's voice for someone else) and got everyone there to write a prophetic letter from God to someone else. Everyone shared their letter at the end, and all were encouraged by what God said to them so that was cool.

You couldn't tell which letters had been written by the kids and which were written by the adults which was brilliant as it just goes to show that it doesn't matter how old you are, we can all (as Christians) hear God's voice.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Deer & Lobster

I'm so excited! This morning as Rachel and I were in the car driving to see someone from church, we had just got to the bottom of our road, and just there infront of us was the most gorgeous deer I have ever seen. I wish I had my camera with me but I didn't. I've tried to find a photo from the internet of one that looks like it, and none of the photos I looked at at were as nice as the deer we saw this morning. This photo below is the closest I could find. We stopped the car and the deer stopped too and just stared at us as we stared at it. It was as if it was saying 'hello' to us. It was wonderful to have such a close and clear view (it was only about 25 metres away from us) of such a gorgeous deer. I'm sure it was such a blessing from God for us to see that this morning. It was really cool!

I know I have covered the lobster fishing day already, but I just want to add a P.S. here:

My highlights of the trip were getting the opportunity to go lobster fishing; seeing the sunrise out at sea; seeing the beautiful seagulls fly so close; catching the cod fish; learning how to measure and band a lobster!
The things that I learned about lobsters that I didn't know before are that:
1- They are a different colour when you catch them as in the photo below
from when they have been cooked like in this photo below.

2 - You have to cook lobsters alive (by putting them in a pan of boiling water)
as a dead lobster can be poisonous.
And 3 - Dead lobsters smell awful - they really stink!