Thursday, December 15, 2011

7:00 am

When Yusuf was a baby hed always sleep in our bed.  I dont regret doing this, I loved sleeping beside him and Im so happy I had that opportunity to give him all those extra cuddles!  Ibby on the other hand was annoying to sleep with! Both him and I slept better if we were in separate beds, whenever he'd come into mine hes squirm constantly until I put him back in his crib.  Now my two babies sleep in their own room in own in the own bed.  Mashallah my husband is a big guy and we only have a queen sized bed (it was so tempting to buy a king-sized at times)... so when the two boys make their way to our bed in the middle of the night, we do not get a good sleep.  Though I enjoy their cuddles, we just wake up way too tired.  Ibby use to stayed in his own bed but Yusuf got him in the habit of coming to our room since hed wake him up when he wanted to come.
So anyways, I saw this idea on Super Nanny a while ago, I got an alarm clock and put it in the boys room.  They already have a nice clock, and I believe kids should learn to tell time on a proper clock, but in the middle of the night they cannot see it.  So I told Yusuf, if he wakes up in the middle of the night he should look at his clock.  If the first number is not 7, he should read ayatul kursi and go back to sleep.  We made a chart and if they stay in their beds for 10 times they get a reward, but if they come to our bed 5 times they get a consequence.  Alhamdulilah so far its working really well!  In the last week theyve only come to our bed once.  InshaAllah I hope this is an effective way to teach him without causing the boys any sadness (I was so tempted to put child safety gates on their door! haha).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

1-2-3 Magic


I just bought this book two days ago and Im really enjoying it.  I highly recommend it!  Ive read another book by the same other and I found it really beneficial.  I like this book because its short, easy to read and very practical.
Check it out at a bookstore or library and see what you think = )

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Here I Am

I have been MIA for the last while and Im really missing my blog.  Right now we have alot going on... butI plan to be back into the swing of things with this blog of ours by the new year, inshaAllah!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Im really excited for.,...........


Being ME is a women's only conference organized by Mercy Mission Canada. This year's theme is Muslimah Empowered. Now the question arises, what is empowerment? 
Empowerment is the ability to succeed regardless of how undesirable your circumstances may be. It's the determination to move forward – with excellence and unwavering faith. It's to control your life, not let it control you. 
Every woman has the ability to contribute to society in some way. Even if it’s just making a small difference in her own community. But we have to realize our potential and work hard to achieve our goals.
The first place to start is by attending the Being Me conference. Witness examples of women living to their full potential. I will be there, will you?
Discount ENDING December 1st – Purchase your tickets for only $20 today

What will the conference offer?
Get to know our speakers
Get to know our team

For more information:
Call:(905) 608 0004



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To the loves of my life...

My Dear Yusuf and Ibraheem,

You are both too young to understand what I am about to say to you in this letter, but one day, when the time is right, I will give this to you and hope that you cherish it and take lessons from it.

Since before Baba and I were married, we wanted to go for Hajj as soon as possible.  Ideally, we wanted to go before we became parents, but that didn't happen.  We were saving for a few years and planned to go last year, but we plan and Allah plans, and Allah is the Best of Planners.  Now after seven years of marriage, and being blessed with two beautiful boys, Allah has sent us the invitation to visit His House. Though it is something we have been wanting to do for so long, it was not an easy step to make... mainly, because you both are such a huge part of our lives!

When we realized that alhamdulillah we had enough money to go this year, it came as a bit of a shock.  Though I have wanted to perform Hajj since the day I became Muslim, the anxiety of leaving my babies took over.  I looked around for rulings and excuses to exempt me from the religious obligation based on you both being so dependent on me.  People told me different things.  But even when someone told me that no, religiously speaking I am not fully obliged to go, I didn't feel contentment.  I was so incredibly torn, but I turned to Allah and begged Him to do what was right.  I didnt even want to think about it because I was so confused.  I just asked Allah to show us the way. 

The first Hajj group we signed up with seemed promising but last minute they ran out of Visas.  I thought that perhaps this was our way out.  But then subhanAllah Baba made a call to another Hajj group and they had four spots left, so we signed up with them.  The day Baba made the payment, I locked myself in the bathroom and cried.  My heart was so full of emotion.  I was shocked and amazed and greatful that this day had finally come.  But I was heartbroken that I would really have to leave you both.

The one thing that has given me comfort is that, I know (though it is difficult to fully comprehend) Allah loves you both, so much more than I do.  As much as I want to protect you from any harm, my abilities are limited.  And as much as I thought you wouldn't be okay, my knowledge is limited.  Allah is Al Hafeez, He will take care of you no matter what happens.  Allah is Al Aleem, He knows if this step in our lives was truly harmful for your well being.  And I have full faith that He would have put obstacles in our way to prevent us from going in order to save you.

When I first became a mother, I could not understand how a woman can give birth and still not believe in Allah.  Watching as you both grow up has only increased my belief and reliance on Allah.  Yes, I may feed you, dress you, teach you, love you... but it is Allah Alone who is the Provider, who gives you life every day, who makes you grow, and who has blessed you with your innocence and love for life.  What I can offer you is so limited.  What Your Lord will give you is never ending.

Perhaps we could have postponed Hajj until you were older and more independent.  But only Allah knows what the future holds, and right now everything has worked out so perfectly.  Alhamdulilah we had the money, our health is good and you will be well taken care of by your family while we are gone.  We would be foolish to let this opportunity pass.

The story of Hajj itself is an inspiration and comfort.  Allah's best friend, Ibraheem AS was commanded to leave his wife Hajar and son Isma'eel in a barren desert with little food and water.  I cant even begin to imagine the pain in Ibraheem AS's heart as he walked away from his family.  But they did as Allah had commended them and look how Allah has rewarded them for their struggles.  Thousands of years later, millions of people visit the very same land and perform ancient rites in honor of Ibraheem AS, Haajar and Ismaeel AS.  A place which was nothing but hot sand is now flooded with people from every nation on earth! SubhanAllah.  Verily, Allah does not allow His servant's deeds to go to waste.

I pray that I come back as a better person.  As a better Muslim. And as a better Mother.  Though you are both the loves of my life, Allah must always be the first love in all our hearts.  This world is but a test, and Allah tests us through people.  I pray I pass the test of being the best mother I can, but in order to fulfill that role, I must put Allah first.  And inshaAllah if I do, He will guide me to do what is right for you.

Thinking of saying salams to you at the airport is one of the biggest tests of this entire experience.  Im sure you'll be fine since our entire family will be there with you, keeping you busy, and distracting you with their plans of what you'll do when were gone.  But the thought of physically walking away from you literally makes my heart ache.  I really dont know how Im going to do it, but I have faith in Allah that He will help me.

All the mothers that I know who have gone for Hajj and left kids behind have told me that the plane ride there is very painful, but once you arrive, you are so overwhelmed and your heart is at peace.  I know youll be in good hands, Ammi, Naani and Chaachi will keep you busy.  I know you will be sad at times and you wont fully understand why were gone.  But I know Allah will take care of you.

There 27 days left before we leave.  Twenty seven more nights of me tucking you into bed, and then sneaking into your room to hug and kiss you while you're sound asleep!  Twenty seven days left to prepare.  I feel like there's so much left for me to do.  As we are getting ready, I cant help but be reminded of death.  My to-do list is so long, but Im only going for three weeks.  I pray that Allah helps us to prepare for the most important journey, the one to the Hereafter.  Because I know Im leaving soon, I want to take advantage of the time I have with you before I leave.  I know my day of departure.  But, death is something that will come without warning, and we should always remember that our days in this life are limited and plan our lives accordingly.

The first time I see the kabah, Ill be wishing you were there beside me.  I promise to give Rasoolullah SAW your salams just like you asked.  And I will pray that one day soon we will go together as a family.  On the Day of Arafat, when every dua is answered, you both will be on the top of my list.  I pray Allah allows me to make the most beautiful duas for you, and that He accepts every one!

Please forgive me for my shortcomings.  I love you so incredibly much and only want the best for you!
InshaAllah I will come back with pictures and stories to share with you.  And I hope through my experience, you will develop a love for the House of Allah and yearn to go there one day as well.  I hope that I am able to take the lessons I learn from Hajj and apply it to our lives once we return inshaAllah.

Never forget to make dua for your parents, because you are always in ours.

I love you more than words can say....

Fieemaanillah
Wasalamualikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Momma

Monday, September 5, 2011

Not Ready.

Im not ready for Yusuf to go to school
Im not ready to stop homeschooling
Im not ready to stop our playgroups and fieldtrips
Im not ready to sit in one classroom, and have Yusuf and Ibby in two other separate classrooms
Im not ready to have a rigid schedule
Im not ready to give up our time together
Im not ready for my baby to be in the care of someone other than me for the majority of the week
(even though his teacher happens to be a dear friend whom I love and trust)
Im not ready to wave good bye next Monday............


For those of you who dont know, Yusuf is enrolled in JK starting next Monday.  Its a great school, and Im happy with the choice.  But now reality is starting to hit me and I dont like it. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fasting is a Shield

Yusuf learned the Hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad) that fasting is a shield (from bad deeds)...so, we made a shield out of a paper plate and tin foil.  Taken from this blog - click here.

Dua List

Since the last ten nights have approached, Yusuf and I were talking about laylatul qadr.  For those readers who arent aware of what laylatul qadr is, it is called the night of power and this is the night which Allah sent the Quran to Prophet Muammad.  It is sometime in the last ten nights, most likely an odd night but we do not know exactly when (there is wisdom in this: it encourages us to do extra worship all throughout the ten nights and not just on one).  This night is better than a thousand months and if one stays up this night to do worship it would be as if he had worshipped for 1000 months.  We make extra prayers and supplications.  Something I have personally done and also heard of others doing is making prayer lists so that you dont forget anything :)  Allah is the Most Merciful, the Most Kind and the Most Generous and we should shy away from asking Allah for anything.

So anyways, today Yusuf and I made a dua list for him.
This is what he asked me to write:
(this is the order he said it, and most of the things he thought of himself but some things I kinda 'guided' him with )
-Oh Allah, please give me an astronaut suit and a rocketship
-knowledge of Islam
-make me a good muslim
-give me and my family and friends Jannah
-protect me from bad people and Jahannam
-make me healthy
-take me to Chucky Cheese
-take me to Saudia Arabia to visit AbdurRahman and to see Makkah and Madinah
-take Momma and Baba for Hajj and then let us all go for Umrah  together
-let me help the orphans and poor people
-help the people in East Africa
-allow me to memorize the Quran
-make me an imam like Sh Alaa and Sh Bilal

People to make dua for :
-poor people
-Momma and Baba
-Ibby
-Dada and Ami
-Naani and Pops
-GG and Papa
-Baby Muhammad
-Chaachi and Kaka
-Khadijah and Jawariyah
-orphans
-myself
-Chaachi's uncle (who passed away this month)
-Prophet Muhammad SAW
-Amina Khala
-Musa and Musa Hassan
-Baba's new work


Then we decorated the list with sparkles and stickers.
May Allah answer all of our duas in these blessed nights, Ameen.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ramadan Mubarak!!

Asalamualikum and Ramadan Mubarak!!
I miss my blog! We have been pretty busy with a new addition to the family mashaAllah (a cousin, not a sibbling! lol). Along with that excitement we worked really hard to prepare for Ramadan to inshaallah make it extra special, specially since for the first time in a while, I am not pregnant or nursing and Yusuf is mashaAllah at an age where he can understand and enjoy more.
Here are some of the things we have been doing:

Good deeds Jar.  We have done this before but this time to make it different for Ramadan, I have told Yusuf that he is responsible to keep track of his own good deeds.  I showed him where the rocks are and whenever he does a good deed he can put a rock in himself.  The goal is to fill the jar up this month inshaAllah!

This is Yusuf's area.  I bought this awesome calendar from a friend - check out her blog here.  I filled each pocket with a sticker and an activity.  And every few days we have a surah to learn about and a dua to memorize.  We also got this awesome check list from little explorer - check it out here. 
 I also put some Ramadan books (some which I even found at our local library!) on his desk, he has some binoculars to find see the Ramadan moon with that he made, a lunar cycle chart, some duas, surah Qadr, and a fasting wheel.
Some flower garlands I put at the boys room and our room as well

Lights in our hallway

New pajamas that I gave the boys on the first night of Ramadan

Lights in the boys' room






We also have plans to make trays for our neighbors inshaAllah.  Maybe well bake some cookies or something.

Yusuf is also going to fast for a couple hours everyday inshaAllah.  He is older now and sees all of us fasting and wants to be apart of it. Yesterday he fasted for almost five hours (he had a long nap which helped).  I obviously wont be too strict but we will try to encourage him as much as possible.

The day before Ramadan we all sat down n had breakfast together and had a family meeting.  My husband and I went over what Ramadan is, how it is special and what kind of things well be doing.  We told him how we are lucky to be alive this Ramadan and how it is a gift and like a guest.  I noticed Yusuf really felt our excitement which in turn made him excited.

In Ramadan our schedule gets turned upside down! We go to the mesjid and stay late (get home around 12:30am), then sleep in in the morning and have a nap everyday.  Im a big advocate of taking kids to the mesjid.  I notice how much Yusuf LOVES going and Id like to believe its because we take him so often, especially in Ramadan.  I dont feel like kids get the full feeling of Ramadaan unless and until they get to attend taraweeh.

And I feel that the more they go to the mesjid the more they learn how to behave properly.

May Allah swt keep ours and our children's hearts attached to the mesjid.
May He accept all our ibadah and efforts during this month,
May He help us to make the most of this month and be productive as possible, Ameen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Love You Forever


Tonight before bed we read "Love You Forever."  After I finished reading it, I told Yusuf that one day hes going to be big and have a wife, and kids, and a house, and a car, and a job and hell be busy but he can never forget about us.  And then I was telling him about how Momma and Baba did so much for him when he was small: play with him, wash him, feed him... and Yusuf added:  vacuumed for him.  Then I told him how when we get old he will have to take care of us.  We also spoke about the dua from the Quran which translates as " Oh Allah take care of my parents like they took care of me when I was small."  Within a minute Yusufs face went red and his eyes filled with tears and he barely managed to get the words out, "But Ill miss you."  My heart sunk!  I told him its okay to feel sad and that Ill miss him too, but well always be a family!  Then more tears flowed as he told me that hell miss us when we die.  (This is when my tears started to come too)  I told him that we have to be really good muslims and make dua so that we can go to Jannah and be together forever and how well never feel sad in Jannah.  He asked me if his grandmother will take care of him when we die.  I told him inshaAllah we wont die until he is older and by then he will be able to take care of himself.  But for now we are together and we should be happy for that.  I also said that no matter what happens Ill always love him, and that Allah is the Only One who will be able to be with him all the time and Allah will always take care of him.

It was not an easy conversation, but I am grateful it came out.  I think we both learned some important lessons.

Yusuf, may Allah swt always keep your heart soft towards your parents.  We will make mistakes, but we have and will always try our best to do whats right.  May Allah fill your heart with mercy towards us especially when we are older.  And may Allah allow us to be a means of Jannah for you, Ameen.

I love you forever.

Camping

The boys checking out the water
Yusuf and I canoeing and saying our evening athkaar <3

Baba showing the boys how to make a camp fire


Ibby chasing Yusuf and his new friend

Playing at the beach




Alhamdulillah last weekend we had a wonderful family trip camping (in cabins, not tents).  We went with ten other families.  It was a blast! Yusuf really enjoyed it!  He made a new friend, went swimming at the lake (3 times), went canoeing, had camp fires, roasted marshmellows, ate smores, went on hikes, saw a huge snake, chased racoons (he was more brave than I was!), played soccer, enjoyed the food and company, stayed up late, slept on the top of a bunk bed and... survived the 5 hour car trip.  Alhamdulilah!

Waste Management and Botanical Gardens



Last week we went to the Waste Management place which was really interesting! We learned about all the different things you can recycle, how the landfill works, how we should compost, how we should try hard to avoid things going into the landfill, how they make soil out of compost and how landfills have birds of prey to prevent seaguls from over crowding the place and also carrying the garbage around the city and spreading disease.  We had a school bus for all our homeschooling friends and after that we went to the botanical gardens.  The kids also had fun there, the program was really cute for kids complete with digging for bugs and feeding chipmunks.  Alhamdulilah for a great day! 

Fire Truck Visit

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE our playgroup? Mashallah we do some pretty awesome things!  This week we had a fire truck come to one of our houses for a presentation.  It was super cool! The fire fighters were really friendly.  They showed the kids all around the truck, let them sit inside and best of all, hooked up the hose to a fire hydrant and let them play in the water.  They finished it off with coloring books and driving away with their sirens!  We were really impressed = )

Train


Last night we read one of our favorite bedtime story books called Hold Tight!  Its a super cute book mashallah.  And because I had cleaned out my closet and had an extra box laying around I told Yusuf we could make something today.  He chose a train.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

7 dumb mistakes people make when homeschooling


By Diane Flynn Keith, Editor of Homefires, Author of Carschooling
We all make mistakes — especially in homeschooling. In fact one of the most satisfying pastimes is to listen to the tales that homeschool parents tell about the mistakes they have made along the way — and to realize that they not only survived, but are thriving. Just as they did, you can learn from their mistakes. I have been listening to these storytellers at homeschool Park Days for years and have assembled some of the most common mistakes in an effort to save you the trouble of making them yourself. Here they are:
  1. Unrealistic Expectations
    New and veteran homeschoolers alike frequently start the homeschool year with unrealistic expectations. You'll recognize the high achievers — they plan to cover the national curriculum standards for grades 4-8 by Christmas, and cover all 4 years of high school by June. (Any of you who have ever tried to get through a Saxon math textbook in 18 months will surely stand in awe.) Kids and parents in this marathon suffer from burnout often within weeks of the starting point.
    On the other end of the spectrum are those who don't expect much at all — the under achievers. With no goal, no plan, no thought to developing a rich learning environment for their children -- they start off the year wishful that learning will "just happen," but find themselves frustrated and floundering in late October, when the kids are bored to tears, climbing the walls (literally), and mom is disappointed that the "homeschooling" just doesn't seem to be working.
    The key, of course, is balance. Work with your children to develop and maintain a realistic vision and plan for their learning adventures. With a practical goal and plan, you might actually avoid the next dumb mistake…
  2. Over Scheduling & Under Scheduling
    In homeschooling there are things to do, places to go, and people to see. You could keep your calendar packed with field trips, co-op classes, and park days all week long -- only to find after a few weeks of dragging the kids to every museum exhibit in town that they are begging you to stay home. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of field trips may be constitutional rights, but there is such a thing as doing too much. Conversely, activity deprivation can stunt growth and development. It is important to expose our kids to the bounty of life and a wealth of learning opportunities — but within reasonable limitations. Just as kids need varied and stimulating activities, they also need peaceful solitude and unstructured time to learn and grow.
  3. Ignoring Child Feedback

    7 Dumb Mistakes Smart People Make When They Homeschool And How to Avoid Them
    Your children are the best barometers of how the homeschooling is going. Trust me, they will give you lots of feedback. Listen to them. If your daughter throws the spelling workbook on the floor and tearfully screams, "I hate this - you can't make me do it!" — I would say that's a definite clue that the subject, the materials, the method -something - is wrong and isn't working. Back off. Throw it away or put it away, but get rid of whatever is causing the misery. (By the way, this is standard practice among successful homeschool families who frequently discard materials that didn't work at curriculum swaps.) On the other hand, if your son's eyes sparkle with interest, enthusiasm, delight and happiness when he is working on a project or activity, that's a clue that whatever he is doing is working. Keep it up!
    Remember, kids don't resist learning — they resist schooling. There is a difference between "schooling" and getting an education. Listening to feedback will go a long way to helping you determine the best learning style, method, approach, and materials to use with your child. Which leads me to the next point…
  4. Over Spending
    When I began homeschooling I purchased several complete curriculum packages at about $400 a pop, in an attempt to find "the right" resources for my kids to use. While many would think this a gross indulgence (and a dumb one, at that) consider my perspective: I had opted out of private school and an annual tuition of $7,000 a year to homeschool. Spending $1,200 for curriculum seemed like a bargain! The real kicker was this — my kids hated every one of them! The rigidity of the structured texts and time simply did not appeal to my sons. That was not the optimum environment in which they learned best.

    So, I took the advice of another homeschool mom. I ditched the curriculum, went to the library, and brought home books — mostly Newbery Award winners and historical fiction. I read to my kids for the rest of the year. Occasionally, we'd play math dice games, take in a free museum day, go for nature walks, and build impossible structures out of old boxes and packaging materials set aside for a rainy day. The cost? Free. (Okay, I paid about $49 in library fines that year — but you get my point.)
    The compulsive obsession to purchase "good materials" so that our kids will get a "good education" can overtake the most penny-pinching of parents. The truth is, you cannot buy a good education. So guard your pocketbook. When you do spend money for curriculum products try to make sure that they support your educational philosophy, and are something your kids will truly use and enjoy.
  5. Isolation
    Picture this: It's Park Day. A homeschool mom packs her 1991 mini-van with lunch, snacks, water, sodas, sports equipment, a lawn chair, a picnic blanket, a book to read, Pok√©mon paraphernalia, a sewing project, a box of used books and curriculum to loan to other homeschoolers, and depending on the weather and activities taking place before, during, and after park day (spontaneous or planned) — a change of clothes for each and every one of her three kids. She loads the kids in the van, drives 40 minutes to the Park, and unloads the van. A few hours later she reloads the van and drives home in commuter traffic. She performs this migration from home to park and back again week after week. What is wrong with this woman? What compels such odd behavior? The answer is socialization. Take a look at some of the benefits her family receives from performing this ritual:
    • Her children have the opportunity to meet and play with other homeschooled kids. Friendships develop which lead to other socialization opportunities. Also, the kids don't feel "weird" or self-conscious about homeschooling when they have frequent contact with other homeschoolers.
    • She meets other parents. Friendships are forged. Sometimes a new friend will become a mentor who provides information, resources, support and an all-important sounding board to discuss concerns with — and share successes.


    Attending Park Days and Support Group Meetings deflects the feeling of isolation — the kiss of death in homeschooling. You need support and encouragement from like-minded individuals. For rare families whose circumstances truly prevent support group and park day participation, I would suggest the following:
    • Subscribe to several homeschooling publications.
    • Attend a homeschool conference annually.
    • Get a homeschool pen pal.
    • Participate in homeschool chats and email communication via the Internet.
  6. Thinking You Can Do It All
    The short answer is — you can't, so don't try. The longer version goes something like this… There are more important things than laundry, housework, paying bills, grocery shopping, and all of the other mundane tasks that interfere with homeschooling. If these things are critically important to you then you better follow the advice of homeschool icon Micki Colfax, "lower your standards."
    First of all, homeschoolers spend lots of time at home. They are not out of the house all day. The place is going to look — to put it gently — lived in. The kitchen counters will be transformed into a science lab, the walls will be plastered with maps, time lines, posters of presidents and the periodic table of elements, and books will be stacked everywhere. When friends visit just unapologetically clear a path through the toys and games on the living room floor.(If they are homeschooling friends, they will understand.) One mom told me that when it gets to be too much, and she just can't stand looking at the mess, she packs up her kids and visits her sister for a day or two. When she comes home she has a fresh perspective and can begin to clean the house — at least, she can imagine a place to start.
    In my house, it's the laundry. I've trained the boys to put a load in the washer, transfer it to the dryer, and then take it to the couch for folding. Unfortunately they haven't got the hang of that folding part yet — so the clothes often remain in a pile until ready for use. As a result, my kids have that linen-look-rumpled-thing going on even when they wear wrinkle-free clothing. When company comes we just shove the clothes on the couch back into the dryer — and return them to the couch when the company leaves.
    All homeschooling families establish their priorities and set parameters for what they can and can't live with. Most of us develop a quirky solution or two (that our mothers would never approve of) to ease the demands on our time.
  7. Proselytizing
    You have convinced yourself that home-schooling is the way to go — and now you want to convince everyone else. Sorry, but homeschooling is not for everyone. If you insist on confrontations and defensive posturing with every friend and relative who says, "What are you, nuts?" when you tell them you homeschool, you will alienate them all.
    One homeschool dad told me that his sister (a schoolteacher) came unglued when he announced he would be homeschooling the kids. Rather than debate the merits and pitfalls of homeschooling, he simply said, "I know it's not the choice you would make — and I know it's not the right choice for everyone. But for us, in this situation, it's an option we are going to try for awhile — to see if it works. If it doesn't, we will try school again." Do you see what he did? He diffused the predicament. He didn't try to sell her on the idea, and he didn't bad-mouth schools and teachers. With a few simple words he allowed her some dignity, while claiming his own.
    The real proof is in the pudding. Your kids will undoubtedly prove to nay-sayers that homeschooling is working just by being themselves. Their positive attitudes and intelligent conversations will win over the most curmudgeonly homeschool opponent. You don't need to be a homeschool zealot. Peaceful demonstration will help you win friends and influence people every time.
All of the dumb mistakes described above can be avoided, but it is more than likely that you will experience one or two of them on your own. It is my sincerest wish that if you hit a pothole along the homeschool road, you will do what thousands of others have done before you — pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn from your mistake, and continue the journey — arriving at your destination will make it all worthwhile.

Arabic Math

We havent been doing much sit down homeschooling lately. But we did recently do some Arabic Math. We did addition with plastic eggs in bowls. Alhamdulilah Yusuf did really well. And of course Ibby had to help. = )


We havent had

Science Center... 4th time this year


We bought a membership for the science center and alhamduliah were getting good use out of it. This was our fourth trip since January. This time we went with Baba and we also went to the IMAX which Yusuf really enjoyed. Ibby was a little overwhelmed and stayed in my lap with his eyes half closed. But by the end of it he was waving to the fishies... we saw "Under the Sea." We also visited the reptile exhibit and kids' section.

Lakeshore

One of our favorite activities as a family is visiting Lakeshore. The boys LOVE skipping stones!

Soccer



Yusuf is apart of a muslim soccer league this summer and hes really enjoying it alhamdulillah. He really enjoys being goalie.

Garage Sale



Once again weve been keeping super busy and I havent had much time for myself, let alone the blog. So heres what weve been up to. We recently had a garage sale to raise money for our playgoup. Alhamduliah we raised over $100 and the kids had a great time. Yusuf's favorite part was selling lemonade. He also loved giving people change. Three weeks later hes still talking about it = )

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Muhammad


Yesterday we attended a Fundraising event for a local organization called SMILE. Check it out here.
Yes that's Yusuf on the flyer mashaAllah. That picture was taken two years ago when Yusuf met this little boy named Muhammad and wouldn't stop kissing him. Yusuf hasnt seen Muhammad for a long time so when they were reacquainted, Yusuf was amazed with him and kept going to talk to him or give him high fives. I spoke with Muhammad's parents and inshaAllah I would like to arrange some kind of play date for Yusuf to go visit Muhammad. Children like this are a huge blessing and its an honor to have the opportunity to know them and their families. I hope inshaAllah Yusuf and Muhammad's relationship continues to flourish and they are both able to benefit and learn from each other. Ameen.

Oh, it was also a special night because Yusuf was asked to recite Quran on stage, which he did, and he did awesome mashaAllah. We are very proud of him. <3

Garage Sale


These are a couple of my gatage sale finds this week. I really wanted one of these tube things. A friend has one and Ibby loved it. I checked them out at Ikea recently and they were $30! I got this, plus a tent (not the one in this pic) for only $5! I also got the kids camping chair and sleeping bag for $5. And a box of Crazy Forts for $10! I got them from the resource center a while ago and the boys loved them.. theyre about $40 in the stores so I was excited when I saw them at the garage sale.

I love garage sales! And inshaAllah next weekend we will be having our own garage sale at our house along with our playgroup friends.

Comfy Cozy


We recently bought a new mattress. We dont really have any place to store the old one, and I dont want to sell it either... so I had an idea - to let the boys use it as an area to sit / relax / read. So far, theyre loving it (and so am I!)

Progress


Ibbys come a long way... hes beginning to enjoy painting more. Hes not crazy about his hands geting dirty, he randomly shows me his hands with a look of disgust, but then goes back to his masterpiece.

Check out this post from feb - click here.

Farm






We went on a homeschooler's field trip to the farm and brought along GG (my grandmother). There was lots of fun things to do like a wagon ride, straw maze, climbing hay stacks, riding toy tractors, feeding chickens and goats and we even had a class arranged where a farmer taught the kids about bees.... and mashallah we had amazing weather!
And GG ended our trip with a yummy Popsicle treat =)

Painting Outside


We brought paint to the backyard and the kids had a blast! They actually enjoyed cleaning the mess up with soapy water and sponges more than they did painting!

Carnival

Ive been missing my blog but with the nicer weather weve been pretty busy!
Last weekend we spent the day (6 whole hrs!) at the local carnival... the boys had tons of fun mashallah.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Boys!


If you told me five years ago that Id be a mom to two boys, two years apart, I would have probably been scared. When I was pregnant with Yusuf I wanted a girl. But Allah blessed me with a son, and two years later, another one! Life with two boys is crazy.. stinky.. messy.. loud.. but amazing. Im still a girly girl at heart. I dont think Ill ever love basketball, but at least now I can name more than two NBA players off the top of my head. I still am not totally familiar with all the terminology, but Im slowly getting there. As someone who never enjoyed sports, I think Ive come a long way.. I did, after all, google how exactly the lines are drawn on a basketball court and tried to replicate a kid-sized version on our carpet with masking tape.

Before having Yusuf, Id always gravitate towards the pink and purple section of the clothing stores, oo-ing and aww-ing over the frills and flowers. But now, my eyes go straight to the blues and greens and I get excited to see a shirt with a ball or bike on it.

I doubt Ill ever fully get used to the humor of bathroom words or bodily functions. But at least I dont cringe as much as I used to. [ However when Ibby ate his poop, yes, you read that right, ate his poop, I did almost barf!]

I grew up with an uncle not too much older than me and was like a big brother. Everyone knows big brothers must teach the art of wrestling, so thanks to him, I did have some prior experience in this field. I was a little surprised though when I learned just how instinctive wrestling is for boys! Having two boys so close in age, I knew to expect my living to transform into a wresling ring now and then. But... nothing could prepare me for the shock of watching my little preemie second-born muster up the courage to fully through him self at and tackle his brother who almost doubles him in height and weight! He throws punches probably better than me and sometimes I'm more worried for my eldest than I am for my baby!

I wanted a daughter so I could braid her hair and put on cute dresses. But I having just as much fun with hair gel, kufis and thobes.

Tea Parties and playing with dolls would have been fun... but I would have never thought how exciting it could be to construct a complex train track complete with bridges and loops!

Sitting to colour, doodle, draw and do crafts was also part of my little girl dream, but putting blobs of paint on a paper and driving toy cars through it is totally cool too!

We can go anywhere, Walmart, a restaurant, the park or a lecture... and only two simple things are required to keep them happy: a car and a ball.

I wanted a daughter so we could cuddle n chat n giggle. Little did I know just how loving and loyal sons can be to their Mommas. Yusuf can no doubt carry a conversation longer than I can. And of course little girl giggles are adorable, but so are boy giggles once you find their ticklish tickle spot! [ I could make them laugh with bathroom talk and fart noises, but Im not there... yet].

I know my future will be filled of countless google searches and library books about topics I would have never paid attention to. Im still working on learning the names of all those construction machines. Planes, trains and automobiles are not exactly my specialty, but I'm excited to learn about them along with my boys.

Not only do my boys have a huge appetite to learn, they have a huge appetite for food! At meal times, I feel like I have to prepare food for three men, mashaAllah! Lots of eating of course leads to lots of poop, but also, the inevitable of them growing... growing out of their clothes faster than I can keep their closets organized.. growing until one day Im sure they'll be towering over me! Until then, I'm gonna chase them, grab them n pick them up to squeeze, kiss and hug them as much as I possibly can!

When Yusuf begs me to allow him to lead me in prayer and Ibby excitedly grabs a prayer mat so he can copy... or when Yusuf stands on our sofa and starts giving lectures and Ibby climbs up right there beside him imitating his voice and hand gestures... my heart skips a beat to think what the future holds for them.

May Allah SWT always keep them passionate towards Islam... increase them in beneficial knowledge and benefit them with the knowledge they gain...May He grant them pious wives and and children who make them as happy as they've made us... May He grant them health, happiness and success in this life and the life to come... May He keep them on the straight path, enable them to do that which pleases their Lord, and always shower His Mercy and Light onto them....May He grant them kindness, wisdom and compassion to always be good sons and make us, their parents, a means of Jannah for them, Ameen.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Momma Guilt!

A friend of mine posted this today - click here - and since I love reading blogs, I waited til the boys were in bed n quickly sat down to skim through the list.  Two hours later Im left with The Momma Guilt.  Guilt that I havent / dont do enough.  Guilt that there are a billion other homeschooling (and non hs-ing ) Mommas out there that are doing so much with their kids.  Guilt that I spend way too much time worrying about the dishes/laundry/vacuuming and sweeping more than I do sitting down with and treasuring my boys who are so passionate and curious about life!

One blog that particularly gave me The Momma Guilt was about a woman who homeschool, lives on a farm, gives her children a very nature enriched lifestyle.. and.. adopted two boys from Africa.  Ya, enough said.

There was one awesome post I read once at Confessions of a Homeschooler blog basically about how people ask the author of the blog (sorry I cant find the exact post) how she does it all and in short her answer was: she doesnt.  See, blogging is wonderful, but the reality is we only see what others want us to see.  Its kinda like when people come up to me and say how Im doing such an awesome job because of what theyve seen on my blog, in my head Im thinking, you have no idea how little I actually do!


Dont worry.  This isn't a depressing post.  Even though Momma Guilt makes me feel pretty crappy.  Its a good.  It pushes me to re-evaluate myself and where I am.  Makes me ask myself what do I really value, and where do I spend most of my energy.  Sometimes I do get too wrapped up with worrying how clean our home looks and I need reminders like this to slow down.  My boys are growing up quickly and I want to savor this time with them. I want to be able to look back on these days and know I wasn't perfect, but I tried my best. 


I ask Allah to give us mothers the strength and wisdom to whats best for our family... and to keep us on track of pleasing Him, and not let the little meaningless things get in the way.  Ameen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Surah Fatiha

Here is another activity we did from the ad-duha curriculum. We talked about and paraphrased surah Fatiha (the first chaper of the Quran) and drew hearts and decorated it with sparkles. Yusuf isnt very into art so this was simple but he really enjoyed putting the sparkles on. I have put this up on his bullatin board and inshaAllah will go over it a few more times with him inshaAllah.

Maple Syrup Festival



We went on a homeschoolers field trip to the Maple Syrup Festival. Alhamdulillah the weather was great (just very windy) and we really enjoyed ourselves. What made it really enjoyable was that we went with a group of friends, and car pooled which was great since it was an hour drive! Im so happy the nice weather is finally here so we can do more outings inshaAllah!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fire Station


Today we had a homeschooler's field trip to the local fire station. It was a lot of fun and very informative for both parents and kids. I would recommend the website www.sparky.org. Yusuf has been going on it for a while now and has actually learned alot alhamdulillah.

May Allah keep us and our families safe and protects us from any fires, Ameen.

The Straight Path

As part of the ad-duha curicullum we have been studying the first chapter of the Quran, Surah Fatiha. Here is the translation:

In the name of Allah, The Beneficient, The Merciful
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds
The Beneficent, The Merciful
Owner of the Day of Judgment
Only You do we worship
And only You do we ask for help
Guide us to the straight path
The path of those whom you have favored
Not the Path of those whom have earned your anger
Nor the path of those whom have gone astray

So we discussed the meaning and importance of it. When we used to go to an Islamic class for kids one of the moms did this really good activity. To help the kids understand the meaning of 'the straight path' she made a line across the room. All the kids lined up on it. If she said a good deed, the kids got to take a step forward but if she said a bad deed they would fall off. And she told them to pretend the end of the line was Jannah. So we did this at home and Yusuf really enjoyed it... so did Ibby! Hes at an age where hes copying everything so its really cute mashaAllah. Baba also had a turn walking on the line while Yusuf said different deeds.

May Allah keep us, and our loved ones on the straight path which leads to Jannah, Ameen.

Diorama

Today we did our first lesson from the book called "Muhammad and Maryam" which is part of the ad-duha curriculum set I recently purchased. Alhamdulillah so far were loving it. Today's lesson was an introduction to Muhammad and Maryam who are twins around the age of four. The entire book is based on their life and questions / experiences they go through. Today's topic was the Oneness of Allah. After the lesson there are some discussion questions. And in the teachers manual there was an art activity to make a diorama of Muhammad and Maryam's room. I thought it was a great idea because it will give us more of a connection to the characters in the book inshaAllah. Yusuf isn't a big fan of art activities but we really enjoyed doing this together. He gave me a lot of his own ideas and input. InshaAllah I will continue to update the blog about the progress we make with the ad-duha books!



Yusuf wanted there to be a mesjid outside the house and drew stairs


Maryam's side of the room


Muhammad's side of the room. Note the soccer balls, trophies on the shelf, and movable prayer mats on the ground.


The lid / roof for the room. Ibby decorated it with stickers. He loves stickers and had a blast putting them on.