Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When were older...

Today Yusuf and I had a discussion about when we (my huband and I) will be older. Im not sure how it began but mashaallah it went well. Yusufs friend has a great grandfather who lives with him because he is pretty old. So we talked about him as an example. I explained to him how when people get old, they need more help and kids need to take care of their parents just like parents take care of kids when they're babies. We talked about different ways to take care of your parents when they get old, like: eating with them, checking on them, talking to them, driving them places, and buying things for them.

I would like to teach our kids to live a healthy balance between the eastern and western cultures. I find in Eastern cultures (ie. indo pak) that generally there is the extreme of parents ALWAYS being with their kids. Even if the parents are healthy and independant, its a huge deal to move out of your parents house. On the other hand, generally, in western cultures, people go to the other extent of rarely seeing their parents. 'Old Age Homes' is considered a norm here, where overseas it is a very foreign concept!

I find it incredibly heart breaking when families 'dump' their elder, sick parents in an old age home so others can take care of them. I understand it is not easy when a parent reaches the age where they need to be taken care of, fed, bathed, reminded to take their medicine, taken for walks, checked up on, and even diapers changed.... but was it easy for our parents when they were raising us? Did they not put their all into their careers to create a stable income to pay for your soccer leagues / summer camps / new clothes / food in your stomach? Did they not stay awake all night taking care of you when you were sick / teething/ having nightmares? Did they not put their all in raising you? Is it too much to ask to take care of them for a few years as their lives reach an end?

Yes, I understand that in some cases it is very difficult to take a parent into your home so they can be taken care of... and at times, it is more practical for everyone if that person goes into an old age home because of family situations / extreme sickness etc. But I think its just been made too easy and convenient that each city/town has multiple homes.

Jannah doesn't come easy. Taking care of elder parents is not easy. Its all about what youre wiling to sacrifice.

InshaAllah when my kids get married and have their own families, I want them to be happy and chose where they would like to live (Id actually prefer they not live with us when they first get married, unless there is a need on their part). However, if it happens that my husband or I pass away leaving the other one alone, or if one or both of us are sick, I expect my children to be the ones taking care of me, just like were taking care of them now!

For me, this is a huge thing. Not only is it an Islamic concept, but out of basic human compassion, it only makes sense you take care of your parents as they once took care of you when you were helpless and fully dependent on them.

I know Yusuf is only four, and to some its too early to talk about this, but for me, its very important... so Im laying the foundation now.

May Allah swt help us to take care of our parents.. for taking care of them is a means of Jannah for us. And may He put compassion and mercy in our children's hearts for us when we become old... just as we have so much mercy and compassion towards them now. Ameen.

Blog Feature

We were featured on my friends blog :)
Heres the link for the Mama part : click here
And here the link for kiddos part : click here

Be sure to bookmark her blog .. its really awesome mashaallah!

Play Doh

Today we made playdoh. I followed a recipe from my friends blog but it didnt turn out too well. It was a recipe which required cooking and Ive done non-cook recipes in the past and prefer those much more! Anyways, we got creative n used beet juice to color one blob of playdoh (again, the idea taken from her blog) and used different things to make the other blobs smelly. We used Babas atr (perfume), lavendar oil, and lemon juice. Again, the playdoh wasnt that great but it was a fun experience. Last year I got a huge container of cookie cutters for like $1 so I took that out, Ibby also had a great time, except when he decided to taste test the playdoh... he wasnt impressed :)

Ibby taste testing.

Ball Painting

I got this idea from my friend's blog , click here to check it out. She has a really great blog mashaallah!

We taped paper to the bottom of a container, put some blobs of paint, a couple balls, put the lids on and rolled the balls around. Yusuf had a lot of fun but Ibby was not impressed! He kept screaming for the ball since he couldnt get to it with the lid on! So far, both car painting and ball painting have not been successful with Ibby, oh well :)

Sorry the pictures arent in order.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Journaling: Medieval Times

A friend gave me the idea of getting Yusuf to do journaling so we began today. This is our first one about our trip to medieval times with my family.

Temperature Chart

Yusuf and I started to do this simple chart. I just wrote the numbers -20 to 35 and we check the temperature on anad then he puts a dot beside the number. Theres no reason why some dots are larger than others, Yusuf just gets excited sometimes and makes bigger dots. Alhamdulillah hes really understanding and enjoying it.

'Yusuf's dream'

Yusuf's description: this is my dream. Ibraheem has a smiling face and I have a monster face. This is Ibraheem's long leg hugging me. And the end was the beginning.


mashallah Yusuf wrote the numbers 1-100

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Good News.......

Alhamdulillah I have begun working for this awesome Muslim kids magazine which comes from UK! I am the Canadian distributor therefore people in Canada can get a subscription directly from me for a cheaper cost than getting it from the website.... = )

Click here to get a sneak peak....

Send an email to to subscribe for only $40 a year... this includes six issues, which will be mailed right to your door!

In the email, include your full name, address, phone number, email and let me know how you would like to pay [paypal or cheque].

Write 'blog subscription' in the subject for a chance to win 50% off the subscription cost!

Yusuf is loving it so far, and I'm sure your kids would too! Its fun, colorful, full of interesting facts and activities and best of all beneficial for their deen inshaAllah.

May Allah help us to raise our children into pious Muslims who He will be pleased with. May He make our children a coolness to our eyes and a means of Jannah for us, Ameen.

Send your emails soon to make sure you're entered in the draw to win the 50% discount!

*remember: for those in Canada, do not subscribe on the website or you'll end up paying more*

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good Deeds Jar

Congrats to Yusuf! He filled his good deed jar! Im so proud of him and Im really liking this form of positive reinforcement! Here are some points I have to mention regarding this method:

-Yusuf was not allowed to ask for rocks
-I tried to observe small acts of kindness and later on mention to him that I noticed. ie. holding the door for me when we went to the mosque (without me having to ask him to)
-I only rewarded him for things he did without being asked... but sometimes would give him one if he cleaned up his toys the first time I asked him to and without complaining
-I did not give him rocks for any religious deeds (i.e. praying).
-We discussed as a family what kind of things he may like to do when his jar is full (bowling, Chuckie Cheese and Toys R Us were on the list)
-I kinda make the final decision with taking him to Chapters ( but he still got super excited alhamdullah). By the way, hanging out at Chapters is a super cool way to spend time together as a family = )
-Im really happy we went to Chapters instead of Toys R Us because the choices are more limited to beneficial things (well mostly)
-He chose the car completly on his own and I agreed
-He saw a few books he thought he liked but they were really random (ie. Moms from Mars) so I chose a bunch of books that I thought hed like and let him choose one
-My husband and I agreed that there was a $20 limit ... and we ended up spending $15
-After we went to Chapters we had a short discussion about how when you do good things in life, Allah rewards you with the best reward.. better than anything that Momma / Baba can buy. And how we have to keep doing good deeds our whole life so inshaAllah we can go to Jannah.

- I was a little hesitant to use this method because I didnt want Yusuf to get dependent on the reward system. Of course rewards are great and all but I also want him to develop the feeling to do good just because its good, and it pleases Allah. I really noticed an increase in Yusuf's motivation to do good things (without asking for stones) so alhamdulilah this was a success. We have emptied the stones and have begun again = )

Day Three

Its growing so quickly subhanAllah!
Note: these pictures are actually each taken only one day apart!

Day Two

Day One

We planted a bean at playgroup last week.