Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Marbles

I was cleaning the kitchen so i sent the boys down to play in the basement. They made their own game using an empty box, strip of paper and marbles. Summaiya and i came to spectate.... Mashallah i love when they use their imagination and invent their own games :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Helpers

Saturday morning chores.... Peeling mint leaves off their stems.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just one of those days....

I've spent the majority of the day hiding from my kids. I've made them play in the basement, let them watch two DVDs and to put it bluntly, anything to just stay out of my hair! It's not their fault, they're actually being really good... But I'm just having one of those days.. It's rainy outside, there is a mountain of laundry that needs to be puy away, all three bathrooms need to be cleaned, house needs vacuuming but im totally not motivated to do anything. I'm just in the mood to sit on my phone going through Pinterest, lay down and cuddle with my baby girl.
I've been asked how I do it all. And I'd like to make it clear that I don't. I do have bad days. There are times when we don't do anything and my house is upside down. I sometimes fantasize what life would be like if I sent my kids to school.
But in the end.... Despite the 'bad' days.. It's all worth it.
This is what the boys have been up to while I've been hiding from them... The have a cricket bats as swords, ski masks as helmets, Carpenter gloves and socks on their hands, and slippers on their feet. They're playing Knights and i have to admit they're kinda cute.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Popsicles

My boys are yogurt lovers! Today we put sticks in small yogurt containers, put them in the freezer for a few hours and voila! You can tell by the looks on their faces what they thought of this.

File folder car lot

Another thing I found on Pinterest :) Baba did this with the boys today when I was at my class.

Craft Fail

I have a new addiction: Pinterest! It's so much fun and has so many awesome ideas! I was excited to do one of the crafts I saw so when my kids two friends came over we tried it out. Alhamdulillah it kept them busy for a while n they had a lot of fun but unfortunately it was a fail. I I think we needed to use thicker yarn and maybe more glue..We also needed a lot more string but the kids were getting tired and didnt want to do more and I was busy making dinner and taking care of Summaiya so couldn't really help them add that much more. Oh well, and it was still fun :)
Image from Pinterest
Drying
Finished Product Fail
Ibby is my lil artist.  He loves sitting and doing crafts...
And then there's Yusuf... not really the crafty type. But  he still had fun. Maybe if we used more string it would have worked better lol.
Alhamdulillah even though it was a fail, the four kids really enjoyed themselves :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Survival

I used to love mornings.  I used to love waking up early and getting a start to the day.
However, it just recently occurred to me that Im not as chirpy in the morning as I used to be.
I kept forcing myself to wake up early despite being cranky, and would notice our whole day would be thrown off  due to a crabby start.  I would sit down with the boys for breakfast and with my eyes barely open Id be put in the spotlight to answer life's greatest questions from a five year old (why is a fork called a fork? do asteroids hit planets? what eats a shark? when? why? how?....ahhh!).

I have come to accept I am no longer the morning person I used to be.  And I have also discovered the greatness of coffee.... yes I know it sounds funny but in all seriousness, Im really finding it gives me that extra boost that I need [ Yes I know exercise would probably help but were in survival mode at the moment, inshaallah well get there soon too].

I love waking up to Summaiya cooing, Ibby cuddling beside me and Yusuf kissing my forehead.  But after the first few moments of cuteness, I need some time for my brain to wake up. I have told myself to no longer feel guilty if my husband is around and willing to watch the kids so I can get an extra half hour of shut eye.  And I wont feel bad anymore to send the kids down to the basement to play while I enjoy my morning tea or coffee in silence while I check my email (or blog).

When I used to picture how homeschooling would work in our home I would think of us all waking up at the crack of dawn and enjoying each others company etc etc... and though that may happen sometimes, it doesn't need to happen all the time.  I think alhamdulilah we do alot together.  Our homeschooling may not be perfect, but were learning to tweak it along the way to make it perfect for us.  Whenever people ask me about homeschooling, I stress that I believe homeschooling mostly has to do with a change in lifestyle and focus on relationships, academics are secondary.

My kids are awesome and I love spending time with them.  But I need to start the day off right and stop feeling guilty for doing what I need to do to make my day a lil better.

Maybe when Summaiya starts sleeping through the night Ill become more of a morning person again.  But if not, that will be okay too.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Build a Mesjid

The boys got this for an Eid gift and we really enjoy it. Its a cute but simple game that even Ibby is able to play.  You pick up cards while trying to collect the most coins.  There are also mesjid piecea in the pile of cards and youre supposed to ty to collect your coins before the mesjid is built.  The coin cards have different amounts of coins so that players practice math skills by adding the coins. Smark Ark makes this game and you can find it at sound vision or online.

Quranic Opposites

My husband bought this from the Learning Roots booth at a congerence a few years ago.  It is really good for building both arabic and english vocab.

Geography and Orphans

Yusuf has been showing a lot of interest in different countries and people from different countries.  I got a few books from the library and we've been looking at maps. Back in Ramadan our family sponsored five orphans and alhamdulillah we received some onfo about them in thr mail recently.  Yusuf is really interested about them, where they live and how we can help them.
Today we spoke about the ayah in surah hujarat and about how Allah made different people and countries so that we can learn about each other and how no one is better than someone else just because of what country they are from.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Science Centre

Alhamdulillah for being apart of a local homeschooling group. Today we had a fieldtrip to the science centre. The older kids got to participate in a discovery class where they pretended to be detectives, we checked out a space exhibit, sports exhibit and lots more.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kitchen Science

Someone gave this to the boys when Summaiya was born so we pulled it out today. It has a few different experiments and today wr did the rocket launcher. We just puy vinegar and baking soda in a tube n then placed the foam rocket on it. It was fun but we were kinda diaappointed at how little it popped...we were hopkng the rocket would go a little higher. Maybe next time well put more :)

Welcome Home Baba

Another sneaky way thay I got Yusuf to practice writing skills :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jummuah Journals

One of the many things that I love about homeschooling is that we are able to go for Jummuah (Friday Prayers) just about every single week together as a family alhamdulillah.  I find it to be a really nice family bonding time and also a good opportunity for learning.  I find my kids have easily learned the etiquettes of Jummuah through repetition and routine.
Our routine usually includes:
-listening to surah kahf
-showers
-nice clothes
-atr
-trying to arrive early, and a reminder of the hadith that the angels stand at the mesjid doors writing the names of the attendees
-dua for entering / leaving mesjid
-reminder to be quiet during khutbah (and now as yusuf gets older listening to more of the khutbah)
-meeting friends
-greeting elders by going up to them and shaking their hands
-giving charity
-and most of the time we go out as a family for lunch afterwards

Last Jummuah, mashaAllah I noticed Yusuf really sat nicely and quietly to listen to the khutbah.  The khateeb spoke about the tongue / speaking good etc.  I realized that mashaAllah Yusuf is old enough to learn or retain at least one thing from the khutbah and I thought of the idea of having a 'Jummuah Journal.'  Since writing is not one of Yusuf's strengths, I thought that he could get the needed practice by writing out what he learns in a journal every week.  So the next day, we spoke about the khutbah and he told me what he remembered.  I then wrote down a sentence to summarize it and then he copied it in his journal.

I hope inshaallah we can continue to do this on a weekly basis.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What I wish someone would have told me...


I wouldn't have believed what I wish someone had told me. I was so busy listening to the 'experts' that I almost missed out on many learning experiences. I wish that someone had told me that I am the expert. I am the only person qualified to make the important judgments necessary to teach my son.

I had all the "experts" in the school system telling me why homeschooling isn't the best thing for him. i had all the "experts" in the family telling me how damaging this move was going to be for my son. i had all the 'experts" selling me expensive curricula. 

I have come to the realization that all of these people have their opinions, but none of them lives with my son daily. None of them has cried over the difficulty he had in school (or cried tears of joy over his achievements) . None of them loves him as I do. There are no experts. Others can offer advice that might be helpful, but no one knows what I know about my own children. 
-Sue Chris Carty, homeschooling mom

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lego

Ibby loves to make stairs :)

Hajj Diaries Cont'd


To read previous post, click here.

Friday, October 28, 2011  
Around 10am
Madinah Airport


Madinah Airport.
The planes and buses use the same road

We just got off our fourth plane!  SubhanAllah it has been a very long and tiring journey!  We are exhausted now and waiting for our bus to take us to our hotel.  After we check into our hotel, shower, hopefully we will rest and then go to the mesjid inshaAllah.  

My appetite is slowly returning alhamdulilah and I am getting more excited. But I think the exhaustion is just making me numb of too many emotions.  


We can see mountains all around us. I find mountains to be such a humbling creation.  I am reminded of the ayah in Surah Hashr:

"If We had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah . And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought." [Hashr: 21]
Mountains in Madinah

When I see a mountain, I think of how huge and strong it is, yet Allah says if the Quran had been revealed on it, it would have crumbled out of the fear and humility.  And if we compare ourselves to a mountain, we are so small and weak.  Do we humble ourselves when we read and hear Allah's word?  Do we give it the respect and weight that it deserves?  I pray Allah SWT helps us to give the Quran it's right, and that He makes it a witness for us, and not against us, Ameen. 

Love,
Momma


I like the palm trees





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hajj Diaries Cont'd

To read previous post, click here.

Friday, October 28, 2011
Around 4am
Jeddah Airport

Alhamdulillah we have arrived!  We passed the miqat about a half hour before landing and more than half the plane was already in ihram.  Once we passed the miqat everyone began chanting the talbiyah.  It was so amazing and emotional to know that we have finally arrived.  I just kept thinking that subhanallah we are here, we are actually here!  Allah has brought us here, to a land where I have never been to yet ached to see.  The only place in the world I would sacrifice leaving you for so long.  The land where our beloved Rasoolullah SAW was born, lived, received revelation, fought for us, strove to spread the deen and then finally returned to his Lord.  The thought and feeling is overwhelming and humbling.  SubhanAllah.

Baba in line with our papers
We are now waiting at Jeddah airport.  Alhamdulilah the airport is not as bad as I expected.  People told us it would be extremely crowded and that we would either loose our luggage or it would take forever to find.  Maybe its because it was 2am, but it wasn't that bad.  We found our luggage within ten minutes, but there is one couple in our group who has not yet gotten theirs.  We are going to either take a plane or bus to Madinah, our Hajj guides are working it out now.



Baba reading Quran
Unfortunately the racism is already obvious.  As we checked our bags in through customs, a Saudi man stood arrogantly with his arms crossed, wearing a suit, while a man, most likely of south Asian decent, wearing a blue jumper lifted all the heavy bags.  I understand that they were each probably doing their jobs, but in a land where everyone is Muslim, I just expected more of a brotherly attitude towards one another.  If my friend was infront of me lifting heavy bags, I wouldn't just watch. But anyways, I was reminded of Bilal RA, who was an African slave that became Muslim and whose status was elevated to one of the most respectful companions.  Islam abolished the concept of racism, and in the birthplace of Islam, I would expect better then what I have seen.

Were sitting in the hajj terminal now and there is a lady in our group who is in a wheelchair.  There is man who works at the aiport who keeps coming up to the lady and her family and insists on pushing the wheelchair so that he can earn a mere 10 riyals.  This makes me realize and be grateful for the fact that alhamdulillah Baba has a reliable income and he does not have to go around looking for small jobs to do to collect money.  Its not that I look down upon this man who wants to push the wheelchair, its just I feel sorry for him that he has to beg.  May Allah swt make it easy for him and all those afflicted with poverty, Ameen.

When I first started leaning about Islam, I noticed that there is a such an emphasis on the kind treatment of guests and travelers.  Its only after you experience travelling that you can understand and appreciate this.  Alhamdulilah our travels have not been difficult but we are far from home, I am not an experienced traveler, and I have been feeling sick.  MashaAllah Baba has been taking good care of me, making sure I feel okay, that I have the right papers, carrying my stuff etc, but when the people working behind the counters at the airports are nice, or when someone smiles and offers you water, it really makes a difference.  May Allah reward all of those who try to ease the affairs of the travellers, ameen.

The lady who was sitting beside me on the plane from Egypt to Jeddah did not speak English but she kept gesturing to check on me and make sure I was okay.  When everyone began saying the talbiyah, we were bot very emotional and crying a lot, so I gave her a tissue.  It was a special moment.

video
The quality is bad, but this is perhaps one of the most emotional videos that I have from our entire journey.  You can see the top of my head beside Baba, I am looking down and practically bawling.

Hearing everyone recite the talbiyah was amazing.  I've heard the talbiyah many times before but to hear it live, with real haajis on their way answering Allah's call, was something else.  During the filght, the diversity of everyone was so obvious.  Like I said before, communication was a challenge, but once we passed the miqat everyone was in complete unison.  SubhanaAllah.

I was remembering the time last year when I was teaching you about Hajj.  It wasn't until I taught you the talbiyah that I learned it myself.  I miss our homeschooling days.  Being at home with you and learning is such a blessing.  I pray that we have many more moments of sharing and learning together inshaAllah.

Anyways, we are going to pray fajr soon.
Hopefully Ill be able to call you in a few hours, I hope.  I feel so far away from you.
Miss you tons!
Momma

I took this picture for you. You love these 'zamboni' machines :)

video

The talbiyah being played on loud speakers at Jeddah airport around 3am



Talbiyah: 'Here I am O Allaah, (in response to Your call), here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.’
Ihram:  the two unstitched cloths that men wear in pilgrimage
Miqat: Boundaries where the pilgrim must wear the ihram

Royal Agricultural Fair

Alhamdulillah I love being apart of a Homeschooling Group.  One of our fellow homeschoolers arranged a trip to the Royal Agricultural Fair.  We got a school discount and went as a group on the Go Train.  We had lots of fun and learned alot (and even got a bunch of free resources!).  Check it out here.

Milking Cows

Family of sheep


4 stomachs of a cow

Learning about horses

Digging for horse bones

Ibby insisted this lama was a giraffe

Feeding lamas

Pumpkin growing competition

My gramma surprised us and met us there.  She also took the train.  I think taking the train was the highlight of our day.