Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I am going to put blogging on hold for the moment and will inshaAllah be relaunching soon.

In the meantime, stay tuned by like my Facebook page by clicking here.

Monday, October 12, 2015


I send my kids mixed messages by taking pictures of them when they do naughty things.

Ibby with corn starch on his face.

Friday, October 9, 2015


This really hit home for me. 
I feel like sometimes (okay, a lot of times) Im so focused on correcting my kids behaviour and trying to redirect them that I forget to focus on the fact that they're little people, with their own strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else. 
Ya, they drive me crazy, their behaviour makes me want to pull my hair out at times, but for the most part, when I let them be, they are mashaAllah really good. And the more I focus on that, the better it gets. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

What We're Supposed To Do

Today we were supposed to do your science homework,
but instead you played with the bugs you caught outside.

We were supposed to put your laundry away,
but instead you checked out the plants in the garden.

We were supposed to have showers,
but instead you got dirt under your nails.

We were supposed to do a lot of things that we didn't actually do.
But smiling, having fun, and enjoying nature, are really the most important
things that were supposed to do.
So thats what we did.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Oh The Places You'll Go!

Dear Ibby,

Today you were supposed to do your homework.  You haven't done your Canadian Curriculum in almost a week.  You need to practice your writing and your math.  Just as you finished your Arabic homework, we were supposed to move onto something else and you asked me if you could take a break.  I said no.  You then asked if you could just quickly go read your book and promised it would be only five minutes.  It took a lot from me to say yes.  The I-must-prove-I-can-keep-up-with-the-curriculum Mom in me started to come out but I (literally) took a deep breath, and let go.  I let go of the expectations and stresses, and said yes.  

You broke your promise.  You were longer than five minutes.  But its okay my baby, I forgave you.  It's okay that you took longer than five minutes.  Its okay that you took longer than ten minutes.  Actually its so okay that we never even opened any other homework books today.

As a second child of three children, sometimes your accomplishments aren't as acknowledged as they should be.  But this one is big.  This one deserves a big recognition.  You have been reading for maybe about a year now, but only a handful of words.  But now, now you are really reading.

You're reading so well that you completed a whole Dr Suess book - Wacky Wednesday- yesterday.  And Dr Suess isn't the easiest of books to read.  You even told me how he talks really funny and doesn't always make a lot of sense.  

You reading makes me happy.  But first and foremost, Im proud of your determination.  Your love and passion to learn.  Im not always the typical mom who sits down and reviews flashcards and phonics  [note:  I said not always because sometimes I have those freak out moments when I frantically try to catch you up to the standards].  So because of my somewhat laid back approach, it really truly amazes me when I see the payoff.  When I see the magic in your eyes when you've decided you want to learn something, put your mind to it, and get it done.  Just like you have with reading.

You were so so proud when you finished the book yesterday and my heart just burst with love for you. I hope and pray you take that drive and apply it to many aspects in your life.

Ill leave it to Dr Suess to finish this letter up...

I know you'll go to great places inshaAllah,
Keep it up!
Momma is so proud of you.

Love and duas,
Always and forever,

Library Card

Have I ever mentioned how happy I am to have libraries in our lives again?!

Yusuf recently got his own library card, which was very exciting for him.

Libraries are usually pretty good with giving kids card out so if you're okay with making sure you can keep track of both yours and your kids' books so the late fees don't add up, (a challenge for me!)  then by all means, try getting them their own.  Its a great way to encourage love for literacy.

Poor Ibby doesn't have one of his own yet.  But honestly the thought of keeping track of three cards kinda scares me.  And he hasn't asked yet.  So, well just leave it as is for now.  Poor Ibby... Sorry baby, I love you.  I probably wont blog about the day you get your first library card, but I promise, it will be just as special.  <3

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


One of my favourite parts of homeschooling: Seeing my kids come up with things completely on their own.
(I'm trying to ignore the fact it involves killing n focus on the fact it was a spontaneous thing he initiated, and he included a beginning, middle and end. Lol. Boys!)

Home Depot Workshops

For those of you living in Canada,  Home Depot offers monthly workshops for kids.  All you have to do is go on the Home Depot website, click on workshops, search for kids, and register.  You choose the location closest to you, put your email in, and that's it.  They are usually offered the first Saturday of every month, dont cost anything, and are a great hands on opportunity for the kids.  They get their own aprons, with pins for every task they complete, and a cute certificate.  This week my kids made fire trucks, and a Fire Fighter came in to talk about fire safety.  Check it out inshaAllah!

Monday, October 5, 2015

On Hold

A friend of mine used to always talk about putting books on hold at the library.  I thought to myself that it was a good idea and all, but really, who has the time to do that?! :/

Then I moved to Malaysia.  There were no libraries in Malaysia, well, none that come close to the ones we have here.  And I missed libraries!

Now that we've moved back, Ive started appreciating this amazing resource we have... alhamdulillah.  So, I began putting books on hold.  And its a lot easier that I expected, and contrary to what I thought before, it actually saves time.  I don't always have the time (or patience) to take all the kids to the library, or even want to drive to the larger ones.  So, I sign into our online library system, type in a keyword, browse, and place holds on interesting looking books.  Then whenever I have a moment, I drive past the library, run in (or get Yusuf to), and pick them all up.  Sometimes it adds up to nearly 30 or 40 books. :)

Today I just picked up about twenty books.  I searched books on Autumn since its now here (and my kids dont really know much about different seasons after spending time in a tropical country), and also books on the moon, because of the recent blood moon/ lunar eclipse.

If you haven't given this a try, I highly recommend seeing how it works for your family.  For us, we love having the benefit of plenty of books at home, without always spending the time roaming the library.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Dear Yusuf,

Oh Yusuf.  My sweet Yusuf.  My eldest, baby, big boy, Yusuf.
How I wish I could slow time down with you.  Of all three of my children, you seem to grow the
fastest.  If you only knew how much I try to be the best I can, for you.  If you only knew how many times I go to bed at night full of guilt wishing I had done better, going over the things I did wrong.

Being the eldest isn't easy.  Mothering the eldest isn't easy either.  By the time your brother and sister turn three or four or five, its not as tricky because Ive already mothered someone that age before and have an idea of what to expect.

But for you and I,  every age is new.  Every stage is new.  Every challenge is new.  It's almost like practicing a foreign dance routine, every step makes you feel clumsy, and you practice and you practice and you finally get it!  But theres no stage performance for motherhood, once I finally feel confident in my footing, you go ahead and reach another age.

You have no idea how many times Ive kicked myself after realizing Ive pushed you to grow up faster than you should, but once you do I feel like Ive missed out.  I didn't slow down enough.  I didn't savour each moment enough because I was too worried that you needed to be reaching a certain (mostly behavioural) milestone.  It actually just hit me, (and hit me hard) the other week, when I realized how long I've been telling you that you're almost nine.

For the last six months, you've been 'almost nine.'  According to the calendar, you still have about sixteen weeks until you're officially nine.  But, being the typical mother-to-the-eldest, I've been saying your 'almost nine' for too long.  Unfortunately Ive made you 'almost nine'  for longer than you've actually been eight.  It was only a few months after you turned eight, that I turned you into 'almost nine.'

You're not almost nine.  You're eight.  You've been eight for almost nine months, and still have over three months of being eight.  And when you turn nine, I promise to keep you nine, not almost ten.

For you, being eight wasn't easy.  And maybe thats why I made you 'almost nine,'  to handle the pressures and changes and difficulties better.  Maybe I subconsciously thought that if I made you older than you were, that it wouldn't be so hard.

Maybe moving countries, being homesick, missing family, having your best friend move away, seeing people constantly coming and going would have been easier if you nine instead of eight.  Maybe being nine would have made you stronger so my heart wouldn't have to feel the tightness of seeing you hurt.  Maybe going though this when you were eight was too hard, but being nine would have made it okay.

But the truth is that you were eight.  And it was hard.  And even if you were nine it still would have still been hard.

And its okay for things to be hard.  Because life is hard.  We cant escape the tests in life, whether were the age were currently at, or try to grow up faster than we should.

Here's to making a promise that Ill try my best not to force you to grow up any faster than you need to.  And that well stay strong together through all the tests and trials of life.   And if you need to cry and be sad and be angry and vent and talk about things that are hard... than thats okay, and I promise to be here for you....no matter what age you are.

All my love and duas,
Always and forever,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Scream Free Parenting

 There are few books that I really read cover to cover.  As much as Id like to be an avid reader, I just cant find the time.  However I do come across books now and then that are worth the time, and this was one of them.

This was the type of book that I believe has changed my way of thinking and improved my interactions.  Yes, I still 'scream' but I find myself much calmer, cooler and in check with my own emotions and reactions which in turn has had a positive effect on my kids.

The author defines scream free as;
learning to relate with others in a calm, cool, and connected way, taking hold of your own emotional responses no matter how anyone else chooses to behave; learning to focus on yourself and take care of yourself for the world's benefit.
Sounds simple right?  It's pretty much common knowledge but mashallah the author really has a way of walking you through practical steps and stories to relate to.

The table of contents include...
Becoming the "cool" parents your kids really need
   Parenting is not about kids, its about parents
   If you're not under control, then you cannot be in charge
   Growing up is hard to do, especially for grown ups

Keeping your cool means creating space
   Begin with the end in mind, but let go of the final results
   Kids need their room
   Resistance is futile, practice judo parenting
   You are not a prophet (and neither is gramma)

Keeping your cool means creating a place
   Parents set the table by setting the tone (and vice versa)
   Let the consequences do the screaming
   Empty threats are really broken promises

Putting yourself into practice
   Put on your own oxygen mask first
   Revolutionary relationships

Each chapter ends with a story, and reflection questions.

This is one of my favourite excerpts from the book:

..."If you dont get anything else from this book, get this:  Our biggest struggle as parents is not twith the television; its not with bad influences; its not even with drugs or alcohol.  Our biggest strruggle as a parent is with out own emotional reactivity.  Thats why the greatest thing we can do for our kids is learn to focus on us, not them.  Instead of anxiously trying to control our kids, lets concentrate on what we can control - calming our own emotional, knee jerk reactions."... (page 14)

Some other points I noted down:

* "In raising my children, I have lost my mind but found my soul."  - Lisa Shepherd
*  The only way to retain a position of influence with our children is to regain a position of control over ourselves. " I am responsible to my child for how I behave, regardless of how s/he behaves."
*  We continually surrender control over our emotional responses to those around us. Your emotional responses are up to you.  You always have a choice.
*  To be 'in charge' as a parent means inspiring your children to motivate themselves.
*  Part of being a grown up is enduring discomfort now for the sake of payoff later.
*  Whenever we give in to our anxiety, we create the very outcome we're hoping to avoid.
*  If you want your children to become self-directed adults, you have to face the truth that you cannot do it for them.
*  Without space to make their own mistakes, our kids live only borrowed lives.
*  Your child is testing you to see that you are stable and consistent.  And wants you to pass. 
*  You cannot orbit around your child without giving her the impression that the world revolves around her.
*  Your goal is not to stifle their emotions, but rather, to steer them toward productive expression. 
*  "Theres something wrong if you're always right."  - Arnold Glasgow
*  Whenever we label our children, we limit their space.
*  Stability and structure are necessary components in a healthy home.
*  All our choices have consequences.  This is a bedrock truth in life.
*  The more our children are exposed to the small consequences of their small infractions, the less they will have to commit large infractions and experience large consequences.  
*  It comes down to integrity - meaning what you say, saying what you mean, and following through with what you promise.  
* "Our children are watching us live, and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say" - Wilfred Peteron
*  "I define comfort as self-acceptance.  When we finally learn that self-care begins and ends with ourselves, we no longer demand sustenance and happiness from others."  - Jennifer Louden
*  What would it really look like to love your kids as little as you love yourself?

Honestly I really benefited from this book and hope and pray you do too.
No, Im not getting any benefit for sharing this information :)

May Allah SWT guide us all to be better people an earn His Pleasure, Ameen.

Happy Parenting <3

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Salmon Run? And Fluffies!

Apparently this time of year is good to see the salmon swim upstream so Baba suggested we go check it out.
Unfortunately we didn't see any fish.  But alhamdulillah we had a nice day out nonetheless.
And we also discovered some super cool plant. I have no idea what its called. But imagine a dandelion when it turns all white n fluffy and you can blow it out and watch the seeds peacefully fly away....[this is an essential part of childhood!]... Anyways this new found plant was a similar idea, except the fluffies were in a pocket thing, the seeds were bigger and probably hundreds of them, and the fluffy part felt like silk!  We had so much fun checking them out and blowing them away.  I would love to know more about these :) 

Subhanallah how Allah has created such diverse and beautiful things!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Paper Route!

Yusuf has started a paper route in our neighbourhood. It's only been two weeks and its picking up slowly (ie the excitement was really high til it crashed when he realized how much work it was).  But I have hope that it will be  a good thing for Yusuf. Inshallah it instills a sense of responsibility. And he's been trying to recruit help from other kids in the house, which means he will have to brush up on his math skills to determine how much to pay them.
I will remain hopeful and keep you posted :)

Soccer Baseball

Yeah for amazing weather alhamdulillah!

Hajj Banner

The kids each made their own kabahs and we made a banner for Eid ul Adha. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Baking Class

Alhamdulillah were blessed to have a friend who is a very talented baker. She came over yesterday to give the kids a baking lesson.  They made high heel cupcakes, or boots for the boys :p

Monday, September 21, 2015

Oh Yusuf....

How you drive me crazy and melt my heart both at the same time.

To minecraft or not to minecraft...that is the question.

Well.... the title is kinda a lie because I already decided to go ahead and minecraft.  Well, I let Yusuf minecraft.

I have mentioned it before on my blog how anti-technology I tend to be at times with my kids.  The thought of them becoming zombies constantly staring at a screen and lacking basic human interaction skills terrifies me.  But then there's my hubby who reminds me that this is the way of the future.  Just like out generation is so much more into technology, our kids will by far surpass us as well. *screams inside*

Yusuf never asked me for Minecraft.  It was actually my idea.  Yes, Ms Anti-Techology went ahead and initiated getting her son into this highly addictive trendy game.   I kept hearing other Mom's talk about it... so I started asking more about it, watched some videos and even read some articles.

I held my breath and accepted that I cannot shelter my babies from the realm of video games  forever and perhaps if it was a mutual thing, we could make it work.

Our family has a weekend-only policy for TV and computers (unless its strictly educational, or ...if Momma isn't feeling well and needs a break...) so Minecraft falls into that category.  So my fears of it being overly consuming and addictive were calmed through that.  And the fact that so many other kids are into it , kids whose mother's I respect and share values with, also made me feel better.

So it's been about two months since Yusuf got Minecraft.  It was his gift for Eidul Fitr.  He's not as into it as I thought he would be, however there were a few basic things he didn't understand but is now understanding so that's helping.   Also, Baba is back, and able to play with him and discover things to help him along the way.... things that Momma couldn't really figure out.

But hey, I better still get all the credit for being the one who initiated this!

Any thoughts or experiences with Minecraft in your family???

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I like.

That Time of Year Again!

Its that time of year again when I kinda become jakyll hyde-ish.  One moment Im super pumped and ready to take on another year of homeschooling, the next Im seriously freaking out thinking Im ruining my kids and considering which would be the best school to put them in.

My emotions are greatly triggered by senses.  When I feel and smell the cooler September air, the flashbacks begin of all the great things we've done along our homeschooling journey.  But then I see cutely dressed kids with their new back packs and lunch boxes and think maybe my kids would be better off going to school too.

*sigh*  ......motherhood

Im beginning to learn, understand, and truly accept that no matter what we do in life, well always be making mistakes, but learning and improving too.

Im also realizing that because I chose to homeschool, I (mistakenly) thought that things would be sooo much smoother and in my control compared to if the kids went to school.  I was in for a rude awakening and I believe that is what was / is to blame for so much of my crankiness.   When I learn to let go of my expectations of perfections and embrace that my kids and I are going to make mistakes together and inshallah learn through them and become stronger and closer, then... Im ok.

So heres to making tons of mistakes, but accepting that its okay.
Because mistakes are proof that were trying.

Here's to waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but also waking up to snuggles n cuddles.

Here's to having kids that excel in some areas, but struggle in others.

Here's to regrets, but also to accomplishments.

Here's to feeling like were drowning, to feeling like were on top of the world.

Here's to good days and bad.

But most importantly, here's to embarking on this journey together as a family.
Alhamdulillah. <3

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Review: Siblings Without Rivalry

Siblings Without Rivalry, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish was an awesome read mashaAllah and I highly recommend it!  I was able to finish it in less than three days as it is an easy read because it is laid out in a format which narrates classes that the authors had conducted.  It also has comics as a bonus :p

Some interesting points that stuck in my mind were ...

*Having a sibling/sharing a parent can be compared to having a co-wife/ sharing a husband.  No matter how much you're reassured that you're loved, there will always be insecurities and comparisons.

*Validation is key!  When siblings are driving each other (and you) nuts, remember that
     -insisting upon good feelings between children mostly leads to bad feelings
       (ie. your son is telling you he hates his sister, you tell him he loves her, he just gets more angry)
     - acknowledging bad feelings mostly leads to good feelings
       (ie. your son is telling you he hates his sister, you acknowledge the fact he is frustrated she broke         his lego creation, he feels validated and he more easily moves on)

*To be loved equally is somehow to be loved less.  To be loved uniquely - for one's own special self - is to be loved as much as we need to be loved.
      (ie. when your child asks who you love the most and you say you love them all the same, they              naturally feel inadequate.  But to point out you love that certain child for such and such a reason          would make them feel more special and recognized as an individual)

Once again, I highly recommend this book for anyone with more than one child.  Enjoy!

Painting Beauty to Children

Taken from ABeautifulHealth blog. <3

When my oldest child was around three it was easy to amuse him with simple pleasures. As adults, we contribute to our child’s world view by choosing to present or not to present certain aspects of it. For me, especially in the early years the focus was on presenting the world in its most natural and purest forms- as a friend, as a source of healing, a form of fun and of place to worship in. We talked about the magnificent creations of Allah swt, from the smallest bugs in the grass, to the most spectacular sunset over the lakes. And of course his favorite obsession back then, the magnificent constellations in the night sky. He spent hours outside marveling on scenery, collecting rocks, or just simply pretending to fly around in space. These sentiments mimicked with the birth of his brother, who joined him on his explorations and grand discoveries.
However, the once fun and pure view of the world seems to be distancing as he approaches his preteens. And while he still enjoys time burying his brother and sister in the sand, skipping rocks in the lake, staring into the night sky, and running through fields breathlessly, he also seems to be searching for more. The once so simple task of showing him exquisiteness in almost anything has become not so simple.
So while I will soon lose control of presenting the world to my child in the way I believe makes it a simple beautiful place, I refuse to give up trying. I truly believe that having these opportunities early in life will allow him make parallels between life and nature. That when “bad things” happen they are not there to last, just like the changes in nature, everything undergoes transitions and growth. And the best reaction to life’s ups and downs is to accept them, and be welcoming to loss and gain in their most drastic states.
I hope this connection is one of a lifetime, like a friendship that is for the Sake of Allah swt. So that no matter how old he gets, when in need, he will always be able to find his way back and find comfort in his friend nature- the marvelous creation of Allah swt. And the only way I believe this is possible is by continually presenting the creation in the most beautiful ways.
So here are three ways I strive to present the beauty of the world to my growing child.
1) Teach him how to be grateful to Allah swt
On a daily basis we count our beautiful blessings as we call them. This helps us focus on the positive things in life instead of being hung up on trials and struggles. From our body, our health and our abilities, to something as simple as being able to walk outside in safety. We often talk about the less fortunate and save money to either donate in charity, or visit local welfare centres that could benefit. We feel blessed and content even in difficult times. Being grateful  allows us to focus on the beauty of life and helps us apply our energies on solutions instead of being stuck in the why’s of the negatives.
2) Use adjectives that describe beauty of the world
As I am mindful of the words I use around my children I encourage myself to find the most beautiful and descriptive words pertaining to the world. The word beautiful and it’s synonyms- lovely, peaceful, gorgeous, pretty, handsome,  must become part of your vocabulary. I want them to see the world as beautiful because of who created it, the great gift it is, exactly the way it is.
3) Spend time in and reflect on Nature
We often go to remote places close to the water and listen to the sounds of creation. We participate in a kind of mindful meditation using the real sounds of nature which replace the shrieking city sounds with peaceful and gentle tones of nature. Whether it’s the birds chirping, or the waves crashing, sitting silent and listening is key to allowing him to  connect with the creation and thus, with the Creator.
“And the earth – We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah ]”. [Quran 50: 7-8]
So while my son approaches his teen years, I choose to hold on to his world view a little longer. Presenting the world in it’s most beautiful forms. Painting pictures of love, kindness and compassion- hoping that when he goes through the inevitable ups and downs of life he will still find comforts in the beautiful creation of Allah swt.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

How Parents Push their Children Away from Islam

"And that is the question every parent (myself included) must ask themselves: “Can my child see the beauty of Islam in me?” Too often, children are left to think, “What do I need Islam for? It hasn’t done much for daddy.” Because they see how mean he is. They see how he treats mommy. They see how he lies, and they see all of that before the prayer and recitation, before the dhikr beads and beards. There is no amount of Muslim pomp and circumstance that can cover a closed heart. Goodness isn’t the only thing that shines. In its own way, darkness shines too, and it casts shadows on things that should be clear."

A short but very powerful reminder for us as parents.  

Toy Drive

Have I mentioned Im so happy were back in Canada? ;)

MashaAllah there are such awesome initiatives going on in our community, makes me so proud alhamdulillah!

Yesterday National Zakat Foundation and MYRec came together to do a Toy Drive.  Each child brought in a toy, wrapped it, and made a card.  There was then an awesome story time and presentation for kids and parents who participated.

May Allah swt accept all the hard work from the many volunteers who made this event happen! Ameen!

Story Time

Making cards

Sticker packages for cards

Wrapping gifts

Food Baskets

Unfortunately there is a strong misconception that it is better for us to send out zakat money to those abroad because people living in Canada cant be that poor.  However there are many families in our community who struggle to feed their kids on a daily basis.  Mashallah National Zakat Foundation is working to break that misconception and encourage people to distribute zakat money locally to support those who are silently struggling.  

The other day, we got together with a few Homeschooling families to assemble food baskets.  MashaAllah all items were donated by local families.  One of the homeschooling mothers had opened her house so that all the items could be collected, and then assembled into baskets.  Each child got a list and had to go around the living room collecting the items.  We then packed everything into cars and dropped it off with NZF and they will inshaAllah deliver to the deserving families.  

May Allah swt accept each and every donation from those who gave and feed them and their families from the food of Jannah, Ameen.

Please check out the National Zakat Foundation website and consider giving your zakat through them!

Mesjid Mosaics

We made mesjid mosaics but printing out mesjid silhouttes (from a google search), placing them face down on clear contact paper, and then placing small pieces of coloured tissue paper around it.  Alhamdulillah it was a fun project for the kids and brightened up our kitchen a bit :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Eid Packages for Refugee Children

A friend of mine is working with a relief organization who is helping refugees in Yemen and Somalia.  Yesterday we hosted an iftar for friends and got all the kids to make Eid cards and then we made packages with candies, stickers and a balloon.  InshaAllah these packages will be delivered and were hoping the brother who is delivering them will be able to send us pictures of when the kids receive them!
May Allah swt accept it from us, and help those children to have a slightly happier Eid because of these packages, and instil empathy and kindness is our children's hearts for all of humanity, Ameen.

Add caption

Assembling the loot bags

Some of the cards

Packed loot bags

Fire Station

Another idea we got from the 30 Days of Ramadan Goodness blog was to visit a Fire Station and thank the Firefighters for the hard work they do in keeping out community safe.  We got a tour of the fire truck and gave them a card and Tim Horton's donuts.  

Giving firefighters donuts and a card

Sitting in the driver seat

Sitting in the back seat