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