Friday, September 25, 2009


As an accompaniment to 3 Cups of Tea I got the book K2 (natural wonders). Today I read it out loud and got the kids to answer the true and false, short and multiple questions in the back. My kids in grade 6 and 8 did really well with this but it was a struggle for the grade 3 and 5 ones. For their homework assignment I'm getting them to each do a different project; the kheer recipe in the book, a tourism ad, a picture of the mountain's vegetation and an essay about interesting historical facts of your choice. Insha Allah this shall be interesting. Next week we will begin with the real Ontario curriculum insha Allah.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First Day of Homeschool

So technically this is our first day of homeschool although the kids have done a few activities these last few weeks which were learning opportunities. I read the book 3 Cups of Tea; young readers edition out loud and then got them to each answer on paper the 6 questions from the back. I didn't have time to read the interview with Amira though as the book was due today. I also got the kids to look up the different places mentioned in the book in their Atlas. For the final activity I got them to choose someone to write to about the book, the choices were the author himself, a friend, the principal or the newspaper. 3 of them chose friends and one chose the author. I was impressed with their answer to number 6 about what the book meant to them personally; what lessons they had learned. There are a few mistakes in this book; cultural things that the author thinks are really islamic like the bride price but overall the book is a great motivational book and a good example of helping others without having to impose one's ideology.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Open House Hopping

This Eid after the prayers where we had a lovely khutbah, snacks and chocolate for the kids we travelled to visit my daughter. We were supposed to just go to her house but the night before we were invited to 2 open houses so we went. The first one was a Malay one and the second was a Pakistani-Turkish one. Then we went to my daughter's and exchanged gifts. At the first open house we were invited to a third open house for today which was a Malay home again. So in 24 hours we were at 4 different homes. What an eid! So different from our usual quiet family get-togethers. Masha Allah the GTA rocks islamically!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Eid Mubarak - New Dates and Old Friends

Looks like its Eid tomorrow. This last day of Ramadan at one halal meat store, I was reconnected to an old friend who was instrumental in my conversion, who I haven't seen in years. In another halal meat store I got to try fresh dates for the first time in my life. Masha Allah they taste better than the dried ones. So happy Eid and here's to both keeping the old and the new in our lives!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eid Song

If you're not excited for Eid yet then listen to this song..the kids will love it.

Eid Baking

Today insha Allah is baking day in anticipation of eid (will it be Sunday, will it be Monday?). My daughter will be making her truffles again (see iftar post for pic), my other daughter will be making banana bread with chocolate chips from the Margo Oliver cookbook. Masha Allah. I'll be making two recipes from the latest Azizah Magazine; the Marzipan Apple Cookies and the Snow Heart Cookies plus a Dora cake as promised to my 5 yr old daughter. What's in your oven?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eid Dress

My daughter made me my Eid Dress from this pattern shown. I like it because its flowy and baby friendly too; the top is elasticized. Thanks honey! Check out her blog!

Once in a blue moon -ramadan art.

For our ramadan art project I got the kids to make crescent moon pillows. I bought the material and stuffing from FabricLand and got the idea from the book I mentioned previously. I picked this out because it gave the kids the chance to do some handsewing. Afterwards they decided to go over it with our little Barbie sewing machine. They also sewed thier initials into it.

Making a change

I don't know about your mosque but ours has no change table. Not only that but there is really no room for one in the washroom or anywhere. Our mosque doesn't have a nursery either. I suggested one but no one agreed with me. So whenever I go to the mosque I have to resort to changing the kids in the car. I mean you can't do it in the prayer area or the on the tables where people are eating can you? So I got an idea..I should invent a portable change table, lol. But as with all my great ideas, someone has already thought of it, made it and marketed it. So here it is! Great to be used for our travels too where there are bathrooms with no change tables or any other place we find ourselves. What family friendly features does your mosque have?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ramadan dawah booth.

This is my second year to do a dawah booth during Ramadan. No I didn't do it at the mall or any huge public thoroughfare but in my front yard. I was a one woman show. Its a pretty simple affair; a big sign and a basket full of pamphlets and booklets and qurans. Lots of people passed by and some even waved but no one stopped except my daughter's little friend who took one pamphlet, alhumdullilah. No one but Allah knows the power of one little pamphet; who will see it, who will read it, how many times it will be passed on. Not to mention the number of people who saw my Happy Ramadan sign and realized that Ramadan was taking place. Last year when I did the booth one neighbour took a quran and one later told my son who is her paperboy that she wanted to stop but didn't have time so I made her a bundle of materials. Its a simple act and no one can complain that we disturbed them by knocking on their door.

My daughter's Aqiqah cake.

10 kids, first aqiqah

Although we've had 10 kids this is the first aqiqah we have ever done. The first 2 never had one because I wasn't even muslim then; we were all Christian. Then for the next 7 kids we just couldn't afford it. Its not fard anyway but I still kind of felt wistful. Then my granddaughter was born and her paternal grandparents took care of of her aqiqah right away. So this time we had the money and strangely my daughter was following in the footsteps of her neice. We didn't throw a party though because our house isn't that big. Instead we delivered some meat (goat) to different people and then hubby cooked the rest and we brought it to iftar which was very convenient and also added blessings to the occasion. I baked two cakes and decorated them;one with Aqiqah written on it and the other with a lamb (Wilton doesn't have goats, only lambs). We shaved her head too but have no where to weigh the hair; try finding a muslim jeweller in the boonies! But the price is usually around $10 so will be donating that amount to charity soon, insha Allah. Needless to say the other kids were not too impressed that they had missed out on this sunnah and we have promised to rectify it as long as funds are available.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kinship Connections

Today after reviewing how much the kids learned from their prayer books, I got them to write letters to their relatives. Each one had to choose a relative (aunt, uncle, grandparent or cousin) and write a letter to them. This is not a big deal in most families but when you are a convert its huge. So I gave them the speech about keeping the ties of kinship in Islam. First they did a rough draft and then I made the corrections..not just grammatical but the content had to be checked too. Then they did the good copy and then addressed the envelope. My daughter decorated hers with stickers. Lastly they mailed their letters themselves by biking to the nearest mailbox.

Cultural Muslims -et tu convert?

We talk a lot about those people from over there who are cultural muslims but what about us? Let's look deep down inside. When we convert we bring with us a host of ideas that we are hard put to relinquish. A lifetime of western arrogance, come now let's admit it has a way of stopping us from truly submitting. Since childhood we have had it drilled into us that the west is best and white is right...oh its subtle most of the times but still a lot of the time its overt. I remember as a child people making fun of muslims for their backwardness...gasp they use water to clean themselves in the bathroom..gasp they have this left hand, right hand rule..ha, ha..aren' they stupid. And let's not even get into arranged dumb is that? Even if its only for the parents to suggest someone...they can keep their thoughts to is the way to go...find the right one together even. And then we grow up, find islam ourselves and convert and although we know we should follow all rules there is this lingering feeling, this arrogance. But we still think we are being arrogant towards another culture but really we are being arrogant towards our creator who has given us the guidance. Do we want to be like the Shaitan? Turning away from Allah gives us no we really think we know better than Him? Time to eat some humble pie..halal of course and remember to say Bismillah.