Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day to Vote ! (for me and my daughter)

This is the last day to vote here at Sisters Who Blog. I'm in the General section; just pick Old Muslim Woman in the Shoe and my daughter is in the Motherhood section; just pick Handmade Beginnings. I know I have a hundred readers or more so get your votes in now!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

January 2011 Book Club Pick- Green Deen

Green Deen is the pick for January. Have you got your copy yet? I picked up mine from RIS! I think this book is going to be hugely popular. Get your hands on a copy now! Make this year, the year you go Green.Here is the blog.

December Book Club Pick-time's almost up

I've put off reading this book (Healing Body and Soul) in its entirety until now; I was reading bits and pieces only. I'm still in the process of reading it so I can't review it yet. I love how she is mixing modern day knowledge and news stories (SARS, Mad Cow etc) with Islamic advice/knowledge. This is a great reference book so it worth the extra cost. Anyone else reading it now?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Best Blog Award

Sisters Who Blog is having a blog competition. You can vote for the best blogs here. My blog is in the General category and my daughter's is in the Motherhood category. Her blog is Handmade Beginnings.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Great News - Popeyes in London

I've been informed that Popeyes has opened in London. Isn't that great news? I think this is the first Popeye's outside of GTA and Kitchener. Insha Allah I will darken their door soon, afterall Cajun food really belongs to us; Cajun means Acadian.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Movie Mania-All about Childhood

I watched two more movies that I got from the library, basically documentaries. The first one was Les Voleurs D'Enfance. (Thieves of Innocence) but really enfance means childhood but same thing. This movie is a very disturbing look at the system in Quebec that deals with children in the foster care system and about the lives of children there who have been physically and sexually abused by their own parents and others. In 2004 they said there were 13,000 kids in the foster care system. They are shuffled into Youth Group homes, foster homes, sometimes back to abusive parents and then back into the foster care system to face a new family. At 18 they are thrown out on the street to deal with life on their own although they are damaged and have not been taught any life skills. They end up homeless, jobless, sometimes resorting to prostitution.

Secondly I watched The Last Lecture about a man who is dying from pancreatic cancer and leaving behind his wife and 3 kids. His lecture is about fulfilling your childhood dreams. He is very motivating and upbeat and its hard to believe he is a dying man. Although I was glad that he had reached his goals it was sad to think that perhaps he had never found the true meaning of life which is worshipping God. I still think what he has to say is important though. Finding happiness and joy in this life is something we can all aspire too but we must remember that we should also share that with those around us. Life is meaningless is we are just living for our own selfish ends.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Movie Mania

The kids are off from school so I decided to rent some movies for them. We watched The Spy Next Door which they chose. It stars Jackie Chan and I love the story line. He's engaged to his neighbour; a white woman with 3 kids. Can I relate? Oh yeah! We also watched Shrek number 4 which has a good lesson about appreciating what you have, cough, cough...I needed to hear that! For myself I rented Motherhood which is about a blogging mother. She only has 2 kids and acts like the world is coming to an end..spare me! All her problems were so easy to solve and I didn't relate to her at all except that she missed writing. I couldn't figure out why she was so poor though and living in an apt when she was 44 yrs old and never even had a kid until she was 38! She should have been rolling in the dough after working that many years. I wasn't impressed with this movie. Finally I watched Bananas which is a documentary about what Dole did to its workers regarding the pesticide they were using in Nicaragua. Its a pretty good movie..kids were too bored to watch it though. I hope these things are no longer happening. It makes you feel guilty for eating bananas. I remember eating bananas in Malaysia at my mother-in-law's house..totally organic..no one was harmed in the growing of those bananas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Nasihah -Everything is being recorded.

First of all I would like say sorry if anything I've written in my blog has affected anyone negatively. We are only human and are all trying our best.

Living The Quran
The Record
Ya Sin - Chapter 36: Verse 12
"We shall surely raise the dead to life and We record what they did and the traces of their deeds that they have left behind. We have encompassed that in a Clear Book."
One learns from this that the record of one's deeds consists of the following three types of entries:
1. All that one does, good or bad, is recorded.
2. All the impressions that one leaves on the objects around her or on the organs of her own body are recorded. All these will, at a given time, stand out with utter clarity. As a result, it will be possible to hear the words she spoke in the past in her own voice. It will also be possible to observe a person's ideas, intentions and motives in their fullness for all this will appear as though inscribed on her mind's tablet. Thus it will be possible to have a full picture of a person's good and bad deeds, and of all her movements.
3. The full impact of a person on others, both good and evil: the impact on her own future generations, on her society and on mankind at large, will also be entered in this record.
As long as a person's impact lasts, it will be credited to her account. A complete record of her impact after her demise on subsequent generations, on her own society and on humanity at large, with all its ramifications, will be entered into her record. The good or bad upbringing of her children, the contributions she made to spreading good or evil in her society and among mankind will also be maintained and will be kept as long as her deeds continue to affect human behaviour in the world.
Compiled From:
"Towards Understanding the Quran" - Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Vol. 9, pp. 245,246

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homeschooling.. a bit of this, a bit of that

As you know I don't really like to homeschool but using different materials keep its interesting for both of us. I like to use this book; Why? Where do Shadows Come From? to teach science facts at her grade 1 level. We used the old baloons from Eid to demonstrate static electricity. Also I read her the book Zaynab and Zakariya Learn to Recyle. One thing I didn't like about the book was that the husband wasn't involved in the recycling at all which I didn't think was a  very  good role model for kids. Men are viceregents too! Dd4 asked how can people know which recycled object is theirs to get it back. I thought that was a pretty good question and told her that anyone could end up with what you had recycled including you. You don't necessarily get to have it back unless of course you are making bags out of t-shirts or something along those lines.  Today its another snow day for the kids so I got ds2 to read her My First Quran  and he chose Prophet Shuaib and the Earthquake.

Some like it in the jar 9 hours old!

I finally made the Classic Peanut Butter cookies from This Little Life of Mine's bakealong. When I first tried them at 2pm I thought they were so-so. I was kind of disappointed and was remembering how good my mother's were..she lost the recipe. I ate them again at 11 pm though and the flavours had melded together and the taste was way better! So my advice is make these but don't eat them right away, just remember...

Some like it hot
Some like it cold
Some like it in the jar 9 hours old!

Also check out dd3's cookies...took her all day to make them what with rolling out the dough and all. She swears she'll never make them again. I think they turned out cute though.:)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friends are rizq -Friday Nasiha

In this article we learn that even friends are rizq (provision) from Allah. I've heard this before but its good for me to contemplate again. If I am alone then it is the qadr of Allah.

Living The Quran
The Provision
Hud - Chapter 11: Verse 6 (partial)
"And there is not a creature treading the earth but that its provision depends upon God."
The provision that one receives is called rizq. Rarely does God use two very similar names that evoke one attribute. When it comes to provision, God is al-Raziq and al-Razzaq, both names referring to Him as the provider. We creatures are known as marzuq, that is, the beneficiaries of God's provision. Some scholars say that provision is anything from which a person derives benefit. Others say it refers to all the material possessions one has. The dominant opinion is the former, as referred to in the verse.
God divides the provision of people into two kinds: inner (batini) and outer (zahiri). The outward provision includes such things as food, shelter, and well-being. Inner provision includes knowledge, good character, contentment, and similar qualities. Even the people in a person's life (friends, teachers, spouse, family, and so on) are considered provision.
Along with the provision that God gives, He also has given the means (asbab) by which one must seek out his provision. There should be no confusion about the means of attaining provision and the provision itself. When one starts to believe that his or her provision is in the hands of another person, this creates a breeding ground for diseases, such as coveting what others have, doing whatever it takes to get it, and becoming angry when one does not receive what he or she expects.
Compiled From:
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 79, 80

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heavenly Pattern

You might be wondering what we learn at Tae Kwon Do. Right now I am learning the first pattern so I can get my yellow belt. I already have all my stripes. The first pattern is called the Heaven pattern. My kids are learning their 4th pattern now as they already have their green belts. My pattern has 18 steps and its hard for me to remember all of them. I looked at the higher patterns and some have over 50 steps! This sure is something you should take when you are young and find it easy to memorize things. Just like learning the Quran! Dd4 and ds5 have dropped out although ds5 has come a couple of times. They still have only one red stripe. They seem to be too young to concentrate. Ds3 also has dropped out because he was coming for the social aspect and since there are no kids his age coming anymore he feels bored by it. This is really too bad. So only ds2,ds4 and dd3 are still coming with me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Break Ideas

Its almost here, the time when kids lollygag around the house and say there's nothing to do. Well you could bring them to RIS or check out this great list of ideas from Soundvision. This is really well thought out but eid is over so I think this is an old article from when eid took place during the winter break. Puppet or fashion show in the basement anyone? Count me in!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Final Cake -Fondant Course

Final Cake
My final cake was completed last night. I made a two layer 8" cake. Then iced it with buttercream. I dyed my fondant to cover the cake with green food colouring. I also brought ready made fondant which is already dyed in 4 colours; red,blue, yellow and green and used it for my waves,turtles and butterflies. I came up with my design kind of last minute although the theme was kind of the same. I originally intended to make a palm tree but all the decorating stores didn't carry the leaf cutters and it takes 2 weeks to order them so I had to come up with a different plan. I still managed to get my waves in. If I had more time I would have made more flowers but I realized that cake decorating is very time consuming and good for people without little kids underfoot. No wonder people say cake decorating is for little old ladies! So basically this is supposed to be an island (green cake) in the ocean (blue fondant covered plate). I made the waves by using the top part of the border tool and turning it upside down. The teacher gave me the idea because I couldn't figure out how to make waves freehand and make them uniform.

What can I say about the course? It costs a lot and there's too much food wastage; fondant covered plate that won't be eaten and too much fondant drying out and being thrown away. I'm glad I took it because I know how to do it but I think this is something one could do only in a blue moon due to time constraints and cost but it would be great to do as a business. Also I wish we could have learned something cool like how to make a purse or shoes instead of just flowers. But you can always learn it on your own but I'll have to wait till old age I guess.

So now I have two Wilton Cake Decorating certificates; this one and the beginners one, alhumdullilah. Just one more to go; another flower one with royal icing and fondant. Dare I go again?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Book Club Pick- Healing Body and Soul

Anyone joining me this month for the book club choice? I've ordered mine! If you have any suggestions for future book club choices please let me know. If you're in Canada you can get this book from SoundVisionCanada.

What's on your nightstand this month?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RIS -Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference 2010

So its that time of the year again to ask yourself if you are going to RIS and if so if you'll hurry to buy tickets before the deadline (Dec 5) when the price jumps up. I didn't go last year but perhaps this year. I picked up the brochure from the halal meat store and gave it a hug, yes I'm weird like that. I've gone twice before and I really loved it. I have a hard time tearing myself away from the bazaar though because of all the great books. Since I don't have access to any islamic stuff locally I tend to get into a dreamlike state when I'm there and have to force myself back to the lectures.I've seen some people though who go to every lecture and say they have no time for the bazaar. Masha Allah hard core! But what if the information I get from the books,magazines,vendors, charity collectors etc is even more rewarding? I love interacting with all the sellers at all the booths. There is such a wide range of things represented even mainstream things like Habitat for Humanity. If you are going here is my advice, bring a bag or backpack for your purchases and make sure your wristband is on very tightly. One year I lost my shopping bag and never got it back (checked the lost and found over and over again) and the next year I lost my wrist band because they put it on too loosely. I had to buy a new one.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interfaith Gone Too Far?

This weekend I went to two different Eid potlucks. The first one was mainly geared towards dawah to the Christian invitees. I think dawah is great but filling up the whole night with it with no time for the muslims to converse with each other or the Christians seems counter-productive. On top of that I was shocked to hear the speakers' idea for interfaith activities. He suggested that muslims should do jumah prayer in the church and the Christians should come to the mosque and do their service there. Does anyone else have a problem with this? I couldn't believe what I was hearing. First of all as a former Christian, I just know that they are thinking that that would be an encroachment on their territory (this is going even beyond Little Mosque on the Prairie). As for Christians doing their service in the mosque, can you imagine shirk being preached in a mosque which is the only sin that Allah will never forgive? I think there is a point where you cross the line.  What say you?  The second potluck had absolutely no dawah as that mosque is very allergic to it and to prove it I got to sit all by myself at a table just for me and my kids. Ahh, the joys of being a convert.

Love in a headscarf -Book Club Choice for November-Review

Its the end of the month almost, has everyone finished reading Love in a Headscarf? I finished it before Eid and passed it on to dd1. Insha Allah she will have read it and have something to say. What did you think of this book? Would you recommend it? Did you learn anything from it?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mom Cave

One of the reasons there is a lot of stress in our house is that no one has their own terrritory. We are so cramped together that we have no place to call our own to decompress. Funny because right after thinking about all this I came across an article for a mom cave. This is based on the idea that men have their man caves so we deserve our own space too. Dh has no man cave although he thinks the desk that everyone shares is his space. HomeGoods is having a contest for this, but we don't have that store in Canada, too bad. I can't think of anywhere that I can retreat to. I usually use my bedroom to hide out in though like doing some cake decorating there..I know unbelievable. I also like to write letters there. But there is no desk there so I just use my bed. I feel like a teenager; I used to do my homework on my bed because I had no desk. I did have a desk there once but I replaced it with a shelf. You can store so many more things with a shelf. Being cramped is bad for your mental health and that is why dd2 used to always flee to the library. Do you have a Mom Cave?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Time Management and Motivation

If you want something done ask a busy person they say. Are you that busy person that everyone can turn to? I'm supposed to be busy but I'm not really doing all the things I should be doing with ihsan. I'm just coasting and sometimes feeling guilty and sometimes not. I started looking up islamic information regarding these topics and I'll put the links at the bottom. But something weird was listed as a time waster in the one of them; unexpected visitors dropping by. See for me that would not be a waste of time. Who knows if that visitor wasn't coming to help you or advise you with some islamic wisdom or to offer something for your family. We all have things that motivate us and for me its socialization. I think it is for a lot of people. I could be a better homeschooler if I had someone to do it with and not just virtual people. I could learn quran better if I had a daily real life teacher. And sadly I could be a better housewife if I knew that someone would drop by a few times a week instead of a few times a year. What a bad muslim eh? I'm supposed to be motivated for the sake of Allah and maybe even for the sake of my family but this is how I am. Am I the only one like this? I do motivate myself for those other reasons but years and years of this is wearing thin. Will a day planner help me? Will another calendar help me? Will joining another online group help me? Will reading another homeschool blog help me? I don't think so. I want to be that supercool energizer bunny type of muslimah who does it all even though she is alone but I can't. I want help and I want a friend and there's no sin in that. Hope I haven't busted anyone's bubble, but this is the real me.

Links:

Time Management in Islamic Perspective

The Islamic New Year 

9 Steps to Achieve Your Destiny-Video of Author  (I think she looks like Hethr,lol)

Buy the 9 Steps book here 

Take the Motivation Test to see what drives you  (turns out I'm a PSI.) so I'm not a collaberator according to this whose main focus is relationships so I guess I just want to be around people so I can boss them around...hmmm...I guess that's kind of true but sounds really evil, lol. I just put my name on the list for this book at the library.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Malaysian Food on the Move

Malaysian food on wheels in NYC! Check it out! If only they would come to Canada!

Arcademic Skill Builders

I found this great site for dd4. We played jetski addition. Most of the other games are for higher levels. In order for my daughter to understand the concept of addition I used grouped candies which she counted to get the answer. She was encouraged to count quickly as the race is timed. There are also language games as well such as spelling. Insha Allah this website will prove useful for you homeschoolers out there. Dd4 is quickly bored so I am constantly searching for new ideas. Have any of you tried the new Sesame Street games for Wii? I found a site that says they teach numbers only up to 20. I was hoping it would be 100. The game is 40 bucks, so at least it could teach higher numbers, but it is geared to pre-schoolers.

Jilbabs in Winter

I just started wearing jilbab a few months ago so I've never experienced wearing jilbab in the winter. How does one go about it? Do you wear summer jilbabs under your winter coat? Do you wear ankle length winter coats and then not take them off when indoors? Do you wear heavier weight jilbabs under your winter coat? And when I refer to winter I'm talking about Canadian winters with snow and gusting winds and temperatures below zero. So how do you incorporate jilbabs into your wardrobe during the winter months? Looking forward to your advice. Also where do you buy your winter jilbabs? I've looked at shukr and I don't like what they have to offer. TIA!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Party Time

On Friday night I went to a muslim bridal shower. I won the prize for heaviest purse again, lol. The food was yummy. It was too bad my two oldest daughters who know the bride weren't able to attend but I did bring dd3 and dd4.  On Saturday we went to a Malay Eid party in GTA. We brought halal KFC (yes this exists in GTA) and it was gobbled up in minutes! I also enjoyed the satay as usual and someone made some lovely pulut. I just love pulut. (sticky rice dessert). I met a very interesting woman who just arrived here this year from Malaysia and has a big family like me! I beat her though as she only has 6 but she wants to have more! The next day I had brunch with a convert I was introduced to. Overall it was a very interesting but tiring weekend. The best thing is the kids had a ball with all the other kids including thier niece and dh had fun with his 'homies', lol.

December Book Club Pick- Healing Body and Soul

Next month's book club pick is Healing Body And Soul. If you can't get it from SoundVision then try to get it from another islamic bookstore. Amazon is peddling a pedophilic book so I'm boycottiing them until they remove it. Insha Allah let me know if you are enjoying the book club and my picks. Hoping to hear from my silent readers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fondant Flowers and Cake Board

For the third week of my fondant course we learned how to make mums and daisies and how to cover a cake board with fondant. Personally I think covering a cake board is a stupid waste because its just for decoration and not to eat. Its not part of the cake. I was in a rush when I dyed the fondant so it came out looking tie-dyed but the teacher still loved it. Lucky me! This class actually finished early so that was great because I was late a few minutes but it ended up being ok. The final cake class which is the next one will be assembling our final fondant cake. We can make any of the cakes in the booklet or invent our own. Stay tuned.

Designing Muslims

Twice this season I've seen designing/decorating/renovating shows with muslims; muslims with hijab! Do you know how exciting this is? I finally feel represented! I watch these shows all the time and was always wondering why there are never any muslims on them. I think the host on Save Us From Our House is muslim though judging by her name. Last night I saw Grin and Build It on the W network with a muslim woman on it. The other day I saw an episode of All For Nothing with a hijabi too! Alhumdullilah we are no longer invisible. Now all they have to do is put me on Extreme Makeover because my house shoe is so tiny its busting at the seams. Save Us From Our House wouldn't be good enough because you can't make an extra room out of any space. We've used up every nook and cranny.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soupe D'Eid.

It was beginning to look a lot like Eid everywhere I went so I decided to make a turkey dinner for Eid with all the trimmings. I even made homemade Butternut Squash Soup. I just love this soup even when it comes in a box but homemade is divine!

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

(recipe is from Sobey's)

Ingredients

1 Butternut Squash, peeled,de-seeded, chopped
1 Can of Evaporated milk
   Try coconut milk for an exotic twist. (of course I used this as dh is malay and its always on hand!)
1 onion,chopped.
1 potato, peeled and chopped.
1 tbs of butter
3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1 tbs of brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place a large pot of medium -high heat and drop in butter. Cook onion,potato and squash in butter for 5-10 minutes,stirring occasionally until everything is golden brown. Add garlic and stir fo 1 min longer.

2. Lower heat to medium. Add broth and low-boil mixture for 20-30 mins or until its is fork-tender. Add salt, pepper, brown sugar and milk. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes longer on medium-low heat.

3.  Allow mixture to cool slightly off the heat. Ladle soup into a blender 1/3 at a time and puree until smooth.

4. Serve in a big bowl with garnish of your choice and a peice of fresh bread.

Tip: Garnish with fresh chopped herbs and sour cream or go exotic with curry powder and sliced green onion.
Tip: No blender? No problem! Use a potato masher for a rustic hearty texture.

Smart Eid

Dd4 made a candy machine cake with smarties for eid..The recipe was taken from Easy Cut-up Cakes for Kids by Melissa Barlow. The original recipe has bubble gum instead of candies but its the same effect. So ask yourself, can I make this cake? Am I smarter than a 6th grader? Eid Mubarak from my family to yours!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Al Sharifa Necklace and One Pure Skin Care Review

The Al-Sharifa company sent me a necklace and One Pure Skin care samples to review. Al-Sharifa is the company I previously did a review about for their Veilkini Bathing Suit .

First of all I chose the exact necklace because the circular design appealed to me. When I took it out of the package the gold was just dazzling so much nicer than in the picture! The pendant is gold plated.  The "diamonds"  really sparkle too. Its a beautiful necklace and would make a lovely gift for the special ladies on your Eid list.There are also other necklaces to choose from such as the ones with Allah written on them.


I was also sent some One Pure Skin Care samples; the 12 Hour Night Repair Treatment. This skin care product is formulated in Canada and made in Malaysia. The owner of the company is a Canadian. I tried this product for two nights so far and woke up with soft, dewy skin. It didn't cause any adverse reaction to my skin even though I have sensitive skin and have had bad results with other companies wares. This is a great moisturizer for dry skin and also seems to calm flare ups. All the ingredients in this product are actually halal and it was cool to see the halal label on it. This would also make a lovely Eid gift for that special someone on your list or why not treat yourself.

If you would like to order either one from Al-Sharifa please remember to use the coupon code shoe10 to save 10%.

Baking and Making for Eid

So this weekend we've been getting ready for Eid by baking and cleaning up. Ds3 made Mrs. Feild's cookies (found in the Top Secret Recipes book)  but substituted the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips (yummy!). Dd3 made Magic Squares and 1-2-3 Fudge and Oreo Cupcakes. I started Nanaimo bars but still have to finish the top layer. I made one with the second layer tinted green and with mint extract which is shown in the pic above. The kids also made homemade gifts for their older brother and sisters. I'm also following This Little Life of Mine's bake along so I'm supposed to make the Classic Peanut Butter cookies as well. What are you making for Eid?

Eid Mubarak! For those of you fasting please skip this post!

Fondant Flowers -Cake Decorating part duh!

Actually things went better this week but for some reason I never heard the instruction that the fondant has to be wrapped in plastic wrap and I just had mine in ziplocs so it dried out. (and no one could tell me what the ziplocs were actually for!)  Here are my lovely flowers (carnation, rose, calla lily) for the week. Masha Allah. Its so gratifying to be able to create something so beautiful with your own hands. It really makes you appreciate the creations of Allah.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mosque in the Land of the Midnight Sun

There's a new mosque in Canada but its out of the ordinary because of its remote northern location. Its being called Little Mosque on the Tundra. It was shipped all the way from Manitoba. Poor immigrants freezing all the way up there is what I'm thinking but just think how far Islam has spread! Masha Allah we are seeing something unprecedented. The sun is rising in the west, my fellow Canadians. I'm guessing they have to adjust their prayers accordingly.

Question G3: At polar regions day and night are several months long, so how do Muslims fast and pray in those regions?
Answer: The answer is simpler than what you may think. Polar regions like Norway, Finland, and Alaska have areas where the sun stays below horizon for several months in winter, and stays above horizon for several months in summer. However, there comes a time in every day when the sun is at its highset point (Noon) and at lowest point (Midnight). At temperate latitudes, the highest point is visible but lowest point is below horizon. But at higher latitudes (Polar region, like Norway, Finland, and Alaska) the highest and lowest point occur below horizon in winter (meaning several months long night), and above horizon in summer when the sun never sets for several months (meaning several months long day). But we can calculate those two points and determine Prayer times around those two known times every day. Having determined the prayer times, the fasting time is already set.
For more information in Polar regions read on: http://moonsighting.com/6monthdays.html

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Advertising

As I mentioned before my diploma is in advertising so I am not adverse to putting ads here on my blog. However some of them are not performing well so I will be removing them insha Allah. If you know of any companies that I should be advertising or you are a company that would like me to do a review etc then please let me know. If you see any books or products that I've mentioned from Amazon please order them here as it helps me out. I will only advertise, review, promote etc halal companies and products however. This is why I don't let random ads show up on my blog like those for wine, astrology,dating etc. So if you like what you see here show me some love and do your eid shopping here. Please give me your feedback.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trophy Convert (Maniac Muslim)

Have you ever checked out Maniac Muslim? It was nominated for the Brass Crescent Award so I checked  it out. I came across an entry for Trophy Convert. I couldn't stop laughing. This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Its not often that muslims laugh so once in awhile its nice to find something as entertaining and oh so true as this. They should write one for female converts though. I whine a lot on this blog so its nice to laugh at ourselves sometimes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Library Hopping

When boredom strikes its always good to try something new. For awhile I've been thinking of going library hopping. For most people who live in cities its a simple case of going to a different branch. But when you live in a town you have to go to other towns or cities for such fun. Today I brought the kids (dd4, ds5,dd5) to a library in another town close by. I should have went there a long time ago! First of all there was perfect parking for my giant vehicle. Then when we got in the librarians were so gosh darn friendly and so happy to see us. Next we found a train track set for the kids to play with. They also had the usual crayons and colouring pages. In the corner was a place to make a puzzle. Our library has neither toys nor puzzles but they do have a checkers game. There were so many different books and videos as the libraries tend to have their own selections. I noted that there were a lot of romance videos and when I mentioned it to the librarian she said that was the favourite of seniors. Who knew?  There were some new magazines too like What's Cooking and Pack -o-FUN. DS5 went to the shelf and grabbed a Pokemon book (my these kids have good eyes!). They also picked out lots of movies for themselves and would have taken tons if I didn't stop them. This library is in an old building at least the front  part it is. Its a Carnegie library I was told. I found books for my older kids too and found out they have a program for thier age group but too bad its at a time they couldn't make. I'd love to go back with both sets of kids. While checking out the books I spotted some lovely brooches made from the old roof of the building which had little paintings done on them. Is that sweet or what? Too bad I forgot to bring my camera or I could have shown you all this. After we left we went to the playground across the street (my library doesn't have that either!) and let the kids play but it was windy and cold so we left quickly. It would be great in the spring though. Now where shall we go next?

Wilton Fondant and Gum Paste Course

I've already taken the beginners Wilton Cake Decorating course when I was pregnant for number 10. Shows like Cake Boss though really got me hooked on the idea of Fondant decorating. I went for the first time last night and I think that I like the first course better. Only time will tell though. In both classes I felt they were going too fast, yes I'm that annoying person who holds up the class. I like to learn by seeing but since there are too many students I never get enough one on one time and have to rely on verbal instructions from afar. I hate verbal instructions. I hate learning by listening period. I need to see something in front of me and not written instructions either but lots of pictures. Getting behind makes me stressed too and takes away from the enjoyment. Am I the only one who has this problem? School for me was totally ok when I was a kid because everything was visual; blackboard, filmstrips, overhead, books etc. I wish these cake decorating classes were one on one or that there was a big monitor to watch the proceedings instead of her showing one student and you having to crane your neck to see what's going on or relying on the dreaded step by step verbal instructions. What's worse is that I had to get all my supplies the day of the class because I only got accepted into the course because of a cancellation so I never had a chance to review anything ahead of time which would have helped a little. But Alhumdullilah that I had the opportunity for such a course because I know such frivolities are out of the reach of most people. I'll be posting my creations each week, feel free to laugh as I am the slowest one in my class and the weakest so far. Insha Allah I will improve.

Al-Maghrib Web TV

I've never been to an Al-Maghrib conference but those who have can't stop raving about them. I've listened to some cds and loved them. Now they have Al-Maghrib Web TV, alhumdullilah. Sign up and start watching amazing, inspiring videos now. I just listened to one where he said an Imam in a mosque was trying to stop the spread of dawah, oh wow, how I can relate. My mosque is the same! God forbid hordes of Canadians start converting and taking over their precious restaurant..whoops Mosque. Subhanallah. What will they say on the day of Judgement when they wouldn't allow me to put up my signs about a muslim speaker coming to town. Allahu Alim. It is very strange that muslims are their own worst enemies.

Brass Crescent Award

I first became aware of this award last year when I saw it as a link in my sitemeter. Its for the best muslim blogs. You can vote up until November 19th. There are many categories. Its so hard to choose just one blog ; there are so many amazing ones out there that have inspired me. Get your vote in now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't be nosy!

One thing that drives me nuts about muslims is the amount of nosy questions they ask. Someone I know has been complaining about it too. Instead of the regular questions people use to get to know you better, most muslims just ask plain nosy questions and give unislamic unasked for advice. I guess this is a cultural thing because it sure isn't part of Islam. I like when people ask about myself and even my kids. Before Islam no one ever asked me how my kids were. On top of that they even inquire about your parents. Amazing! No one ever asked me about them either. But that's the good part and these questions always come from Arabs. Very nice adab. But the questioning I hate goes like this : How are you? Why do you keep having so many kids? Why don't you buy a house? That was a few years ago. Now the question is Why don't you buy a house in our rich neighbourhood? For others the questions are why don't you have more kids (they can't use that one  on me!). How about if I turned the tables and did the same to them? But I was raised not to get involved in other people's business and Islam says the same thing. If they are really asking for some important reason like they want to buy me a house in their neighbourhood then sure fire away, but that's never the point. How does belittling people increase the love between sisters?This article got me to thinking about all this although I think of it often but with Eid coming up let's remember to MYOB! Get to know your sister in Islam as a real person, as a real friend and then maybe just maybe she will reveal to you things about herself that puzzle you but then again those facts would not be for public knowledge. Muslims have rights over us and they should be protected from our tongues and our hands. When you meet a sister or anyone try to see them as a multidimensional person with different sides to their personality, who may have a different upbringing, who has a different qadar from you. Nobody wants to be put on the spot. Show kindness in your speech. Ask them something you've never asked before that is not intrusive like what's your favourite Islamic clothing store or what did you study at school (no one ever asks me this , they assume people with big families are uneducated), or  what places have you ever travelled to. You will see the person relax and you will establish ties with them that can lead to more activities like planning halaquas or playdates with islamic themes or simply sharing recipes (oh so common for muslims). This Eid and everyday treat your sister with love and respect for the sake of Allah.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Flower Power

The other day my daughter (dd4) found a craft in an old french magazine the kids had brought home in the past from school and asked if we could do it. Today we finally did it. Its pretty simple. Here's what you need.

egg carton
tape
paint
pipe cleaners
scissors
toilet paper roll

1. Cut the egg carton so that you have 3 flower tops.
2. Paint the 'flowers'.
3. Paint the 'vase' (toilet paper roll).
4. Let dry.
5. Make a hole in the bottom of the flower and put a pipe cleaner in.
6. Bend the pipe cleaner at the top so that it won't fall out.
7. Tape the flowers into the inside of the vase.

Decorated Brownies for Eid

Emel magazine has these brownies with marshmallow and gum drops as decorations. I thought they would be cute for Eid for the kids.

Bake Along

This Little Life of Mine blogger is having a bake along. The magazine she is using is 100 Best Cookies. I'm going to join her are you? Sounds like fun, this is about as close as I'm going to get to a cookie exchange.

Free Leap Frog Book

So far the kids have been enjoying the leapfrog movies. I've never tried out the books but now I can because they are giving them out for free. All you have to do is sign up on their website for your child's learning path. Find it here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Learn Your Love Language

According to the author there are 5 kinds of love languages and everyone has a favourite. You can take the test here.  I wasn't too suprised about my results but I think this is a great activity for couples to do to make sure the other really understands what's important to them in the relationship. Kids can also take the test.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cupcake

I got a book from the library called Cupcake because I like baking and I didn't even have a chance to read it to the kids before they were all grabbing it and reading it. From 14 down to 1 everyone just had to read it. I've never seen them all like a book so much so I thought I'd share it with you. Its about a plain white vanilla cupcake with a whole bunch of brother and sister cupcakes with funky flavours and designs who all get picked first and he gets left behind. So candle decides to help him out. Its a funny, quirky book so I guess that's why they like it. There is a recipe at the back too so it would make a great playdate book (wink, wink, at handmade beginnings.)

Everyone needs a punching bag!

I saw this for sale at Winners and thought it would be great for practicing our Tae Kwon Do punches and kicks. It comes with two Tae Bo videos. The kids are loving it and I think its great for round house kicks. This is great for everyone as a stress reliever too!

November Book Club Pick - Love in a Headscarf

Tomorrow insha Allah is November so I hope all you avid readers have gotten your hands on the next book pick; Love in a Headscarf. If you don't have it yet ask someone to get it for you for Eid or buy two and give one to a friend. Let's grow this book club; tell a friend, put the book club widget on your blog, get your library to order the book so more people can read it and join, buy the book and lend it to a friend or family member etc. Looking forward to some more members!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Test Your Kids Manners

Here is a cute little test to give your kids to see how well-mannered they are. I did this with dd4 (grade 1).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Next Door Diner

On the weekend I got a chance to experience my friend's new halal diner; Next Door Diner. I had honey garlic chicken wings and fries and dh had the philadelphia steak sub and the kids had burgers and one had macaroni. We all liked the food except the kids didn't like the macaroni. I didn't try it so I don't know why. I forgot to take pictures of the food but ran back and took pictures of the place. The place was very quiet as its just opened. It was great to be able to order everything off the menu instead of only vegetarian or seafood choices. There was dessert too but we were too stuffed to order any. The owner told me she's been making cakes for 30 yrs. So if you are in the London area and you have a craving for some Canadian diner style halal food do stop by.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hooked on French

Part of the curriculum in Canada is learning French and we are French too so last year I got dd4 (grade 1) the Hooked on French kit. She used it today and was really enjoying it and picking up words fast. The kit comes with storybooks, workbooks,cds,cards and stickers. There are two parts to it. Today she was learning things like numbers and colours. I will keep using the first one till she knows it well. There are also extra suggested activities for each lesson.

Blog Roll Additions

I'm the kind of person that gets bored easily and am always looking around for new inspiration so I went searching for new blogs to add to my blogroll. In the meantime I always check if anyone has me on their blog roll, ahem. Barely anyone has added me to their homeschooling blog rolls so either its because I have other topics as well on my blog or its just not up to snuff. (sniff, sniff). But I digress. So here are my new choices..perhaps you will like them too even if they are chosen by a mediocre blogger.


http://sadaffarooqi.wordpress.com/

http://www.spirit21.co.uk/

http://www.habibihalaqas.org/

http://sisterswithpower.blogspot.com/

http://diaryofamuslimgirl.blogspot.com/

March Book Club Pick 2011

I just came across this book :  Jihad of the Soul which is about being muslim,single and looking. I want to read it for my kids' sakes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Living together and Loneliness

This isn't going to be about common-law relationships but about other set-ups. After watching Sister Wives (never get to see islamic polygamy close up so might as well rubber neck the Christians, ahem), I realised that one of the main reasons these women can put up with the situation is that being together with all the other wives eases their loneliness. Back in the olden days (cough 1950's) women stayed home and had coffee mornings or so I've been told as that's way before my time. Nowadays with the majority of women working I think a lot of women work because that's one of the only ways you can get adult interaction during the day. But there's something else at play that's changed over the years. In the really olden days let's say turn of the century, ahh, last century, people lived in extended families. After reading about a family that decided to live that way again in Reader's Digest it really hit a nerve. Most of us would hate to be in such a situation as we've always been told how awful it is but what about the benefits? Actually growing up to know your grandparents intimately, babysitters on hand, shared chores, help in your old age and yes a salve for loneliness. The article also talks about how much money you save. I know a lot of people in the GTA are living together just in order to afford a house; multiple generations, siblings, friends. At what cost has this relatively  new way of living affected us? I remember when my granny lived on the same property as us in her little house. I cherish those days so much. In Malaysia people may not live together anymore but sometimes do but they do live in the same neighbourhood; the kampung. I miss walking past my neighbours house and being invited in for tea because hey that's my in-law. Its a special feeling. Sometimes I long to live in the olden days when your neighbours were your relatives and woman got together for coffee and quilting bees and potlucks. I have more money here in Canada but yes my Malaysian readers I also have something I didn't have in Malaysia; loneliness. Yes a woman with 10 kids can feel lonely, it takes more than your relationship with your kids to keep you company. Alhumdullilah.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Size of a Mustard Seed

I finished this awhile back and I know there is one person reading it and perhaps finished but is there anyone else? The month is almost over and we will be discussing it soon. If you just started or are about to get your copy then you still have time.  I loved this book and I hope you will too. Next month's choice is Love in a Headscarf.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Nasihah

Perfect reminder to me right now.

Understanding the Prophet's Life
Tribulations
We have heard many times a person bemoan, "I do not deserve this!" or "Why me?" or similar declarations. Many people live with the rancour in their hearts because of what they have been dealt with in life. This attitude toward trials stems from a denial of God's omnipotence and that God alone decrees all things. We cannot choose what befalls us, but we can choose our responses to the trials of life, which are inevitable.
It is important to look at the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and know that no one faced greater tribulation. The Prophet lived to see all of his children buried, except for Fatima. How many people experience that in their lifetime? His father died before his birth. His mother died when he was just a boy. His guardian grandfather then died. When he received his calling, he saw his people turn against him with vehemence and brutality. People who had once honoured him no slandered him, calling him a madman, liar, and sorcerer. They stalked him and threw stones at him until he bled. They boycotted him and composed stinging invectives against him. He lost his closest friends and relatives, like Hamza, who was killed on the battlefield. His beloved wife Khadija after 25 years of blissful marriage died during the Prophet's most difficult moment. Abu Talib, his protecting uncle, also died. The Prophet was the target of 13 assassination attempts. How many people have face all of that? Not once in a single hadith is there a complaint from him - except when beseeching his Lord.
Compiled From:
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 69- 72

Future Plans for the Kaaba?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quran Pen Reader, Teacher

Have any of you tried the new Quran Pen Readers or Baba Salam Teacher? Its like the leap frog books where you have a pen and you point to the word and its read to you. Imagine? This is great for converts and even kids. Most of these seem to be out of stock everywhere. They must be really in demand. My friend sent one to her mother who never learnt the Quran before (muslim country now but formerly colonized.) I also have my eye on the Tajweed Untangler. Anyone have that book? What innovative resources are you using to learn Quran?  Meanwhile my tajweed teacher got me the al-huda book to learn the Quran word for word.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Stuff in London

My friend is opening the first ever halal diner in London; Next Door Diner. Can you imagine halal Canadian food? Yum! I'm going to check it out soon insha Allah. Its located at 435 Hamilton Rd, between Rectory and Adelaide. Have questions? Call 519-432-1555.

There's also a new a hijab seller in London called Nai'yera. They sell scarves and underscarves. If you live in London, any purchase over $20 comes with FREE delivery. For more info:

1) Search nai'yera on www.facebook.com (don't forget the apostrophe!)
2) Check out our pictures and choose what you like!
3) Then email us your order naiyera.etc@gmail.com

Monday, October 18, 2010

Consoling Men

Today 8 men came from out of town to console dh. I was happy that they took the time out to show they cared. Sad to say though no men came from the mosque that dh attends. Alhumdullilah though. In the evening another man came with his wife and kids and they brought some semolina cookies. She told me that they might be buying a building to make into a mosque. That would really be something as that city still has no real mosque but only a trailer to pray in. May Allah make it easy for them. Amin.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Muslim Day at the ROM

I've gone to this before a few years ago and its worth every cent! Go early though because the place is huge! I think we barely scratched the surface. It was so amazing and great to be able to obtain halal meals there too. There is also a place to pray and Islamic lectures and more. Its next weekend! Check it out here.  To get the coupon code go here. October is Muslim Heritage Month, what's your community doing?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Creativ Festival-Oct 22-24

No that's not a typo that's what its called. Next weekend if you're the creative type then the place to be is Toronto! Here's the blurb : World's largest event of its kind! It's about learning,creativity and making it yourself. Supplies and tips to bead,sew,knit,stitch,quilt,scrapbook and more. TV hosts, industry experts and exhibits.
T: 1-800-291-2030
W: www.creativefestival.ca

Built-in Book Nook

Ok I seriously want this, like now! Can I add this to my honey-do list? Dh said its easy. I don't think it would fit anywhere in this house though. Can I add getting a new house to my list too? Please?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Condolence Call

Today 4 muslim women came to pay a condolence call. Alhumdullilah. I wish though some men would come to cheer up my husband. They brought food and gifts. It was very nice to have some visitors especially since they came from out of town. They asked me not to make anything so I spent my time making things presentable. Cleanliness is half of faith. May Allah reward them for their kindness. Amin.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 1st Annual TMH Homeschooling Conference

This is almost two months late as I attended this conference on August 8th as well as my kids including handmade beginnings who is my oldest daughter. I only took notes for Abdullah Hakim Quick as the other speakers were mostly saying things I already knew. My notes are kind of all over the place but insha Allah you can glean something from them. He will be having a lecture tomorrow so check the link.

Homeschooling -Stepping out of the matrix (my title).

Islamic schools are an alternative to the public system. They have an islamised western curriculum plus traditional islamic subjects which creates a burden to the student. Its a crisis for the ummah.

Alhambra had a plumbing system for 1000 yrs and electricity for a 12 km stretch.

We need an holistic education; islamic homeschooling.

Basis for learning should not be book knowledge but learn character from people not facts from books.

Islamic education = God consciousness.

Islamic school has failed. Western style is not holistic. Homeschool is cutting edge. Islamic history. Teachers orientated them. Environment where they could blossom. Quran. Math. Hadith. Fiqh.

Role of the teacher. Revelation. Knowledge of the world. Put it into practice. Parents practice is the message.

Kids learn body language from western secular school from teacher and students. Kids irritating others to fit in.

If we practise our Islam in the society our kids will be equipped to cope with society.

Islamic revival- a change from within ourselves. The 40 hadith of Islamic Revival. ( His book).

Peer pressure. Environment. Rights of the road.

Heart is more than flesh, has mind of its own. Decisions made in the heart remain connected to the mind.

Righteousness- ask your heart intention-why are we doing this? Extends itself to character reflection of the heart. Reflection of the prophet.

Gatherings-sessions-revival of Islam-personal development to fit with the prophet.

Islamic curriculum usually has ibadah. Should have interpersonal relationships. Not how to fast but WHY we fast.

Learning is empowerment; to be able to be empowered in this world and avoid temptation.

3 Steps
1. Taqwa-Fitrah
2. Khalifa
3. Ihsan (Sincerity)

Let your child correct your mistake.
Greater picture; hereafter. Don't worry if your team wins and then if you don't, you commit suicide.

Homeschooling = stepping out of the matrix.

Al Maghrib-deconstruct history.

Christopher Columbus was discovered in 1492!

Whoever has taqwa Allah will find a way out for them.

Setbacks.

To Grandmother's house we go!

Sunday was a busy day filled with baking and dh finishing up (well almost) the playhouse and playing in the sprinklers. My daughter (dd3) baked S'Mores Cupcakes. The recipe was taken from a chapter book she just finished called Its Raining Cupcakes. I made Upside down Glazed Bran Muffins.(These are both delicious!) Then on Monday we all trekked to my parents house but first we picked up dd2 with said baked goodies.  Ds1 and Dd1 also joined us from their respective cities so it was kind of like a family reunion. We went in the afternoon and enjoyed my mother's lovely apple pie with ice cream on top. The big kids explored different playgrounds in her town. The guys talked about guy stuff; they all like mechanical things. My mother suggested I read A Blade of Grass. Dd1 lent me some Islamic cds. I listened to one on the way home but fell asleep half way through. A lovely day all in all but I wish I could have prayed at my parents instead of delaying it. Being a convert is never easy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Air Janazah

Muslims must always contemplate their own demise and lately after the death of my mother-in-law that mindset is driven home even more. We don't know when our loved ones will die or when we will die or if we will die before them. Are we ready? Have we packed our good deeds? Look deep in your soul. If your parents are alive go and visit them NOW! Dh just told me about a man who hasn't visited his parents in 20 yrs on purpose and for no reason. I know a guy like that too who hasn't visited his parents in 30 years and in the meantime his father passed away and still he sits and waits. For what? His mother's death? His own death? Wake up and live! Follow the straight path. Repent. Do good deeds. Don't broadcast your sins; it doesn't make you cool! Don't procrastinate. Time waits for no man. What would you change right now if you knew you had a month or a week or a day or an hour to live? Carpe Diem-Seize the Moment. Pray now, give charity now, smile at your fellow man now, keep the ties of kinship, make up your fasts, give presents (you can't take your money with you anyway!) and write an islamic will. Hug your kids, teach them Islam, bring them to the masjid and let them know their relatives. Make friends for the sake of Allah. Give naseehah. Volunteer. Donate. Keep busy with righteous deeds and worthwhile endeavours. Make dua for others. Visit the sick. I think you get the picture. And don't forget dawah, especially to your non-muslim family. The reminder benefits the believer and I remind myself first.

Lonely Muslim Converts

I didn't go out looking for this article but came across it when I was looking for baking recipes and thought I'd share it with you. Another Eid is coming up in November; don't forget your convert sister or brother-in-Islam. By the way the website also had recipes in case you want those too.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Future Book Club Picks

Insha Allah there are some of you enjoying this month's book club pick; The Size of a Mustard Seed. If not then I highly recommend it. November's pick as I mentioned before will be Love in a Headscarf. December's will be Healing Body and Soul. January will be Green Deen. February will be Growing Up X. So if you want to get prepared then find out if your library has these or if they can be ordered. Otherwise please order them here. If you've read one of our past titles please go back and share your review. If you have a bookworm friend then please tell them about our book club. Thanks.

How to be his girlfriend.

So come on,  every wife wants to feel like a girlfriend! But after years of marriage and kids its not so easy. Sometimes the relationship needs a little spice, a little pepper. How about some advice from a relationship coach and a muslim one at that?  Fatima Khan with her lectures, books and coaching is there to help. Check out LifePepper! You can sign up for emails too.  She mentions that she graduated at the top of her class taught by Muhammad Al-shareef. I guess that's saying a lot!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Mother-In-Law Passed Away.

Inna ilaihi wa inna ilaih rajiun. Last night (day in Malaysia) my mother-in-law passed away. May Allah accept her good deeds, forgive her her sins and grant her Jannah. Amin. I haven't seen my mother-in-law in 10 yrs when I lived with her for 4 months. She was a very nice woman and I really loved her. I'm taking it pretty hard. I feel so bad for dh who missed her funeral and can't get any more days off from work as he already went there in January. At that time she was doing pretty well but afterwards she went downhill fast. The sad thing is that 2 of my kids who saw her when they were little can't remember her and the 4 little kids have never seen her in their lives. Insha Allah one day they will at least get to see their aunts, uncles and cousins. Please say a prayer for her and dh; now he's an orphan.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Recommendations?

Do you have any recommendations for me? I'm looking for new blogs and books, magazines etc. Have you read, heard or seen anything that made you think hey, old muslim woman in the shoe would just love this!? If you have please let me know. A lot of people on my blog list haven't blogged in months. I'd like to shake things up a bit and I'm always interested in new reading material as well, especially for my book club. Thanks!
Hethr recently recommended Muslim Next Door. Mom, I'm a Muslim looks interesting but its only on Kindle.

Homeschooling Picks

I finally bought some books for dd4 (grade 1) this week. Since she has to learn to read I so wish I could have found the book I learned to read with at school at her age. Anyone remember Spot? See Spot. See Spot Run. But this book seems to have disappeared along with other ideas like phonics instead of whole word learning although you can still access phonics with programs like Hooked on Phonics.(Amazon has it!) I got her the grade 1 Complete Canadian Curriculum at Coles. I also got her Brown Bear to help her learn to read as well as a Dora reading book. Coles was also sponsoring a local school library by selling Robert Munsch books so I got Put Me in a Book which she thought was silly when I read it to her. I like silliness. I'm also still using flashcards to help her learn to count and the wipe off books from Avon to help her learn to write letters and numbers. Dd1 told me about Progressive Phonics but I haven't looked into that yet. How is your homeschooling going this year?

October Book Club Pick

October is already here and its time to change titles! This month's pick is The Size of a Mustard Seed. How many readers do we have this month? We'll be discussing this at the end of the month so there is still time for you to get your hands on a copy. This is a great way to support muslim authors. Either order a copy here, get your library to order one or ask your friends or family if they have a copy you can borrow. Next month is Eid and if you're looking for a great eid gift then ask for Love in a Headscarf; next month's book club pick. If you've read any of the previous book club picks please leave your thoughts on the book you read. Happy reading fellow bookworms.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Butterfly Mosque-Last Day

This is the last day of September and everyone has finished reading the book now so let's talk!  I'll throw out some questions.

What did you think of the title and how it applied to the story?

What did you think of the author's style?

What did you think of her conversion story?

What did you think of her sojourn in Egypt?

What if anything struck you about her story?

Would you read a sequel if she wrote one?

What would you ask her to include in such a sequel?

The book is not in my hands now so I will have to go by memory with this. The first thing though that struck me when I opened the book is that she got funding from Canada even though she is an American. I'd like to know the story behind that. So let's begin!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Malay Eid Party

Do these ever end? Nah, I don't mind. Sunday found me attending another eid party. There were two rooms so I claimed one for the kids so I could keep my eye on them. Other kids joined too but they were bigger. There was a lot of food but it tasted different from the way Kelantanese cook. There were Kelantanese there but one made cake, one bought biryani, we brought drinks and I'm not sure about the other one. I was glad they had pizza though which the kids and I filled up on, lol. We saw a mat salleh in a baju melayu and I wondered if I'd missed a wedding or something but turns out I didn't.  There was a Quran recitation competition but I was in the room so didn't hear it. The host gave out gifts and I was so happy because it turned out they were Islamic books; GoodWord books. The baby got a dua book that dd3 is borrowing to learn while at her weekly class. She also got a Tell Me About Musa book which we already owned. Ds4 got an interesting books called What is Jannah  which is written by Salma Umm Zainab, a convert who was homeschooling her daughter and wanted her to learn the beauty of Islam. The other kids got Islamic colouring books and a book called Allah and Me,Learning to Live Allah's Way which has lessons about being a muslim in daily life. Dd4 got a book about Eid that included how Malaysians celebrate Eid and had a picture of the Shah Alam Mosque. I was suprised because most books just talk about Arabs, Pakistanis/Indians and Turks. We had to leave early after that to go and get halal meat and visit our daughter (dd2) and drop off  the order my sister got from my daughter's website handmade beginnings. We brought some food for dd2 though and I thought to myself that next time I should bring Tupperware! Carrying soggy paper plates on my lap is not my idea of fun.  All in all a great day but very tiring.