You might be perplexed by my title in this entry. You are probably already asking yourself: "What is the connection with ants and Cheerios?" Well it starts with a little riddle I read the other day. So, here it goes:
What do ants use for hula-hoops? See answer below
I thought this was just the cutest little riddle. Only a mother who has ever had toddlers would find this funny. I have four children and the oldest is ten now. Therefore, I have been carrying in my purse in a ziplock bag Cheerios for the last ten years. Oh my, they have changed over the years. There is the plain flavor, the honey coated flavor, the frosted flavor and the newest one is the yoghurt covered. There is one problem with this flavor and that is, not all the cheerios have the yoghurt on them. Therefore, my children pick all the yoghurt covered ones out of the ziplock bag and eat them first. I think Cheerios is one of first finger foods that all my children had tried. It is quite amusing watching them try to pick them up. Their little fingers just fit into the hole perfectly. As they get older they go from eating one by one with their finger to just grabbing them by the handful and eating them. I even found a nice little activity with Cheerios to do with my three year old. I gave her a nice long piece of yarn and she made a Cheerios necklace. Then her and my two year old daughter had fun eating it. This created a slight little break so I could teach my older children. Are Cheerios a staple in your family like mine?
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I am a volunteer at my masjid. I hold a craft class for children once a month. I have been doing it for about 3 months now. I have really been enjoying it, and I hope the children are enjoying it too! This is the craft that we did this month. It was so easy and it can accommodate children of different age groups doing it together.
craft foam sheets
Design the foam sheet while it is flat. For the younger children they just peeled the stickers and arranged them on the sheet. The older children cut out designs from the extra foam and glued them on. Make sure to leave about one and a half inches from each end free from design. This is where you need to glue it. After you have finished the design, you need to use the paper punch and put 4 holes in the bottom and tie your ribbons to it. The more ribbons you use the more attractive the sock will become. The next step is to punch two holes in the top. Next you need to fold the foam over like a tube and glue it. It is best to set something heavy inside the tube while it dries overnight. Finally tie one last ribbon through the two holes in the top. This is what you use to hang it. The socks in the photos at the top are the ones my daughters and I made. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
Friday, April 28, 2006
When you homeschool, finding a tool that will help you with your house work can be essential. This is especially true if you have multiple children, with some being toddlers. When you homeschool everyone is home with you alllllllllllll day long! Therefore, they are eating and making messes as they go. You can try to keep after them, but you really cannot be in two or even three places at one time. I was struggling and wasting time sweeping my hard floors with a broom several times a day. At the end of the day, it would take me almost 45 mins. just to vacuum all the messes on the carpet. After this struggle, I decided to buy a small cordless upright stick vacuum. I first bought a medium priced model. I was excited with it for about the first two weeks. I was sweeping up crumbs and what not 3 times a day with ease and quickness. Then, the motor quit on it. I began to panic because this became such a much needed item in my house. I immediately returned it and got the same model once again. I am happy once again with my new found treasure. Then, after a week the motor quits again. I return it and decide this store does not have a better one. I go to another store and decide to buy a much more expensive model. This one is still cordless but it has a detachable hand-vac. I take it home and I am very excited to try it out. Well, I was very happy once again. This one is even better than the first one. I plug along with this new luxury vacuum for about 2 weeks. Then "it" happened again. The motor started to fade. I was really beginning to wonder if a vacuum was really met to be for me. I took it back again and exchanged it for the same model. I liked it so much, and I thought I would give it another try. Well, after I took it out of the box, I made two swipes across the floor and the wheel fell off. I tried snapping it back on, but it would not work. It was an obvious factory defect. I took it back and decided to get yet another model. This was like a stick vac but with no detachable hand-vac. It was also a deluxe model because I did not want the cheap stuff that would fall apart. Eventhough, up until now the expensive stuff was doing just that. I arrive home with less enthusiasm because I was growing tired of the trips back and forth to the store. I start to assemble the handle and realize I cannot not even put it together properly. The reason being is due to another factory error. The handle was made backwards. I was so disappointed. My husband offered to save me a trip and returned yet another vacuum. When he arrived home he had the economical version of the same one he returned. Well, needless to say almost a week later, it is truly a blessing. Finally, after two months and six vacuums I am truly happy with the vacuum that Allah blessed me with.
The lesson that I learned from this is no matter what we try to do to make the outcome of what we want, Allah's Qadar will prevail. He is the Decider and the Planner of everything. I know that I tried everything to get the right vacuum. I tried different brands, different stores, and different priced vacuums. The result was all the same. The vacuum that was the best for me did not come until Allah willed it for me. I also know that what is willed for me is the best. Eventhough, it may not feel that way to me. In the case of my vacuum. I ended up with the best vacuum at the best price. I just had to keep my patience to achieve that in the end. May Allah make for all the Muslim what is best for them! AMEEN
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I will finish another year of homeschooling in just two weeks. Since I am in a virtual public school, I do a nine month school year with three months off for summer. The school technically runs through June. However, I have finished everything early for my two children. I debate all of the time whether or not I like to have the entire summer off. I cannot decide if I would rather school the kids more laid back during the year. I would teach them, for example 4 days a week and take three days off to attend better to my household. On the other hand, I kind of like the idea of having three whole months to work on long projects. I also like the three month break to evaluate the things I did the year before. I tend to use this time to do some hard reorganization if my schooling room. My children continue in the summer to learn Quran, Arabic and Islamic studies. During this time, my husband takes the opportunity to work with them harder. I usually do not work with them at all in the summer,but this summer I want to concentrate on working with them on their multiplication tables. I think that is enough. The k12 program I use is quite intense sometimes. I think that we are all looking for the break. I would love to hear how others do the scheduling. Maybe I can get some new ideas from what I am doing now. Please let me know your ideas. Do you homeschool all year around or do you take the summer off?
Monday, April 17, 2006
My daughter just finished studying in Science the life cycle of the butterfly. It is truly an amazing process that this creature endures. I think SubhannAllah, how it starts as an egg, then a caterpillar, then it goes into this strange cocoon, and then emerges as the beautiful butterfly. I absolutely love butterflies. They are truly an exquisite creature that Allah has created. Here are a few websites that give a good explanation of the life cycle:
I can remember, when I was a young girl, living in rural Indiana, I had the opportunity to witness the migration of a group of monarch butterflies. They flew in one evening just before the sunset and covered several mulberry trees on my neighbors land. You could hardly see any leaves on the trees. It was if all the leaves had turned orange and where walking around. They looked exactly like this picture. It is surely a site to see if you are so fortunate. The monarch butterfly is a fascinating creature, and here are a few sites to give more detail about its life and habitat:
This one has a nice little movie where the butterfly emerges from its cocoon.
With all this inspiration of the beautiful butterfly, I decided to write a poem for my kids that went along with what we learned.
High in the sky.
Allah created you a beautiful creature.
He made you different from many other insects.
You are made with a metamorphical feature.
High in the sky.
You start your life as an egg, carefully placed on a leaf.
After you hatch, you emerge as a caterpillar and you eat and eat.
Alhamdolilah, this stage of your life is a time that is only brief.
High in the sky.
You wind into a silken thread, so hidden from those who see.
You are happy in your small tight little bed.
This is how Allah made you to be.
High in the sky.
You sit in this thread called a cocoon for only a limited time.
You push your way out of your silken world, to become a butterfly.
Your flying above the trees, not as before where you had to climb.
High in the sky.
Your wings give you the beauty that you contain.
They are liked colored glass that I can see the sun shining through
I love watching you in my garden passing each flower again.
High in the sky.
I pray that Allah keeps you an enjoyment for me.
I hope you will visit my garden, so I will not miss your flight.
I praise Allah for creating you making your beauty for all to see.
Here are some fun websites theat are also related to the butterfly:
This one I really enjoyed:
This is a general site full of a great deal of sites on butterflies:
I hope everyone enjoys this information on the butterfly as much as we did!
Monday, April 10, 2006
For the past few months, Our beloved Prophet Jesus has been mentioned on the nightly news frequently. The first controversy that came about was the Davinci Code. It is a book with a different account about the life of Jesus than what the Bible states. It became a bestselling novel and is soon to be a newly released movie. There is another controversy about this book. . There is different author that wrote a similar book, and he is suing the author of the Davinci Code for plagiarism. This story gives yet another opportunity for the media to mention Jesus.
Last week ,I saw another piece on Jesus. There is another book out called the Jesus Papers. This author claims that there is proof that Jesus never died on the cross. I found this interesting because we as Muslims also believe that he never died on the cross. However ,the claim in this book is that he was hung on the cross and then removed before he died. We as Muslims believe he was never even hung on the cross at all.
Also, last week The National Geographic did a piece on the Gospel Of Judea. Apparently, this is a lost text that scientist are piecing together after it was found. It is supposedly shedding some light on this disciple of Jesus. It is stating that he was not actually a betrayer of Jesus as the Christians believe.
With all these accounts in the media about Jesus, we Muslims should be brushing up on our knowledge about him. This subject gives us a perfect oppurtunity to give dawah . I think most Christians probably do not even know that we recognize Jesus or any other prophets mentioned in the Bible,for that matter. For starters, we can go to the Quran and know what Allah said about Jesus. Here is another nice tool for dawah.
Monday, April 03, 2006
I turn on the radio in the car. They are talking very negatively about Islam. I turn on the television to watch the news. There is more negativity being spread. I look at articles on the internet written by Muslims and many times they are about their bad experiences while living out their life in society. Well, I have a wonderful story that happened to me and it is because I am a Muslim.
My 18 month daughter had a minor dental procedure that required a short hospital stay. She had to have general anesthesia so she had not eaten since the day before. After the procedure was finished, and she had been released, and I could tell that she was very hungry. I took her down to the hospital cafeteria in hopes to find her something appropriate. After finding the cafeteria, I proceeded to search for something like yogurt or jello or apple sauce. As I was looking, a woman who worked in the hospital called out toward me. She said to me, "Sister, Can I help you find something?" She looked at me quizzically and said," You are a sister are you not?" I told her that I am not Catholic and that my religion is Islam. She told me that was wonderful and I was still a sister to her. I continued to search for an appropriate food item for my baby. I finally found some yoghurt and a small bottle of juice. By the time I found these things the line had about twenty people in it. As I approached the line, my "sister" friend was already close to the front. She grabbed my items from my hand and insisted to purchase my items for me. I was very adamant to pay for the items and handed her a few dollars. However, she was more adamant and told me that she wanted to buy the items for her "sister". She handed me the items and told me "Have a great day SISTER!" I was really touched. Sometimes I do not know what to think. Do people see me in the hijab and conjure up all the evil things that are being said in the media or are they like my sister friend and they do not buy into all of that? I feel apprehensive with myself in public. Sometimes people give me unfriendly stares, but mostly they smile and are kind. However, my incident with my sister friend really made me feel better about it all!