Saturday, June 30, 2007

Children do what they are told

Assalm alykom:
Are you a little baffled by the title? I was confused by this statement when I was listening to a motivational tape and the speaker said this. Children do what they are told to do. The example he gave is that you tell your child to go and wash the dishes. You go in the kitchen some time later, and there are all these pots and pans in the sink, and the counters are still full of food. You are upset and mad and go to your child and say to him: "Why didn't you finish the pots and pans and clean off the counter?" He says, "But, you told me to do the dishes." He is right. I did not say anything about the pots and pans or the counters. Therefore, he did not do it. As a parent, I run in to this all the time. Then, I get frustrated that they did not complete the job. I really learned from this that I have to give specific instructions. From those instructions, I should only expect what are in the details and nothing more. If I want the entire kitchen cleaned, I need to tell my child to clean the dishes, wipe the counters, and clean the pots and pans. I really find this advice great, and it will help me as a parent to have less conflict and get the jobs done efficiently in the house.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Sweetness of Faith

Assalm alykom:
The Prophet Muhammad(Peace be upon him) said: There are three qualities that if a person has them, they will taste the sweetness of faith. These three qualities are:
1. A person must love Allah and His messenger more than he loves anything else.
2. A person hates to go back to disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown into the Hell Fire.
3. A person loves another for the sake of Allah.
I used this hadeeth to create a really great writing assignment for my students. I told them that if they could taste the sweetness of faith, what would it taste like. They needed to write me one paragraph describing what the sweetness of faith would taste like. To give you an idea of what to expect from the writing, most of my students wrote that it would taste like a sweet they liked. Most of them put some type of cake, ice cream or candy. However, some where very creative and descriptive about it. These students stood out from the rest with creativity. This assignment would probably be good for grades starting out at 6th and up. It takes a little more maturity to relate food with something that we cannot touch. Therefore, it may be difficult for a student below that grade. I thought that this assignment really caused them to reflect on how wonderful faith really is for a person. Faith is compared to the taste of something sweet, and I think that most all children love anything sweet! Let me know how some of your kids do with this prompt!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Here is another shot of the owls

Assalm alykom:
Isn't he just beautiful!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Baby Gifts

Assalm alykom:

I had a couple of friends having babies, and I made these for them. They are so easy, and they look so personalized. To make these, you just need to get onesies and bibs that have no decoration on them. For the onesies that are painted, I just used fabric paint in squeeze bottles. The paint is air dry and very easy to use. It is also washable. For the items with crochet, I used bedspread weight thread. For the lace, I crocheted a single crochet right onto the t-shirt and bib. Then the second time around, I used different stitches to make the lace. For the flowers and the balloons, I crocheted them first and then I sewed them on.

In Arabic, this one says: "I love my mother"

This one says in Arabic: "I am the beloved of my mother"

This one says in Arabic :"I love my father"

This one says in Arabic: "I love my mother"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Burrowing Owls

Assalm alykom:
Next to our masjid, I found these adorable little owls. They are federally protected birds. The area where they are at have federal signs around it indicating that it is a crime to bother them. Here is more specific information about them.
Finding these owls was such a treat because I had just read with my sixth grade class the book Hoot. I will give you my impression of the book. First of all, it would be appropriate for grade 5-8. The story was great! It was about environmental protection of the owls and really anything in nature. It was funny and very entertaining. However, the book did use some inappropriate language. This really surprised me because it had won so many literary awards for children. I suppose if you white out the words or just explain to your child that this is bad it would be better. One thing I did like about it, that I found was lacking in most novels for that age was "love scenes". Even in the curriculum reading books at school, there were too many stories with that. This book was absent from the male- female attraction scenario. I purchased along with the book a teacher's guide. It was really informative and had great lessons. It had fun ways to teach vocabulary, it contained tests, integrated science and social studies, it also had writing assignments.
If I snap some more pictures of the owls, I will upload them, Inshallah. They are very close and easy to snap, but they blend in with the ground so they are hard to see.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Assalm alykom:

I have just added an audio on the side bar of my blog of my son Nour reciting Quran, when he was 6 years old. I hope this CD is an inspirational tool for children in reciting Quran. The recording is slow and easy to follow. Each ayat is repeated three times to help the child perfect his or her recitation. Nour recorded the entire Part 30 of the Quran. It is really a great CD for young children who are just beginning to learn their surahs. Here are a few other surahs that are available for your listening enjoyment

Quran Recitation
by: Nour Kouatli (6yrs old)You can buy the entire part 30 on two CD's
1. At-teen 2. Al-'laq 3. Al-qadr
4. Al-byynah5. Az-zalzalah6. Al-'adiyaat

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Garnet Bird

Assalm Alykom:

I am adding a new label for my blog and it is nature. I have continually loved nature in my life. I have lived in many places. Where ever I have lived, I have always been in tune with the nature around me. I can usually name every animal, bird, and insect that lives with in 100 feet of my home.

I grew up in rural Indiana and now live in suburban South Florida. My rural home was filled with many types of birds, field mice, deer, fox, and wild geese flying over for migration. I even witnessed the monarch butterflies landing by the millions on the mulberry trees of my neighbor.

Florida has different nature that I needed to learn. I found many water fowl that I had never seen before. I also have found many animals that are not native to Florida, but are able to survive and thrive here. I have captured with my camera many animals that live around me and, I hope to share them on my blog soon.

This picture of a beautiful ruby red bird is that of the male cardinal. Here you will find more statistical information about this wonderful bird. The female looks the same but she is a grayish brown. I took this picture in my backyard. These birds are very common all over the United States. You can attract them to your backyard with a bird feeder and common bird seed.