Girl Guides

Wow it's been quite a whirlwind month. I will be really honest in saying I didn't nearly get as much homeschooling done as I would have liked. I let my daughter do a lot of independent work as I read, and trained, and learned, and filled forms, and sent emails, and did so many things required to become her Brownie Leader! Alhumdulillah, I finally took the leap and I started up a Girl Guide unit with two other sisters who will be taking on Sparks and Guides. I actually wanted to start something like this when my daughter was younger, around 5 years old, but I just kept putting it off. I'm really excited for what is to come inshaAllah. My Mom is my biggest inspiration for doing something like this, she started the first Muslim Girl Guide unit in Ontario over 13 years ago. I remember being in Pathfinders, and volunteering as a Cadet when I was in high school. I had a lot of great memories, and I want to share similar ones with my eldest daughter, and hopefully as the younger two get older, with them as well :). I'm hoping to share my Girl Guide journey on this blog. Today was our first unit meeting, and it went really well Alhumdulillah! We had a little intro with girls and their moms, played an ice breaker game, and made name tags.


handmade for eid ul adha 2015

So I managed to squeeze in itty bits of handmade goodness into this year's eid. I made a few gifts for my family to give them on the last day of Eid when we came together as a family. I dabbled in a variety of different craft techniques too, including sewing, fabric painting, crochet, wood burning, and painting :). For my Mom I made a fabric roll to hold her writing pens. My daughters and I also made quite a few totes bags. One for their grandma with each of their 3 handprints on it in the shape of a heart in the center, saying: "We Grandma". And two more handpainted totes bags, one for my niece and sister. The granny squares, which I was slowly crocheting along, I was planning to use in a lap quilt, but the process was taking much too long. I only had half as many squares needed to complete a baby blanket, let alone a lap quilt, so I instead opted to make a winter scarf for my sister. For one of my brothers I made a recycled jean pocket wall hanging. I hoping he can hang some of his doodads from his bunkbed or on the wall. I wood burned two things, a wooden mixing spoon for my baking-loving Mom, and the wood handle of a super cool pocket knife/hammer I got for my brother. Unfortunately I was in such a rush to get everything wrapped and head out the door, I didn't get a picture of it all. But here's what I did get :) Also my eldest made a super cute sheep piñata!


Hajj Playdate 2015

We've had our fair share of Hajj themed playdates over the years, here, here, and here. But this was the first time we hosted one! It all came about quite unintentionally actually. What I really had planned was to have a hajj diorama contest! I was thinking that the families could work on a diorama at home, and then we could all meet up at a local park and show our models, and winners would be chosen and prizes would be given. But at the request of parents, it became more of a workshop type event, and we had all our friends over at our home, and we worked on hajj diorama models together at the same time. We also read "A Little Tree Goes for Hajj", and talked about all the rites of Hajj and various locations that people visit on their journey. Alhumdulillah everyone's models turned out great, and I hope everyone went home knowing a little bit more about Hajj. Looking forward to next year, inshaAllah. :)


felt slippers

Sometimes I worry that my eldest daughter is falling behind in her homeschooling. That we just didn't have enough time today, or yesterday, or the whole week to meet all the targets I set for her. I wonder where I am going wrong, and how on earth do homeschoolers do it all, how do they keep up with their child's grade expectations? But then when I step back, and watch my daughter do her thing, I am always amazed at what unfolds. When she thinks of a concept in her mind, she will use whatever tools and skills she has in her repertoire, and get to work on making her vision come to life. She takes risks, and jumps right into projects, drafting her own patterns, and testing them out, without fear of mistakes, or judgement. She loves to push herself when following her passions, and though from the surface I may feel she is falling behind, there is indeed learning happening. Skill building, independence, self-confidence, resourcefulness, problem-solving, ingenuity. These traits are things I did not have myself at the age of 8, and to be learned early on in life, is just as important as learning, if not more so, her multiplication tables. These are the little things I need to remind myself when I start to worry, but I don't think, as parents, we can really ever stop worrying can we? (Above: felt slippers designed/drafted, and sewn by missA)


Eid ul Fitr 2015

The 3 hour long drive to my mom's house, with cranky kiddos, summer heat, cramped legs, all pays off in the end when we get to spend the day with my 9 siblings celebrating Eid together. As time goes by more and more of my siblings are leaving the nest and going off to school, and it is getting rarer and rarer that we are ever all together at once. I really like being the 2nd eldest in my family, the eldest girl, I feel like I've been there from the beginning. I remember changing my little sister's diaper, taking my little brother out to play in the snow, letting them sleep with me in my bed when they didn't want to sleep alone, and countless other things. Now a lot of them have surpassed me in height, it's amazing how time flies, and how quickly things change. As they grow, our relationships change too, me- from a motherly caring type, to more of a friend and companion. I look forward to the days ahead inshaAllah, when our gatherings will be so full, with new spouses, and nieces and nephews, all hopefully coming together from all different directions to convene at one place to celebrate as a family.

Being as it was, a celebration right after Ramadan, there wasn't much time for handmade gifts, but I did manage to squeeze in a little custom pillow for my mother. She really wanted a pillow that said Salam on it, and I knew her favourite colour was purple, and I happened to have a pillow form, and a bit of sequined ribbon left over from a previous project, and it came together quite nicely. If you were to ever visit my mother's home, you would see traces of me everywhere. That sailboat/lighthouse painting on the living room wall, the embroidery hoop art in the dining room, Eid moon and star banner in the hallway, the new pillow on her bed, and I'm sure there's more. It feels like I'm still there, that I haven't completely left, though I've been married for 10 years now.

My older brother recently went to visit our fatherland, Vietnam, and at my request, brought home the girls matching áo dài dresses to wear for Eid. I don't know why but it gives me great pleasure to dress my girls in matching dresses for special occassions. He even got a matching dress for his daughter, so all 4 grand-daughters were matching on Eid, mashaAllah. I am already scheming matching dresses I can make the girls for Eid ul Adha inshaAllah, though I will see if I actually get the time to complete them!