Monthly Archives: November 2008

What Would You Do?

Yesterday I was at work and I got a phone call from my dear daughter, she was in tears. She was in a fight after school. Basically two of the young female bullies in the school decided to beat her on the way home. What made this worse was the gang setting in which in happened. There were at least 6 other young students there encouraging it. My daughter is covered in bruises that will probably leave her sore for many days. I am thankful though that I have her here with me. Allah protected her enough that she got home.

I came rushing home, first to check on her. Then I contacted the principal of her school. I am not too sure how much he can do because the incident happened off school property. But he did say that the students involved would be spoken to. Then I took it one step further after talking to a few of my neighbours and seeing the extent of her injuries. I called the police. They came took a report, and said they would contact each parent. Because of the age of the children ( ages 10-12) there is little that could be done.

What would you do if your child came home beaten and bruised?

Here in rural Nova Scotia, I am told the youth violence, youth crime and drug usage are on the rise. Is small town living really the better way? It seems there is no programs, or when there is it is hodge podge so youth are lost between the cracks. I certainly don’t want to get to that point with mine.

Works for Me: When Embracing A New Faith

I think I am learning this new faith of mine:Islam. For me the transition from one faith to another sure has some bumps in the road. Some suggestions for those who are doing the same:

  • try to do so it a community of believers who can nurture you. Doing it on your own as I am doing is a very difficult road. I am finding that I have many questions and the Internet is not  the best place for answers.
  • give your family time to adjust to the changes in you. Don’t expect them to be happy about it over night. Remember they knew you when.
  • give yourself time. You don’t have to be perfect over night. I am thankful that Allah is kind and full of mercies.
  • dont become a I know it person, seek advice, counsel and want to learn more and more.
  • get a mentor: have somebody in your life you can turn to when you have questions or need advice.

For me so far these things are working. For me the hardest part of this walk for me is the isolation from a community that think the same as I do, that could nurture me, being a lone single  in small town Canada is hard.  Now  I am off to Rocks in My Dryer to see what works for other people in their lives.

Works for Me: Loving Freecycle, Kijiji and Craigslist.

When it comes to stewardship of what I have I think I do pretty good, and I think I am even better when it comes to how to save money. First I love vintage and second hand. For me I can often find a great item that we need or want at a great price. Off of Freecycle I have scored big several times from things like : a breadmaker that was never even used, a comfy fouton that was a great bed for me when I lived in Toronto, to my computer desk and entertainment centers. All of these I got for FREE. Who doesnt like free? When I am really hunting for something specific I have often turned to Craigslist and Kijiji. For me I can often find what I am looking for at a great price. Right now I am looking for 3 things: a guitar ( for my dear daughter), plus size abayas, and a bidet….who knows I just may find them off a list, I have found everything else there. From clothes for my daughter to books to skates. Now I am off to my friend Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer to see what is working for them.

From Mormonism to Islam

More and more as I learn about this new faith that I have embraced I see so many things that I have not left behind as I leave the Mormon  faith ( The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Really there are many similarities.

Here are some:

  • I still believe in prophets, just no longer in a current one, or in Joesph Smith. I follow the teaching of one who lived long ago, and brought us the Quran. His name is Mohammed(PBUH).
  • I believe still in revealed scripture, but my Book of Mormon has been replaced with my Quran.
  • I still follow dietary rules. But instead of the Word of Wisdom (no tea, coffee, alcohol, drugs, smoking) I eat halal(slaughtered properly), stay away from pork, and don’t drink alcohol or smoke.
  • I still believe family is very important as believe that women and men have defined roles in life.
  • I still believe all people have the right to choose religion. We are not about compulsion.
  • I still follow time entrenched rituals. But my temple attendance and garment have been replaced with my prayer mat and praying 5 times a day.
  • I still dress modestly. In fact now I cover more. Before I was covering the signs of my faith ( the garment). Now I cover me. I wear my hijab and long clothes knowing that I am doing what is right.
  • I still believe that when it comes to the bible that not all of it is correct.
  • I still give. My tithe has been replaced with Zakat.
  • I still pray. Now I pray more and enjoy the direct connection to the Creator and Father of All. \

I have been learning much as I embrace this new faith of mine, doing so in iolation of being a country girl has its challenges but Allah has been aiding me each step of the way. I am learning that in Mormonism I was given a foundation that would later help me embrace this faith of mine. Was Mormonism wrong? For me, yes, for others it is there faith and just like the one I live today they live and act on thier faith hour by hour, day by day.

Proudest Mommy Moment

Last night my daughter who is 11 came home last night and told me that her teacher introduced a book in class as there next major chapter book to be read as a class. The book follows the life of one young Muslim girl in Afghanistan. So Rachel shared with her class that we are Muslim, she also said she would bring things from home that Muslims use. So she came to me and asked me if she could bring my prayer rug ( I only have one.) and a couple of my different style hijabs.  I said yes.

So this morning she asked if she could wear her hijab to school. This is a first! My daughter likes hijab but was fearful of wearing it to school. She is only Muslim female student in town. So today when she asked I was quick to say Yes. So she picked her pink hijab and wore it to school. I was so proud!

She came home from lunch to tell me her morning had gone well. She had a chance to show the class how one would use a prayer rug, what wudu is, and why a Muslim woman wears hijab. She said her classmates were very interested.

Tonight I got a call from her teacher telling me that my dear daughter had done an amazing job and brought what it was like to be a muslim child to life for her class. She asked if I could send in any more resources about Islam that I thought the class would enjoy. I said I would if I could think of things that would benefit them. So if you had a chance to share Islam with a group of 10 and 11 year olds what would you share?

For me I am so proud of my daughter as a new muslimah that she shared her faith with her class. Oh and as this book will take them all through the month of November and Early Dec, the teacher wants Rachel to teach about Eid (something Rachel has yet to celebrate herself yet) so I guess I better get looking for resources on teaching her about the upcoming Eid.

Teaching Kids About Money for the Hard Days Ahead.

Sometimes I think as I look around at the economic situation of the world today I ask myself the question, What if people really followed the finical plan of their faith? What is there was more interest in selflessness then in the I want attitude that is everywhere today. So what do you want to pass on to your childern? For me I want to teach my preteen daughter to be prepared for the future. So how am I doing this?

1. For me I am Muslim, so this means knowing what is Islamically correct. For Muslims we pay zakat and shouldnt pay Riba. Zakat is charity that is required giving based on one’s wealth. Riba means not to pay interest. For Christians they have the tithe.

2.Then once you know what is taught or what are the important principles you want to pass on to your children, live them and let your children know you are doing so.

3. Make it a matter of dua (prayer). Pray about the best ways to teach your childern. I know I am.

4. Give them the opportunity to learn by giving them an allowance. This allows them to handle money, learn to budget and learn to give.

5. Teach Halal vs Haram spending habits. Teach what is good spending and what is being wasteful. Is all there spending going to candy or video games or dvds?  What about making them responsible for says clothing, or something that instills responsibility. Take them shopping, and teach them about frugality. Teach them about quality, and usefulness.

6. Teach them about giving, about being kind with thier money. For me I teach zakat and sadaqa              ( voluntarily giving). A portion of every allowance should be taught to be given to others who need more.

7. Sponsor an orphan. We have done this and it teaches and reminds us how blessed we are here and allows us to help one person directly. There are several great organizations that you can sponsor one through. I recommend The Zakat , or Plan Canada

8. Encourage savings. Is there something they really want? Encourage savings maybe with a matching system. For my daughter if she saves 80% of what is needed for a larger item I will chip in 20%. That is how a new bike was bought.

9. Finally talking about money and finances openly. Tell your kids your money goals. Have family budget meetings.

Thrifty Holiday Gifts for Girls

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Over at Rocks in  My Dryer the theme for the weekly what works for me is Toys! With Eid. and every other major holiday happening in December it is gift giving time again. So what to give, what does every girl want and how can one do it and still be frugal. My dear daughter is now at that tough preteen age. Not quite a child not quite a teen.

Here are some things that we gave over the Years that kept her occupied for hours. All are good and were well used over and over, making them great investments.

1. Ello– the girl version of Lego. My girl spent many an hour building every kind of creation with it.

2. Dressup Clothes- here I bought a large Rubbermaid Container and filled it with finds from the dollar store and my local thrift shop.

3. Art Supplies- for my girl, last year she recieved a 100 pc art kit, and this is still used as creative play is a good thing. You can do this frugally by getting a basket and filling it with art items from your local dollar store.

4. Board Games- These are great not only for girls but the entire family. Our favorites include anything in the Cranium family, Life, Monopoly, Twister and Scrabble. All make for hours of simple old fashion fun.

5. a tea set- My daughter received a very nice china one last year, and over the year we have had several tea picnics.

Now what is on this preteens list this holiday season:

1.Bedding- she wants to redecorate her room- this one is a probable get from her father for Christmas

2. a digital camera and scrapbook, this is a maybe.

3. Makeup–okay lipgloss but that is as far as this mom goes

4. a purse and wallet

5. art supplies as hers are well used and getting old.

The holidays are a time that kids love. My daughter this year will celebrate Eid, and Christmas both in the same month. So she is looking forward to twice as many holidays. For Eid though she is getting her first abaya ( a sweet pink one). and one small toy. For Christmas she will get several gifts from my family and her father, and then right after Christmas is her birthday. I already made my budget and am planning on keeping it.