Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It was my ...gulp.....my 32nd BD...gosh I'm getting old!!!!

Yesterday we celebrated my BD...

My dear sweet hubby was back from Ummra in time for my BD .....& he did all the plans with my oldest

Our DDs have different tastes.... My oldest loves fruit tartes & my youngest is a chocolate lover...so 2 cakes were ordered......

We had a very simple gathering ...just our family plus my 2 kid cousins...yeah I have an 8 year old & a 4 year old cousin....It's real proof that I'm still young...lool...

Their mommmy is at the hospital giving birth to her 3rd....Allah yesalemha ya rab....& I'm looking after the kids....you just need to imagine how loud my home is right now....

The kids were so excited to see the cakes & candels...& they got busy putting the candels in place ...they even wanted to put all 32 candels ...& ...light them...

No way I was letting that happen...it reminded me of a crazy thing we did on my dad's 50th BD when we actually lit all 50 candels I'm still too young for that...I'm leaving it for my 50th BD...insha Allah

In the end I had things my way ...& we just lit a couple of candels on each cake.....The kids & dear hubby sang
Happy Birthday & sana 7elwa ya gameel in their loudest voice...

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!!!

عيـــــــــــــــــــــــد سعيــــــــــــــــــــــد

Eid Mobarak everyone!!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Inspired by sister Lubna's interest in my plates...I'm trying to put up more Egyptian recipes...

Mahalabia...Egyptian Pudding...

This is a very simple dish that I enjoyed as a child ...my granny made the most delish mahalabia....
& mom always made this cause it's so quick to make...
I was never successful at making it ....but I tried my hand at it again...& voila it's a success......

I did not use a recipe ...I just eye ball the ingredients...roughly I use 1 Tbsp of corn starch for every cup of milk

but for a recipe with specific ingredients...here's one

2 cups whole milk
2 Tbsp. corn starch dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water
sugar ( amount varies according to preference)
rose water / vanilla...optional
Walnuts or pistachios,crushed

In large sauce pan ,heat the milk , sugar & flavourings
Add the dissolved corn starch & stir with wooden spoon until the mixture thickens & coats the back of the spoon...

Pour into individual serving dishes & garnish with any of the following

Walnuts or Pistachios,crushed
Cinnamon...my favourite...yummy


Saturday, September 06, 2008

35 Good Things About Having ADHD

The above picture describes me to a T ...mmmmm......maybe with an additional arm for my other baby...& one for Hubby too....he he ...
My ADD helps ALOT ....so here's a wonderful list I was sent through the many ADD lists that I subscribe to...
So here's why I celebrate my ADHD.......

1. Lots of energy
2. Willing to try things - take risks
3. Ready to talk, can talk a lot
4. Gets along well with adults
5. Can do several things at one time
6. Smart
7. Need less sleep.......mmmm .....I have to disagree with this one....I'm the exact opposite
8. Good sense of humour
9. Very good at taking care of younger kids
10. Spontaneous
11. See details that other people miss
12. Understand what it's like to be teased or to be in trouble so are understanding of other kids
13. Can think of different and new ways of doing things
14. Volunteer to help others
15. Happy and enthusiastic
16. Imaginative - creative
17. Articulate - can say things well
18. Sensitive - compassionate
19. Eager to make new friends
20. Great memory
21. Courageous
22. More fun to be with than most kids
23. Charming
24. Warm and loving
25. Care a lot about families
26. Inquisitive
27. Quick to forgive
28. Genuine
29. Never boring
30. Empathetic
31. Perceptive ways to do things
32. Playful
33. Honest
34. Optimistic
35. Interested in new things

Taken from TADA... The Attentional Disorders Association of Edmonton

12 Tips For Parents:Talking To Your Kids About Sex

A very informative article from Sound Vision

You've just found out your son or daughter is getting sex education at public school and you want to give them the Islamic perspective on it.

Or your kids have started asking the “where do babies come from” question.

But you just can't get over your tongue-tying embarrassment. Imagine! If your father or mother, back in Cairo or Karachi, heard of this they'd be stunned and question your parenting skills!

Here are some tips that can help you talk to your kids about the “s” word.

Tip #1: Start Early

Ideally sex education is not provided to kids in a reactionary fashion. Rather, it's given from the beginning in an indirect manner.

This means the child has to have a strong sense of identity and an understanding of what his or her values are.

“Parents are going to have sit down and explain their values to their own children. And this needs to start young, before the society influences them,” says Marilyn Morris, a Christian, who is president and founder of Aim for Success. The organization promotes abstinence from sex through speeches and presentations to students in grades six to 12. The group is one of the largest providers of abstinence education in the United States.

She says it is also important to explain to kids why you hold those values. For example, why do you not approve of sex outside of marriage, whether this is for religious and/or health reasons.

Tip #2: Give the child age-appropriate sex education

Starting to teach different topics at the right age is also important.

For example, a boy of eight may notice his mom does not pray some time during the month and may ask why. At this point, it can simply be said this is a time when Allah has excused women from praying. At the age of 12 or 13, a parent can introduce the topic of menstruation, and by that point, he will be able to make the connection.

Another way topics of a sexual nature can be introduced is while the child is reading the Quran. When the child reads verses about sexual intercourse, menstruation, or homosexuality, for example, this can be explained in a matter-of-fact manner.

Sex can also be discussed in the context of cleanliness in Islam at a certain age. For example, by the age of six or seven, a child must know how to clean him or herself after using the toilet.

After this at about eleven or twelve, the issue of Ghusl can be raised and when it is necessary (i.e. after sexual intercourse, after menstruation, etc).

As well, parents should sit with their children individually, not all together to explain various age-appropriate topics related to sex.

Some of the topics to talk about include modesty, decency, conduct and behavior .

But these should not be presented as just a bunch of rules to be followed. Rather the wisdom behind, for example, the Islamic dress code and lowering the gaze for both sexes should be explained.

Tip #3: Parents should build a good relationship with their kids

Proper sex education can only be given if the correct messages are being sent explicitly and implicitly by parents.

There has to be openness, not a rigid and dogmatic atmosphere at home.

“I'm talking about a loving relationship at home between the parents,” says Khadija Haffajee an Islamic activist and a retired school teacher from the Ottawa-Carleton region of Canada. She has spent about 30 years working in the public school system. “That there's love between the parents, there's affection. They [the kids] can see this, how they talk to each other, the respect that's there.”

Tip #4: Be an example

This goes hand in hand with being a role model, which is the best way to teach and transmit values to children.

That means not only should children be exposed to a healthy male-female relationship when they see their parents. It also means parents do not engage in activities which undermine their views on sexuality.

For instance, “being careful themselves about what they watch on T.V. or what movies they go to see, “ is crucial says Morris “because that ‘s a bad influence on us at any age. And if our children see us doing it why shouldn't they as well?”

This also means setting an example in other aspects of life by following the same rules you expect your kids to follow. For example, if you're running late, call children and let them know, show them the same courtesy you expect from them, explains Morris.

Tip #5: Meet with others who share your values

It is necessary for children to not just see the embodiment of Islamic values at home. They must also experience this in contacts with other Muslim children and families, says Haffajee.

They must see that family life the Islamic way is not just something their own family practices, but it's something others do as well.

This makes it more “normal” for the child, who in public school may have friends or acquaintances with homosexual parents (two mommies or two daddies), parents who are having sex outside of marriage (mom's boyfriend, dad's girlfriend) or other types of unacceptable relationships.

Tip #6: Get involved with your children's school

Depending on a parent's schedule, this can mean different things. Most of the time, public schools encourage parents' active participation through channels like Parent and Teachers' Associations (PTAs) or as elected school board members.

Haffajee explains that more and more schools will be decentralized and will have more power at the PTA level, for instance. Another forum for involvement is running in school board elections. School boards run all the schools in one district.

But if this is too much of a commitment for you as a parent, at least be in contact with your child's teacher, and let her/him know not just about problems, but good things he or she is doing for your child as well.

”We have to build these links, not feel it's them and us,” adds Haffajee.

Volunteering and helping at the school is also an option. This differs in each school. Some may have a lunchroom program with parents as monitors, for instance, which requires only a few hours a week.

Regular participation in such school organizations and activities gives you a voice as a parent to express your views about what's going on in the school system as it affects your child, as well as others' children.It is important to add that this involvement should not come only when the school has done something you, as a parent, feel has violated your child's needs as a Muslim, or when you want something specifically for your child (i.e. time off for Eid, Juma, etc.).
By participating at the long-term level, your voice is more likely to be heard because you're involved in making the school better generally, not just for your child's interest only.When it comes time for sex education, you can band together with other parents, Muslim and non-Muslim, who share the same views on the topic, and it is more likely you will be listened to.“There are a lot of non-Muslim parents who are concerned about these issues and feel as if there is no control,” notes Haffajee.

Tip #7: Know the sex education territory

“There should be talk about what kind of information they're getting, preadolescent education,” says Haffajee.
Launching a three hour tirade against the evils of public school sex education will do little good in helping your son or daughter see what's wrong with it. This is why it is necessary to find out what is included in the sex education curriculum.
“They should find out exactly what the school is teaching, to the point of even sitting with the person doing the education and finding out about the values of that person,” says Morris. “This is a very important issue”

Tip #8: Know the Islamic perspective on sex

There is more to sex education than telling your son or daughter “don't do it until you get married”.
Topics like menstruation, sexual changes in adolescents, Islamic purity after various types of uncleanliness associated with sex also have to be discussed.If you're not sure, get some help from a knowledgeable Muslim or Imam, as well as a guide for parents (see the review for the book Miracle Of Life.
Be capable of providing exact references from the Quran, Sunnah and valid Islamic authorities on relevant topics (i.e. birth control, boy/girl relationships, etc.).
On the same note, if in the course of your conversation your child asks you something and you are not sure about whether it really is Islamic or not, CHECK IT OUT. Assuming that a cultural practice relating to sex or boy/girl relationships is automatically Islamic is a mistake.

Tip #9: Tell your kids you're available to talk to them about sex

This is necessary, especially if sex has been a taboo subject in the household for so long.
“Parents [should] say to their children “I want to be your primary source of information about sex,” says Morris.This makes it clear that while your child may be getting information about sex from other sources like television, the movies, school and friends, you are the “authoritative source”.
This is done best when discussed at a younger age, rather than waiting for the teen years when rebelliousness usually kicks in and kids are less likely to listen to parents.

Tip #10: Express your nervousness

It will be hard to talk about sex for many parents. But they should not hide this from their kids.Morris recommends parents say, “If I sound nervous or uncomfortable just bear with me,” in the course of their conversation.
This stresses the seriousness of the topic and the importance of what you want to say. The fact that this is so difficult for you, yet you are going forward with it emphasizes your child's need to listen.

Tip #11: Withdraw your child from sex education but tell them why

There are public schools where sex education is an option, and a child can be exempted from it.Haffajee says there are parents, Muslim and non-Muslim who have decided to choose this instead of having their kids sit through public school sex education.
But if you do decide to do this, she advises it is important to clearly explain to your child why this is being done, and to ensure that s/he is being provided with Islamic sex education in the home.Otherwise, your child may see it as being excluded from an activity with his or her friends.

Tip #12: Get help from others

If you feel extremely uncomfortable talking to your kids about it, enlist the help of a knowledgeable and open Imam or community member who is of the same gender as your child, to explain the details and provide the guidance.
Other people can be Islamic weekend school teachers, a Muslim social worker, or a trusted family member like an aunt, uncle or cousin.
Also, get some books for your kids that discuss sex from an Islamic perspective. Miracle of Life or Ahmad Sakr's The Adolescent Life are some examples.

However, getting someone else to talk to them or giving them a book is not the end of the story. As a parent, you have to be ready and open to at least hear Ameer or Jamila's concerns or questions about sex, so you can direct them to the right person or information if you are uncomfortable answering yourself.

تمور رمضان

One of the tastes I'm rediscovering is...the wonderful ,succulunt taste of dates......

I never enjoyed dates as a child....but right now I have to keep myself away from the box of dates or else... ; )

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I just think I had too many cooking posts ...for a change I'm writing about this amazing film I just watched....

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

It's very artistic & alot of fun to watch...I would recommend it to everyone

& as they say in the plot ....

A comedy for anyone with a past they'd rather forget.

That's everyone I guess!!

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!

The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!

Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;

I did a little search & I wasn't surprised to learn that it won an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay

here's the film synopsis.....

(A little pointer for you...this synopsis is pretty detailed ...)

Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) is an emotionally withdrawn man and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) is his girlfriend who is a dysfunctional free spirit. They are inexplicably attracted to each other despite their different personalities.They do not realize it at the time, but they are former lovers now separated after two years together. After a nasty fight, Clementine has had her memories of their relationship erased from her mind. Upon learning this, Joel is devastated and goes to the doctor to have the same procedure of erasing her memories done. However, while unconscious, Joel has second thoughts and decides he wants to keep his memories of Clementine.Much of the film takes place in Joel's brain as he tries to find a way to preserve his memories of Clementine and two Lacuna techies Patrick (Elijah Wood) and Stan (Mark Ruffalo) try to erase the memories. We watch their love and courtship go in reverse. The memories are slowly erased while Joel tries his best to resist the procedure and hide inside his mind.In separate and related story arcs, the employees of Lacuna Corporation are revealed to be more than peripheral characters in scenes which further show the harm caused by the memory-altering procedure. Mary (Kirsten Dunst) has had an affair with the married doctor, Dr. Howard Mierzwiak, who heads the company (Tom Wilkinson). She agreed to have the affair erased from her memory when his wife discovered the relationship.Patrick who is lonely and socially inept, becomes fixated on Clementine and uses Joel's personal mementos that he gave to Lacuna as part of the procedure in order to seduce Clementine. These romantic entanglements turn out to have a critical effect on the main story line of the relationship between Joel and Clementine.Once Mary learns of the affair she has had with the doctor, she steals the company's records and sends them to all of its clients. Thus Joel and Clementine both get to listen to their initial tape recordings at Lacuna, and afterwards realize that even if everything in life isn't perfect, their relationship can still be worthwhile.

Flat bread & Lahma be3ajeen recipe

I saw the recipe for flat bread at Arabic Bites & I've been dying to try it....

Actually I was planning to make 2 recipes from their blog

Flat bread &

Lahma Be3ajeen

I made the flat bread recipe twice...

The 1st time I just made regular flat bread ...it was so tasty & very easy to make......here's a pic of the dough balls

& here's the flattened dough just before I put it on the non stick pan to cook

& ofc ourse I just made it before iftar so ......I didn't have a chance to take a pic ... I would've been eaten by the hungry crowds

On my 2nd attempt ...& on the suggestion of dear hubby I used the dough to make lahma be3ajeeen

It was oven baked ...

& this is one of the times where I'm thankful for my webcam...

the bread was a bit on the dry side....& the pics I took don't show this ...I guess....but it was tasty & edible.....

Oven Roast Chicken


1 3 1/2 pound frying chicken

For the Marinade use:
1 large onion,chopped
2 garlic cloves,crushed
2 Tbs tomatoe paste
2 Tbs Cooking oil
1/2 cup yogurt
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

Clean chicken & Place it on a roasting rack in a baking pan with sides at least 1 inch high
Place bird on the rack with its breast-side up

Grind fresh pepper onto the bird, and sprinkle with a little salt. Salt and pepper the cavity as well. Rub all over with marinade and stuff with fresh herbs and a quartered lemon, if desired.

Let the bird marinate for a while..atleast 1-2 hours,preferably overnight.

Place the baking pan on an oven rack in the lower-middle part of the oven

Roast the chicken for 45 to 60 minutes or until the juices run clear when a sharp knife is inserted into the joint between the body and the thigh or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees at the same joint.

Remove the roast chicken from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Well if you are wondering about the pics my family enjoyed the chicken so much that they didn't give me a chance to take pics of the end product....lool

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Broccoli casserole

This is a very easy dish I made ....


1 (3 1/2 lb.) broiled-fryer chicken
1 whole onion,peeled
1 whole tomatoe
1 whole carrot ,peeled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper
Spices: ground cumin, ground coriander, rosemary,bay leaf,
Prepared vegetables:
4 med. red potatoes,peeled & cut in cubes
Brocoli florets seperated

How to prepare the dish:

Brown chicken slightly in hot oil in cooking pot over medium high heat. Add whole onion, whole tomatoe and whole carrot.
Add Salt & Pepper to taste
Add spices & juice of 1/2 lemon
Add water to cover . let it boil & then reduce heat & cover until chicken is cooked through

Prepare the vegetables:
In a roasting pan put cut up potatoes & brocoli
Spice with S & P & spices.
Cook in a small amount of chicken broth until tender

Arrange cut up chicken peices over the veggies & stick the pan into the oven to broil the chicken to give it a nice golden look

Serve with a green salad & ENJOY!!!!

رمضـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــان كريـــــــــــــم

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Woman's Reflection on Leading Prayer

We all remember this pic:

While having a deep respect for the sister I have to say I'm totally against this & feel it wasn't a real step towards our so called "liberation" from the men.....Anyways.....
I found an interesting article on the subject written by Yasmin Mogahed
(Friday, March 25, 2005)
"Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I'm not--and in all honesty--don' t want to be: a man. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness."
On March 18, 2005 Amina Wadud led the first female-led Jumuah (Friday) prayer. On that day women took a huge step towards being more like men. But, did we come closer to actualizing our God-given liberation?
I don't think so.
What we so often forget is that God has honored the woman by giving her value in relation to God—not in relation to men. But as western feminism erases God from the scene, there is no standard left—but men. As a result the western feminist is forced to find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man—the standard.
When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the "standard" had it.
What she didn't recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness- -not their sameness. And on March 18, Muslim women made the very same mistake.
For 1400 years there has been a consensus of the scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way. Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading prayer is not better, just because it's leading. Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn't the Prophet have asked Ayesha or Khadija, or Fatima—the greatest women of all time—to lead? These women were promised heaven—and yet they never lead prayer.
But now for the first time in 1400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, "That's not fair." We think so although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind.
On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And God has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?
When asked who is most deserving of our kind treatment? The Prophet replied 'your mother' three times before saying 'your father' only once. Isn't that sexist? No matter what a man does he will never be able to have the status of a mother.
And yet even when God honors us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men, to value it—or even notice. We too have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, inferior. Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother—a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and self-less compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.
As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is just a knee jerk reaction: if men have it—we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too. If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to God, so we want to lead prayer too. Somewhere along the line we've accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one's position with God.
A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has God as a standard. She has God to give her value; she doesn't need a man.
In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we, as women, never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases we even gave up what was higher only to be like men.
Fifty years ago, society told us that men were superior because they left the home to work in factories. We were mothers. And yet, we were told that it was women's liberation to abandon the raising of another human being in order to work on a machine. We accepted that working in a factory was superior to raising the foundation of society—just because a man did it.
Then after working, we were expected to be superhuman—the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker—and have the perfect career. And while there is nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize what we had sacrificed by blindly mimicking men. We watched as our children became strangers and soon recognized the privilege we'd given up.
And so only now—given the choice—women in the West are choosing to stay home to raise their children. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 31 percent of mothers with babies, and 18 percent of mothers with two or more children, are working full-time. And of those working mothers, a survey conducted by Parenting Magazine in 2000, found that 93% of them say they would rather be home with their kids, but are compelled to work due to 'financial obligations'. These 'obligations' are imposed on women by the gender sameness of the modern West, and removed from women by the gender distinctiveness of Islam.
It took women in the West almost a century of experimentation to realize a privilege given to Muslim women 1400 years ago.
Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I'm not--and in all honesty--don' t want to be: a man. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness.
If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet—I choose heaven.
by courtesy & © 2005 Yasmin Mogahed