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Moshi-moshi...

So curious to know..what would my name be in Japanese....

My Japanese name is Arisa Matsushita.
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And this is Afafita's name..

My Japanese name is Akane Kajiyama.
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And Wafitos name is...

My Japanese name is Azumamaro Iwahashi.
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And hubby's is...

My Japanese name is Kitahachi Matsumara.
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But I think...my name sounds nice....heheh

Afafita's nasyid performance...


Aritu terlupa nak upload this short video. Afafita's performance during the jualan amal. Actually I'm so mad at the boy who kept on walking in front of the kids during the performance. So disturbing. Geramnya...nak amik video pun terganggu. Rasa mcm nak cakap jer ngan parents dia...tolooonglah ikat your son...so disturbing. Sometimes, some of parents don't even bother about how their kids irritate other people.

video

Jualan Amal..

Last Saturday, despite the fatigue and morning sickness, hubby, Wafitos and I attended Afafita's school "jualan amal". There were nasyid performance by Afafita and her classmates, potluck feast and jualan amal for a maahad tahfiz anak yatim. We bought Spiderman buttons, old magazines (wanita & home decor) and several second hand sandals for Afafita. Here are some pics at the jualan amal.


Afafita performing nasyid "Rasulullah" in conjunction with the maulidurrasul. She's the second from left. She has been practicing this nasyid for weeks, and everybody in the house has to bear her very hi-pitch voice.

Abang pun ikut nak tengok adik perform..tapi adik malu2 bila dah berdiri kat depan...


Abang and Adik participated in the colouring contest.



Abang won the third prize in his category


Updates...from the voice a mom..



Alhamdulillah... at last, I manage to spend some time sitting on this study desk and post something on this blog. For the last few days...I was really occupied with 'spending most of my time lying on the couch in front of the TV'. The morning sickness, -which I bet is no more suitable to be called so, since it does attack regardless time of the day- had brought chaos in my daily routine and activities. The dizziness; the sudden dislike to all kind of food except green apples, plums, oranges , pears and crispy toasted breads; the unbearable hate to onions, cooking oils and the aroma of cooking; all these are enough to make my life go haywire.

I feel so pity for the kids. This pregnancy has a great impact on everyone in the family. Luckily the kids have never lodged any complaints about Mama didn't cook, didn't help them with homeworks, etc. Maybe, the thrills and excitements of getting a new sibling make them willing to accept the fact that Mama is being inefficient as a mother lately.

The books? Well.. forget it. I haven't read or even touch any book or reading material since last week. But I don't want to think much about it right now since I don't want to make my life more stressfull. I just need to make myself "normal" again a.s.a.p, so that I can resume my writing and reading. So at this moment, even though it will take several more weeks, I will just enjoy this gift from Allah- the chance for me to sleep the whole day, craving for food that I can eat, asking for a massage from my better half- hehehhe. And for Mimi's information, my golden color Sony Viao laptop is no longer the gadget that I love most. Now, the things that will always be my side through thick and thin are the Losyen Mustajab Pati Halia (untuk sapu kat badan bila terasa masuk angin and mabuk) and the asam boy (makan bila terasa nak loya).

Alamak...got to rest for a while. Mcm dah mula mabuk nie...



Ok. After applying some losyen halia, I'm feeling much better. Now, enough about myself. I'm going to talk about the kids.

Wafitos is doing quite well in his recent test at school. He scores A in all subjects except Arabic and Pendidikan Islam. I didn't push him to score A...but alhamdulillah, he had his own initiative to learn and do revision prior the test. He didn't do well in Pendidikan Teras Islam (actually Mama malu jugak...dpt 60% jer) simply because he didn't understand the questions, since the questions were all in Malay Language. Knowing the fact that Wafitos is not so fluent in Malay, so it's acceptable for him getting only C in that particular subject. Actually it's quite hard for him to understand even the phrases 'menunaikan zakat, mengucap dua kalimah'. So, his father has to translate the lessons to English and explain to him in English. The problem now is, he can only understand the lessons in English. But sometimes, I think that translating the lessons to English is not the best way to teach him, cos' after all, teachers will teach in Malays and the exam questions will be in Malay too. If anyone can help me with some tips how to handle this problem...please feel free to give us some advice.

Wafitos has been exposed to English Islamic books long before he could read and write. That's why he's quite terbiasa with terms and phrases in English. He knows selected stories of the prophets, but he can only re-tell them in English. Actually, his English is not excellent, it's just that he is more comfortable conversing in that particular languange.

After some thoughts, I may conclude that I fail in trying to make my kids bilingual. At last, they end up in the middle- not too good in either language, English nor Malay-. I think I must find a new method to teach the coming soon child inshaAllah.

Well, there's another intriguing story. Actually it's not that intriguing, but it's rather disturbing. (Sorry, nak gi ambil asam kejap. mulut ni rasa lain mcm jer...pause kejap yer)

Ok I'm back. Tak jadi makan asam...I makan plum jer. sedapnya...yg masam cicah ngan garam sikit. U know, when I was doing my degree overseas, I love eating plums and peaches during spring and summer. Believe it, sekali makan dok dpn tv, boleh habiskan sekilo dua, non-stop. Then muka pun jadi warna peach...heheh.

Actually I'm quite worried with the way Wafitos' Maths teacher teach the kids Maths. One day last week, the teacher asked each and every students to MEMORIZE addition table. The next day, she will ask them one by one. I do was very shocked to hear that. As far as I know, it's not the appropriate method to ensure the students can addition sums correctly and quickly. There are many other ways to make them see the patterns of addition and adding numbers logically and correctly. But certainly, MEMORIZING is not applicable in Maths.

I may not an expert in education or teaching and learning, but I did attend courses on T&L for the past three years in the University which I'm attached to. Memorizing 1+3+4, 1+5+6....so on, actually is a waste of time. So, instead of helping Wafitos to memorize, I teach him the patterns of addition. I explain to him that whatever number is added to one, the answer must be the next number. Whatever number being added with O, the answer must be that same number. So at last, alhamdulillah...he could actually do the sums without memorizing "membuta tuli" as suggested by his teacher, with my intervention.

Oh...it's so hard to be a Mom nowadays. Being a mom is like being a General Manager or a CEO of a big company. There are so many things boggle your mind, so many thoughts brewing in your head. It's really a never-ending position or job. Once you accepted this job, you'll stick to it for the rest of your life. No retrenchment scheme, no quitting, no pension, and the worst of all, not even an off day.

After being a mom, I understand why Islam forbids women to be the head of a country (Prime Minister or Queen or President). It's not because of women are less competent than men or women are weak, but it's because Allah has given women the more important, noble and complex executive job than being Prime Minister, which is being a mother. Who says a mom is nothing compared to a P.M? Let us compare between a mom and a P.M. Does a mom has many other ministers to help her taking care of her family affairs? Does a mom just give out orders to other people to carry out her missions? I bet all the answers are NO.

Who is the Education Minister in a family?
Who is the Minister of Entertainment in a family?
Who is the Minister of Solidarity and Family Development in a family?

So, that's why. When Islam forbids women to be elected as the head of country, it's merely because women are more competent and capable of managing the family affairs than men. No one is more suitable for the job other than women. That's why, those women who fight for equality, or fight to become a leader is actually those who don't realize their own privileges given by Allah to them. It's so sad to see them fighting for something that is not suitable for them, and abandoning their own privilege.

Ok. I think it's enough for this time. The couch has been waiting for me.....

It's here again...

It's here again after almost 5 years.

It's quite unexpected, unplanned yet most welcomed!

The moment I knew it come, I'm quite thrilled yet nervous.

What is it going to be like this time around?

Can I cope all the challenges and dizziness and throws?

How should I celebrate it?

Would it change my daily routine tremendously?

How should I react to it's arrival?

Can I patiently wait for nine months to really enjoy the 'sufferings' and pain?

May Allah bestows me His 'inayah' to go through this.....

MORNING SICKNESS!!!


Maulidurrasul....


The blessed day of Maulidurrasul was celebrated with joy and varieties of so-called Islamic programs was held all across the country. The annual gatherings in every states, forums, talks, nashid concerts and so on were among the routine of this important day for the Muslims. The question is, are these the most proper and right way to celebrate the birth of the last Prophet of mankind? Are these sufficient for the Muslims to show their gratitudes, love and respect towards their beloved Prophet?

Celebrating Maulidurrasul in such ways is neither unlawful nor prohibited. However, we must bear in mind that one of the ways to show our love to Rasulullah s.a.w. is by following his Sunnah as much as we can in our everyday lives. Following the Sunnah is also not only restricted to personal matters, ibadah and family affairs. We shouldn't confine the true concept of Sunnah to trivial matters such as polygamy, the way we dress, keeping the moustache, etc. As a matter of fact, the Sunnah of Rasulullah transcends politics, administration, etc. Sunnah comprises every aspects of life and relevant enough to be followed and implemented till the end of the world.

Thus, we should try to understand Sunnah profoundly and correctly. This is due to the rising numbers of Muslims who misunderstood the Sunnah or distort it to justify their needs and acts. When Rasulullah s.a.w. said that we, Muslims couldn't go astray from the right path of Islam if we hold on to al-Qur'an and Sunnah, it means that provided we understand the true meaning and spririt of Sunnah, InshaAllah we will we safe.

May Allah subhanahu wa Taala bless upon our beloved Prophet, and place him in the place that he most deserved.

Cuti-cuti Malaysia ...pt 2

Cuti-Cuti Malaysia...




Last week, I went on a "cuti-cuti Malaysia" vacation with my family, my parents and three aunts from Singapore. (they are above 50s, ok. So basically, it was just like being a tourist guide for persatuan warga emas). My parents and aunts arrived at my house at 12 pm. After a short rest, quenching their thirst with some juice, we started our journey to Terengganu in two cars. We used the Karak Highway, then went on the LPT until we arrived at Kuala Terengganu at 9 pm. It was really tiring, but luckily I was only the map reader, not the driver. So, every now and then I could take a short nap throughout the journey.

That night, we stayed at Primula Beach Resort at K.T. The 4 -star hotel was quite good and cosy, nevertheless, we couldn't spend much time appreciating our stay at that hotel, since at 10 a.m the next day, we checked out and started our tour around KT. Our first place in the tour list was the Pasar Payang. Takkanlah gi KT tak gi Pasar Payang. IT was really a BIG test for me, since shopping around with warga emas was soooooo challenging. Just imagine, they could lost anytime, they were sooo slow, every now and then one of them would go to the toilet....bla..bla..bla. Memang mencabar, cos I'm the type of person yg mcm lipas kudung kalau shopping. So actually, eventhough we spent more than two hours there, we only went to half of the shop lots at the second floor only!

Then, we went to Masjid Terapung. It was built on a lake, we performed our Zuhur prayer there and took some nice shots around the masjid. After lunch, we went to the must-visit-place, and in fact the main reason my parents and aunts came long way from the South of Peninsular Malaysia to KT. It was Pulau Wan Man...

The main attraction at Pulau Wan Man is of course the Masjid Kristal. It was not so magnificient in architecture, but anyhow I think it's worth to be visited. It was made from glass, so, it looks like a sparkling mosque at noon, when we arrived there. What I like most about the masjid is the cool air-cond. Ha ha.....tak masuk akal kan...? But, as I entered the mosque, I felt like entering Masjid Nabawi...cos' it was so cooling in the masjid. (Oh, I miss Makkah and Madinah...)

Then, we went to the nearby Taman Tamadun Islam. It was still under construction, yet tourists and visitors were allowed to visit and enter the completed phase of that taman. My kids and my aunts were so excited seeing and snapping pictures of the replicas of mosques from various places. There were mosque from Brunei, China, Indonesia( Wali Songo), Iran and also Taj Mahal. However, as I saw Masjidil Aqsa's replica there, I felt so touch and sad, thinking of the future of that holy place of Muslim and the people of Palestine.

From Pulau Wan Man, we went to Pulau Duyung. I wanted my kids to see the traditional boat making. We reached there around 5 pm. After that, we dropped by at Losong and bought some keropok lekor. Then only, we continue our journey to Kota Bharu.

We reached KB at 10 pm, straight away checked in at New Pacific Hotel at KB. The next morning, still feeling exhausted, but we went to Pasar Siti Khadijah after breakfast at Hotel's coffehouse. It was Friday...so most of the shops around that Pasar and in KB in general are closed. Anyway, we bought some turtle's eggs, pulut hitam, madu kampung, tudung bawal (for my sisters) and several baju caftan. We had our lunch at at a special restaurant that served Turkish and Arabic dishes. Yum.yum....lama tak makan. Murah betul makan kat KB nie...tak mcm K.L.

After Friday prayer, we spent an hour at Pantai Chaya Bulan. The kids played kites with their father, while my Mom and I spent time talking and drinking coconut juice at the beach. Hmm...so relaxing. After that, we went to Pulau Melaka.....guess what? We searched Tok Guru's house! That was not included in our initial planning, but my dad really wanted me to find the Tok Guru Nik Aziz's house. So, I called my best friend, who is a Kelantanese. With her clear and good guide, alhamdulillah we arrived at Tok Guru's house and masjid at Asar. Tok Guru was not there, but we managed to snap some pictures of his markaz.

From Tok Guru's place, we continued our journey to Paloh Rawa, a relative's house. He is my father's long-lost second cousin. So we spent our night there, sharing our stories and it was so good to hear from them. Dapat mengeratkan silaturrahim. Actually, the main purpose of our journey to Kelantan was to visit our relatives here. My Dad is a kind of person yg suka menziarah sanak saudara, tak kira tua atau muda. Fifteen years ago, we had done a journey menjejak kasih to Kelantan, purposely to find our long-lost realtives there. So, this time, after fifteen years, my Dad brought his three sisters to visit them.

Staying a night at the "real" kampung was so great and indeed a new experience for my kids. They could see buffalos, cows, perigi, and the rubber plantation. The kampung is really a kampung, where everybody knows each other well, where we could experience staying in a wooden house with no window grills,where the kids couldn't run around the house cos there were scared of the sound of the wooden floor. The morning dew, the chill water, the simple life...ohhh...I love it so much.

The next day, we went to Jeli, to visit another relative. After that, we started to journey home, but this time around, we followed the Jeli-Gerik route. Since the air and scenery along Jeli-Gerik was so fresh (mountains along the way), we decided to switch off the air cond so that we could feel the nature around us. On the way, we stopped by about half an hour at a hot spring near Jeli.

Upon entering Perak, we spotted a very nice place. It looked like a big lake or a dam. We stopped by there. It was Pulau Banding (kalau tak silap), yg ada hutan simpan Belum. Apa lagi, seronoknya. We went on an hour tour around the island by boat. Subhanallah..cantiknya...rasanya mcm nak bermalam jer. Ada camping site lagi.....but susahlah cos bawak warga emas nie...bukanya boleh activity yg lasak sikit.

We reached home at 11 pm that day. Though the journey was sooooooo tiring, but it was an enjoyable one. I'm so satisfied cos I had the chance to make my aunts and my parents happy. Actually kesian betul dekat my aunts tu....they have money, they have time, but nobody wants to entertain them, even their own kids! Nak harapkan anak2 bawa berjalan...jgn haraplah. So terpaksalah menumpang kasih ngan my parents and my husband and I untuk entertain them.

Honestly speaking, the vacation was not our dream vacation. It was more like bringing them for a tour, melayan org2 tu (I prefer a vacation on an Island in Terengganu or Tasik Kenyir...) Trust me, bukannya senang nak pergi berjalan ngan 5 org warga emas...kena banyak sabar. However, kami berpuashati sebab we believe, if we make our parents and elderly happy, Allah will make us happy too. And, Allah Maha Menunaikan Janji, a day after I reached home, I got a good news. Allah has really made me happy. MasyaAllah..sekejap jer Allah dah beri balasan yg setimpal dgn keikhlasan dan kesabaran kami ingin menggembirakan org2 tua.

So..what's the great and good news then? InshaAllah next time I'll announce it.

Hikmah....Revealed

When I had to choose between pursuing my own ambition studying in UK and giving priority to my family six months ago, I was so clueless about the 'hikmah' of this dilemma. Thus, like a small child who whined for a cone of her favourite ice-cream for days but the ice-cream was snatched from her and was thrown into the dustbin the moment she really wanted to start licking the ice-cream, I was so frustrated and down. I spent days and nights crying over the "ice-cream", attempting to console my frustration and searching the justification of it.

And now, I'm still crying, yet for another totally different reason: it's no more crying over the "ice-cream", but I'm crying for finally realizing the 'hikmah' Allah Taala has revealed to me. I'm crying because I was so ashamed towards God for my ignorance of His Wisdom and my distrust towards Him being the All-Knowing.

Now, after 6 months, the 'hikmah' of me staying here in Malaysia to further my studies has been revealed gradually. Seeing my husband climbing the stairs of success in his career path is a clear evident to me that my sacrifice 6 months ago was not useless. Watching the kids growing and studying in an Islamic school with a good tarbiyyah from the teachers, starting a strong fond towards nasyid and al-Qur'an, and forgetting all the linking park's and avril lavinge's songs, is enough to make me so content. Having the opportunity to visit and serve my parents, share their fears and happiness as well as lending my ears for their problems and nags, and spending an enjoyable holiday with them, are some of the good deeds that I would surely miss if I went to UK.

And right now, as one my siblings is struggling to overcome the worst times in her life, the 'hikmah' has became clearer than ever. As the eldest child in a family who always support each other through thick and thin, this is the time that I'm most needed by my parents and sister. Had I gone to UK, I wouldn't carry out the responsibility of "kakak sulong", who had been the one whom the other siblings turned to in needs.

I thank Allah for revealing this hikmah for me. I thank Allah for still giving me opportunity to make all my beloved persons happy and carry out my responsibility towards my family members. I don't mind if I can't improve my English by studying in England. I don't mind if I can't learn new things in a new environment. As long as I can 'berbakti' towards my family, it's enough to me. Most importantly, I don't want to waste three years of my life without spending happy moments with my parents and siblings.

My Absence...

Assalamualaykum..

Actually, my long absence for almost a week was due to the vacation that I went with my parents, my family and my aunts from Singapore. It was so hectic yet fun. And most importantly it was a memorable experience. InshaAllah I'll write about it later.


How To Help Your Child Become A Power Reader

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How To Help Your Child Become A Power Reader

- by Alvin Poh
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In order for our children to be successful in school and
later in life, they need to be good readers. In school ,the
best students are always good readers.

This is especially at the upper grades of the educational
system where instruction is heavily dependent on
independent reading and learning. Hence it is important
that you help your child acquire the skill of reading and
cultivate the habit of a good reader.

The best way to strengthen reading skills is to read. In
reading, like many other things, practice makes
permanent. The more you read, the better you read. The
better you read. the more your enjoy. And the more you
enjoy, the more you want to read. This whole thing is a
cycle.

Below is 8 tips for parents to help their children become
better reader:

1. Offer a Variety of Reading Materials

It is almost impossible for a family to buy all the books
that the child can read. The best approach is to let the
child join as members to the library. Each time when you
visit the library, borrow as many books as you can for
your child. If it is public library, get all members of your
family to become library member so that you can use
their cards to borrow books for your child whenever
possible.

When getting books for your child, they should cover
various topics. This will expose your child to a wide
variety of knowledge and interests. The knowledge will
come very handy when later he needs to decide on the
areas of specialization. For example, we can
borrow books that cover topics on science, technology.
geography, history, arts, dance, music, puzzles, poem
etc. And of course, not forgetting stories books and fairy
tales which children enjoy most.

2. Establish A Family Reading Time

Children who are good readers usually have parents
who enjoy reading too. If possible, establish a common
reading time for your family. For example, instead of
watching TV after dinner, set 30 minutes as reading time
where everyone in the family sit down at their favorite
corner to read. That means you too, moms and dads!

3. Give Positive Feedback For Reading

Let your child know that you are proud that she read,
just as you're proud of her academic accomplishment. I
know of many parents in my country focus only on how
well their children do in their school test and
examination. Every day when their children comes back
home from school, the questions they ask their kids
often narrow only to whether there is any spelling that
need to learn and whether there is any home work that
need to be done. The parents are most happy and
satisfy when their children read the school texts and do
well in test and examination. They seldom or never
bother to encourage their children to read beyond the
textbooks. Personally I think this is bad as it does not
encourage the children to learn more and to be a
motivate learner and reader.

4. Never Use Reading As Punishment

You should never associate reading with bad behavior.
For example, if you child has done some thing wrong, do
not punish him by asking him to read a book. Such
association can lead you child in thinking that reading is
something bad.

5. Set An Example

Children learn best by what they see and not by what
you say. Moms and dads need to set good example as
good readers by forming the habit of reading regularly.
When your child see that you enjoy reading, he will
naturally pick up this good habit and become an avid
reader too.

6. Give Books As Gift

Every year for the children in home, we give books as
their birthday presents, and not toys or clothing. We
started this practice since they were 1-year-old. They
choose the books that they want when we are the
bookstore. We simply tie a ribbon over the book and
give them out on their birthday. Our children always love
what they receive.

By giving books as gift, we demonstrate to our children
that we consider books as something special and
wonderful. You may like to give this try.

7. Continue Reading Aloud To Your Child Even When
She's An Independent Reader


Reading aloud to your child is more than just about
books. It is important one-on-one time with your child.
Until they are 12-year-old or older, children are better at
listening to stories than they are at reading. They are
also more sophisticated listeners than they are readers.
My wife read classic books like "Jane Eyre", "Pride and
Prejudice", "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" etc to our 6-
year-old daughter. She loves them very much. It will be
difficult for her to get through them if we just leave her
to read the books by herself. Reading to your child is a
great way to build strong vocabulary and grammar and
not forgot strong bonding between family members.

8. Read What's Interesting

Not all books that your child read must be classic or
great literature. To encourage your child to read, choose
something that they find interesting. It can be
magazines, information books, novels, puzzle books and
even comics. The important thing is to be make sure the
content of these books are healthy.

Rejuvenating Weekend...

Rejuvenating ! That's the most appropriate word to describe my weekend , I guess. Alhamdulillah...after almost a month, I managed to go back to my hometown (my parents' home, actually) with husband and kids during the recent weekend.

We arrived at my parents' house at Friday midnight. The journey was quite tiring, since everybody were rushing to their respective hometowns to vote in the election, or supporting their chosen political party, which resulted the one hour traffic congestion on the PLUS highway from Nilai until Seremban. And of course, poor husband. Being the driver, he had to endure the traffic jam alone, while the kids and I were slumbering, almost all the way to our hometown.

The 5 hour journey was quite hectic yet rewarding. Upon reaching home, I could felt the feeling of "there's no place like home". That particular night, I went to bed at 3 a.m, as my Mom and I did a lot of catching-ups. We talked from a topic to another. We went to bed only after we realize the clock struck to 3 in the morning, and considering that we had to arise early tomorrow for voting.

I spent myself with my siblings and and my parents most of the times. The kids were occupied with their cousin, iffato zaimo. On Saturday night, they slept together in their grandma's room. Obviously, two days are not enough to me. I'd love to stay there longer, but I had to go back home, preparing for our vacation to the east coast Malaysia tomorrow with my parents. So, inshaAllah we will spend more happy time during the vacation.

Spending a weekend in my parents' house is simply the best way and opportunity for me to relax and have some time to do things that I just can't find a time to do them in my home. That's why I said, it was rejuvenating. No cooking, no washing and cleaning, I could spent the whole day for myself. I could read magazines, watch movies, and most importantly, I could do some lips and mouth exercise- talking and chatting with my talkative family members.

I used to live with an extended family before I moved here to further my studies. I lived with my kids, parents, my sisters, my brother and his wife, and my grandparents living behind our house. So, I'm used to be around with many people, to be more specific, talkative people. We always share stories, gossips, happy times and hardships together. We had each other and support each other in times of need. If I was not feeling well, I could just get a rest, sleep without having to worry about my kids. In fact, there would always be someone to take care of me. When I had to go for some outstation works, I could just leave my kids in a peace mind. My dad would send and pick them up from kindergarten, my mom would take care of their needs, my sis would make sure they did their homeworks or teaching them reading Qur'an in the evening. If my sister in law went away for work, I would take care of her baby. That's the benefit of staying with an extended family. And Alhamdulillah, we did successfully lived in harmony together for the past 4 years.

On the contrary, living here in my house, with my nucleus family is totally different. I feel so lonely, especially during daytime, when the kids go to school and my husband works in the office. It is a drastic change for me. I have no one to talk to. No one to help me, take over my tasks and everyday routine when I'm sick. I can't even leave the kids at home when I need to go out for something important. I have to be very independent. In a way, it's good for me, so that I won't be so dependent on my family. However, I still prefer living with my extended family members. I believe that it helps to make the bonds and relationship stronger.

Anyway, life must go on. I have to learn to do things and settle all my problems on my own now. This is the high time for me to empower my own qualities and learn my own weakness as well as strength.

Ridha (Satisfaction)






An anecdote related by al-'Attar and reported by al-Makki on Rabi'ah al-'Adawiyyah's Ridha (Satisfaction) with her life and God.

"One day, Malik ibn Dinar went to visit Rabi'ah. He found in her hut a broken jug containing water for her to serve as drink and ablution, a brick to serve as a pillow and a tattered mat to serve her for bed. Seeing the way she lived her life, Malik ibn Dinar offered Rabi'ah some material aid from his rich friend to fcilitate her daily needs. However, she refused and said:

"Is there is one God who supports me and another who supports him? If not, will He forget me for my poverty and remember him for his riches? The truth is that, He does not forget anybody; so we have to remind Him of nothing. He knows what is best for us and caters or withholds His gift accordingly".


MasyaAllah.... we should ponder on our attitudes towards our Lord and try to muhasabah our discontentments and dissatisfactions in our lives. We may not have a very firm, deep-rooted iman like Rabi'ah, nevertheless we can try to enhance our iman by reminding each other like this. May Allah Bless us....in this world and Hereafter...

Du'a....



At times of distress the Messenger of Allah (SAW) would say:

"La ilaha illa allahu al-atheemu al-haleemu, la ilaha illa allahu rabbul ar shil-atheemi, la ilaha illa allahu rabbus-samawati wa rabbul-ar thi wa rabbul-ar shil-kareem"

"La ilaha illa allahu al-azhimu al-halimu, la ilaha illa allahu rabbul ar shil-azhimi, la ilaha illa allahu rabbus-samawati wa rabbul-ardi wa rabbul-ar shil-karim"

(Agreed Upon by Bukhari and Muslim)

Homeschool Prep


For the last few days, I was occupied with gathering and collecting resources and materials for my children's homeschooling session during the upcoming March school holidays. Since both of them go to school for formal education, homeschooling sessions are limited during schooldays. Thus, the only available time to homeschool is during the holidays.


I've managed to collect many materials from the internet. Thanks for all the informative homeschool blogs that I have been visiting lately. They give me loads of information and direction to select suitable materials online. Surprisingly, getting free dowloadable and printable materials from the internet are easier and better. Besides the abundant choices and varieties, study materials from internet are free. In fact some of the materials (like Maths and English) can be customized according to our level and need.

Honestly speaking, my kids love homeschool very much. In fact, if given a chance to choose, they rather homeschool at home than spending 5-8 hours at school with teachers and friends. Alhamdulillah, studying at home has always been their great interest. It comes to an extent, they will envy each other; whenever one of them has a new activity sheet, the other will insist to get one too. So, as to avoid chaos during homeschool session, I have to make sure that both of them have their respective worksheets.

Since we are planning for a 4 days vacation during this school holidays, the kids will have only a few days to homeschool. It's ok, better than never. So, for Wafitos, I will only focus on Maths, English composition and Arabic. While Afafita will learn phonics (I failed to teach Wafitos phonics before) and Maths of course.

Actually, I'm a bit worried with Wafitos. I think he can't understand much of the lessons of Jawi and Pendidikan Islam at school due to his weak Malay Language proficiency. For example, when he tried to do a Pendidikan Islam test at home prior the real test at school, he can't asnwer simple questions as: " Nabi Muhammad ialah ...(pemimpin/pengikut) umat Islam". Obviously, Wafitos doesn't understand the meaning of 'pengikut' and 'pemimpin'. His answer to a question which made my heart going to stop thumping is, "Allah ialah ........tuhan/makhluk". And of course, without knowing the real meaning, he answered makhluk. (Nak pengsan Mama dia dengarkan).

And not surprisingly, when asked about the Pendidikan Islam test yesterday evening upon reaching home from school, he answered: "I don't know how to do...I don't understand...I just do, lah". Later that day, he approached me and said: "mama...I think you have to teach me Jawi and Arabic, I can't read them well". Ok, fine. That means, bertambahlah kerja mama ni as a homsechool teacher.

I think the best part of all these, were Wafitos' remarks and report on his Bahasa Melayu's test at school on Monday.

"Mama...what's duck in Malay? There's a question in the test, a picture of a duck, and we have to write the first letter of the word. I don't know....I just write letter 'I'. My friends said it's correct. Then there's a picture of root of a plant, the question is to write down the first letter of the word. It was '_kar'. So I put 'ikar', cos I always hear mak (my Mom) said ekar tanah".

Well, done, my boy. heheh. Selamatlah...nampak gaya, A dalam tangan for his Bahasa Melayu and Pendidikan Islam.

Further on, he said: " Mama, kesian one of my friends. He can't do Science. Maybe he didn't undertand".

Well, well. Inilah yg buatkan some of young parents in Malaysia serba salah. We are truly in dilemmas. Since Maths and Science are thought in English, we started to prepare our children to adapt to the new learning method by conversing with them in English. Atas alasan, biar mereka faham bila teachers ajar Maths & Science at school nanti. But, alas, anak kita yang tercicir dlm subjects lain. I shouldn't pinpoint the system and blame other parties in this matter, cos' I know it's my own failure. I failed to ensure my children can fluently converse in both languages, i.e. Malay and English.

Anyway, there can still be ways to mend this language crisis.

Nearest Book Meme.. (and some remarks on polygamy)

I've been tagged by Nadia from US. I think it's quite an interesting tag. Let see how it is done.
Rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)

2. Open the book to page 123
3. Find the 5th Sentence.
4. Post the next 3 sentences

5. Tag 5 people


Well, since my laptop is currently on my study desk (usually it can be found in the bedroom and in the living too), it's not difficult for me to find a book of more than 123 pages. Just look at the books on my desk that are waiting patiently to be read by me...


Ok. I choose a book written by Dr. Haifaa Jawad, a senior lecturer from University of Birmingham (she supposed to be my supervisor). It is entitled The Rights of Women In Islam: An Authentic Approach.

The fifth sentence is:
" The permission given in the third verse(al-Qur'an, 4:3) is not an outright permission, nor a general license to practice poligamy."

Aha....quite an interesting topic, right? It's about poligamy in Islam.

The next three sentences after this sentence are:

" It was given in a special historical situation brought about by a recent war, on account of which a large number of Muslim women and children had become orphans; there was an emergency, and there was no alternative to solve the problem of the orphans. Polygamy was the only solution therefore it was adopted. But the situation cannot repeat itself, because the Muslims are now a world Ummah".

Actually, the above mentioned opinion is Qamaruddin Khan's interpretation of the issue of polygamy.

Well. I'm not totally agree with the statement. Yes, it is true that polygamy was introduced as one of the solutions to solve the problem. However, it doesn't mean that when there is no war and few orphans, polygamy is not allowed nowadays. There are many other "hikmah" and reasons for the injunction of polygamy in Islam. Polygamy still can be practiced, with or without the wars, with certain conditions and rules to be followed. Most importantly, polygamy shouldn't be a priority or the main choice for men. It is permissible, but, not advisable or encouraged in normal circumstances. Having said that, Muslim women should neither deny this injunction of God nor oppose it. We should accept it open heartedly, and believe in the hikmah.

Ok. I would like to tag mimi, finie, ayu, mamafiza and juju. Hope you guys can do this tag.




Ikan Siakap Steam...

Yesterday's menu was ikan siakap steam...., i got the recipe from ayu, my sis. Rasanya sedap...i tambah tomato potong dadu....so ada rasa tomato. Yummy. the kids love it...kesian berebut2, never mind next time masak 2 ekor for dinner...baru puas sikit makan.





How to Recognise a Gifted Child

(extracted from Readers Digest)


It is important to recognise a gifted child in order to help promote his or her intelligence, curiosity and desire to learn. Most of these children are never recognised and so their potential is not developed correctly. A gifted child is not a genius and does not have to know everything or do things out of the ordinary, such as play the piano at the age of two or speak several languages at the age of three. They are children who are basically differentiated from others in their ability to learn much faster and go more deeply into subjects.

Some of the characteristics of a gifted child are:

1. They generally walk and speak before their first year of age.

2. They tend to use very rich language and adultlike vocabulary.

3. They easily understand and remember the information they are given.

4. They generate a great quantity of ideas and solutions to problems.

5. They have a well-developed sense of humour.

6. They have a great deal of curiosity, which makes them question everything.

7. They usually worry about the problems in the world.

8. They adore reading.

9. They like complicated board games.

10. They are leaders.

11. They persevere (they concentrate on a task and persist until they finish it).

12. They have a high level of self-judgment, demand much of themselves, and tend to be dissatisfied.

13. They prefer to work independently and do not need much help.

14. They are vulnerable to the rejection of their classmates.


Looks like neither afafita nor wafitos has the above-mentioned criteria. :))

Through the Rain....

When you get caught in the rain with no where to run
When you're distraught and in pain without anyone
When you keep crying out to be saved
But nobody comes and you feel so far away
That you just can't find your way home
You can get there alone
It's okay, once you say

I can make it through the rain
I can stand up once again on my own
And I know that I'm strong enough to mend

And every time I feel afraid I hold tighter to my faith
And I live one more day and I make it through the rain

And if you keep falling down don't you dare give in
You will arise safe and sound, so keep pressing on steadfastly
And you'll find what you need to prevail
What you say is

I can make it through the rain
I can stand up once again on my own
And I know that I'm strong enough to mend
And every time I feel afraid I hold tighter to my faith
And I live one more day and I make it through the rain

And when the rain blows, as shadows grow close don't be afraid
There's nothing you can't face
And should they tell you you'll never pull through
Don't hesitate, stand tall and say

I can make it through the rain
I can stand up once again on my own
And I know that I'm strong enough to mend
And every time I feel afraid I hold tighter to my faith
And I live one more day and I make it through the rain

I can make it through the rain
And I live once again
And I live one more day
And I can make it through the rain
(Yes you can)
You will make it through the rain


**This is actually one of my fave songs. Whenever I'm down, stressed out or depressed, I'll recite this lyrics....it can really gives me some motivation to move on with my life..

Award from my sis...



Another award from my sis in Germany...thanks sis!

I would like to give this award to finie, mamafiza and nadia....
for their perseverance, passion and never-ending efforts
to bring the best for their children and family.

thanks for inspiring me...


The Virtues of Reciting Surah al-Kahf

Here are saheeh ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning the virtues of reciting Soorat al-Kahf during the day or night of Jumu’ah (Friday). These include:

(a) From Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, who said: “Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the night of Jumu’ah, will have a light that will stretch between him and the Ancient House (the Ka’bah).”

(Narrated by al-Daarimi, 3407. This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami, 6471)

(b) “Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, will have a light that will shine from him from one Friday to the next.”

(Narrated by al-Haakim, 2/399; al-Bayhaqi, 3/249. Ibn Hajar said in Takhreej al-Adhkaar that this is a hasan hadeeth, and he said, this is the strongest report that has been narrated concerning reading Soorat al-Kahf. See: Fayd al-Qadeer, 6/198. It was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6470)

(c) It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, a light will shine for him from beneath his feet to the clouds of the sky, which will shine for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven (his sins) between the two Fridays.’”

Al-Mundhiri said, this was narrated by Abu Bakr ibn Mardawayh in his Tafseer, with an isnaad with which there was nothing wrong.

(al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/298)

**Taken from southernmuslimah.wordpress.com

Inconsolable: re-post



O Allah....
Grant me serenity
to pray for Your forgiveness

Grant me strength
to heal my broken heart

Grant me patience
to wait for Your guidance

Grant me courage
to speak out and stand for the truth

Grant me peace
to think of the best solution
and...
Grant me 'Redha'
to open-heartedly accept my fate


O Allah...
Please don't leave your servant at the crossroads
Tearing apart between

Obedience and ambition


O Allah...
Please don't desert me in nowhere
In seeking for Your Satisfaction

In my effort to be the good wife of my husband

O Allah...Please don't discard me from Your Blessings
In this journey of life
Endeavoring hardships to reach Your Jannah

O Allah...
This pain inside is unbearable
This grief inside is inconsolable
This broken heart is incurable

But Allah...
I'm holding tighter to my faith
Steadfastly praying to change my fate

For I believe
In Your Mercy and Love
For I believe
In Your Grace and Care
To cure
This inconsolable heart





by ummu wafi dkm, 27 Ramadhan 1428

*Actually, this poem was written when I was being tested by Allah with the second biggest test in my life. I was so, very, down and frustrated at that moment. In fact, it took my more than three months to console my heart. Now, revisiting and re-reading the poem, I felt quite ashamed with Allah for my impatience and my distrust towards Him before.

Drizzling days...



It has been drizzling for two days here. The internet connection was not so good, so I didn't bother to write a post for my blog or doing any bloghopping. The cool, windy days, Alhamdulillah, have given me some time and space to spend more quality times with my children. I also had the opportunity to accomplish my cleaning-the-house mission on Saturday. This mission had been on my to-do list in the diary and also on my notice board in the study room for more than two weeks! Alhamdulillah, it's done and I'm so glad that everybody in the house has done his task very well. So, the kids clean and mopped their own room, Papa washed and cleaned all the thee toilets, Chichi mopped the guest room, and Mama just did the cooking today! (that's what I meant with cleaning-house-day....everyone but Mama did the cleaning).

My health is getting better, alhamdulillah, after the third time visit to the doctor in this month (February). Thanks to finie and all the other friends who gave me some tips to overcome this chesty cough. Oh, forgot to tell, during the last visit to the clinic, I was diagnosed as being semput (but maybe it's just temporary....cos I never had semput before in my life). So the doctor gave me a nebulizer....to relief the lungs.

Tomorrow, (Sunday) we're going to the usrah at my in-laws. It's our turn to prepare the meal for all the family members. Poning kepala, trying to think of the menu for tomorrow. After the said and done with hubby, I decided to make 'sotong bakar' and nasi goreng. In addition, I'll fry some nuggets or sotong ball. I think it's oklah...considering that the usrah is done in the morning. So, it's like preparing a 'heavy' breakfast or brunch.

Actually I have several tags to be done. But mcm takder masa jer....dah dua hari nie sibuk ajar Chichi Arabic....he's having his test on Monday. Just imagine..my child's first ever exam! Actually I don't want to push him, I just explain him the concept and importance of the exam in his learning process. I don't want him to be the victim of this 'exam-oriented' lifestyle. It's really sad to see parents and children become too obsessed to achieve the all A's. This obsession will only make both parties become stressed.

Back to Chichi. I can observe that he's so anxious about the exam. I'm not so sure of the reason, but I guess it's because that this is going to be his first ever exam in his learning endeavour. So....he really looks forward it.

Ok, got to go. Got to dash to the kitchen and fridge, preparing for the usrah meal.