Friday, June 22, 2007

Scout camp hurrah, no dib dib, we're in Sweden

There’s still one carrier bag full of stuff left to unpack and can’t find the shower gel we took with us, but finally shall try to recall some of last weekend’s activities. (brain pretty numb as scout camp always involves lack of sleep, plus not sleeping till after Fajr as its so early, plus Biryani having a cold and waking what seems like every 5 mins).

But on a positive note the summer hols means can wake without my mobile’s alarm cuckooing at an unearthly hour. M informed me that the big hand was ‘between the 2 and 3’ and the little hand near the nine when I lazily asked him to check the time.
But back to camp. This year I did not have the bliss of ignorance as regards ‘fästing’ (ticks) so this was at the forefront of my mind throughout. Not for the faint-hearted here's a pic. The first year I went I was ignorant of these little minibeasts, but now know they are v common in Swedish forest and if not removed promptly can have nasty complications. So trousers were tucked into socks and insect spray liberally applied. (The herbal one without the DDT still stank to bits though) In fact there were no myggs this year, maybe cos of rain and in the end only H had one suspect one behind his ear, and DH had one crawling amongst his arm hairs but got it before it bit.
Weather was very rainy on the first day so indoor activites mostly. When it cleared there were lots of pretend battles, weapons easily available with all the sticks lying about. The defending of Sarajevo may have been re-enacted (with the help of S’s friend from Bosnia) or else Darth Maul beat Darth Vader, who knows. Lots of fires were made in the indoor and outdoor fireplaces and had a barbq in the drizzle. The fire drill went very well, one of the sisters doing a very realistic impression of someone terrified because the kitchen was ablaze. S spent most of the day making grilling sticks by carving sticks with a knife. On the second day the weather picked up and I managed to avoid again the morning exercise session. We had a crafty afternoon making boxes out of coloured thick paper, which M much enjoyed and he went on to give a demonstration of this at the Muslim playgroup a few days after.
Biryani and H did a good impression of cling-ons and wondering if better to stay at home with them next year.
BTW Biryani now stands quite capably and can get up to standing from sitting. She’s done a couple of steps walking (more like falling) so we’re on the home straight for another biped.

Manly wood-carving

H's view of the camp

A good roaring fire, what you need in the middle of June in Sweden

The outside of the dining room and some beautiful forest, mashAllah

Monday, June 18, 2007

have been on scout camp

and the summer holidays are here, yipee, no more early starts.
However have still got to unpack so, inshaAllah will write more later plus pics

Saturday, June 09, 2007


I’ve been tagged by EF, and:

“…The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog….”

1. I need 10 hours of unbroken sleep a night to feel 'normal' and I haven't had this for about 10 years

2. I am really getting into gardening as much as it can be done on a 12 ft by 4ft balcony, in fact I am actually looking forward to retiring, unless I'm a homeedding grandma (inshaAllah(there is a network out there for one I think!)

3. I would love to own a cat and a horse. The former gives DH asthma and the latter is out of my ability price wise and space wise plus riding with a jilbab hmm well I spose I could find a sidesaddle, the sahabiat managed on camels somehow?

I used to horseride regularly as a child, with a mix of terror and excitement. The stable owners were a bit strange and took us on some wild gallops through the Kent countryside. Also had to wait ages to be picked up, oh the childhood memories, and so I always feel bad when late picking up my little ones. Once there was a mix up picking me up from school and my teacher had to walk me home, that memory always sticks, a 5 year old is pretty scared of being deserted.

4. I often dream of toilets especially school ones and they're always too dirty to use, or no water, or no door or privacy or tissue paper available, so I never go LOL ie I need to wake up and go to the bathroom, and school toilets have infiltrated my sub-consciousness.

5. I love and hate childbirth. It's very exciting and since I read one of Ina May's books and actually willed the pain on. Still hate pushing out bit and wish they'd just fall out. Usually I just want to give up and run home, but du'as seriously help at this point. And then the few hours afterwards is my favourite time as I only have a sleepy newborn to take care of and I have every excuse to do NOTHING.

6. I don't watch films anymore, if I have time to watch something an hour or more long then I have time to sleep (plus most stuff is ,islamically, rubbish).

7. I've started also loving baking and bread-making, and wince as I fork out so much for the bread here, but time is lacking. One second to fling it in the trolley, 1hour to make home made, but oh kneading dough, luuurvrly.

8. Often wondering/ worrying how I can make time/ have energy to do more ibadah increase the quality of my ibadah, Worrying about my accountability for my kids education, worrying about my non-muslim family and the consequences of kufr, worrying about time-wasting, I should stop now, basically worrying a lot.

my tag list:- muslim motherhood -muslim apple - bizzi educates at home -welovehomeed -trials of life - dictator princess- gori wives

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Spelling, socks and some other stuff inbetween

Here's some things that have been going on over the last few weeks that I've finally got round to posting: S has done some 'surgery' on some of the smaller cloth animals, basically cutting parts of their 'skin' off and resewing it back on, one got a skin graft (piece of old cloth coloured to match the original skin). He's always been interested in sewing and decided to take it in to his own hands as I'm always fairly reluctant having needles and pins around young babes, but we survived. Anyhow I think I should let him get some more practice so future patients inshaAllah don't have big scars.
He's also shown a rare bookworm impression when his Exo-force chapter books arrived and were devoured in 2 days, not even wanting to play on the resurrected X box. It is a question of finding the right material to get them interested. Today did a spelling session on the 'ay' sound and I got some words from one of the aforementioned books and he did quite well. 'Dangerous' was a bit tricky as he spelt it as he said it 'dandrous' however he got 'devastator' right which I have to think about!! (yes typical 9 year old boy stuff, can't interest him in Noddy or stuff I used to read!)
Hafsah who is now to be known in this blog as Biryani (nickname since she was little (rhymes with Punjabi for 'wise and 'queen' and the Pakistani culinary influence stuck) has a new interest in putting things together; Lego men heads on bodies, Lego helmets on heads, felt tip pen lids on pen, spoons in cups etc etc Still she thinks marbles plus mouth also make a fine match but equals Mum's heart rate increase due to potential choking.
She's begun to stand quite confidently now, and likes to practice, pulling up on the side of the cot and then falling down and then trying all over again. When I encourage her to take some steps she just laughs and throws herself forward assuming I will catch her, hope I don't get distracted by one of the other kids one day and she just falls on her face.
Had a very bad night a few days back with her sleeping. She slept from 8 till 1130 pm and just as I was going to lie down she woke. I was so tired I just caved in and fed her, twice, but she still wouldn't sleep and after a little play with somLego men and a potter round the living room it was around 1.30 am she slept, and the audacity of it, woke at 6 am. We're talking zombie-like mum here.
Jargon type language appearing now, sounds like she's saying something but I'm not quite sure what, ' bumbleblblblb'plus other less polite sounding syllables, don't know where she go that from !!
H continuing to ask interesting questions:
'why don't children in nursery listen to Quran?'
'We pray properly.' Now where did he get this from?? All I can think is that he overheard me talking to S about a potential church visit he would have.
Speaking of places of worship, had a huff and calmed myself down to complain to the office in the mosque today as they had Swedish flags up all over the place due to the National day holiday yesterday for which they'd organised a celebration, can you believe it, this is integration gone tooo far. I had actually joked that maybe there'd be a flag flying from the minaret (yesterday was a holiday apparently mostly celebrated by construction of IKEA furniture, no raw fish as far as I know) but could hardly believe my eyes seeing the yellow cross all over the place.

Have my quarterly I really wish I could home ed feeling as received IHSAN newsletter. Also when dropping M off for English class at the local school some boys not much older than S ( 8 or 9 maybe) were sneaking around the playground with what looked like pornographic material. In fact it was some underwear magazine but wasn't much different. Along with the junior 'disco dancing' they have I realise they are missing learning to speak Danish (they have classes as so many Danes live here due to tax system) and advanced English swear words. So maybe their school at the mosque is not so bad, (hmm well they learn swear words in Arabic instead, but still there is slightly more innocence left.)
But also found this site recently and felt more depressed about the whole home ed possibility. It seems after the first 3 years it is even more difficult to get permission and very hard if you don't speak Swedish, and they'd have to attend Swedish lessons, which I can kinda understand if we're here for the long-haul. Let's hope we can move, preferably somewhere English-speaking.
Have done a bit of the Flylady thing and threw out kids odd socks. I managed to get the washing pile under control (a load a day she says, although surprisingly don't always have enough to make it worthwhile, maybe 'cos DH away) so knew there'd be no spare ones in there. But then she doesn't tell you to check under beds as I found the other halves of 2 pairs, admittedly one pair on its last legs, so now minus 2 pairs of socks which are always precious in our house. So before you throw out those odd socks, do all washing and check under beds, or any other crevices your socks tend to hide. Don't your days feel relatively interesting now you've heard about mine?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Lots of flower piccies

Yesterday we drove to school as per usual. I find the initial part of our journey quite picturesque, and so I remembered to take my camera with me.

This is a house I see every day on the way home, would be ideal for us, near the amenities but also in the country with no neighbours so we could make as much noise as we wanted.

But then maybe just as well we don't live there as this has been the area where the Swedish army are having a practice weekend. Having a mild version of what it's like in Gaza/ Baghdad as tanks noisily driving up the local roads, gunfire and a helicopter flying overhead. Alhamdulillah, we're in a situation where my kids were actually quite excited to see these war machines rather than being terrified their house was going to be demolished.

And this is a beautiful field I glance upon from the road, in my younger days would have jumped in the daisies.

One of the kids thought this scene was worthy of a photo, and I think so too mashAllah, Summer is here. And these are the flowers we picked. I'd thought of the idea on the way to pick up the kids, and to my surprise on the way back, someone was already there picking daisies (Prästkrage- Skånes national flower S tells me - they do learn something at school).
M had been slightly disheartened having to leave a craft project just as he was getting started in 'fritids' (after-school club he goes to while he waits for his elder brother to finish otherwise he'd finish around midday), but the flower-picking was just his cup of tea and cheered him up.
As we were gathering flowers, 2 more cars pulled over and more people got out to pick flowers too. Of course they had scissors with them and put them into neat bunches.

and here's the end result. Summer is here, or so I thought as it was woolly hat and rain in the park just now!

Now this picture is from a day last week just to remind you what the park looks like just below our balcony, but for the more astute out there, notice the spiderman top that has ended up on the bench. It was very windy one day when I was washing clothes, I can't find my pegs (I'm on my 2nd batch of them, who is stealing them??and when I did give in and try to buy some more they didn't stock them any more at the supermarket). I think someone has kindly hung up the shirt. In fact a new-looking mountain bike was parked nearby the swings for over a week recently, without being locked without being stolen.
and I just love these flowers in along the path leading to the play area and so do the bees..

Also have written a post in Selective mutism blog, a bit more on the serious side....