Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ramadan Reminders

Alhumdulillah Ramadan is just a two or three days away and we can feel the change in the atmosphere already as the excitement mounts. Masha'Allah, learning about this month and its blessings comes easily to the children as the elder ones fast and the younger ones participate in Suhoor, Iftar, Taraweeh and Qiyam.  As the little ones learn about Ramadan, the older ones are given reminders and we all work towards becoming more conscious of this month's blessings, it it to that end Ummi put together this wall:
Our Ramadan Wall
  What is all over this wall, you may ask? Well, here's a close up: 
Fasting shields from the fire

Our Ramadan calendar
Dated dates, to be picked as each day of Ramadan come to an end, special gold ones for the special odd nights

Home-made basket to store the dated dates

moon phases from BrainQuest

IBAP's article on Ramadan
Elsewhere in the house:

Reminder that fasting is more than just abstaining from eating and drinking

Reminder of fasting duration
Days of the week in English, Arabic and numerals, markers to depict weather

We hope to read and learn as we experience this month and hope to share our discoveries as we make them insha'Allah.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mighty Microbes

We're surrounded! Itty bitty creations float, eat, reproduce and even burp all around us. They are easy to forget, till someone gets sick, and truly fascinating to see, and so we introduced IBAP and MBAP to a world beyond the obvious; the world of microbes.

We began our journey sometime ago before their Arabic classes began and resumed it after the classes came to an end.

 The journey began with a the book Mighty Microbes, which helped identify some nasty germs, how our body fights them, as well as others in our environment like algae and those microbes we use for food and oil.

The children made some posters about what they learnt.


On reading about yeast and fungi which help make food, we watched videos about making bread, cheese (how its made videos on youtube) and farming mushrooms for sale (not very appetizing!)

We observed yeast at work by making bread, Masha'Allah.

Later we travelled with a Magic School Bus book for a closer look at microbes at work and followed it with videos of The Magic School Bus going into a child's body to watch the immune system at work and another video about plankton. (keep a steady hand on the volume control for muting music)

Watching the movie Osmosis Jones gave the children a grand tour of the inner workings of a man's body and the consequences of ignoring basic hygiene. the story was fictitious and as movie progressed the fictitious parts were explained and discussed.

We have begun to delve further and look at the world through a single lens - a microscope lens that is, and we hope the children will understand that in most things in life there is more than meets the eye, Insha'Allah.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

From the Farm to the Fridge

A few of our books

Where does our food come from? Though the little BAPs have learnt to thank Allah SWT for the food they eat, they needed to learn that the food is not naturally produced at at the grocer's stand, refrigerator or in a box, and it is to that end we have been reading up and watching videos about where our food comes from.

Masha'Allah the BrainQuest workbooks offered pictures of heathly food and their storage.

The following websites show how cows are milked and bread and cheese are made. Even the elder kids were fascinated.

Honey from the comb into the jar at a factory



Coffee ( does not say how its made but you can see the plants and
beans etc)

Mushrooms (warning you may not want to eat them again after seeingwhat
they grow in =)
A link on turtle hatching:

This theme led us, amongst other things, to discuss how do plants grow - the origins of our food, more on that soon, Insha'Allah.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

RAMADAN by IBAP (aged 10)

Ramadan is a special month to us. We fast from Fajir to Magrib so we can get lots of reward from Allah. Before Fajir we have suhoor and at Magrib we have iftar. The gates of Jannah will remain open throughout the month. The Qur’an was sent in this month. shaitan gets chained by Allah SWT so he doesn't whisper to us. We go for Tarawih after Isha. If you eat or drink or vomit on purpose or you backbite it will break your fast. In Ramadan there are 29 to 30 days. After this special month is a special day named Eid where we celebrate the end of Ramadan.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Arty Facts

The children and their Ummi have enjoyed some arts and activities over the last year, which we have not had blogged about, but since we really enjoyed them we thought we'd share the pics here now:

fused beads, Jazakullah Khair Didi Phopu!
 The kids enjoyed making all kinds of designs with the fusion beads given by Didi Phopu. Masha'Allah all of the kids gave it a try including the elder BAPs, even SBAP (3yrs) managed to patiently put a small thing together (the little rectangle in the pic). The mostly pink heart is a sample of HBAP's (5 yrs) work (she eventually ran out of pink beads and the patience, since SBAP broke her work 3 times while she was still putting it together, Masha'Allah she did persevere till it was complete but the hunt for pink had to be compromised)

 Roasting marshmallows using the sun's heat energy, yum!

origami balls

Origami balls were fun to try once, but did not kick off as a skill to be practiced because tennis balls are a lot more fun to play with and not as much effort to get :( 

eggs striped bare of their carbon and protein shell
The yellow eggs are called "naked eggs" because there outer shell has been dissolved. There were immersed in vinegar and refrigerated.  The vinegar caused the carbon of the shells to be released, creating bubbles and white foam. After changing the vinegar over three days the shells dissolved leaving the egg membrane intact, and the egg yolk could be viewed through it, Masha'Allah. You can view a partially dissolved shell on the egg upfront between the regular eggs and golden ones.

MBAP (aged 7) built a catapult following instructions from a book.

weaving loom bought from airport Saudi Arabia
The above loom was purchased from the airport at Saudi Arabia, on our way home. Alhumdulillah the children enjoyed making little pot holders and marvelled at how long it takes to make such a small piece of clothe by hand.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Snackeria: Chef HBAP's Debut

Though HBAP (age 6) enjoys cutting veggies and helping out in the kitchen, she recently made her debut as a upcoming chef. For her first meal ever she prepared Peanut Butter Brownies From A Box. As Ummi guided her, under the instructions of Betty Crocker, HBAP carefully measured the ingredients, greased and floured the baking tray, mixed, poured, baked, cut and served the brownies.

Preparing the batter

Chef HBAP mixing the batter

ready to bake

piece of cake?
Alhumdulillah they were delicious and we hoped she would soon make something from scratch. (Masha'Allah, HBAP and her friends did get the opportunity to cook from scratch, to read more about it visit here )

Solution To Mystery Meat


Kippers! We'd often read about it being a part of an 'English breakfast', and all agreed it tasted like tuna but has a stronger flavour, tasted good with fried and scrambled eggs.

Though a fish in itself,  smoked fish is referred to as Kippered and often smoked herrings will be referred to as "Kippers". Kipper, the fish, is often referred to as "red herrings".

Trivia from Wikipedia:
Kipper time is the season in which fishing for salmon is forbidden in Great Britain, originally the period 3 May to 6 January, in the River Thames by an Act of Parliament.
Kipper season refers (particularly among fairground workers, market workers, taxi drivers and the like) to any lean period in trade, particularly the first three or four months of the year; possibly a reference to the above usage, or to the need to live frugally during such a period, by (for instance) living off kippers

Snackeria: Pirani's Rock and kabab Roll

The elder boys often take over the kitchen to put together a sandwich dinner, this time the younger ones were given the opportunity to prepare a Kabab Roll dinner, under the guidance of Chef QBAP.  AfterUmmi completed slicing and dicing the veggies stayed clear of the kitchen as the BAP's took over.

IBAP frying Parhatas
The Parhattas were fried by IBAP (age10) and MBAP (age 8), while QBAP came around taking orders. though seekh kababs in parhattas were the main ingredients, toppings varied to the taste of the various members in the family; onions, capsicum, cheddar cheese, mayo, mustard, cream cheese and Peri Peri sauce.

MBAP and QBAP at work
Once the kababs were hot (microwave) and the parhatas fried the three boys worked together to prepare the rolls according to each family member's taste, Masha'Allah. Needless to say they were delicious!

Rolls being prepared

Sorry no pictures of the served Kabab rolls, everyone was too hungry to take out snaps!

Seeing everyone busy, SBAP (age3) takes the opportunity to wash some dishes

Saturday, July 2, 2011

For GIRLS only!

Alhumdulillah HBAP finally had the opportunity to host her very own "party for only girls!".  All the Pirani boys were sent out for the day day......except for SBAP (3 yrs old) and  ZBAP (1 1/2)....

The guest list as compiled by HBAP consisted of those young ladies and their mothers that HBAP knew personally and enjoyed the company of, the guests themselves were excited about attending a girls only party too, Masha'Allah. Activities prepared for the girls consisted of :

Bracelet Making:
Shinny beads were placed in bowls and trays for the girls to make their own bracelets, the cord provided was old, unused dental floss.

Cones from Saeed Ghani and lots of tissue was ready for the girls to have their hands decorated. Umm Uzair generously brought books with various mehindi designs and applied it for the girls while her baby Asma rested. Once Baby Asma felt her patience wear thin, other moms took turns to decorate the little girls hands. Alhumdulillah, the mehindi dried fast and the girls washed it off quickly to play.

Grab the Bag:
Bag filled with a treat suspended above a door frame, the girls had to bring it down on their own. After puzzling over it a bit, the girls took turns climbing the door frame and reaching up for it, Masha'Allah, it was down soon and the girls distributed the sweet boxes equally amongst themselves.

Put the Apple in the Tree:
This version of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" was provided by Umm Uzair. The girls soon organized themselves and played the game, enjoying and watching each other's efforts, as the mothers relaxed and enjoyed each other's company Masha'Allah..


Bursting Balloons:

The balloons for the party were blown by little Maria, who also suggested we have a game of balloon bursting, as she put all the effort into blowing them up Masha'Allah how could we refuse?

 DIY Lunch:
After the success of the Do-It-Yourself meal with the boys, we put it together for the girls, other than the burgers which the girls made themselves Masha'Allah, the menu offered macaroni salad, juice and a chocolate fudge cake. Umm Sofia also brought two tea cakes to compliment the menu. All present found it yummy meal and a fun to do activity.


Unfortunately, the hostess had to leave the party early to attend her Quran/Arabic class, but before she left, HBAP distributed gifts to her guests:


Aprons with little clips to wear hidden in the pocket for the girls and for the babies; sets of pink coloured measuring spoons (a fav. ZBAP rattle) in keeping with or unspoken of kitchen theme. Hafsa and Umm Uzair also brought a gift for the guests; packages consisting of sweets and cake with a doll.

Alhumdulillah, all had fun.

"I liked it. The fun part was having sweets and playing with balloons. I liked the burgers. Umm Sofia put mehendi on my hand. I gave everybody aprons, there was a gift in it. Hafsa - Hiba's friend, also gave us gifts. "- Hibatullah

(The older boys were out all day, ABAP at his class, QBAP, IBAP and MBAP were first at Arabic class and then stayed at Abbi's office where they spent time with Uzair (also hanging there while his mom and sisters attended the party) and had lunch there, till it was time to leave for Quran/Arabic class with HBAP.)

Breakfast at Piranis: Mystery meat and " Oeufs faite par le Chef de QBAP"

Do step into our little kitchen,you'll be really surprised,
often something strange or surprising
may be sizzling, bubbling, glopping
tantalising all your senses,
 or simply making them want to rock
Look into our little kitchen.........
Its an exciting place around the clock!

Alhumdulillah, even a meal can be an education, as was the case when Ummi presented this mystery meat at the breakfast table to be eaten with eggs and bread. Can you identify the mystery meat?

These tasted good with fried eggs.(Solution to the mystery to be posted soon, Insha'Allah).

More recently, QBAP graced the kitchen to make a big batch of cheesy, meaty scrambled eggs, just before he dashed off for his extra Quraan class. His eggs are literally fought over, whenever he makes them for himself and so the family appreciated his efforts to make us a quick batch before he rushed away Mash'Allah.

omelette faite par QBAP