Baha'i Toddler Devotional and Playgroup

Today we had our first Baha'i Toddler Devotional and Playgroup. It's like a small Baha'i Children Classes but for toddlers.
We start with prayers, then a little animated story with puppets and toys, then it's refreshments and snack time and then playtime.
There were 3 toddlers, 2 girls aged 2 years old (Mona and Ashi) and 1 boy aged 3 year old (Aryan).
We are expecting more toddlers to join in at the next classes and it sounds very exciting.

Today, as it was our very first time, we started with devotions. When we told the tots that we are going to do prayers and gave them each a prayer board book, they started to refuse to say prayers, Aryan started to run away and Mona started to throw the prayers books on the floor. We quickly distracted them and started to sing 'Blessed is the Spot", while we were singing all the kids kept quiet and listened attentively to the moms singing.
After the devotions, we let the kids go play and have some snacks while we discussed on the details and programs of the future Baha'i Toddler Devotional and Playgroup.
We decided to have the classes every Saturday afternoon at our house and we would used the stories I have found. Our goal is to get the children to learn some short Baha'i Prayers and how to behave when prayers are being said. We also want to teach them spiritual virtues and stories of the Faith with the help of puppets and toys. The only thing we forgot to talk about was a name for the class.

So after the break, I gathered the kids around Mona's red table to tell them the story of Noah's Arch. I used Mona's puppets and animal toys and a boat and a little man to illustrate the story.
The kids participated by making the sounds of the animals. They really enjoyed the story and even clapped hands when it was done. After the story, they were invited to come and play with the animals.

The children really had a great time, specially Mona. They need to get used to this new routine and new friends and I am sure our Baha'i Toddler Devotional and Playgroup will become a success.

Here are some pics of the children playing with the animals after the story and some pics of Mona playing after everyone had left.

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Happy birthday to the love of my life....

This Wednesday was my sweetheart's birthday! We suprised him on Tuesday night, with a little birthday cake after the family dinner. Mona really loved the surprise as there was lots of candles on the cake for her to blow off with daddy!
Then on the actual day of his birthday I prepared birthday cards with the help of Mona and also made an indian feast for dinner. On the menu there was roti bread, tandoori chicken, potato curry in a yogurt gravy sauce and rice with salad (got all the recipes on the internet).
I looked all over the supermarkets for colfi-malaii ice-cream, but unfortunately they didn't have any... non the less, the indian dinner feast was a success and was so yummy that there were fingers licking by the 3 of us.
And today we spent the afternoon and evening with his mum and step dad and his brother and nephew. It was really nice and lots of fun.
Hubby was really spoiled this year, as gifts he got clothes and toiletry, a new LG touch phone, which is like a pda with a phone in it, and the new Nintendo Wii Fit, which he so absolutely wanted to have since the very first time he heard about it.
He was so happy is really having fun on the wii.
Of course everyone had a go at the new wii fit and we had so much fun too. It's really awesome and more. We'll see how fit our family gets with it. I'll keep you all updated about this... lol.

Happy Mother's Day to mamijoon

Last Sunday was Mother's Day in Mauritius and in France.
Mona helped me in making a cute card for my mother aka mamijoon.
Mona choose the butterflies and the pictures of mamijoon to put on the card.

I don't post many personal things on my blog because I am a rather private when it comes to my personal life and personal details about my family members, but in the spirit of Mother's Day I want to share a little about my own mother, especially because I know she reads my blog and will definitely see this... :)

Here are some random facts about this wonderful woman:
  • Her name is Mary, but she is mostly called by her middle name, Sylvana.
  • She has been in the education field for most, if not all, of her life, as a teacher and then as a principal of primary school.
  • Her students have and still appreciate and value her as one of the best teacher they ever had.
  • She is loved and looked up to by so many many people in her life.
  • Many of my friends wished their mother was like mine.
  • She is a very intellectual person and knows almost everything about everything!
  • She is a brilliant Baha'i teacher and mentor.
  • She taught the Faith to my father (and so many others).
  • She has been member and the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of Mauritius for over 20 years.
  • She has very high standards and expect the same from her children.
  • She taught me how to read and give talks in public.
  • She never missed a single birthday of her children, children in law, or grandchild, no matter where they are in the world. We always receive birthday cards from her on time or in advance!!
  • She loves words!! She is always doing crosswords, always!!
  • She is a book lover and i got my love of books from her and so did little Mona!!
  • She loves to sing!
  • She is the most kind hearted, beautiful and talented person I know!
  • She is the first person I refer to when I have an important decision to make and in every other situations, I always ask myself "What mom would do if she was in this situation?".
  • If I am even half the women she is, then I can count myself as a success!!

Thank you for everything mamijoon!! You are my role model and my hero!

Je t'aime maman!

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15 May 2008 - Six Bahá'í leaders arrested in Iran; pattern matches deadly sweeps of early 1980s

Six Bahá'í leaders arrested in Iran; pattern matches deadly sweeps of early 1980s
15 May 2008

NEW YORK — Six Bahá’í leaders in Iran were arrested and taken to the notorious Evin prison yesterday in a sweep that is ominously similar to episodes in the 1980s when scores of Iranian Bahá’í leaders were summarily rounded up and killed.
The six men and women, all members of the national-level group that helped see to the minimum needs of Bahá’ís in Iran, were in their homes Wednesday morning when government intelligence agents entered and spent up to five hours searching each home, before taking them away.
The seventh member of the national coordinating group was arrested in early March in Mashhad after being summoned by the Ministry of Intelligence office there on an ostensibly trivial matter.
“We protest in the strongest terms the arrests of our fellow Bahá'ís in Iran,” said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations. “Their only crime is their practice of the Bahá’í Faith.”
“Especially disturbing is how this latest sweep recalls the wholesale arrest or abduction of the members of two national Iranian Bahá’í governing councils in the early 1980s -- which led to the disappearance or execution of 17 individuals,” she said.
“The early morning raids on the homes of these prominent Bahá’ís were well coordinated, and it is clear they represent a high-level effort to strike again at the Bahá’ís and to intimidate the Iranian Bahá’í community at large,” said Ms. Dugal.
Arrested yesterday were: Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm. All live in Tehran. Mrs. Kamalabadi, Mr. Khanjani, and Mr. Tavakkoli have been previously arrested and then released after periods ranging from five days to four months.
Arrested in Mashhad on 5 March 2008 was Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, who also resides in Tehran. Mrs. Sabet was summoned to Mashhad by the Ministry of Intelligence, ostensibly on the grounds that she was required to answer questions related to the burial of an individual in the Bahá’í cemetery in that city.
On 21 August 1980, all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Iran were abducted and disappeared without a trace. It is certain that they were killed.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Iran was reconstituted soon after that but was again ravaged by the execution of eight of its members on 27 December 1981.
A number of members of local Bahá’í governing councils, known as local Spiritual Assemblies, were also arrested and executed in the early 1980s, before an international outcry forced the government to slow its execution of Bahá’ís. Since 1979, more than 200 Bahá’ís have been killed or executed in Iran, although none have been executed since 1998.
In 1983, the government outlawed all formal Bahá’í administrative institutions and the Iranian Bahá’í community responded by disbanding its National Spiritual Assembly, which is an elected governing council, along with some 400 local level elected governing councils. Bahá'ís throughout Iran also suspended nearly all of their regular organizational activity.
The informal national-level coordinating group, known as the Friends, was established with the knowledge of the government to help cope with the diverse needs of Iran’s 300,000-member Baháí community, which is the country’s largest religious minority.

Baha'i World News Service

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To all the mothers in my life.... Happy Mothers Days!!

"...great honor and nobility are conferred on the role of motherhood. Mothers have the unique privilege of being the "first educators, the first mentors" of their children. "O ye loving mothers, know ye that in God's sight, the best of all ways to worship Him is to educate the children and train them in all the perfections of humankind; and no nobler deed than this can be imagined."
From the Baha'i Writings

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Was it Mothers Day or Valentine Day today???

The rest of my day was wonderful and it ended so beautifully!!!
After the brunch (breakfast/lunch), hubby had to briefly go meet a client, so I spent that time with my daughter to play and cuddle a bit. Then it was time for her nap, and i decided to nap with her too. We slept together on our big bed and she fell asleep in my arms while i remembered the good times that have gone by since Mona has been blessing our lives with her love.
Then i fell asleep too. :)
When we woke up, hubby was already back from his appointment and the house was smelling fresh and clean. Hubby had cleaned the whole house!!
Everything was tidy!! Not a toy in view on the vacuumed and mopped floors, the dishes was washed and put away, the tables was dusted, clean and shining!! You could only smell the fresh lemony smell of the cleaning products. I was shocked and impressed!! Because first of all the house looked like a battle field of plush toys, legos and dolly when we went for our nap and secondly because we didn't hear a single noise of hubby cleaning while we were sleeping!! He was so careful to not wake us up, as he wanted me to be surprised when i woke up!! And indeed i was!!
We were supposed to go get my present together today. I had asked for an electronic food steamer and hubby wanted me to come to choose which one i wanted, but we decided to go and get it the tomorrow morning instead, as we were supposed to go out for dinner with the family.
We went to dinner at a Persian restaurant in the city with all the family members and of course with hubby's mum. We had a lovely time there and ate yummy chicken and lamb kebabs with Persian rice and salad and yogurt and of course there was persian tea (but i had a cappuchino). Mona really had fun running around and playing with her cousins in the restaurant.
We got back home around 9pm, spent some time together as a family and then decided that it was time to put Mona to bed. I went in the bedroom with Mona, read her some story books, said our prayers together and waited for her to fall asleep. When i came back to the living room, hubby told me that my bath was ready. "My bath?" I said, and thinking to myself that I didn't really wanted to take a bath, but when i stepped into the bathroom i was so surprise!! Hubby had ran a hot bubble bath for me, and had put lots and lots of candles everywhere!! It was so romantic and felt just like in a spa!! And it smelled so good too!!
I really enjoyed the bath!! And when i got out of the bath, i had another surprise waiting for me!!
Hubby had dimmed the lights in the house everywhere and lighted candles all around the house. He formed a heart with rose petals on the bed...
What happened after that is very private and will not be shared here!! lol
It felt great to be so wonderfully surprised by my sweet shohar (husband in Persian)!!
I felt like today was really my special day... not only was it mothers day, but it felt like valentine day too!!
I really felt loved and cherished by the two loves of my life today!!
I am so blessed to have, not one, but two angels by my side everyday!!
Here are some pics of the card Mona made for me with the help of her daddy and pictures of the dinner at the Persian restaurant:

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Most touching start to my mothers day celebration!!

Today i was very moved and touched both by my precious little girl and my wonderful and so thoughtful husband.

I was awaken in bed, with soft small kisses on my cheeks. Before even opening my eyes, i knew who it was of course, it was my little baby girl!!
Her arms was around my neck and shoulders forming a big hug and her little lips were kissing my cheeks and nose. And she was so excited and happy and kept repeating this: "Happy day mummy, happy day mummy" and then she said: "Mona made breakfast mummy, I made breakfast"!!
At that instant, i completely forgot how tired and sleepy i was. I was no longer sleepy and no longer wanted to stay in bed. I completely forgot how impatient and frustrated i was in the middle of the night, when that same little girl woke me up twice at 2am and then at 4am with a huge temper tantrum because she wanted to sleep in the bed with us.
The joy and excitement in her eyes and her soft kisses completely erased all of this....

Then i saw hubby, with his big tray. I was having breakfast in bed.
On the tray, there was eggs that was shaped in a heart, toasts with butter and jam and nuttela, my coffee in my favourite cup etc.. There was a white rose, freshly picked from the garden with a card Mona made for me with the help of daddy.

The card was so cute and was exactly what i wanted it to be.
I was wishing to have my first mother's day card drawn by my daughter and it was just exactly as i imagined it would be!! Hubby made the card pretty with drawings that Mona likes and always ask us to do, then he traced Mona's little hand and let Mona draw and scribble on that side of the card. Then with Mona they wrote the text together. The card is really beautiful and cute and is a great addition to my collection!!

I really enjoy being a mother, but today i guess even more, because i get to have treats and special royal treatments (as hubby would say) all day long!!

I will post pictures and updates at the day progresses... right now, i want to go and be with my precious darlings!!

Happy Mothers Day to you all dear mothers!!

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Mum is back from Haifa

Mum is back from Haifa. She was a delegate at the 10th International Convention.

I want to thank all of you who prayed for her safe trip and journey to and back from Haifa. Thank you!

I haven't had the opportunity to talk to her yet, she is still in France with my father. They are visiting my brother and sister in law there.
After she came back from Haifa, she and the family went to Frankfurt in Germany to visit the Baha'i Temple.
Apparently, mum is still soaring high in heavens... her spirit is still in Haifa!!
Dad said she has been talking non-stop about the International Convention on their trip to Germany (which was all night long) and her experience there, even though it wasn't her first time at the International Convention (more like her 4th or 5th time), the blessing and privilege of witnessing the supreme body being elected must be once in a life time experience, that only those who does experience it can comprehend or try an attempt at explaining how huge this whole thing is... so i will do just that, and leave it to mum to explain.... lol.

Anyways, you can see pics and videos of her at the International Convention and the visit to the Baha'i Temple in Germany on my dad's blog:

I must say that mum, who is not a camera savvy, did a pretty good job at taking pictures and recording little video clips. I think it was her first time taking pics and videos with this digital camera! Well done mum and thanks for the pics and videos!

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