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Moms and Ramadan

After signing in, I saw this on my wall…refreshing!

Hey mamas! I see you lurking. Panicking. Feeling all insecure and disappointed. There are no lights up. No cookies baked. No awkward trips to your neighbors. No decoupaged lanterns. No hand knitted kufis for your boys and no needle point monogrammed hijabs for your daughter.

I see you. And you are great. We have an entire month of memories to make and the best ones will probably be accidental. So don’t let this group be the cause of any sadness.

There are great ideas here and many many talented moms. Take the good and leave the posts that make you certain they must have a sweat shop running in their basement.

Let us be inspired and not intimidated. We are all trying our best and iA the we will all be successful in the blessings of Ramadan.

Worst case, buy them really nice Eid gifts. ūüėÉ

Note: there’s no mom shaming going on here. Love all the crafty mamas and their masterpieces.

(From Fouzia of Ramadan crafts & activities for kids facebook group)

I do have some neat ideas for Ramadan learning and activities that somehow jumped into my foggy brain of late. Will post soon, in sha Allah. I hope my sisters are in the best of Imaan and health, love you for the sake of Allah~ umm Sakina

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Ok so ima post a link after just blogging before that i don’t normally posts link, lol.

http://happinessishereblog.com/2015/05/stop-trying-to-make-everything-educational/

The content of this short article is something that i HAVE learned and mentioned on previous posts about the importance of being ‘in the moment’ with your children and even life in general. However, smh…this title called to me:

STOP TRYING TO MAKE EVERYTHING EDUCATIONAL

yeah, that’s me about 50% of the time. It used to be met like, 80% of the time.

As i have mentioned before, it is my daughter (Dd) who showed me the way and what was best for her. All praise Alone is to God.
I am still growing in this way and still learning may Allah increase me in knowledge and keep me on the straight path. I thank our Lord who showed me the error of my ways in teaching and parenting my kids.

I think people in general go to two extremes when raising their children: they either raise them the way they were raised or they raise them completely the opposite way. Unless there was perfection in their own upbringing, neither of these extremes is good. Moderation is the key and balance is always good.

I read many, many books on parenting and psychology, starting at the age of nineteen. I did not want to repeat the harms that were done to me. However, we tend to copy the speech and actions of our own parents as we age, i think. At least that’s the way it was with me. We also behave the same way because as an adult, we have the same stresses our parents did! I forgive my parents, though. Khalas, here is the article, enjoy. I would like to hear your thoughts on it.

facilitate

verb (used with object), facilitated, facilitating.

1.

to make easier or less difficult; help forward (an action, a process, etc.):

Careful planning facilitates any kind of work.

2.

to assist the progress of (a person).

Facilitate: this is our duty as parents. I am not the first home-schooler to use this term nor to be the last. This has been the best way for my children to learn, with me assisting, helping or just being available if they have a question. It does not mean i do not ever ‘assign’ something, i do. However, i am more focused now in what interests them, and what they want, al hamdulilah.

Our task is to provide an education for the kind of kids we have…..Not the kind of kids we used to have, or want to have, or the kids that exist in our dreams.” ~ Mary Kay Utech

It isn’t about me. It was never about me. They don’t belong to me nor does anything i own belong to me. They are a ni’mah from Allah but also a test. They are borrowed, loaned to me and will return to their Lord, just as i will. May Allah guide them and give them the best in this life and the afterlife . May Allah give me righteous children who will pray for me after i pass!

I am so grateful to have found this way surely, our Lord is Most Merciful. Now i realize His Mercy extends to my children, of course. And we know God answers the supplications of the children and the oppressed.
~ Peace

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Just a quick post I want to elaborate each but just wanted to get this out.¬† Will edit later, plz check for updates;) Thanks for visiting! If just one thing I write helps someone, than I have served my purpose. Don’t forget the great links and resources to the right of your screen, on the bottom for cell phones.

11 steps I took that made a sudden, dramatic change with my kids and home

1. Listened fully (explain more later)
2. Smiled more often, frowned less
3. Stopped critisizing
4. Stopped yelling or even raising voice
5. Consistent consequences without emotion
6. Specific instructions, expectations and feedback(praise)
7. Stated my issues, (mistakes I made with them in the past) how I would solve them, asked for help and reminded them what they want is important to me
8. Stopped threatening or using ultimatums
9. Respectful and Fair. Ex: I ate your leftover takeout without asking while you were asleep because I was hungry and there was nothing to cook. Before I ate your food, I decided to pay you $4 for it, so I will give it you asap.
10. Did my best to keep my word or promises and when I wasn’t able, worked out a substitution agreed upon between us
11. I required acceptable responses to myself and adults: yes, okay, yes Ma’am,¬†Yes/No Sir.
Not: what?, mumbling or silence.

BONUS:

Said YES as often as i was able. and God Alone makes us able, we praise Him and seek his forgiveness.

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…and a new start
homeschool last year

An Important distinction I made recently and lesson learned was to put Aqeedah and Quran first, academics second. I don’t just mean schedule-wise like lessons on religion first or Quranic memorization in the morning before academic subjects are covered I mean philosophically, practically and mentally first. Of course with learning everything is connected and can be experienced together but that’s a whole ‘nother post;)

Days I awake alert, pray, and began the day cheerfully reviewing our lesson plans and my to do list, the day¬†goes smoothly,¬†is productive and I accomplish the goals i set for myself and my children’s learning or activities for that day.
NOT!!!

I realized for quite a while now¬†those days are infrequent and in the past. Lately I felt little was accomplished¬†and that our whole household was dragging through the day, starting later and later, not getting into the swing of things till the afternoon. I became frustrated meals were no longer on time or in a reasonable period (breakfast before 11, lunch before 3) I was annoyed their chores weren’t done, I had return to nagging and criticizing and by ‘asr, only a couple lessons had been finished.

That overwhelmed feeling became worse and worse: the house wasn’t the way I wanted it, the kids were starting the day too late, we weren’t getting enough done, in my opinion. And no, I’m not going to say the common revelation that unschoolers have was that we needed to slow down, de-school, have less schedule or structure or enjoy nature. Thank God, I have realized a lot of these and my children have shown me the error of my way that my idealized picture of a schoolroom complete with textbooks, desks and posters replicated in our house did not appeal to them nor yield much result. I mean, they¬†go in there to get supplies¬†or grab a book and read on the¬†small, comfy¬†IKEA couch or perhaps¬†even play with our cockatiel but sitting at the¬†antique desk I bought and letting me “teach” them…..no.

The word that comes to my mind is liberation. Once I was able to ‘let go’ of all the common, erroneous ideas of education and release my faulty way of thinking, my children and I were so much happier.¬†Really, I am not trying to¬†copy the word¬†of the title from one¬†of the most appreciated¬† and well written books in the history of education*…it is just the perfect word. To know¬†something is to know it’s opposite and the opposite of liberation would be in my mind, slavery.

My mind¬†was held¬†captive to the idea that¬†learning must¬†be represented as a schoolroom in my house and that was the only way my children would learn. Silly, because that was not the way i was raised but it was how i was ‘schooled’.

Back to my original point, realizing the tone in our home had shifted from¬†following interests,¬†open discussions, and harmony to one of drudgery. That nice flow¬†and balance we had that comes when you’re free to learn or pursue¬†what you want, when you want,¬†while still¬†setting goals was gone.¬†¬†Being carefree and the lightness in¬†our chests¬†but still¬†feeling our¬†time was well spent,¬†meaningful…the positive charge exiting in our home was absent.

So I decided to forget worrying about the lesson plan and announced we would start the day by reading or memorizing Quran. It made a difference immediately. It wasn’t just in the kids attitudes and what they finished, it was MY mentality and demeanor changed. After all, the feeling in the home usually reflects the mom. I mean, the husband can set the tone and he is the leader but the mother is the the love, the example¬†and the teacher.

What a relief! It’s not that I took charge and we got the house in order, or that our prayers were on time, but that I felt confident that if¬†I put God first, everything would be all right. It goes without saying of course, the importance of fajr prayer offered at it’s prescribed time.
Once I began having them¬†work on their surah memorization or having a short halaqa¬†discussion, I stopped feeling that weight becoming heavier throughout the day; that familiar, nagging worry ceased. I knew if we began our school day right, in worship and remembrance of Him, subhana wa ta’ala, my children would learn whatever academics essential for their future.

When I experienced that certainty, that comfort, I relaxed, the scowl on my face replaced by a smile, and the light-heartedness returned. I rediscovered just the simple joy of being with my kids. Once again i felt the liberation.
Instead of dragging through the day, with that feeling of defeat by dinnertime, I was relishing each moment with my kids. New thoughts, more reflections, revelations how history, science and current news were all connected and explained through Quran and hadeeth, were easily discovered and shared among us. maa shaa Allah. There was less arguing, more play and camaraderie, and more wonder in the world around us.

I mentioned to my teenage daughter what a pleasure she was to be around lately “I’m glad you noticed,” she retorted. I didn’t take offense, in fact the opposite. I could tell by her tone she appreciated my words but was hurt. I had betrayed her. After the long journey of discovery and realization that culminated in allowing her the freedom to learn on her own I had backtracked and returned to ‘do this, do that’… ‘why haven’t you…..

I do believe children should obey but I also believe adults should apologize to children when they are in the wrong and I¬†try to do¬†that. My wrong had been returning to the negative, hostile mom from the past instead of the positive, encouraging, and relaxed one as I was after my ‘enlightenment’. Instead of my usual need to make this into a lesson,¬†with a¬†minimum statement (lecture)¬†responding to her, “I’m glad you noticed” I remained silent and just ‘took it’. I think that meant more to her¬†than any¬†admittance or promises¬†I could have made. and Allah knows best.

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Grettings, yall¬†ūüėĬ† i ¬†was going to post about Eid¬†celebrations and gifts but I would like to quickly ask this and leave some words of remembrance for myself. I don’t know about anyone else, but my blog helps me ponder issues and problems¬†when I write but more importantly, remember lessons in education or parenting I learned! It’s a record i can refer back to, a benefit and reminder, especially when someone posts a comment.

Forgive the simplicity of this post, perhaps I will elaborate more later. Answer the question: what is your role as a mother? I did a similar post about this, what are your goals of educating your children and this question is not really different, rather it is more comprehensive. Educating, training, and teaching our children is definitely interlinked with our role as a mother.

When I came across this question not only did it make me think, but what created more contemplation and realization was someone¬†else’s¬†comment.¬†When this question was asked, a sister responded:

As the mother of a girl I saw and see my responsibility to instill high values of womanhood and humanity within her. Make sure she grows up as physically and psychologically healthy as possible. Give her the best knowledge of life and the world I can. And try to get her as educated with marketable work force skills as possible. And as well try to earn a living that leaves her with some kind of inheritance.

Al hamdulilah. I thought to myself, those are all true and lofty aspirations for raising a daughter. The last statement struck me though, because i immediately thought, well, not just about working and supporting herself, but what about marriage? Not only is it part of our religion, it is a proven biological drive as well as human nature to seek out a significant other, a partner for this life. As Allah says in His book:

< And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.> 30:21

Libas [ garments, i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her Рas in Verse 7:189) Tafsir At-Tabari], for you and you are the same for them.> 2:187

 

This was my response:

“Reading all¬†the sister¬†said, ¬†i’m in agreement, however, lastly, we must make sure she marries a man who fears Allah and can take care of her.

I feel my role as a mother is to protect her from her own whims, educate her in Islam, to know her Lord and worship him and yes, as M. said, raise her healthy and compassionate. Girls are a challenge! It’s a balancing act with their self esteem¬†and image¬†and correcting them. Oh! Protect them from the portrayal of women in the media AND the illusion of happily ever after (it’s not¬†just about falling in love, marriage is hard work, but it IS a way into Jannah!)

Allah is the Provider, in this society it is important to have marketable skills but what gives us happiness¬†is not a career or money it is personal, fulfilling relationships, fulfilling our role (as a husband, wife, mother, daughter or sister) and correct knowledge of our Creator and practice of our deen. ALSO, i¬†realized not too far in the future she would be getting married and i didn’t want the poor brother coming to me asking what was wrong with her, lol ¬†(Because for years i waited on her and it made her lazy and not respectful). So i started not just assigning chores but teaching life skills, how to take care of herself, her hygiene, her home, and help with her siblings. Al hamdulilah she loves to cook and bake, learning all things related to it, so THAT opens up the door for fractions and science ūüėČ two subjects she wasn’t fond of before.

When i¬†realized that i¬†also realized the same with my son. I had to raise HIM to be a good husband and father in addition to knowing Allah and his responsibilities. So, he learns how to cook, clean his room and bathroom, take on more responsibility as he gets older, and not try to remove his sister’s scarf when they argue in public! lol. Loyalty and protection towards his family. In essence: teach my son how the prophet, salla¬†lahu¬†alahi¬†wa salam was.

I feel good doing things for others, but it can create problems. We need to make sure we are not fulfilling cultural gender roles and ignoring the sunnah. The prophet, salla lahu alahi wa salam, did not depend on his wives constantly to bring him food or cook. He cooked, mended his own clothes and was compassionate but firm.

In retrospect, Rasulullah’s example IS the ideal example not just for my son but as well as for my daughter however where I failed was thinking doing everything for my kids was being a good mother; after all, that’s how MY mother was. However, i was an only child. I also realize I didn’t truly appreciate my mom until i had kids. I was selfish and even at the age of twenty, I still could not feel gratitude in my chest. I blamed my problems on my family upbringing, my parents and what I thought were their failures. No doubt I had a dysfunctional family but my mother was practically a saint. She wasn’t perfect and had to deal with her own hardships but she was very sacrificing and loved me unconditionally. I was a difficult, ungrateful, self-absorbed teen even till my early twenties. It wasn’t just having kids that made me appreciate her, it was becoming Muslim and learning to respect and value her. All praise is to God.

I do realize now that cleaning my daughter’s room for her and not assigning any chores or expecting anything from her except her studies made her selfish and ungrateful. Had i raised her from an early age with the Prophet’s sunnah in mind, how he didn’t depend on his wives or others, would have created in her the understanding that she is part of a household that must work together, and give her better abilities earlier and independence. My mind was always on “at the age of ten she has to pray and will be asked” when I should’ve trained her from the age of seven, as according to the hadith. Al hamdulilah though, we cannot say “if” in Islam. What’s important is that i realized the error of doing everything for her and not insisting she contribute by helping around the house and doing chores. I lacked consistency but now I’m more focused.

 

This was a great question and could be a good thread! It helps to clarify your intentions and goals when asked,  al hamdulilah.

So what do you think your role is as a mother and after reading these two responses, what do YOU think in response to them and from your own experience?

As I returned to editing this, understood the sister’s comment of raising her daughter to ‘high values of womanhood’ includes motherhood, marriage, raising children, taking care of your home. However, that is MY interpretation of her statement, what do other women, think is the value of womanhood and more importantly, what does our Lord say about it and what was the example of the Prophet’s wives?*

May Allah reward you for your thoughts and comments and guide us to raise healthy families, who are a benefit to society and have righteous children who will pray for us when we are gone.

salla lahu alahi wa salam wa radi Allahu anhumma

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Ten Tips of Parenthood

I like this simple list and it’s in acronym form, easy to remember. It is written by Aisha Al-Hajjar, mother of eight home-schooled children and certified Bradley Method childbirth educator and labor doula.

>>>PARENTHOOD comes with a never-ending ‚Äúto do‚ÄĚ list.¬† In fact, I could probably keep this Parenting column running indefinitely, just discussing the obligations and duties that come with the job.

But this week I‚Äôd like to keep it light.¬† So I‚Äôve used the word ‚ÄúPARENTHOOD‚ÄĚ as an acronym for ten simple tips.

 


P

RAY for your children.

Remembering to pray for your children is probably the most powerful tip of all.  Allah is our sustainer and we should turn to HIM for all things.  Pray for their health, their happiness, their safety, their peace…I could go on indefinitely.  Possibly the most profound is to be thankful in prayer for the privilege of having them.

A

 

CCEPT them for who they are.

Your child is not a mini-you.  They have their own personality, experiences, thoughts, and desires.  You cannot live your own unfulfilled goals and dreams through them.  Value and accept them for who they are and remember, too, that they are growing up in a different era than you.

R

 

AISE them in a loving environment.

Within a loving home there is peace and tranquility.  Stable surroundings make for confident and successful people.  Show your child kindness and love; for a child who is raised with these in the home is less vulnerable to the evils of the street.

E

 

NCOURAGE them.

Each of us has special gifts of skill and talent.  Like us, our children also have their own interests and desires.  Support your child with love and encouragement to fine tune their gifts and follow their dreams.

N

 

OTICE their achievements.

Each day is full of achievements, big and small.  An important step to positive parenting is focusing on the good things your child does along the way.  Parents foster good behaviors by taking notice of them.  In this way, they reinforce what is desirable of the child and that which is undesirable naturally diminishes as they seek your praise.

T

 

EACH them.

Perhaps a parents biggest responsibility is to educate their children.  This includes providing a venue for their academic studies, be it formal school or lessons at home.  But don’t forget to also teach by example.  Some of the best lessons are those of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

H

 

EAR them speak.

Truly stop and listen when your child speaks.  Multitasking may be a great way to get things done, but it doesn’t apply to validating your children’s importance in your life.  When a child feels heard at home, he feels respected, important, and loved.  This can equally apply to your spouse!

O

 

PEN your arms to them.

A child should feel welcomed and loved.  Physical contact is an important aspect of intimate human relations.  Babies and young children are especially in need of physical affection, such as cuddling and hugs.  But don’t discount this need as the child grows.  The amount of physical closeness will naturally wane as they mature, but even a teenager benefits from a parent’s embrace.

O

 

FFER the world to them.

Don’t allow your personal experiences to limit your child.  Many great people have come out of homes of ignorance and poverty.  The future should be wide open for them and they should be offered the opportunity to explore their world and allowed to reach for the sky.

D

 

ISCIPLINE for the future.

Discipline should be aimed at training for the future.  It is not about punishment or scolding.  The ultimate goal should be self-discipline, with which the child can be trusted to make the right decisions for himself.

Each of these tips could be the focus of an entire post.  In fact, some of them have been topics of previous articles in this Parenting column.  Remember that parenting is unique to each child.  There are no templates that can be universally applied to the task.  But these ten tips surely apply to all.


©2011 aisha_alhajjar@yahoo.com, All Rights Reserved 

http://saudilife.net/parenting/23979-ten-tips-of-parenthood

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Downloadable teaching books Islamic Aqeedah, Science and History

I REALLY should have posted more often, i’m¬†sorry. However, we don’t say “if” in Islam¬†so i¬†will just say¬†I have been busy with the kids as learning is not just 8am -3pm¬†but all the time.

¬†I have¬†been crafting¬†a lot lately.¬†As well i’ve¬†been enrolled since December in an online tajweed¬†class though al Baseerah http://studyislaam.org/hifdh/¬†¬†¬†maa¬†shaa¬†Allah the teacher is good and class is comprehensive. May Allah increase me in ilm, ameen. I also started another blog¬†not on wordpress¬†but more simple, on blogger with more pictures.¬†It includes all we do in nature, with animals and bugs in and out the house ūüôā and our love of books. It’s a work in progress. I will be glad to update with a link to it later, inshAllah. I started it as a record for¬†us but realized it would be great for my parents and family to see the children and keep up since we live so far away. and Allah is the best of Planners all praise is due to Him subhann¬†wa ta’ala.

I am sure I have listed Harun¬†Yahya’s¬†site before it has MANY great videos on subjects such as History, Ideologies, almost every branch of Science, all from an Islamic perspective, as well as books, articles¬†and a kids site but through a Muslim Photographers group on Flickr and someone on there¬†posted¬†a link. Harun¬†Yahya¬†does not just have great teaching tools, i myself love the quality of the PBS like videos attributing the miracle of the ant and bird to Allah, but as well very intellectual documentaries for adults. ¬†¬†¬†http://harunyahya.net/V2/Lang/en/Pg/WorkDetail/Number/205

The actual¬†site I got I had clicked on ‘English” from flickr¬†but got a site all in what I presume to be Turkish however, a little navigation I chose English again. There are many books to choose from. This link inshAllah, is for the¬†book title ‘Let’s learn our Islam” I would say its¬†more for older kids as there is much reasoning,¬†Science, some¬†History as well as stories of the Prophets but it’s¬†fine for adults to read to kids and probably a great dawah¬†tool. One could also give the link or printed book to a public school or your child’s teacher. (Should homeschooling no longer be an option or¬†perhaps to educate all your fellow Christian homeschoolers¬†who, in the publications for teaching their kids encourage them to ‘pray’ for us ūüėĬ† when many of them haven’t read the Quran only believing the media and what THEIR preachers say about Islam.

Overall,¬†the book is a nice¬†guide for teaching children about their Lord and the miracle of this earth, our bodies and mankind. What is better, is that the website allows choice available in¬†MANY languages and the¬†downloads as well. So, i¬†knew about Haryn¬†Yahya¬†and his other sites and kids site but I never saw this one, i hope it will benefit ūüôā

I am so grateful to Allah not just that I found this, but he granted me understanding but i¬†have much further to go and we can never learn everything about this beautiful deen¬†but one of the goals is perfection of Ibaadah, and for me to teach my children and uplift my own soul¬†through Tarbiyyah. We’ve had ups and downs as a family, we all do, as well as we are told Imaan (faith)¬†is like the phases of the moon.

¬†So, all praise is due to Allah He is truly merciful! With harship¬†is ease. My children are growing and doing better, my daughter had gotten some attitude but that improved and my son, well he’s got a lot of energy and a bit¬†of a temper. ( i¬†don’t like labels I prefer to say traits) So¬†that’s why I have said¬†that I am grateful because, by the mercy of Allah, learning, changing my behavoir¬†and applying the sunnah not just in my life but in the interactions with my children they have improved. I am sure making du’a¬†didn’t hurt ūüôā al hamduliah.

Changing my own attitude¬†and thought process worked but also I saw some things about the Prophet’s salla¬†lahu¬†alahi¬†wa salams¬†interactions with children that were an inspiration and insight. One can easily study the seerah¬†of the Prophet in books or online, however I had read half of Shadeed¬†Muhammad’s book He came to Perfect Moral Character and¬†it had several hadeeth I had never¬†seen before¬†about the sunnah with children and correcting people and some I had seen but the hadeeth¬†were explained more so it made a¬†real difference with my understanding and thinking. ¬†http://rawdah.org/book-store-2/¬†*

The fact is, in any insightful quote or example of good I have found the same in the biography of Muhammad, salla lahu alahi wa salam and even better or more clear. I love the website and philisophy of www.raisingsmallsouls.com but in reality the video Animal School and their articles and classes are the sunnah. A lot of modern psychology and parenting turns out to be the sunnah. All good is in following the sunnah and this is in all aspects of life and of course in parenting, the upbringing and education of the children.

Finally,i¬†made the resolution to keep daily notes so that what i¬†find, learn and we experience can be kept track of so that at a bare minimum for me, it will help as a record and reference (because believe me, it’s beneficial because later I¬†read something I forgot) and at the most can benefit someone, at least one ūüôā inshaAllah. May I be consistant¬†with this. May Allah make me successful in this life and the next, forgive me and grant me Jannah. May Allah guide all my brothers and sisters and anyone seeing truth.

P.S. In following the¬†original scope of this blog, i¬†want to¬†post my corrections of the logic curricula by Douglas Wilson and James Nance, making it more Muslim friendly, if you know this book of beginning logic it’s filled with shirk and could use some names and ideas besides John and Michael and “Jesus either died on the cross or he did not” Well, actually now that i¬†see that in writing thats¬†not bad…as a test of an example of a statement. lol. Also, my plan is to also list the topics covered by grade of the Georgia curriculum using k12¬†and how I have moved the History around to be more sequential, though it’s not too out of order. I actually see many things they are doing now, copying the Classical method. We used¬†k12 in Texas a few years ago.

¬†In general in relation to¬†k12¬†I will list substitutions, skips, and what we suppliment¬†from the library and by the favor of Allah, glory be to Him, allows us to see everyday. God willing.¬†Soon i¬†will comment of the positives and negatives of using k12 and compare it to The Well Trained Mind method and the newer teaching manuals and books by Susan Wise Bauer. I have a few of her newer books and reviewed Writing with Ease and can’t wait to order it!

* i am aware of some refutation however i read this a while back and was unable to finish and returned to it in the practice of my parenting. It was the HADEETH that inspired me that our brother, yes he still is, quoted.

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