Grow Mama Blast From The Past: 10 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors

I had a neighbor a couple of houses down that I only rarely saw going to and from her car. She must have been retired and didn’t go out much, because I could count on my fingers the number of times I saw her though I’d lived next to her for almost two years. In addition, I was a stay-at-home mom, so I either was home, outside on the front yard or just looking out my windows quite a bit. She was never in her yard, although it was well-manicured by a lawn care company that left a sign posted so all … [Read more...]

The Time Has Come to Move

“My dears, the time has come to move.” I still remember the line from The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day book that was given to us by the moving company taking us from coast to coast. It was a delightful story to share with my boys and we read it countless times.Over a decade later, here we are moving again, not so far this time, but still a significant move nonetheless. My boys have outgrown The Berenstain Bears, but it is me who keeps thinking back to that beloved children’s book. “The time h … [Read more...]

A Sweet Gesture

Last autumn, a kind family from the neighborhood gave us an older television.  It was a big, sturdy clunker, the kind of thing you don't mind putting in a family room with young children and nerf balls. They were even so kind as to haul it over to our home and set it up for us.To return the kindness, I baked some of our traditional Ramadan cookies for them last December. I knew the mother, Natalie, enjoyed cookie exchanges over the holidays. Every Christmas, she baked over 20 dozen cookies a … [Read more...]

Orthodox Diversity

I live in what is labeled, "the safest city in America"- although I'm not leaving my doors unlocked based on this recognition. After living on our little cul-de-sac, I'm convinced that this may be one of the most religiously diverse cities in this nation. Our street seats six homes, each with a family practicing a different religion. Initially when we moved here we were excited to get new playmates for our kids but we sensed apprehension from our neighbors. So we sat back and let the kids work … [Read more...]

From Recycling Bins to Reciprocation

My neighbor Amy stopped by to kindly let us know that we had possession of her recycling bin last night. It was a routine knock on the door, with the usual salutations and greetings. She was in her running shoes and looked like she had come back from a jog. We had never officially met, but Rehab (may Allah have mercy on her soul) had told me about her after our first campaign to get to know our neighbors. Together, we had packaged little cookie boxes and divided up the neighborhood between each … [Read more...]

Date Baskets

This project started out with us planning to give Ramadan Introduction gift baskets to our neighbors. But it became a double-project, the Ramadan Intro gift baskets as well as Ramadan Date gift baskets for both sets of grandparents alhamdulillah.  What better gift to give in Ramadan than dates, in hopes of earning the reward promised by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him. And nothing will be subtracted fro … [Read more...]


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