Oct 122017

5 million people are throwing a party, and you’re invited! Here’s why the Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah matters to you – even if you’ve never heard of the Bahá’í Faith before. (There is a children’s book giveaway at the bottom, so be sure to scroll all the way down!)

Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah: Why It Matters | Alldonemonkey.com

Friends, this is a very different post than you have read here before, but I decided I needed to share with you something straight from my heart.

The world is in travail, and its agitation waxeth day by day….

– Baha’u’llah

These days I’m afraid to turn on the news when I wake up. It seems like every day there is a fresh tragedy – another shooting, another natural disaster, another day when I’m feeling heartsick to see more people suffering.

What’s worse is that our own disunity and lack of coordinated vision prevent us from truly helping those in need.

Some days, I look at my own beautiful children and wonder about the world they are going to inherit. Sure, we can do our cute unity crafts and learn about peace and love, but sometimes there feels like a disconnect between that Kumbayah world I’m teaching them about and the one I see on the news.

And it’s not just me. Social media is full of friends in despair – people bitter, disheartened, and finding it difficult to muster the energy to wage another battle for justice or to raise the standard yet again for common decency and understanding.

Yet what if I were to tell you that a Prisoner who lived half a world away and more than a century ago foretold our sufferings and laid out a formula to heal humanity’s wounds and bind it together again as one human family?

Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship… So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.

In a matter of days, Bahá’ís around the world will celebrate the Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. But wait, you might be saying, what does this have to do with me? 

He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body.

The Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah

The Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah is not so much one event as a series of activities that have been happening in local communities around the globe for the past several months, all culminating in big celebrations in every city and town marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of a spiritual Teacher whose Writings have spread around the world, inspiring and transforming families and communities in virtually every country on the globe.

The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.

Yet His words are not mere platitudes. Baha’u’llah – who spent 40 years of His life in imprisoment and exile because of His teachings – laid out a practical plan to bring about structural change in our society and create a framework for global governance that recognizes:

– the importance of both spiritual and material development

– the equality of men and women

– the underlying unity of the beautifully diverse human family

– the common spiritual foundation of all the major world religions

– the essential harmony of science and religion

– the centrality of justice to all endeavors

– the importance of education

– the need for the abolition of all forms of prejudice

And it’s already working.

More than 5 million Baha’is around the world have been putting His teachings into practice for more than a century, slowly building up institutions on the local, national, and international level that use consultation as a form of decision-making, that put the unity and well-being of the group ahead of individual egos, and that seek to carry forward “an ever-advancing civilization.”

Related Post: Resources to Teach Children about the Bahá’í Faith

A group studying the spiritual empowerment of junior youth at the Baha'i centre in Montero, Bolivia. Copyright © Bahá'í International Community

A group studying the spiritual empowerment of junior youth at the Bahá’í center in Montero, Bolivia. (Had to share this one because this is the community where I lived and worked 20 years ago!) Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

Bahá’ís live in virtually every country on the globe and reside in well over 100,000 localities. Bahá’ís come from all walks of life, and members come from roughly 2,100 indigenous tribes, races, and ethnic groups. 188 national councils oversee the work of the Bahá’í communities, and more than 300 formal programs of Bahá’í education can be found around the world.

Students from Banani School (standing), a Bahá'í-inspired school in Chisamba, Zambia teach students at a nearby elementry school as part of a service project. Copyright © Bahá'í International Community

Students from Banani School (standing), a Bahá’í-inspired school in Chisamba, Zambia teach students at a nearby elementry school as part of a service project. Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

Bahá’ís are at the forefront of social and economic development, with several thousand projects worldwide, more than 900 of which are large-scale, sustained projects, including more than 600 schools and over 70 development agencies. Bahá’í writings and other literature have been translated into more than 800 languages.

Women learning about agriculture at the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women in Indore, India. Copyright © Bahá'í International Community

Women learning about agriculture at the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women in Indore, India. Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

So whether you are a despairing mother wondering about the world her children will grow up in, a grassroots activist looking for a model to create unity of action, or a leader wanting to inspire real change, you can find inspiration and hope in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and the example of the Bahá’í community.

Baha'i Faith Light of Unity Festival: Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha'u'llah

Join the Bahá’ís this month as we celebrate 200 years since the birth of Bahá’u’lláh. Celebrations are being held in communities around the globe and you are invited. For those in Sacramento, you can find out about our local celebration, or search in your own area for the celebration nearest you.

You can also see how communities around the world are celebrating with their children and download these beautiful coloring pages!

All quotations above are excerpts from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

Life of Bahá’u’lláh Children’s Book Giveaway

To commemorate the Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, I am also thrilled to be giving away TWO COPIES of a brand new children’s book about the life of Bahá’u’lláh! In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that the author is a good friend (and hero!) of mine, and that I helped edit the book – however, I am being sincere when I tell you this is a fabulous book and a must have if you would like to teach your children about the life of Bahá’u’lláh!

The Life of Baha'u'llah | Delighted Hearts

I have been reading an advance copy with my 7 year old, and it’s really engaged him and sparked great conversations. He especially loves the family tree and full color maps. As his teacher, I really love the timeline and glossary as well. Until this point, I really hadn’t found a book for older children that gives such an in-depth view of Bahá’u’lláh’s life. I love that I can pick up this one book and know it will cover all of the major events of His life, all within the context of their spiritual and historical significance.

Written in honor of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, this 72 page book intends to share with children the story of His majestic life, through the exploration of spiritual concepts and the stages and milestones of the life of Bahá’u’lláh.

While children of all ages will enjoy the gorgeous full color illustrations, the 30 stories included in this book are aimed principally at ages 8-12.

You can find it on Etsy and Amazon (affiliate link).

We are giving away two copies of The Life of Bahá’u’lláh by Melissa López Chaperoo. One copy is available for US winners, while the other is available to ship worldwide! Enter to win by simply commenting below: Tell us 1) What gives you hope, 2) What country you live in.

Giveaway goes through midnight PT on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Winners shown by random selection.

Apr 132017
 April 13, 2017  activities, crafts, Ridvan, STEM 2 Responses »

The Festival of Ridván begins next week, and because it commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s stay in a garden full of roses, I love to do rose crafts and activities with my children to celebrate (like make these rose cookies). Inspired by the roses that were piled in Bahá’u’lláh’s tent each day (so many that His guests could not see each other over them!) I have gathered together a huge list of rose crafts, play and learning activities, and recipes for you. Enjoy!

A huge collection of rose crafts, play and learning activities, and recipes

Rose Crafts

From Living Ideas: DIY Rose Egg Craft

From Crafts by Amanda: Realistic Duct Tape Roses & Cardboard Tube Bouquet of Felt Roses

From Red Ted Art: Paper Towel Roses & Duct Tape Rose Pens

From Messy Little Monster: Celery Roses

From No Biggie: Pipe Cleaner Rose Rings

From Mum in the Madhouse: Simple Paper Roses

From Bellissima Kids: Paper Roses Bouquet

From FabDIY: Coffee Filter Rose

From Self-Reliant Living: Egg Carton Roses

From Mom on Time Out: Hershey’s Kisses Roses

From Kids Activities Blog: Paper Plate Roses

Rose Play & Learning Activities

From Teach Beside Me: LED Roses

From Schooling a Monkey: 3D Rose Model – Biology for Kids

From Mother Natured: Rose Study

From Homegrown Friends: Color Changing Rose Experiment

From Kitchen Counter Chronicle: Make a Book – The Giving Roses

From Nurture Store: Rose Petal Sensory Play Tub

From Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Rose Petal Water Play

From Childhood 101: Rose Playdough

From Crafts on Sea: Rose Scented Playdough

Rose Recipes

From All Done Monkey: Rose Cookies

From Martha Stewart: Ring Around the Rose Petal Fools

From The European Mama: Rose Petal Jam

From Gimme Some Oven: Rose Cake

From Life of a Lost Muse: Rose Apple Pie

From Heather Christo: White Peach and Rose Sorbet

From The Pretty Blog: Homemade Rosewater Marshmallows

From Global Table Adventure: Rosewater Lemonade, Rosewater Tea, Sweet Semolina Cake with Rosewater and Lemon, & Sweet Saffron Custard with Rosewater

From Posh Little Designs: DIY Raspberry Rose Ice Cubes

From A Pumpkin & A Princess: Rose Petal Bath Soak

From Lulus: Coconut Rose Body Scrub

Apr 112017
 April 11, 2017  Ridvan Comments Off on Ridvan Flower Board with Activities for Kids

As the Bahá’í festival of Ridván approaches, I’m pleased to share this beautiful Ridvan flower board idea from my friend Chelsea Lee Smith. It is a great way for families to celebrate this festival with kids! For more ideas, see our Walking Through the Garden of Ridván series.

Ridvan Flower Board with Activities for Children | Alldonemonkey.com

Ridvan Flower Board

Ridván is the “King of Festivals” for Bahá’ís and commemorates the 12 days that Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. camped on the banks of the Tigris River near Baghdad and, while there, proclaimed His mission to a small group of followers. (To read more click here).

I wanted to create some sort of way for our family to get a surprise on each of the 12 days (plus a decoration to have out during the Ridván period). Luckily I happened to find a piece of homemade art at a second-hand shop made out of wood with 12 wooden flowers, so I used it to make this Ridvan flower board.  I took off the random bits that were on it (stickers, pieces of paper, buttons, paper muffin cups etc decorating the flowers) and repainted it, cut up some leaves and painted them too, then added little jewels, some decorative ribbon, and some letters and numbers I bought.

Ridvan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

You can make your flower board out of cardboard, card stock, cloth, etc. You could either add leaves or flowers – if with cloth a little tab of velcro may work well to attach them, and if it’s paper then try using blue tac.

I put a little surprise activity on a post-it note on the back of each of the leaves. The leaves are attached to the frame with sticky tac, so that my son can take them off to read on the appropriate day. (You can use pictures for younger children so they can “read” the notes themselves).

For a group project, you could give each child a flower or leaf to decorate and add to the board. And you could either post up quotations or numbers on top of the flowers/leaves for each day.

Sample Activities for Each Leaf

Bake a cake for the Ridván party

Plant a garden

Do a crown craft

Rdivan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

Make a card for a friend

Have fun with sensory play

Enjoy tea and muffins while talking about the story of Ridván

Rdivan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

Get ice cream

Tell the story of Ridván using a felt board

Make tents

Rdivan Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

Make a collage of flowers

Make rose cookies

Learn a new song

Go on a picnic

Ridván Flower Board | Alldonemonkey.com

Because we’ve been in the groove of celebrating Holy Days for the past few years, it is seeming to come so much more naturally now and I don’t feel stressed about getting things together but just going with the flow.  So if you are new to the idea of celebrating but want to do something, don’t worry if it seems difficult at first or like it’s too much to plan.  The smallest and simplest of things mean the most to children… like today I arranged the fruit on the plate in a pretty way for morning snack (ie grapes in the middle of the plate surrounded by cut up pears and apples) and the boys were super impressed.  Just putting in a little effort here and there to make things festive and remembering to talk about the meaning of the day is great.  And with a little practice, it will all come together easily.

Chelsea Lee Smith is a mother of three and is passionate about empowering families with tools for character education so that they can contribute to making the world a better place. She blogs at Enable Me To Grow offering activities, ideas and resources for character building and more.

Feb 142017
 February 14, 2017  Ayyam-i-Ha Comments Off on Find Great Ayyam-i-Ha Gifts in our Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Guide!

Looking for some great Ayyam-i-Ha gifts for your loved ones? Find something for everyone (including homemade gifts and crafts) in our newly updated Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide, while supporting Bahá’í-inspired and globally minded businesses!

Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Guide 2017 - Alldonemonkey.com

Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide 2017

And don’t miss these Ayyám-i-Há gifts on Etsy, and these cute printable bookmarks and gift tags!

And of course, don’t miss our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book, on sale now!

Ayyam-i-Ha: Fun Ideas for Children and Families

Apr 142016
 April 14, 2016  Ridvan 1 Response »

Ridvan Coloring Pages for Adults | Alldonemonkey.com

Adult coloring pages are all the rage, so I thought it would be fun to create some Ridvan coloring pages for adults!  Adult coloring pages are meant to be a relaxing, meditative exercise, so I focused on doing abstract decorations for related words and brief quotations.

You can find even more resources for families to celebrate Ridvan in this series from a few years ago, and be sure to stop by Creative World of Varya for some children’s coloring pages for Ridvan.

Ridvan Coloring Pages for Adults

Download your copies here:

Ridvan Coloring Page

“Rejoice with exceeding gladness…” Coloring Page

Full quotation: “Rejoice with exceeding gladness, O people of Bahá, as ye call to remembrance the Day of supreme felicity, the Day whereon the Tongue of the Ancient of Days hath spoken, as He departed from His House, proceeding to the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendors of His name, the All-Merciful. God is Our witness. Were We to reveal the hidden secrets of that Day, all they that dwell on earth and in the heavens would swoon away and die, except such as will be preserved by God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.” -Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

“The Divine Springtime is come…” Coloring Page

Full quotation: “The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching. Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new. Speak, and hold not thy 28 peace. The day star of blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the kingdom of the name of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the name of thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Arise before the nations of the earth, and arm thyself with the power of this Most Great Name, and be not of those who tarry.” -Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

Mar 242016
 March 24, 2016  Baha'i 5 Responses »

12 Inspiring Women from Baha'i History | Alldonemonkey.com

This year for Women’s History Month, I’d like to share the stories of some of the women from Baha’i history that have inspired me.  They are community leaders, adventurers, educators, Civil Rights advocates, journalists, and a 16 year old martyr.  Also, don’t miss Ten Baha’i Women Every Person Should Know – it’s a fabulous article, and I’ve made sure not to duplicate her list, so read hers if you don’t want to miss anybody!

Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of books from the Crowned Heart series; however, all opinions are my own.

Bahiyyih Khánum (1846 – 1932)

Bahiyyih Khanum, Akka, 1895

Bahiyyih Khánum, Akka, 1895

The daughter of the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahiyyih Khánum’s life story is intimately tied to the early history of the religion itself.  She was a young child when her Father was first thrown into prison and she endured with her family their subsequent exiles.  Her active participation and contributions to the development of the young religious community were unusual in a time and place where most women were deprived of education and cut off from public life.  During a period of crisis in 1921, it was she who took the helm of the international Bahá’í community, making her unique in religious history.  A wonderful book about her life and times is Prophet’s Daughter by Janet Khan.

Phoebe Hearst (1842 – 1919)

Phoebe Apperson Hearst

Phoebe Apperson Hearst, circa 1919

Living in California, of course, I have to mention Phoebe Hearst.  And yes, I do mean that Phoebe Hearst: American philanthropist, feminist, suffragist, and mother to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst.  One of my son’s little friends attends an elementary school named after her!  Phoebe Hearst was a major supporter of education, serving as the first Regent of the University of California, Berkeley and founding the museum that is today known as the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.  She also contributed to the establishment of the National Congress of Mothers, which later evolved into the National Parent-Teacher Association.  Among Bahá’ís she is best known as an early supporter of the Bahá’í Faith in the US and the organizer of the first group of Bahá’ís from the West to travel to the East on pilgrimage to visit ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Head of the Bahá’í Faith, then living under house arrest in Palestine. (Sources: Hearst Castle, The Journey West)

Louisa Mathews Gregory (1866 – 1956)

Louis and Louisa Gregory

Louis and Louisa Gregory, first interracial marriage among the Bahá’ís in the US

Louisa (Louise) Mathews was an white English Bahá’í who ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, then the Head of the Bahá’í community, encouraged to marry Louis Gregory, a prominent African American Bahá’í.  The two had met several years earlier in Egypt.  They married in 1912 in a quiet ceremony, becoming the first interracial couple among the Bahá’ís at a time when marriage between blacks and whites was still illegal in many parts of the US.  Their married life was difficult, as it was hard for them even to find a place to live together.  Louis’s work among the Bahá’ís often took him to the Deep South, where it was dangerous – indeed, impossible – for her to accompany him.  The two were forced to spend long periods apart, often causing rumors that their marriage was failing.  But the opposite was true.  Their marriage thrived for nearly forty years until Louis’s death in 1951.  Louis remarked that throughout their marriage they had “one spirit, one purpose…” Little has been written about Louisa, but you can find more about her in this biography of her husband.  (Sources: The Journey West, A Forbidden Marriage, Bahá’í Encyclopedia Project)

Martha Root (1872 – 1939)

Martha Root

Martha Root, source Wikipedia

From childhood, Martha Root was not like other girls.  She was not interested in cooking, knitting, or sewing – she preferred her books.  After a brief career in education she jumped into her life-long vocation as a journalist.  She became a Bahá’í in 1909, but it was after meeting ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1912 during his trip to the US that her life was truly transformed.  In 1915 she set off on what was to become the first of many around the world trips to promote the Bahá’í Faith.  After the passing of her father in 1922, she traveled continuously.  Throughout her life she met with world leaders in far flung countries (including Queen Marie of Romania, who became the first monarch to embrace the Bahá’í Faith) and introduced them to the principles of the young religion, often becoming the first Bahá’í to set foot in that land.  She visited every continent and taught the Bahá’í Faith wherever she went – writing newspaper articles, meeting with political leaders, and speaking at universities, women’s groups, peace congresses, and on the radio – all of this when she was already middle aged and in ill health because of a protracted battle with breast cancer.  Histories of Bahá’í communities around the world begin with “Martha Root first visited in…”  You can read more about her remarkable life in this biography. (Sources: Bahá’í Library, second article from Bahá’í Library, Bahá’í Blog)

Dorothy Baker (1898-1954)

Dorothy Baker

Dorothy Baker

Granddaughter of a prominent early Bahá’í in the US, Dorothy Baker was in her early life at times lukewarm in her commitment to the religion.  It was only after a health scare in 1929 that she dedicated her life to serving in the Bahá’í administration and spreading its teachings.  For 14 years she was a member of the national governing body of the Bahá’ís in the US, including several years as its first female Chair.  She served on nine national committees and visited countries throughout the Americas and Europe, where she was known as a powerful speaker.  In 1951 she was named a Hand of the Cause (as was Martha Root, above), one of the most distinguished offices in the religion.  You can read more about her in this biography.  (Source Bahá’í Blog)

Clara Dunn (1869 – 1960)

Clara Dunn

Clara Dunn

Born in England, Clara Dunn migrated to the US in 1902 after suffering the deaths of both her husband and a young son.  Shortly after, she accepted the Bahá’í teachings and then in 1916 married Hyde Dunn, who was to become her companion throughout a lifetime of teaching the Bahá’í Faith first in California and later in Australia.  Clara and Hyde were the first Bahá’ís in Australia, where they lived in a number of different cities and welcomed interested people into their home for informal meetings that lasted late into the night.  Due to her role in nurturing the young Bahá’í community, she became known as Mother Dunn.  Late in life, in 1952, she also was appointed a Hand of the Cause.  (Source: Bahá’í Encyclopedia Project, Crowned Hearts series)

Crowned Heart series - Clara Dunn

In my research about all of the remarkable women in this article, I have relied on online articles or biographies for adults.  Yet for Clara Dunn I was pleased to find this beautiful children’s biography, part of the Crowned Hearts series of books for children about several prominent Baha’i women.  Through simple text and gorgeous watercolor paintings, it conveys the essence of her story to young readers.  With so few such books available, it is truly a treasure and highly recommended as a way to introduce children to the lives of these amazing women.

Corinne True (1861 – 1961)

Corinne Knight True

Corinne Knight True

Another Hand of the Cause was Corinne True, best known in Baha’i history as the “Mother” of the first Bahá’í temple in the West, located outside of Chicago.  As a young mother, the loss of five of her eight children sent her on a spiritual journey which eventually led to her acceptance of the Bahá’í Faith. Tasked by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with the building of the temple at a time when the Bahá’í community in the US was still very young, Corinne organized meetings, gathered funds, and found the spot where the temple could be built.  Because of intervening world wars and economic depression, “Mother True” was an elderly woman when the temple was finally completed but will forever be associated with this historic building. (Sources: The Journey West, Bahá’í Library, Crowned Hearts series)

Crowned Hearts series - Corinne True

Another installment in the Crowned Hearts series is this wonderful children’s biography of True.  It tells of the sorrows and triumphs of her life in language that children can easily understand.  Its message and beautiful artwork speak to the heart and help children learn more about this beloved figure.

Lidia Zamenhof (1904 – 1942)

Lidia Zamenhof

Lidia Zamenhof

The daughter of Esperanto founder Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, Lidia Zamenhof played a significant role in the promotion of the language and advocating a universal outlook at a time of increasing nationalism.  Born in Poland, Zamenhof was one of the first European Bahá’ís from a Jewish background.  She was also a well-known translator of Esperanto.  In her last years she returned to Poland to teach Esperanto and the Bahá’í Faith.  She was arrested by the Nazis because of her Jewish heritage and forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, where she is remembered for her efforts to obtain food and medicine for others.  She later perished in the Treblinka camp in 1942.  Her memory was honored at the US Jewish Holocaust Museum in 1995, which remembered the efforts of the Esperantists to help rescue Jews from persecution during World War II.  (Sources: Baha’i Library)

Amatu’l-Bahá Ruhiyyih Khánum (1910 – 2000)

Amatu'l-Bahá Ruhiyyih Khánum

Amatu’l-Bahá Ruhiyyih Khánum

Mary Maxwell, later known as Amatu’l-Bahá Ruhiyyih Khánum, was born into a prominent Canadian Bahá’í family.  Her mother, May Bolles Maxwell, was a star teacher of the religion, and her father, William Sutherland Maxwell, was a distinguished architect and later Hand of the Cause.  Ruhiyyih Khánum was the wife of Shoghi Effendi, who was the great-grandson of Bahá’u’lláh and head of the international Bahá’í community after the passing of his grandfather ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.  Ruhiyyih Khánum was Shoghi Effendi’s “shield,” his “helpmate,” and his “tireless collaborator.”  In her role as Hand of the Cause, she was critical in guiding the Bahá’í community after Shoghi Effendi’s death.  In 1964 she began what was to become decades of global travel to meet with dignitaries and encourage the growing Bahá’í communities on every continent, traveling to over 185 countries and territories.  She served as the representative of the Bahá’í community in public gatherings and meetings with international leaders, yet she was equally at home in remote villages and hamlets, meeting with and inspiring people from all walks of life.  (Sources: Bahá’í Blog, Baha’i.org)

Sarah Pereira (d. 1995)

Granddaughter of slaves, Sarah Martin Pereira was a distinguished professor of languages and well-known teacher in the Bahá’í Faith.  Her parents, prominent African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio, were introduced to the Bahá’í Faith by Louis Gregory, husband of Louisa Gregory above.  Her father was a well-known lawyer and her mother second woman and first African American to serve on the Cleveland Board of Education.  A portrait of her mother Mary Martin appears in the excellent book Lights of the Spirit.  Pereira served on the national administrative body of the Bahá’ís of the US for many years and later was appointed as one of four Continental Counselors – a high administrative office – for the Bahá’ís of North America.  She was known for her commitment to scholarship and support of education.  In her later years she lived in North Carolina, and we were lucky enough to live close by.  We frequently gave her rides to local Bahá’í events, and one time as part of a fundraiser my sister and I helped her organize papers in her office.  I remember her as soft-spoken but to the point and always dignified with a gentle sense of humor.  (Source: Lights of the Spirit)

Magdalene Carney (1929 – 1991)

Magdalene Carney

Magdalene Carney

Magdalene Carney first heard of the Bahá’í Faith from Sarah Pereira (above).  She was a writer, Civil Rights advocate, and educator.  Also the granddaughter of slaves, she was committed to receiving the education they had been denied.  In 1969, she organized and led the peaceful desegregation of the public school system in Canton, Mississippi.  After becoming a Bahá’í, she served it tirelessly, including as a member of the national administrative body of the US and later as part of the International Teaching Centre in Israel.  The Magdalene Carney Bahá’í Institute in Florida was named in her honor and carries on her educational work.  (Source: Bahaikipedia)

Mona Mahmudnizhad (1965 – 1983)

Mona Mahmudnizhad

Mona Mahmudnizhad

A high school student, Mona Mahmudnizhad became known worldwide after her shocking execution at the age of 16 by the Iranian government for the crime of teaching Bahá’í children’s classes.  Members of the Bahá’í Faith have regularly faced persecution in Iran, the land of its birth, since its inception in 1844, but this persecution intensified in 1979 with the Islamic revolution.  From early on, Mona was known as an outstanding student who had genuine love for those around her.  In 1982 Mona and her father were among 40 Bahá’ís arrested in the city of Shiraz, as part of escalating arrests throughout the country.  In June 1983 Mona was hanged along with nine other Bahá’í women, ranging in ages from early 20’s to 54.  Her father had been executed earlier that year. I was just a child when Mona was killed, but I remember the electric effect it had on the Bahá’ís in our community, with many openly weeping when they heard the news.  Mona is remembered today as a model for Bahá’í youth everywhere because of her love, enthusiasm and dedication. According to one report, the government in Iran still fears the martyr they created more than 30 years ago.  The Bahá’ís continue to face persecution in Iran, including arrests, closing of businesses, denial of higher education, and desecration of cemeteries. (Sources: Bahaikipedia, Iran Press Watch, Bahá’í Chronicles)

Women's History Month Series on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Join us for our second annual Women’s History Month series, celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women around the world. Follow along all month plus link up your own posts below! Don’t miss our series from last year, and find even more posts on our Women’s History board on Pinterest:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Women’s History on Pinterest.

March 1
A Crafty Arab on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 7 Women Artists Who Changed History
March 3
The Art Curator for Kids: Songs We Can See – The Art of Peggy Lipschutz
March 4
Kid World Citizen: Children’s Books about Women Scientists
March 7
Mama Smiles: Picture Books about Great Women in History Your Kids Need to Know
March 8
Hispanic Mama: 4 Latina Women Who Made It Happen
March 9
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Spanish Children’s Book on the Life of Felisa Rincón de Gautier, First Female Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Colours of Us: 28 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls 
March 10
Witty Hoots: Some Awesome Women in My Life
March 11
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Feb 222016
 February 22, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha 1 Response »

Printable Ayyam-i-Ha gift tags for the Baha'i holiday Ayyam-i-Ha

Here is another free printable for you: Ayyam-i-Ha gift tags!  I had so much fun making these!  They are business card sized, so you can either punch a hole in them and attach to a gift with ribbon, or you can drop them instead a treat bag.  For some I deliberately left off the “To” field, in case – like us – you will be taking treats to your child’s classroom and don’t want to label each individual tag.

Download your free printable Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Tags.  Enjoy!

Don’t miss our printable Ayyam-i-Ha bookmarks, which are great in the classroom or as teacher gifts!  You can find even more gift ideas, including craft tutorials and service projects, in our Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Guide!

Feb 192016
 February 19, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha, Gift guides 9 Responses »

Ayyam-i-Ha Gifts on Etsy | Alldonemonkey.com

Looking for a great gift for your loved ones this Ayyám-i-Há?  Here is a collection of wonderful Ayyam-i-Ha gifts on Etsy, from — to –.  Don’t forget you can find even more Ayyam-i-Ha gifts in my gift guide, including our Ayyam-i-Ha Fun e-book!

Updated for 2019!!

Nightingale Creations has handmade beaded bookmarks, prayer beads, and accessories.

Elika Arts has original acrylic paintings and acrylic cards.

Honey’s Hive has handmade eco-friendly paper quilled jewelry (including nine pointed star earrings) and tutorials.

Sophia Wood Art has art and children’s books, including The Night Before Ayyám-i-Há.

18 Letter Press has Ayyám-i-Há pennants, wrapping paper, and art prints, plus original Bahá’í children’s books, including one on Ayyám-i-Há!

Delighted Hearts Shop has Ayyám-i-Há banners and children’s crafts.

Little Star Prints has greeting cards, children’s class quote cards, and prints.

chARiTy elise designs has pottery, porcelain jewelry, bisque stamps, handmade supplies and more.

atinyseed has Bahá’í themed art and gift items.

Nine Star Studios has banners, gift tags, bags, labels and door signs.

RubySue Stationery has Ayyám-i-Há and other greeting cards.

Created Noble has art, cards, and coaster sets.

Lucky Bug has message boxes, cards, and Ayyám-i-Há gift bags.

Patty’s Garden Studio has original watercolor floral paintings, greeting cards, pillows, and tote bags.

Felterrific has lots of felt crafts, including handmade Ayyám-i-Há countdown calendars.

jbart has greeting cards, art, and home decor.

A Gladsome Heart has cut paper art, including Ayyám-i-Há banners, gift tags, art, and greeting cards.

Aniarchy has a board book with engaging visuals and quotes from Bahá’u’lláh, great for adults or even young children.

The Sprout + Flower has handmade flower and crystals crowns.

9 Star Jewelry has prayer beads and Bahá’í-themed jewelry.

Muluc has Bahá’í prayer book covers.

Sweet Relief Farm has Bahá’í-inspired jewelry, home decor, and gift tags.

Cut Glue Art has prints and children’s class resources.

Eagle Wise King has Bahá’í-inspired art.

Bahá’í Breezes has Bahá’í-inspired art, including prints and greeting cards.

Garment of Glory has Bahá’í-inspired clothing.

Papalóte has decorative designs, including Ayyám-i-Há bunting and greeting cards.

Please note that while we have made great efforts to ensure the quality and integrity of the participating businesses and blogs, inclusion in the Gift Guide in no way constitutes an endorsement and All Done Monkey is not responsible for the content of the websites included in this Guide.

Feb 092016
 February 9, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha, crafts 4 Responses »

Printable Bookmarks for Ayyam-i-Ha | Alldonemonkey.com

With the approach of the Bahá’í holiday of Ayyam-i-Ha, many of us like to share treats or small gifts with friends or in our children’s classrooms.  These printable bookmarks are an easy, fun way to share the spirit of the holiday and teach a little something about what we were are celebrating.

I chose some of my favorite quotes from the Bahá’í writings and included them in the bookmarks, which you can download here: Ayyam-i-Ha Bookmarks.

Jan 282016
 January 28, 2016  Ayyam-i-Ha, crafts 12 Responses »

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

The Bahá’í holiday of Ayyam-i-Ha is coming soon, and while I loved the countdown chain we’ve done previously, this year I wanted to jazz it up a little and do something a little more crafty and maybe even pretty.

A popular symbol among Bahá’ís is the nine-pointed star, since the number nine symbolizes unity.  I wanted to play with this image and see if I could combine it with a flower, since spring is also just around the corner (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself!)  So I made a flower countdown calendar that when opened is also a nine-pointed star.

It’s almost that time of year! Countdown calendar tutorial on the blog tomorrow! #mkbkids #kbn #momsoninstagram #ayyamiha #bahai

A photo posted by Leanna Alldonemonkey (@alldonemonkey) on

As any Bahá’í will tell you, a nine-pointed star is not the easiest symbol to have.  Most of us can’t just casually draw a star with nine evenly spaced point or fold a piece of paper into a simple nine-pointed origami star.  And neither, I’ve discovered, is it very easy to cut a circle into nine equal slices.

And nineteen is also a challenging number in many respects.  The Bahá’í month is 19 days long, so a countdown calendar should have 19 parts.  But how do you draw a flower with 19 petals??

So now, thanks to the magic of computers, I’ve done the legwork for you, and you can simply print and assemble your nine-pointed star flower countdown calendar!  For those not celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha, it is still a beautiful, fun craft!

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower

Step 1

Download the Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower template (you can also download the Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Template PDF) and print on the paper of your choosing.  I did the first two pages on colored paper and the last on white, so the photo shows up well.

Step 2

Cut out the circles on the first two pages, cutting about a 1/2 inch outside of the drawn line.  Cut the lines into the circle as well.

Step 3

Cut out a circle large enough to cover the photo on the 3rd page and tape it over like a little door or window.

Step 4
Glue the circles on top of the third page. The small wheel should go on first and then the larger wheel on top of that. Make sure they are all centered on top of each other.

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

I lined up the lines of each of the circles, though it would also be a nice effect to put them off center, so the petals alternate colors when opened.

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

Step 5

Write a number on each petal (with “19” on the final window to the photo of the globe) and then decorate however you like!  On the first day of the month before Ayyam-i-Ha, begin folding back one petal a day, starting with “1” and going all the way to “19” on the final day.

Ayyam-i-Ha Countdown Flower | Alldonemonkey.com

How are you getting ready for Ayyam-i-Ha?  If you do this craft, I’d love for you to share the photo on my Facebook page!  And be sure to scroll down to enter our annual Ayyam-i-Ha giveaway!


Once again we pair up with Creative World of Varya to bring you an exciting Worldwide Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway!

We are so pleased to be able to offer you 3 fabulous prize packages – each including a copy of our book!

Simply enter below for a chance to win! And you can stay tuned for our updates on our Children’s Book Facebook page!

For more Ayyám-i-Há fun, be sure to check out the Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book we wrote together, as well as my Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide!

(Prizes are available worldwide, unless specified otherwise!)

Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway

Our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book

Elika Mahony’s Digital Albums: Glimmerings and Infinite Bounty

US$40 Gift Certificate from Happy Heart Kid (US residents only)

Ayyam-i-Ha Garland from Delightful Design, LLC

Art Print from Sophia Wood

Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway

Our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book

Elika Mahony’s Digital Album: Birds of Love

US$15 Gift Certificate from Honey’s Quilling/Honey’s Hive: may be used for Zibbet shop

1 Kindle book from Sophia Wood

Ayyam-i-Ha Giveaway

Our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book

Elika Mahony’s Digital Album: Fire and Gold

Baha’i Themed Wrapping Paper from 18 Letter Press

Enter our giveaway to win one of these fabulous prize packages!

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