Thursday, June 28, 2012

My bookworm, and a little buddy

We had a precious little visitor today. Wyatt came to spend some time with us this afternoon. Safa had some cuddle time, while she read a book. I can't believe he's grown so much already!

It just seems like yesterday that he was a sweet little newborn.

And of course, I had my turn snuggling with him too. I love baby cuddles!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

An afternoon on Smith Lake

Last Friday we were invited out by some friends to a picnic. They own some property on Smith Lake. The kids enjoyed playing outdoors, althogh it was quite warm despite being near the water.

After a delicious barbecue meal we walked down to the lake to enjoy a ride on their boat.

The view of the lake from the boat was lovely. The single photo I took does not do it justice.

Sadly, that's when  camera battery died!

But we did have a lovely afternoon/ evening.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dinner Tonight....

.....A (nearly) impromptu Mediterranean meal.

Zakir found a recipe for Falafel from the blog, Budget Bytes. While he prepared it, Safa made some tzatziki from the same blog. And Hamza made some wild rice to go with the meal too. My job was to maintain some form of order in the kitchen, while too many cooks were at work! The result was a deliciously nutritious meal, approved by all. Definitely a keeper, several different textures that went perfectly well together!

Earlier today we took the kids to watch the new Pixar movie, Brave. It was a little too intense for Bilal, but overall the movie was great, and the graphics were amazing. Animation on the big screen just keeps getting better and better!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Time for a new 'do'

Safa has been browsing pics from the web recently, looking for the perfect bangs, to go with her curly hair. The curly hair she has finally resigned to, with no recent attempts to use the flat iron. In fact, this morning she admitted she wasn't quite sure where her flat iron was. Probably under the huge stack of papers on her deck!

So we both went to the salon to get hair cuts today. This is her 'before':

And after the transformation:

Well defined, bold bangs, and only a tiny bit of length taken off her hair. Cute!

But of course, if she wants to maintain it she'll still have to find her flat iron, hah!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"You have to LOVE books!"

I took the kids down to the Mall today, mostly because I needed to peel them off the sofa, and it was just too hot to do anything outdoors. We had lunch, browsed a few stores at the Mall, and then made a trip to Barnes and Noble. Safa and Hamza went their separate ways in the bookstore while Bilal and I went to the kids section. True to his nature he started asking for books to buy. All Star Wars books, and all far beyond his reading level. I had to refuse. Don't get me wrong, we don't often refuse to buy the kids books, nor do we stop them try to read books that are much harder than their current reading level. After all, how else will their reading level improve?

But we spend a lot of the time at the library, and all three kids have bookshelves overflowing with books in their rooms. Bilal would ask for any book, as long as the cover had a picture of a Star Wars character on it. The phase is not over. I'm starting to wonder if it's just a phase, or something a little deeper. Star Wars is starting to drive me crazy.

So today I told him, "I'll buy you more books that you choose once you learn to love books." He said, "I like books, I read some with you." But then I explained, "You have to LOVE books, meaning that you want to read books more than you want to watch TV, more than you want to play computer games, or the iPad, or any other screens." So we sat and enjoyed reading a (non-Star Wars) book together and left without buying the one he wanted. A tough parenting lesson, I suppose, but I hope he'll eventually learn to LOVE books someday, like everyone else in the family.

This evening he picked out a picture book that we had checked out from the library. A nice little story called City Dog, Country Dog.

Definitely a little beyond Bilal's current reading level, but we read a page each, and he didn't balk at the long sentences. Typically he'd say, "Mama, that's too many words, can you read that page to me?" But today he eagerly kept reading, and we continued to alternate a page at a time. I helped him with the tricky words and he did remarkably well.

I have a feeling he really understood what we talked about in the bookstore. And with time, he will learn to love books.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day, 2012

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads!

We had a nice, low key day. Zakir had to go make rounds this morning, although, I promise, I did offer to go instead of him! While he was gone, Farah took the boys to Splash Adventure water park, where they spent most of the day. Safa and I took Zakir out to lunch, after we gave him his presents. Sometimes it's hard to shop for him. But I think this time we hit the nail on the head. Something that he, and his dry humor, would seriously enjoy. From the very novel website, Knock Knock Stuff,


You won't be able to tell from the tiny image, but the rotating stamp has little phrases on it, such as 'I'm not here right now', 'I need coffee' and 'I'm always right'. I often tease him that he loves to stamp things. I often find his signature stamped on office documents that are supposed to be reviewed by me! He stamps before he reads, haha! This will be a blast for him!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dojo Car Wash

A team of karate students and instructors held a car wash and raffle today, to raise money for the Trussville team to go to the National tournament in Florida next month. Our kids aren't going, but we went to help out, and, of course, get our cars washed too!

Sensei was also selling some of her delicious, homemade preserves.

And many cars were washed. As you can see, even the little ones helped out.

And where there is water, people will get wet. Let's just say, not only cars were washed!

But everyone had a great time.

Safa flagged down cars. I'm sure that balloon in her hair made all the difference. Very stylish!

And sometimes she had a helper of her own too!

A great success!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A fun day at Six Flags

We drove into Atlanta on Monday evening, and staying at a hotel for the night. Of course, several of Bilal's animals had to come with him. Zakir stayed behind, since he had to work.

Snuggling with Elephant, Fuzzy, Blackie and his blankie
We were at the park not long after it opened on Tuesday morning. After entering the park and doing one ride together, we split up.

The teenagers took off on their own for a couple of hours while Bilal and I hung out together.

The teens did this ride. I hung out with Bilal instead.
Bilal's favorite ride was a little log flume at the front of the park. Just a little splash of water, but a lot of fun. After that we went in search of the kiddie rides.

On the train. He looks so hot and sweaty!

At the train station

The ride that ended up being too boring for Bilal!

We saw the Dare Devil roller coaster as we walked through the park. Not really my kind of ride!

We paused to make sure we were headed in the right direction,

And then kept going and finding more fun things to do.

The Sky Buckets

At the Whistle Stop playground

Bilal's favorite.

 He waited in line patiently,

Then buckled up, ready to ride the bumper cars with Mama.

Bilal got a Batman cape at the Arcade

He wore it for almost the entire day!
Back on the bumper cars, this time with Hamza
Can you tell how wet everyone got on Thunder River?

Bilal's snack, cotton candy!

And the boys posed in front of the Batmobile before we left the park.

We were a bit concerned about the predicted 60% chance of rain. Plus, it was pouring when we left Birmingham on Monday evening. But it didn't rain while we were there. A bit more humid than desirable, but at least it stayed dry!

I have a feeling the kids are going to want to go back some day soon.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My superheroes

I took the kids to Six Flags over Georgia this past week. More to follow!

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