Monday, July 30, 2012

More about Helen

This has to be the longest I have gone without blogging! So much to do in Ramadan, and when you have time you don't have the energy. I am getting up around 3:45am to prepare breakfast for the four of us and there are times when I don't go back to sleep until 11pm. I did catch up on sleep this weekend and that's my other excuse for not blogging!

Excuses aside, I sort of left our vacation posts hanging, so here is more about our vacation in Helen, GA:

On day 2 we spent the morning lazily tubing on the Chattahoochee River. It was overcast and very pleasant, not too hot. We obviously didn't take the camera with us (didn't want any water mishaps), but Zakir snapped a couple of photos of me and Bilal, since we were the last to make it down the river.

After tubing we we back to the cabin for a quick shower then headed out again for some more exploring.

I love the quaint buildings around town.

And where did we eat?

It just sounded like a novel idea. And browsing the menu, there was cheese, cheese and more cheese.

I'm sure it wasn't exactly the healthy choice.

Yes, a huge slab of fried mozzarella on a bun, with french fries on the side!

As we walked around after lunch we found wild bunnies everywhere. Just chilling.

Then we drove around for a while. And we found goats! On a roof! Really!

The boys had a brief break before we moved on. Total relaxation!

 And if that wasn't enough to pack into one day we drove to Cleveland where we went panning for gems. The kids had a blast and found some goodies in the process too!

On the way back we made a trip to a very interesting antiques store. I'm sure it was a great place to shop..... if I knew what to look for!

And the gift shop across across the street had some novelties too!

Travel size Tabasco .

And the perfect measuring spoons for Grandma's recipes!

And when we made it back to the cabin in the evening we found a great collection of board/card games. UNO Attack was a favorite, for sure!

After that photo overload I still have more to share. That will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Bilal had a great birthday today. He woke up this morning and was excited to play with the gift that Christina had let him pick out. He actually set up the track all by himself. Then after breakfast I helped him set up a new Lego set he had picked out. One toy that never gets old.

Even though everyone else was fasting I took him, on his request, to McDonald's for lunch. After all, it is his birthday! And in the afternoon there was a lot of playing with his new toys, mixed in with a small amount of screen time.

Later in the evening Farah and Adeel brought the boys over to play, and for dinner. And of course, they brought more presents! Ooo, Bilal really got spoiled today!

After dinner? Cake, of course. Since he is so into Lego these days, this is the cake I picked out for him:

A huge red Lego brick! Here is the birthday boy, excited to be having cake soon:

Hamza Bhai lit the candles.

And Mohsin could hardly wait either. See the anticipation on his face?

Bilal got ready to blow out his candles.

And Safa did the honors with the icing. On his face!

Look at that goofy face!

Happy birthday, little guy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Last day as a five year old....

.... and Bilal can't wait!

He even put on his pajamas early because bedtime means that tomorrow is coming soon!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Our first day in Helen

We drove to North Georgia this past week, for a couple of quiet days in Helen, a re-creation of an Alpine Village. We drove in on Monday evening and got situated in the cabin we had rented.

It was a well furnished cabin with all the amenities of home, a full kitchen, master suite, game room, and hot tub on the deck (which, incidentally, we did not get round to using).

After we were settled in we drove down to town to have a look around. Definitely nothing like the neighborhood we are used to!

A quaint place for sure! And we had delicious ice cream for dinner.

This is a view of the Chattahoochee River as it flows through town:

It's been a while since we've had such a low key vacation, for sure!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


We've been away visiting North Georgia for the past three days and just got beck home this evening. More on that trip later, but today I wanted to share a pretty little addition the Safa has made. She has been asking me if she could get her nose pierced, a very Pakistani thing for a girl to do. Something that I myself was never interested in having done. But Zakir and I agreed that it was OK for her to have it done. So this evening I took her out, and she came back with this:

I think is a nice, subtle addition, and definitely makes her look even more 'Desi' (South Asian) than she already does. And she, of course, loves it! Eventually the surgical steel will be replaced with a small gold one, maybe on our next trip to Pakistan.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The oddest sight

This is what we came across en route to Atlanta this morning:

Then a little research made me realize that this Little Bit of Nonsense was headed to an arts festival in Baltimore. I wonder if they'll win a prize? I hope they can see well enough through the windshield to get there safely!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Safa's version

Does this count as exercise?

A hula hoop swinging around her waist, and a cellphone in her hands. Texting like crazy.

I booted the kids out of the house this afternoon because they had spent far too much time in front of one screen or another. The boys went into the back yard to play with Atlas, and as usual, Safa wanted nothing to do with 'that dog', so she went on to the driveway. When I suggested that she give her phone up for a little while, since it was just another screen, she substituted it with this:

The hoop never stopped spinning around her waist as I handed her the book she asked for. I don't know how she does it! But at least she was soaking in a little bit of vitamin D!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

They ARE brothers!

Hamza had a sleepover at a friend's house on Saturday for a birthday party. The party ended with the kids all going bowling on Sunday morning. So Bilal and I headed down to pick him up and had some fun while we were there. Neither of the brothers were much into bowling that day, but air hockey sounded like a good idea. First Bilal and I had an intense game, which ended with me narrowly squeaking in a victory. Then Hamza and Bilal had a go.

It was fun watching their expressions at they played:

They were obviously taking it quite seriously.

Can you see their expressions in the last two pics? They look exactly the same!

I spent the rest of Sunday cooking a dish called 'Paya',translated to (no, don't get grossed out), goat trotters! It was actually quite interesting and tasty, but nothing I would have intentionally planned to make. The last time we were at the butcher's in Atlanta I had asked him to give me a couple of pounds of chicken wings (for the kids' favorite recipe, of course), but when I took the bag out of the freezer they looked nothing like chicken wings. Go figure! So I decided I had to do something with it. The dish actually makes a rich gravy and tasted very good with homemade naan, from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Definitely not something I'd make very often (if ever again, hah!) but it was very well received at least by the adults. Thanks, Choti Ammi for the recipe!And the naan were a total hit, although they didn't look half as nice as the ones on the website I got the recipe from. I definitely have to make more of those again! I doubled the recipe and substituted 1/4 the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour to give them more substance.

Related Posts with Thumbnails