Thursday, September 26, 2013

A nice surprise

Bilal has been training in karate fairly consistently recently. But when testing came around a couple of weeks ago we didn't sign him up, because he felt that he wasn't quite ready. But evidently Sensei disagreed. So during class today she tested him, and he got promoted!

So now he is officially a blue belt. which means that he can train as an advanced student. Go Bilal! Next is brown, and he will have to train extra hard for that promotion.

This weekend we are headed to Vandy, for a college tour, and for the chance to meet some family too. Looking forward to that, especially after being in conference all day today, and the better part of tomorrow. Hamza is camping under the stars tonight, at his 10th grade retreat. He'll be back tomorrow evening, and then we'll be headed out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lovely afternoon

The area around the Cahaba river has been sadly cordoned off due to an ongoing construction project. But that prompted Safa and a friend of hers to find an alternative walking path. Today she took me with her on the walking trials around Trussville. It was warm and a little humid walking at the side of the road, but the trails are shady and deliciously cool.

This is where we entered the trail.

There were some nice rocks to stop and relax on. You can see the trail down below, behind where Safa is sitting.

There was just a little bit of filtered sun in a few places.


And, interestingly, we exited the trail just next to the entrance map. Hmm, this could have come in handy!

Trussville sure has some cool places to explore!

Monday, September 16, 2013

My baby girl

This Saturday I took Safa to have her portraits done by Samantha of His Hands Photographs. She first took photos of the kids when Safa was twelve years old. And five years later, Safa is a senior! Samantha shared a little preview on facebook, and I am sharing one of my favorites here.

Love it, and can't wait to see the rest!

Friday, September 13, 2013

An academic achievement

Safa received this certificate in the mail today:

Her AP exam scores qualified her for the AP scholar with distinction award. In addition to the certificate all the students receiving it will be recognized later during the school year. A nice thing to add to her resume.

And here is a selfie Safa took in the car today, with Bilal in the back seat. The weather was lovely this evening so we had the top down on my car. I thought this turned out so cute!

We are preparing for a busy weekend. Zakir has been in Nashville since yesterday, hopefully should be home soon. We have eye exams, a birthday party and a portrait session, all tomorrow. And then Sunday school the day after, which ends up taking up the better part of the day. And before we know it, it will be Monday again! We need a vacation to look forward to!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Reader

Bilal was so excited today! He was invited to read to his former kindergarten class during school. He loves Mrs. B and it was so nice to go back and read to her too. She was sweet enough to send me a photo. I love how he seems to have the attention of the little kindergarteners.

He might have the opportunity to read to his first grade teacher too.

He recently took his reading tests and tested at least a half grade above his level. As long as it's something that interests him he will read any book, no matter how difficult the words. But he still loves to be read to also, and we try to do that every night before bedtime. Special moments!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My artist busy at work

This time I think it was sheer procrastination that drove Safa to creativity. She was looking to do anything except the homework that is due. She got the idea from a pair of shoes she saw on Etsy. Something to feed her inner nerd. I can see how she would get the idea; she spent the better part of her summer watching season upon season of Doctor Who. Even got her baby brother fascinated with the show!

She started off with a pair of knock off "Toms"




And a couple of hours later, this:



I love how they turned out!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Long weekend

And strangely, we haven't had a lot going on. No trips out of town, and not even much going on in town. The cousins have had plenty of play time together, we made a trip or to to the mall, and have been shopping around for furniture. Not bought any yet, but have given some serious thought to a couple of sofa and a bed for Safa. When we move we will have an extra room to furnish. Plus, Safa's twelve year old bed really needs to go. So she has chosen a nice wall bed for her new room. Aside from that, there's been a lot of down time.

Our house is coming along nicely. The framing is complete, the roof is up and most of the exterior has been bricked. Most of the plumbing and wiring have been completed too; all this is necessary before the walls go up, of course. This Friday we went to the lighting showroom and picked out light fixtures and fans for the house. So,kitchen appliances, plumbing fixtures and light fixtures have been selected. It appears that we are still on target for closing at the end of October. Our current home is still listed, and we have scheduled an open house for next Saturday. Still hoping that we are able to sell before we move, since renting the house will be a less desirable option. We'll see how the open house goes; we are ready for the house to get more exposure.

School is in full swing, and the kids are handling the work load fairly well. Safa is learning to procrastinate less. Hamza seems to get his work done on time, although we hardly ever see him doing much work. He has invested a lot in the six year old computer Zakir gave him to work on, and now it is nothing like it started out. Everything is brand new, and it's still a work in progress. You should see him taking  glamor shots of all the components, hah! All that lawn mowing and edging has really paid off. And on a positive note our yard looks great too!

We are also working on clearing out the house. I have ask the Exchange Club (where we donate all our unwanteds) to put us on their regular call list, so that they can come by and pick up every time they are in our area. We have been purging the attic (stockpiled a lot over the years). Thinking that moving house more often than every ten years would be a good way to make sure we don't keep unused items in the house. It might be a good idea to have a moving sale when we are leaving, but that tends to be a lot of effort.

Well, Bilal has watched all the Ninjago videos he could find on Netflix, and is bored, so I should go keep him company. More furniture browsing later today.

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