Friday, October 31, 2014


These guys had fun trick or treating around the neighborhood:

And this little guy stayed at home:

But you can't say he didn't have a good time, look at that gorgeous grin!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Third Grade Assembly

Paine Intermediate holds an assembly for the students every month. Today I took an hour off work to attend the third grade assembly. I didn't want to pass up on listening to Bilal speaking in front of the entire third grade and many parents. He was one of the three students selected to lead the assembly.

In addition to the usual assembly activities, Paine is celebrating Red Ribbon Week; the message is 'Say no to Drugs'. Today all the students were dressed in red to show that they are 'Red-y' to say no to drugs.

Bilal spoke very confidently at the podium, and led the students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the National Anthem.

Several students received awards during the assembly, including students of the month, leaders of the month, and students with perfect attendance during the first trimester of the school year.

At the end of assembly the leaders themselves were honored with certificates.

Proud of my boy, he did a great job!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Home Construction part XII

As we are nearing the first anniversary of us moving into our new home, I am finally close to completing the construction series on this blog. The last few weeks were spent with a variety of subcontractors working simultaneously, in order to place the finishing touches on the house.

October 14, 2013: The entryway has the lanterns installed.

And the light fixtures have been mounted in the rear of the house too. These are the French doors that lead out from the master bedroom.

Inside the house, the electrician has been just as busy. This is Bilal's futuristic remote controlled ceiling fan:

The chandeliers in the foyer and dining room:

October 16, 2013: We couldn't enter the house because the hardwoods had been freshly stained. But we did take a peek through the door knob hole!

In the back yard the areas designated for our vegetable patch and play set have been demarcated with railroad ties.

October 18, 2013: We are able to return to the interior of the house to see more progress with the stained floors.

Upstairs in the loft, the accent wall with its built in shelving is complete.

The three bedrooms upstairs are the only rooms with carpet. We chose something very neutral for the carpet. This is the underlay:

In the master bathroom, the plumbing fixtures are ready to be installed.

And the door is up in the screened porch:

I love the sunlight streaming in, it will be a lovely place to sit and relax!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Giving back

On October 11th the Red Crescent Clinic of Alabama hosted their annual health fair. In previous years this has been hosted by the Alabama chapter of APPNA, which is the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America. Now, since the clinic is well established, and has been granted its non-profit status, RCCA will be hosting the event from hereon.

Our young volunteers took leadership in organizing the event.

This year we were able to offer a variety of health related activities to the participants. From free dental screenings provided by a generous dentist, to blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar tests, and vision screens, to free flu vaccines to all. There was an assortment of patient education literature available to take home.

There were physicians on hand to discuss lab results, and also to provide brief lectures on topics ranging from diabetes to cholesterol, to Ebola. Zakir, as the Medical Director of RCCA, has put many hours into planning the program.

We had a very good turnout, and in the process, learned some valuable lessons about what can be improved upon in the future, so that we can serve a larger number of the community.

The Red Crescent Clinic of Alabama is a non-profit organization that provides free medical care to patients from every walk of life. The clinic is open every Sunday from 2-6pm, except on certain holidays, and is staffed by Internists and Family Physicians. To schedule an appointment, please call (205) 879-4247 and choose option 4.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sixteen years old!

Happy birthday to my second teenager! Hamza is 16 years old today.

He is talking about getting his driver's license soon. But I am not ready for that yet, and I don't think he really is either! He will continue practicing with his father, because I still can't handle the stress! I'd much rather see him running around outside, instead of behind the wheel of a car.

This evening we went to Frontera, Hamza's choice, for dinner.

Then caramel cake for dessert!

Safa is visiting this weekend too, since we are running our annual health fair at the Hoover Mosque tomorrow. She and a good friend of hers have both taken the helm, recruiting and coordinating volunteers, designing t-shirts, and essentially planning the whole event. We hope to have a good turnout, with all the effort that has been put into the planning process.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The back yard

Zakir has been working hard, landscaping in the back yard. When we moved in, the back yard only had a couple of plants, surrounded by several bales of pine straw. Since then, we have been adding plants a couple at a time, and now the area looks so much better. I don't have any 'before' photos, but these are some 'during'.

The climbing plants are honeysuckle and jasmine. Over time they will fill in the area where the railing is.

After the pea gravel has been added and leveled:

The pretty orange flowers are lantana, they are thriving in this bright sunny spot, and have attracted a variety of butterflies to our garden. Eventually we plan to put a little wrought iron or concrete bench in this area, to complete the look.

Zakir has also been working in a previously neglected corner of our yard, and now it looks very pretty, particularly when looking out our hearth room windows.

Eventually the abelias, lavender and rosemary will fill in this area. Still need a little more grass, though!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Celebrating Eid ul Adha

This year it's been odd, not to have Safa with us on Eid, but with everything going on at college, she couldn't make it. We went to the BJCC for Eid prayers as usual; Hamza opted to go with us too, instead of going to the robotics tournament.

There was a great turnout at prayer time, and we had the opportunity to meet many friends and acquaintances.

I also had the chance to spend a little time with this precious one:. She is four months old, and very laid back.

After prayers, we went over to a friend's house for a pot lunch brunch. Then we came home for a little break, since there is one more party to go to tonight. We definitely miss having Safa with us today, but she will be coming home soon.

Eid Mubarak to all!

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