Thursday, December 31, 2015

A new year

As 2015 comes to an end, it feels that it has been another good, eventful year. We have been blessed with a prosperous business, and for the most part, the kids have been healthy, and all have done well in school. Safa is enjoying her second year at Auburn University, and Hamza has decided to go to Auburn after he graduates from high school. With that decision came the secondary decision to buy a condo for the kids to live in while in college. It makes a lot of sense, better than paying rent for both kids. We spent a couple of weekends scoping out condos and townhouses, and finally settled on one that was newer and in great condition. After an offer, and a counter offer, followed by another offer, and a counter offer, we settled on a price, and now have a contract on a two bedroom condo. We hope to have possession by the end of the month, and Safa should be able to move in soon after.

We recently returned from a fun packed vacation to Universal Orlando (details to follow), and Zakir and I were back at work this week. The kids still have a few days of winter break left before they head back to school. Taking advantage of New Year's Eve and the day off tomorrow, the nephews are over for a sleepover.

Before dinner, they had a chance to play with sparklers, under close parental supervision, of course. The dog was tucked in early, since he does not handle fireworks well, and we had already started hearing booms of fireworks around our neighborhood as earlier as 7 pm.

video

After dinner the boys ran around the house playing light sabers, until we finally had them settle down around 9:30 pm. Not too late for them! And I have a feeling that Zakir and I will be passed out in bed before midnight in Alabama, if not even before the ball drops in NYC! We Khans really know how to party!


We are looking forward to a last relaxing weekend with the kids before they head back to school next week. Strangely enough, no major plans for this weekend. And I have no problem with that.

Wishing all my friends, family and readers a happy and prosperous new year in 2016!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My handsome boys

Most recent school photographs:


They really are growing up! I especially feel it about Hamza; he has one semester left of high school, then it's off to college. Today we went to Railroad Park for his senior portraits, with our favorite photographer, Samantha. She has been doing our portraits for over seven years, and I can't wait to see how Hamza's senior portraits turn out. He's not the most willing model, but she was able to get some smiles out of him. I'll share them as soon as I can!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hard to Believe..

... It's almost December, and it barely felt like early fall today. It was a perfect day, with filtered sun, hardly any wind and a very mild 70 degrees. And all the better when this little guy came over to visit:

He has taken quite a liking to Atlas.



And Atlas, of course, is as gentle as ever when it comes to the little guy.



Love my guy too!



I'm not sure how many of these weekends we will be able to enjoy before the chill begins, but we are going to make the best of it!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Need some inspiration?

Safa has been blogging sporadically for the past few months, and recently more regularly, since she has taken on a 30 day writing challenge. If you google '30 day writing challenge', you'll come across a variety of lists and prompts, to help stimulate your creative writing juices. The particular one Safa chose to use is here. I looked at the list myself, and decided I have nowhere near the creativity required to complete this list, even if I was highly motivated to do so. But Safa is always up to a good challenge, when it comes to creative writing, and I have been enjoying whatever she has written so far. She has given me permission to share her blog here. If you are interested, swing by and read what she has written so far. You can click here to go to her blog.

It has almost, almost inspired me to revive this recently neglected blog. I admit that with each subsequent year, my posts have become less and less frequent. It's time to try and rectify this. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sweet Treats and more!

We have a busy weekend full of delicious food and great company. It started with a dinner we hosted on Friday night. We had a few families over for an Asian themed meal. The food turned out great, but not without more than a little help from the men in my life. Just before the guests came, I had Hamza filling, and Zakir frying egg rolls, while I was trying to put the finishing touches to all the rest of the food. It's been a while since we hosted a dinner for 25 or more, and my time management skills have obviously become quite rusty. But it ended up being a very successful evening.

On Saturday evening there was a dinner invitation/house warming party at Farah's house. Farah and her sister in law have been working on this event for a whole week, and everything was amazing. The entrees were delicious, but the desserts were out of this world. Ayesha is not only a great cook, she is an amazing artist, when it comes to creating cakes and dessert platters.

A four tiered cake, with a different flavor of cake in every level, plus baskets of flowers. Each flower is actually an individually wrapped, carefully iced cookie. The result was gorgeous.

The hand written plaques are cookies too! Who would have thought?! And chocolate dipped 'teabag' cookies, perfect for dipping in a cup of tea or coffee.


The food was just as artistically presented.


And the gracious hosts:

And if all this decadence wasn't enough, Sunday was the icing on the cake (literally). We were back at Farah's house this afternoon to celebrate Mobeen's seventh birthday. More cake, more desserts, and cute finger foods.

The cool backdrop is hand made too.

And a great superhero birthday cake, with cookies to match!

The weather cooperated enough for the kids to play outside, but with the rain imminent, the food was all set up indoors.



I am going to have to hit the gym especially hard this week. Have some calories to burn off!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Zoo

Wednesday was the fourth grade field trip to the Birmingham Zoo. I shuffled around my work schedule so that I could go with Bilal. The zoo has been decorated for the annual 'Boo at the Zoo' even, so you could find the Halloween theme throughout the park.

It was a bit of a dreary day; not cold, but wet, will light misting showers throughout most of the day. But it didn't dampen this guy's spirit!

The zoo has expanded since the last time we visited a couple of years ago, and I could hardly recognize the place this time around. There is also still a lot of construction going on.


The African Savannah section is always a hit, even though the giraffe encounter wasn't open. We were still able to enjoy them, though.



And you can see that it didn't rain the entire time we were there, there were a few brief breaks in the clouds; proof!







At the end of the trip there was a break for lunch, and a quick trip to the gift shop, before we headed home. I am so glad that my little guy still wants me along with him for field trips. I know the day probably isn't far off when he won't want me there!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hard work paid off

This evening the boys were in the dojo to test for their next ranks in Heiwado karate. It has been especially challenging for Hamza, because his school schedule leaves him little time to train. But both boys have been trying to make it to class as often as possible recently, and their hard work paid off.

The tesing is conducted by rank, and since Bilal is at a lower rank than Hamza, he tested first.

He got a little nervous in the middle, but was able to complete his katas, before taking a seat to watch the other students.



Hamza impressed us all with his test. No obvious sign of nervousness there!

The Senseis took a small break to make their decisions, and then returned to award the new certificates. Bilal, promoted to sixth kyu Shodan.

And Hamza was awarded his third degree black belt. Eleven years of training in the dojo paid off!

Proud of my hard working young men today! And congratulations to all who were promoted.



A great way to end the week!


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Birthday celebration

We went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch, to celebrate Hamza's birthday. Safa made a special trip home for his birthday, which was lovely, especially since we had been in Auburn last week, and she will be coming back on Wednesday evening for fall break. But she loves her brothers, and one of the best things about her staying in state for college, is that she can drive home whenever she wants, even if just for a day. She got home at 10am yesterday, and left to head back to Auburn this morning to 9am. So, a short but sweet trip.

Farah and the kids were able to join us, and we had to wait a bit for a table for a party of 9. So we roamed around outside until our table was called. I love that so many restaurants give you the opportunity to be texted when your table is ready, so you don't have to sit inside the crowded restaurant waiting. Especially since it was such a pretty day outside.


We were finally seated, and able to order our food.

 I had the chance to sit next to this cutie:



Also took a quick pick with my hubby. still haven't quite mastered the art of taking a selfie, but making progress, haha!

The meal was delicious, and of course, we all ordered cheesecake to go.

Happy birthday, Hamza!


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