Monday, March 30, 2015

Tuscaloosa Air Show

Spring break is officially here, and we haven't planned any big getaway for the family this year. So we've been looking for activities to keep ourselves busy closer to home. so far it hasn't been very hard at all. On Saturday we took the kids out to breakfast, followed by a trip to the library, to stock up on books to read during the break. Managed to get my car's tires replaced while we were out too! Then we caught the matinee show of Home at our local movie theater. Cutest movie I've seen in a while, and we all enjoyed it. The cousins came over in the evening, and took Bilal back with them for a sleepover. He always loves that!

Sunday started off with us heading over to pick up the boys from Farah's place, and we drove down to Tuscaloosa for the regional air show. The activities started around 10am, and we didn't get there until closer to 1pm, so we missed some of the show, but got to see the main attraction, which was our big reason for the trip. Hamza, Bilal and Zakir had a chance to look at some of the static plane displays, while I sat down and relaxed with the nephews. Mohsin just wasn't in the mood for a photo, but I took one anyway!

The highlight of the show was the Blue Angels demonstration, and it proved to be definitely worth the visit.

It was so impressive to watch the planes flying in formation.

And despite potential cloudy conditions and a chance of rain in the forecast, we enjoyed a blue, sunny sky. Put us in a good mood!

There's more fun planned for the rest of the week!

Monday, March 23, 2015


Last weekend, Zakir and I were invited to attend a fundraising gala, for Kid One, a service that provides free transportation to children and expectant mothers, to and from medical appointments.

And we all love an opportunity to dress up! Don't you think my hubby looks very handsome?

It was a lovely evening, with good food and great company. And all for a great cause!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A sunny day for a party

With all the crazy weather we've been having in Alabama over the past month or two, it was very refreshing to have a perfectly dry, warm, and sunny day for Mohsin's fifth birthday party. Especially since the setting was Farah's lovely back yard.

The bouncy slides were perfect for the kids to play in. Look at that gorgeous blue sky!

Here is the birthday boy, enjoying his pizza:

And the other members of the party:

The cake, of course, had to be based on the Planes theme, Mohsin's favorite.

And while the kids ran around, and played in the yard, the older guests of the party had their share of fun. A neighbor brought this over for the men to play with:

Yes, it's a drone. And they all took turns flying it.

But I think that I may have had the most fun of al. Because I had the chance to hang out with this little guy.

My sweet little Mohib!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Third Grade field trip

I had the opportunity to chaperone Bilal's field trip to Desoto Caverns, yesterday. The kids I was responsible for were very well behaved, and that made for an easy day. The weather could have cooperated a little more; we were outdoors a lot, and it was cool and damp, but at least we had very little rain.

We rode charter buses, which definitely beats riding a school bus! I was happy that Bilal wanted me to sit next to him.

We watched a movie on the way down to the caverns, which made the 1 hour+ trip to Childersburg seem quite short. Once there, the kids had a little time to roam around and get a feel for the place.

The trip was well planned, with each activity time divided into half hour increments. After an attempt at the climbing wall, the kids panned for gems.

There was a quick break for a group photo with Mrs. W.

After panning for gems, it was our group's turn to visit the Caverns. Patiently waiting in line:

And the entrance to the cave:

Inside the cave, the rock formations were amazing.

My sweet boy wanted to hold my hand the entire time we were in the cave. Not sure if it was because of the darkness, or that (hopefully) he was excited that I was on the field trip with him. But it was great to stay close together.

Inside the cave, the entire class and the chaperones had a photo taken.

Nice to see everyone smiling and looking at the camera!

Lunch was next on the agenda. Pizza, chips, cookies and pink lemonade. Yum! Then there was time for the kids to burn some energy in the playground, followed by a trip to the gift shop. Lastly, the kiddos had the chance to conquer the Lost Trail Maze.

Finally, it was time to board the buses and head back to school.  A lot of happy, tired children (and adults) rode the bus back to school. No more field trips for the rest of the school year, and I always wonder if Bilal will continue to want me to chaperone his school trips? Perhaps a few more, until my little guy is too 'grown up' to hang out with his Mama? At least I can hope for it!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I know we shouldn't complain...

... when most of the northern part of the United States has been receiving record amount of snow, but you have to admit there's something very wrong about this:

The left photo was taken at sunset on Wednesday of this past week, and the right was at noon on Thursday. Not only did the temperature drop more than forty degrees, but we also had a good share of ice falling from the sky. Freezing rain, sleet, whatever you'd call it. In fact, by the evening it was closer to 20 degrees. On Thursday, which just happened to be my birthday, we opted to leave work early, and spend the evening at home, and not try to brave the elements. In fact, Birmingham made national news with a fourteen car pile up on the interstate only a few miles from our house. Our roads and drivers are never prepared for wintry weather, and even half an inch of ice on the roads can wreak havoc on the driving conditions. It's best just to stay indoors.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A successful business

This Tuesday was GaTE marketplace, which is the annual fundraiser for Paine Intermediate's Gifted and Talented Education program. Bilal has been participating in GaTE since the start of third grade. During Marketplace, children come up with creative ideas for businesses, pitch the business to their parents with PowerPoint presentations, take out a loan, and market their product. Bilal chose to sell waffles with his business partner, Frasier. I was quite skeptical about the idea; this meant we would have to prepare the product on site, it wasn't something that could really be prepared ahead of time. But it was his idea, and we decided to go along with it. After all, you learn from experience.

The lunchroom opened up at 2 pm to give us time to start setting up the businesses. I had to make sure we found a table up against the wall, since the waffle maker had to be plugged into an outlet. Without this, no product!
The set up was ready, and the business owners were in place, ready for the 3pm grand opening.

I heated up the waffle maker, Frasier's mom mixed up the batter, and we were in business.

As soon as the batter hit the warm waffle press, and it started emitting some aromatic steam, the customers started lining up. I has forgotten the power of the human nose. The fragrance of warm waffles wafted through both lunchrooms and down into the hallways. And boy, that was the best marketing tool we could have ever hoped for. We had several kids and adults come by, just because they smelled the waffles. The boys sold them for $3 for a full waffle or $2 for half a waffle, with toppings of their choice (strawberry syrup, chocolate syrup, maple syrup and whipped cream). They also got to choose whether they wanted chocolate chips in the batter. The full waffles came with a glass of punch (orange juice and Sprite mixed together was quite a hit). Honestly, we did not account for so many customers coming by and the lines forming so rapidly. With only one waffle maker, and an approximate four minutes to prepare each waffle, the line moved slower than desirable. But, our eager customers were willing to wait in line for their freshly prepared treats. We are not quite sure how many waffles we actually sold (the press worked non-stop from 2:55pm until 4:40pm), but we ended up with quite a profit. In fact, after taking out our expenses, and the students paying back the loans plus 5%, the profits were close to $70. And with donating some of our expenses to the program, the actual amount Bilal's and Frasier's business, 'The All you could want Restaurant' contributed to the GaTE program, was $77.00. Not too shabby! It was a lot of fun, and we almost sold out, but there was just enough batter left over to allow the friends to sample their own delicious product. Yum!

Next year will be another opportunity, and in spite of the great success this year, I propose that we sell a product that does not have to be made on site. Maybe a craft, or even a food item that can be cooked ahead of time? Sounds like a plan to me, but I wonder what Bilal will have to say about that?

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