Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What's happening in GaTE?

The final module of Paine's 3rd grade Gifted and Talented Education program is Lego robotics. Bilal and his partner built and programmed these dancing birds using a kit. How cool is this? I can't wait to see what they built in the upcoming weeks. Thanks to his teacher, Mrs. L, for emailing the video to us!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Little guy, big dog

Our sweet little nephew came to visit today. He is fascinated by our dog Atlas, who is probably more than ten times his size! So we spent time out on the deck, letting them get acquainted with each other.

Atlas is very gentle around kids, and didn't even mind a few tugs on his fur. Honestly, with his thick coat, I don't really think he can feel it!

Look at that cute little face!

He is cruising and barely holding on to furniture now. Not even 9 months old, but seems like he'll be an early walker like his older siblings were. But for now, crawling is much more efficient!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

More about Spring Break, 2015

Wednesday of Spring Break was a lazy day for the boys. They spent most of the day lounging around the house, while Zakir and I actually got a lot accomplished. We checked out some cabinet ideas and flooring for our next big project, which is finishing the basement. We hope to start on that by the beginning of May.

On Thursday morning we headed to Atlanta for the first college tour of the week. Hamza has been very interested in Georgia Tech, since he first learned about the university. The tour actually went very well, and our prospective college student was highly impressed. Aside from the excellent education the university imparts, the campus is also very nice; walking around at some places, it's easy to forget that it is actually in the middle of a very large city.

The swimming pool here was actually used when Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996:

I don't know if Hamza will get accepted, or even if he will end up applying there. But it surely gives him something to strive for!
After the tour we went to lunch, and made a quick trip to Ikea, to pick up a floor lamp for Bilal's bedroom. Zakir and I love going there, but obviously Hamza doesn't; he counted every minute we were in the store!

Later, we drove down to Auburn, to spend the night there, in preparation for the next college tour on Friday. First , we stopped at Safa's apartment for dinner. Our 'undomestic' daughter made us delicious omelets and pancakes! Yeah, she actually can cook more than instant mashed potatoes and brownies!

The following morning, we all met at Crepe Myrtle for breakfast. It is actually located inside a nursery. Delicious crepes and fresh fruit!

Then we headed to the college campus for the tour. We have visited a couple of times with Hamza, since Safa has been enrolled. But a tour gives you a different perspective.

Auburn is definitely another good choice for Hamza also, whose primary interest is Computer Science. And logistically it would make sense to have two kids at the same school. But that is yet to be determined, and a lot of it depends on Hamza himself. The last college he plans to visit is University of Alabama, and that is scheduled for early June, after school is out.

Looking out at Jordan-Hare Stadium
After the tour, we again met for lunch (can you tell how significant food is, on every trip we go on?). Upon Safa's recommendation we went to a burger place called Niffer's, which is famous for its corn nuggets. Naturally, we ordered corn nuggets with our meal. And the disappeared just as fast as they appeared on our table!

After lunch we headed home with Bilal, while Hamza spent another day with his sister. She wanted him to meet her friends, and get the 'real' college experience. She brought him home the following afternoon.

The rest of Spring Break was spent doing yard work. There is so much to do in the yard, as there is every spring, and we wanted to get a head start. This week has been a wash out, with fairly constant rain, so we haven't been able to work outside at all. Hopefully next weekend will be dryer and more productive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Visit to Chattanooga

On Tuesday of Spring Break, we took the boys to the Tennessee Aquarium for the day. The drive itself is just under two hours, but it was perfect for a day trip. Plus, with rain in the forecast, we weren't sure what else to do locally.

First, we parked at the Aquarium, and stopped for lunch. The weather turned out to be perfect for a walk around the area. On Bilal's insistence, we settled on pizza for lunch. Not very adventurous, but it was tasty!

Headed up the escalator into the Ocean Adventure:

Amazing sting ray!
My boys

Inside the butterfly garden:

The butterflies were beautiful, but most of them were camera shy, and very elusive! Then we visited the penguins.

Upside down jellyfish:

And back outside for a little while, before we headed to the River Journey.

We tried to stop at Ben and Jerry's on the way back home, but the line in the store was ridiculously long, so we opted out. It did finally rain, but not until we were on the road, and more than halfway back home. So it definitely did not spoil our day in the least!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Monday Fun Day

On Monday of Spring Break, Zakir and I took Bilal and his cousins to Treetop Family Adventure, for some indoor/outdoor fun time. As you can see, the fun started before we made it there.

They always have a blast when they're together!

After we arrived at Treetop, we all rode in Go-Karts, before coming back inside to enjoy the arcade.

The kids earned enough tickets from their games to get bags full of useless, but fun, goodies.

On the way back home we stopped off to check out a new grocery store called Sprouts. And what did the kids want when we got there? Believe it or not, celery! So the boys came out of the grocery store with two trays of this:

Mmm, yummy! And later, when Farah asked the boys what the most fun part of their day was, they replied, "Buying a veggie tray!" Goodness, we might as well have skipped Treetop, and headed straight to the grocery store!

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