Sunday, May 17, 2015

Little ninja

Yesterday was our dojo's tournament, the third that Bilal has participated in. The older siblings went along, to help judge, since they are both black belts. It was a small tournament, with only four students in most of the divisions, but still a lot of fun to watch. How better to spend a Saturday morning? This is the place where the kids grew up, having trained for many years, and Safa actually calls it her second home.

First, Bilal competed in kata.

Here is the video. Thankfully I managed to take it just before my phone ran out of memory!

Next, Bilal sparred against another student of the same rank. This is where my phone completely ran out of memory. But after deleting some apps, I was able to take a few more photos.

Bilal got silver medal in both events, and big brother had the chance to present them.

It was great to have all three back in the dojo together, even if it was just for an event. Hamza hasn't been training because of school, but he plans to start back over the summer. and Safa will be teaching the 4 and 5 year old cubs while she is out of school. Bilal, of course, plans to keep it up too!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

In the yard

We continue to work hard outdoors, beautifying the yard in our home. Most of the front is complete, so we have started work on the back too. Admittedly, this is one part of our home that was slightly neglected, before we moved here. Personally, I never enjoyed working outside as much as I have, since moving here. And Zakir is a great partner to work with, because when the weather is too hot or humid, or when the mosquitos are buzzing and exceptionally vicious, he will either still persuade me to come outside and help him, or do the work himself, regardless of the elements.

Since all the additional sod has been laid in the front yard, we have been trimming the bushes some. The upper corner still looks a bit wild and crazy, but it's a happy crazy, and it has been trimmed a bit more since this photograph was taken.

The rose bushes in the side of our house are thriving.

And in the back, we have a lot of color and fragrance too. In fact, we have been having to trim the honeysuckle to keep it under control, while allowing it to creep the railing also.

The lilies in the back are beautiful.

Mostly what is left includes putting down pine straw and cleaning up the edges. Otherwise, the garden is in good shape!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Home Construction part XIV

We have started phase II of our home construction, and that involves finishing a part of our basement, to increase our space for entertaining guests. So it is only proper that I wrap up the first portion, which is the original home building. That, and the fact that we have been living in our home for nearly eighteen months! When I left off last time, we were one week away from taking possession of our house. So now, I continue the series....

October 25, 2013: The fence in the back yard has been completed. Our land extends a little beyond the fence, into the woods, but it wasn't practical for us to build a fence around the actual perimeter of our lot, due to the slope. We have a gate that goes into the woods, where our adventurous kids can go and climb trees if they choose.

And in the kitchen, the backsplash is up. It still needs to be sealed.

October 27, 2013: The fireplace surround has been painted. we plan to mount the TV above the fireplace.

October 29, 2013: The completed backsplash in the kitchen, lit up:

 The pantry shelves. There are still a couple of shelves missing:

The master bathroom shower. I love the rimless glass door and the double shower heads:

The foyer chandelier, lit up:

October 30, 2013: We had our final walk through with our realtor, going over anything that needed repairs, or was incomplete, in preparation for closing at the attorney's office to following morning.

And we were officially handed over the key on October 31, right on schedule.

Welcome home!

If you want to follow the timeline for our home construction, you can search for the tag 'new home', or you can click on each individual link below for the updates in a chronological order:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part IX
Part X
Part XI
Part XII

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