Friday night, we attended a Black History Month program at Masjid Al-Islam and it was great! The program included short talks by several members in the community, including Thaxton Abshalom Waters – an artist who’s recently opened an Art Lifestyle Lounge & Gallery, and Edward Kendall – a local lawyer and long-term school board member who’s written a book about historic Jefferson Street.
I wish the pictures I took came out better, but here is a group photo of all the speakers and several people officially recognized during the program.
Kaleya and her classmates put on a play based on the life of Malcolm X. Kaleya had two roles – one as “Shorty” and one as Narrator at the end of the play. We are so proud of her and all her school mates. :-)
A few pictures from Sunday — Kalonji was invited to speak at Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church to their youth groups for Black History Month.
We all attended with him and had a nice time. Many thanks to the church for the invitation!
I was particularly impressed that the church has a library and have been documenting their history. One of their former congregation members, Mrs. Sadie W. Overton, even wrote a book covering the church history from 1866-1996. I definitely plan to follow-up with more research about the church given my interest in genealogy and African-American history in Nashville.
10 hours of braiding later, I have finally finished Kaleya’s yarn braids! This has been a long time coming.
I first read about yarn braids around a year ago. I liked the idea of doing her braids with yarn as it looks natural. We have not used any chemicals in her hair ever (e.g. relaxers), and as challenging as it is to do her hair in its natural state, we are very committed to not putting a relaxer in her hair.
This summer, I put twists in her hair and it’s pretty much been in that style since. I have loved the twists – they are a great protective hairstyle and she’s enjoyed having them. So, I began to really consider switching to yarn braids as not only is it also a protective style, but the yarn would add consistency to the dimension of each braid and the yarn adds weight. Many thanks to Rory of the Chocolate Hair/ Vanilla Care site for all the tips and info she’s posted about yarn braid extensions – it was all a great help!
Between 10 hours of braiding last night and today, we are now done! And, Kaleya loves them! I personally love how they look – they do indeed look natural, and I made the decision to just tie them in a knot at the end and cut off the excess. These should hopefully last around 6-8 weeks. I could get used to this
loving her braids
What a great afternoon we had yesterday! Thanks to free tickets from the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee we were able to see a sensory-sensitive performance of Schoolhouse Rock Live yesterday at Nashville Children’s Theatre.
It was actually our first time going to the Nashville Children’s Theatre, so we didn’t even know where it was located. Fortuantely, it was quite easy to find. And, it’s behind the Howard School Building, which is where Kalonji and I were married
Nashville Children’s Theatre
We saw Schoolhouse Rock Live! (which, until the show actually started, I had in my mind we were going to see a live performance of School of Rock – shows how much I was paying attention! ) I’m not the biggest fan of Schoolhouse Rock, but Kalonji is, so it made total sense why he snatched up the tickets after getting the email about it.
It was great too! The performance included many Schoolhouse Rock songs – including a few that I even knew. I think my favorite was 3 is a Magic Number. Just something about the music. The sensory-sensitive aspects of the show were a great accommodation – they didn’t ask fussy children to leave the theater proper, loud or surprising moments in the performance were preceded by a red glow light. At one point in the performance, they even threw balls into the audience for everyone to bounce around. I don’t know if that was specifically a sensory adaptation, but Q loved it! I almost got hit in the head with one of the balls
Mr. Morton was the closing song and I’d say I may have to start liking that one too.
Kalonji’s favorite Schoolhouse Rock song is “I’m Just a Bill.” He loves that song.
It was a great show. And the cast signed autographs afterwards
pic is blurry, but Q waits for an autograph
I have to say, I may be a fan of Schoolhouse Rock now Many thanks to the Autism Society for providing the opportunity. We are so grateful for having them as a resource, not only for our serious needs, but for the fun ones too!
Kamau graduated from Army Basic Training Friday at Ft. Sill, OK. We couldn’t go, but Miles went with his mom and he and Kamau’s grandmothers. We are so proud of Kamau!
We had another visit to the Adventure Science Center today. Kid admission was free all day today and there was a Mini Maker Faire on the premises. I was not familiar with the Maker Faire before – it was cool – a day of “creative making” and various projects. We learned a lot from our visit.
waiting to get into the Adventure Science Center
Q pulls up a car!
Kaleya is a little suspicious of that dinosaur
it takes teamwork
blurry pics but i loved watching them come down the slide in the Adventure tower
they did not want me to take this pic :-)
steampunk something? not sure what this is?
star wars replica
Yesterday, Kaleya and Q and I took a trip over to Fannie Mae Dees Park (aka Dragon Park b/c there is a big dragon sculpture on the playground to play on) to celebrate the 7th birthday of a family friend. We are a single car family and since Kalonji had to report for reserve duty this weekend, we took the bus. I had not realized it, but this was Kaleya’s first time riding the bus – she was so excited about it! We had a fun day!
the bday girl opens presents
lining up at for the egg race
the finish line is ready for them
the bday celebration crew
Q in the mouth of the dragon sculpture
Kaleya in the mouth of the dragon
more play on the dragon sculpture
- I also captured a video of Q rolling down a hill – loved hearing his giggle as he came down.
Well, here’s a belated post! But, I have to do it b/c I wanted to chronicle how Kalonji and I spent our 11th anniversary. Our anniversary is New Year’s Eve and we were fortunate to be able to steal away for two days and spend the weekend in Louisville – without any of the kids. I can’t recall the last time we were sans kids for any significant period of time.
We went to Louisville to meet up with an old friend of Kalonji’s and just hang out around town. We were there from Saturday the 29th – Monday the 31st. Our hotel was right on the Ohio River – on the Jeffersonville side. We stayed at the Sheraton. Here’s a pic from the hotel website.
Our room was nice – see example below. We didn’t have a King, but rather two Queens, so that we could have a better view.
We arrived Saturday night, so that didn’t leave us room to do much, but we did have a late dinner with Kalonji’s friend Dave and his family. Kalonji and Dave went to high school together at Jeffersonville High School, where Kalonji went for his junior & senior years. They had not seen each other since graduation day, 1990 – 22 years ago! It was so great to meet them! I could tell why Kalonji and Dave got along in high school – their tastes and outlook to life are so similar. Dave was even able to scan in a picture he had of Kalonji in high school – classic!
Sunday morning Kalonji and I had brunch at the hotel restaurant, where we had a gorgeous view of the river.
Then, we wandered around Louisville some, spending time on Bardstown Road – a great strip of businesses, etc.
We then had dinner again with Dave and family and spent Monday doing a little shopping before heading back to Evansville. What a great weekend. And, we even managed to get a picture of Kalonji and his brother, and all the kids – a great way to bring in the new year!
During the last week of August Kaleya was on television! Her school was featured in the local news for the changes that the new principal, Jahi Rohrer, is trying to make to help bring the school up.
Kaleya can be seen at 0:58, at the end of the row of students doing their morning cheer.
Though we withdrew Kaleya from the school just two days after this aired, it was still cool to see. Kalonji is President of the Parent-Teacher organization and he will still be involved with the group. However, we felt for Kaleya’s best interest that we needed to transfer her to a different school.