Category Archives: Kaleya

7th Birthday Party!

Today is Kaleya’s 7th birthday and we’ve had an incredible day of it.  We are so thankful for our friends that came out today to help us celebrate and I know Kaleya thoroughly enjoyed it.  The weather was absolutely beautiful and could not have been more perfect.

Kaleya has been into Monster High recently, so we had a Monster High themed bday party.  Monster High is a collection of dolls with characters depicted as the children of famous monsters (e.g. Dracula, Frankenstein, etc.).

We let the kids play outside for about an hour before having food and cake. They blew bubbles, played jump rope, chased each other — all the things that kids do.

After playing, the kids came inside for some snacks and then cake & ice cream.

The cake itself was a Monster High cake and Kaleya specifically wanted the piece that had Frankie’s face. (Frankie is the daughter of Frankenstein and Kaleya is going to dress like her for Halloween this year).

We also had a piñata to open.  Jihad was nice enough to stand on a chair and hold it while the kids took turn pulling one of the strings to see if they would get the one string that would open it.  Kaleya went first, but she didn’t get the right string.  Several kids later – it was found and boy did they scramble to get their treats.

Awesome does not even describe how much fun it was to watch them.  Shortly after, the kids begin to leave.  Thank you all so much for coming to spend the time with us and Kaleya.  What a great birthday!

Of course I have even more pictures than what I’ve shared in this post. You can find them here.

Feeding the Geese

Today, Kaleya wanted to go to Centennial Park to feed the geese, so of course I had to oblige! It’s my motherly duty. :-)

Just a couple of pictures from our outing. We had a nice visit.

Kaleya next to the water
I like the glow on her face on this one.

And, a short video clip of her feeding them.

Then, we were off to the playground.

Next to the slide.
on the playground apparatus
pretty among the flowers

Let’s Play Chess

Last night, we took the family over to the Nashville Chess Center.  Why were we there you ask?  Well, Kalonji went to meet the administrative staff at the center to discuss potential collaborations for Kalonji’s non-profit.   Admittedly, I know absolutely nothing about chess,  but Kalonji has been teaching Kaleya & Jihad how to play.   They were having their Holiday Party and there were at least 50 or so people there.

It is located in a gorgeous old home on Belmont Avenue.

Picture of the Chess Center building

And, the space is divided into areas for play, for learning, and they even have a small library.  It was fun to watch some of the regulars play even though I couldn’t follow along.   One of the members set Kaleya & Jihad up on a computer to do a chess tutorial.  Kaleya knows how a few of the pieces move so she was actually explaining them to me.  Jihad was doing his own thing – he didn’t need me at all :-)

Jihad snacks
Jihad and Kaleya play

You know me…I had to take some pictures in their library.

a view in the libraray
cool chessboard
my librarian self loves the classification

The  club is open two nights a week and a few hours on Sunday afternoon so we will likely join after the holidays.  Kalonji wants the kids in his mentoring program to understand the rules and ways of the game as a way to further stimulate strategic thinking skills.   There may be more chess reported here on the blog in the near future  :-).

Kaleya is SuperHuman

Over the weekend, Kaleya showed me one of the routines they have her class do in PE class at school. I thought it was great! Obviously a way of doing some strength-training with the kids. Kaleya is already pretty strong, but one-armed pushups??  Puts me to shame :-)


One week, Jihad even came home and said they were doing a Michael Jackson routine as a whole grade exercise at his school.  How cool.   Nothing like PE was when I was young.

Scenes from a Birthday Party

Over the weekend we held a birthday party for Kaleya’s 6th birthday and had a fabulous time! Despite the fact that we just moved into our new place and there were boxes around, we still made it work. :-)  Having no living room furniture yet worked to our advantage so we could set up tables and chairs for everyone.

Throughout the course of the afternoon we had about 10 kids and 10 adults there and we were so glad everyone came out.  Kaleya and her pals ran around mostly among the rooms upstairs, watched tv, ate cake,  played games and just had fun being kids.  Her true birthday was last weekend on October 16th, so on that day, she had one of her very good friends with her

and they had a great time playing with Kaleya’s new dollhouse

For yesterday’s party, the cake was a Princess & the Frog cake — right now one of Kaleya’s favorite movies – though, from the expression of her face in this photo you wouldn’t quite know it :-)

But, she perked back up – really got into opening the presents and we enjoyed getting to hang out with her and her friends.

Happy 6th Birthday Kaleya!!!!   Can’t wait to do it again next year :-)