Category Archives: Family

Pre-Christmas Weekend

This weekend we’ve had some fun as a family – but not too much. There’s  something said about just relaxing and enjoying peace and quiet at home.

On Saturday we went to a friend’s house for her annual holiday party for the families of kids she has kept over the  years.  She was Kaleya’s care provider for three years until Kaleya started school.

I have to say,  she had the most awesome GingerBread House ever – they decorated up their TV cabinet :-)

the most awesome Ginger Bread House

Kaleya & friend inside the Ginger Bread House

Orange candles we made before the party - that was fun!

with all her kiddos!

Then, today,  we took a visit to the Frist Center for Visual Arts to see their Egyptian Treasures exhibit.  The exhibit was well done too – lots of interesting artifacts from Egypt.  There were some features I particularly liked – being able to download the audio tour, short movies throughout the gallery, and more — they helped give it a nice touch.  The exhibit will be there until January 8th, so if you’re local to the area you still have time to visit.

outside the Frist

beautiful coffin on display

kiddos out back


Now, unfortunately, it’s time to wind down and prepare for the week. At least it is a short one. :-)

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

Vanderbilt College Tour

I’ve gotten just a little behind in my family blog posting, but today we took the kids on a college tour of Vanderbilt! Much fun! Kamau and Miles need to start thinking about college and they’ve been getting their fill these past couple of weeks.  :-)

Last week, Kalonji took them to TSU’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science for a tour. Miles is expressing an interest in engineering, so they were able to get a tour and understanding of the field.  Kamau is involved in ROTC at school so Kalonji took him to speak with a Vanderbilt ROTC program.  They gave Kamau a VU ROTC t-shirt.

the VU ROTC shirt

Then today we participated in the Vanderbilt College Tour. Even though I’ve worked at the Eskind Biomedical Library for 12 years now, I had never spent much time on the undergraduate side so it was quite educational.   The Admissions staff gave an overview of the university, the opportunities available, and the applications process. Following the inside orientation, we took an extensive campus tour.

listening to the guide in the Heard library

We also went over to the Commons, ten houses of residential housing specifically for the Freshmen class and that was nice. I’d not been to that part of campus at all.  I like the idea of the Commons and think it would have been cool if I’d had that in college :-)

VU class of 2012 form their graduation year in the Commons. Photo from Vanderbilt Magazine.

As we were walking around, Jihad kept saying “This is heaven!” Yeah, at 13 years old years old you’d think he was ready to go to Vanderbilt tomorrow.  In any case, it doesn’t hurt to be thinking about colleges now.  Ah well, we’ll see what the cards may hold for all of them :-)


All About Town

This weekend has been a fairly quiet one for us.  It did not start off very well for me – I either caught a stomach virus or had a case of food poisoning on Friday and as a result spent ALL DAY in bed.  I felt really horrible and was very glad to see Saturday morning come and my vigor return.   I even felt well enough to keep to our plans for the day – a birthday party and a Nashville RollerGirls game.

The birthday party was held at Centennial Park and was for one of Kaleya’s good friends who turned 7 this week. Unfortunately, I did not take many pictures at all of the party itself,  just one of most of the group.

birthday party gathering in the park

Since we were in the park, I did wish to take the kids to go see the Athena statue in the Parthenon. My last visit was years ago, well before she was gilded in gold, so I too wanted to see it.  Jihad was able to tell me all the details about Athena for he’d been studying Greek Mythology in school – I was duly impressed. :-)

kids in front of the statue of Athena in the Parthenon

After the party we came home and I spent about an hour or so tidying the house – then we had to get ready for the Nashville RollerGirls (NRG) season operner  game.  We are fans and I did a great post last year related to a game we went to for Jihad’s birthday.  This weekend, they played Kansas City and KC was no joke! Unfortunately, NRG lost but it was still a great game.

Here’s a video clip of a jam by Rambo Sambo

and one of part of the halftime show by the JeerLeaders; this is great b/c you see one of the fans really getting into the performance (about 14 seconds in).  I am hoping maybe someone else got an even better video of this!

Had a great day overall.  Today we rested, doing much of nothing.  I was honestly a little wiped out from having been out most of the day yesterday.  This upcoming week is going to be extremely busy so a girl needs her rest.


Weather @ WSMV

Last month the kids began studying weather in school.  We have been trying to find supplemental activities for them and Jihad has seem to taken a special interest in the weather.   Therefore, we inquired about an opportunity for them to visit one of our local news stations, WSMV Channel 4 (our NBC affiliate), so that they could get a behind-the-scenes view.   I was quite ecstatic when weatherman Dan Thomas replied that we could indeed visit.

Last night we arrived at the news station a little after 6pm.  I was thinking we’d just get an overview of how Dan does the weather, but imagine our surprise when we learned we would actually be watching them do the newscast live! We had seats right next to the green screen and of course had to be quiet since it was a live broadcast.

The studio was less crowded than I would have thought.  Besides Dan, there were two staff members and Demetria Kalodimos was at the anchor desk.

Demetria at the anchor desk.

Later in the broadcast Jennifer Johnson replaced Demtria as the anchor and Rudy Kalis came in to do the sports.

Jennifer at the anchor desk.

Rudy, just before his part of the broadcast.

They all said hello to us and Demetria even came over to shake our hands (note, I was a little awe struck – I heart Demetria.  I used to watch her and Dan Miller every day.)

After the broadcast, Dan showed Jihad the computers he uses to view the weather and create the forecast. We also were able to see him use the storm tracker.  Jihad even had a chance to use  the weather computer, as well as the clicker that moves between the slides of the weather maps.  Dan shared with us that he learned meteorology at Penn State University – apparently, 25% of all weather forecasters come from there.  And, Penn State has an annual weather camp too for kids & adults interested in learning more.

Jihad & Dan

In front of the weather desk.

and the kids even sat at the anchor desk — you could see them doing this one day themselves right?

Kaleya the anchorwoman

Jihad the anchorman

Dan showed us around the rest of the building so we saw where the show producers, writers and other staff sit.  Thank you Dan four the visit & tour and being so accommodating for our family. The kids loved it! We parents loved it too! :-)