The Family

The Family

Friday, July 31, 2015


"All the world's a stage."
          -William Shakespeare

The initials in the title of this post stand for the names of two theater companies here in Alabama. The first, ASF, is the Alabama Shakespeare Festival located in Montgomery. The second, BCT, stands for Birmingham Children's Theater in Birmingham. We've visited both in the past eight days.

We took my 80-year-old grandmother with us to see "The Little Mermaid" at the ASF last week. Even though I've been to ASF multiple times, I still had to rely on the GPS to get us there. And we got so turned around because it was trying to send me in the back entrance, which I didn't know existed, that the lady on the phone was yelling at me about being late when I called to tell her my dilemma. Luckily, we got there with 20 minutes to spare before curtain time.

Today we drove to Birmingham. Our sweet baby sitter from last year, who has now graduated from college and moved back home with her parents in Birmingham, met us at the BCT for a rendition of the Gingerbread Man, which BCT titled "The Gingerbread Boy." We enjoyed lettuce wraps and eating with chop sticks afterward at PF Changs, one of my favorite places to go when in Birmingham.

Monday, July 20, 2015

American Girl Doll - Chicago Style

Early Saturday morning we walked the seven blocks from our hotel to 835 N. Michigan Ave. We stood outside the store while I showed Matt how to use the Uber app so he and Jack could catch a ride to and from the Field Museum.Then the two of us girls headed inside for our first American Girl Doll experience.

True, there are at least two American Girl Doll locations closer to where we live. But years ago when we were in Chicago I knew it would be where we would come back for Mattie when we finally decided to take the American Girl Doll plunge.

It was a girlie girl's paradise!

Saturday was Mattie's 4th birthday, and it was well worth the time and the expense for the experience.

She checked out every corner and crevice of the two-story store.

She played here and there throughout the store.

She picked out her doll whom she promptly named "Mattie."

Then the two of us enjoyed lunch with her "Mattie" doll. We ate cinnamon rolls as a starter, had a plate of grapes, carrots, broccoli, corn dog muffins and pretzel sticks with cheese as our first course, we both picked pasta with chicken for our main entree and ended with chocolate mouse and cupcake for dessert.

We had the most fun talking all fancy and using the word fabulous over and over again. And we giggled our way through the meal, the way girls do.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July is for De-cluttering

We homeschool year round - with one slight deviation.


We take a break from our normal routine, except for reading, and I use the time to clean out and re-organize.

So far I've tackled the kids' rooms, including their closets. I almost feel like closets deserve their own status because so much piles up in them.

Last week I needed the assistance of both children to take on the upstairs. That's the lego haven, as well as a major clutter zone. I finally finished it up today. Included in that was organizing all of Jack's art work from the past year, complete with descriptions that his amazingly talented art for homeschoolers teacher provides at the end of every quarter.

Tomorrow it's on to the clean up of our school cabinets. I'm hoping to have the laundry room completed by Tuesday, because on Wednesday we head out on a road trip for Mattie's birthday adventure!

When we return I still have our bedroom closet, the medicine cabinet, all the windows and a few miscellaneous tasks on the agenda before we have hardwood floors installed downstairs the first week of August.

It feels somewhat counterproductive to think about all this organizing right before our house gets turned upside down. But I know once we start back to school, and a new semester starts at the university where I teach, any sort of mass overhaul is out of the question. That's why for me, July is for cleaning up and cleaning out.