The Family

The Family

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Books at Christmas

This year I bought eight Christmas picture books, wrapped them and put one under the tree a day for eight days.

The thrill of unwrapping something new, especially at Christmastime, is a delightful way to get into the spirit and to start a new day off on the right foot.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kids Say the Darndest Things

You know all those hilarious comments your kids make and you think, hey, I should write that down, but you never do. I tried it one morning a few weeks ago and captured some real gems.

Sidenote: Sirius is the name of one of our dogs.

Mattie (age 5)
-Oh my goodness, did you give me six pancakes?
-I want to have a pj day.
-Sirius, I am serious. I am serious. Those are pretend flowers Sirius.
-I'm gonna have to wear glasses for that.
-Please tell me we're done with school. Geez!
-Mommy, Jack said that I'm a nice sister.

Jack (age 9)
-Mattie's a sleeper. I don't like to be a sleeper. I like to wake up early, like Pop.
-Is milk good for you? Dr. Liles said it's good to drink milk. You gotta drink it in cereal and then it would taste better.
-Poor Sirius, you smell bad. Do you know that, Sirius?
-I'll smell your feet if you smell my feet. Phew, you smell awful. You smell worse than Sirius.
-I don't know if you can answer this question, but what's the last thing we're going to do for school today?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


The day after the 2016 Presidential election, before the sun rose, we headed to Atlanta to board a flight to Philadelphia. The election had nothing to do with our trip, but that morning as my husband and I dressed to leave, and later as we walked through airport security, it seemed like all was a fog and everyone was moving, ever so slowly, in some sort of strange, parallel universe.

What had just happened?

Did our nation just elect Donald Trump as president?

The same sentiment was apparent in Philly. Everything from the young female offering hugs in front of the famous Philly "LOVE" statue to the man screaming at me about fear of African-American men like himself as we walked out of the Philadelphia art museum a few nights later showed the range of emotions so many were experiencing.

There were protests outside our hotel. I didn't realize it until the night after the protests began, and this only after I got several texts asking if we were safe.

Safe? What was going on for me to get several texts such as this?

I don't know why it didn't cross my mind protesters were out in full force in Philly.  I saw on the news they were happening all over the country, but it never dawned on me they were literally going on directly in front of our hotel, which was across the street from city hall.

Even though tension was in the air, and I was in Philadelphia for a work conference and had meetings each morning, our family ventured out each afternoon and evening to explore Philadelphia.

We were not disappointed.

 The Academy of Natural Sciences

 The Best Philly Cheesesteaks EVER at Jim's Steaks

The Philadelphia Zoo

AMAZING works from the Mexican Revolution on Display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Independence Hall

The Liberty Bell

Selfies waiting to play putt-putt and ride the carousel at Franklin Square

The Rocky Statue followed by a run up the Rocky Steps

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fall Reading

In terms of reading, this fall has been a major disappointment. I quit Bradberry's "Farewell Summer" 19 pages in. This one was a random pick off the library shelf - not on my extensive "To Read" list- so I felt no guilt when I put this book down.
I feel a throwback to Damon Wayans and David Alan Greer from the Show "In Living Color" is needed to describe my feelings on "The Casual Vacancy." HATED IT!

And I don't even know where to start with "The Girl on the Train." HATED IT! There is such hype about this novel, and I was more than disappointed by this book. I was disgusted. There was no redeeming quality in any character.
The one book I have liked so far, "The Nightingale," is the story of two sisters and how differently they view love and war. It was a moving portrait of the way both women deal with the Nazi's invasion of France.

I can't weigh in on "Nora Webster" yet because I'm set to begin it tonight. As a novel shortlisted for the Mann Booker Prize, I'm hoping it won't be another letdown.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Scarecrow Sightings

Just before Halloween we took a little walk, and on this walk we found some scarecrows.

Scarecrows in the Park is an annual event in October and November at Frank Jackson State Park in Opp, Ala. Because this fall has been unseasonably warm (who am I kidding, it's been downright HOT!), we don't appear to be dressed for fall and scarecrow outings.

The kids loved this nature hike.

They also loved the many, many variations on scarecrows we came across and doing their own imitations of the displays.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Toward the end of October my mother-in-law invited the kids and I to go to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with her. She had heard about a Dale Chihuly exhibit and wanted us to see it before it ended.

We are familiar with Chihuly's work because our local art museum has a blown-glass chandelier he was commissioned to make for the museum's opening about 14 years ago.

Below are just a few of his many blown-glass designs we saw that day on display in The Gardens.

While my mother-in-law and I were in awe of Chihuly's work, the kids were much more interested in the Halloween displays submitted by local residents, school groups and businesses on display throughout The Gardens.

Even though this fall has been unseasonably warm, it was a pleasant day we spent wandering through The Gardens.