Sunday, October 4, 2015

Theatrical Beginning 9/26

Our family recently became involved with the start-up of a new community theatre in our area, Staged Right Theatre. David was elected Vice President of the Board, and has been working diligently to help them prepare for their first fundraiser, "Theatre Under The Stars," which was held today. The lovely outdoor setting was donated by a new friend SRT.

Alex manning the ticket booth

The Theatre organizers proved they are more than capable of pulling together plenty of volunteers and putting together an interesting and appealing fundraiser.

Curb-side directions - Katie, Thomas, Andrea, and Anita

Hamburgers and hot dogs were donated by local shops - Thank You! to Tony at Tony's Meat Market for the yummy dogs!

Scot prepping to grill burgers and dogs

A local band came to play.

The Band warming up

New Dawn Theatre volunteers came to put on a stage fighting demonstration.

Weapons display and demonstration

There was face painting.

Michael's face paint

And at sun-down there was a live stage production of Tally's Folly by Lanford Wilson.

The Stage

I'd never heard of the story, but the actors were fabulous (even in the rain) and we all enjoyed the show.

The Show: Tally's Folly
Unfortunately, we were pretty much rained out, and attendees were few. Similar to the Apollo 13 mission, I consider this fundraiser to have been a "successful failure" - though we failed to get many visitors or raise much money, we proved he have the resources to man a fun fundraiser and put together a great show.

On to the next stage!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Built In Screen 7/14

This is Michael lying in his bunk bed with a very self-satisfied grin on his face. Why, you may ask, does Michael have a very self-satisfied grin on his face? I'll tell you why Michael has a very self-satisfied grin on his face. He just invented something. And he built it with no adult assistance. And inventing something and building it with no adult assistance always leaves Michael with a very self-satisified grin on his face.

And what, you may ask, did Michael build that left . . . well, you get it.

Here it is:

This is our tablet playing an episode of M*A*S*H. It has been mounted on the under-side of the upper bunk so that Michael can lie in bed and watch his favorite show without having to hold the tablet. He accomplished this by attaching those two wood slats you see perpendicular to the bunk slats that hold the mattress. Simple, clever, and quite effective. Thus, self-satisfied grin.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Good Checkups 9/17

Somehow the planets all aligned in just the right way so that William ended up having three checkups this month. Thankfully, all were good. And now he's done being poked, prodded, and examined for another quarter. As you can see, he's happy about that.

The most important appointment was his quarterly endocrinology checkup on September 4th. Dr. Schultz declared everything looked good. William had put on 5 lb, though no additional height, so he's probably storing up for another growth spurt. There was no change in his A1c, and doc was very impressed that we've managed to keep it at 7.0. That's a very good number for a Type 1 diabetic, particularly one going through puberty.

Next was his eye exam. Aside from checking his vision for prescription changes (there was no change needed), the doc photographs the inside of the eyeball (the back) to look for any abnormalities or signs of degeneration (a common complication when diabetes control is poor). Again, he was impressively healthy.

Last but not least was his dental exam and cleaning. Once again, all was good. No cavities or gum problems.

William is very good about doing the things he needs to do to take care of himself, a daily regimen that most adults would balk at. Although he does go through spells of burn-out and resistance to compliance, he always gets back on the horse (with a little boost from me and David) and continues on his way. Overall, he's a healthy diabetic, and we are proud of him.

If you're not familiar with the daily care of Type 1 diabetes, here's a post I wrote in 2010 describing a typical day (though while camping). William's regimen has changed somewhat since then, and we've got newer tools that make it a bit easier, and he's taking waaaaaaay more insulin than he was then, but the routine is still pretty much the same.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kittie Love

Michael has a special affinity for animals of all kinds, and has since he was wee.This is him with BooBoo (and Rueger looking on).

The cats are pretty fond of him, too.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hobbit Birthday 9/5

Michael is the master of cake decorating in our house. After a bit of a scramble to put together a Hobbit-themed birthday party with family and friends, the cake was the final bit. We got a fairly plain cake from the grocery store, and Michael insisted on decorating it himself. Thus, the Hobbit-hole cake was born.

Bilbo's Hobbit-hole, of course. And there's the nearby river and path to his door. And, of course, smoke from the chimney. See it? I think I'd like to live there if I were much smaller.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Napping in a Puddle 8/18

Just because he can . . .

We don't often go to our homeschool group's Park Day when it's raining, but we'd missed quite a few of them over the winter, and the weather in general had been keeping us home more days than not. So, go to the park we did. It was fine enough under the cover of the pavilion despite the intermittent showers. A number of kids decided that running around in the rain was grand fun. One kid in particular (yes, Michael) decided that puddle napping is a thing. There was also construction of an earth dam across this same puddle.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Muddiest Kid Ever 5/2

Just because he could . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Just because . . . you're never too old for Pikachu.

Monday, September 21, 2015

National Weather Service

One of the best things about belonging to a homeschool group is there are always parents ready, willing, and able to arrange field trips. And the rest of us get to tag along.

I'm not sure what I was expecting the NOAA building to look like -- probably something more industrial and bunker-like -- but it was actually a nice, normal-looking type of building you would find in any business park.

You wouldn't think the National Weather Service would all that exciting, but it was. Okay, it wasn't exactly *exciting* but it was very interesting and informative, and all the folks there were really nice, patient, and actually appreciated all of the questions we asked (most questions came from Michael, along with many answers). We started out in the conference room, where they had really nifty chairs.

I think the part of the presentation that got the most appreciative attention was the weather balloon. They are sent up twice per day from all stations across the country, all synchronized to go up all at the same time. Apparently it's very important that all of the devices collect data at the same time for comparison and forecasting purposes. Inflated, the balloons measure about six feet across and are filled with hydrogen (Michael guessed that one). As they get higher into the atmosphere where there is less, well, atmosphere, they continue to expand until at around 10,000 feet they reach the size of a two-story house before bursting. The device, which is housed in a Styrofoam casing, pops its little parachute and falls to the ground. Only a tiny number of these devices are recovered, but they do have a postage-paid envelope attached to them so you can return any device you happen to find.

After the presentation (which included many, many questions and answers) we went into the part of the building where most of the work of forecasting is done. It looks pretty much like most offices with a large bull-pen area containing a number of cubicles. Just a lot more computer monitors and a couple of TV screens with the news running. We all gathered around one of the work stations to see what the meteorologists do, and to ask more questions.

On our way out the kids spotted the "giant golf ball" that is actually the satellite thingy that talks to the weather balloon devices.

A big "thank you" to the nice folks at the Weather Service for your time and for your ability to make weather interesting, and to Maria for setting up this trip for all of us.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Garage Band

Our good friend, Chase, has staked out our garage as a practice space for his band. So far, he's the only band member to have practiced here. But, he was quite generous and let Michael have a turn on his drums and electric guitar.

Rock on . . .
It was quite loud. And . . . um . . . rythmic. Sort of. But it was definitely a lot of fun.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Isnt She Lovely?

Thomas' lovely friend, Andrea, participated in her first beauty pageant, Miss Teen Gwinnett. Thomas took his first solo Uber ride to get to the fairgrounds so he could cheer her on.

All dressed up
Details of the competition as related by Thomas were kind of sketchy. But what was perfectly clear is that Andrea won!

The big moment

One of the loveliest things about Andrea is that she never takes herself too seriously, and is always ready for fun with friends.

Never take yourself too seriously

The "I can't believe it!" ride home

Congratulations, Andrea! We love you!

- Mo and The Bears

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Addition

Because you can never have too many species living under one roof . . .


This is Amelia, and she is a Conure (basically a miniature parrot). She's about six months old, and needed a new home because her boy's new medication can't be used around birds. So, home she came with us to be Thomas' new companion. She was named by committee on the drive home, after Amelia Earhart. Yes, that was my idea -- Amelia is one of my favorite people.

So far, Amelia seems to be getting used to her new home and new buddy. It's taking me a little bit of getting used to, since I've never been a fan of birds in people houses. I like them better outside chasing squirrels from the bird feeder and taunting our cats. But, life is all about change, so change I will . . .

Welcome to the family, Amelia!

- Mo

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


While he was in California, this happened.

Touring on Uncle Chuck's bike

And once he got home, this happened.

"Safety First" on Mike's bike
Yes, that is an actual motorcycle helmet on his head, bought with his own allowance money. Michael is just a safety conscious kind of guy.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Home Again

After an uneventful flight from California to Atlanta, Squishy Bear arrived back on his home turf after a fun-filled two weeks with Uncle Chuck and Aunt Karen. Eventfulness made an appearance, however, when David arrived at the gate to find ... no Squishy Bear. Caught in traffic to the airport, plus bottlenecked getting through security, plus the flight arriving 20 minutes early, and Michael had been relocated by the "sweeper" from his gate to another area. It took a few minutes for the gate attendant to figure out where he was, but eventually David found him and brought him home.

Found at the airport

Michael thoroughly enjoyed his adventure, and was happy to be back home in Georgia with his family. Yes, even his oldest brother.

Favorite way to ride in the car

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Teen Tubing

In celebration of Andrea's birthday, the valiant Mama E loaded a gaggle of teens into The Beast and drove to Helen, GA for a day of Tubin' the Hooch (floating down the Chattahoochee River is large donut-shaped inflatables). It was later reported that everyone, including Mama E, had a fabulous time.

Alex, Hannah, Andrea, Thomas, and friends

Friday, July 3, 2015

Off to Moon Shade Hollow

In what seems to be becoming an annual tradition, we packed up the kids, the dogs, and Popper, and headed for Moon Shade Hollow for the long Independence Day weekend.

Jasmine, Jenny, and Ruger ... always first into the car
By now the dogs (including newbie Ruger) know when we're going camping, and whine to be put in the back of the Sequoia while we're packing, until we load them up.

Rufus doesn't whine, but he's usually settled into his spot in the car while we finish hitching up the camper.

Rufus ... always second into the car

It's not a long drive, which makes it a nice, simple get-away. Everyone knows we're close when we pull into Leon's for bait and ice.

We know we're almost there....

This is my favorite part of the entire drive ... the road the house is on.

Favorite view from the road

Even the dogs know what's up when we pull into the drive.

Ruger: "We're almost there!"  William: "Don't drool on me!"

New sign!

When we're having heavy rains, the lake often rises several feet, making Popper's usual spot down by the boathouse a bit soggy (or just plain flooded). So, we dropped her in the parking area just under Blueberry Hill, nicely snuggled under the trees. I think this is my favorite spot for her.

Popper's new favorite spot, overseen by Hostess Kit

But, THIS is my favorite spot for ME. Sitting on the wrap-around porch enjoying the view.

Ahhhh ... now we're on holiday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bad Biscuits

This is Biscuits. With a dead bird which she caught and expired. Which she was batting around on the floor while I was doing yoga. It kinda killed my Zen.

Bad Kittie

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Squishy Bear's Big Adventure

Today Michael (aka Squishy Bear) left on what is surely his biggest adventure to date. He flew solo from Atlanta to California to spend two weeks with his Uncle Chuck and Aunt Karen. This was his first flight, and went without his family, to be 3,000 miles from home, for a long stretch. He was as nervous as he was excited.

All packed up and ready to go.

After thoroughly checking his packing list to be sure everything was in his big suitcase, it was decided at the last minute that Mom could pack everything into a carry-on (which I successfully did) so he could avoid checking a bag. Then Dad took him to the airport, got him to his flight, and watched while it took off.

Arrival in CA

After what was later reported to be an uneventful flight (except for some uncomfortable ear pressure), Michael arrived and was greeted by his hosts, Chuck and Karen.

As every traveler knows, traveling can take it out of you. After a meal at In-N-Out, a bout of motion sickness in the car ride to his lodgings, and a brief call home, it was time for a crash on the couch. And that was the successful beginning of Squishy Bear's Big Adventure.

Bushed from a long day

Plaza Suite

Another Mom's Night Out, we met up at New London Theatre to see David in his most recent stage appearance as Jesse in Plaza Suite.

Anita, Mo, Grace, Kit, Stacey, and Ashley

Another fabulous show! David had us all rollin' with is Hollywood swagger and 70s white pants.

David and Becca as Jesse and Muriel

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Big Concert

After months of anticipation, David finally attended the R40 RUSH concert, with an extremely excited Michael in tow. It was later reported both had a blast.
On The Lawn