Saturday, September 26, 2015

Theatrical Beginning

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!

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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Good Checkups

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.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Hobbit Birthday

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.

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