Wednesday, October 18, 2017

...Meat Pies

Meat pies, creepy chiropractors, bungalow mysteries, Wednesday night at KidPak, more tests, piano practice, and a shortened day at school... we'll have updates soon enough!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

...On the Case!

We'll have updates in a bit!

Madison did have piano today, which went well again.  Daddy spent the entire time getting an update from Mrs. Pam's husband about the state of their house, about the progress and the rebuilding which hasn't really started yet.  The storm came on 9-11, when three trees went through their roof.  So the process takes a while from an administrative point of view, at least for them it does.  Meanwhile, Nana and Ye-Ye are doing okay, although they have to replace the siding on their entire house, which they're currently waiting for at the moment.  Otherwise, they're pleased with the progress of things.

Updates coming soon...

Slimer and Booberry

It was on sale, so we got a Ghostbusters game today, certainly because it is an October sort of thing.  This game is called "Sanctum of Slime."  It's a pretty simple concept, a twin stick shooter where you go from room to room blasting everything possible, including furniture and valuables ("Nice shootin', Tex!").

Slimer is in this game, and naturally Madison has grown attached to this lovable green nuisance.  Of course, in the game you're spending most of your time getting him to go away so you don't get slimed.  Madison shouts out, "Slimer!" when he pops in, and there we go again, firing away.  Like I said, it's a simple game.

And it's another chance for Madison to see the Ghostbusters, although this is an entirely new cast, as seen above.  The girl above is Bridget Gibbons, who of course was the character that Madison played as.  We did a few levels of this game tonight, partly in the spirit of this season, and also because there wasn't enough time for a movie or anything, given that we get home pretty late from ballet tonight.

We've been doing housework today, particularly getting things ready for the pumpkin party upcoming.  Mommy has the front of the house looking very nice, in fact.  As does the great room as well.  We have the canopy set up in the back, and just in time, the temperature is dropping to something that is much more like fall weather than what we've been experiencing lately.

Meanwhile at school, Madison has been taking tests.  Tests, tests and more tests.  She literally took four today, and has more tomorrow.  She had several last week too.  She's being tested for the gifted program, and while that's going on there are the regular tests to take as well.  It's this huge concentrated week of tests, which is just crazy really.  Why not space things out a bit more?  She seems to be taking it all in stride though.  It helps to be naturally bright in some areas, as she is.  Math is something she just doesn't have to think very hard about, as it just naturally comes to her.

So we had dancing tonight, which was fun for the girls.  Daddy snuck over to Kroger to get a few items before coming back and doing some updates on the computer.  With this new Get a Clue game we have going at the church, the email has been crazy lately.  A lot of families are involved, and it's fun to see.  Daddy is the checkpoint for a lot of emails coming in, all with photos of families on the hunt to solve a mystery.

Speaking of which, we're really close to discovery the mystery of the bungalow house with Nancy Drew.  We should be done with it soon, which means we have to go get another one from the library soon!  That might be the big book series for the year, as Madison has been really into it.  Also, we're reading the new "Get a Clue" devotional, which turned out really well.  It has a Sherlock Holmes theme, which is really fun.

We cracked open some pumpkin cider today, a tradition around October.  Madison and Daddy usually share a bottle of pumpkin cider from Aldi's, and in Madison's case, it's guzzled down pretty fast.  She loves that stuff.  It's seasonal delicious fun to go along with dinner.  Each year we look for it now, almost like we look for the sacred three October cereals, which by the way we've bought more of.  You can never have too much Count Chocula, Frankenberry or Booberry.

And there's the second ghost of this posting, Booberry.  Must be a season for that sort of thing.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Getting Clues

We just came in from watching the International Space Station fly overhead.  From about 8:12 to 8:16, it flew by so high above, a bright and slow moving star drifting overhead.  We walked out and looked into the night sky, picturing the the people inside that space station now, possibly looking down upon us in the night.  It will be daylight for them soon enough, although we have several hours to go until dawn.

Dawn this morning was fantastic.  Of course, we're not talking about the "Dawn" that acts for us on stage at KidPak.  You can see her below, portraying the character Irene Adler in our newest series, "Get a Clue."

After much fuss and hard work, we started it off this morning, and it was simply glorious.  Here's Mycroft Holmes and Dr. James Watson, a couple of chaps that just might look familiar.

Our set was one of the best London-based sets you can imagine.  The lighting and music were perfect, and of course, the costuming was wonderful as well - you can see that with the two in the photo above, and below as well.

Our drama was so good that it had kids clapping at the end, and begging for more.  Join us next week, we said, and there were groans!  You'll have to come back again, same bat time, same bat channel!  The videos were really good of course, as was the message today, one that follows the themes and ideas of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Our mystery started today outside of the service too - this was our social media campaign, where kids and parents send pictures of them doing things together (like getting ice cream), and in turn they begin to discover clues that reveal whodunnit!  Or, as the weeks go by, at least who didn't do it.  We'll submit our picture some time this week, as Madison is in the dark about who the culprit is.  We'll start that adventure soon enough!  Here's the first email that gets sent out, once parents send a picture of the family out to go and solve the mystery:


The game’s afoot!  Your family looks ready to solve a big mystery!  

Our informant Eddie Von Bonkers has given us a big tip, and it involves ice cream!

Some time this week, he said you’ll find a big clue if you look at a place that serves ice cream.  Take a picture of you and your family there with an ice cream, and send it to, or post it and tag us on Instagram (@kidpak_ga). 

Very soon afterwards, you’ll receive your first big clue!


Daddy is the one responding to all the sleuths out there, and today the emails have been pouring in, with families out to solve the mystery.  Whodunnit?  Only time will tell.  Some time this week, Madison, Mommy and Daddy are going to go get ice cream.  We'll find out that next clue soon enough!

In the meantime, we had two really good services this morning.  Volunteers were coming up to us afterwards, complimenting us on the videos, the worship, the message, the ongoing dramas, and the race segment too - which I just love, by the way.  I'll share more about that later, but it features a race between Irene Adler, Devious Tim and a police officer named Whatshall Thisthen ("What's all this then?").

As within all things, there are messages to be found within the stories of Sherlock Holmes.  "The Hound of Baskervilles" and "The Man with the Twisted Lip" are two stories that we draw from, although we have plenty more.  Today we were talking about the power of observation - seeing God in our lives, and seeing how he is on the case.    Here is an excerpt from the message today:

“Ever since the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. I’m talking about His eternal power and about the fact that He is God. Those things can be seen in what He has made.” Romans 1:20 NIRV

     It’s a great mystery why some would question God or His plans for us. But perhaps those same people don’t have certain powers of observation: It’s elementary, of course! The most famous of detectives at one time could tell so much by a simple glance in your direction: “You’ve been at the school. You’ve eaten fish and chips for lunch. You haven’t done your homework yet.”
     How did he do that? Simple deduction: the books in your hands, the small stain of tartar sauce on your sleeve – and the fact that he spoke with your teacher just moments ago!
     Detective work is all about using your senses, and in a similar way, we use ours to realize the obvious: God is in our lives, working on the case!

     Look for the clues: see how carefully protected our tiny planet is as it hangs delicately balanced in a galaxy of extremes. Observe how we are protected from so much, and all by His grace. In the words of the famous detective himself, observe the flowers. Many other things in life are given to us because we need them: food, shelter, and the oxygen we breathe. Yet flowers are an embellishment – an extra thing for us to enjoy, provided to us by our Creator. Indeed, life is filled with embellishments! Look around: God wants us to enjoy life. All you have to do is use your eyes and see Him in every detail.

     Use your ears as well: A great detective will listen carefully to the sounds all around. What do you hear? If you’re at church, you’ll hear the sounds of worship – of those thankful and grateful for His love. You’ll also hear the sound of testimonies – the voices of those who have stories to tell of His guidance and deliverance. But outside of church, you can hear Him just as much: The earth is alive with sounds of praise!
     When you use your ears and eyes, you’ll discover for yourself the truth about our Creator: He is on the case!   

We had a lengthy volunteer meeting this afternoon, but after that, it was time to go home and rest.  We did a lot today.  There was a bath, studying for math and piano practice as well.  Then there was popcorn, and our yearly viewing of "Wallace and Gromit:  The Curse of the Were-Rabbit."  We've said it before, but this is one of the greatest animated movies ever made.  

Anyway, tonight was early to bed, given that last night was not so early.  We read two chapters of Nancy Drew's adventure, with Nancy trapped in a closet and a villainous couple in the same room, looking for valuable jewels.  This one is a page turner - but we stopped at two chapters, because we were wanting to make sure we got to bed early.  But still, it'd be easy to just keep on reading.  Madison is really into this mystery.  Lots of mysteries going on around here, aren't there?

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Tonight was a fun trip to the Holly Theater in Dahlonega to see "The Addams Family," a musical about our favorite October family (sorry, Munsters).  Gomez and Morticia were fabulous, and you can see Madison was all dressed up and ready for it as well, with her new Wednesday costume!

We've been watching the television series and the first movie this week in preparation, so Madison is all caught up on Addams Family lore.  She's a big fan of Thing, who you can see posed outside the theater here, after the show.

The show itself was a lot of fun!  The musical was great in that there were moments that each character was given to shine a bit, of course focusing on some of the favorites.  I guess that statement really depends on who your favorites are.  The whole family has a lot of character, that's for sure.

Here's Madison with Pugsley.  This is the brother and sister combo that everyone loves, and she's got that look about her like she's about to torture him, which of course is in character.  She was working on that straight facial expression all night, and quite proud of it.  She kept telling me how hard it was to keep a straight face, because she'd keep cracking herself up.

Here she's smiling a bit in front of some of the Addams Family ancestors, who are smiling too.  Wednesday didn't have a straight face all the time - when she was having a bit of mischievous fun, that smile would come out.  Still, nevertheless, her official photo pose seems to be more like this one here with Grandma.

One of our favorite jokes of the musical is that both Gomez and Morticia thought that Grandma was the other one's mother.  So they have no idea who this well-established character, this older woman that's living in their house even is!

Ah, and here's Uncle Fester.  He's one of everyone's favorites, and he has a great, great musical number tonight that's a lot of fun.  They all sang tonight, which isn't exactly in line with the movies or the television show, but it was still a lot of fun!

It was also sold out this weekend, with a lot of folks at the entrance standing there waiting for no-shows.  Lots of people were excited to see the play, and all of them were thrilled to see Madison walking in with her costume.  One of those fans was Wednesday herself:

Here's the girl who played Wednesday, all grown up.  At the end of the play, she's in her wedding dress as you see her here.  She's actually smiling at the end of the production, although she stopped smiling long enough to do a fun picture with Madison here.  Oh, and of course she got to pose with her favorite character, Cousin Itt.

It was creepy, cooky, and altogether ooky.  It was a fun evening tonight, which was just what we needed after a pretty long day at the office.  We spent a long time today working towards Get a Clue, which begins tomorrow.  It's going to be a great service and a great day.  Today was all about gathering costumes, editing videos, getting soundtracks together and getting printed material gathered.  We're ready for tomorrow - ready to Get a Clue!