Friday, August 31, 2012

Here Comes Trouble

So Madison and Mommy came by work today, and Madison was full of ideas on what to do with the photo booth feature on the computer here.  Together I think we took about a squillion pictures, with different filters and different results.  The picture above is one of Daddy's favorites:  it was her idea to fold our arms, frown and look at the camera.  And, it was her choice to use that particular filter - I think it came out really well.

There's an art contest coming up for kids her age.  Maybe we can submit this one!

Anyway, today was a work day, obviously.  Daddy did race home to see Madison just before bedtime. A lot was going on at work today, and it was good to see Madison drop in for a bit after school.  This morning, it was SCHOOL PICTURE DAY once again, which meant another hail Mary pass.  Click here if you want to know what I'm talking about there.  Of course, this year she is older and less likely to mess her hair up.  Also, the school pictures are taken earlier in the day - first of all the other grades, in fact.  Mommy had her hair pulled back, and she was wearing a lovely dress - I think the photos will turn out well this year.  We've already selected our package (they make you do that in advance), and it appears this photography studio will let us have a do-over if things don't work out the first time.

Tonight Daddy went to bed early.  We all did, actually.  Before going to bed we all made sure we got a good look at the blue moon outside.  No, it wasn't literally blue though - although when your imagination runs a little wild, it could get that tint of blue about it.  After a bit of research, apparently the moon only actually turns blue when there's volcanic activity about.  So that's probably something we're not looking forward to.  The current definition of a blue moon is a full moon that happens for the second time in a single month.  Which we saw tonight.

Although the older definition is the fourth full moon of the season.  Which makes things a bit more confusing.  Does that mean it's the next full moon?  And why is it called blue?  Why not mauve, or chartreuse.  These questions may never be fully answered.

Anyway, tonight after our blue moon watching, the three of us went up and read a bit, and then went to bed rather quickly.  Really tired lately, but I think that's because we've been getting up so early as of late.  The good news is that we're sleeping well through the night at least - we've got a new series this weekend, so we'll probably be working late again...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

X-Box Fun

Here's a photo of Daddy and Madison visiting the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland - via the Kinect, of course.  We got this game way back at Christmas, and are still nowhere near complete with it.  Part of that reason Madison wanting to go back and ride certain rides over and over again.  Like Neverland, the Matterhorn, and Pirates of the Caribbean.  The game takes pictures of you as you play, and you can keep them for later - so here's a shot of us above.  I love how airborne Madison is there.

It would be completely awesome if they did a version of this for Disney World, which we're very familiar with, of course.  Although they are adding a bunch of real estate to Fantasyland this year, so that might be a reason for waiting.  Still, Disneyland is close enough.  Daddy's been there once, but doesn't remember it much.  Now we go all the time on our television set:  this is amazing technology, really.  She leads the way and dresses up as different characters.  Today, she was Jasmine.  We ran around the park, helping out different characters, and of course visiting several rides.  There are smaller missions that certain characters ask you to accomplish - currently we're doing favors for Cinderella, Pinocchio and Princess Aurora.  It's great because both Daddy and Madison can play at the same time, running around the park, sneaking through a haunted mansion, skiing down the Matterhorn, swimming with Nemo, and my favorite:  flying over London with Tinkerbell.  There are actually a lot of games on this, and so much stuff to do.  It's the current favorite Kinect game right now, actually - although we'll be bowling again soon.

Daddy downloaded another Kinect mini-game, but we haven't gone and played it yet.  Maybe you'll be hearing about that one soon - it has something to do with simulating a Mars landing.  We'll see how Madison does with that one:  maybe that will be our theme for the day.

Madison did have some keyboard practice today, and afterwards, we had  delicious shrimp dinner prepared by Mommy.  We had the X-box on a lot lately, and saw an interesting little option:  we could watch the Republican political convention through the game system - so after Madison went to bed, Mommy and Daddy watched the convention via the X-box.  It's pretty wild, this technology.  I would not have thought I'd be turning on a video game system to watch a political event in Florida live.  But there you go.

By the way, we thought the speeches were good.  It was cool seeing Clint Eastwood there too.

"I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen.  Something that I think is very important.  It is that, you, we -- we own this country.- Clint Eastwood

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Return of the Giant Tater Tot

Where else can you find the "Daniel and the Lion's Den" story retold using a menacing lunch lady and a giant tater tot?  Yep, that's right - we're pretty odd at KidPak.  Tonight's story featured the return of the Baby Dolls, and as you can see above - a giant tater tot.  We've mentioned this character before, but it's been a while since the giant Tater Tot has appeared on stage.  In this instance, he's replacing the lions in the den, and of course he doesn't eat any of the Baby Dolls.

Madison stayed at home again - we get up too early in the morning to take her on Wednesday nights, although there may be some exceptions to the rule in the future.  For example, the Fall Festival at the end of October will have plenty of inflatables, fun and candy.

Daddy worked all day - Wednesdays are the long days - but he came home for lunch to see Mommy and Madison.  Mommy made up some of her wonderful chicken pot pies, and Madison showed off a lot of her new drawings with crayons.  She had a shortened day at school today - they let everyone go home early for planning or something like that.

Last night was a scheduled Daddy-daughter event, but we were concerned about Madison's health, and getting enough sleep.  SO, we skipped it this time around.  As for Madison's health, it's getting much better.  It was just a lot of congestion, really.  And that seems to be going down, so long as she keeps taking the medicine and gets plenty of rest.  We've been good about getting her in bed early.

This morning Daddy told a really fun story to Madison on the way to school.  She asked for a pirate story, and she got a good one about being taken captive by bad pirates out for ransom.  Of course, everyone in the kingdom is out to rescue Princess Madison, but only some other pirates can actually have the knowledge and skill to pull it off.  Enter Angelica and Jack Sparrow.  Meanwhile, Madison actually escapes from the captain's cabin onboard a pirate ship.  She climbs out the window, and clings to the outside walls of the ship and makes her way around to a lifeboat.  She lowers it quietly and starts drifting away from the bad pirates' ship.  Of course, they find out soon enough - and they begin to chase down her little boat.  But of course, who comes to the rescue in another pirate ship, but Jack Sparrow.  His ship and the other pirate ship exchange fire of heavy cannonballs, all the while Madison is rowing her little boat towards safety.  In the end, Madison is rescued by Angelica, who pulls her up onboard a larger boat - and the good guys are able to outrun the bad guys and get away.  A happy ending!

We have fun with stories like that in the morning on our short trip to school.  Sometimes, we just talk or eat the rest of our breakfast.  But sometimes like this morning... she's in the mood for pirates.  Perhaps next time, we'll tell her the tale of the most devious monster out there lurking in the high seas:  the giant Tater Tot!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Madison's 2012 Fashion Collection

Madison was sick today - we made it to school for a little bit, but soon she had to meet the school nurse, who gave Daddy a call.  Fortunately, we were in a good position and location, so Daddy could come get her very quickly.  In fact, waiting at the office to get permission to go back to see the nurse actually took longer than the journey to the school!

Still, we made the most of the morning, despite Mommy being a little under the weather as well.  Madison completed her latest fashion catalogue, as seen in the above movie slide show.  Enjoy the new line of latest fashions- our little designer has been working hard to bring the runway some bold statements in apparel!

"Fashion.  Turn to the left!  Fashion.  Turn to the right!"  - David Bowie

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tarzan at the Library

So today Daddy did a bunch of work again - but this time from home.  We had a nice, quiet morning, and Madison began a new week of school, this time without any color of the day to wear.  We've been getting adjusted to the earlier hours, and in Daddy's case that means going to sleep significantly earlier.  Seriously, we're talking major tired in the evenings!

For those of you who can interpret binary, you'll know that we're planning another secret trip down to Disney in October for the Not-So-Scary Halloween party.  We've gotten Madison's costume, and in the meantime Mommy and Daddy are considering going as Mary Poppins, and Bert (in that order!).  What started out as a mentioning of the trip to Nana and Ye-Ye has turned into something more:  in October, Nana, Ye-Ye, Aunt Shain, David, Jonathan and Hannah are also going.  Yes, that's right.  They've made reservations at Ft. Wilderness, seeing as they are experts at camping and it is more inexpensive for a larger group.

Today we returned to the library after school, and returned some books and movies we picked up earlier.  Madison, as is her custom, sat next to the statues of the kids reading a book - and lo, there they were reading Tarzan again.  This made a bit more sense to her, as we finally saw "Tarzan" the other day.  In that spirit, as soon as we got home, we popped in "Tarzan II" to watch, which Madison also enjoyed.  Truth be told though, she liked the first one best because it featured Jane.  In that spirit, we also picked up Disney's "Tarzan and Jane" sequel, which Mommy and Daddy didn't think much of.  Still, Madison liked it because again:  it had Jane.

Tying the previous two paragraphs together:  Jane is a character that will appear at the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, where Madison doesn't know she's going yet, so hopefully we can get these two together!

Tonight before bed, we continued with our devotional reading, and prayer about the oncoming storm named Isaac.  It's expected to turn to a hurricane over the gulf waters and strike somewhere on the Gulf Coast this week.  As chance would have it, the Republican Convention is taking place on the Gulf Coast this week as well.  So news-wise, it's an interesting week.  Already, the rain is coming, and the temperature more humid...

It's pleasant and quiet though here, although work is a spring of busyness.  We've got so much going on at church, and it's an exciting time to be on board, although in a much smaller, quieter, out-of-the-way spot.

"Now, you stay away from me. Like a very good wild man." - Jane Porter

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Tonight before bedtime, Daddy read the first devotional entry with Madison.  Daddy writes these quite often, so it seemed logical that he should be reading some to her before sleep each night.  The design of each one is to match our series, which go with different themes - so just to make sure Madison enjoyed it a bit more, I picked one with a pirate theme:  "Arrr!"  She seemed to enjoy it, although I have to admit she was a little fidgety from time to time.  I think she's been that way for much of the afternoon.  There have been a lot of spontaneous wrestling matches and tickle fights - all the way up to tonight's feature presentation:  "G-Force."  We watched the guinea pigs go to action tonight - this was Madison's first viewing of it, and she was quite intently focused on all the action going on.  The scene with the FBI cars chasing small guinea pig wheels was pretty dazzling:  she was audibly into it, making oohs and aahs.  Of course, the guinea pigs get away...!

Today was a long day at church, with lots of meetings and so forth.  They finally made the announcement about the new satellite church in Suwanee, which of course will play a part in our future labors here at the church.  Lots going on - more than usual:  it will be interesting trying to keep up!

Coming home to family is always the best part though!  We had a short time together, but we made it count with games and fun.  Madison had done a lot of her homework earlier, and some practice on her piano as well - so she earned some fun time with Daddy.  Of course, that meant Lego Pirates of the Caribbean.  Seriously, she's hooked on pirates right now.  Tonight's adventure had Daddy and Madison as Lian and Park, two twin pirates out for battle in Shanghai.  Unlike the movie, they were quite successful in their endeavors.  They solved puzzles and battled East India Company thugs.  And took baths as well, apparently.  Yes, this level had steam baths, so Madison made sure everyone was clean.

"More steam!" - Sae Feng

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Birthday Bowl

It was Rachel's birthday, and just like last year, we did something really creative:  this time everyone went bowling.  For the first time!  All the girls that were there hadn't tried bowling before, although Madison has had a little experience with Kinect Bowling.  Still, this was something new - and something Mommy loves to do.  You can see her here, carefully guiding Madison along and instructing her in the ways of a Bowling Master.

At one time, Mommy was a bowling master - you can tell when she does the Kinect game at home:  she holds all the records.  Still, Madison was doing well on her own.  You can see here she was able to use a six-pound ball - that's about a quarter of her total weight!

She felt the weight, but never complained.  She only wanted to do one thing:  knock those pins down!  After a few rounds with Mommy's help, she was ready to venture out on her own.  Thus begins the bowling career of our little girl - she's in a league of her own!

This birthday party was right up everyone's alley.  You can see in this shot above that Madison seems to be already putting a bit of a spin on the ball.  With others this afternoon, it seemed to be velocity before accuracy - but with Madison, it was all slow and steady.  The ball sauntered down the alley each time, casually rolling by the scenery until it made it to the pins - would they fall?

Here is a shot of Madison in her moment of triumph.  Carefully watching the ball slide down the alley, she held her breath with the rest of us and watched as suddenly all the pins fell down!  Everyone cheered and clapped - and Madison jumped up and down in victory!

For the record, here's Madison's final score for the afternoon - a 72.  Not bad for a first effort, actually!  The important thing is that she had a lot of fun.  We had cake and plenty of food - and there was also time for games in the arcade there too.  They threw a really, really fun party for Madison - just like last year.

After the party, we went down to the other part of Discover Mall to hit the Disney Store.  Why?  Well, it was time to get our costume for Madison.  It was a choice between Merida and Jasmine, and this year, Jasmine won out.  Madison pointed out the costume, along with the shoes - she was quite happy about it all.  We had a coupon with us, so we saved some money - which we promptly used to buy a pre-order a copy of "The Avengers."

When all was said and done, it was time for Daddy to go to work - late in the afternoon.  Madison did drop by and had a good time with the other guys here, but soon it was time for another appointment.  This time, she was meeting with her new dance instructors for an open house.  Ballet class is starting soon!  Lots and lots going on!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Monsters, Inc.

Madison brought home some of her classwork assignments, which were good of course.  There was a lot of paperwork showing her tracing outlines of various letters and numbers, practicing her writing skills.  She was good with writing the words "purple" and "black."  Some things she needed help with as the color weeks continued.  And some things were downright unusual - like the monsters.  Madison was read a story about a monster - and was given one to color in.  

Of course, she chose red.  And... she gave it angry eyes!  Madison is currently with me right now as I type this.  She's showing me angry eyes as a demonstration!

Next, Madison's task was to create monsters of her own.  Yikes!

This one is pretty strange, although it does start out to have a human form.  That thing up top is an eyeball, according to Madison.  So maybe it's like some sort of deranged purple Mike Wazowski.  It's a drawing that would probably make a Sunday School teacher somewhat concerned.   Although maybe not as much as this monster here:

Mommy asked Madison what those lines were all around this large, pulsating red thing.  Madison said they were legs.  Lots and lots of legs!  It certainly reminds you of a microscopic creature with cilia, and the head up at the top right sort of looks like a planaria.  How'd you like to see one of these coming to see you at night?

Me neither!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Musical Tauntaun

Music practice continues, and things are getting more intense.  One word to describe a silent place, marking a quarter note (other than saying "quarter rest"), is something that sounds like "taun."

So I have absolutely no idea how to spell that.  I've been looking and can't find the word on the internet, although my searching hasn't been longer than five minutes.  Still, we have the word "taun" in our house.  Two quarter rests in a row, and you've got a taun-taun.

Yes, just like the ones from "The Empire Strikes Back."  
Except a little less "musical."
Madison has homework and homework for music class, so her education continues at home.  This has been great to see her learning and practicing, and getting better and better.  Speaking of which, the traffic in the mornings is getting better.  Daddy is getting her there a little earlier, and the line of cars - formerly over a mile long - is getting a bit shorter in length.  Part of that is because of a new strategy employed by the staff at the school, which seems to be working better for all of us.
A few Mondays from now, it is Labor Day.  We intend to wear white after Labor Day as a form of protest, but on the day itself, we've decided to do something special:  we'll go to the museum.  Daddy has never been to Fernbank, but we're all in the mood to see a ginormous dinosaur skeleton.  It's been ages since Daddy has seen one, but he and Mommy have been to the museums in New York and Washington DC.  Not the one in Atlanta though.  All that changes on Labor Day, where we'll hopefully have some fun with Madison exploring and learning more about all sorts of things, including tauntauns!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Work day for Daddy.  Wednesdays are the monster days, but the bright spot is there in the middle when he can go home for a bit for lunch.  Daddy timed his lunch today so that he could see Madison come off the bus.  The additional surprise was a big dinner that Mommy cooked up - tacos and more!  Definitely a good experience going home!

Madison has been doing well at school, and has already met her speech therapist.  We'll be starting that up really soon.  The speech therapist was delighted to see Madison doing some of her speech exercises to help her identify different letters.  Madison is bypassing all the evaluation process for needing a speech therapist, as it is pretty apparent her situation is more unique.  Again, hints of apraxia.  Mommy and Daddy are on standby, ready to do whatever we can at a moment's notice.

Speaking of a moment's notice, the funny thing with Madison lately is the hiding.  Daddy comes home - and immediately Madison runs and hides behind the island counter in the kitchen.  Every time.  So Daddy walks in every single day, wondering where Madison is.  Surely she's not hiding behind the island counter there.... BOO!  Madison jumps out and scares Daddy.  This happens every single day, and is hilarious!

Meanwhile, piano practice yesterday was good.  Getting more intense, which means that Mommy and Daddy are along for the ride, getting really into it as well.  Mommy is dragged, kicking and screaming, into becoming a piano virtuoso!

Life is good.  It's still a little on the busy side, but we have more time to do things in the morning while Madison is at school - the house is getting it's act together, one room at a time.  The tomato garden out back has run it's course, and soon we'll actually be putting the fall decorations out.  The weather is cooler now, or at least more reasonable.  The clouds have been full, heavy and just beautiful suspended there in the blue sky - it's been a pretty week!

So this month's series, "School Days," is nearly over - and it's like it never happened.  Fortunately, it did happen a few years ago, and things worked out well.  This time around, we just didn't get to see too much of it, because of the cruise in week one, and then the following weeks of changed plans in the main auditorium.  One week remains, and we'll try to do something fun with it.  The set is outstanding, as you can see in the photo above - it only gives a little glimpse of part of the stage, but there is a lot of detail and energy in it.  The new series coming up is one we're pretty excited about:

It's called "Miracles."  We've got a guy coming in who has that "Jesus look" about him - he's a teacher from nearby who sort of looks like Kenny Loggins!  Anyway, the kids of KidPak don't know him as much, so he won't be seen as a KidPak character pretending to be Jesus.  The set is going to be fantastic, as if we're going to Israel for a month - can't wait to share some pictures.  Already the messages are looking fantastic - all about miracles.  Wonder if he healed anyone of apraxia?  He still heals, I know that.  Daddy suffered with kidney stones for years - in fact one particular Christmas, I remember staying up all night in pain.  I know that pain, and I know what to do - it became pretty regular where I was going to the hospital, while drinking lots and lots of fluids to flush things out.  The problem started as I worked at the amusement park:  lots and lots of work outside, and lots of drinking of carbonated beverages.  Those too - in excess - don't work together.  Heredity and bad choices caught up with me, and I had a few years of torment with these little buggers.

Anyway, one day after our annual twenty-one day fast, there was a prayer service for people who needed healing.  Typical Daddy didn't want to go up there for prayer - name the reason, really.  Bottom line is I didn't have much faith in it.  But Mommy shoved him up there, because that is what Mommy does.  Daddy waited and was prayed for.  I felt nothing.  Zilch.  I returned to my seat, feeling just the same as I did when I left.

And yet... I never had kidney stones again.  It's been ten years.

I guess the thing to learn here is about obedience.  Daddy did fast, and though he was shoved, Daddy did go up for prayer.  It was somewhat like Naaman dipping in the river.  You can see him shuffling his feet, looking up and saying, "Whatever!"  And yet he did what he was told, despite the complete lack of faith and a complaining spirit.  Yet the Israelite servant tells him to do it anyway, just like Mommy did.

I felt no jolt of electricity, no overwhelming presence and heard no voice saying YOU ARE HEALED.

But a few days later, I noted the pain was not really there anymore.  And a few day after that I took note of it still.  Weeks later, I wondered if it would return.  But years later, it did not.  Daddy could have been from Missouri, the "show-me-state."  Believing is seeing, sometimes.  Although I had faith to believe it could happen, that was about it:  it really was mustard seed-sized faith.

Daddy, the skeptic, was healed.  Here's an excerpt I wrote for the upcoming series:

Nearly two thousand years ago on the other side of the world, the greatest miracle of all occurred and it would shake the very foundations of the earth. That miracle grew to be a man who would do amazing and wonderful things wherever he went. That man was Jesus, the Son of God. He came to live among all of us – and wher- ever he went, miracles followed. The lame could rise and walk again. The deaf could immediately hear clearly the word as he spoke. And the blind could suddenly see the way, the truth and the life standing before them.

But the greatest miracle of all was this: He came. Jesus came to earth in the form of man to save us from ourselves. You see, because of sin, no one could fill the great big gap between God and us. But God’s love for us was so great that He sent His only Son.

This is quite simply the greatest miracle of all. But the miracles didn’t end there. No, wherever he is today, you can still find ... miracles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ascii Madison

Recent trips to the lung specialist have been certainly different.  One funny thing about this state-of-the-art doctor's office is that they still use these ancient printers from the 1980's.  Apparently, they print the forms the most ideal way for that office.  

Daddy remembers these printers quite well, and how they could even make images using the symbols, letters and numbers put together.  Inspired, here's an image of Madison created by an ascii art generator online:


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rusty's Learning to Listen, Part Eight

You're looking at one of the most revered guys in the construction business.  His name is Rusty, and he helped build this house he's standing in front of.  But wood eating insects called termites have damaged the integrity of this once fine structure.  That's why today, he's going to blow it up.

"Rusty's Learning to Listen, Part Eight" is legendary in our house - we even used it during our church service at one point.  All the kids were intently listening to Rusty, because yes, they wanted to see that house get blown up.

Fast forwarding to today, Madison got a chance to see this video for the first time.  Another co-worker mentioned it in an email, which sort of brought the whole thing to mind.  Fortunately, there are a few other fans of it online, so I was able to quickly bring the video up on this computer.  Madison and Daddy sat together, and the funny thing was this:  Madison was answering Rusty each time he posed the question:  "Are you listening?"  Then, of course, the most important question:  "If I blow this house up, will you promise to behave - and mind your mommy and daddy?"

Madison enthusiastically answered yes.

So Rusty blew the house up.

I know what you're thinking:  What a great moment in our house, right?  It's funny that Madison hadn't seen that yet - it's such a funny video for us, although I'd completely understand if someone else didn't quite get it.

Another first coming up - and this is another big thing:  Spam.  Madison likes ham, so we're trying this out in a sandwich for lunch.  We'll keep you posted, but tomorrow will be the first day she'll try Spam.  Oh yes, big moment there!

Today, Daddy dropped Madison off at school again, but this time walked her in.  We were somewhat concerned about her health today, as she had some sniffles and a slight fever over the weekend.  It turns out we didn't need to worry today:  Madison came home quite healthy and happy, and all was well in the world.

Homework tonight featured the letter "O," and a scavenger hunt for items that begin with said letter.  Also on the menu:  more piano practice.  Madison's challenge:  "I can play better than Mommy."  Yes, it's getting personal!  We were sort of feeding off of her competitive nature there, and all of the sudden it's become a competition to see who can play better.  It's hilarious to listen to her lecture Mommy about how playing the piano is really done!

Tonight before bed, it was time for a manicure.  Madison had her nails done, and is by now a complete pro at sitting still and admiring Mommy's handiwork.  We used this nail polish that we got at Del Sol, a store in the Bahamas that sells all kinds of items that change color when hit by sunlight.  In this case, her nails will actually change color when in the sun.  It should be neat to see tomorrow!

Finally, before bed, we played more Lego Pirates.  I know what you're thinking:  again?  Well, Madison is earning her Mom Bucks by playing the piano a lot, and also doing her homework.  On one hand, we had other ideas - but for this week, she's been so into Jack Sparrow and company that we just had to let her play once more.  So Daddy and Madison set sail on another adventure:  tonight's conquest was to watch the sunset - and look for the green flash on the horizon.  Did we see it?

Yes we did - on the television.  But we didn't see one outside.  Actually, we've never seen a green flash on the horizon.  Also, I might note here that we did not see a green flash when we were on the cruise, which was probably the best chance to see one.  The skies were a bit overcast for that, although there were some good sunsets.  It's probably a good thing there wasn't a green flash:  we wouldn't want to have the Flying Dutchman sailing up alongside us.  You know that sort of thing is bound to freak somebody out.

"Ever gazed upon the green flash, Master Gibbs?" 
- Captain Hector Barbosa

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Tooth Fairy

     Check out the fairy dust on the window sill - we had our first tooth fairy visit sometime during the night!

     This morning's visit was fun.  As you can see, Madison enjoyed it.  She got about two dollars in quarters from the Tooth Fairy, plus a nice note.  The fairy dust on the window sill was a nice touch - fortunately Daddy left the window unlocked last night.  Don't worry:  the only people getting into Madison's room were those that can fly.

     Madison quietly read in her room this morning until Mommy awoke.  Daddy snuck off to work at church, a longer but pretty stress-free sort of day.  Madison stayed home because she had a bit of a cold this weekend - in fact, she's listed as day-to-day for school.  Tomorrow when she wakes up, we'll see how she's doing.  It's a slight fever and a bit of a runny nose.  These are things to expect the first week of school.  Classrooms are a harvest of viruses, aren't they?

     Again, fortunately, it's not that bad this time around.  Remember, she's had mono at the beginning of the year, so something like this is no big deal.

     Piracy ruled the day again - at least after piano practice.  Jack Sparrow really left his mark on Madison, who was wanting to use her Mom Bucks to go play some more Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, all while dressed up as Elizabeth, the Pirate Queen.  Who happens to be missing one tooth.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Molinator

Today was a busy work day for Daddy - though Saturdays should be taking an abrupt change relatively soon.  This would be the only day to spend with Madison from this point on, so Daddy may be shifting from Saturdays to Mondays in regards to work schedule.

But that's not the big news of the day:

Madison lost her first tooth today!  It was wiggly in the morning when Daddy left for work, and upon returning home in the afternoon for a bit... she showed me the evidence!

It looks like tonight we're getting a visit from the Tooth Fairy.  Or the Molinator, as he likes to occasionally be called.  Now, I'm not entirely sure if we'll have a visit from The Rock or the Molinator. If it were up to Madison and Mommy, it'll probably be a more feminine Tooth Fairy.  Evidently, there are quite a few tooth fairies out there.  We'll see who shows up - hopefully, we can snap a photo if there's a visitation tonight.  You just know there'll be a visitation - this is a first tooth, so it's kind of a big deal!

 Tooth Fairy:  "The Molinator. I like it. Thank you, Santa. Can we vote right now on The Molinator?"


Here's the sermon intro that Josh developed for us for the series School Days, which we've been enjoying this month at KidPak.  The idea was to coincide this series launch with the new school year's launch.

Madison's first week at school has been a good one.  Today's color was blue, so Madison wore her Olympic-themed shirt and looked pretty cute in it!  We actually got there to the school about ten minutes earlier, and still waited in line for about a mile.  Again, that is not an exaggeration - but that's the thing at schools lately, I guess.   I don't remember that growing up, but then again I rode the bus.

There are plenty of reasons we drop Madison off at school.  Number one:  she actually gets an hour more of sleep.  Sure, we could get her to bed earlier, but in order to get enough sleep each night, she'd have to go to bed at 7:00 - 7:30, which is pretty early.  Example:  the other night was our Back-to-School Bash at church.  It was a thing for kids, and it started at 7:00 pm.

Another reason is safety:  we're not 100% yet the bus.  The other day, Madison almost got off at the wrong stop.  The bus driver would have let her get off too, if it wasn't for a neighbor who spotted the error.  Imagine the terror there, if she had actually gotten off at the wrong stop:  the bus arriving at our stop, and Madison not on it.

Finally, the school is less than five minutes away.  Which is one of the reasons we moved here, actually.  It's pretty conveniently close!

Anyway, while she's still young and new at this, we'll drop her off at school.  I know we're contributing to the long lines in the morning, but Madison is very young still, and for the time being this is the best strategy for her.  Later on, we'll do the bus thing in the morning.

Madison came home with a little fever this afternoon.  Medicine helped, and she was feeling better after a bit - but she has a cough, and we're all thinking, "Here we go again!"

Fortunately, she doesn't seem that bad.  In fact, when Daddy got home she was propped up on the couch watching more "Jake and the Neverland Pirates," the copy we found at the library yesterday.  We tried to hide that on the way home, but she still found out about it somehow.  It was supposed to be a surprise, little stinkerpot!  We'd best be careful at Christmastime now, eh?

Anyway, the rest of the night was spent in piracy.  Ever since meeting Jack Sparrow, it's been all pirate for Madison.  Jake and the Neverland Pirates didn't make the pirate fever go down any:  this DVD had a Pirate Princess in it.  That's why Madison went upstairs to get her pirate queen outfit to wear the rest of the night.  We popped in the Lego Pirates game again, and even watched a few snippets from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies here and there (the ones that seemed safest to Mommy and Daddy).  Yes, we had our own Buccaneer Blast right in our own home!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fashion Plates

Madison has a realistic drawing style - and then there are gems like these, where she just explores the possibilities with crayons.  Here, she's trying out different fashion styles - you can see the figures beneath, and then the colorful outfits on top.  Also, note that lipstick and rouge are important to have when dressing up.

These aren't quite the fashion plates that were around when we grew up - in fact, these are probably better.  I think that this Christmas we'll be looking into getting some fashion plates for Madison to design with.  Maybe she'll be the next big fashion designer!

Today's color was green at school.  Madison wore her colors proudly - it's not easy being green.  Today was historic in that she had her first trip to the school nurse.  It seems that in PE she hit her head on the floor while doing a bit of running around, so she made a trip to see the school nurse to see if everything was alright.  A cold compress later, she was back in action with the rest of the kids.

Meanwhile, Daddy and Mommy enjoyed the day together, driving down to Buford to pick up birthday presents for Uncle David and Nana as well.  We ate at Steak and Shake, and did a bit of exploring too. There was a lot of quiet time in the house this morning - still getting used to not having Madison around so much!

This morning we had a funny moment on the way to school.  We have a really, really long line to wait in to get to school for the drop off.  While waiting, Madison has been eating what's left of her breakfast in the back seat - muffins, vitamins, dry cereal, etc.  So Daddy was hurrying her along a bit, and told her to keep eating a bit.

Which is when Madison gave her impersonation of Mrs. Claus:  "Eat Papa, eat!"

It was laugh-out-loud funny!

Later on tonight, we played Stitch's Trouble game again, which Madison really likes a lot.  This was the first time that Daddy won the game, although it was close.  This morning, Madison was wanting to play a board game when we got home from school, so Trouble it was!

But that's the only trouble we had today.  Just before that, she earned her board game time with a bit of piano practice.  Things are moving along very quickly there - already we're shifting our hands to the left, starting with the sol key.  If that makes no sense to you, don't worry:  it makes no sense to us either!  Seriously, we're doing some new stuff there, which is moving along quickly!  Madison is quick to adapt, maybe quicker than we ourselves are!

So after that we actually went to the library.  Mommy and Daddy went to vote, and we figured it would be good to pick up a few books and movies while we were there.  In the front of the library, as you know there is a small statue of kids reading a book on a bench.  In case you're wondering what they're reading, it's "Tarzan."

Madison hasn't seen the Disney cartoon "Tarzan," although she's seen him here or there at the parks.  During the cruise, there was a part of the Golden Mickeys where Tarzan appears, swinging around on vines.  Anyway, tonight we watched that before bedtime.  Madison enjoyed the movie quite a lot, laughing a lot and getting close to Daddy during the thrilling parts.  It was neat to watch her enjoying the movie so much.

Tonight before bed, of course, the made-up story was straight from the jungle.  Madison was swatting monkeys that were chasing her - she was using her umbrella, and of course she was rescued by Tarzan.  The two swung from tree to tree on vines, and of course there was a happy ending when they arrived safely at the camp.  Madison liked the story so much, she said that's the end of part one.  Translation:  more tomorrow night - another exciting chapter with the Jungle King!

"Shall I, ahem, leave you and the blackboard alone for a moment?"
- Professor Porter

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


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"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Orange Fabulous

Today's color was orange, which Madison wore well.  Actually, she wears everything well - she's like our little Sharpay.  I make that reference because we watched that recent Disney movie tonight:  "Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure."  Although Sharpay would wear pink, and not orange.

Anyway, I don't think we have pink this week at kindergarten.  In fact, tomorrow's color is yellow.

Madison is enjoying kindergarten, no matter what color she wears.  She even told us she made a new friend today.  His name is Jacob, and he has Batman on his book bag.  Instant cool mark for Jacob, at least in Madison's book.

Today after school, Mommy was there to pick Madison up.  In order to be thirtieth in line to pick up Madison, Mommy had to get there at the school forty-five minutes early.  I don't remember pick-up and drop-off to be that big of a deal while I was in school myself, but this week has been a real eye-opener for us:  The line to drop off Madison was - and I am in no way making this up - one mile long at least.  It stretched behind the school, and then back again to the front, and then made it's way out onto the road and down to an intersection.  That's where Daddy's jaw first dropped as he got in line.  Like... wow!

Of course, Madison was a few minutes late.  But so were the forty cars behind us.  At least there was still someone there to guide Madison along to her classroom.  Tomorrow morning, we'll have to try to get there much earlier.

Anyway, the reason why Mommy was there to pick Madison up was this:  music class.  It was the return to Mrs. Pam's class!  Yes, she's got homework there already too.  But she did have a good time.  It sounds like we have a whole lot to learn though, so we'd better get cracking.  We've got more Mom Bucks to earn, that's for sure!

Today was Nana's birthday - that's Daddy's mom.  Madison called up today (with a little help from us), and sang her the whole song.  It was very sweet.  She's getting better and better with her speech - and her singing.  Of course, she's had a lot of practice with that particular song.  But I think the speech therapy has been really helping her out tremendously.  

Tonight's dinner, by the way, was fantastic.  Or, to quote Sharpay, "fabulous!"  Sure it was just a crock-pot entry:  chicken dumplings.  Mommy's time is severely limited on Tuesdays, soon to be even less as ballet class approaches.  So it makes sense to try out the old crock-pot.  But boy, that's the sort of food that's perfect on days like this.  

This morning at about 5:30 or so, a huge thunderstorm came through.  I don't know about the rainfall amount, but I do know that this was one of those storms that shook the house.  That type of thunder is pretty infrequent, but when it comes around you really start wondering what's going on out there.  Fortunately, it was just noise to us.  But I am not kidding:  the house shook.  We were all up pretty early this morning, except for Madison.  She was proudly telling us how much she slept last night, nearly rubbing it in our faces.  

That's when she put on her orange, and marched down the stairs, looking fabulous of course.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lorax Mustache

Mommy was pretty excited to pick up a copy of "The Lorax" this week, and Madison was pretty happy to see it when she brought the movie home.  One reason was this swell Lorax Mustache that actually came with the package.  It comes with an elastic band, so you can proudly wear your large yellow mustache around while doing chores, going shopping, and of course, watching "The Lorax."  Note:  you may not want to wear it while eating pasta with tomato sauce.

Today's theme color at school was red, which Madison wore proudly.  Tomorrow is orange, which Mommy is on top of right now.  You could say we watched "The Lorax" in preparation for orange day, right?  Anyway, she's getting her clothes ready the night before, along with setting up things like breakfast.

Tonight, Madison had her first homework!  These were a couple of assignments that we jumped on top of right away:  the first was a challenge to find a bunch of objects that start with the letter "c."  Mommy and Madison found all sorts of things in old coloring books, and activity books too.  They identified these things (such as carrots, cats, and cheese), cut them out and pasted them on a worksheet.  Another activity was the "me" bag.  Daddy printed out Madison's picture (not the one withe the Lorax mustache), and pasted it to the paper bag.  Then, Madison was asked to put four things inside that represented her.  One object was a picture of she and Jack Sparrow.  Another was a Golden Mickey - these were golden Mickey-shaped papers that descended from the ceiling during the Golden Mickey show on the cruise.  We'll have an object in there representing China, of course.  And one more thing which we'll figure out soon enough.  Anyway, there's your first homework assignment:  the first of many for years to come.

"Awww. How nice to see someone so undeterred by things like reality." 
- Once-ler