Archive for the ‘grandparents’ Category


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Office Max got a great boost from their Marketing Department with their little Elf Yourself Holiday promo. My friend Staci surprised us with this cute version starring Darrell, Nora, Lydia and me. Click and Enjoy!!

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This will be my first year in about 20 years that I have not planned and directed a church Fall Festival. Some of you  reading this have spent most of your Halloween nights at The Pumpkin Patch Party, too! However, this year, rather than an alternative Halloween party, our new ministry team opted for a Fall Festival, block party-style in our ministry complex. Click here to see pix and read about it.

So….what to do for a family fall-themed, costumed outing with our two babies (oops- and their parents, of course?) We decided to go to Zoo Atlanta for Boo at the Zoo. It was kind of a lame, let’s-plan-this-thing-at-the-last-minute-when-all-the-animals-are-asleep event. I think all told, there were five or six places to get one piece of candy per child. That is fine for our little girls- but if I was a third or fourth grader expecting to haul in the candy- this was not the place to go. One of the stations gave out some kind of a soy stick that looked like fire-starter. I know the kids were loving that one! The only entertainment was a family dance (we are not dancers,) albeit with a pretty good DJ. I liked it when I heard him over the loudspeaker saying things like, “Go Princess, go Princess” Or, “All the pink strollers now!” This one got most of the boys hopping, “Keep going, Spiderman!” Then of course, the Zoo Atlanta train and carousel were running as well as a special Boo at the Zoo climbing wall for the big kids. It was pretty cute when two elementary aged “ninjas” were climbing at the same time.

Although the event was not anything spectacular (wait a minute, a Snow White-costumed employee of at least 60 years old was quite a sight to behold)- I think our two little girls did have the time of their lives (or of at least this week!) They loved their costumes, and they were both a little mystified/entertained/a bit scared of the costumed throngs at the zoo. Families did really get into the season. One of my favorites was a “fairy grandmother” and her similarly costumed granddaughter (of course, that would be my favorite.) We saw so many cute princesses, Spidermen, zoo animals, witches and pirates.

I do think Jason, Brandy and Nora had the family theme put together better than anyone else I saw.

Introducing, The Family Oz:

And of course, Lydia was the perfect little chef all night long:

Notice her candy collector- a colander! Isn’t Amanda clever?


Nora with Toto and Lydia showing Ratatouille

Here’s the whole fam. It wasn’t the Pumpkin Patch Party, but it sure was a heck of a lot easier! We had a really fun October night together.

Hop over to Amanda’s blog or Brandy’s blog for more details and pictures. My camera battery went out on the first picture I tried to take-so I have borrowed these photos off Amanda’s flickr site.

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Since I’ve been home from my three weeks of travel, I’ve been a little lazy on this blog. As you can imagine, there was three weeks of unpacking to do. Not so much of dirty clothes, but of camp supplies, I-Fest teaching supplies and all the notes, doo-dads and boxes of “stuff” I collected during the three weeks. Darrell and I finally got the last TRUCKLOAD of stuff over to our storage area this weekend. Yea! We can finally walk in the living room.

I also finally got to spend some time with my babies!! Lydia is talking up a storm. And she really knows her grandmama. The other day we took Amanda, Les and Lydia out to eat and she just laid her little cheek against mine for a long time. Tonight I saw her for a minute before bedtime and she wanted me directly beside her the whole time. She wasn’t happy when she knew it was time for bed and Grandmama to leave! What a cutie, cutie, cutie-pie!

As for Nora, other than briefly on the weekend between camp and I-Fest, it had been an entire month since we had seen each other. The day I came back, she and Brandy went to Pinehurst, GA for a week!! Yesterday, I finally got to spend mid-afternoon to mid-evening with her! She was so happy when she saw me she was jumping up and down with both feet at the same time cheering, “Grandmama, Grandmama!!” I was sooooo happy to see her! My heart was starting to hurt because I missed her so much. We did some fun stuff together all afternoon and evening; saw Ratatouille, ate some popcorn & M&Ms, met PaPa for supper (during which she slept the whole time) and to the park with Charmin, our little dog. Everyone once in awhile, I would make a high-pitched squeal and tell her- “That’s what I do when I am so happy to see you!” Later that evening when I dropped her off, she made her version of my high-pitched squeal and said, “Grandmama…Nora.” My heart did flip-flops!

No  one ever  told me I would fall so deeply in love with two baby girls. God is definitely in the grandbaby details!!

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I-Fest is just fabulous- really. The chapel services were inspiring, the evening programs ranged from hilarious to moving to just plain fun. I felt like the workshops I taught, for the most part, connected with the folks attending them. Here’s what I taught:

Drama and Puppetry Together I talk about simple drama basics and terminology. Then we watch and listen to drama resources for puppetry that are available through One Way Street.

Blacklight Puppetry Just what it says! How to technically do a blacklight performance, what materials to buy and use, some cautions and ideas.

Team-Builders, Traditions and Memories A special thanks to Amanda for brain storming this with me, going shopping with me and making a sample of each of the projects for me. Camp Rocks and I-Fest back to back was a little much for me to complete every bit of my prep for I-Fest before I got there! This was a new hands-on class for me- and I thought it was very fun. The workshop attendees told me they enjoyed it and gleaned a lot of fresh ideas from it. I “lectured” for an hour, then we made a team notebook, played 9 Hole Golf (a card game that can be played with a large group, such as a puppet team!), a puppeteer backstage bag out of a tank top and also made a luggage tag out of duct tape. Every self- respecting puppeteer will own or make at least one item out of duct tape during their puppetry career!

Loving Your Kids to Good Behavior This class is better done in a double session- and since we only had one hour, I had to really fly. But the material is good and will be helpful if teachers will put the principles into action in their classrooms.

Here are a couple of photos/videos of some of my favorite people I got to see at I-Fest



My sil Pat as the front person, interacting with her daughter Lindsey and puppet!


Jesus Rocks puppet team performs!    

                 Some Jesus Rocks members: my niece and nephew, Lindsey and Caleb.

Other Jesus Rocks team members watch the practice: my nephew Luke and friend Justine.


        My new niece- Caleb’s wife, Meagan. They met at I-Fest 2 years ago!

Paul Morley, our morning chapel speaker. He is from England and has the best accent. He also uses an interesting teaching technique he calls sketchboarding.


         My faves: Dave and June Privett   Can you believe they are now grandparents!?  I love when people get to join my club!!!  

 Jeff Smith- the most creative person I know.              


Lenny Corliss-Children’s Pastor from Scottsdale, AZ. I went to his morning devotion class everyday. His teaching was so insighftul and rich. It was directly for me, I think!

     Doug and Lee Nearpass: they met at I-Fest and got married; two years ago, I think. Doug is one of the most humble men I have ever met. I am so glad he found such a wonderful lifetime partner in Lee.  

Doug as Noah in his one man show. He and Lee wrote the narration. He performed with vent figures and even played the “voice of God” besides acting as Noah!

          Liz VonSeggen- She has been such a role model for me. I just love and admire her so much!

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