Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jupiter and the Girls

I found a bunch of pictures on Jessica's old tablet (she got a new one for Christmas) that she had taken back in August of herself and Elyse with Jupiter. Here are some of my favorites:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

We traditionally spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning (some years most of Christmas day) with my parents, the girls' Granny and Pa. Here are a few pictures from this year's Christmas Eve and Christmas morning:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Smoke Rise Christmas House

This afternoon we went to Stone Mountain to enjoy a little more of the Stone Mountain Christmas experience, this time mostly in the Plantation (which isn't called that anymore), but also in the Crossroads area. I didn't get any pictures of that, however.

What I did get some pictures of was our stop at the "Christmas house" (as we call it) off of Silver Hill Road in the Smoke Rise area of Dekalb County; this was, we think, or fifth annual visit:

What tied the two stops--Stone Mountain and the Christmas house--together were the friendly cats we met at both places. One of the barnyard cats wanted attention from the girls at Stone Mountain, and a friendly black and white cat named Oreo followed us around for a few minutes at Smoke Rise.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

JC Magill Evening of the Arts

Tonight we went to the Evening of the Arts at the girls' school, J.C. Magill. The girls did various arts and crafts, and Elyse got a Christmas tree painted on her cheek:

Monday, December 5, 2016

Vines Gardens Haiku 11

Slumbering giant
wakes and slowly emerges
from the rain-soaked earth.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Concert

One of my favorite things about Christmas is the music, and I especially love going to Christmas concerts. For several years I went to the Gwinnett Choral Guild's Christmas concerts, but, sadly, the Gwinnett Choral Guild called it quits in 2015. However, last year I found a wonderful replacement: the Gwinnett Young Singers. I loved their Christmas concert last year, and tonight I went to their 2016 Christmas concert, and it, too, was wonderful.

In the past, when I was a reasonable person, it would have been enough to go to the concert and enjoy it, but now I have a smart phone, and therefore felt compelled to take pictures of the event. So here are some of them:

(To tell you the truth, I took pictures specifically to create this blog post. Years from now I know I will enjoy looking through the books I have printed of this blog and seeing the kinds of things I used to do, and I hope I will see entries in later years about bringing my daughters with me to these concerts.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas Decorations 2016

Today we decorated for Christmas!

This coming Monday, we all have to go back to school (half of us as students, half as faculty) after having a week off for Thanksgiving; decorating helped make that fact a little more bearable.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving Feast at J.C. Magill

Today I went to the girls' school to have lunch with Elyse for their Thanksgiving Feast! And afterwards Elyse and I went to the book fair, though that was a bit of a disappointment since it was an Usborne book fair and not a Scholastic book fair, and Elyse wasn't impressed with their selection. (She still managed to spend nearly all of her $20, though.)

(Unfortunately, I couldn't go to the Thanksgiving Feast yesterday with Jessica's class because I had to teach. Under other circumstances I might have cancelled my class to have lunch with Jessica, but this was the last class meeting my Tuesday classes would have before their research papers were due, and the next-to-the-last meeting for the whole semester, so I really couldn't cancel.)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stone Mountain Christmas 2016

Today we went to Stone Mountain for the opening day of Stone Mountain Christmas for 2016. It's not that we are so taken with it that we had to go on opening day, it's just that we could get free passes this weekend for up to four guests, and we had three guests in mind: Granny, Pa, and Jeff.

We enjoyed it. Jeff hadn't been to Stone Mountain in years, so the Crossroads area was all new to him, as was Snow Mountain (which isn't open yet, but is nearly finished). We road the train, and for the first time (with the girls, anyway), we rode in a closed car, which is if nothing else warmer than being in one of the open cars (it was slightly chilly today).

Jessica didn't bring a camera, so there aren't any pictures of me, but here are some of the pictures I took:

(How can you look that unenthusiastic when there are giant cookies in front of you?) 

(Climbing on the giant rock in the parking lot is as much a draw for our girls as anything else.) 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Vines Gardens Haiku 10

The path before me
curved and strewn about with leaves
Solitary walk

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Vines Gardens Haiku 9

Vines Gardens greenhouse
comes noisily crashing down--
Misty fall morning.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Tonight we went to Granny and Pa's house to go trick-or-treating (or at least so Jessica and Elyse could). This has been our Halloween tradition for eight years now, but this year was a little different: Granny and Pa weren't there. Mom and Dad were on vacation in Myrtle Beach.

Still, it's our tradition to trick-or-treat in their neighborhood, and we wanted to continue that even if it was just the four of us. (We all agreed, though, that's it's much better when Granny and Pa are there.)

I didn't take a lot of pictures, but the girls were in the same costumes they were wearing last Friday night. The first picture below is me and Elyse waiting in the car while Anna and Jessica went into Subway to get their supper for the evening.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Costumes

Tonight we went to Granny and Pa's house for supper (sesame chicken -- as Elyse calls it, "Chinese chicken" -- and sweet and sour chicken from Oriental Garden), and then we tried to go to downtown Lawrenceville to do trick-or-treating on the square, but, oh!, the traffic, and, oh!, the hundreds of people! (Maybe even thousands. No kidding, it was BUSY!) So instead of stopping in Lawrencville--I'm honestly not sure we could have found a parking space anyway--we turned round and stopped at Publix and got Halloween cupcakes and Halloween cookies and came home and watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Elyse was terribly disappointed we didn't get to go trick-or-treating, but she would have been miserable standing in the lines that snaked all the way down the sidewalk just to get a tiny bit of candy.

Even though we didn't get to trick-or-treat, the girls did get dressed up ("I got dressed up all for nothing!" Elyse said in the car as we drove home, butI told her she got dressed up so Granny could see her in her costume, since Granny and Pa will be in Myrtle Beach on the real Halloween. Elyse didn't find this convincing.). Here's what they looked like at Granny and Pa's house:

Elyse has had her costume for weeks, but Jessica just got hers this afternoon at Walmart. Anna was dressed up for her pirate-themed book fair at school.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Vines Gardens Haiku 8

Beaver or vandal?
Either way, the tree is dead.
Sad chilly morning.