Friday, May 21, 2010


The countdown is officially on. In just three more days, Ryan, Evan, & I will be boarding a plane to fly directly from Jackson to Orlando, where my folks will pick us up and drive us to Cocoa Beach. My sister and her husband will be meeting us a few days later. Ahhh..I can just about smell the salt water and feel the ocean's breeze. I must admit, I am a little nervous about flying with an 18 month old, but I've sought lots of advice from mommies who have done this before, so we should be okay. I've even borrowed some airport "musts"--car seat carrier, car seat cover (in case we end up checking it), umbrella stroller--and stocked up on new toys and treats. I figure an hour & 45 minutes in the air can't be that bad (at least I'm optimistic!). Truthfully, Evan's a pretty chill kid, so I'm hoping that helps.

Perhaps what I'm most nervous about is Evan actually liking the beach this year. The photos below are his first encounters with the beach and pool when he was about 7 months old. He wasn't too fond of the sand, the hot sun, or the cool water. Because of last year's results, we've been "practicing" for the beach (he has unfortunately inherited his mommy's lack of spontaneity). We've put on his beach shoes to practice walking in them, visited the local sand box at the park, and played in his tiny inflatable pool, which we plan to take to the beach. I promise I'll report the results of the flight and beach after we return!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I heart Thursdays

I don't think Thursday would win a popularity contest among the days of the week. It seems to go by unnoticed, and I admit, I really used to view Thursdays as a means to an end--the weekend, that is (sorry, cannot resist an obvious pun). Now, however, my tune has changed. Thursday has become one of my favorite days of the week. Around the Dean household, Thursdays are our "Family Day" in celebration of Ryan's day off after his Wednesday night youth group event. We try to use our Family Day to explore more of this land foreign to us...the great state of Mississippi.

Take today for example. We went to an outdoor arts & crafts festival in Canton. Canton is a great little town with quite a famous square (famous because it was where the movie "A Time to Kill" was shot, starring Sandra Bullock & Matthew McConaughey) and is a great "day trip" from Jackson. I put day trip in quotation marks because in Atlanta, the fact that Canton is considered a day trip would be laughable seeing as it's a less than 30 minutes from our front door. We had fun shopping around, although we only bought food--cajun crabcakes (mmm!), local honey, and of course, FUDGE (I am a true southern belle).

Some of our day off activities so far have included: the Jackson Zoo, Vicksburg (to see the Mississippi River), a couple different state parks, the Jim Henson exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Art, and of course, today's festival. We're always checking out local food joints, too. Evan's favorite? Probably the zoo. He had never seen so many funny looking "dogs" (his word for most four legged creatures).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Art Show & Talent Show & Karaoke--Oh My!

Last Saturday night, we had "Call to Artists Night" for the youth at Redeemer. About a month ago, Ryan gave the students a page of scriptures based around the theme of creation as inspiration for them to create some form of art: painting, photography, sculpture, poetry, etc. Saturday was their night to bring their art to share. We had a decent amount of participation seeing that this was the first time to host such an event (we're pretty sure a good many were nervous about participating and wanted to see what it was all about). I have a creative project of my own following this event. I've been collecting picture frames from yard sales, which I will spray paint black and place the art in to display in our youth room. I'll post pictures once it's done!

Evan attended the event with me and particularly enjoyed the talent show portion, which involved performances such as piano, dance, poetry readings, and a monologue. Hands down his favorite was a modern ballet dance to an African beat (he's a sucker for drums!). You should've seen the smile on his face as the girl danced. He loved it!

The evening ended appropriately with some good ol' karaoke. Nothing makes a good youth event like beginning with artistic expressions of Creation, and ending with songs like "Car Wash" by Rose Royce and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" by Beyonce. Ahh...gotta love it.