Sunday, October 17, 2010

October is rocking right along!

The weather is crazy!  It's cold in the morning and hot as blazes in the afternoon...so hard to dress!  I did notice that the leaves are starting to change, the days are getting shorter and there is an occasional glimpse at fall like weather...I'm ready for it!

Dee Wallace
Scout Compton
Lisa Loring aka Wednesday Addams

Atrox has been up and running for 3 weeks and the celebrities have been so much fun!  I've had 2 give me their phone numbers and invite me to stay with them in Los Angelas...who knows...I might take them up on it....it was Dee Wallace and Lisa Loring...Dee was the mom in ET and Cujo and Lisa was Wednesday Addams...
Butch Patrick aka Eddie Munster
 
So today was one of my favorite events...the Buddy Walk...a walk to support the National Downs Syndrome Society...many teachers joined the team to walk in support of our 3rd grade friend, Korey.  He really likes catfish so our team name was Korey's Catfish...it was a beautiful day and I think children with Down's are possibly the most precious children in the world!

Love to all!
MJ

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Fall Y'all!!!

Wow!  I am the laziest blogger EVER!!!  Sorry for the lack of information...but I have been busy living life and enjoying most minutes of it...

Let's see if I can get you all caught up...

Got serious about being fit this year...started in March with Scale Back Alabama and I continue to work at it...have lost 40 lbs, hit the gym as much as I can and still watch what I eat...I have no clothes that fit me anymore...which is great, except I have no $ to buy new ones and now I kinda look pitiful...buying a few items at a time...will clean out my closet next weekend...

Had a GREAT time in New York this summer...worked hard and played hard...had 4 friends visit over the course of 2 weekends...saw 3 broadway shows...volunteered with the Operation Boathouse group and learned how to kayak and then taught how to kayak in the Hudson River...too much fun!  Lots of hard work in school but ended up with a 4.0 for the summer!  Working on my Master's project now and can't wait to start writing it up!  Working with regular ed students and special ed students in an art club atmosphere...they have paired off to collaborate on art projects of their choosing...it is truly a great project and I LOVE Friday mornings more than anything else!  Morphed the idea from VSA Art Partners program and I'm working with them to develop teacher training materials for professional development opportunities!

School started the 1st week of August this year...we are completing our first 9 week grading period so that means we are 1/4 of the way through the year!

The haunted house season has begun...opening weekend at The Atrox Factory was small but fun...we have many celebrities coming in this year and as you know it is my job to keep them happy...here is the lineup...Scout Taylor Compton from Rob Zombies Halloween Remake.

Next weekend we have Dee Wallace...the mom from ET...she was also in Cujo, The Howling and some Rob Zombie movies...

Then we have Butch Patrick and Lisa Loring...also known as Eddie Munster and Wednesday Adams...they use to date...this should be fun!










Sid Haig is an interesting character...also appears in lots of Rob Zombie movies...












And last but not least, we have Brett Wagner...he was just in The Crazies
and Pass Time...big boy!

Don't let his looks fool you...I hear he is a big ol' teddy bear!


Football season is ROLLing right along and the Tide is strong!  Love, love, love this time of year!

Okay, I guess that gets you caught up with my life...now what is going on with you?

Much love to you all!
MJ





Monday, July 5, 2010

Wow! Busy but Fun week!

This week was the crazy week of classes....we start each summer with an intense class that lasts only 4 days!  Last year it was ethics and philosophy (yuck!) but this year it was grant writing...something I have a little experience with and I don't mind doing it...the only problem was this class was taught on a National Grant Writing level...WOW!  But, I turned in my final paper last night via email...so now on to Research and Organizaational Development....but my favorite upcoming class is Printmaking at Parsons!

On Saturday I spent the day volunteering for an organization called Downtown Boathouse, this is a group of volunteers who provide free kayaking in the Hudson River at 3 different locations...Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am-5:00pm!  I went down to the dock at 11:00 and got home at 6:00pm...had not planned on staying the whole day but was having so much fun!  Being a volunteer I got to use the upgraded kayak to go down the river....now I have NEVER been in a kayak but I have canoed on many occasions and whitewater rafted...kayaking is a blast but I'm not sure I could do it in rough waters...at least not yet!

When I got home I took a quick power nap, showered and went to the ballet at the Lincoln Center...now I am not a huge ballet fan but the tickets were free (an alumni from Bank Street works for the American Ballet Company) and to my  surprise Ethan Stiefel was in the company!  For those of you who love Center Stage (movie) he was the hip hop cool ballet choreographer - Cooper!  There were 3 ballets and 2 of them were Choreographed by Twyla Tharp and Jerome Robbins!  They were fabulous!  When I left the Lincoln Center I encountered an art project in progress....for the past 2 weeks there have been pianos placed in various spots around Manhattan to encourage people to play, to share their talents and interact with each other...each piano was "adopted" by volunteers who make sure it is covered during bad weather and just check on it day to day...there were people sitting on steps listening to some of the most talented piano players I have ever heard...people were singing, making requests and just enjoying being outside and listening to music!  It was awesome....2 blocks away I came across another piano...this one appeared to have a group organizing a sing-a-long!  I stopped and enjoyed 2 hours of showtunes...about 200 people were gathered and having a great time...some even got up and improvised a dance line! Video is below...sorry the quality is not great!  What a great project!  Sad it will be over today...my friends who are visiting will miss it by 3 days :(

video

July 4th! Last year I went down to the river with about 40,000 other people to watch the Macy's Fireworks...it was awesome but trying to get back home was CRAZY!  This year I decided to get on one of the boats in the River...so I purchased my ticket...got dressed in my white skirt and red/blue top and made my way from the upper west side to the Circle Line Pier....by bus and walking...when I arrived at the ticket window I was sadly informed that I had purchased a ticket for July 4, 2011!!!  Sad day!  But I'm ready for next year!  Instead I went to see Cyrus...an independent film that was really good but we will probably never see it in Birmingham :)

Tomorrow we have a field trip to the Frick Museum and a Safety Workshop that will last until 7:30pm...long day!  On Wednesday we start Printmaking and I am going to a sneak preview of a movie that opens July 30th with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd...

Having a great time and can't wait to see Rebecca and Katie on Thursday!

Much love,
MJ

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First few days in NYC and first celebrity sighting of the summer...

Hi y'all!

I arrived Saturday night and was unpacked and drinking a Brooklyn Lager by 10:30pm...felt good to be back and very  comfortable!

Got up Sunday morning and went to church then down to Riverside Drive for a great cheeseburger while watching the boats coming in and out of the Hudson River

...walked along the river and found the Boathouse Project....I have signed up to be a volunteer on the weekends....it is a group of kayak enthusiast who run 3 different piers and offer free kayaking to anyone interested....they also do volunteer paddle trips during the week....never been in a kayak but it sounds and looked like a lot of fun...I will let you know...my first day is Saturday!

Orientation was yesterday so I got to meet the new 1st year students and see all my friends from last year...it was GREAT to see everyone and catch up in person!

On my way to class today as I was waiting on the bus I spotted Abe Vigoda...Fish from Barney Miller...70's sitcom!  I snuck a picture and sent it to Lucy...her response was, "I honestly thought he was dead"...I thought the same thing but there he was in living color!

Gotta go study now but check back next week for more!

Much Love!
MJ

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Extreme Close Up - Oil Pastels...

So part of my workshop this past week involved teaching the kids how to use oil pastels...they LOVED it!  Not nearly as messy as the chalk pastels!

This is a sample of the last project we did for the week...it is an extreme close up of a flower...not my best work but it makes me happy to look at it...it is a small piece...3"x5"ish...

I leave on Saturday, June 26th for NYC...I'm getting really excited to be there and back in the swing of the big city life...this year our art classes at Parson's will be printmaking...something I have never done...you should see some samples in the next 2 weeks...we will see how it goes :)

Much love,
MJ

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Children's Artwork...

As I promised last week, here are some of the pictures of my student's artwork...this was from "Painting in the Gardens" a week long class I taught at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens...the kids ranged from 9 to 11 years old....we had a great time!

*Click on an image to enlarge :)















Sunday, June 13, 2010

A lazy weekend on the lake...

Is there a better way to spend a beautiful summer weekend?

This weekend I went to Lake Martin with 5 friends....we spent Saturday morning lounging by the pool and then after a quick lunch we hit the lake on the pontoon boat!

The lake house belongs to one friends parents, her aunt and uncle...it sits right on the lake and is 3 stories tall with many, many bedrooms....we have been taking these little trips for over a year now and each time they add to the experience with new stuff...this weekend was the boat and boy did we enjoy that!  On Sunday we had breakfast and went back out on the boat for the majority of the day...we preferred the quiet parts of the lake where we could jump off the boat and float around with our noodles :)  We did go by "Chimney Rock" before it was too crowded but there are really no adventurous ones in the group that wanted to jump off the rocks :)

Now I really want a boat!

Thank you Rebecca, The Smiths and The Mangus' for your generosity and your hospitality!

Much love,
MJ

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Painting in the Gardens"

This week I am working with nine 3rd-5th graders in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!  We are roaming through the gardens sketching all the beautiful plants and scenery and then we go back into the classroom and paint!  They are using acrylics, watercolors and water soluble markers and they are having a blast!  Their artwork is precious and I will post some of it this weekend!  But in the meantime, here is the watercolor I did of the sunflowers...I'm not much of a watercolorist but I really liked the way it turned out!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creative Every Day!

So....it has been 6 months since my last post...shame on me! But, today I joined a group called "Creative Every Day!" so I am challenging myself to blog at least once a week and post my new creative endeavors...so stay tuned and I will post some pics soon...I can already feel my creative juices flowing!

We just spent the Memorial Day weekend at Gulf Shores, Al...beautiful weather, beach and water...unfortunately the oil from the oil spill has now reached Mobile's Dauphin Island and is headed towards Gulf Shores and Orange Beach...they haven't closed the beaches yet but it should be any day now....this really makes me sad because these trips have become a tradition and they save my sanity....don't know what I will do if we can't continue them...

In the meantime, let me catch you up on the fam...

Christopher is celebrating his one year "clean" birthday, has a full time job, an apartment and we are so proud of him....he went to the beach with us this past weekend...the first time in many years and we had a great time!

Jacob and Jessica are preparing for their first week as leaders at Camp Winnataska! They are so very excited and I am excited for them...and a little jealous! They will spend the majority of their summer in the woods of the camp we love the best of all! They check in at 9:30 Sunday morning and Lucy and I are going up for church at 11:00...great way to start the summer at the "little brown church" :)

Collin (great nephew) has made All-Stars and will be playing baseball all summer...he spent the majority of his beach time playing imaginary baseball...he truly loves the game!

Brylie Jane (great niece) graduated kindergarten and was given an Art Award! She is quite prissy and we had a great time playing on the beach and eating grapes and cheese...she loves to snack!

Jason graduated high school and will be attending the University of Tennessee in the fall...I know, I know...

Kensley finished her first year on high school and was on the dance line!

Lindsay and Micah are in Ireland even as I type this!

Jennifer and Andy are living in Florida, much closer to the family but still far away :(

Daniel has finished his first year at the Goshen High School band director and did an amazing job with the band!

Karen and Jason are AMAZING parents...the proof is in their kids!

Cleo and Marc are celebrating their Anniversary this month!

Susan and Troy are ridiculously doting grandparents...spoiling Collin and Brylie rotten :)

Johnny and Maria are wrapping up their mission work in Guatemala and will be returning to the states in the Fall....we can't wait!

Lucy is doing great...she is engaged to Jim and they will wait to marry until the twins are seniors so they can stay at Hoover High. She also just got her a sporty new convertible!

Okay, I think that is everyone...

I leave June 26th for NYC to resume my Master's Program and will be learning printmaking this summer...have never done this so it will be fun, stressful and interesting...I'll keep you posted on my progress and of course any celebrity sightings!

Much love
MJ