Thursday, March 29, 2012

Welcome to Platform 9 3/4

One of the things LB 100% wanted to have at the party was Platform 9 3/4 for the kids to go through when they got to the party.  This was a tad harder than I had originally thought, but we got it together thanks to Damon and Richard!  I saw where people made a brick wall out of an old bed sheet that they painted to look like a wall, but I did not have time to do that, so I ordered one from Oriental Trading.  I found the sign at this website.  I think this was a hit to start the party off right!  

LB and Walker taking the first plunge into Platform 9 3/4

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brought to You by Owl Post

We are gearing up to celebrate my dear LB's 10th (I know, I can't believe it) birthday.  We are celebrating with a Harry Potter party and the first order of business - invites!  We found this adorable invitation thanks to Pinterest.  So we bought balloons, filled them with helium, and drew owls on them.  Anyone who knows me knows I can't draw a straight line with a ruler, so the kids were very impressed when I did this!!! (I have to be honest. I was little impressed myself!!)

Tied to the end of the string was this invitation.
Hogwarts School
Witchcraft and Wizardry

Headmaster Damon
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc,,
Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International
Confed. of Wizards)

We are pleased to inform you that have been accepted at Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry in order to celebrate Laura Beth's 10th Birthday.

Term begins
Friday, March 23, 2012
at 5:30 pm
Please meet at Platform 9 3/4

We are looking forward to hearing your reply by Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

                     Yours sincerely,
                     Deputy Headmistress

I got the template from this website and was able to use Pages to create my own invitation.  Most of the invitations were hand delivered by owl post. There were a few that had to be taken to school, so they just went rolled up without an owl.  The birthday girl loved it and it was a great start to a great celebration!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Inside the Mansion with the Author

As I mentioned in the last entry, our Literary Ladies book club took a field trip to the setting of our next book, A Lasting Impression, by Tamera Alexander.  The book takes place at the historic Belmont Mansion that now sits on the campus of Belmont University.  The grounds around the mansion and house were beautiful, but when we stepped inside the front doors . . .

We were greeted with this statue (whose placement is mentioned in the book) in the foyer.
Ruth Gleaning
This statue was placed to the left as we came in and
was just breathtaking.
(Again, it is mentioned in the book as it relates to
Adelicia's life and how she lost 7 of 11 children)

Sleeping Children
(inscribed at the bottom are the names of the two children this statue represents - Laura and Corinne)

From there, we walked down the hallway that leads to the formal dining room and family dining room.

There we met the author, Tamera Alexander.  She was so lovely and gracious with her
time - not only for us but to all those who came by to see her.

She took the time to personally sign (they had already been signed once) each book
we had either brought or bought while there.

After spending some wonderful time with her, we were off to see the rest of the mansion.
The Formal Dining Room
The formal dining room - the place settings were exquisite!
The family dining room.

The library

Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, herself

The small parlor

The tete' a tete' (small chat) room
I believe that this is the Bible mentioned in the book as well.
We just had the loveliest day and all came away ready to read (or reread) the book. I can't wait till the next book club to discuss this one!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Beautiful Belmont Mansion

Our Literary Ladies book club has gotten off to a great start! I missed the last meeting due to a bout with strep throat.  However, Kristen did a fabulous job capturing the night and the amazing book that we all read.  Our next book is one that I have been wanting to read for, a kid you not, a year, and it has only been out since November!  However, I have read everything this author has written, follow her blog, and stalk am friends with her on facebook.  So, I knew it was coming and I could not wait!  I was thrilled beyond words when Kristen said she thought it would be a great choice for our June meeting!

Well, once I read the book, A Lasting Impression,  I had to find out more about Belmont mansion I had read about and the people I had fallen in love with in the book. (The lady who actually owned the mansion is a main character in the book.)  As I was exploring, I found that Adelicia Acklen's 195th birthday celebration was going to be celebrated at the mansion on a Saturday in March.  Parties played a HUGE role in the book, so I knew we had to take a field trip!  So, we got a group together, and off we went!  It was a beautiful spring Saturday for us to explore the immaculate grounds.

The original fountain in front of the house

The beautiful Belmont Mansion

My precious friends who made the trip

The mansion and fountain

The flowers were in full bloom as we walked from the mansion to the water tower
that is mentioned in the book.

What the mansion looked like at the time of the book and Civil War

The view from the water tower
We had a wonderful time roaming the grounds at Belmont University and Belmont Mansion.  I can't wait to show you the inside and let you meet the author!

A Trip to Paris

Laura Beth's book club read The Family Under the Bridge for this month's book reading.  It is a classic, Newberry Honor book set in Paris, France.  What a morning we had!

Jessica and Anna Catherine Steele had just recently spent the fall semester abroad and were so gracious to come spend the morning with us teaching us basic words in French and showing us around the city.

After their telling us about the city we had just read about, we enjoyed a lovely brunch.  The menu consisted of:

(fruit, nutella, peanut butter, powered sugar, jams, etc.)
Cheesy French Bread
Sparkling White Grape Juice

The girls LOVED the crepes and crepe bar we set up for the morning.

We are so thankful for Jessica and Anna Catherine coming to make our morning so special.
We are super excited about our new book:

Back At It and Loving It!

Carter has been so anxious for FHU JV Baseball to start back up so he can resume his job as bat boy.  He was so excited to get back on the field.  We were able to get there early to help warm the team up for the game.

even be in on the pep talk at the beginning of the game. . . .

help get the pitcher's mound perfect for his buddies Creasy, Malone, Tompkins and Wood.

ready to cheer them on . . . 

warming them up between innings . . .

and celebrate with them in the end . . .

Glad to be back at it!

They Love Each Other

Laura Beth LOVES her cousin Walker.
Walker LOVES his cousin "B" (as he called her).
Carter loves Walker, too.
He just does not sit still for pictures!!!

I am so glad they have each other and that they love each other so much!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

You Just Never Know . . .

We all love our MacBook.
However, I think the kids love it a little too much at times. 
They have had a great time with the Photo Booth element.
I just never know what I am going to see . . . 

Just lovely!
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