Wednesday, August 27, 2008

National Black Arts Festival

This July, the city of Atlanta hosted the 20 year anniversary celebration of The National Black Arts Festival. Although it really is a year round cultural celebration , this 10 day festival was an amazing opportunity to experience the dance, music, theatre, literary and visual arts of Africa.

Since we couldn't possibly attend everything that was offered, our goal was to make it to the Children's Education Village. Not only could we meet a Zulu warrior, listen to drummers, and sit in on ancient storytelling, but rumor had it that we might see someone we know and love at the Disney Animation Workshop.

Unfortunately, due to some major construction issues, we arrived at the festival a little later than planned. We did have the chance to listen to the drummers and make a few crafts, but the Zulu warrior was no where to be found. Bummer!

When we headed inside to where the animation workshop was being held, our excitement level was kicked up a notch. Right outside the magically tinted doors was a flat screen running documentaries about Disney Imagineers. Who minds waiting when you have that kind of entertainment!

And then...happiness personified. The person we were hoping to see walked right out of those doors! That person would happen to be our friend, Isaac. He is an animator at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and a talented one at that. He is also the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. =)

As we walked through the doors, we left the city of Atlanta and stepped into nirvana. We were in Disney...sort of. ;)

Once everyone was seated (and just like in his classes at the Studios), Isaac connected with those kids immediately. Especially when he shared his Disney magic pencils with them.

And Isaac, if you are reading this, I think it is quite unfair that they had erasers on their pencils. How come we never get to use the magic pencils with erasers? ;)

Can you guess who he is teaching them to draw?

Yes...Timon! And now, because they all did so well, Isaac is encouraging the kids to believe in Disney you?

Well, you should, because if you believe it, Timon and Rafiki will come!

I am ashamed to admit that we acted like we had never seen them before. Well, we have never seen them in Atlanta-LOL!

Since this class was more for the children, Mark and I had kindly stood in the back to make room for everyone. We didn't see how well Renee had done until after the class, and we were blown away! Pretty good for her first time, don't 'cha think?

Isaac thought so too, and gave her a huge hug to prove it. Did I mention that we just love this guy?

And Timon? Well, he just loved it all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Can Mare share?

They just make me so happy.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging. ;)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ms.Pac-Man Renee

But then all is well in Chuck's Land.

She becomes who she's wanted to be all along.

And there were tickets, lots of tickets, which were exchanged for many wonderful goodies.

And Mommy and Daddy were very happy because once the goodies were in her clutches, they could escape.

Escape the yelling, screaming masses of sugar-filled, wired-up children.

The end.

Posted by ShoZu

Bowser Renee

Then Renee wants to have a photo taken and race a car, too.

But she is mad, mad I say! They turn her into Bowser, who she really doesn't want to be! Look at her eyes spin! Look at the steam shooting out of her nostrils!

And by the way...are there tickets that come along with that steam?

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Mario Mark

If we have Daddy take a photo where he is superimposed and morphed into Mario (take a breath!), and then he races a car around a track (take another breath!), how many tickets can you get?

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Brave firefighters

Spontaneously, we decided to stop at Chuck E. Cheese's today.

We haven't visited 'Chuck's Place' for years. We took Renee on a whim when we lived up in New York, and except for skee ball, it really wasn't her thing.

The bowling alley last week changed all that. Like Chuck E. Cheese's, the small arcade tucked away in the corner awarded tickets based on how well you did while playing the game.

And like Chuck E. Cheese's, they had a 'little' store where you could exhange those tickets for little trinkets and treasures. See where I'm going with this? ;)

It's all about the tickets, baby!

If we put out the huge fire, just how many tickets can we get?

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What a hat!

While walking around, we were excited to find a lovely lady making balloon art for the kiddos. She decided that Renee needed a festive hat, and we all know the little Miss was all over that!

If you could have only seen it in was quite impressive!

And would you like to know what was even more impressive? Later on that afternoon, Renee gave it to a little girl who was admiring it from afar.

It just made our hearts happy. =)

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At certain times of the day, there are fountains in the park that dance along to music. Of course Miss Renee danced along, too.

Most likely because they were playing The Beatles. ;)

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Crafts in the park

Recently, I stumbled upon an amazing website-goCityKids. After choosing your location, you are presented with a plethora of information. Festivals, theatre, museum, cheap, not so cheap-it's all there!

This has come in handy so much now that Mark has every weekend off. During the week I check to see what is going on, and then we plan out how we would like to spend our time together. Because I am the Budget Queen, we usually try to choose the free things. ;)

One of those free things would be the Fourth Saturday Family Fun Days in Centennial Olympic Park! We were right across the street at the Children's Museum anyway, so why not head over?

And Renee got to make a tambourine-how fun!

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The Queen of England

And since she was representing London, our friend Jerry figured he might as well give her the royal treatment. ;)

We all thought she was just a Princess, but he quickly figured out that she has higher expectations!

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Passing of the torch

This is not the best photo (I hope to add more later), but below you will witness the Olympic passing of the torch.

Of course it is not the real passing of the torch, but instead, one created by the Imaginators of the Children's Museum of Atlanta. One child was chosen to represent Beijing, and Miss Renee was chosen to represent London.

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When it was time for the next learning opportunity, Mark and I just wanted to yell, "SCIENCE!"
Doc sort of reminded us of Thomas Dolby (could have been the glasses!), and his song "She Blinded Me With Science" kept playing in our heads. How 80's are we? ;)

Either way, it was time to learn more about static electricity (the theme for the day), and to see how high he could get Renee's hair to stand up on end.

Posted by ShoZu

Static electricity-the experiment!

This little experiment brought a bunch of giggles to the kids who chose to participate.

Doc (as Mark began to call him!), gave all the kiddos a balloon and a handful of Rice Krispies. After dropping the cereal inside the balloon, the kids were instructed to fill it with their hot air (HA!) and tie it up. Then it was time to rub it on their heads and watch the Rice Krispies dance.

Mucho fun! =)

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Our amazing Imaginator friend, Jerry, invited us back to the Children's Museum today.

Why not? There was to be plenty of learning, science, and fun with....drumroll please....


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Monday, August 18, 2008

And now, for your viewing pleasure

For the first time ever, Miss Renee will share her imaginative, original dance style with you.

This, my friends, is aptly named one-footed Irish Dancing!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good times

She kicked my butt, too!

Look at that smile. I think she had a great time! =)

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Go Daddy!

Many moons ago, Mark actually bowled in a league. There's a huge trophy around here somewhere that proves it-LOL!

He so kicked my non-bowling butt!

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Bowling by Renee

I wish you could see her technique. It is sort of a run, dead stop, twist the wrist, fling the ball sort of thing.

Priceless, and adorable.

As long as the ball doesn't end up on Daddy's toe. ;)

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Cheesy snacks for energy

Yes, I know. Your arteries are screaming, "Nooooooooooooooooo!"

But how could we not indulge? We were all ever so tired and lacking energy. ;)

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Festive footwear

Renee thought our shoes were cool, but of course she was the lucky one wearing neon. ;)

I told Mark we were lucky, too. At least they weren't Crocs!

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We haven't been bowling in ages. Sounds like a great family day, right?

I think Mark agrees!

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She rocks!

And rolls...

Hmmmm. Can you guess where we are?

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Flashback Friday

A short time ago, Mark's Dad gave us a huge box of photos. To our delight, mixed in with the typical growing up shots, were photographs taken during some of their family trips to WDW. Renee was especially excited, because she could see what Disney World looked like back when her Daddy was a little boy!

Look at the Dwarfs. Aren't they adorable? As far as I can tell, they really haven't changed all that much.

But I can definitely see some differences in the next two. Goofy's face is sort of hidden, but look at Donald! What is going on with his eyes? I never knew ducks wore black eyeliner!

Awwww, there's Tigger and a nice view of Pooh's little backside. Tigger has kept his youthful looks, but I bet if Pooh turned around, we would see that he's had a little 'work' done since then. ;)

I guess that's what we love about Disney World. Time may pass by, improvements may be made, but there's always that feeling of familiarity that makes us feel so content and happy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cool juggler

I wish you could see Renee's face more clearly. She was in awe of this juggler, and so was I. He was amazing!

Posted by ShoZu