Category: Family

The Lynwood Theater

A Halloween Tale

It doesn’t take much to scare a child (or me!). When you look back on it sometimes the stories are downright funny. Cousin Cody is back with a little tale mixed with fright, nostalgia and childhood.

Cody, circa late 1970s. I mean, how cute was he!?!

“I’ve always said I come from a long line of fat, crazy women, just because it sounds like a good Greek comedy.
And even though my mom isn’t fat, she definitely did a few crazy/funny things as I was growing up.
For some odd reason she thought it was a good idea to take me to see the slasher flick Halloween on its release date in 1978…when I was eight. I had never seen a scary movie before even though my mom never really censored what I watched, except for Saturday Night Fever. The scene where John Travolta goes to the topless bar. That promptly got a hand over
my eyes and a quick exit from the Lynwood Theatre in Grundy, Virginia.

The Lynwood Theater

The Lynwood in her hayday, in 1950s small-town Grundy, Virginia

The Lynwood was a special place. Adele worked the ticket booth and she knew everyone in town on a first name basis. Grundy is a little like Mayberry in that sense. The theatre had the best popcorn you ever put in your mouth..real butter, none of that butter-flavored grease. They had vanilla and cherry Cokes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, hand-dipped ice cream and
milkshakes. I ALWAYS got popcorn, a vanilla Coke, and my favorite candy, a Chunky Bar.
Chunkys, for those not in the know, are chocolate with peanuts and raisins. YUMMY!

Downtown Grundy Virginia

Downtown Grundy with the Lynwood marquee

Anyway, Halloween (the movie and the evening) was a traumatizing experience. From the opening scene where Michael Myers, aged six, chops up his sister like an Asian chef at Benihana to the end where he disappears after being pumped full of lead (what kind of psychiatrist carries a gun???). It was SO traumatizing that I’ve never seen any of the sequels nor have I ever watched the original again, until last night. I’ve never seen a Jason movie, a Freddy Krueger movie, not even Jaws (I’m not getting in any lake or ocean anyway…it’s just a big toilet for fish. Give me a pool with enough chlorine to kill a T-Rex any day.). The cavernous feel of the Lynwood itself didn’t help much.

Hitchcock is more my style. Give me Rope or Rear Window any day over a slasher flick. After the movie, Mom and I went home. At that time we lived in this old, four-story house in the Cowtown section of Grundy (a “suburb” of downtown…like a mile away). It was big and dark and always scared the heck out of me. So we get home and Mom tells me to get out and turn on this outside light we had in the back of the house. I immediately told her she could get out andturn “the darn light on herself”. She did, sheepishly. Then she opened the door to the house which had NO lights on. She told me to go on in and my response was “un-unh, you first.” She pushed me in and I screamed like I too was a Benihana victim which made her go jump back in the car!

So much for protective parents!

My mom finally came into the house and turned on the lights. It was the same old house and it was safe. No Michael Myers, no Freddy or Jason. But you better believe I locked my bedroom door that night and checked all the other doors and windows to make sure they were locked and I left a light on in the closet, just to be sure.

Lynwood Theater

The Lynwood may be shuttered, but her memories live on. 

Now I really want a vanilla coke!


Four Kiddos in Preschool

School’s In!

I was going to start this entry about my children going to preschool with a note about my little baby birds leaving the nest, but then I realized that not only are they not actually “leaving” the nest, but they are actually commanding more space in the nest—four times the space, in fact!

As it has always been with my little gaggle, starting school means everything comes in fours. First up came four little place settings for breakfast. Even though I was sad to see them off, I wanted them to feel like school was an exciting, happy thing. I wanted to show them that today was no ordinary day, it was the first day of school! How better to do that than with a nice table set with these cheerful plates and glasses?

After breakfast it was time to get their supplies organized. As you can see, the Mommy Marker was out in force (fource? ha!) With four of everything (sometimes more) it would be a nightmare to try and keep supplies organized in any other way. Glue sticks, wipes, bags, shirts, every-every-every-everything gets a name! Labeling everything not only ensures that you send your children out the door with the stuff they need, but they will end up with the correct items when they get there (with a little help from the teacher, of course).

Of course, no schoolchild’s load would be complete without a tasty lunch. My times-foursome is no different! These lunch boxes are not only an absolute blast and super cute, but they also make it easy for each of my children to find his or her lunch among all the others (I guarantee nobody else in class will have one like it!).

So there you have it. You know, it used to be when my children left the house I had to keep track of four sets of clothes, diapers, and bottles. Now it’s four lunch boxes, glue sticks, and backpacks! Where did the time go?!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I think it’s fitting that Mother’s Day falls right in the middle of the nicest part of spring. Not only are the flowers in full bloom (and what mom doesn’t like flowers?), but there are reminders everywhere of just how universal the experience is of being a mother. Take this obviously busy lady for example:

Now that’s a chore, trying to get all those little ones through the parking lot quickly and safely! What mom can’t identify with that? Moms, how many times have you had to navigate a toddler or two (or three…or four…) through the grocery store parking lot while also pushing the buggy and looking for your shopping list in your crowded purse?

Fortunately, moms are nothing if not superhuman, and it all gets done somehow, even crossing the road with a “gaggle” of little ones!:

That’s what being a mom is all about, after all. You’re part superhero, part referee, part shepherd, part doctor, and part maid, with all those parts held together by a big dollop of love! I think that’s why I love Mother’s Day being in the middle of spring, because between the flowers, nice weather, and nice green trees it feels like the whole world is giving moms a high-five. All in all, though, the best reward comes from being able to come home to my own little ducklings every day:

So to all the moms out there, feathered or not, I wish you the happiest of Mother’s Days, and I hope you get all the breakfast in bed you could ever want!

The Big 3 For(e) The Kids

Two posts in a week (or so?) I’m on a roll!

This bit of news is definitely worth the extra time at the keyboard: The Olde Farm and the PGA Tour are putting together a once-in-a-lifetime golf tournament to benefit Mountain Mission School in Grundy, VA called The Big 3 For Mountain Mission Kids. Some of you out there may already know about MMS, but if you don’t, check out their website. The school has a sterling reputation for turning out some really great kids, a fact to which I will personally attest!

The Big 3 need no introduction to golf fans, but even non-golfers will recognize the names Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. Having any one of these legendary athletes to The Olde Farm would be quite a coup, but I think all three push this event into an entirely different universe! I think it’s just awesome that all three are willing to take time out of their undoubtedly busy schedules help out a very deserving institution like MMS.

The two-day event will start on Monday, June 7, 2010 with a little golf, dinner, and a media meet-n-greet, and will culminate with the Big 3 themselves playing in a 19-hole scramble the next day. If you’d like an opportunity to see three lions of golf in action, or just think the whole thing sounds like a blast, you can purchase tickets here. From what I understand it’s going to be a spectacular event, and it’s definitely going to be worth the price tag just to be a part of it! The fact that all of this is to provide assistance to a school that does so much for so many, and produces the quality of student that it does, is just icing on an already delicious cake (it’s been a long day and I’m hungry, please forgive!).

You can read the press release for the event here. Better yet, follow the whole thing on Twitter and Facebook (look, you know you already spend plenty of time on Facebook. Put it to good use!)

When Life Gives You Gas Leaks, Wear an Extra Diaper

Surprise! I haven’t really fallen off the face of the earth, never to blog again. I’ve just had a few crazy weeks, but nothing has happened that has been worthy enough to write about. Until today. Call it Murphy’s Law or Tuesday the 26th bad luck–the stars had a good laugh over our house today. Of course there are worse problems to have…no one was hurt or killed (and there are people starving in China). Just a funny way to ring in the unofficial start of summer:

~A gas leak in our house necessitated our exile for a couple of hours (thank goodness the grandparents live right around the corner!)…no heat (fine by me), cooking (thank God!) or hot water until tomorrow. As for the hot water…not a good look with 3.3 babies in diapers. “They” told us we have just enough hot water for 2 showers. I’m assuming “they” think one shower = 1.2 minutes rather than the customary 14.6 minutes per.

~In all the hulabaloo, Kat, our cat (try not to get confused with the spelling), got locked in a closet for the duration of our evacuation. I do hope kitties are immune to the long-term effects of the equivalent of glue sniffing.

~My laptop caught a swine flu-like virus, my 6-week-old Blackberry died a premature death and our desktop computer is a near-casualty due to a recent storm (ok, all of that didn’t happen today, but I’m still feeling the effects).

~A regular sitter due to arrive at my house at 8:00 am tomorrow called at exactly 8:00 pm to tell me she will be off tomorrow. Huh? Whatever happened to asking, not to mention more than 720 minutes’ notice?

~Speaking of sitters…someone in my family, who shall remain nameless and who is in great need of help right now due to health issues, let a sitter go (to put it mildly) within 30 minutes of her arrival today by using tactics reminiscent of Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls. Anyone who has seen the show will know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, rent it for a good laugh!

~My two cousins are killing me in Scrabble…on Facebook. We have ongoing games and they keep getting double, triple and quintuple-times-eighty word points for words like “if,” ti,” and “la” (those last two, the symbols for Titanium and Lanthanum, your common, everyday household metals). Tonight my cousin Laura enlightened me about the dictionary function on the side menu of the game. Where was this hot tip 200 points ago?!?

All of this while trying to pack 6 people for vacation next week. Watch out for those gas leaks in the baby pool.

Life’s Big Uncertainties

Thanks for being patient with me while I was on a brief hiatus from my blog. Our family lost a dear friend (and faithful reader of The Confetti Chronicles) so my heart has not been into posting this week. Mr. Reid was loved and will be greatly missed for his optimism, enthusiasm for life, generous spirit and story-telling expertise. He read my blog with great interest and provided wonderful comments.

I will be back in a day or two with a few exciting posts.

  • Recap of my recent trip to the Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas

  • Unusual Uses

  • Countdown Week 5

  • Easter Baskets (you can never be too early for next year!)

In the meantime I will leave you with these adorable Easter cupcakes I spotted at Whole Foods in Dallas.

Those are some yummy looking bunnies (did you notice that only the tail is showing on two of them?)!


Personalized Coloring Pages

I just had to share this amazingly innovative and simple project for kids that I found on Tip Junkie the other day. Turn any photo into a sketch for your kids to color!

Simply go to Dumpr, a cool website where you can play all kinds of tricks with your photos. For a coloring page, choose the sketch option.

Then you upload the photo of your choice and within seconds you will have a black and white sketch that’s ready for crayons, markers or paint! I uploaded and printed 15 photos of various family members for our kids to color and I spent a total of 10 minutes from start to finish. I saved all of the sketches in a folder on my computer so I can print them again and again.

Here’s our 3-year-old’s interpretation of mommy and daddy. I don’t know, maybe my eye looks even better in this version. Wouldn’t it be fun to make an entire personalized coloring book to give as a gift at a birthday party?

Valentines for Kids

Our church is having a Valentine’s party for the kids on Sunday. We were given a list of the children in class so that we could give everyone a Valentine. Realizing that this could turn into a costly proposition over the next 18 years, I decided that we would make our Valentines. When I told my mom this she gasped, but seriously it really doesn’t take long, it costs pennies and it puts a personal touch on the cards.

Our four children are in the same class so we are making one Valentine for each person that will be from all four. Since they are ages three and under I have to help the process along a little (as they get older the kids will be able to do the entire card by themselves). I used a piece of red paper, size 8.5″ x 11″, and on my computer printed “Happy Valentine’s Day” on the bottom front. On the other side I printed their names and then folded it in half (turn the paper upside down so it works out when you fold it in half).

My three-year-old used Elmer’s glue and helped apply glitter in heart shapes on the front (you can trace a heart shape and hope to sort of stay in the lines!). On the inside I let the kids scribble with markers and add stickers (don’t worry, we used washable markers…I just thought it would be funny to show Sharpies to make my mom gasp even more!).

I hope the other 2 & 3-year-olds enjoy the cards as much as we enjoyed making them!