Archive for the Family Category

Church group reunited with orphanage in Haiti

Posted in Family, Journalism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by macmystery

In a photo from the MSNBC.com story, kids at the Rescue Children orphanage watch a generator-powered television on Friday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The group from a Pennsylvania church and an MSNBC.com news crew reached the Rescue Children orphanage in Haiti on Friday.

The orphanage is supported by Spratanburg, S.C.-based Rice Bowls, a world hunger ministry, for which my wife Brooke works.

Here’s the MSNBC.com story with information about the 11 kids, who are all safe and well, and where the orphanage expects to go from here. There’s a cool slideshow, as well.

Once again, for those who want to give to relief efforts, here’s a list of organizations already working in Haiti.

Again, for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Rice Bowls and some good news from the earthquake in Haiti

Posted in Family, Journalism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by macmystery

Rice Bowls, the Spartanburg, S.C.-based world hunger ministry for which my wife Brooke works, supports an orphanage in Haiti.

In a bit of good news out of a country where the news only figures to get worse in the coming days, the 11 children Rice Bowls feeds are all alive and safe. (Read Thursday’s Herald-Journal story) Thank you God.

A group from the Pennsylvania church which runs the orphanage has traveled to Haiti with supplies with an MSNBC news crew in tow to chronicle their efforts. Here’s the initial story, when the safety of the children was still in question, and Thursday’s story telling of the group’s arrival in Hispaniola.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, had enough problems before this earthquake. More than 80 percent of the country lives in poverty and less than half have access to clean water. And that’s when things are going well.

My thoughts and prayers go out, not only to the Haitian victims of this earthquake, to those who have made their way to Haiti to help, those who are on the way, those who are giving to the relief efforts … but also to those who didn’t need an earthquake to try and make a difference in Haiti.

My wife, of whom I’m very proud, works for an organization that was already trying to make a better life for a handful of children in Haiti, among other places in the world. As a result of this catastrophe, their job has gotten a lot tougher. And a lot more important.

For those who want to help the orphans at the Rescue Children orphanage or help facilitate repairs to their home, donations can be made at www.ricebowls.org.

For those who want to give to other relief efforts, once again, here’s a list of organizations already working in the country.

Again, for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

The next Dick Weber

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery

I took Dylan on a long-promised bowling trip tonight with Grandpa Bill at the Oasis of Loganville, Ga.

He had a blast, bowling three games and even breaking the century mark (102) in the third game.

Of course, he had rails, but he’s 6 and he gets it. After an 80 and a 75 in the first two games, I told him his goal was an 80 in the third game.

He was easily on pace, with a 69 through eight frames, when he hit a strike — with no help from the rails, I might add — in the ninth frame, which brought cheers from the bowlers three lanes down.

Then he opened the 10th with a nine, and I knew if he got a spare, he would break 100. When he picked up the 10 pin, he got high fives from one of the girls from three lanes down.

Of course, after the strike and the awesome spare, he closed with an anti-climactic 3 in his final roll.

(Not that it matters, but I bowled a 117, cursed my shoes, removed the left one and finished with a 203 and a 188 wearing only one shoe.)

Dylan spent $1 on some ski-mobile spy-action video game, which was quite entertaining to watch, especially when he repeatedly ran into gates, trees, walls, buildings, etc. Then I took him to Sonic for an orange slush and popcorn chicken.

A great night.

Dylan and Danny

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery
Two of my favorite people -- Dylan and Danny Ford.

Two of my favorite people -- Dylan and Danny Ford.

I went to the Spartanburg Touchdown Club meeting on Friday at Wild Wing Cafe in downtown Spartanburg to hear former Clemson football coach Danny Ford speak.

Dylan loves Wild Wing, and since he had a big program at school (that his grade wasn’t even allowed to attend) and then early dismissal, I took him along.

He was excited to wear his Clemson jersey and take his clemson football to have Coach Ford autograph it, even though he has no real idea who Coach Ford is. Coach of the 1981 national champions somehow doesn’t mean as much to him as to me.

He got to eat chicken fingers, hang out with the grown-ups (the thrill of missing school played a role, as well) and get his picture made with someone who his daddy liked a lot. And he loved it, especially since Mommy and Ella didn’t get to come along.

The picture doesn’t mean a lot to him, but hopefully one day he’ll understand why it does for me.

Hogwarts, S.C.

Posted in Books, Family, Movies with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by macmystery
Dylan reluctantly pets the dragon. Hagrid would be proud.

Dylan reluctantly pets the dragon. Hagrid would be proud.

In yet another installment of  Daddy and Dylan Day, Dylan and I went all wizard last Saturday.

The Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville County hosted “The Science of Harry Potter.”

The program, which is an excuse to get kids and parents into the science center, married its exhibits with themes from the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling.

The program, open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., was a lot to take in. There was no way we would be able to see everything, and there was a lot.

Among the activities:

  • Hold mice, snakes and a dragon.
  • The chance to meet and hold these Hogwarts creatures … tarantulas, giant toads and a python.
  • Quidditch demos … Well, this is as close as you can come to quidditch without being able to fly. There was a Harry Potter day camp back in the summer where the kids played quidditch, apparently. Some of the pupils were brought back to demonstrate the sport. There were hula-hoops suspended from trees branches for the rings. Soccer balls were used, and a tennis ball was the golden snitch. And did I mention there was no flying? Dylan was not impressed.
  • Old-fashioned broom making
  • The younger kids made bitty brooms from small sticks and yarn.
  • Among several demonstrations at the planetarium, there was a chart showing how all the names of the Black family (as in Sirius) corresponded with astronomy.
  • The kids could take a tour of the forbidden forest and discuss the botany of wands.
  • There were readings from “The Tales of Beetle the Bard.”
  • Wandmaking … using pretzels, chocolate and sprinkles.
  • Learning to write with quills.
  • Herbology … making your own herbal tea bag.
  • Meeting a live barred owl.
  • Photo opportunities with the Sorting Hat.
  • Potions lab … activities such as making slime, smoke, etc.

Dylan loved it. Even if the ties to Harry Potter weren’t always so strong. Really, the whole point is just to get you into the science center. Once you’re there, there’s almost no choice but to learn. And it was well worth the $9 total it took for us to get in.

When Harry Potter camp comes up next summer, I think we’ll be there.

Daddy & Dylan Day, Part II

Posted in Family, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by macmystery
Dylan and Grandpa Bill at Atlanta's Turner Field on Monday night. It was Dylan's first major league baseball game with daddy, and the Braves won 4-0.

Dylan and Grandpa Bill at Atlanta's Turner Field on Monday night. It was Dylan's first major league baseball game with daddy, and the Braves won 4-0.

Monday night was Dave Ramsey Night at Turner Field. As a result, the seats in the sections at the end of the upper deck, in both right and left field, were all $1.

It seemed like the perfect night to take Dylan to his first Major League Baseball game. The Braves were winning and still in the wild-card hunt. The seats were cheap.

Brooke called my dad, and he said he was interested. So I picked Dylan up early from school on Monday and we drove down to Atlanta. Brooke and Ella stayed with my mom, and Grandpa Bill, Dylan and I headed downtown.

After a quick dinner at Arby’s, we caught the MARTA train at the East Lake station. Dylan had been looking forward to the train ride as much as the game. As it turns out, it was easily his favorite part of the evening.

Our seats were not bad, but that didn’t mean Dylan had any intention of staying in one. It was a two-plus-hour effort to get him to be still. He was in the aisle, on the steps behind us and three rows down at the railing.

At one point, he was leaning at the railing and yelling below, “Hey you, hammer head! Hey hammerhead, up here!” I thought, “Oh my God. He’s yelling at a person.”

Boy, did I feel stupid. When I reached the railing to admonish him, I realized he was yelling at an actual hammer head. Braves sponsor Home Depot holds a race similar to that of the sausages in Milwaukee, only it’s a hammer, a saw, a paint brush and a drill that race around the outfield wall.

Dylan and I missed a Chipper Jones home run while we were in the souvenir shop. That’s where I spent 20 minutes convincing Dylan that we didn’t need a red foam tomahawk for $5 (I must have 10 in a box at home) or an $8 red big foam finger.

(The souvenir shop is also where a I was approached by a hot latin chick about the 2009 Little League World Series T-shirt I was wearing.)

We bought two drinks for $9 and a bag of peanuts for $6.25. Ouch.

We stayed through the seventh inning, and then we left to let Dylan play in the big Cartoon Network playhouse and then take some pictures with some big statues. (The most disturbing of which shos Dylan sitting on Ty Cobb’s lap as he slides into a base.)

Dylan complained about the walk back to the MARTA station as much as he complained about the walk to the stadium. I guess it was to be expected. But for the most part, while a bit hyper, he was good.

Will he ever be a baseball fan? Enough to sit through a game? I don’t know. And that’s fine. If it’s not his cup of tea, I won’t push it on him. But I can hope.

Daddy & Dylan Day

Posted in Family, Movies with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by macmystery
Cloudy With A Chance of Meat Balls

Cloudy With A Chance of Meat Balls

Dylan has complained lately to Brooke that he never gets to spend much time anymore when it’s jist “him and Daddy.”

And he’s right. Since Ella was born and Brooke has been working, almost all the time he’s been with me, he’s had to share me with the little girl.

So, with last Friday being a day off from school for him, he asked Brooke if she could get a babysitter for Ella so he could have me all to himself. She said yes, and made it happen. (Thank you to the un-named babysitter).

I had two movie passes that we get each year at work on our birthdays, so I figured we’d do a movie. Because of scheduling, the best choice was “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.”

So Dylan and I went to lunch — Chinese buffet, his choice … funny, he wants to go to the Chinese buffet, yet he eats only the French Fries, chicken nuggets (his name for the sweet & sour chicken, minus the sweet & sour) and Jello. Then we took in the movie, in Disney 3D, no less.

Quick movie review: Awesome. Clean. Mr. T rocks. Neil Patrick Harris rocks as Steve the monkey. As far as kids movies go, pretty darn good.

Anyway, this was the first Daddy & Dylan Day. And I’m hopeful for lots more.