August 29, 2012

The Christianville Spirit: My Birthday in Atlanta

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Opens Your Eyes
August 29, 2012-TCS # 314

Hello Again, Everyone! I’m sorry I had such late notice with whether my newsletter was going to be released or not. But, I’m sure some of you, though, were sitting at your computer desk last week at Work or at Home, thinking; “Where’s Christian’s Newsletter?”. Well, to tell you the truth, it was up in the air whether I was going to write it or not. But, here’s my reason why. So, we decided to continue the “Having Christian’s Birthday in Atlanta” tradition only a bit more smaller than last time we had it. So, it started with all of us, including My Brother this time, driving to Atlanta last Friday. Now, keep in mind that it’s been a long time since My Brother has come with us to Atlanta, due to his busy life. I have to tell you, it was awesome having My Brother come along. So, on Saturday Morning, we went to breakfast with a couple PTLS Family Members, a more spur of the moment thing, not anything planned like last time. We got to hang out with 4 Families, 1 of which we hadn’t met before that was from around Atlanta and it was very wonderful to meet them. After Breakfast, My PTLS Aunt Christina had a friend that lived in Atlanta and said that we could go swimming and have a mini-party there. After I met the friends, as I walked in, I heard excited screaming coming my Grandma Honey, she had what I call one of her many “Serendipitous Meetings” where a person you’ve never met, has a connection with someone that you do know. It turned out that the friend is one of Grandma honey’s grandchildren’s teacher and she knows the family. Anyway, we had a really great time with these wonderful PTLS families. The kids really loved playing in the pool with my brother. They had the most awesome yard, with tons of tall trees including two on either side of the driveway that were really close. Anyway, they had their house, a pool, a playground, and even a Tennis court. They had some nice shrubbery in their backyard along with all the tall trees of Georgia. Tall Trees are one of my favorite parts of coming to Atlanta because there are so many tall trees that you don’t even know that your in a Major Metro Area. Anyway, that night we went over to My Uncle Bruce’s House and had dinner. We also got to see my Aunt Carolee’s shop that was really cool. And best of all, my cousin Gram and I got to spend a lot of fun time together. We walked through the downtown of Norcross, played at the park, climbed in the tree house, and played the piano together. On Sunday, all of us including Uncle Brian and Uncle Bruce got to watch My Brother skate at one of the skate parks nearby. On Monday, all of us (My Mom, My Brother, Grandma Honey, and I) drove up to a town called Dahlonega, which is a really awesome small town in the mountains. We were originally going up there to eat at this place called “The Smith House” but it turned out that it was closed on Monday. But that was okay because we found a nice place to go instead. Before Lunch, we walked into this pottery shop with a guy that’s been there for almost 37 Years doing his passion of Pottery, and he does pretty good work at it. Of course, after lunch I found a shirt called “The Georgia Red Clay Shirt” that was made from famous Georgia Red Clay. On Tuesday, my brother and my uncle had an awesome tour and meeting at Turner Broadcasting, where Michael and the guy hit it off. He may have a potential job there, that would be awesome! Them we had to take My Brother to the airport to get him home because he had to work. After dropping Michael off, being the Geography lover I am, I couldn’t go without checking out the new International Terminal at the Atlanta Airport, of course this didn’t go without confusing Grandma Honey about how to get there. On Tuesday night, we all separated to where My Mom and Grandma Honey went out on a mother/daughter dinner, while I went to dinner on an “Uncle’s Night” with My Uncle Bruce. On Wednesday (Newsletter Day), My Mom and Grandma Honey went to go pick my new Aunt Kellie(Uncle Craig’s Wife) from the airport and when she got back the Grandma Honey’s House, we hung out with her for a while and then, Kellie and I got pedicures while My Mom got a manicure. By The Way, I do love to get Pedicures, it’s very relaxing and I love when my feet are rubbed and are soft and clean. You guys do not know what you are missing if you don’t try a pedicure. You don’t get nail polish! On Wednesday Night was the main event, a birthday party for me with Family and it was really awesome & special because My Mom and all 4 of her brothers where all together for the first time in a year. We had the most awesome dinner that night, we had really good BBQ and wait for it...Ultra Fattening “Georgia Mac n‘ Cheese.” By the way, the idea came from watching Dr. Oz surprise people to change their fattening meals to more healthier ones. Now, here’s a Cultural Note for you, Georgia is the only state of The US in which “Mac n‘ Cheese” is considered a vegetable. In case, you are wondering though, what “Georgia Mac n‘ Cheese” is, it’s Mac n‘ Cheese, smothered in cheese sauce. Anyway, on Thursday while My Mom was in a meeting, Grandma Honey and I went for a drive to one of my Favorite Neighborhoods in one of my Favorite Georgia Cities, John’s Creek. Of Course, I got to teach Grandma Honey about all the different road signs, the sounds of the road, and she taught me about “Sunday Drives” from when she was a kid. Friday was kind of a “lazy day” for me, I slept in, I had the left over “Georgia Mac n‘ Cheese” and, I talked to My PTLS Sister on Skype and spent a wonderful time with Ms. Libby (who is my G-Honey’s neighbor and ex-wife of a famous football player). I love talking with Ms. Libby! We share our knowledge, and she knows a lot! On Friday Night, though, we had a dinner celebration at Uncle Bruce’s House for what My Cousin Gram called “Christian’s Last Night in Atlanta.” And finally, My Mom and I drove home on Saturday Morning. But, a lot of good came from this trip, being with Family (which is always a plus), My Mom got to help out and advocate at the school for a PTLS family, meet new PTLS Members, and having a great “once in a life time” meeting for my brother. All in all, I love being around Family, I love all the Tall Trees, and there are Plenty of PTLS Members around.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. Family is more important than anything, even if that family is not blood!         

August 15, 2012

The Christianville Spirit: My 25th Birthday

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Opens Your Eyes
August 15, 2012-TCS # 313

So, As most of you know, Last Week was what I call, “My Birthday Week” or the week of My Birthday. You See, My Mom and our friend, Max always say, “It’s more fun if you celebrate the entire month or the week of, not just one day” So, that’s what we did, we celebrated the whole week. So, on Tuesday, I got celebrate with a dinner with a family friend at a place that we like to go to eat. Thursday was the most awesome day because, I hung out with My Brother and 2 of his & my friends, Spencer and Zach to go to this indoor trampoline place called “Jump-street.” I came up with the idea, when passing one on the way to Mockingbird Station (as mentioned, Last Week) and I thought, “Am I too old to have a party at a Trampoline Place?”, because in my mind, I thought only kids have parties at places like that, kind of like those Bounce House party places, but, not true. Believe it or not, at Jump-street, they actually have Corporate Events there. So, maybe work for a company that brings you to a trampoline place every 3rd Friday, now that would be fun. Anyway, My Brother, Spencer, Zack, and I spend that evening jumping on those trampolines. It brought back all the memories of jumping on the trampoline when I was young. but, I’ll say though, that jumping like that, wears out on you really quickly; so, My Advice is to take it slow if your around my age or an adult age. As far as Kids go, they were all over the place, jumping non-stop and full of energy. Although, the kids had their own area to play and jump in. Of Course, at this place, their where dozens of different trampolines; ones that were Wavy, ones that were Flat and angled the end of it on the wall. Not only that, but also they had 2 Trampoline Dodgeball Courts, one for younger kids and the other for adults and teens. I think between the wavy trampoline and the dodgeball, I think Dodgeball might have been My Brother’s favorite. Also, though, they had an inverted slide(where you slide down, it becomes flat, and it goes back up) and a foam pit to jump into. I liked the wavy trampoline and the slide the most. So, after going to the trampoline place, we went out to Dinner and hung out. On the day of My Birthday was packed full of events and some unexpected events. So, it started with a Drive I wanted to take, It was from a AAA Trip Book that one of the PTLS Members gave me at the conference (Thank you, Samples!) It told me that, “World’s Largest Peanut” was in a town, an hour and 30 Minutes north of Plano called Durant. so, that was what we went to go see. Now, I thought that it was going to be larger-than-life, kind of like “The World’s Largest Chair” in Thomasville, North Carolina. But, it turned out to be a 3 Foot Peanut on top of a statue and plaque. So, that was a learning experience, make sure you know what it looks like or have an idea where it is, before you drive that far for it. We had a good laugh at it though. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of luck with “Road Nerd” Attractions (my term for those roadside attractions) like the Giant Peachoid in Gaffney, South Carolina or the chair in North Carolina. Anyway, after we drove up there, on the way back we stopped at a peanut store which had all sorts of things peanut and then, we saw a Giant Head statue of US President Eisenhower in Denison, Texas; who the American Interstate Highway System is named after. After the drive, we had dinner at an Italian Place (which I love Italian) with my Aunt Kathy and a couple of our friends as well. the Final event and most unexpected, was when we went over to our Neighbor’s House, Woody & Robyn to hang out with them; and, My Mom and I thought that it would just us, Woody & Robyn, and the neighbors next to them. However, it turned out to be a little surprise party for Me because when I came in, I saw one of the neighbors down the street and I thought it was going to be a couple of us, little did I know, our whole clan of neighbors joined us. But, it was really awesome and Thank You to Woody & Robyn for throwing that party for Me. So, I’ll end with us, You know how I told you about the 11 and 2 Confirmation. Well, My new thought is at because I was born the 11th of August, that’s a confirmation..that I’m a gift not only to being myself to so many other people out there, around the world or in the same state and, even people, I’ve never met yet. All in all, though, I had the most excellent birthday week last week and I was happy to share it with You.

Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit, Cherish The Gifts that you have, you give, and you get; meant both Literally and Figuratively.              

August 8, 2012

The Christianville Spirit: A Ride on a Train

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Opens Your Eyes
August 8, 2012-TCS # 312

So, nearly every weekend, My Mom and I like to go on Drives or do some kind of adventure, like ride a train. You See, going on Drives is one of my favorite things to do because I love to see new road signs, new roads, new neighborhoods, or just a scenic drive somewhere. So, what My Mom and I did this past weekend is no surprise. So, the Light Rail System here in Dallas is called DART, by the way DART means, Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Anyway, DART has recently come up with a new line called the “Orange Line.” The “Orange Line”, only in peak hours of the week, goes from Parker Road in Plano to Irving Convention Center (which is on the West side of Dallas, toward the Airport), however during non-peak hours it starts at LBJ(Lyndon B. Johnson) Freeway, known locally as LBJ or 635 and goes to the same place. Anyway, so My Mom and I drove down to Mockingbird Station instead to pick up the Orange Line and rode all the way to Irving. It is really fun for me to ride this train and many others, I love it because you get to see what places look like and to see the ongoings of where you are. I love looking at the street lights and signs to see where you are and what they look like (the font used, the appearance, the style that particular city uses, and what color they used) and, so you can see where you are on a map. Sometimes, it’s interesting to watch the people and to see who’s coming and going. The DART Orange Line though, hasn’t been the only line I’ve ridden on. I also rode the Red Line many times before and at one time, My Mom and I rode it all the way up and all the way down, from Parker Road to Westmoreland (which is on the South side of Dallas). Anyway, back to the Orange Line, it’s a well-known line, or at least it’s going to be, because in the near-future it’s going to go all the way to DFW Airport. The reason is because, as I told My Mom, “It would be a nice tour of the city” because along it passes by a lot of the places people want to see in Dallas. So, I’ll give you a tour, it runs though Las Colinas (where you can see the running cattle and longhorns statues) after that, you run past what was Texas Stadium and have a wonderful view of Downtown Dallas afterwords. Next, as you get closer to Downtown, you see the American Airlines Center (where the Dallas Mavericks play) after that come the Historic West End, which has many different places to Eat and Shop. And, it’s not too far from the 6th Floor Museum and JFK Memorial. After West End, As it goes through Downtown Dallas, you get to see all the really cool shaped buildings with Statues and Fountains and all the very interesting people. Following that, it goes through a tunnel and stops at “Cityplace Station” where you can hop off and ride the “M-Line Trolley” which is an old-fashioned trolley that runs along Historic McKinney Ave. into the Awesome Arts District.  After your done with that, hop back on the DART line and continue to Mockingbird Station, there’s a lot of shopping you can do there and a cool movie theater. finally, wrapping it up with riding the Red Line to Plano or Blue Line to Garland. When I went to The PTLS Conference in Houston, I got to ride the “MetroRail” line from Texas Medical Center to Downtown Houston, that was also wonderful to see everything that they had along it. For example, in Houston, “Midtown” is south of Downtown Houston instead of north like Dallas and Atlanta. The coolest thing about Houston’s MetroRail line was that it runs in the middle of the street in many places, whereas most run on a railroad track separate from the street. I’ve also been on the Metro in Washington D.C and the Northwest Line of the MARTA in Atlanta. All in all, I’ve been on many different rail lines in different cities and it’s all exciting to me.

Thanks to Reading The Christianville Spirit. Take a Drive one day and check out what’s in your town.   

August 1, 2012

The Christianville Spirit: The London Olympics

The Christianville Spirit
The Spirit that Opens Your Eyes
August 1, 2012-TCS # 311
So, There is an event that is happening that always gets me excited. You See, Every 4 Years, based on hundreds of years of tradition, comes The Summer Olympic Games. For those who don’t how deep the tradition is, it started in 1896 in Athens, Greece. However, it wasn’t held to such magnitude as it does now. It started as a couple games being played for the King in honor of the Greek Gods. However, nowadays it has turned into the an elaborate show for all The World to see and that’s just talking about the Opening & Closing Ceremony. In between the Opening & Closing Ceremony are many different events including Swimming, Gymnastics, Track, Canoeing, and the list goes on.. However, My Favorite Parts are some of the sports but, most importantly The Opening and Closing Ceremony. I Love the Opening the most though because it fascinates me that people from all parts of The World come to one place to compete and be at peace for 2 weeks during The Olympics. For this year’s Olympics in London, My Fascination was (and, always is) seeing what the people of each country look like and this year it just happened to be not only the people but, the outfits, they were wearing. To Me, it says alot about that Country’s culture, in what they wear or in those countries where it’s more strict, what their allowed to wear. To example, in many arab countries, like Saudi Arabia (They let women compete this year for the first time), Jordan, Palestinian Territories (Locally known as “Palestine” and Known Worldly as “The West Bank”), and Iran; just to name a few, have to wear garb that covers their hair and body; and, in some countries, most of their face as well. But, what I love about the outfits is creativeness that represents the country. Some countries like many African Countries with a very decorative garb and some countries went with a plain shirt that has the National Colors, like Sweden or Just a shirt with the letter N on it, for Norway, respectively.  Then, of course, there is as I have been mentioning, “The Parade of Nations”; some of them make you cheer, be quiet, or make you wonder, “Where in The World is that country?!” It happened to me a couple times like trying to remember what group of countries were part of what was Yugoslavia. Now, as My Mom will tell you, it didn’t go without a Geography Lesson that both made her head hurt or make her brain want to explode. The Reason why is Because she says that learning Geography from me is like her teaching Medical Terms and Anatomy to me. Anyway, another part I like about the Opening Ceremony is the performance leading to the Parade of Nations. Sometimes, though, it’s a little hard to understand some of the performances depending on the Host Country. Without spoiling London’s ceremony, I’ll just say this; it was Interesting, at some times very funny, other times a little creepy, but all good though. As for comparing it to Beijing, I’ll put it this way, It’s not fair to any host country or city to live up to Beijing. A couple comments on the Host City; for the condition of just how horrible the traffic of the city is (or so, I’ve heard, I haven’t been) and the lack of freeways or large roads through the city, The City of London & The London Committee did a VERY Good Job in preparing for these games and contrary to what Mitt Romney says, I’m very proud of Londoners and Their Committee of preparing them so well. Believe me, from what I know about London, it’s not easy to do that. Anyway, I could go on and on about The Olympics and How much I love it and why; but, All in all, I just love that People around The World come to win Gold, Silver, or Bronze in their own sport. By The Way, a shout out to The USA’s own Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, and Jordyn Wieber for doing so well and Good Luck also to Everyone Else, your doing an awesome job.
Thanks for Reading The Christianville Spirit. We are all Champions of something wether we are in sports or not, We’re all Champions!