Saturday, September 13, 2008


Hard to believe, but he's not a baby anymore...not even a toddler! Our little "pre-schooler" turned 2 years old on Tuesday, September 9. Since that's a schoolday for all of us, we celebrated on Saturday the 6th.

A bunch of friends came over to celebrate with him.

Cupcakes were a new experience for Rowan, since sweets with lots of sugar are few and far between.


Happy Birthday, Rowan!

Rowan got a sandbox for his birthday! This space next to our shed used to be a carport where the previous owner of our house kept his four-wheelers, but we finally got the idea to make a practical use of the space!

The swings and slide were also a big hit with Rowan's friends, as usual.

However, we might need to look into getting a bigger "pool"?

The kids didn't seem to mind.

Of course, Rowan's favorite part of the party was getting to hangout with his best buddy Lucas, who was also celebrating his birthday! Lucas is just 2 weeks older than Rowan.

Another one of Rowan's new friends is Ansley, who lives just up the street from us.

Ansley turned one year old earlier this summer, and her mom is Niki, one of Carley's good friends from high school.

With the festive occasion and great weather, it was really a great day for everyone who came!


Who da man?

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Sunday, September 07, 2008


Oxford, Mississippi
Thursday, September 4, 2008

On a recent Thursday night we shelled out 50 bucks for a babysitter so we could enjoy some top-notch live music in nearby Oxford. The event for this evening was the Stanton Moore Trio, at the intimate Proud Larry's, our favorite music venue in Mississippi.

Stanton Moore has established quite a name for himself as the virtuoso drummer of the modern New Orleans funk-rock band Galactic, a band that's been in our top 5 for years. Regular readers will recall that we saw Galactic twice last spring, in Oxford and Birmingham. However, in addition to Galactic, Stanton has been prolific in his contributions to the music scene, collaborating with other bands and forming several other bands of his own.

With his Trio, Stanton teams up with keyboardist Robert Walter and guitarist Will Bernard, virtuosos in their own right.

The result is a modern take on the funk-jazz genre with a New Orleans twist that satisifies on so many levels; most jazz lovers would be impressed with the spectacular improvisational solos, while even the most casual music lovers are entertained with the upbeat, highly danceable grooves. It's a bit like going to see a jazz show where the audience stands and dances instead of sitting. To get a taste of this infectious instrumental music, click here to go to Stanton's website, where you can listen to several of the tunes from his new CD.

Robert Walter is particularly impressive on the organ, playing all the keyboard solos with his right hand while simultaneously playing all the bass lines with his left (there is no bass guitarist in the band). Robert got his start in the San Diego-based Greyboy Allstars, whom we saw here at Proud Larry's last February. Robert also led his own jazz-funk instrumental band, 20th Congress, for nearly a decade; however, they are currently on hiatus since Robert has relocated to New Orleans.

As for Will Bernard, he's also led his own jazz-rock instrumental band Motherbug for nearly a decade, and he got his start in the San Francisco Bay Area with Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble.

The show featured mostly tunes from the Trio's two CDs, with a few exceptions. A local trombone player sat in for a traditional New Orleans song, and The Trio closed the 2nd set with a medley that included The Meters' "Li'l Ol' Money Maker" and Led Zeppelin's "Good Times Bad Times".

We had thought about leaving the show early so we wouldn't be too exhausted for work the next morning (Friday), but the music was too good and we couldn't drag ourselves away! So, we finally made it home around 2am and got about 4 hours sleep. It was worth it!

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Just like last summer, one of our favorite weekend activities here in Mississippi is getting together with friends for afternoon picnics in the park.

On a recent Saturday we headed 45 minutes north toward the Appalachian foothills, near the Alabama and Tennessee state lines, to Tishomingo State Park, to meet up with our good friends Emily, Todd and Lucas.

A tasty spread of good food and wine on a shady picnic table kept the grown-ups feeling comfortable, and the disc-golf course situated next to our picnic site provided a leisurely workout for the guys. (note the basket in the background) Meanwhile, there were all sorts of things for Lucas and Rowan to do.

Reading a book is always a good idea!

Disc golf anyone?

Or maybe disc-golf wrestling!

The slide on this playground is much taller than Rowan's slide in our backyard!


Spin round and round and then fall down!

Rowan is ready for football season!

On a different day we checked out the new splash park at Veteran's Memorial Park in Tupelo.

The various fountains and sprayers have buttons you can press to activate them. With this new splash park, plus its close proximity to home and its excellent disc-golf course, Veteran's Park might be our favorite park around.

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