Monday Mosaic, Photo Edition

I wanted to play catch-up with some pictures I’ve been taking but haven’t posted, so I thought I’d do it now in one big fell swoop! So this is going to be a potpourri, a melange, a smorgasbord, if you will. Also? Kind of Charlotte-heavy because this has been a big month for her–graduation from 6th grade, for crying out loud!

So without further ado, here is another entry in the Taff family scrapbook:

Let’s start with the graduation itself, shall we? This is Char receiving her diploma from her headmaster, Mr. Kenneth Cheeseman. Yes, this man works with elementary-age schoolchildren every day of his life and his name is Cheese. Man. He came with his own nickname, how handy is that?! ¬†(We really like him, by the way, also Dr. Daniel Himes, the father of one of Char’s classmates who took photos of every child at the graduation, including this one.)

**Pre-graduation ceremony, posing on her way to the car– that necklace was a gift from us, it has a beautiful engraving of a tree on the front and the word ‘Family’ written all over the back.

**OK, now on to our Gatlinburg trip.

(By the way, Madi saw a bear! Right in the middle of the downtown area! She and Morgan Younce were walking around town after the concert and they heard a noise down an alleyway between two buildings and there was a dang bear dragging a trash can down the dark alley. Thankfully, it did not bite her on the ankle, so we don’t have a matching set of animals-munching-on-Madi scars…)

Here is a rainy morning view off of our chalet balcony– Smokies, indeed!

**Speaking of our chalet– this is a Still Life With Banana arrangement I artistically photographed one morning in the kitchen. Anybody know what that white flower is? I picked it growing wild on a vine right outside of our door– it’s like, 6-7 inches across, huge. Looks like a clematis, right? But do they grow wild? Anybody?

**Hiking the river trail with the fam– Char and Madi getting in the mood. And yes, that is indeed camo that Madi is wearing. I think she felt like Gatlinburg was the perfect place to break it out.
**First-born blazing the trail. Literally and figuratively.
**OH! Beautiful!
**Char and I.
**And now for the completely random portion of our program. On our way out of town, we stopped at an exotic animal pet store. BIG mistake. A) Depressing– no one should buy and sell exotic animals in my opinion, except for zoos. B) STUNK to high heaven. However, the one redeeming quality was that Charlotte, who is absolutely crazy about wolves, was able to have a hand-to-paw encounter with a wolf-dog hybrid. Almost worth the stench. ALMOST.
**And now back home. Russ took this picture with his phone of my hibiscus plant on the deck and sent it to me while I was at the grocery store. Why? I don’t know. He was impressed with the sheer amount of blossoms on it, I think!
**And finally– these are a series of photos that Charlotte took on her 6th grade trip to Washington DC. They are part of a slave memorial at Mt. Vernon, and she walked all around the pedestal of the memorial and ¬†photographed them separately– I think she did such a great job! I love these so much, I am going to frame them. Good words to start the week off with, don’t you think?

14 Responses

  1. auburn60

    Well–just so you know–when I saw the girls after they saw the bear that night, I totally had their backs. Not that I was gonna fight off a bear.(Do you think I’m crazy?) But I was prepared to grab them up and cower behind my (very close by) motel room door. The 3 of us, on our cell phones,calling for help. Yep, I’m all brave-in-the-face-of-danger like that.
    Maybe camo is a really good fashion idea for Madi. The less she stands out to wildlife the better. Makes her less of a target.

    I always wanted a wolf or a wolf-dog hybrid. Instead I have a Great Pyrenees, a Beagle and a slobbery St. Bernard.

  2. meb

    Wonderful pictures, thanks so much for sharing. And yes, I think that is a clematis. I had to search on line, but apparently they do grow wild in Tennessee and here in Georgia too. If only my backyard was a little more suitable for planting I’d have at least 3 or 4 growing. As it is, we have a hard time just growing dirt. :-)

  3. rachelbaker

    The three most beautiful, powerful and life-changing words.

    Beautiful photos and a beautiful family. ((Tori))

  4. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Loved the pictures….can’t believe how much Char has grown in this past year. Last summer, she was a little girl; this summer she is a young lady. That realization is always a little sad because you are losing your baby. Gracious, I say that but I believe our baby is forever our baby. The girls are beautiful, Tori…inside and out.

    I agree that the flower most likely is a Clematis. I have one growing up and around my mailbox…and I believe they grow wild, too, here in South Carolina. So beautiful.

    You can count on sweet, sensative Char to take pictures of things so precious.

  5. LindaB

    Tori, your girls are both knockouts!!! So beautiful and sweet! You and dad have to be so proud of them!

    Loved the pictures of the Smokies! Good job!

    Your hibiscus is gorgeous! Nothing says “southern” like a beautiful hibiscus plant in show off mode! Here’s a little unsolicited tip for encouraging your hibiscus to put out more blooms than you’ve ever seen. I make a half gallon of iced tea every day in the summer, and at night, I would pour the leftover on my hibiscus plant (unsweetened, of course). The tannic acid makes it bloom like a son of a gun! I counted 28 blooms on mine one summer, and it was about the size of yours in the picture! It even impressed my mother in law!

  6. sammifredenburg

    hey tori – i’ll throw my vote in on clematis, but of goliath proportions! or you’re messing with us and that’s a mini-banana =P

    congrats to char on her graduation. great pic with the headcheese there. school’s out already? we’re in classes here until the 16th!

    =)

  7. jonny

    Wonder if the bear was ever caught. If so… = / Char and the wolf-dog looked good together, though!! I’ll leave it to the ladies to comment on the flower stuff. Although, that was sweet of ol’ Russ there to pry himself away during his “alone time” with his prized shoe collection to snap that shot for his Tori = )

  8. Misty Noreen Salvie

    So NOW it lets me sign in. Really thought I was a closet devil spammer.
    I already put the flower name on your FB page.

  9. justThelma

    Great pics, Tori. Just a few thoughts…

    Congratulations to Charlotte on her graduation from 6th grade. She’s looking so grown-up lately.

    If I saw a bear that was bold enough to visit downtown, I don’t know that I’d be too crazy about heading off for a stroll in the woods. Who knows what you might encounter there?

    I think Russ took the picture of the hibiscus and sent it to you while you were in the grocery store as a pictorial reminder to pick up oranges.

    And finally, though not really an exotic animal, we once briefly entertained the idea of getting a Vietnemese Pot-bellied Pig. My husband had even come up with a name for it … Einswine.

  10. LindaB

    Thelma——-Einswine???????? ROFLMBO OVER AND OVER!!! That’s a very good one!!! Compliment your husband for me!

  11. jonny

    Did your husband mean Ein Swine, as in Elbert…

  12. justThelma

    Linda, will do. Will pass on your compliments as soon as he gets home.

    Jonny, I had to Google “Ein Swine” to figure out your question. No, he wasn’t referring to this particular pig, although it WAS a take on Albert Einstein, obviously. I’m sure hubby doesn’t know anything about Elbert, and thinks he’s very clever with his “original” idea. So let’s keep this between us, shall we? I’d hate to burst his bubble. Because I’m a good wife that way. LOL

  13. jonny

    LOL!! You obviously are! And I promise not to spill the beans if you don’t! = )

  14. gracelynn

    Love the pictures. Hmmmm…Cheeseman….sounds like a mob nickname LOL. That picture Russ took of the flower is beautiful! Wish my mom could grow flowers like that.

    I don’t doubt that Madi and Morgan saw a bear playing in the trash in Gatlinburg. They are getting to be a huge nuisance in a lot of areas now. Kind of like foxes are around my house. At least the girls didn’t get hurt though. I think Madi has enough scars. ;) Tell her I have three myself and that’s enough for anyone.

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