December 9, 2017

2017 Watts Family Year Ender

Dear friends and family,

We hope you have had a great 2017 and are looking forward to the new year. We’ve had lots of ups and downs this year in the Watts family.

Patrick and Adam have made several trips to see family this year, including a Spring Break trip to Texas and three trips to Ohio to see Patrick’s grandparents, who just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Their Memorial Day trip included stops at Dinosaur World in Kentucky and Kings Island near Cincinnati.

In June, they went to CentriKid camp in Campbellsville, KY. This was a new experience for both of them, and they had a blast!

We had the amazing experience of being in the “line of totality” of the solar eclipse on August 21. Patrick’s cousin, Ray, is an astronomy professor and came to observe the eclipse in our driveway. It was a fantastic learning experience for all three of us and especially for Adam, who wants to be an astronomer when he grows up.

In October, Adam came down with what we thought was a bad cold, but he was soon diagnosed with pneumonia. After a week of treatment at home, our pediatrician sent us to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital at Williamson Medical Center for an in-patient stay to get IV antibiotics. Adam responded more quickly than expected to treatment there, and we were sent home at the end of our second day. This happened during Adam’s fall break, and so he had quite the story to tell when he went back to school. Unfortunately, Patrick then came down with it... followed shortly thereafter by Lydia as well, but we both managed to avoid the hospital. We are grateful to live in Nashville with great medical care. All of October and most of November were consumed with illness, and so we got a little behind on Christmas preparations and cards.

Also in November, Patrick’s office moved to LifeWay’s new building in the Capitol View development in Nashville’s “North Gulch”. Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds, and the area around the new building is surrounded by new businesses and residential buildings. The new, high-tech building is a big change from the aging buildings on the old campus, but many of the architectural elements were incorporated into LifeWay’s new home. Patrick continues to work on web-based projects including a training site for church planters with the North American Mission Board.

Adam is a fourth grader this year, which in our school district, is the last year of elementary school. We have been looking at our options for middle school next year and are prayerfully considering what will be the best fit for him and our family.

We enjoy everyone’s Christmas cards and greetings. Even if we aren’t able to see you in person, our family and friends are always close to our hearts. We would love to hear from you. We pray you will have a happy and healthy new year.

-Patrick, Lydia, and Adam Watts

January 10, 2017

Book review: The Mannings: The Fall and Rise of a Football Family

The Mannings: The Fall and Rise of a Football FamilyThe Mannings: The Fall and Rise of a Football Family by Lars Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are a fan of SEC football, you will like this book, but it's about much more than football. The Mannings: The Fall and Rise of a Football Family is also about family and fatherhood. I enjoyed reading about Archie's humble beginnings in tiny Drew, Mississippi, and how he overcame challenges that could have derailed his career in sports before it ever got off the ground.

All the details of the Mannings' football achievements are there, and it's obvious Lars Anderson researched them thoroughly. I caught a few mistakes about details, but they probably wouldn't be obvious to someone who wasn't at Tennessee at the same time as Peyton.

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November 27, 2016

2016 Year Ender

Dear friends and family,
IMG_0897.JPGWe hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to 2017. We started the year with quite a bit of snow in Tennessee, which resulted in lots of pre-empted school days for Adam and even some work days for Patrick. It was fun for a day or two, but by day seven, we were ready to get back into a routine.
A big event in our extended family actually happened right before the end of 2016, and that was the arrival of our niece and Adam’s cousin, Abby. She is the daughter of Patrick’s sister Allison and her husband, and she is named after Patrick’s grandmother. Patrick and Adam got to meet Abby during their spring break trip to Texas. Even from two states away, we enjoy watching her grow and seeing her personality start to emerge.
IMG_1485.JPGWe were overjoyed this year when Adam professed his faith in Christ and was baptized Memorial Day weekend. Adam met with our pastor and worked through a workbook about what it means to be a Christian. He continues to be involved in lots of activities at church including Sunday School, Royal Ambassadors, and children’s choir.
After a winter with lots of snow days, Adam enjoyed a full summer of activities. Our science-loving kid started with Camp Invention at his school where he made some unique creations with household objects. Vacation Bible School at church was a hit as always with fun field trips in the afternoons to destinations around Nashville.
IMG_1529.JPGAdam got to get out of his (and Mommy’s) comfort zone during Lego Camp at Camp Widjiwagan. In addition to the Lego time, he got to swim in the awesome pool, play on the “beach”, and ride in a speedboat. Adam got to do more science with Mr. Bond and the Science Guys at another day camp which included “Spy Camp” in the afternoons. The last day camp of the summer was Music Arts Camp at church, where Adam got to be a puppeteer. 
August brought the beginning of third grade. Not surprisingly, Adam’s favorite subject is science. He says his favorite thing about his classroom is the nautical themed decor. He also likes that the lunch line moves quickly. Adam went on a day-long field trip to the children’s museum in Chattanooga with his Encore class. They got to do experiments, and it was “awesome.”
IMG_1486.JPGPatrick and Adam had a fantastic fall break trip to Walt Disney World that included getting grazed by a hurricane! They ended up having a fun, lazy day at their resort while Matthew passed. Orlando missed the worst of it, but their flight out was cancelled before the storm hit. So, they had two more days at Disney and came home Monday morning.
IMG_1883.JPGAll of Pop and Polly’s great-grandchildren gathered in Ohio for Thanksgiving this year. Patrick’s grandparents were thrilled that their grandchildren from Idaho, Texas, and Tennessee all came to visit and especially enjoyed spending time with their three great-granddaughters and one great-grandson.
Patrick continues to enjoy his work at LifeWay. He has been working on a project for church planters with the North American Mission Board. Earlier this year, he was given the quarterly division Value Award in recognition of his work on various projects with  the Publishing and Event Technology department. LifeWay plans to move to a new campus in the Capitol View development late next year.
We love all our friends and family and enjoy hearing from you at Christmas and all throughout the year. We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
Patrick, Lydia, and Adam

“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you…”
-Philippians 1:3

July 3, 2016

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess BrideAs You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Put simply, this is a book about a movie, which was based on a book that is about a fictional book. If you are a fan of the movie (which, isn't everyone?), you will enjoy this book. The Princess Bride is one of those things where the right people came together at the right time to make something spectacular, and it turned out to be a fantastic experience for them along the way.

Cary Elwes wrote the book, but the other people involved make significant contributions. I wish I had listened to the audiobook just to hear all the different actors talk about the experience in their own voices.

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January 27, 2016

Eight is great

This kid turned eight years old today! The picture on the left is from our attempt at a one month photo shoot. He wasn't that excited about the preemie outfit I bought on eBay. I'm glad I kept it for comparison. I hope I don't have any grandsons who are small enough for it.

This year's big birthday gift was a WiiU. He is enjoying playing Super Mario Maker. We gave it to him a few days ago when we were snowed in. He is planning to have a party with his friends at BounceU on Sunday. I guess this birthday is brought to you by the letter "u".

December 24, 2015

Thank you JJ

Those of us of a certain age have lived with these characters for more than thirty years. We’re a bit attached.

When the first little Star Wars movie premiered in 1977, the Vietnam War and Watergate were still fresh in the minds of Americans. The Middle East was an ever bigger mess than it is now, and we were pretty sure the Soviets could nuke us all at any moment. Enter Star Wars: A New Hope with its group of misfits going up against the all-powerful Empire. It’s the ultimate underdog story. Their situation seems hopeless, and yet they prevail. It was the right story at the right time.

Sometimes we need to escape to a world where the good guys win. There's nothing wrong with that. Some of us are facing adversaries we know we won't overcome in this lifetime. We need stories like Star Wars. We want to visit with our old friends - Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and make new ones.

J.J. Abrams took this story and our beloved characters and added jaw-dropping beauty. He had a huge task, and he delivered. Thank you, J.J. for taking us on another adventure. It was worth the wait.

December 10, 2015

2015 Year in Review

Well, it's been a year since I've posted, so I've not kept up with my promise to myself to blog more, but I will try harder in 2016.

Adam will be eight years old in January. He is in second grade and enjoys science and reading. He did several day camps over the summer including two at the Adventure Science Center and Music Arts Camp at church.

Patrick is preparing to move his office to a temporary location while LifeWay's new headquarters is built. The new building will be located in the "North Gulch" area of downtown Nashville and will be finished sometime in 2017. He is working on several projects at LifeWay including an app for a new series of Veggie Tales books and MinistryGrid. He played keyboard for Oak Hill School's production of Jungle Book in November. He continues to help with the streaming video ministry at church.

Due to my health issues, most of my time is spent at home. I enjoy craft projects when I am able, especially for our new niece who is due to arrive anytime. I love staying connected with friends via Facebook and would welcome visitors if you are ever in the area. Check out our Facebook pages for videos and pictures!