Archive for the ‘Atlanta Happenings – for your enjoyment’ Category

Demo Days

Join us Saturday, January 17th for free 30-minute classes for two different age-groupings: 1) ages newborn to 3.5 years,  and 2) 3.5 – 6 years.

Classes are listed below.  In order to insure adequate class space, class sizes are limited, and we ask that you register your child for these free classes.  Choose the one that best fits your child’s age, and click on the link to register.  If you have more than one child, choose the class that more closely overlaps the age ranges of your children.  These are absolutely free!

Newborn – 3.5 years

Saturday, January 17th – 10AM

3.5  – 6 years

Not sure where we’re located?    All classes are held at Avondale First Baptist Church, 47 Covington Road, in Avondale Estates.  A map and directions are available here.

Come join us as we share some of the fun and learning you will find in our Kindermusik classroom!

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Imagine whirling, creating, storytelling, singing, and dancing.  Nowhere else is learning this much fun!  And no other experience offers more ways for children to grow! 

 This unique opportunity allows you and your child to experience the most respected programs in early childhood music education first-hand. Together you’ll share the wonder and magic of learning through music.


We will share activities from our Fall Semester programs:
Dream Pillow and Zoom Buggy for Village classes,
Milk & Cookies for Our Time ages,
and Our Kind of Day for Family Time
in our class for ages newborn to 3 years.  

For older children, we will also share activities from:

Hello, Weather for Imagine That! ages 3.5 to 5 years, 

as well as Young Child, Semester 1 for children ages 5 to 7.

 Come join us for 30 minutes of fun, laughter, and special bonding time created just for you and your child!  Share the magic of Kindermusik with your child and experience it for yourself.

Register Here.

Not sure where we’re located?   

All classes are held at Avondale First Baptist Church, 47 Covington Road, in Avondale Estates. 

A map and directions are available here

Come join us as we share some of the fun and learning you will find in our Kindermusik classroom this fall!

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Ever wondered what a Kindermusik class was really like?

Did you ever want your child to experience Kindermusik, but didn’t have the funds available right then to pay for tuition?

Now’s the time to take advantage of *FREE* classes during Demo Days here at Masterworks Studio.  This week we will have free 30-minute classes on three different days for two different age-groupings: 1) ages newborn to 3.5 years,  and 2) 3.5 – 6 years.  

Choose your class below that best fits your child’s age, and click on the link to register.  If you have more than one child, choose the class that more closely overlaps the age ranges of your children.  These are absolutely free!

Newborn – 3.5 years

Tuesday, July 15th – 10AM      Thursday, July 17th – 6PM    

Saturday, July 19th – 10AM

3.5  – 6 years

Tuesday, July 15th – 11AM     Thursday, July 17th –  7 PM    

Saturday, July 19th – 11AM

Not sure where we’re located?    All classes are held at Avondale First Baptist Church, 47 Covington Road, in Avondale Estates.  A map and directions are available here

Come join us as we share some of the fun and learning you will find in our Kindermusik classroom this fall!

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This Saturday from 10AM – 2PM, there will be an Early Learning Expo at all local Babies “R” Us stores nationwide.  Kindermusik educators in all 50 states will be singing, dancing, twirling, and bringing the joy of music to parents and children alike.  Come join us as we offer *free* classes at 10AM, 11:30AM, and 1PM at the Babies “R” Us store located at 8160 Mall Parkway, Lithonia, GA at Stonecrest Mall. 

Families enrolling that day in our studio classes for the Fall Semester will receive a free Kindermusik t-shirt or onesie as well as a “Best of Kindermusik, Vol. 2” CD.  See you there!

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When’s the last time you went to the movies for $1.00?  (And, no, I don’t mean when you won a free ticket for reading a certain number of books or reading for so many hours for the local library’s summer reading program, either.)

$1.00 Movies for Charity

Well, take your children and visit your local AMC Theatre each Wednesday at 10AM this summer, all summer long, and enjoy a movie for only $1.00.  AMC also makes a KidsPack available that includes a kid-sized drink, popcorn, and snack for only $3.00 (a $2.75 savings only for the Summer Movie Camp). 

Summer KidsPack - special price for Summer Movie Camp

Participating AMC Theatres in our area include the AMC Stonecrest 16 at Stonecrest Mall in eastern DeKalb county, AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 in Morrow near Southlake Mall, AMC Discover Mills 18 in Gwinnett County near Discover Mills, and AMC Avenue Forsyth 12 located at GA 400 and Peachtree Parkway. 

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the box office or online on the AMC Theatres website.

The lineup includes:

June 25: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

July 2: The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

July 9: Alvin & the Chipmunks

July 16: Shrek the Third

July 23: Bee Movie

July 30: Surf’s Up

August 6: TMNT

All proceeds from the AMC Summer Movie Camp benefit the Variety – The Children’s Charity and the Will Rogers Institute.  Find participating theatres and fun activities for your kids here.

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Several readers have written me, asking if I had any information regarding a Sales Tax Holiday for 2008.  I did not have any new information to share, however, until today. 

Prompted by a comment and a request on an earlier sales tax post, this morning I contacted Charles Willey of the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Public Information office and asked for any information about tax holidays in 2008.  I was very pleasantly surprised to receive an initial response within 8 minutes of hitting the “send” key. 

Basically, the reason that there has been no information is that the state legislature has not yet passed a bill this legislative session authorizing a sales tax holiday. 

Later this morning, I received additional information from Mr. Charles Willey, Public Information Officer for the DOR. 

House Bill 948 has been introduced in the Georgia General Assembly to provide a sales tax holiday; however, the bill has not been adopted at this time.  This legislation allows for a general sales tax holiday from July 31, 2008 – August 3, 2008. It provides a sales tax holiday for energy efficient products on October 2 – 5, 2008.  You may view House Bill 948 at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2007_08/pdf/hb948.pdf.  

Thank you, Mr. Willey, for your quick and timely follow-up.  This Georgia citizen greatly appreciates your efforts on our behalf!

UPDATE: Please visit this post from July 18, 2008 for the most up-to-date information.

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This morning, while I waited and watched for the tow truck to arrive at our home, I thought I saw an errant snowflake or two, periodically falling from the sky.  Usually, that’s all we will see here in the metro Atlanta area.  Lowering skies and shivering temps that presage snow elsewhere usually result only in a slight flurry here – just enough to tease you, and make even grown adults stand with their faces upraised and tongues out, trying to catch a taste of snow.  🙂

However, late this afternoon, around 4PM, the snow flurries began in earnest, leaving a good dusting on the ground after only 30 minutes.  Arriving home from an errand, it was apparent to me that people were not taking a chance on icy roads, leaving work early to stop by the store for milk, eggs, bread, or whatever else they felt necessary to withstand a 12 hour siege with snowflakes on the ground.

 Clear evidence that we *do* occassionally have snow here in Georgia.

Now, I have good friends up in the North-East and out in the Midwest (Missouri) that seriously have snow – 18 to 20 inches in places, or even more. (I can’t keep up with it.)   I know that right now, they’re probably holding their sides, hunched over with laughter, at what we call snow. (Yes, I hear you snickering, Debbie, Christa, Beth Anne!)

Snowy rush hour

But when you can count on one hand the “real” snowfalls here in Atlanta during your lifetime, you take whatever snow comes when it comes, and you enjoy it to the max!

 Two of my daughters

Just for fun, for you longterm Atlantans, do you remember these?

The Ice Storm of 1973 – Atlanta was struck almost blind-sided on a Sunday afternoon shortly after New Year’s, and entire neighborhoods were without power for days.  At my parents’ home in south DeKalb County, we were without power for 7 days and 7 nights due to a neighbor’s tree that fell across the neighborhood transformer from the ice load *after* the power came back on early Monday morning.  Since there were only seven houses affected, we had to wait until Georgia Power finally got to us – the next Saturday night.

SnowJam ’82 – It came roaring in on Tuesday afternoon, January 12th.  We had just brought our newborn daughter home from the hospital the day before, which was one of the coldest days on record in over 100 years.  (-5 degrees)  Being jaundiced with elevated levels of bilirubin in her blood, we were scheduled to see the pediatrician on Wednesday morning, but, after hearing weather reports on the radio of the possibility of flurries the next day, we decided to go ahead and have her levels checked that afternoon. 

Since my husband had returned to work that day, my intrepid mother volunteered to take us, along with my two boys, ages 2 and not quite 4, to the closest office with the necessary lab equipment.  This was up at the Century Center Office Park just off Clairmont at I-85, requiring us to travel on I-285, through Spaghetti Junction over the highest bridge, and back down I-85 to Clairmont. 

As we left home in her trusty little Datsun sedan, we had no clue to the adventure that awaited us later that afternoon.  Let’s just say that, after waiting for an hour to have Beth’s heel pricked and with the all-clear finally given by the doctor, we began our homeward journey, meeting the blizzard at I-285 and the Stone Mountain Freeway.   I’ve never forgotten the sinking sensation in my stomach as my mom’s car skidded and snow-planed across three lanes of traffic on the Perimeter Highway as she tried to negotiate the tight curve onto the I-20 Eastbound ramp, holding my newborn daughter in my arms and listening to my two boys giggling in the backseat, having taken their shoes and socks off in order to throw their socks around inside the car like the snowflakes they saw outside the windows.  (Please don’t send me hate mail about holding her in my arms.  This was in the days before I knew better and prior to car-seat legislation.)

We finally arrived home safely, two hours after we left the doctor’s office, only to find that, while we could receive phone calls, for some strange reason, we couldn’t call out.  My father-in-law had left home while we were out, walking 2.5 miles in the blizzard up to I-20 and Wesley Chapel Road, looking for my mother-in-law who had left work around 1:30PM.  He was afraid she had gone off the road in the bad weather. 

When my husband got home from his route at 5PM, he joined his dad in looking for his mom, who, unbeknownst to us, had eventually made it to her aunt’s home, forced to walk up a long, steep hill on Columbia Drive through the storm after her car skidded off the road,  coming to rest on the wrong side of the road.  They didn’t get back home until around 11PM that night.  As I waited at home, with a new baby, a toddler, and a preschooler, with no way to call anyone, wondering if my mom had made it back home, if my mother-in-law was safe, if my husband would ever get back home that night, it was the first time in my life that I completely understood what some people mean when they say, “Boy, do I need a drink!” 😉

The  Blizzard of ’93 – I was ready for that drink again in March of 1993.  Our oldest son turned 15 on the 12th of March and had asked to have four of his friends over on Friday night to have pizza, watch movies, play video games, and stay up all night, doing whatever it is that 14 and 15 year old boys do at such events.  In order to give him an opportunity to celebrate without siblings underfoot, we had arranged for his brother to stay with his grandmother across the road and his sisters, 11 and almost 3, to visit our aunt in Lithonia, 5 miles away.  (What self-respecting 15yo boy *wants* his brother or sisters at his party?  I mean, *really*!)

Matthew and his friends were having a good time, filling our house with their laughter, crude jokes and bathroom humor (wanta play “turtle”, anyone?), when we realized that it had begun to snow outside.  Turning on the weather radio, we had our first clue that this was more than just flurries.  Accumulations of 4-6″ were expected.  Listeners were urged not to travel if they didn’t have to.  My husband and I looked at each other, thinking, “How much food do we really have in the house? Enough to feed these boys more than overnight?!” 

The next morning, while the boys were sliding down the hill behind our home on every pizza and pie pan that I owned, my husband and I were trying to figure how we were going to get them home.  The only reason we weren’t literally eaten out of house and home that weekend was that the dad of one of the boys had a Cherokee 4-wheel drive.  (Being a doctor, he knew the need for dependable, safe transportation in all kinds of weather and also knew how to drive safely in the crazy white stuff.) 

That Saturday afternoon, he finally arrived at our home around 3:30 and agreed to take two of the other boys home on his way back to Covington, using his carphone (a novelty at the time) to contact the other parents who met him at their exits on I-20.   The last boy was finally picked up that night by his dad, who had found some chains for his tires and had filled the bed of his Ford Ranger with firewood to give it some extra traction.  Our younger son stayed across the road until Sunday night, and our older daughter didn’t come home from Aunt Betty’s until Tuesday!  Thankfully, our youngest at the time, Bekah, had begged to come home before the storm hit on Friday night, so we didn’t have to worry about 3yo homesickness.  😀

So – where were YOU in any of those memorable snow adventures?


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House Bill 128 passed by the Georgia State Legislature provides a sales tax exemption from both state and local sales taxes for certain, specific energy efficient products that are purchased during the sales tax holiday of October 4 through 7, 2007.   This exemption is limited strictly to products $1500 or less that are designated as meeting requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy “Energy Star” programs. 

Energy Star

The energy efficient products that are eligible for the sales tax exemption are:

air conditioners                                                 doors

ceiling fans                                                        flourescent light bulbs

clothes washers                                                programmable thermostats

dehumidifiers                                                   refrigerators

dishwashers                                                     windows (including skylights)

This sales tax exemption is meant strictly for non-commercial home or personal use.  

 For additional information, check out the FAQ’s at the Georgia State Department of Revenue’s site. 

The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority has a comprehensive page with a ton of helpful information as well as multiple helpful links for the consumer and  the retailer alike.    Just keep in mind that the products must be $1500 or less in price.   If it’s more than that price cap, you will pay sales tax on the entire amount, not just the amount beyond $1500.    Good luck and happy shopping!  😀


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Demo Days

Kindermusik fosters the total development of young children through a combination of music and movement.  Imagine whirling, creating, storytelling, and singing.  Nowhere else is learning this much fun, and no other experience offers more ways for children to grow!  This unique opportunity allows you and your child to experience the most respected programs in early childhood music education first-hand.  Together you’ll share the wonder of learning through music. 

Come join us Thursday, August 23rd, or Saturday, August 25th, for a *FREE* demonstration of Kindermusik classes.  Come see and experience for yourself how music and movement can nurture your young child’s developing mind and body.  Come see and experience for yourself why 99% of Kindermusik parents would recommend the program to other parents.

To register online for this *FREE* class and ensure your child’s place in class, please visit our studio’s homepage.  Classes are limited in size and fill very quickly.  See you soon! 😀

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Tax-Free Holiday - August 3-6. 2006     

(Disclaimer – the sign above is from 2005.)

UPDATE: For Oct. 2007 Sales Tax Holiday, please visit this post.

I’ve had a lot of hits recently on last year’s post about the Georgia Sales Tax holiday and decided I needed to find out  when this year’s holiday was scheduled.  In case you weren’t aware of it, for the last several years, the State of Georgia has had at least one regularly scheduled sales tax holiday for parents, grandparents, friends, and family to purchase needed school supplies without having to pay the required sales tax.  In previous years, this also included computers and laptops as well as school clothes. 

      This year,  the 2007 school sales tax holiday has been proposed by the State Legislature and approved by Governor Sonny Perdue to take place August 2 – 5th, 2007.  Per the most recent legislation, no limit is placed on how many clothing items a consumer can purchase during the sales tax free holiday. You just have to remember that individual clothing items over $100 are not exempt from sales tax, and clothing accessories are still taxed. 

     Clothing and footwear are exempt up to $100 per item, with no limit on how many pairs of shoes and clothing items a person can buy.  In other words, you can buy 10 pairs of shoes at $10 each without paying any sales tax, or buy one (1) single pair for $101 and pay another $6 or $7 in sales tax.  Clothing accessories, such as handbags, eyewear, jewelry, umbrellas, and watches, are not exempt.    

       The 4-day Georgia Sales Tax Holiday weekend draws shoppers from surrounding states in addition to many metro Atlantans, to take advantage of the sales tax exemption on certain items.   School supplies are sales tax exempt up to $20 per item, including pens, pencils, notebooks, paper, book bags, calculators, dictionaries, thesauruses, children’s books and books listed on school district approved reading lists for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Again, there are no limits on the number of school supply purchases – simply a ceiling price of $20 per item. 

     For a full list of approved items as well as restrictions, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website.  Keep in mind that this is last year’s listing from the Governor’s office.  This year’s has not yet been released, but expected in the next two weeks or so.

      Computers and computer accessories are exempt up to $1500 per transaction.  If the purchase exceeds $1500, the entire price is taxable, not just the amount that exceeds $1500.  Items included in the personal computer category include monitors, personal computer base units, keyboards, handheld computers, printers, modems, nonrecreational software, and other peripheral devices. 

       A second sales tax holiday for energy-efficient appliances is slated for October 4 – October 7, 2007.  There is a limit of $1500 on the energy-efficient appliances to qualify for the sales tax exemption, and appliances can include everything from dishwashers, to refrigerators, to air conditioners.  For a complete listing of approved appliances from last year’s list, please visit the Georgia General Assembly website.  Each year, it is updated around the first of July.  This year’s complete listing (for 2007) has not yet been released.

     So, for those of you who like to plan ahead, put August 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th on your calendar right now, and make sure you’re prepared with your lists of sizes and required school supplies, cash, checkbook, or credit card, and comfortable shoes for all those checkout lines! 

UPDATE: For the latest information from the state about this year’s sales tax holiday, please visit our post of July 9th here.

For 2008 Sales Tax Holiday dates, please visit my blog here: https://masterworks.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/georgia-sales-tax-holidays-for-2008/

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