Free School Supplies: Back to School Jam

We made it to get free school supplies! I posted it as soon as a friend told me they had heard about this event. It has been a regular occurance the last few years in July. So I figured I’d check it out and see what this event meant.

When I arrived there was a small line out of the door but it moves quickly. Once I came inside we were handed a paper with all of the vendor’s names. Unfortunately you had to talk to 10 vendors and get a signature before you received the supplies. I will say that this seems to be a common thing now. We had to do the same at the summer camp fair in order to enter for a prize drawing. It’s tedious and often has me weighing the work and giving out my information (not all required this) vs reward. The work was, if you arrived early you received little giveaways at the different booths. Anything from books, folders, school supplies, candy, bracelets and I believe I heard someone say you could win a Wal-mart gift certificate in the hospitality room.

I was able to connect with a lot of new organizations. To make a few on site were the Sickle Cell foundation (walk-a-thon Sept. 15), the Reading Literacy program (they send free books until your child is 5 (click here for more info), Girls Inc, The Boys and Girl’s Club, Girl Scouts (offering a 2 year membership for the price of one), Albany State, Muscogee school district, Project Launch (a resource that can help if you suspect developmental delays), an Autism table and more. One organization I learned about today was Mickinney-Vento. This is a jewel for children whose families have fallen on hard times and need uniforms and school supplies. They’re located next to the main library. Anything from parents experiencing a job loss, fires to homelessness can qualify for these resources.

Once at least 10 vendors have signed your paper, then you were able to enter the lower arena and receive a backpack. They were separated by elementary, middle school and high school. The fire department, Columbus Regional (are they still called that), Amerigroup, discounts for the Columbus Lions game, the mobile Library and more were in the main arena. The children, as always, loved the firetruck. We were in the building around 9:30am (sleepy kids slowed the process), and out a little before 11am. As I was leaving I realized the line was gone. Honestly, I thought it could have been worse (with my two children on the younger end) but, the stroller and snacks helped tremendously.

Over all, when I was there, things moved pretty seamlessly, despite the congestion. One thing I will say is that there was an unclear line to the next table. I couldn’t tell if each table had a line or if there was one line wrapping around the hallway. Outside was the kids’ favorite area. It consisted of games and most of all a bubble machine! Dragging them away from that was quite an effort, unfortunately we were on a time crunch. Ultimately were the free supplies worth the hour and a half process? It was more than supplies, kind of an experience. the resources and networks could be invaluable, the kids were entertained with trinkets along the way, until they reached their backpacks and finally ended with a fun area.

I dont know, what do you think? By the way, if you’d rather buy your own supplies or have more shopping to do, there will not be a tax free weekend this year. However Florida and Alabama have one, both on Aug 3-5, 2018. A detailed post with more on this to come.

#freeschoolsupplies #forrestbjohnson #2018 #Backtoschooljam #muscogeecounty #columbusga


Time to hug yourself

Sometimes you spend so much time loving other people that will never even think to reciprocate or appreciate your love. You’re lucky if they even recognize the phone calls and acts you do, as love, if they even see your friendship/relationship to the same degree that you do. Now’s the time to love yourself with that same intensity. Stop waiting for them to notice, for them to reciprocate, or to even miss you. Just pour that love into yourself. Encourage yourself and fill yourself back up with time, attention and acts of love. In the end you are your one and only fan. The one that has been there from day one and will remain there until your very last breath. I mean I’m sure I’ve loved people that never even realized it, I continue to love and cherish and relish people/ snapshots in time, despite the fact that I am the only one reflecting on these moments. However, those with big hearts and open arms never forget those that have touched them and those they hope were touched by them. While we express deeply through art, poetry, music, service and sacrifice; we also mourn the loss of every soul that has been close enough to take away a piece of our heart. Cratered, tougher, bruised and longing, it beats on. Yes we wear our hearts outside of our chest, many can see it, some will abuse it, others misuse it and then there are those that choose to peruse it, then lose it. Wrap your arms around yourself and reabsorb it. Who better to realize how beautiful, how loving, how giving you are? Who better to know how to cherish and preserve and bloom from it’s radiance? You. The source of it all, the one they call Love.

-C. Ragin Moore

honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Matthew 19:19 NIV

*to love your neighbor as yourself, you must first love yourself.

APR 7, 8, 9 Events (2018)

Facebook links are listed for the events below. Please check to make sure events haven’t been canceled, or rescheduled, by going to the attached links for your desired event.

April 7th:

Art is for Everyone (moved to April 14)

Kids fun run

Annual Strut the Hooch Parade

Glassblowing Experience: Spring Flowers

Indivisible Tours: White Oak Pastures
(Learn about Farming)

Kids Yoga

Art in the Park


Rock Ranch Character Day

Thunder in The Valley

Artbeat of Columbus

Check the following link to learn more about the Artbeat of Columbus. A citywide art project happening now and lasting until April 22nd. A list of daily events can be found at the following link.

For more detailed information visit the Official site:

Spring Fling happening until April 15

Spring Fling happening until April 15

Further information also found at

Free Admission Petting Zoo

A mom tip told us about this free petting zoo. This is located at the Piggly Wiggly at 1130 East 280 Bypass
Phenix City, AL. $5 camel rides. $5 pony rides. 25 cent pellets to feed animals or $1 ice cream cone filled w/ pellets. They also sell souvenir photos taken with either the monkey, kangaroo or tiger starting at $17. They’re here April 6, 7 and 8. They open “around” 10am and close at sundown (around 8pm). No contact information available. #phenixcityalabama #ColumbusGA #charityisblog @ Phenix City, Alabama

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Artbeat of Columbus 2018

APRIL 1- April 22, 2018

If you haven’t heard there’s a citywide art project happening now and lasting until April 22nd. A list of daily events can be found at the following link.

For more detailed information visit the Official site:

Facebook page:

April 1 – 22

  • Art-Rocks: Painted rocks will be hidden around town with instructions on them, together the Rocks will complete passages from The My River Valley poem by Isiah Harper. The person who turns in the last piece of the puzzle will receive a prize! Venue: Gallery on 10th.

April 1 – 22:

Front: Express Yourself Form

Back: Express Yourself Form

  • Enjoy the public art displayed in Uptown Columbus by interacting and interpreting each piece.
    Select six art objects from the list provided, then download the free app “Otocast” to begin your
    narrated self-guided tour. The app provides a map with each art object and its location. Once
    you find each of the art objects, respond to them in the space provided on the back of this form.
    Let the art inspire your inner creativity – respond with a quote, thoughts on the object, a phrase
    or even draw a picture. Once completed, visit the RiverCenter, Columbus Museum, Iron Bank
    Coffee Company, Nonic, or Synovus Uptown Center and place your form in the ArtBeat drop
    box. Participants who complete and turn in this form by April 22 will be entered to win one of
    the following prizes: gift certificate to Houlihan’s; gift certificate to the Cannon Brew Pub;
    tickets to the Springer; tickets to the RiverCenter. Be creative and have fun. Happy hunting!

April 2 @ 7:30 pm. Free

April 3 @ 7:30 pm. Free

  • Clarinet Studio Recital; Venue: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. 900 Broadway, Website:

April 5 @ 7:30 pm. Free

  • Guest Artist: Stephen Robinson, guitar; Venue: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. 900 Broadway, Website:

April 5-28

  • Printmaking Students – On Printmaking; Venue: Fulcrum Gallery

April 6 @ 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm & 8:00 pm

  • Hot Glass Date Night, Instructor: Kelly Robertson, Calvary Glass
  • Looking for something fun and creative to do on your next get-together with that someone special, your bestie, or maybe even a family member? Then this hot-glass “date” night is for you. You and your companion will learn how to gather, heat, and shape molten glass into beautiful forms. The instructor will help you create a one-of-a-kind piece of art! Each person will get to make at least one piece, choosing from the following items: flower, paperweight, heart or ornament, and more. Depending on complexity, you and your companion may be able to complete a team piece or a second item each. No previous experience is required,, and this session is available for beginner, intermediate, or advanced students. All items will need to be cooled over a 24 hour period and will be available for pick-up the next business day. Each time slot is limited to one twosome, ensuring dedicated instructor attention. Only one individual in each pair should register, as the fee includes both participants. For non-members participating, you can receive $10 off a Museum Membership!
  • Register by April 2; Contact: Liliana Harrell or 706.748.2562 ext. 210
  • $150/Members $175/Future Members

April 6th @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

  • Reception for Faculty Exhibition; Venue: Bay Gallery, Corn Center

April 6th @ 5:30-7:30pm

  • Art Walk: A traveling reception that visits different locations such as the Corn Center, Bo Bartlett Center, WC Bradley Museum, 10th St. Gallery, Frank Brown Hall, and the new Bruno Zupan exhibit. Enjoy the new installations and complimentary music and appetizers! After the walk enjoy Uptown Columbus’s FREE Friday night concert on the 1000 block of broadway. For more information contact; Hannah Israel: CSU Art, Megan Hallissey: CSU Education or Susan Wiggins: WCBradley

April 6th @ 5:30-7:00 pm

  • Art in the Community
  • Ten surrounding schools were selected to work collaboratively with the Teacher Education Department at Columbus State University to create permanent wall art pieces for their new building in Frank Brown Hall. These art pieces provided a cross-curriculum opportunity that met both science and art standards with a real-world application. A celebratory reception to unveil these children’s endeavors will occur on April 6th, from 5:30-7pm, with Dr. Markwood and Dr. Greer saying a few words. Local television stations will also help promote this event, highlighting our collaborative partnership, and advertise the ‘Arts if for Everyone’ that will be held Saturday.

April 6-27

  • Portraits from the Do Good Fund, CSU Rankin Photography Center
  • Opening Reception Friday, April 6, 6-8pm

April 6 @ 7:00 pm. Free

April 6, 13, 20 @ 10:30 pm. Cost $5

  • No Shame Theatre at the Springer Opera House

April 7 & 8 @ 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:30 pm

  • Glassblowing Experience: Spring Flowers, Instructor: Kelly Robertson, Calvary Glass
  • Make your own glass Spring Flower! During this hot glass experience, students will receive a quick demonstration and a lesson about the equipment needed to work with hot glass. Under the guidance of the instructor, each student will have the opportunity to create their very own unique glass flower. All materials included. This workshop is available to individuals or groups. ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED! Each student MUST sign up for one (and only one) of the following time slots. For non-members participating, you can receive $10 off a Museum Membership!
  • Register by April 2; Contact: Liliana Harrell or 706.748.2562 ext. 210
  • $45/Members $55/Future Members

April 7 @ 10:00 am until 2:00pm

  • Made in MidTown, a surprising art exhibit including creative work by over 20 imaginative MidTown residents and business owners, April 7th, 10:00 am until 2:00 pm, The Chapman House, 1410 Wynnton Road

April 7 @ 9:30 am. Free

April 7 @ 10:45. Free

  • Exciting News! The Columbus Ballet will be participating in the 4th Annual Strut the Hooch Parade on Saturday, April 7th at 9:30 AM! They will also be doing a short performance at 10:45 AM after the parade on the 1000 Block of Broadway Stage! Come out and watch these amazing dancers as they strut their stuff and put on a showstopping performance!

April 7 @ 7:30 pm. Free

  • Oboe Studio Recital; Venue: Studio Theatre for the students of Dr. Susan Tomkiewicz; Venue: Studio Theatre, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. 900 Broadway
  • Website:

April 7 @ 7:30 pm

  • RiverCenter, Classic Albums Live: Led Zeppelin

April 8 @ 4:00 pm. Free

April 9

  • Wes Hempel, The Marriage of History and Fiction, 1996

April 9 @ 7:30 pm. Free

April 10 @ 12:15 pm-12:30 pm. Free

  • LOOK! @ Lunchtime is a collaborative viewing exercise and dialogue centered around works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. Jonathan Frederick Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of American Art, will facilitate LOOK!

April 11 @ 7:30 pm. Free

April 12 @ 12:00 pm

  • Historic Columbus, Lunch, and Lecture at WC Bradley Museum with David Lewis

April 12 @ 6:00 pm

  • Please join us as we engage with the internationally-known visual and performance artist Jonathan VanDyke, who will discuss his on-site projects at The Columbus Museum. Director of Curatorial Affairs Jonathan Frederick Walz and Curator of History Rebecca Bush will interview VanDyke, with ample time for questions and feedback from the public about the artist’s durational performance—taking place April 5–12, 2018 during regular Museum open hours—and related exhibition in the contemporary galleries. RSVP to attend the roundtable and talkback by April 10. This event is free, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for the roundtable and talkback, please contact Liliana Harrell at 706-748-2562 x210 /

April 12 @ 7:30 pm. Free

April 12-22

  • Perfect Arrangement at the Springer
  • Tickets available through Springer’s website.

April 12 – May 12

  • Jon Lumpkin; Venue: ArtLab
  • Reception: April 12, 5:30-7 p.m.

April 13 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Free

  • Off-Campus Event: Schwob Jazz Combo; Venue: The Loft

April 13

  • Talkback with Topher Payne, playwright of Perfect Arrangement, following the performance; Venue: Springer Opera House

April 13 @ 7:00pm. Free

April 13 @ 7:30 pm. Free

April 13 – 14. Free

  • Immersive Theater Experience; Venue: The Lion House
  • See seven 10-minute plays, each created specifically for a room in The Lion House

April 13 – 15 @ 7:30 pm 2:30 pm on Sunday

  • Spring Awakening winner of 8 Tony Awards in 2007, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. In their dynamic re-imagining of Spring Awakening, Sater and Sheik have created a groundbreaking rock musical about adolescent love, the trials of puberty and the friendships that young people build in the face of an uncomprehending world. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s once-banned and still provocative German play from 1891, this Spring Awakening holds up a mirror to our own time and has become the must-see musical of a new generation. Venue: CSU’s Riverside Theatre
  • Price: $17; $15 seniors and active military; $12 children (12 and under)

April 14 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

  • Phenix City Art Park unveiling, Gallery inside shipping container, Mural from Together 2017

April 14 @6:00 pm. $150

April 14 @ 7:30 pm. $20

April 15 @ 4:00 pm. Free

April 15 @ 7:30 pm. Free

  • Horn Ensemble Concert, CSU SSOM; Venue: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter

April 16 @ 6:00 pm. Free

  • World Voice Day Celebration, CSU SSOM; Venue: Studio Theatre, RiverCenter

April 16 @ 7:30 pm. Free

  • Guitar Chamber Recital, CSU SSOM; Venue: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter

April 17 @ 5:00 pm. Free

  • Special Event: Music Under the Dome
  • The Schwob School of Music continues with its Music Under The Dome series with a concert on Tuesday, Apr. 17 starting at 5:00 pm with wine and cheese, concert starts at 5:30 pm Coca-Cola Space Science Center. Admission is free but tickets are required. They can be reserved by following the link on the Coca-Cola Space Science Center Facebook page.
  • Venue: Coca-Cola Space Science Center. 701 Front Avenue

April 17 5:30- 7:00 pm

  • Scholarship and Juried Exhibition Award Reception; Venue: Bay Gallery, CSU

April 17 – 18 @ 7:30 pm

  • RiverCenter, Sound of Music

April 18 @ 7:30 pm. Free

  • Bassoon Studio Recital, CSU SSOM; Venue: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter

April 19 8:30 am – 6:30 pm

  • Tower Day, CSU; Venue: Davidson Hall/Schuster Hall

April 19 @ 9:00 am

  • Historic Columbus, Pull for Preservation Clay Shoot at WC Bradley Farms

April 19 @ 5:30-7:30 pm. Free

  • STEAM-Powered Education Evening at The Columbus Museum
  • During this special event, educators and future educators will experience four miniature lessons that incorporate not only history and art, but also science, technology, engineering and math. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities and engage with the Museum in a totally different way. By the end of the evening, participants will walk away with four adaptable lesson plans that can be utilized in their classroom, as well as samples of hands-on projects and ideas on creating STEAM labs in their classrooms. This program is FREE, but registration is required. Register by April16; Contact:

April 20 @ 7pm. Free

April 20 – April 21

  • Carson McCullers Literary Festival
  • Scheduled for April 20-21 at CSU’s Bo Bartlett Center, the Carson McCullers Literary Festival is designed primarily as a celebration of creative writing for Georgia high school students. The event will feature public readings, master classes and student workshops conducted by nationally known writers and poets. Among an impressive list of accomplished writers scheduled to give readings are Brad Watson, recent winner of the Harper Lee Award; Jonathan S.E. Perkins, nationally recognized slam poet champion; and novelist and essayist Melissa Pritchard, whose work has been recognized by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and O, The Oprah Magazine. Venue: Bo Bartlett Center. 921 Front Avenue

April 21 @ 6:00 pm -9:00 pm. Free

  • Teen Night at The Columbus Museum
  • Teens ages 12 – 18 are invited to join the Museums TAG-Team (Teen Advisory Group) at Teen Night 2018 for a night filled with fun, friends, music and more! Grab your friends and hit the dance floor as our deejay provides tunes for the evening, design a pennant at our art-making station, and put together a group to compete in our scavenger hunt competition! Visit the Pound Gallery to see winning submissions by teen artists in our TAG Arts Competition, and view performances throughout the evening by winning submissions in poetry, dance, music, and film.
  • Contact, 706.748.2562 ext. 210

April 21 @ 7:30 pm

  • The CSO is joined by choral forces from CSU, Auburn University, and LaGrange College in this presentation of Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece. Composed in 1874 to honor the great Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, it is among the most frequently performed major choral works ever written; Venue: Bill Heard, Verdi’s Requiem.
  • For tickets, visit the RiverCenter Box Office or

April 22 @ 4:00 pm. Free

  • Schwob Virtuosi String Ensemble, CSU SSOM; Venue: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter

April 22 @ 7:00 pm. Free

  • Maestro for a Moment Concert; Venue: Bill Heard, RiverCenter

April 22 @ 7:30 pm. Free

  • Trombone Ensemble, CSU SSOM; Venue: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter

Have fun and click below to find out how to follow me:

Be a Leader not a Boss

A little reminder. I have never aspired to be anyone’s boss. I have aspired to have a cohesive and efficiently run work environment, where we help one another succeed and progress. When one of us succeed we all succeed. What is your work environment like? Do they ask questions or already assume they know the answers? This is where you spend a majority of your time. Choose the energy you expose yourself to and surround yourself with leaders!

2018 Registration: Kindergarten, Pre-K, Headstart, Early Headstart

All the information and links below are specific to Muscogee County.

Early Headstart and Headstart

Last day to register has been extended to March 30th.

This is an income based program. It is available for children 3-5 years old. A complete list of what is needed is shown in the picture below or can be found at the attached link:


Registration from February 26 to March 9th.

Ga Pre-K is not an income based program. Not all schools have a program and it is a lottery process.
Daycares and private institutions also have Ga Pre-k as well. Here, it is a first come first serve and they have varying enrollment dates within the Ga Pre-K enrollment period.

Muscogee County GA Pre-k locations not in a school.

Each Pre-K facility can choose from 1 of 15 approved curriculums found at the following link and pictured below:

Provide the following verifications for registration no later than March 30, 2018.

  • Verification of child’s date of birth
  • Child’s Social Security Card
  • Proof of address of parent/legal guardian

Pre-K online registration application for schools:

Find out more here:

Pre-K tools at the bottom of the linked page:


Applications accepted March 1st-March 30th. Parents are being encouraged to register students on site.

What you’ll need to register:
1. Two proofs of residency in Muscogee County (lease/mortgage and current utility)
2. The student’s birth certificate (NOTE: Student must be 5 years of age on or before September 1, 2018)
3. The student’s social security card
4. Parent/legal guardian’s state-issued photo I.D. (e.g. Driver’s License, Passport, Military I.D.)

Find your district here:

Find out about registration here:

Find out more general information here:

Find Kindergarten tools for your child at the bottom of the linked page:


A “Declaration of Intent” must be submitted by September 1st.

Link to the online “Declaration of Intent”

All you need to know:

Georgia Cyber Academy:

More Homeschool references:

Homeschool Hangout Bookstore in Alpharetta, GA: