The Date Jar

The Date Jar: Week 6 (Family Movie Date)

My favorite part about this Date Jar series is the emphasis it has put on spending more quality time with my family. For as young as a family as we are we have quite a full schedule. It would be extremely easy for us to go several weeks at a time without doing much more than watching television on the couch as a family, but this series has gotten us to plan fun, inexpensive ventures and provided us opportunities to experience some of the fun and excitement that the Columbus area has to offer. This week our destination: Lancaster, Ohio.

My husband has begun a ministry opportunity on Saturday mornings. He is currently renting out a gym in Circleville, Ohio and holding one-hour training sessions for aspiring basketball players of all ages. He is a trained and professional basketball trainer and ball-handler. I am so proud of all of his accomplishments in both the UK and USA. Over the next few weeks he has some BIG opportunities coming up, and if you stay tuned I will soon be releasing information about a television program he is filming in New York City in a couple of weeks.

(PS-if you are interested in getting involved or having my husband work with your kids please send me a comment or email and I will get you more information)

This Saturday morning he was training ten kids during his session and my daughter and I were getting dolled up at our favorite hair salon. I love my stylist. About a year ago I started going to a new stylist near our home. She is young and fashionable and a super inspiring mother. Whenever I am getting my hair done we swap stories about our kids and I love it. Not many people in my day-to-day life have toddlers and so I look forward to my monthly hair appointments not just because my hair needs regular maintenance, but because my stylist is AMAZING. This week she even did a cute curl-style because she knew we had a date night planned. I loved it and had to photograph it, because let’s be real I could never make it look this good!


After the hair appointment and basketball training session were complete we met at the home-base had a quick lunch before embarking on our family date for the week.

Over the past few weeks I have seen several commercials and trailers for the newest cartoon craze, Home. It looked adorable and with Rihanna and Jim Parsons as the voices of for the main characters I was intrigued. We showed the trailer to our daughter on the iPad to gauge her interest level and she could not stop laughing at the main character, Oh. We planned the movie to be the climax of our family date, but what date night is complete without a first a good meal?

I’m a high school teacher and it was also prom night so in an attempt to avoid the traffic, and students, associated with prom we decided to travel outside of our usual destination routine to a small town south east of Columbus, Lancaster. As always, I used my iPhone to locate some of the smalltown gems and favorites to explore in the area. We first ended up getting a wonderful cup of coffee at the SquareSeven shop in the Art and Clay On Main.


As you can tell from the photo I took above this place was a charming, unique spot. The coffee was delicious and I enjoyed browsing the arts and crafts available for purchase. They also have shelves of pre-made ceramics that you can paint, heat, and pick up at a later date once they are dry. If I had planned things a little better I would have secured us an opportunity to get crafty, but I guess this just means we will have to return another time. The coffee was superb and one thing I really liked about the place is that they hire through a partnership with the Fairfield County Developmental Disabilities. They also offer art therapy classes. It’s a new favorite.

Next, on our list of activities was a trip to the River Valley mall. Really, the mall trip was to buy some time and allow my daughter a chance to release her energy in the mall play area prior to the movie. In my last post I talked about running into a student and her mother at the mall. Check out  “We All Need a Little Encouraging” for details about this meaningful encounter.


After over half an hour of play and shopping it was off to dinner. We tried a local spot for dinner. Ale House 1890 on Main Street in Lancaster was awesome! Just like the Art and Clay on Main, the Ale House 1890 was charming and had the appeal of an old British Pub, which my husband appreciated. I ordered a chicken sandwich and green beans and shared it with my daughter. DELICIOUS!


After dinner, it was finally time for the movie to start. We purchased our ticket at the new Cinemark Theatre in Lancaster and entered into the beautiful world of cinema magic. As soon as we entered through the double doors my daughter spotted the popcorn machine. As much as I know I didn’t need a bag of popcorn I also knew that her movie experience would not be complete without the warm, crunchy, buttery goodness of fresh Orville Redenbacher popcorn. We purchased our popcorn and tickets and headed into the theatre where Home was being shown.


From the first preview to the final moments of the movie my daughter was in a trance. She was the best behaved I have ever seen her and she followed the plot line well for only being two and a half. Rarely, did she even speak throughout the movie except to ask questions for clarification. She laughed at appropriate times, and at the end when Oh was in danger she was visiblly nervous and shouted, “Oh, no!” Spolier Alert: At the end of the movie she had the whole theatre laughing when she yelled, “He saved the day!” Where does she learn these catch phrases?

In the end it was a perfect day as a family. I love watching my daughter experience things and enjoy them the way she did this movie. We each had something we particularly enjoyed during this day, and we left the theatre with all three of us exhausted. Taking time as family to intentionally have fun and make memories has been such a rewarding experience. We’re creating traditions and I love it.

Thanks for supporting my Date Jar series. See you in week 7 🙂