This is my friend Charlene.
She's from New Jersey. Need I say more?
Yes? Ok. She calls a purse a pocketbook. She says soda instead of pop (which isn't that weird to me anymore since I live in Texas) and rolls instead of buns. It's not a sucker, it's a lolly. Right, Charlene? And she loves Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.
Charlene is a fan of wearing very colorful outfits and coordinates all her accessories, shoes, jewelry and handbags with these outfits. My favorite of hers is the "ocean" motif jumper. I wish I had a picture to show you.
Charlene always skips to the last page of a book and reads it before she finishes the book. It drives me crazy. You can't suggest a good book to her, she will just ruin it.
Some of you might remember Charlene from this blog post. Pebbles and Bam Bam are still alive and well, in case you were all wondering.
Charlene is married to Jim Erickson (not just "Jim", no, you have to include the Erickson) and they have 2 children: Matthew and Catherine.
If you have never visited the website Awkward Family Photos, I highly recommend you do. Hours upon hours of laughs. Charlene discovered this little gem of a website through my blog a few weeks back. That is what this blog is all about, people. Bringing you to the lolz. Well not really. I still haven't decided what this blog is all about, but hey, if I can make one person laugh then I'll keep writing, and if I can't make one person laugh then at least I can lead them to AFP and they will make them laugh.
Anyhoo, Charlene is no stranger to awkward photos of her family. So after visiting the website and laughing unendingly, she decided to submit some photos for consideration. After a few days of checking the website frequently searching for her pictures, she received an e-mail from AFP asking her if they could include 2 of her pictures in a book they are compiling. Charlene's response? "HELL YES!" She says her children are going to kill her, but she doesn't care. She's going to be a celebrity. Ok that's a stretch. But still, this is very exciting.
Here now are the 2 pictures.
Matthew, Charlene, Jim Erickson and Catherine pose together after one of Catherine's ballet recitals. Matthew is going through the "change" and becoming a man-child. He hasn't smiled in a family picture since 2007. You can't pay that kid to smile.
Here are Matthew and Catherine after the nativity play at their church this past Christmas. Is that a hint of a smile I see, Matthew? Or are you grimacing thinking about the fact that your mother is in your face taking a picture of you in what is clearly a bathrobe and is going to not only show this picture to your future girlfriends, but also send it in to a website to be published in a book for all the world to see? I can't say I blame you, friend.
Also, who knew that the shepherds wore bathrobes? And hung out with little old Russian ladies? I need to read that bible more often.
Congrats to Charlene, Jim Erickson, Matthew and Catherine on their recent publishing success! I have no idea when the book comes out, but I can't wait!
**Edited to Add** Charlene just informed me that she is not from New Jersey. She is from Philly. Tomato, tomahto.