Archive for the ‘kids’ Category


Zoo Visit

May 25, 2012

Last week a friend and I took our kids to the zoo. It was a perfect day because it was warm, but not hot, and there was a light breeze. It also wasn’t mobbed with people, so we had a great time. Here are my captures for the day.

She just LOVES having her picture taken!

Sunning herself, or major attitude?

This is, I suppose, what I get for asking the (almost) teen to pose as a butterfly…

My friend’s daughter was much more compliant!

She also decided to be a turtle. Mine wouldn’t get in the turtle shell. She said she wouldn’t fit, but I have seen grown men inside that turtle shell, so I am sure she would have fit. If husband had been with us, I am pretty sure he would have gotten in it, although he would not have let me photograph him!

Outside the rhino enclosure; I couldn’t resist…

There is a new Africa exhibit and I found the lions to be pretty awesome! Perfect caption for this one, “Isn’t my mane incredible?!”

Safari girls!

Joe’s relative The seals thoroughly enjoyed playing to the small crowd that had gathered to watch them. This one was playing coy, then went inside.  The other one came up out of the water, looked around at all the people, then sort of fell over into the water. It was obviously enjoying the attention. 


Fun End to a Long Day

December 31, 2011

Today seemed to go on forever, starting at 6 am  and ending around 9 pm! I didn’t have 2 minutes to collect my thought all day, but the day ended with a party with a bunch of young hockey players and a holiday party/gift exchange.

This will be a picture heavy post, with little in the way of words, as it’s nearly midnight and I am to tired to provide a monologue! 


These two were sneaking about hiding from the camera!




Erin’s 12th Birthday

August 23, 2011

For  Erin’s 12th birthday, we took her and Sarah to a rock climbing place. She had spent the day at hockey camp and we weren’t sure she’d be up to rock climbing afterwards, but she was psyched to go try it out. Thanks to a Groupon, both girls got a lesson and two climbing sessions for a great price. Since Erin is not old enough to belay, Jeff also joined the lesson. He looked great wearing the silly bright blue helmet that they required him to wear for the lesson! He let me take his picture, but I promised not to post it.

Erin was paying close attention to her lesson, but she looks very worried instead of attentive.

After a fairly brief lesson, she began climbing. Check out those crazy socks!

Apparently going straight up the wall wasn’t enough of a challenge. She soon decided to try her hand at climbing in a corner, backwards.

Eventually, she decided to try bouldering. She discovered that it’s a little more difficult than it looks, so she gave me a silly pose instead…

She and Sarah both had a lot of fun. Jeff even seemed to enjoy himself as he belayed for the girls. He even thought he might like to try climbing sometime.


Kyle’s 18th Birthday

August 23, 2010

Kyle turned 18 today, technically at 9:05 PM. His birth was quite an adventure! I was living with my grandparents in Florida and hurricane Andrew was threatening the Florida coast. Since my grandparents lived in Ormond Beach, very near the coast, on a little peninsula that sits between the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean, they were more than a little nervous about the situation. I was nearly a week past my due date and Andrew’s exact heading was still somewhat uncertain, but it was clear it would hit somewhere between Daytona and Miami. Once I went into labor, my grandparents both breathed a sigh of relief and off to the hospital we went. Twenty-two hours I labored, and then finally, at 9:05 Kyle made his entrance into the world. All 8 lbs, 8oz of him!

The nervousness of the whole situation was compounded, for my grandparents, by the fact that there are only 4 bridges from the peninsula to the mainland and the hospital was on the mainland. If there was a mandatory evacuation, my grandparents had decided that they could pack all of my possessions in the 2 cars they owned and they just wouldn’t worry about their own stuff. We would head to the mainland and wait for me to go into labor. I think they figured a mandatory evacuation would trigger it. Having spent my entire life prior to that in upstate New York, the worst “weather” I had experienced was a snowstorm that dropped about 6 feet on the college campus where I spent my freshman year. This hurricane business was exciting! Looking back, I think I was insane at the time!

Since Kyle’s birth, my grandparents have moved to a retirement center in the middle of Florida. While spending time with them this summer, in Daytona Beach Shores, we reminisced about some of the crazy things from over the years, including Kyle’s crazy entrance into the world. My grandma, who was 70 at the time, was thrilled to pieces to be in the delivery room with me. She wasn’t awake when her kids were born. She was amazed at how different things were! It was a crazy time in my life and my grandparents were instrumental in keeping me sane through a crazy time.

We celebrated Kyle’s birthday, this year, on Saturday. We went to his favorite Japanese restaurant, then to my in-laws for cake and to open presents. Since he will be starting college in a couple of weeks, Jeff and I got him mostly college related things. It was a fairly low-key celebration. I did get some nice pictures of the birthday boy and his siblings though.

Last time Kyle had an adjustment to his braces, he opted for a red wire on his top teeth.

Kyle tried on his new sweatshirt, but Erin thought the tag should come off before I took his picture, so she tried to help.

A thoughtful pose? Not sure what he was thinking about, but he sure looks like a student.

Erin looked on and helped by handing him presents to open.

Sarah sat by and sipped coffee with her grandpa.

Since Sarah is allergic to legumes, it is nearly impossible to buy baked goods that she can eat. I managed to find some soy-free chocolate chips, legume-free cream cheese, and decided to make Kyle a mint flavored, chocolate chip cookie cake with cream cheese frosting. It was awesome, if I do say so myself.

I think he had a good birthday. He spent the night at his grandparents on Saturday night, and today we took him to set up some banking and had a fairly low-key day otherwise.


Erin’s Lake Visit

August 19, 2010

Erin’s friend Katie has been staying on the lake at her Gandma’s cottage and she invited Erin to spend the night on Wednesday. Erin was so excited about going, so we met Katie’s mom yesterday afternoon after work so she could go to the cottage. Erin was so excited and she definitely had a great time!  When I went to pick up Erin  this afternoon, she and Katie were in the water, so I took a few pictures.

This was the reaction when I told Katie that she and Erin have homework for hockey. Once I told her it’s a survery, she seemed okay with it.  I still think the reaction is pretty funny!

This is Snickerdoodle, who belongs to Katie’s grandparents. Isn’t she cute? After checking us out thoroughly, she wandered around the rocks on the beach and took a couple of drinks from the lake. She is super friendly and super cute.

After I dragged Erin out of the water, I got a fantastic picture of Katie. Apparently she doesn’t have the “obnoxious camera person” reaction that I get from my own kids typically resulting  in scowling faces or goofy looks.

Katie’s grandma told me that the girls were still up and giggling at 10 last night when she went to bed, but they were sleeping when she awakened at 2 AM. She also said they had gone swimming last evening and then a couple times today, so it wasn’t surprising when Erin slept most of the 50 minutes it took us to go pick up Jeff from work.

The trip to pick up Jeff was quite an adventure! At one point I glanced at the thermometer in the Jeep which said that the outdoor temperature was 82 degrees. As we were driving along I mentioned to Kyle that there was quite the impressive  storm front moving through. A short while later the sky opened up and I could no longer see the taillights of the car directly in front of me. Both older kids asked me to pull off the road, but after totaling a car under similar circumstances in South Carolina 13 years ago, I was content to continue on at a considerably reduced rate. After about 5 minutes and maybe 2 or 3 miles, the rain let up and the temperature was reading 64 degrees. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I never would have believed an 18 degree drop in temperature over such a short period of time! I suspect at least 2 of my children have a much greater appreciation for their mother’s driving skills, lol!


Edge Camp: Part II

August 5, 2010

There are two posts about Edge Camp because I had too many pictures for one post. If you haven’t read it already, start with the previous post.

The final day of camp included a scrimmage during the last ice session and a talent show at the end of the day. My in-laws and the kids and I went to see the scrimmage and talent show, but Jeff was unable to take the time off work. I took a bunch of pictures, but they don’t really do the events justice. The scrimmage was short, followed by some drills, a couple shoot-outs, and a crazy game called road kill. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time…

The kids were waiting to go out onto the ice.

Coach Morgan getting the girls psyched for the scrimmage.

The U14, U16, and U19 groups came in to the rink to cheer on the U10/U12 girls during their scrimmage. Coach Morgan introduced the starting line for each team, then they all sang the national anthem, which was pretty funny, because the older girls in the stands all sang at the top of their lungs and were very off key!

Then, the puck drop.

Part way through, the goalies switched ends.

This was some of the cheering section.

After the scrimmage, each team lined up and shot on each of the goalies.

One of the drills involved four teams of 5 girls, in which each girl would skate to the far end carrying her own stick as well as  the sticks of all the girls that went before her. In the end, the last girl had to carry 5 sticks. This was fun to watch!

The last thing they did on the ice was a game called road kill. Erin attempted to explain it, but I didn’t really get until until I saw it played out. It’s pretty basic though. The coach yells a direction and the girls skate in that direction. Then she yells one of several activities: cowboy, canoe, dance island, triangle, or road kill and the girls do the activity. The last girl(s) to do it is/are out. For cowboy, one girl gets on the ice like a horse while another sits on her back like a cowboy.

For dance Island, they get in the center circle and dance with their sticks in the air.

For triangle, they lay down on the ice in triangles of 3 girls. For canoe, they have to sit on the ice in fours, like you would in a canoe, and row with their sticks. My favorite is road kill, in which they lie down on the ice on their backs with their arms and legs up in the air.

The whole game is fast paced and absolutely hysterical to watch!

After the ice session, they went to a meeting room and presented skits and received awards for the week.

Erin absolutely loved the Edge camp. We were thrilled because she got to spend time getting to know the girls that she will be playing with this season. All but two of the girls from her team were there. A lot of attention was given to team building during the camp, so the girls should be all set to kick off a great season in a couple of weeks!


Lazy Afternoon and Fish Woes

August 4, 2010

After our visit to Ganondagan on Sunday, we stopped at Jeff’s parents house for dinner and to allow Erin to open her birthday presents. We had a lazy afternoon, lounging and just hanging out. Jeff and I tried our hand at Wii baseball which we didn’t like and I tried Wii bowling, which I am pretty good at. Jeff’s parents have had a Wii for quite some time, but we had never really played it before. I guess it’s not really my thing. As we relaxed, I wandered and took a few pictures.

Sarah and her grandpa enjoyed the hammock.

Gorgeous hydrangea in the back yard.

One of Erin’s presents included some cell phone erasers.

My beautiful, not so little, girl.

I think Erin’s favorite gift was Dotty, who is wearing Erin’s purple shirt, also a present.

Erin also received a fish tank for her birthday. She’s been bugging us to let her get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for about a year, but one dog is enough for now. There is no doubt in my mind that she would take great care of a dog of her own, but the expense is a little more than we’re willing to take on right now. So, she asked for a fish instead. On Wednesday we filled the tank with water and treated it. On Thursday we took her to buy fish. She labored over the process, looking at all of the fish, finally settling on a neon fish and a fancy guppy. When she got home from camp on Friday, she called me in to look at the neon fish. Dreadfully, it was upside down by the intake for the filter. She suggested that maybe it was just sleeping, but I had the miserable duty of telling her that it was not. Poor kid!

While I took Erin to the store to replace the sneakers she lost at camp, Jeff called the pet store and found out that we could take the fish back the next day and they would test the water and replace the fish. On Saturday, we went to the store and spoke with an extremely helpful young woman who told us that the water was fine, but since the set up was fairly new, we should do a partial change. She also told us that the neon fish are very delicate and should not go into a newly set up tank. We pointed out the tank Erin has to the guy on Thursday and told him she has no heater for it. He told her the neon would be fine. Jeff and I were quite annoyed by the situation and apparently so was the young woman who helped us on Saturday. She said she would speak to him and she apologized to Erin repeatedly. Apparently the neon fish, which are $10, are just regular old guppies that have been injected with dye. UGH! Had I known this, I would have discouraged her from buying one in the first place. WHY would you inject a fish to look cool? I digress…the woman told Erin she could get another one, but that she would need to wait (a couple of months) until her tank was better established, or she could pick $10 worth of other fish/stuff to go in her tank. Erin, after learning about the delicateness of the neons, opted for other fish. She got 2 more fancy guppies, a thermometer, fake grass, and a candy bar (not for the fish) for the $10. Tough lesson for a kid to learn, but she’s very happy with her 3 fancy guppies. She named them Gilbert (“Get it, cuz he has gills?” she asked me), Speckles, and Dribble. She put their names on sticky tabs across the top of the tank.

Not a great picture. I think I need some practice with glass, water, bad lighting, rapidly moving fish, and 5 feet of space, lol!

I told Erin what the woman at the pet store told me about the neon fish being injected with color and she said she was glad she didn’t get another one because “that’s just wrong!” Smart kid!


Corning Museum of Glass

August 2, 2010

Erin’s 11th birthday was July 28th, which was also in the middle of a week of intense hockey camp. Figuring that last weekend would be the better time to do something for her birthday, I asked her what she wanted to do. She had mentioned the possibility of going to Corning to visit CMOG, but that was a couple of weeks ago. This time when I asked her, she said she wanted to go to my Mom’s house and swim with the kids. When I suggested going to CMOG, she was pretty excited, then when I suggested stopping at my Mom’s on the way home so she could swim awhile, she got really excited. So that is what we did. My mom, Mark, Michelle, Ben, my in-laws, Jeff, our kids and I all went. It was fantastic and the price was definitely right. All 3 adult couples had Entertainment books with BOGO coupons for the museum. We all also had AAA memberships, so it cost each couple $11.90 to get in and all kids, 19 and under, get in free. What a deal!

There was so much to see and do that I don’t think we covered even half of what was there. Photography was a challenge, as flash is not allowed. I took a lot of pictures, but many were too dark, or slightly out of focus, so here are a few of my favorites.

Yup, science nerd that I am, I had to take a picture of a Periodic Table in glass!

There was a children’s book that featured this guy, but I didn’t take the time to read through it. I think the dragon is pretty cool though.

Dale Chihuly makes the coolest things out of glass! I took about 15 pictures of this and wasn’t thrilled with any of them. What I wanted to do, should have done, was lay on the floor underneath this and photograph it. I also probably should have used the shorter lens, but it was late in the day, I was tired, and I didn’t figure I’d be able to get off the floor once I got down onto it. Oh well. I guess it’s an okay picture.

Not sure what this is, but it’s cool looking.

Jeff and Sarah decided this looks like something from Superman.


Since we were going there to celebrate Erin’s birthday, I bought her a ticket to make her own pendant out of glass.  We had to venture to a different building for this, so as we walked outside, in the oppressive heat and humidity, I snapped a couple of pictures. These colorful flags caught my attention. Everything there was pretty cool to look at. The grounds were pretty and the buildings all had interesting shapes and architecture, but it really was too hot to stay outside for long and take pictures!

While we waited for Erin’s turn to make her pendant, we checked out some neat glass pieces made by students of the glass center.

Although beautiful to look at, I think one might find a bite of this fruit painful…

An “eye”pod?

Behind the area where Erin was working on her pendant, there were several students blowing glass. We watched for a while, until everyone was hungry and overheated.

From glowing glob of glass…

…to not quite finished, glowing vase.

This just looks cool…or hot!

After our adventure at CMOG, we headed to my Mom’s house where the kids planned to swim. Jeff and I got there first and sat on the porch enjoying the peace and quiet of the Bristolwood, when it began rumbling, loudly! Then the thunder began cracking, and eventually, after everyone else arrived, it began to downpour.  It looked as thought the kids might not be able to swim, but then the sky cleared and they went in the pool for an hour or so.

I went into the kitchen and Michelle was washing dishes, so I kicked her out and finished them for her, so she could swim. As I was washing the dishes, I looked out the window to see Ben and Sarah with jugs on their heads. By the time I got the camera, Kyle had put one on.

Erin and Michelle enjoyed the hot tub while the rowdy kids played in the pool.

The frog guardian looked on as they played.

While the kids played outside, Angus posed for a couple of pictures.

Okay, so he was begging, not posing, but in the next one while he was begging, I called his name, and this is what he did…

We had a very enjoyable day, but when we left we had to take a detour, as two roads on the way home were washed out from the heavy rains. On the way, we encountered a dog that was wandering up the side of the road, then a little ways later, a guy walked up out of a ditch and onto the road. It was a rather bizarre ride, so I was quite happy to arrive home in one piece without having hit anything.


The Many Sides…

July 3, 2010

…of Erin.

It seems hard to believe that all 3 pictures are of the same person. They go a long way towards representing her personality!


Highland Park Beauty

May 11, 2010

As I mentioned in my previous post, my in-laws invited the kids and me to go to Highland Park with them last Thursday. It was a cool, but gorgeous, day so I took tons of pictures. The colors were awesome!

My father-in-law contemplating…something.

Erin, being extremely photogenic, is fun to photograph.

Every now and then Sarah lets me take her picture.

As we were heading back to the car, I couldn’t help but take a picture of the petals all over the ground.

I was a bit sore by the time I got back home, but it was a beautiful day and I thoroughly enjoyed our wanderings through the park.