Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back to the Books

The big boys went back to school this past week. The transition went better than I could have imagined. Jack really wanted Amy to come see he and Ben off, so he did wake the chica up. Here is a picture of the three of them (Luke watched from inside, wrapped in his blanket..watching a show...with his apple juice..)


Geez, Red Sox shirts. Something new and different in my house.

Here is the chica waiving goodbye to her boys...


And here is smilin' Little Chief as the bus passed...


It wasn't until Friday when I was able to get my traditional group shot with our buds. And it was a special day because our friend Miss A. had her first day of school and was taking the bus for the first time. Miss A. and Luke have been friends since birth...but six weeks difference in age can sometimes end up in different grades at school. But Luke happily was dressed and ready to see his friend off on her first day. Here they are together.

And here is my annual group shot. I just love all of the morning squinty eyes.



Miss A. was all smiles....until the bus rolled up to the driveway. Then Big Chief had to step in and help her to her seat.


She sat with her big brothers...and as I understand, she did great and had a great day. I think her own kids will get a kick out of seeing this picture some day.

So the bus left and Luke, chica and I went home and finished the rest of our day. I just have to add this picture because all I can think of when I look at it is "Cindy Lou Hoo".

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's a Wrap

Every year since my kids started school I realize how short the summers are. One minute they are leaping off the bus on the last day of school and the next they are waking up with the nervous excitement of the first day.

This summer did go by quickly. But it was great summer...with some great highlights:

Jack and Ben played on their first competitive kid-pitch baseball team. It was an amazing group of kids and parents and it was a wonderful season. The kids praticed beginning in the winter with indoor batting practice and then moved it outside as soon as they could. They worked hard and learned a ton, and it all paid off for them. They ended up winning the Pre-season tournament, their division, the "States" title and were lucky enough to experience the "Regionals" in CT - all in their first season together.

I was blessed to have my boys play together on the same team. I was able to watch every game without conflict. And those of you that know me realize that I am a huge sports fan. It pains me to miss watching my kids play. I think my mom must have been the same way, because I don't remember having soccer games or swim meets without her there.

Anyway, both boys had great seasons. Jack pitched quite a bit and also played catcher, short and third regularly. Here are a couple pictures of him in action:




Ben had a great season too and was one of the youngest on the team. He played both infield and outfield and pitched a couple of times. Here he is in uniform:


I have a feeling we're headed for many more baseball games over the years. The season lasted through mid-July which is why we waited to take our family vacation to Cape Cod until the very end of July.

We rented a house in Chatham for a week and had a glorious weather week. Every day was beach-worthy and the kids had a blast at both Nauset Beach and at Oyster Pond. Here's the chica enjoying the warm water at Oyster Pond..

and running from the cold Nauset waves....

Luke was all about digging, catching critters, getting buried in the sand and riding in the waves....


Ben enjoyed the waves at Nauset too and I loved that I could spot him out in seconds in his red swim shirt.


And Jack could not get enough of the waves. The water at Nauset was 58 degrees and he would not be denied. He especially enjoyed hanging in the waves with his cousins.


So baseball and Cape Cod were great. And I already talked about our great weekend in NH in another post. Those were pretty much the highlights of our summer. That about wraps it up!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Entry

I know I'm still figuring out the whole photography thing. But I'm getting there...slowly. The homepage I open to on the internet is Boston.com. They have a new section for amateur photographers called RAW. I saw that they are starting a monthly photo contest. This month is a beach theme. We were at the Cape in July and I didn't get any good landscape pictures of beaches. But I did get the zoom lens out and attempted some pictures of the boys surfing in the waves at Nauset. I picked one of the pictures and submitted it. I enhanced the lighting a little, cropped the picture and added a vignette. I posted it... and low and behold, I can see it posted! Here is the link...

http://www.boston.com/community/photos/raw/2008/08/jack_in_the_surf.html

Anyone who has the time or interest in looking at the rest of the pictures submitted will note that mine doesn't hold a candle...but how exciting to see your picture online! Yea!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cool Mom Points

I've got to get at least a few "cool mom" points for Jack's recent birthday party. My reptile/snake-lover is turning nine next month and we had his birthday party a couple of weeks ago. We found out about J&D Reptiles from a friend and I knew it would be Jack's dream party. Jeremy and his mom came over with about 10 snakes and a cool Tagu lizard. All of the kids seemed very interested and were amazingly unfazed and unafraid of the reptiles. Here is the crew listening to Jeremy's introduction of each snake:

And here is that cool Tagu lizard that I reference above. It was wriggling around quite a bit wanting to get down...making me a tad nervous.

The show continued on. Jeremy introduced his corn snakes, milk snakes, ball pythons....and then.... we got to see what was in the bag and in the big blue tub...

How would you like this thing slithering across your front yard? Well, as you can see below, Miss R. was totally unfazed. She just kept eating her pretzels as if nothing was about to crawl in her lap. Her mom remained incredibly cool and composed while watching this...

And here are a few other candids...the birthday boy in his glory...

Ben all wrapped up..

Luke and Mr. P - goofy faces..

Amy was so excited too. She is so used to seeing her brothers handling snakes that they hunt in the back woods that she was totally cool with the larger version.

Oh, and Jack's big cousin came too, which was huge considering he hates snakes. Jack attempted to get close, but 'Cuz wouldn't have any part of it...

And what do you think of my cake?

All in all, a highly successful party! Kids got a lot of hands on time with the snakes! Thanks, Liane for taking the great pix with my camera.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thank you, Michael Phelps.

God bless the Olympics and Michael Phelps. Thanks to them, my poor neglected pool is getting some love. The boys have been so inspired by Phelps' gold medals that they are now very interested in swimming, racing, learning the strokes, etc. They have been in the pool more than usual, which makes the pool and me very happy. The weather hasn't been great and the pool isn't very warm....but that hasn't stopped my little Olympic hopefuls.

As evidence, Little Chief slept over the other night and at 8:15 a.m. the nutbrains were in the pool...racing.

I couldn't believe they were going to do it, but this is what Michael Phelps has inspired....There go Ben and Little Chief...

And talk about photofinishes....


Thank you again, Michael Phelps!!!



Okay, I'm Rolling Now!

Chris and I will be married ten years this October. When we first started dating fifteen years ago, we went to visit his friend, Todd, at his parents' lake house in NH. Well, I've been visiting Todd and his family every year since. What started out as two couples drinking, laughing and playing cards has now transformed into two families with a total of 7 children. Between the two families, the first five were boys. Oh lordy, there were a lot of boys. But as luck would have it, both of our last children were girls. What fun!

This year we visited for a whirlwind weekend but were still able to do all of the fun stuff that we ususally do (except play cards). And the little ladies are both around two years old and they stole the show. Here they are:





My little chica is on the right and her buddy Miss A is on the left. These two got along so well. Pretty remarkable for their age and their birth order. They are both probably used to getting most of what they want. But they didn't battle over anything...miracle!

So we did sneak in some tubing and ski-skimming. Here are my crew..








Luke shared his ride with Mr. T who was behind the boat for the first time. Do you think they were having fun?

I was trying hard to get a picture with some photographic content (is that a real phrase?). There is a cool red boathouse that I have been admiring for years. I took the following picture trying for the focus on the reeds/weeds with the boathouse in the background. What do you think?



This is a SOOC (Straight Out of Camera) shot, cropped a little.

And here is a cool B&W of the chica



This girl is so much fun. She just lights up my life.


I so admire all of these photographer mom/bloggers and wonder how they blog so often and post such amazing pictures. I guess you get good at it after a while. I've got a ways to go, but I hope to get there some day.

My Three Men and Little Chica

Well, the title does have meaning. I have three men and a little chica. I tried to get "lady" but that blog was already taken. So I went for the next best option. Here are my two most recent pictures of them all together:



The above was taken at a local park. Notice the overgrown buzz cuts. And haven't I been doing a good job with sunscreen? Left to right are Ben (7), Jack (8.5+), Amy (2) and Luke (4.5).


This picture was taken one foggy evening at a pond on the Cape. It appropriately captures the little chica's personality. Happy as a clam hanging with her brothers.

The First One

Oh my gosh. It has been months since I created this blog account. And it has been months since it's been here without any posts. I'm having a hard time convincing myself that people will read it, that I will be able to write as well as some of those great bloggers out there, and that I will be able to post good pictures. My friend, Deb, has inspired me to learn more about photography and to start a blog. She promises that she will read it. And I do believe she will. So, I will forge ahead and see how it goes. There have been way too many blog-worthy photos out there. At least I would find them interesting if i saw them on someone else's blog.

So I'm going to do it....jump in... see what happens...see what I learn from others and about myself. Hope you'll come along for the ride!