Friday, August 31, 2007

Making a Splash!

Yesterday we went to Water Country in Portsmouth. This wasn't the plan, the plan was to go to the White Mountains. However, the night before the kids asked me where we were going and I said it was "a surprise". Then Avery asked what it started with and I said "W". After thinking about it all night, apparently he figured out that we were going to Water Country (starts with "W"), and he woke up Amelle informing her of this. When I told them that we were actually headed to the White Mountains, they didn't seem that thrilled, so we decided to let them choose.

This was the second trip to Water Country for me and the kids, we had gone once when Ariel was visiting (I didn't bring my camera). This time, Dirt and Amaya joined us.

Avery & Daddy get spit out!


Avery takes the plunge!


Amelle's idea of a good time. No trip is complete without Amelle being dissatisfied over something. (I'm sure my family is reading this with a smile on their faces, I know...this was me as a child).


The belly of the beast. You are looking at what was perhaps Amelle's greatest fear of the day. As soon as we decided that we were going to go to Water Country, Amelle asked, "Is Daddy going to take his shirt off?" She spent the remaining part of the day trying to convince both me and Dirt that this would not be a good idea. "I don't think Daddy should take his shirt off because his belly is really big, and it's hairy, and disgusting, and no one should see that".

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

NE Aquarium


Yesterday we took the kids to Boston to the New England Aquarium.


They were having a special Jelly Fish Exhibit, which was really cool...


Jellies are so serene. I learned that they have no brain, no heart, and no bones. I guess I'd be pretty serene if I didn't have any of those things. I think it's the brain and the heart that are the real trouble-makers.


Speaking of trouble-makers, not easy to get a good shot of this guy, but it was fun to come a foot away from a shark.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Horn Tootin'

I feel funny about posting this, but I've said before, the blog is my diary, and quite frankly I'm kind of excited about this and it feels odd not to put it "in my diary". The problem is, whenever I post about something good that happens to me, I end up feeling like I'm "tooting my own horn". For some reason it's easier for me to bare my soul, than to share good news. So I apologize in advance if this comes off that I'm being boastful, but....here's my exciting news...yesterday I got my annual review and my boss promoted me! Wahooo! I'm so excited! There, I said it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

You'll Never be Single Again!

Yesterday we celebrated Joelle's 10th birthday. The oldest of "the gang" has now hit the "double digits", this is BIG.
(for the record, Will couldn't help himself, he had to blow....)

The kids had an awesome time on the waterslide!

Avery & Mina get down to business.

Will goes tubbin'
Good times!
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Princess

Last night Shaun, Mina, Avery and I went to the closing night of Joelle's 1st theatre production. She had her stage debut as a Princess in "The King and I" here in Ogunquit, starring Lorenzo Llamas, Rachel DeBenedet, and Paolo Montalban. Joelle did such a great job, I was so proud of her.

Here's the little actress, after the show.


The star and her fans, Avery & Mina.


Joelle and Paolo


The "afterparty". If being out until midnight wasn't enough, there was a pizza party for the cast after the show at a local pizza place/bar. As the kids "got busy" on the dance floor, Shaun looked at me and said, "can they take our kids from us for this?" (meaning, being out in a bar with them at 1:00am).

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ridin' High in Rockport

On Friday, the kids and I headed to Rockport, MA, to my SVP's beach house. I'm so sad that my boss is leaving, she's the best. Anyway, the kids had an incredible time riding some "righteous waves" (I don't know surfer lingo, so I hope I said that correctly).
Here Avery and Zach (my co-worker Maria's 13 year old son) head out to catch a ride. There were a bunch of surfers out as well, you can see one to the far left.


Here's Avery riding in - Wahhhoooo! I heard him howling all day! It was great...


Amelle even got in on the action, riding the broken waves in. She never got in deeper than her knees, she didn't have to! The broken waves were forceful enough to give a good, fast 15-20 foot ride!


The adrenaline rush from a nice ride in! YEEAAAHHH!

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"She's cute but she's full of evil"

It's fun to see each of the kids developing into their own people. What's even funnier is that their personalities are so different from one another. Some of it is parenting, I'll admit that - but largely, I think that personalities come with the child, as inherent as eye color.

Number 3 has got a LOT of personality. Not that #1 & #2 don't, but there's a little more "fire" in #3. Maybe it's the parenting piece, let's face it, Dirt and I aren't the parents we used to be. We're old, we're tired. Plus, because each of the kids are so different, we can't readily adopt the parenting techniques that we used on #1 & #2, and I don't know if we've taken the time to develop a plan for #3 ...we might just be going with the flow on this one. Warning: this technique is not recommended.

Amaya has an affinity for closing doors (which she can't open) and knocking on them until someone opens it for her. Then she proceeds to close it again, giggling and knocking. I'm never in the mood to play this game, but last week I was trying to get ready, and really didn't have time to play. After the second time of opening the door, I stuck a sock by the hinge so she couldn't shut it and then I proceeded to get ready. A minute later, Amaya appeared in front of me with the sock in her hand. Before I had a chance to digest what was happening, she threw the sock at me while proclaiming, "No!". Then she turned around and headed back to her business with the door. I was stunned; Dirt and I looked at each other with our jaws dropped open....and after a moment, we began laughing....hard.

The problem is that I don't know what kind of trouble this is going to get us in. The older two are fairly well behaved, but if memory serves me correctly, there was a lot of due diligence that went in on our part as parents to make sure that happened. I don't see the same type of effort happening with #3.


There is a part of me that worries that this is how mass murderers get started: a sock in the face of their mother at 21 months, by 21 years she'll be wanted in all 50 states and dubbed, "TheTube Sock Strangler".

So the title of the blog, that was Avery's assessment....in a lot of ways, it's dead on. But then again, we all fall into this category, which is where Jesus comes in to play. At the end of the day, I try to remind myself that the kid's belong to Him and if I've missed something, I know that He'll fix it down the road. That's not to say that I'm going to give up, I won't, I can't. As old and tired as I am, I still have enough energy in me to dole out a spanking for disobeient or disrespectful behavior. Fortunately, the older kids don't know that I'm weary, they still remember the young me, the one that would syc midevil on their buttocks.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Air of Distinction?

I mentioned earlier that the clouds at the airshow last weekend were really awesome. I took this shot and ended up saving it as my wallpaper on my desktop. This evening, Amaya pointed to my cloud-covered laptop and said "Airplane". Could it be that she recognized the clouds from the airshow on Saturday?

...I'm not saying that we have a baby genius in our midst, I'm just saying that Dirt and I were impressed.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Up, up, & Away!



...just thought that these were some fun pictures of Amaya (and I'm short on time)
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Good Friends, Good Times


Seth & Nancy came to visit us this weekend, we had a great time, I think the picture grid was the only way to capture all that we did in the 48 hours that they were here! On Friday we headed over to Fort Foster for some grilling by the sea. It was fun for the kids to run loose on the deserted beach while the adults got a chance to catch up. Against Seth's will, we made him walk down the long pier and we enjoyed the views of the sun setting. Later that evening, we enjoyed adult beverages on the back porch.

On Saturday Dirt woke up at 4am to take Seth fishing. He put on a pot of coffee, got dressed, put the boots on and got the rods ready. As he opened the garage door, he noticed that it was raining. Back to bed. At a more reasonable hour, Nancy and I headed over to the Kittery Outlets and got some highball glasses at Crate & Barrel. Just before noon we headed over the the local Maine Festival, kind of a neat opportunity for Seth and Nancy to get a glimpse of Maine Life (both had never been to Maine before). They got to try "Moxie", check out some farm animals, and watch Avery do some "rock climbing". After the Maine Festival, we headed to the Pease AFB Air show. It was soooo windy! ...but a beautiful day! ...I'm not sure if I was more impressed by the airplanes or the clouds - which were spectacular! We got home early enough for Seth and Dirt to do some shootin' at the local range and then Dirt grilled up some of the seacoast's finest steak from the "The Meathouse" - yum!

This morning we headed over to Nubble Light in York and then to church. Good sermon. Then we bid our dear friends goodbye, it seemed like such a whirlwind visit, but that's just how things seem to go for us. There never seems to be enough time to do all that we want to do. I'm so glad they came to visit, I feel very blessed to have such good friends.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Half Birthday

All of my mother's grandchildren except for one (soon to be two) have birthdays spread throughout the summer months, and then there's Amelle in February. All of these years my mom has been a trooper about coming up to Maine/PA during the middle of the winter to sing Happy Birthday to Amelle. She's endured a lot over the last six years: caught in a blizzard or two, stuck in PA due to a baggage handlers strike (which she opted to take a bus back to FL - against my better judgement), etc.

Last winter I recommended that instead of coming up for Amelle's actual birthday in Feb, maybe they could celebrate her half birthday in August and have a really special day together. So all summer long they've been planning this day (today). Manicures, Pedicures, shopping, lunch, beach, sleepover, birthday cake...the whole nine.


Yesterday when I informed Amelle that Grandma was going to be picking her up for her half birthday, her eyes got big and she had a look of pure terror in her eyes. She began to tear and cry, "I don't want to get a shot!". She calmed down after I assured her that she didn't have to get a physical or a shot on her half birthday.


So today I called my mom to check in and see how their day was going. My mom informed me that she took her for manicures and pedicures (she said there was a whole lot of puckering going on) and shopping, the sky was the limit. The first thing that Amelle wanted on their shopping expedition was a tub of vaseline.


This is Amelle.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect?

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Boys Weekend

I'm so lame, I never got around to posting these pictures. Last weekend, Dirt met up with his two life-long best friends Jeff & Chris in Maryland. While there, they caught up with Dirt's Dad (no, not Dirt Senior - his dad is the opposite of Dirt in almost every way imaginable). Anyway, here are some pictures from the trip:
Dirt, Jeff, & Chris
Dirt & Dirt Senior - Just kidding.

Jeff's first golf adventure. Now he's hooked...
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Monday, August 13, 2007

New Home Town Vs. Old Home Town

Recently, Avery's grandmom asked him why he liked the Patriots more than the Eagles.


His response was priceless...


"I just like to give the old man a challenge"


For those requiring additional explanation, Avery's father ("the old man") is an avid Eagles fan who is pained by his only son's allegiance to the new home town team.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

O Captain, My Captain

I'm very far behind on the blog scene. Just emptying some pictures from last month, so over the next couple of days you'll be able to see why I haven't been able to blog - BUSY HAVING FUN!!! :-)


I affectionately named the boat "Dumb & Dumber"....


The dads take the kids out - I wonder who has more fun?


Avery & Mina, at the boat basin


Good times!
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