Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mid-Summer Update

Mid-summer update, take two.

I actually created this blog last night and was quite proud of it. I laughed. I cried. It moved me. It was chock full of funny, witty comments that would have entertained you for hours but it was all wiped out when I published it despite my frequent saves. Then I yelled, threw things, pouted and finally cried again. I doubt I can create that greatness again but I'll try.

Last month, Dana and I celebrated our 16th anniversary! Sometimes it seems like time has flown by and other times it seems like a looong time - in a good way, of course. Unbeknownst to each other, we both decided to splurge a little on our anniversary gifts and as a result we now have a balance on our dang credit card again. She bought a new camera for me (that I LOVE) since our old one broke. I bought her a new TV. I thought the old one was fine but she insisted TV pictures are supposed to have colors other than green. Little did I know that with a new TV, one must also acquire a whole new set of furniture to go with it. Funny how women work like that. For me: new camera = use old camera bag. For her: new TV = new TV stand, bookcases on either side, repaint living room, new rug, new drapes, reposition wall hanging 3-7/8" to the right, new pillows for the couch, etc. Good thing I love her.

The Slugas also came to visit for a week in June. We had a great time visiting with them and were sad to see them go. I know Dana especially enjoys time with her sisters. We're still trying to convince everyone to move out here but no one is buying it.

We took the Slugas to our favorite state park. Here's Ronney & Karen checking out the waterfall. I'm still amazed at how green everything is around here.

Playing with the camera in this one. Check out the defocused background. Pretty trick, huh? I horsed around with the settings on the camera so much I failed to get a decent picture of all the kids together. I'll have to try again when we're in NM.

We've gone riding a whopping two times this summer. Poor Kevin missed both times because he was out galavanting around the country with his friends. So nevermind, not poor Kevin.

My awesome zoom allows cool close up shots without endangering myself. I like these where you can see their eyes.

The helmet hides Cade's always-present smile.

Even the most hardcore MXers need a water break. Crossed eyes and puffy cheeks are optional.

Cameron is getting the hang of his 65. He and Cade both ask to go riding quite often. Too bad it isn't free like the good ol' days in NM.

Pit tootsie. She's hubba hubba in color and hubba hubba in black and white.

We finally made our way down to Destin, FL for a weekend at the beach. I was there for a conference several years ago and really wished I could bring the family to show them how pretty it is. Never thought we'd make it. Now it's half a day's drive away. And, my personal goal of dipping the Expedition's toes in both oceans and the gulf is now complete! Time to sell it.

This was my view when not in the water. Poor me.

What's a day at the beach w/o burying someone in the sand?

I was playing with the camera (notice a theme here?) and took this panorama. What I really like about it is Kevin's head sticking out of the sand in the lower left corner.

Cameron on the run looking cool as always. I wish I had that cool, David Hasselhoff run like he does.

I just love the smiles on their faces in this picture. And they're not fighting!!!

Look how clear the water is. If you ever get the chance to visit the Emerald Coast, do it!

Cade was either playing in the sand or in the water but he was playing nonetheless.

That's one good lookin' kid!

There's another studmuffin. I didn't get a good picture of Cade on the boardwalk so don't think I don't think he's good looking. He is.

Kevin is growing fast but I still have a few inches on him. For now.

This picture reminds me, did you know you can submerse an old style Ford key fob in salt water for over 2 hours w/o harming anything? I do now. But next time I'll be sure to empty my pockets before playing in the water just in case.

Our neighborhood had a golf cart parade for the 4th of July. The local golf pro is the leader of our Sunday School class so he let us borrow a golf cart. I think we did alright considering our nearly last minute dash to the dollar store for some decorations. We didn't win any prizes but I still think we had one of the best carts. No one else had Uncle Sam on the back of their cart! But we had fun and that's what matters, right?

The boys ready to roll in their first sort of parade.

We invited our neighbors and friends over to watch us set off our fireworks then have some of Dana's awesome flag cake. I had a blast setting off roman candles and rockets and all the things that were banned years ago in NM.

Getting ready for the Reynolds festivities.
Have I ever mentioned that we LOVE our neighbors and the street we're on?

No summer would be complete without a slip-n-slide. Unfortunately, ours broke the first time we were using it but that didn't stop the kids from having a good time.

Kevin getting a face full.

Oh, look! Cade is smiling. Imagine that.

This picture speaks for itself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trying to Keep Up!

Geez, Louise! Can you believe summer vacation is half over? We've been having a great time here in Athens so maybe that's why it's going so fast.

Since the last update, Kevin finished 7th grade, Cameron finished 4th grade and Cade completed pre-school. Kevin & Cam both made the A honor roll and were recognized in their school's awards ceremony. Dana and I are awfully proud of our boys.

Cade looked so darn cute in his cap and gown!

Soccer season finally ended. Kevin's coach didn't want to quit and kept scheduling more games. When that did end, Kevin joined a club team here in Hunstville. He'd better really, and I mean REALLY, enjoy soccer because he'll go straight through from Jan/Feb (whenever it was that the school team started) all the way through November. And then he'll start again with school next year.

We didn't get any good action shots of either of the boys in soccer this year and Kevin skipped his year-end party so no pictures of him there either. At least we got this one of Cade.

Cameron's wrestling group had a year end party at the ice skating rink. Dana was the only one of us who has ever tried ice skating before. While we wobbled around and tried not to bruise our tailbones too badly, Dana leapt on the ice with all the gracefulness of a, um, well something that's pretty graceful. Especially when you compare her to the rest of us with backs hunched over and arms wildly flapping back and forth with a look of sheer terror on our face. Dumb ice. Cade actually had it made. He got a "walker" to help him skate so he cruised around like a little old man - except he moved a lot faster.

Here's Dana showing off by not flapping both arms, Cade with his walker, and Cameron trying to balance. Actually, Cameron picked it up very quick and looked right at home after just a few minutes. Kevin and I are the ones who really had trouble.

Jacobs had an employee event at the Botanical Gardens again this year. Dana was sleeping so I took the boys with me for some fun in the su, er, rain. And it was a bit cold.

We spent a long time in the butterfly house. Here's Cameron showing off his new hair accessory.

All 3 boys jockeying for position to get the butterfly to crawl on their hand. Each of them got a turn. I like how Cade is holding his left hand out as he concentrates on his other hand.

Honey, I shrunk the kids!

Dana and I celebrated our 16 anniversary in June! And we actually celebrated it this year, unlike last year when we did nothing and bought no gifts. Not sure what we were thinking. Anyway, Dana gave me a new camera!!! (Our old nice one broke a couple of years ago) I LOVE this one. 32X optical zoom! So if you think I had a lot of pictures before, just wait!

Here's a cool shot I took while messing around with the camera. If you squint really hard and turn your head you can sort of make out the Apollo landing sites. Ok, I made that up.