Well, we tried for 10 years or so to get family to come south to warmer weather and join us for Thanksgiving, but finally gave up this year and loaded the family into the van and drove up to PA for Thanksgiving weekend. Driving up 81 on Thanksgiving day was nice, roads weren't busy at all, but then we got to PA and it was rainy and messy… but we all perked up once we started seeing snow on the farm fields.
There was a bit of snow on the grass when we arrived at Mom’s, but that was it and no more was to come. We enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast and eat till we could eat no more…then started on the desserts. The weekend was a bit hectic traveling back and forth Mom’s place to Laurie’s, Laurie’s place to Mom’s, Mom’s place to Terry’s, Terry’s place to Mom’s, Mom’s Place to Laurie’s, and once more from Laurie’s place to Mom’s. Oh… the exciting part (sorry mom) was getting back to mom’s place at 9:30 and finding the house locked up and no way to get in… the heavy sleepers slept through door bells ringing, phones ringing and more. Called Laurie and she helped me find a way in.
The kids had a blast playing with cousins, Rock Band and Michael’s drums and don’t forget the movies and popcorn.
Below are a few pictures from the weekend. Click on an image to view it larger and notice that you can click next and previous to see the rest. Here is a link to all the pictures in a slide show at Windows Live.
We skipped a year or two, but it was time to attempt another family photo shoot at Myrtle Beach. This time it was over the Halloween weekend so time for the photo shoot was limited to Saturday morning. Unfortunately for the photographer ( ME ) it was a clear, bright sunny morning. The children just wanted to dig and play in the sand, not sit still, pay attention and not squint at the camera.
No matter what direction the subjects were looking… it was too bright, but we did our best. I turned on the built in flash for fill light, attempting to remove dark shadows and contrast. Unfortunately the power of the sun was too much and almost all pictures needed to be “tweaked” in LightRoom to reduce the clipping (when the whites become pure white and the blacks become pure black). To the untrained eye and the polite family members… these pictures may look just fine, but I know how much better they could be. Mental note for next time, pictures just before dusk with a flash and now towel to sit on.
The beach trip it self was a success, stayed at Dunes Village Resort. This place has a small water park with few pools, lazy river, some water slides and more. But as usual, the visit was too short.
Here are a few pictures from the photo shoot.
August sure was a busy month for us. After a week at Pocono Plateau, we stopped by Terry’s place in PA to celebrate Johnny's and Dona's Birthdays with a swim and a bite to eat. Laurie was there with Joey and Jessica, so our kids had a blast swimming together for a while. It was a short visit, but good none the less. After Terry’s we went to moms for the night and left bright and early the next morning for home.
We finally did it. For several years after getting married, we thought when we had kids we would bring them back to Pocono Plateau for summer camp, back to where we met. The Plateau has always meant so much to both of us. It is where my fait took root and started to grow. Well, three wonderful children later we find our selves in NC, not exactly within an hour or two driving distance from the Plateau. Well the kids are now at a good age where a camp like Music & Performance Camp at the Plateau would be a good fit.
So, we finally did it. Kim and I were volunteer counselors, me at Music & Performance camp with the boys and Kim at Eco Adventurers camp with Caitlin (she was a bit too young for Music & Performance). Many things about the Plateau are the same but many things are different also. Arriving at the Plateau was like it had been… the anticipation… the long wooded drive off the main road… the cooler fresh air and the wind in the pine trees… the sight of the old familiar buildings and of course the lake and cove. There are a few new buildings, The new dinning hall (we helped raise money for it, but never seen it complete is now sitting where Quonset huts (also known as Pine) used to be… the More building now has heat and doors to each bunk room… The old dinning hall is now a recreation room and craft room. A new highlight for the kids was wooden structure near where the camp store used to be (now adjacent to the dinning hall) that they call the Ga-ga pit. This game is a cross between dodge ball and four square. Maybe some pictures later will help explain.
The week was great. The weather was wonderful. The children's musical was Christmas in August. Dian Ramage was the music director for the week. Dian was the music director the last few years when I went to Music Camp in High School. There were several other adult counselors there that were part of the camp in the late 80’s and were now bringing their kids back to the camp as Kim and I were. It was a lot of fun. The kids enjoyed the usual camp stuff like hikes, boating, swimming, fishing, Ga-ga pit and more while they continued to practice and rehears the musical three times a day.
I volunteered to be the camp photographer for the with the idea of doing a slide show for the kids and family at the end of the week. I took more then 1,000 pictures during the week and narrowed it down to about 300+ pictures for the video. You can see the slide show video, about 20min, here (you will need to install browser plug-in to make it work). Below are just a few pictures of mainly just my family from that week.
Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.
The week of July 4th Collin and I enjoyed Boy Scout Summer Camp at camp Cherokee. This camp was a lot closer to home compared to Camp Daniel Boon last year, but… man was it HOT. This was not up in the mountains like Daniel Boon, and we broke some high temps during our week.
All the boys had a great week. As with most camps, there was plenty of walking back and forth, criss-crossing from one end of the camp to another, from one merit badge class to another. Collin completed 5 merit badges this week – Swimming, Indian Lore, Fish & Wildlife Management, First Aid and Model Design and Building.
I enjoyed the week also, assisting the boys, learning a few things and taking plenty of pictures through out the week. You can read more at our Troop 17 web site.
We had a splashing good time for Collin’s birthday. Local family came over for a swim. We all enjoyed some cake and Collin of course got a few gifts. The weather was fantastic. Caitlin enjoyed being launched into the air… sorry Austin you're getting a bit old and big for me to be throughing you up in the air like this anymore. Grandma and Grandpa of course forgot their suites again...
Enjoy more picture in this slide show from Flickr.
Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.