Archive for August, 2007

Quick Keys To Kids’ Hearts

Yesterday, Sean and I babysat Penn and Gwyn.  I picked them up at day care where Penn tried to convince me it was just me and him.

“My mommy said you do not have to pick my sister up.”

Nice try.

After a quick stop at Wendy’s we headed over to the house.  Ignoring the huge collection of Simpsons collectibles, there really aren’t many toys to offer children.  Nonetheless, both children find plenty of fun in our house.  It shouldn’t be surprising since once they did entertain themselves for 45 minutes with brussel sprouts.  Still I find it fascinating what features they find fun.  Some examples from last night:

Okay, this one was probably more fun for me.  I got to get another hairnet photo opportunity! 😉

Gwyn in a pink (of course!) hairnet

BOSU Balance Ball
This has been a Penn and Gwyn favorite for a while now.  Both kids love standing and hopping on the BOSU Balance Ball.  One time, a fight started to break out over who had the right to stand on the ball.  Last night, however, they did a great job of sharing. 

Gwyn comes in for a landing

Penn dismounts the balance ball

I have hammock in the backyard which is another common favorite, even if they can’t remember the name.  In June when Penn and Ann were dropping Gwyn off with me, Penn told his sister, “Gwynie you are going to have so much fun!  You get to ride in the hamster!”

Penn and Gwyn enjoy the hammock

XTerra First Aid Kit
One of the “features” of an XTerra is the First Aid Kit mounted to the rear cargo door.  Whenever I drive the kids around, it’s been of great interest and speculation.  

XTerra First Aid Kit 

Without their inquiries, I never thought twice about it (though it apparently it costs over $70!) and I had never used the kit until last month.  Little Gwyn pinched her finger in a door.  She performed some legitimate crying, but as soon as I suggested we get a Band-Aid from the XTerra, tears stopped and suddenly it was an adventure. 

Yesterday, we had another boo boo en route to a playground.  A skinned knee.  Once again, all crying ceased when the XTerra was mentioned.  The XTerra bandaids are plain and brown.  No princesses, no ponies, no Scooby Doo.  I guess the Band-Aids are special because they come from the car.

R.I.P. Waterbed
My house has lost a fan favorite.  On the way to the playground, Penn requested we lay on the waterbed when we get back.  I had to report the sad news– I drained and disassembled that waterbed as part of my home repairs.  At that point, Penn dazzled me with his intellect.

“There’s water in the waterbed?!?”  🙂

August 21, 2007 at 10:41 pm 2 comments

links for 2007-08-21

August 21, 2007 at 12:22 pm 7 comments

Is This Worth $30?

The professional photographer from our Wednesday night family dinner (55 strong!) at Bethany Beach has made her pictures available for purchase.  I think the Pictage interface for previewing the pictures sucks (even though it claims to be “Trusted by the World’s Best Photographers”).  With all the necessary zooming, it is really hard to decipher which pictures are actually the best and frustrating to confirm no one is blinking.  This is particularly challenging in the shots that feature the entire family.  Do you know how long it takes to inch the zoom little by little to see everyone’s faces?!?!  Luckily, one of the many shots of our entire clan clearly differentiated itself:

Something is far superior in this shot

Uncle Timmy is putting bunny ears on Uncle Steve!!!!!  With a number of crappy, slow clicks I was able to zoom in:

Uncle Timmy’s face looks hilarious!

The photographer is charging $12 for a 4 x 6 and $30 for an 8 x 10 (which I think would do Tim’s gesture more justice).  Is Uncle Timmy’s bunny ears worth $30????

I think it just might be! 🙂

August 21, 2007 at 12:03 am 26 comments

links for 2007-08-20

August 20, 2007 at 12:23 pm 12 comments

Self Portraits

Through the years, I have often tried to take pictures of myself.  It is usually a struggle.  Here is one I tried to take of me and my brother (near Tinker Cliffs) in 2003.  Believe it or not, there were actually three other failures ahead of this disaster:

Vicky and Jay continue to fail to get a good picture of themselves

I’ve improved over the last four years, but even as late as this past June, I’ve had some mishaps. 

Squinting in the sunlight, trying to figure out if I am in the shot at famous Rhododendron Gap

But it looks like I finally hit my grove this summer.  I have had a great success rate of making sure I’m in the shot and not squinting:

Kayaking at Assawoman Bay.  I got me, kayaks and an island that has a geocache on it in the background and on the very first try. (August 2007)
My brother-in-law and myself at a family dinner.  I don’t think this one even looks self taken! (August 2007)
Me at the Mississippi River in Minnesota.  You can’t even see my arm holding out the camera. (July 2007) 
Me at a “Powerline View” in Jefferson National Forest (July 2007) 
Leaving Assateague Island in the back of a convertible (August 2007)

My self-taken composition is definitely improving.  Perhaps it is all my usage of the Lazy Man’s Mirror I have to thank for that? 🙂

August 19, 2007 at 10:55 pm 6 comments

“Best Family Reunion Ever”

My cousin Jordan had a rough week at Bethany.  As usual, he and cousin Frank had their ongoing wrestling matches.  One of the highlight matches is the jellyfish infested Assawoman Bay.  Just like the bay bouts from the last three years, both competitors got repeatably stung by jellyfish.

Another wrestling match occured in the grass median on Campbell Ave.  I had caught wind of the fight while inside the beach house.  I rushed down three flights of stairs, but alas, the match was already over with.  Jordan was rolling around on the ground.  Apparently one of the younger spectators ran up and kicked Jordan in the groin.

Speaking of the younger spectators, Jordan was trying to demonstrate some kind of sleeper/choke hold to them earlier in the week.  As part of the process he passed out.  I’m told there was drooling and a “seizure” involved.

Along with their ongoing wrestling battles, Jordan and Frank commenced a prank war on each other.  It didn’t matter that they were staying in two seperate beach houses.  In the wee hours of the night, the young men would travel between the beach houses to initiate their surprise attacks.  Jordan seemed to be the target more than the perpetrator.



One night Frank snuck into Jordan’s room dressed in black clothes and a black ski mask (who packs a black ski mask to go to the beach?!?) and slapped Jordan across the back as hard as he could.  Jordan’s sister, Louise, was also in the room.  She awoke to her brother screaming… and an intruder wearing a black ski mask fleeing the scene.

Jordan tried to retaliate by telling Frank Louise was so scared she called the police.  That didn’t quite strike fear into Frank’s heart.  Rather, Frank was rather thrilled with the notion and seemed proud.  He was actually disappointed to hear the police were not summoned to the beach house.

Another night, Jordan was awoken by Frank dumping ice water all over him.  As a creative retaliation for that, Jordan dumped ice water on Frank the next day during an afternoon nap.

One morning I woke up to a peaceful house… went outside and found Jordan’s car had been toilet-papered:

Jordan’s car

Then our final evening, Jordan was playing with one of our youngest cousins (who will not be named).  She was riding on his shoulders.  One of the onlookers told the little girl, “Hey, I’ll give you 20 dollars if you pee right now.”  Everyone laughed it off.  Then twenty minutes later, Jordan noticed his back feeling quite wet and warm.  It was a delayed reaction, but the little girl had decided to accept the dare.  My cousin Jordan had gotten peed on at point blank range!

After a shower and a fresh pair of clothes, Jordan joined the remainder of the family at Higgins Crabhouse.  He ordered a Strawberry Daiquiri, the waitress brought it out… and Jordan promptly spilt it all over himself.  It just wasn’t Jordan’s day with liquids.


Shortly after the Daiquiri Debacle, Jordan sat at the dinner table and marveled, “This was the best family reunion ever!  I can’t wait until next year.”

Let’s recap Jordan’s week here.  He passed out and drooled on himself.  He was woken up suddenly in the middle of the night multiple times.  He got kicked in the groin.  He got stung by jellyfish.  HE GOT PEED ON.  And THAT was the best family reunion ever?!?!  I guess that goes to show just how much fun our family beach trips can be!  🙂

August 19, 2007 at 10:42 pm 13 comments

links for 2007-08-18

August 18, 2007 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

links for 2007-08-17

  • Haha– like the Hungry Trees I’ve been photographing on the trails…. but funnier.
    (tags: trees)

August 17, 2007 at 12:22 pm 5 comments

Ali on Charlotte.Com

Check this out!  A picture from Ali’s 1st Birthday Party is on the front page of at the moment:

Does the shot look familiar?  It’s mine!  See Lessons From Birthday #1 blog post.

August 16, 2007 at 9:14 pm 2 comments

links for 2007-08-16

August 16, 2007 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

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