Friday, August 27, 2010

Luci's travel group picnic!

Oh, I know what you're thinking....I've become one of those bloggers who gets tired of it and never posts. NO!!!! I've just been super busy lately, and to my followers, I apologize for keeping you waiting! At last, another post! In early August, I took the girls to Syracuse for Luci's annual travel group picnic. This picnic has been held for the last few years, but for one reason or another, I had never been able to attend it, which is amazingly unfair to Luci!! So this year I refused to book any photo shoots or weddings on the appointed day and made every effort to go! I'm so glad I did!!! And I will be going every year from now on!! Dean decided to stay home as we had some pressing construction work to do under a time crunch from our home owners insurance, so it was just me and the girls. Below, is all but one of the girls in Luci's group who made it this year! From left, Lucy G., Natalie R., Juliet C., Lana S., Carina W., Luci, Meilin L., and Sydney V. Missing is Claire B. who is painfully shy and didn't want to get in the picture. You may recall the pictures from Drew's travel group picnic (Claire's older sister May is in Drew's group) when I had to sneak up on her for any pictures! Hee hee! She's such a cutie, too! But I managed to get a couple of her later in the day which are posted below!

Here's a shot of most of the kids, several were playing elsewhere and we had to catch who we could! L to R: May (Claire's older sister!), Natalie, Mali (Meilin's sister), Lucy, Juliet, Lana, Carina, Luci, Meilin, Sydney and Drew. Missing are Juliet's brothers, Claire, Lana's sister, and Carina's brother.
Family picture time! First up, the V's. Sydney, Jeff and Diane.
David, Lisa and Natalie R.
Me and the girls.
Nina and Lana S. (Mia and her Daddy, Michael had to leave earlier for a sports practice.)
The L's. Brian and Sherri with Meilin (L) and Mali (R).
The B.'s. Rick and Laura with Claire (L) and May (R). THERE'S Claire!!!
The G.'s, Maria and Lucy. Luci talked non-stop about "the other Lucy with the same name but spelled with a Y" before the picnic and she was dying to introduce herself! I think she was just fascinated with someone else that had her name! But meet they did and are now happy little pen-pals!
The W.'s, Steve and Carina. Carina's brother Caleb and her mom couldn't make the picnic this year.
The C.'s. John and Amy with Daniel (L), Juliet and Christian (R).
Lunch time! Pizza! Yes, there were adult picnic tables there, but it wouldn't have been such a cute picture if Rick B. and Brian L. had sat at one of those!
Moms Nina, Laura and Amy looking over the food table.

Natalie LOVES strawberries and polished off most of them!
Thankfully, we had a some gloriously warm weather for the event and the facility's pool came in quite handy!
Drew and Luci
Meilin and Sydney. (Sherri, if I label your girls incorrectly, just let me know!)
Rick and Claire
Lana and Drew
Claire and May
Lucy being a big ham!
Luci decides she needs some sun!
L to R: Carina, Luci, Drew, Juliet, Sydney, Lucy, Natalie (in back), Lana, Meilin, Mali, May and Claire. (Click on the picture to see it supersized)
Sydney's daddy, Jeff got a really cool tattoo of Sydney on his arm! Dean actually wants to do the same thing of Drew and Luci!
The picnic wrapped up with a large cookie "cake".
Mali is in charge of cutting!

I am so pleased that I was able to make it finally! And I'll be going every year from now on!! Luci was able to get to know some of the girls in her group better and even made a new pen-pal friend, Lucy G.! (Both my girls LOVE getting mail!) Most importantly, Luci has something that is hers alone, her travel group, and we value it as much as we do Drew's group and by attending these picnics we are showing her that. And since Luci is such a social and friendly kid, she is building some great friendships, too! I really look forward to next year's picnic! A big thank you to Sherri, who works at the facility where the picnic is held every year. Without her organizing this event every year, we may not have one! My organizational skills aren't the greatest, but I've been asked to organize a February weekend in Lake George at the indoor waterpark for this coming winter. So far, I've been a little busy to get to it, but I'll do my best guys!

Today's Quotes:

The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things. ~Plato (and what lovely "things" these kids all are, huh? hee, hee!)

Similarities create friendship's while differences hold them together. ~Unknown

Sunday, August 1, 2010

HUGE post, LOTS of pics!

Man oh man! I REALLY shouldn't wait so long in between blog posts! So much stuff happens that when I finally do get to sit down and write a post, it turns into a mammoth one with tons of pictures...just like this one! Let's start with Rebecca Kelly Ballet, a week-long ballet day camp in a town not too far from us. This ballet company comes up from NYC every summer and holds a few dance camps in the area. Drew has attended these camps for the last three years and this year, Luci was finally old enough to attend. Well, technically, they should be 6, but they bend the rules as long as the child has completed Kindergarten. Here's the entire younger section doing warm-ups. Rebecca Kelly is the adult on the right and Raul is on the left. Raul is one of the girls' favorites!

Luci and the rest of this little group begin the big dance number that includes both the younger and older students.
Break time!
Drew in her small group dancing to Down to the River to Pray, from the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

The big dance number was set to East Indian music called Bahngra. This dance was by far my favorite, both for the dance itself and the music! The younger girls had to wear turquoise or green shirts and the older girls wore deep pink. The colors were gorgeous together and fit perfectly with the theme of the dance.
Luci on 3/4 pointe! Pretty good for no shoes!
Luci's small group did a country line dance type of dance to Walking after Midnight by Patsy Cline.
The younger girls doing their warm-up number.

After the recital, the girls got their usual bouquets of roses from Meema.
The girls with Raul.
With Therese...their other favorite!
With Hillary.
And finally, with Rebecca Kelly.
The Watertown Daily Times, an area paper, ran this photo in their paper that week. Drew is in front.
Here, we see Luci sitting on Grandma's lap with a book. Believe it or not, Grandma was NOT reading to Luci...rather the other way around! Luci amazes us with her reading ability! She's going into first grade in the fall, but Grandma says she's reading at a second grade level! Way to go Luci!
At a local park.

My nephew, Max, tries the balance beam!
Sonja and Max loving up the cutest little puppy!
We've had some really HOT weather this summer and luckily, Julie has a really nice pool in her backyard! Here's Luci taking full advantage of it!
Goofy Drew!
The hot weather prompted Meema to give the girls the gift of a pool for our own yard! It is a 12 footer about 30" deep and the girls (and Papa, apparently!) love it!

Our next camping trip took us to Brennan Beach near Pulaski, NY on the shores of Lake Ontario. It's a pretty nice campground with 2 pools, an arcade, stores, restaraunts and a beach...but it's geared mostly for seasonal campers. The transient camp sites are crammed in so tightly, that we felt like sardines! And the golf-cart traffic was immense, and no one seemed to be able to read the speed limit signs! It was impossible to take the kids for walks as the speeding golf carts were just too much! The normally paved roads were very fine gravel and the dust was enough to choke a horse! The cars, campers and all our gear needed to be washed when we returned home. This is a campground we will not likely go to again. But we made the best of it since we were already there. Here is Luci jumping into one of the two pools. (If you don't like crowds, do NOT go here during a holiday weekend like we did!)
Drew at the beach. Unfortunately, the water was having an algae bloom, so swimming meant a shower afterwards to get all the bits of algae off you and your suit!

Here are all but 3 kids with whom we camped at Brennan. From the top: Jeb, Luci, Darien, Drew, Sonja, Connor and Max. Missing were Makenna, Nate and Hannah.

To avoid the crowds, we set up our own pool! Despite how it looks, Dean DOES have shorts on in this picture!! Jeb threw a ball at his head just as I snapped the picture!

Dean makes a rainbow!
Sue gets cannon-balled by her son! (You can only see his foot above the water!)
Our next camping trip was at one of our favorite campgrounds, Robert Moses. On this day, my brother and his girlfriend, Sarah came up to visit. They brought her daughter, Kaydence with them. It wasn't long before the hose came out again! Thadd attacks Max!
Luci on the attack!
Even Dan got involved!

Enough with the little streams of bout a bucketful?!

Rub a dub dub, three kids in a...bucket! Kaydence, Sonja and Max.
So, you think hiding behind Grandma will keep me from getting you????
Max and his turban!
Monty takes advantage of Dan's lap!
Dan got the kids to play a game of Lacrosse. All four began it, but when I shot this picture, Drew and Luci were the only ones left!
The sun was cooperating, so I had the kids pose for me! Sonja
I even got Dean to pose!
Tina on swing duty.
Dean took the 3 girls out in the canoe for a little paddle.
He was out there quite a while and I used the time to snap some pics.
And back again!
These three trolls got into the mud! Luci was too busy watching a movie and missed out on the fun!
Playing with mud inevitably ends with a hose-down!
Immediately after our Robert Moses trip, we took off again. This time for a week-long houseboat trip in Kipawa, Quebec. Luci mans the wheel!
On our first night, we found this cozy little bay that was perfect for swimming!

Some of the amazing scenery on this enormous and pristine lake!
One night of fishing netted us this bounty! We caught our limit (6 each) within 2 hours! Most of them were quite large, too!
The houseboat we rented. Not luxurious by any means, but comfortable!

The girls ride on the front deck while we drive to our next camping spot.
Drew finds a crawdad.
Thanks to Meema, the girls were able to watch movies on her portable dvd player.
Papa fishes off the boat.
And fishing is not his only it turns out, he likes to dance on the boat, too!
Luci perched atop the houseboat, getting ready to jump!
Daddy's turn!
The girls jump together!
The wildlife was just amazing! Here we see a mama duck and her 9 ducklings. Not sure what kind of ducks they are, but they had brown tufted heads.


Drew slides down a huge sand hill.

Papa and Luci next! (Um, no, I did NOT slide down the hill!)

Just a cool shot of my dad in sillhouette. We called him the king of the mountain after this!

While my dad and I were out fishing one evening, who should come strolling along but 2 moose!! Unfortunately, I only had my point and shoot on me which doesn't take the best of pictures, so this is as good as it gets.

Dean and Luci go for a swim and waaayyyy in the background, you can see my dad's boat. He and Drew were out fishing.

Vacations are for relaxing, right?

Dean gives Luci a toss into the air!

The girls enjoyed standing on the front deck while some waves washed water onto the deck.

The way some trees grew on a teeniest little rock ledge with no soil just astounded me!

I have never in my life seen more than 2 loons travelling together, but on this day we saw 9 or 10 swimming together! Here are five of them.

And on another day, something I have never seen before with my own eyes...a mama loon and two babies! It was awesome!

On what would be our last night on the houseboat, we tied off to this pretty little campsite. Someone had made a sort of fireplace with these rocks! It was far too windy to build a fire that night and I was diappointed not to get a picture with a fire in it! Oh well!

The girls line some of their Zhu Zhu pets up to watch a movie. Luci holds one of her Webkinz up to see, too!

What would we do without Meema??? 2 days ago, she gave the girls her old golf cart to drive around the yard. The batteries were beyond help, so Dean toosed them. He had 3 industrial sized batteries in the basement and rewired the golf cart to accept them. Now it goes at a pretty good clip and the girls love it! We started out sitting behind them and letting them do it...

Even Monty loves going for a ride!

The girls have figured out how to drive it themselves and now go whenever they want. (Luci still needs a bit of supervision, as I just don't trust her not to run into something!)

The girls drive along with Meema as she pulls away waving!

Yesterday, we took a little visit up to Dan and Tina's land in the woods. The boys have been doing some work there to make clearings to allow campers in. Once they get enough cleared, we can do some camping up there! Jim and Julie inherited some land in the woods, too and have been doing lots of work to it for the same reason. So we have 2 different spots to camp with friends and family and we don't have to pay a campground to do it! Also nice is that there are no quiet hours or rules! Our first trip to Jim and Julie's will be Labor Day weekend where we plan to camp with the S's, the C's, Jim and Julie and Dan and Tina! Looking forward to that! Anyway, here's Dan with ear protection up around his head. He looked like Mickey Mouse!

Dean on the bobcat doing what he loves to do!

Hopefully, I won't wait so long between posts next time! Sorry to keep you all waiting and I hope I didn't bore you too much!

Today's Quote: The world's best revenge is to be truly happy! And I am!