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Family news

Daniel turns 10, Kath turns orange

First, elation over the Kindle Fire last night:

… after that, we celebrated Kath’s orange belt:

Then tonight, dinner at Olive Garden, basketball in the driveway and tenting in the backyard:

Summer in review

The last post here was in May – over 4 months ago. Suffice it to say it was a very busy summer. There are some photos but not a whole lot – it appears I spent more time doing than I did recording. I guess that’s a good thing.

One of the gifts of the summer that will keep on giving is this little fella:


He showed up on our doorstep on Saturday, August 27. He was skinny and suffering with pneumonia. We took him into the garage for the weekend, figuring we’d bring him to a shelter on Monday. Well, the shelters were full and here we are. Welcome to the family, Buster.

Check out the summer 2011 gallery for a few more photos.


We checked out Chicago for Spring Break this year. Many photos in the gallery, but here are the highlights.

Day one: Legoland Discovery Center…


… followed by arrival at the hotel which was right next to where the Chicago River hits Lake Michigan. Here’s our view:


We also went to the top of the Hancock Tower to take in the nighttime view:


On day two we went to the Field Museum in the morning. The boys posed with the famous T-Rex, Sue:


… and they were still smiling as we left for the aquarium…


There was a great water show at the aquarium with dolphins, beluga whales, and a seal:


Day three – the planetarium, where there were many interactive exhibits…


… including the Atwood Sphere, which you ride into using a lift on a ramp. The sphere has holes poked in it that show the constellations as the sphere turns around you…


Adios, Chicago!


All Things Thomas

Thomas had his b-day yesterday. The Lego City Airport was a BIG hit:


And then today we went to a tournament at the dojo and Thomas won first place in his sparring group! Way to go, T!


A few more pics in the gallery, too.

In my day, video games were two-dimensional…

Daniel kicks it old skool with Space Invaders:


Thomas earns his yellow belt

Thomas tested for his yellow belt last week. Here are a few shots from the demonstration. In these shots, he’s still wearing his old belt (the white stripe indicates the “junior” belt he earned before he moved up with the big boys).




And here’s the shot I waited all night for – Thomas receiving his belt from the sensai, bowing first, and then smiling up into his eyes as he grasps the new belt with one hand and returns a firm handshake with the other. The shot I came for. The shot I borrowed REALLY nice lenses for. The shot I looked forward to posting here.

Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled after that one. So instead, enjoy this shot of a random kid getting his yellow belt, taken as a test shot moments before Thomas walked up and was unceremoniously blocked from my view. Congratulations on your yellow belt, Random Kid!

Quick recap

Here are some photo-updates from the past few months. Winding down from a weekend campout (COLD), followed by a soccer game for Daniel (his team did great), followed by cleaning/drying the gear, so we’re going with a minimalist approach on the writeups that go with the photos.

Late season tomatoes and onions. Just harvested these today – thanks to the late season rain we got.


The finished product in the backyard. We’re extremely pleased with the result.



Nanny and Poppy visited us last weekend. Kath and I stayed overnight in Skaneateles for our 10th anniversary, we went to soccer games for D & T, and had a b-day cake for Poppy.




First day of school, 2010

Daniel started 3rd grade, and Thomas is in 1st, so today is our first day of ALL DAY SCHOOL for both kids. Very exciting.


Russell Brook and Thomas’ last day of kindergarten

Last weekend (yeah, just catching up) we spent Father’s Day with Nanny and Poppy at the trailer. They boys fished…



… and swam…


… and we celebrated Nanny’s birthday:


Later that week, Thomas had his last day of Kindergarten, with the traditional on-stage celebration:


More images in the gallery for Russell Brook and Thomas’ last day of kindergarten can be found starting here and here.

Daniel’s Karate Birthday

Hear him roar!


See him cut!