Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Picture Worth The Wait

I've always loved a good thunder storm.  I think lightning is especially beautiful.  Like our finger prints, no streak of lightning is ever the same.

Over the years I've taken several pictures of lightning from the comfort of my front porch.  I'm often asked "How did you get that picture?".  It's all about being ready and being patient.   I watch the storm for a few minutes to get a general idea of where the most lightning strikes are happening.  I turn on my camera, hunker down in my seat with my finger on the camera 'trigger' and wait.

I usually watch through the viewfinder and as soon as I see the hint of lightning I snap a picture.  I don't always get the shot on the first, second or even third try.  But, I don't give up.  I sometimes get distracted in the lightning itself and forget to even take the picture.

Of all the pictures I've taken of lightning, this one has to be, by far, the most incredible one I've taken to date.  That streak of lightning is literally cutting through a tree across the street from my house.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ocean City Firemen's Parade

Charlie has been out of work due to a work related injury he sustained several weeks ago.  This has left him with nothing to do during the day and he's not one to sit around and watch tv all day.  He's spent a lot of his recovery time hanging out at the firehouse, even though he's been unable to go on any calls.  

Every year Ocean City Maryland has a week dedicated to celebrating fire fighters and this year Charlie was off on the day of the parade.  He helped clean up one of the fire trucks that was taken to OC to be in the parade.

The kids and I drove down seperately because Charlie headed down early in the fire truck to get it ready for the parade.  We found Charlie and the other guys riding in the parade, said our hello's and then made our way to find a good spot to watch the parade.

We found our spot, set down the cooler, set up our chairs and waited for the parade to begin.  It seemed like forever went by waiting to get a glimpse of Marydel in the parade.  We enjoyed seeing some neat antique trucks, saw a bagpipe band, Smokey The Bear and even a pink fire truck!

We finally saw Marydel coming up the road.  The kids were excited and Charlie was in the passenger seat waving to us as they passed by.  It's always neat to see Charlie in a parade.  After the parade we met up with Charlie and they guys from the fire dept to wait for the award ceremony.  Hoping all the hard work the guys put into cleaning up the truck would pay off with a trophy.  When the time finally came, Marydel's name was called and they won 3rd place for best appearing Pumper Rescue!  

A super fun day seeing all the different fire trucks, enjoying the view bay side waiting for the award ceremony and Marydel Fire Co coming home with a new trophy.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Still Celebrating

Growing up my family knew how to extend a birthday or holiday.  We'd have our birthday with cake and presents at home of course and the next time we went to visit with my extended family (grandparents, aunts and uncles) we'd celebrate again with more gifts and another round of singing "Happy Birthday" or wishing each other "Happy Thanksgiving" or "Merry Christmas".

Now that I'm married and have children of my own, these things still take place.  John celebrated his 6th birthday with me, Charlie, Tabytha and Jessi a few days ago on his actual birthday, then we celebrated again when he invited a couple friends to go to Chuck-E-Cheese and spend the night Friday night and now again, today, with the grandparents, Aunts, Uncle and a cousin.

Since Charlie and I redid/renovated our house a few months back I have been looking forward to having my family and Charlie's family over now that there's plenty of room for everyone to gather in the living room and now in the kitchen/dinning room.  Charlie grilled burgers and hot dogs, the kids all played in the pool and we all enjoyed each other's company and good conversation.  I love when we can all gather together for these special times and I love that my kids are creating the same kind of wonderful childhood memories I have of my own childhood when all my family was together.

John Turns 6

June 5, 2007 Charlie and I welcomed a handsome, 8lb 12oz, 22 inch baby boy into the world and into our lives.  Today we celebrate his 6th birthday.  (He asked for cupcakes rather than a cake).

John asked to have 2 of his friends come over to join us at Chuck-E-Cheese and spend the night.  It was a great time!  We spent about 3 hours at Chuck-E-Cheese's playing all the games, winning tickets and eating pizza.  When we were done there we headed over to the firehouse Charlie volunteers at and all the kids got a ride through town in one of the fire trucks.  They were laughing and smiling the whole time.  It was getting late by the time we got home, but, they were all still full of energy and played for another hour before I got everyone settled down and ready for bed.

When John and his friends woke up Saturday morning they had breakfast and went straight back to playing where they left off the night before.  It was really nice having John's friends here to celebrate with him.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Growing Up

7 years ago, my oldest, Tabytha, began her academic 'career'.  Today she completes her elementary education and prepares to move on to middle school in the upcoming school year.

Looking back over the past 7 years I wonder, as all parents do, "Where did the time go???"  Each year I feel a little bit older knowing she's moving onto the next grade, but, still in elementary school.  Now Tabytha is finished with elementary and heading off to middle school.

I have a middle schooler!  I'm feeling even older now.  My old age aside, I'm so proud of the young lady Tabytha has grown into.  She's excelled in her studies throughout her time at elementary school and was rewarded during the 5th grade 'graduation' with the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence.  It's the award given to students who've kept a GPA of 3.5 or higher.  I knew she was going to get this award, but, she didn't know she was going to get it.  Watching the look of surprise on her face when her name was called was priceless.  I knew at that moment how she felt and understood in the same moment how my parents felt because I had received the SAME certificate when I 'graduated' 5th grade.

Tabytha has kept up her grades, made strong friendships and is well loved by all the staff at the elementary school.  I know she's excited by what she's accomplished and nervous about what to expect in middle school.  I know it'll be a difficult adjustment, but, I have no doubts she'll find her way and excel beyond what she thinks she can do.