Independence Day at Rehoboth


We asked a lifeguard to take our picture about an hour before the fireworks were scheduled to start.  The back row is Gabe, Austin, Ron, Don. Front row is Olivia. Erin, Alexis holding Julian’s hands, Brenda, Amanda. Then we got some ice cream just in time to watch the fireworks over the ocean. Fireworks and ice cream, because: freedom! Or something. Happy birthday America!

Memorial Day Weekend!

P1010431Here’s Olivia with her grandma enjoying her first Memorial Day weekend ever. She seems to be enjoying it, don’t you think? Right after Erin took this picture, the clouds blew away and the rest of the day was beautiful.

Julian was bundle of energy.  As soon as we hit the beach, he ran right into the bitter cold ocean.  He said the water temperature was “fine,” and by “fine,” he meant of course, “colder than Lake Superior.”

P1010460Here’s Julian in a rare moment of calm, building castles. Then we dug holes and buried Julian up to his chest.  We did this 20-30 times.  Great fun!  Then back to froliking in the surf.  The water was cold – it is May, after all, but Erin and I dove in.  Very refreshing.

The primary point of Memorial Day beaching is of course, the loafing. Below is Amanda, a master at the craft.


After dinner, we went to Hopkin’s Dairy Farm and had ice cream among the cows. A great day – and 2 more to go!







Click the pics below to embiggen:

It’s Great Being a Kid!

Wow!  Nick is having a terrific time flying his kite – look at that guy run!  Even though Brian recorded this on a surplus WWII cell phone, the joy and enthusiasm come through loud and clear.  Pro tip for Brain: you definitely should have flipped the phone over because vertical videos are the devil’s handmaidens.  But it’s fantastic anyway – great job grabbing it Brian!  Makes me want to go out and fly a kite – oh wait, it’s pouring rain.  Never mind.

A Day at the Beach

ronbrendafranniebeachHere’s a “selfie” of Brenda, Frannie and me on the Beach.  The day was beautiful; sunny, mid 60′s, with lots of happy people walking around.  You’d think spring was right around the corner if they weren’t predicting 5 inches of snow tomorrow.  I may weep.  Damn you Al Gore and your stupid global climate change! <shakes fist at sky>  After beaching, we shopped a bit, then went over to Leslie and Peter’s new house in Lewes.  They had just moved in the day before.  The house is wonderful, very cleverly designed, and Leslie’s artistic touches can be seen everywhere.  After the tour we had dinner  at a nearby restaurant.  Add to all that the fact that Michigan State beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament, a great day all around!

Happy 5th Birthday Nick!


Here’s Nick holding a birthday gift, this one from Grandma and Grampa. Nick turned 5 years old on Saturday, February 15 – the day after the Full Snow Moon and the ides of February!   Whatever that means. Nick, like all my grandchildren, is the coolest kid in the world, and I really wish we could have come down to Florida to help celebrate. Happy birthday, Nick! Hope your day was great!

Olivia is Here!

oliviaTake a bow, Olivia!  She arrived yesterday, December 1, 2013 between 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon.  Isn’t she beautiful?  She weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces.  Mother and daughter are doing just fine.  And, as Brenda pointed out, she looks exactly like her brother Julian when he was born.  All I have are cellphone pics.  Sorry.



Here’s Gabe, Erin and Olivia immediately after the birth:







Julian meeting his new sister:

olivia and JulianJulian holding Olivia













Olivia with her mom and brother:

Erin Julian Olivia








Here she is with her grandma and brother:

Brenda Julian Olivia








Olivia sleeping:







And here are a couple of Olivia and her Aunt Amanda:

530529_10153593238990473_205976612_n IMG_20131201_182107








Julian’s 3rd Birthday

JulianCakeHappy Birthday Jules!  We celebrated his third birthday on Sunday (AKA “The Day the Lions Beat Dallas”).  We all went over to Gabe and Erin’s for birthday festivities.  Here’s the classic cake picture, although that happened nearer the end of the party.

The big event was roller skating.  Julian got skates, helmet, pads and gloves from Erin’s Dad and step-mom, and then we all went to the skating rink that is only about a quarter mile from Gabe and Erin’s house.



Here’s the birthday boy and his parents at the rink.




And next we have Julian with his Aunt Amanda and his dad skating on the rink.



Turns out roller skating is pretty difficult when you’re 3 years old.  He did okay with hands to hold, but it’s a whole different thing when you’re on your own.  I’ve never roller skated before.  I’ve ice skated quite a bit, but roller skating is very different.  I probably should have rented in-line skates, but I wanted to try the roller skates.  Here’s a pic of me trying to roller skate:


Ha ha.  Funny, right?

Gabe and Amanda did much better than I did. Here they are flying by us in one of the few pictures where they weren’t a blur.



Although Julian is bit young for this kind of thing, there was a great padded climbing maze that he and his friend Tristin took to right away.  They both spent most of their time in there.  Here’s Julian taking a break to hydrate.






He is, of course, in gloves and pads for maximum thrashing.  He and Tristin had a great time in there.





Then we went back to Gabe and Erin’s for pizza, cake, and more gifts for the birthday boy.  Here he is with the shirt that Tristin’s sister Bree made for him.  It says “I’m the big brother.”  But it’s the look on Julian’s face that makes this picture art.







And here’s Julian with the firetruck that Brenda and I got him.  Julian and Tristin spent most of the rest of the afternoon playing with it, so I think it was a hit.  But how could it not be since it shoots water – whoa!  That’s what I said – shoots water!  Anything that shoots water is uber-cool.  Everyone knows that, right?  They went through about 10 tankfulls of water out in the backyard before we put it up.  All in all, it was a great birthday party.  I think Julian really enjoyed it.  I know I did.



The Things You Learn Driving Home From the Beach

diddleSo I’m driving to work this morning from Rehoboth and my radio is telling me things.  Did you know that the nursery rhyme “Hey diddle diddle…” refers to the spring constelations?  Of course you did!  But I didn’t.  Turns out that this, which I always thought was just nonsense:

Hey, diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such sport.
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

is a specific reference to the stars overhead in April and May, and is suposed to indicate planting time in the spring, or something.  The cow is a reference to the constellation Taurus, and the New Moon of May is said to be in the sign of Taurus. So the cow jumps over the Moon. The Cat is a reference to Leo the Lion, which is chasing the little dog, Canis Minor, to the west and over the horizon. The fiddle is a reference to the lyre, or stringed instrument, which is overhead as the constellation Lyra, containing the bright star Vega. The dish and the spoon are the Milky Way and the Big Dipper. In May, Cygnus just starts to rise up in the northeast. Cygnus appears as though flying along the Milky Way, which is as flat around the horizon as it can get this month, like a plate, or a dish, and it seems to have “run away” from view. And while this is occurring, the Big Dipper, is straight up overhead: The dish runs away with the spoon!

Aside from this, my entire knowlege of the constelations I learned from The Simpsons.

homerconstelationsPepe: “Tell me more!  I want to know all the constellations.”

Homer:  “Well, there’s Jerry the Cowboy, and that big dipper looking thing?  Alan . . . the Cowboy.”