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Friday, May 30, 2008

Ballet Center Open House

This Wednesday was Open House at The Ballet Center where Emma takes ballet and jazz classes. We had a potluck dinner and the dancers demonstrated bare work at different levels. It's interesting to see the progression from the little tiny dancers to the high school students. I managed to shoot a few photos from the corner I was sitting in. Enjoy!




Discarded ballet slippers. I thought this was very "artistic" !

Emma's class on the bare. She is the third from the front. (The Open House was optional so only about half of her class was there)


The class above Emma getting ready to do exercises. I liked the way their legs looked all lined up.

Open House at Chimney Corners

Emma and I drove out to western Massachusetts a couple of weekends ago to go to Open House at Chimney Corners Camp for girls. Emma is going to sleep-away camp there for the first time this Summer from July 20 to August 17. I think she is more ready than I am! I went to camp there one Summer exactly 30 years ago and it was neat to see it again. It looks much the same -- only a bit smaller -- and there is a new dinning lodge and some other small buildings. Emma was really excited to be able to picture what the place is like. She seems to feel better about things when she has as much information as possible about it -- this is sometimes a bit tiring for me -- especially when I don't know the answers to her questions -- so this was a great opportunity for me to refresh my 30 year old memory and for Emma to see what the camp is like. We went in a cabin like the one she will be in and also in the bathroom "cabin". We saw the lake and the dinning area and the riding stables etc.... It was a nice drive out there too -- particularly after we got of the Mass. Pike and wound our way through the woodsy countryside to the camp. The road followed a gorgeous stream the whole way that meandered over rocks.



View of the Junior section of camp and a cabin like the on Emma will be in (from the back). It started to drizzle so I didn't take many photos while we were walking around.


View from the balcony of the new dining hall looking out over the lake. The balcony/deck is huge and wraps around and has tons of adirondack chairs on it. I'd like to spend my Summer sitting there reading books and looking out at the view.


Our tour guide on the dining hall deck. You can see one of the chairs. In and interesting twist our tour guide's first Summer at Chimney Corners was as a camper at age 11 in 1978. That's the year Kate and I went to camp and Kate was 11 then too. Sorry to give away everyone's ages!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stone Harbor Memorial Day

Jim, Emma, Maggie and I all headed south to Stone Harbor, NJ to spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach with Mom, Aunt Kate, Uncle Ron and the twins Amelia and Nikolas who are now almost 2 and a half and are talking in little sentences. They never stop moving though so it was fun and tiring -- except during their nap when we relaxed! Here a some sample shots of the weekend. The weather was beautiful and clear and sunny, but not hot. We had sweatshirts on at the beach some of the time as it was windy. Of course we ate Springers famous Homemade icecream and we all went to the Memorial Day parade on Monday.


Uncle Ron and Nikolas waiting for the parade to begin.


Amelia actually sitting down for a minute.


Maggie in her favorite position on her favorite couch. She pretty much ignored my Mom and Kate's big younger dogs and lounged around.

Nick digging in the sand.

Amelia and Emma posing for the camera. They all played in this hole in the sand for ages. Jumping in and out of it.

More playing in and around the big sand pit.



A moment to rest and talk.
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

First day at the beach

It's been a very drizzly, rainy week for the most part -- reminds me of living in Belgium or visiting Ireland. We did have two nice days this week that were sunny and quite warm at least in the middle of the day. On Tuesday I went to school to eat lunch with Emma as part of the school's reading week. Parents were encouraged to come and have a picnic lunch and read with their child. It was actually too hot to sit in the sun and mid-day and we moved to the shade. That same day Emma's friend (and our neighbor) Kayla and her family went to the town beach so Emma asked if we could go the next day. It was still sunny the next day, so, we invited Kayla and drove the two miles or so to the Barrington Town Beach which is on the Narragansett Bay. I figured it would be windy and cool at the beach so I brought a sweatshirt and made Emma bring one too and put leggings over her bathing suit. She complained about it, but humored me and wore them. It was beautiful out their and really relaxing to sit on the beach chair and look out at the water and smell the sea smell and watch the girls play and make a tent out of their chairs and towels. Emma and I actually got our feet in the water which was freezing of course. We ended up staying about an hour and then we were all freezing to death. It was very windy out there and we saw two people on surf boards being pulled through the water by big kites. I did some research and it's called kiteboarding, it was fun to watch -- they had wet suits on of course. There were a couple of people walking dogs, some young kids exploring and a group of teenagers actually attempting to sunbathe with bare legs and sweatshirts on!




Emma and Kayla at the beach -- lying on their towels and in their tent. Notice that Kayla's Mom didn't make her bring a sweatshirt -- I guess that's what happens when you have more than one child to pay attention to, or maybe when you aren't going to be there to hear them saying they are cold all the time -- to Kayla's credit she really didn't complain at all!


View of Rumstick point from the beach.

Here are the teenagers sunbathing. This is the view the opposite direction on the beach.

Visit to the Rees Family

Emma and I drove down to Solebury, PA to spend the weekend with my good friend Wendy And her family. Jim wasn't feeling well so he stayed home to recuperate. We had a really good time and enjoyed seeing their new house and meeting their two new dogs and seeing them all again for the first time in a couple of years. On Saturday we drove across the river to New Jersey to go to a cool place called Grounds for Sculpture. The site used to be used as a fair grounds and they have rehabilitated some of the cool old buildings. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and have lots of pieces of sculpture spread throughout them, including some that are sort of reproductions of famous Impressionist paintings that you can interact with. The kids loved that. They also loved the water/fountain sculpture area. It was a gorgeous warm and sunny late March day so the water felt good. The new photo at the top of the blog page is from that day and you can see Emma enjoying the refreshing mist. So, here are a couple more photos from our trip.


We all loved this sculpture especially after we realized what she was doing -- though it took us a few moments!

Here we are posing for Emma to take our photo. That's Gavin my god son with the longish blonde hair and his sister Morgan.

This is one of the Impressionist painting sculptures. At first Wendy and I though it was a real person lying under it looking up at the women, but then we realized it was part of the sculpture. This photo shows David also lying down pretending to be part of the piece.


Last, but not least here are the two dogs in the back yard. Gandalph on the left is their newest dog -- a very sweet and quiet rescue dog, on the right is Merlin who is an Australian Shephard and full of energy! You can also see David in the background sitting on the bench and their peacock Ming's enclosure.