Sunday, June 28, 2009


This weekend Barry, Becky, and I spent several days with Jen, Adam, Aidan, Ryan, and Kari in southern Maryland.  The weather was beautiful and we spent several hours each day at the pool.  The highlight of our visit was Aidan's T-Ball All Star game on Saturday night.  He was so proud that he got picked to be on the All Star team the second year in a row.  When we arrived at the ball field I told him I wanted to take his picture and he immediately went into his super cool ball player pose!
Before the game and before the boys got sweaty and dirty, the team got their photo taken.  Aidan is in the front row with the red glove.

For the first inning, Aidan was the catcher.  He really likes playing that position and does a good job.

When it was his turn at bat, he got into batting stance and . . . 
hit a double and brought one runner in!  We were so proud of him!
The next inning he played short stop and then left field.  He really hustled and got lots of pats on the back from the coaches.
In T-Ball tournaments no score is kept, so everyone gets a trophy.  This is Aidan with the head coach getting his trophy.
Check out the "cool Dude" trophy winning stance!  
Of course, I had to have my picture taken with the "All Star!"
Check out Aidan's shirt - when we arrived at the ball field, the coach handed Aidan his shirt for the game. His name was misspelled - he was now "Aldan."  Of course Aidan was disappointed, but he took it in stride and they gave him a shirt with no name on it for the game.  When the game was over, we couldn't believe it when the coach asked him if they could have the plain shirt to give to someone else (a non-player!).  Being the kind of kid he is, Aidan relinquished the shirt and kept the misprinted shirt.  Of course we had fun calling him Aldan and he laughed with us!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

This and That

    HOLOCAUST MUSEUM SHOOTING UPDATE     I just received information on the officer who was shot at the Holocaust Museum that I want to pass on to everyone.  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has started a fund for his family.  If you would like to contribute you can do it online at: or you can mail a donation to "USHMM Officer Johns Family Fund," USHMM, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington, DC 20026.  It is such a tragedy that this forty year-old family man was gunned down in cold blood by someone who built his life on hate.  My heart goes out to the Johns family.
    IN MEMORY OF SAWYER    Today marks the one year anniversary of our six year old grand nephew's death to due Leukemia. Sawyer was a vibrant little boy with devoted parents and family.  The sun is shining on Sawyer in heaven, I am certain.  He had a tremendous faith for such a young child. 
    PROJECTS    Now that school is out for the summer, I am busy working on a variety of projects.  One that is near and dear to my heart is our third annual scrapbooking Crop For A Cure October 24, 2009.  It is a 12 hour crop and 100% of the proceeds benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Everything including the room, the food, door prizes, silent auction items etc. is donated. Although it is a lot of work, it so rewarding and so much fun!  Right now I am gathering silent auction items from area businesses.  My next task is finding a donor for the dinner.  Subway donates lunch for us each year.  Thanks Subway! If anyone wants information on attending the crop or supporting the crop in any way, just shoot me an email:  
     Another project I am involved in with Becky (daughter) is the National Council of Teachers of English national conference in Philadelphia in November.  We are the local committee chairs for the luncheon events.  We have a great committee and in July we get to taste the different meal options prepared by the chef at the Philadelphia Marriott! WooHoo!  Sounds like a pretty good perk!  Then we are headed to NYC for four days - more on that later!

Monday, June 22, 2009


One of the highlights of our vacation is going to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show.  The quality of the vendors is outstanding and we always enjoy seeing the amazing artwork in its various genres.  This year I discovered an artist whose work I just love.  Her name is Smadar Livne and she has a studio and gallery in Owings Mills!  She is an Israeli born artist who creates incredible fiber compositions, sculptures, and acrylics.  I fell in love with a fiber composition, but it was  not in my price range, so I bought two of her signed and numbered prints, one of which is the center section of the piece I loved. 
Here are a few of her pieces.  The colors are what originally drew me to her work. She has a website that you can visit:
The following photos are taken at a lotus garden that is being preserved near where we stayed. It was difficult to get good pictures, because it was so windy that day, but I managed to get these few.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


The weather sure hasn't been beach weather.  It has been cloudy, windy, and rainy off and on all week.  We were hoping to have a pool day yesterday - didn't happen.  Jen, Adam, and kids went to the Children's Museum, which is a wonderful hands-on museum.  The kids had a great time as you can see from the following pictures.  Cory took Sasha and Clara to the Aquarium for a Daddy and Daughters Day-Out.  I will post pictures later about their adventure.  Jim, Becky, Barry, and I played 36 holes of mini golf - pics to come.  In a few minutes we are headed out to the Boardwalk Art Show.

Monday, June 15, 2009


What a beautiful first day at Virginia Beach!  The kids were up early  -6:00 am!  They were just so excited to be with each other and go to the beach.  Fortunately, as you can see, they are not afraid of the water and had such fun in the sand and surf!

Clara absolutely loves the ocean and wasted no time heading for the water!
Ryan is such a cool dude!  Look at those shades and that smile!
Robert Dixon was an absolute angel and sleeps through just about everything!
Barry and Becky always enjoy soaking up the rays!  I wonder when they will be adding to the growing family!  Six little ones - what a blast!

Aidan loves the beach, but his obsession is Legos.  We got him a 693 piece Bionicle Axalara T-9 designed for ages 10-16.  He had it put together in a couple of hours.  It is amazing to watch him pour over the diagrams and put together these complicated kits!
Kari is a little fish and had so much fun in the pool!  She kept up with the big kids!
Ryan and Sasha are the same age and are so much fun to watch grow up together.  They are such cute "kissin" cousins!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It is was with great sadness that I watched the events unfold at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum today.  A courageous security guard lost his life protecting the lives of the museum employees, volunteers, and visitors from an extremist anti-Semite.  I visited the shooter's web site and although I have studied other hate web sites as part of my teaching about genocides, this one was particularly offensive and frightening.  Should we be surprised, however, when the world is virtually ignoring the vicious rants of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been threatening to blow Israel off the face of the earth.  Although we hear the words "Never Again!", the grim reality is that it may happen again if the radicals and extremists have their way.  Is our country, is our president, are we as individuals ready to deal with the threat of another Holocaust?  I pray that we will not stand by and allow such a catastrophe to happen again.  Over the past fifteen years I have met over fifty Holocaust survivors and have formed personal relationships with many of them.  The following photos are just a few of the faces of these incredible individuals who were teenagers or younger when their world was turned upside and they witnessed the brutal murders of their family members, friends, and neighbors.  We cannot allow the fate of the six million Jews (1.6 million of them children) who perished in the Holocaust be repeated.  "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Over Memorial Day weekend, the family gathered at my brother and sister-in-law's home for a picnic.  It couldn't have been a more beautiful day.  It seems that most Memorial day weekends over the past few years have been rainy, but this weekend was just beautiful!  My brother Bill's home is my grandparent's homestead.  On the front yard is a gorgeous big tree.  Becky had the bright idea to climb the tree and get some really cool pictures.
Of course, as soon as the little ones saw Becky in the tree, they had to get their pictures taken amongst the branches as well.  So we had fun taking pictures of them sitting in the tree!  Sasha loves to pose; she must get this from her Aunt Becky!
Not to be outdone, Clara joined in the fun and turned on the charm with her smile!
Cutie pie Ryan took time out from playing with Uncle Barry to take his turn.
Aidan thought the whole idea of tree sitting was pretty awesome!
Not to be outdone by the "big kids," Kari had a great time tree sitting and posing with a little help from Aunt Becky!
I treasure these kinds of days with the family.  The kids had a blast running around the yard, rolling in the grass, "tree sitting," and just being kids.  Kids grow up so fast and I like to just slow down the pace and enjoy them being rough and tumble kids!