Sunday, July 31, 2011

Family Gathering May 2011 in Greensboro, Part One: The Participants!

It’s taken us nearly two months to go through approximately 1500 pictures that were taken over the days prior to and following Memorial Day when all four of our kids and their families descended upon our house in Greensboro. There were lots of laughs, good times, crying babies and memorable moments, and we’ll try in the next few posts to give a small glimpse of the chaos that kept things lively on Toscana Trace!

From New York: Jeff & Vicky; Kira (5) & Aiden (9 Months)
The Greensboro Contingent: Jeremy & Rebecca; Olivia (6), Gabriel (2 ½) & Ezra (12 Mo)
From Texas: Danielle & Rudy; Vivi & Max (8 ½ Mo)
From Greensboro: Greg

Kira & Olivia Racing Around the Pool!

The Floating Flotilla! ~ Aiden, Vivi & Max  (Ezra was Napping!)

Babies everywhere!




Aiden Jon




Vivi & Max Sunbathing!
Texas Twins ~ Happy Babies!
Olivia (6)

Gabe (2 1/2)

Aiden (9 Mo)

Kira (5)

Vivi & Max Fighting Over the Remote Already! (8 1/2 Mo)

Ezra (12 Mo)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Our Journey to Upstate NY, Part 2

Kira (5)
Moonrise over the water


Full Moon
Pop Pop forgot his hat.  He stole Aiden's in this picture!

Early Morning Fog Lifts to Reveal a Beautiful Day!
The Moth Ball King and his Queen!
(We stopped in DC both on the way up and on the way back from the Adirondacks.  It was great to see them all!)

Mark & Janet


Aiden, 10 months

It's always less scary to venture into deeper water with Pop Pop!

Our View Across Lake Eaton

Our 2011 Journey to Upstate NY, Part 1

Sunrise 7-10-11
Dawn 7-12-11

Our summer vacation this year took us back up to our upstate NY family camp where we have spent many summers while our kids were young. I grew up spending many summer vacations there, and while its rustic nature might seem daunting to those that love civilization and retail, it’s the return to nature that seems to breathe new life into each of us who might be lucky enough to spend any time there.

We never grow tired of the pristine scenery, and it’s amazing to wake up to cresting daylight and some of the most magnificent sunrises ever. The camp faces east which gives us the best vantage points ever of these awe-inspiring views. Above & below are some pictures from various mornings...

Friday, July 22, 2011

First Things First! Happy Birthday Greg!

We've just come back from vacation and I’m determined today to post some pictures of our trip to upstate New York but before I do that I have to acknowledge what we were doing 31 years ago tomorrow.

Greg is our ‘baby’ although that only applies to his birth order and certainly not his current rank in life. He’s probably one of the kindest people that we know and has found a career that truly utilizes every ounce of the goodness and kindness that he has…Greg is a caregiver to special needs individuals and has made enormous progress with “Bobby”, an autistic 15 year-old boy that has been one of his charges for the past few years. With Greg’s help Bobby now can dress himself, use a bathroom, can speak and, in general, can interact on some level with others around him. These are tremendous strides for a boy that was locked in his own world for so many years!

I will always remember the phone call from a woman who had a lengthy wait in the YMCA sign-up line for her kid’s soccer team who said “You don’t know me but I want you to know what a wonderful son you have. Your son Greg (who was then about 12 years old) took our kids and played games with them in the field to keep them busy while we stood in line. I asked him for his name and his phone number so that I could call you and tell you what a wonderfully kind son that you have.”

We knew that then, and we know that now.

“There has never been a day when I have not been proud of you, I said to my son. Though some days I’m louder about other stuff so it’s easy to miss that”. Brian Andreas, StoryPeople

Happy Birthday Greg!

(Above: Greg a) With Bobby; b) With Godson & Nephew, Aiden; c) At 5 Years Old; and d) at 18 months)

Blogs, Websites, Email, Voicemail, iPads, iPods, Droids, Facebook and Other Modern Age Time-Eaters!

So …whenever family gatherings or vacations roll around I get to feeling guilty because I realize that I should be updating the blog with pictures and newsy notes about what’s happening in the Sarine/Dunlap family. It seems that I/we always have a camera card full of pictures that come from a relatively new Nikon camera that can amazingly take about 400 pictures a minute. That probably is an exaggeration but it does have the capability of snapping a picture every few seconds. A good feature I guess but it means that we have a gazillion pictures to examine, tweak, keep or delete when we get home.

And that takes time. Something that seems to elude us the older that we get! Granted we’re still juggling many balls…a business, a home that seemed to become larger when Dick fired our “cannot-clean-without-breaking-anything” cleaning lady; trips to see our growing cache of grandchildren;, etc….but all the new technological devices and communication avenues that we now have available to enable all of us to “stay in touch” are now things that have to be updated. My email inbox this morning has something 300+ new messages. Thinking about reading and answering them will take the better part of my day today. Ugh…Sometimes it’s easier to stay home than it is to go away on vacation! And posts on Sherckle to document that vacation are something…for me anyways…that can take 2-3 hours to accomplish.

When comparing myself to others from yesteryear I was beginning to think that I wasn’t very good at multi-tasking…. until it occurred to me that my mother did not have…much less know about….a blog, a website, an email inbox, a voicemail, an iPad or an iPod. She would probably think that a Droid was a supernatural being from a science fiction movie, and that something called “Facebook” would be a compound word that needed to be hyphenated and perhaps was a publication about faces. I’m sure that if she was alive today or suddenly came back that she would be totally perplexed about the new technology, and I’m certain that she too would find that all of our new modern age advantages would eat up virtually all of her 24-hour days!

I have decided to stop beating myself up about my lack of posts on our Sherckle blog but I do deem the thing to have value as it helps me to chronicle our busy lives. We’re fortunate because we have many joys in our family, and many blessings. And I think that it’s always good to share more positive things in this world, even if there are long spans between posts. So while I may not get to answer an email, or keep an updated status on Facebook, I’ll post…. when I can…. the little happenings in the Sarine & Dunlap families. That, I’m sure, my mother would like!