Nicolai models a birthday present he received from his sister this evening at a family only birthday party. Nicolai is making out like a bandit this year. First he has a birthday party with his school chums before they leave for summer camps. Tonight we celebrated as a family because Jeanine and the kids leave this weekend for Oklahoma so this is the last day I can participate with the rest of the family. I have no doubt he will have another party on July 8th (his actual birthday) and I suspect he will orchestrate yet another celebration when he visits with Jeanine’s family in Indianapolis later this month. Posted by Picasa

I have not posted any pictures of the house since we had it painted and thought I would use this excuse to test out a new camera that arrived today. Having lost one of my expensive SLR bodies and lenses to the Atlantic Ocean (fortunately covered by insurance) a couple of weeks ago I thought I would pick up a light weight travel camera for such situations. The new camera cost about as much as one of my cheap lenses and produces remarkably good photographs. Posted by Picasa

Maya has fashioned a kite out of an empty plastic bag. Please note the lack of footwear. This seems to be a common summer theme among the children of this house. Posted by Picasa

Today is “Safari Day” at Concord Academy Summer Camp. Maya has selected classes in dance, drama, and archery. Posted by Picasa

Kyle and his buddy Seth are attending Lacrosse camp this week. This is Kyle’s first formal training in the sport and he is picking it up very quickly. He seems to have a natural affinity to sports in which you get to hit people. Posted by Picasa

My brother sent us this photo of my neice Sophia. In our family it is essential that we have photos of our children eating pasta and holding a bocce ball. I will see this cutie pie for the first time this summer at my parents wedding anniversary. Posted by Picasa

Kyle drives for two of his eight points this evening in a lop sided win. His team only had one sub so all of the boys got a great work out. By the end of the game Kyle looked a little tired. Probably worth mentioning he spent the entire day at lacrosse camp where they worked kids pretty hard. Posted by Picasa

The weekend weather (rain, rain, rain) prompted me to tackle two major archiving projects. The first involves scanning old photos provided by my parents so that I can assemble a slide show to be presented at their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary. This was one of my favorites. The second project is the transfer of all my videotape footage to DVD. It has been quite a trip down memory lane. Posted by Picasa

Greg, Nicolai’s soccer buddy, demonstrates fine technique in the “Water Cup Relay Race”. I spent my lunch hour photographing as many kids as possible but was cut short when it began to pour. Posted by Picasa

Another relay event involves dressing up in a costume and running about 50 yards before returning to your team and taking the outfit off and quickly dressing the next team member. Pictured here is Sam, one of Nico’s friends and lead singer in his band. Posted by Picasa

Today was Willard Fun Day which is something of a silly Olympiad for graduating fifth graders. Here Nicolai participates in the “Lunch Lady Relay”. Each team member must in turn run to the lunch table, put on food service gloves, don a hair net, grab a tray and plate, and proceed down the food line serving themselves spaghetti, sauce, green beans and fruit cocktail. Finally, they poor a glass of water and race back to their waiting team with a full tray so that the next person can begin the routine anew. Posted by Picasa

When you take the time to look, you start finding these strange little critters everywhere. Posted by Picasa

This morning I went into the garden to capture some of Jeanine’s roses. Posted by Picasa

Nicolai was rock solid on the drums and really seemed to enjoy the experience. Posted by Picasa