Friday, July 31, 2009

My daughter ... the swimmer?



My daughter is goofy :) Our neighbors had an extra pair of goggles from when their daughter was younger and asked if our daughter might want to have them. Silly question!
So, she doesn't like getting water in her face ... and hopefully the goggles will help with that ... too. Because she seemed to think they were also great for swinging in the swing and driving in her car. Like I said, she's silly ... and I love her :)






Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We had a painter come in and paint our front room ... which is a vaulted ceiling (two stories) and leads up the stairs. It hadn't been painted ... ever. As you might be able to tell by looking at the pictures, it still had the builder's white primer on it from over 10 years ago.

When our painter came in on Tuesday to "fix" some of the walls before painting, I pointed out the cracks around the rectangular openings in the interior wall, as well as the cracks around the frames of the doors. He mentioned that he could take care of that ... but also said it was probably the worst he'd ever seen.


My wife and I picked out Hirshfield's 0177 - "Weaver's Tool" ... or as you can see, a deep tan or a light brown, depending on your mood :)
At first, we weren't sure how dark to go, but you can see that it looks awesome ... or at least WE think so ... so please tell us the same :)

No more cracks in the walls - YES! And the front room actually is beginning to look like a nice sitting room ... which is a bit upsetting to my son, actually.
He told the painter that he liked the white better. I had to explain that my son was losing his "imaginary baseball" field and that he would no longer be able to throw balls up in the air and catch them in the front room.

Oh well, hopefully in the years to come the room will add some nice sitting chairs and maybe even ... dare I say :) ... a piano! Hopefully :) Anyway, as Mickey D would say, "I'm lovin' it!"





















Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Negative, Maverick. The pattern is full" ... and so is the nest under the deck!

Earlier this summer we had barn swallows trying to build a nest on the white vent that is attached to the house under our deck. There were no eggs, so I got a broom. I knocked the nest down, broke it apart and eventually washed off the vent. No problem - for me. The birds didn't like me very much, though, and started dive-bombing me for a few days.

They didn't really try to rebuild - at least I didn't think so. They were around - swooping and flying by, but never really taking up residence. Or so we thought. We checked in the regular places ... regularly ... to make sure they weren't building somewhere else. We had blue jays under the deck stairs one year, so we kept checking to see where the barn swallows would build ... hoping it would be at someone else's place - not nearby :)

When the cat's away, the mice will play. And when the homeowners are gone ... the barn swallows will build a nest under the deck, on top of one of the load-bearing wood beams ... and lay eggs. When we got home from our trip to Oho, we noticed that the birds were dive-bombing with more regularity and seemed to be upset when we played on the patio or under the deck. It was no wonder - the nest was obvious when we looked up, and when we checked from above, there were at least four (4) eggs.


I might be a home-wrecker (or nest-wrecker, I guess you would say), I'm no bird-killer (or egg-smasher). So, we have some friends joining us for the summer. The eggs hatched while we were at the Dells, and now the baby birds are getting big. Last night we sat and watched ... hoping ... thinking maybe the baby birds would take flight and leave ... and that we could see it ....

Didn't happen :( Still birds in the nest. But we had fun watching under the deck with the kids. Hopefully our dive-bombing friends will leave soon and we can get our peace and quiet back under our deck. Until then, we get to watch the adult birds feed their babies ... and we get to duck from time to time when those same adult birds decide to do a "fly by" live Maverick in Top Gun. You can barely see the barn swallow "fly by" in this clip, but just listen to those baby birds cry for food ...

video

Monday, July 27, 2009

Enthralled with sports, laughter and love :)



















My son is enthralled with sports these days. His Tee ball/Coach pitch baseball league just finished the week before our trip to Wisconsin, and his Little Blasters soccer fun just ended yesterday. He's really into getting out in the backyard and having me (or anyone) pitch to him. He gets a bit frustrated when we ask him to hit left-handed, but then everytime he does, he ends up hitting the ball almost as well as he does right-handed. Silly boy :)

The funny part about his summer sports sensation (besides going to a few of my baseball games and insisting on putting on the "small" shin guards that are still just a bit too big) is that he now gets up and watches ESPN in the morning. My son's an early riser, so he usually gets up right as my wife is leaving for work. Fortunately (or unfortunately ...) he knows how to use the television remote and he used to be able to watch a "kids' show" when he got up - letting me sleep until my daughter wakes up (just a bit later - like 20-30 minutes usually). Now, when I get up to get my daughter out of her crib, we walk down and see my son watching SportsCenter or a taped baseball game on the DVR.

He totally gets into watching the Cubs with me. We started talking about what I would like for my birthday - and how I used to love to go to a Cubs game right around my birthday when I was growing up. I told him that I liked have a nice dinner with family and going to sporting event for my birthday - and that anything else was just icing. So, I started asking him what he wanted for his birthday the other day ... and, no joke, he said, "I'd like to go to a Cub game ... or a Badger or Paker football game ... and have a nice dinner ... and spend time with our family." Couldn't I be a more proud dad. I did tell him that he wouldn't get a big birthday party (which he was okay with) and that he would still get "some" gifts (which he said was okay - "I don't need a lot of presents, Dad."). Of course this is only one side of him, but a side that I enjoy, none-the-less.

My daughter, of course has her own "nice sides" - which can be seen in her beautiful dance videos (posted in earlier blogs), and in her desire to play with, help, or just be with people she likes ... and loves :) We can't wait to get her into dance classes - which she'll love! And I'm sure she'll be an athlete, too. I just gotta get her to let me show her how to do things - so INDEPENDENT! She thinks she can do things just like her brother - even though she's three years younger. Anyway, just had to lay it out there :) Love my kids.

video

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wisconsin Dells 2009 ... Vitense Family Vacation ... fishing, go-karts, and cousins

Okay, so we had SOME fun :) I think I have to get a water-cover for our camera so we can get more action shots in the pools/waterparks next summer. Really, there were a bunch of different spots we got to go to just at our resort. My son loved the Big Wave at the Waterdome, and my daughter loved doing "cannonballs" at the outdoor pool at the Wild West area. For my time, I loved doing the Fantastic Voyage (3 times) with my son, and doing the shoulder-seperating body slides at each waterpark. I did get a shot of the Wild West indoor park - which happened to be closest to our condo. My son and I got into a go-kart, too. He had a blast (and I kind of had some fun, too). And my daughter either really likes her gramma ... or she's gonna be a star freelance photographer some day. I don't know which :)





















My son went fishing. He even caught something. Blue gill ... I think. My gramma, her friend and my wife went along. Good thing I wasn't around to spoil things. Looks like he'll have to go out again. He was just disappointed that he couldn't keep the fish ... the rest of us weren't.























Here we have some real fun. Although you might wonder why summer in Wisconsin looks a lot like autumn in Wisconsin this July. It was cooler than normal, but it was just as fun :) Kurt and I are watching his ball hit firmly on the green ... and then bounce into the creek that surrounds the green. My son wasn't always so nice, but here's one of his better moments: "letting" his sister and cousin ride in the stroller while he pushes. The ducks and geese weren't included in the cost of the package, but the water was ... and there were no Baby Ruths in the pool ... even though it looks like that's what the kids are spying :)




Wisconsin Dells 2009 ... Vitense Family Vacation ... fun, fun, fun

Six days and five nights up fun in the partial sun (partially cloudy, sometimes rainy) ... but really, always fun! The golf was fun, the waterparks (inside and out) were a blast, but the real ful was spending time with the family. It's nice to have the kids, the parents, the sibs, the cousins, the cousins' kids, uncles, aunts, and grammas, and friends around. Not ALL at once, mind you! Just a few pictures here from one of the outdoor parks - The Lost World - dinosaur theme, I guess :)




Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wisconsin Dells 2009 ... Vitense Family Vacation ... first few days :)



























We've had a blast so far, too. It's been cold, so it's a good thing there are more things to do than just go to the outdoor waterparks. There are three locations for indoor water fun. Two complete indoor waterparks and one indoor water dome with wave pool. One nice indoor play area (non-water). There is indoor mini-golf. There is also a full 18 hole golf course (did that last year) and an executive par-31 nine hole course that I tore up with a 52 :) Can't beat being with family and having fun. The kids are having a blast. Even got to celebrate our nephew/cousin's birthday. Cameras aren't that water friendly, but I should have some pics on here soon.

More fun days to come! :) More family comes into the resort today! :)

Wisconsin Dells 2009 ... Vitense Family Vacation ... on the way ... got there! :)

We had a relatively quick trip to Wisconsin Dells ... seeing as how the family trip to Oho takes a little over 12 hours and an overnight stay in SP. My son had to take some pics in the van on the way, so here we all are ... travelling!






Our accomodations are comfy. We stayed at the Wilderness Resort last year in cabin condo near Lake Delton (the lake is back!). Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a den, a loft, a big great room with a full kitchen, dining room and living room, with a nice porch overlooking the road, across with is Lake Delton and the Tommy Bartlett show. So, we did it again this year. It's nice for the four of us, gramma and grampa, uncle Kurt and aunt Teesa and cousin Cal; plus, we can entertain more family as they come to see us :) - cousins, aunts and uncles, gramma, and friends. This has got to happen every year. Too much fun!