Monday, August 20, 2012

Shrimp Boats and Golden Anniversaries

We've had a busy week and I have definitely fallen behind in blogging duties.  I was going to blog nearly two weeks ago about our awesome trip to the Cleveland Aquarium, and I would have, except for two things...
1)  It wasn't awesome at all.  We were very underwhelmed.  I have nothing more to say except don't bother wasting your time or money.
2) I am an idiot and cannot figure out how to turn off the flash on my camera, so I couldn't take any pictures at the Aquarium, as flash photography is expressly forbidden.  The best I can do is these pictures of the kids with the stuffed animals we bought at the gift shop.

This is Ellie with her sea turtle... 

And Tommy with his ray...

So, on to better things!

Ellie and Tommy had their first adventures in swimming this week.  On Wednesday, Sandy and I took them to the pool at Brookside Park.

Tommy viewed water as just another side of Nature that needs to be avoided.  I was a bit surprised at this, as he really loves splashing in the bathtub.  Perhaps it was the water temperature that was the problem...

I took him out of the water and let him play at the side of the pool...

 while Sandy played with Ellie the Water Baby.  She LOVED the pool.

After a while, the giggles and grins from Ellie lured Tommy back into the water.  He wasn't exactly exuberant, but he didn't cry again.  We missed our photo op there, and soon we headed to the locker room to change and go home.  We had to whisper a dirty diaper secret to the pool staff, and on our way to the parking lot we heard them announce that the baby pool was now closed.  Oops!

Thursday was Lindy's birthday, and Sandy and I took Tommy and Ellie for a visit and a swim in her pool.  This time it wasn't just a baby pool, so there was no way for them to stand up and get their sea legs; this time it was sink or swim.  Well, maybe just cling to mama, or ride the boat.

Once again, Eliana was in fishy heaven...

and Tommy was a little less certain... 

 Aunt Lindy saved the day though with the ultimate
 fun pool toy for babies, the Shrimp Boat.

Ellie was first to captain the ship, and her brother watched with envy!

  Soon it was his turn. 
You can see that he was cautious at first... 

But he explored the vessel...

and was soon smiling... 

We had a veryfun day with Aunt Lindy and her family. 
Everyone but Wyatt was there.

Emma provided great entertainment in the pool...

Ethan snuck home from Alabama to surprise his mother.

Justin has moved back from Arizona and just got the news
 that he and Jenn got the townhouse they wanted...

Phoebe was a little bit under the weather, so no pool fun,
but we did get to at least visit with her.

We celebrated the birthday girl's big day with cake and ice cream.

and Emma helped lick the balloons from the cake clean...

 Ethan and Tommy had some kind of serious chat...

while Ellie dreamed of going back in the pool... 

Then we all headed for home.  Shrimp boat in tow, so we can try it out next week at the YMCA in Cincinnati.  We'll be back.  I think Ellie will take the wheel to get us there if I let her. :)



Saturday evening, we celebrated Tom's parents 50th wedding anniversary. 
We gathered at Der Dutchman with all of Jim's siblings and their spouses, and with Norma's sister Polly and her daughter Valerie.

Jim and Norma knew that the family was meeting for dinner, but they didn't know that they were the guests of honor. We made them sit at the front of the room and open their gifts and cards. 

Tom and I gave them a photo book celebrating their fifty years together.  While gathering the pictures, we noticed that at every gathering, they do a family lineup photo with all of the siblings.  Tonight was no exception there.

Well, maybe a little exception.  Usually these line ups do not include spouses, but after 50 years of watching from the sidelines, I thought Norma deserved to be part of the pack...

Norma getting ready to cut the cake
(or is she just tired of marriage after 50 years?)

Kind of tricky to catch by couple, as most of the family members sat across from their spouses rather than next to them, but here are all of the family members in attendance:

Bill and Sue

Willis and Ruby

Judy with Ellie

Roger and Peggy
Roger was the one who pointed out that we ought to have this little dinner.  He should remember the anniversary, I learned that he and Peggy share the date, and they will be married 28 years next Saturday.

Pauline and Harry (plus Nancy and Judy)

Pauline & Harry, Nancy & Don, Judy

let's try that again, Harry wasn't paying attention...

Sara. I forgot to catch her with Tom, but he's here somewhere!
She was the one who arranged for this little get together.


And of course my own crew, along with Grandma and Grandpa...

Harry and Don give us a special hello...

The evening was spent eating, visiting, and reminiscing...


just runnin' around

life of the party...

Tough to get all of the eyes open together, so here's another shot.  I need to learn how to use PhotoShop so I can edit all the good faces into one shot.  Umm, maybe by the next big get together!

Oh good, she put that knife down a little!

If you would like to have any of the pictures from the anniversary dinner to print, you can click here to access them on Shutterfly.

 And one final note, for my regular followers.  Yes, I am still chocolate free!


  1. Yay for the shrimp boat and Ellie's water legs! I agree about the Cleveland Aquarium, especially after having been to the Newport Aquarium! 50 years amazes me and I look forward to see how my husband will ever survive it. Looks like everyone had a great time! Enjoy Cincinnati!

  2. Tommy will get his sea legs in no time. I bet next summer he won't mind a bit! Happy 50yrs to your's amazing how fast time goes..time flies when you're having fun..or fun flies when you're doing time! Anyway, great shots! I'm still trying to figure out the camera. Stacy did some great pics of Kota with hers (we have the same one) so I just need to really read the manual again and practice! You'll have tons of reasons to keep practicing! Have a good week! Oh, did your family member have to close her pool after you left? Just wondering!

    1. No, I didn't have to close the pool. The kiddos were very well behaved here!

  3. That's great because I am not diet pop free.

    Isn't it funny what will make the the babies cry. I bet it is an awesome thing to have the babies encourage each other to try things they don't really like.

    Happy anniversary to the in-laws!


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