Monday, June 29, 2009

Crayon Fun

Syd got some really cool "beginner" crayons this past weekend... and I just had to post a few shots of her enjoying them! Sort of a cross between art tools and the ol' Weebles we used to have years ago. Neato!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June Brides & Old Friends

Mr. & Mrs. Alex Yoder... much happiness and God's blessings on your life together!

We had the honor and joy this past weekend to travel to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for a celebration of the wedding of the youngest daughter of our longtime friends, Cindy & Greg Tieman. Their daughter Lindsey became Mrs. Alex Yoder in a loving early evening ceremony. We also got to see the grandkids and other family members of Cindy & Greg which made this as much a reunion as a wedding for us! It was a great weekend... and I just had to post the cute shots of the couple, two of their grandkids, and our best buddies in the Hoosier State, Cindy & Greg. Much happiness to everyone!
Seth Tieman, Grandson of Cindy & Greg, in his ring bearer outfit!

Granddaughter Brianna served as the cutest flower girl (and princess).
She spent a lot of her time twirling in this pretty dress!

Mother and Father of the Bride, Cindy & Greg Tieman,
good friends and officially empty nesters!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Paddle, Paddle, Kick, Kick! (a.k.a. Tot Swimming 101)

Asher came for a special "solo visit" this week and he's been SUCH a big boy. He's enjoyed playing in the pool, entertaining his cousin Sydney, and having fun with his Papa and I. He was very brave about traveling on the "long ride" to St. Louis and only asked "Are we there yet" about 50 times. (secret tip: A roll of your very own Lifesavers candy makes a 3 year old forget how long the ride has been!) We have been having so much fun that we are sure gonna miss the little man when his daddy picks him up to go home to Michigan tomorrow! This is one adventure we will have to repeat because it was a blast!

This is a significant day because Ash is TOUCHING bottom in the shallow end of the pool! A first for him. The switch to the arm swimmies helped him achieve this. The ol' "magic coat" makes him too buoyant to reach the ground!

Look at me! I am touching my toes to the ground! YAY!

Syd is getting braver by the day about swimming and having Ash here
to show her the way it's done has been a BIG help!

Sydney loves to splash!

Happy girl bobbing along in her floating ring!

When not doing their best to become fish, the cousins spend time playing
the piano and watching Sesame Street on PBS!

A Weekend of Grandkid Fun

We have no doubt that we have the cutest grandbabies on the planet!
Here we are with all 10 of our eyes open at the same time!

Last weekend we got to go up to St. Joe, Michigan to romp with the grandkids for a couple of days... yahoo! It's ALWAYS a good weekend when you get to do that! Photos follow....

Rhylah is perched on a breezy bench high above Lake Michigan. Pretty girl!

Katie and Rhy... sweet as can be... both blonde and blue-eyed!

St. Joe has all these crazy animal statues scattered around town this summer, they just BEG to be photographed; when they aren't eating children's heads, that is!

Ash is his Papa's buddy... he was in high spirits on this outing!

A sweet shot of Katrina with her baby boy Asher, sitting on a cannon in Riverview Park.

Ash is one cool dude... give the kid a hat and a fire escape and look out GQ!

The whole Harrmann gang!
Left to right, Nathan with Rhylah (20 mos), Gabriel (7), Asher(3) and Katrina.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Small Bite of the Big Apple (East Coast Adventure continued)

The Manhattan skyline shot from the Staten Island Ferry... a classic!

New York City conjures up so many images in the mind. We have seen it in countless films and television shows. We have watched the ball drop in Times Square since we were old enough to stay up til' midnight on Dec. 31st. For me, I have always imagined it as a crossroads of the world, a place where every kind of person on the planet must pass through at least once. And in that respect, New York City did not disappoint me. Within minutes of arriving there, I heard at least 20 languages fly past my ears, saw signs for at least a dozen different cuisines, and saw hundreds of faces that all looked like they came from as far from my Midwest experience as possible! It was a total delight to have my imaginings be reality! Gretchen and I caught the "first off-peak" (cheaper) train into town and had a MARVELOUS day! Hope you enjoy of my photos! (and yes, we did see all this and MORE in ONE DAY!)

The Staten Island Ferry is the best deal in town, a free ride past Ellis Island and Lady Liberty! This was our first pick of the day. We went to the tip of lower Manhattan and hopped aboard! What a fun start! This shot of a returning ferry was taken from our outbound ferry.

Ellis Island... a place with unique connections to millions of Americans. Now a museum, a tour guide giving his spiel on our ferry ride said that 2 out of every 5 Americans living today has an ancestor who passed through Ellis. Pretty remarkable since the place hasn't been used for decades and in light of how immigration has changed throughout the years.
There she is! Warning here, I got a bit infatuated with this gal; took quite a number of shots of her.
Thank you Nikon for making my wonderful zoom lens!

Looks just like the shot in my history book as a kid!

"Bring me your tired, your poor, your humble masses yearning to breath free....
I life my lamp beside the golden door!" -Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus"

This enormous open space filled with cranes and bordered by skyscrapers was where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood. Ground Zero is not open to the public for viewing anymore, but it is a place of intense rebuilding. Even so, I got the chills as I walked the several blocks past this area. Life continues and Americans are nothing if not resilient. The "Freedom Tower" and 9-11 Memorial are being constructed here. May they be able to stand as a tribute and NOT as a target.

Keep walking north and you pass through Soho and end up in Greenwich Village. For a child of the 60's and early 70's, this was like a visit to Mecca! Really quaint and TRENDY neighborhoods grace this area now. Lots of wonderful shopping and restaurants. It bustles and yet it's got quiet spots as well.

Classic row of Greenwich brownstones! Love it! Could sit on the steps and sip a.m. coffee.
Ever seen "You've Got Mail"? Meg Ryan lived in a place like this!

We arrived at Washington Square Park after a visit to the famous Magnolia Bakery home of the best cupcakes in NYC. We each had a box with 2 cupcakes in it (curious? $2.50 for a cupcake! - we need to catch up on this trend in St. Louis!) Sat here for almost an hour watching a film being made and watching the nannies walking their assorted charges in the park.

Another view of Washington Square Park. It's mid-day on a Thursday... and the place is hopping!

Looks just like the Arch de Triumphe in Paris... or one of the early scenes of "When Harry Met Sally". Note the Empire State Building framed in the arch (along with my lovely daughter)... some snazzy city planning at work there!

Carnegie Hall! We're now at the lower west corner of Central Park. When I return to NYC, I will attend
a concert here. (Notice I said WHEN, not IF!

Being the quintessential tourists, we HAD to take the carriage ride in and around Central Park. Our driver, Umet, was a delightful fellow from Turkey. He took our photo midway through the drive! What a gorgeous park! The only one that rivals it in size is our own Forest Park in St. Louis.. however, this park was BUSTLING! Interesting that it includes a zoo, an art museum, a carousel, a skating rink... all sounds a LOT like home. However, it has a much less "controlled" or managed feel to it... more woodsy and rocky, very beautiful, cool, and shady!

Another shot of the big lake in the park and the surrounding city. Beautiful!

That's all for today... tune in next time for the Hudson River Valley collection!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

East Coast Adventure - Part One

I had a tremendous opportunity to travel with my daughter Gretchen during the first week of June. We went to New York City and Boston together. It was our first "girl-cation" together. She was on business for Concordia Publishing, and I was able to "tag along". What a fantastic 5 days we shared! We began in New York City and ended in Boston with lots of super sights to see in between. So for the next few posts, I'll share some of our adventures! We made many memories of great food, great fun, and two great cities!

This is New York's Grand Central Terminal. It is a busy place 24/7. We arrived here by train from our hotel.

Since both Gret and I are English teachers and bookworms, our first stop was the giant reading room at the New York Public Library. Actually, it's practically next door to Grand Central, so we aren't quite the nerds we appear to be! (well, yeah, we are!)

Strolling up Fifth Avenue... we come upon Saks 5th Ave. and its neighbor, St. Patrick's Cathedral.

You guessed it, instead of going into Saks, we went into the Cathedral! Again lots of people coming and going. We stopped, lit a candle, and said a prayer of thanks for Uncle Jon's successful surgery that morning!

All "Today Show" fans know this site - we're at Rockefeller Center! An open air dining area sits where the ice rink is in the winter.

Ever watch Tom Hank's in "Big"? Here we are at our favorite store... F.A.O. Schwarz.
And yes, grandkidlets, I got something for you there!

It's now about 9pm but Times Square is bright like daytime! This was taken without a flash! If you look up above the red Toshiba sign near the top, you can see the ball and the "2009" from New Year's Eve.

That's it for today... more tomorrow my friends!

Monday, June 01, 2009


Summertime is Pool Time and relaxing on the deck! Sydney enjoys toddling around the garden and eating snacks under the umbrella. We spent a lot of our Sunday just enjoying the day. Sydney already knows to grab her "magic coat" (aka her lifejacket) as she heads out the back door. Here she models one of her new swimsuits.