Congratulations to my son Nathan, best Fathers day gift ever!

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I don’t normally write much personal stuff on my blog but I was so proud of my son Nathan last night I have to put this on my blog so I will always have this here.

Last night my son had his “moving up ceremony” from fifth grade to sixth. This is a pretty big deal because three elementary schools merge to one school – about 240 kids total. What I did not know was what I was about to hear when the awards ceremony started. At all of these events I record as much as I can during the introduction and if my child is announced I get the video, if not I usually just delete the video. This time I was actually surprised three times!

In the end, there were five categories of awards and Nathan received three of them. I was truly impressed and proud when I heard he got the last award, which only one boy and one girl in the school get.

  • National Association of Elementary School Principals Outstanding Citizenship Award
  • Presidents Education Award – link
  • The Hal Gehrig Memorial Award presented to the Outstanding All Around 5th Grader – which included his picture on a plaque at the school, a framed certificate, and a $50 savings bond.

I posted the video on Facebook if you want to watch it.

Getting better with GIMP

So I have been using GIMP for all of my graphic needs for the past year or so. Unfortunately for me I am not a graphics person so 90% of what I do is very basic.  My youngest son just had his first communion and I decided to make a picture for his gift table to show the holiness of the occasion.  I used GIMP to merge the two photos of him and Jesus but the hardest part was cropping out him from the original picture.  I took his picture near my stair case (he put on his most holy of faces), here was his original photo:

In the end I took a picture of Jesus, made it black and white and put some what of a haze over Him by making a circle that was filled with a gradient from white (in the center) to black (the edges) and then setting the transparency very high.

Oh Canada…

2010-canada_034_tnThe trip is over, after 4 days with 5 kids and just me and Kim I think I need a vacation!  I lived in New York almost my entire life and I had never been to the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls.  As you can see from the pictures the falls are a lot different from the other side – it was very cool!

We went on just about every attraction related to the Falls as you can.  The Maid of The Mist boat ride was awesome, of course it was like taking a shower but the ponchos came in very handy.

2010-canada_036_tnThe horse shoe falls are much more exciting than the American Falls.  We went behind them in one of the tours and then we watched the Niagara Fury video along with the new attraction – the kids loved it and learned a lot.  Going behind the falls was somewhat anti-climatic since the only thing you saw was falling white water – which, in the pictures just looked like a bright white wall behind everyone.

There was certainly a lot of mist on the boat ride!

My favorite quotes from the 5 kids (who ranged from 7 years old to 15) are these:

“Is France in Canada?  No.  Then why do they speak French?”

“Can someone roll down the window, someone is breathing all of my air?”

“Are most Canadians left handed?”

On the way home – “What state are we in?” (btw, we live in NY and its attached to the Falls).

I also wanted to say thank you to all of the kids, you were great!

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Kayla and Lindsey tubing

First off, Happy Birthday Kayla!

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