Friday, September 20, 2013

Catching up

The massive amount of photos to sort through from our last two big trips (Disney last Nov and Hawaii in May) got me really far behind on all of our normal family pics. I'm slowly working my way through all of them and am finally caught up through the end of May, plus a couple of fun events this summer!

Scouts and their Den Leader at the Pinewood Derby
Scouts and their Den Leader at the Pinewood Derby

Jan-Feb 2013 - Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby, Polar Camp, Blue and Gold banquet and a TV station tour, Cole's Honor Band performance (with video!), his Senior Pops Concert and Cole's 18th birthday
Zach and Alex's 7th birthday - birthday dinner at Osaka and a birthday party at the bowling alley!
Mar-Apr 2013 - a Spring Break trip to the zoo with a friend, Easter fun, and more Scout events including the recognition Zach and Alex got for earning their Light of Christ pins and religious emblems, community service on the City-wide Clean Up day and other fun Pack activities

Cole performs a solo at Hot Club
Cole performs a solo at Hot Club

May-June 2013 - Just has May pictures for now - crazy kids driving the lawn mower, Cole's final high school band concert and Mother's Day brunch
Muckfest MS 2013 - Joe and I got mucky with some friends for the Nat'l MS Society, running a crazy muddy 5 mile obstacle course!

Crossing the finish line together at Muckfest
Crossing the finish line together at Muckfest

OLP Ladies Pilgrimage -Karen joined some lovely ladies from church on a pilgrimage and retreat in Eastern WI.

With the addition of the Scout pictures listed above, the Tiger Scouts album is complete with the full set of pictures from the various activities Zach and Alex did as Tiger Scouts

Monday, August 5, 2013

Celebrating 10 years of marriage – Kauai, part 3

A little piece of heaven at Polihale Beach
A little piece of heaven at Polihale Beach

Part 3 is the last 3 days of our second honeymoon trip. Day 8 was a beautiful day, so we went back up to the North Shore to do some snorkeling at Ke'e Beach in Ha'ena State Park. We bought an underwater disposable camera when we rented the snorkel gear and got some pretty cool pics.

The highlight of Day 9 was a drive out to what I like to call "my happy place," also known as Polihale Beach, to watch the sun set over the ocean. It's a beautiful, secluded beach just south of the Na Pali Coast and is accessed by driving just about to the end of the highway and then driving through rough dirt roads for about 5 miles. Such a perfect way to spend our last night on Kauai - a bottle of wine with the relaxing sound of the waves while we watched a spectacular sunset. (I feel the stress lifting just thinking about it!)

Day 10 was our last day in Hawaii. Our flight left in the evening so we had just about a full day to head south to sunny, warm Poipu where we saw an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal sunbathing right next to the tourists and locals. We also spent some time exploring Shipwreck Beach, known for its rough waters and some nice hiking, and the natural wonder of Spouting Horn. After once last mai tai at the airport, we were on our way back on a red eye flight home.

This link takes you to the beginning of Day 8, where we stopped at an overlook heading north out of Kapa'a on our way up to Ke'e Beach.

Mahalo and aloha, Hawaii - until we meet again!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Celebrating 10 years of marriage – Kauai, part 2

Part 2 is days 5-7 of our amazing 10 day trip. Day 5 was May 17th, the day of our 10th anniversary, and we celebrated it in style!
Celebrating our 10th anniversary
Celebrating our 10th anniversary

We started the day with a tour at the Steelgrass Chocolate Farm, where they grow a number of tropical fruits and vegetables, including, of course, the cacao tree. The tour includes a chocolate tasting (yum!) where you blind sample 11 different dark chocolates and try to identify their flavor notes - similar to a wine tasting.
From there, we drove up to the North Shore for a quick stop at the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge and then on to the St. Regis resort in Princeville where we had a couples massage at the spa and an amazing anniversary dinner at the Kauai Grill, watching the sun set over Hanalei Bay from our table while we dined.

Proud owners of 2 beautiful pieces of art
Proud owners of 2 beautiful pieces of art

Day 6 was a low-key day trip to the south side of the island. We shopped the art galleries in Hanapepe and picked out a couple of beautiful pieces as anniversary presents for ourselves. Day 7 was a rainy day, and we were back up at the North Shore where we drove all the way to the end of the road to Ha'ena State Park.

This link to the photo album will take you to the first picture of Day 5 at the chocolate farm. Enjoy - aloha!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Celebrating 10 years of marriage - Kauai, part 1

At the beach of our hotel in Kapa'a
 At the beach of our hotel in Kapa'a

To celebrate our 10th anniversary in May, Joe and I took a wonderful 10-day trip to the site of our honeymoon: Kauai, Hawaii. We had an amazing time (of course), exploring the island that we both fell in love with 10 years ago. There are some activities we repeated - the same luau, visited some of the same restaurants, visited our favorite beach (what I call "my happy place") - and some things we tried for the first time. We took a zillion pictures, or so it seems. I've narrowed them down to our favorites and have posted pics and video clips from the first 4 days of the trip in the Kauai - May 2013 album (hover over the pic to see the title/description). Enjoy our little piece of paradise with us. The rest of the pictures will be coming soon. Aloha!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Finally finished posting 2012!

Visiting Santa's factory at Macy's after having breakfast with him
Visiting Santa's factory at Macy's after
having breakfast with him

OK, so it's already May... you can't rush into these things, right? Joe gives me a hard time because I spend way more time on editing and posting pictures than I really need to, as I spend time filtering out the not-so-good ones, editing/cleaning up the photos I like, adding captions and tags and then finally getting them posted on the site.  But I really do like doing it this way, even if it does take a lot of time.  We took *so* many pictures in Disney World (it was a great trip!) that it took me forever to get through them all, and now I'm behind - much to my mom's dismay, lol. So here you go, Mom - the rest of the pics from 2012. :)

In the Nov-Dec 2012 album, there are pictures as we decorated for Christmas, the first big snow storm of the season, photos from our Breakfast with Santa at Macy's with our friends from New Horizon, and a Cub Scout Go See It activity where our den got a behind-the-scenes tour of our local police station. There are also videos from OLP's annual Christmas concert where the OLP School students performed a number of songs for the congregation.

There are also photo albums from our weekend trip to Chicago for Thanksgiving and from our Christmas celebration at home.

Now, on to all those pics from 2013!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's a Small World - but it's a lot of pictures!

At the Magic Kingdom with Grandma and Papa
At the Magic Kingdom
with Grandma and Papa

In November, the Vandermark and Belousek families took our annual family vacation together; this year was a trip to Disney World. We timed the trip so that we could catch the very end of Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, where we grazed our way around the world (yum!) and the very start of their Christmas/Holiday festivities. We had a fabulous time, of course - so many fun things to see and do! One of the new things we tried on this trip was The Pirates' League, where Joe, Cole, Zach and Alex all were transformed into pirates, even taking a pirate's oath!  We also made our away down to Kissimmee, FL, where the new Legoland amusement park opened up; some very cool things to see there.

Our fearsome pirate crew
Our fearsome pirate crew

I take a lot of pictures normally, but I went really camera-happy on this trip.   There are lots of fun ones in the WDW - Nov 2012 photo album, including interactions with Disney characters, pictures captured on the rides, all the cool rides and exhibits at Legoland, some cool videos from the Osborne Christmas lights and a stunt show at Hollywood Studios, and of course, our crazy pirates.