Monday, June 28, 2010

Scuba try-out

Just got back from the YMCA pool where Crisp and I went for our "Discover Scuba" session.

I wanted to see how Crisp actually handled being underwater and in all the gear, and to see if he liked it, before we went ahead and booked a full course while we're in Tobago in August; I have only been scuba diving once before myself (in a pool on the liner "The France" when I was about his age) and I remember it being a little weird, so I wanted him to have the chance to try it without any pressure. I found out that the local dive shop in Mamaroneck rents the Rye Y pool on Monday evenings and they offer a $25 session to try it out to see if you like it, and so I'd booked that a few weeks ago for tonight. I had already gone ahead and ordered all three of us our own fins, snorkels and prescription masks so that we can all enjoy snorkeling and actually being able to see what's under the water, and they'd arrived last week, so Monkey and I had had a chance to try them out at family swim last Friday.

Well, I needn't have worried- Crispy took to it like a proverbial fish to water! We had a fantastic instructor called "Trigger" who took us through all the gear and then gently introduced us to being under water, and Crisp was excellent- he listened carefully, asked sensible questions and did exactly what he was told. We were in the pool for about an hour and a half, and about 80 minutes of that was under water. We learned about the signs you make to let people know if you're OK or in any trouble, how to use the gear to make yourself neutrally buoyant, and generally had lots of fun just swimming around. Crispy's own take on it was: "I thought I was going to like scuba diving, I was wrong, I LOVE it!" And the instructor looked at me at one point and said, "I think you've created a monster!"

So, I guess me and the boys (Josh is coming to Tobago with Mum and Dad) are going diving in the Caribbean! Can't wait!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Goodbye Midland

Today was Crispians last day at Midland Elementary School, in September he starts at the Rye Middle School (we had his "moving up" ceremony last night).

He came home today with an awesome final report card ("a mature and responsible student"..."I will miss his good nature and his wonderful smile") and a whole bunch of certificates:

Including his Presidential Merit Award for Academic Honors:

We are very proud of him! He has worked really hard all year and has consistently improved as the year went on. Now it's time for a fabulous summer!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Groundhog Day?

I don't know what's going on with the wildlife this year- there are more chipmunks than I've ever seen before running around, and then today I spotted this guy running around!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just some interesting musings

Yesterday, while I was at home doing my usual day-off type things like laundry and dishes and stuff, I found and watched the first couple of parts of a show on the BBC iPlayer called When Romeo Met Juliet. It was very interesting and later, last night, I watched the last part. Although the format has gotten pretty well used recently with people like Gareth Malone producing choirs from all sorts of unlikely groups etc. this one had a fun premise- the artistic director of the National Youth Theatre put on semi-professional production of Romeo and Juliet casting the Montagues and Capulets from two different secondary (high) schools in Coventry, one poor and inner city, and the other richer, suburban and Catholic. There were the usual ups and downs, but in the end they did a fine job (the only real criticism I had is that they didn't show the entire final production, but they apparently may be putting it on the shows website later). In fact I would say that the whole lot of them (and their Juliet, Beth Reilly, especially) had tons more talent and presence than most of the youngsters in the Disney and Disney-type crap that finds it's way onto our TV and that I'm sometimes a little ashamed that Crispy watches.

Anyhow, because of this show, while running around loading and unloading the laundry yesterday I found myself humming "Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington"; and then this afternoon on the way home from Costco I was talking about heading out to walk the dog and I was singing "Mad dogs and Englishmen" to myself (it's hot and I suppose I had Noel Coward on my mind, and had posted a previous post with that theme on this blog). So when I got home I found it on the web to play to Crispy, and then I looked on Amazon and found the Coward album of that name which I decided to download to listen to on my iPod while walking the dog.

So this is a very long way of explaining why I found myself this afternoon walking through Saxon Woods listening to a Noel Coward album on my iPod. And when "The Stately Homes of England" came on I I found myself singing along almost word-perfect- and I swear I don't know the last time I heard that song, but it must be at least 25 years! I suppose my Dad would say this shows I was well brought up, but I I think it also shows the amazing recall of the human brain of the oddest stuff!

Interesting stuff- well, I think so, and it's my blog so if you don't agree piss off :)

It must be summer...

...the boy's gone all blond again!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

I just had to run over to Crispy's school to drop off something he'd forgotten, and his class were all outside on the field next to the school (they have their 5th grade pool party this afternoon and I guess they just gave them free time outside for gym this morning).

Anyhow, there were kids running around, playing baseball and basketball etc. and what was Crisp and his little gang up to- they were huddled in a corner of the field avidly poring through the ThinkGeek catalog that Crisp had brought to school.

That's my boy!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Art Exhibit

Crispy's fantastic art teacher, Mr Reilly, organized an Art Exhibit this evening that covered the whole school- every wall in every hallway, the gym, covering all the lockers, etc. etc. was covered in student art, beautifully mounted and displayed.

They had laid out a red carpet at the entrance to the school and had a couple of us parents stationed there as the official "Midland Paparazzi" taking pictures of the kids as they arrived- here's Crisp pulling up at the red carpet-

And here he is in the gym (where the 5th Grade work was displayed) with one of his works-

And here he is with Mr Reilly (and his daughter). It's a real shame that Mr Reilly only came to Midland this year so Crisp has only had him for the one year- he's been wonderful!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Well the rain held off...for a while

Although it was mostly overcast and VERY humid we had a good turnout for the picnic and everyone seemed to have a good time.

After everything was cleaned up Jake, Crispy and Jodi got in the van to head for Philly for our niece Amber's Graduation Party and Art Show Opening- I didn't go because it's a 3 hour drive each way so they probably won't be back much before 10 and we couldn't leave the dog that long (plus the fact that I'm shattered after the picnic, two weddings and the prom this weekend!).

I stayed home and started to fool around with some of the pictures I took at the prom; they gave us a room with the worst possible lighting so I'm trying to fix them up and crop them down to size etc. using the GIMP (the free, open-source, and some would say superior, equivalent of Photoshop). Then, when I got bored with that and the dog said it was time, we headed out to Saxon Woods and got caught in a huge thunderstorm and got drenched!

I was a little unprepared, wearing just the cargo shorts, sneakers and Hawaiian shirt I had been wearing at the picnic, but the good thing about always having a container of poo-bags attached to Holly's leash is that I could just pull out 3, slip my cell-phone, iPod and wallet into them, pop them back in my pockets and carry on :) And, as luck would have it, I had stuck the waterproof camera in my pocket before leaving as well, so here are a few interesting pictures from the storm.

And finally- here's a wink from Holly!

Hope it doesn't rain!

Setting up for the parish picnic.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A busy afternoon!

In the middle of a wedding right now, got a rehearsal for tomorrow's wedding at 5:30, then I'm the photographer at the Fanwood prom at the Rye Town Hilton at 7- and it's hot!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Rye High School Record Board

While we were at the High School we checked out the sports record board on the wall:

Wait a minute... whose name is that on the right there from 1986 with the javelin record that still stands? Why it's my wife!

Band Concert

Here are a few more  from the concert- Crispy is in the back left with the percussion section. He played a mean triangle and tambourine (the nice thing about the percussion is that you can actually pick out your kid's instrument from the rest of them)!

At the High School Auditorium

For the "combined" 5th grade orchestra and band concert (all 3 of Rye's elementary schools together)!

Crispy told us to sit up high so we can see him at the back.