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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bird Island

Last weekend, some friends of ours invited us to Bird Island for the day. We had never been there before, which shocked everyone. We hear it's a busy summer place for many locals to take their boats out and stay for the day. That weekend though, we had almost the whole island to ourselves. Hurricane Bill was out near us and had the waves kicked up! The boys brought their surfboards and had a blast in the water. The girls and kids played games, gathered sand dollars, and relaxed in the sun.





















We had to take cover for 20 minutes or so until the storm passed us. We were troopers and stuck out the storm for some more beach time.









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...Having fun being a "photographer" :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No more summer vacation

Things are starting to get busy around here. Summer vacation is over and the school year has begun!

Kirby has moved to NMB Middle School and loves it. He's been looking forward to the new change and seems to be settling in well.

I am still at NMB Primary School. I will be teaching first grade again this year.

The teachers have already figured out my love for pictures... or my obsessiveness... you decide.

Group shot of the 1st grade teachers. :)

Part of my classroom so far...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Germanchokolatekake...

It was great getting to hang out with Brenda, Amber, Luke, Sharon, and Jim. They all came down from the Baltimore area to vacation here in North Myrtle Beach this week. They stayed on the beach at a nice condo on 17th Ave South (only about 2 miles from our home). They stayed there last summer, as well, when they came down for our wedding.

Brenda and Amber are former students of mine back at Harford Hills Elementary in Baltimore. I also taught their sister, Allison, but she wasn't able to make the trip this time.

We hung out on the beach with them on Monday, then Jim fired up the grill for some burgers and dogs. Afterwards, we played a whole bunch of rounds of Catch Phrase for plenty of fun and quite a few laughs. We saw them again on Friday evening when we went out for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Germanchokolatekake, one of their flavors, provided some humor while waiting in line.

Brenda showing good form (must've had a pretty good elementary school P.E. teacher :-)...


A view from their balcony...


Catch Phrase intensity...


Mine on the left. Anna's on the right...


Thumbs up from Amber...


After ice cream...


Now...

...and then (remember this rainy day, Brenda?). Taken about 7-and-a-half years ago (4th grade) after she invited me to come watch her ride in a horse competition...


And a few videos of some Catch Phrase action...
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday, August 9th, Anna and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. We had a blast the whole day doing a bunch of different things together. We started off the day waking up early and going surfing down from our house off 6th Ave South. After that, we went all out and high-rolled it to Golden Corral for breakfast (after all, it was our anniversary :-). In the afternoon, we each had something special planned. Anna went first and presented me with a scavenger hunt. After I found each clue (they were spread throughout town), she gave me a gift if I was able to answer each successive question. The hunt was a lot of fun and I scored like a little kid on Christmas. At the last stop, we ended up at Filets restaurant over-looking the Intracoastal Waterway. However, they were only serving a light menu, so we ended up at Carraba's (even though we ate there a few days ago when in Ohio). Yeah, kinda ordinary for an anniversary dinner, but it doesn't matter where you go, it only matters who you're with. After dinner, it was my turn. I took Anna to the spot on the beach where we got married and presented her with an anniversary band she's wanted for a long while. This particular band is exactly like her wedding band (she liked the idea of having two identical bands on each side of her engagement ring). There's a funny story to this, though. About two months ago she sent her wedding band out to get serviced. Before it was ready to be picked up at the jewelers, I went by myself and bought her the anniversary band. They sent it out to get sized. About a week or so later, Anna goes and picks up what she believes is her wedding band, but is actually the new anniversary band :-( Turns out the jeweler gave her the wrong ring. Of course Anna never knew this, because the two rings are identical. I didn't find out until a couple weeks later when I called to see if her new ring was in from being re-sized. When I read off the order number from the receipt of the ring I had just recently bought (which Anna wasn't supposed to know about), they told me she had already picked it up. She never did realize any of this though, so I went and picked up her wedding band instead. For the past couple of weeks I kept joking with her telling her she already had her anniversary gift, but she never did figure it out. All of this will explain the video below. At the end of the video, Anna still looks confused as I hadn't presented her with the ring yet. She still wasn't sure if I got it for her as I forgot to take it out of the pouch in the back of my beach chair, and couldn't do so until I stopped taking the video. After that, we ate cupcakes made by Cakes by the Sea, who made our wedding cake last summer.

Boards loaded and ready to go...


My surfer girl wife checking out the huge, epic conditions North Myrtle Beach had to offer that morning...
One of my scavenger hunt stops where I teach, NMBM...
Another stop at 6th Ave South, our "home beach"...
After eating lots of bread and other stuff at Carraba's...
In case you can't tell from the sign, Bay Watch...
Sitting in the spot where we were married...
The new anniversary band...


My emotional, then confused wife...
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

OH-IO

We were welcomed to Canton, Ohio last week by the Football Hall of Fame hot air balloons. What a wonderful sight to see! It was a great way to start our trip back home.


Whew.... What an emotional time it was though! We were able to visit some old family and meet some new. Julie had a perfect party on Saturday for Kirby and I. It was very relaxed and full of comfortable conversation and laid back fun!


Almost everyone at the party...

It was exciting to meet Andy for the first time too.

2 out of the 3 sets of grandparents were there too. Kirby and I went out to breakfast the next morning with Grandma & Grandpa Gambow. It was so nice to see them all!



Aunts and uncles from both sides were there too.

Some of the many cousins.

Kirby and I got to meet Julie and Jim's good friends, Deb & Ron. They are very nice people with big hearts!

What a schedule Adam has... we were finally able to hang out and see him at work. We enjoyed the short visit and look forward to seeing him again soon.

Trying to relax at the hotel in Canton before heading to Columbus...
I was so excited to see Amy and finally meet her little girl Chloe. Kirby and I enjoyed catching up with Amy and playing with the happiest baby ever! (watch the video below)

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The last stop on our trip was to visit Ben, Rachel, and Karolyn.... & Cooper too! We had a great time with Cooper until Rachel and Ben got home.


Dinner at Carrabba's and then quite a few rounds of Catch Phrase!


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Even though it was short, we had a good time with the family and friends we saw on our trip. For the ones we didn't see... we hope to see them next time.