Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fundraiser Time!!

Well, school is back in session which means it's time for fundraisers. This year, Daniel will be involved with two fall fundraisers - a boosterthon fun run (for school) and the Buddy Walk (for the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta). If you are interested in supporting either (or both) of these events with a donation, please let us know as soon as possible. All donations are tax deductible. If you are willing to give a donation and feel like you can only support one, then we ask that you support the Buddy Walk (for the Down Syndrome Association) since this one is more personal to us. Donations for the Buddy Walk can be made online and credited to Daniel's list of supporters. So, as soon as we get registered, I'll let you know. We thank you in advance for any support you can give.

For school this year, instead of selling wrapping paper and other holiday items, Daniel's school will be having a boosterthon fun run (click here for information and to see a video about this event). The fun run is scheduled for Thu, Sept 6. The students run for 30 minutes, completing an average of 25-30 laps. Each child gets a t-shirt and on the back they mark off each lap as they complete it. If you are interested in donating to this event, you can pledge a certain dollar amount per lap or a flat donation. One of the neat things they do with this is whenever a student gets a pledge from another state, their class studies about that state. Therefore, it would be fun to be able to give his class several different states to learn about.

On a more personal note, our family will be involved in the Buddy Walk of Atlanta - to help raise money for the Down Syndrome Association. This year's event is scheduled for Sat, Oct 13 in downtown Duluth GA. This will be our first time to participate in this annual event. We are asking everyone to encourage Daniel with your donation to this cause. We are supposed to turn in all donations before the walk (checks made payable to DSAA). If you are interested in donating, please let us know as soon as possible. Also, don't forget that donations can be made online - I'll let you know when our registration goes through.

Again, we'd like to thank everyone in advance for your support in these events. God has truly blessed us with a wonderful family and some great friends!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vacation 2007

I know, you've all been anxiously waiting for a report on the big family vacation. We went to Fort Morgan AL this year - with the WHOLE family (16 people in all)! We had a house (4 bedrooms + 2 sleeper sofas), a guest house (2 bedrooms + 1 sleeper sofa), a private pool, and access to 3 community pools. Of course we all had our ups and downs during the week, but I think everyone had a good week; although I'm not sure we'll ever be able to do it again - it took 3 years to get everyone's schedule coordinated for this year.

One of the things that Darrell had planned to do on this trip was to shave his beard and mustache (a little more each day); just because he hadn't been clean shaven in twenty years. I didn't get a picture of each stage but here are a couple to give you an idea. Here's the schedule he planned to follow: 1. shave upper sides of beard; 2. shave rest of beard - leaving mustache and goatee (see first picture below); 3. shave goatee (except for the "soul patch" - second picture below); 4. shave mustache - leaving "soul patch"; 5. shave "soul patch". Once he completed step 3, he decided not to continue any further.

The weather for the week was great if you like being in a sauna - thankfully we had a pool at our house. The kids both love the water and aren't afraid of it at all - except that Emma doesn't care for the ocean too much; she preferred to play in the sand. In fact she said "I wish the waves would stop." We explained to her that if the waves stopped we'd be in a lot of trouble. Daniel is so unafraid of the water that one day he decided to go swimming by himself. Thankfully he thought ahead enough to put on one of the flotation swimsuits (over his clothes) before he went outside and jumped in the pool. The adults were all upstairs in the kitchen/common area on the third floor and the kids were on the first floor playing. Darrell happened to look out the window and saw Daniel in the pool - ALL ALONE!! Needless to say, we all lost a few heartbeats.

We had a few firsts on this vacation - 1. first time for my entire family to be on vacation together (it's usually my parents and 1 or 2 of their kids with their families); 2. Emma's first time playing played mini-golf; 3. Daniel & Emma's first time at Waterville USA; 4. Daniel & Emma's first time riding go-carts; 5. first ferry boat ride for Emma, Daniel & my Mom; 6. first pictures of my parents with their entire family; 7. Daniel & Emma's first visit to a real Fort. I'm sure there were other firsts, but you get the idea.

One night we went to a place called The Track Family Fun Center. While we were waiting to ride the go-carts on the Wild Woody, Emma was excited and Daniel kept saying "don't want to ride". While we were riding, Daniel loved it and Emma kept saying "no mommy, I want to stop. I don't like it." Then within 5 minutes of getting off the go-carts and going to play mini-golf, Emma decided she liked riding in the go-carts and asked if we could do it again. They don't understand that we don't live right down the street from all these fun places so every now and then they ask if we can go ride the go-carts or go to the water park again. Thankfully we at least have mini-golf close by and the pool has a fun kids area.

We didn't do a photo shoot with the kids on the beach this year. Instead we took family pictures at Fort Morgan. This seemed like the perfect place to take these since we actually stayed in Fort Morgan instead of Gulf Shores. I have uploaded lots of pictures into the Harman Photo Gallery, but here are a few of my favorites.

Cool Slideshows!

One night we took a dolphin cruise (another first for Emma) and we saw several dolphins. One afternoon we went to Waterville USA. We went shopping a couple of times and we visited the Fort. All in all, it was a good week yet we're happy to be home again (and sleeping in our own beds!). Next year we're thinking about going to DisneyWorld.