Monday, August 27, 2012

Fall Soccer Begins!

No only did Ben start first grade today, he also started Fall soccer. He is in the Under 7 age group and this means he plays on a larger field and with bigger goals.

Tonight he took advantage of the extra room and did his drills flawlessly. He loves the sport and it is hard to believe this is his seventh session since 2009 (4 Spring, 3 Fall). In watching Ben's first practice, I like his team a lot. He has two school mates on the team and also a co-worker's son is on the team as well. Hopefully the weather will cooperate this Fall season.

Ben before practice

Goal cam!

Ben and Jerome working on a drill

Learning the beautiful game

Ben during dribbling drill, making it look easy!

Nicholas tries to dribble past Ben

Ben during a ball control drill

Here's to a great Fall season!

Our First Grader!

Today was the first day of school and Ben entered the first grade. In looking at these shots I realize Ben is not a little boy anymore. We had a great Summer but it's time to start school. He was a little nervous but warmed up when he saw his friends. It's going to be a great year!

Traditional front door shot

Weena and Ben walking to his first grade class

Ben is in the First Grade Red class

First day anticipation

Father Mike greets the kids with a fist pump

Ben and his classmate and soccer teammate Jerome share a laugh

Sign of the Cross

Father Mike addresses the students, parents and teachers

Ben's cousin Jacob, also a first grader, heads to his class

Ben gets an escort to his class by his new teacher

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Images from Emerald Isle, NC

Here are shots of our beach vacation to Emerald Isle, NC. We used this beach week to re-unite family as Weena's sister Liesel and her son Ariel came with us, as well as Weena's parents. I was so happy to see my nephew and it was great he was able to spend vacation with his cousin Ben.

We stayed at a place called Dune Magic. This was the second time we have rented that beach house and it has been a perfect place to stay as it is close to the beach, attractions and the grocery store as well as the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier.

On Wednesday, Weena's sister in law Wynell and her son Tim dropped by as well as my Mom. On Friday, my cousin Mac and his family stopped by for a day at the beach. Everyone enjoyed the surf, sun and sand. We had beautiful weather.

Since we had so many folks at the house, I took advantage of the extra time and freedom to roam around a bit with my camera. I walked on the beach at the crack of dawn, drove and took shots that I found interesting on a highway. I did my best to capture the sun rising and setting and also I just wanted to see my family having fun and enjoying themselves through the lens. I accomplished that and a lot more. Overall, it was a very good and relaxing vacation.

On some shots here I used the black and white enhancer in Photoshop and have posted them next to the original shot. I love this feature and will use it in future photo outings, including sports.

So click on a photo for a larger shot and a rather lengthy slideshow. If anyone has any photo tips, pointers or thoughts about what is posted here, please feel free to leave a comment. I am always interested in learning more about photography. Thank you!

Saturday August 11th: The Arrival

Ariel and Ben soaking up the beach atmosphere

Sunday August 12th: NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Shark week!

Ernie Eels

Director Ben making a phone video

Ben and Ariel enjoy the book store

I see gator, Weena sees shoes and a handbag...

Strike a pose...or pose to strike?

Outside the aquarium

NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is a must visit

Sunday August 12th: First day at the beach

Morning rain stopped so Ben and Weena boogie board

Ariel and Liesel enjoy the surf

Ben, chilling out

Ariel can't stop smiling

Surfer Ben

This may be my photo contest entry with Bluewater GMAC

Maybe this will be my entry too as Liesel enjoys the surf

Kids + Ocean + Boogie Board = Fun afternoon!

Beach activity

Weena and her sister Liesel enjoy boogie boarding


Pelican brief

Monday August 13th: Morning
Beach house near the oceanfront close to ours

My morning commute

Beach walk


The ocean

Running on

Love the colors, wish a bird was in it though.

Family time

Day at the office

These are outside every house. No idea what these are.

Monday August 13th: Afternoon

King of the Beach

Ben checking out shells

Surfing USA!


Beach bathroom break?

Best water park ever: The ocean!

Somewhere in there is Ben's cousin Ariel

Everyone loves the ocean!

Tuesday August 14th, US 58

Vine Swamp General Store. Do stop by for a soda and a game of pool

US 58 South

Tobacco farming

Old house along the way

Black and white version

Haddock, Scott, Stilley and Johnson cemetary in Jones County, NC


My favorite stop

Cows mooing but not moving as it was hot

The goats couldn't wait to see me as they thought I had food

This guy wanted to ride home with me.

Nice view of the farm

Dig this!

Alice Conway Collins Memorial Cemetary

View from my car window heading back to the beach house

Crabs and Monopoly championship

Weena and Ariel vs

Ben and Liesel

Wednesday August 15th: Beach and family shots

Weena enjoying her book on the deck

Beach house view from our deck

Ben constructing a sand castle

Weena, Mom, Ben and Ariel enjoy the beach


Ariel having fun

Monopoly champ Ben as he defeats Daddy

Calm before storm

Cousins Ariel, Tim and Ben

Weena's Mom, Wynell and Weena's Dad enjoy dinner

Weena, Mom and Liesel at dinner

We celebrated Ariel's tenth birthday

Singing Happy Birthday to Ariel!

Family shots

Thursday August 16: Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier

Ariel fishing

Got a bite!

Liesel casts

Ben and Ariel enjoy fishing

Game face!

View from the pier

Thursday evening shots from our deck at the beach house

Friday August 17: More family visiting
Erika and Mara strike a pose

Erika, Mara and Clay

Ben cools off

Ben with his Aunt Liesel

Back for more gear!

Clay digs the sand

Queen of the Beach


Ben pitching

Showing no-hit form

Tom Kite

Boat dredging the ocean? Not sure. We named it Steamboat Willie


Ben and Weena

Weena, Ben and Steamboat Willie

US Coast Guard


Steamboat Willie still chugs along while everyone stays cool

Weena and Ben enjoying the surf

Clay, Mara and Erika having fun

Old school. I used to do this in '82. Radio, seat and beer!

Clay and the ocean

That's all folks, we had a blast Emerald Isle, NC. We will be
back again soon!