Cub Scout Belt Loops

Impatiens from my mother's flower pot

Impatiens from my mother’s flower pot

Tonight was part two of my work with Albert’s Cub Scout pack on earning their Photography Belt Loop.  Belt loops are basically the same as merit badges for the Boy Scouts.  There are certain things you have to learn and do to earn the award.

Last month, the boys learned the parts of the camera, what we take pictures of, and why it is important. They were also given homework, as there was one more step to earning the belt loop, and that was they had to go out and take 10 pictures, then bring them back to a pack meeting, and show off what they have taken.  The rules were they couldn’t take 10 pictures of the same thing and no “selfies”.  I wanted to see what interested them.

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He’s 8

2006 - I'm here!

2006 – I’m here!

8 years ago today, after a long night, and an even longer morning, Albert Mark Holland was born.  It’s been a fun eight years, filled with laughter, tears, humor, sarcasm, and “Albert-isms” (if you’ve spent any time around him, you know what I mean by that!)  He’s constantly bringing joy into the house with his ways, and we love the fact that he’s not too old for a good snuggle.  Happy birthday Albert!  I hope 8 is your best year yet!

2007 - First haircut, right before he turned a year old

2007 – First haircut, right before he turned a year old

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Hammin’ it up

Probably his favorite spot to get a picture taken

Probably his favorite spot to get a picture taken

For most of Albert’s life, we have had a membership to the Columbus Zoo. Its always nice when you don’t have to see the whole zoo in one trip, just choosing to take your time in one area or another. One thing that never seems to change though is Albert’s love toham it up in front of the camera, typically on the sculptures of the animals scattered through out the zoo. A few of them we probably have a picture of from every single trip.

This past weekend was no different, as we went to the zoo on Sunday. Every chance he could, Albert had to act up in front of the camera, even directing how he wanted some of the shots taken.

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It’s been a while

It’s been pointed out to me, by my own mother no less, that it’s been a while since I’ve updated this site. After looking, we are closing in on two years. ACK!!!!!

A lot has happened over those two years, so I’m going to try and fill you in on everything in time. I’ll start today by saying I’m a Grandpa now. My son Andy and his girlfriend Torie had a baby last October.

It’s been fun having him around all the time, watching him grow up already. The most amazing part of babies is watching them learn every day. Cadance is no different. He’ll be crawling in no time, and things here will be totally different. Time to start child proofing again. You’d think I would be used to this by now..




A Simpler time – Day 4

The whole gang going for a ride

(Sorry for the late post.  The internet connection was iffy last night, and  a late night meant no post)

We continued to explore the city yesterday.  Albert got to learn the games and toys that the colonial era kids used to play.  He did suprisingly well with the ring game, keeping it rollong for quite a while.  A visit to the gunsmith  showed us how some of the rifles and pistols were made, and, if we were so inclined, could have gotten on the 5 year waiting list to have one custome made for us.  I would hate to see the price tag that goes with that.

A few shops later, it was off for our carriage ride.  our driver did an excellent job in letting us know the history o many of the buildings, while answereing all of our questions.  The knowledge that the ‘costumed workers’ have is impressive.

A visit to Bruton Parish Church was nice. We sat in Thomas Jefferson’s pew for the noon prayer service, which was kind of humbling.

More shops in the afternoon, along with the tours of the Magazine and the Capitol building.  The work that the tour guides do with the kids is really nice.  It keps them involved, and whips a little knowledge on them at the same time.

We marched behind the Fife and Drum corps as they were headed to the Troop inspection and visit from General Layfayette, our new French Ally.  Albert and I marched right beside the drummers on the march back through town, Albert making sure I did not get to far ahead of the drumline.

Thanks to Al and Alice, Andrea and I go to go back into town at night by ourselves to see the salute to America, which included a fireworks display over the palace.  A very moving show it was.

One more day in the city, then its time to come home.  I am sure this place will be on our list to come back to in the future.

A shopkeeper sitting in the window drumming up business

Fireworks over the Governor’s Palace

A step back in time -Day 3

Most of today was spent in Colonial Williamsburg. If you haven never been, it’s like you have stepped back in time 237 years. There are ‘shows’ going on all over. All these shows have to do with the issues that we going on at the time. You could be walking down the street and see two individuals who are in period costume having a discussion about King George, the Governor, or any of the other issues that faced folks in that time.

Today we saw a sword fight demonstration, listened to the plight of the slaves, toured the jailhouse and the cells, joined the militia and went through our first training session, learned how books were bound, watched newspapers being printed, toured the Governor’s Palace, and listened as Colonel George Washington gave us an update on what was happening.

I did notice a lot of the arguments from back in the day are still going on today. If people get mad enough, change can be made. We have proven that. It just takes passion. (this hereby ends my political rant for the evening).

There are two different tracks of time here in Williamsburg. One day (today) is “The Old Order Collapses, 1775-1776″. When we go back tomorrow, we will be watching “Building a New Nation, 1779-1781″.

Time for some rest. I’ll be back tomorrow night, hopefully. God Bless Virginia!

explaining our daily rations

hand guard on a sword in the Governors Palace


We made it….Day 2

 Short post today, as it is late.  We made it to Williamsburg.  After checking into the hotel, we cruised down I to watch the show.  After the fife and drum corp marched in, the militia formed up and the troops were inspected before George Washington himself rode in to address the troops.

After George left, the militia filer off their guns for us, followed by a couple of cannon blasts.
A short drive later found us at Fort Monroe, where we found the lighthouse that we saw in a magazine.  Dinner, and the a quick trip to the grocery has finished the night.  Time to get some rest for tomorrow’s busy day.

And we are off…….

New River Gorge

It’s time for the annual Holland family vacation. This year is quite a bit different than years past, as we are traveling with my in-laws Al and Alice. The destination this year is Williamsburg, VA, somewhere I have not been since my per-teen years, and Andrea and Albert have never been.

Traveling with others means having to do things different than you are used to. For instance, on departure day, I wake up, finish packing, and am out the door. We were up by 7 AM this morning, but we’re being picked up by Al and Alice around 10 this morning, which meant a lot of sitting around. I also would have made the drive in a day, but we are taking our time and going in two days.

We did stop off at the Cemetery in Pomeroy to pay respects to Al’s family, or, as he likes to put it, make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be and hasn’t moved. Lunch at Crowe’s and we were back on our way, with the next destination being the New River Gorge.

The funny side moment had to deal with the gps unit. We were using mine Garmin, which I always have set to “shortest distance”, so that we can go through all the small burgs instead df the boring highways. Well, the shortest distance took us onto a gravel road for a short bit before putting us on a 3 mile trip on this road that was wide enough for a car, and maybe a half of another. During this leg, we picked up a branch under the van, which, when we finally found space wide enough to, had to be removed. When we finally got back to a real road, Albert pipes up from the back “I like center lines!”. We all had quite the laugh.

We got to the New River Gorge just as the Visitor Center was closing, but we’re still able to hit the scenic overlooks. The view was amazing.

Dinner was at a real nice italian restaurant called Pasquale’s. Now, reminiscent of my childhood vacations, I am watching the All-Star game on TV.

Tomorrow is more driving, then arriving at our temporary home for the week.


He did it!!

Tomorrow, my son Andy graduates from High School.  Yesterday, we had his graduation party.  I want to say thanks to everyone who came.  It meant a lot to us, and to Andy, that you would take time from your day to help us celebrate.

With that being said, there are a few extra thank yous to be said as well.

LouAnn Adams – Once again, your cake was wonderful.  And the mini-cupcakes were to die for!

Jackie and Jim Basham – For replenishing our supply of chips on your way over!

Randi Schleppi – The cornhole games saw action all day long!

Angela Sisson – Thanks for the cooler, the Tastefully Simple Classy Chocolate Pound Cake, the extra ice, and listening to your sister’s rants as we got closer to the event!

Al and Alice Sisson – Once again, you were there to fill in the holes of what we didnt have.  Roasters, coolers, tables, chairs, shade, and food.  You are always there to help out, and I dont think we ever thank you enough!

Kim and Kevin Wren – Once again, you opened up your home for us.  That means so much to us, that you would give us a place to have all these people you don’t even know a place to celebrate.  I know we don’t get together as much as we used to, but you are still very special friends to us both.  Without the two of you, there wouldn’t be an us.

Happy Birthday Albert

Albert, just a few hours old

Six years ago today, our world was forever changed by the birth of our son Albert.  He has brought so much joy to our lives, and the lives of others.  To all those friends and family who have watched over him, cared for him, taken time to play with him, and just be with him, thank you.  You have all helped in making him what he is today, a special young man!.  Happy birthday Albert!



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