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Showing posts from July, 2012

ds photo scavenger hunt

as part of our summer bucket list, we had planned to do a photo scavenger hunt where each of our two oldest boys had to go to the cemetery just down the road and take a picture of 26 words, one starting with each letter of the alphabet.  they took the pictures on their nintendo ds devices.  here are two photo collages that show that caedmon found one with every letter except 'x.' 



jackson's sd card was getting pretty crowded, so i went through and deleted a few thousand pictures for him, but i saved some of the funnier/better ones, and made a little picture collage of some of those here:

captured

along with the rest of the world, i have this sickening feeling that my life is constantly slipping through my fingers.  i mean, there are  moments that make it feel a bit more sticky, dirty diaper moments we call them here.  but even so, even the stinkiest diaper can't take away the deafening roar of the water cascading over the falls, never to return.  each moment is here but for an instant, then disappears into some greater pool, where i can hardly remember it or distinguish it from all the others that have also passed. 

and so i document.  in part to save my own life.  but mostly just to freeze a moment here and there: the toothy smile of a 7-year old; the chubby little hand of a newborn, and the "are you watching me, daddy?" glance of my middle son.  these are the moments that will soon be washed away, along with a million others.  and so, despite the demands of the day, i feel compelled at times to capture these moments as permanently as i know how to.  today was …

happy birthday, quin!

now that i got that out of my system, i thought i should probably indicate the real reason for celebrating today: 


quin turns one today!  it's hard to believe that a year has passed already!  he is such a cutie, and a great little kid, unfortunately cursed with third-child syndrome which means that his baby pictures are outnumbered 3-1 by jackson's.  but that doesn't mean we love him any less!  if anything, he continues to amaze us by the capacity to love latent inside us.  his blonde curly hair and blue eyes melt us every single day. 


happy first birthday, quinton.  we adore you. 

something beautiful today

today is the beginning of something beautiful. 

as the day unfolds, the sun will rise on a wonderful new adventure, an exciting new beginning. 

it will be full of adversity, of course, and all the struggle that goes with accomplishing anything good.  but it will also be full of glory and its lines traced in expectant hope.  it will be celebratory, jubilant, and closely watched. 

it is a day that causes me to feel a sense of peace, as if things that have been broken are now being made right.  it's like something lost has been found. 

it's a day i've had circled on my calendar. 

just click the "read more" button to find out what is so glorious about this day. 

vbs volunteering

#538. Getting tricked into volunteering for VBS. May 11, 2009      
Lean in close, I don’t have much time to tell you this idea and if they catch us, we’re both in trouble. Even as I speak, zig zag scissors are cutting construction paper, glue sticks are being rolled up, angry badgers are being jammed into bags and colorful thumbtacks are being counted. We’re on the cusp of Vacation Bible School season, which means that in the next few weeks, the Swiss Army Knife Volunteers that run VBS are going to be recruiting new helpers.

If you want to do that, great. Have at it. Noah’s Ark the summer away my friend. But if you don’t want to volunteer, if you’ve got flannel graph phobia, keep a sharp eye out for these important signs:

1. If someone with glitter on their clothes approaches, do not make eye contact.
This is the easiest way to escape VBS volunteering. Just avoid anyone that shimmers in an unnatural way. If you get even the slightest hint of a glimmer radiating from someone, …

do not remove under penalty of law

you know those annoying tags on your pillows and comforters?  those little scratchy  eye-sores that threaten you with a "DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF LAW" taunt? 

inevitably, when i remove those suckers, i end up ripping the dang seam and so not only do i feel like i've violated the constitution or something, i've also murdered my pillow.  i stand there, guilt-ridden, hands covered in tell-tale pillow stuffing and the smoking warning tag right there at the scene. 

busted.

as it turns out (who would've thunk it?) that those tags cost a great deal to people and companies who are actually trying to make and sell a product.  apparently there are all kinds of laws and bureaucratic hoops to jump through, which vary dramatically depending on which state you may want to sell your product in. and if you want to sell nationally, then you've got to deal with all of them.  and you've got to pay some serious benjamins to get that darn tag put on your product.  or …

our garden 2012

celebrating the miracle that is life, the bursting forth of growth and color and food from seed and soil, we planted a small garden this year, after shannon read about a way to maximize space when you only have limited quantities of it.  so we tried it, and we've been able to enjoy the fruits of our labors this summer.  part of that is the lettuce and carrots and beans and pesto and spinach and more that we've enjoyed, but also just the process of watching it go from seeds to shoots to sprouts and then tall leafy plants.  it's been wonderful just to behold the mysterious miracle of it all.  here are a few pics of some of our recent bounty. 





water for elephants

one advantage to the kids being at memaw and pappy's house is that you remember that you have a blu-ray player that plays more than just scooby-doo and batman.  i had nearly forgotten that they make movies for adults, too. 
very cool.
shannon had gotten 'water for elephants' for christmas, and we still hadn't watched it yet.  yep, we are those parents.  i think i've seen kung fu panda 2 four times since christmas, and i'm not even going to talk about cars 2.  yikes.
anyway, we pretended to be adults last night and watched this film. 
and while i think it had some interesting moments, it was largely (at least for me) just an escape to a romanticized version of a depression-era america, where everyone is charming and beautiful in their rugged sort of way.  of course it takes place at a circus, and the film is certainly stimulating to the senses, given the subject matter. 
but there is more here than just the make-up of clowns and show girls.  there is the qu…

broken webs

oh what wicked webs we weave
when at first we do deceive
and oh the tangled sticky mess
when we refuse to confess

oh the grace of God we need
which sets us free indeed,
so let us shake free and take wing
and find a freedom song to sing

for the entangling web of sin
is broken now and once again
by mercy, truth, and love
and redemption from above

no more vacation pics - or - what my kids will say someday

okay, i'm done.  no more re-hashing vacation.  i'll end with this picture of shannon and i in destin, florida, backdropped by water that looked unreal.  i'm still not convinced that the city of destin doesn't buy millions of gallons of food coloring to get the water to look like that.  seeing it in a picture is one thing, but seeing it with your own eyes is astounding. 
this is a great picture of us, and we look so happy.  of course, we are exhausted after several nights of vomit cleanup, but i'd say we don't look too worse for the wear.  but if you look closer, you will see the creeping tentacles of that virus winding their way through our systems, as well.  it would only be some 36 hours after this photo that said virus would make itself evident, in that hotel parking lot in virginia. 
it's hard for me to believe that this was in june and we are already nearly halfway through july.  maybe i keep writing about our vacation not only because i'm so fa…

turkey creek

We move now to thursday of our vacation, for those who are keeping track of our trip to florida a few weeks ago.  it was wednesday night that cade began feeling sick, and thursday morning arrived with both boys saying that they didn't feel well.  still, we didn't drive to florida to lay around all day, so we went with uncle shane to a place called turkey creek, where you can tube gently down a little creek in a very calm and relaxing way.  we thought the boys would enjoy this, and, if they had been feeling better, they really would have, but it was tough for them.  look at cade's body language in the first picture.  it says, "i don't think i'm going to make it through this without losing bodily fluids from at least two orifices."  i think he was right. 




by the time we were done, the afternoon brought exhaustion and several bouts with the toilet, resulting in the following scene which is a good representation of the remainder of our trip. 

our summer hike

as we continue through our swiftly-fading summer, trying to hold on to each day without squashing it, like it's a firefly, glowing but fleeting, we refuse to succumb to complacency.  despite the heat, we've been busy crossing things off our summer bucket list, which has already included fireworks, playdoh, baseball, sand sculptures, and so much more.  yesterday we were able to cross off the one that said nature hike, as we drove up to susquehanna point, overlooking northumberland and sunbury, and had a nice little hike with a terrific view, as you can see. 


it may appear above that quin isn't particularly fond of heights, but he relaxed and fully enjoyed himself, as you can see in the picture below. 


the park has a playground, which our sons sniffed out like a pack of bloodhounds.  i am convinced that they can detect a playground from 2-3 miles away.  i don't know if it's the smell of mulch mixed with hot plastic or what, but their playground radar is fully opera…

1st place!

"brac" mixed midia collage/assemblage gregory a. milinovich
last week i entered three of my collages into the susquehanna art society's annual art show, sort of knocking something off my bucket list.  but boy was i surprised when i received a call saying that i might want to attend the awards ceremony. 
well, the awards presentation was last night, and it turns out that i won first place in my category with brac, the collage you see above.  i was amazed!  what a great affirmation!
and not just that, but we also entered a piece by jackson and one by caedmon.  there is a category called "student" which includes everyone under 17-years old, and Jackson's piece won honorable mention in that category.  it was a very fun night for our family (other than dealing with cade's tears - "why didn't i win anything?").   i would show you their peices, but they will remain at the art show for the next two weeks for the public to view and vote on.

florida vacay, day 2: a few pics from the beach

here are more pics from our florida vacation.  this was from our second day there, our first day at the beach.  it was later that evening that cade starting feeling the bug that eventually came to define our vacation.  it is hard to tell from the pictures, but the beach was scorching hot, the sand almost as white and soft as powder, and the water a beautiful shade of turqoise.  it was gorgeous.  look carefully at caedmon's eyes in the first picture.  the last picture is a sand dolphin that we made, but it is difficult to see in the intensity of the sun's light. 




feline patriot

call me maybe

i thought i would create a meme in honor of 2012's song of the summer.  i'd like to make 50 more if i had time. 

our florida vacation, part 1

after writing dramatically about our sickation to florida, and having now had some time to get some distance from it, i thought i would provide some evidence that it wasn't all spent in front of the toilet.  here are some pictures from our first full day in florida, before the virus wrapped its terrifying fingers around our esophagi. 

these two pics are from goofy golf in fort walton beach.  this is a classic mini golf course with all kinds of old-school animals and obstacles.  very fun and VERY cheap.  and extremely goofy.  we loved it so much we bought t-shirts. 




we spent most of our day at the gulfarium, a kind of aquarium/zoo thing right along the gulf in fort walton beach.  we got to see dolphins and sharks and turtles and sea lions and otters and rays and alligators and all kinds of fish, among other things.  it was a really neat place, and the kids enjoyed it thoroughly. 









we also spent a bit of time at a shopping plaza called uptown station in which they've built a l…