Thursday, August 27, 2009

Caption This Photo

Sometimes I'm in the right place at the right time to capture a photojournalistic picture. So...use your creativity and caption this photo. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I love sunflowers.

Mammoth ones. Small ones. Yellow, brown, red and orange ones.

They make me smile.

So I planted some this spring. And boy did they grow.

Just like every other living thing, sunflowers have a life cycle. As they go through their life cycle, the bees cause the interior of the sunflower to "pop out." Once it's expanded as far as it can, and it's lived its life to the fullest, it dies. Kind of a metaphor to real life, don't you think.

Birth and death all in one pic.

But I had more than just sunflowers. All kinds of flowers.

And you know what flowers bring...that's right...a whole ecosystem!

We also had a bunny but I could never get his picture. Flowers were great but I think that I'll scale down my ambitions next year. *Maybe* I got a little carried away. lol

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family Reunion!

Family Reunions.

You've all been to one. Or heard about one. And I'm no exception.

But really. What is the point of a family reunion? It means a lot of things to a lot of people I'm sure. Some people dread them. Some people just don't go. But others like me embrace them.

Because I get to see my cousins, aunts and uncles that I grew up with and meet or reconnect with their children. And because I get to meet new cousins and aunts and uncles that I never knew.

But most importantly because my children get to meet cousins, aunts and uncles that they never knew and get a bigger picture of the world around them.

Shane never would have known that he and his cousin Justin share a love for tennis and, for him, that made the trip extra special.

And I wouldn't have found out that one of my cousin's children has the same eye disorder and vision therapy that Owen is going through. That was a bonus for me for sure!

And definitely because the genealogical and history-loving side of me understands the significance of history and how we got here, where we've been and how the past has affected and touched each of our lives both separately and as a family.

And, whether these people (otherwise known as "my family") realize it or not, we are all here because John and Augusta Jacobs Eckhardt immigrated to America (New York City) from Germany on August 21, 1851 as a young married couple along with their two oldest children and (probably) her sister.

They are passengers 27-31.

If you can't read it, it's transcribed here. That probably would have been a lot easier to find had I looked there first!!!

John and Augusta migrated down to Phillipsburg, NJ where they raised 10 children. The youngest of which, Frank, bore a son named Daniel who had four children and their descendants and families are the ones that attended the reunion and that you see in these pictures.

But besides the genealogical aspect of it, really...what are family reunions about? They're about having fun and who knows better how to have fun than kids? Potato sack races...old skool fun!

Thanks to Mary Eckhardt for setting up all of the kids games! You absolutely rock!

The littlest cousins race head to head...and it's a close finish!

If Ken had known there was going to be poker, he probably would have skipped his continuing education class and come to the reunion!

Milling about seems to be the order of the day.

I am in at least one picture. But...that's the way I prefer it! I'd much rather be behind the lens than in front of it!

What kid doesn't love candy? Well...mine do anyway. Thanks again to Mary for organizing a fun activity. Poor little Maddie didn't stand a chance against those vultures!

The kids in this picture totally crack me up. Their parents must be so proud. *I* am proud to call them family! :) I have a new theme for next years pictures that only involves kids and their funny faces. lol

What happens when you try to organize a group picture. Hahahahahaha.

Even on a hot day in Pennsylvania on the Delaware River, we stayed cool because of the shade and the river!

Kids are so much fun to photograph. Seriously. They are the best!

Fore! Nothing better than hitting a golf ball across the river and seeing it go straight across and plunk ever so cleanly into the water. Or not. Bruce, I'm pretty sure that you owe someone a bucket of balls!

A few family shots.

Ben is 11 and is Shane's birthday buddy. :) His mom is Owen's new BFF. :)

And, yes, before you ask...there is another Kim Eckhardt! And yes...we are related. I know that scares those of you that know me. lol Actually, her name is Kimberly Suzanne. :)

A big huge thank you to Uncle Cliffy, Junie , Ida Mae and the rest of family who made this possible. (Haha. I will never call you anything other than Cliffy now!)

If you're still reading this (and God bless you if you are!), I had corresponded with another older lady (probably 80 or so) who is also a descendant of John and Augusta Eckhardt through another child. I sent her the ships manifest when I found it...and got this reply:

Dear Kim,
That's just wonderful. I don't know how you did it! I had to look at all of it and print it out, first, before I wrote you. I have just been given the gift to fulfill one of my lifetime dreams. Find an immigrant and their ship and the date. HOW GREAT!

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH and a HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR to you and all your family.

Love, from your cousin, however distant or close., Jane

And that's what Family Reunions are all about! Realizing that we all have something in common and appreciating it -- even if only for a day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not So Tiny Bubbles

Bubbles, bubbles in the air!

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere!

What is it about bubbles that kids love? Although tiny bubbles are fun, the bigger the better seems to rule here. The best part is that it keeps kids occupied!

I present to you not-so-tiny-bubbles and the two not-so-tiny-anymore-kids who made them. :)

Thanks to my Uncle Cliff and Aunt Mary for having the bubbles for the kids to play with!

I think that I may have to go and buy some more bubbles. Nothing says summer fun more than blowing bubbles!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy 10th Birthday, Shane!

Wow. How in the heck did you get to be 10 already? It seems like just yesterday you were a cute little baby with marshmellow feet ( still have those!) who earned the nickname that you now hate. Stinkerbean for those that don't know.

And if you have to ask why, you weren't around for the endless colicky crying fits, reflux sessions where this sweet child would spew carrots and greenbeans further than I can hit a tennis ball and you probably weren't up with him at all hours of the after day.

Well earned nickname, Shane. :)

But...we loved you then and we love you now.

And since this is my blog, I get to do with it what I want and I think that I'll just go ahead and put up some of those sweet pictures that will embarrass the heck out of you when you get older. lol

Shane a baby...

Dorky Aunt Susan and Shane, 6 months old....

The abominal snowman

Sleepy baby...just the way we liked you...

Because it's my blog...that's why!

Army man crawl...

First steps...

It was so cute when you were a so much...


See the boing-boing catepillar toy on the right? Yeah was your favorite toy...and it was also ranked as the most dangerous toy of the year...oops...we threw it away after we found out, just for the record...

Cox Farm...14 months old...

Ah...the twos were the year of the "Popeye Look"...

And your love of ice cream really kicked in...

And then you met Owen...

Probably the last time you got a haircut!

And just because I love this picture!

The Rooster!!!!

Your eyes never stuck even though I warned you to stop doing it!

Then you met your BFF "Joise" and your life has never been the same. She accepted you Rooster, cross eyes and all!

Poppa turned 60. You turned 6. And we all went to see Willie! Your first concert. :)

Your first self hair cut. Scissors + bored kid on last day of school = new hairdo!

No matter how old you've gotten, you still love your duckies!


Well...we found someone as goofy as you...

We've always celebrated your growth by what band you got a Kings Dominion!

What parent wouldn't be proud of you? :p

But this better be the last time we see you in this position!

So, happy birthday, Shane! I hope that you have a great year ahead and I'm looking forward to seeing you grow and see what you do with your life! Because I know that you can do whatever you set out to do.

Because...we do rock!