Thursday, May 31, 2012


B@ker bloggites: so sorry I've been lax in posting. It's been a really busy couple of weeks so I have a lot of catching up to do. Here's the Cliffnotes version of what's new:

  • College Pick-Up: We picked Cam up from his first year at RIT last Friday afternoon. He didn't do as well as he expected this term (two Bs, two Cs) so that was pretty upsetting for all of us. He always says he's going to to better next term...we'll see. Overall his GPA stands at a 2.77. He'll need to get that up if he eventually wants to go to grad school. All in all a tough year for him, although he loves RIT I'm not sure he was prepared for the rigor. Not a great note to end on, but we march onto next year. He starts his camp job the last week in June and apparently a lot of siting around is planned until then. The plan is to work with one of the RIT faculty members on some research when the professor returns from a conference next week. In the meantime, he could be found hanging out with his buddies a lot during the long....
  • Memorial Day Weekend: Beautiful weather, lots of yardwork, tons of running around bringing the kids from one place to another. A bonfire, a cookout, but, alas, no naps. It seemed like we were constantly on the go with the...
  • The German Students: We have just under a week left with our German student, Caroline. We hope she's having fun, but we're not sure...a tough nut to crack. We had a bonfire with all the German and Fairport students on Sunday night and introduced them to chicken wing dip. It looked like the kids had fun and it was a perfect night, weather-wise.
  • Archery Training: Cam's job title at camp this year is Archery Specialist so he heads to a 4-H camp outside of Buffalo for archery training this weekend. Yes, for the whole weekend. Which means he'll miss this year's...
  • Canal Days: The forecast is sunny for Fairport's big weekend. My sister Carol and her boyfriend Paul will be visiting and staying with Nic for the weekend, so we're looking forward to having them visit and gathering for a big cookout on Saturday night. In between trips to the Village, we'll be doing a lot of...
  • Yardwork: Mark had six yards of mulch delivered on Monday so he's been chipping away at spreading that all week and chipping away at the pile will probably be his main activity over the next couple of weeks. It does look (and smell) good, though!!
Have a wonderful first-weekend-in-June. Maybe we'll see you around Mayberry, er, I mean Fairport!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Helicopter Grade Checker

This is finals week for Cam. He's had one final already (Calculus - he thinks he did well), today he has Computer Science and on Friday he has Biology. I can already feel my stress levels rising as I compulsively check the RIT grade portal waiting for grades to trickle in. I'm really hoping he ends up with a 3.0 (B average) or better as he needs to maintain a certain average for his paltry (but necessary) scholarship and will also need a 3.0 or much better to reach his (current) goal of graduate school.

All in all, he's had a great first year. There were the roommate hiccups, but he seemed to adjust to college life quickly and really bonded with the crew team, a true bright spot of the year. when he comes home on Friday the plan is that he will work with a faculty member on some research that will take about three weeks (he can do it from home) and then he leaves for his camp job (this year he is the Archery Specialist - I think he'd better get some training...), which will take him through mid-August.

Doesn't time fly so quickly?!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

German Invasion!

Late Saturday night the German exchange students arrived by bus from NYC/JFK airport around midnight. Poor kids! They were exhausted after almost 24 hours of travel. They were expected around 10pm but apparently got delayed going through customs. Needless to day, they weren't the only tired ones!

Caroline is with us until June 6. Two years ago we were happy to host Caroline's sister, Belinda, when she came as part of the exchange Cam participated in. I keep almost calling Caroline "Belinda" as they are very much alike in speech, appearance and mannerisms! I'm thinking the Fischer's won't find Annalisse "very much alike" Cam when she visits their family at the end of June. Could two kids be more different?!

So plans are underway for all kids of activities. There is talk of a trip to Seabreeze or Darien Lake, and I think we are hosting a bonfire at our house on Sunday night. Of course, everyone wants to go to the mall. The kids simply go CRAZY over the mall with the selection and low American clothing prices. Such fun for them! It's also such a great opportunity for all of us to learn about the German culture. One thing is for sure: they don't eat out as much as we like to. I'm actually trying cook at home a little more so she can experience "authentic" American meals (like spaghetti and meatballs or chicken gyros!). Since Belinda and Caroline's mom is American (from Virginia), they have had more experience with American culture than most of the other kids, although some have traveled to the states once or twice.

When Caroline's time with us is over, we are on a whirlwind of packing for Annalisse's trip (she leaves June 22) and finishing up the school year with finals, Cam's road test (finally on June 21), getting Cam off to his camp job, and vacation/summer travel!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Up with Downstage!

Last night was the last Downstage show for the 2011-2012 season. It was really cute and featured many skits by the seniors in the group. For the crew, there were a lot of tears afterward as the sophomores and juniors said goodbye to the graduating seniors Claudia, Shelby, Dillon and Nick. As always, many Downstage alumni attended, and it was also great so see so many of the seniors from last year who were Cam's classmates.

For your viewing pleasure, I present this year's Downstage movie. Also posted, the fake trailer leading up to last night's show. Great job, kids!!
The Downstage Trailer

Click here for the the 2011-2012 Downstage Movie!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catching My Breath, Y'all!

Four Wicked Girls
Whew! I haven't posted since last Monday, which is probably the longest I've ever gone without blogging. This spring has simply been out of control. Last week I had a meeting every night except Thursday, but that night I certainly kept busy packing and prepping for our big adventure to Raleigh-Durham early Friday morning. I'm trying to figure out how I might get out of some of these evening commitments so life can become a little more manageable. Of course, being on the go so much doesn't help. Enough of the whining! Now more about the fun...

This year has already been so much fun with all the travel I've had the chance to do. For the third time in five months I've visited a city I've never been to before (first, there was Puerto Rico in January, then Austin in April) as my sister Mary, niece Nicole, and Annalisse flew to Raleigh-Durham to visit my nephew Anthony and see the show Wicked (!). As always, there was a lot of laughter (good medicine!).

After arriving on Friday afternoon, we freshened up before Anthony (called "Tony" to his friends) picked us up and squired us around the sights of Raleigh. We had a great dinner at one of his client's restaurants, Taylor's Tap Room, then wandered around the state capitol grounds before heading back to the hotel (we were exhausted, having gotten up at 5am to get to the airport for our 7:30 flight).

On Saturday morning we drove around Durham, where Anthony actually lives, and took a tour of the Mordecai House, one of the oldest houses in the area, built in 1785. (And it's haunted! Ghost Hunters was there several years ago.) After our tour, Anthony showed us where he works, then we had lunch at a great restaurant called Tobacco Road Sports Cafe which had a deck that overlooked the beautiful Durham Bulls stadium. The food was great and made all the more exciting by the fact that balls kept flying over the rail into the diners. A little stressful!

THEN, it was time to head over to the Durham Performing Arts Center for Wicked. What an amazing show it was. Unbelievably wonderful!! After the show we headed over to Anthony's cute little brick ranch and ordered pizza in. Like a bunch of wimps we headed back to the hotel around 9pm and hit the sack, exhausted.

On Sunday we decided to go the IMAX theatre to see "Dark Shadows," which looked so interesting and cool in the preview. This is one of those times when if you've seen the preview you've basically seen the movie. It was, though, interesting to watch even without a solid storyline. With some time to kill before dinner and the time we needed to head to the airport, we went to the mall.

I KNOW, I KNOW, the mall??! But Annalisse and Mary were dying to shop. After about an hour of that nonsense I was maxing out, but stuck with it until Anthony picked us up and we went for a great Italian dinner (with the "blue hairs," I might add - it was 4pm) before heading to the airport. Our flight left at 8pm and we got into Rochester around 12:30am.

Tired as we all were the next day, it was worth it to see Anthony, visit Raleigh-Durham, and see Wicked. I'm relieved to say I'm staying put now until my girls weekend in Alexandria, Virginia in mid-June. In the meantime, we are really looking forward to the arrival of our German exchange student, Caroline, who gets in around 10 on Saturday night and will be staying with us until June 6.

We certainly keep busy, don't we?

The Mordecai House
Durham Bulls Stadium
Kissin' Cousins

Monday, May 7, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Talk about a busy time in our lives. It seems like every weekend is taken up, and lately I've been out just every weeknight with a meeting or am otherwise engaged. Oh well. Someday I'll be old and creaky and will be longing for the days when I was so busy, I suppose.

Li'l Miss Johnson
Most of last weekend was filled with Annalisse's play, Harvey, in which she played the part of the maid, Miss Johnson, and had exactly one line - something like "I'm sure I don't know Miss Harrison" AND EXIT STAGE LEFT. It was sort of a family joke after her starring role last year. Still, she had fun and the production was really cute. The kids did a great job!!

The other part of the weekend was taken with travelling on Sunday to Whitney Point, NY, about 2 1/2 hours from Fairport, for Cam's race. He called on Saturday morning to let us know he had qualified for the finals so we knew we'd head there on Sunday to catch his race. He was very confident they would win gold, but alas, they won a bronze metal for third place. I know he was disappointed but HEY! I think they did great being third in the state for the Novice Men's Four category. He continues to really enjoy crew. It's been so great for his first year at RIT which, by the way, ends in less than three weeks. Unbelievable!

Oh, and another thing: it looks like Annalisse will be participating in the Ireland exchange next year. We will host an Irish student for a week in October and she and her FHS pals will go to Ireland for a week over February break. Why do these kids get to have all the fun?! I told her she needs to stop complaining about her job and get saving her $$!

We are heading into another incredibly busy week that will be capped off by a really fun weekend in Raleigh, NC visiting nephew Anthony and seeing WICKED with Mary, Nic and Annalisse. How lucky am I?!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Drops of Jupiter

Last week we got tickets to see one of my fave bands, Train with MAT KEARNEY this summer (in August) at CMAC, a nearby venue. What a great concert it's going to be!! While the summer plans are shaping up nicely (blog post planned for today or tomorrow on that), this morning I'm really really in a Train mood. I've spent a lot of the last hour watching videos of some of my favorite Train songs, and, in particular, "Drops of Jupiter," a song that was popular in the summer of 2001. 

It's a poignant song for me that brings back memories of the summer my Dad was diagnosed with blood cancer. Everytime I hear it I think of that time, the worry, and looking back, the happiness of having my Dad with us. If you 've never had a chance to hear "Drops of Jupiter," take a listen here. It's a great song!!