Sunday, August 31, 2008

Early in His Sports Career

Here's Luke following a game in a Colorado soccer tournament. He played on the same team with Coach Doug (and sometimes Assistant Coach Dad) for about six years, until we moved to Maine. Luke's almost eight years old in this picture.

Photo taken 5/23/04

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I was outside with the camera when I noticed the mirror on Megan's bike. (Megan is Bridget's friend.) I pulled up some yellow flowers, placed them strategically and took a few shots. I like the clarity of the flower's reflection with the blurriness of the real thing. The bike's harsh shadows from the noontime sun adds some background interest.
Photo taken 7/25/07

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here He Is

Here's Luke, the birthday boy, watching the Red Sox before going to bed on his birthday. He and his father had spent a long afternoon and evening golfing. In fact, they got in only 16 holes before darkness set in. Luke scored an 89.

Photo taken 8/27/08

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Broncos Fan

It's Luke's 12th birthday, and I had planned on posting a photo of him as a newborn, but the scan just wasn't good enough. Instead, I scanned the birthday card Henry made for Luke, and here it is.
Luke is golfing with Dennis, Luke's friend Daniel, and Daniel's dad. Before Luke left, he told me he was going to beat Dennis. I look forward to hearing about their round.
Anyway, it's hard to believe that Luke is 12 years old already. He's growing into a very nice, responsible, helpful, sweet, caring young man, and I'm proud of him.
Card created by Henry on 8/27/08

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Can I Give You a Lift?"

My kids have as many squabbles as other siblings, but when one of them needs help, a brother or sister is there to give it. I hope it will always be this way. In this photo, Henry assists Jack on his way to the backyard swingset.

Photo taken 4/10/08

Sunday, August 24, 2008

An Adorable Perspective

I came across this photo of Sam while trying to organize my photo files. He was almost eight months old and was sitting outside Christ the King Church in Denver, following Luke's First Holy Communion ceremony. I love everything about this picture: his expression, his argyle vest, his posture.
Photo taken 5/2/04

Friday, August 22, 2008

Laden with Light Sabres

Henry had light sabres: lots of them, until last night. Dennis, after a long day, had had enough. The light sabre fight among Henry, Sam and Jack that ended with at least two crying boys was the final straw. Henry now has three fewer light sabres.

Photo taken 2/12/07

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We've Got History

This is Anne. We became best friends in third grade. That was a long time ago. The greatest thing about our relationship is that we can go years without seeing each other and months without any communication and then, when I'm lucky enough to be within ten feet of her, we can just hang out and be friends.
Photo taken 8/10/08

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Doyle Time

According to Dennis, I run on "Doyle Time," which means that I seldom allow myself to be rushed and aren't often concerned with when I'm "supposed" to do something. My Aunt Linda knew exactly what Dennis was talking about when he mentioned "Doyle Time" to her recently. "Ah," she said, looking at me, "you're just like your father."

I studied the back of the seed packet when I bought these Green Zebra Tomatoes, but I put them in the peat pots late. I knew I had to wait until the last average day of frost came and went before planting the seedlings outside. I waited nearly a month after that date. So, here we are at the end of summer, and I hope my tomatoes will last for a"Doyle Time" harvest.

Photo taken 8/17/08

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Going For It

Bridget had never played softball before this season. In fact, she'd played no organized sport, other than basketball at age six. Here she is, though, rounding third as fast as she can. She enjoyed being on a team and learning the fundamentals of the game. She even got to pitch a number of times and did quite well at it. You go, girl.

Photo taken 6/19/08

Monday, August 18, 2008

Waiting for the Wave

The last time we went to Popham Beach, Luke and his boogie board were seldom out of the water. Bridget loves riding the waves, too, but she's a little more selective about which ones she goes for.

Photo taken 6/8/08

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Brotherly Love

I love this picture of Sam and Jack. Sam is determined to show his little brother how much he loves him, whether Jack likes it or not.

Photo taken 7/2/07

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Powerful Combination

Jack found a red ball and a trench full of mud in the backyard. Now, one or the other: not too tough to resist, but both within 100 feet of each other? Come on. The combination kept him happy for at least 15 minutes.

Photo taken 5/2/08

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Worth the Wait

My flowerbeds were literally buzzing with activity the other day, so I got out the camera. Aiming it at any flower upon which a bee had landed, I waited patiently for the bee to alight, hoping to get a good shot of one in flight. I finally captured this one. Zooming in on the photo, you can see the yellow pollen covering the bee's legs.

Photo taken 8/12/08

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The odor emanating from Sam's Cars sandals was so foul that I threw them away when we got home from Millinocket on Sunday. I still haven't bought him any replacement shoes, but Sam's good about making due with what's on hand -- or on foot, as the case may be. He's worn this fashionable combination of footwear for two days, even walking all the way down to his friend Ryleigh's house and back in it.

Photo taken 8/12/08

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Practice Shot

Whenever I see a great photo of water: a lake, the ocean, even a mud puddle, I think, "Focus on water shots (pun intended). Look for opportunities to capture a special image." This photo, taken at Togue Pond in Baxter State Park, is not that special image, but I like the juxtaposition. The mottled texture of the leaves contrasts nicely with the shiny smoothness of the water.

Photo taken 8/9/08

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Nice Pairing

Sam takes a turn on Ambajejus Lake with Sydney Walker, my goddaughter. We met up with Sydney and her family after Mass at St. Martin of Tours in Millinocket. We accepted their invitation to join them at the Freeman's camp. Two hours of swimming, fishing, boating and catching up with my childhood friend, Anne Freeman Walker (Sydney's mom), was just what Dennis, the kids and I needed.
Photo taken 8/10/08

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nice Shot

Luke is generally determined to thwart the efforts of a photographer trying to take a good picture of him. Like a certain uncle of his, Luke is very good at making silly, ugly or just plain unphotogenic faces. I was happy to have captured this shot.

Photo taken 4/9/08

Friday, August 8, 2008

Short-term Relationship

Mom had a cow when I told her I was pregnant with Sam. "You have too much to do with the three kids you have now," she said. It took mere moments, though, for her to fall completely in love with her fourth grandchild.

Mom passed away shortly after Sam turned two, but she'd still be smitten with him. He has become a very charming little boy.

Photo taken 12/25/03

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Familiar Sight

Caddie has been part of our family for six years now. She still loves to run around the yard like a balloon a five-year-old has just removed from his mouth, held aloft and released from his tightly pinched fingers. She still takes off for the woods whenever she sees an opportunity. Most of the time, though, she lies on the floor — often just like this — and wishes that someone other than Jack would pay attention to her.

Photo taken 2/10/08

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Before I knew what was happening, Sam was in the ball pit at Storyland. I am NOT a fan of ball pits and have diligently avoided them since two-year-old Luke was nearly smothered in one by a busload of kids who had just descended upon McDonald's. Of course, being at McDonald's was mistake number one.

As for the Storyland ball pit: Sam was already in it and looked happier than a pig in the mud. What could I do but take pictures?

Photo taken 7/25/08

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


That beautiful, perfect spiral on my cucumber plant is like a hint from God: "Just wait; this is going to be good."
Photo taken 7/20/08

Monday, August 4, 2008

Moving Forward

Luke, Bridget, Jack, Henry and Sam: the five of them together, moving toward a common goal, the first day of summer rec. They each enter the school with a different purpose.
Luke, listening to tunes on his Zune, is just there to help Mom and, of course, meet up with his friends, if any of them happen to be there.
Bridget can't wait to get in there and get started, on whatever her counselors have planned for her. The best part is that she'll get to see Quinn and Mair and her other friends.
Jack is just along for the ride, but he had to come, because he hates to miss out on anything.
Henry, hanging back with hands in his pockets, doesn't want to look too eager to begin another summer's worth of field trips, games and crafts. He certainly wouldn't admit to any of his friends that, for weeks, he had asked, "When does summer rec. begin?"
Sam looks like he's ready to embark on this new experience, but he's actually a little nervous, not quite sure what to expect. As it's turned out, he's been eager to go back every single day, waking up and packing his backpack with a snack, and a towel for beach days. It took him weeks, though, to admit that he actually LIKED summer rec., and just as long to start speaking to his counselors.
Photo taken 6/30/08

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lessons in Trajectory

I have so many pictures of Henry like this -- kneeling in the dirt, gazing intently at a leaf, a ladybug or a worm. On this particular occasion (an overcast morning when I headed out front to get some flower shots), Henry wrapped a string around a closed daylilly. Once he got it just right, he pulled the string and catapulted the blossom across the driveway.
Photo taken 7/30/07

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Birthday Girl

Today is Bridget's tenth birthday. Although it's hard to believe that she was born an entire decade ago, she seems older than ten.

After the Ruffing reunion last weekend, Nancy told Dennis in an email that Bridget carries herself like a young lady. She does.

Dennis's mom once told me that Bridget is filled with light. She is.

She takes wonderful care of Jack, and he's crazy about her. When she and Luke aren't fighting like brother and sister, they're laughing together. She and Henry use their prodigious imaginations to create fabulous worlds of make-believe. Sam loves being outside with Bridget, who teaches him to "cook" with hosta leaves, mud-puddle water and sticks.

Yesterday, my friend Jennie told me that her daughter Quinn could spend ALL of her time with Bridget. She's very good at being a friend.

I appreciate all the times she offers to entertain Jack, the yummy cakes she bakes and the moments we spend creating, talking and giggling together.

Happy Birthday, Bridget. I love you very much.

Photo taken 1/5/08

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Sparkling Personality

This picture of Dennis represents the man quite well. The hat is quirky; the shirt is casual, but not dumpy; the sparkler is fun; and the face says, "OK, I'm having a pretty good time, but let's not be too obvious about it."

Photo taken 7/7/08