Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Newsletter 2013

Du Bois Family Christmas  in VA                        
Volume No. 1      Issue No. 11      Christmas, 2013  

This year we decided to take our family vacation on the east coast doing two of the things we like best - seeing one of the National Parks and visiting with friends.  So we combined a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine with a stay with our good friends the Crabbs at their parents house in Hague, NY on Lake George.  The lake house was phenomenal! Rustic! Picturesque! Marvelous!  And it came with a boat!  

The girls did not pass up an opportunity to go tubing and a tour of the north end of the Lake with Tom at the helm was heavenly!   

Acadia was beautiful, but I have to say, I preferred the raw beauty of the Schoodic Peninsula more.  Mom and Pop and uncle David joined us in a rented house in Winter Harbor for their annual Lobster Festival and we enjoyed each other’s company at the Pancake breakfast at the Masonic Lodge, the craft fair, the Lobster dinner, and the hometown parade.  Near the end of the trip and thousands of miles from home (!), the Honda minivan and its warning lights gave us a fright, but not enough to stop us from noshing at the Jordan Pond House and running her up Cadillac Mountain to see the sunset.  Our favorite part of the trip was going on a puffin cruise out of Cutler Maine and spending time in a blind as we heard the pitter-patter of little puffin feet overhead while we spied on puffins all around and tried to get pictures of them bringing minnows to feed their chicks.  

What an adventure! See the entire trip narrative with all the pictures in this blog's archive.

Hailey Hailey’s in her senior year at First Colonial High School and busy with all the trappings of a college prep student - SATs, tutoring, taking the SATs again (!), trying to get her GPA up, filling out college applications, and writing essays. While balancing that and her school work, Hailey’s been putting in a good amount of time at her job as a cashier at the local Harris Teeter grocery store.  She’s socking at least 75% of her earnings away for college. Hailey’s no yet driving on her own, but that can wait until she’s more confident.  We’re certainly not anxious to bump up our insurance policy premiums!  I guess it runs in the family and Hailey’s our family’s card-carrying theater geek.  This year she preformed in James and the Giant Peach, the Little Prince, and Hello Dolly and is gunning for a role in the upcoming Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  This past summer Hailey again volunteered as an art counselor at the VB Museum of Contemporary Art.  She participated in her second mission trip with the Catholic Heart Youth Camp, continues to play piano, and has moved into the first chair violin section in the high school orchestra.  

Dana’s Like Agent Schrader on Breaking Bad.  She’s all about the minerals and clogs her room with rocks everywhere and spent water bottles full of shells.  She’s also a fan of blowing stuff up, so I thoroughly expect to see her on a TV show like “Prospectors” or something like that in the future!  Dana’s still volunteering at the the SPCA, Norfolk Zoo, and Virginia Living Museum.  We’re encouraging Dana to get a job other than her intermittent lawn mowing at the house.  As she calls it - “one of those volunteer jobs that pays!”.  So far, we’ve not had success and Harris Teeter, where Hailey works, has a no-sibling hiring policy.  Dang! Dana enjoys her time in Chorus at First Colonial High School and seems to always be sneaking around with ether her Nook or a graphic novel under wing.  She’s growing like a weed and dreams of the day when she will tower over Poppa.  Back off my little friend!

Kathi’s big news is about her new job at the library.  Virginia Beach has built a massive new library in conjunction with Tidewater Community College and Kathi works there part-time doing all manner of things - reading at the kids’ story time, roaming with an iPad and providing tech assistance to patrons, developing library programs, etc.  So far her favorite work has been with the little kids.  To be honest, it’s a little nauseating  having her coming home from work so happy and enthusiastic.  Oh well, she still has her private book keeping clients to balance out her workplace emotions.  Kathi has dominion over the 50+ mpg Prius (lucky dog!) and is master of the house.  We all benefit from her cooking as she is chef extroridinaire!  

Wa is still driving at 93 and active with her friends at  Saint Nicholas Catholic Church.  She’s quick with a comment about light bulbs that are out, plumbing that needs fixing, and god forbid if the internet goes down or there’s a problem with the TV!  It’s a small price to pay to provide her comfort and we’re better off for having her with us.   

Kevin had his one-year check up on the new titanium hip joint.  All’s going well and he’s back to playing tennis, backpacking, fly fishing and leading the active lifestyle that makes him happy.  Kevin completed a large wetland restoration project this year and continues to improve the environmental landscape in Norfolk.  He again served as Faculty for the Washington Youth Summit for the Environment at George Mason University and spent the summer with a job-shadowing student from the local high school math and science academy.  Kevin has served this past year as the VP of the local Trout Unlimited chapter and has been exploring the trout streams of the Shenandoah National Park as time allows.  He also spent a few days down in Bulls Bay SC chasing redfish this past spring.  Kevin led the inaugural trip of the church’s Adventure Club on a backpacking trip to the Saint Mary’s Wilderness and miraculously everyone returned without a scratch.  Many of these outings are captured in photographs or GoPro videos which you can find on the blogs listed below.  

 Bodie has developed a nasty habit of stealing food or at least he’s getting blamed for stuff disappearing from the counter.  Perhaps some of his doggy friends are being a bad influence.  One of his newest best buddies in Ziggy a friends’ rescued black lab.  Having spent time in “the joint” (SPCA) he’s the likely culprit.  Bodie cries if he doesn’t get to blow of some steam during 4 pm doggy time at the local elementary school field.  It’s the go-to rec spot for neighborhood dogs much to the chagrin of some neighbors (???) and the local PD.  

Hope all is well with you and yours. God Bless! Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!
Love, Kathi, Kevin, Hailey, Dana, and Bodie 

Kevin:  Cell:  757-650-2720
Kathi:  Cell:  757-651-1973
Blogs: (backpacking)
   (fly fishing)  
   (family travel, pictures of the ME 
                                                                         trip & other stuff)  

We still reside at:  633 Prince Phillip Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23452. (757) 486-673

Here's a sampling of family pictures from 2013...          

Dana with a massive jawbreaker in Charleston SC

Sister love on top of Cadillac Mountain, Mt. Desert Island, ME

Teacher and pupil… in the puffin blind

Kevin loves corn!  Ya think?

Having fun in Maine

Birch Harbor, ME

Making Ravioli with Grandma Pat for New Year's 2013

Kevin sanding the "Simpli-fly" for a fresh coat of bottom paint
     Mom and Pop at Lobster Fest in Winter Harbor Maine

 Dana - wings flapping!

View from the Crabbs' house on Lake George

The first snow of 2013

Kevin the "Blueberry King" of Maine!

Bass Harbor Light

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