Friday, March 14, 2008

Congrats Kimmie and Mike!!!

I just got pictures of my new nephew! He's so adorable!
Aiden Michael Cotter

Papa Gary and Aiden.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pictures of Joel in "Gianni Schicchi"

Congratulations to Joel and the all the cast of Winthrop's production of Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi." I've heard nothing but good things from faculty, staff, and audience members that saw it. It was a pleasure for me to photograph the dress rehearsals. Here's a few of many outstanding moments I caught.

Family members of the recently deceased Buoso Donati reading the will they discover they've been left out of.

Simone (Joel's character) is saddened by this news.

Ciesca (Heather Wilcox-Stone) bribing Gianni Schicchi (Peter Barton) to get the best parts of Buoso Donati's estate as Simone looks on.

Simone letting Gianni Schicchi know that he wishes to own Buoso's land in Fucecchio.

Donati Family members arguing over who should receive the best parts of Buoso's estate.

On a Lighter Note

I hadn't posted for a while, so here's some goofy pictures of Gary, too. This picture also happens to have a funny story to go along with it. About a month ago, I laid Gary down for a nap. Well, as soon as I sat down in the livingroom with Joel, Gary yelled that he had to go potty. Since we're trying to teach him a little more independence, I told him to get up and sit on the potty by himself and then go back to bed. Joel and I continued to veg out in front of the TV and didn't hear anything but the potty flush. We assumed that he went back to bed. WRONG! Joel walked by the bathroom a little while later to find Gary, naked in the sink, slathering Bath & Body Works lotion and soap ALL OVER HIMSELF!!!! When we asked why he did this, he told us that he had gotten some poop on his finger when he wiped himself, and he was trying to wash his stinky finger! HAHHHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even after a bath, he smelled like a French Whore for days!

Here is Gary with one of the "Hot Babes." He loves to play with Hannah. Gary and Hannah have very similar personalities, so it's fun for us to watch them click!
Here's Gary with the funny wax lips mom sent a long time ago. We found them again on Valentine's Day, so this was a very appropriate "gimmee a kiss" picture! He didn't want to eat the lips though.

REALLY?!? Why do people let their kids play with FIREWORKS?!?!?

Joel and I decided to have a lazy Sunday morning and go to mass in the evening. We slept in after playing cards with Dan and Stephanie late into the night on Saturday. After we got up, I made breakfast, and then Joel decided to bike to campus and sing for a while. Gary and I stayed home and got some sun while enjoying our coffee on the balcony. I was contemplating hitting the shower when Gary and I heard what sounded like a gun going off. I looked up and saw a firework flare exploding from the trees. I told Gary to get inside so he wouldn't get hurt in case anything flew up on the balcony. Gary, who still thought it was gunfire, was saying, "Call 9-1-1! Mom, call 9-1-1!" I knew I was going to call the police to report the little rats that set off a firework so close to buildings, but then I took Gary's advice when I saw a small fire in the pine needles below. I told the 9-1-1 operator what happened and hung up. Gary and I watched the fire get bigger for a minute, and then I called 9-1-1 back to let them know the fire was getting REALLY BIG, REALLY FAST. She let me know the trucks were on the way. I hung up, and three seconds later the pine trees literally exploded in flames. I saw the writing on the wall, so I threw my bike into our living room (I hoped that only our balcony would get it), grabbed Gary, his shoes that were by the door, and my purse (in case we needed a hotel later), then RAN out the door barefoot to our parking lot screaming "GO, GO, GO!!!!!" the entire way. By this time the entire complex could see smoke and flames, and a couple of guys from other buildings heroically went to bang on the doors of the building to make sure everybody got out. (All the top floor people bolted when they saw what was going on after hearing me scream.) After what seemed like an eternity, the fire crews arrived and put out the flames. The only thing that happened to the inside of our apartment was dirty carpets from fire fighters walking around checking the attic crawl spaces for any smoldering ashes. And the apartment manager had that cleaned up later in the afternoon. Thank God we didn't go to mass and I didn't get my shower... no one would have seen the fire until it was already HUGE! And thank God the wind was blowing just right: the arson investigator said that if it had varied just a little more, our building really would have gone up in smoke.
Our charred pine trees.
Our apartment is on top. Gary's bedroom windows are the open ones.
Because of the wind direction, our neighbors unfortunately saw more damage.
You can see how close flames got. The tree on the right stands against our building and it has charred pine needles underneath it!!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

Last night, Joel had to sing some Christmas Carols with the Glee Club for Winthrop's Festival of Carols. I was standing by the steps of Tillman Hall with Gary getting ready to watch the festivities when Dr. Randy saw me and asked me to sing with the group! I said yes, so Gary and I stood at the bottom of the steps of Tillman Hall and sang carols with the Glee Club while the huge old tree was lit up. Gary was very good and sat patiently in his stroller.
Then Santa, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer came in a Parking Enforcement Vehicle decked out as a sleigh. Gary stood up in his stroller and was awestruck. (I had no idea that Santa was supposed to be at the festivities, so I didn't have a chance to warn him about it before hand.) An older lady standing close to us couldn't help laughing and pointing at his excited face!

So Joel and I snuck away from the rest of the Glee Club as they led the crowd while caroling over to the Auditorium where the rest of the concert would take place. Gary got to meet Rudolph, and Frosty.....

AND SANTA!!!! He wasn't scared, just a little shy. He had a bashful, quiet smile the whole time. When I showed Gary the picture below on my camera, he asked if he could hold my camera and look at it on the way back to the car!! So cute!!!!

This morning, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. While we were eating, Joel put the Ray Conniff Singers' Christmas album on. Gary jumped up and started twirling, jumping, and dancing to it in the livingroom. The tradition lives on.......

Friday, November 30, 2007

Joel's Switch

Well folks, there's a new development in Joel's voice. After years of speculation, we've discovered that Joel is definitely no longer a high baritone. He's a full lyric tenor. For those of you not familiar with opera, think Placido Domingo (who also started singing as a baritone). I was at Joel's last voice lesson while he and his voice teacher, John, were working on some tenor technique to see if Joel could hack it. Well it sounded great. John told Joel to sing an aria he pulled out. He didn't tell Joel what the aria was from because he didn't want to intimidate him. Joel got through it easily. It turned out to be Cavaradossi's Aria from Puccini's "Tosca"!!!! Very exciting!!!! So Joel is now studying as a tenor. The con: He's back to square one. He has no roles under his belt. The pros:(1) Joel is still only 29, young for a singer. (2)There is more demand for Tenors; operas with tenors in the lead are performed more often than those with baritones in the lead. (3) If he's good, he can just about demand his own price. (4) The stuff he'll get to sing as a full lyric tenor rocks! It's very recognizable music to the general public.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I set the table the night before the carnage took place.

My very first whole oven-roasted turkey. It was a 13 pound bird. I'm so proud of myself!

Here's the spread: turkey, stuffing, mashed red potatoes with garlic, rolls, and green bean casserole. We had homemade pumpkin pie for dessert, but I forgot to get it in the picture!

Here's my first plate! My mouth is watering even now.

Here's my very own turkies. Or are they hams? :)

Trick-or-Treating in Rock Hill

Here's Gary in his duck costume! Look at his face. He totally has had it with me taking pictures.

Waiting outside for dad to get home from classes so he could get some candy.

I love "Duck Butt"!

Joel posing with a random guy we passed on the street. We loved his costume!

Gary the Duck and Heidi the OSU tail-gater. (I know, my costume was a real stretch for me, eh?)

Historic Brattonsville

While Kay and Aaron were in town, we went to see Brattonsville. It's a Revolutionary War period battle site. And "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson was filmed on location here. I highly recommend seeing this place if anyone is down this way. The antiques are gorgeous.

The original Bratton House built in 1770. It was a house, then a tavern after the revolutionary war, and then a school.

The classroom wing of the house.

The House built by the son of town's namesake in 1826. A lot of the scenes from"The Patriot" were filmed in this house.

One of the bedrooms in the big house. The quilt on the bed is the real deal, mom! It was beautifully made.

Recognize this dining room from "The Patriot"?
This is the kitchen located directly underneath the dining room. The kitchen and dining room were there own separate building attached to the main house by a small breeze way.

Gary checking out the horses. We also saw sheep, chickens, pigs, and lots of cats.

Gary looking at the cotton plants. I had never seen actual growing cotton plants before. They have really pretty greenish white flowers.

The building that housed the cotton gin.

This is the "Watch Tower House." It is part of Brattonsville, but it is being renovated and unfortunately not open to the public yet.

Kay and Aaron's Visit

In early October, Grammy Kay and Uncle Aaron came down to Rock Hill for a visit! Gary was so excited when they got here. Here's some pictures from our visit to the pumpkin patch!
Gary and Joel as pilgrims.

The emu that bit Gary's finger as he was petting the goat next to it. That bird scared the crap out of him!!!

Kay and Aaron on the covered bridge.

Gary "driving" a tractor.....E-I-E-I-O!!!!!

This farm turned their silos into slides. Here's Gary racing down the big one on his belly!

You're probably wondering, "where's the pumpkins?" Well, after playing on the slides and with the animals, we all took a lovely hayride to the pumpkin patch. But only Aaron, Joel, and I went into the actual patch to pick out our pumpkins. Gary was so pooped that he wanted to stay with Grammy Kay in the wagon. We picked out some beauties, though!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gary Cuteness!

I just have to post a picture of this masterpiece that Gary made! Joel and I got paid to round out the choir for Dr. Randy at Ebeneezer Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church this past Sunday, so Gary hung out in the 3-4 year old Sunday School class. He got to hear the story of Noah's Ark, make his own ark, and play with all the kids his age. (Gary has played here a couple times before, so he couldn't wait to "go to school." Last Saturday, he kept asking me, "Is it time to go to school yet, Mommy?" When he finally got there, he marched into the room like an old pro!) When the service ended, Joel and I went to pick Gary up. I asked the teacher if Gary had been a good boy, and she said yes. Then she giggled and asked if Gary is around adults most of the time. I said yes, why? She said a little girl snatched something from Gary, and instead of snatching it back or hitting her, he calmly said "I very UPSET with you!" The teacher thought it was just hilarious!
On Monday, I was sitting at the computer doing something online while Gary played and watched PBS. All of the sudden, Gary came running up to me. He said, "Mommy, look at me wag my tail!" I looked down to see Gary's wiener sticking through the opening of his little boy underwear while he wiggled around. It took all my strength to say how that wasn't how nice boys acted, without LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY!!!! He put "it" away and went back to playing in the other room. I LAUGHED HYSTERICALLY after he left. Sorry- no pictures of this one!!!
This is Gary on Wednesday. He found this big rubber band I use to keep my ironing board from sliding open as it hangs on the back of my closet door. He said, "Mommy, look! My belly is a smiley face!" Having a three year old is lots of fun!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gary on his Bike

Joel took Gary out to ride his bike after classes on Thursday, so I went out and snapped a few pictures. It was good to get outside and enjoy the cooler temperatures. Too bad we go back up into the 90s today!
Gary on his bike.

Look at this face!


Here's the new light-up Spiderman shoes we got Gary a couple of weeks ago. I tried to get a picture of them lighting up, but it didn't work.

Here's a picture of Dan and Stephanie Stein's dog, Izzy. She's a lab-chow mix, and such a sweetie. When Gary and Izzy get together, they have lots of fun! In this picture, Izzy is staring at Gary and hoping that he'll drop some of his dinner.