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Oct '06

Casey and Quinn Experience Soccer!

Casey has been talking about soccer for a long time, but has been hesitant to join a soccer team. We found a soccer clinic program run through Kids Love Soccer and hosted by our local recreation center. We signed both Casey and Quinn up for the soccer clinic. It runs about seven weeks on Saturday mornings. We attended the first session last Saturday. The weather has recently turned cold and cloudy, but that did not take away from the experience.

Quinn’s session was first and he had an awesome time! It was a lot of fun to see him running around and trying to use the inside of his foot to kick the ball and not his toe. His teacher was amazing! She was able to control twenty 3 and 4 year olds with ease!!!

Casey’s session was next and he also had a great time! Casey was able to convince two friends from school, Cole and Cash, to joint the clinic with him. Casey luckily got the same teacher that Quinn had.

It was a great morning of soccer and the apprehension that both Quinn and Casey had faded away quickly. In fact, Quinn, Casey Cole and Cash stayed after practice and played soccer for another hour!!! After that we bought the kids shin guards and soccer socks. The next day (Sunday), Casey wore the shin guards and socks around all day!!!!

I posted pictures and some video clips in the gallery: Album: First Soccer Practice



Posted by Bill on October 5th, 2006 at 4:49 pm

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Oct '06

New BatesCentral Pictures Website

Yes, I have been woefully deficient at updating our website. Yes, I have promised and promised to upload new pictures. Yes, I have thrown myself at your mercy before… that is all in the past! I will now live up to some of my past promises. The new BatesCentral Gallery site is online!

I was planning on customizing the gallery site to look and feel more like our main site, but I just can’t seem to find the time. Regardless, it will now be a lot easier and less time consuming for me to post new pictures online. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still won’t be great about posting pictures immediately ;-), but I will be much better!

Features of the new gallery:

  • Better organization into albums
  • Movie clips (okay, the old gallery had them too, but they are much cooler now!)
  • Pictures and albums are searchable
  • There is an RSS feed (for the real web geeky types)
  • Has a way cool random picture and most viewed picture
  • You can upload directly to PhotoWorks and Shutterfly (the quality I use on the web is good for 4×6 and 5×7)
  • More features will be added as I play with it

I still need to improve the look and feel a bit. I think navigating around the gallery pages could be more intuitive. For now, I thought it was good enough to go live with the site and improve it as I go.
To get to the new gallery site you can use the link in the “Pages” section of the website or use this BatesCentral Gallery link.



Posted by Bill on October 1st, 2006 at 10:48 pm

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Nov '05

Halloween Weekend 2005: Pictures

Halloween weekend was packed this year! Here is a brief synopsis of each event. I have compiled the photo highlights into one big gallery (the link is at the end of this article).

Halloween Weekend: Day 1 – Harvest Festival

On the Friday before Halloween, Casey’s school had a Harvest Festival. It was a fundraiser/community get-together. They had carnival type games, food, music and prizes. Many of the kids wore their costumes, but Casey and Quinn saved theirs for later in the weekend.

In the picture gallery I put a few videos of Casey and Quinn playing the carnival games. I didn’t spend a lot of time optimizing the videos for the web, so even with broadband it may take a few minutes to download them. One of the videos is Quinn playing a game where you have to bounce a car off of a rubber band and have it end up in a red area (2nd prize) or a white area (1st prize). Quinn won the game (which is almost impossible). The best part of the video is that everyone is excited for Quinn and he clearly has no idea what happened!!!

We had a lot of fun at the Harvest Festival. The kids won some cool prizes and we had some yummy snacks from the baked goods table! We walked home and got ready for the next event!

Halloween Weekend: Day 2 – Halloween Party

On Saturday night, we went to a Halloween party at Casey’s friend Ryan’s house. It was fun to see all of the kids in their costumes. Ryan’s parents went all out on the decorations. It was a mild night and the party was outside. Ryan’s dad blocked off a portion of his backyard with a giant PVC pipe wall. They called it the “Haunted Path.” It was cool and the kids loved it!

We also had a costume parade (along the Haunted Path, of course) and some cool Halloween games. The games included “stick the wart on the witch”! The party was a big success and we were all in the Halloween mood.

Halloween Weekend: Day 3 – Pumpkinpalooza 2005

Sunday was the BatesCentral 2nd annual Pumpkinpalooza! In the morning we watched a little football. In the afternoon we had a pumpkin carving event. While we carved pumpkins, we served “spooky punch” and had some Halloween beer. The spooky punch was white grape juice, orange juice (frozen), Seven-up and orange sherbet. To create the “Spooky” part of the punch, we added dry ice. It was very cool! We made a spooky punch for the Halloween party the night before which was Sprite, apple juice, cranberry juice and dry ice.

All of the pumpkins turned jack-o-lanterns came out great. We missed having Jackie here (she has been here for Halloween many times), but we look forward to seeing her at Thanksgiving.

Halloween Weekend: Day 4 – Halloween!

Well the big day finally came. Casey had a Halloween party at school. Later that night, it was time for the trick-or-treating to commence! Casey was a policeman and Quinn was Thomas the Tank Engine. Our next-door neighbor Nicholas and his little sister Jenna made the rounds with Casey and Quinn.

It was a fun night and the kids collected a lot of candy. The highlight houses of the night were “The Quarter Lady” and a family that always goes all out for Halloween. The Quarter Lady does not give out candy, she gives out… do I even have to say? The “family that goes all out” dressed their yard as a farm. The lawn was covered in hay, they made their garage look like a barn, they had a scarecrow (a real person)and even a real tractor in the yard!

It was a fun weekend and we packed in about as much as action as could be done! It was the best Halloween that we have had in a long while.

The Pictures

Here is the link to our Halloween pictures: Halloween Gallery 2005



Posted by Bill on November 13th, 2005 at 12:55 pm
Oct '05

Beach Pictures from Summer 2005

In August we took the kids to the beach a couple of times. People back home think that just because we live in California, that means we must go to the beach all of the time. Sadly, we do not go nearly enough as we should. We only made it to the beach twice this year. We’ll do better next year.

Santa Cruz

Early in August, we went down to Santa Cruz. It was a beautiful day and we spent about five hours at the beach and two hours at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. For those of you that grew up near me, it is a lot like Paragon Park. I don’t have any pictures from the boardwalk, the digital camera’s battery ran out.

While we were at the beach, Casey and Quinn invented superhero identities for themselves. Casey was Super Surfer and Quinn was his sidekick, Beachboy. It was pretty cute. Click on the link below to see the pictures…

Santa Cruz 2005 Gallery


A couple of weeks later we went to the beach at Capitola. It was a bit chilly in Capitola when we got there. It warmed up a bit by mid-afternoon, but by the time we left it was getting cold again. It didn’t matter, we had a fun time anyway! Click on the link below to see the pictures from Capitola…

Capitola 2005 Gallery

I hope that you enjoy the pictures, even if they are a couple of months late!


Posted by Bill on October 8th, 2005 at 9:33 pm

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Aug '05

4th of July 2005

We spent Independence Day 2005 in Massachusetts with my family. Our big family party was the day before, so we wanted to keep the 4th very low key. We decided to take the kids to see a baseball game. The Brockton Rox are a team in the Independent League. It is professional baseball not affiliated with MLB. the caliber of player is somewhere between single and double A ball.

We got a treat. Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, a fan favorite from the 1986 Red Sox was pitching! Who knew he was still alive!!! We had a good time at the game (luckily we found seats in the shade). After the game we went back to my parent’s house and hung out by the pool.

Later that night we all hooked up with Freddy, Wendy and the kids to go see the Bridgewater fireworks. It was a good time! Here are some shots from the 4th of July. Enjoy!

Independence Day 2005 Gallery


Posted by Bill on August 20th, 2005 at 10:20 pm