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The Big August Senior Sale

Many seniors got a new offer from us this week. The deal is that you can save 50% off your session fees if you call and book the next available sitting date. The brochure also says that the sale expires on July 31.

However, we have extended that sale until August 16!

All you have to do is call, mention that you want the next available sitting date, and you will get 50% off your sessions. Remember, it is the next available, so be ready to come in as soon as the next day if we have an opening.

Even if you can’t come in for our next session date, you can still take 15% off your sessions if you call by August 16.

We have seen hundreds of people this year, and we’d love to see you, too. Go to our website (, pick your sessions, look at some pictures, and call now! 304-263-3100.

And bring your music! (You’ll understand that better when you come to a consultation 🙂

Yearbook Pictures

Sometimes everyone doesn’t know all the answers. So, they guess. 🙂

Letters go out to seniors every year, many are ad pieces (we send out some, too) and many are telling you that you have to go to the school for photos.

The truth is that ALL area schools will accept our yearbook photos from your session. Even if someone at the school tells you otherwise. We have submitted photos to every school in the area, as has Jack DeHaven before us. We have had yearbook photos published in other states, and goodness knows where else.

We treasure our relationship with you, and would never want to deceive you about something like this. You’re safe. You’ll be in your 2009 yearbook if you have your pictures done with us.

Most Beautiful Baby Contest Winners

This was one of our busiest contests – with eleven entrants. Now, most of you know how much I love babies… and it is a big reason why I enjoy this contest each year. Yes, it also means we make money and raise a few dollars for a very good cause. But I really like the children, and enjoy spending time with them and their parents and having some fun.

So, you have to understand that there’s a very good reason why Diana and I aren’t judges. We get too close to the parents, the children, and their personalities. We would never be able to properly select a most beautiful baby without feeling like we are hurting someone’s feelings.

As a result, we pass off the responsibility to persons who are not familiar with the kids or their parents. They choose their top three picks. All four judges said that it was a difficult choice. So from our standpoint, it was just that much more encouraging – we took great pictures of eleven beautiful babies.

So, without further adieu, here’s how it played out. There were TWO honorable mentions. Taylor and Kristian. You can see their pictures in earlier blog entries.

The third place winner (yes, I enjoy the suspense of counting backward to number one) was Santanna. I’m sure grandma was terribly excited by the news.

Our second place winner was Liliana. Cute girls always seem to do well in this contest. I think it was the curls – and that incredible personality.

And now (drum roll please), our first place winner is Tristin. This really wasn’t much of a surprise to me, simply because he was in a great mood throughout his sitting, he had a ton of personality and was just the easiest and quickest of the eleven sittings.

We want to thank all the parents, grandparents and kids for their participation. We also want to offer our thanks to this year’s sponsors and judges. We hope to see everyone back next year!


Turkey. Football. Shopping. More Turkey.

That would sum up my holiday break, if that’s all there was. Yes, we ate. Good food, steeped in tradition and good family fun. Football – yes, we watched lots of football.

The next day we went shopping, like millions of other crazy people did. We got a few bargains, found Diana a new coat, and had some fun running around town.

We left Robesonia PA on Saturday to head home. We didn’t stop much along the way like we usually do. We were tired. I never sleep quite right on that bed at my mother-in-law’s house. Oh well… the family is why I’m there, anyway.

Diana’s Grandmother

This was indeed a day of reflection, remembrance, and respect.

Diana’s Grandmother, Martha Meese, passed away on November 3, 2007. Today was the memorial service and burial. While I can’t say more than any close family member might, I can tell you how I felt about Martha.

The first time I met her, she smiled at me. Every time I saw her, she smiled. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t at least get a friendly nod. She would often ask how I was doing, and was interested in what I had to say. It’s easy to reflect on the little time I’ve known her.

My best remembrance of her will be in her granddaughter’s eyes… that beautiful smile and loving way, always caring about what I have to offer.

I paid my respect as we drove to the top of Tom’s mountain to the private Meese cemetary and buried her ashes next to her husband, who preceded her some years ago. Afterward, we hugged and talked about good times.

But it was cold up there, and so we all soon parted ways.

But kept Grandma in our hearts.

Birthday Weekend

Diana and her mother’s birthdays are only five days apart. As a result, each year we get together with family and friends (mostly family) and have a big family dinner. It started many years ago, and we’d get together at Old South Mountain Inn, near Boonsboro, Maryland.

Over the years, as the kids got older, and we’d invite them along, it got to be such a big affair that it became impractical (and too expensive) to hold in a restaurant. So we started alternating where it was held, but usually at someone’s home. This year, it was held at our home.

We grilled big steaks, had baked potatoes, a salad with everything, lots of big shrimp, and lots of fun. Traditionally, we start off the evening with strawberry dacquiri’s. I think it was around the end of the second blender full that we discovered that we might also want to drink something else. 🙂

My brother, Jon, was also a guest this year, along with our younger daughter, Tara and her fiancee Jake. Along with Diana’s sister Joyce, her mom and Joyce’s husband, Bruce, we had a great time.

I look forward to this dinner every year. But it’s over for this year. 🙁

Crafter Jan

I spent a little time with a featured crafter I was photographing for Valley Homes and Style. This lady takes average items and makes them extraordinary by painting them, giving them character and adding sayings or symbols.

The item above is made from a piece of wood, and some fine screen materials. A little paint and a few nails and you’ve got a crafter’s treasure.

While I was there, several shoppers at the Crafter’s Gallery were making purchases of Jan’s items. They have an appeal… you should take a look at them.

Eye doctor

My last visit to an eye doctor was too long ago.

You need to go get your eyes checked. Trust me.

The visit was painless and quick. The doctor said my eyes were in great shape, save for a little nearsightedness. Good eyes are pretty important in my business, so I’m glad I got a clean bill of health.

I ordered new glasses. I usually wear contacts while working, but at the house I like to give my eyes a rest and wear glasses instead.

Did you call your eye doctor yet?

A day with mom and dad

On this, my older brother’s birthday, we went to Reston Hospital to sit with mom while dad was getting chemotherapy. As many of you may remember, my father was diagnosed with cancer last year, and has been doing quite well since then. He is presently in remission, but the doctors wanted to “put some icing on the cake” and administer two more rounds of chemo to give dad a more solid chance against the cancer returning.

So we sat and talked with mom. I also edited pictures, Diana knitted and we generally had a nice visit. As with so many hospital visits, there was a lot of waiting. It didn’t seem to bother dad. His approach is “I prefer this over the alternative.” A positive outlook, indeed.

We also had lunch with my sister, her husband and my nephew, Andy. I ate half a chicken. Okay, I shared a couple of bites, but I’m not big in the sharing department when it comes to chicken.

We left around 4pm to beat the worst of the traffic, and dad was grateful we made the trip. It’s always great seeing him (and mom, of course) and we were glad we had the time with them.

Fiber Festival

Today was an adventure.

“There’s a fiber festival in Montpelier Station, Virginia,” Diana says.

“Um… where?” I ask in hopes that it is in our neighborhood.

And so the adventure began. Our limited free time sometimes takes us to new destinations in a quest for something we haven’t seen before. This day it was a fiber festival in Orange, Virginia, near Montpelier, Virginia. We all know what famous home rests there, right? NO!? go look it up! (Hint: His wife was quite the Dolly)

We got there just after it opened, not having got lost (much) along the way… sometimes online directions aren’t all they are cracked up to be. I need to have a talk with NavTeq about locations outside the big cities.

Anyway, we met up with a friend of ours, who lives a little closer to the festival site. It was ridiculously hot (like 98 degrees). But there were herding dog trials, so I had somthing else to do besides look at endless miles of yarn and yarn products. I do like the colors and textures, but I’m about yarned out when I get to the second hour or so. So watching the doggies was fun.

We made it an early day because it was just so hot, and miserable. We left at mid-day and took a slightly different route home… and don’t ask me how we got there. I’m surprised we got there. We did have one interesting a fun stop along the way, though.

We stopped at a convenience store for a beverage. When we walked in, I think we also walked backwards a couple of decades. Wood floors, chairs sitting around for people to sit down. No tables, these are chattin’ chairs. And aside from the shop owners, there were 2-3 people in there “chattin'”. One lady was showing off a young puppy, and offered it to us. We declined (we have three dogs now), paid for our drinks and snacks (peanuts) and left.

And there was an antique shop across the road. Well, we had to run through there. I saw a few old cameras, but I’m more of a new camera model type. There was a very intersting old tripod, which was more suited to the equipment used in land surveying than photography. The funny thing is that the store cat followed us – everywhere. I was beginning to get the impression that he was the store detective. He showed us out as we left, too.

Good kitty.