Family News

A Look Around 11/13/2023
By John Schmit

The weather cleared and the sun began to shine. Looking forward to some nice weather, I took the drone up for a look around. You can enjoy the view here.

October 11/11/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

It's that time of year and we began working hard on our fall color materials. We had taken some pictures and video in September, but there was so much more to include as the colors deepened in early October. While we managed to find quite a lot of color, next year we will wait until the end of October to get the deepest gold and reds in the trees.

John got a new phone and was anxious to try out the cameras ability to take pictures. First was an attempt to shoot the Moon. While that was better than before, there is still a lot to learn about the camera.

Taking breaks from projects at home we try to get out for walks. Nice weather on the 6th gave us a chance to walk the paths at Covington Park. Being the kids were still in school, the park wasn't very busy.

The rainy fall weather provides excellent opportunities to catch rainbows. With our office on the west side of the house we can see how things look at sunset, the best time for rainbows. We managed two great days of colorful skies.

Cheryl's uncle Cliff came from Nebraska to visit with family. He spent most of a day visiting with Barbara. We met with them in the afternoon at Barb's apartment and had a wonderful time, sharing stories and hearing about his travels.

It was a cloudy day but the rain had stopped so we headed off to Saltwater State Park to see what kind of skies would be there. The clouds and water were interesting and the color on the cliffs were dramatic. We had fun trying to catch the wildlife in just the right pose.

John had the drone up many times during the month. We like to see how construction is going on the two adjacent properties to our complex. While up, there are opportunities to catch views of Mt. Rainier. It's also fun to try and get the Olympic Mountains to the West. They are easy to see with the eye, but hard to capture with a camera.

Cheryl got some wonderful pictures of sunsets and several moon images as well.

We began preparing for Halloween on the 14th by prepackaging candy. After sorting out the candy into piles, we put each serving into little zip lock bags. It makes it so much easier to hand out. Then we began decorating the house and making it ready for the trick or treaters. It was a very successful evening.

September 10/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

September began with nature putting on a great show with the Moon on the first. It continued throughout the month with an awesome red sunset followed by some early fall color. In the end we put together a compilation of great cloud pictures.

It's important to have some quality time and Cheryl and I found some on our front porch and with an afternoon walk. The best time was on Cheryl's birthday.

There has been a lot of activity on the northeast corner of our complex and John got some video footage as "Phase Five" tree clearing has begun. The area is being prepared for construction. John also ran some radio control distance tests near our neighborhood with the drone.

It is always fun to spend a little time with Barbara. She had lots to share and was glad for the grocery delivery.

A great place to view the mountain is at Mt. View Cemetery. Taking advantage of the clear skies we headed on over to catch the view and enjoy the peacefulness of the area.

August 09/08/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

With Seafair starting the first week in August, we expected to see a variety of aircraft in the skies. Normally, these planes are seen closer to the show area on Lake Washington, so Cheryl was surprised to see one of the planes circling around the Covington area. She did a nice job of catching the aerial visitor with her phone.

After Seafair was over, the weather changed, and the dramatic clouds and storms began. The hot summer was over and the cold fronts started to move through. Still trying to take advantage of the few nice days left, we took an afternoon walk in Kanaskat Palmer State Park on the Green River. The park has some very nice paths along the riverside.

John took some time to update and add locations to our Web Camera pages. He recently added Middle Tennessee and Niagara Falls pages and updated the Central Texas, Florida, North Augusta and Seattle pages with new camera views. Most all the pages have increased image sizes now too.

The Music page was updated to include the soundtrack for the Alder Dam and Lake video and a new musical crafting, "Summer Afternoon". Enjoy these latest musical treats.

Our visit with Barbara this month included bringing a new hat to go with her leather coat and setting up a heart monitor that uses her phone for a display.

Picture activity this month included opportunities for Cheryl to capture both the full Moon at the first of the month and a rising Moon later in the month. John had the drone out for a few flights and captured Mt. Rainier and vistas of Pipe Lake and our own neighborhood. It was interesting to see work on a new complex to our northeast and construction on the 204th roadway on the northwest corner of Maple Hills.

July 08/04/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

While on our daily walk we had to stop and take pictures of the flowers in the park. They don't last long and look great while they're there.

Maple Valley had their fireworks display on July 3rd. John took the drone up and recorded video of the celebration. Cheryl took some still pictures too and got plenty more the evening of the 4th.

We had some unusual police activity on the 8th. Really don't know what it was all about, but it made for interesting pictures and video.

Astronomical events are always fun to catch. Cheryl was able to get pictures of the conjunction of the Moon and Venus.

After visiting with Barbara, we took a short ride over to Saltwater State Park to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. A couple of cranes were near the shore feeding and gave us an opportunity to get pictures of them in flight.

We had an awesome visit with the Watsons as they were passing through town on their way home from a cruise. It was great fun to see our pen pal, Olivia, and her family. John and Pete shared drone adventures.

We took a day trip to Alder Dam and Lake on the 27th. Just a nice time in the countryside. Great for still photos and a video of the day.

We had some fun shooting the Moon, the clouds and even got a glimpse of The Mountain.

John completed the Texas Trip video and put some new items on the Music page. Check it all out!

June 07/04/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

John was surprised to see how many views the pictures he posted on Google Maps were getting. It just seemed funny that so many people would want to see them. He will keep posting them for the fun of it.

As summer starts, we get a bit more smog here. But it's fun to check to see if the mountains are visible. Sometimes you can see the snow on the Olympic Mountains. Sometimes Mt. Rainier is all covered up or its head is sticking out.

Cheryl tended to some garden work on the 15th. Trimming bushes and pulling weeds is important occasionally.

Building thunderstorms can bring hail. We got a good dose on the 18th that spread whiteness on the rooftops. It was warm enough that they didn't stick around long.

The Moon gave a good show several times during the month. It was fun to catch Venus with it.

John had the drone up a couple of times and snapped some interesting pictures. It's fun to see things from a different angle.

Our trip to Texas was the big event of the month. We were there to see Cheryl's dad. Good food and interesting conversations were had as we spent time with all the relatives there.

May 06/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

After the rain, at the beginning of the month, Cheryl got out and took some great pictures of the small tree in our back yard. The raindrops added to the colorful leaves.

Crashing technology kept us busy working through a variety of equipment failures. By the middle of the month, we had replaced two monitors, a UPS and a bunch of cords and cables. In the end we also replaced Cheryl's laptop. Things are running a lot smoother in our office now.

The Rhodies burst into color in May. We have some in both the front and back yards. They are very popular in the Pacific Northwest.

Springtime's changing weather provides plenty of dramatic clouds to photograph. It's fun to go out for an evening walk and see the built-up clouds over the Cascade Mountains and the colorful sunsets over the Olympic mountains. The views can be very interesting.

The weather was a bit warmer in May and there were several opportunities to fly the drone. John is still practicing flying and learning how to maneuver and line up for pictures. He is having plenty of fun with his new hobby (toy).

As we took advantage of the nice weather, we extended our walks to include the trails in Cedar Creek Park that is adjacent to our neighborhood. We just didn't realize how steep the hill was on our north side.

Visiting Barbara in May got quite a bit accomplished too. While we were there for the first visit, Cheryl cut her bangs. Barbara got lots of compliments on her hair after that. Our next visit we switched some cabinets around to give her a better viewing angle for her TV after setting up the portable air conditioner. Always plenty to do.

This Memorial Day we went to Tahoma National Cemetery, here in Covington. The flags were everywhere and there were plenty of people too. We were lucky to be taking pictures when a flyover occurred. While it was just one plane, it was very respectful.

John put up two new pieces of music later in May. 'Boom The Room' is a fun dance piece that developed with inspiration from granddaughter Rachel. 'Crossing Into Midnight' is an energetic piece that can keep you moving. Don't forget to give them a listen on our Music page.

April 05/08/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

The month began with a great visit from Artie, Heidi, Michael and Rachel. We had a lot of fun painting, playing tourist, throwing disks, flying the drone and playing at the park. It was a very good time for all!

We visited with Barbara a couple of times. It's always good to see her doing well.

The camera was busy with springtime views of the mountain, great looking cherry trees and the Moon. Even a ride to Tacoma presented some awesome images along with a stop at Mt. View Cemetery. New this month are some pictures taken by the drone.

Cheryl finished putting the headboard up in the Art room. The room is really turning out nice.

We checked out Legacy Park in Maple Valley for a walk on the trails there. We discovered the cutest Gnome habitat. It was a very interesting walk.

We ended the month watching SpaceX launch a couple of satellites. Deployment was the best. It was amazing how fast it went up, deployed and was done.

In Remembrance 04/20/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Blanche Marion Glaeser was interred on April 20th. Here are pictures from that event. The "In Remembrance" booklet gives the order of service and a brief story of her life. The video of the service is here.

March 04/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Lots of new images this month. Cheryl picked a couple from our front door cam and with the new drone we have aerial still images now.

We worked on the art room and put a new bed in there.

John set up a short putting range in the garage to practice his disk golf game.

Barbara's computer started to fail, so we installed a spare laptop for her to work with. She's been happy with that.

Nature was on Springtime display with views of Mt. Rainier, backyard bunnies and dramatic clouds. It all culminated with a Moon/Mars conjunction on the 25th.

New Toy 03/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

The new drone arrived and had its first flight. It was threatening rain, so the flight was short but safe. It's going to be a lot of fun to fly.

February 03/08/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Life changing and downsizing. What a month. Giving back the Forrester was a big deal. No point having the expense if we're not using it.

Spent some time with Barbara early in the month. She continues to give us a smile.

Mid-February we had our seasonal snow. It began in the evening of the 13th and gave very slippery roads on the 14th.

It was suggested that we take a look at the disc golf course in Maple Valley. Cheryl and I went over and walked around the course. It looked like a lot of fun and now John has a set of discs and is practicing.

Cheryl got some good pictures of the conjunction of the Moon Jupiter and Venus on the 23rd. She was able to shoot some nice pictures of the Moon on the 27th.

Mount Rainier was visible several times in February. We even took a ride down to Enumclaw to get some nice pictures.

January 02/11/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

On New Year's Eve we decided to watch the fireworks at the Space Needle on television. There were very few fireworks in the neighborhood due to new rules and bad weather. On New Year's Day, the weather cleared and we took off for an afternoon Sunday drive. Just a quick trip to the Auburn viewpoint and cemetery to see if we could get some nice pictures of the mountain. The ride was nice enough that John made a slideshow of the ride.

Allen brought over dash cam footage of a ride he took into the Cascade foothills on Christmas Eve. It was interesting to see just where he goes back into the mountains.

This month there were several opportunities for daytime Moon pictures. We took advantage of that. We even saw some morning Moon images.

On the 5th, we had some fun cooking. John is still learning his way around the kitchen, but he is improving.

On the way to the gas station and grocery store, we did see Mt. Rainier. You never know when it will show. You have to get those pictures when you can.

It was time for John to learn a new skill, painting. We started with an easy picture of a beach scene. After several tries, John gave up on painting the rope and decided to put a seagull on the post instead. OK, that worked, for him. It was a lot of fun and John chose to move on to another picture. This time of a winter aurora scene. The picture we worked from didn't portray the aurora realistically, so John chose to use a different image. He also wanted to have Orion in the sky, so using several different pictures, john painted his. Cheryl started a winter mountain scene but hasn't had time to work on it much. While John was painting his, she was working on a baby blanket for a family newborn.

Whenever we are out or even looking out the window, we watch for cool cloud and sunset scenes. January had several days to show off.

There were two visits with Cheryl's mom, Barbara, in January. It's different each time we visit because there is always something new to help her with. This month Cheryl installed a new cup holder on her wheel chair.

December 01/16/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Frost and snow visited us several times during the month. Nothing bad enough to keep us home when we needed to go, but a couple very icy days when we did stay home.

We took advantage of time at home to bake and cook. Christmas time is a fun time to make the holiday dishes and treats.

John got to sit with Santa and even got some pictures of Santa's ride around the neighborhood.

We visited with Barbara several times during the month. We had a good time celebrating her birthday a little early, on the 18th.

Christmas was a nice time with Allen. We enjoyed the good food and conversation with him. We all headed over to celebrate with Barbara too.



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