We started out New Year's 2005 on Mexico's Caribbean coast to celebrate Lois and Chuck's 50th anniversary then did "the trip of a lifetime" again in 2006.

Back home, the boys are following the Donovan and Norton family tradition of music. Cole, 8, takes piano lessons (even when the power goes out, left) and Luke, 5, squeaks, I mean plays violin.
Rocky endures the rehearsals.
Despite the constant struggle to make them practice they hold pride in their accomplishments. They know Poppa Charles plays clarinet. Nana Gaye played piano. Lynne plays piano. Luke asked me, "What's your instrument, Dad?"
I've got nothing against the boys playing in a summer soccer league. Except the fact that I know nothing about that sport. So, at home, I'm working with them on the fine points of baseball in hopes they'll switch over to my sport. In July they both learned to swim at lessons at the Mars Pool and in August Cole got a wake board in California.
Cole is the natural athlete as well as computer game addict. He can also disappear into a world of books, mostly Calvin & Hobbs and Archie comics.
Luke is the inventor and artist and actor. His creations take up most of our floor space and walls. Below are his tower of cups, knight's costume, and potion-maker.
Gabrielle turned 18, that's legal adult age in Quebec. She and her Paint mare Candee moved 2 hours east to college and she's thrilled to be on her own (notice the constant smile).
She spent last summer training and competing in Dressage, a change from Hunter (jumping) class. She and Candee won Grand Champion for her region and went on to the Quebec Games held at the 1980 Olympic equestrian site in Bromont.
Off to college and no more noisy little brothers at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday.
We have the greatest Mom/Dad, Grandma/Grandpa, Nana/Poppa. They make the 600-mile trip north at least 3 times a year and just do chores the whole time. (Well I guess babysitting isn't a chore for them). Plus they pay our gas when we drive down there, not to mention taking us to Mexico and California.
Lynne's dad, Walter, is the hardest farm worker of them all. At age 80 he drives up from Buffalo each apple season to pick. Each morning he walks a mile, then puts in a full day's work, and entertains us with crossword clues until its time to fall asleep in front of the CBC news.

© Photos copyright Phil Norton 2005