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20130911 parkzoneonboardvideoI've wanted to get some aerial video footage from my RC plane for quite awhile now and finally got everything I expected.

Not wanting to invest in any special onboard mounts or camera, Brandon and I dug into the junk drawers to see what we could do.

After some brainstorming and quick sketches, we came up with a poor-man's camera mount with a coat hanger, rubber-bands and duct-tape. We then used one of our old Sony Cybershots I was willing to donate to the cause…. assuming we would get disastrous results.

With some careful planning making sure the plane was balanced and blatent ignoring of aerodynamics, we came up with a successful design and the plane flew as planned. We got some great footage of my house and the surrounding area. And also got some great footage of 3 crashes all in a 10 minute period. Special props to my RC Parkzone Corsair for holding up and NOT sustaining any new damage from 3 crashes including one crash into a tree and dropping 30 feet. Guess I didn't have to worry so much on how I was going to land with a camera mounted underneath the plane.

Below is a YouTube video I put together of the flights... and crashes.

20130903 labordayWell it was great to finally get back to the Salberg Camp in Crowne, PA. It's great to have new camping buddies here at home to keep us trying new campgrounds but there's no place like the place that started it all. Thanks to Mark and Joy for hosting another great weekend.

Thanks to the generosity of everyone, Jean and the kids and I went on our first-ever family quad ride.  It was pretty cool, even if Aly was a bit big for her tiny quad.

Another first was a 2-hour tube ride down the Clarion River in a complete downpour with thunder to keep us a little weary. Besides for the rain for a few minutes it was pretty much as good as it gets for me.

Grilling, bonfires, camp-fire-music, beef jerky, six-mile hike and cheddar-dogs for breakfast were just a few of the highlights.


20130729 missiontripFor the second year in a row I had the pleasure to go on a week long mission trip with the St Joan of Arc youth group (C.H.A.O.S.) to the Appalachia region.  We worked out of London, Kentucky and visited St. Stephens in Cumberland, KY which will likely be our new destination in years to come. There were 60 more missionaries completely remodeling a house and a church in Cumberland.

We went down with 7 kids and 3 adults and worked hard and played hard all week.

The kids did several things last week such as painting the exterior of a house, hung new gutters, replaced; doors, toilet, sink, hot water heater, resealed a roof and worked at a food pantry.

Some of the highlights in our off-time were; swimming, visiting a coal mining museum, hiking to water falls in the middle of the forest and eating dinner the original Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Here's is a photo gallery of some of the highlights.

20130701 natecoachingendWell it's one more of those unfortunately sad milestones I guess I'll hit now that I'm over 40. But I can keep a smile on my face reflecting back over the years.

I've coached over 20 of Nate's football, basketball and baseball teams for over 10 years now and yesterday was his last baseball game before going into high school where my (structured) coaching of him will end. Won't ever really end!

It's truly been one of the highlights of fatherhood that I can't put a price on.

I'm fairly certain every one of those teams have had Nate's cousin Nick Keba on it as well and having my nephew on the team with us, has also made my coaching time that much more special. Thanks Nick.

Here's a photo of Nate and Nick together in their first year of T-ball in 2003 and another in likely their last year together at 14u in 2013. Ten quick years a'flying by.

The wonder years for him and I!

20130622 parentsanniversaryJust a little entry to congratulate my parents on their 50th Wedding Anniversary which took place on June 15, 2013.

We celebrated the event this weekend at St Joan of Arc. They began by renewing their wedding vows which was witnessed by a huge gathering of family and friends. Following, we had a great reception for them with good eats and great reflecting.

I couldn't be more proud that they're my parents and can't imagine any better role models in my life.

Thank you both for always being there and leading by example. Love you!

20130616 fathersdayHad a great Fathers Day this year with lots of relaxing and spending time with the family.  

The highlight was teaching Aly how to shoot her Great-Grandfather Murphy's pump action .22 rifle.

Like her mother, she's a ridiculously good shot!

Good times!

20130608 mccardles reviewYesterday was the 50th Annivesary of McCardles Dance Studio. As much as Jean does and doesn't want to admit, she has been there for over half of them! This weekends show was their biggest and best show I've ever seen. Lots of great dancing and reflection. Every show I see has a family atmosphere, but that may just be because Jean is always crying.

The highlight for the Giunto family was when Jean and Aly performed a duet to a dance Jean danced to when she was 10 years old. 9 to 5. It had a lot of special meaning for Jean as well as her mom who was sobbing like a baby at the first step.

Jean had a couple dances and Aly had several... 6 or 7 or something like that.  Aly danced incredibly and pushed through a twisted ankle on her last 2 numbers. She dance through it without a crack in her smile and cried in pain as soon as she got off stage. I'm pretty proud of her for sticking through it.

Love you two, and here's to many more years at McCardles Dance Studio.

20130426 campfitchWell I was lucky enough again (thanks boss) to be able to go on another field trip with Brandon's class this last week.  It was a 3-day trip to Camp Fitch in Erie, PA.

Like Camp Christopher, there were lots of learning experiences and great times with all the kids. Having Lake Erie as our resource for several events was a great perk. Even the cool, wet weather couldn't keep us down. I look forward to every trip I can go on with these kids.  

Below you can find a photo gallery of the trip, as well as their stab at the Harlem Shake.

Camp Fitch Photo Gallery

20130407 springhikeThank God spring has finally gotten here. It was an awesome day to be outside so I took my boys and a bunch of the nephews and niece on our spring hike. Nate, Brandon, Jacob, Abby, Dylan & Nick.

We went across the street again since there's so much more room to get lost. We hiked all the way through the woods and came out across from St Joan of Arc Church. We had some snacks and a water break at the church pavillion before we headed back.

When it was all done we "google earthed" our path and found we hiked 5.5 miles. It tooks us almost 4 hours with our numerous stops to throw rocks and check out snakes and dead animals along the ways.

Here's a photo gallery of the hike.

20130310 primantibros40 years old. Ugggh. Or 40 years young. I only feel old when I think of how many years 40 actually is, and that I'm half-way to my expected life expectancy of 81.4 years, minus my mayonnaise intake.

Jean surprised me with a weekend in Pittsburg without the kids. I love em, but was looking forward a getaway so I was very happy when we kept driving right out of town instead of a quick run to the store as I was told. She packed my clothes, bags and everything and hid them in the trunk!

We had a great time bopping all around Steelers country. We used the subway several times much to Jean's dislike at first. Highlights included the 3-Rivers Casino, Contemporary Museum of Art, Monongahela Incline and eating an 'almost famous' sandwich at Primanti Brothers.

Next time we'll visit when the weather is nice so we can enjoy the city more.

Thanks for the surprise Jean!

20130104 brandonsurgeryBrandon sure seems to be a magnet for oddities. The day before New Years Eve he was playing in the basement wrapped up in blankets like a burrito. After an unfortunately hard drop to the ground, he felt a very sharp pain that he said we should go get checked out.

After the ambulance trip to Akron Childrens hospital we found out that he ruptured his spleen and had been bleeding internally. Shortly after being admitted the surgeon was worried about the amount of blood in his abdomen so they took him into surgery. After undergoing laproscopic surgery and removing 700ml of fluids and finding out there was no more active bleeding, the surgeon closed him up and made some really cool bandages.

It was a very scary time for the whole family. Jean, Brandon and I watch the New Years ball drop from his hospital room, and thanks to technology facetimed with the whole family at the Wagners.

Thanks to Dr. Perry and thanks God for getting Brandon through this emergency. Love you buddy and continue to heal.

Just a simple little entry to take advantage of Brandon's non-accomplishment.  

Today... just now.... at 12:12pm, he is 12 years old on 12-12-12.

That's it. Happy birthday B.

20121122 thanksgivingairsoftIt was a beautiful Thanksgiving Day this year. Perfect for the kids to go play outside so they decided to have an airsoft war. They use the whole compound and it makes for some pretty intense games. I had to lend Brandon my gun so he wouldn't get whooped.

I went out in harms way into the battlefield and got some random shots.  So much fun, I had to share with the world.  I love their makeshift shields. Watching this box walk around with legs sticking out from under it was pretty funny.

Thanks Mom and Dad for feeding the army of 17 of us today.  My 3rd helping really hit the spot. Life is good.

Here's a photo gallery of the war.

20121111 pumkinshotgunWell we still had a couple pumpkins laying around from Halloween so I decided to carve one of them today.... with my shotgun.

Took just a single 3-1/2" turkeyshot and it came out pretty nice.  Below is a small video of the carving. Sorry about the low quality of the video. My basic point and shoot does have a slow motion setting but it's terribly low resolution to keep up with the framerate.  Still pretty cool. Aly wasn't thrilled about it when she got home... I didn't realize it was her favorite pumpkin.

20121027 cheercompetitionA little congratulations to Aly and the rest of the 5th & 6th grade cheerleaders on winning 1st place in the cheer competition today in North Royalton.

Congrats to Nikki and all the other coaches on keeping the pom-poms in line. I know, there were no pom-poms.

20120929 akronmarathonWell you can check this off the list of things I figured my wife would never do.  Run... and run alot. Jean was part of a relay team in the Akron Marathon this weekend. She ran with her cousin Joy Salberg, Angela Novotny, Mike Marsinek's cousin Jeff and Angela's cousin Mel. She ran the first leg of the race of 3.9 miles with a time of 41:01. Yes, 41 minutes of straight running, and that's with fighting the 15,000 person crowd in the beginning of the race, which is another thing on the list of things she won't be involved with. I'm pretty proud of her as she just began running this year. Her facebook post below sums it up.

It's not the half or the full, but for me, it's a HUGE life accomplishment. Prior to May 1 of this year- I didn't run AT ALL!!!!!!! Today I had the honor of running the first leg of the Akron Marathon. It was a totally surreal and amazing experience!!!! Seeing all those people at the starting line, fireworks booming over head, people everywhere, bands playing- and me being able to run 4 miles for 4 beautiful inspirations- just breathtaking!!!!!!!!

20120708 aurora5kJean has just this summer started the couch to 5k program.  She streamlined it and bumped her progress to get ready for her first 5k.

Her and Nate decided to do the Aurora 5k run with several friends and her brother.  I elected to save my energy for this blog entry and not participate in the event.  

Both her nate did great for their first 5k run ever.  Nate came across first with a time of 26:33 and Jean and her brother Matt finished with the exact same time of 34:27. They kept each other going and took their sweet old time, but didn't stop running. Good job and I think she's got more planned in the future.  A year ago if you told me Jean would be a runner, I'd bet you $100 you were wrong.

20120729_appalachiaIt's been a while since my last blog entry but I guess I was waiting for something worthy.  So here it is.

Nate and I had the pleasure to go on a week long mission trip with his youth group to Appalachia.  We went to a mission center in the town of Inez, Kentucky and worked on a home right in that city.

We went down with 8 kids and 2 adults and joined another group from Youngstown. We were the 2nd group in a matter of 2 weeks to totally refurbish a mobile home and got to finish it and turn it over to the home owner on Friday when we left.

Working on exterior siding, drywall, plumbing, electrical, painting and decking, the kids did a ton of the work with a little guidance from us.

Below is a slideshow with some video I put together which pretty much says the rest.  Enjoy!

Here is a photo gallery as well.

Finally! After almost 2 years in the making, we are able to enjoy the basement that's sat below us for 10 years.  Instead of a dark cement dungeon, it's the nicest room of the house. :) The carpet just went in shortly before Christmas to mark the end of the wait. Check out a couple of the pics below to see how it turned out.

basement_before1 basement_before2
basement_after1 basement_after2

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