Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

To family and friends living near or far we wish all of you a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Wishes

It's beginning to look a not like Xmas.

Across the miles we want to wish all of our family and friends the happiest of times this holiday season and in the coming year.

Thinking of those who are celebrating away from us . . .

. . . keeping them in our thoughts and hearts.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happiness Is

Happiness differs from one person to the next. In the last couple of days I have had the pleasure of being at a place that makes me happy and enjoying all that comes with it.

As Ameridad and I headed south we left behind, freezing rain, snow, blowing snow and cold temperatures. We both enjoy the winter snows but there is a lot to say about warm sunshine too.

We are not skiers but we both appreciate the beauty of the winter snow from a warm house looking at the outside through a window. So arriving in the south to much warmer temperatures didn't take long for the smiles on our faces to say it all.

The first morning we headed out for breakfast on the beach with Ameridad's mom. Here they are sitting at the restaurant enjoying good food, fun, and family.

The view we saw from our table.

After breakfast Ameridad and I headed to the beach and enjoyed every moment there.

Checking out the water, the beach, looking for sea shells, and the many wild birds you find at the ocean's edge. The temperature of the water is in the mid 60's, not too bad if you are from up north, probably the temperature of Lake Michigan in August. If I can shake the cold I have been fighting for the last couple of days I might give the ocean a try when we come back.

This place is definitely on our to do list again. Before we left I wrote in the sand "We'll be back".

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ciao Italy

Visiting Carasburg over this last weekend, we all watched from the warmth of the house as the first winter storm raced through the city. We had an assortment of weather, starting with cold temperatures that allowed the rain to come down and freeze. Next to make its presence known was a lot of snow, followed by high winds, allowing blowing and drifting.

With the outside being not too human-friendly, we spent a fun day playing with Cara and visiting with Scott and Emily. It was the kind of day you spend being lazy and staying in your PJ's all day long.

As the day passed by we decided to give the Italians a Skype phone call. After crowding into the computer room, making contact with the Italians, and having a picture with sound, it was then time for a family visit. It is nice to be able to see and hear those you love who are so far away from you. It was now time to visit Zia (aunt) Cyndi and Zio (uncle) Danilo.

Cara decided to give her Zia Cyndi in the monitor a surprise and said "Ciao." Zia Cyndi was thrilled to hear her sweet little niece speaking Italian to her. I have to say that the American side of this conversation was excited too.

Saying our good byes and signing off from Skype, I felt better to have had the family together, as much as we could be. Even though the miles are far, Cyndi and Danilo are near in our hearts. It is always good to have these visits with all.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Family, Food, & Fun

We spent this thanksgiving in Carasburg visiting with her folks and her other set of grandparents. We had a wonderful time watching Cara play with her cousins and trying to keep up with the big kids. A wonderful meal was shared with Emily's family and full tummies were the order of the day.

Sharing pie with grandma.

Computer time with grandpa.

Walking in daddy's shoes with a lot of help.

The second day of too much partying.

Thanks for the nice day to all.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgivings Revisited

Thanksgiving especially is the holiday that has me reflecting back on the wonderful memories our family has shared. Our family has had many blessings and for those I am thankful. Our children have had the pleasure of knowing their great grandparents, all of their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Here are a few of those memories that I hold so dear.

Our young family - Cyndi, Daddy, & Scotty.

At Grandma & Grandpa A's house.

A gathering at our home.

Together in Ohio.

Sharing good food and fun with those we love the most . . .

. . . don't forget the hugs that were given out.

Times with the kids.

Celebrating in July while Cyndi was back from Italy for a visit.

The joy of being with Scott, Emily, and Cara on her first Thanksgiving.

Remembering those that were an important part of our family but are no longer with us. They are always near to me because of the memories we have shared, still I miss them greatly.

Raymond, my father, and our family dog Muffett.

Edna, my mother, and one of my best friends.

Raymond, my father-in-law.

Many Thanksgivings have been shared by my family and hopefully many more are going to be. I look forward to the many gatherings, laughs, hugs, and good times that we will share. Sending all my love to my family, the most single important thing in my life. I love you all so much.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fun Time

A month ago while we were visiting Cara and her folks we headed outside, to take advantage of the beautiful weather, for some play time.

One fun game was finding grandma.

Put a baby along with grandma and a chair and you can have a fun game of peekaboo.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Thanks To Our Veterans

Remembering those who served our country's military making possible the freedoms we have today.

For your many years of service and the sacrifices you and your families made for us, thank you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dance Baby Dance

This post is dedicated to Cara's Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Danilo. For Cara's first birthday her present from her aunt and uncle, from Italy, was a toy that speaks English and Italian. This is one of her favorite toys to play with and she especially likes the song in Italian. When the music starts our sweet grand daughter will dance with a big smile on her face.

I have tried many times to get a video of Cara dancing to the Italian tune but as soon as the camera is in sight the dancing stops and she walks to the camera so she can see the baby. Cara knows that you can preview the pictures taken and she especially wants to see the ones of the baby. Other distractions that can happen when one is trying to dance is loosing ones balance, noticing other toys in the room to play with, or something interesting on the television.

Getting a dancing video wasn't as easy as it may sound. I did get a little dance time in when I recorded her from behind, but as you can see that didn't last for long.

Beautiful baby

Oops & Ouch

Sneak taping from behind, a pacifier and gravity again.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Perfect Walk

Summer is now just a memory as cold temperatures at night have left frost on the ground, the leaves are almost all off of the trees, what leaves are still hanging on are past their brilliant colors for fall, and as I am typing this white things are falling from the sky toward the ground. I am not ready to use the sn_ _ word yet, not ready to say it or spell it.

Two weeks ago Ameridad took a walk around our property enjoying the gentle winds in the air, sunny skies, and pleasant temperatures. We want to share those pictures with you and invite you along for a walk around the property. So let's head out back and see the beauty of our backyard.

Standing west of the pond looking east.

At the north side of the pond looking southwest

At the back of the pond looking west toward the house. If you look closely you can see me on the deck painting.

On the path walking west heading back to the house, a ravine is on the left and the pond is on the right.

On the path looking north.

Standing southwest looking northeast.

Looking to the north you can see the beach area of the pond. This is the end of the walk and hope you enjoyed coming along. We have lived here going on ten years and both of us enjoy the beauty of our property every day.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ciao Cyndi

Three years ago today my family's hearts were heavy with sadness as Cyndi was moving to Italy. Starting a new chapter in her life she was moving to be with the man who stole her heart. Danilo was the man she fell in love with and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. He is a wonderful person, everything a mother and father could hope for their daughter, with many of the good qualities I see in her father. He is a good person, caring, loving, gentle, kind, and loves our daughter as much as she loves him. It is only right that the two live happily ever after. Our minds knew all of this but our hearts were still heavy knowing that she would be so far away from us.

Putting on a brave face we all headed to Chicago International Airport as the day for her to leave finally came. Everything she was taking with her now included three large bags of luggage, two cats in their carriers, a carry on, and one large purse. After checking in her luggage we had time to wait until the flight would be boarding and everyone was trying to put on a brave face, her father, mother, brother, and sister-in-law, which was not easy to do.

This picture was taken by Cyndi just before she left. When she was going to take the picture she noticed that we were all smiling then reminded us that she was moving to Italy and wondered if we shouldn't look sad, so we gave her our sad look.

One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was watch as our baby walked alone down the corridor of the airport terminal. Knowing that she would be moving so far away broke my heart but at the same time time I was happy for her as she had found the happiness she so deserves. All you have to do to see how happy she is to have found Danilo is mention his name and watch the wonderful smile on her face appear and her eyes light up, she just glows. It has been three years since that hard trip to the airport and their love has grown with each passing day. A new journey in her life started when she walked through the doors at the airport in Italy and saw her future husband waiting for her.

And they live happily everafter in beautiful Italy.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sweet Halloween

This is Cara's second Halloween but her first year to be a big girl and go door to door for treats. What else would our little princess be but Cinderella? The pictures say it all.

To see more about Cara's big night click on my link The Story of Us.