Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Blessings

First look at everything that Santa had left.

This was a great Christmas, one of the best! We went to Carasburg Christmas Eve so we would be there in the morning sharing the fun of discovering what Santa brought. Emily had to work Christmas Eve so we given instructions to make sure Cara was kept upstairs until she got home. On the morning of the big day I was surprised to find that Cara and her daddy were still sleeping way past time to be downstairs. Emily tried to wake Cara up by telling her that Santa had come last night and left presents but she snuggled down to get more sleep. Finally Emily mentioned to Cara that Grandma and Grandpa were here. Cara immediately jumped up and wanted out of bed.

We took over two hundred photos just on our camera alone documenting the day. Here are just a few.

Checking to see if Santa ate his snack that was left for him.

Showing mom and dad a present.

Cyndi and Danilo Skyped in to see Cara open the present they had given her.

Yeah! Zia Cyndi and Zio Danilo got Cara princesses dolls!!

Showing Grandpa the princess throne.

Make up anyone?

Playing princesses with Grandpa.

The family all together.

Princess toys for the bathtub!

You will notice a princess theme here this Christmas. When Cara had her second birthday this year we were in Italy and could celebrate only via Skype. Her party was a princess party and I wanted to have some princess fun myself so this Christmas all of our gifts to her but one were princess things. This was perfect as it turned out that this is what she told Santa that she wanted, princesses.

I hope your Christmas was filled with fun, joy, family, and blessings.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Seasons Greetings

Sending laughs, hugs, & kisses to all!

From our family to yours we are all wishing you the happiest of the holiday season. Merry Christmas!

The state side family: Scott, Emily, Grandpa, Cara, & Grandma
November 28, 2008

The Italian family: Cyndi, Danilo, Ameridad & Amerimom
Venice July 15, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter's First Storm

Thursday night we went to bed thinking we were prepared for the ice storm that would soon descend upon us. We were wrong . . .

. . . this is the view of our driveway, a sheet of ice. It was a beautiful sight but that quickly faded into memory as we soon lost power to our house. At first I wasn't too concerned about it but as the minutes turned into hours and neighbors checked on each other we found that the power would be gone for at least two days. We hurriedly closed up all of the curtains to help hold the heat in and Bruce monitored the sump pump to make sure water in the basement wouldn't be a problem. He lost count of the number of gallons he dipped and hand carried out of the basement but before power was restored it was somewhere between 80-100 gallons. Our house lost about eleven degrees a day. Huts before power was restored the house temperature was down to 47 degrees.

A view looking from our front porch, notice that we did loose a tree from the storm.

The first night we went to our friends house and cooked the Christmas dinner that I had planned on serving Scott's family, as they were to be at our place celebrating Christmas. The second night we stayed at other friends' house and enjoyed a delicious hot dinner, hot showers, and a nice warm bed to sleep in. We cannot thank them enough for having us over.

For some reason our trees out front didn't loose their leaves this fall. All of our Bradford trees out in front were in distress as the weight of ice on the limbs and leaves made some of the branches touch the ground. I went outside and hit the ice off of the worse limbs. We did loose one large limb on another Bradford tree.

Our power came back on Sunday around noon. We, needless to say, were thrilled! I had called earlier in the day and was told that power wouldn't be restored until Wednesday. The weather forecast had predicted that there would be a warm up and the ice would melt, this didn't happen. Things stayed cold and then we had high winds making repair on the power lines more difficult for the crews. Power lines would be fixed only to have additional breaks as high winds caused more tree limbs to break and fall onto the lines.

The following photos were taken today, Monday, three days since the storm. You can see from the photos there is just as much ice on the trees as the day of the storm.

Looking to the front of our property.

Looking to the south of our property.

Ice in the trees.

Looking out over our pond.

Looking back at our property.

We have gotten the food back into the refrigerator, heat back up in the house, and purchased a sump pump that will run on a battery for eight hours. I can now use the electric stove to cook and we are settling back into our normal routine, or so I thought. Tonight on the news we found out that they are predicting another storm. It is to arrive about one o'clock tomorrow with up to l/4" - l/2" of additional ice followed by changing to snow.

Keeping our fingers crossed that we keep our power. These storms are much more beautiful when you have electricity.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Love You

When Cara was born and we were enjoying all of the excitement of being new grandparents a relative said if you think this is great just wait until she can tell you that she loves you. Cara has been saying this to us for quite sometime and we both smile with pride each time we hear her tell us. On the day this video was made she decided that it would be fun not to tell grandpa. After we stopped with the video taping and started to play with toys she then decided it would be OK to tell him. Grandpa also got plenty of hugs too.

We love you Cara!!