Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggity jog.

Well, we are home after about 4,000 miles in the car! Actually, it was just me and Sophie who traveled the 4,000 miles. Jim traveled about 1,000 miles less cuz he stayed in Port Allegany with his Dad while I was a "gad about" visiting NJ and NYC. Below are some pictures of our trip......I like to have some pics so I can remember where I have been and what I did. I walked down Broadway snapping pics of everything.....that will be a different post.

Every year after returning from PA I go into a kind of funk....just cuz I know I will not being seeing many of our family members for another year....although we are talking about heading down to Biloxi to see Nephew Duane while he is stationed down there....but for the most part we are waaaayyyyy down here and a good portion of our family is waaaaayyyyy up there. With facebook and skype it isn't nearly as bad as it used to be, but I still get that sinking feeling when we climb into the car for our marathon ride home. I have soooo many pics to pour through and that definitely helps. Here are just a few.
This is St. Peter's in Freehold, NJ where sister, Lori and family are members. Lori and her daughter, Hannah were confirmed into the church along with about 15 others. It was quite a service......

Lori, and Peter's Rock sang two songs on Confirmation Sunday.

This is the Assistant Bishop with Hannah and the background is Father Gideon who is in the states from Nigeria. What a delight he is!

Nephew Paulie, attending the lovely dinner hosted by the Cuffaris and the Wittmans after confirmation. I have not had Italian food of this caliber ever!

A toast to Lori, Hannah and Izzy's Mama. She is originally an Alabama girl and one of Lori's sweet "Church Chicks" friends. They recently got cool "Church Chicks" tees made.

Lori and Joe with Izzy's Dad and Grandma graced my table. It was such a lovely dinner with the best appetizers ever!!!

After the dinner it was off to Donna's backyard.....the weather was just PERFECT in the low 70's. The kids were playing and the adults were "visiting". Notice Father Gideon's suit? Well, he sewed it himself. He is so thankful to be here and is a wonderful addition to St. Peters.

Lori and more church chicks....Gayle (I am not sure of her spelling) and Deb just days before her trip to Costa Rica.

Hannah graduated from 8th grade and we were there in row 2 to cheer her on. Hannah won the Perseverance Award. Hannah is an honor roll student and works hard without complaining.
Aunt Deb, Paulie and Hannah. Paulie is headed for the 5th grade....four more years before he has his 8th grade graduation.

Hannah on the stage with 200 + 8th graders. I was right at home!!!! Such accomplished kids. There were a lot of awards given out that evening.

Mom, Lori, Hannah and Joe. Earlier that day Lori and I had gone into the city to Sloan for her appointment. She takes it all in stride and expects nothing but the best results from her amazing team of docs. She is an inspiration to so many. After graduation we headed out for Chinese with Donna and her will see Donna in a minute. That was some good Moo Goo Gi Pan!
Sat. night Peter's Rock was evident a lot of practice had gone into this concert. All the players were "on". Although the concert was suppose to be on a NJ beach, rain sent us back to St. Peter's in Freehold. We really didn't care where it was as long as we got to participate in this worship service. They were so good and I believe the Lord was truly blessed. Lori's voice is great even though her thyroid was removed just over a year ago. Her doc took twice as long so her voice wouldn't be harmed. I kept thinking ...."Thank you Doctor Washer!" as we listened to Lori clear and strong voice lift praises to the Lord! Pray that Lori is able to praise her Lord with her band for many years to come. Gayle, Susan and Lori's voices are all so good and blend so well. I am waiting for a CD!!!
Afterwards we went for some celebration....even some dancing! Fun times with fun folks. This is Papa and Nama....they even decided to dance a few fast numbers. Mom's bionic knees were working overtime that night and it was great to see Dad having a great time after not feeling well these last few months. It looks like things are looking up!

Lori and Joe quote cousin, Kelley...."This picture says a lot". They are great together and they demonstate what marriage is all about.

Here is Donna, one of Lori's peeps....or more accurately a fellow "church chick" planted right between Julie's two lovely daughters, Maura in yellow and Lauren in yellow and aqua. I was so happy they came and I got to spend some quality time with them. Earlier in the day I taught them some of my secret skin care techniques much to Julie's chagrin. hahahaa... (Julie, be glad I didn't show them what I do with the pumas stone!)

Lori, Julie and Debbie....I am the oldest, four years down is Julie and then another four years is little sis, Lori. (not mentioning any of our ages.) Marcia was not there although she and Sean came to the concert and then headed back to Philly. We should have thought to get a sista pic at the church with all four.....but alas we didn't think of it until Marcia had left the building. Sorry. Marsh. I rarely get to see all my sisters all together....all the same day. They probably don't realize how happy that made me!

Here is a pic of a jam session at the Laurel Wood in Coudersport. Jim has been blessed to do this for two summers. He has a great time and enjoys meeting different players. They play such great tunes as "Summertime"....which granddaughter, Carrie, sang her smokey rendition. I had several more pics on this post and they disappeared. I had one of Carrie singing with her dad, Jer and grampa Jim I will just have to post more of our trip... cuz once the pics are in this order I don't know how to insert them....I have tried if you know how to do it, let me know, PLEASE!

Andy Gabrys is just living in PA for now and will be moving soon so we probably won't see him again. He was a great addition with his Wes Montgomery like sound. You can go to Youtube and type in his name and hear him with a trio he played with in NYC. He has a CD called, Constant and we are expecting great things from this former engineer.

Jer, Jim's son is always faithful to come and keep the beat. Jer uses his brushes a lot and knows just what to do for a variety of tunes....he listens well and does a wonderful job.

Jim and his sisters, Chris and Darlene and Dad, Rudy. Rudy is 92 and still living in the home he built himself his spare time after work...which was building homes for others. Darlene and her husband, Jim care for Rudy 24/7 with Chris and her husband, Rod coming on weekends. Jim is glad he can go for a few weeks to give them some time off. This year Darlene and Jim went to Biloxi to see their son, Duane and his family.
Granddaughter, Carrie and her husband Ben invited us over to Bradford to dinner. They have a new deck and other home improvements they were anxious for us to see. Thanks again, Carrie and Ben for a wonderful dinner.

Carrie and Ben on their new deck. We were very impressed with all the work that they have done in their first home. We talked about how Grampa Rudy added space to the kitchen many years ago. Jeanie and Jerry remembered him coming to stay for a week about 20 years ago. He would have been 72 then and still enjoying building. He would be doing it still if physically possible!

Daughter in law, Jeanie, Grandaughter, Amy, Great Granddaughter, Hannah with her mom, Carrie. We enjoyed sitting out on the new deck in the great weather!

Hannah serves Great Grampa Jim some "tea" in her new room. It is GORGEOUS! Jeanie made the quilt on the bed just to match. Everything is adorable!

Hannah is a busy little girl with lots to do in her new room. This is the same house that Carrie lived in when she was Hannah's age! It sure looks different than it did then...the kitchen and bath are new, too! Jeanie and Jer have been working hard helping Ben and Carrie with the house. If you look to the side of my blog at the list of other blogs you will see "Carrie and Hannah" and there are many more pics of the work they have done.
I had some other pics on this blog that were accidentally there will be some more of this "photo journalism" to come.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Catching up.....

On April 30th Jim, Sophie, and I made our first pilgrimage to Jefferson, TX, a town of about 2,000 residents. We have some friends who live there who had been inviting us to see the quaint town they had moved to and we took them up on the offer. It was better than we had anticipated. What was not to like!? Little town charm with antique shops, a soda fountain, an old hotel with a guest book going back into the 1800's with all sorts of historical visitors. It was the weekend of the Civil War Reinactment. (Because there was not Civil War Battle actually in Jefferson, TX. we called it and "inactment".) Anyway, a fun time was had by all and we are looking forward to going back! There are a lot of bed and breakfasts in Jefferson and when you want to "get away from it all" I highly recommend Jefferson! It is just charming!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

We love our Small Group Socials!

A couple of weeks ago our "small" group had their end of the year picnic. Everyone had a nice time even if the skeeters, birds, and bats were trying to mess it up. Being out in nature isn't always predictable.....but we escaped unscathed....well, pretty much, right Margarita!

We had a great time and we are probably gonna do this once or twice more before the summer ends.

We women took over the bottom deck and talked girl talk while the level headed men stayed on the small deck and tackled the problems of the world and got them all worked out....oh, if it were just that easy.
Carol is a natural hostess and kept things flowing. Thanks to our fearless social leader, Lora, who tells us where to go, what to bring and when to go. We would be lost without her organizational skills.

Mary Julia, Helen's granddaughter, is here for the whole summer. I am so sorry I didn't get a good shot of her her beautiful Florida State smile. Sorry about that. Next time I promise.

Miss Artie is enjoys the girl talk, too.
Margarita and Nancy seem to be having a pretty good time...even if the bats were hovering.

Henry and Margaret....friends who have moved off to Hattisburg were in for a few days and it was great to see them again.

Helen's daughter, Joanna, was here from Jackson, MS. We are always glad to see her and her little pup, Lucia.

Mr. C. and Mr. F. love a good picnic.

Jim was a the "burgermiester".....those Tech Farm burgers were just right!
These are level headed men if given appointments by the Obama administration could get this whole mess turned around and headed in the RIGHT direction again...I have no doubts!

I wish I could remember what we were all laughing about here. I think it was whatever Helen said in the picture above. We all love to hear Sonya laugh and it is contagious.

Here is Lora trying to keep her ankles away from the mosquitoes.