Friday, November 30, 2007

Going to NJ

Today I am leaving to attend my friend Jeff's funeral in NJ. Chris's parents are going to watch the boys tonight and probably take them shopping for Christmas presents while I'm out. That will be helpful.

Wednesday night after dinner Tyler came downstairs to my office after dinner and asked if we could decorate the Christmas tree. We put it up on Sunday and had not done anything to it. I was not looking forward to it but was glad to see that he and Michael wanted to. They did most of the work. The hardest part for me was hanging ornaments on the tree that Chris had just bought this past year or that I had bought for her. They we pretty and I'm sure she likes them. Here is one that I got for her:

Tyler in the Paper (Published Photojournalist)

This picture appeared in the local Frederick News Post Newspaper on Thursday. It's a picture of Lake Linganore which is located only about 1/2 mile from our house. It's located on page B-6. The interesting part is that the picture was taken by TYLER and submitted by him to the paper! It was really cool to see it along with his name in the paper. Here's what it actually looked like in the paper:

Oh and Alex was also mentioned in the FNP last Sunday. Her college routinely keeps the local papers updated on what is happening with their students. Here's what was said.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The loss of a good friend.

I received notice today that a good friend of mine, Jeff Waters, from NJ passed away yesterday from a brain tumor. He had been battling his tumor for almost 4 years! He was a very brave man and will be remembered always for his courage. Jeff will be missed dearly by his wife Kristen and all of his friends.

Jeff came to MD in August to our friend Danny's crab feast and while there he and Chris had a very long talk with one another. Chris never told me what they spoke about but I know that it was helpful to her and I'm sure to him as well.

I'll miss you Jeffy. God bless you and give Chrissy a hug for me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back home.

We finally left Deep Creek on Saturday afternoon. We drove around a lot on Friday and Saturday looking at places that we've been to before. The weather was really weird. Normal for up there. It was 72 degrees when we went up on Wednesday, Thursday morning it rained then the front rolled through and the temps dropped 30+ degrees in couple hours!

Friday it snowed and the temps were in the high 20's. Pretty cool. We went by the Wisp ski resort and saw them making snow on the mountain. It was really cool seeing all of the snow machines running at one time! The kids got out and played in the snow! Some pics here.
I woke up early on Saturday morning and got a chance to watch the sun rise over the lake. It was pretty spectacular and on par with the sunrise on the bay I posted a few weeks back. I seem to have that knack of waking up early for some reason now.

We got home around 5pm on Saturday. Tyler went to the movies and Alex went to Chipoltle to get dinner for us. She had a bunch of things to do before going back to school.

Sunday Alex and I went out for coffee and then went out and bought a wreath for the front of the house and a huge poinsettia. Later we cleaned out the storage room and made our way to the Christmas decorations. While moving some boxes around I found a bag that contained some new ornaments. When I opened it I saw that it was ornaments that Chris had bought at Deep Creek in August when we were there. Let's just say it took me awhile to get myself together and get back upstairs. We did get the tree put up in the family room. No decorations yet but the tree is up. I don't know how we're going to make out during the holidays. I really, really don't. I do know that we have no way to prevent it from coming so we must do what we can to make it through. We will certainly have our entire family over for the holidays. That's what we've done for a long while and Chris would have it no other way this year too.

Thanks to everyone for looking out for us during the Thanksgiving week and for continually keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We really need it! Take care and I'll try to keep you updated as the holiday moves in.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Well today has been a very, very tough day. We drove up to Deep Creek Lake yesterday afternoon. After checking into our room in the condo we went down for dinner to the all you can eat pasta bar in the hotel restaurant. It was the same place that we've visited the past few years and always enjoyed the meal.

This morning I woke up around 7 and decided to get up and go out for coffee. There is a really nice coffee shop just up the road from the hotel so I went there. After getting my coffee and newspaper I went over and sat down on a large leather chair in the corner. I sat and read for awhile and then sat and looked around for awhile at the signs that were for sale on the wall. After a few moments I looked at the wall behind me and just over my shoulder was a small sign the said it all. A very nice plaque that said "Time Began In a Garden", and had 2 very pretty purple iris flowers on it. Chris loved iris flowers and of course loved working in her garden. This was my sign that showed that we did the right thing coming up here and that she was indeed really with us. I, of course, bought the sign for our house and maybe one day we'll hang it in a house up here by the lake.

I went back and got the kids around 10. We went out and got them something to eat and then just drove around to look at the area. Places that we've enjoyed many times in the past with Chris.

At 3pm we had reservations for Thanksgiving dinner in the hotel restaurant. The food was great and we had a very nice table next to the windows overlooking the lake. Dinner was nice but will never be the same again without Chris. We miss her greatly.

Monday, November 19, 2007

No soup for you!

Whenever we had leftover chicken or turkey Chris would always make homemade soup. Well this week someone made us an entire roasted chicken which the boys and I didn't eat all of.

I took advantage of the cold weather and football games on Sunday to try and make some soup. I looked for Chris's recipe but was unable to find it. I don't think she had one. So I just winged it!

All-in-all I think it came out pretty good. I asked Michael if it was as good as Mom's and he said no but it was pretty close. That made me feel good! I'll take pretty. I'll never be as good or better.

I got a call from my brother-in-law Ken yesterday around 3:45. He asked if he could come over to watch the Redskins-Cowboys football game with me. I was glad he did. It then became a bash as Chris's mom and dad were out and came by, along with her brother and his 2 girls, and Chris's sister Jenny came by too. It was great. They joked about inviting themselves over but I didn't care one bit. I enjoyed the company a lot.

Tyler and I went to Mass yesterday morning and one of the songs we sang was "Here I am Lord". It was one of Chris's favorite songs. We also sang this song at her service in the same church. I cried through the whole song. It was just beautiful, as was she. Here's a link to the song if you don't remember it: Here I am Lord
And the words as well:
          I, the Lord of sea and sky,
          I have heard my people cry.
          All who dwell in dark and sin,
          My hand will save.

            Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
            I have heard you calling in the night.
            I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
            I will hold your people in my heart.

          I, who made the stars of night,
          I will make their darkness bright.
          Who will bear my light to them?
          Whom shall I send?

            Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
            I have heard you calling in the night.
            I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
            I will hold your people in my heart.

          I, the Lord of snow and rain,
          I have borne my people’s pain.
          I have wept for love of them.
          They turn away.

            Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
            I have heard you calling in the night.
            I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
            I will hold your people in my heart.

          I will break their hearts of stone,
          Give them hearts for love alone.
          I will speak my words to them.
          Whom shall I send?

            Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
            I have heard you calling in the night.
            I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
            I will hold your people in my heart.

          I, the Lord of wind and flame,
          I will send the poor and lame.
          I will set a feast for them.
          My hand will save.

            Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
            I have heard you calling in the night.
            I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
            I will hold your people in my heart.

          Finest bread I will provide,
          'Til their hearts be satisfied.
          I will give my life to them.
          Whom shall I send?

            Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
            I have heard you calling in the night.
            I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
            I will hold your people in my heart.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cat and Dog

Just thought you would all like to see that the dog and cat are getting along so well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mid Week

Well the home coming party was a big success. About 45 9'th graders showed up to "hang out" at our house Saturday night. They had lots of food and lots of fun. Nothing broken (that I know of) and all is good. The last ones left about 3:00 am so we were pretty beat.

I had to get up at 7am to take Michael to his 8am indoor lacrosse game. Ugh. He at least went to bed around 11. Sunday afternoon we Michael and I went to the Baltimore Ravens football game. We went with our neighbor Ray. We had a good time. The weather was not too cold.

Last night I was sitting at my PC around 5pm working and the phone rang. It was a friend/neighbor and she asked if she could bring dinner by. Considering I had not even begun to think about it I said sure. What a blessing!!! Great meal. It helped out a lot.

I still need to go to Chris's office and clear out her personal belongings. hopefully I can get that done this week. We made reservations for Thanksgiving at Deep Creek for next week too. Should be nice.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Home Coming for Tyler

Today was Tyler's homecoming at high school. He was nominated to be one of the princes for the king and queen's court. He didn't win but was really psyched about getting on the ballot! He asked me about a week ago if he could have an "after" party. I said sure. Well now there's 40+ people on the invite list and probably more coming! Needless to say I'll have my hands full. We went out and bought a whole bunch of food and stuff for the party and pizza will be ordered when they all get here.

I just dropped Tyler off at the dance a little while ago and am now in the waiting mode before the big bash. He was all dressed up in a new shirt and tie. I dropped him off and then cried most of the way home. Another one of those moments that seem to be coming more and more often. Chris would have been so proud of him.

Tyler, Michael, and I went to the homecoming game today to watch their team WIN. Very exciting. Tomorrow we have tickets to the Baltimore Ravens NFL game at 4pm. So we're excited about that too.

Wish me luck tonight with all the 9'th graders!

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Another Honor for Chris

The fall newsletter has come out from COMSTAR. In a tribute to Chris they have devoted the entire first page to her memory and wrote a very heart warming article about her. This publication goes out to each household that has an account at the credit union. If you would like to see the entire newsletter you can click here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bagpipe Songs

The gentleman who played the bagpipes at Chris's funeral sent me an email telling me exactly what the songs were that he played that beautiful Saturday morning. They were:

  • Sou
    Gan - also known as Welsh Air, which IS a Welsh lullaby
  • Dawning
    of the Day - an Irish song that has several expressions; one
    being that after someone's passing they awake to a "new day"
  • Amazing
  • America
    the Beautiful

If anyone wishes to contact Peter his information is:
Peter Elliott

Washington DC Fire Dept. Pipes and Drums

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Waking up EARLY

Halloween was good for the boys. They got themselves together and went out trick-or-treating with a couple of friends. They were gone for a couple of hours and came home with the usual load of candy. I stayed at home and handed out the candy. It was really hard though. I never handed out the candy before. That was what Chris used to do. When the kids were younger I would go out with them and she would stay back and hand it out. Last year was the 1st year I stayed home too and I was able to watch her hand out the candy. She enjoyed it a great deal. My neighbors asked me down to their house to hang with them but I was just not up to it.

Friday the boys had the day off from school so we had a chance to sleep in. No deal for me. I woke up at 4:30 and today Saturday I woke up around 5:00. It's starting to catch up to me some as I'm tired during the day. I'm going to try some Tylenol PM tonight and see how that works.

Thursday was the end of the term for the boys. I went out and bought Tyler a new bike about 10 days ago and Michael received his on Thursday. They've worked hard in school and certainly deserved something like this. They haven't had a bike for about 9 months now so it was time.

Friday ALEX came home for the weekend! It was great to see her again. She is doing well in school and just wanted a break. We all went to the highschool football game last night and watched our local team whip up on the competition. It was cold but we had our blankets. The 4 of us sat together and watched. Several people came by to say hello which was nice.

Michael mad the comment "the last time we were in these stands was when we came to watch Allie's lacrosse games". And Chris was at each and every one of them.

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