Monday, December 21, 2009

July thru December of our year in review

July thru December was a very busy time for us, especially October, November, and December. July 1 was Jimmy's birthday. We celebrated the Fourth of July at Barb and Brett's with family and friends. July 6 I spent a few hours with Carter at A Latte Fun, an indoor play place for kids up to 6 years old, so many things to do, we had a great time.

July 10 left to spend the weekend with her friend of about 48 years Edna, they had a great weekend.

Martha's birthday is July 21 but we went over on July 19 to celebrate with her, a wonderful day, she got loads of cards, phone calls, and visitors a very fun day.

July 24 Christopher out of school came to spend some of his vacation time with us, he had a great time with Carter and Griffin. On July 30 Joan and her dear friend Jenny went on a weekend church retreat, great fellowship, just a great weekend.

Not a lot happening in August, just gearing up for the rest of the year.

September 12 Martha, Jimmy, and Jessica came over and we all went to a wedding of a daughter of a great family friend, great wedding and reception.

September 18, my birthday we drove over to Clearwater Beach as Barb put on a wedding shower for her friend Beth who is getting married in November.

On the 23 rd we celebrated Joan's Mother-in-Law Dot's 90 TH birthday. She especially enjoyed getting to spend time with Carter and Griffin.

October was a wonderful month for us. On October 12 we left on a cruise joined by our dear friends Bernadine and Butch. We had stops in Nashua, Paradise Island, Coco Bay, and Key West.We had so much fun we hated to see the cruise end.

On October I re connected with a long time friend who I had lost touch with for a few years, we have had such fun catching up about the time we were disconnected, Joan and I took Carter and Griffin to the Pumpkin Patch, a very exciting day and for Halloween Carter was Scoobey Doo.

November we spent lots of Saturdays at Carter's soccer games. November 10 Joan and I celebrated our 8 TH wedding anniversary.

We spent the weekend of the 14th, 15th, and 16th in St. Petersburg for a beautiful beach wedding of Beth and Greg, Barb was the Matron of Honor and Carter was the ring bearer, the wedding and the reception was wonderful, great time was had by all.

On November 17 we checked into a condo at the Hilton Vacation Club for a very exciting week. We spent many fun hours at the pool and spa, went to the Arabian Nights show, we were joined by Barb, Carter, & Griffin and Joan's sister Debbie and her husband Mike.We went to the ICE show at the Gaylord Hotel, went back there for a great Christmas show. Spent time at Downtown Disney and Christopher met us there and came home with us for a few days visit. Joan hosted Thanksgiving, wonderful day of great food, great time spent with family, we all had so much to be thankful for this year.

December isn't over yet but another very busy month, the high light so far was Carter's Christmas Pageant at his school, great show, the kids were wonderful. Saturday the 19th was Carter's last soccer game and trophy presentation.
Still a few more good things coming this month including of course Christmas, Barb and Brett will be hosting this year, for family and friends.

I told Joan the other day that 2009 has been such a wonderful year for us I almost hate to see it end. Griffin we born 6 weeks premature and had a rough couple of months but he is doing great now and Carter just loves the role of big brother.

We hope that 2010 will be a good year for all our family and friends, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may God look out for us all in the coming year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

After Joan and I had dated a few times and were getting to know each other she told me one day that her goal in life was to wear out, not rust out, little did I know she was not kidding, she likes to stay very busy. But then I thought that fits in with my philosophy which is we not be able to avoid growing older but we can sure delay growing up and that's me I don't want to grow up.

Those of you that have received our Christmas letters in the past know we like to stay busy and we do. A quick recap of some of the things that have kept us busy in 2009.

On January 16 I told Joan we will be going out to dinner tonight, I took her to Mama Leone's Italian Restaurant where we went on our first date on January 16, 1999, 10 years to the day.

We have season tickets to the Maltz Theatre, we see 5 shows a year usually about one every month for 5 months we went on January 17.

On January 25 Joan and I spent about 6 hours with Carter at the South Florida Fair, don't know who had the most fun him or us.

January 30 Christopher came for a visit and for Carter's birthday.

January 31 Celebrated Carter's birthday a day early with just the immediate family.

February 1 Carter's fourth birthday party with his friends and other family. The party had a Fireman's theme. The firemen came with two fire trucks, gave the kids a show of what they do and gave them all plastic Fireman's Hats. Great party, fun for young and old.

Other February happenings, Joan's childhood friend Elaine and her husband Fred came for a visit, Joan and Elaine did a lot of reminiscing.
Carter started T-ball which kept us busy for quite a few Saturday mornings, such fun to watch them and see them develop from week to week.

Joan and her dear friend Jenny went on a weekend church retreat, they had lots of fun and fellowship with other church members.

The Palm Beach Count Women's Bowling Association had a bowling tournament to honor the women in the Palm Beach County Bowling Hall Of Fame of which Martha is enshrined, Martha couldn't make it so I stood in for her. A very emotional day spent with women who bowled with Martha and Bubba for many years. They kept coming up to me all day with wonderful stories about Martha and Bubba.
March seen a couple of really nice baby showers for Barb as we awaited the arrival of Carter's little brother.

March 26 Barb had to go to the emergency ward. March 27 Griffin was born at 6:49 PM, 6 weeks premature, a very exciting but also scary day.

March 29 Barb left the hospital and had to leave baby Griffin there. She said it was one of the hardest things she ever had to do. He stayed 12 more days, a lot of that time in the incubator.

March 3 , celebrated Joan's birthday.

Easter at Barb & Brett's with family and friends..

Carter started soccer:

April 19 did my first BLOG

24th Barb's birthday

30 th got sad news my brother-in-law and great friend Frank Strawderman passed away.

May 9, five years since Martha had her stroke

May 10 celebrated Mother's Day.

May 11 joined The Staying Alive Fitness Center, been going 5 days a week since then, trying to stay in shape to keep up with Carter & Griffin. LOL

June 21 great get together for Father's Day, a really fun day.

June 26 A wonderful family member Maria Johnson came to spend a few days, she got to see Griffin for the first time, she is a kinder garden teacher and she and Carter had so much fun together.

June 27

A wonderful party for TJ to celebrate his marriage and a farewell party for him as he was shipping out to Iraq were his is now serving. A good time to remind every one to keep our troops in our prayers.

That is just a part of our year so far, the rest of the year from July until now we really got busy. As Joan says she wants to wear out, not rust out. LOl

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 2008

December is always a very busy but a fun month. Living in Florida I always hear people say they have a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit because of our weather. Trust me we do not have that problem, this is just the highpoints of December 2008 for us.

On December 5 we went to the Christmas get together at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Joan's work place, great fellowship, great food and very festive.

December 11 the annual Christmas presentation at First Baptist Church in West Palm, it gets better and better each year.

December 12 a beautiful Christmas pageant at Carter's pre school, Carter loves being a part of it and the kids do a fantastic job.

December 13, we have season tickets to the Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, we see 5 shows a year and this was our night.

December 15 found out Joan and I are going to be Nana and Papa again. Very thrilling news.

December 16 another Christmas party for the Stevens Ministers, and their spouses, Joan has been a Stevens Minister for a few years and finds it to be very rewarding.

December 19 Joan's sister and brother-in-law Debbie and Mike came to spend a few days for Christmas,we all got together with Russell and Joan, brother and sister-in-law on the 20 TH.

December 21 another Christmas presentation at Christ Fellowship Church, they put on a spectacular presentation every year.

December 24 we spent the day with Martha, Jimmy, Jessica, and Anita in Sebring. That evening the Christmas presentation at our church First Presbyterian.

December 25 Barb and Brett hosted the family get together at their home, a great time was had by all.

December 26 Christopher came to spend a few days.

December all of that action for the month we spent a quite New Years Eve at home, watched a movie, watched the ball come down and said goodbye to 2008.

With a month like that you can see we have no problem being in the Christmas spirit

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Great way to spend a Saturday morning

Wow I went through the whole month of September with out posting any thing on my BLOG, thought I better see if I remembered how to do it. LOL Saturday October 10 was the start of Carter's soccer season. Last year they just showed them the basics but this year they spend the first half hour doing the basics but the 2nd half hour they play the game. They don't keep score but they do try to put the ball in the goal. It is too funny, one of Carter's team mates kicked the ball in the wrong goal. LOL Some times they head the wrong way on the field and they forget that in soccer you don't pick the ball up. It is too funny, I am sure they will get better as the season progresses.

Since Mommy gets involved in the game, Nana and Papa get to take care of Griffin, it is a labor of love. He is getting quite a personality.

Monday we leave for a five day cruise so hopefully I will have some fun stuff to report on my next BLOG. Bon Voyage

Carter's first day of soccer, October 10, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have. You will treasure it even more if you can share it with someone special.

Life is important, like people we know who are special, and so we should keep them close.

Do you know people because of health problems are virtually house bound? Do you know people who do not have computers?

Joan and I know several people who are in these categories and we know from our persoanl experiences just how tough it can be for people like that.

For me of course it is my daughter Martha. Joan's Mother-in-Law Dot is also. Dot will be 90 years old next month. Joan is a Stephens Minister at our church. Stephens Ministers are assigned to a person to help them with problems, like a death in their family, someone going through a divorce, financial problems, etc. In Joan's case the lady she is assigned to has a lot of health problems and like Martha and Dot about the only time they can get out is to go to doctors appointments. There are others we know about but these are the ones we are closet to.

What they all have in common is that their minds are as sharp as can be it's just that they have physical problems that make their life difficult.

Probably most of you know someone that is in that same boat. What they all miss the most is contact with people. All of us that are lucky enough to have and be able to operate computers know at times we recieve some thing funny or something very heart warming that we can't wait to send to our family and friends because we know they will enjoy it very much also.

So for these people I print these things out and save them and when I get a few I send them to them. We also share pictures with them, try to keep them up on whats going on with family and friends, etc. We also call them quite often. And we visit when we can. Joan gets audio CD's from the services at our church for the lady she helps and takes them to her when she visits as she is a member there but just can't attend any more.

So we know from personal experience what a big uplift it can bring to people in this position. Martha's 50TH birthday was over a month ago and she is still on a high from all the cards, phone calls and visits she recieved. Grandma Dot is kept up on what's going on with Christopher, Carter, and Griffin via the pictures and the information we give her.

We share things with people we know that have no health problems but do not have a computer, especially people we know that live out of state and they all appreciate it very much. If is is some thing special you want to share with your e-mail friends and family once in awhile share them with folks that don't have a computer also.

Just thought we would pass this food for thought on, we know how much people are strapped for time but if you know any one in this situation just think about how much they would appreciate knowing that they are not forgotten and are still loved and if possible maybe give them a call, send them a note or a card not just for special occasions but just out of the blue. As I said we know from experience just how much it means to people in this situation.

Let all your friends and family know you love them. Even if you think they don't love you back you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do

And just in case we are gone tomorrow,

WE LOVE YOU, Joe & Joan

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What a difference they have made in my life.

Years ago there was a country song written by Ronnie Milsap called what a difference you have made in my life. It was a song he wrote as a tribute to his wife but I have borrowed some of his words to try to convey what a difference Carter and Griffin have made in my life.

What a difference you've made in my life,
You're my sunshine day and night,
Oh what a difference you've made in my life.

What a change you have made in my heart,
Oh what a change you've made in my heart.

You have gave love a new meaning,
So I joined in the singing,
That's why I wanna spread the news.

As most of you who read my BLOG know I don't have any biological grand children. Martha and Jimmy got Jessica when she was 6 1/2 or 7 and when I met Joan Christopher was about 3 years old. Children at that age know you are not really their grand father and so they never called me grandpa and I guess I never really felt like one.

I would tell my family and friends who were grand parents it didn't really bother me. I would say things like I don't have patience with kids any way so I probably wouldn't be a good grandpa any way but deep down I was envious of them.

Well lo and behold on February 1. 2005 Carter was born. I was there about a half hour after his birth and the very first time I held him I felt like a grand father. I told his family I didn't want to be called Grandpa though, I wanted to be called Papa, so I became Papa to a little guy who made a drastic change in my life. Lucky for me we just bonded from the very beginning and have continued a great relationship. We have had great times together, going to the park, McDonald's, playing baseball, soccer and games together and he loves for me to read to him. He has also went to work with me on my part time job a lot. He started going with me when he first started walking, I had to take diapers with me back then and change him, that's how long he has been going with me. If he doesn't go with me for awhile every one starts asking me when is Carter coming. LOL

One time a lot of the family were meeting at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, I was outside waiting for Carter to come with his Mom and Dad, I was on one side of the street and he was on the other, when the traffic cleared he pulled loose from his Mommy and came running across the street yelling Papa, Papa, and jumped into my arms, with tears running down my cheek I looked up and said I now know for sure there is a God. LOL That also assured me that I was a Papa for sure.

Now I am even more lucky, Griffin and I seem to be bonding quite well also. I have been going to the fitness center since May trying to get in shape to keep up with them. LOL

A group of us at work one day were talking about the movie, The Bucket List. Some one said Joe do you have a bucket list. A list of things you want to do before you die. I said I have been so lucky in my life, great family, great friends, traveled a lot, seen a lot, done a lot so my Bucket List is not very long. I said I just want to live long enough to make enough of an impression on Carter and Griffin that when they get old enough to realize I was not their biologial Papa that it won't make any difference to them. And if I am lucky enough to get to Heaven and one day I am looking down and some one asks them about their Papa that they will say my Papa was a cool guy, that would make my Bucket list complete.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Griffin's weekend with Nana & Papa

On Sunday August 9, Barbara, Brett, Carter, & Griffin left for a long anticipated vacation. Since Griffin was born they have been very busy with doctors appointments, many sleepless nights, and not a lot of rest so off they went to Captiva for a nice weeks vacation. They were with two other couples and set to have a lot of fun. They were having a great time on Sunday and Monday and lo and behold on Tuesday Carter came down with the flu. They had to cut the vacation short and come home.

The doctor said if they could it would be a good idea to seperate Carter and Griffin so Griffin would not get sick. So on Tuesday night Griffin went to stay with Mimi and Papa Bill. They kept him until Joan picked him up Friday evening and she brought him home to spend the weekend with us.

We have been having a ball with him, he went out to dinner with us Friday night and he was the center of attention at the restaurant. We felt really bad about Carter being sick but we have had a great time with him this weekend. Joan has to go back to work tomorrow so it is off back to Mimi's and Papa Bill's until the doctor says it is ok for him to go home.

His Mommy is climbing the wall waiting for him to be able to come home. She knew I would be taking pictures of him so she had me forward them to her last night. LOL