Sunday, November 30, 2008

Uncle Roland's 90th Birthday Party

We were able to continue our family time throughout the long weekend. On Friday, we unfortunately had to take Nicole back to the airport - boo hoo! The good news is we will pick her up again on December 19th, so this was an easier goodbye than most. After Nicole's flight took off at LAX, Jay and Kendall and I went back to spend the night with Dad and Valerie in Camarillo. We had a nice visit on Friday night and then got up on Saturday morning and Dad and Jay and Kendall went to the Harley dealership to visit with some of my Dad's friends and Valerie and I had some good one on one time. When everyone got back, we went and had lunch at Texas Cattle Company and then went home and got changed and drove out to Castaic for my great uncle Roland's surprise 90th birthday party. It was especially exciting for me, because this was the first opportunity Jay and Kendall had to meet the rest of the Terranova family. A lot of the family wasn't able to make it, but we got to see a lot of relatives that we only see at funerals these days and it was so nice to be able to get together for a happy occassion.
Uncle Roland was very surprised. His daughter and his son both flew out from the East Coast and he thought they were having a quiet dinner. We were all gathered in the recreation center in the mobil home park where Uncle Roland lives and as he walked up and peeked in the door and we all yelled, "surprise!" he tried to escape, but we didn't let him. They had a beautiful scrapbook filled with letters and pictures that everyone sent in advance and had some old time music playing and lots of food (we're Italian, there is always a lot of food when we get together). Cousin Eddie's daughter Hannah helped Uncle Roland blow out the birthday candles and we all were able to catch up on the latest with our families. Jay and Kendall really enjoyed getting to finally meet all of the people I had told them so much about and it warmed all of our hearts to be able to spend quality time together.

Happy birthday Uncle Roland!!!! 90 looks great on you.
Uncle Roland with his daughter Elayne and his son Doug
Uncle Roland with my Dad

Hannah helping Uncle Roland blow out the birthday candles

Hannah and Grandma and I

Grandma with cousing Glen. Aunt Annie was back with Chris, so she wasn't able to make it. We sure missed her!

Valerie with Grandma

Jay and cousin Barbara and I. We almost got Barbara to smile! Jay can make anyone smile.

Valerie with Aunt Xenia

Cousin Eddie with his beautiful wife Bridget

Grandma with her "little" brother Uncle Roland

Aunt Millie and Elayne's husband Phil

Cousin Jim's daughter Lisa with Elayne and Uncle Roland

Kendall and Hannah playing pool

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Couple of Christmas Cards


Thanksgiving '08

We had Thanksgiving at our house this year. My Dad and Valerie arrived at around 12:30 and were here until around 7:30. We had a wonderful day together. Everyone pitched in to help make our meal and everything turned out great! After dinner we played a few rounds of Catch Phrase and then had some pie and got everything all cleaned up. We missed being with the rest of our families, but having such a small, intimate group made it easier to visit. Jay and my Dad were outside for a good part of the afternoon looking at the new truck and Jay took both Dad and Val out for a little test spin. We're all stuffed and tired, but very thankful for the many blessings in our lives, not the least of which is the readers of this blog - our friends and family. Thank you all for the difference you have made to each of us. We wish you and your families a very blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas '08

Since Nicole is with us and is leaving tomorrow, we went ahead and put up the Christmas decorations and the tree last night so that she could participate. Plus, it's nice to have the house decorated for Thanksgiving. So, after a late lunch yesterday afternoon, we came home and put up the Christmas tree and all of the inside decorations. The outside will have to wait about a week or so, but it's nice and festive inside the house. We listened to Faith Hill's new Christmas CD (great, by the way!) and Jay and the girls worked on the tree while I put all of the other decorations out. We also put out some pine scented oil so that it smelled like Christmas.

While we were working, we had a major flash flood outside and water started coming into the house, so the girls ran into the laundry room and grabbed all of the towels and we piled them up against the sliding glass door to stop the water from flooding the living room. When we got up this morning, all of the towels were completely soaked. We told Nicole that we try to make sure we have plenty of excitement while she's here so that she has plenty of stories to tell when she gets back to Kansas. These little disasters are a nuisance, but they create lasting memories :).

Knott's '08

Last weekend we went to Knott's for our annual trip. Every November, Knott's Berry Farm offers a very generous military discount and Jay and the girls have been taking advantage of it for the last 8 years and I have been lucky enough to have gone with them for the last 5 years. Jay and one guest get in for free and additional tickets are only $15/each. Additionally, we get a great deal at the Knott's hotel.

We picked up Nicole from LAX on Friday night and then drove down to the Knott's hotel and got up bright and early on Saturday morning and went to the breakfast buffet in the hotel where we got to see Snoopy (he goes to the restaurant every morning before he heads over to the park). We got to the park just a few minutes after it opened (unfortunately, we missed the national anthem but we made it there for it on Sunday.) The lines were short in the morning and early afternoon but it started to get busy later in the day. Even with the lines, we didn't have to wait more than 30 minutes for any single ride. Unfortunately, my cold was still giving me trouble and my ears were plugged, which threw off my equilibrium so on Saturday, I wasn't able to ride very many rides. We started off with Sidewinder, which is a spinning roller coaster and that pretty much ruined me for the day so I just rode the log ride and rapids but I still had fun. I waited in line with Jay and the girls and took pictures and enjoyed being together. I went back to the room at around 6:00 to rest up for the next day. Jay and the girls got back to the room at around 9:30 with Mrs. Knott's chicken to go and we ate dinner and watched Twister on TV and got to bed early for the next day.

Sunday I was feeling much better so I was able to ride some roller coasters and Kendall rode her first upside down roller coaster!!!! We did not push her, it was completely her decision. She rode The Excelerator and absolutely loved it. She loved it so much that we rode it again later in the afternoon. The weather was really nice and the lines were even shorter than Saturday. We had our usual lunch at TGI Friday's and left the park around 6:00 to head home. The new truck rode great for us and we had a wonderful vacation together. We wished our little Bunnies could have been with us, but it was a great time for the Ketchums. Someday when we move, we are all really going to miss that tradition.

At the Knott's hotel getting ready to have breakfast
The star of Knott's

The Mexican hats - a ride you will never catch Shannon on!

Getting ready to get wet! I rode the rapids with them on Saturday but Sunday was a little colder so I decided to be the photographer instead

Waiting in line for the Pony Express

This was Saturday when I couldn't ride anything. I rode the swings on Sunday though. we always have a blast on that ride!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kendall was Student of the Quarter

Kendall got an award for Student of the Quarter for her Study Skills class. Jay and I were able to attend the awards ceremony at the school and are so very proud of her. Not only is she a polite and hard working young lady, but she is constanly being recognized by her teachers for her outstanding work performance. She has to struggle in some of her classes, but she does the work and for that, we are beaming with pride.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Under the Weather

Jay and I are both sick right now. I'm pretty sure it's just a cold - sore throat, fever, extreme fatigue. I stayed home from work today. I probably could have forced myself to go in, but I was afraid of contaminating the office and also didn't want to push myself and then end up sick for several days. Tonight I had a small amount of energy, so I made some cards. I think I am paying for it now because as I sit typing I am soaked in sweat so I will finish this post and go to bed and turn the fan on.

If you think of it, please pray for us. We pick up Nicole on Friday and then head to Knott's for our annual trip. We all need to be feeling better for this weekend. Enjoy the creations.....

I made this card for my friend Susan from Bunco who just had a baby boy

This one is for my Uncle Roland's 90th birthday

Getting a jump start on Christmas cards

I will still make my digital cards this year to send out to everyone, but I am making individual cards for family


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