Thursday, December 22, 2011

The rest of October

Hallowen was a lot of fun this year!  We decided to go with a Wizard of Oz theme....only three of us cooperated.  Major was Darth Vader, I am not really sure what Jake was, and Cam never made it because he had the start of a nasty pneumonia that would eventually put both of us in bed for over a week. are some of those pictures.

 Did I ever show you MaKenna's birthday cake that Ms. Deana made?  She had a kitty themed party!
 MaKenna after losing ONE of her front teeth...she has since lost both....I have that picture somewhere...I'll get to it!
 In the leaves...we had over 100 bags of leaves this season...and we didn't even bag ALL of them!
 Jake in blue..
Major, Caden, Nehemiah and Jada at Pooleys Pumpkin patch.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New York, Monday, Day 2, 10/24/2011

Jeff had to wake up at 7 AM this morning.  Poor guy.  I slept until about 8:30.   Iwas due to meet my dads cousin Mary at 10AM.  I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get where I needed to be.  I knew that I needed to take the PATH train to 33rd and then meet Mary in front of JCPenneys across from the PATH.  It seemed easy enough.  But with all the people that were there yesterday, I thought I should give myself plenty of time.  I left at 10:15 and made it to the 33rd st. station at 10:45.  I got out and walked over to the JCPenneys sign.  It was only a sign though, there wasn't actaully a JCPenneys there, so I started to panic.  Thank goodnes Jeff had given me his Android, so I could call her if I needed to.  I walked around the buidling though, just to be sure...but I ended up back at the JCPenny sign.  I didn't have to wait long at all before I heard "Tonya?"  It was Mary!  We sat down and talked a little bit first.  I had only met her one time when I was 10...I didn't really remember her.  We made a game plan of the day then we headed to the subway to head down to the Southern tip of Manhattan to ride the Staten Island Ferry.  It is a free ferry.  We all boarded and we headed over to Staten Island.  We got a fantastic view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.  GREAT pictures.  Once we got to Staten Island we had to get off then get in line again.  The whole process probably only took 30-45 minutes or so. 

After, we went through Battery Park and then ate at UNO on the pier.  It was yummy.  We then walked up to the World Trade Center to catch the train to Central Park.  I was snapping pictures the whole time.  We got to this church across the street from the Trade Centers.  It was OLD!  It had a cemetary in it and the headstones were SO old you couldn't even read half of them.  The ones you could read though they had death dates of like 1786 or some time like that.  One had a mother and two of her children buried together.  It was incredible.  Inside they had a little memorial museum for 9/11.  Since it was effected also by the fall of the trade ceneters.  Inside was also the pew that George Washington used while he was in New York.  He was innaugerated near this church and it is where he attended church for the 2 years that NYC was the nations capital.  The church is called St. Pauls Chapel.  BEAUTIFUL!  We saw where they were building the new trade centers and then we caught the B train to Central Park.  Central Park is huge and really pretty.  There was hot dog vendors everywhere and not only in Central Park  We sat by the pond with a really pretty bridge and took lots of pictures.  There were horses and carriages, and here the people seemed much nicer, not near as rude.  When in the concrete city it is dog eat dog.  Everyone seemed to look out for only themselves.  They push and shove, its terrible.  But in Central Park, suddenly everyone was super nice.  It was weird to be in such a beatiful, wooded area with hills, etc, and then look above the trees and see skyrises!  After central park we walked down 5th ave. where all the ritzy shops are.  This is also where the richest of the rich live.  We saw Prada, Versace, you name it.  LOADS of rich people and quite a few gay men holding hands and kissing...VERY wrong and VERY gross!  We saw a few more beautiful, old churches that had been there since the 1700's and 1800's and churches that people like Jackie Onasis went to. We saw some paparazzi, but I didn't recognize anyone.  They'd have to be in my face and tell me who they are for my to open my eyes.  If I'm not looking for them, I won't notice them.  I wasn't looking at faces much either, just the beautiful buildings.  After 5th ave., we headed to Rockefellar Plaza.  We saw the famous ice rink.  It is a lot smaller then the movies make it seem.  We saw NBC and where the Today Show tapes.  I would LOVE to go to a Today Show taping...but I don't want to get up that early!  :-)  After Rockefellar Plaza we caught the train to 33rd st., so I could get back to New Jersey.  It was about 4:45 by this time.  Mary helped me from the subway station to the PATH train.

I made it back to the hotel by 5:30.  The subway was packed.  Jeff was already there.  We had free tickets to see the 9/11 Memorial at 7.  We headed BACK over to the city.  The PATH train also takes you to the World Trade Center.  There are 2 different NYC stops....33rd st and WTC.  Anyway, we thought we'd go early and eat afterward, but they wouldn't let anyone in early.  We had no idea where to eat, so I asked a couple policemen that were there.  They gave us a couple of suggestions.  They were super nice and total New Yorkers.  We kinda wanted New York pizza, but they said we needed to go to Brooklyn for authentic New York Pizza which they say is better than Chicago pizza.  We ended up walking down Wall St. and stoping at a little store to get some sode pops.  By the time we made our way back to the Memorial it was almost 7.  We got in line and they took us through metal detectors (Just like the Empire State Building and the Airport), we had to put our things through an X-RAY machine, there were tons of cops and security around.  Once we finally got in, it was absolutely beautiful.  There are two square pools that are roughly the same size as the 2 towers were.  They are pools that go down deep and there is a waterfall going all the way around to the the pool some 50 ft below and then a smaller square where the water drains.  I am sure my description does no justice at all.  It is all sparkly and just absolutely beautiful.  Along the sides there are names of everyone who died and/or are missing from the attacks.  The names are etched in the metal, then under the metal there are lights so their names shine. They kept the names together in relaion to where they died.  Both pools are enormous and just beautiful.  They also have some of the original metal from the original towers behind glass.  They are currently building more towers.  One of them is already super tall and shaped like it is beginning to twist.  It's really neat.  Once we were done there, we got back on the PATH.  We decided to eat at Azucar, the Cuban restaurant next to the hotel, but it was closed so we just ate at the hotel restaurant.  Its been nice because Jeff has been able to put everything on his TDAmeritrade credit card, well, when we're together anyway.  I actually haven't been spending much money, of course I plan on shoppping tomorrow!  After a wonderful dinner, we retired upstairs.  My feet and legs hurt so bad from walking around all day, so I took a bath.  Another big day tomorrow!

 The above picture is the new World Trade Center going up.

 Above is the Brooklyn Bridge.

 George Washingtons Pew!

New York, Sunday, Day 1, 10/23/2011

New York, Sunday day 1, 10/23/11

Wow! I am so excited, but a little nervous! I am going on this trip with Jeff! It's his business trip and he asked me to come. First time he has ever asked me to join him. I was shocked, but I wasn't going to miss the opportunity. It cost me $544.00 to get airline tickets, but I didn't care....well, I cared, but you know what I mean. I just had to figure the kidfinagling. Once I figured that out it was smooth sailing, right? WRONG! Satan tried everything in his power to not let this trip happen. He didn't want Jeff and I alone together and possibly rekindle what he has tried so hard to take away. Some of the things that happened shortly before we left. #1. Jake broke his arm while hunting in Wyoming with his dad, brother, grandpa Jerry, cousin, uncle and hockey friends. We had to cast it one day before we left. #2. MaKenna had nits in her hair. We treated everything and everybody. We washed everything and everybody three days before we had to leave. #3. Just a bunch of little things that kept me on my toes and wondering if this trip would happen or not...but it did! Love and God prevailed. I got everybody packed Saturday nght!

So Sunday morning, we got up and ate. Scott (our neighbor) came and got MaKenna and Jake at 8:30. Malissa and Derek Randecker came and got Major and my van at 8:45. By 10:00 we were ready to gt to the airport. We woke up Cam to say goodbye. Rhonda and Mike were going to pick him up around 2:00, then we were off. I had my typical preflight tummy issues, but I was super excited! We only had carryon bags, so check in went pretty fast. The flight was an itty bitty puddle jumper again. I hate these, Jeff can't even stand up straight in them. Jeff and I didn't talk much. I read my magazines and he slept. It was a little over three hours when we started dropping. I was on the wrong side of the plane though, so I didn't get to see NYC from my window. The Newark airport was packed! We found the little guy, Pete, with our name on the sign though with no trouble. It was neat to have someone pick us up like that! Though Jeff is probably used to it. He took my bag and even opened the car door for me. It was a nice big town car. I talked a lot to Pete because Jeff isn't very talkative. I think I embarrassed Jeff a little bit. What's new? :-). He says he never speaks to the drivers....he says you're not supposed to, but I don't believe him! I like to talk to people, So, I talked to Pete. He was from Pakistan. He gave me some tips on how to get by in New York City. Our hotel was the DoubleTree, $354.00 a night! Thank goodness TDAmeritrade was paying for it! We were on the eighth floor with a view of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline. Beautiful! Our room had a living room, as well as a bedroom. It was very nice. Jeff and I freshened up and headed back out the door. The concierge was very helpful in telling us how to get across the river and where to go. Had to walk about two blocks to get to the PATH train. It's a subway system that takes you from New jersey to about five different places in New York. It actually goes under The Hudson River! We got on at Newport staion and got off on the last stop, 33rd St. In Manhattan. Everyone calls the Subway trains, just trains in New York

It was chaos when we got out of the subway....PEOPLE EVERYWHERE! I honestly can't say that I have ever seen so many people in one place in my entire life! I was pretty nervous. I am short and I couldn't see over anybodies heads. We walked around a lot. We went to Times Square, we went down 5th ave a bit, then we went to the Empire State Building. I had already purchased tickets in Omaha....but we still had to stand in line. They had security checks just about everywhere. The Empire State Building was no different. We only paid to go to the 86th floor. You could pay more to go to the 96th floor, but we didn't. We had a great view where we were. It took us awhile to figure out which direction we were looking because we couldn't find anyone who spoke English to ask. New York City is such a melting pot and there are so many tourists there! It was certainly beautiful up there though. And it was a beautiful and clear evening. I even saw a shooting star! I felt that that was a message from God of hope for our future. I pray that God continues to heal our marriage. After we went to a place called Jimmy's bar and grill for dinner. It was tasty! We got to watch the Vikings/Packers game while we ate! Perfect ending to a perfect day! I ate a bit much though and then got motion sickness on the train back to New Jersey. I now know NOT to look out the windows when on a moving train with a full stomach! Still a very memorable and wonderful day/night!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Family Pictures, October 2011

In October, we had family pictures. We have a friend that I used to attend Mops with at Brookside, who is a photographer. Her name is Sarah Poppe.  If you are local, you NEED to look her up.  She is fantastic!!  You would love her...she does a fabulous job.  She is great with kids and adults and knows great poses and possibilities.  I LOVE is my favorite time of having the pictures taken outside seemed the thing to do!  We LOVE to go fishing, hiking, biking, ect...and one of our favorite places to do those things is Wherspann Lake also known as Chalco Hills here in Omaha.