Monday, September 13, 2010

The End of Our Fantastic Beginning

Our grandchildren have brought more happiness into our lives than we could ever have imagined. I'm sure you all know memories are very important to me. I have recorded in this blog many of the great times we have shared with Zach, Kara, Emily and Alex from the very day they came home to their forever families. I can not thank God enough for bringing these children to the parents they were destined to have love and cherish them forever. For some reason God needed another angel and chose our fifth grandchild, our sweet Amanda Lynn, who was born into Heaven. Amanda is Kristen and Corey's daughter and Guardian Angel to all our family. We will forever miss her. There have been many times I have felt Amanda on my left shoulder helping her Nana along the way. She does her job well.

This will be my last post to this blog. It is time to put it on paper and bound into a book of memories for each of our grandchildren. My hope is for them to read it and smile, remembering all the wonderful times we have shared with them. Like my Dad always said, "It is all about memories."

This blog will remain on the web forever. And there will be a second blog showing the latest developments in our grandchildren's lives. You can find it at:

I hope you will continue following us and sharing in our memories. Thank you for spending time with us these last few years. I hope you have enjoyed it.
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Emily Xian's Fifth Birthday

It seems all our grandchildren celebrate their yearly birthday at least twice. Emily is no exception. Miss Em celebrated her fifth birthday three times; once on the date of her birthday, once with her friends at The Tree Paad and once with her family. I, myself, find celebrating once a year quite sufficient.

The family birthday picnic has always been at her Grandma's and Grandpa's. They have a beautiful inground pool and every inflatable pool toy made. There was lots of food, cake, ice cream, swimming and laughs. The kids, big and small, had a wonderful time.
Hugs and kisses,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Emily's Reunion - 2010

Marcy and Scott from Merrick, New York were so gracious to hold this year's reunion for the children adopted from China in Emily's group and another group they spent their time with at The White Swan Hotel. Ken and I were invited to share this special day. It was awesome to see the twelve children and their families who were able to make the picnic. These girls had a great time swimming all afternoon and reacquainting themselves since their last year's picnic. All the families intermingled and just enjoyed the day. I got to meet Marcy's Mom and realized very soon we could be twin sisters. Hard to believe someone else could talk and act so much like Nana. Scary, isn't it.

Most the families stayed at the Marriott that night and the next morning met for a boat ride around the harbor. Our main attraction was the Statue of Liberty. Actually, this is the first time I have had the pleasure to meet this great lady. And that she is. She stands stately and proud and has met immigrants entering this wonderful country for many years. In 1906 she welcomed my grandparents to their new home from Ireland. And so she has done for millions of people. Thank you, France, for your gift of her to us.

I'm hoping to be part of another reunion next year. Thank you, Marcy and Scott, for a wonderful weekend.
Hugs and kisses,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vacationing in Mystic

The week in Mystic was sunny and bright. Zack and Alex loved seeing all the naval ships, even visiting a submarine base. At Mystic Seaport Zack took part in a play and hammed it up, as usual. He even got his Dad involved. We had dinner in the famous Mystic Pizza restaurant. Julia Roberts was in a movie that was based on it. I particularly enjoyed watching Alex as a big boy, riding his bicycle and playing on the beach and listening to Zack playing his guitar while we sat by the campfire.
Hugs and kisses,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vacation at the Cape

Most years all our grandchildren vacation together with us. This was one of the off years. It seemed strange to be having all this fun without Zack and Alex. But in August we will be vacationing in Mystic Seaport with them and having just as much fun. I suppose we'll have to adjust to this happening more often as the grandchildren grow and interests change. Life is full of changes.
Hugs and kisses,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Zack's Team - The Athletic's

The baseball season always seems to be a long one. This year the weather cooperated with sunshine and warmth. Zack did a good job playing second and third bases. He was catcher for the last four games, which I think he really enjoyed. He was excited about the games under the lights. The A's finished third for the season.
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Remembering Our Sweet Angel Amanda

My blog was created for one reason: to provide a treasury of memories for our grandchildren to look back on and recall the happy times we celebrated with them. But as with most families, all our memories are not happy.

Our family endured a tragic loss when Amanda Lynn was born into Heaven January 16, 2008; one we will never understand. I have always wanted to design a layout for Amanda to make all who see it smile and never forget her. About a month ago Amanda’s Mom suggested I do just that. Most of you are seeing our Guardian Angel for the first time. I truly hope you are smiling. I believe Amanda has not left us. She is waiting for us in a better place.

Hugs and kisses,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Alex Turns Four

Alex had such an awesome time at both his birthday parties. That beautiful smile was on his face both days. One party was held at the Tree Paad Fun Center in Malta. Someone took a big empty building and made it into a house of fun for children. There is this "thing" you climb up into. When you reach the top, you can attack the people standing at the bottom (me, like a fool) with balls you shoot from what resemble machine guns. You can bet Corey and Mike had a fun time blasting me. Then it was on to face painting. Amazing, children really can sit perfectly still when it is to their benefit. Too funny. The kids enjoyed the cake and who doesn't enjoy watching someone else open 30 or so presents. After that, it was back to the fun room and all kinds of games. We also celebrated with cake and ice cream the day of his birthday.

Alex has been home for three years and two months. Every day he has brought more joy into our lives. He is a little boy who never stops running. But he rarely stops smiling either. How lucky am I to have Alex as my grandson.
Hugs and kisses,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Your Magical Place with Papa

Everyone knows about The Chronicles of Narnia written for children by C.S. Lewis. Narnia is the fictional place where children take central roles, animals talk, magic is common, and good battles evil. Papa's Narnia is nothing like it is in the written work of Mr. Lewis.

I don't remember when Papa discovered Narnia, just beyond our rock wall and old oak tree. All four of you have visited there, but Alex and Emily go almost every Tuesday they spend with us. They return and tell me all they have seen and heard. Beyond that brick wall, they see rabbits and birds and are positive they see tracks from various scary animals.

I am so glad all of you have a special, magical place that is just yours and Papa's. I wish every child did with their "special someone."

Another memory.
Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Zack's Moving Up Day

It is hard to believe Zack has moved up to sixth grade. He is physically across the school campus from Kara and Emily. He enjoyed his six years at Tamarac Elementary School and accomplished so much to make himself and us proud. Zack was recognized as a Student of Good Character. This is the award that makes my heart swell with pride. He is an A student. He had the lead roll in his fifth grade class play. He is getting better and better at playing the trombone. There are two things I believe Zack has enjoyed most. One is being a member of The Burnin' Rockers band, where he is one of the guitar players. He excels in Tae Kwondo under the instruction of Master Lee, who he has holds in high regard.

All Zack accomplished, he did not do alone. He is so fortunate to have awesome parents who are there when he stumbles, as well as when he shines. Ken and I are as proud of them as we are of their son. One would not be without the other.
Hugs and kisses,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Emily's Graduation from Pre-K

When Emily entered Our Lady of Victory's Pre-K program, she was very shy and quiet. Throughout this year we watched Em come into her own, showing her wonderful personality and really enjoying her friendships with her classmates. She sat very proudly on the stage smiling at her Mom, Dad and Sissy sitting in the first row of the audience. She did not hesitate for a moment when her name was called to receive her certificate. She walked to mid-stage and showed her sweet smile.

Before she even looked at her gifts from her family, Emily happily gave her gifts to her teachers. She socialized with her classmates and just had a great time. Later, she and her classmates celebrated at Hoffman's Playland with their families.

I am without a doubt sure Emily Xian will shine throughout her school years. Her accomplishments will be many, as will the friendships she will develop.
Hugs and Kisses,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Love and Caring of Family

Someone very special to Nana turned 99 years old yesterday. She is my Aunt Irene; your great-great Aunt Irene. Since Papa and I are in Florida with Aunt Ginny and Uncle Timmy, we were not able to share this wonderful day with her. It made me very sad when I thought of my Aunt Irene spending her birthday without family. I should have known better. Your Moms brought a beautiful cake, ice cream, balloons, flowers and cards to Maplewood Manor, the nursing home Aunt Irene lives in now, and had a great celebration. Zack and Alex, your Mom brought one of your family albums with her and Aunt Irene loved looking at all the pictures of you and your cousins. Zack, you made the most wonderful card, even including the year of Aunt Irene’s birth. I can’t express enough gratitude for all the effort your Moms and you put into remembering Aunt Irene on her special day. You see, Aunt Irene’s special day was made more special to me. Even though Papa and I were not physically with Aunt Irene, we have a memory of her 99th birthday to last forever. And, like your Great-grandpa Harpy always said, "It is all about memories.":~) We love you all and I miss you more than chocolate.
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kara - A Budding Artist

I can't leave for Florida without posting this gorgeous picture Kara drew for me. The detail is so intricate. It looks like a picture from a coloring book. It isn't. Every bit of it was drawn by Kara for Nana. I would love to bring it with me, but am afraid it will get ripped in transit. I am going to frame it when Papa and I return home. Kara, I will treasure it forever. Thank you.
Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kara Doing Her Favorite Thing

I don't know if you do, but I really love this picture. It was taken at the International Day get together. Even there, Kara was reading. She has a great love for books; just as her Mom and Papa does. Guess that's where you get it from, Kara. All those stories will enrich your life. Enjoy!
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mike Denver - Remember Me

I heard this song for the first time when your Uncle Tim posted it on Facebook. It has a twofold meaning for me. It says so much of what I want you to remember some day when I am no longer alive.

We all have a very special guardian angel. She is Kara and Emily's sister, our sweet Amanda. When I hear this song, I feel it is our sweet, precious Guardian Angel telling us she will be with us and hold our hands throughout life. I know Amanda Lynn has helped me more times than I can remember in the two and a quarter years since I held her in my arms. Amanda is with us forever.
Hugs and kisses,

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Boy's Imagination

I just got some new software and am having fun trying to perfect cutting out an image. You'll see more coming, I hope. Alex looks like he is having lots of fun in this imaginary world.
Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mother's Day - 2010

We enjoyed our usual Mother's Day treat of brunch together at our favorite place, the Gideon Putnam. I think our grandchildren look forward to it as much as we do!
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Great Night for The Burnin' Rockers

Zach's fifth grade Talent Show performance with The Burnin' Rocker band is one I'm sure he will always remember. These boys get together when they can to practice. Their performance was awesome. I was sitting in the audience a nervous wreck hoping all would go well for them. The curtain opened. The screams began. They were an instantaneous success. I felt like I was at a Miley Cyrus concert with all the screaming and name calling. Zach, I am always in awe of all you can accomplish and be so successful doing. I hope you use your abilities to there fullest always.

There were 25 individual performances that night. The talent on Tamarac Elementary School's stage was unbelievable. I have to say I enjoyed this evening much more than any other in a very long time. All of these children deserve a "Hat's off."
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Fun Layout of Alex

I had so much fun doing this layout for Alex. The Alex you see here was taken from a picture where Alex was sitting on the rug in Nana and Papa's living room playing with blocks. His sweet face looks so adorable I had to do something special with it.
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bring My Special Person to School

April 15, 2010, was deemed as "Take My Special Friend to School" day. This day used to be referred to as "Take your Grandparent/s to School Day." There are children who no longer have grandparents. Therefore, they choose to bring their special person to share this day with them. Kara's teacher gave each child the above form to describe why they feel this person is special to them and a little bit about their special person. You could have knocked me over with a feather when Kristen handed me the form. Zack's Dad's parents were in Florida, so Papa and I divided our time between Kara and Zack. The form must have been displayed during the first half of Kara's program.

I must say I loved seeing my name listed as Kara's special person. But I know all of Kara's grandparents and specific relatives are special to her. I can not accept this acknowledgment without sharing it. It is truly unfortunate there was such limited space.

As Papa and I have been blessed with our beyond awesome grandchildren, so too have our grandchildren been blessed to come home to a family bursting with love and pride for each and every one of them. It is just a perfect win-win situation.
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comfort Level is High at Nana and Papa's

These pictures were not all taken on the same day. It would be impossible to get our four to rest at the same time. But I have to say all four of my wonders have always taken good naps for us. Thank God. It is our time to recoup for the rest of the day.
Hugs and kisses,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dream a Magic Dream

We had such fun at the park this day. Kara and Emily ran and played, climbed and rode bikes. Before we left for home, we stopped to look at the ducks and fish in the pond. It was nice to see the girls take in the beauty of it all. Another memory.
Hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fun on a Day Off from School:~)

We really had a fun day. It was Easter break and Kara and Emily spent the day with us. We went to the park where Emily met a friend, Garrett, from Pre-K. His sister, Kaitlyn, was there and hung with Kara. Nana and Papa found out just how exhausting it is to keep track of two kids when the park is really crowded. We got our exercise for sure.
Hugs and kisses,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Easter - April 4, 2010

We had a great time Easter Sunday. Our day started with brunch at Aunt Shell's. After that, we all needed a rest. Later everyone, except me - I took a little nap, had a lot of fun hunting for Easter eggs hidden all over the yard. Our four wonders were dressed to the hilt. I swear the boys are worse than the girls. Zack must have asked me three times if he looked good in grey. Alex ran right up to me and said, "See my new clothes. I love my new clothes."

Kids, I am enjoying every moment watching you grow. I can't ask for more than I have in you four.
Hugs and kisses,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chinese New Year - 2010 - The Year of the Tiger

We have been celebrating Chinese New Year for a few years now. It has become a very special day for us. Grandma and Grandpa join us in the festivities. This year the kids thought it was great - Valentine's Day gifts and red bags and red envelopes all on the same day!

We always have Chinese food. I even make a chocolate cookie eaten in China. Emily Xian has a great time using her chopsticks. She and her Dad are very adept at using them. This year, 2010, is the year of the tiger!
Hugs and kisses,