Emily


After we came back from the first family reunion,100_1023 which was my side of the family,3 weeks later  we went to a camp site North East of Lockport NY and had our family reunion with our kids and our kids kids.

This is the 2nd year we have done this and it is really nice to do it.

We can focus on one another and being less people it is a great way for the cousins to play together and our kids to spend time together.

Life is so darn short, life is so darn busy, we just do not get together enough. We were there for 2 full days, leaving on the third day in the morning. 100_1065As I look back at the time I think I was most moved by just watching the interactions and realizing that all of this could not have been possible without Marks and my children. Adrianne and her kids came out on the 1st full day we were there for an afternoon and evening, her husband unfortunately was not feeling good and could not make it. She said maybe next year she will plan to camp the full time too… It was awesome to spend time with them.

The other part that was special to me was 100_1061some one on one time I was able to spend with Emily. Emily is now 16 and being a teen is not easy ever, I think it is tougher in 2013 than it was when I was a teen. Emily is a smart young lady and she has a pretty good sense of humor. I just like spending time with her. That was special.

I also love time with our kids and their spouses, it is so neat to watch them interact, like they just saw each other the day before, we did miss Josh though. The time separated seems to disappear. And their kids – our grandkids are funny to watch. Jeff and Amanda’s kids are 3 and almost 5 and Adrianne and Josh’s kids are almost 2 and 4. 100_1053So they go right up the totem pole of toddler ages. They walked around, they rode bikes, they watched as we tried to fly kites, they played until they dropped with exhaustion. The magic of the fire, the wonder of the sunset, the toasting of s’mores, the memories are priceless.

I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I look back at all the bumps in the road, the hills of life climbed, the slopes sometimes slipped on—they all led us to here. And ya know what— every tear, every smile, every wonder, every pray— it was all worth it. 100_1114

Until the next post…. hang on to the blessings that come before you..watch for the simplest things that mean so much. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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As the days get lighter and the temperatures try to rise some, I am comforted by the signs that we have made it through another winter. This year we can not say it was a mild winter ! We probably have another month of snow potential..but than the camper will come home from storage and our spring time summer time  will begin.

The times of our life are made in memories of days gone by, memories of trials that situations have created and by hopes for many tomorrows. I was thinking about life , and special times, and memories, and what makes memories stay in our minds. As a kid I remember the games we would play together, like huck-abuck-a bean stock, or the card game war, or rummy, or go fish. Hide and seek and red light green light, simon says, I remember making tents out of sheets and sleeping on the floor, I remember staying up late to play a game , and the feeling of falling asleep after being tucked into bed and given a hug.

This past weekend we were blessed with Brandon and Preston for a day and a half. Oh we made a tent out of the dining room table, a king sized sheet, a blanket, and hauling in toys and books and little lanterns. 100_0733

We baked mini banana muffins, we cooked meals together, we did house hold chores, and had cuddle time. We played games, did puzzles, and ate dinner late one night, stayed up late because we ate dinner late, we watched some TV and sat and talked about things.

It cost nothing in money, yet was priceless in memories and time spent.

It was a great weekend. Oh we had some brother squabbles, some whining at times… but 100_0738it was all good.

As they left, saying their goodbyes, ( in French because we taught them “auvoir” ) I was wondering if some of these moments are etched in their minds, to surface again in years to come.

I look at the kids and think how quickly they have grown , it seems like only a few days ago Brandon was in the NICU… and we were excited to meet him… Preston was just a twinkle in his parents eyes… as were Mackenzie and Caleb….

and now they are 4,3,2,and 1!!!…. Pretty soon they will be all in school..before we know it..and I just hope the memories are kept close to them..as my child hood memories are close to me.

I am feeling fulfilled from the weekend and the fun being a grandma is…. I love when a child says “ I love you gramma..” it just melts my heart…

Life is good… there are not so good times,,, sad times,,, but all those times have got me here…and here is ok.. We are not money rich..but we are rich with special moments.

I hope you too have some. Love to all Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_0171As  the year comes to an end in another day…

It seems that the boys were just screaming HAPPY NEW YEAR yesterday..but in reality—it was a year ago….

I seems like I am still in my 30s… but that was a LONGGGG time ago…

no regrets really… for I truly believe life happens the way it does for reasons….

I look back at all the events of this past year.

Many famous people died, tragic shootings, an election came and went  that totally surprised me, and feeling thankful that I have a job in a time when so many do not.

This year we got to 302763_838411284938_494358476_n[1]100_0646witness our grandchildren growing, and we got to connect in a personal way with our “birth” grand daughter who has grown up to be a camping KOA Canandaigua 7-23 - 25 069beautiful young lady. Her adoptive parents were generous enough to let us spend some time with her. Time which was so precious to my heart.

We have had crazy weather, imagesCA3QUWSSa Hurricane that really did phenomenal damage to the Northeast Coast. We watched as the space program took it’s last voyage. We wept with those suffering from violence and we smiled at those who achieved their goals.

We watched our niece get her license, we camped more. We got to share time at the family reunion with a part of our family, and we witnessed 2 couples wed.

We lost weight , we gained weight, we had a semi successful garden, and disappointments from it too. 100_0621We adopted a dog, and we found a true companion. We witnessed the affects an abusive past can have on a dog, and have worked very hard with her , so she can trust life will be okay.

Yes as 2012 leaves and 2013 comes in, the fear of the future of our country lingers in my mind….and the hope that people can come together for the better of all of us.

I hope the media starts to focus on the good and not the ugly. We should know not the evil ones… we should know those who bring good.

Happy New Year to all…. I hope you find happiness as the New Year comes to our doorsteps in less than 48 hrs. !!.AS I look back, I am thankful… and I am looking forward to all the goodness next year can bring. Love to all. Mrs Justa, alias Cindy

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My life… I sat on the floor in the corner of this room, looking for something specific. And to my surprise I found much more than I intended to. The bottom two shelves are the photos and music of my life….

I was looking for a picture of a lady I work with. She is retiring in a couple of weeks and this photo was from when I met her, back in 1989. She oriented me to hospital nursing. She and I have had our paths cross for years on end, and then for a bit we may work in different places..but we never lost contact.. And times along the way we end up back in the same place again. She is a special lady. As I looked for this one photo I ran across my life. Things that have been pigeon holed in places in my mind.

It is funny how a photograph can bring you back to that year. It can make you remember a smell, or a breeze, or a sense of wonder . It brings back a feeling of being special, or discovering a place you had never been to before. It also can bring back a feeling of loss, or pain. It reminds you of relationships, of stages of youth, of people who have left this temporary home on earth to go to their destination. It kind of reminds us we are alive.

To relive these moments, to watch my little guy and Marks little girl grow up in photos. To  see their kids growing up… 100_3398

To realize that even thought it seems the years have flown by..those photo albums on the lower 2 shelves represent miles of life’s highway. The whale watches, the camping trips, the mini vacations Jeff and I took, the whale watches that Jeff ,Mark and I went on, the seemingly endless precious weekends that Jeff and Adrianne got to share with us, the evolving of my family from me being a baby to having all my brothers and sisters, smiles, reunions, marriages, births and deaths. All in-between sunsets and sunrises..each one different.

A100E0347nd as I soaked in the memories as they came to life.. I thought about how lucky we are to live in this country. The unrest in other parts of the world.. I wonder if these people have good memories. Have they stopped to see the beauty of the world? My heart says they have missed a lot of the soft sides of life… for they carry around such anger and hatred.

Yes … my journey through time that has been, it has  reminded me that I have been truly blessed. I thank God for that, over and over again.

I hope you have memories of your life captured somewhere. Stop and take a moment to remember. Good night all. Mrs Justa alais Cindy

camping KOA Canandaigua 7-23 - 25 048We have just returned from a 2 day camping trip at a KOA about 1 hr from here. It was fun, it was pretty hot weather.. and  it is always nice to get home. I get to go to work tomorrow, and I am looking forward to the 2 days of work, than the weekend.

The washer has just finished the last load of clothes, we have finished dinner, and I feel kind whipped from the day. We got up at 7..and left by about 9, than dropped the camper off at the camping store again—had a few issues that need looking at… and came home.

We unpacked..and as I went to make lunch—I realized the turkey lunch meat was no where to be found. Knowing the camper was sitting for a few days..in the beating down sun…..needing repair—we figured we better go down there and get the turkey out of there.Can you imagine what the camper would have smelled like! I bet they would have fixed the problems quickly and gotten it back to the FAR AWAY lot lickety split!!LOL>>>>

So I finished unpacking the rest of the stuff..packed the left overs in the fridge or freezer, did some stuff around here, and off we went to the camp place to check out the probability that there was turkey left behind.

AND THERE IT WAS… under a grocery bag that was laying in the fridge from me packing the fridge up.

We left Riley at home… she is having trouble with adjusting to us being gone… well.. I left the cooler next to the counter..not thinking this long legged baboon would think the cooler was a step to the counter. She got on the counter..found 2 sub rolls, and took them on the floor and ate them..than proceeded to have diarrhea in the dining room… GRRRR!… I know they said she was a stray—so she probably climbed in all sorts of places for food…. she IS earning confinement in a kennel when we take off places…

She was great at the camping trip. camping KOA Canandaigua 7-23 - 25 006they had a Kamp K-9… which she had more to herself than with others. So I became her play mate…. camping KOA Canandaigua 7-23 - 25 009

She does not like to chase balls, was not real keen on the agility stuff… she just had time to be off the leash in a safe area.

We had initially planned this trip with Jeff and Amanda and their 2 kids…. we let Josh and Adrianne know –they and their 2 kids came..and than we mentioned to Emily about it. It was going to be like a mini family reunion for a few days…

BUT.. Jeff and Amanda’s boys were sick..so they were not able to attend. We have a nice time…but we definitely camping KOA Canandaigua 7-23 - 25 055did miss them…

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The pool water was cool, the dinner came out very good, the campfire was good for s’mores….and we enjoyed the time spent with everyone there.

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AS the day becomes closer to being a yesterday..I have thought about how neat it is to get together with family.

We are going to maybe try again in August and see if we can get the whole group together… if not camping.. maybe a summer meal here….. we will have to see… I am closing for now.. gotta finish a few things before ending the day…

Love to all , Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Well today Riley Regan got a small introduction to her kennel. We had a birthday party to go to in Rochester, and even though Adrianne and Josh said to bring the dog..we just did feel right about adding a dog to the mix of a potential 15 kids and 40 adults. So the kennel we have used for our past 2 dogs had an opening and we dropped her off.

They said she was great there. 378360_3969024137755_792442688_n[1]That the kennel was like home to her. We were not sure if we would get back by 5 ( when the kennel closes)..but we made it with 15 minutes to spare.

She was not moping, or seeming like the change of scenery did her any harm.. She was tired, but happy.

We are thrilled, as she has been through a lot these past few weeks, and she needs to know we will be back, and that she is safe and no one is going to hurt her.

This woman who runs the kennel totally LOVES each of the dogs. She talks about the dogs like they are gifted children in a daycare center. She does not just put the dogs back in a cage and collect the money. She knows all their quirks, personalities and laughs about their antics. We are so blessed to have her right near by.

Mackenzie is going to be 3 on the 25th… how totally precious to see her at 3..she was born a very tiny little girl… 100_3672

This is Mackenzie on 8-23-2009…

 

and this is her today….

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a little girl filled with wonder.. trying to absorb the day, the heat, the people, the smiles and claps.

It was a nice day. We got to see Josh, Adrianne, 7-21-2012 Mackenzie's birthday party 040Mackenzie, Caleb,

 

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Emily and Craig, and some people we knew in passing…

Mark’s first wife was there and Josh and Adrianne’s kids are very close to her..she lives close to them.

All in all it was a nice day…Riley met new friends..we got to see some of our grandkids… Jeff and Amanda were not there—they have 2 sick boys right now… the party would not have been a great place for them.

Unfortunately they will not be camping with us this week on Mon and Tues… Sad smile (major bummer)… but we will get to spend an afternoon and evening with Emily and Craig..and an evening with Josh, Adrianne and their 2 little ones..so we are looking forward to that.

Whew.. I am feeling a little tired from the day…. I have a solo to do tomorrow… probably would not be good to yawn during it..so I am off to fold laundry and get ready for bed.. Good night all… love to everyone… Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Half the weekend behind us, and it has been a very nice one so far! Last night we went over the Jeff and Amanda’s, the kids were already in bed, but we offered to hang out and listen for them, so Jeff , Amanda and their friend could spend a few hours out.

This morning our breakfast out with our friends. That is always a fun time… listening to Mark and Shawn and their comments back and forth , it is entertaining…We came home for about an hour… and than headed West…

Today was a super special day. We went and spent a few hours with Emily. It was a really nice visit. It is the first time we have all gotten together to share time with one another. She has been to family functions in Rochester, but we never really had one on one time to spend with her…not until today ! SmileIt is tough at large family functions to connect with everyone….

Emily is 15 in a time so different than when we were growing up .Caleb, Mackenzie, Rochester, Sept 30 2011 036

We went to a place Mark and I used to bring our kids when they were small. It is a peaceful place, a very long pier to walk out on, the temp was perfect, the sky clear. There was a nice breeze. We got lunch at a restaurant at the pier, and just spent time reflecting on various events and outlooks of life. Mark had a canvas chair – so he sat at the entrance of the pier and Emily and I walked all the way to the 100E0356end. We stood there for a while, talking about a lot of stuff… Her visions for her future, her goals for college, her plans to work , she has a sense of humor that is priceless, her insight to things she has been through.

Emily’s  parents are very special , and we were blessed to also spend an hour or so talking to them before we headed home.

I was trying to think back to being 15 and in school and how cruel kids were to me. I can not imagine how it would have been if there were cell phones, all the materialism of todays world, ..we had enough to survive in the world back than—but we did not have an over abundance of things. My mom always showed she loved us…. and fortunately for Emily..her parents are the same way….some parents now a days try to buy their kids love… Emily’s parents give her their love…She is truly blessed. She seems to have a some good friends in her life, she is very intelligent and seemed to understand a lot about life in general…

So Emily… Mark and I thank you for spending some time with us today… it was great… and a beginning to a new chapter in all our lives….

Love to all. Mrs Justa alias Cindy