Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little catching up

Here I go again not keeping up with the blog.  So little time and so much to do.  Where to begin......  Well this year has been very busy with school for me and work for David.  The Youth group has been busy also.  This past summer I graduated from LSCC with an AA and this Fall I moved on the UCF.  I plan on getting my bachelor's in Sociology. David has been working very hard at work and starts his 15th year with Mack and his 2nd year as a youth pastor at the church.  He also is taking on more with the youth so that I have more time to study.  I usually am the planner and he is the teacher, but with all of the research that I am doing; I am out of time.   I am going to try to keep this in some kind of order so that I get everything in.

David:  Like I said above David has been working for Mack for almost 15 years.  Mack has had some rough times during this slow economy.  Mack has went through many lay offs and continues to just get by.  The good thing is that David has learned every product and is vital to the engineering department.  His own department head does not know some of the product so this makes David someone that they extremely need and cannot do without.  Also during all of this they have tripled the health insurance cost to the employee.  We were always blessed with a good rate, even with the increase it is not as high as some pay.  However, it did hit the pocketbook. David is in his second year as the youth pastor at the church we attend.  The church did not have a youth group for 3 years so when David came on board there were only about 3-4 youth that would come.  Now there is anywhere from 15-18 that come on a regular basis and the group can get past 20 with visitors that seem to come pretty frequently.  Small youth group but it is growing.  It has really improved and blessed David with spiritual leadership skills.  The youth really talk to David and enjoy his fun personality. The last thing that you hear when the youth leave the youth room is "BYE MR. DAVE"

Cecilla:  Cecilla turned 17 on the 11th of October.  I feel so old.  She also started her junior year in high school.  She seems to be doing well.  The only thing I can say is that she definitely has her mother's straightforwardness and attitude about having the last word.  She is a goofy teenager with an opinion for everything, but in good spirits most of the time.  David and I encourage her studies and her spiritual side of life a lot.  We try not to push because with past experience it does not work with a teenager like it does with a middle schooler.  They end up rebelling and doing something worse.  We are probably a little more liberal than we should be, but with prayer and understanding we are both sure that she is turning into a beautiful, strong, and faithful young lady.  Cecilla is very easy to love even in the teenage years.  Our prayers are constantly with her.  She has opened up more through the past years especially with David.  David has the gift of not judging and seeing the best in someone.  However, David has found his fatherly side with Cecilla.  Cecilla is very loving towards him and most times will give him a hug first.  It is a good relationship and I can see both of them growing; Cecilla into a woman and David into a father figure.

Bobbie:  As I said above I am at UCF for my junior and senior year in college.  The classes are a lot harder as they are more advanced.  Math is not my subject.  I had to take Elementary Stats in my Sophomore year thinking I was done with Math.  No way, I am in Applied Social Stats which is far more advanced and you have to learn at least 2 chapters at least a week.  The pace is crazy and the tests are even harder since we only have 50 minutes to take one; so you have to know your stuff.  I am excited because I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for my degree.  I plan to go on to my master's and then my Ph.D. We will see where the Lord leads me.

Bittersweet News:  On October 2, 2010 my brother Joshua was married to his fiance Stephanie.  It was a beautiful small intimate wedding in New York.  My sister Roni and I flew up to be there for the wedding and to visit with them.  Roni and I were so excited to see them and Sophia our niece.  That same day I found out that my sister in law's (Susan) brother (Ryan) was killed in a automobile accident.  In the car with Ryan was his wife and daughter, (almost 2).  His wife did have to go through some surgeries and was released and the daughter is still in the hospital undergoing intensive therapy.  There are so many details on this accident; there is not a way to explain all of it.  Please keep the Maley family in your prayers.  My heart is with the mother and daughter goes through all of this without a daddy or husband. 

Babies:  My family is bursting with babies again.  My sister Erica (next to the last sister), is due any day now with her first baby which is a girl.  She will name her Capri Alleyn Grecco.  Then Carissa (my baby sister) found out she is pregnant with her first, a couple months ago.  Finally, my brother Joshua (who just was married) just recently found out that they are expecting their 2nd child.

With all of this news, I am sure that I have missed something, but those are the highlights.  I hope all of you have Blessed Holidays. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vacation and Babies

Ohio had a large amount of snow this winter.  I have only seen snow once when we went to Ohio for our honeymoon.  The snow was still on the ground when we visited this time.  It did not snow, but it was in large piles everywhere because of the snow plows.  My Florida girl thinking was well if the sun comes out it will just melt right away.  No such thing.  It was in the 60's (that was the high) when we were there and the snow was still there.  Also I noticed that I was not as cold as I thought I would be.  Don't get me wrong, IT WAS COLD.  I was standing out in 45 degree weather and it was not as cold as it would be in my sunshine state.  Must be a the humidity that Florida has and Ohio is definitely drier.  I was able to see a pond totally frozen and snow all over Ohio.  I also saw wild gray geese.  Here in Florida I have never seen wild geese unless it was in the zoo.  Also I thought geese were white not gray.

We had a wonderful vacation with David's side of the family.  We were able to see everyone; thanks to my lovely sister-in-law, Susan who hosted a get together of the whole family.  We spent a few days at his mother's house then when on to Amy's house for a couple of nights.  It was great to spend time with all of them.                                                     

Our purpose of trip was to see the new babies of the trip.  Two new babies were born into the family.  Daphne and Sophia are 3 weeks apart.  They are so cute.  I am the bad Aunt and was so excited to see everyone that I did not take many pictures.  Both girls are very cheeky.  Love the cheeks.  Daphne is very easy going and loves the attention.  She is a very smiley girl.  Sophia is adorable with her bright blue eyes and rosy cheeks, but she is a little shy and really loves her mommy and daddy.  She prefers right now not to be held by anyone else. She will get over that soon I am sure because she has a large extended family that wants to love on her.  She does smile a lot when you talk to her. 

We did see all of the other nieces and nephew and loved playing games with them.  Darrin seemed to really love his Uncle Dave.  Uncle Dave was his new friend the whole time of the family get together.  It was nice to see that even though we are in Florida he was not shy around us.

We played a game with a group that included Ellie and Jillie.  Fun game can not remember what the game was called.  But the object of the game is to run out of cards before anyone else does.  All cards are dealt which you keep in a stack face down and you are given a little barn then you pick out of a bag a animal figure (i.e. cow, owl, pig, duck).  Everyone trys to remember who has what animal.  Each person has a turn to turn over a card.  If the card matches with anyone else, the two people with matching cards must remember the opposing persons animal and make the noise that the animal makes (i.e. pig: oink or cat: meow).  It is great fun and loved playing with the girls.

Joy and Molly are getting so tall.  It was wonderful to see their smiling faces.  Joy made my day by giving me a hug.  Joy is a little shy, but growing up to be a beautiful young lady.  Molly is too sweet and spent a lot of her time drawing pictures for all of the families that were there.  Molly's drawing is hanging on our refrigerator.

It was so wonderful to see all of the family.  We also blessed to visit one of David's best friend that also just had a son.  We also visited the creation museum which I will write about later.  Our trip was amazing and we are blessed with large loving families on both sides.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My 21 Year Old Son

Yesterday was Dominic's 21st birthday.  Talk about feeling old.  The mind is flooded by the memories that we have together.  Things were not the easiest for Dominic and I.  I was not a responsible mother and I believe that was due to me having him at 16.  I wish I would have done things differently, but God had a purpose. 

Dominic and I grew up together.  It was very hard, but we lived through all of the rough patches.  We have so many good memories that today we laugh at.  Here are just a few.

Dominic (about 2 years old) and I lived in a little frame house and when it rained we had about 20 black sugar ants came in the kitchen from somewhere (never found where).  Two of my sisters were over (they are 3 and 4 years older than Dominic) and I was fixing lunch.  Dominic was on my heals of the kitchen asking all kinds of questions of what we were having, when will it be done and on and on.  I asked him to go play with his aunts.  He looked around the floor and said "Mommy, they are not out yet."  I laughed so hard, as I realized that he was looking for the black ants not his aunts that were just in the other room.

Another funny, Dominic had very blond almost white hair until he was about 11 years old and his eyebrows were very light also.  He was about 4 years old when my mother and I were talking about how light the eyebrows were that you could not hardly see them.  Dominic turned around quickly with a worried look and said, "Yes you can see my eyebrows, feel!"

There are so many memories that it would take years to tell them all.  I can remember all the sports that he played and played well.   He started off with T-ball, then to baseball.  In baseball he was an outfielder and one of three homerun hitters on his team.  Outfielders are usually not very good, but Dominic was very good.  So good in fact that the other team's coaches warned their players about hitting to center field.   As he became older he went to football in his middle school and high school (freshman and sophmore years).  He played both offense and defense.  Tight End and Middle Linebacker.  His middle school went 9-1.  At the awards ceremony he received the Patriot Award which was the highest achivement.  He also received the best block award.  High School he played JV football and soccer.  He seemed to very well, but he was more interested in Wrestling.  All through his high school years he wrestled.  He won so many awards that I cannot even remember them.  He was very good. 

Dominic has played many sports and seems to be a natural at most.  I am very proud of him and I support him as much as possible.  Today, Dominic is heading for college in the summer.   He did not want to go to college right away, but to go to work.  I told him to start college, but he needed to find his own way.  Finally in January of this year he said what every mother loves to hear "Mom, I think you are right, I need to go to college."   AWWWWW, confirmation that I am doing something right!   :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mom's Chili and Mom-Mow's Mississippi Corn Bread

I used the family cookbook that my mother put together that I spoke of in my last post.  It was great to be able to make some of the family dishes.  I decided since we are having some record cold weather down in Florida that I would make some chili and cornbread.  I usually use some other receipe, but then remembered the special cookbook that my mother gave me for Christmas. 

I looked through to find that my mother's chili was there and my mom-mow's cornbread was also there.  My mother is from Maine and my grandmother from the south.  So, north and south came together on our dinner table that evening.

The only thing that I did not take into account that my mother always made large portions because of having 5 girls and a husband.  I made the chili with all of the ingredients that it called for and added green pepper.  I did not even think of the size.  This is a chili that is cooked in a crockpot on low for several hours.  I have a very large crockpot.  This receipe was HUGE!  It went all the way to the rim of the crockpot.  We had chili for days.  It was very Yummy and David enjoyed the leftovers.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is a tradition that the "Lyons" family has had since I can remember.  It started with my Mom-Mow (grandmother) and after her passing it continued with my sisters and parents.  It is a very large group and we cannot seem find a house big enough to house us all; even though all of our houses are not that small.  It is a wonderful time and I love every minute of it.  There are a lot of activities and traditions.  We play the box game (this was a game my grandmother came up with), my dad reads the Christmas Story out of the bible, gifts for the kids, sister gifts, BIL gifts, mom/dad gifts and gifts from our mom/dad.  To say the least it is a busy night. 

This year was very cute for kids, they decided to put on a skit of the Story of the birth of Jesus (picture of skit to the right).  It was so cute and it was a little off, but the reason for the season was there.  Out of the mouth of babes.  I am so happy and blessed to have a family that truely knows the meaning of Christmas.

Just to explain a little of the activities.  The box game is a box full of small gifts for kids and adults.  Each family puts in 30 items (usually gifts are $1 or lower). We break up into teams.  Teams are matched with one child and one adult.  If we do not have enough kids to go with an adult then we will match the adults.  How do you get the gifts you may ask???? Well we a reader reads the "The Night Before Christmas" (or if we have enough gifts then we use Christmas carols )and then stops leaving the others to fill in the blank.  For example:  "It was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a ______."   You are suppose to raise your hand and answer correctly.  However, most times that is not how it happens.  Anyways, whomever gets the answer correct then they get a gift for themselves and the partner.  The box game was created because our family is large and most of us would spend a fortune on gifts for every person in the family.  So my grandmother came up with the game so you still get something.  Since then the game is still in the family, but the sisters and the BILs do the $5 gifts to each other and the BILS to one another.  It is interesting to see what you can buy for $5.  You do have to be creative.  All of the adults do buy for all the nieces/nephews and each family does buy for our mom/dad.  We have told our mother not to bother buying the adults anything, but she does not listen.  Each daughter gets a box of gifts for herself and husband.  Each grandchild gets a box of gifts also.  She keeps telling us that she cuts back but we do not see it.

The best gift this year from my mother is the family cookbook.  It was a huge binder full of receipes from my dad's side of the family and my mother's side.  My mom-mow gave my mother the family "secret receipes" for Christmas years ago and then this year copied it and added my her mother's receipes.  There were also new receipes that she had and thought we would enjoy.  The most touching part of this book is the dedication page that explains the reason for the cookbook.  My mother also encourged to add to the cookbook with receipes from our husband's side of the family.

This year seem to be different.  Not that anything changed but for some reason the "air" was different.  All of the sisters are married and have their own families except for my sister Erica.  She has been dating Nick for almost a year and on Christmas Eve he popped the big question with ring in hand.  She said "yes" and all of us were happy to witness the start of engagement.  It was great.  We have a wedding in the October of this year and are happy to have an addition of not only Nick but his daughter Mykayla.  They both fit in our vast family very nicely.

It was a wonderful Christmas and one that will be remembered as one of the best; not because of the gifts, but for the simple memories of a family that is rich in love and dedication to one another.  It has taken me sometime to realize that my family is a large blessing.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas with a "W"

David emailed me this short story. It is amazing how one mix up can change the outlook of the meaning of "Winter Play" at a public school. Thank God for our little children who can speak loads without saying a word. The story is very heartwarming and eye opening. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Have a Merry Christmas!

Christmas with a "W" --- Author unknown

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations--extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a 6 year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant" I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there would be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So in the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because of the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as Christmas, I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bight snow caps upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage -- held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, " H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down -- totally unaware her "M" appeared as a "W." The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W." Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

And, I believe, He still is. Amazed in his presence.... Humbled by His Love.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Going Postal"

Monday I went to the post office to send off my son's Christmas gifts only to find that it closes between 12pm - 1pm. I had never heard of such a thing. I was born and raised in Tampa, FL so our post offices were always open. Come to find out because our town is so small (around 1200 people) that they close for lunch because there only 2-3 people that work there at a time.

I was on a time schedule so I went to the other local post office which is about 5-7 miles away in Leesburg. They were open so I went inside only to find a line which I figured because of the season.

Now, I live in a county that is around 85% older adults (65 and above). I was the youngest one in the post office in the line, the next youngest was in her 50's, I would guess. The reason I tell you this is because the whole time I am standing there waiting all I hear is complaining of the line being so long that the clerks need to hurry up, work harder, and open another line. Also, one of the clerk's felt she needed to explain her lunch break to the crowd because she had to close. This started a whole bunch more complaining.

I was blown away how mean some of these people were. My thoughts: All of these people were mostly if not all retired. What do they have to do all day? Do they have a social event, golf game, or bingo that they cannot miss.

I am not disrespectful of older persons; however, I found it quite irritating that no one could give these hard working people a break. Christmas for postal workers is the largest and busiest time of year. Where was all the Christmas spirit? I have to admit that standing in line was not what I wanted to do or the only thing I had to do that day, but I was not going to complain.

During these hard times of people being laid off, I try not to complain about anyone. I mean some people are blessed to have a job that they enjoy while others have a job they can't stand, but need one to provide for themselves or families. So, I feel if I complain about someone that maybe someone last day. Employers have their pick now because there are so many people needing jobs, so I believe they take advantage. If you don't perform to what they want then you are out and the next guy is in.

Well with all of this said, just remember this is the holiday season. Give some joy to others by wishing them a Merry Christmas with a smile.