The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘My Great Niece Elise’

Our Christmas

Our Christmas began on Wednesday, December 23.  We celebrated Christmas with my stepdaughter and two granddaughters on that day.  Stacey and the girls arrived at 2:00 pm. We ate Christmas dinner: turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and for dessert pumpkin pie, chocolate pudding and chocolate chip cookies.  After dinner, and after the kitchen had been cleaned up, we exchanged Christmas gifts.  Our granddaughters left around 4:15 pm, when their paternal grandmother picked up the girls to take them to church.  Stacey left about an hour later.

It was just Bob and me for Christmas Day.   Bob and I decided not to exchange gifts this year, opting to make our Eureka Springs vacation in September our Christmas present to each other.  We didn’t have a white Christmas.  It wasn’t even a chilly Christmas, as the temperature rose into the 50s.  In the afternoon Bob and I went for a long walk at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown, NY.  We walked all three trails. The orange trail is 1 mile in length; the yellow trail is 2 miles in length; and the blue trail is .5 miles in length. We didn’t follow each trail individually, so we didn’t walk the entire 3 ½ miles in trail. It would be reasonable, though, to say we walked more than 2 miles, probably close to 3 miles!

20151225_175810329_iOSBob and I on one of the trails at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary
If you would like to see more pictures from our walk, you may do so by clicking here.

We ate Christmas dinner at Variety Buffet, a local Chinese restaurant that we have eaten at the past couple Christmases.
Bob and I celebrated Christmas with my brother and family at his house the day after Christmas.  We left Warren at 10:00 am and arrived in Cadogan around 12:30 pm. Our nephew, Jared, and his wife Sara and their daughter Kyla had arrived earlier in the day.  I had plenty of Kyla time (and time with Sara and Jared) before the arrival of Judy’s brother, Donald, and his wife Gina and Judy’s mother, Lois, and our nephew, Michael, and his wife Kailey and their children Kaleb and Anna.

We ate dinner at 3:00 pm.

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Our Christmas dinner included ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, Amish noodles, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce. For dessert we had a choice of pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, and brownies. Dinner was served buffet style, with us taking our filled plates into the living room and den to eat. Dinner was delicious.

Gift opening commenced at 4:00 pm.

The last activity before we departed for home was a sock exchange, in which Judy, Gina, Lois, Sara, Kailey and I participated. Each of us filled a pair of fuzzy socks with stocking stuffers, the contents of which were not to exceed $20.00. We sat in a circle holding the socks that we brought. Jared read a Christmas story that I found on the Internet. Every time the word RIGHT was read, everyone passed her gift to the right. Every time the word LEFT was read, gifts were passed to the left. Each person kept the gift held at the end of the story. I give kudos to my sister-in-law, Judy, for suggesting the sock exchange.  We had the best time passing around our socks!

Bob and I left for home around 6:15 pm and returned home around 9:00 pm. It was an enjoyable day. Too bad that our niece, Emily, and her husband Dan and their daughter Elise couldn’t be there with us.  Emily, Dan and Elise live about a 1.000 miles away–a bit too far for a day’s drive!

I put together the following collage of some of the photographs that I took, while at my brother’s house.

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 (top row) l-r: Lois and her great granddaughter; Michael and his family
(middle row) l-r: My brother and sister-in-law with their grandchildren; Donald and Gina
(bottom row) l-r: Emily and her family; Jared and his family

There is one picture included in the collage that I didn’t take. I downloaded one of Emily’s Facebook pictures. Dan, Emily and Elise were not with us in person. They were, though, with us in spirit!

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It is now the last day of the year 2015.   Happy New Year to each and every one of you.  Here are my wishes for you in the new year:

“Great beginning for January…
Love for February…
Peace for March…
No worries for April…
Fun for May…
Joy for June and July…
Achievements for August…
Harmony for September…
Good fortune for October and November…
Happiness for December…”

~Author Unknown

Three-Year Birthday Celebration

Saturday afternoon Bob and I attended our great niece’s third birthday celebration.  Elise’s birthday party was held at her maternal grandparents’ house from 2:00 pm through 8:00 pm.  The party was well attended by family members, for the most part.

M1101976 4x6This is our great nephew, Kaleb.  Kaleb is Elise’s cousin.  When Kaleb and I hugged each other, I told him how tall he is getting.  Kaleb’s response?  “I am 9.”  I guess being 9 years old means you are tall.

M1101977-New Year's Portrait - 01

This is Elise, the birthday girl.  When I took this picture, Elise’s mother (our niece) was holding her, and Elise was looking back at me.  As soon as I took this picture, Elise became shy.  She laid her head on her mom’s shoulder and looked away from me.

M1101981+M1101982+M1101983-seniors-template-15In this sequence of pictures, everyone sings “happy birthday” to Elise and then she blows out her candles.  I love Elise’s expression, while everyone is singing happy birthday to her.  She appears to be in awe that everyone is singing to her.  Elise’s smile, after she successfully blows out the birthday candles, is a favorite picture as well.

IMG_3543In this photograph Elise and others are eating birthday cupcakes.  Our great niece, Anna (Elise’s cousin), is sitting on the right hand side of the picnic table.

It was a 2-hour drive for Bob and me to attend the party.  Thankfully the weather cooperated, and we didn’t see any wintery precipitation during our drive there and back home.  We arrived shortly before 2:00 pm and stayed for a couple hours.

Happy birthday Elise!  Uncle Bob and I are happy that we were able to celebrate your birthday with you!

Surprise!

Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride on Saturday, May 24. We had only one destination in mind, when we left home – Lutzs Leather, located a couple hours’ ride south.

We made two stops en route Lutzs Leather. Our first stop was at Fountain Park in Franklin PA to stretch our legs.

P5245194 4x6The A.G. Egbert Memorial Fountain is the centerpiece of Fountain Park.  The fountain was constructed in 1896 in memory of Albert G. Egbert, a local physician and one-time member of Congress.

In addition to admiring the fountain, I liked the beauty of this white-blossoming tree.

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Our second stop was in Slippery Rock, at Sheetz, to fuel up. Our stop at Lutzs Leather was not long. Bob tried on a couple leather coats and found one he liked. Bob now owns a new leather coat. This coat “breathes”, a feature he is most happy about.

We decided to go from Lutzs Leather to The Chief Bar and Restaurant in Kittanning PA (another hour’s drive) to surprise six of my high school classmates who were meeting there to plan our 40th high school reunion.

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Everyone was pleasantly surprised!
With the exception of one classmate, I hadn’t seen the others since high school graduation.

Bob and I not only surprised my high school classmates with a visit, we surprised my brother and his family with a visit. Before leaving The Chief Restaurant, I telephoned Judy to see if she and Jim were home and available to get together. We made plans to meet in a couple hours. With those plans in place, we made arrangement for a night’s stay at the Quality Inn. When we left home, we didn’t know whether or not our day’s journey would include an overnight stay. We packed a change of clothes just in case. Our visit with Jim and Judy lasted a couple of hours. In addition to visiting with Jim and Judy we were able to visit with our niece, Emily, and her daughter Elise, as well as with our great nephew Kaleb and great niece Anna. The eight of us ate a picnic dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked beans and fruit salad.

IMG_2728Anna and Elise

IMG_2732Kaleb got to sit on our new motorcycle.
By the way, Bob is wearing the new leather coat that he purchased at Lutzs Leather.

It was a good day. It was great to see everyone!

Two-Year Birthday Celebration

Yesterday afternoon Bob and I attended our great niece’s second birthday celebration.  Elise’s birthday party was held at her maternal grandparents’ house from 2:00 pm through 5:00 pm.   It was a 2-hour drive for Bob and me to attend the party.  Thankfully the weather cooperated, and we didn’t see any wintery precipitation during our drive there and back home.  The party was well attended, and I enjoyed chatting with other attendees.  The highlight of our visit, though, was before the party began. Bob and I arrived 30 minutes early, and I had one-on-one playtime with Elise.

Here is a series of four photographs of Elise that I particularly liked.

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Elise is such a happy child.  She smiles and laughs all the time.  In this series of photographs, Elise’s princess crown keeps slipping.

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Happy birthday Elise!  Uncle Bob and I are happy that we were able to celebrate your birthday with you!

Family Time

The last 13 days of October, for which I have photographs to share, were all about family.

We spent the night of Saturday, October 19, in the Pittsburgh area.  We visited with Bob’s cousin, Chris, and his family that evening.  Amy made dinner.  The main entree was honey mustard chicken accompanied by broccoli, whole grain rice, and salad.  For dessert we had a choice of a mini croissant with either white or chocolate kisses inside or apple turnovers that we brought with us.  I ate a mini croissant.   After dinner, I took several pictures of Chris and his family.

PA192706-PA192707-PA192715-PA192725-multi-signature-08I put together a collage of my favorite photographs.

Chris, Amy and their son, David, will be moving to Italy early next year for 3 year tour of duty.  Although Chris and family will be far away, I am happy that they will have the opportunity for travel during their 3-year stay.  I look back fondly on my 3 years in Germany, while I was in the Army.  I saw so much of Europe, while I lived there.

On Sunday, October 20, we visited with my brother and some members of his family.  We enjoyed lunch at Jim’s house.  The main entree was stuffed shells accompanied by Italian bread.   For dessert we had banana bread with chocolate chips.  Lunch was delicious!  After dinner, I took several pictures of Jim, Judy, Emily and Elise.  I even got some pictures that included Bob and me, which either Emily or Judy took with my camera.

PA202759-PA202762-multi-signature-02Our niece, Emily, and her daughter Elise

PA202768-PA202770-seniors-template-14Mother, Daughter and Granddaughter

PA202779-PA202780-PA202781-portrait-16x20-horizontal-03My brother, Jim, and his wife Judy

PA202764-PA202766-PA202772-PA202783-portrait-advantage-20I LOVE this collage of Bob, Emily, Elise and me!
I printed the collage; it is framed and sitting on top of a cabinet in our living room.

Thank you Chris and Amy and Jim, Judy and Emily for delicious meals and good conversations.  Thank you, too, for preserving memories via photographs!

We enjoyed family time with Stacey, Mike, Harper and June in October as well.  All four of them dropped by on Halloween.

PA312803 4x6Harper was dressed as a cat; June was dressed as a horse.

PA312813 4x6“Cat” and Mouse

PA312815 4x6Stacey and Harper

PA312794 4x6“Da-da?”

PA312825 4x6Stacey left for home before Mike and the girls.  I wish she had stayed just a little bit longer.  I love this photograph of Mike, the girls, their cousin Maddi and their Aunt Jen.  I would have loved it even more, if Stacey was in the picture!

One-Year Birthday Celebration

Our great niece, Elise, turned 1 year old in December.  On Sunday, December 30, we celebrated Elise’s birthday with family and friends.  The birthday party was held at my brother’s house.

We left Warren around 11 am and arrived in Kittanning, PA around 1:30 pm.  We checked into Quality Inn, where we spent the night, and left for Jim and Judy’s house shortly before 2:00 pm.  We made a hotel reservation, even though we could have made it back home the same day, because weather conditions are always uncertain in the winter time.  Also, staying overnight gave us more time to spend with my family.

We spent the next 5 hours eating sloppy joes, potato salad and cake; chatting and watching Elise open gifts.

Here are a few photographs from Elise’s birthday party.

The birthday girl
Look at those blue eyes!

I didn’t capture a photograph of Elise eating her birthday cake, only the aftermath.

Elise with her mom and dad

Elise, opening birthday presents

Rocking Horse!

The rocking horse was a birthday present from Elise’s grandparents.

Elise liked the rocking horse for a little while…until she didn’t!

It was a good party.  I am happy that we decided to spend the night, rather than go home that night.  I enjoyed the extra time with my family.

Happy Birthday Elise!

Our great niece, Elise, is 1 year old today.  I have two nephews and one niece.  Elise is the daughter of my niece, Emily, and her husband Dan.  I want to share photographs of Elise from the past year; however, I do not have many pictures of her as I have seen her only four times in the past year.  Emily, however, has taken photographs of Elise each month of her life.  I asked permission to share some of Emily’s Facebook photographs with you.  I hope that you enjoy the photographs as much as I do.

Thoughts on This Second Day of the New Year

Elise, one day old

Bob, Stacey and I met Elise for the first time on February 26.

I love this photograph of our great nephew, Kaleb, his sister Anna, and Elise.  Kaleb is 6 1/4 years old in this photograph.  Anna is 3 1/2 years old.

 

Emily and Elise

Elise, Emily and the proud grandparents

I visited with Emily, Dan and Elise in mid March.  Our exchange student from Brazil, who lived with us during the 2004-2005 school year, was visiting at the time and accompanied me to meet his new “cousin”.

Elise and Raphael

Dan, Emily and Elise

20120409-threemonthElise, 3 months old
She makes a very cute little bunny!

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Elise, 7 months old
Elise is showing off her bottom teeth!

It so happened that we saw Elise around the same time that the picture shown above was taken.  My brother and his family attended the “Welcome Granddaughter” picnic that Bob and I hosted on July 28.

Elise and Grandma Judy

The last photograph I have to share of Elise was taken by Grandma Judy.

20121225-christmas
Christmas 2012
Emily, Dan and Elise

Happy birthday Elise!  Aunt Linda and Uncle Bob love you!

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