Saturday, December 29, 2007

Trip to Kentucky and More

Merry Belated Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We had an awesome time in Kentucky this past week. We arrived in town about 2 in the afternoon the Friday before Christmas and left early Wednesday morning. We immediately drove over to see my dad. He was being released from Baptist East Hospital after a hip replacement surgery the previous Wednesday. Wow, only two days in the hospital! I am impressed, Dad. While we were there he appeared to be doing much better than his previous surgery on his other hip a few years back. I called my parents last night and he was already starting to use a cane to move around! WTG Dad!

We had a great time with the Sutherland side of the family on Saturday and Sunday. We shopped with Mom and Dad S. on Saturday and then had Christmas with the family on Sunday.
It was a great time being with the family and everyone really enjoyed one another's company.
All of us forgot to take out the cameras while we spent the day together so I have no photos to share. Oops! I wish I had gotten a photo of our nieces and nephew. They are growing so tall!

The next two days were spent over the Gerdis-side. Gideon baked cookies with Grandma Judy (otherwise known as ZsaZsa by Cousin Ethan) on Monday and Aunt Toby and Ethan came for a visit. Kenny bought some new underwear for Gideon while he was out and Aunt Toby thought of something funny to do with the boys. Yikes! Thanks Aunt Toby! Well, at least it will be a good bribe picture when Gideon's a teenager.

We start early on Christmas morning on the Gerdis-side. Everybody got to Dad and Mom's house by about 9:30. Gideon and Ethan had fun eating their food. Yum!

Gideon and Grandma Judy broke the wishbone
and Grandma won! How did she do that? :)

We are now back in Jersey. It was a good trip back and we even saw a rainbow on the way home. It was a gorgeous sky at sunset to our backs with the rain coming down. It was an awesome mixture.

Here is the GPS (TomTom) we got as a Christmas gift. We loved using it on the way home. Kenny and I decided that it is going to be able to give us a lot more freedom when navigating around New Jersey. Yeah!

See the last image above? Well, I thought it would be fun to do this celebrity morph post that I found at It is pretty fun to fool around with. After you upload a photo of yourself or someone else, you can choose collage or morph. A collage will give about 10 different people that your face matches up with and a percentage of how close your face matches up. I will try to put up one of Kenny and Gideon on a different post. If you want to try it out, just click on the link below the image.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas In The Big Apple

About a 12 ft. Captain Jack Black made completely out of Legos!

Well, I guess I will not ever, ever complain about the lines and crowds at the mall during the Christmas season! NYC is very busy and I have talked about how crowded it can be, but two weeks before Christmas is absolutely NUTS! There was no elbow room to even speak of in the Toys R Us that we tried to shop at. We bravely let Gideon explore small sections of the store (like the Amazing Lego Section), but the crowds were insane. It took us about a 1/2 hour just to get out of the store (we didn't even purchase anything!). One lady saw us trying to go against the current and she yelled out that she would pray for us as she too was slowly carried away with the flow of the masses of people.

We decided to take it all in stride and not to get too worked up over it and just enjoy the amazing spectacle in and of itself. We decided not to worry about where we were going but just enjoy the moment for what it was at each little step today.

We left the house at 9:30 and drove to Red Bank train station. Oh mom, we will definitely have to check out Red Bank the next time you come to visit. It appears to be a great little town of quaint shops and eateries about 20 minutes drive from Lakewood! Anyway,.. we arrived in Manhattan at about 12:30 via the train. We ate at the Red Lobster in Time Square area and it was then almost 2:00! Where had the time gone??? Just getting from point A to point B and so on was an incredible feat alone. We mainly just walked today. We walked around Time Square, up to Rockerfeller Center, by 34th Street and saw the Lord and Taylor and Macy's Incredible Window displays, passed by the New York Library, and then gandered at the Empire State Building. We were able to get onto the 5:07 train back to Jersey and arrived back home by 7:30 after a few errands. Whew! We looked at each other at the end of it all and couldn't believe how little we really accomplished in 10 hours time, but we both agreed that we made some great memories and that is all that counts.

This was in the heart of Rockerfeller Center. A field of over a million dollars worth of pennies collected by NYC school children. The money will be used to help public schools around NYC.

Rockerfeller Center was soooo crowded that there was absolutely no way to even attempt to go ice skating. We had talked about who would be the lucky one to go out on the ice with Gideon before we arrived there, but once there we knew it would be an impossibility. We agreed that we will have to go back in January and February for that little memory.

Gideon did get to see Diego today. We thought that the trip was well worth just for that reason alone. He was very happy to see Diego even though he wouldn't allow mommy to let go of him for one instance while the picture was being taken.

We didn't get any photos of Lord and Taylor's windows. The crowds were too big, but Macy's did a "Miracle on 34th Street" theme. The windows were fantastic! I am sure our pictures will not do it justice. I guess you will just have to come visit us in the next two weeks before we leave for KY and just see them yourself!

I think the part that Gideon enjoyed the most today was when we stopped in front of the New York City Library with the Lion statues and let him run around and just get out all that pent up energy from the train and sitting in a stroller most of the day surrounded by thousands of people. He ran, he jumped, and he even did a dance. There was a group nearby the library that was doing a Michael Jackson intrepretation and Gideon was enjoying some of the music. I got some great shots of the buildings and trees and even took a photo of myself by a trunk of one.

Reflection of the Top of the Empire State Building Two Blocks Away

After the library we turned down a street and I looked up and there was the top of the Empire State Building reflected onto the lower windows of this building. It was so cool!!!! WE didn't realize we were that close so we went back the way we had just come and walked a few more blocks to see it. The top was really not visible. I was so glad we had happened upon that reflection! It was like the icing on the cake for the day.

The entire day Gideon never took a nap. When we got back on the train he was still wired up. After about 20 or so minutes on the train, Gideon started to complain and wanted to know when we would be getting off. I told him that if he were to take a nap right now and lay down on mommy's shoulder he would be at the station getting into the car before he knew it. He replied, "Okay!" and promptly got on my lap and within less than 3 minutes was soundly asleep! I wasn't expecting such a compliant and very quick response as that !!!! But I was grateful and did not look a gift horse in the mouth! He slept the entire way back to the train station.

It has been a whirlwind of a day! I can definitely say that the Lord is amazing! A place like NYC, especially at Christmas time, demonstrates the sheer numbers of humans that the Lord has created, loved, and is taking care of each and every day here on earth. It is quite overwhelming. We saw a lady hunched down, almost to the ground walking with two little canes in the midst of the crowd, yet in the complete opposite direction. Could we stop and help. The mass made us go on. The flow was too great...yet she walked against the flow. Another homeless man had a sign that read..."For 25 cents you can chew me out." He stood next to the sign with a blanket around his shoulders and his face to the wall, not looking at the passerbys. Another woman sat on the sidewalk head down with a sign that informed people that she had four children and no way to feed them or help them and could anyone help. But the mass continued and moved on! It is hard to know when to stop and not go with the crowd. It can be so easy just to move with the crowd.

You know how Jesus said to be like little children? Well, I have a great example of this. On the way home from school last night Gideon and I were singing "Jingle Bells" and also "Away in a Manger". We knew that Kenny had a meeting so I decided to eat at the Jewish Deli in front of our apartment building and just get Gideon a slice of pizza. Well, almost the entire time there Gideon is singing "Away in a Manger, no crib for a bed, Jesus layed on his head." (Remember he is only three...just learning the song. :) ) He didn't know anymore lines, but anyway...the point is that he was just loving to sing that song about Jesus. He didn't mind that Jewish mothers were looking oddly at him. He just wanted to sing! Was mommy squirming a little? I have to admit that I was. But then I started to relish in the fact that he was doing what Jesus wants us to do each and every moment of our lives. Come unto him without reservation, without worrying about who we might offend. I hope that we can be that way. Just sing and love our Lord and do it whenever and wherever we have the notion!

Hope Your Christmas Season is a wonderful one. I hope that the Lord puts on your heart the one that truly needs your specific help. We miss you all and we hope to see some of your really soon!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Trying Out a New Blog Site

Dear Friends and Family,

I am trying out a new blog provider. The site that I have been using has great difficulty uploading pictures and it takes FOREVER! Right now, I am liking this site better! Only time will tell.

I am posting some pictures that I have not had time to post lately. Enjoy.

I had to take a pic of the image above. He was just looking very Kentucky Red-Neck that day. Hee Hee. (Especially holding his belly and the
zipper undone...Yikes!)

Kenny left this morning at 5 a.m. for Newark Airport. He is leaving on an 8 a.m. flight to Mexico City today. He should be back by Tuesday night
. Please be praying for a safe flight to and from. It is also a very busy week for him, not including Mexico. He has some pretty important presentations for his work that are to be done the second half of the week. Just keep him in your prayers. He has a lot of work to do and I think he is pretty overwhelmed.

This has been a good week for me. I am pretty much done with the grad class I have been complaining about the past few months. I bet you are glad that you won't have to read anymore rantings and ravings about the course. I have a couple little odds and ends to take care
of by Thursday, but it is not a big deal at all.

We had some snow today. Not enough to cancel school tomorrow, but very exciting for Gideon. We are going to get our warm clothes on later and do some "frolicking
" in the whiteness. Sorry, I can't take any pictures. Kenny needed the digital camera for his trip this week.

Gideon is pointing to me in the video and saying that I am grandma and he is papa. He then pulls up his pants really high and turns around for me to view. He thinks it is quite funny. :)

Cousin Brenna and Gideon pretending to be baby jaguar from Diego the day after his birthday party this summer. Face painting was the only thing we didn't get time to do. I bet parents were probably grateful. :)

Thought I'd show you a few of my student's relief map projects that I thought were pretty exceptional!