Monday, April 27, 2009

Family Fun...

Cousins, Elodie, Gabriella and Owen, got lots of attention during their recent visit to Grandma Mama & Grandpa Phil's house. Wanna see? Click the arrow below, and watch!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rising Star...

I was privileged to meet and greet several members of Lori's "family" of stars at their headquarters in Brandon, Florida. It was great to discover yet another part of Lori's world. Her world of work. Celestar Corporation has seen significant growth in recent years under the leadership of company CEO, Greg, his capable wife and company V.P., Joanne, and the company's President, Ralph.

They were small business of the year finalist in 2008.
Check it out!

Yeah, so what do I know? I'm just a Mom...
...but I do know that Lori loves her work, loves the people that are a part of her work and they take good care of her. It's a two way street and that's what counts for me!

She loves them; they love her;
she's a star and they let her shine!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lori's Triathlon...

Just when I think my days of spectating are over I am invited to be a fan at another event! The Escape Ft. DeSoto Triathlon took place on Saturday in St. Petersburg and I just happened to be in town for the occasion. Even the little training that Lori did paid off as she walked away with first in her age group!

It was fun times with Lori and friends as they participated in the .5 mile swim, 11 mile bike and 4 mile run. It started in a deep fog at the beach where you could hardly see the orange bouys and kayaks that directed the more that 11oo participants over the swim course and back across the beach to the transition. Lori and her friends, Erinn and Angie started in the same wave - different age groups.

Erinn's hubby, Tony and their nephew, Matt followed up in the men's division as the men participated in their first-ever "Triath-a-lon" ...

...complete with a cheering section of extended family from Pittsburgh, PA! It is a faithful fan club that will show up before dawn and stay until the finish! and listen to the details of a struggle to keep swimming while being dunked and battered and kicked in the "free-for-all" known as the men's swim.
(Special thanks to Lori's main "support staff", photographer and number one fan, Constantin, who also happened to be in town for the occasion.)
Lori finished with a strong run and posted high in the women's standings with her 1:08 time.

By the end the sun had burned through the morning fog revealing a gorgeous blue sky, brilliant sunshine and great beach temperatures! Woo Hoo!, Lori Jo!!

Time to celebrate with a twinkie and a ho-ho!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Remembering Chet...

10/25/45 — 4/8/99
Remembering a Classic…

It seems impossible that it has been ten years since he has gone. But count them again! It has been TEN! Ten years since cancer claimed his life. Ten years since he lost his courageous battle with that destructive foe. Ten years since we gathered as a family to mourn his passing. Ten years since we had to say goodbye to him. But...

...we said we would remember him and we will continue to do so! Indeed, we will always remember him! We remember collectively when we head out for our hamburgers and french fries on October 25 and compare notes about our meals via email.

Each of us also remembers in our own special way. Myself... I particularly enjoy looking at old pictures. I love poring over those old photos from long ago... snapshots that were taken with care to preserve moments and memories. (Thanks, Mom, for your watchfulness and for always being alert for a "Kodak moment"!) Like this one of Grandpa, Dad and Chetty playing with the train set one Christmas.

Sometimes I remember him with awe as my big brother - so strong, so smart, so cool! I wanted to be like him. Or, at least, I wanted to do all the things that he got to do. Like driving and going to high school and acting in plays and stuff.

Sometimes I remember him without awe. He was too strong, too smart, too cool and always had the upper hand. He always won in things like, "pink belly", "indian underwear" and "ninety-niners". Try as I might, I lost every time. (Did anyone EVER get him back?)

Class of 1964. The year the Beatles came to America, wasn't it?

He usually took charge and sat at the top when we took the "stair" pictures like this one in 1973!
The best part of remembering is the realization that, even though he has gone ahead, we will see him again someday. It thrills my heart to know that he is in heaven now - a much better place! He is where there is no more suffering or pain; no sickness or disease; no worry or anxiety; no waiting; no time! The greatest gift he ever gave us was the reassurance that he had trusted Christ in his life and knew where he would spend eternity. (I am so grateful to God for this fact and for the truth that we can know our destiny and that Christ is enough in this life and in the life to come.)
I picture Chet in Heaven's great Banquet hall - at the rowdy table, of course - and I just know that he is saving seats for all his dear family and friends!

Chet with his precious family Jeanne, Jen, Aim and Nic

...and Momma, Mimi.
He may be gone from this earth, but he definitely is not forgotten! As a matter of fact his spirit lives on! His spirit lives on in all of us, but it is so apparent in the lives of his daughters! These stong, smart and independent young women are leaving their mark (and his) on this world. Their joi de vivre is contagious, their individuality is powerful, their generosity is spontaneous and their laughter is outrageous!

Chet's spirit lives on in Nic (and Farn) who are "testing their moxy around the world"; challenging every adventure with, "Is that all you got?" He lives on in Aimee's quiet strength and her loving, loyal spirit. He is there in Jeanne's wild, and articulate exposes of her everyday life that leave me weak from laughter.
Knowing that his spirit lives on keeps me smiling ...

Chet with Nic...

clowning with Aim, Troy and Nic...

Jen and Nic running in their underwear for a great cause!

Hey bro! I hope you are saving a place for me up there! (at the rowdy table, of course)