Monday, August 31, 2009

Camping Fun for Gary's Birthday Weekend

It was so much fun to camp together. We literally THREW the weekend together at the last minute, cancelled it, and then re-instated it.  It is really an "updated version" of our old time camping days.  Old days we set up a minimum of five tents, made all our own meals, and just plain got grungy, soaking wet, and poison-ivy'd for a week (or sometimes even two) at a time!  

NOW, our "updated version" includes going to Bally's to work out and get ready, a Starbucks coffee, shopping AFTER we get there, and going out to eat!  Although we keep the hobo pies around (thanks to Gary's efforts), the s'mores, and coffee and hot chocolate and snacks there, the rest of it is really minimum work.  Also, it IS a relief to sleep on cots instead of on the floor!

Although I really miss the old days with all the extraordinary efforts, it IS a relief to be able to just throw a weekend together and still feel we have the "camping experience".  Also, we had to rent a trailer because we sold our mega-trailer that we used to use to haul all our equipment.

Everyone made it up except Danny...  

It was awesome to have everyone together and enjoying "semi-camping" together.  

After the rain finally stopped, we played tennis, football, kickball (and Russell literally got KNOCKED OUT and had to go to the hospital to see if his jaw was broken), rode bikes, sang, did our Bible studies by the fire (awesome), played board games, read books, and just kicked around doing nothing together.  

A mini-vacation -- just enough to add a few more awesome memories to our summer...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Double Wedding Day

“BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who fears, reveres, and worships the Lord, who walks in His ways and lives according to His commandments. For you shall eat [the fruit] of the labor of your hands; happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) shall you be, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house; your children shall be like olive plants round about your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you out of Zion [His sanctuary], and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life;”
(Psa 128:0-5 AMP)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
(John 12:24 KJVS)

These two verses keep going over and over in my mind as we celebrate TWO MORE weddings!

*The sacrifices made to raise a family requires a lot of work. But Psalm 128 tells us we will enjoy the fruit of our labors. I am truly enjoying the fruit of our labors. And yes, what my Dad told me is so true: my children have given me so much more than I have ever given them.

*So many times my husband and I "died to our selves" to raise a family. But look at the fruit of it!

My girls are marrying two young men that will continue to love them and cherish them the way they have been loved and cherished at home. Both Gabriel and Michael love the Lord with all their hearts and will lead their homes the same way. Both young men have been truly hand-picked by God to be our sons and the husbands to our amazing daughters.

Last year when Jesse and Amber were married we felt the same way. Now, I can't even IMAGINE our family without Amber in it! Because God is sooooo faithful. The fruit that came from us living the way He instructed us to for real joy.

Today I am so happy and excited for Gabriel and Hannah, and Michael and Bethany! They are going to have an amazing day! What a privilege to be their Mom.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Christa and Brandon's Big Day!

When Christa set out for work on Friday, little did she know what was in store. As soon as she left, Kristen and I sprang into action, and began cooking for a surprise engagement party to be held later that evening. Decorations came flying out from hidden places, as we scurried about all day getting things ready. Paula, Brandon's mom, came over and helped, and together we all began creating a masquerade themed party that Christa would never forget.

Brandon took Christa to an ice rink, where he rented out the entire rink. When Christa wondered why no one was skating, he just said because it was June and it's not too busy, and she thought that was a reasonable explanation so still didn't have a clue! Then he played a special song he wrote for her that he had pre-setup at the rink. She was so surprised, because he had been writing the song for some time.

When Brandon got down on one knee in the middle of the rink, though, Christa knew this was not just an ordinary day.

Brandon called me in from the parking lot, where I was waiting with camera in hand. After snapping a few pictures, I went back to the party, and Christa & Brandon went to Mike's house to get ready for the party.

We had an amazing party, with awesome tributes to Christa and Brandon given throughout the evening. An incredible menu and theme (masquerade), with Brandon's and Christa's family all there...

What an amazing night to remember!

To see ALL the pictures, click here

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beautiful Almost Summer Day!

Today was such a great day! Started off just hanging around with Andrew (who spent the night after Danny's Wings party last night) and Bethany. Then went on an apx. 20-mile bike ride with Julie --

Did a bunch of chores, then off to grocery shop. When I came home, everyone was there hanging out, and Jesse was over getting his haircut. Made a quick dinner, and even Gary showed up!

Now just hanging around with Bethany & Christa.

Love having a houseful of wonderful people to hang around with! I am soaking up every minute!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

30th Carollo-Girgenti Family Picnic

It was an amazing day, start to finish (actually even BEFORE the start!). BEFORE the start, the guys on our "team" all drove to Harsen's Friday night to get everything ready for the big "PAJAMA party" (that was Mike Picc, Gary, Stephen & Michael). Of course, they always end up having their own party!

Then first thing Saturday morning, up and attem to get to the picnic as early as possible. It was weird for me to be driving my vette alone, but I happenstanced upon Laurie with Mikey & Rachel driving alongside me and I grabbed Rachel for my ride too!

Breakfast was cinnamon roll French toast, fruit, Laurie's homemade granola, Nina's incredible Martha Stewart Coffee-cupcakes, eggs, toast, and cereal. Every family had a "photo opportunity" for our scrapbook. We had a contest for the best outfit fitting the theme.

Throughout the day there was awesome friendship, fellowship, and fun. We had a DVD of THIRTY YEARS of memory videos playing at two places throughout the day (thanks to Robert & his EXCELLENT editing skills!) The DVD was amazing, and we were able to relive some epoch moments with five sets of grandparents who are no longer with us, and with Mr. Carollo -- hearing his voice and seeing him putting his heart into our picnic boostered our coming together even more...

We missed several people who couldn't be there because of illness or distance, and it made us realize how precious each time we get together really is...

We played some fun games within the theme: volleyball with a balloon and sheet and teams; sleeping bag relay races; and a dessert contest.

Special guest appearance with Robin and Michelle bringing Bryson from Florida -- everyone was thrilled to meet him! And when Renee and Brandon drove from Chicago, it was such a special surprise to see them!

Dinner was amazing: mahi-mahi (caught by the men who do the annual fishing trip!), filets, portabella mushrooms grilled, sweet and regular potato bar, four choices of incredible salads, and on and on...

It was a pretty amazing day. I have received texts already thanking our group for an amazing day (how special). It was a day full of memories -- memories that will last a lifetime and go in the family album and in our hearts to make us realize that we have something so very very special: families that have been with each other from infancy, involved in our families' good times and bad, caring for each others' children and supporting each other throughout LIFETIMES.

Carollo and Girgenti families!!!! To order pictures, add your own or comment, go to: Family Picnic Pics on Shutterfly

For more pictures see: Family Pictures 1

and see: Family Pictures 2

Friday, June 5, 2009

Family Picnic Ahead!

Today is going to be a busy day getting ready for the THIRTIETH ANNUAL Carollo-Girgenti Family Picnic tomorrow! I love working with our group - we have so much fun planning the picnic! Can't wait!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Matt's Grad Party

Had a great day yesterday, first scrapbooking with Christa at Jan's, then to Matt's graduation party. It was great to see so many friends and family there! Afterwards, went home and hung out with the family for awhile.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Remembering Candace Lee

Today is a very sad day. I will be attending the funeral of a brave young lady, a classmate of Bethany's, who died. All her life she had problems with her heart. Upon speaking to her on occasion at her home, her attitude was always to celebrate what she COULD do; she never focused on what she couldn't do.

2 Corinthians 4.17-5.8 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.  For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

I sorrow with the Lee family through a loss that I can't even imagine. A music note has gone from their home. My Dad always told me that when you're young, you can't even imagine WHY you would ever want to leave this earth and go to heaven. But as you get older, and more of your loved ones go before you, you long for the day to be reunited for eternity. The Lee family has a piece of their heart and home with Jesus now, and another reason to know that we pilgrims on this earth. We will see Candace again! We sorrow, but NOT as those who do not know and hold this hope as the anchor of our souls.

May Candace's life inspire all of us to live every day of our lives, and to make today count: don't wait for tomorrow to live the plan God has for you today!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tour of Italy

It has been an amazing few days here. Started off in Rome touring all amazing places like where Peter & Paul walked, the Colaseum where gladiators fought and Christians were martyred. Stood where Julius Caesar stood and where Mussolini spoke. Was at Trevi Fountain where Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn made Roman Holiday.

Pasta is the dish of choice here, or grilled fish, although any fish you THINK you know what it is, be ready for some surprises!

Went to Venice and toured the canals, walking from daybreak til after dark!!!

Now onto Stressa!