Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Visit To Florida

We flew down to Florida this past weekend to visit Matt's mom & grandparents. Sydney made friends with our pilot on the escalator ride so he invited her up to the cockpit.
Despite the forced smile in the picture she had a great time. Captain Hans let her sit in the drivers seat & take the wheel. She was tickled pink!

We flew into an 80 degree Tampa Airport. A nice change from our 20 degrees and snowing. Picked up our $9.00 a day rental car, what a great rate, and headed off to Anna Marie Island to visit the Browning's. As always they were happy to have the company.

Pam took Sydney to her school with her the following morning. She joined Mrs. Bird's kindergarten class for the day. She had a great time! She was fascinated by the sand & sea shells on the playground. She is used to the gravel & mulch here in Ohio. By lunch she made so many new friends she opted to sit with them rather than eat with Grandma Pam.

We wrapped up our weekend with a visit to the South Florida Museum where we saw Snooty, the world's oldest manatee. He is 59 and quite sweet.

Then celebrated an early Christmas with dinner & gifts. Andrew loved all his Cars items & Sydney was relieved to receive the American Girl Doll named Ivy. Pam even got both her AG Dolls matching Ohio State cheerleading uniforms.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

3 Cheers for Sydney

Sydney had her first cheerleading competition today. Back in August she joined the NEO Cubs, a traveling competition group who has teams ranging from 5 years old to collegiate level. Today's competition was close to home, at the Canton Civic Center.

Sydney & I arrived early for warm ups. She was very excited and nervous about preforming in front of the large crowd. Unlike ballet she could see the audience beyond the stage. By 1:00 PM Sydney's fan club had arrived, Daddy, Grandma Franny, Angie, David, Andrew and Drew. When the announcement came over the PA introducing the NEO Cubs Grandma's tears began to flow. Sydney marched out and took her spot on the mat then turned and gave us all a big wave. She was beaming! The music started and the Cubs team did awesome. I was shocked, we have only seen bits and pieces of the routine as she practiced at home. But, out there on the floor she really put on a show. And, to our surprise was promoted to the flier in the mount sequence. We knew someday her tiny size would come in handy! Way to go Sydney! We are all so proud of you.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Hope you all stuffed yourselves with turkey. We enjoyed two turkey days. The first one on Thanksgiving Day at the home of Greg & Liz Lavelle. Liz treated us with a delicious traditional meal and lots of laughs.

We celebrated a second time on Saturday at my parents home. They were off enjoying a Greek Island / Mediterranean cruise during Thanksgiving. This year Angie & David took on their first turkey and it was just perfect.

We wrapped up the weekend attempting to capture the entire family in the traditional Christmas card photo. What a hoot! After 26 years of photo cards we are running out of ideas. I will wait and let everyone open their mailboxes to see how it turned out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Penney Pics

After torturing myself trying to get a good picture of the kids I finally gave up and took them to JC Penney's. Here is a link to view all the pictures:


Access Code: LTPP0490101805JCP

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thank You Veterans

I am very proud to be the daughter, niece and granddaughter of a US Veteran. Although I may have never expressed that to them aloud, I have great respect and admiration for the sacrifices they have made to make my life what it is today.

As a military caseworker for the American Red Cross I been given a small insight into the lives of our servicemen & woman. When I saw the picture above I just had to post it. Take a moment this Veteran's Day & send a thank you note to our troops.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Trick Or Treat

Boy, the days are just flying by. Before we know it, it will be Christmas. Yesterday, the Napholz's next door held a wonderful little Halloween party. Both the kids & adults had a great time before hitting the road for 2 power hours of trick or treating. Matt chose to stay home & pass out the treats this year. I think he was regretting that decision before the first goblin made it to our door. We decided to pass out popcorn this year and bought one of those old fashion pop corn carts. Unfortunately, it couldn't keep up with the 200 or so kids. Thank goodness my dad was there. He was popping in the microwave and feeding the cart throughout the 2 hours. :) Thanks Dad!

The kids both wanted to be pirates this year. Thankfully, the weather was somewhat decent so we didn't have to layer them up beyond recognition. My mom & I took the kids door to door, Sydney stayed one or two houses ahead of us most of the way. She was trying despretly to keep up with the neighbor boys. Andrew was content being carried between each driveway. The moment his feet hit the ground he recited TickerTreat, TickerTreat over and over until he got his candy.

Monday, October 15, 2007


In honor of Mom the whole family participated in the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk yesterday. More lovingly called the "Boob Walk" by our family. WE LOVE YOU MOM!! Three cheers for seven years! XOXOXOXOX

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Halloween Heat Wave

We joined our neighbors the Art's & Napholtz's at the pumpkin patch today. No winter coat was needed this year, it was nearly 90 degrees when we boarded the haywagon for the pumpkin pasture. Sydney needed no assistance this year, she knew just what she was looking for. Andrew was more meticulous and settled for a tall skinny greenish orange one.

Our entire group took the corn maze challenge and with the kids leading we finish in just under an hour. Thankfully, the high corn gave off some shade because it was hot, especailly since Andrew insisted on being carried the entire time.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Akron Marathon

The Chase Bank Team finished the 26 mile Akron Marathon today in just under 4 hours. Matt was the final runner completing the 7 mile leg. He was all out of gas a few miles before the finish line but running into Aeros Stadium with its packed crowd of cheering fans could drive anyone to finish line. Way to go Matt, we are proud of you!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Driving Range

Matt & Sydney headed to the driving range as part of their daddy/daughter day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Andrew's First Tribe Game

The whole family headed out to the ballpark for Andrew's first MLB game. The Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers. Our seats were out in near center field but that didn't really matter since none of us really got to watch much of the game.

Sydney placed her overpriced pizza down on the chair then stood up sending her pizza down onto ground as the chair folded up. She then burst in to tears, sending Matt back to the concession stand. Andrew was busy down the aisle discovering all the abandon bits of food on the ground. While I dealt with him Sydney was delivered her new pizza. Which she almost lost again if the man next to us didn't catch it as it descended towards the ground.

Once all dinner was out of the way we did enjoy a few innings. Andrew was clapping, dancing and flirting with the ladies behind us. Sydney kept her hands over her ears most of the time, she didnt like roar of the crowd and fireworks that went off after a homerun. Once she started bugging Matt for Dip n Dots it was time to hit the road.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Matt

The kids got up early today and presented him with their handmade cards before work. Sydney wrote "Happy Birthday Dad Love Sydney" all by herself. She was very proud. Andrew drew a few squiggles on his & insisted I trace his hand.

Then it was off to work. Poor guy, had to work late too.

On Saturday night we picked up Matt's gift. Corn Hole! My dad built it and my mom sewed the bags. He loved it! So much so he hauled it up to the Browns game. He and a few friends tailgated, played cornhole and cheered the Browns onto their first victory of the season.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


We visited our friends The Eshler's on Sunday. Sydney was in heaven! Horses & tons of barn cats. But, before she could ride she had to help out with the chores. I don't think she minded one bit! Wearing her brand new pink cowboy boots that Grandma Franny got her she mucked the stalls. Thats the fancy equine word for shoveling shit. She finished up by filling the water & feed buckets. Then it was time to bring the horses in from the pasture. She had to stand back until they were all secure in their stalls. After they finished their dinners she gave them each a special treat, an apple, she brought from home.

Rumor, is the most kid friendly horse of the bunch so Sydney gave him a good brushing while Deanna saddled him up. Below are pics of both Sydney & Andrew's ride. Thanks Eshler's!

Friday, August 31, 2007

First day of kindergarten

Sydney had a big day today too; the first day of kindergarten! She jumped right out of bed this morning and got ready with out me bugging her one bit. Grandma Pam flew in from Tampa for the big event. We all headed out to the bus stop and it arrived promptly at 8:36 AM. She hesitated a bit when the doors opened so Lynn next door took her hand and led the way. She sat next to Trent and both were beaming as the bus drove out of sight.

About 12:30 PM the bus returned. Sydney bounced off and told us all about her big day. Andrew couldn't wait to hug her. I think he was lonely and bored without her.

She said they colored raccoons, listened to a story, played with the kitchen, and went to the bathroom. Then at circle time they passed an apple and you had to say your name. She saw Ben on the playground at recess too.

I asked the standard first day of school question, "Did you make any new friends?" She said "Yes, Sydney M, they sit by each other". Hooray!

The best part was, she asked if she could go back again tomorrow. Ahhh! What a relief.

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy 60th Birthday Mom!!! I know she will just love to see her age posted here for all to read but I very proud of her. Age is just a number and you should live life to the fullest. Today, her & my dad took a helicoper ride. It was one of those things on her "Things to do before I die" list. They departed from Cape Canaveral area, headed down the space coast and out over the Atlantic ocean where they saw manatees & a school of dolphin. Afterwards they stopped in the American Police Hall of Fame and shot a few rounds at the firing range. Something she has never done and out of the box.

My mom once said; its not the dates written on your tombstone thats important, its the dash, and what you did with it.

What a day! Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lots and lots of animals

We had an animal filled weekend. Beginning Friday with a trip to the Portage County Fair. Its sort of a tradition in my family. My Grandpa Lisic loved taking my mom as a child and then took my sister and I as kids (on free senior day of course) :) My mom now keeps the tradition going.

Sunday was so beautiful we decided to head up to the Cleveland Zoo. With the tempature in the mid 70's all the animals were very active. Sydney was all about elephants while Andrew kept saying "I Wuv Hapos" (hippos).

We ended our last weekend before school starts with a trip to the park. Being new residents of North Canton we are checking out all the city parks & playgrounds, this one was a hit because of all the ducks. Hungry Ducks! Andrew enjoyed roaring at them until they would run off and then appologizing by saying "keykel keykel" which means "tickle tickel".

Friday, August 24, 2007

Kindergarten Open House

We attended the Mary Evans Kindergarten Center open house last night. Sydney's teacher, Mrs. Kell was a lovely young woman and about 7 months pregnant. But, Syd didn't even notice, she was too busy checking out the classroom. After exploring the room Mrs. Kell sent us on a scavenger hunt which would take us to all the other important locations; the gym, office, bathroom, and kiss & hug line. This is a bright red line painted on the floor just inside the school lobby area where parents must stay behind.
After we finished the inside of the building we boarded the school bus for a trip around the block and a lesson in bus safety. According to Sydney they saved the best for last, the playground!
All in all Sydney seems ready, no anxiety that I can sense. Her only comment about the entire evening was "My teachers not ugly".

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Gearing up for school

The classroom lists were posted on the doors of the kindergarten today. Boy, driving up there to see who Syd's teacher was brought back a lot of memories. I remember doing that as a kid what a thrill it was.

Sydney is in the "Brown Room" with Mrs. Kell. Sydney's only comment was "Does she like High School Musical?" I'm sure she will be just fine!

With ballet & swimming wrapping up Sydney decided to try out cheerleading. We registered her at NEO an all star team here in Canton for kids 5-18. She is on the Cubs Team, where they learn the basics; cartwheels, jumps, dance and motions. By early 2008 they should be ready for a few local & state competitions.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dress Up

Sydney decided to dress up her brother.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Orphanage Fundraiser

This year I am once again helping out with the Friends of Adoptive Families fundraiser. We are a non-profit organization made up of adoptive parents who raise funds for the orphanages that took care of our children. This includes Andrew's in South Korea, and 3 others in China, Guatemala & Philippines.

Last year, we raised over $23,000! This year we have a variety of projects that desperately need of support. Priorities include increased funding to help medically fragile children receive much-needed surgeries and specialized medical care. Friends of Adoptive Families Fund is also used to place grants on waiting “special needs” children to help subsidize their adoption expenses in hopes that it will reduce their wait time for a forever family. We also want to continue funding in-country service projects, as well as purchasing basic need items such as: diapers, formula, educational materials and playground equipment.

I encourage you all to come out to our event. Its October 20th at the Cleveland Metroplex. We will have video horse racing & casino gaming tables. Come try your hand at Blackjack or Texas HoldEm or maybe learn something new like craps or roulette. Don’t know how to play? Don’t worry; the casino staff will be happy to teach you!

A buffet dinner catered by Alesci’s Italian Restaurant with beer, wine and soft drinks and $1000 in casino money are also included in your ticket.

After dinner stop by the fantastic in-house raffle. Raffle prizes include everything from cultural items to restaurant gift certificates to a condo vacation which as graciously donated by my friends Jen & Tom Stancil. Thanks guys!!

Tickets are $25 each. Send your check payable to Friends of Adoptive Families, 8478 Deacon Ave. North Canton Ohio 44720.

If you cannot attend, maybe you could send a donation or purchase a horse or program ad. Every little bit helps.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Little League

Well, another season of little league came to a close. This year Sydney played on the North Canton YMCA 5 & 6 year old league, which offers the option of hitting off the tee or coach pitch. In the field she once again played short stop & tried her hand at catching too.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summit Co Fair

I took the kids out to the Summit County Fair today. Our friend, Alyssa Greening is showing her horse, Cheroni as part of the 4H.

Sydney was totally in her element! We want to send a big thank you to the Greening's for invite and goodluck, we hope you bring home lots of ribbons.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Two Wheeler

Yesterday, Sydney made her first solo ride down the sidewalk without her training wheels.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thrill of the Hill

Yesterday, Matt represented Chase Bank in the All American Soap Box Derby corporate race called Thrill of the Hill. Unfortunatly, he lost his first heat to Time Warner Cable. Nevertheless, Sydney cheered and told daddy that she was still proud of him. How sweeet!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Road Trip III

The last stop on our suprise road trip was Atlanta to visit family. As always the Jackson's showed us a good time. We visited Stone Mountain for the laser show & Yellow Creek Game Ranch where the kids got to feed all the animals.

Sydnee & Sydney

Road Trip II

After Disney we packed up the car and headed over to the gulf coast to surprise Pam & The Browning's. Jim (Pam's Husband), was in on it and arranged for them all to be together for a BBQ. We quietly assembled at the front door. Before Pam even opened the door we heard "Oh My God, Oh My God" as she recognized our figures. As planned she was totally surprised, unfortunately The Brownings had grown tired and left the party early. Jim said he tried his best to convince them to stay without blowing our cover. Later that evening we drove down to Bradenton Beach to visit them.

Road Trip

Matt & I decided to take the kids on a surprise road trip. We would drive down to Florida; hit Disney World, Matt's Mom's house near Tampa, his grandparents in Bradenton Beach then head north to visit my cousin's in Atlanta. In all a 10 day trip and the kids knew nothing about it and neither did Matt's Mom or Grandparents. Although we did strategize with Pam's husband, Jim so he could arrange for them all to be together when we knocked on the door.

We packed up & hide the suitcases. Next hurdle would be dropping off the dogs at Angie's. But, we covered that one by telling her they were having a doggie slumber party. Although she was jealous she accepted that answer.

After Safety Town Graduation we dressed the kids in their pajamas and told them we were going to watch movies in the car.

After several hours of driving Sydney began to ask where we were going. We told her the pool. Which was true, just not the pool she was thinking of. It wasn't long before the kids were sound asleep. We continued through the night and by the time the kids awoke we were in Florida. To our surprise Sydney never questioned why we were still driving or where we were going. We even tried to point out the palm trees but no one paid attention.

But that soon changed as we entered Disney property. The multi colored street signs & Disney buses whizzing by definitely caught her attention. Matt told her we must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Before Cinderella's Castle even came into view she had already figured it out. Andrew happily shouted "Choo Choo" as the monorail passed by.

The magic that is Disney continued through out the week. We hit all of our favorite attractions and tried out all the new ones too. Andrew loved the show "Nemo The Musical". Sydney's favorites were the pony ride at Disney's Tri Circle Ranch & the Peter Pan's Flight ride.

We really love the Disney Dining Plan so I think Matt's favorite part was the food. As for me I love watching the kids (big & little).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Safety Town

Ah! Safety Town. That is one of my earliest school memories. I remember driving a peddle car around a mock roadway set up on the school playground.

Sydney graduated last week along with our friend Ben & neighbor Trent. The week of activities included bike safety, healthy eating, 911 and guest speakers from the police & fire departments, poison control, and pediatric nurse.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Searching for Jessie

It looks like no matter where in the country you live you have heard the recent story of missing pregnant woman Jessie Davis. Jessie lives about a mile from our new home here in Lake Township. For the past week our little town has been consumed by this story. From what I understand, by Friday it was the nations largest volunteer search & rescue effort ever.

On Saturday, I got to witness our towns incredible compassion first hand as part of the American Red Cross Disaster Services Team. When searchers reached into the thousands the sheriff's department called us in to handle mass feeding and first aid. I arrived at the Greentown Fire Department at 7:00 AM and the line was already forming. The entire operation was amazingly organized. Searchers lined up wrapping around the exterior of the firehouse and entered into a rear bay doors. First stop was registration, each searcher presented their drivers license, and filled out all the necessary forms. Next stop was us, the American Red Cross Chow Line. We had just about every quick breakfast food under the sun. My mom & I worked the line handing out fruit and granola bars. After us they head down the 5 foot tall tunnel of bottled water, donated by Walmart & the Cleveland Indians. Once they were all loaded up they were assigned to teams and packed onto city buses. The most touching part of my experience happened when I watched Jessie's Dad brief the groups. I wasn't close enough to catch everything said but found it incredible that he could compose himself enough to express his gratitude to each volunteer. What motivation that must have given them as they headed off to their assigned section of the search grid.

Once the morning teams had all been dispersed and the fire station fell quiet again the Red Cross switched into lunch mode. There were ladies busy assembling hundreds of lunch meat sandwiches but most would not be needed as delivery after delivery arrived at the fire station door. TGI Fridays, Ponderosa, Bob Evans, and every pizza parlor in the county delivered their donations. Dillard's even donated boxes of Godiva Chocolate Bars. Wow! If the TV stations even hinted at a needed item within the hour we had a hundred of them. The outpouring of support was unreal.

I left around 2:00 PM just shy of the sad announcement that Jessie had been found. I wish it could have been a joyful announcement but I think all of us knew from the beginning that we were working to bring closure for this family.

Please keep Jessie & Chloe's family in your thoughts & prayers.