Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Not only are we celebrating the New Year, but we are also celebrating the fact that we only have 2 nights left in a hotel!!! I think we are all looking foward to having our own beds again (and space too). We hope you all are having a great time celebrating a great year gone by and what is to come.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our little fishes

So apparantly going to the pool 3 hours every day for a month is all it takes to teach your child how to swim. Asher is a swimmer now! He will jump off the side of the pool, go under, and swim to you or to the wall on the other side of the pool. He will even swim underwater. He still likes the security of having one of us close to him while he is swimming but it is so comforting to know that he can handle himself is he happens to fall in until someone can get to him. And he is Sooo proud of himself. Now little miss Anna THINKS she can swim because she will just jump in right after him. She has no fear. As much as we are all ready to leave the hotel life behind, the kids are really going to miss having a pool anytime they wish.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas everyone! Yes, our little hotel tree is a fake one but it still reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. We had a very nice Christmas and Christmas Eve despite our hotel surrondings. It was hard for me at Christmas tree hunting, ham or turkey, mashed potatoes, lasnagna or seafood on Christmas Eve, no decorations to put up together, or ornaments to mark the year. To make the room feel Christmas-y, we made snowflakes to hang in the windows and construction paper garland to hang around the room. The kids had so much fun making it, I believe we just might do it every year together now! And on Christmas morning, the kids broke out singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. It was so cute. I think they were just so excited that his birthday party was finally here but who wouldn't love a party where everyone got to open presents! Joel and I have been trying to create our own traditions with our family, but keep coming up empty handed...but the kids have done it for us. Next year, we plan on having a cake for this birthday party as well.

Some other nice things are we had dinner with friends of a friend for Christmas Eve-a barbecue (crazy, huh?!) and the kids had so much fun playing with people other than me. Today we are having dinner with a nice couple we met through church hunting (and yes, we are still hunting but that is a how other blog in itself). For me, it is so nice feeling "real" by having home cooked food at a house with real people and kids to play with.
We hope you all had a blessed Christmas celebrating the best gift of all! We love and miss you.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

20 weeks

For those interested, here is what I look like right now at 20 weeks...halfway!! We have an ultrasond scheduled for Jan. 4th so maybe we will find out what this little jelly bean is.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Let it Snow

Wow, I never thought snow would be such a foreign word to me. To my I don't know what else to say! We have seen the snow storms all over the news over here, and from what I hear from friends, I am not sure if we ever experienced something like that in our 41/2 years there. I heard on Thursday it took many people up to 6 hours to get home and that there were abandoned cars all over the place due to running out of gas. And then to get it again on Sunday with rain and then freezing over. It is just so surreal to me. Joel kind of giggles when he sees it because he thinks about how long it took to shovel our driveway. So to all those out there shoveling, we are thinking of you!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So Many Praises

After 2 somewhat hazy weeks in Hawaii, unsure of what our future here really looked like as far where we were going to live, we felt God telling us "I told you I would take care of you!". We spent an agonizing week "house hunting" and debating so many issues that came with each. And then today, God's hand gave us a big squeeze when the impossible became possible. We got the call that there is a house available for us on base when we were told before it would be months. It isn't exactly what we wanted or expected in a house, but it is a house on base which is the only place we wanted to live, and it does have 4 bedrooms and a fenced in backyard for the kids. We are so happy that this issue is solved now. We can't move in until Jan. 2nd so we are trying to think of some creative ways to celebrate Christmas in our hotel.

Other big praises...we paid our car off today!! We have been working towards this for a year now and sometimes it felt like we are going nowhere. But we made it!! Our only debt left is our school loans so we are ready to start plucking away. And Asher wrote his name for the 1st time today. We were at a restaurant for dinner, and him and Anna were just coloring. And he just did it! Proud mama I am...I folded that menu up to save.
We have also had some nice family time taking time to explore the island. We hiked to the top of Diamond Head crater which is what these pictures are from. Asher hiked the whole 1.5 miles by himself but Anna got the best seat around-Daddy's shoulders.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Some Hawaii Experiences

Climbing a cool tree in a local park

Anna and Asher at a luau

Anna and Mary learning how to hula

Asher loving the beach

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Here we are in paradise so many would say. We arrived here on Nov. 29th with 2 very cranky kids, but overall they were very good and patient over the long flight. It rained our entire 1st day here (which was yesterday) so today is really the 1st day we have been able to enjoy the island, and it certainly is beautiful. We are staying in an Embassy Suites right on the beach in Waikiki and the hotel is just amazing...absolutely tropical. The pool has a kiddy pool which has been great for the kids, live music every morning and evening, an awesome free breakfast, and our room is amazing. I have never stayed in anything like it. We are here indefinately. As of right now, we are #1 or #2 on the list to receive housing on base which could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. We will know more on Monday but we are praying for a home to become available within 2 weeks. We have already all been living in the same room for 2 weeks, and I am not sure how much longer we can handle it! Poor Asher keeps asking for his new house but at least we have the pool to distract him. Joel does have to go in bright and early Monday morning but only for a short day...he will get about 8 days off in order for us to look for a rental home, which we are required to do for the military to pay for our hotel stay until housing is available. It is all a bunch of hoops to jump through.
But as for Hawaii, it is beautiful. I believe I have been very tough in my judgement because I am still dealing with the emotions of leaving the only home Joel and I have known together. I cried almost the entire 1st day here...a strange thing to do in paradise. I think I am still in denial that we are here for good, it is not a vacation, and we are not going back. I can't pronounce any of the street names-let alone guess at a pronounciation! Joel says "well it was like that in Boston too"...hehe. But even here, we aren't even sure of what a stranger says to us when we ask for directions. All the buildings, even the mall, are open with no real doorways or even ceilings! Quite a culture shock but everyone we have encountered has been very very nice. The Air Force Base is beautiful too. It will just take time to adjust to this way of life (and the time change). I even forget it is December with Christmas coming until I see the decorations up somewhere. Thank you dear friends for your encouraging emails and prayers, your friendship and words lift my spirits so much.

I will leave you with some pictures...yes Picariello's, we went to Duke's and had the Hula Pie today-it was everything you said it would be, and we couldn't help but think of you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Shaving Cream Disaster

The kids went to bed at the normal time-7:30pm, and Joel, my Mom, sister, and I sat down to a nice evening of game playing. Around 8:30, my sister says "Wow, the kids sure are quiet tonight"...normally it takes a little while to get them to sleep with them all in real beds and sleeping in the same rooms. But hey, my kids go to bed pretty easy so I wasn't worried. Then around 9:30pm, we hear Asher and Anna both wailing at the top of the stairs. HHmmm, that is strange....and what did we find?!? Two kids covered, and I mean COVERED, head to toe in shaving cream. In their hair, all over their faces, chests, legs. We start to laugh despite the tears and head to get the camera when we notice Anna standing in a pool of blood. Needless to say all camera thoughts went out the window. It took quite a long time before we discovered the chunk of skin missing from her pinkie toe...there was just so much blood. After 3 days, it still will start bleeding uncontrollably when we change the bandage. But thankfully there wasn't a more serious injury. No stitches required and no appendages missing. The "blood trail" in our bedroom indicated that after destroying most of the room, they found a can of shaving cream (now empty) and a razor from my suitcase and decided to try and shave....can you imagine if Anna tried to shave her face?! My mom has a trail of blood on her carpet in 2 of her rooms...huge spots in certain places. Where are the CSI people to tell us how to get blood out of a carpet? You would think something much more serious happened. This morning, Asher saw a can of shaving cream and asked me what is was. I said "shaving cream", and he says "I don't like shaving cream Mommy". Yeah, I bet he doesn't!! What a laugh. In retrospect, I wish we had gotten that picture, but you will have to use your imaginations!!

Tomorrow is the big blog will be from Hawaii!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

I would say Happy New Year too, but we aren't celebrating that holiday this week :). Yesterday we had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast, with time playing outside with the kids, football, and the Macy's Parade where we saw the Highty Tighties marching (and they looked good!). Today the kids were lost in piles of wrapping paper as we celebrated Christmas together (we are doing it now because we won't be together on actual Christmas). and boy, Christmas with 4 toddlers sure is a lot of fun....very fast moving as paper and toys are going everywhere. Now we are refereeing the sharing of new toys and the eating of too many cookies and pies. Also my older brother Ricky is coming to visit today with his new wife and 2 step has been a very long time since I have seen my brother and have never met his new family. We are very excited about bridging this gap and seeing our families together. I would post a few pictures but this dial up is killing me!!

And for those who are wondering, we had a fundue night with our dear friends on our last night in MA. We played games, laughed, cried, and shared a wonderful evening together. We are so blessed with what we have (and I say HAVE because we still have it) there. We were also blessed enough to share in a miracle with our friends there too. He is just so good...and congratulations to Rick and Wendy again!!! It was so nice to leave with a smile on our face as we think about your miracle.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! We love and miss you guys with all our hearts.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Temporary Address

Today is our last day in MA. Tomorrow we head out for the long drive to WV where we will get to spend Thanksgiving (and Christmas in our own way) with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and my niece and nephew. I am sure it will be a wonderful time. Then we fly to Hawaii on the 28th. So for the next 9 days or so I will be in the land of dial-up internet service which means I have no idea how much blogging I will be able to do. Our address for the time being is...

General Delivery
90McChord St
Unit 5000
Hickam AFB, HI 96853

my cell: 339-223-2730
Joel's cell: 339-223-2765

emails: and

We are renting our home so much to Asher's delight, we still have our blue house for the time being. Maybe God is holding it for us until we come back ;). I will write more from WV or HI. Aloha!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lost in Boxes

It is finally happening. Our lives are being packed into boxes, put in crates, and taken away. The movers have been here since Tuesday and we feel like it is a never ending process. Even though we are very thankful we don't have to pack ourselves, it is still very frustrating to watch strange men handle all your things. And then I always realize about an hour too late that I didn't want them to pack that certain thing because I still need it! Oh well. But the thing I find the most frustrating is what they won't pack up. The other times we have moved, we have traveled by car to our new home so we could carry with us those random things. Now I am grieving over my candles, lotions, and bubble baths. I have about 5 bottles of Bath and Body Works bubble baths (you know-not cheap!) and all of them were left behind. I took a bubble bath last night just because I had to use some of it! But it was perfect having a nice long bubble bath on our last night in our blue house in Dracut, MA. Anyways, anyone need some bubble bath?

Friday, November 9, 2007

The First "Last"

Today was Joel's last day at work. They had a very nice farewell party, gave him some VERY nice gifts, tolerated our hyper-no nap children, and we spent a long time there today saying goodbye to Joel's fellow coworkers. We felt like it was the first stage of really saying goodbye. Joel really enjoyed his coworkers and it was a sad day. A few girlfriends have said to me this week "I can't believe this is one of the last things we are going to do together". I have pushed these thoughts out of my mind for so long that I feel I have put a wall up so that I don't have to deal with the emotions; scared that if I let them surface I will never be able to pull myself back together. I realize now that the "lasts" have started and don't think I will be able to keep the wall up much longer. Thank you to all who are making these lasts so very special.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Little hokies in the making :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

We are New Englanders

Joel and I had this big discussion in order to answer the question, "Where do we tell people we are from in Hawaii?". We had never really thought about this before. He is from Minnesota, but lived everywhere in the world. I grew up in West Virginia. We met at Virginia Tech and lived there in Virginia for the first 2 years of our marriage. Then we came to Boston. What a hodge podge. But, we believe we are New Englanders. We are from Boston, MA. This is where we have spend the majority of our married life together growing as one as God intended us. This is where our 2 children where born, again defining our marriage in a new way. This is where we have watched them grow (so far). We LOVE the Red Sox. We love Boston. We have loved our 4.5 years here and all God has given us here making this more and more our home together. So as we watched our express shipment being packed up today (Asher tearful of his toys going on the big truck and saying "See you in Hawaii!"), we have decided...we are New Englanders.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

In loving memory of Gwen DeMarino

My beautiful Aunt Gwen died on Wednesday, October 24th 2007. Here is she is with some of her pride and joy-her grandchildren. She is no longer suffering and is at home with Jesus. I have had the privilege of spending the past 3 days with my Uncle and family in Greensburg, PA. It has been a very special and memorable time, and of course we will never forget the one who brought us together at this time. Please remember my Uncle Ronnie in your prayers, that Jesus will continue to carry him through this time of loss and show him His love in even greater ways.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Mommy, I don't have a heart..."

Today's task was to teach Asher about his heart and heartbeat. You may be asking why I am so desparate to teach this. Well, today, we heard the baby #3's (jelly bean's) heartbeat for the first time. Asher seems to be understanding about the baby so I thought it would be really cool for him to be part of the first heartbeat experience. Well, he didn't quite get it. He just kept saying "I don't hear a heart...I don't have a heart Mommy". He did think the sounds were pretty cool while we were listening to the heartbeat, but we still have work to do on him discovering the beating life in his chest. He keeps asking why he can't see the baby. I suppose he is used to the Mom's with purtruding bellies and doesn't understand why I don't have one of those if I really do have a baby in my belly. He does predict a girl though! Only time will tell. The heartbeat was in the 150s today. Asher was usually 150s and Anna was 160s. Unfortunately, we will be leaving Boston before my OB does an ultrasound so we are not sure if we will be able to find out the sex....we are hoping our doctor in Hawaii will want an ultrasound for some reason since TRicare will not cover one without a reason (besides just wanting to know the sex).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Anna's Birthday Party

"Three" she will exclaim if you ask her how old she is...hmmmm...we have been trying to work on that. But she does manage to hold up 2 fingers when she says it!! Regardless of the pouring rain that kept me worrying all night, we had a successful birthday party this morning. It was perfect in my eyes. Well, maybe I didn't need to make so much food! A good friend helped me decorate cupcakes (so of course I have to display that picture), the kids went on a hayride, picked apples and pumpkins, fed some goats and sheep, and got to play in a hay maze. It was a blast. As of the moment, Anna's favorite gift is her backpack, which she refuses to take off. The weight of it even pulled her off the picnic table while we were opening other presents and it took forever to calm her down enough to open more. But she still won't take it off!! We had a wonderful muddy morning. Now Asher says he wants to go to his birthday party....oh boy.

We missed all of you who were not there to share it with us. You were in our hearts!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Entering the Internet World

So here I am after fighting this techincal world that we live in, becoming a blogger! This move is thanks to the many friends who have insisted to me that this is a great way to keep in touch once we move overseas and most of you know how I love to keep in touch with everyone!! I will give it a try, starting with an update on the move: no bites on the house yet, still waiting. The first set of movers come on November 1st. I feel like we are just twiddling our thumbs in the meantime.

The kids are great, oblivious to our major life changes happening around them. Asher is going to preschool 2 days a week until the move (those days are so relaxing for me!) and Anna is preparing for her 2nd birthday party this weekend. It will be an apple/pumpkin picking party, which should be lots of fall fun.

Here are some pictures of the kiddos...learning how to be farmers in WV!!