Sunday, November 26, 2017

Busy weekend....of fun and friends

November 24th-26th
Central NY

Friday at work was a ghost town. The clock seemed to stand still. Those who were at the office found ways to keep busy by catching up on paperwork. I only had one very early appointment and the rest of the day was spent organizing and taking care of things. A few of us, indulged in a lunch break out to Stella's (One of the area's best diner's)

 I am so fortunate to work with these fun loving ladies! Stefanie was even off for the day and she joined us.

Friday evening was a night of Bunco!

 I am so bad with names, even after several months of Bunco night I cant remember everyone. I do know that OUR bunco nights are not a bunch of little old ladies playing dice. We are OUT OF CONTROL.
Susan, Tina and Me

Gina, Renee, Michelle and Annette

Tina, Renee, Susan, Kristen, Michelle, Dina, Gina, Laurie, Brenda....
We had such a wild time! I actually got five BUNCO's this evening and won the most Bunco's!!!!

Saturday after doing the normal chores of grocery shopping etc. Mark and I prepared for my friends 40th birthday party,
Dinner was at Spaghetti Warehouse.

The Birthday Girl: AnneMarie

Stefanie and Aimee
Becky and Renee

Ed and Barb
Theresa and Greg

David with the triple threat!

Dave and Jennifer
Kevin and Jill

Me and  Mark

 After dinner we met up at a local pup called The Locker room. We dominated the place. I'm not sure the solo bar tender had any idea what to expect. It was great fun! We drank, we sang, we cheered, we ate cake!

 What a great way to celebrate a friends 40th! Happy Birthday Anne Marie

Now...this morning I am back to REAL life. I somehow have to finalize my paper which is due on Thursday. Clean up the house, decorate for the Holidays get BACK on my weight watcher PLAN and....I would like to do a little scrapbooking this afternoon.
Tomorrow I take a trip to Oswego to meet with my former College adviser Jodi to plan for my last few courses to meet with the NY State licensing demands. I am hoping that this will work out.
I have a little trip planned for next weekend. Mark and I are going to PA for the weekend. I have a Close to My Heart (Scrapbooking) event on Saturday. Mark and I are going to spend Friday and Saturday evening at the Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia. I am quite excited. TTFN

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

November 20-23 2017
Central NY

Thanksgiving Day. A Day to reflect on all of one's gratitude. I do have many. Sometimes I struggle to appreciate those that I have. I am often bitter, or anxious. I worry and complain. If not for this one day...I will work very hard on being grateful. Perhaps I can work that into my daily life feeling blessed all year long.

I have had some opportunities this last week to observe this gratitude first hand. My employment shares so much with those in need. Everyday I am aware of the multitude of opportunity and simple needs presented before me when I work with those individuals I serve. This week my employer donated both money and volunteer hours to a local food pantry. I offered my time and service. I was very grateful I did.

 My agency offered to pay for the evening meals and 13 (Not all shown) of us offered our time to help serve meals at this daily meal distribution center called The Samaritan.

We were each placed at certain locations and provided with information on how to do our job. Justin and I were at the dumping stations. We scraped and trashed left overs and I ran the dirty plates, trays and silverware to the dishwasher.(I got my work out in that evening.)

I found it was a lot of hard work. The center fed over 300+ people that evening. That seems incredible to me.
 The Center itself is a former church and the interior is absolutely beautiful.

 Some of the stained glass throughout the building.

Despite the hard work, I found comfort in the task. So many people passed by me after their meal and offered their own word of thanks and a blessing. "Thank you! God Bless." was said numerous times.

 I know many of those who shared a meal that evening are alone, homeless, living in the streets or at the local shelters. Many are active in their addiction while many are taking on the challenges of recovery. Some struggle every day with the battles of mental illness. Men women and children. Old and young presented there that evening. I found I needed to find a humble heart.
After all those table cleared, we each took time to mop and scrub down this former meeting place of the lord. Grateful to have homes, families and food. 

My Thanksgiving was also very grateful. We had nearly all the family present for this years celebration.

Dinner, actually Brunch, was at Turning Stone Casino and Resort. This has been a family tradition for several years.
Here is our little family in 2002-

I was very pregnant with my youngest at the time.
Last year we were on the Cruise. This year we had my daughters new little family as well.
It was nice to have some little ones around. Alexis was just about these guys age in the picture above.
Only one missing was Ben. (He will be here after Christmas.)

We all enjoyed the buffet. The food was amazing. I am still trying to stay on my weight watcher plan....I think I did..OKAY! I tried to eat Thanksgiving traditional foods and stay away from all the additional goodies the buffet had to offer....and there was LOTS of food choices.

 I only had a few bites of this yummy desert.

Here is everyone having their meals.



My mom. Carol

My dad Eric

Bubbe Diane

Enjoying the little ones.

There was this really cool ice sculpture of a Turkey..

 After our bellies were FULL...we headed off to the Gingerbread house display.
 I caught a few pics of my two eldest.
 I think these are so neat. They truly do an amazing job, and each year they are different. This is always fun to view.

And finally we had to have pictures in front of the Christmas tree. I did not get as many as I would have liked as the boys took turns taking random shots of everything with my camera. Hey...this one was taken by one of them...not bad.  

This one too!

Alexis' new little family.

My kids...

 Mark and I.

and finally a picture of these two being silly....

How grateful I truly am to be blessed with such wonderful family, a full belly, warm home, and lots of love.
Happy Thanksgiving!!! TTFN