Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On New Years Eve...

... we always celebrate with our good friends - Kerry, Dodi and their daughter Alyssa. Whenever we are together a fun time is had by all - and New Years Eve is no exception!

Here they are on New Years Eve 2003

John really loves to celebrate and ring in the new year. Here he is, covered in silly string, last New Years Eve. (That stuff was really not fun to pick out of the carpet... but we sure had fun shooting it at each other!)
But, the best New Years Eve of all had to be ringing in 2000! We began celebrating at 3pm... ringing in the New Year with France. We celebrated again at 4pm for England, and then at 9pm for New York, and 10pm for Chicago... well, you get the idea. We did ALOT of celebrating that year.
Here's our little party animal that night. He was five years old.

Wherever your celebration may take you tonight, have fun and be safe. We're looking forward to our annual celebration and to a wonderfully exciting and happy 2009.
We wish you all good fortune, happiness and health in the coming year! Cheers!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Morning...

...was WAY fun.

John had a wonderful time opening his presents. He was spoiled as usual.

He is getting to an age where he doesn't like "posing" for pictures. Getting him to take the picture with his Dad was difficult. This is the best "face" I could get from him. Looks like he's still half asleep!

By far, the best present of the day was Guitar Hero! He really loves it. (and truth be told, so does Cindy! An intervention may be in her near future!)
And, pretty much for the rest of the morning, this is all we saw...

We went to Kelly & Jay's (Richard's Sister & Brother in Law) for a very yummy Prime Rib dinner. It was great spending time with family. Unfortunately, we forgot our camera at home. So, you'll just have to take our word for it when we say everyone was there, the dinner was delicious, and John enjoying playing MORE Guitar Hero with his Cousins!

Hope everyone had a beautiful holiday!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

...not even a boy and his cat!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. From our home to yours, whatever holiday you celebrate, we wish you a blessed holiday season!

This photo was taken a couple of years ago. John, and our baby Mitzi who is no longer with us, in front of our Christmas Tree.

Monday, December 22, 2008

OK, This is Getting Ridiculous!!!

I have always enjoyed it when it snows in Salem... but this is getting ridiculous! Enough is enough!

We had so much ice yesterday, and trees all over Salem - including several of ours - were breaking and raining limbs down on the ground. We thought we would wake up to thawing this morning - after losing power for several hours last night - and it looked like we might be out of the woods... but NO! More snow, which is beautiful, but now is sitting on a layer of ice. Snow on ice equals treacherous driving. All of the branches of Cindy's bank are closed today. So, here we sit.

Enjoy this video that we took this morning... thought you might be getting a little tired of pictures of snow and ice - so now here is a movie of snow for your enjoyment!! (Gosh, we're getting boring!)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Ice Man Cometh...

In the 12 years we have lived in Oregon - this has been the strangest week EVER! We've experienced snow and ice before - but nothing like this. The weather yesterday was so unpredictable. Salem had not been predicted to get as much freezing rain, ice and snow as we did. Everything is frozen this morning. Here are some photo's for your enjoyment. I'm going to go sit by the fire and have some hot coffee now!

Light Post In Front Of Our Home (look at those icicles!)
Poor little frozen duckies by the waterfall in our backyard
The tree in front of our home that we showed you in the last post. The branches had light fluffy snow on them on Friday. Look at it now! Solid ice!
The very frozen lavender and rosemary plants
My poor rosemary. I hope it survives.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let It Snow... Let It Snow...

... Let it Snow!!

We've had more wintry weather this week. Here are a few photo's that were taken this morning after another overnight snowfall. The weather has been very unpredictable - but this morning has been beautiful. We have had cotton ball size snow flakes, and several sun breaks that have made the snow glisten like diamonds. We live in a truly majestic place - and we are thankful for all of God's blessings on us. Enjoy the sights from our Winter Wonderland!

Can you believe how crystal clear the sky is in this photo! And look at the moon... still visible at 9am.

Driving around town

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh! The Weather Outside...

... is frightful! We have had quite a bit of snow and ice in the Willamette Valley this week. It all started on Sunday afternoon, and folks in this part of Oregon aren't quite used to dealing with this type of weather.
Here's a photo in front of our house -
Here are some photo's of the snow falling, our back deck area, and our street -

The house at night with our colorful Christmas lights -

And here is the snowman that Richard and John built this afternoon. (While Cindy was AT WORK!)
For those of you in our area - enjoy the snow, but be safe out there. For those of you outside of the area... you can enjoy the weather vicariously! Happy December! Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Beginning To Look...

.. a lot like Christmas! We have decked our halls and drank our nog. The house is decorated - let the festivities begin.
Here are Richard and JJ decorating the tree. Our tradition is that someone in the family will hide the "Pickle" ornament on Christmas Eve. This year it is JJ's turn. Here he is pretending to hide it amongst the branches.

Here is a picture of the outside of our house. This year we went with colored lights.
Here is the finished tree. Appropriately adorned with special ornaments from over the years.These ornaments are from Cindy's childhood. The Santa Claus is the first ornament that Cindy's Mom bought for her on her first Christmas - 1959. The Egg was made by Cindy's cousin Nona. We have a dozen of them that we hang with care - each and every year.
The Santa Claus below belonged to Cindy's Daddy. It is almost 90 years old. The Mushroom was one of the ornaments that Cindy's Mom bought. She liked unusual and special ornaments.
Here are some ornaments that belong to Cindy and Richard. The First Christmas 1987 was purchased on Cindy and Richard's honeymoon in Boston MA. The heart was given to them by Cindy's Dad.
Here are two of several special Ballerina ornaments that Cindy's Dad, and special friends have given to her over the years.
And here is the finished product.
We wish all of you a happy holiday season and hope that the hustle and bustle don't get you too stressed. Sit back, enjoy a treat, a cup of eggnog, and relish in this special time of year. Christmas is the BEST!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Four of Four...

Here's a fun game... If you would like to play along - go to your fourth folder of pictures on your computer and choose the fourth picture... then post it and explain it. Let me know when your posting is up so that I can see it!!
So... this photo is of JJ and me on "Fat Tuesday" in 2000. JJ is only five years old. We love New Orleans (anyone miss all those postings from our visit to NOLA in October? If you saw them - you know how special the city is to us!) Anyway, we celebrate Mardi Gras every year. We usually celebrate with our good friends and neighbors - Kerry, Dodi and Alyssa. This photo was taken just before they arrived for our annual feast! Good times - good friends - good memories. These are the things that life is made of!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I think that Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday... well, next to Christmas! Apart from the delicious meal that we all partake in - Thanksgiving is a time for us to count our blessings and reflect on all that we are thankful for.

I am thankful for my wonderful family that surrounds me - and for those that have gone on to the hereafter. My life is so much richer for having had you all present. My beautiful son, my wonderful husband, our beautiful grown up kids and spouses and grand kids! We are thankful for all of you.

I am thankful for the blessing of so many wonderful friends - both in person and blogging. Because I come from a very small family - I tend to consider my friends "family". Life wouldn't be the same without all of you. We have laughed together, learned together, cried together, and enjoyed spending time with each other. I am so happy that you are all in my life.

I am thankful for the opportunity of freedom and for my right of free speech and for living in a country - although flawed - that we are allowed to be different and can appreciate each other for our differences.

I am thankful for all of the blessings that the Lord has bestowed on me. Too many to write about. I've had a pretty lucky life. I was fortunate enough to have the most amazing upbringing and the most amazing family. Not all children are as lucky - and my heart breaks when I think about those that are not as fortunate.

I wish for all of you the most wonderful Thanksgiving and a beautiful holiday season. May God Bless each and every one of us.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sometimes I Wonder...

Sometimes I wonder where this is all going. Times are scary. People are losing their homes and their jobs. I wonder if I will be next. (not losing our home... but being unemployed) There are wars, and there is poverty, and the stock market keeps falling and falling and falling. I heard on the news today, "Has the stock market fallen as far as it can go?" I screamed at the television, NO! Unfortunately - no....

Sometimes I wonder... what my life would be like if I lived in a different country. In a country where women were considered second class citizens, and where we didn't have the same rights that we do in the wonderful USA. What would my days be like? Would I know that I wasn't being treated fairly? Or would I just "take it" and not know the difference?

Sometimes I wonder... what would it be like if we didn't have freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of religion. That would not be an experience I would want to have. Even though many of us in the U.S. disagree with each other when it comes to politics and religion - it is so nice to know that THAT is our right! We live a great country.

Sometimes I wonder... what life would be like if it were like the John Lennon song, "Imagine". Peace and love and everyone happy and living together in harmony. That would be such a beautiful thing. I wonder if I will ever have an opportunity to experience life like that in the years I have left on this Earth? Probably not. But, that really WOULD be wonderful.

I don't know... maybe I'm just getting older. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for life as it was when I was young and carefree and didn't worry about these things.
I know that I feel blessed to be surrounded by my family, and to have the most wonderful friends, and that we all have our health. I feel blessed that I have a job that I enjoy and that I have a roof over my head and food on my table. But, I kinda like living in denial and not thinking about all the bad things that happen in the world. As I said to my friend the other day, "I rather enjoy living in CindyLand where everyone is happy and there isn't a care in the world."

I'll close for now... I'm headed back to "CindyLand". Have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Central Oregon

Last weekend we decided to head over to Central Oregon for a couple of days. We rented a beautiful two bedroom condo in Sunriver. Wow! We were really pleased with this find. All the comforts (and then some) of home!

On Saturday we visited the Nature Center at Sunriver. It was an absolutely gorgeous autumn day. Brilliant sunshine and a moderate 60 degrees! We couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

A stately bald eagle lives at the Nature Center in a flight cage. This means he can fly away when he desires, but is kept safe from other animals when he decides to be in his cage. We were the only visitors while we were there - so the eagle was extremely interested in us, but slightly afraid of us too. It took us a long while to snap some decent photos of him. Here are two of our favorites.

We had a perfect family weekend watching movies, enjoying the sunshine, doing a little shopping and making chocolate chip cookies. Oh! And Cindy discovered "Dancing with the Stars" for the Wii. John is now concerned that he may never again regain control of the Wii....

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

May today be full of TREATS and no TRICKS!

Have a GREAT Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seven Bits of Information

I've been tagged by
The Jason Show for a rather creative meme. I'm supposed to share 7 random/interesting pieces of information about me. Hmm... this could be scary!

#1 - I don't like to sit with my back to a door when I'm in a restaurant or at meetings. Must be all those mafia movies and television shows that I've watched! I like to see who's coming and going.

#2 - My biggest fear is FIRE. I’m petrified of it. I think it is the destructive nature of it and how it can completely wipe a slate clean. Very scary.

#3 - I am addicted to television… too much! Love TV, and my guilty pleasure is currently “Dexter” on Showtime and “True Blood” on HBO. Both are AWESOME!

#4 - I was adopted when I was 3 weeks old. We adopted our son when he was 4 weeks old. My husband was adopted by his stepdad… So we are a family of “special” children! (watch it... no special in a short bus kinda way!)

#5 - Regarding my adoption - My given name was.... Lindalu Heidi Fernandez. No offense to my birthparents - but, I am much happier with Cindy Lynn Porter.

#6 - I love PEEPS! But only the yellow Easter Chicks… and they have to be stale! I know weird… you’re either a peep lover or hater – and if you love them you are usually pretty specific on whether or not you want them fresh or stale! (The PEEPS Halloween treats and Christmas treats just aren't the same... gotta be Easter Chicks!) My friends Kathy & Laura like theirs stale too... but Kathy gave me a great suggestion the other night - she freezes hers!

#7 - I've been married three times, but to only two men! My first husband and I were married for a very short time and then we divorced. When Richard and I were planning our wedding on the Queen Mary, we didn't want to wait... so flew to Las Vegas six months before and got married by a Justice of the Peace. No one knew about our secret wedding until years later. Only my dad and my friend Patricia knew about it when it happened. That was kind of a fun secret to keep all those years. Still alot of people don't know about it... Oh Wait! I guess they do now!

And now I'm tagging the following bloggers.
You're supposed to share seven interesting/random pieces of information about yourself, and then tag seven other people to do the same. Jason shared some "TMI" and it was fun, so if you would like to share TMI, feel free. (Do you think my PEEPS story was TMI? I sure had a lot to say about them! ha ha)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our 21st Anniversary

Today is Richard and Cindy's 21st Wedding Anniversary. And, it has been exactly 24 years since the day they met at Pacific Savings Bank in Hollywood California. Richard was investigating a forgery that had occurred at the bank in which Cindy worked. It was truly love and first sight and we've been together since that day. Call it fate - or kismet - or destiny.... obviously we were "meant to be!"
We celebrated today by going to see the musical "Spring Awakening". Cindy has wanted to see it for several years. She loved it... Thanks to my "men" for going with me!

After the play we ate at our favorite restaurant, PF Changs. We had our usual yummy Chicken Lettuce Wraps, followed by Mongolian Beef and Kung Pao Shrimp. SO TASTY!

After PF Changs we came home to celebrate with some champagne, which we have every year in our wedding glasses that our Matron of Honor, Patricia, bought for us all those years ago. It wouldn't be an anniversary without our toast in these glasses.

John was not too happy about going to the play today... this really isn't his "cup of tea", but he went to make his Mom happy. When asked, "John, how did you enjoy the play?" His response is pretty obvious in the picture below!

It was a fun day! Here's to another 21+ years!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Goodbye New Orleans

Well, they say that all good things must come to an end... and so must the magical trip to New Orleans. (boo hoo). Our last day was wonderful - filled with great sites, fantastic people, melodious music, and of course - excellent food. Here are a few parting shots of the city that holds my heart!

Below is a picture of the statue of Andrew Jackson. It stands in the middle of Jackson Square, in front of St. Louis Cathedral. (which is the picture above) If a statue shows a man on a horse, and both of the horse's front feet are in the air - that means that the person depicted in the statue died in battle. Andrew Jackson was our seventh U.S. President. He was a hero in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. This statue was dedicated in 1856.

Yesterday ended with an incredible meal at Bayona on Rue Dauphine. Click HERE for their website. We were very adventurous at this meal. We had two excellent appetizers - Veal Sweetbreads with a Lemony Caper Sauce & Goat Cheese Crouton with Wild Mushrooms in a Madiera Sauce. So TASTY! JJ even tried the Sweetbreads, which really surprised me. He announced that they "weren't bad".

JJ ordered the Hanger Steak that came with perfectly prepared Asparagus, Fingerling Potatoes and a Bordelaise Sauce. Cindy had the Boudin Stuffed Rabbit Roulade and Buttermilk Fried Leg. This was served with the tastiest Creamy Grits and perfectly tart Greens. Richard ordered the Grilled Duck Breast that was served with Pepper Jelly and Wild Rice. We all tasted each others food. JJ thought the Steak was the best (what a surprise!) but Cindy and Richard both thought that the Rabbit was the best.

What better way to end an evening than by visiting with new friends at Cafe Du Monde. (Can't believe we didn't think to take pictures!) Christine and Michael came to visit with us. It was the most excellent ending to our trip. What a fun couple they are. We really enjoyed talking with them, and getting to know them. We hope that we will get to see them again sometime soon - either here in NOLA or in our fair state of Oregon. Thanks for a wonderful evening guys!

And, so the sun sets on our superb adventure in the Crescent City! If you have never visited NOLA - please think about coming! This city relies on tourism in order to thrive. She needs you to come and fall in love, like I have, and then tell all of your friends to come too! If you have visited NOLA and you are afraid that it may still be too soon after Katrina to visit - please put your fears to rest and get on a plane soon! There are indeed some differences, and certainly the ecomony is currently playing a part in the fact that there are fewer tourists right now... but it's time to return and help the Big Easy recover.

Thanks for "joining" us on our adventure. We head back to Oregon in just a few hours. I'm already planning our return trip to N'awlins! Posted by Picasa

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