Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hanukkah Fun and Real Life Sadness

I am going to give you the readers digest version of the last few days with lots of pics to make up for it. In the midst of all of the fun with family and friends we have unfortunately lost a good friend to cancer. He was a wonderful man whom we have known for many years. His family is devastated and all of us feel the loss of this special man, who's life touched so many others. In addition to running a large Multi office Century 21 franchise, he also was the President of our State Realtor Association this year and worked tirelessly on behalf of children through Easter Seals and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as several other organizations. He passed from this world too soon. His wake was yesterday and his funeral took place today. I have had such a crazy mix of emotions over the events of these past days but I know that from everyone's life a lesson should be taken, so that it will not be in vain. The lesson that I take from the life of this wonderful man is that you should never give up...never! He stood strong through our failing economy and the closings of several of his offices these past several months while he still ran the association, did his charitable works; all while fighting for his life. If that was not enough he never sacrificed his family in the process. he was a loving husband, father of five and (young)grandfather to eight. Can you tell how much I admired him?

OK, now back to the fun part of my life with the family before I lose you all with my melancholy ramblings.

Hanukkah - Day One was spent at a party at Marc's cousin Jeff and Kathy's. Both of their daughters were there (one in HS and one in College) and Justin and Judy joined us as well. The DD had so much fun there. Brittany, their younger daughter is great with the children and they were either playing with her in the living room or hanging out in her room...thank you for the mini vaca Brit!! The kiddos also love Cousin Jeff, whom for some reason is known as Uncle Jerry to Katie Starr (Don't ask!) The relationship they have is so funny because he always rough houses a little with them which both scares and delights Katie at the same time, so she is either running away while fake screaming or saying "again! again!" to him. Ethan takes on the roll of protector to his big sis which cracks me up. It was a very fun evening and here are some pics starting with opening of day one's gifts at home before we left for the party. The DD received more gifts at the party. Thank you Jeff and Kathy!

Here we are at Marc's cousin's home

Day two was spent at our wonderful friends, Shannon and Alan's home. This has become an annual event for us and we love celebrating with them. It is very low key, there is lots of fun food, traditions and then a frenzy of gifts exchanged. Her family including her mom and in-laws are so wonderful to the DD and the bag of loot that we take out is amazing. Besides all of the usual frivolity we had a hilarious incident happen this year. The kids were all in the bedroom playing. It was pretty quiet so that should have given us a clue that there may be something brewing. The next thing that we see is Katie (head hung low and looking very upset) coming to tell me that her head was blue. She quietly told me her bff Mimi did it. It seems that the bff's were partaking in a little hair coloring with a blue glitter gel pen that is used for hair. We all had a good laugh and I was just happy that scissors were not involved. Shannon was concerned that if the gel dried too much that we would have a hard time getting it all out, so in the bath the two girls went. Ethan wanted to get in too but was told no...LOL Two three year old's was quite enough in the tub at a Hanukkah party. Shannon got most of it out but Katie is still glistening under the lights with a bit of glitter in her hair...bwa haha!!

I am feeling so blue Mom!

Into the bath you go!

Tonight was actually spent in the mall before coming home to light candles and open presents. There were a couple of last minute gifts that I needed to get for Christmas. Tonight's gifts were dress up clothes for the DD but that did not go over too well; especially with the mischief man. Katie played a little bit with her outfits but Ethan was not the least bit interested in his BOY dress up clothes. He was upset that he was not able to dress up in what Katie had received...that's our boy!

A wise man once said that Life is a treasure hunt and love is the treasure.

I believe that to be true; therefore I am a very rich woman.


Candy said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your dear friend who lost his life. From what you have written, he must have been a 'special person'.

Looks like you and your family are having a wonderful Chanukah. Enjoy! Pictures are great.

Angel said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your friend.

It seems your holiday is lots of fun. Happy Hanukah!

Missy said...

I am very sorry about the loss of your dear friend. It is never easy to lose someone we love. It sounds like his legacy will live on because of his greatness. Hugs!

Happy Hanukah!

Tamara said...

I am sorry about the loss of the man you admired so much. It is always hard to lose someone you love and admire- and the holidays make it so much harder. Thoughts and prayers with you.

Looks like the DD is having a great time- the pictures are wonderful!
I can't wait til Christmas morning to see the Moose and Goose's reaction. (5 am won't be such a bad thing on Christmas)

Can't wait to see you in January!

Gail said...

Lori, I'm sorry for the loss of your very dear friend. He sounds like an amazing person.

Your pics made me smile...you are all having a blast I can tell. My 2littles are pretty wild and crazy this morning running around the house. It will be fun to see their faces tomorrow after Santa has been here. :)

Happy Hanukah to you and your family!


Carol and Taylor said...

That darned "circle of life" gets us everytime, doesn't it? I keep trying to remind myself at these times about what "they" say: you can't truly appreciate happiness without experiencing loss. Sometimes the reminder works, sometimes it doesn't.

So sorry for your loss and happy that you all are finding joy in the holidays.

Hugs from us,

Carol and Taylor

Dawn said...

So sorry that your heart is hurting.

I LURVE the fact that Ethan wanted to dress in his sisters dress up clothes. Quite the little style master.

sending hugs for your heart and for your holidays.

love you, me

Jen@KerrnalJournal said...

I'm sorry to hear of the loved one you lost....

Thanks for sharing your holidays with us. Looks like you guys are having a blast, and the DD are just the cutest!!


Vivian M said...

I am so sorry about the loss of your dear friend. And your father in law is in my thoughts and prayers. I wish there was something I could say, other than I understand completely, and I am here if you need me.
Wishing you and your family a very happy Chanukah and may 2009 bring health, happiness and prosperity your way.
Huge hugs from your Canadian snowbird friends!