Thursday, December 22, 2011


OK folks...this is the best I can do this year...and this was a hard one (Santa made it easy to smile - thanks Santa...) Our first "new" family picture. Just doesn't seem right. We got Melissa in the picture (Mere's FORT shirt)...the picture is nice, but just doesn't seem right...
Anyway, I did a lot more this year than last - actually baked cookies, bought a few more presents. Still can't put up the "big" tree. Can't even look at the ornaments. Can't put out the stockings (bought new ones). I want to. Maybe next year.

From our family to yours - may you have a happy Christmas, a HEALTHY New Year, and always remember to take LOTS of pictures.

Took LOTS of pictures when Santa visited our house, but this is the ONLY picture that FORT showed up in (notice the orbs? There's actually a big one and a little one - JP was there too!) She either sets off the puzzle, or shows up in pictures - occasionally.

You can see how HAPPY Drew is...and you can probably tell that Max was just a little hesitant to sit on Santa's lap....HOWEVER when Santa walked into the house, it looked like Max had SPRINGS on his feet - he was jumping up and down - it was hard to get him to stop he was so excited!

While this is a nice picture of our nephew (Donny's sister Jan's son) Ryan, this picture is more about the picture BEHIND us on the wall. Ryan is a Graphics Art major at SE Louisana State (I hope I got that right) of his assignments was to take a picture of something that meant a lot to him, then draw it in black and white.
He wears his FORT bracelet all the time, and THAT is what he chose to draw. So he had a picture taken of him holding the bracelet. (he got an "A" of course) - he didn't add the pink to the bracelet until after he got it back...then Santa gave it to me after Drew and Max got their presents! I'm guessing this will be my FAVORITE present this year... THANKS RYAN! Love you!

We have Nick, Mere, Drew and Max staying with us this week (her brother is in town and staying with her mom, so we are THRILLED to have them here when the boys are SO excited about Christmas...GOOD for us too.

The visit from Santa was exciting - that's all they've talked about. I forgot how much we use the "Santa is watching" around Christmas time when they are all wound up. While they are so excited about Christmas and we talk a lot about Santa (AND Baby Jesus' birthday!)...we also talk a lot about Melissa.
Max came into our bedroom the other morning and said "Pamma. Call Aunt Fort".
So we picked up the phone and called her. He picked up the received and said "I love you Aunt Fort". He's 2. I love that Max knows her.

Another cute story - Drew LOVES to hear Pamma's stories. He sat on my lap the other day and said "Pamma - tell me the alligator story" (the one were I saw the alligators on vacation this summer)...when I started telling the story, Max crawled up on my lap and was listening, and he said something about Aunt Fort and the alligator. I told him that "Aunt Fort could sit on the alligator's BACK if she wanted to because she's an angel". He looked at me kind of funny and said "NO PAMMA.
Aunt Fort not a angel." And I looked at him and said "Well, what is she Max?"
His reply? "A butterfly!"

I love it.


On our last day before break, my Moraine Meadows family gathered at Bufflo Wild Wings...hard to believe it's been two years since we left MM. I miss them all so much, and it is ALWAYS good to see everyone (including Mike, Jackie's husband and her daughter Beth who just happens to be in town!)

My friend Dawn (from school)got a call from her sister, who invited her AND a friend to dinner at Flemings at the Greene. Not only did we enjoy a delicious filet mignon dinner...we were encouraged to try the dessert too. THANKS DAWN (and sister Tracy!)

For our Compassionate Friends meeting in December, there was a Memorial Service at a church in Tipp City. 64 Children were remembered...just hard to was very nice, and afterward there was a potluck dinner - my students from Greenmont made the BEAUTIFUL butterfly placemats (I'm not the only one who LOVES the butterflies!) THANKS GREENMONT STUDENTS!

...Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

p.s. next post will be the week of Jan 2...3 years AND Melissa's birthday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Catching up....

I didn't realize how busy the last month has been...until I finally downloaded
the pictures from the last couple of weeks.
December is pretty busy too. I guess busy is good. Going to as many Fairmont girls basketball games as we can (Melissa LOVED Fairmont girls basketball. When she was home from Hospice, about this time THREE years ago, the one thing she wanted to do was to go to a game. Never got to because she had visitors that day for about an hour and she slept the rest of the day. But it was the ONE things she really wanted to do. So WE go. It is TRULY what gets me through the winter.

And ALWAYS excitement from Nick and Mere's....Nick just called. He wanted me to know that he just pulled a LEGO out of Drew's nose. Like father like son...Nick recalls the time when we had to pull a DIME out of his nose. (And we had to pull a peanut out of my brother Steve's nose when HE was about that age.) What is it with boys and their noses? Just curiosity maybe? Experimenting? Who knows. Just glad Nick was able to take care of it. Hopefully he won't try it again!

Mia Marie. She came to visit with her mom, Stacy. I know Fort was here...Stacy was telling a story about Fort and the puzzle went off. No surprise. She was just letting us know that SHE thinks she's adorable too!

Funny story from school....the day after Mia's visit, Kindergarten came to the library. There is a little girl in the class whose name is ALSO Mia. When she came up to check out her book, just out of curiosity, I asker her what her middle name was. She is as cute as can be, chubby, long hair, glasses. She looked at me, without ANY hesitation said "MIA GRACE MONKEYFACE"...and walked away.

I need to write ANOTHER book.

Drew & Max checking out the "Crib" (as my dad called it). My grandpa built one, then my dad built one, and WE have it for now. I remember laying in front of it when I was their age, and Melissa and Nick laid in front of it at mom and dad's...and someday, Drew and Max's kids will enjoy it too!

Two tired little boys...we wore them out on a Christmas lights tour of Kettering.
If you haven't been through Lincoln Park, you need to go. It's beautiful. (Remember Fort in the Rugby to the Harley? That was in Lincoln Park).
Donny told the boys that "Pamma and PopPop put up all these lights"...and they believe him....OH what a tangled web we weave.....

Me with Illustrators Jeannette & Christopher Canyon at school. He was a
visiting Illustrator at Moraine Meadows about 10 years ago - amazing.
He illustrated the book GRANDMA'S FEATHER BED (John Denver) along with a few others by John Denver. If you haven't seen them, check them out,
they are beatiful.
For me, authors and illustrators are like MOVIE STARS. I have LOTS of
pictures with different authors. Melissa tried to "one up" me...Sue Grafton
was a client that booked a train trip... Melissa actually had her cell phone #and had to call her once (in California) and woke her up. Melissa forgot
about the time change. She (Sue Grafton) was a good sport about it though....

Celebrating my sister Donna's birthday (Donna, Pam, Sue)

On our way in to the Football Banquet, we saw two of these BEAUTIFUL hawks!

Firebird Football Coaches...can you find Coach Fort?

Coach Fort & Coach Rock (FORT would LOVE this!)

In Memory of Jackie....her tree and book are ready! Right next to Fort's bench!

And speaking of Memorials....the Compassionate Friends Christmas Memorial is Sunday.

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites families and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7p.m. local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries. TCF has chapters all over the world. As candles burn down in one time zone, they will be lit in the next so that candles will be burning in memory of our children throughout the entire 24 hours on December 11th.

......That Their Light May Always Shine....Please light a candle Sunday, December 11 @ 7 p.m.

I'll be lighting mine for my beautiful daughter Melissa.

Thank you!