Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chilly Chili 5k

Alex decided he wanted to run the Chilly Chili 5k this year. The proceeds for the run go to the Cazenovia Children's House, where Alex went for after school care a couple of years when we lived in Cazenovia. It's a great organization. And for a January afternoon in Upstate New York, it wasn't a bad day for a run!

Look at the green grass even! There's not even any snow in Cazenovia this year. It was a balmy 38 degrees and the sun was shining.

Alex had a great race. This is at about the 1 mile mark. It was nice that we got to see the runners pass by during the race.

And here he is heading towards the finish line. He placed 15th overall, out of over 1,100 runners. Not too shabby! He was just "using the run as a workout"... (If you'd like to see the results, you can see them here.)

I think his workout was a good one, he looks a little tired!

After the race, we walked over to Cazenovia College for a Chili Cook-off. Since Alex finished so quickly, we were one of the first ones to arrive. It wasn't crowded at all.

There were about 20 chili's to taste, including one from the fire department.

It got crowded pretty quickly, and the line at the door was half way down the block when we left. It was a really neat event, I'm glad we went! And I'm SO very glad it wasn't snowing... I hear in past years the snow has been so bad you could barely see 2 feet in front of you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Miscellaneous Things

Sorry I've been slacking on the blog updating. As always, we've been a little busy! WCNY held its Annual Travel Auction the last 2 weeks, so that meant a million extra hours for Eric and I. Plus Alex has had 3 more track meets since I last updated... and we've all (well, Alex and I have, Eric seems to have missed all the "fun") been sick a few times. It seems to keep getting passed around. And then back again. I hope this last round was the end for awhile.

I got up to see Gary and Paula on Saturday. I enjoyed getting to have some chat time with Paula. I think she might have enjoyed it too. I had to take their photo so you could all see they're doing ok! The house work is just about done, as far as getting it emptied. The insurance is being worked out, the contractor has been chosen, designs are in the works. They are hoping the rebuilding process will be quick, and have hopes to be able to host Thanksgiving again at their new home in November. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them!!

This was an "AT AT" from Star Wars. It was severely burned in the fire. Poor thing!

We were going through some boxes on Saturday, and a lot of their photographs were in perfect condition. It's nice that these sentimental items were able to be saved. Look how young they look in that top photo!

They had a lot of church friends helping them on Saturday. They were boxing up a lot items that were in the barn and putting them in their storage unit. This picture is down in their basement. They have heat, electricity and food down there. It's so strange being down there, it's almost like nothing happened. Until you go upstairs, it's like walking into something from a war zone. So surreal.

This picture is for Paula. This couch had no cushions, and one of their friends stopped by with cushions they just happened to have kept from an old couch. And they fit perfectly! Paula's going to put a cover on the couch and it'll be good as new! It's the little things.

Paula's here putting wood in the wood stove. It was 18 degrees outside (and close to that in the house too), but down there, it was warm and cozy. It's nice that they have a place to go while they're out at the house working so they can warm up.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gary & Paula's House

As many of you already know, Gary & Paula lost their home and most of their belongings to a fire last weekend. I can't even begin to describe what they have been through since, nor would I feel comfortable speaking for them. I know they are devastated, but overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity from the community and from their friends and family. I'm going to post a few pictures of the damage. They have a long road ahead of them, but we are all so very thankful they are ok. The girls are both so strong and Paula told me the other day that Kelly's attitude was amazing. "It's just stuff," she said. (The picture above was taken from the left side of the house, facing what used to be the garage.)

This was the window to Laura's room.

This was the family room. The plywood to the right is covering what was a door to the garage.

This is the entry to the house.

The family room again, on the left is the hallway up to the kitchen.

The dumpster, full of items that could not be saved.

This was Laura's room.

The microwave. (Eric was very intrigued by this...)

This is a view from the living room, down toward the entry. There is water damage, and smoke damage, but the structure seems ok. They will be tearing down the drywall. And from what I understand, the contractor will then take over from there to begin rebuilding.

If you are on Facebook, please feel free to join the group "Helping the Haydens", if you haven't yet. You can find the link from either mine or Eric's page. Paula's friend Jennifer started the group, and has been updating it several times a day. I know she's been a huge support for Paula and we're all thankful for her posting updates of the process and for being there for Gary, Paula and the girls.

If you would like to see more pictures, send me an email, I will forward more to you. I didn't want to post too many.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jenny and the Squirrel

I thought I'd try to get a self-portrait with Jenny. It actually worked! She sat still very nicely. Now to get her to look at the camera...

This was one of Jenny's Christmas gifts. You can't tell here, but she's guarding it with her life. Don't even try to go near her.

And it's a good thing Jenny wasn't looking out the window when I snapped this picture. I'm pretty sure that squirrel wouldn't have been sitting on the rabbit's head for very long... And yes, this photo was taken this afternoon. Notice the green grass and lack of snow. Which unfortunately, as of 7pm, is no longer the case. Alex is hoping to extend his Christmas vacation with a nice school cancellation tomorrow. We'll have to wait and see!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We hadn't planned on going out to ring in the new year, but when John Pelo calls, you go! His friend Gabe had just recently opened up a bar in Phoenix. It's also a Bocce Ball club. It was a neat place, I can see us hanging out there again.

Phyllis and I looked smashing in our NYE hats.

Eric and Mark also pulled off the party hat look.

This is John with Gabe, the bar owner.

We watched the ball drop in Times Square.

And toasted to the New Year. Happy New Year everyone! Hope it's the best yet!!