The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Monday, July 28, 2008

ABC's and 123's

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Here's a snippet of Miss Lily doing her thing...She never stops talking but when I put a camera up, she freezes. However, she was given a task that she loves to do...sing her ABC's and say her 123's in Chinese.

Random neighborhood shots









Joe, Lily, Kona, and I walked down to Hafrsfjord to see a huge flock of swans that moves around the area. Usually they are on another part of the fjord, but have moved into our neighborhood this summer. We stopped counting at 30. There was just a whole bunch of them. They all swam right over to us when we stopped on the path to see them.
This little shed is so adorable. It reminds me of something that should be in The Hobbit or something. It is at the base of our driveway.
The flowers are wild flowers that we have growing around our driveway and the "Hobbit Hut".
The cows are also right near our house...in fact, when our dogs get loose, we head there first (although Kona got out last night and went to the trampoline next door and sat there). The cows get to eat the green leaves and stalks of the cucumber plants from the cucumber houses. The calves here by our house got a special treat of actual cucumbers.

Glad Mat






Glad mat is like "A Taste of Houston...St. Louis...etc" but has restaurants from all over the Stavanger area taking part. Last year was so cold and rainy that they canceled the last two days of the four day event. This year the weather has been gorgeous and hot...so there were tons of people!
We had Joe's friend, Matt, with us. We had some very yummy Greek gyros and then some pretty good ice cream. We ate on the floating cement dock in the sailing harbor (which was cleared out for the event) in order to get away from most of the crowds. It was pretty fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two Messina men down...one to go....

Remember all those cool pictures of the boys doing flips on the neighbor's trampoline? They are out there almost everyday...always with an adult or family member out there with them.
Joe and Tim were out taking pictures of themselves whilst doing their flippage out there (as they would put it) and Joe somehow slipped. The story is he picked a cherry from the tree near the trampoline and threw it up in the air while he tried to do a back flip and then kick it while in the air. Evidently, he isn't very good at that. He landed on his head, which landed on his hand. He says he may have blacked out a bit...our neighbor was out there with him and said nothing about it. However, he immediately started complaining about his middle finger of his left hand. This morning it was swollen around the middle knuckle. Luckily, we had a doctor's appointment for physicals for both boys this afternoon.
Both boys appear to be healthy. They had blood taken, etc. and they were in the clear. Poor Tim was stuck in both arms and two different fingers for his blood. The Norwegian med tech said he was a "hard prick"....I asked if he kept a straight face for that comment and he said, "Almost." :o) His urinalysis came back with some protein in it, so we are going to do a repeat test in two weeks. Should be nothing.
Joe got a referral for an x-ray at the hospital. So after their two physicals and labwork, we drove to the hospital and got his hand x-rayed. Yes, there is a small fracture distal (above) that middle joint in his finger. Then we were told we must go to the acute ortho clinic. Amazingly enough, me, "Miss Directionally Dyslexic" knew where all of this was due to my 7 hour accompaniment of Rich with his shoulder separation about a month ago. So we went there and waited....2 1/2 hours (with Joe and Tim AND LILY)...we finally saw the doctor and we were in the room about 90 seconds. Long enough for introductions, the diagnosis, and for him to say that it will heal in 3-4 weeks and to use it as much as possible, even if it is uncomfortable. Evidently there is some blood in the joint and if he doesn't use it, it could freeze up and he could lose some mobility (permanently). So there you have it. In the last month I have taken TWO of the Messina men to the Norwegian hospital, including the x-ray department and ortho. Let's just all say a little prayer of healing for Rich (who is still not right) and Joe and a big prayer for Tim...who is the lone uninjured testosterone machine in the house. :o)
Seriously, update on Rich...he started having a lot of muscle pain in his back and shoulder...most likely due to the overcompensation of trying not to use his very sore shoulder that was not immobilized. I have been massaging it for him when I can and it is all knotted up. He had to go to a doctor to ask for a referral for physical therapy. Unfortunately all Norwegians believe in leaving during the months of July and August (seriously, we aren't even charged our electric bill that month and are double charged in August because there isn't enough people working) so there isn't really any physical therapists here now. He is going TDY to Germany next week and requested an appointment with an American military doctor to get his shoulder checked out. Yay! So we shall see. He is not happy with how it has healed...he does have a large bump on his shoulder, but the doctor did say that would happen. Could have been so much worse....he broke his helmet in this crash...he landed on his head before his shoulder hit. He said he knew in that split second that the helmet had most likely saved his LIFE. No kidding. He probably wouldn't be here. He's the poster boy for bicycle helmets.
Let's hope Tim's guardian angel is up for the task.... :o)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Sun is Out!!!

Our newly bathed little cutie...Kona Lily with her Jingle bell stickers A shot to show you how much Kona has grown up lately! Her legs are really growing! Ole, our neighbor's son, kept throwing the basketballs on the roof, so Timmy just stayed up there. (Ole has Down's Syndrome and is autistic...he is 11) Slam dunk by the Timster!
videoJoe attempts his double front... I haven't been blogging much in the last week or so because it has been RAINING forever. However, the sun came out today and we managed to bathe both dogs and get some vitamin D soaked into our skin. We often go over to our neighbor's house and bounce on their ground-level trampoline. Today I was taking video of Joe and Tim and their antics on the trampoline. I really have a hard time uploading video on the website, so I hope that it works. I was addressing Christmas cards and putting stamps on them this afternoon (I know it sounds crazy, but I have to get this kind of thing done in the summer time because once school starts, my life gets crazy). Lily loves the "Big Jingle Bells" (the liberty bells on the forever stamps) that come on the outside label. She wanted to wear all of them. So she did...and still is...
videoTim's half front...
videoJoe just fooling around on the trampoline...this doesn't have the big bounce that most trampolines have.
video Just a little bit of video of Lily, who I noticed had her pants on backwards as I was videoing...she has such a tiny Chinese hiney that she never has to unzip or unbutton her pants...and she is getting kind of independent now..."I do it MYSELF!"
One more cute Lilyism...she has an old Japanese cell phone that she puts to her ear and says, "Hello Messinas! This is me!" (our boys have to answer the phone "Hello Messina's, THis is ...." :o)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our next big trip.....


Aunt Mayra and Lily

Uncle Craig, Aunt Mayra, Joe, Tim and Lily

Joe and Kona

We had a great time with Craig and Mayra. They are a lot of fun to be around and they always kept us laughing. As we enjoyed our last evening with them, we solidified our plans to visit them and purchased tickets to fly to Dubai during the last week of February for a visit! We are all very excited!
One thing I failed to mention is Lily's reaction to Aunt Mayra and Uncle Craig...she had seen them only once and it was almost 20 months ago. She did remember to call Uncle Craig "Monkey Craig", which really made him chuckle. The funniest thing was her trying to remember Aunt Mayra's name. She kept calling her "Aunt Youra"...you know...not using "my" in the first part but "your". Cracked us all up continually. Craig realized that Joe is now taller than him...which worries me since Craig is 5'10"! We are going to have to put a brick on this kid's head! He's only 13!
Anyhow, we had a blast and we are looking forward to going to visit them and the United Arab Emirates!

Preikestolen


The views from up here are phenomenal!

Even the invincible Mayra has to take a rest at the top after her lunch!

Craig and Mayra overlooking Pulpit Rock

Mayra's playing "Queen of the Mountain"

Craig heading down the mountain...

Mayra hiking up to Pulpit Rock

The view of Lysefjord

Craig out on Pulpit Rock with a few other tourists

Pulpit Rock from above

Craig out on the edge....
Because Mayra and Craig had only one day left here in Sola together, they decided to do the other big hike on Thursday: Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). This hike isn't as steep in places as Kjerag, but it is a lot longer. The average time to hike up there is about 2.5 hours. I dropped the two of them off to catch a ferry from Stavanger Sentrum to Tau and then they caught a bus to the base of Preikestolen and then hiked up. They were pretty tired when they got back. They both said their legs were like rubber....two big hikes back-to-back like that. Wow. The next day they both get to get stiff by sitting on airplanes for 10+ hours. :o) But, I can say that they did "do it all" in this region of Norway in the time they were here!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Kjerag


Craig and Mayra have a snowball fight (not something you can do in Houston or Dubai) while hiking up to Kjerag.

Mayra (who must have been related to Evel Knevil in another life) takes a stretch out on a rock....3000+ feet up!

Craig and Mayra take in the Norwegian views

This is Rich going out on the rock...this is the second time he's done it. Evidently, Uncle Craig was also relatively reluctant. Mayra just hopped out there...just like the boys.
The Messina men are on top of the world!

Craig and Mayra sit on the lamp of a giant troll in the Candle factory on the way home.
Craig...trying to be brave... Tim waves to the camera from Kjerag's most famous rock.... Craig reluctantly joins his wife on the boulder for a picture. Yep, it's a LOOOOONNNNGGGGG way down! If you were to dangle your feet over the edge and look down.... This is Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) from the Lysefjord cruise boat below....(and zoomed in quite a bit, I might add) as it is 603 meters above the water. See that little rock squished between the crack in the cliffs? That is Kjerag (pronounced Sher rahg). This is also zoomed in from the cruise boat as it is over 1000 meters above the fjord. Joe, making sure he'd get a picture that would give his mother a heart attack.... Tim, beating Joe out in giving me a heart attack.... Rich, the trooper, hiking a steep climb with a separated shoulder...sling is off for the photos... On Wednesday, June 9th, Craig, Mayra, Rich, Joe and Tim left to go on a cruise of the Lysefjord and then drove up to Eagle's Nest (some 26 or so hairpin turns up the mountain face)and then hiked a couple of hours across some very rugged terrain to make it up to Kjerag...a very picturesque spot here in Rogaland. When most people think of Norway, they think of this spot. The view is amazing...and it is VERY high up. The drop from Kjerag is over 1000 meters...well over 3000 feet. The hike is not for children, so I stayed home with Lily while they took on the challenging trip.
Kjerag is a big spot for base jumping. However, you have to have 500 free fall parachute jumps from an airplane before you can attempt to base jump Kjerag.
Craig came back with huge blisters all over his feet from his boots (that weren't quite broken in for this kind of hiking). Everyone was a little sore and very tired when they came in around 10 p.m. that night. Not bad for a 14 hour day!
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Downtown Stavanger






We decided that the boys would most likely not enjoy walking around downtown Stavanger, so Craig, Mayra, Lily and I went downtown for a jaunt today. It rained early but cleared up into a nice day. We toured the old neighborhood of Stavanger, where the houses date back to the early 1800's. We also went to the Domkirke and showed them the old Anglican cathedral that is at the center of Stavanger Sentrum. We introduced ourselves to this year's cignets...there were four born to the old swan couple downtown this year.
We ended our day walking along the harbor and then going to the Oil Museum. Craig and Mayra have both worked/work for oil companies with holdings here in the Stavanger area, so it was very interesting. Craig was able to share some of his stories from when he was traveling out on the offshore oil rigs in the North Sea off the coast of Norway in 2001. We had a great time.