The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cyndi's Birthday

On February 15th, I turned 38. I am not ashamed to say it. I am what I am. Sunday was a busy day. I was finally feeling up to snuff after a bout with some stomach ailment the last night we were in Switzerland. I had hit the ground running when I got home...but still not willing to eat much, so my body was like a sinking ship. A short little bug ended up wearing me out until about Sunday. Joe was in Aberdeen...Lily, Rich and Tim were up in Haugesund (2 hrs north of here) for a basketball tournament, and I stayed in Stavanger to go to church and serve my ministries there (EMHC, RE coordinator & RE teacher for K/1st grade). It was raining...after all those days of snow and the roads and sidewalks were a mess. I arrive 30 minutes prior to Mass starting to unlock all the outward buildings (4) and turn on the lights and the heat in the Sunday School rooms. I get the supply buckets out for the teachers, etc. By the time I got home, it was after noon. I busily started baking for the NATO American wives social that I was hosting at my house the next night...all the while sludging through mounds of laundry from our time in Switzerland and what the boys wore for the 5 days we were gone. I took a break mid-afternoon to pick up Joe from the airport. It was great to chat with him about his experience there and also what went on while we were gone. He had left about 14 hours after we returned and so hadn't really connected much for over a week. Once Rich got home with the other members of the family, I made manicotti and we splurged and ate in front of the TV (normally never done here), watching the replay of the NBA slam dunk and 3 pointer contest. (because evidently even after 10 games between the two of them in the previous 48 hours - there can never be enough basketball in the Messina family).
Rich made me a cake...and I could hear him using the electric knife to cut it (which made me wonder what in the world was going on). Lily had been crying during the night several weeks ago and Rich got up with her. The only way to get her to stop crying in the night is to talk with her and get her in a conversation. The topic for said conversation was what kind of cake they were going to make for Mommy's birthday. She suggested a TaeKwon-Do cake....and they talked about it for awhile before she went to sleep. You really have to be careful what you talk to Lily about because she has a memory like an elephant and will hold you to it. She told me last week that I was getting a TaeKwon-Do cake for my birthday. Rich was more than flummoxed by her piping up and saying that. She had remembered and now he was stuck. I think he did pretty good. He made a gi (dobok) top. I don't like white anything so he made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and doused it with powdered sugar to make it white...(what a man! I love him!) was fabulous and I couldn't stop laughing about it. The white furry thing on me is a sheepskin...they are very popular here for babies in prams, especially. Mine is on my computer chair keeping my 38 year old derriere warm. :o) Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes! It may have been a hectic day, but it really was a great one!

A few More Lily pix...

Here are a few more pictures of Lily that I found on my little camera that I carry in my purse. The bath ones were from Switzerland. She was so excited to take a bath! We don't have bathtubs in our house...only shower stalls, so this was a special treat. It really reminded me of our special bathtime fun that we had when we first got her.
The other is of the "snowman for Lily" that Joe made on our front deck. It was right outside our dining room and one of our main entrances to our house. Everytime I walked past the window, I thought someone was standing there. :o) Lily loved it, of course. This was before the giant snowman at the top of the driveway.

Basketball back in Norway...

Back in Norway, Tim had four basketball games of his own last weekend on Feb 14th and 15th. The first one was with his club IBA team and the other three were ISS JV games. Tim definitely held his own. He played at three different locations in two days in Norway. He has grown so much both physically and mentally in his basketball skills. The boy's got game (as his coach would say). I wanted to show you the way the courts look here. Basketball is not a major sport. It is barely a sport here. They play on these multipurpose gyms that have a gazillion lines on them. Not easy at all! Here's the Norsk on the scores as well..Here's a hint: Hjemme means home..

ISS men's JV team heads to Aberdeen, Scotland

We got home around 10:30 p.m. from the airport returning from Switzerland on Wednesday, Feb 11th. Joe and his team left Thursday from school for their NECIS JV boys basketball tournament in Aberdeen, Scotland. These boys were looking very smart in their suits and ties. Here they are when we met them at the airport for a send off... They were there for four days (staying with families from the int'l school in Aberdeen) and ended up coming in 3rd place. Not bad! Joe is wearing one of Rich's suits...this will tell you how much he has grown up!

Lucerne, Switzerland

On Monday, Feb 9th, we boarded the train for Lucerne. This was a really nice train ride with gorgeous scenery all around us. We were headed for the edge of the see if we could find Heidi or her long lost relatives.
We wondered around the beautiful city for a short time before succumbing to the snowy peaks around us. Mt. Pilatus is right there...with Lucerne at her feet and we decided to head on up and look around. There are three sets of trams you have to take to get up the 7000 ft mountain. The top had about 20 feet of snow and was windy and desolate. It had the most beautiful view though...absolutely amazing!
We took the first big tram (carries about 40 people) down to Frakmuntegg, which is at 4650 ft. There we got on wooden sleds and sledded down to the last tram stop at Kriensevegg at 3375 ft. Yes, that is 1200 feet down the side of a mountain on sleds. Did I mention we weren't dressed for this? Anyhow, we had a great time...only one major crash (they had so much snow!) and I had several bruises on my legs (and I wasn't even the one that crashed! I was just trying to not hurtle myself off the side of the mountain when Rich chose the "difficult" path over the "easy" one). Lily had had about enough of our nonsense by the time we were in the last tram down to Lucerne. We got some food and jumped back on the train to Zurich so Rich could attend the evening ice breaker portion of his conference.

Bern, Switzerland

On Sunday, Feb 8th, we took the train to Bern, the capitol of Switzerland. Rich had been hiking with a group of Swiss military officers last year whilst at a conference in Germany. They had exchanged emails and pictures and Rich looked up one of them and he met us in Bern and showed us around. We wondered around the city ourselves for the morning while he counted votes during a recent election (part of his civic duty). I got to try curling...and blowing on an alphorn. I was able to make a noise...somewhat what I envision elephants sounding like when giving birth.... How cool though! Lily got to go ice skating...and we enjoyed a snowy day walking around the city (they actually have bear pits with bears in them...interesting). The bear seems to be the city mascot. We had a wonderful time at Stephan and Prisca's house. They have three wonderful boys and made a truly exceptional meal of wild boar for us (Stephan's dad is a hunter). We had a fabulous time and fell in love with this little city.