The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010 take 2

Here's another little video of our Christmas break....

Christmas 2010 take 2

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Take 1

Hit the link below to see a compilation of Christmas family pictures to music!

Christmas Take 1

Christmas visit

Christmas was a fun at the Messina house! My brother, Craig and his wife, Mayra and their 5 month old son, Alex, came from Houston. It was so wonderful to have family here for Christmas and also to meet my youngest nephew! We had a white Christmas and it was good just to sit around and talk and get to catch up again.

Lily is having fun with her new Leapster (she is no longer allowed to bug her biggest brother to play games on his iPod Touch!) She also received a lot of arts and crafts projects and materials. She is quite the little artist and can be found drawing pictures everyday at one of our tables. She drew pictures for everyone for Christmas and put them under the tree. Aunt Mayra had a picture of her holding baby Alex. Uncle Craig got a drawing of a motorcycle (complete with flames on the tank). Tim got a very impressive drawing of him playing basketball. (He couldn't believe she drew it on her own....I had to remind him that she HAS spent a great deal of time in the stands at basketball games over the past few years!) Joe's looked kind of abstract....a whole bunch of colored rectangles. Joe was looking a little disappointed after seeing Tim's drawing and asked Lily what it was....she told him it was "lots of sticks of gum!" She wanted to draw something that he likes! We all got a good laugh over that. :o)

Rich made everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to me on Christmas morning. No, it wasn't my birthday, but my birthday is in February and it's the big 4-0. There's a 99% chance he will be deployed, so I got a fabulous Christmas/40th birthday gift of a digital SLR camera and telephoto lens. I am excited to try it at the boys' basketball tournaments this week. It took some pretty good pictures around the house! Alex was patient with me as I clicked away. :o)

Rich is so proud of all the countries we have been to in all our travels. I got him a stand and a miniature flag from each country he has been to so far. It was quite a few!

Tim enjoyed getting anything having to do with basketball. Always exercising, he also got some equipment that kept him busy that afternoon! Tim also got a few hoodies to keep him warm through the Nebraska winter.

Joe also got a few hoodies to wear along with some items for his car. His front driver's seat now sports a Tweetie bird seat cover. :o) Thanks to Uncle Craig, he now has an emergency safety kit for the trunk and I got him some much needed new windshield wipers. :o)

We had a wonderful Christmas and now that Craig and his family are safely back home, we are cleaning up and getting ready for my parents to arrive on Wednesday. We'll celebrate Christmas with them and then get ready for Lily's birthday party. She's going to have two with family around her birthday and then one at the end of January with her friends. (We like to throw Chinese New Year birthday parties for Lily) Her friends are back from their holiday trips by then.

Enjoy the pictures!

It's Santa! I always imagined he'd be a bit bigger...and hairier!


Cousins - Joe, Tim, Lily and cousin, Alex

Cyndi and Lily

Mayra and Alex

Cyndi, her baby brother, Craig, and his baby, Alex

Craig, Mayra and Alex

Christmas photos


Alex and Mayra, his mommy. His whole face lights up when she talks to him.

Craig, Mayra and Alex in Council Bluffs, IA at the go-kart racing place.

Alex and Craig, his proud daddy

Kisses for Auntie Cyndi!

Mayra and Alex are a bit bundled up! Nebraska is a bit colder than Houston!

What a ladies' man!

Tim and Alex get acquainted

Chomp! Alex got ahold of Joe!

Mr. Smiley!

Lily in her Christmas sweater from her Godmother, Judi, and her Christmas party antlers....

Joe gets some time with Alex.

My baby brother, Craig, and his son, Alex (5 mos)

Merry Christmas 2010!

We had a wonderful Christmas! First Rich's brother, Joe, came for a few days during the middle of December. He's being deployed to Kuwait/Iraq in early 2011, so it was nice to get to see him before he leaves. Rich actually left with him and they went to Las Vegas for a few days.

My brother, Craig, and his wife Mayra and son, Alex came in from Houston on Dec 22nd and stayed until the 26th. It was so fascinating to see my baby brother as a father. Mayra is a great mom and Alex just charmed everyone...okay, perhaps not at 2 in the morning, but he sure is cute! My parents are due in on the 29th and will stay a few days. It is so wonderful to see everyone and not have to fly 12+ hours in order to see them!

Tim, Lily and Joe with their newest cousin, Alex! He turned 5 months old on Christmas Day and had everyone smiling!

The Messina clan during their first Christmas in Nebraska!

Tim (14), Lily (10 days shy of being 6) and Joe (16)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Muscle Cars

Rich has a '67 Camaro that he and Joe were working on today in the garage. Since it IS a muscle car, Lily and Joe struck a few "muscle-y" photos for me. :o)

Blessing of the Animals

Today we had the blessing of the animals after Mass. Everyone went home and came back with their critters they love so dearly. Most were dogs...there had to be more than 20 of them there....but there was also a rabbit and two turtles. Evidently Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Community doesn't have a lot of cat people! :o) Fr. Jose brought his weiner dog, Cigar as well. St. Francis of Assisi showed his love and kindness for all of God's creation, down to all creatures great and small. Scriptures were read, prayers prayed and the animals were given a blessing and sprinkled with Holy Water. Kona even got a St. Francis of Assisi medallion to wear on her dog collar! She thought it was quite fun to get gifts, sprinkled with water and meet a whole bunch of other dogs!

A few random October pictures....

This is the tail end of Tim's shiner he earned while scrimmaging on the basketball court last week. The only other freshman taller than him went up for the same rebound and his elbow landed in Tim's eye. Wasn't the first....certainly won't be the last.

We have sooooo many spiders here in Nebraska! There are webs EVERYWHERE! No need to buy fake cotton webs for Halloween; the spiders will do it for you for no charge at all! If you look closely, you'll see thousands of spider web lines criss-crossing our yard. I heard on the radio once that the average person swallows 10 spiders a year in their sleep. (was it a year or a lifetime? Blech, either way!) We just up'd our anti living in Nebraska!

Rich's future

Rich had his class drop night on October 7th, 2010. This was a gathering to announce which squadrons all the students would be going to upon graduating in early December. There was a lot of beer flowing that afternoon (hopefully in celebration) and three of the Omaha Night Hawk cheerleaders were there to add to the festivities. Each person was called and had to draw from a hat as to what task they had to do in order to get their assignment. They had four choices - a hair cut by the cheerleaders (not recommended after seeing the outcome, but Rich was relatively safe considering his hair is about 2 mm long), bobbing for apples (Lily thought this was really strange), karaoke (anyone that has ever heard Rich sing would have him avoid this at all costs) and a dance off with the cheerleaders. Rich was one of the lucky few that got to go in a group of three officers....and got to dance. This was still quite a sight....quite a sight indeed. Think of Elaine off of that one Seinfeld episode. I love him dearly, but the man can't dance. Anyhow, Lily and joined the gang to watch and were very happy for Rich when it was announced that he would be going to the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron here at Offutt AFB, NE upon graduation. He'll most likely be flying the Cobra Ball and Combat Sent. He'll be deployed quite a bit and several will be very short-notice TDY's....however, it will get him back to our old home on Okinawa for several months a year to fly in the Pacific. He's excited to get back into the cockpit and to start this new chapter in his flying career flying the RC-135s and RC-135u. Congrats Rich! Love the new patch!

Lily is officially a Girl Scout!

Lily's Daisy Scout troop had their dedication ceremony on October 5th, 2010. Each child had a flower of a different color and a part to say. Lily got one of her favorite colors (which was easy because she has 5 favorite colors). Her flower was purple. Her part to say was, "Purple is the color of nobility. It reminds me that I should do my best to respect myself and others." They received their blue star and some other Girl Scout regalia to wear on her uniform. In this ceremony, the older girls were rededicating themselves to Girl Scouts and the new girls were dedicating themselves to Girl Scouting. Cute cermony with fun, colorful cupcakes afterwards!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fontenelle Forest

On Sunday, while Joe and Tim were recovering from the Homecoming Dance, mowing the lawn and working on homework, Lily, Rich and I went to Fontenelle Forest for a walk. This is a nature conservation center just a few moments drive from our house. There is a mile of walk ways that are on boardwalks through the woods. That was the loop we took. However, there are 18 miles of trails beyond the boardwalk. The area moves along the Missouri River and currently still has the summer exhibits up. These are the giant bugs. Lily loved them (considering she's not a big fan of bugs in general.) We hope to spend more time there.