!!!!!HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
Hi and welcome to my Daily Diary. Here is where we will be posting interesting things that we have been doing and also cool pictures of the places that we have been.
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- We celebrated New Years with a wonderful roast pork and sauerkraut lunch and then made chili cheese dogs for supper. It was a nice quiet weekend. We watched the football games and thought back on the year 2000. We also started really planning our trip to Florida.
- Work is keeping me busy. Effective on the 2nd of January, my additional raise kicked in. It is so nice to be recognized for my contributions to our team.
- Our Trip to Florida this year was full of fun and seeing some new sites. My 'Big Sister' Donna went with us this year. It was over her Birthday week and it was enjoyable to see her having a great time. The weather was not as warm as in our other trips, so we stayed out of the pool. We went to Key W. Kool's for lunch. We had a delicious wood grilled lunch and watched the floor show. One waiter was trying to get the number of a 'stacked blonde' (Karen's description - not mine); he got the ladies' number to call later in the evening. We went back to the Blue Springs Manatee Preserve in Orange City, Florida, and for Donna's Birthday we took in the Arabian Knights Dinner Show. The other great attraction we enjoyed was spending the day at Cypress Gardens. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time. We returned to Gatorland to show Donna one of our favorite places to visit. Our last full day we spent time at Old Town walking the streets and playing in the arcade and then we went over to World of Orchids to check out the plants. Karen picked up two orchids to see if she can get them to grow. We traveled down and back with good weather and a safe trip with lots of memories of our time in Florida.
- We had hoped to have a really nice Super Bowl Sunday, but the game was a disappointment and we did not even get to see most of the new TV ads as we were busy watching other shows.
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- The very first weekend of February, Amwell Church of the Brethren goes off to Camp Swatara for a weekend retreat in Pennsylvania. It is a wonderful weekend filled with Bible study, prayer, and the great outdoors. The camp has lots of trails to hike and toboggans for sledding. Saturday night's entertainment is highlighted with amusing skits done by our members. The skits are extremely funny and everyone has a great time. After the skits, we have a campfire circle where we share what has been happening over the past year. The lights are turned off, and we share our joys, praises, happiness, pains, and sorrows. It is a spiritual sharing that really bonds the group together. On Sunday we had a great message from Christian DiSalvio and then had a beautiful drive back home to Amwell.
- We filled out our taxes electronically using TaxAct. It was an easy tax program to use and we found it to be really handy. We also used the NJ Taxation program
NJ PC File to do our New Jersey State Income Taxes electronically. It was a quick and easy way to file the information. Both programs will help us to receive our 2000 Tax Refunds quickly.
- Karen played her trumpet for special music in church on the 11th. Gary accompanied her on the keyboard. She sounded beautiful and everyone appreciated her music. (Also it was mentioned that she should play more often for special music... hint.... hint... hint...)
- We received our refunds in about 2 weeks... we have also decided to remodel the kitchen. We ordered new appliances from GE to be delivered in March before the construction starts...
- We made an unscheduled trip to PA to see Mom. She is a little sick and not feeling well. We are keeping her in our prayers along with keeping her on the prayer list at church. Please keep her in your prayers also.
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- We helped my sister Donna to get on the worldwide web by setting up her new computer.
- Karen was fortunate to purchase a slick new PC. I have computer envy J
- We celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary.
- We had a really nice dinner with Andy and Jackie at The Olive Garden. (good thing... our kitchen was down for remodeling)
- We received our new GE appliances on Saturday after a 7 1/2 hour wait... not really the way we wanted to spend a Saturday but we were together...
- We had the kitchen remodeled over 4 days. It turned out fabulously. Click here for the pictures....
- The next day we worked on updating the dining room. We put in a new ceiling fan. New border to pick up the greens from the kitchen. We also updated the window treatment. I think that it came out really nice.
- We drove down to Washington and picked up Dustin and Cody for a mini vacation here in New Jersey while their mom was on a deployment exercise. I took of f the Thursday and Friday to be with all three of them. We saw "See Spot Run" and "Spy Kids" at the Hamilton 24 theater and went bowling on Saturday afternoon. Cody got her best scores ever bowling. "See Spot Run" was an OK movie but we all liked "Spy Kids" a whole lot more. Both days after the movie we went out for a late lunch to "Joe's Crab Shack" in Lawrenceville NJ. We enjoyed our meals and are looking forward to going back again (We will not soon forget the kids cracking the crab legs with the mallets).
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- Karen and I returned the kids to Washington on April 1st with lots of fine memories of their mini vacation here in our humble abode. We had put over 1000 miles on our butts with all the driving but it was well worth it. I had my Karen home with me for that week.
- We would like to say "Thank You" to Lou and Sami and the kids for the beautiful planter basket that they sent. Click here for pictures.
- We are keeping Steve's mother Mary in our prayers. She is currently in the hospital with an infection that resisted the antibiotics. We are very glad that she has a home in Heaven waiting for her. We ask for prayers that God will send His angels to comfort her and hold her close and bring her home in His time.
- For Good Friday Services at Amwell, Karen and I gave 5-minute messages on the sayings of Christ on the Cross. Karen did
- The next day Karen and I traveled back to Amwell to help prepare for the Easter breakfast that the men were serving after Easter Sunrise Service.
- Easter morning Amwell celebrated Christ Resurrection from the grave with a beautiful Sunrise Service. The music and message were uplifting and Karen played her Trumpet with Gary on the keyboard. They made some wonderfully inspiring praises to God in music. We spent this day Praising God, thanking Him for the Salvation of Christ who died on the Cross, was buried, and on the third day Resurrected and will be our soon returning Lord and King.
- The Easter Breakfast went very well. The good food and fellowship was enjoyed by all.
- On Thursday April 26, 2001 my mother was called home to be with the Lord. Praise God that she is home with Jesus in Heaven and that I will see her again someday. As Pastor Bob says, "To be absent from the body is to be in the presence of the Lord". Thanks so much for all the kind thoughts, messages, cards, and most of all prayers during Mom's illness. It is so comforting to have as many friends and family around the world praying for my Mom. As I told Karen when I got off the phone with Dave & Tracie, "Alleluia, Mom is home"
- On the 28th we journeyed down to Washington DC to visit with Lou, Sami, Dustin, and Cody. It was Cody's Birthday and we had a surprise for them. What was the surprise??? Click here and find out….
- On Sunday we voyaged to Pennsylvania for Mom's funeral. The viewing was Sunday evening from 4 to 9 PM and the funeral was on Monday at 11 AM at the Everett Church of the Brethren. I was fortunate to meet a lot of people that Mom touched along the pathways of her life and I think that was a fine thing. Dave's stepdaughter read the following poem. The author is unknown but the words are very poignant. If anyone knows who wrote this, could you please pass on his or her name to me so that I can give proper credit? The poem is titled "May I Go Now?":
May I Go Now?
May I go now? Do you think the time is right? May I say good-bye to pain filled days and endless lonely nights?
I've lived my life and done my best an example I've tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond and set my spirit free?
I did not want to go at first I fought with all my might. But,
something seems to draw me now to a warm and loving light.
I want to go-I really do-it's difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can to live just one more day.
I'll give you time to care for me and share your love and fears. I
know you're sad and are afraid because I see your tears.
I'll not be far-I promise that- and hope you'll always know my sprit
will be close to you wherever you may go.
You know I love you very much, that's why it's hard to say good-bye,
and end this life I've always had with you. And to see the tears you cry.
So-hold me now, just one more time, and let me hear you say because
you care so much for me you'll let me go today.
- The weather was sunny and beautiful for the funeral and interment. Afterwards the ladies aid of the church had a luncheon in the hall. I would like to say Thank You to the ladies of the church for the meal and to the Pastors that preached the funeral service. I miss Mom, but I know that I will see her again in Heaven because my faith is based on nothing less the Jesus Christ the resurrected Lord and Savior.
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- The first Saturday was the Daughter's Banquet at church. It was a western theme this year with the ladies dressing up for a western BBQ. The men that cooked and served the meal were wearing ten-gallon hats and deputy badges. The food was excellent as always. John does a great job as head chef and the women enjoyed themselves and the inspirational program.
- We went to see "The Mummy Returns" on Sunday afternoon. It was a good movie with great special effects. Afterward we went out for a late lunch to "Joe's Crab Shack".
- The second Saturday was Wayne and Jody Emery's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding service and we had a great time at the reception. The reception was dinner and dancing at the Ringoes Fire Hall.
- Mother's Day at Amwell was grand. There were lots of music and readings about mothers. I was a bit sad sometimes as I miss Mom, but I would not have missed the service. Jean gave the message. She says that she is not a good speaker but she always does a great job.
- The third Saturday Karen planted the flower bed outside our door. The colors are purple and yellow. I will add a picture of the flowers when she is finished. We are having a quiet day today. I am updating this web site while Karen plants the flowers.
- We are planning on attending Love Feast this Sunday at Amwell and seeing my sister Donna over Memorial Day Weekend to set her up with AT&T World Net for her ISP. She is currently using Juno and the pops up ads are a royal pain and I think that she will be much happier with the new ISP.
- We had a great day with Donna. She is on-line with AT&T and is much happier.
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- We went to see "The Animal" on Saturday June 2nd and thought it was OK. On Sunday we saw "What is the worst that could happen". That one was funny and we laughed through the whole movie.
- Karen is going to be helping with the 50th Anniversary of Vacation Bible School at Amwell. I am thrilled that she is going to be teaching the teens.
- Wednesday Bible Study has been doing the occult and what the Bible has to say. It has been interesting and enlightening.
- We went to the movies on the 9th and saw Evolution. It was good. Had some great lines and found out how to kill nitrogen based alien life forms. I will not give away the answer… you will have to see it for yourself.
- Sunday June 10, 2001 was Children's Day at Amwell. The kids of the church were in charge of the worship service. Click here to see the pictures that Karen snapped of the kids before and during the service.
- We saw Tomb Raider at the AMC Hamilton 24 theater. That is our favorite theater with stadium seating and lots screens to choose from. The movie was fun. Karen and I enjoyed it and I figure that there will be a set of sequels in the future staring Laura Croft.
- Father's day Sunday, was a wonderful service at Amwell with a message to fathers about their roles in a Christian household. There was a special treat with Pastor Bob interviewing some of the children like on that TV show of Kids Say The Darndest Things. Everyone enjoyed it and we learned something about some of the fathers in the church. Click here to see the pictures of the kids being interviewed. Another treat for today was Lee Rouson, former Giants football player who sang "The Family Song" as well as the 2nd verse to the "Star Spangled Banner". Lee had been the guest speaker a few weeks ago, but Karen and I missed him as we were at my Mom's funeral. Lee has an amicable personality and he could belt out the Lord's songs. It was our pleasure to finally get to meet him. Click here to see some pictures of Lee taken at today's service.
- The rest of June has passed quickly. Work was very busy as I was trying to finish my work so that I can be off with Karen the first week of July. We went to the movies and have had a lot of fun. We saw Dr. Dolittle 2 at the AMC Theater. It was quite fun and Karen and I had some good laughs. We went to the Cowtown Rodeo in Southern New Jersey to watch the Cowtown Polo Club matches and then the rodeo. Unfortunately we were unable to see Polo matches, instead we were treated to Polocrosse matches. The game is Lacrosse but played on horseback. We had a fun time in-between the rain showers. I think that the polo match did not occur because of rain delays. We decided not to stick around that night for the rodeo because of the thunderstorms that were moving through South Jersey. Hopefully we will make another trip down south to check out the rodeo. Here are pictures of the some of the matches we watched along with the rain clouds.
- Since we were rained out of rodeo, we drove around South Jersey taking in the sights and checking out the birds. We ended up stopping for dinner at a seafood restaurant called Leed's Point. We were not overly impressed with the place. The prices seemed high, and the service left a lot to be desired. We had to ask for silverware over three times, and then had to remind the waitress when she brought our salads. I liked Joe's Crab Shack better.
- At the end of the month Bob & Margaret, Karen & I went out to the Highlander Fish & Chips restaurant that we had seen on our travels through Brick, New Jersey. It turned out that we had an Entertainment Book coupon for the restaurant. The A/C was not working the night we went, but the ceiling fans kept the air moving so it was not too bad. The food was very good and the prices were reasonable. The service was good and the waitress had the chef make another serving of fish for Margaret to take home when she saw what Margaret's fish looked like. The rest of our fish was very nice. We are not sure why Margaret's fish shriveled up, but it was promptly replaced. I had the chocolate cream pie, which was OK, but Karen and Bob's choice of the coconut cream pie I think was the dessert winner. Karen and I are looking forward to returning soon to enjoy more fish and chips.
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- I have been off the first week of July. We have had a busy week so far. We painted posters at church on Monday and then went over into Pennsylvania to Pizzeria Uno. The pizza was deep dish Chicago Style and was delicious. On Tuesday we did some of the shopping for Vacation Bible School at Amwell. It is the 50th Anniversary of VBS at Amwell. Wednesday we had a BBQ at Bob & Jean's and I forgot the camera L . Thursday we cleaned, did some more shopping and enjoyed ourselves. Friday we put up new border in the bedroom and I cleaned out the pantry. Late in the afternoon, the doorbell rang … and we found this and this…..
- On Friday July 13, 2001, I bid farewell to a lot of friends at work who took the early retirement package. To all my friends that left with the package, I wish you all the best in whatever you are doing. It was great to work with you over the years and I look forward to retiring someday myself.
- It has been a busy week for us. Karen has been enjoying teaching VBS. On Saturday July 14, 2001, Amwell Church of the Brethren hosted a wonderful Carnival for the community to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Vacation Bible School at Amwell. Click here to see the pictures from the Carnival.
- Karen finished up teaching Vacation Bible School. The closing program was a lot of fun for the kids as well as the adults that came to see it. Click here to see the pictures.
- We went to see Final Fantasy today. It was a good matinee movie. We had a good time. After the movie we went to The New New York Deli on Route 1 south. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. We will definitely go back again to enjoy fresh deli again.
- On Sunday July 22, Pastor Bob introduced 6 candidates for the position of Apostles to Jesus. Click here to see the pictures of the applicants from the sermon.
- We saw Jurassic Park 3. Not bad. It was fun.
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- On the 3rd Jill flew in from Pittsburgh to visit for the weekend. Her flight on US Airways was a mess. She was supposed to arrive in Newark at 7:18 PM. To make a long story short… She made it to Philadelphia about 10 PM. We were still in Newark waiting for her flight to take off. She had been stuck in the plane for over two and one half-hours. They ran out of ice, water, no A/C. They finally let them off the plane and she was able to get a flight to Philadelphia. We had to make some fast phone calls to my sister Donna to get phone numbers so that Jill could get car service from the Philadelphia airport to Donna's house in order for us to pick her up. We then hit the turnpike to drive to Donna's. We collected Jill and got back home about 1AM Saturday morning.
- On the 4th, we were up and out of the house by 7:30 AM as Jill was going to attempt skydiving. Click here to see some of the pictures from her cameraman as well as the ones I took of her landing. She had a great time and wants to go again some day. The jump school that she used is in South Jersey and was called Free Fall Adventures. Their web site is http://www.freefalladventures.com
- On Monday the 6th Jill returned back to Pittsburgh. Here is a picture of the happy sisters. We all had a great weekend and look forward to her coming back out for another grand visit real soon.
- We have joined the AMC movie watcher club. We are now earning points toward a free movie ticket and also enjoying 25 cent off coupons for popcorn and soda.
- We went to the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus when it was playing Freehold New Jersey over by Sam's Club and The Freehold Raceway Mall. It was the first time I have ever been to a circus. We had VIP seats and we all had a great time. Karen, Bob, Margaret, Dorothy, and I were in the front row. When the elephants went by during the circus parade, they were about 12 inches from our faces. I never realized how hairy elephants are. The show was wonderful and lasted about 2 hours. I don’t think that I would go back for awhile, but the memories that I made will last a real long time. Thanks everyone for going with me and making my first circus a grand time.
- On Saturday August 18, we went to see American Outlaws. It was the story of Jesse James and was very fun. It was told from the point of how Jesse James was driven into the life of crime.
- On Sunday August 26, we helped with and attended the "HAPPY BIRTHDAY/BON VOYAGE TO GINA" party hosted by her parents John and Lorraine. Gina, turning 18 on September 10th, left on September 4th for a 6 month study program in Germany via the GAPP program. What a bitter sweet time … Watching Gina blossom into a young woman yet having to let her go for 6 months … We enjoyed helping with food preparation and just being able to spend some precious time with her … Photos available.
- On Thursday August 30, we hosted Bob, Margaret, and Dorothy to dinner at our home. Karen created a wonderful Salmon Wellington with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. This was to pay back kindness extended by the Hughes clan to Karen when she ended up with a flat tire the previous week. Dinner was a gastronomic success. Email Karen for the recipe.
- Happy Birthday to Dawn (See I finally got it updated :) )
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- Happy Labor Day Weekend to one and all… Karen and I have had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend together. I am so glad that we could spend the time together.
- September 4th is the time to say Bon Voyage to Gina, Good Luck, Have Fun, Safe Journey, and we will be keeping you in our prayers.
- On September 10th I wish to say
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAREN!!!!
To my dearest wife, on your birthday, I just want to let you know how blessed the world was when you were born. I was given the greatest gift 14 years ago when you touched my life with yours. As we travel this life together, how amazed I am to realize my journey is with you. Thanks for loving me and sharing your life.
Continue to grow old with me… the best is yet to be…
Karen's Mom & Dad visited us for Karen's Birthday Weekend. We started the weekend out with a tour of Navel Air Station Lakehurst that was conducted by the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society Inc. We then moved on to Atlantic City where we spent a few hours gambling and walking the boards. On Sunday we drove north to West Orange and the Edison National Historic Site. We toured the Edison labs and his last residence, Glenmont. Click here to see pictures of the places we enjoyed.
September 11, 2001: Our hearts broke as we realized we all were victims of a cowardice act of violence. Our prayers are offered to the families of the innocent victims. Our hearts will heal and our souls will mend… And tomorrow we will have another day.
We went to a wonderful place with Dawn and Max. It is the Marco Polo Restaurant in Freehold. It is the best buffet that we have been to. There is a Mongolian BBQ, Sushi, carving station, and all the Chinese food you could ask for. We will be back.
Mike and Zina had us over to their place for dinner with the Millers. We had a great time visiting and enjoying the good food.
We tried out the H.I. Rib & Company with Bob, Margaret, and Dorothy. The food was delicious and we will be back dining with them soon.
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- We had Mike and Zina over for supper and Karen served a delicious Salmon Wellington with a roasted red pepper sauce. It was a big hit as Mike is a great fan of Salmon.
- We returned to the H.I. Rib & Company with John and Lorraine. The food was wonderful and it was so nice to get a chance to chat.
- We went with Margaret and Dorothy to Juanito's II in Howell. It has some of the best Mexican food we have sampled and it is nice to have it close to home.
- Karen and I journeyed to DuBois PA to our timeshare for my birthday. The fall foliage was wonderful. We had a wonderful time and we were tickled to see a herd of about 18 Elk in the fields of Elk County this year. The Elk look out was fixed up very nice with lots of parking. It is nice to get away to relax but it is also nice to get back home. In between we were able to visit with some of our family members and check on how they were doing.
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- We had a wonderful visit to the DC area to visit Lou, Sami, Dustin, and Cody. We celebrated Dustin's 13th birthday and also had Christmas with them. We tried to surprise Dustin with a trip to Joe's Crab Shack, but the address given on the web site was to a closed building. I am still waiting for a response from the support staff to find out what is going on there. We ended up our journey to a great Italian place that was good. We had a grand time visiting and we look forward to seeing them again in the spring.
- Picked up Dad at the train station for Thanksgiving weekend. We were blessed
to be able to attend the Thanksgiving Service at Amwell. Karen played her
trumpet for the service playing "We Gather Together". We over ate
Thanksgiving dinner of course. We went down to South Jersey to visit Donna and
her family. We got a quick visit with our Great-niece and Great Nephew as they
were on their way with Nicole to work. We had a great visit with everyone. I
hooked up Donna's new computer (my old one) so that she is able to surf the
web and read her email without the system freezing up all the time. We
finished the weekend with Sunday School and Church before dropping Dad off for
the train on Sunday. He had a great weekend and is looking forward to another
visit next year.
- Karen is editor and head writer of our church's newsletter. It is published
every two months and she is producing a quality product! She receives many
compliments with each issue and assures me all the hard work she puts into the
newsletter is well rewarded. If you want to check out the latest issue, click here.
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We motored to Pennsylvania during the second weekend to
celebrate an early Christmas with our families. There were a few snow
flakes. So TECHNICALLY we had a White Christmas.
We went to see "Harry Potter" and enjoyed it tremendously!
I read the series and was impressed with the movie.
Each month we volunteer with the Jackson Library. We deliver
reading material to home-bound clients.
Our Pastor is ill and is constantly on our minds. Our
thoughts and prayers are on him continually. May God continue to heal him
Karen and Lou bought copies of the same baking books and
Sami, the kids, and I are lucky enough to reap the benefits of their
We joined with a dozen singers from Church to serenade
shut-ins from the Amwell area. Caroling is such a beautiful tradition during
Christmas at Amwell; We were fortunate to join in again this year.
Pastor was able to deliver the Christmas Message from the
pulpit today. We were very blessed that he was feeling better and able to
preach. Click here
to go to the Amwell site where you can celebrate the Christmas Season at
We went down to take Donna out for lunch and spend the
afternoon with her. Heidi and Art stopped by so we were able to see them as
well as Ken.
On Christmas Eve afternoon we spent a few hours in the home
of Al and Helen Herche. There were about 18 of us in their beautiful new
home. The food was great and the company was stimulating. What a nice way to
spend the day before Christmas.
We had a wonderful quiet Christmas together. We thank God
each day for sending His Son to die for our sins.
Dawn and Michael had us over for a quiet drink on Christmas
evening. He is a chef and treated our palettes to the best French Onion Soup
we have ever tasted. He has promised to give Karen the recipe so that we can
recreate that wonderful soup for ourselves.
We have decided to purchase a new car to replace the little
black eagle summit we have had for over ten years. We will miss that car,
but we think that it will have a good home with its new owner. We sold it to
my sister and we hope that it will give her lots of miles of save driving.
Karen and I spent a wonderful quiet New Years together. We
went out for lunch to Charlie Browns on the 31st and just hung out at the
house watching TV. We watched the ball drop in Times Square and went to
sleep soon after.
Happy New Years Everyone!!!!
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Of course there are no guarantees that this will be updated on a daily basis... Monthly will be more like it. Today's update is as of
August 14, 2003.
If you have comments or suggestions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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