Sunday, June 24, 2012

Picnic With My In-Laws

Today was the annual picnic at my
mother-in-laws church.
She goes to St Gregory Armenian Church in
White Plains, NY

They have a beautiful building.

They get a big crowd and have tables set up all over the grounds.
We were there early and we had to take the shuttle bus because
the parking was already full.

The food is really good. I am learning to really enjoy my husbands culture.

Here's Gary's cousin Chris at the grill.
These men work all day in the hot sun by the hot grill.
They really have servant hearts.

This is what we had to eat.
Hubby had the lamb like below
and I had chicken. It comes with rice pilaf, grilled
tomato, peppers and pita bread.

This is the dessert table.
My mother-in-law Mary can make all these desserts.
She is a great cook.

They had an Armenian band.

It was fun watching the folks doing the Armenian dances.
I told Gary I want him to teach me one for next year. HAH

Here is my mother-in-law Mary in the red shoes and sunglasses.
She is 86 and she had no problem keeping up with the youngsters.
It was hot and she just did her thing.
One of the dances she explained to me is about a young girl
who's family finally afforded to buy her new shoes.
And she is showing them off.
They dance and put their foot in and out of the circle.
I thought that was very touching.

I know my marriage is a gift I do not take for granted.
I am blessed to have wonderful in-laws.

 Every good and perfect gift is from above.
James 1:17

This is how this verse is written in Armenian:
Յուրաքանչյուր լավ եւ կատարյալ նվեր է վերեւից: James 1:17

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fun Saturday

Today was about relaxing and fun. 

Well, not entirely.

First we had to take care of business.

Some of this . . .

Well maybe it looked more like this  . . . laundromat hah

You can work up an appetite doing this so we headed next to breakfast.

My hubby's favorite NJ Diner.  JB's

They gave great food and it is really fun inside.
All decorated fifties style.
A lot of Elvis memorabilia, old cars, a real old juke box.

I am sticking with my healthy eating plan.
I ordered a vegetable omelet - no cheese . . .ouch that still hurts a bit
Instead of the greasy fattening home fries I had grits.
Has them hold the extra butter and salt too . ..

I have a dear friend from the south who hates grits and hates butter.
WHAT ?   I tease her all the time about it. 
Funny part is she is
in her mid-fifties and to this day her
Mom has no idea she doesn't eat grits.
She said it will break her heart.
She slips them to the dog hah

Hubby, skinny little man, had bacon, home fries and eggs.
He said, yes but how often do I eat this way? Which is true.
Not very often. He is teaching me much about healthy eating
and making choices.

We decided to go to a movie this afternoon.

We selected:

We love Alex (Ben Stiller) Marty (Chris Rock)
Melman (David Schwimmer) & Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith)

Great cast.  Really cute movie.

I get such a kick out of the penguins.

Hubby loves -King Julien XIII (Sacha Baron Cohen)
He constantly sings "You've Got To Move It, Move It"
Oh gosh don't get him started. hah

Mort (Andy Richter)
How adorable is Mort?

Several new characters were introduced.

This new gal, wow she was mean
but you have to love a women with red lipstick.

Captain Chantel DuBois

Stefano the sea lion.  (Martin Short)

Vitaly the tiger (Bryan Cranston)

Gia the Jaguar (Jessica Chastain)

Sonya the bear (Frank Welker)

Because my husband is from New York City
he really enjoys the NY jokes and scenes of NY in Madagascar.

After the movie we headed to Bertucci's for a bite.
I was in the mood for pizza and I can build my own pizza at Bertucci's
so I can watch my calorie intake.

The brick oven pizza is so delicious

And the bread and oil dip. YUM

I made my own pizza with spinach and mushrooms.
Ate 1/2 and will save 1/2 for Monday night dinner.
This is also new to me. I could finish off a 4 slice pie easily. hah
It feels good to have some control with the choices I am making
and on Monday I will be soooo glad I saved 1/2.

Later tonight we always try to watch two of our favorite shows
from the BBC.

Keeping Up Appearance's

Hyacinth Bucket or as she always says, Bouquet. hah

You have to love them all, a great cast.

Hyacinth, Daisy, Onslow, Richard, Violet, Rose, Elizabeth and Emmett.

My husband loves Onslow.
Sometimes if I'm in my office I can hear
him just cracking up at him.

Then after this one comes,

As Time Goes Bye .  .

This is another great one.
About former lovers who reunite after 40 years.

Judy, Jean, Lionel, Alistair, Sandy

I absolutely love Lionel, he has very dry, dry humor.
I just "get" him hah

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Corrie Ten Boom has said,

 "It's not what happens to you in life that matters
   but how you take it"

I believe this to be so true.

You see, I could be bitter. I could ask why?
I could use it to make
all kinds of excuses for my behavior.

But I choose to be thankful, I choose to extend grace.

It's the same grace that Jesus gives me each day,
so how could I not?

On this Fathers Day 2012 I think of my father -
Joseph Wagner.
A men I hardly knew.
I have one memory of meeting him.
My parents divorced when I was a baby and
my Dad left myself and my three older siblings. 
We don't know what became of him.
Sadly my family is steeped in alcoholism and
the path he chose destroyed him.

But because I choose to be thankful and to extend grace.
I have no bitterness towards my father.
I haven't walked in his shoes.
I don't know what he experienced in life
 that brought him to the
places he traveled and the choices he made.
I know what he missed out on which is very sad.

Charles Stanley recently said,
"God allows us to experience what we choose!"

I can be thankful because my faithful God moved
4 very special men
to be an example of "Father" to me.

Today I want to share them and honor each one.

First is my Uncle Bill. He was a gentle soul.
He loved me like his own.
He provided security and love to a young little girl.
He made me feel beautiful and special.
He use to sing to me "Daddy's Little Girl" &
The Old Shanty in Old Shanty Town.
I have fond wonderful memories of being spoiled by him.
Every Saturday morning I'd go to work with him and we'd get
hard rolls with butter, he'd get coffee, I'd get a Yoo Hoo.
He loved country music and we'd blast it in his pickup truck.
I know that is why I love it to this day.
In the fall we'd see leaves piled high by the side of the road and
he'd go real fast right through them and they'd fly all over.
I'd laugh and laugh.

He made very little money but if I wanted to join gymnastics -
he was there. If I wanted a new barbie dress - he was there.
I never felt poor because he was there.

He went to be with the Lord when I was in my early teens.
It has been my hardest loss.

Then God provided a dear family next door.
The Kinney's.
Mr. Kinney also has been like a father to me.
He taught me wisdom, integrity and steadfastness.
He has five children of his own and was happy to make
me number six.
Never a vacation did they take that I was not along.
Vermont skiing,
Florida Disney, Michigan to visit family, Washington DC.
I was along.
They moved to PA and I spent every Thanksgiving
with them until I married 5 years ago. 
We are still very close to this day.

I remember when he'd get home from work and he'd march all us kids
around for a walk. (now that I'm older I'm sure Mrs. Kinney said
get these kids out of my hair hah) But he'd line us up and we'd march
down to this field by our house and he'd call it going around the horn.
Sometimes he'd grab all the neighborhood kids and there would be
10 of us !  hah  Great memories.

The Kinney's also made sure I went to church.
They'd take me along with them and I got my
foundation and roots because God provided.

Here we are at my 8th grade graduation.

This is my Uncle Billy.
He made me laugh.
He took us sledding and was all about the fun.
I remember my girlfriend and I laughing so hard
because everytime he'd get one of us
chubby little girls
upright and standing on the snow hill the other
one would fall down.
Then we'd knock him down.
I don't think we made
but one run down the hill on the sled all day. hah

We had great fun teasing each other.
He was my granny's son and oh man did she love him.
I teased him unmercifully that he was # 1.
He would smile so big - he loved it.
Sadly he went to be with the Lord a few years ago.
Here we are at a fire men's picnic.
I'm in my early 20's.

Finally my Uncle Mike.
He is my protector.
The "father" who took care of all my car needs. hah
He found me my first apartment that I could afford.
He also gave me away at my wedding.
He is married to my Aunt Rose who I am very close.
They live next door.

Here we are at my wedding.

Because of the unselfish love of these men - I am thankful.
I feel spoiled and blessed.
I can truly say I don't recall missing my father.
These men just filled in the gap without missing a beat.

It takes so much more then DNA to be a father.
Anyone can father a child - but the men who
step up and be Dad's that is another story.

I also wanted to mention my wonderful husband, Gary.
Because we married quite late - I was 48 - we don't have any
children of our own. 

But my husband is a father. Just like these men who filled in
the gap for me, he has faithfully taught Sunday school for
30 years and still going.  He has many, many children.
This year he is teaching some of the children of the children he taught.
It is truly amazing. He touches these young lives for Jesus.

He is gifted of the Lord and I am so proud of him.

So yes, Corrie is right - it isn't what happens in life that matters - it is how you take it.
I'll take it with grace and thanksgiving . . .

God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.  Psalm 68:6

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day in NYC

Hubby and I headed out early to NYC.
First a quick breakfast at the diner down the road.
Red Oak diner has really good food.

 I had chocolate chip pancakes and a fruit cup
So proud of myself scooped off the butter and didn't use syrup and
only ate 1/2 of the pancakes.

We found a pretty good parking space which on a sunny Saturday
in NYC is really a great accomplishment.

Hubby thought it was close - 13 blocks to the theater hah
Well, at least I did get my needed exercise.

Here I am resting a bit at Columbus Circle
The fountain was so beautiful.

 Here's a little information on Columbus Circle from the Internet.

Columbus Circle, named for Christopher Columbus, is a major landmark and point of attraction in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South (West 59th Street), and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park. It is the point from which all official distances from New York City are measured. The name is also used for the neighborhood a few blocks around the circle in each direction. To the south of the circle lies Hell's Kitchen, also known as "Clinton", and the Theatre District, and to the north is the Upper West Side.

I love this huge globe.

I find it quite a challenge to cross the circle on foot.
First you go here, then here, then here. hah
Thank God hubs knows the way - I might still be going around the circle
like Chevy Chase in the movie National Lampoons European vacation. hah
View of Columbus Circle, looking toward the east side down Central Park South from inside the Time Warner Center

Then we walked down Broadway and ran into a street fair!
Oh it was fun.

All the different foods and smells.

They had beautiful scarfs for sale.

And tables and tables of bracelets for $ 3.00 each

The fair took us right past the Late Show with David Letterman.

I don't think there is anything you can't find at a street fair in NYC.
Look at this fruit.  Cups just full of watermelon.

We walked up a thirst so we stopped for a rest and drink from Starbucks!
I had the banana chocolate drink. It is so good.
They use a hole banana you can taste so much banana.
I figured it was good potassium. hah

Hubby sticks with his favorite green tea and honey.

Then we headed to the theater to see "Harvey" with Jim Parsons.
Sheldon from the Big Bang!
He was so great in this play.
Just adorable!

After the play we headed to diner at one of our favorite NYC burger joints.

Hubs got the 5 Napkin Burger with fries.
I've had this in the past when I wasn't focused on losing weight.
It is really delicious.

I got the 5 Napkin Burger Salad.
It was so good too!
No bread or fries.
A delicious salad with one of their perfectly cooked burgers on top.

Then we headed home. I was exhausted but
I had to bake a cake for tomorrow's Father's Day BBQ
with my in-laws.

I am making a Harvest Cake.
It has apples, raisins and walnuts.
I found it in the Armenian cookbook I purchased last week.
Hope they like it ; )

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24