Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve 2007


The last day and hours of 2007





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Darren and I picked out a good amount of fireworks around the block at the fireworks stand. They were making some deals as it was the 31st. Fireworks are legal here in Summerville.




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Darren, Nick, Thomas and Brenden had a blast lighting all the fireworks.

The Launch pad after all the fire works.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jacquie comes to meet us:)

The day after Christmas we had a special visitor come to visit us. She arrived at the Charleston airport around 1o:30pm. She had a long day of travel. We visited until about mid-night and then we headed of to get some sleep. We had a lot planned for the next few days.


Thursday

Well it's official, this morning Jacquie is wearing an engagement ring! We didn't witness it, but where told he got on his knee, with a little persuasion, non the less they are both happily engaged. We are super happy for them! We love Jacquie too!




After a nice breakfast made by Darren we decided to head for the beach, no swimwear today its a bit chilly for the water. After a stop at on the Isle of Palms and a walk on the beach we headed across the beautiful new Ravenel bridge that crosses the Cooper River.





Walking out of the parking garage downtown Charleston.

A beautiful day for a walk in Riverfront park .



We walked through the market place on Market street downtown and ate lunch at Bubba Gumps. After lunch on our way back to Summerville we stop on Daniels Island and looked at some homes that were having open houses. They were on the Golf Course and were really pretty. We like looking at homes. It's something we have enjoyed doing since the veryfirst year we were married. We made reservations for dinner at a local resteraunt in Summerville, Oscars. The kids ate Shrimp & Grits, you will have to ask them next time you see them how they like it. Jacquie and the boys watched a movie, we went to bed.

Friday

We ate quik breakfasts and then headed to Folly beach.




We wanted to walk down the Pier, it was closed for renovations. The wind was blowing so it was a bit chilly. Of course we are spoiled and used to nice warm/hot weather! As you can see some of us are in short sleeves and a few are wearing flip flops.



We drove down to the washout and a few brave souls were surfing. We could not walk to the light house the tide was in. So we headed back toward Summerville with a stop at the outlet mall. Lunch at Arbys and we were ready to go home. It was nice at home although the clouds were moving in.


Nick on the BMW Go-Kart racing Darren on the Ferrari Go-Kart.



Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Morning


It was one of Ben's requests that we keep with tradition this year because he missed the last 2 Christmas's at home. So we have this little tradition that we have done for at least 17 years. After we read the account of the first Christmas we have Family Prayer and say our Good Nights. Mom turns off the lights around the house and puts a chair or two in the hall so no boy will be tempted to sneak into the living room where Santa has left their gifts. Because Santa always sets the gifts and full stockings out on one of the couches or chairs.


When Mom and Dad finally wake up, Dad always checks to see if Santa came. He then goes in to wake up the boys, and every year this is what he say's," I have some bad news" They alway respond with a "What" and he says, " Santa did not come this year!" and after a few oh no's a "just kidding, I did see some coal in your stocking though." Some times this is short lived sometimes a little longer depending on how awake they are.


This year was especially fun as the boys are so grown up and wanted to play along with the tradition. They even said that they would like to carry this tradition on after they leave home. So I think we should give it an official name.
The Christmas Chair Tradition.

This is a cute Christmas chair

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas eve.




Today we picked Ben up at the Charleston International Airport. His flight was delayed out of San Francisco so he didn't get in until mid afternoon. We were so happy to see him! As we walked outside He said, "It's nice and warm here".





After dinner and a message with the Missionarys, the boys played in the music room.




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Nick was worn out after a couple hours of drumming.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

One of those days

It was a nice morning and Nick was outside riding one of the Go Karts. I decided it would be fun to go out and ride the other one. Darren was working on the Ferrari, and what a better time to be out doors. So Nick started the black Go Kart for me. We were having fun riding around the driveway. I was getting pretty comfortable and going pretty fast. Are you getting worried about what I will type next? You should be! I was in the lead, Nick a few feet behind me. I had a sudden fear that I would not make it around the corner with out hitting him or a tree. I went straight toward the gate thinking I would be able to stop in time. Would have worked had I not gripped the gas instead of the break. I closed my eyes and let go of the handle bars. I opened them to see the gate pushed beyond the stop brackets. I was super worried that I had ruined the gate. I got up and felt my head, a grade A extra large size egg bump was already on my head above my left eye. Nick was right beside me saying don't worry about the gate Mom. I peeked in the garage and said" Darren, Darren, I think I broke the gate!" He said, "What, how" I then took my hand off my head. On my way up stairs I realized my right hand was swelling up and was scrapped up. I was a bit worried It might have been broken. Nick got me some ice and kept talking to me just incase I might want to sleep. Darren said I got the worst end the gate would be fine. I felt so bad about the gate. I also felt awful because we needed to go to a special baptism for two eight year old young ladies in our ward. After a few hours on ice and nick keeping me from going to sleep The swelling was going down. I managed to cover the head wound with makeup and my hair. The hand with long sleeves and bandaides. We attended the baptism, it was wonderful. Nick was asked to witness, he loved being able to perform a priesthood duty.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Seminary Breakfast

We hosted a breakfast for my Seminary students. They came over at 8:30 and Darren and Bishop Cunningham made pancakes,bacon and scrambled eggs. After breakfast some played
X-Box and some rode the go carts.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oakbrook Youth Christmas Activity


Each year the Oakbrook ward youth have a special Christmas activity. They think of a gift that they would give to the baby Jesus, they bring the gift and give it to one of the other youth or leader. This is a very special evening. We were privileged to have it in our home this year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Charleston Christmas Boat Parade

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We drove downtown and found a parking spot near the Battery Park. We walked down to Waterfront park and found an empty bench. It was cold and there was a brisk breeze. We had just barely gotten over being cold in Italy. We watched the boats all decorated for Christmas and the fireworks off of the Waterfront park Pier. Charleston has been doing this for over 8 yrs.

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Some of the fun lights on the boats!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day fourteen of our adventure in Italy(Tue)

We woke up early and pcked our bags, ate a quick breakfast and met the same taxi that dropped us off last night. He drove us to the airport were we said good bye to Jackie. She went to the train and we checked in for our flights home. We were early and so had a few minutes to shop and read before boarding the plane.

Our flight to DC was smooth and uneventful. We breezed through customs and then said our good bye's and headed to our seperate gates. Saying Good Bye was too hard so we said See Ya soon. We had the best time on this trip with the Pennington girls!!!!!! we will always remember Thanksgiving in Italy!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day thirteen of our adventure in Italy(Mon)



Ah a morning to sleep in. After a quick breakfast we wandered around Viterbo. We found a shop that was open and I bought some cool Italian Tennis shoes. We sat at a fountain and watched people for a while.

This is a Smart car, they are very popular in Italy!



We walked up to Jackies school and waited for her to get through with class. After she was finished we went to eat lunch at the Spagetteria. They serve over 100 different sauces. I had pesto on mine.



Where Jackie goes to school.


We walked back to our hotel and collected our luggage and walked to the train station just out side the city wall. We missed the train we planned on taking by 10 min. So we caught the next train to Rome which took us to the Fiumicino airport. We took a taxi to our Hotel, Hotel Club Isola Sacra. We ate dinner in the Hotel Restaurant. Rachel ordered fried fish, and that is exactly what she got, Head and all. Nick ordered a Hamburger and that is all he got, a patty on lettuce. Not the best food, probably the worst food of our whole trip. We watched Harry Potter 5 and then to sleep.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day twelve of our adventure in Italy(Sun)

We ate an Italian Buffet breakfast and then packed our bags and left them in a holding room. We needed to check out before we left for Church. The front desk called 2 taxi's for us and we waited out front for them. They drove us about 15min. away and dropped us off in front of the building where the ward met. We went in the door and there was a stairway, we climbed 3 flights of stairs and there were 2 doors, they were both locked so we waited a few min. hoping someone else would come or the door would open. That didn't happen so we knocked and the door was opened we could see that we were in the right place and wer greeted by a Sr. Missionary serving from Utah with his wife. They were working i the Mission office. We enjoyed attending Sacrament mtg. It was there Primary sacrament presentation. We could understand the songs even if we did'nt know the words. There were 2 sets of Missionary's Elders & Sisters. We met a Sister who helped get a few translator speakers and one of the Elders translated for us and a family from the Phillipeans. After church one of the Sisters helped us figure out which train to take to get to the center of Milan to see the Duomo.

We found the Duomo but could not get tickets to see the Painting of the Last supper. So we walked around and then found a place to eat some lunch. We took a cab back to our hotel and picked up our luggage so we could catch our train to Viterbo. We finally got to ride Harry Potter Style in a Compartment!


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day Eleven of our adventure in Italy (Sat Switzerland)

After breakfast we took a taxi to the train station and walked to the car rental businesses to see if someone had an available car.







We ended up renting a small Fiat from Sixt for the day. We were off to Switzerland to see the Alps and buy some Chocolate. We followed the Blue Road signs which were the free Hwy. The drive was nice even though it was rainy and kind if hazy. We stopped along Como Lake and got out to take a few pictures. It is a beautiful Lake on the south(SUD) side of the Alps.



We continued North(NORD) to the boarder of Italy and Switzerland. The Swiss border patrol waved us onward with out a stop. So much for a swiss stamp in our passports. We drove to the city of Lugano which is borders Lake Lugano in the Alps. The Mountains jut right out of the Lake and the city is built up on the mountain sides.





We parked in a parking garage that was connected to a supermarket, we had to walk thru it to get to the street. We saw a huge Chocolate isle and that is where we planned to shop on our way back to the car! It was 13:34/1:34 when we got to the garage and we were very hungry. So our first stop after getting on the street was Time Out Grill. We ate L.A. syle Hambergers, Chicken nuggets and fries. The waiter spoke English & Italian.


After eating we walked over to the Lake and took a few pictures. We were walking back toward the shopping when a low flying plane over the lake dropped 4 Swiss Army troops with parachutes.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Day Ten of our adventures in Italy (Fri)


Today we headed to Milan. And of course we traveled by train. We arrived in the evening and hailed a Taxi to take us to our hotel. It would have been a bit far to walk at night with all our luggage. After we checked in to our rooms we walked down the block and the Pennington's ate Kebop's a Turkish type of food Kind of like a wrap. They had to get to sleep because they were leaving for Paris very early Sat Morning. We waited until a resteraunt opened after 7:00pm and had a nice dinner. Darren had Swordfish. We walked around a bit and then headed back to our room to watch a little Italian T.V.. We are getting good at watching Italian T.V. now.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day Nine of our adventure in Italy (Thur. Thanksgiving in the U.S.A)



We slept very well until the workers out side started banging things around at 6:30am. As the sun began to come up.
Our room with an Italian renaissance era painting above the Bed. A nice desk area with satellite T.V..


We met down stairs at 9:00am for breakfast. I had yogurt and a chocolate muffin. It was yummy. We were off to see the leaning tower of Pisa, Darren driving and Rachel Navigating.


Nicks seat for today!


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Our drive to Pisa was wonderful, the country side was beautiful and the weather was fantastic, we did not have to wear coats! We drove through the town of Pisa and just out side of the city is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We enjoyed taking pictures of our selves posing as if we were holding the tower up or trying to push it over.


Savannah




Nick



Rachel





Savannah & Jackie


Most streets in Italy are made from some type of stone or brick.





Darren



We shopped for a little while and then headed back to Florence so we could turn the car in by noon. After we turned the car in we walked to the Center of Florence to see the Duomo, we stopped at a Pizza cafe and ate a piece of pizza while admiring the workmanship of the exterior of the Duomo(Cathedral of Santa Maria de Fiore). We did go inside but did not take any photo's.

Reflections of the cityscape on the Arno River near the Ponte Vecchio.

The Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River, Florence Italy

A Merry-Go-Round in one of the many Piazza's in Florence.

The Pennington girls shopped on Ponte Vecchio. We headed back to the wonderful leather venders setup in the streets and Piazza's. They had everything that is made with leather in Italy. Darren & Nick picked out new belts. I found a leather coat, it is made from Lamb skin and is very soft leather. We walked back to the Hotel and Rachel, Savannah and I did our laundry at the laundry mat down the street. I started my 2nd book New Moon while we waited on our clothes. Savannah read Twilight and Rachel was reading Eclipse. After we finished our laundry we picked every one else up at the hotel and walked 2 doors down to a wonderful restaurant for some fantastic Italian food! My favorite was the roasted herbed potatoes, it was everyones favorite food in Florence. It was late by the time we finished dinner so we returned to our room and went to bed.

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