Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Epcot was beautifully decorated for the holidays too! We have never been to the Candlelight Processional before, but I think we will have to try once before our tickets expire.
13 countries had a storyteller to tell about their countries beliefs.
We started in Mexico with Los Tres Reyes Magos, the Three Magical Kings. Norway had storyteller Sigrid who told his tell of the mischievous Christmas Gnome, Julenissen. In China we watched the Monkey King weave his tall tale of the Chinese New Year! We heard Germany's Helga tell of the first Christmas tree and the tale of the first Nutcracker. We saw Italy's good witch, La Befana speak of the Epiphany. During the American Adventure, Santa and Mrs Clause were their by the great gingerbread house, Mwalimu highlighted the seven principles of Kwanzaa, and we heard about Hanukkah. We discovered the story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year! We heard the drums of Morocco celebrating Ramadan and Ashura. Pere Noel shares a favorite Christmas letter in France. We meet jolly Father Christmas in the United Kingdom and were amazed by Nowell, a Canadian lumberjack.

But the only thing the kids were interested in were the trains in Germany and the great train setup under the Christmas tree in the USA.


We made a quick getaway to Hollywood Studios for Osbourne Family Lights. Silly me, I thought Ozzy Osbourne NOT the Osbourne Family of Arkansas! This family started a tradition of lighting their house and synchronizing the lights to music. Hollywood Studios has this wonderful light show every 7 minutes to some great Christmas songs in honor of this family. I will say we have some great lighted houses locally (Gabriel Lane in WPB, Golden Pond in Ft Pierce, Tara Plantation in Vero and some random house we learned about in the paper.) but nothing beats the Osbourne's. If we are ever in Arkansas I hope we can look you up!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

Luckily, Santa did not get a flat on his search for Nicci's Nest.....

The kids had to leave Santa a note telling him we would not be home this Christmas Day due to some family drama (see 'New Family Traditions') and to please leave their gifts at Nana and Pop-Pop's. The kids were very happy to see Santa found the right tree to leave their stash of goodies..... But each child had a favorite stand-out gift from Santa this year.

For Kelli and Sal it was the arrival of their DS! Powder Blue for Kelli and Cobalt Blue for Sal. I don't think we saw them the rest of Christmas Day! Vinny was all about his CSI kit, we were all fingerprinted and had to give hair samples (ouch!). As for Nicholas.....

He cornered Ty to help him build with his Elmo Lego's!
We stayed in our PJ's all morning having bacon and eggs and taking turns checking out each others gifts. Finally we dressed in our Christmas flair and welcomed the grandparents for lunch. After lunch the gals battled the guys at Pop 5 Cranium and as predicted we beat them! We had another great day!

New Family Traditions

After a roller coaster year of family ups and downs, Christmas ended on a positive note. At the last minute we changed our personal Christmas Eve plans to rally around my parents who would have celebrated Christmas Eve alone. Our families (Petriello/Ancewicz/Morgans) have created a new family tradition! We will celebrate Christmas Eve together just our three families. (Which makes eleven people and eight pets!) We are so glad of the events leading up to Christmas Eve because this was by far the best holiday we have ever had. The 'old man' even played board games..... (wow that was a first.) We have divided up all the other holidays since Tyrene and I have 'big girl houses' now! LOL Our parents seemed at peace with our new holiday plans, which makes our families so much happier.
We started the evening with great food, tons of laughs and some cute presents for the kids. After the little ones were all nestled on their air mattresses, the grown ups cracked open the wine and board games. We have never laughed that hard! The guys beat us at Buzz Word, but the ladies knew paybacks will come on Christmas Day! We honored Tyrene's tradition of not eating meat on Wednesdays by waiting until midnight to eat dinner. We feasted on riceballs, veal saltimbocca, sausage-peppers-onions and antipasto then cheesecakes and Italian pastries. Finally at 2am we fell asleep with dreams of new foods and gifts for the morning.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

OxBow Christmas

The Growing Garcia's and our family celebrated our "Christmas" with a hike around Oxbow Nature Center. The boys along with Sadie and Kelli took off, following the map and trying out all the trails. Madison earned her name 'Hollywood' by complaining the whole time about being... (insert descriptive word here) itchy, tired, hot, thirsty etc until we spotted turtles on the path. The kids followed the first turtle until it was off the path and under some tree branches. The second turtle ran along side us for awhile until it found a hiding spot under a huge tree. We actually thought we saw Madison smile. LOL We will try the nature hike again during spring break, Madison is not sure if she will be joining us, but our boys and "tom boys" want to take binoculars and stay longer. Oh boy!

Nick's Christmas

Nicholas and his class singing at the Christmas Service. He did great!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Treasure: Booger Bubble

Sal's Sea World Birthday

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday from Sea World!

Ed took the kids on Shamu, Nicholas and Sal screamed the whole time, Vinny closed his eyes, and Kelli and AJ thought it was the best ride ever! Hmmm hard to please this crowd. I guess we will have to lunch......

We ate lunch at Sharks! The kids loved watching the sharks and stingrays before eating lunch. Our table faced the huge aquarium which kept them pretty busy while we ate.
The kids loved the Pet Show and Shamu's Believe, but nothing topped feeding the Sharks and Stingrays!

Let it Snow.... Ducks

Our kids are covered in snow! Thanks to Celebration FL! For Sal's birthday weekend we went to Orlando with his buddy AJ and his family, Friday night we went to Celebration Town Square for the nightly snow fall. The kids had a great time.
After playing in the snow our families went to Joe's Crab Shack were the staff sang Happy Birthday to Sal with a huge slice of chocolate cake. All the kids helped him eat it.

The best part of the night was the balloon animals made for them at dinner. We had to take a picture of Nick's!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tuesday Treasure: Cat's First Christmas

Friday, December 12, 2008


Vinny was Superstar of the month for December at school!

I 'Heart' Our Mailman...

Because he/she delivered Kelli's birth certificate today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday is Funday!

Our kids took a ride in an ice cream truck Wednesday. Omar and Eli drove while Nick filled the ice cream orders!