Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Early December

Early in December, we had Grandma come to visit:
Grandma Brungardt with Dan and the kids

St. Nicholas stopped by and left some gold coins:
Oh, this is so good!
Chocolate is yummy!
 And some new books:

A couple of days later, Dan hitched up the stable:

 And the kids had the all-important job of keeping the nativity figures from tipping over:
Heading to the front yard.
Of course, it's a fun ride, too!

Anthony took special care of Baby Jesus.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Honeymoon In Italy

Ten years ago, on the Monday after our wedding, we flew to Rome, Italy to begin our honeymoon.  What a wonderful trip!  We stayed in Rome for two nights and Positano, Italy for six nights.  Following are some of the highlights of our trip.

On our first day in Rome we met up with Bishop Conley, who was a Monsignor at the time and working in Rome.  Monsignor Conley took us to the Scarpone Ristorante for our first meal in Italy:
Do we look jet lagged?

The next morning, on February 26, 2003, we got dressed in our wedding clothes and with our Sposi Novelli tickets in hand (thanks to Monsignor Conley!) we went to the Wednesday Papal Audience.  After a little mix-up because we did not have our actual marriage certificate, and with a little help from Archbishop Keleher, who happened to be there, we got seated in the right spot, and after Pope John Paul II's address, we waited our turn to go up.  Finally, we got our own brief time with the Pope.  We knelt in front of him, he gave me his hand, and put his other hand on Dan's head, and blessed us as newlyweds!  It was so awesome!
A moment we will never forget!

Afterwards, we walked around St. Peter's Square and took a few pictures.  A lot of people were staring, and some stopped to talk to us and ask us where we were from.  They guessed we were from Germany, Austria, Ireland, but no one guessed the USA.  Funny! 
I felt like a queen!

 On our third day, we had Mass with Monsignor Conley at the Transfiguration Altar in St. Peter's Cathedral, and then we rented a car to drive to Positano, Italy, which is on the Amalfi Coast.  On the way there, we stopped at Monte Cassino, the famous abbey of St. Benedict.  Unfortunately, they were about to close for a 3 hour siesta, so we did not get to be there long, but it was still neat to see.
Monte Cassino in the background.

 After a harrowing drive through Naples and a gorgeous drive along the Amalfi Coast, we arrived at Positano.

Positano is a beautiful place right on the sea, and in February, is not busy at all.  As you can see, it is built on a very steep hill, and it has a narrow, winding road that goes all the way through town.  It is not practical to drive because parking is very limited, so we walked everywhere.  In the picture below, you can see our hotel at the top (the red one - Casa Albertina), and to get down to the beach, it was about 300 steps, with little staircases and paths going through and around all the little buildings.  So fun to walk down.  Going up was another story!  The first night we ate at a restaurant on the beach, and after a 2 hour meal, we went back up all those stairs.  We thought we'd have a heart attack before we got back to our hotel!  After that, any time we needed to go up, we took the long, winding road instead. 
On the beach in Positano.

The view from our private balcony.

 On one of the days, we took a day trip to Capri.  We drove to Sorrento, then took a ferry to Capri.  At Capri, we bought tickets to see the famous Blue Grotto.  The only way to get there is by sea, so we got on board a little boat and when we got to the grotto, we all got into little rowboats to go inside the grotto.  Lights inside showed very blue water and the grotto looked blue from the reflection.  Our rower was singing Italian songs.  Very nice.  Then we spent the afternoon walking around Capri and seeing the sights.  It is a very beautiful island. 
Dan in Capri.

Another day, we took a day trip to Pompeii.  A fascinating place.
Dan in Pompeii.

Exploring Positano.

Janet in Positano.

We had a wonderful honeymoon!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ten Years!

Ten years ago today, Dan and I were married!  The years have gone by fast.  We've had eight children, three of whom are already in heaven.  We bought our dream place out in the country.  We've had lots of adventures and fun times together.  Here's to the next 10 years together!

One of our engagement pictures.

At our wedding rehearsal.

Taking the formal photos on our wedding day.

The wedding Mass in progress.

Saying our vows.

Exchanging rings.

Newly married!

The happy couple.

Arriving at the reception hall.

Cutting the cake.
Our first toast.

After a fabulous Wedding March, we had our first dance.  We danced to "When You Say Nothing At All," by Alison Krauss.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thanksgiving 2012

We found out on the day before Thanksgiving that our little Benedict Joseph had died in utero, so we had kind of a quiet Thanksgiving at home.  Well, not really quiet, with 5 little squirts running around, all excited.  Subdued might be a better word, at least on my part.

One turkey was already in the oven, but this turkey was slated for a different fate.

Dan lowered the turkey into the fryer.

The captive audience.

How long is that turkey going to take?

A little baseball action while the turkey fried.

All done!

Much to be thankful for.

Mommy and the kids.

Pumpkin pie made from a pumpkin out of our garden!


Enjoying the pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby Balthaser

Also in November, we got to watch Dan's nieces and nephews a few times during the end of their mom's pregnancy.  The kids all had a lot of fun together.

Who's hiding?


Puzzle time for the 2 year olds.

Movie time!

Slumber party!

Art time.

Dan with the new baby, Balthaser Alexander.  What a precious little guy!

Of course, baby Balthaser is now 3 months old!  Am I catching up?  We shall see.