Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zoo Lights - 2008

As you can see, I've made my first attempt at adding a "gadget" (a slideshow - see show on right) to my blog. I've done this with pictures from our trip to Zoo Lights last night. Because there were so many, it really was better to put them in a slideshow than force you to scroll and scroll and scroll in order to see them all in a larger format. I also think this method takes up less space. I must say that after more than a couple of hours and a phone call to one of my friends that "talked" me into creating this dang blog in the first place, I've seemed to manage to accomplish my goal! Sorry, the pictures are small but think you still get the overall idea of our very enjoyable time together!!! We had the pleasure of having my niece Katie Barnhart and her husband Matthew and son Jordan with us as well as Lindsay's sister, Kristen and her daughter Kyla. We could not have ordered nicer weather for our outing which is very important when you go to see 2.5 MILLION lights. The Phoenix Zoo Lights is truly a spectacular annual event. I'm hoping to make it a annual tradition for our family!

Christmas (continued)

The day after Christmas we had several other family members come into town. I was able to have lunch at Sweet Tomatoes in Tempe with sister-in-law, Laurie and niece, Elaine who were visiting from Sacramento, CA. Also joining us were Bobbi (sister), Phillip (nephew from China), David (brother), Jenny (sister), Spencer (nephew), Erica (niece) and Emily (niece). It was so good to see Laurie and Elaine again. I can't believe how much more grown up Elaine looks, even though I just saw her a short 2 1/2 months ago. She's the youngest of this generation and is truly bring up the rear in style, grace and pure joy!!! She is the reason people say, "They save the best for last!" (tehehe) Don't worry all you other 23 or so nieces and nephews.....I love you just as much and KNOW that you are just as special and unique as Elaine. I must say, though, there is something about that baby................am I right Rachel and Jenny????
Later that afternoon, Katie and Matthew Barnhart and son, Jordan (niece, nephew-in-law, and grand nephew) came in from Oceanside, CA for the New Year!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

OK, just a couple more pictures. We went to visit Great Grandma Duran today because Ric was feeling well yesterday. Ggrandma just lights up whenever Gabrielle comes to visit. She just LOVES the baby.

Christmas 2008

Family gathering for dinner!

The aftermath!

Gabrielle's 1st "mink/fur"coat from Aunt Rachel! Its just what EVERY girl needs/wants! (tehehe)

Ah, the wonderment of the child!

Gabrielle opening/playing with the packaging

Niece Emily, Daniel, Rachel, Niece Erica

Nephews: Spencer, Tre', Lucas, Brian

Nephews: Brian, Antonio, Kevin, Phillip

We had an incredible Christmas! Well, we did have one "major" bump/bruise! Ric fell at work and, while protecting his right arm (you know, the one he just had surgery on in October) he landed on his left shoulder. We will hopefully find out today if he tore his rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Otherwise, Christmas was spectacular. Thomas, Lindsay, and Gabrielle dropped by for a visit after the Children's Mass on Christmas Eve. What a bonus. We didn't think we'd see them until Christmas afternoon so we really enjoyed that! Ric, Rachel and I went to Midnight Mass. Daniel was already there (working) and Thomas was broadcasting Midnight Mass from our diocesan cathedral. Midnight Mass at St. Timothy's is always beautiful! Great music, great liturgy! We are so proud of Daniel and his work in liturgy at our parish. He works very hard and does an awesome job. Our parish is sooooooo blessed to have him! Ric and I are even more so blessed to call him son!

Christmas morning was wonderfully relaxing. Ric was extremely sore, so it was wonderful that we could "lounge" around for the morning. Rachel and I prepared an awesome breakfast feast and we all enjoyed sitting down to a traditional Christmas meal. Granted, it was at 2 p.m. in the afternoon but it still felt like breakfast! The weather was overcast, rainy, and cool. It really added to the ambience of the day! After breakfast/lunch, we "did the tree" starting, of course, with the stockings. We all made out like bandits and piled our booty into our respective "piles"! It was sooooooooo much fun having Gabrielle! You know, it IS all about the children!!! As expected, she seemed to like the packaging more than the gifts with the exception of the piano that Uncle Daniel gave her. She "played" her heart out on it and gave us all a concert we won't soon forget! It was then off to my sister, Jenny's, for a traditional gathering of my sibs and their families (as many as could make it) for yet another meal/feast! It was great to see nieces and nephews that had made it in from, literally, around the world. Nephew, Phillip, made it in all the way from China! We look forward to meeting his new bride/wife, Honey, when she makes it here, hopefully, in the Spring. All I can say is, RED TAPE!!! We came home and promptly crashed by 9 p.m.!!!

We hope everyone's Christmas was as blessed as ours!

Here are just a sampling of our Christmas!!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

From our home to yours....
May God bless you and yours!
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Holy New Year!
The Durans

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh, yes....we can't forget Pepper!!!
(Aunt) Rachel and Gabrielle

(Uncle) Daniel and Gabrielle

The apple of her daddy's eye
True Love

Thomas, Lindsay and Gabrielle

My Family

Welcome to Jane & Co. This is my first (and probably only) attempt at blogging so we'll see how it goes. It will be very ecletic in content.....I think mostly because my life is that way! So here we go! The Duran Clan....Christmas, 2008!!! What a blessing it is to have all of us together for our annual Christmas picture....especially now that we are growing (as you can see). Ric and I are so proud of our children - Thomas and wife, Lindsay; Daniel and Rachel. They have grown into wonderful adults and are truly a visible hope for the future. Ric and I are now grandparents to Princess Gabrielle Marie Duran (now 8 months). We call her that because she has and deserves (as does every child) all the dignity of royalty! Needless to say, we are having an absolute blast with her. Thomas and Lindsay are just THE BEST parents...loving, nuturing, very relaxed and loving every moment. Daniel is the doting uncle and is proud of the fact that he is Gabrielle's ONLY true (blood) uncle. He is doing incredible things as the Liturgy Coordinator and a music minister at church and LOVES his dog, Pepper! Rachel has graduated from NAU with a double major and one minor and is gainfully employed. She continues to grab life by the horns and take it for a ride. We love having her living back in the valley after having been in Flagstaff for four years. We are thankful and blessed that all 4 kids have jobs and that they seemed to be secure. Ric is working hard (very thankful that his job is secure) and recovering well from surgery on his bicep. Me? I love my job of keeping up with all of them!!! My child care business is soon starting its 22nd year! Holy cow....but I still love doing what I do!!!

More later as I get a better handle on just how this blogging thing works! Come back and visit. I'm a real nut about pictures so I'm sure there will be plenty in the future!!!

Wishing everyone a very blessed and Merry Christmas!