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Old 10-06-2009, 09:54 AM   #71
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Thanks for the update. I wasn't quite sure of what she had scheduled with whom or when and I didn't want to bug her while she's hanging with her kids.

Paula gave them a quicky tour after breakfast on Sunday and I haven't spoken to either of them since then.

Hopefully the weather is co-operating and they get to do everything they planned.

Thank you and your wife for being so hospitable to this family.
I hope I get to meet you one day,
Karen
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #72
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Well, we went to breakfast Sunday, left the kids at the pool and made a quick tour of the Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown area... stopped for a cosmo and munchies and got the tickets for the historic area of Williamsburg. Was able to give Brenda the Historic "border roads" tour so she'd know what was where. Left her to rest for the night.

Monday and Tuesday Brenda and the kids did Williamsburg and Yorktown - and found the neatest public park right next to their timeshare - with rock climbing walls, great swings and equipment. I'm sure Brenda was glad to let them release their energy. Their favorite part of Williamsburg was the JAIL... followed by the armory and the blacksmith's shop. They also got a big thrill at the capitol building. They are home schooled and actually know parts of the Declaration of Independence and Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty or give me death" speech. It was something for them to sit in a room that once held Jefferson, Washington, and Henry. If your timing is right a re-enactor is either reading the Declaration or doing Patrick Henry's speech as you tour. They liked the gunsmith's shop, and got a real education about building homes, when it takes an hour to cut a board out of a tree by hand with a two man saw... and if you're unlucky you're the "pit man" who is on the receiving end of all of the sawdust because he's holding the end of the saw that's below ground level in the pit.

Yorktown - wow. If you haven't visited there you don't know your country. When you go into a redoubt and see how close the opposing lines were it's eerie. I look out into the bay and can literally see the ghosts of the French fleet there - without them it wouldn't have been the final battle and victory. I walked around the monument with my sister on her last visit and noticed something I hadn't seen before - Washington's aide surnamed Custis died at Yorktown. Probably a cousin or other blood relative of his wife. At the greatest moment of the revolution imagine a very human Washington suffering the loss of a close personal friend and relative - and dreading having to tell his wife and her family about their loss.

Today they came to Virginia Beach and spent most of the day at the Ocean. They saw dolphins, found shells, and played in the ocean. Thanks to a generous friend who manages restaurants, I was able to take them to dinner at Georges Seafood Buffet... I received a gift card that covered almost half of the cost... It's remarkably good, but costy. I found that all four kids LOVE baklava (spelling?) - A rich Greek dessert with nuts, honey and thousand leaves pastry. You wouldn't believe it but one of the girls ate 6 pieces! It's so rich even I couldn't do it! They did justice to the seafood, but I've never seen kids who would like a grown up dessert like baklava before. (We did sneak some out in a purse.)

I got them back on the road to Williamsburg around sunset so Brenda wouldn't get too tired.

They will be heading to DC and Baltimore at the end of this week. Again bless all of you who've helped and who will continue to help show them a great time.

Those kids are kids, but are so well mannered it's amazing. You'll enjoy meeting the whole family and don't worry - this isn't a depressed weepy family! They're taking everything one day at a time and enjoying every day to the max possible.

As Tiny Tim would say, God bless us every one.

Paula
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:42 AM   #73
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You took some pictures didn't you? Isn't Abby a riot?
(And they're all way too cute.)
Glad you had a good time with them,
Karen
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:07 AM   #74
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Brenda took LOADS of pictures - I didn't have the camera.
I'm sure she'll show them all to you as soon as she gets home. I'm relying on you to upload some here.

The kids are all very attractive - and nicer than they are pretty - which is really important.

Paula
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:27 PM   #75
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GREAT news, glad everything is going so well. Looking forward to the photo's.

Bless wishes to all.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:05 PM   #76
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Hi Hampstead,
I'm not real computer literate so if you can post some pictures of Brenda and the kiddles that would be GA-ROOVEY!
I'll try to get my hubby to post some of Brenda's or give her husband my password and have him post some when she get's home.
Thanks for hosting them tomorrow.
Have a great time,
Karen
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:24 AM   #77
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Hannah

This is Hannah taking a break from eating a jawbreaker the size of a softball.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:27 AM   #78
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Sam

This is Sam throwing footballs at the ESPN Zone. He wasn't as thrilled as Hannah about posing for a picture.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:30 AM   #79
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Elijah

At ESPN Zone, Elijah found a hockey game to his liking.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #80
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Abby

Abby/Abbie is wearing the black skull and crossbones stocking cap. We had our youngest daughter (Lis in the tie-dyed sweatshirt) and her friend Abby (black shirt in the middle) join us for dinner.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:41 AM   #81
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Oh gosh, my eyes are old I thought that was a tiera!

Thanks for posting pictures of the family and hosting them. It really is nice to know that caring people can make a big difference in people's lives. I have been following this thread anxious to see the family and their trip. You people are very special to help as you all have.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:41 AM   #82
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Brenda (Fuzzy)

And this is Brenda. My wife is still downloading photos, so hopefully we have a better picture of her.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:09 AM   #83
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Brenda and family arrived in Baltimore yesterday just after 11 p.m. The weather here was unseasonably cold and raining. We had lunch at Phillips Crabhouse in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to discuss the day and get acquainted. Brenda's sons and daughters were a bit wide-eyed at first, but this did not diminish their apetites. After eating enough food to embarrass a gang of longshoremen (including desserts), the kids wanted to see the National Aquarium. Brenda had seen the Aquarium before--and she's been on the road with the kids for nearly three weeks. My wife deftly suggested she and Brenda taken a detour while unleashing the kids and me on the Aquarium. So, Sam, Abbie, Hannah, Elijah and I wandered through the sights and sounds of fish, lizards, manta rays, dolphins, sharks, etc. Brenda and Becky caught a water taxi to Fell's Point for coffee and "chat."

Sam is strikingly tall and athletic young man, 17 with aspirations of playing college basketball. Abby is wonderfully full of life, a 15-year-old rebel with a deeply sensitive side and incredible artistic talent. The smile in Hannah's photograph captures her effervescent personality. She is still wonderfully unaware of how charming she is. Elijah, well, there's a wonderful line in "Casablance" where Rick says about Captain Renault... "Oh, he's like any other man, except more so." Well, Elijah is like any other nine-year-old boy, except more so. He's bright, direct, darting from moment to moment and place to place.

After the Aquarium and requisite dolphin show, we met Brenda and Becky at the nearby ESPN zone for more food and to turn loose the kids on the games upstairs. This was a great chance to talk with Brenda and let the gang blow off some steam. We could tell Brenda was tired so she and Becky took the water taxi back to a point closer to the vehicles. I took the hooligans to the EPSN store to pick up a few mementos (something in addition to the large orange "koosh" ball Hannah won at some silly game.) The koosh ball eventually changed hands on some deal struck between Hannah and Abby.

Hannah and Abby jumped in our truck while Brenda followed us to an area north of Baltimore. We tucked them into a couple of hotel rooms at the Marriott and, yes, the kids needed even more sustenance. Becky grabbed our daughter and her friends to give the teens some new faces to talk to you. We had a lovely, occasionally frenetic dinner and decided we had done enough damage for one day. There were hugs all around. Sam was heading to the pool... and I'm sure the prospect of 17-year-old girls in the pool had nothing to do with his interest. Elijah was skeptical of the pool, deciding he would need to personally test the water temperature before donning a bathing suit. Hannah was going somewhere, giggling and smiling while Abbie wanted to head back to a hotel computer... having been largely denied the lifeline of the Internet during the trip.

Today, Brenda and family are driving back to Ohio with a pocketful of memories. There's a Christian concert tonight at 6 p.m. that Sam wants to attend. I think everyone was a little homesick and that they'll all be happy to sleep in their own beds tonight.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:47 AM   #84
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Beautiful!

You are all beautiful people! I am sure that all of the kids had a great time and made lots of memories. I hope that maybe one of them is scrapbooking these photos for times to come. Thanks for the details and celebration of this trip. We are following along in spirit. Hope they have a great trip home to OH.
Larry and Lou
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