Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A New Chapter for the DeGaetanos

Ok, so I tried to e-mail this to most everyone and it seems like it didn't go through to the entire e-mail list, so I am posting letter I sent, just in case you did not get it. So here goes what is going on with us... Also, if you did not get the e-mail, my new address is degaetanodillies@gmail.com and Donovan's is pastordonovan17@yahoo.com. We'd love to here from you all!!!

Dear Family and Friends,
We ask for your prayers as we have decided to head in a new direction with our family. We have come to the recent conclusion that we find Donovan's education very valuable. We realize the importance and also realize the difficulty that can arise when trying to go to school full time as well as work full time. So, with much prayer,discussion and a mixture of sadness and excitement we have decided to leave Princeton. Donovan's mom and dad have graciously agreed to let us come and live with them in Portage, Indiana. This will get Donovan into closer proximity of North Park without us actually having to move to Chicago. He will be able to focus solely on his education. Adina, Madison, Genevieve and I will be leaving August 18th as school starts August 20th for Adina. Donovan will follow on September 13th. We are very sad to leave our home of Princeton, but we are certain that this is where God wants us to go. We ask for your continued prayers as we make the final preparations and tie up all of the loose ends. We will keep you updated when we have more information.

With much love,
Donovan, Jill, Adina, Madison, & Genevieve

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cute prayers...

A few weeks back we had some very windy weather! Nothing like this past Monday, but windy none the less. We were going for a walk and I felt a crunch underneath Genevieve's stroller. Sadly, I realized that it was a baby bird that had blown out of its nest. I then looked around and there were 3 others. We looked really hard to see if they were still alive, but they had fallen pretty far. Unfortunately none of them survived the fall. So Adina and Madison asked if we could bury them in the back yard.

We dug a hole and they suggested we pray. Madison went first..."Dear Jesus, I am sad for these birdies and sorry that they died! Amen." Adina prayed "Dear Jesus, please in heaven let these birds find their mom and dad and brothers and sisters. Please let the one that mommy ran over not have a crushed leg in heaven. And please, if the one is still breathing, please let it be able to peck its way out of the ground!! Amen."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Please pray for Jesse!

My Sister Jessica leaves tomorrow evening, July 21, 2008 at 5:00pm for 6 1/2 months. She has joined the army reserves and will begin bootcamp. Pray for her as she spends 9 weeks at bootcamp. She then will spend her remaining time doing her job specific training for the army. Pray that the Lord will give her strength, endurance and confidence - both mentally and physically! Jesse, I pray the Lord's peace be over you and get you through the upcoming times! Don't forget to pray for all of our military troops as they sacrafice every day so that we can be free!!!

Jesse, I love you and will think of you every day!

The Jesse we know and love VERY, VERY much!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Nativity Fest

They have a festival every year at the local Catholic church. It is probably as big as our county fair here! Adina and Madison had a ton of fun riding rides and playing games two of the highlights were the bungee trampolines and the Rocky Kangaroo show.
We watched person after person do flips on these trampolines, but is was obviously much harder than it looked! Madison worked very hard to get her self over and unfortunately the second time Adina went the man had put her harness on too tight so she couldn't jump as well. But they still had a ton of fun. Somehow, I missed a picture of Adina jumping. I didn't realize I was holding the camera sideways when I was video-taping, so my apologies - but it is still cute.

This was the Rocky show! The girls, Duane and I got a real chuckle out of it. I have polaroids of them with the Kangaroo also, I just need to get them scanned in. But enjoy his fight with the clown.

One lesson learned...Madison - our very adventerous spirit - really wanted to go on a big ride. I glanced at it and thought it didn't look too bad. However the first night it ended up needing repairs (makes you think twice about going on it, hey - or at least you think I SHOULD have just said NO) So, we went a second night and I told Madison that I would go on it with her. So, it starts out spinning (very quickly). I scream and hoot and holler how fun it is, so Madison won't be scared - thinking to myself - "ok, self, this isn't so bad, just focus on something while your spinning" I am doing ok, but then the nice hydraulic arm starts bouncing us UP and DOWN HARD. I close my eyes and try some deep breathing (like when your in labor - didn't work for labor either!) The ride finally slows down and stops. Shew, I am sure relieved I made it through and showed Madison how much fun these rides can be. But, the harness doesn't unlock! No... it starts spinning backwards!!! And bouncing up and down. I am thinking, please don't let Madison throw up on me, because I will definitely return the favor. The ride, after an agonizing 3-5 minutes STOPS. We wobble off and say how much fun it is. I quietly ask Papa to take the girls to their next ride as I run behind the ride and toss my pizza. To add insult to injury I threw up for the rest of the evening. My days of spinning are behind me and as for Madison, she'll have to have the adventure with someone else!!!

The Hotel

Because it was so hot, Duane got the girls and I a room at the hotel in Portage! Not just a room, but a SUITE! Adina decided we should always get a suite. She thought it was cool because we were just like Zac and Cody on the Disney Channel. The hotel is wonderful because they serve an awesome breakfast and have this fantastic pool. On Monday we had it ALL to ourselves. It was perfect. Thanks Papa for splurging on us, we really, really appreciate it!

Indiana Air Show!

On Sunday we went to the Air Show at Lake Michigan with Nancy and 3 of her kids - Colin, Kaitlin and Michael. In all the years that I lived in Indiana I had never gone. I thought it was very cool. However the girls were a bit more interested in playing on the beach. But it was a perfect day for all of the activities!
It was hard to get good pictures of the planes because they moved faster than my camera would take the pictures!
Adina loved, loved the water.
Colin and Marsha hung out with Genevieve
Kaitlin and Nancy soak up the rays
Genevieve was an old pro - like she had been going to the beach forever
Madison loved running back and forth

She is so great with Genevieve, she loved showing her how to shovel the sand.
It was such a clear day, we had a great view of Chicago!
Michael, Adina, and Madison dug and dug. By the time they were done it was to the middle of their thighs!

Colin's Open House

Mitch (Donovan's brother) and his girlfriend Nancy had an Open House for her oldest son Colin! So we got to make a whole Indiana trip packed full of fun. First thing we did was go to his open house on Saturday. Here is Colin leading his friends and family in a rousing rendition of the Macarena!

I was very impressed with his grandma here in the blue, she just had knee replacement surgery a couple weeks ago! You'd never know it by watching her.

Adina was wondering what exactly the macarena was. She thought maybe food...

Bubba and Genevieve enjoy the nice deck that Uncle Mitchie had built out back.


Genevieve has earned her new nickname Monkevieve because I think she is part monkey, part mouse and ALL Genevieve! She will climb up anything that she can possibly scale and she, just as a mouse, will squeeze into anything that she can get her head through. I pushed in the dining room chairs thinking that, that would actually dissuade her from climbing up, but that clearly was not the case! Look at the trouble in those eyes as I still catch her climbing!

She still made it up!
I thought this was funny because this is the dogs favorite toy. An old rope, but she thought it was a hat!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Niabi Zoo

We went to the Niabi zoo with our friends Becky and Michael Kramer! We had a ton of fun. This was also Genevieve's first trip to the zoo and Becky was my personal photographer! Most of these pictures are courtesy of her! I could get used to someone taking all the pictures for me! Especially when they turn out as nice as these!
Here is the crew going Ape over the zoo

Of Course we had to ride the train! All aboard!!!

Pretty spot for pretty girls to pose

And we thought all dinosaurs were extinct!!!

Just Monkeying around
Nice time to cool off
The Lorakeet Landing
This was an enclosed area where you could go in and actually feed the birds. And watch them up close and personal!!! Yippee. What they didn't realize is I really don't care for birds up close and personal! I house sat for my mom once and wouldn't feed her birds because I was afraid to stick my hands in the cage!!! But, being the great mom I am I sucked it up and went in and showed them how much fun feeding the birds was! Can you see the enjoyment on my face? Anyhow, thankfully they preferred to do the feeding! And most of the birds were friendly.
See how much they love each other!
And apparantely they really LOVED Adina!

Don't worry, we checked for eggs in there before we left!
The Carousel was a lot of fun, especially since it was Genevieve's first ride on one! She really enjoyed herself!

The Petting zoo
and look, Genevieve wasn't even afraid that they would bite her! Oh wait, she can't read!!!

She figured out how to feed them quickly and only tried to eat it herself a couple of times!

Boy, are our feet sore!!!
They needed to unwind just a little after a long hot afternoon at the zoo!!