May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor day weekend fun and big changes!

This past weekend Gary, Emily and I were invited to spend Labor Day weekend with my friend Debbie and her family at Debbie's family cottage in St. Germain, WI. I used to go up there in the summers with Deb when we were kids and thought it was so great that I was now going with my husband and my daughter. Deb and her husband Keith (whom I also have known since Jr. High) have two adorable kids, Ben (6) and Sarah (4)that Emily loves to play with. They got along so well and had a blast together fishing, swimming, boating and exploring! My wonderful Friend Valerie also joined us for the weekend. The weather was beautiful, we enjoyed a full day on the boat Sunday, the kids got to swim and climb a huge sand dune and slide or roll down into the water! They loved it! Emily had her first speed boat ride and caught her first fish and also caught a small bass off the pier fishing Sunday night. We saw Bald Eagles everywhere and enjoyed a couple of spectacular sunrises. We were so greatful for this trip that was so much needed! Great company, weather and food! Thanks Deb, Keith, Ben, Sarah and Valerie for a great weekend!

We have had some changes here lately also. I have returned to the working world and have landed a job that I didn't even know existed let alone a job I really thought I would like. I am now working for a company in Burlington, WI for a company called Cannella Response Television. This company founded the infomercial! I work in the media department and I am the assistant to the Media consultant. I will assist in gathering data and stats on how the infomercial did at the assigned air time and help decide if that is a good spot for that specific product, some scheduling, run and distribute reports and all other assigned tasks. Oh yea today I got to sit and watch TV for a couple of hours! LOL. I am real excited about this job and all the possibilities for growth! Stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Catching up!

It has been awhile since my last posting.

Summer has flown by at an alarming rate! The kids in our school district are already back in school, this being their first week. Also with the end of this summer we decided to sell our camper. We have only taken it out a couple of times in the last two summers. The other factor was we really needed to take care of some financial obligations. The camper sold in less than an hour of posting it on Craig's list and we were able to make those obligations. That was a huge blessing. So that brings me to my next bit of information. With the end of the summer also came the end of my baby-sitting gig here at home. I have lost all my full time kids and could not make ends meet with just the two part time guys I was watching. I have been diligently seeking full time employment AGAIN! I have had some very good interview experiences, however it really is a tough market out there right now! I am competing with executives who are willing to take entry level staff accountant positions just to remain employed. It has been quite frustrating to say the least. I am hanging in there and have some great friends throwing leads my way and doing what they can and great family support as always and for that I am so grateful!! I am open to any opportunities that may be out there.

Emily has been great! In the last couple of weeks she has gone from minnow to a full fledged fish in the water. Last week she started to "dive", head first into the pool at Aunt Linda's house and then later that afternoon at our friends pool she taught herself how to do a summer-salt (is this how you spell it?) in the water after seeing her cousin Ben doing early in the day!! She is fearless in the water. We are so happy she loves the water because both Gary and I enjoy the water too. She is starting to talk about school more often and I am ready for her to start a pre-school program. As soon as I get a job and know where I will be going we will be able to make a decision on where Emily will start pre-school.

Gary is doing well and his job is secure for today. We take it day by day. He is working on getting his resume in order also, just in case. I am sad to say Gary did not get to any air shows this summer. We all know how much he enjoys those, but between the cost and our busy schedules it just was not possible this summer. The weekends are precious to Gary and we try and make the most of them here at home! So he keeps busy with Emily, home and of course watching his beloved Cubbies!

So we are all doing well considering the job situation. God has sustained us thus far and will continue to provide. We have our health, home, dinner on the table every night, and each other. What more do we need?

I am asking you all to keep the Bionda/Woods family in your thoughts and prayers. Nick Bionda was a high school classmate of mine and his step-son Zak Woods, was diagnosed this past July with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and just started his Chemo treatments. I have listed the link to the web site that has been set up so we can follow Zak's progress as he puts this cancer in it place!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Was it a tornado or potatoes!

Today we had a little excitement around here. Emily and I were at the neighborhood park when a lady come over from across the street to collect her kids and let us know a tornado had been spotted in the county and was headed right for McHenry. Now at this point in time the sun was out and it was beautiful! I told Em we had to get home because a storm called a tornado may be coming. She was OK with that and never showed any signs of being afraid. She let any one she encountered on our way home they needed to go home because a big storm was coming! We got home, secured our items for the crawl space, (it's a space under the house that is a bit bigger than a crawl and Gary, at 6' 6" can stand down there) and called Gary to let him know what was going on. By this time the skies had darkened and the neighbor was out watching the weather with a scanner. The tornado sirens started and we headed for the basement. Then I heard our scanner say the warning had been lifted and the sirens stopped. Em and I came up and went outside to see what was happening and my neighbor told me his brother-n-law had just spotted the tornado over the hospital, (for those of you who don't know the hospital is only 1 mile from our home) and he sent us back under ground! As we came in the scanner was reporting the new sighting and the sirens were back on. Now I was really scared at this point, but not Emily! The tornado never touched down. I do believe it went over the house, the lights flickered and it was like a huge wave of air or wind that blew over the house and then the down pour. So Emily and I weathered our second tornado (the first one was in the middle of the night last year, May when Emily was 2 1/2, that one did not touch down either) together, this time without the comfort of Gary. Emily called her daddy to tell him we were alright and there were no more "POTATOES" in the sky LOL! We are alright, God certainly was watching out for us today! THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dougherty Family CF fundraiser

As most of you know I have a cousin, Matt who is living with Cystic Fibrosis, and will be making the journey from California to Illinois to make this event. Gary also lost his nephew Ryan last year to this horrible disease and we miss him deeply. Ryan left behind a wife and two beautiful children Lily and Wyatt. We need to stop this disease now! We would love to see anyone who can make it out to this event! If you can not make it and would like to make a contribution, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange that for you. Thanks to entire Dougherty family for their time and energy to raise funds to help wipe this disease out!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


What: Walla-Pa-Looza 2009, A musical fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society

When: Saturday August 1st, 2009. 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: Johnsburg Community Club at 2315 W. Church Street in Johnsburg, IL

Walla-Pa-Looza 2009, a musical fundraising event, will be held on Saturday, August 1.

Volunteers from all over the county will converge to raise funds to benefit the American Cancer Society. Walla-Pa-Looza 2009 will be held at the Johnsburg Community Club at 2315 W. Church Street in Johnsburg, from 2:00 pm -11:00 pm. The event will feature four live bands throughout the day; Always Frantic, Dannyand the Devils, Peter & The Versatiles and Blush. Food and beverages will be available for purchase thanks to Half Times Pizza and Ribs. Events throughout the day will include a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, ticket raffle and more. A $5.00 per person donation will be collected upon entrance to the event. As this is a charity event, we are seeking support and financial assistance from the local community. We appreciate but are certainly not limited to donations like raffle items, silent auction items and of course cash donations are always welcome! We also have a corporate sponsorship program available for those local businesses wishing to participate at a level that will allow greater exposure of their business. Please join the
fun for a fabulous day of friends, food, dancing and a chance to make a difference in the lives of the many people touched by this disease.

For more information on the event, volunteer opportunities, donations or sponsorship contact:

Chairman: Craig Wallace 815.363.1189
Co-Chair Corporate Sponsorships: Nick Bionda 847-254-9093


Cash donations can be made on the web at
Check payments can be made out to “Walla-Pa-Looza” and mailed to:
c/o Craig Wallace
4000 Cedar Creek Dr.
Johnsburg, IL 60051
All contributions to Walla-Pa-Looza are tax-deductible.
Tax Id#: 5911-809-9
Special thanks to the Woodstock Infantry Club for the benefit of The American Cancer Society.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunset Lake Resort 2009

OK, time to get caught up here. First I need to wish my husband a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We celebrated Gary's birthday camping this weekend with my sister, Sarah and her family and Gary's niece Rachel. This was Rachel's first ever camping trip and she did great. The weather was not good to say the least but we certainly made the most of the weekend. We found a new (well new to our family) campground in the Moline area called Sunset Lake Resort. The site we were able to secure was right on the lake and we were greeted by some very friendly ducks! That was very cute until they came callin' at dawn the first morning, they were not so cute then! We did not let the kids feed the ducks the next day to deter them from waking us up so early. That did not help, they paid us a visit every morning.

The weather was too chilly for swimming in the beautiful and very large pool, but there were so many other things to do. We had fun mini-golfing, paddle boating and canoeing. My brother-n-law rented a golf cart for the weekend and the kids, and us big kids too, loved cruising around the resort in that. We celebrated Gary's birthday on Saturday and surprised him with a homemade birthday cake. Thanks to my sister for baking the cake. We also enjoyed making and eating s'mores, hunting for fire flies and enjoying the campfire at night. The camper served us well, however the temperatures dropped so low Thursday night we had to run to Walmart and get more blankets and tennis shoes. Rachel and I only had sandals and our feet froze. After we picked those things up we were quite comfortable the rest of the weekend. We love to camp and this new place is wonderful and we can not wait to get back there.

The weekend ended with a little more excitement than I would have liked. While I showered Sunday morning before we left Gary, Rachel and Emily decided to take one more canoe ride around the lake. They loved the canoes and paddle boats and did real well in them, that is until the very end. They were coming in from their ride and were pulling up to the pier when Rachel stood up to leave the boat and at the same time Gary leaned to reach for the pier on the same side. Rahel jumped up on the pier and Gary did not straighted himself upright and well you guessed it! Emily was in Gary's lap and he grabbed hold of her and over they went! Thank goodness Emily was wearing her life jacket and Gary was able to stand and touch bottom. Gary lost his cell phone and his wallet was pretty drenched but the important thing is they were alright! Emily was more shaken up than anything, but it has not frightened her away from the water. She is already talking about going back in the boat and being able to swim when Summer gets here! So a good time was had by all and we are looking forward to being able to get back there soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yesterday Emily felt our dog Molly needed to be apart of the dress-up fun...I am thinking Molly didn't feel the same way ;)

4th of July 2009

This year we enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks here in McHenry at Peterson Park. Steve McMichael was at the celebration this year doing a promotion and we snapped a picture of him with Emily right before he tried to kidnap her...just kidding folks, we was smitten with her though!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

Look at the two pictures below. The first one is Fourth of July 2006, Emily is not yet 7 months old. The next picture is Emily the following year, she is just over 18 months old!! HOLY COW!! What a difference a year makes! Side note, look at Gary's shirt...this is becoming his July 4Th version of the Christmas sweater folks!

Happy 4TH of July!!

We would like to wish all our friends and family a wonderful Fourth of July!! Thank you to all the men and women who have served our great country and for those who are fighting for and protecting us today. Everyone be safe today!!

Here are some pictures of past 4TH of July celebrations.