Apr 12 2009

It’s Been a While

Hartzler House

Many of the photo galleries have been updated this evening. It’s been rather difficult to stay up-to-date due to the workload that I’ve been carrying; specifically work related to the doctoral program and trying to put together a house plan that would work financially. Since the last posting, a lot has happened. Noah has turned four, Jude has been through his kindergarten screening, our family went to a Cavs (versus Spurs) game, everyone from New York (both sides of the family) have came in this weekend for Charlotte’s baptism and Easter, and we have agreed to purchase a different property rather than build a house. Wow! So much has transpired that I will not be able to do justice to the true breadth of events here, but I can at least give a brief synopsis.

Noah’s birthday went well. Angie made a wonderful (alligator) cake (images of which can be viewed in Noah’s gallery). Uncle Ray was around that weekend and ended up getting Noah a gift that he and Jude have played with more than any other, a space shuttle type apparatus that can be taken apart and put together in a multitude of ways. (This is the sort of thing I couldn’t have quantified if I had posted on time…) There are also some nice pictures from Dad’s birthday party in February.

Jude’s kindergarten screening went rather well, I though (of course, I’m his dad…) The most memorable parts were the fact that Jude, when as a group the kids were to put the right colored crayon in a ziplock bag, continuously and repeatedly made sure (loudly) that the teacher knew that he had “one of those colored crayons”. Naturally, each child had the same colored crayons, but Jude wasn’t really aware of this reality…The other memorable tidbit was that when asked to point out his knee by one of the assessors, rather than pointing at the joint, Jue went into a rather long explanation of how he had tripped earlier in the day an hurt it (his knee). Lastly, when asked to state his middle name, Jude told the teacher that he didn’t know, but that he’d come back tomorrow with the answer…kinda’ funny.

The Cavs game happened more recently. We ended up having seats right next to Todd, one of the other pharmacists with whom Angie works. We were lucky in that the Cavs had lost two in a row (for the first time all season I believe) and therefore were very intense. The Spurs are a good team, but the Cavs took the apart. Since we arrived early, and since our group (Todd and his family arrived around the same time) was rather large, we ended up serving as a backdrop for some of the pre-game festivities. I had the camera and snapped some pictures of Gracie, Mommy, and the boys on the Jumbo-tron.

We also have celebrated Grandpa’s birthday recently. Unluckily, grandpa god sick the day of the party. But, he’s feeling better now (three days later) which is reassuring. Much of the time at grandpa’s party was spent visiting, as everyone from New York (Ellen, Anthony, Scarlett, Lawrence, and Laura Jeanne) were home, and Dorothy and Casey came down as well. It was a good time, and the kids have continued to visit both yesterday and today.

Both Jenny and Theresa came home for Easter as well. Josh, Laryssa, Max, William, and Ellise also came up from Columbus. We spent this afternoon at the Lackman’s coloring eggs and catching up. We’ll probably see them tomorrow as well, after Charlotte gets baptized. Theresa had a big day today, as her and Josh drove (back, in Josh’s case) down to Columbus and she purchased a brand new turbo diesel VW Jetta. What a beautiful car, I miss mine.

And then there’s the land. I had spent a good part of the first three months of this year pulling together contractors and putting together an estimate to build a timber frame home. We knew that the key to us getting approved was not going to be our gross income, but the loan-to-appraised value ration. But, before we had found out the result of the appraisal, I noticed that someone had purchase the piece of land that sits next to Charles’s and ours. He was timbering it and burning some of the limbs. I stopped, mostly because I wanted to be sure that he was on his property and not ours.

Through the course of our conversation, the young amish man mentioned that our neighbor had offered to sell him his house and land for a set price. He also told me that this individual had indicated that he had talked to an auctioneer and was planning on selling his property (25 acres in total) in three parcels, on of which would abut our property. This was problematic in that I really had always loved that piece of land and I wasn’t really enthused to have a driveway running the length of our parcel.

I ended up deciding to try to get in touch with the owner because of this concern. In the end, we decided that purchasing his home and acreage would be a better deal for us. Today, after roughly 3.5 minutes of negotiation, we agreed upon a price. I’m hoping that my calculations based on numbers pulled from the auditors Web site, and some fancy extrapolation are accurate. If they are, we did real well. If they aren’t, then I’ve learned a second painful lesson. Regardless, we love the property, and feel confident that we can make changes to the house that will make it our own.

Jan 2 2009

Christmas 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Well, Angie and I didn’t get Christmas cards out this year. You might want to get used to that…My sense is that we’re not going to be very good about that sort of thing, although, you never know. We very much enjoyed the cards that we received, especially those that included images of everyone’s families.

We had a good Christmas break. The boys were showered with gifts, including one XO laptop each (from Santa). Our family spent the majority of time either at my parents or at Angie’s parents. Angie had to work a lot, so she saw everyone a little less than last year.

The family went to the five o’ clock mass on Christmas Eve. We arrived around 45 minutes early, then struggled to save seats for Mom, Dad, Lawrence, and Will (Lawrence’s friend from COW). The showed up about five minutes before mass began, just as Father Steve came out as asked Jude and Noah to participate in the processional. Noah carried the ceramic baby Jesus around the parameter of the church and up to the alter. He then handed it to Jude who placed the figurine into the manger. Father Steve then mentioned the boys during his homily, indicating that I has sort of threatened them, essentially saying that if they dropped the baby Jesus, they would ruin everyone’s evening. After mass, Lawrence and Will came back to the Lackman’s with us. It ended up being a real nice evening.

Christmas went well. The boys woke up around 8:30 and we opened gifts soon after. The big evening at mom and dad’s was later in the week, on the 27th. The kids got together and bought them a new set of flatware, which I think mom really liked. We used it later in the week. Each of the families with kids (Angie and I, Charles and Laurie, and Anthony and Ellen) also exchanged gifts for each other’s children.

Christmas and Larry and Jeanne's

New Years Eve was spent at Lackman’s as well, up until around 11:00 PM, at which point Angie, Grace, the boys and I returned home. Midnight arrived as Angie worked through reading her latest novel (on her Kindle) and I spent time examining software on the web (typical evening). We had a real nice time New Years Day at mom and dad’s. Charles, Laurie and Charlotte came over as well and we all made and ate pizza while the boys mostly watched the Cartoon Network.

I spent a lot of break trying to get started on putting together a team of contractors who might be able to work together to build our house, which we hope to start around the first of June. I’ve made good progress, but we won’t know anything until the bids start coming in and we see if we can afford what we’d like to do. And now we are getting ready to get back into the rhythm of things, probably later than most of you who’ve already started working this new year. To be fair Angie has already done so, it’s Jude, Noah, and I who’ve been taking it easy and now have to adjust rather quickly to waking up and getting out of the house early again.

Sep 28 2008

Charlotte Rose

Charlotte Rose is born

I awoke this morning to a text message from Mom telling me that Charles and Laurie had went to Wooster Hospital during the middle of the night and that Laurie was in labor. Angie was tired, but I let her know and we decided to (slowly) get ready to head north. At around eleven we arrived at Bob Evans and ate breakfast. Text messages were arriving virtually by the minute, each updating the situation. Things were not progressing as quickly as originally thought. Good I thought, more time to eat.

Eight hours later, Charlotte Rose was born. During that time, Angie and I took turns holding Grace, the boys and I twice visited the playground outside of the hospital, I watched the end of the NASCAR race, and read up on the political news of the day. It was an impressive ordeal, epic I said after the fact. Laura spent the last two hours or so inside with Laurie and Charles as the final stages of pushing unfolded. After the Charlotte was born, Terry went back, then mom, then the boys, dad, and I.

Laurie was visibly exhausted, as was Charles to a lesser extent. We spent around fifteen minutes, as everyone needed to rest. Gracie and the boys did exceptionally well, until we got in the car, a transition which triggered a chorus of cries for the duration of the ride back home.

Angie took some images of Charlotte Rose and others. They can be viewed here.

Sep 14 2008

Images From Summer 2008

I’ve been absent here for the last bit, mostly because I’ve taken a new position at school (Dean of Students), soccer has started, and I’m back at Kent State taking classes. However, I’ve managed to put together some galleries of images that Angie and I have taken over this period of time. They’re listed below.

I hope you like. And, I’ll try to post more often now that I’ve got some more time. Look for another post with images from Grace’s Baptism later today.

Jun 1 2008

Bike Rides and Rocket Ships

Charles shoots off a rocket for the boys

I’ve got two sets of images to upload in the next day or so. This first set is comprised of some images taken while Laura Jeanne was here and took the boys and their bikes up to the Training Center to ride. The second set is from the next day (I believe) when Angie and I went up to do the same. The remainder are a series of three I took as the boys ran down the hill in the back of the house, and a couple taken of Charles shooting off a rocket for them.

Check ‘em out


Apr 6 2008

First Bike Ride of 2008

Noah swings

Jude, Noah, and I took our first bike ride of the year today. My major finding: they’re getting heavier. Either that, or my biking legs have gone away over the winter. I’m guessing it’s a little of both. We ended up at Holmesville Elementary, or as they call it, “Grandpa’s school”. We sent around forty-five minutes there before we left, as Noah had to get home to use the bathroom.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like spring. I saw a lot of green on the ride. There were a lot of people out too. I took some pictures, you can check them out by following this link.


Mar 30 2008


Daddy and Jude planting a Dawn Redwood

Angie, the boys and I spent the afternoon planting three Dawn Redwood trees on our property. We’d purchased these last fall from the OARDC, and they spent the winter in large pots in front of out apartment. I bought Jude and Noah little shovels at Wal-Mart before we went, so they had fun playing in the dirt.

These are beautiful trees. They were thought to be extinct for many years, then were discovered in the middle part of the twentieth century. We hope that they take root. Angie took pictures, you can check them out here.


Feb 23 2008

Staiano’s and Dad’s Birthday

Dad prepares to blow out the candles with his grandkids

Ellen, Anthony, and Scarlett spent some time here over the last week or two. Lawrence and Laura Jeanne come out for a shorter period of time. Ellen and Scarlett were actually the only members of the group from Brooklyn to stay for the entire time as Anthony had to go back after a couple days for work. Anthony’s flying out today and then they are driving back together.

Ellen helped out a couple times watching the boys for us when Laurie had other plans. We also found out that Ellen is a pretty darn good cook. As it turns out, both Charles and Ellen seem to be good cooks who are defiantly pretty interested in cooking as a hobby. In any case, we spent several evenings together, most often at Grandpa’s house for dinner. It’s a pretty unique group of individuals, everyone helping but also having their own agenda in terms of getting work done. Most of us had our laptops and took turns watching the kids and getting work done after dinner.

We also got a visit from Casey and Dorothy this past weekend. I’ve been working to help Casey set up a new website, and Dorothy I think misses seeing everyone a little bit. Casey’s site isn’t working yet, but it should be in the near future. In any case, it was good to see them a couple of times over the course of two days. It was also very nice for Jude and Noah got to visit with Scarlett.

We all got together for Dad’s birthday over the weekend. Casey and Dorothy were there for a bit, as were Terry and Kathy. It was a fun night as it typically is when we get that group of people together. I snapped a couple of funny pictures of Laurie and Noah wearing multiple birthday hats. Also funny was Jude demanding that his piece of cake have the horse’s rear end because he wanted to “eat the horse’s butt”. This produced a pretty good laugh at the time.

The pictures I took over this week or so can be viewed here.


Jan 21 2008

Noah Turns Three

Noah blows out his candles

We had Noah’s third birthday party yesterday. Both sets of grandparents came over, along with papa. Also, the Hooks made the trek up from Columbus. The party started mid-afternoon. It was nice for Jude and Noah to get to play with Max and William. Elise is growing quickly and there are some pretty funny images of her in the gallery.

Angie spent a boatload of time working on Noah’s cake. I would argue that this was her best effort to date. A soccer ball lying on some turf. She was up to three the night before finishing (I checked out around 1:15 AM). Everyone stayed until around four or so, but he Hooks stayed and made a day out of it. The boys played until around seven, at which point it was time to journey back to C-town.

Thanks to everyone who showed up. It made for a great day. I’ve uploaded some images. You can view them in the gallery.


Jan 5 2008

Charles and Laurie’s Wedding

Charles and Laurie at the rehearsal dinner

We spent the past weekend at The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake for Charles and Laurie’s wedding. We had a lot of fun. We arrived mid-afternoon on Friday. The rehearsal was around 5:30 PM. After the rehearsal we had one of the best meals we’ve ever had at Ferrente’s Winery. Of course I’m speaking for myself here, but I think everyone would agree that the meal was superb.

Charles and Laurie’s ceremony was very unique. The processional for the wedding party was Going to the Chapel, sung by Laurie’s friends. They sang throughout the ceremony and did a wonderful job. Midway through the wedding, Charles and Laurie read a children’s book, A Lovely Love Story to the audience, taking turns and then eventually speaking the last couple of pages in unison.

The reception was great fun as well. The crew from New York drove out, Delores, Maryann, Jim, Mike, and Aunt Anna. A lot of old friends attended, the Hanlons, the Buehlers, and the Haycooks. It was nice to see all of the kids play together. Lawrence and I tag-teamed the best-man speech. The majority of my night was spent taking pictures and watching the boys to make sure that they didn’t get completely out-of-control on the dance floor.

The breakfast on Sunday morning was truly exceptional. It was all-you-can-eat and the selection was impressive. Getting together in the morning like that was so nice as it allowed everyone to talk a little bit absent the thumping music of the night before. Everyone got to say goodbye and in that way provided closure.

I’ve posted some pictures from the weekend. You can check them out here.

Best wishes, Charles and Laurie.