Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Angels

Angels are a favorite in our household as you can see by the pictures we took when Jeremy and Rebecca arrived back home this evening.

Pop Pop, Gabe & Olivia

Dickle, Aunt Maddie & Greg

It's a Dog's Life!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

OK, so I’ve finally come to the realization that I’m a procrastinator… a busy one, if there is such a thing! I purchased the Christmas cards probably four weeks ago and they still are sitting in the Target bag waiting for me to be inspired enough to write our Christmas letter that normally gets enclosed with each. It’s Christmas Eve…obviously way too late for us to have a pre-Christmas postmark on the envelope. That means your holiday card will be late or even non-existent!

Dick & I spent the early hours this morning shopping (we made it to a local shopping center by 7:00 AM to beat the traffic) and since arriving home at we’ve been "wrapped up with wrapping" for what will be a quiet Christmas tomorrow with Greg and 'Aunt' Maddie. Danielle & Rudy are in Cincinnati, Jeff & Vicky in NY, and Jeremy & Rebecca are in Charlotte... spending the day with what we commonly and lovingly call their “Outlaws”. We were blessed to have everyone here for Thanksgiving and we actually did our Christmas gift exchange then. It was a wonderful, busy holiday…complete with all of our kids plus 25 additional Sarine cousins here for a reunion in Greensboro on the day after Turkey day.

Jeremy and Rebecca and little Olivia (3) have continued to live with us this year after relocating from Denver back to NC. They have had their own space upstairs in this house while we pretty much live our life on the main level.....that is... when we're home! It's been a very copasetic living arrangement! We get to spoil the grandkids onsite; Jeremy and Rebecca get to handle the day-to-day 'kid' responsibilities. I get wet kisses before I leave for work each morning and to hear “I love you Nana” and “Have a good day” as I close the door. Now I ask you...what could be better???? Baby Gabriel (now almost four months) was born with much fanfare and excitement on September 5th of this year; the circumstances of his unusual birth are the likes of which are what you would expect only of the Sarines (if you haven't already, scroll down to "older posts" to our September 6th entry of this blog). It was quite a happening! Needless to say we are happy that JR & Rebecca are back from Colorado and looking for their new home in our local area.

Jeff & Vicky and two year-old Kira, were with us, as were all of our kids, when we spent a fabulous family week at one of the Palace resorts in Mexico back in March. This branch of our "kid-tree" is still living in and on Greenwood Lake, NY as we haven’t yet convinced Jeff and Vick that North Carolina is a really cool place to live! We’re thinking that Mr. Dickle and I will head there the day after Christmas this year since we never seem to get to see enough of Kira (and, oh yes, of her parentals either!).

Our Crew in Mexico

Danielle and Rudy relocated to Bryan, Texas this year after Rudy’s graduation from UGA. He’s teaching at Texas A & M, and while we are delighted for the fact that his great brains, personality and work ethics have landed him/them such a fabulous opportunity, we’re sad that this great job is in Texas (aka Bush) territory! Now that the education phase of their lives is done, they’re on to a new decade and phase of their marriage which probably will include children, if they are so blessed! Eventually we hope to have them back on the East Coast.

And Greg is back to hitting the books…he's decided that he would like to teach middle school! We are amazed, but certainly not surprised, at his love of helping kids, especially those with special needs! He manages to somehow coordinate classes and studying with working with the Greensboro Autistic Society. He regularly shadows “Bobby”, now 13, who at the age of three, shrank into his own world of autism. Bobby, while looking like a 6-foot teenager, barely speaks but communicates through sign language and appears to love Greg…something that shocks no one, for Greg has always had a special place in his heart for those that are younger or child-like. Uncle Greg is our very own Pied Pipper....loved and adored by his nieces as I’m sure he will be by Baby Gabe as he gets older!

And Mr. Dickle and I, with the help of seven great designers and two awesome adminstrative people (God, please don't let our office manager Susan read this...she'll want a raise!) have managed to keep our business afloat during the downward spiral of our economic times. We really aren’t sure what the first quarter of 2009 holds for us….the lease on our office space is up at the end of April, and while it was our dream to build a business we could sell, we may find ourselves changing our game-plan as we adapt to the business climate in the spring. Business is painfully slow and we've made the unprecidented decision to close the office until 1/05/09 when we hope that there’s a line waiting to rush the offices when we unlock the door at 7:30 AM! Unless our US bank CEO’s are determined to spend their 75 million-dollar bonuses with us at the SSI Design Group, Inc. before the end of the year we suspect that we won't be missed!

In addition to realizing that I’m a procrastinator, and that Dick (like most men) leaves the communication between friends and family to me, I’ve also recognized that I am horrible at calling old friends & family members, and staying in touch with those that have added such sparkle to our lives. I apologize for having so much on my plate that there's liitle energy left at the end of the day to touch base with friends that we don't often get to see.

We’ve come to rely daily on blogs as a way to share pictures and the joys of family gatherings and to see snippets of our kids' far-away lives. If you're viewing this message in an email or a letter we invite you to visit often our personal blog at which has details of what’s been happening in the Sarine family in the last year; to see recent photos of wonderful family times; and to see links to our kids’ blogs. These are updated, usually on a monthly basis, if not more often. And if you happen to take a look, know that you can generally click on the pictures to make them larger, or to click on “Older Posts” at the end to see even more wonderful pictures and read more tales!

We hope this finds you in good health and surrounded by family and loved ones as we enter yet another wonderful year of life. We’ve been blessed by good health, a wonderful family and fabulous friends. We wish the same for you in 2009!

Merry Christmas!

Sherry and Dick

P.S. Our favorite Christmas song this year: Michael Ball & Elaine Paige, "As Long as it's Christmas".

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sarine Cousins Gathering 11-28-08

"Cousin to Cousin we'll always be, Special friends from the same family tree." Author: Unknown

The Entire Group!

The Raleigh, NC; Minnesota, California Contingent!

The DC, NJ Contingent!

The Greensboro, NC; NY & Texas Contingent

Ninja Sis & Mom

The next generation of cousins!

"Cousins are those childhood playmates who grow up to be forever friends." Author: Unknown

Michael & Danielle

(L to R) Terrin, Mark, Bill, Dick, JB, Jeff

Doug, Bill, John

Rudy, Joe, Dick

Uncle Bill & Susan

Jeff, Janet, Vicky, Greg

El doctoro & the nurse... Rudy & Rebecca

Jeremy, Baby Gabe, Doug, Jansyn

Terrin & Uncle Mark

"Cousins by blood ~ friends by choice." Author: Darlene Shaw

Cousins hanging out.... Maddie, McKinney & Olivia #1

'Foster Grant' John, Aunt MJ, Laura

Susan & Bill

JB & Olivia #1

JB & his Pop

'Kinney & Olivia #1

Proud papa Jeremy & Gabriel

"It's a long way down".....Katelin

Jansyn Holding Gabe

Olivia #2...

Kira & Nana

Kira in her 'super model' pose....

Jake, Jack, Terrin, Michael

Doug & Janet


Doug demonstrating a Ninja stretch....

Danielle & Jansyn

"Cousins are friends that will love you forever"... Author: Constance Richards

Bedding down the younger generation!

Breakfast Bedlam!

"Sometimes I wish we could go back to our childhood days.
Yet here we are, all of us grown.
With busy lives; out on our own.
Things change, but you'll always be
My cousin, my friend....loved by me." Author Unknown

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

We were blessed to have everyone together this Thanksgiving. As usual we had our share of laughs, good times and even got to exchange Crazy Santa (or in this case, Crazy Turkey) gifts since it's an "outlaw" year for Christmas. We somehow managed to even get the Christmas tree up early!

Some of the crew...and Olivia showing Pop Pop "I love you this much"!

Jeremy's Version of Weight-lifting! Who's the turkey???

It was a beautiful day in Greensboro...Jeff & Kira at the pond across the street...

Gabe surveying things from Nana's shoulder....

Dr. of Fun & his missus dancing the crazy chicken....

Some people never grow up... Greg with his nieces! He's so great with kids!

Sisters-in-law....Vick & Danielle

"Socks? Anyone want to trade me for socks?"

There's nothing like the wonder & amazement of little ones when they open gifts!

Kira and Aunt Danielle

Aunt Maddie & Kira

Olivia (3 1/2) & Kira (2 1/2) Playing Dress-up

Dweezle (at 15) Chillin'

Aunt Vicky getting some baby time in with nephew Gabe

This is the first time the girls have been old enough to actually play together. They had a great time!

Vicky, Danielle, Jeff & Kira, Olivia & Jeremy, Rebecca, Greg & Rudy