Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Buddy Walk is Coming!

The following was sent to all of our friends and family announcing our upcoming local Buddy Walk! We had a tremendous response last year with barely any prep time. We just know that this year will be incredible!


Dear Friends and Family,

On Sunday, September 30, 2007, our family will be participating in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Buddy Walk and Family Fun Day benefiting the Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP. We are writing to ask for your support of this important event.

The Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP supports individuals with Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome, and their families and healthcare teams by providing educational material, healthcare collaboration and a comprehensive review of developmental, behavioral, educational, psycho-social and medical issues prevalent in individuals with Trisomy 21.

We became involved in the Buddy Walk in 2006 because of Abby. As part of 'The A Team', we are working together to fund research endeavors and enhanced clinical treatment for Trisomy 21, and we hope you'll join us.

Our team has set a goal of $3,000, and any contribution will help. Please register and join us for the event at or donate towards our team goal! Your gift is tax deductible and will help raise much needed funds for the Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP. We hope that you can come to the event. It is a fun-filled day that is truly inspirational.

We thank you for your support, and look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at the Buddy Walk! If you have any questions, please contact us at and certainly pass this information along to others who may be willing to give!

Thank you!

Greg, Megan, AJ and Abby

PS - We ask that you make secure donations online through the link provided above. However, donations are also accepted securely through PayPal ( to or via check to our home address (contact us for details).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What's in your iPOD? A Music Meme

OK, admit it. You have some real cheesy songs on your iPOD (or Zune or other MP3 player of your choice). You know, those songs you only sing in the car when you are by yourself or maybe in the shower.

To say that my taste in music is eclectic is quite the understatement. I enjoy music - plain and simple. If it evokes an emotional response in me or if I can relate to the lyrics in some way, it will most likely find its way onto my play lists - no matter the genre. I have songs on my iPOD ranging from hardcore heavy metal to classical. It's not about liking just one style of music, its about gravitating towards a certain rhythm or reminiscing about a song from your childhood. And that can come in many, many forms and styles of music.

So as Anna Nalick sings in 'Breath (2 AM)' -- which is on my iPOD -- "And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd / Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud / And I know that you'll use them, however you want to" -- I challenge you to list the top 5 songs on your MP3 player that you'd simply prefer to keep to yourself lest you reap the harassment of friends and family . . . and why they are on there.

I'll start. Here goes (deep breath) . . .

1. Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler) - That smokey, raspy voice just conjures up memories of 80's music that I grew up on. Maybe the original "power ballad". I crank this one up to 11.

2. Les Mis Soundtrack - Possibly the best musical ever performed (well, at least for the soundtrack). Do you hear the people sing?

3. Glamorous / Fergalicious / Big Girls Don't Cry (Fergie) - Maybe another 80's connection for me. You remember Stacey Ferguson from "Kids, Inc." don't you? Seriously, how can you top lyrics like "I'll be up in the gym just working on my fitness"? All I can say, is that it's "D to the E to the L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

4. Celestial Soda Pop (Ray Lynch) - Completely new age and totally synthesized, this instrumental has a hauntingly catchy beat. I would nearly wager my next paycheck that no one has ever heard this song, let alone has it on their iPOD.

5. Forever Young (Alphaville) - If you are a bit of a romantic and went to high school in the 80's or 90's, then you are probably familiar with this tune. You maybe even slow-danced to it at a mixer. Ah . . . what fond memories of being rejected by members of the opposite sex!

Now, let the tagging begin. Let's see. Jeff, Nic, and Amy. You're it!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Day Underground

On Saturday, we wanted to go out and do something different. After Meg nixed the idea of shooting the children with paintball guns, we decided to take a ride out to Crystal Cave in Kutztown, PA (technically it's in Virginville . . . yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun). And despite feeling like we were making a futile trip to Wally World, we actually had a great day.

Founded in 1871, Crystal Cave is the most popular natural structure in Pennsylvania. They offer a 45 minuted guided tour of the cave (which is a pleasant 54 degrees year round!) including an 8 minute movie about formation of the cave and its discovery.

After purchasing our cave tickets ($10.50 for adults, $6.50 for kids 4-11, under 4 is free), we made our way up (and up and up and up) to the entrance of the cave.

Tours run about every 20 minutes, so we had a time to catch our breath a bit at the top and take some pictures.

Once inside, visitors are treated to a magnificent display of nature's awesome work. Some cave formations are created of hundreds of thousands of years. Though but a blink in geologic time, that timescale is nearly inconceivable to us. As oils on our fingers could indefinitely stunt the growth of the stalactites, stalagmites, flow stone, an other nature creations, we are reminded not to touch the interior of the cave - except where and when we are told.

After re-emerging into the hot summer air, we scaled back down to the main facilities where we enjoyed some Amish style fast food (beef and pork bbq and pierogies).

We then tried our hand and "panning" for gem stones and fossils, and AJ walked away with a sizable bag of each. Actually, bags of "loaded" dirt and sand are available in the gift shop in various sizes and prices.

Before leaving Crystal Cave, we had to indulge in one more summer time treat - hand dipped ice cream from Hershey's. Chocolate with rainbow sprinkles for Shane Victorino . . . err . . . AJ, Butter Pecan for Meg, and Denali Moose Tracks for me. Yum. Abby is not so interested in the sweets. Weirdo.

On the way home, we stopped at a farm for some freshly harvested sweet corn. And given the fact that it is quite infrequent that I pass one, we had to make a pit stop at Yocco's Hot Dogs for a Doggie Pac that we thoroughly enjoyed that night for dinner. Double yum!

Friday, August 3, 2007

I've Been Bad. Real Bad.

Friends, it was never my intention to begin this blog and so abruptly abandon it. I truly enjoy blogging, and over the past 2 months have had every intention of doing just that. Life, it seems, gets in the way.

Admittedly, I have spent a vast majority of my personal on-line time working on my store at I hereby and theretofore promise to balance my time more efficiently between the two endeavors.

Starting today.

For now though, please take a moment to offer a prayer for CJ and ManChild and the heartbreaking scenario that's unfolding before them.