Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nelli Beach Week - Running the Races

One of the most beloved traditions of beach week is running the races. Everyday at low tide, Pop Pop puts on his referee shirt and grabs his stopwatch and clipboard. All of the kids run time trials and are paired up for the relays. They are all very motivated because everyone who runs gets candy at the end! Here is Emily giving it her best.

You can see the kids lined up for the relay. The little ones always start it off with the big competitive guys paired up to finish. Now the races aren't exactly fair... there is always a lot of cheating and shenanigans. Someone always takes a head start before their teammate crosses the line and we all yell "Cheater!!!" as loud as we can. And sometimes the last pair of relay racers will so something silly like run backwards or carry their little cousins piggyback style and everyone loves that. So winners are very difficult to determine but everyone has fun and that is what it is all about!

Go David!!! Looks like he is evenly matched by little Sam.

Here is Lia running with her Godmother Stacey. You have to start the training early!

Nelli Beach Week - Baby Anthony

Before I start... let me just say that this picture was taken on July 18 and it is August 28 so I am very behind!!! Life has been amazingly busy for us as we try to get used to our fall schedule of school and activities. I have been itching to work on this blog though and I am so excited right now to get going! Since it has been so long, I think I will update beach week in themes rather than a day by day synopsis. If Stacey sends me some pictures, then I'll go back and add the events that I didn't get to attend or forgot to take pictures of later. I have enough for now, though to give a pretty good summary. :-)

Everyone in the family was very excited to meet Baby Anthony. Since we stayed in Pop Pop's house we were very blessed to get morning visits with Anthony almost every day. Stacey and Steven's house was just across the street from ours and they never had a problem finding arms to hold this sweet boy. Isn't he precious! (And by the way Stacey, one of my most faithful readers... where are my updated pictures? I'm sure Anthony has doubled in size by now! We miss him a whole bunch over here in Texas.)

I told Annaliese and David to lie down and put their heads by the baby. We had a lot of fun getting these pictures. Babies are so much fun!

Nelli Beach Week 2011

All 22 Grandchildren Present!!!

Nelli Beach Week is something we look forward to all year. This year, we made our annual pilgrimage without Nonna. It was difficult for all of us to see Pop Pop sad and missing her but amazing to see the legacy she left behind. All 22 of their grandchildren were present this year, including sweet 2 month old baby Anthony. We got every last one of them on the steps of our beach house for this amazing picture. Little Lia pitched a fit and didn't want to be in the picture. (It was the end of the day...) She wouldn't let me set her down. So if you look close near the bottom step, you can see my shoulder and an extra set of legs that don't belong to a grandchild. I held her and did my best to hide behind her! It would have been a shame for her to be the only grandchild missing and I am grateful we were able to include her.
From the top: Pop Pop, Drew, Stephanie, Cheryl, Nate, Austin, Garret, Nick, Patrick, Emma Daniel, Katie Gray holding baby Anthony, Lexi, Jed, Madison, Olivia, Emily, David, Christopher, Annaliese, Lia and Ainsley

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cousin Camp, Peach Picking

The last day of cousin camp, which is the day before we go to the beach, we pick peaches for all the family's beach houses. Our task was to pick a box of peaches for our house and another box to share with Rob and Steven's house. With so many cousins, this takes no time at all! See... there they go! Picking peaches requires training from an early age.

Group picture!

And tradition calls for a stop at the ice cream shop to reward all that hard work.

It is not bad duty to be a grandchild in this family.

Cousin Camp, Discovery Place

Here are a few of the cousins who came out for our day at Discovery Place. Emily, Ainsley, David, Olivia, Jed and Christopher are pictured here. Emma, Daniel, Lia and Annaliese came too. The 3D movie was about bugs! There was another movie about global warming but our children weren't allowed to watch that one. ;-)

And the jellyfish are always a favorite.

And again, the Nelli grandkids spent a large amount of time building with those little wooden sticks like last year.

Cousin Camp, Carrowinds

Of course we were all very saddened by Nonna's passing but the beauty and strength of the Nelli family lies in their faith and their traditions. Even though we were sad that Nonna wasn't with us, we knew she would want us to continue all the beloved family traditions. Every year, the week before beach week, all the grandkids spend time with their grandparents and with each other during a very special week we call Cousin Camp.

If you look closely, you'll see David, Lia, Aunt Kathy and myself in the red hot air balloon. You might think the reason David insisted we choose this hot air balloon is because his favorite color is red. But actually, David noticed the hot air ballon is the Chinese flag. It is red with yellow starts. He knows this fact because his Daddy travels to China so much. Another quirky thing about David is that he likes to look at the flags for each country on our world map. He colors the ones that "aren't too difficult" and hangs them all over our house. ;-)

David's got his arms us in this one!

Annaliese took good care of her little cousin again this year. They were so cute together holding hands all day. Annaliese always made sure Lia got strapped in properly on each ride and then helped her get out when it was over.

Emily and Ainsley were so glad to see each other again this year. They were also very proud to be 48 inches tall and able to ride a whole new set of roller coasters for the bigger kids! It was so fun to see them finish a roller coaster ride and then run back around to do it again. They reported how scary the rides were but "just a little scary... not too scary!" It was cute.

My Daddy's girl.

Chris and his Dad. Pop Pop has the right idea with the ice cream. It was a hot day at Carrowinds but some storms blew through about mid-day and cooled it off for the evening. We were treated to an amazing light show at 9pm and fireworks at 10pm when the park closed. This made up for missing the fireworks on the 4th of July. :-)

Take a picture of me!

July 11 - I remember taking this picture for no other reason than being asked to because Lia was so happy with the way I braided her hair and put in the ballerina bow.
And again at the Children's Museum after making this magician's hat.

Happy 4th of July!

July was a very hot and dry month for us. Due to fire hazard, there were no fireworks for the 4th of July. We celebrated my listening to the symphony on the 3rd with our friends Stan and Peg and their kids. The super cheap Walmart flag shirts from the year before still fit and are still favorites... You can't beat a $4 shirt that lasts two years! On the 4th we took it easy and went to the pool - our yearly tradition. Minus the fireworks.

David lost his 1st tooth

It is funny to be blogging about events that happened two months ago. I'm so far behind! I took this picture of David on July 2nd and he had just lost his first tooth. He would lose his second tooth later that month. I can't remember exactly, but this tooth was loose for at least a month before he lost it. And there was a whole week where it was just dangling in there. I didn't think he would ever lose it. Well he did... literally. It fell out while he was playing outside and he literally lost it in the dirt. And by golly, if you don't have a tooth to put under your pillow... you are out of luck around here. Luckily, he did better with the second tooth as I will tell you as I chronologically update this blog.

He is still loving his duck pajamas I got him when he turned 5.

Big boy!

Nonna, Rest in Peace

Nonna, Chris's Mom, died on June 6th. Her obituary, written by her loving husband is beautiful. We will miss her very much. GASTONIA - Rita Wolff Nelli, 78, died June 6, 2011, at Piedmont Regional Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C.

A native of Raleigh, she was the daughter of the late Herman and Anna Wolff. She received her degree in accounting from the College of Mount St. Vincent on the Hudson in New York City, New York. After marrying her husband Joe, she became a homemaker and raised her eight children in Gasto-nia. Rita was a consummate wife and mother. Devoted to her family in every way, she raised her family in a loving home, where her family and faith were paramount. Always a wonderful cook, she loved hosting her children and grandchildren for family gatherings. Rita loved to travel and visited over 25 countries with her beloved husband. She loved the beach and ocean and enjoyed a daily swim at her favorite vacation beach, Long Beach, N.C., which for over 60 years a weekly extended family reunion was enjoyed by all. For fifty years, Rita was a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church, Gasto-nia, and was active in many organizations and activities including St. Michael's School PTO, Board Member, Room Mother; Confraternity of Christian Mothers; Meals On Wheels; Crisis Assistance Ministry; Family Life and Pillars Meals; St. Michael's Bingo Canteen; Exercise Leader with the AHOY Sen-iors Group; Knights of Columbus Monthly Rosary; Bridge Club; The Spade and Trowel Garden Club; and was a Troop Co-Leader for Girl Scouts.

Survivors include her husband of fifty-six years, Joseph Robert Nelli of Gastonia; sons and daughters-in-law, Rob & Eileen Nelli of Hartford, CT, Mrs. Pat Nelli of Cary, NC, James & Kathy Nelli of Gastonia, Tom & Cortney Nelli of Stanton, VA, Chris & Michelle Nelli of The Woodlands, TX, Bill & Kristen Nelli of Greenville, SC and Steven & Stacey Nelli of Las Cruces, NM; Daughter and son-in-law, Jeanne Marie & John Vick of Greenville, S.C.; Brothers Herman Wolff of Raleigh, N.C. and Thomas Wolff of Johnstown, PA; Brother-in-law and sister-in-law Mario and Rita Leone of Cinnaminson, N.J.; Grandchildren, Cheryl Bibbons, Drew Nelli, Stephanie Nelli, Nick Nelli, Nate Nelli, Garrett Nelli, Austin Nelli, Patrick Nelli, Katie Gray Nelli, Emma Nelli, Daniel Nelli, Lexi Vick, Madison Vick, Jed Vick, Emily Nelli, David Nelli, Lia Nelli, Olivia Nelli, Christopher Nelli, Ainsley Nelli, Annaliese Nelli, and Anthony Nelli; and a number of Nieces and Nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sons, John and David; brothers, John & William Wolff, and sisters
Agnes W. Jones and Margaret W. Marks.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Roger Arnsparger and Deacon Art Kingsley 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Michael's Catholic Church.

Interment will be in Gaston Memorial Park. Thereafter, a luncheon for family and friends, hosted by the church, will be held in the Parish Center of the church.

On Thursday, June 9 from 5 to 8 p.m., family and friends will gather at the home of Jamie & Kathy Nelli, 2960 Robinwood Road, Gastonia, N.C. 28056.

A rosary service will held 7 p.m. Friday in the Founders Chapel of McLean Funeral Directors where the family will receive friends immediately after-wards.

Memorials may be made to St. Michael's Catholic Church, 708 St. Michael Lane, Gastonia, NC 28052.

Condolence messages may be sent to:

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia (1-800-217-9901) is serving the Nelli family.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emily's 1st Communion - Reception Pictures

We continued Emily's 1st Communion celebration at the house. We had such a big crowd of friends and family at the house. It was quite a party! I was very glad I had planned so diligently to have enough food! I had ordered these beautiful wraps from our local bagel place so everyone could eat right after church. I made a lasagna and had plenty of fruit on hand. After all that though, I think the Double Daves pizza and pepperoni rolls I ordered for the kids was the biggest hit. Keep it simple, right?

Aunt Debbie, Cousin Ben, Andrea and Great Grandma

Emily and Elle

John and Madison - so glad they live close now!

Grandpa and Nana

Tony and Leisa!

Rebecca and Emily

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to help make this day very special for Emily. We are very blessed to have you all in our lives.