Monday, December 14, 2009

Larry Gelinas - Melissa's Grandfather

Late Friday night we received a phone call that changed our lives forever. Nate and Anna's great grandfather passed away to be with our Father in Heaven. I'm not going to attempt to write a short biography of this man because 1) I don't know much about his past, and 2) Even if I did, I wouldn't be able to do it justice.

What I can say is that I knew him for 12 years of my life, and every single time I saw him, including the day I met him, he gave me a big smile, then he would shake my hand and pull me in for a big bear hug. Every time. He loved his family. Especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was an incredible man who I always enjoyed being with. He could make me smile no matter what kind of mood I was in. He absolutely adored Melissa, who he openly referred to as his "favorite", so I know he had good taste in women! Saying that he will be missed is a tremendous understatement.

I have been given the honor and privilege to put together a slideshow of Larry's life for his memorial service. Going through all of his old pictures has been an amazing experience for me. It's obvious that he has lived an incredible life. Once the project is done, I will post it on this site for those who would like to see Melissa's "favorite". In the meantime, here are a couple of our most cherished pictures of Larry with our children.

Although we are grieving, we are also rejoicing in the fact that Larry is with Jesus now. The pain and suffering of the illness that took him away is gone, and he now rests peacefully with our Lord and Savior. We miss you, and we love you, Papa.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow and Soccer

What a weekend! Friday, the Houston area experienced a little snow. You know how us Texans get when the white stuff starts falling. We have more pictures and videos from 3 hours on Friday afternoon than we have from the rest of 2009 combined!! Some folks had more snow than others. The snow fell for quite a while at our house, but it didn't stick. That didn't keep us from playing in it anyway.

After all of the snow excitement, we sent the kids to church for Kids Night Out so that we could have a little R & R. Melissa and I dined at The Cheescake Factory, then headed to the bookstore for a quiet evening browsing the ailes of Borders. Saturday, Nate played his first soccer game. He had a lot of fun and scored 3 goals! One of them was for his team! It's all good.

Melissa and I got a work out in at the Y after the game, then we went to Montgomery High School to hear my brother Jake sing in his choir. It was a really neat event. The whole thing was done in Renaissance style. They served us dinner with huge Turkey legs and put on a big production. It was very well put together. The choir was outstanding! The kids have amazing voices. It's very hard to describe with words, but let me tell you, the music they made was incredibly beautiful.

We're off to a fun start in December. It's only going to get better!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Interesting Month

November always revolves around Thanksgiving. The first part of the month is usually lost in the anticipation of family, football, and turkey. Apparently, that is what happened to us this year, because we have no pictures from the month of November. I usually provide some updates with accompanying pictures, but I checked the camera for our monthly update and there's nothing on it. Oops.

We did have a pretty full month. Nate wrapped up his first season of t-ball, and his first trophy is proudly displayed on our fireplace mantel. We got the Christmas decorations up extra early in anticipation of Melissa's family coming to town for Thanksgiving. We were blessed with the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving with Melissa's grandfather. Three of his four children were able to make the trip to Texas to be with him. I was able to get some great video of him working a few laughs for the camera. He may be sick, but he hasn't lost the ability to make you smile. Nate and I played a lot of football and baseball over Thanksgiving. We visited my parent's house on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and got the chance to hang out with them for a while.

I am no longer working in the lumber industry. Dad and I are starting our own business and should have it up and running sometime next year. I will provide more details in the coming months.

Melissa is doing an incredible job at her school. She is truly a gifted teacher. Nate and Anna are growing up faster than I can blink. Below are a few pics we were able to take this past month. Sorry for the lack of pics. Our December calendar is already full, so we'll definitely have more pictures for next time. Until then, here's a classic Nate moment for the Christmas season.

We picked up Nate from Bible Study on Wednesday, and he had made a manger scene in arts and crafts out of those little foam pieces that I can't describe. Hopefully, you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, we asked him who was in his manger scene. He proudly replied, "Jesus, Mary, and Jophus!" Merry Christmas from the Eickenhorsts.

The Beautiful Ladies

Nate and Anna, laid back, eating, and watching TV.

Nate checking Anna's tonsils.

Anna, that pretty smile isn't going to get you a cell phone. Okay, maybe it will.

Playing by the Christmas tree.

Monday, November 9, 2009

October 2009

October was a long (but fun) month. Nate began his first season of T-ball at the YMCA and had a blast. We're very proud of him. They don't keep score, outs, strikes, etc. Each team bats through their lineup twice or more per game, time permitting. It's all about having fun, which is what it's supposed to be about in the first place. Our families all made it out to the park for most of his games, so he had a healthy cheering section.

The other day, after watching him play, I mentioned to Melissa that Nate reminds me of a certain Astro. Before I could finish, she said, "Lance Berkman!" She hit the nail on the head. Here's why. If you've ever been to an Astros game and watched Lance Berkman play 1st base, he always talks to the baserunner, no matter what. It could be 2 outs bottom of the ninth in the World Series and Lance would be chatting it up with the dude on 1st like it was his birthday or something. Anyway, after that realization, it was hilarious to watch Nate play first because every time a batter would reach the base, Nate would start talking to him like they were best friends. It didn't even pertain to baseball. He would start talking about random stuff like how many cylinders the Batmobile had, or which is better, Backyardigans or Wonder Pets. Nate is a cool kid, no doubt.

We also have a daughter. No, I didn't forget about her, but a dad has to brag on his first born a little bit. Actually, I'm getting a little worried. Anna is growing more and more beautiful by the day. I don't know if I can handle the thought of my daughter going out with a boy one day. I know it's like 20 years away from now, but still, it's hard to deal with. She is absolutely the happiest, most beautiful little girl on the planet. She's been sick for the past 3 days and all she's done is smile. I better figure out a way to make a lot of money because I don't think I will ever be able to tell her no. Enough talking. Here are some pics!

We took the kids to the pumpkin patch last month to pick out pumpkins. We took about 47 pictures, and this was the best one. Obviously, they weren't coorperating.

Of course, we had fun on Halloween this year. Our church has an outreach called Light the Night where volunteer families host little block parties in their neighborhoods on Halloween night. We were one of the hosts this year and set up a moonwalk for the kids, handed out glow-in-the-dark necklaces, and cups of candy with a postcard listing our church services and a Christian message. It was a big hit!

Melissa's grandparents moved to Texas to live with her mom after they received the news that her grandfather has brain cancer. Although it's a very stressful and sad situation, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend a lot of time with them. Her grandfather recently turned 77, and we all got together to celebrate.

Another month has flown by! Now, the holiday season is upon us. Nate finishes T-ball in November and starts indoor soccer in December. Anna will be walking before we know it. Melissa and I are doing our best to keep up! We're loving every minute. Until next time, take care!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Pictures!!!

Melissa couldn't stand it. She had to take them back for more! I'm very thankful cause I love these pics! We hope you do, too!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anna's 6 Month Pictures

Melissa took Anna to get her 6 month pictures today. We're so proud of our beautiful baby girl!

Also, a video has been added that I made Melissa for her birthday. It's listed below in the videos section. It's kind of long, but bearable if you like country music...and us!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trying to Catch Our Breath!

Well, I keep starting out our little updates with something along the lines of, "we've been so busy...", and it seems like every month gets busier and busier. So, instead of starting out with the same ole story, I'll quit stating the obvious and get right to the news.

We'll start out with some somber news. Melissa's grandfather was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. He and his wife live in Arizona, but have since moved to Texas to be close to family. We are glad to have them here. He underwent successful surgery to remove the tumor, and we have a lot of prayer warriors out there helping him along the way. For those of you that have been praying for him and us, THANK YOU!!! Please keep it up. Anyway, we love havng them around. Nate and Anna especially love spending time with their great grandparents. Papa always manages to make Nate laugh!
My parents gave Melissa and I about 20-something hamburger patties and buns left over from a party they recently had at their house. As you know, they are quite the party animals. It would've taken us a year to eat all of the food they gave us, so we decided to have a neighborhood party. We invited a bunch of friends that live on our street over to our house to help us dispose of the food, and we had a blast.

We celebrated Melissa's 29th birthday in August. She was blessed to be able to spend it with her grandparents.
We've had lots of visitors come down to see Melissa's grandfather. His two sisters and all of his children made a trip down to Texas to check on him. We've really enjoyed their company. Here are a couple of pictures of Melissa's cousins, Jillian and Jake, with Nate and Anna.

Melissa started a new job teaching at a private school here in town. She's really enjoying the work, and the school has a daycare for Nate and Anna, so she gets to stay close to them.

I was offered a sales position at a wholesale lumber company based out of Pittsburgh called Snavely Forest Products. After 5 years, I resigned from Bison and took the job. I'm really enjoying it and couldn't be happier.

Melissa, Kristina, and I begain training for a half marathon that will take place next year at the Houston marathon in January. I felt my age when I suffered a stress fracture only two weeks into my training. Melissa and Kristina are going strong. I will begin training again, late in September.

Also, after much prayer and consideration, we joined a new church. There is a link to their website in our "Our Favorite Sites" section. Please check it out when you have time. It is a wonderful place, and we are very satisfied with the move.

I just thought we were busy before. August proved me wrong. Religion, family, and work made sure of that. God continues to bless us in abundance!

Willie and Melissa

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July 2009

July flew by. I can't even remember everything we did this past month. Here are some highlights:

On July 4th, we went down to the local Home Depot, threw some lawn chairs in the back of the truck, and watched the Woodlands fireworks show. Nate had his toy shotgun, so I'm sure the locals thought we were a bunch of East Texas hillbillies. Darn straight!

Of course, the sun didn't let up at all in July, though it wasn't quite as bad as June. That's okay. It just gave us an excuse to stay in Papa and Loulou's pool all month long. Here is Anna enjoying a nice refreshing swim.

We spent one weekend in Austin visiting some friends. We had a lot of fun. They recently bought a beautiful new home and we experienced the epitome of southern hospitality. Natalie and Steven, yall can invite us back any time! The kids got to play together, as you can see below. The guys even got in a round of golf on Saturday. A bug bit Nate on his "special part" and it swelled up pretty bad. (I got a little jealous of him.) We had quite an adventure. Thanks again for the hospitality N and S.

Anna and Noah finally got to meet. Noah, I'm not going to tell you again. Get your grubby little paws off my sweet Anna or I'm gonna sic Nate and his shotgun after you...(just kidding Angie. Not really.)

All in all, July was a blast. A hot blast, but a lot of fun. We are looking forward to a busy August. Melissa is going back to teaching at a private Christian Academy in The Woodlands to help us out until the housing market comes back around. (Hopefully soon.) I'm very proud of her and all that she has accomplished. She is an incredible wife and mother, and is always willing to adapt to our ever changing and busy lives. Nate and Anna keep growing so fast. Nate has quite a personality, and Anna is getting one of her own. Time sure does fly by when your having this much fun....