Tuesday, January 31, 2006

We Three Cousins

Eliana, Carter and Luke are having a great time playing together this week.

Dominic and AJ are having a great time eating, crying, sleeping and repeating the process every couple of hours.

It certainly changes things to go from 2 to 5 kids in the house.

The cousins are having a great time together. Tonight we went to In-N-Out Burger then the factory outlet mall to let them ride the carousel. Fun times!

Snow Angel

This is one of my favorite pictures of Eliana from our trip to New York at Christmas. She and I played out in the snow after a New Year’s Eve snowstorm. We made tracks all over the place, snow angels, and threw snow balls.

Ellie and Grandma Codella also made a snow bunny — even more challenging than a snowman.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mitt Romney . . . A Mormon

I recently read an article about Gov. Mitt Romney running for President of the U.S. in 2008 and how being a Mormon may hinder his chances. I’ve never met him, but I was impressed with what he did for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

In response to the author’s statement that Mormons pray to Joseph Smith, the founder of their faith, I wrote:

Just so you know I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since I was eight and never once have I, or any other member of the Church with which I’ve been acquainted, prayed to the prophet Joseph Smith.

That’s simply in incorrect statement.

We revere Joseph Smith. We pray as the Savior taught in the Lord’s Prayer in the New Testament: to the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ.

There’s only one Savior of all mankind, and that’s Jesus Christ. He is the chief cornerstone of our faith. Without Jesus Christ, there is no Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church offers information to clarify such misconceptions in its Newsroom.

So, if the reporter doesn’t set the record straight, at least I have here.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Alma the Younger

For those of you who don’t know, I’m preparing to play Alma the Younger in our stake’s production of Into the Light. The musical is about the conversion of Alma the Younger. I auditioned for the show in October and we’ve been rehearsing a couple times a week since November.

Those of you who reside in Vegas, I’m sure you’ll want to pencil in the production dates now so you’re sure not to miss the spectacular volunteer production. Did I mention this is a stake musical? At least we’re having fun putting it together.

The show is March 23-25 at the Green Valley Stake Center (410 North Valle Verde Dr., Henderson, NV 89014). Exact performance times will be posted later.

And if you’re interested in reading up on the story of Alma’s conversion, it’s in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah Chapter 27.

Now I’m off to referee cousins, as Brian and Melissa and their three boys just arrived from Salt Lake. They’re here for a week. Eliana could hardly contain herself this evening waiting for their arrival.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Update on Pres. Hinckley

Here’s an update on Pres. Hinckley as published in USA Today.

From all accounts it appears he’ll recover quickly.

An interesting tidbit — if he lives into his 97th year (he’s 95 now) President Hinckley will become the oldest president and prophet of the Church. The oldest president was David O. McKay, who was 96 when he died in 1970.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

President Hinckley undergoes surgery to remove cancerous growth

Today’s Deseret News reports that President Hinckley was hospitalized Tuesday after doctors discovered and removed a cancerous growth in his large intestine.

More Christmas Photos

These portraits were taken of Eliana and Dominic in December.

Of course you can tell this is after Eliana had her little hair cutting incident. And to set the record straight, since so many have commented after reading our New Year’s Letter, this is the second time Ellie’s hair was cut by a child, but only the first time she did it herself.
Last time her friend, Sarah Coglianese, about 18 months older than her, cut her hair while she was at the Coglianese home and Vickey was at a Pampered Chef show.

Judging from how she talks about her hair these days, I’m guessing she has learned her lesson and won’t cut her own hair again. But perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Joseph Smith – Rough Stone Rolling

I ran across this article from the Delaware News Journal. It’s about a retired Columbia University professor, Richard Lyman Bushman, who wrote about the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith.

The article, Founder of the Mormon faith, appeared Jan. 21, 2006.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Happy Onomastico Dominic

Happy Italian name day, Dominic!

In case you’re a little slow, onomastico in Italian is name day. (Read what About.com has to say about Italian Name Days.)

What a lucky kid. His birthday is in July and his name day is in January. He gets a party every six months.

For those of you new to the conversation, I wrote about name days last July. Those crazy Italians will make any excuse for a party.

And interestingly enough, today’s my brother’s birthday, Dominic’s only Codella uncle, and today’s also my good friend Mark’s birthday. Mark and I have known each other since we grew up together in Spring, Texas. And now we live 7 doors down from each other. Isn’t that quaint?

Mark’s four months older than me, so I get to watch his geriatric-ness and see what I have to look forward to. Thanks for leading the way, Markus!

Friday, January 20, 2006

American Idol – Week One

For those of you who don’t know, I quite enjoy watching American Idol. Only this season, I don’t have to watch every painful second of it. With our DVR we simply record the program then scan through it at the next available opportunity.

I’ve now watched week one of Fox’s season five, which, by the way, was reported today as being shortest window ever before a first-run network TV hit goes into syndication. Read about it at MediaDailyNews.

So, here are a few of my thoughts after watching most of week one...

Denver’s Female Male

Boy, I’ll tell you what … watching that guy/girl from Denver was just plain painful for us men-folk. Did you notice there were no men in his life, or at least at the audition with him? Poor guy is all confused. I’m sure his mother enjoys playing dress-up with him.

They’re almost as bad as the daughter/mother duo from the Chicago auditions.

Wonder why people think you’re a girl, dude? Maybe it’s the girl’s clothing, or the waxed eyebrows or the long hair. Think about it.

It’s amazing just how messed up some people are.

I’m a Wyoming Cowboy

I must say it was endearing to me that the judges were genuinely intrigued by the young Wyoming cowboy. Of course their decision to pass him on to Hollywood was purely for entertainment purposes and not for outstanding vocal quality. But how cool is it that we’ll get to see this country boy in the big city? I guarantee it’ll be interesting.

And no disrespect to my cousins and their families who are Wyoming cowboys/cowgirls.

My favorite line: “Go in therr and git ‘errr done!”

Cowboy up!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Aunt Marie

Today we made our first pilgrimage to Pahrump. Although Mapquest said to expect a 90 minute drive, it took only about 45 to travel the 50 miles.

Maria Farese Andolino is my dad’s aunt, my grandmother’s sister. At 85, something she’s quite proud of, she’s the only woman from her family still alive (she’s got a couple brothers in Florida). As always, she’s a little Italian firecracker, even with her broken left arm.

She’s only been in Pahrump for a couple of years now and even though we moved here in the summer of 2000, the family still hadn’t been introduced to her.

When my dad’s cousin passed away in December, my Aunt Marie contacted my dad and found out I was living with my family in Henderson. She wasn’t pleased at all that we hadn’t contacted her since moving here.

So, welcome to New Year’s resolutions (which I really don’t endorse or practice; it’s just a coincidence really that our visit occurred in January) … we went to see Aunt Marie.

She was a bit skeptical when she first came to the door, but once I introduced myself, and yes, we called ahead so she was expecting us (we went through introductions a couple of times … gotta give her props for being as bright as she is at 85), she was happy to talk about the family and perfectly polite as she reviewed Vickey’s scrapbook work in progress (all pages on Eliana … Dominic’s day will come someday).

Marie told us about my Aunt Margaret. She said my grandparents had a baby girl before they had my dad. I guess she only lived a few hours. If that's true, this is the first I've heard of it. I'll have to let my dad and his twin siblings set the record straight on that one.

All in all, we had a fine trip. We left about 3 and got home at 8:30 p.m.

Believe it or not, Aunt Marie can still be found at Bally’s in the coffee shop 5 days a week (she worked for the MGM when it caught on fire in the 80s – correct me if I’ve got the wrong decade there).

Like I said before, you’ve got to give her props.

Also, a shout goes out to my Aunt Dolly (Francis Hempele), my dad’s father’s sister. I heard from my Aunt Betty that today’s my Aunt Dolly’s birthday!

HBO creates polygamy entertainment based on non-LDS family living in Sandy, Utah

Now isn’t this interesting? HBO is producing a plural-marriage answer to “The Sopranos.”

Of course, they say it’s clear the families portrayed are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But you know that to many people, that distinction will be lost.

At least the series will serve more than the purpose of entertainment — it will help bring the Church out of obscurity and out of darkness. Honest seekers of truth will find it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Kids on Christmas

I just couldn’t stop blogging tonight until I included this cute little photo of Eliana and Dominic by Grandma and Grandpa Codella’s Christmas tree.

Dominic’s enjoying the super saucer grandma purchased for him to lounge in. He warmed it up for Angie and Vinny’s little one, due in July.

That’s right, after 9 years of marriage those two Vermonsters, as we lovingly call them, are ready to join the ranks of parenthood. We’re rooting for them every step of the way. Eliana frequently prays for Aunt Angie and the baby in her tummy.

At any rate, we enjoyed the sights and sounds of Christmas in upstate New York with the Codellas.

Angie’s Window

Angie’s Christmas present to mom was a Vermont antique stained glass window. Of course, she got help from Vinny, Vickey and yours truly. But that’s okay, we’ll let her believe it was her little gift to mom.

We used a technique called etched glass and it was really quite simple. It took time and a smidgen of talent, but that was about it.

The hard work was done by Angie when she stenciled the glass to make the drawing. We just colored in the lines with pigmented glue. Once it dried, voila, we had a beautiful stained glass window.

It was a fun project! Hope you’re enjoying the view from your rose colored window, mom.

Vote for Pedro

Since I’m affectionately known as Pedro by my good friend Mark, and since I manage to chuckle regularly while watching Napoleon Dynamite, I had to get this shirt at Target when we went there to spend our Christmas money on Dec. 26.

This is me early (probably like 10 a.m.) on the morning of Dec. 29. Isn’t it nice to be on vacation and not have anything to do?

And yes, I will be running for office and yes, I do think you should “Vote for Pedro!”

Christmas Carnage

Even though we flew 2,500 miles across country for Christmas, Santa Clause managed to find us. Here are some of the remnants from our Christmas morning in Niskayuna, New York at Grandma and Grandpa Codella’s.

My sister and brother-in-law, along with their two dogs Nala and Reese, are pictured here along with some of the wrapping paper and gifts.

We had a great stay in NY and although it was cold, the hot tub managed to help keep us toasty.

And here’s Grandma Codella with Eliana on Christmas morning, playing with the toy Santa brought her (a Dora the Explorer the doll with hair that magically grows).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

LDS Temple in Bluffdale, Utah?

Rumor has it that the LDS Church’s next Utah temple will be in Bluffdale.

Read about it on KSL’s website (Utah’s NBC affiliate, channel 5).

The other one that was announced in the October 2005 General Conference is reported to be in South Jordan's Daybreak development. That’s next door to my brother’s neighborhood. And that’s certainly good for property values there.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Kids These Days

When I was straightening up the house tonight, while I tended to the whims of 4 year-old Eliana and the cries of 6 month-old Dominic, and while Vickey was working (a Pampered Chef show in the northwest part of the valley … may as well be in a different town … oh wait, it is), I started thinking about kids these days.

These days kids grow up using a computer. They know how to pause digital TV and resume playing when they’re ready to finish watching their program. Mobile telephones are toys. Commercials portray every kid’s right to posses the latest and greatest.

And it feels like a constant uphill battle to install character traits like work, responsibility and respect.

Perhaps parents of all ages have felt similarly. But I’ll bet my 4 year-old has more possessions at this point in her life than I did by the time I was 18. With her own bedroom, a playroom, and part of the family study dedicated to housing her wares, I just have to wonder if she’d really miss much of it if it were suddenly gone.

Perhaps the bursting at the seams feeling comes from the accumulation of stuff for the past five years and recent completion of Christmas. Or perhaps we’ve just grown too accustomed to instant gratification and keeping up with the Jones’.

I just wonder what kids these days will be like when I’m in my retirement days.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

2005 Holiday Newsletter

After many hours of computer work, we’ve finally compiled our 2005 annual family letter.

Visit codella.info when you can spend 10-15 minutes reading our lengthy letter. What can we say, a lot happened last year!

It was great to hear from so many family and friends during this Christmas season. Keep those letters coming.

Enjoy our online newsletter and photos!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

LDS Missionaries Shot

I was saddened by the recent news of two LDS missionaries who were shot, one fatally, while proselyting in Virginia … in the United States, no less.

Of course much could be said about the sacrifice of all Christian missionaries around the world.

Needless to say, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the two missionaries.

Read what the Deseret Morning News has to say about the slaying of LDS missionaries (1/5/06).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sledding in Schenectady

It snowed while we were in New York for Christmas and New Year’s (believe it or not, some years it doesn’t). On Monday Eliana and I went sledding with Suzanne Brooksby and her son Robby (their dog Scratch came along as well). We had a great time!

After Eliana and I made our first run down the slope a photographer came up to me and said he took a great picture of us and wondered if he could put it in The Gazette (Schenectady’s daily newspaper). I said of course.

I can’t link to the page of the newspaper that included the 8 x 10 color photo (my mom said it’s great), but I can link to the newspaper’s photo gallery where they show a thumbnail of the photo. So if you’re interested, check it out.