Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Sophie and "THE MAN"

Hope to upload almost two months of happenings here this weekend!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Always a fun day of the year and Sophie really got into it and loved getting her share of the loot from the neighbors. Last year being, her first proved a challenge with all the decorations and scary costumes, but she went all out. This morning she asked "Can today be Halloween too?" Wouldn't that be cool!

Boo at the Zoo on Saturday night.


Hangin' with her new friend Carl the corpse.

Ready to solve a mystery!

Hitting the street.

Checking out her stash of the treats.

Friday, September 10, 2010

OT Post : The Most ANNOYING Thing!

For anyone that has built a house in the past decade or bought one that is around 10 years or younger, you probably have hard wired smoke detectors. We have a total of 10 throughout the house, one in the basement, two on the first floor and seven on the second floor. So, here's the deal for about the past year or so out of the blue the little suckers decided to go off, of course in the middle of the night! And since they are hard wired if one goes off, THEY ALL GO OFF sending cats and dog running, parents darting out of bed looking for fire, Sophie in shambles because she hates the sound. Of course, no fire. Just a false alarm. Back to bed.......20 mins later BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! So we turned the breaker off.... a few months later in the middle of the night....BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP !!! Changed all the batteries and guess what, 30 mintues ago they just went off again! So I did some digging as to solutions and talked to my brother-in-law who is a brave first responder for the Chatam Township FD in New Jersey. Seems that dust, debris and even spiders can cause these darn things to go off. Seems funny that this crud can set off detectors. So I found a nice little thread that talks to cause and solutions. CLICK HERE TO READ. I have to try the compressed air, as my BIL suggested and the thread talks about. Will advise.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Time = Busy Time

We have been going and going like the Energizer bunny around here thus the long break in posts. Summer is winding down and hoping the cool weather sticks too. From the last post we visited our favorite place, up to the cottage in Michigan, school started back up, swimming lessons, baseball games and a trip back to Michigan for Labor Day weekend is right around the corner.
Sophie is doing very well with her learning. She is writing well by tracing over numbers and words. Language is doing excellent as well, just like a typical 3 1/2 year old. Other than that she is growing like a weed. Tricia broke out her pants and tried them on, well to say the least they were about 3" too short. We have said adios to all her 12-18 month clothes (yep she could still fit into them until about a month ago). She loves her artwork and explores the world outside. Her memory is very good and always recalls things from her first days with us which is just amazing given the drastic changes she underwent.
So we will just recap the past month with photos and vids.

Opening another chapter in her Story.

Building sand castles.

Loved swimming in the lake. Water was as warm as I ever recall.

With Moots and Poppa.

Daily naps on the beach.

Little beach bum.

First fish!

Catching rays in the Michigan sun.

Painting rocks, a favorite Epworth pastime.

Siting big in the Captain's chair on the USCGC Hollyhock.

Ready to watch the Badger leave port.

Surfs Up!

Watching movies at the cottage with the Hensley clan.

Being silly as usual.

The Fam.

Our little girl, growing so fast.

Cards game with Bear and Jack and Mason.

Ready for school!

Two dads friends for 38 years, two girls beginning a lifetime the same (Sophie was pooped).

First Fish Video

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baby Steps Towards a New Agreement

Glad to see that things are moving along towards a new agreement.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ball Game... With The Kellers

GO CARDS! A hot day at Busch, but fun with the Keller crew from OKC! Loving some ice cream!

We had a wonderful time and a great Redbird victory!

The birds on the bat fit them well!

Yeah they made it on the Jumbo Tron

Not at the game, but from under the South leg of the Arch.

We really had a great visit with the Keller family over the weekend. It was very busy with Pho Grand for dinner on Friday and then Saturday was chock full of action. Citygarden for lunch and a swim before the Cards game, a visit to the Arch and then whew....dinner at 9:00. The girls just kept going and just had so much fun.
Sunday we planned on the Zoo, but a nice morning thunderstorm washed that out so we went to Faust Park to ride the carousel and visit the butterfly house. More photos from the weekend tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hello July

No pictures....please!

Ok...maybe just ONE!

Love our girl.

With Bear and Belle.

Enjoying my Summer.

Visiting Noni's house.

She FINALLY has the smiling thing down for pictures.

At Gino's for a chili slaw burger.

Motorboat ride with Bear.

A rate shot of her OUT of the pool.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Day That Changed Our Lives

Friday, June 13th, 2008. 4:47pm. A phone call asking where Tricia was. Still at work I told Judy who I figured was just calling to keep us updated on things. We were less that two months from the expiration of the MOU and as each day passed, one less day, one less chance that we would become parents. But when Judy said, "I have a little girl for you" my stomach dropped to the floor. As we talked an e-mail arrived. A picture and bio of the most precious angel in the moon, named Hang Thanh Nguyen. She was 8,895 miles away from us, but it seemed like 8 million. I so wanted to call Tricia and tell her, but had to wait until she got home. So, around 5:40pm she gets in. I told her, "come here I want to show you something." We walked into my office and I turned on the computer monitor. This picture
of a little angel popped up and I said "Isn't she cute?"
"Oh she is precious.", said Tricia. I looked at her and said, "That's....our....daughter!" And it was just tear central from here on out.
Never in our wildest dreams did we think that June 13, 2008 would be the day we were matched with our daughter. It was just a wow day and moment we celebrate and thank God everyday for. So, today we celebrate the greatest gift ever. We love you Sophie Lee-Nguyen Belz! Thank you God! Thank you Holt! Thank you to Sophie's birth parents.

Below is a link to the announcement video we did:

Monday, May 31, 2010

In Remembrance....

This weekend is not about BBQs and having people over to celebrate. It is day to remember all those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price in defense of this wonderful nation, and fighting for those freedoms that we all so often take for granted. Fly your flag outside your home. So few houses do this anymore. After 9/11 it was hard NOT to see the Stars and Stripes at a house or office. Now it is a challenge! This Memorial Day, as I do each year I pay tribute and honor Lt. William Thomas "Tom" Costen, United States Navy and his partner Lt. Charlie Turner. Tom grew up in the house behind us in St. Louis. I remember playing wiffle ball with him and running behind the "bug man" smog truck on summer evenings after dinner. Not the smartest of ideas since it was a mosquito killing fog, but hey you were a kid and everyone else did it. Tom's father was also a great friend to the family as well as an Orthopedic Surgeon to a few of of us.

Tom and Charlie Turner were assigned to Attack Squadron 155 at Whidby Island, Washington. Their unit shipped out to the Middle East on board the USS RANGER when U.S. military buildup began there in January 1991. Tom and Charlie had been in the region only ten days when hostilities began and they were asked to fly combat missions on Iraqi military targets in the first wave of offensive strikes of the war the opening night of the Gulf War. Tom was the pilot of an FA6 Intruder, and Charlie his BN (bomdadier/navigator). Both failed to return from missions on the morning of Friday, January 18, 1991.

Later reports revealed that two emergency radio beeper signals were picked up indicating that both Tom and Charlie ejected safely from their aircraft. Both were returning to the USS Ranger after a bombing mission over Baghdad.

On January 20, both Tom and Charlie were officially listed as MIA by the Pentagon. It was not until almost two months after the end of Operation Desert Storm that the Iraqis handed over the remains of 14 United States soldiers. One of those was Tom.

Lt. William Thomas Costen

Lt. Charlie Turner

Thursday, May 27, 2010

SCHOOOOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER!!!!! Well maybe the weekend!

The end of the school year program was tonight with Sophie and her classmates singing two songs. We had a great time watching and great laughs too as our little ham worked the crowd. Enjoy!

Sophie and her Tumbler Classmates
Sorry about the furry headed lady standing up! GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Birthday weekend in review.

It has been a very busy weekend over here at the Belz Centre. For those of you who have the honor of knowing Tricia well, you know she can NOT keep a secret to save her life. Well this time she did keep one, by planning a surprise birthday dinner party at our favorite place, Pho Grand. I was just planning on the three of us and we even told Tammy and Michael we'd be down, as we ate there last Saturday. I knew we would be fine getting a table, but when we arrived it was crazy insane, since this was the first nice Friday night we have had all Spring. I was kind of worried, but Tammy and Michael said they had our table and we rounded the corner and there was a big table with everyone waiting on us! Thanks everyone for coming. It was the first surprise party I have ever had and Trish did it spot-on! Nice work babe!
Saturday was the 12th annual cancer survivorship walk and the 7th for Tricia's Team Sarcoma. It started with just the two of us and now we have a wonderful team each year. Thanks to everyone who came out in support of Tricia and the Wellness Community of St. Louis. Later that eve, we grilled some great brauts and the Sophie and Olivia played in the sprinkler ball courtesy of Mema and Grandad. All-in-all it was a fun birthday weekend.

Our crew outside of Pho Grand

Good times with my girls.

Tammy, one of the owners of Pho Grand serving up a special treat!

Thanks Walkers for the GIANT warm throw! SWEEEEET!

Our hero. 7 years plus!

Uncle Bub and SLB

Playing with the sprinkler ball on a warm Saturday.

Olivia joined in and the girls had a blast.

Sophie signing songs to Amelia. She pulled her chair up and just started singing to her.