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S: The Hiltz Family Photo Journal - 2011

FC: The Hiltz Family Photo Journal 2011

1: Life can be busy with two parents that work. However, given all the unavoidable activities that intruded on life, we still managed to find time for our children. During the winter months, time with the children was a given, with three large snow storms and lots of unexpected time off for Mom and Dad. When the winter weather started to break, we made an excursion to the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Memorial. Elizabeth had been studying Martin Luther King in school, so it was worthwhile to be able to show her the marker where King stood when he presented his “I have a dream” speech. Elizabeth enjoyed her first year in Karate, and has earned her white Dragon belt (which is also purple and green). As winter moved into spring, we spent time at local parks and attractions, including Burke Lake Park and our annual Easter visit to Green Springs Garden Park in Annandale. In May, Elizabeth ended up in the emergency room with a severe illness that left her dehydrated, which unfortunately coincided with Ethan’s third birthday. With good medical attention, she was rehydrated and recovered fully, although Ethan missed having a third birthday party as a result. In June, we attended a “hooding ceremony” as Andy’s older brother, John, received his Doctorate in Education (Ed. D.) from the University of Virginia. Our dapper dude Ethan got dressed up for the occasion. | Welcome to our photo album for 2011... | As the extreme heat of July pressed down on the region, we took excursions to Catoctin Mountain Park (driving past the entrance to the Camp David Presidential retreat) and Monticello. On a rare weekend of good weather and moderate heat, we took the family on its first backpacking trip to Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness west of Staunton. The kids had a great time exploring the stream and even managed to stay out of the copious fields of poison ivy. Later that month, we visited Glen Echo, and took a leisurely pontoon boat ride around Lake Accotink after a birthday party Ethan attended. And as the summer drew to a close, it was time for our annual vacation to Long Beach Island, NJ for some sun and fun – or not. As ill luck would have it, Hurricane Irene started a track up the east coast that crossed directly over Long Beach Island on the first scheduled day of our vacation. But bad luck turned to good when the storm weakened significantly. After shifting our vacation start date two days, we were treated to one solid week of the most glorious conditions the family has ever experienced at the beach. Azure blue skies, warm weather days, no rain, and water temperatures like tepid bath water. Totally ideal. Who would have dreamed it would happen? As an added bonus, we were able to coordinate our visit with the parents of Elizabeth’s beach friend of the previous year. Rebecca and Elizabeth made the most of their time in the sun, playing with their water Barbies while Ethan enjoyed pushing his dump truck through the surf. But it wasn’t totally perfect. On the first day of the trip, Andy received a call from his credit card company that his card number had been stolen, and rogue charges were rolling in from across the country. To make matters worse, Nena learned that her company had not won the re-competition for their contract with the Department of Homeland Security, effectively putting Nena out of work. Undaunted, we enjoyed. We were very sad to report that Nena’s father, Nap, passed away in the fall in his 85th year due to kidney failure brought on by diabetes. We were thankful to have the opportunity to see him in person over many visits the past two years, collect a video biography, and share special moments with him and our kids by teleconferencing through Skype. And while it has been over two years since Andy’s mother, Ruth, passed away, the family is just now closing out the estate. Significant time was spent this year clearing the house of a half-century of memories and preparing the property for sale. Over the summer, the Hiltz family homestead was finally sold. In the Fall, we enjoyed an annual visit to Homestead Farm with neighborhood friends to pick pumpkins and see farm animals. Ethan especially enjoyed the hayride out to the pumpkin fields. And for Halloween, Nena hunched over the sewing machine and put together a wonderful costume for Elizabeth, who became Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, while Ethan enjoyed his Fireman costume. Aunt Susan turned both kids into bakers for Halloween as she was able to secure copious amounts of help making the traditional refrigerator Owl Cookies. The year ended with family celebrations for Thanksgiving and Christmas, followed by a trip to Winter Haven, Florida for a memorial Mass and Celebration of Nap's life and a visit to Legoland, formerly Cypress Gardens.

2: The year begins... | It snowed and it snowed... | First snow of the year - January 27th. | The second snow of the year. The February 5–6, 2010 North American blizzard also known as "Snowmaggedon" was a winter storm and severe weather event that tracked from the U.S. states of California to Arizona through northern Mexico, the American Southwest, the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions. The storm created extensive flooding and landslides in Mexico, as well as historic snowfall totals in the Mid-Atlantic states, rivaling the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922. This storm dropped 10 inches of snow on the region.

3: And then it snowed some more! | The February 9–10, 2010 North American blizzard was a winter storm and severe weather event that afflicted the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England regions of the United States between February 9–11, 2010, affecting some of the same regions that had experienced a historic Nor'easter three days prior. The storm brought 10 to 20 inches (25 to 51 cm) of snow across a wide swath from Washington, DC to New York City, with parts of the Baltimore metro area receiving more than 20 inches (51 cm). This storm dropped 15 more inches of snow on the D.C. region.

4: A chilly February visit to the Lincoln Memorial and Korean War Memorial

6: A March visit to Florida., included stops from Nena's childhood..... Rotary Park, Lake Hartridge, and Orlando.

7: While Elizabeth enjoyed a day at Disney World with her friend, Maggie, Mamay, Nanay, Nena, and Ethan went to Green Meadows Farm in Kissimmee, where Ethan met many animals, including a carabao (water buffalo). | A tired Elizabeth ended the day reading with Mamay.

8: In April, Elizabeth demonstrated the skills that she was learning in her Ninja class at Dietrich's Karate, and she earned her first karate belt...a white belt.

9: April also included another trip to Florida to celebrate the Manzo kids' shared April 21st birthday. More fun in the sun with Mamay, Nanay, cousins, uncles, and other friends, including Lucy Jackson Teeter, Nena's 5th grade reading teacher and a long-time family friend.

10: On April 21, three generations of the Manzo family enjoyed a visit to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Fl.

11: An annual Easter visit to Green Springs Garden Park in Annandale...

13: John gains his Doctorate in Education at University of Virginia in the Spring.

14: Summer brought us time to visit Burke Lake Park to hike, explore, and make new friends

15: Elizabeth had an unexpected illness that delayed Ethan's third birthday celebration, but we still managed a party... | Ethan and Elizabeth help set up the 4th of July display just before Ethan drove the family to Monticello.

16: Monticello A hot 4th and an afternoon visit. We opted not to hike back to the visitor center, thereby avoiding a heavy thundershower on top of the mountain.

17: July camping in Ramsey's Draft Wilderness

18: July included a final visit with Mamay, who passed away on the 22nd. | Ethan and Nap watching the Women's World Cup Soccer finals. | A trip to Glen Echo in August to see Charlotte's Web and ride the carousel.

19: Summer Vacation Our vacation at LBI was delayed by two days thanks to Hurricane Irene, which passed directly over Little Egg Harbor immediately west of LBI. Fortunately, the storm produced little damage, and the family enjoyed one week of glorious weather and warm ocean temperatures.

22: September at the Alexandria Arts Festival and October at Waterford Days

23: October was busy... Owl Cookies with Aunt Susan... a visit to Homestead Farms including a hayride... | ...animals... | ...the pumpkin patch... | ...and...

24: ...Halloween!

25: November A time for fall leaves. Daddy blows, Mommy rakes, and the kids play in the leaves.

26: Christmas 2011 "The stockings were hung by the chimney with care..."

27: On December 26th, the family traveled by car to Winter Haven, FL for a memorial mass and celebration to honor and remember Nap. Andy's older brother John flew down by plane, and we all stayed in the beautiful home of George Nugent on Lake Marion.

28: We rounded out the Florida trip with a visit to the former Cypress Gardens, now...

29: ...LEGOLAND!

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  • By: James H.
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  • Title: Blank Canvas
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  • Started: over 7 years ago
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