Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Letter

This is our Christmas letter this year. Now if I could just get it printed and sent out, we'll be all set!!

Seasons Greetings Family and Friends-
We hope this finds you all healthy and happy! Here is the latest update from our house-
Caroline is now 4 ½ and continues to bring laughter into our home. She asked to play an Internet game the other day in this manner, “Mom can you get me on Barbie duck com”. She apparently thinks “Dot” is actually “Duck”. She started Preschool at the YMCA this year and has adjusted really well. She goes there 3 days a week , 2 half days and 1 full day. The Y includes swimming in their curriculum and her Teacher says that Caroline is quite a “Fish”, she has always loved the water. She also enjoys being a Sunbeam in her church Primary class.
Madeline turned 8 in April and was baptized in May. Madeline loves to do various gymnastic moves around the house. Not a day goes by that we don’t find her upside down doing a head stand, in fact John has nicknamed her “upside down girl“. Maddy is in Third grade this year and is doing really well. She also started Tae Kwon Do this Summer and is working toward her yellow belt. She is now in Wednesday night Activity Day Girls at church and has been having lots of fun there. This past Fall Maddy and Christine participated in the Bath Rec Cheering Program which they really enjoyed doing.
Christine is 10 and a half, in the Fifth grade, and has been reading books like crazy. John and I aren’t quite sure where she inherited that gene, maybe it was from her Grammie Clara (Kadi‘s Mom). She is reading the Harry Potter Series and lots of the Maine Student Book Award Books. She really enjoyed participating in the Regional Battle of the Books competition last Spring. Chris earned her Yellow Belt in Tae Kwon Do in April after a couple years of hard work. Chris spent a week at Camp Tangelwood ( a 4H camp) this past Summer and really enjoyed it. She has a passion for Music and switched from playing the Clarinet to playing the Alto Sax for her school band .
Kadi spends quite a bit of time just trying to “catch up”. She continues to work at MMC on the Interventional Cardiac Floor where she also participates on the Quality and Skin Care Committees. She still does 2 Night shifts a week and finds this shift works best for our family. She has gotten involved in the School PTO and continues as the Ward Activates Chairperson at church. Kadi has really enjoyed getting into an exercise regimen this year and hopes to be able to keep it up, especially after indulging in all the Holiday Treats. Our Family also has a Blog now and Kadi enjoys updating that and keeping in touch with family/friends through their Blogs (Visit us at
John continues to enjoy working here in Phippsburg. He has found himself busy this Fall dealing with collateral damage from our Country’s poor economic condition. One of John’s highlights this year was earning his Brown Belt in Tae Kwon Do in July. He continues to enjoy teaching weekly classes for the Youth in Town. John has rediscovered his love of running and weight lifting and hopes it will help prepare him for his Black Belt Test in a couple years. John was busy in the Garden this Summer and was thrilled when one of the Sunflowers he planted grew 14 feet tall. John’s calling as Ward Clerk at church continues to keep him busy. He has had fun recently reconnecting with old friends through Facebook.
The girls and John talked Kadi into getting a Kitten in May. John had been on a Call for work where a women showed him a basket full of kittens, he fell in love with the Gray and White Male, went back a month later and low and behold he was the only one left! So now we have “Max” who fills our life with utter enjoyment., especially when he knocks ornaments off the Christmas tree!! John is also glad to finally have another male in the house, even if it is just a cat. Autumn our Golden Retriever is now 12 and is feeling it! She now has Laryngeal Paralysis and can’t breathe when she gets really excited- She has been such a great dog to us! Madeline’s Gerbil passed away this Fall so now we only have Christine’s left.
One of our Family’s big Highlights this year was going to Florida in March. We spent 5 days at Disney World and then another 3 in Orlando. Kadi and the girls had never been to Disney before and can’t wait to

go back again, if only it were more affordable! We toured all the parks and were able to see and do so much!!!! It really is an amazing place to visit! We were also able to go to Sea World, toured an Orange Grove and went to Cocoa Beach. All in all it was a great vacation!
We were able to go to a couple Weddings this past Summer, Kadis nephew Dan and his wife Alicia and John’s Brother Chris and his wife Melanie. It was so fun to catch up with Relatives and Friends that we don’t see often at these special events. Caroline was thrilled to be one of the Flower Girls in Chris and Melanie’s Wedding.
We really enjoyed our week at Camp this year, the Annual Kingman Cousins Weekend, a 15 year Anniversary Boston getaway for Kadi and John and visits from Family and Friends. We had a nice visit from John’s Mom and sister Alicia and her family this Summer. We hadn‘t seen Alicia in over 8 years, so it was fun to reconnect- We hope this letter finds you all healthy and happy. There are so many trials going on in the World today. We are truly thankful that we can all turn to the Savior and get comfort through His Sacrifice and Atonement for each of us.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Joyous 2009!
With lots of love,
The Skroski Family
John, Kadi, Christine, Madeline and Caroline

The Ice Storm that made me CRAZY!!

On December 12th, at 6pm we were suppose to be at "The Ward Christmas Dinner". This is a Turkey Dinner that our church has been having for years now. Since I am the Ward Activities Chairperson at this time, I am in charge of it. It tends to take up quite a bit of my time. I shop for 6 20+ Turkeys, 90 Lbs of Potatoes, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Vegetables, Paper Products etc. I have sign ups for people to cook the food, bring Pies, help decorate etc.. I delegate and have someone be in charge of the Musical Numbers and she had the program in order, from the children singing "Silent Night" to she and her Brother singing/playing to "The Little Drummer Boy". We were going to do something new this year and have "The Topsham Year in Review" Slide show that my friend Lisa was putting together. I make posters and this year I even made invitations. I absolutely LOVE planning it but to say the least I really neglect my family/house so I can make "The Ward Christmas Dinner" really special.
The Thursday night before the dinner, my friends Nataly, Aaron and Trish, their kids and my kids headed over to the church in a storm to decorate the Cultural Hall. 20 tables were all set up for us (Thank you Young Men). We set tables, made centerpieces, hung Twinkle Lights and Snowflakes, set up the stage area, even had a kids table ready for Snowman Ornament making!! It looked GREAT! Friday morning we woke up to NO POWER and about 2 inches of ICE on all the trees. I started calling families that were in charge of cooking to see if they had power. I couldn't get a hold of a couple but did find out that The Achuffs were one of my "Turkey" families that didn't have power. So around noon the kids and I got ready (by this time we had power at home) and zoomed up to their house ro pick up their Turkey so that I could bring it to the church to cook it there. We got to the church and low and behold there was NO POWER there. Our church is located in one of the largest towns in the Area but unfortunately doesn't sit on a Main Road, it's right in the middle of a Neighborhood of houses. My RS President was there rinsing her Turkey wanting to cook hers at the church too as she had no Power. The Smiths live right up the road from the church and they had POWER. So the easy solution was to put the Turkeys in Roasters and plug them in at their house, which we did. Of course we were counting that Power would be restored by Dinner time. 3:30pm came and still No Power, so the Bishop made the decision to postpone the dinner till Sat night. I called my sister in a panic- asking her to move her Sat night dinner time up 2 hours early, so that I could make it back to Topsham for the Dinner. She was able to do that! Saturday morning, I woke up and couldn't sleep, so I headed over to the church to check on things thinking of course there will be Power, there HAS to be power now!!! Well guess what???? still no Power, in fact I found a couple leaks in the ceiling happening! I called our Bishop and let him know. I called Central Maine Power and begged and pleaded for them to restore the Power ASAP to Pinewood Drive in Topsham. I got answers like, "We'll do the best we can, but we still have 120,000 places without power, Can you move your function to a different location?". On our way up to my sister's for dinner we got a call from my friend Nataly saying still no Power at the church and the Bishop is Canceling the Ward Dinner!!! That's right NO WARD DINNER this year!!! I was devastated, but in a way happy that we could actually relax at Betsey and David's and not have to rush back. All the food that was cooked was given away or eaten by Ward members, some families had small get togethers at their houses. Church was canceled Sunday as there still was no power until later in the day Sunday. I can't wait to hear the stories this Sunday! Monday evening Nataly and I and our kids went over to the church and disassembled the whole Cultural Hall. Left the Tables and Chairs for the Seminary Students to take down the next AM- thanks to their teacher Kim Bush!!! I still can't even believe it happened!!! At any rate everyone is safe and we all have Power now. John and I were talking and he reminded me that when it all comes down to it, all of this is just "Stuff" that helps us celebrate this wonderful time of year. I am over it, but if we lose Power again next year on the same weekend as the Ward Dinner, I think I'll need to be admitted to a Psychiatric unit (ha,ha,ha). (Thought I'd include some pictures of the Dark Cultural Hall so you could really see what it was like). PS A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last Saturday, we traveled up to my Sister's house and had a family get together with my Uncle Buzz and Uncle Dave. They have come up almost every December since my Mom passed away 4 1/2 years ago. Last year my Uncle Dave had just had Hip surgery so they couldn't come up from Massachusetts. This year, we had a nice time reconnecting and celebrating Christmastime with them. It's amazing how much my Uncle Buzz reminds me of my Mom, whether it's the physical looks or some of the personality traits- It's always great to see him. This year he gave Betsey and I cut glass bowls that were my Great, Great, Grandmother and Grandfather Kingman's. They are Beautiful. Betsey made a Delicious Prime Rib dinner that we all thoroughly enjoyed!!! Christine entertained us with playing her Saxophone after dinner- check out the video!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Search for the Perfect Christmas Tree!

We have made it a Family Tradition to go get our Christmas Tree at a "Cut your own" Tree Farm. This is a tradition that I remember doing as a child. I also remember my Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Hap coming up to our house in Western Mass from CT every year to cut their tree down. One year, we must have been out there for hours trying to find the perfect tree for them, Betsey and I almost had frostbitten toes(ha,ha,ha)- what fun memories! This year we went with the Hydes the day after Thanksgiving. We went to a great Farm not far from their house. After walking around for who knows how long, we finally decided on this tree. It started snowing while we were at the Farm which really added to the Ambiance! The kids enjoyed Hot Cocoa afterwards in the Warming hut! Yay the tree is up and decorated- hopefully it will last until New Years!