Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Time of Year is It?

While we are not into this whole global warming thing, it has been an extremely mild winter this year. The whole "Michigander" part of us is still longing to get at least one good snowfall in this year -- fingers crossed! But until then we will keep enjoying what the Lord has blessed us with.
This past weekend was another beaut, so Katrina, Godiva and I decided to held to a local park. It then turned out to be even more fun when a couple frineds of ours (the Branines) were able to join us as well as their dog Cali (Godivas bestest friend in the whole wide world).

The two of them were able to explore the park together which included some pretty great exploration and even a mid-January swim.

Meanwhile, Ma and Pa were able to chat with friends and enjoy the outdoors which we love almost as much as Godiva. By the end of the evening though, we were pretty tuckered out, but as you can see . . . she was still ready to GO!

All in all it was a wonderful time. We are so thankful to the Lord for His undeserved grace which can be seen all around us when we take the time to notice it.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Remodeling - Pardon Our Mess

Welcome One . . . Welcome All . . . to the newly remodeled Hines Herald website. We have been under construction here for a few weeks which has severely hampered our sweet bloggin' skills. Blogger (which hosts our website) has throw off our blogging groove as it offered a much needed upgrade. In doing so, however, we are proud to annouce that our website is no longer prejudice against readers of a non-blogger persuasion. Therefore, we now accept comments from EVERYONE!!!!

We are still trying to work out some kinks in the system (currently Katrina does not exist as a user), but for the most part we are up and running better than ever. We appreiciate your patience and look forward to hearing from you ALL!!!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Happy New Year

I know that it is actually 1/2 month after our big celebration for the new year; however, we still wanted to share our fun for that evening. We were able to have over a few couples for some snacks, games (not as many as Don had planned), and to watch the famous ball drop. Thanks to all who were able to come! We were glad to share the beginning of our new year with you. Also as you look through these pictures, you may notice a change in our living room! Don and I decided to add an accent wall to our living room and change the layout. You may be able to catch a glimpsese of it in these pictures.

Stephen & Sarah Branine

Anand Raj (and Christy in spirit) - Who made it just in time for the food and photo session!

T.J. & Shannon Logsdon

Stephen & Shannon Conley (Esther in guest bedroom - fast asleep!)

The Happy Hosts - Notice the new NYC caricature behind us!

The only game we played all night, to Don's dismay. He had a stack of games to get through and we spent much of our time talking, laughing, and eating! Don will be inviting more of you over again soon, so he can get the itch of game playing scratched!


The Guys!

The Girls!

The Twins! - Even down the headband! Planned? No!

The "Everyone" picture including Godiva (who had a great night being spoiled by our guests, especially Sarah)

We pray that your new year is full of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

P.S. Sarah and Shannon, Please let me know if you cannot get the group picture off of my blog and I'll e-mail it to you!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Christmas Time in the City

Christmas of 2006 for the Hines' was spent in the city that never sleeps - New York. This was the first time either one of us had been to this incredible city. There was so much to see and do; which lends itself to the monumental task of blogging a huge amount of information. Because of this seemingly unsurmountable task, we have neglected to blog for a while. Our deepest apologies to those who faithfully check The Herald and find it just as they have left it a month ago. I am going to attempt to give you a brief summary of the events that took place over the course of four days in a way that you won't have to read every interesting tid-bit, but give you an overview of what happened.

Friday, December 22
* Began our trip to the city. Drove to NJ and parked car at the Lee's residence (Garrett and Amanda Lee's parents), jumped on the NJ Transit and entered NYC via train
*Arrived at our Hotel - The Hudson - and finally sat down to get our barrings
*Decided to venture out to see Times Square and find some dinner down there. We ate at ESPN Zone.

Saturday, December 23
* Attempted to get up to go to the TODAY Show, but overslept.
* Took a long subway ride down to Ground Zero and found this to be very interesting and almost surreal. It seems like such a long time ago already that this took place.
* Continued south on the subway and saw The Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, NYSE, and the famous "Bull" on Wall Street.
* Headed back uptown and went up the Empire State Building and listened to a audio tour at the observation deck that cost $6. Well worth the money!
* We also went to see TImes' Square in the daytime
* Took a LONG stroll through Central Park - figured that we had seen the entire thing, but in reality had only walked half of it!
* We headed back to our hotel for a little nap, so we were ready for the nightlife again!
* Went to a hole in the wall restaurant for dinner to get REAL NY Pizza. The pizza was great, the atmosphere - not so great. We did see an actual cat snoozing on the pizza boxes!
* Went to Times Square again to actually do some shopping this time. Bought $1.77 worth of M&M's from M&M World (basically to get the bag!). We also bought some dark chocolate from Hershey's Time Square store.
* Walked towards Rockafeller Center area to catch the Christmas feeling and got our Caricatures done for $10 by a street merchant.
*Hit the hay!

Sunday, December 24
* Woke up and went to a little breakfast place down the street from our hotel for coffee and bagels.
* Met Garrett and Amanda to go to a Presbyterian Church in the City.
* Went to Manhattan Mall for souvenirs.
* Ate some italian from a real Italian little Resturant.
* Continued to hang with the Lee's for the day and saw the big stores (Macy's, Saks Fifth Ave.) with their windows all decked out for the holidays. Saw THE TREE in Rockafeller Center in the light.
* Went and saw the FAO Schwarz Toy Store (Movie site of "Big" and "Home Alone 2")
* Lee's headed back for some family fun back in NJ.
* We headed back to Macy's to actually go inside! (Which we found closed at 6:00 on Christmas Eve!)
* Went to see the tree at night, could not push our way to the rink to even see them skating. It was crazy busy!
* Visited Trump Tower to see the waterfall and gold plated walls! Wow!
* Nite Nite Time!

Monday, December 25th - Merry Christmas!!
* Don and I wake up early again trying to make it to the Today Show. Arrive and find out that it is pre-recorded! Boo Hoo! Sorry to all who were ready to watch!
* Decided to get a snack at the coffee shop that WAS OPEN next to NBC studios.
* Decided to take a brief Seinfeld Tour.
* Went and saw the Munk's Restaurant (Actually Tom's Restaurant) where many of their deeply technical conversations take place.
* Also went to the famous "Soup Nazi" Soup Place where Elaine was told "No Soup For You".
* Find a nice little Breakfast place open to eat.
* Went back to the hotel to pack and prepare for our departure!
* Lee's pick us up from Train Station and we are insisted on staying for their Christmas dinner, which we readily accepted. Thank you Lee's for your hospitality!
* Head home!

Again, thanks for your patience! We owe a big THANK YOU to our families for allowing us to be absent from the normal hub-bub of the holidays to give us a chance to do this vacation. Thank you to the Lee Family - Mr. & Mrs. Lee, Garrett & Amanda, and the rest who included us in their special day (and busyness of the season!)! And also to Priceline that gave us the guts to go-for-it!

Happy New Year!