Folena Family 2018

Buone Feste
oas Festas 

As always, the time has flown by. Here is another installment of the Folena Family year in review - for 2018.

Starting out the year we surprised Robbie and Desta by flying to Denver unannounced to attend Jordan's first birthday party in January. The party was held at one of the Asfaw family owned McDonalds where they have an indoor play area. Everyone was very surprised and happy that we showed up. The party was a big success as they had a magician perform for the kids and they had a large turnout. I can't believe Jordan is almost 2 years old already.

Amanda went back to work for the spring semester, but her babysitter was not going to be able to take care of Hunter until the fall of this year so she needed some full time help early on. Luckily Grandma Holly, Justin’s Mom, was able to stay with them to provide the babysitting they needed the first few months of the year.

Amanda and Justin took a Disneyland trip with the kids on President's weekend. They really enjoy the park and attractions – who doesn’t – especially for Felicity who is old enough now to really get into it. This year Grandma Holly went along to babysit Hunter and help out in general. We're hoping to go in 2019 with them as they are going again over the same holiday weekend.

In April we attended a wedding for Michael Sorich, Paul's long-time friend Joel's son. It was a very nice ceremony held at Saint Cecilia Church out in the avenues in San Francisco. The reception was at the Presidio Golf Club which is a very beautiful venue with great vistas, especially when the weather is nice and clear like it was that day.

Felicity is currently attending Queen of Apostles pre-kindergarten full time. She is doing very well and is enjoying it. Paul is going through withdrawals as he's no longer taking care of her on Tuesdays and Thursdays like he's done over the last couple of years. Felicity celebrated her 4th birthday party at the Children's Discovery Museum in May with some school friends. The museum staff put on a nice party and the kids love it. The museum is a fun place for kids to explore and play as they learn about science and history. There are many exhibits where the kids get hands-on experience.

In June we took a trip out east to visit our niece Shannon and her husband Donnie in Chicago. They have a very nice home in Grayslake, a suburb of Chicago. While we were in the general area, just a couple of hours away from Cedar Rapids, we drove over to visit my Aunt Delores and spent the night. We enjoyed visiting with her and spending a little time reminiscing about the Finnegan clan. From there we took off and flew to Denver to spend a few days with Robbie and his family.

We took a family vacation up to LakeTahoe south shore in mid-July with Amanda and her family. We rented a condo just across stateline in Nevada. The location was ideal as it was within walking distance of the lake itself as well as a shopping center with a Safeway. We had a great time since they had a kiddie pool where the kids could play relatively safe. Felicity had fun making S'mores and Justin enjoyed going on extended hikes. Paul and I treated ourselves to a Melissa Etheridge concert while we were there – haven’t been to a concert in eons and she rocked!

Robbie came out to San Jose in late July for a Napa valley vacation with Desta while we babysat Jordan. We got the rare chance to really get to know our grandson Jordan while Robbie and Desta toured the wine country. It was a win-win situation and we got to enjoy Jordan while they enjoyed the wineries. Robbie is much more interested in the wine industry now more than ever.

In August we went to another wedding of one of Paul's close friends. Alissa Murphy, daughter of Jim and Laura, was married in Pleasanton. Both the wedding and reception was held outdoors at Barone's Restaurant and it was a very nice celebration with lots of very good food and lively dancing. The bride was dazzling!

September had us celebrating Paul's Mom's 91st birthday and Hunter's 1st: their birthdays are only 2 days apart. Lala is doing OK but she has definitely slowed down. She gets tired very easily but she is also in good spirits most of the time. She really enjoys watching her WWE pro-wrestling and always makes Paul check the TV Guide listings to make sure she catches every match whenever he visits.

We celebrated Hunter's first birthday at Tomatina Restaurant in San Jose. Amanda did a great job decorating an outdoor patio area with many photos and other memorabilia from Hunter's first year with us. Hunter LOVES balloons and had a ball with his sister playing with the birthday balloons. He wasn't sure about the cake - sort of mushed it around - but he gobbled up the pasta. He's a big boy and growing rapidly. And he's a bonafide red head!

For those of you who are not from the San Francisco area and are wondering about the northern California fires and how they affected us just let me say that the smoke was horrible. Geographically we are at least 200 miles southwest of the Camp Fire location, but the prevailing winds brought all that smoke into our area and it just sat there for weeks. The air was very unhealthy and we all stayed indoors as much as possible. Most all outdoor functions were cancelled or postponed. Paul BBQs a turkey for Thanksgiving and we were worried that he wouldn't be able to do that this year due to the smoke. Luckily it rained a little on the Wednesday before so Paul was able to get it prepared like always.

We took another trip out to Denver at the end of November to watch Jordan for a few days while Desta and Robbie attended a wedding in the British Virgin Islands. Desta was the Maid of Honor for her lifelong friend Heather Gass' wedding. It was quite the affair as they cruised around on a yacht for a few days and celebrated heartily. Again, we got a big kick out of taking care of Jordan as he was always "go go go" with Nana and Nonno. We definitely need track shoes to keep up with him as he has only one speed – fast.

Finally, Robbie and Desta purchased a new home in a very nice area of Denver, Greenwood Village. As they both stated, it is in the area they wanted because they have the best rated public school system in Colorado. It's a large home situated on 1/2 acre with 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, full finished basement. The location is also much closer to Desta's family which will be very helpful whenever they need a little help. They plan to move in before the end of December so best wishes to them.

Paul and I are now officially “part-timers” as he continues to help out Tiny Tots Diaper Service with IT needs and services 3 days a week and I teach infant/child CPR at Tiny Tots as well as NRP at HeartShare Training Services a couple of days a week. Nothing too taxing but enough to keep us engaged and busy.

Well that pretty much wraps up the Folena Family 2018 review. The Folenas want to wish you and your loved ones a fabulous holiday season full of joy and good cheer. Have a healthy, prosperous and jubilant New Year!

2018 Photo Gallery

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