Monday, September 17, 2007
Welcome to My Neighborhood!

A dear blogger friend of mine, Kathleen Marie at The Open Window, has come up with a neat "Welcome to My Neighborhood", where she's inviting us all to share our favorite things about our neighborhood (perhaps our favorite local hangout or attraction) using photos, stories, and/or slide shows.

I'm in Las Vegas on business right now and I didn't plan ahead by taking pictures of my neighborhood before I left, so you'll have to let me paint you a picture with words. I do have pictures of Snuggle Bug that I can use to help support my story.

Oronzo and I purchased our 4 BR, brick home approximately 2 years ago. It's in a quite, well-kept little neighborhood.

This is the first home that I've ever owned. I've spent most of my adult life moving from city to city for work and, as a result, renting.

Buying this home has allowed me to finally but down roots. It's allowed Oronzo and I to create a safe and loving haven for the raising of our children.

Our home is filled with laughter, love, and the smells of baked goodies! We open our home to friends and family often.

Being from a small town, I craved to know my neighbors so over these past 2 years I've worked hard to find opportunities to interact with those that live around us.

When we moved in and got settled, Oronzo, Snuggle Bug, and I walked from house to house to knock on doors and introduce ourselves to everyone on our street. I even went so far as to make a neighborhood chart and pass it out to all the neighbors so that we could all know each other.

On Valentine's Day Snuggle Bug and I went up and down our street and delivered cookies that we had baked the night before.

We've gotten to know many of our neighbors quite well. Our morning walks result in invitations to come in to neighbors houses for a visit. When out taking care of their yards, our neighbors will stop for chats. When we go out of town, we have neighbors that are happy to look after our house for us.

And at Halloween, Snuggle Bug rakes in the loot because our neighbors know him and they like to give him handfuls of candy at each stop!

Not far outside of our neighborhood is our church. After joining, we learned that Oronzo's parents were members of our church when they were newly married. We love our church! Although large, it's warm, inviting, and very beautiful. The parishioners are friendly and the priests are fantastic! Snuggle Bug was baptized in our church and, as long as we stay put, will celebrate his First Communion and Confirmation here too. When he's a bit older, I intend for Snuggle Bug and I to join the family choir! I love being a part of a spriritual family such as this one.

A few blocks from our church is our favorite local French cafe. We eat breakfast there every Sunday and we've gotten to know the owner and wait staff quite well. The food is delicious, the cafe is bright and cheerful, the walls are covered with the artwork of local artist. It's a bustling cafe and Snuggle Bug loves how he's given crayons and paper immediately upon being seated. We love this place!

We love supporting local owners whenever we can!

We have several parks near our neighborhood. Snuggle Bug's favorite park is the one that has ducks. We take him there frequently so that he can feed the ducks a loaf of bread. One piece of bread for the ducks, one for Snuggle Bug. That's how it works.

The parks in our area host many activities. Each Spring and Fall we attend outdoor pops concerts where we pack a picnic dinner and a blanket and we go and enjoy music under the stars!

The parks also have frequent festivals, games, and many other family-fun activities. Since we live a few blocks from several close friends, we schedule park play-dates quite frequently.

We're fortunate to have several bookstores within our neighborhood. One is just 2 blocks away. It's a little hole-in-the-wall used bookstore that has row upon row of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves crammed full with books. Poking around this maze of books is one of my favorite past times! I love the smell of all those books!

We also have a Barnes & Noble bookstore close by and Snuggle Bug enjoys their Kids Corner where they hold toddler story times several times throughout the week.

He also enjoys the Thomas the Tank train table that is in the children's area. Even though he has his own train set at home, he still makes a bee-line to the Barnes & Noble train set each time we visit.

Not only do we have a lot of bookstores in our neighborhood, but we also have a great library branch very close by and several others within driving distance. Our local library is fabulous! We've been taking Snuggle Bug to library story-times since he was an infant. At the library closest to us, Snuggle Bug has gotten quite attached to some of the librarians, especially the story time coordinator, Chris. Whenever he sees Chris, he drops everything and rushes right to her to give her a hug!

A while back, the main library in town organized a Story Town event where story book characters came out to play and local authors read their books aloud while older children acted out the story in costume. Each child was given a free book upon entrance into Story Town. Snuggle Bug loved this!

Although we love supporting local owners when we can, I must admit that we frequent a nearby Starbucks. They're only a mile from our house so we like to walk to Starbucks so that I can induldge in a tall hot chocolate with whipped cream and Snuggle Bug can have a piece of his favorite cinnamon swirl coffee cake.

I'm afraid we've created a Starbucks addiction in our son. A couple of weekends back we were visiting Oronzo's parents and they took us to have a picnic up in the mountains near their home. Aleiza, Oronzoz's mom, asked Snuggle Bug, "Do you want to go for a walk with Grandma?" Snuggle Bug's response was, "Get stroller, go Starbucks?" After indulging in a hearty laugh, we gently explained to Snuggle Bug that there was no Starbucks on the mountain, or even in the town where Oronzo's parents live.

Just a few blocks from our house we have a locally owned butcher shop! It sells the best sausages, steak, and other meats. It also has delicious deli sandwiches on the softest sub rolls. My mouth is watering just thinking of these. Walking down to the butcher shop to get sausages and chat with the butchers while we eat our deli sandwiches is one of our favorite Saturday activities!

Well, there you have it, a glimpse in to our little neighborhood that we love so much! I hope you've enjoyed my tour.

Now, I'm off to check out the other participates' posts for Kathleen Marie's Welcome to My Neighborhood event! I hope you've decided to participate so I can get a peek of your neighborhood! :)

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8:00 AM

At 5:18 PM, Blogger cmhl said...

That sounds like it will be fun to watch!

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Renee said...

What a great ideal! I'll definitely be joining in and will post it on my blog too. Thanks for sharing.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Lois E. Lane said...

I wish I lived in that neighborhood ... sounds lovely!

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Jen said...

We have a local butcher shop too...I should have taken a picture of that one.....I love fresh meat....I loved your post....I loved the library story town nice. And the ducks....Miller hasnt mastered the ducks just yet.....I'm sure he will.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger La Dolce Vita with LeAnn said...

Enjoyed the visit. Sounds like a great place to put down roots and enjoy a very comfortable life. Be safe in LV.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Ms. Kathleen said...

Wow, you sure did a great job from Vegas! What a gorgeous place to live. I don't blame Snugglebug for a moment. A park with a lake is a must!

Thank you so much for joining Welcome to My Neighborhood! God Bless!

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Peggy said...

loved visiting your neighborhood!

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Susan said...

You did a great job using pictures of your child to tell the story :o)
Sounds like a lovely place.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your neighborhood sounds great and you sound like a good neighbor. What a blessing to get out and get to know the people around you.
Thanks for checking out my neighborhood.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Tammy said...

You gave a great tour- especially from Las Vegas!

It looks like such a nice place to live...and so funny how several of us seem to frequent that same certain coffee shop! LOL I wish we could all meet there in person!

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely place to raise your sweet son. I also liked the way you told about where you live. Good job!

At 12:15 PM, Blogger heidi @ ggip said...

WHat a fabulous blog entry! I love your neighborhood and how you really took time to get to know your neighbors. I am blessed with great neighbors, too.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Carole Burant said...

I think Snuggle Bug made a very wonderful tour guide of your neighbourhood:-) Such a lovely place to raise children and I think it's very heart warming that you made the effort to get to know all your neighbours when you first moved there...too often people don't know their neighbours!! Thank you so much for this tour, I thoroughly enjoyed it:-) xox

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Mari said...

I like your neighborhood. I think it's great that you introduced yourselfs to your neighbors. I can tell I would like to have you as a neighbor!

At 1:30 PM, Blogger With His Grace said...

What a lovely neighborhood! How neat that you have a local butcher shop by you, we don't have that sort of thing here, and the closest thing I have ever been too is visiting the inlaws and driving by the meat packing plant!! HAHA

I had every intention of doing this but I just couldn't get it together...thanks for sharing!

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

I love your neighborhood!!!

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

French breakfasts with my husband are something we do, too!

As a corporate wife, we've moved a lot. It is nice to think we can put some roots down now... we did that for 11 years in Houston, but not much in Atlanta or NYC.

Love the photos on your left sidebar!

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks for coming to visit - and for the invitation to your lovely neighborhood!! Come back any time!

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Kathie said...

My neighborhood is in Costa Rica. We live on a quiet (usually) street. Mostly older people who have lived on this street all their lives and have raised their children here. I love it because the fruit and veggie man stops in front of my house every Wednesday morning and knocks on our gate. The neighborhood ladies are always exchanging samples of new recipes they are trying out. There´s a park at the bottom of the hill. And everything, bank, pharmacy, coffee shop, grocery store, bakery, etc. is within easy walking distance (5 minutes or less) It´s wonderful here.
Enjoyed my visit to your blog today.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My neighborhood is in Santa Fe -- I posted earlier, but we've just moved here full-time from NYC and I'm having to start web design for my last graduate studies class so it will be a little bit before I can do this meme. (plus I'm going to spend a lot of time the next three weeks hiking in the mountains in the aspen meadows as they turn). I'll take photos of that, too, and post it.

cool idea, thanks. Would love to know how you do that code, too.

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Terri Steffes said...

Neat tour! You were very thorough with your word pictures!

Thanks for visiting my sight!

At 7:47 PM, Blogger FarmHouse Style said...

I loved your tour and your sight is beautiful. Thanks for painting such a lovely word picture. Hope to meet up again soon!

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

looks like there are a lot of neat things to see and do there! and sounds like you've made quite an impression w/the neighbors!

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Reighnie said...

Thanks for the comment and stopping by my blog.

It looks like you live in a wonderful place.

We bought our house almost three years ago and it is such a different feeling owning and making it a home that is all yours.

Unfortunately, the neighborhood has gone downhill. Even though a lot of us are trying it looks like we might be losing the battle against gangs.

Hubs and I have been talking about moving. I love my house and I'm torn.

But reading your post makes me wonder what is out there that we might be missing!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Robin said...

What a delightful tour! Your neighborhood sounds great and I really love how you have done so much to create a community spirit! Good work!
And a Starbucks baby - adorable!
I just posted my neighborhood tour - I hope you can come and visit!

At 2:38 AM, Blogger Renee said...

What a great visit to your neighborhood! Thanks! Mines up too- please stop by for a visit! Take care.


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Reporting live from a coffee shop in Vegas!
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Any bloggers is the Las Vegas area?
WFMW: Soup Exchange
Glad® SimplyCooking™ Microwave Steaming Bags- get ...
Attending my first bead show
Winners of my Sept PIF Book Exchange
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Italian Edition)
Adoption #2- We're getting closer!

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