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Jen & Mark's Pages

May-June, 2002

We hosted a pool party for some of our friends on June 8th. It was a big succuess. for pictures click here

We attended the Canterbury Choir end of the season party at Elena's house for pictures click here

John and Gloria came to visit and there was a HUGE fire on Mt. Lemmon for pictures click here

December, 2001

Jen had her first school concerts in the Tanque Verde School District. One beneifit of working in such a small district is the Superintendant is able to attend ALL of the Concerts! Jen's School Concert Winter 2001 - for pictures click here

Mark and Jen celebrated Christmas Eve at St. Phillips and Christmas day at home. Christmas in AZ - for pictures click here

The day after christmas we left for MD. Unfortunately, Our Digital camera broke so we couldn't take many pictures. We took a lot of video with our new video camera but we can't put that up on the web page. Christmas in MD - for pictures click here

A wild time was had by all at Heather's pad in NY for New Year's Eve.

November 22, 2001

Thanksgiving in Tucson was very layed back this year. We had a Turkey breast with herbs from the garden.

Click Here for Pictures

October 23-29, 2001

Tom Spacht came to Tucson to give an organ recital and hang out with us. We had a very relaxing week. We went to Saguaro National Park and out to dinner practically every night.

Click here for pictures

May 9-15, 2001

The Carr's Visit Tucson. It was a funfilled week including: a trip to Kitt Peak, Jen's graduation, shopping in Tubac, antique shopping, and a lot of relaxing including a dip in the pool.

Jean gets a lesson in drip irrigation.
Claire gets lots of attention from Joe.

Late May, 2001

We've had several days over 100 degrees lately, but the nice thing about that is the pool is 85 degrees!

May 25, 2001

We think there are a pair of roadrunners nesting near the house. This guy keeps hanging around. He's a little camera shy.

May 5, 2001

Mark and Jennifer are confirmed into the Episcopal church. It was a nice service at Grace St. Paul's Church. Our friends Bill and Anne were nice enough to be our sponsors. Unfortunately, it was a very sunny day so we're making some funny faces in the picture.

  "...and the bishop wore cowboy boots"

For September 2000 through April 2001 click here

August 31, 2000

We bought a house! Click here for Pictures

June 8, 2000 

Tuesday afternoon we had a dry thunderstorm that started a fire in the Catalina Mountains near rattlesnake peak.  (Those are the mountains closest to us).  By Wednesday it spread to 300 acres. As of today, it's now at around 450 acres and growing.  Luckily the wind seems to be blowing it away from us. It seems close but it's far enough away that we don't have to worry about it.  The worst part for us is the smoke.  There are hundreds of firefighters up there. Hopefully they'll get a handle on it soon.

April 9, 2000

It's been a while since we wrote anything. In the mean time, we've got our own domain now. Tod and I bought the rights for FamousFamily.com. We hope to share the domain with the rest of the family and get more people to put up content. We also have email addresses that we can give out for Christmas Gifts!

Jen and I have been very busy lately. She's working hard at school and I'm working hard at work. Last Friday we saw the Tucson Symphony for the first time. They did a Mozart violin concerto and the Requiem Mass. Nice concert. Not as good as the Baltimore Symphony, but a little better than the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra.

We're in the market for a house. Looking around a bit. Not finding the perfect house yet. We'll probably keep looking until we find something we really like. We're not in a hurry or anything.

We've done a lot of work on the site lately. The idea is to make the intro page more generic and have each section be a little different design and feeling. Jen and I have sections. Tod now hosts his web site on FamousFamily.com and we've got section for most of the family up there. I've actually gone ahead and added a page for a few members of the family with the intent to get them moving. At some point in the future, people should be able to manage the content of their own site directly. Tod is now. I'm sure a few others will be soon. The idea is to let each section be created and maintained by a particular family member. We'll see...

January 29, 2000

Grandmom Lloyd is in town. We went to the dessert museum today. She wore the perfect grandmom outfit. She's going to be out visiting for a couple weeks. She's also going to join us for the choir festival. 

January 2, 2000

We started a Y2K Update! to outline all of  the problems facing the Famous Home Page gang.

We had an interesting Christmas and Christmas Eve. There were 5 services Christmas Eve (4pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm & 11pm) at our church, St. Philip's Episcopal. Jen helped out with the youth handbell choir in 3 services, and Jen and I sang in the choir for the last two services. Jen and I are both singing in the choir. The last two services were at 9pm and 11pm. It was really interesting. There was a brass quartet and timpani. They played with all the hymns and even played a fanfare the choir director, Bill Roberts, had composed before and after the gospel reading. The ministers all wore gold clothing. They had candles lit all over the place, but the greens didn't start on fire. The procession included large banners. 

On Christmas morning at 11am there was another service. The organist, John Hooker, is one of the ministers at the church. He presided over the service in the morning and the choir director caught a plane to travel home. So guess who played the organ - I did. It was probably one of the most complicated services I ever played. They normally do a lot of improvisation. I got away with writing down an "improvisation" for use during the opening hymn. I composed a interlude to pad the verses for Joy to the World. It sounded interesting. The rest of the service went well, but I was kinda nervous. I mean the normal organist was the celebrant for the service so he heard everything I did. They acted like they were pleased with my playing. It was fun. I did an awful lot of rehearsing the last week before Christmas. Hope to continue keeping up my playing. 

We had dinner with one of Jen's friends from church choir. They invited us for Christmas dinner. Looks like we also survived Y2K.

December 31, 1999

We moved the Christmas list here.

December 4, 1999

Updates the site some more. I'm trying to add dates to a lot of the events on the site because there are just too many. The site's been up for over a year and we're starting to rerun "Thanksgiving Dinner" pictures. I also added Yahoo Messenger links to several of the pages since we're starting to use that to communicate.

This weekend we sing Messiah part 1 at St. Philips. They have a nice orchestra, trumpets, and a harpsichord. Jen's sitting in the front row.

Jen's working on finishing up her first semester at University of Arizona. Things are going well in her classes, but it's finals time and the papers are due.

We've scheduled a Christmas Open House for December 12. Should be fun. Tod's coming into town for the weekend. He asked for presents and a cake for his birthday on December 9. We also have a friend Jeff who's turning 30 on December 12. (Interesting. Granddad Famous was also born on December 12.) His party is December 11. Never fails to get busy all at one time. At least classes will be over for Jen when the partying starts.

November 29, 1999

Jen's parents and her grandmother have been visiting over the past week. We had Thanksgiving in Tucson. We had Turkey (free-range), stuffing, cranberries, potato casserole with garlic, rosemary and gouda, homemade roles, and butter beans. Yum. Häagen-Daz  Dulce de Leche for dessert. Yum, yum!

This week we also got introduced to Tod's new DSL connection. http://209.67.233.19. We also downloaded Yahoo Messenger and signed up. It is pretty cool.

I also rediscovered the Tyco US1 Electric Trucking set we had as kids. I found some stuff on e-bay. I'm going to keep my eye out for a set and try to pick one up. It was always so cool.

November 8, 1999

On Sunday we sang the Duruflé Requiem at St. Philip's. It went very well. I don't think either of us had ever participated in a service such as this. The service included the parts of the Requiem scattered throughout a regular church service. It was a very intense performance - especially since the performance was taking place during a church service.

After church we went and looked at an open house. The house is actually over the hill in our back yard. I think it is a little out of our price range, but we enjoyed looking. I think we're getting the home buying bug.

November 5, 1999

We got a copy of FrontPage2000. Went through the web pages and made most of the pictures into thumbnail images. Should allow the pages to download faster. The new FrontPage is nice. Tomorrow we sing at church. Should be really nice.

October 6, 1999

Ordered Jen's birthday cake. She has invited a number of people from school over to the house Friday to celebrate her birthday.

We've just had a stream of visitors here in Tucson. This past weekend Joe Goebel from Florida came out to visit. The week before that we hosted John and Gloria Famous for a week. John and Gloria are traveling across the country for a few weeks. They recouped at our house before heading up to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

August 24, 1999

Got back from New York Sunday night. Cinda and Vinda's wedding was a success. Had a good time, but it was a long weekend. Clar and Annette seemed to have a lot of fun while we were gone. They gave us this, "What are you two doing back" look when we walked into the door.

Jen started her coursework this week. She's also starting to teach her Music Fundamentals (which I call "Music for Dummies") course at U. of A. She's also taking a Music History course (up to Bach), and Music Theory course with lots of score analysis and a Music Sociology course.

July 31, 1999

Mom Famous and Laura finally made it to Arizona today. They got bumped from their original plane flight, but did manage to get some money for their troubles. We picked them up around 3:30pm in Phoenix and drove back down to Tucson the back way. Mom made a good attempt to bring us Maryland crabmeat - trouble was it was packed in Thailand. O, well. It was good anyway. We had crab cakes for dinner then went for a swim before heading to bed. We'll see if they have a good time.

July 20, 1999

Last weekend was my birthday party. Amy and Jen threw a great little party. I got a couple train related gifts. Also got StarCraft Brood War add on. Had a great cake - I'd say it was even better than Graceton Store's cakes. It had the same style icing. It was a layer cake with mocha filling and vanilla layers and chocolate swirl layers. Very yummy. They also made finger foods on a plate that looked like a little train and Jen set up my Christmas present train in the dining room. We had Jeff and Amy, Craig, Wayne and his wife Colette, and Robert. We all had a good time. Jen's going to put up some pictures when we get them developed.

This weekend I also bought a couple more games. You know what that means - we also went today and bought a couple more plants. We got some really cool peppers. We also got an ornamental pepper plant that looks like a pepper plant with Christmas tree lights. Jen also got a lovely rose plant. She's actually out there now working on getting them comfortable in their new home.

July 14, 1999 (written by Jen)

It's been a long week. Wed. night Jonathan picked me up in Nashville and we visited with our former youth minister and his wife who live in Nashville. He's now a regional Manager for the Baptist bookstore.  We drove to Huntsville early Thursday and went to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. http://www.hsvbg.org/ Very different from Tucson! Took lots of pictures. Then Jon had to go to work, then class. Thursday night we went to a restaurant called the Jazz Factory. They had a piano player. He sucked and the piano was out of tune (he played excerpts from Phantom of the Opera - enough said.) Jon's new girlfriend - Jen - came along. Friday we drove all the way to Independence, VA (Bottom left hand corner of the state if you have a map) where my great aunt RosaLee and uncle Grover have a summer home (Trailer). I love going there because it's like going back in time 30 years. Everyone waves as you pass them on the road. Most of the land is farmland. (tobacco and x-mass tree farms). If you stop at a store, the clerk wants to tell you all of the latest news and weather. This place is where the word Hillbilly came from. Everyone drives a pick up truck (or a tractor <g>). The Trailer had plenty of room, but the water was undrinkable. Tasted metallic. I couldn't take a shower because the smell made me ill. Anyway, Saturday we drove down to West Jefferson, NC where the Francis' originated. Of the five children, Great Aunt Okla is the only one living. 18 out of the 21 first cousins were there with their families. We had a great time. Took lots of pictures. After the picnic ended we all drove over to the old farmhouse where my grandfather grew up. Took lots of pictures. Then went over to the graveyard. Got pictures of great-grandfather Francis and great-great-grandfather Francis' graves and their wives'. Then drove back to the trailer and vegged all night. Sunday we drove back to Huntsville. Jonathan had to work all day Monday. It's a good thing he has cable. Ate Mexican for dinner. It was good! Saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time from the plane on the way back.

July 6, 1999

This past weekend was the weekend of parties. Thursday night we went out for Mexican food. Yum. Friday we rented Slums of Beverly Hills. It was cute. Lots of body doubles. Saturday we stayed home and did nothing. We rented two more movies. Fierce Creators and Pecker. Pecker is based in Baltimore. Kinda bizarre, but most John Water's movies are. I miss the Balmorese. That's why I like them. Sunday we went over to a friend from work's party. Only spoke about business with the Lance (our CEO) for 20 minutes. (Actually it was an interesting conversation.) Jen and I didn't venture into the pool. We went home before it got dark. We had the perfect view of the fireworks from our back porch! We counted at least 9 sets of fireworks visible. 4 clearly visible with no trees or hills in the way. And to top it all off - there was lightning from a few thunderstorms going on. The city's were the best and longest. They were over 'A' mountain. And afterwards we used the opera glasses from Cin and Vin to watch them put out the fires on 'A' mountain. Apparently it's a tradition to start 'A' mountain on fire every year. The only problem with all those fireworks was the fact that we had to strain our necks to keep an eye on all of them. About half way through, Amy and Jeff arrived with mudslide and it didn't matter anymore.

Monday we went over to Craig's house for a cookout. We had a great rainstorm. Played dominos. I was ready to go to work on Tuesday. Two four-day weekends in a row was a bit much. I did manage to get a lot of playtime on Railroad Tycoon II. I'm almost done all of the intermediate campaigns. It's a great game. Looking for online players. That's it. Jen leaves me for a whole week this week. We'll see if the plants survive.

June 30, 1999

Jen and I went to Disneyland. We just got back California. It was actually the first time to California for both Jen and I. We had a great time in Disneyland. We left Thursday night. Our first night we stayed in a plain, but clean, Motel 6. Saved a bit of money. The first day, we got up early and went over to the Disneyland Hotel. We got to park the car there and got our tickets and went to the park. We got coffee and goodies and headed for a walk around the park. We also made reservations to eat at the Blue Bayou then we headed to Fantasy Land. Our first official ride was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride*. (They closed the ride in Florida, but not in California. Boo hoo.) I got my picture taken with Mr. Toad. That evening we had a great dinner at the Blue Bayou, and then proceeded to Tomorrow land. We got on StarTours and I almost lost my 30 dollar dinner. Luckily I made it, but I don't want to go on StarTours again.

On the second day we took the Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour. It was great. It was a 3+ hour tour with interesting facts, figures and backgrounds about the park and Walt Disney's intentions. We had a great guide. We learned a lot of information such as the fact that the windows on mainstreet contain windowpanes with names of individuals who contributed to the company and the park. It's a great honor to get a windowpane on Main Street. We also talked about some behind the scene things. We learned about the basketball court in Matterhorn Mountain. We even learned about some hidden mickeys and other secret stuff I can't talk about.

The third day, I finally got up my nerves, and we both went on Space Mountain. Jen loved it. (Enough said.)  The rest of the third day we had a relaxing time hitting Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Thunder Mountain Railroad one last time.

It was nice staying at the hotel. It was very comfortable and there was no need to worry about getting around. The only downers were the facts that the monorail was only operating one way (causing some delays) and the pool in the middle of the hotel was under construction.

We got back this evening to find most of the house in order. Clar and Annette didn't destroy everything. They are both giving us the "What are you two doing here. We were having fun without you" looks.

Best part of the trip? - 6 homemade chocolate dipped waffle cones with ice cream. One each, one a day. I liked Chocolate Mocha Almond - Jen liked Strawberry. Yum!

June 20, 1999

This past weekend was a busy one. We hung out with Jeff and his wife Amy and Craig. On Saturday, we went to see the new Austin Powers movie. Jen liked all the references to the James Bond movies*. I didn't catch as many of them. It was cute, but a bit bizarre. We actually both enjoyed it. After the movie we went across the parking lot to browse through Pier 1 Imports and check out all the things we wanted, but couldn't afford. We did find the perfect gift for Tod come Christmas.

We all headed back to Jeff and Amy's house to eat Kabobs. I had marinated the meat overnight. We also used Mesquite chips on the grill. Lots of wonderful smells and great food. Amy's mom also joined us for dinner. She brought the snacks. Jen and I both pigged out. We had chocolate cream cheese pie for desert. Yum.

On Sunday Jen and I went to church at St. Philips. We both like the 11:15 service because we can still sleep in. The organist, John Hooker, played some Messiaen for the prelude. Great stuff. (You know I wrote a paper in college on Olivier Messiaen.) We ate lunch and returned to the church for an afternoon benefit concert. The concert was for the Episcopal Community Services Refuge Project. The money is helping relocate Kosovar refugees here in Tucson. The pianist was Dr. Deborah Nemko. She did a pretty good job. Her playing had a lot of expression and technical merit. She did have a couple memory slips in the first half. It actually made Jen and I very uncomfortable. We were both worried she would forget where she was. It was very nerve racking. She obviously knew the works on the second half. The second half went smoother. She played Beethoven Pathétique Sonata, Chopin Ballade in F Minor, Op. 52, Ravel Le Tombeau de Couperin and finished with Alberto Ginastera Sonata Op. 22, No. 1. The Ginastera was a great piece. Very exciting and rhythmic.

Jen and I are off to Disneyland this weekend. It is our first anniversary and we're going to spend it goofing off and having fun. We're staying at the Disneyland Hotel. Should be a treat.

Notes:

* - This is a random link in the Web Ring. I don't know where you'll end up. You have been warned.
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