Thursday, August 14, 2008

Introducing Laela Mae

Laela Mae Stackhouse
August 13, 2008
born at 8:36 p.m.
7 lbs. 1 oz.
21 1/2 inches

The Chrastina's

Congratulations Jaclyn and Mike!

Laela Mae Stackhouse was born last night, August 13, by C-section at 8:36 p.m and weighing 7 lbs. 1 oz.  Pictures to come as soon as we can get our hands on some!

Congratulations on your new family and beautiful baby girl!

The Chrastina's

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Robin Hood Festival

On Saturday we went to the Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham.  We had a really good time.  It was like a Renaissance Faire, but actually took place in a country that experienced the Renaissance!  There was food, gift shops, story-telling, archery demonstrations, alchemists, and, of course, a joust.  It was a really fun day!

Griffin & Robin Hood

A very patriotic archery demonstration.

Sherwood Forest

The joust.

A victorious Robin Hood.

The Chrastina's

Our British Cottage

This is our new home!  Our little British cottage is located just outside the village of Alconbury and right near the base!  Though it has some bugs, needs some sprucing up, and has had its fair share of problems, we're looking forward to have a very British experience this time around!  Some of the home's highlights include: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, study, dining room, lounge, kitchen, patio, and a nice size backyard!  We can't wait to have visitors!  And did we mention that we have a gardener!  No yardwork for us!

The front of our house, including the medieval door that cannot be opened.

Sliding glass door and patio.

Nice, big backyard for Bailey.

The "driveway."

Shed and kitchen door (how you would actually enter our home).

Look for pictures of the inside shortly.  Right now there's just stuff everywhere.  But once we've painted, received our belongings, and set-up we'll be willing to share pictures of the inside of our cozy new home!

The Chrastina's

England, here we come!

For those that don't know, Griffin is being stationed in England again.  So we have moved back since July 15th!  We'll be here until July 2011 and welcome visitors!  Cheerio!

The Chrastina's

Delaware - Bed & Breakfast

To enjoy our last week-end in the U.S., we decided to go on vacation with Bailey.  We decided to go to a Bed and Breakfast in Lewes, Delaware that is pet friendly!  This way we were able to enjoy time with Bailey and just relax after the stress of packing and getting ready for the move.  The Lazy L ( was a fantastic place to stay!  Our room was beautiful, breakfast was delicious, and the pool and scenery were amazing!

The front of the Lazy L.

The marsh.

The back, including hot tub.

More marsh.

Mr. Bailey with his huge tongue hanging out.

Bailey at the beach.

Bailey with his paws (and whole body) on this side of the Atlantic.

Family portrait.

Outdoor dog park.

We had such a fantastic time, and would recommend it to anyone!

The Chrastina's

The Lake - Summer 2008

This year, we went up to Griffin's family Lake House near Cooperstown, New York.  We were joined by all siblings and significant others, as well as all aunts and uncles.  It was a packed house, but we could imagine spending a better 4th of July with all our family before our big move to England!

The Lake House

The amazing leaping Bailey - who loved playing fetch off of the dock!

Our little swimmer.

All 3 Chrastina children - Ann, Jean, & Griffin

The epic Battle Boats unfolds.

And the canoe is flipped!

The victorious boys on the paddle boat.

All the contenders.

Griffin & Bailey

What a fantastic week-end!  Happy 4th of July!

The Chrastina's

Jaclyn's Baby Shower

Melissa's cousin Jaclyn is having a baby, and Melissa did a lot of the planning for the baby shower.  Enjoy some highlights from the shower!

The decorations and some of the guests.

Melissa's beautifully crafted diaper cake.

Favors and special touches.

Lots of gifts for the Mom-to-be.

The surprised Mom-to-be's arrival.

Opening gifts.

Dr. Suess themed cake.

The Mom & Dad-to-be.

Melissa & Jaclyn

Jaclyn, Aunt Laurie, & Kristin.

We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of the baby any day now!

The Chrastina's


Melissa and her friend Kaelynn went on a week-end girls' trip to Montréal for some fun and excitement before Melissa moves to England.  They had a fantastic week-end!  Enjoy some of the highlights!

Old City Streets

The Botanical Gardens

View from the top of Mont Royal

Site of the Jazz Festival

The Girls at the top of Mont Royal

The Chrastina's

University of Maryland University College

Melissa continued to take classes at UMUC while Griffin was away this year.  These are photos from when Melissa visited the campus to take her final exams.  Check out some highlights from the beautiful campus in College Park, Maryland.

The Chrastina's

Baltimore Aquarium

Check out these pics from the Baltimore Aquarium!

The Chrastina's

Newport Background