We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year

With Love From, Joe, Frances, Dominic, Timothy and Jeremy

Dominic's Graduation Celebration

Frances and I celebrated New Year’s at the Central Coast this year as she was recovering from surgery.  We stayed in Sydney during the holidays.  At the end of January, Frances’ parents celebrated their 60th anniversary. Dominic and Timothy were not able to attend as they were participating in a 3-day competition to design and program a computer game, which Timothy’s team won most innovative game.

In Feb – March, Timothy and Jacqui went to San Francisco and Las Vegas for a week to attend a convention.  They enjoyed the sights of San Francisco and Surrounds while they were there.

In March, Dominic graduated from the University of New South Wales with honours and a Bachelor of Software Engineering Degree.  Dominic was asked to present a paper he co-wrote in Bordeaux, France at the end of June.  He spent 4 days in Bordeaux and another 16 days touring other parts of Europe. When he returned, he began his new job, writing software for a game company, which he really enjoys.

Dominic's Graduation

In May, Frances and her friends spent a few days in a serviced apartment at the Gold Coast.  It was a good weekend for relaxing and unwinding.

Frances, Lyn, Mary and Ann at the Gold Coast

In June, Frances left her job in the city.  She has been spending time visiting her parents, and doing many of the things her job has restricted over the years.

In July, I took a trip to the US to attend 2 reunions.  The first was the 30 year anniversary of the Sea Turtle Tappers Clogging Club.  What a great time seeing all those people again who were, and remain, such a major part of my life.  Belinda and I surprised others (and ourselves) with our reprise of the Auctioneer routine.

After a week in Florida, I went to Ohio for the 40th Gurto Family Reunion.  I love to return to my home town and visit with my family and friends.  It would be nice if we could always be in two places at once.

Another major milestone in a year full of them was when Jeremy celebrated his 21st birthday in July this year. It's a wonderful event to watch your son come of age but accompanied by melancholy of a time long gone, when the children were little, irretrievable but for memories.  Time goes on . . .

Happy 21st Birthday, Jeremy

In August we sold our Camry and bought a new Rav 4.  Much roomier and a nicer drive.  We tested it out with a weekend trip to Newcastle.

In September, Frances and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a  four-day trip to New York City, where we saw all the tourist sights, followed by 3 days in Washington DC, a weekend visit to my mother and family in Conneaut and 3 days in San Francisco.


Happy 25th Anniversary, Joe and Frances

Statue of Liberty - New York

Little Italy - New York

The White House - Washington DC

The Blue House (My Mom's) - Conneaut, Ohio

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

Pier 39 - San Francisco

Timothy, Jeremy  and Dominic entered a competition at a local Mexican fast food restaurant which Timothy won.  It was a 7-night, all expenses paid trip to a resort in los Cabos, Mexico.  They enjoyed themselves and indulged in the complimentary hospitality, returned refreshed, and invigorated.

Timothy completed his Thesis for which he received a high distinction and will graduate in March with honours and a Bachelor of Software Engineering Degree.

Jeremy  successfully completed his Arts Degree with many distinctions as well and will also graduate next year.

The boys took a road trip to visit the theme parks of Queensland with 3 of their friends.  All went well until they were on their way home and ran over a piece of metal in the road.  Fortunately, no one was hurt but the van needed some repairs which won’t be fixed until after the New Year.  The travellers had to catch a bus for a 9 hour ride back to Sydney.  Dominic will have to travel back to retrieve the van when it is repaired. 

During the year I lost 2 Uncles, Uncle Christy who was my Godfather and my Uncle Jerry.  I miss them both and they were both in my thoughts during the day.

We had a lovely Christmas day with Frances’ parents and nephew joining us for lunch and after dinner games.


God Bless you all. Merry Christmas! Happy 2012 to everyone!

With Love From,

Joe, Frances, Dominic, Timothy and Jeremy.