Pelham-Windham News

Home for Christmas – Part Six

by R. Rodgers

We met the Grenier Family six years ago at Christmas when the triplets were just babies.  Katrina and Steve went through very scary and uncertain time in 2000 when all three children were born prematurely and Katrina was battling for her own life with HELLP Syndrome a rare but very serious blood disorder.  Through the struggle of that first year they found themselves all home and healthy for the Holiday.  Over the years we have visited with them each Christmas to check in and follow the amazing little family to share their joys and sorrows with the community. 

Now five and a half the children are beginning to tell us their own stories and we again share them with you.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a safe and happy season --“Home for the Holiday!”

Grenier Triplets Are Healthy, Happy and Hearty in 2005

by K. Rodgers

They can all write their names now.  Olivia, Nicholas, and Madaline – the only Grenier triplet named after a family member – have all mastered this skill.  Each name looks very different in handwriting, just as their different personalities have continued to emerge. 

The dynamics of the trio are about the same, Nicholas busily keeping the conversation alive and protecting his sisters; Olivia watching, taking it all in and making sure her brother and sister are in sight and safe; and Madaline writing, drawing, coloring and singing.  While there are similarities in the children to when they were four, it is obvious that the three have grown a lot physically and mentally in the past year.

The Hudson family who underwent a tumultuous year 2000 is happy and healthy in 2005, save for a slight cold in the family, and has had a rather relaxing year.  Without any broken bones to report, the two loving parents and their beautiful, polite, and happy children have finished another year with plenty to tell. 

People get nervous when they see three five-year-old children walk into a public place, and are then pleasantly surprised by the Grenier triplets’ behavior.  This makes it fun and easy to bring the three along on family outings and vacations.  The family finally got to go on a trip to Sanabel Island in Florida that they missed last year due to Katrina’s injury.  All were well and enjoyed their trip, especially to the Bubble Room, a special restaurant on the island.  This happens to be one of the occasions on which the Greniers were complimented on their impeccable behavior.  Another trip the family took was to a family cottage on Lake Winnisquam which Olivia noted was her favorite memory of the year. 

Olivia and Madaline have continued to love dance while Nicholas has branched into karate as a favorite pastime where he has already earned a yellow belt.  Also, they continue to thrive in school and recently took part in their class Christmas play at St. Patrick’s in Pelham.  Each of the children had lines to memorize and was cheered by their own personal fan section for their accomplishments.  In other holiday memory-making, Katrina and Steve -- or shall we say the “Evil Queen” and the “Speed Racer” -- took “Tinkerbelle” (Olivia), “Snow White” (Madaline), and “Peter Pan” out trick-or-treating for Halloween this year.

Katrina and Steve celebrated their ten-year anniversary with a trip to San Diego where they had planned to visit Katrina’s brother, except that her brother moved to Las Vegas in the meantime.  Therefore, not only did Katrina go to San Diego with Steve for their anniversary, but she visited her brother at his new home in Las Vegas with her mother as well.

The only negative occurrence during 2005 was a scary bout with Mammy, Katrina’s grandmother, who Madaline was named after.  Mammy became paralyzed after a fluke sneeze and it looked pretty bad.  Five hours after surgery, however, the extremely strong-willed woman was already much better and was off her walker in only a month, long before the doctors thought possible!  Thus, the only tragedy ended up positively just as it usually, and thankfully, seems to happen for this gorgeous family.

Craft Sessions End with Excitement

by Lynne Ober

Every Christmas a series of craft sessions is held at Windham’s Nesmith Library.  Organized and led by members of Friends of Windham Library, these sessions are always fun and innovative.

When heavy snow delayed two of the sessions there were many unhappy youngsters.  However, when the makeup session was held, the room was filled with chatter and giggles and the children made their crafts.

Because of the snow, the last two sessions, one for 2 – 4 year olds and the other for 6 and older were held at the same time. 

The toddlers made a pine cone Christmas tree with a star on top while the older children worked on beading snow flakes to hang on their trees.

Sydney, 3, concentrates on getting her pine cone to stand up straight in her flower pot.

Windham Seniors Know How to Party

by Lynne Ober

The Christmas Party – it’s an annual tradition.  Some are small, some are big, and some, like the one held last week by Windham Seniors, are elegant and fun.

Once again nearly 300 Windham seniors joined in the festivities held at the Castleton.  Although a cold wind blew across the lake as seniors walked in, inside was warm, cheery, and inviting.

Barbara Coish, President of the Windham Seniors, was thrilled with the turnout and with the way that the room looked.  “It’s a great event and a lot of people help put it on.”

Shirley Pivorar was Chairman of the event.  Dressed in a sparkly red top that celebrated the season, she opened the luncheon and promised everyone a great time, including some “mystery entertainment.”

Seniors enjoyed a Christmas turkey dinner will all the trimmings, music from vocalist Barbara Finnegan and vying for the many festively wrapped door prizes.

“It’s always a great time,” said Jane McCarty.  “I really enjoy this event.”

Pelham Daisies Bring Some Holiday Cheer to Displaced Animals

by Karen Plumley

On December 15, Pelham Daisy Troop 964 gathered at the First Congregational Church with pet supplies in order to make gifts for abandoned and displaced animals. 

“I’d been reading in the papers that after the hurricane (Katrina) there were a lot of homeless animals being placed in shelters in the area and thought it would be something unique for the kids to do,” described Daisy troop leader Amy Brandin.  During the hour that the children were together, they were able to create a dog bone wreath, and several catnip sock toys, which the children made by using their own mismatched, recycled socks.  The gifts will be donated to the Salem Animal Rescue League.

The Daisies, who are of kindergarten age, earned the money for the supplies themselves by doing three chores apiece.  They were each given “Daisy was here” cards to place at the location of each completed chore.  “Every time a child did a chore, they would leave a card letting the parents know that they had completed the task,” described co-leader Lauri Fraser.  According to Brandin, any leftover money that was earned by the children was used to buy cleaning and other supplies for the shelter. 

Pelham Daisies make a dog wreath and other gifts for displaced animals at the Salem Animal Rescue League.  From left:  Hayley Brandin, Sydney Snow, Emerson Medina, Brooke Fraser, Hanna Vaillancourt, Haley Vinciguerra, Cathryn Scanlon, Rachael Lavalle, and Ashley Gamache.  In back:  Troop Leader Amy Brandin, Co-leader Lauri Fraser, and volunteer/parent Pat Scanlon.

Holiday Concert at Pelham Memorial Draws a Crowd

by Karen Plumley

Cars were parked bumper-to-bumper, up on the grass, and out on the street.  Other not so lucky souls circled the parking lot in hopes that a spot would open up.  No, this is not a description of holiday shoppers at the local mall, but in fact, was the scenario at Pelham Memorial School on Tuesday night for their extremely well attended annual Holiday Concert. 

A select choir opened the show with a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” quickly followed by several wonderful holiday selections sung by the seventh and eighth grade chorus.  Then the seventh and eighth grade band took the stage and showed their talents.  What holiday concert would be complete without a bit of music from “The Nutcracker”?  Many other holiday classics were presented as well.  The sixth grade band performed such songs as “Gonna Catch That Santa” and “Peace in Twelve Languages.”  The sixth grade chorus beautifully sang the popular “Jingle Bells” and other favorites.  The Memorial School Jazz Band ended the evening with several tunes, including a rousing version of “Wooly Bully” which brought the tightly packed audience members to their feet.

The seventh and eighth grade band performs the “Ashton Overture” for the crowded audience at Pelham Memorial School on Tuesday Evening.

Windham Middle School Band Concert is a Storm of Good Sounds

by Lynne Ober

There may be calm before a storm, but there is no calm before a concert starts.  Instruments are warmed up; musicians play or chat; several boys need help getting their ties tied and nerves abound.

Enter Jared Cassedy, who is in his first year of teaching at Windham Middle School.  Cassedy directs the school’s concert and jazz bands as well as teaches music appreciation and has been the musical director of many collegiate and semi-professional shows in New Hampshire.  He has also acted as the assistant marching band director for both the Exeter and Pinkerton Academy marching bands.

The chaos before a show starts is music to his ears.  He is the calming force that brings each of his groups together.  The 35-piece sixth grade band is probably the most nervous, but he quickly calms and encourages them.  Giving them a few last minute instructions, he asked Choral Director Sheila Cuneo to finish tuning the band while he works with his three other groups.

It’s easy to see, that teaching music is Cassedy’s greatest passion.  The seventh and eighth graders respond to his directions and enthusiasm. 

Finally the jazz band is ready.  The drum line is ready and the sixth graders are on stage.  Cassedy takes a quick breath and walks out. 

His students present an evening of musical entertainment that enchants and entertains the audience.  Toes tap and heads nod to the beat of the drums.  Old favorites are heard and new songs are played.  Musicians at every level perform as though they had been born to the stage.

It was a winter concert to remember and to cherish.

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