Monday, January 11, 2010


Christmas in America

4am on December 12th we head to the airport. Ionda was anxious, excited, and ready for his long awaited first trip to America.

we found a Harley at O'Hare, which IC thoroughly enjoyed.

We arrived in Indy, and I was very excited to see my little sister Katie and eat fresh chocolate chip cookies with a glass of cold milk (our tradition for picking me up on a return from Jamaica...yes, I'm spoiled).

Widmer Family Christmas Pic (with Ionda and sister-in-law to-be Tamara)

It was great to be home and spend time with my family, enjoy momma's cooking, and sleep in a bed with lots of blankets pulled around you to stay warm. On Sunday we went to West Lafayette church where Ionda got to meet Kevin and Laura Gutwein's deaf son (adopted from Ethiopia) named Taye. They hit it off and it was a neat moment to see Ionda interacting with Taye.

Sunday evening we went to Tess Gutwein's wedding reception in Francesville, where Ionda got to meet my grandma and grandpa Leman and other family members, as well as some of Chad Huber's extended family.

Monday we headed to Indianapolis to meet up with my friends and former co-workers. Ionda and I took a detour to downtown Indy, where he soaked up the large buildings and downtown monument circle.

I also took Ionda to the Indiana School for the Deaf, where he was shocked to see such a large facility just for deaf people. We took a quick tour through one of the buildings and were able to see some kids signing in classrooms, which was a neat experience for both of us.

Monday night we had dinner at Jerry and Dorene Leuthold's, along with my former roommates Makoto Inoue (now married to Anna) and Eric Frantz. This was my family while I lived in Indy, and I miss them all greatly.

Tuesday morning Ionda and I headed to Fast Times go-karting, this was a blast!

Getting suited up.

Time to race!

Wednesday we checked in on Matt and Brad while they roofed at the new WLAC church, giving Ionda a taste of what construction in America is like (especially in the winter).

Wednesday afternoon we went bowling with Jamerican friend Chris Bahler. Ionda and Chris are two-peas in a pod and love to tease each other and be goofy.

Ionda's form wasn't all that bad and he got a couple strikes!

Monday the 20th I was able to meet up with good high school friends Justin Wells, his fiance Allison O'Neil, Brett Puetz, and Nick Schraut. It was great to catch up and see the various places we are at now (Cali, Chicago, Florida, and Oregon).
Tuesday I headed over to the Gutwein's to hang out with my buddy Taye. He is a joy to be around and an incredibly bright young boy, his potential is limitless and I'm excited to see what his future holds!

Tuesday night I met up with some of my siblings to catch the Purdue game. We had a blast introducing Tamara to the Widmer way to cheer (loud and constant), and Ionda also thoroughly enjoyed his first experience of being in an arena for a real game.

Being home was also filled with lots of random moments, many including stops at McDonald's for soft-serve or driving thru Wendy's to get a frostee. Yum, yum!

Brad and Ionda saying goodbye, with Ionda reppin' the Paradigm hoody.


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