The Gingerbread Man!

"I am the Gingerbread Man. My friend, Somer Pariseau,was reading a story about me in 1st grade. I decided to jump out of the storybook and come to visit you.

"I know my friends back at Washington Elementary are wondering where I have run to. Please help them by sending them a picture depicting something about the area where you live and a note telling the class what we did together. Our picture will be posted on a large map of the U.S. in the classroom. This will help the children with their study of the United States by showing them how different parts of the country look.

"The Gingerbread Man"

Well, G.M., since you came right before Christmas 2006, you got to meet Somer's cousins Marieke, Jan-Luc and Kateri. Marieke lives in Boston. Kateri goes to college in Syracuse. Jan-Luc lives in the city of New York.  Did you find all those places on the map?

On Christmas we went to Rochester, NY, to see her other cousin Leo and his wife and 1 year old daughter, Avery. Here you are with Kateri and Avery.

So you started out in Warren, Michigan and traveled 450 miles to Rome, NY, which is right in the middle of New York.  We don't drive to Detroit in the winter because it is usually too snowy, and it takes 8 hours. But we will visit Somer and her family next summer.  Someday you can visit us. We like it here because we are surrounded by hills and mountains, lakes and forests.  The arrow in this picture points to our house. Uncle Jim took this picture from a small plane.

This is our back yard, where we have 100 Christmas trees and a big garden. In back of them is a forest.

This is a waterfalls that we like to hike to. It is in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, which are in the Northeast part of New York.

After Christmas you hopped in the car with cousin Marieke to go to Boston. We hear that you enjoyed it and went all over downtown Boston.

      From there you went to Jan-Luc in New York City.

You saw incredible wall graffiti

 A giant rat balloon

And the Empire State Building, the tallest building in New York City.

Next you will be going back to Rochester, NY, to see your newest cousin, Annika, who was just born.

Who knows where you will go next! Maybe it is time to come home to Michigan.

Uncle Jim

We had a similar visit in 1999:  

Flat Stanley is a friend of Kaitlyn Van Damme who lives in Fenton, Michigan, between Detroit and Lansing. Kaitlyn's third grade class is studying communities, and she wanted Stan to see more of the world. So, she sent him to her cousin Kateri Van Damme in Rome, New York. Stanley is flat because his bulletin board fell on him, so it was easy for him to go to Rome in an envelope. Rome is right in the middle of New York State, where the Erie Canal started. We live 2 miles out of town among forests and cow pastures, like Kaitlyn's house.

Flat Stanley had a great time with us and we had a great time with him. The day he came we had some unusually flat pizza to celebrate his coming. The next day he took a day trip to LeRoy, the Jell-O capital of New York. He had a fun time there. He got to go all around Rome to see the sights like Fort Stanwix and the Rome city Christmas tree. Then for Thanksgiving Kateri's other cousins from Lake Orion, Michigan came over and Stanley watched the festivities from a safe spot high on a shelf. He was hard to see because he was in front of pictures of the Van Damme children, and he blended right in with them. Soon after he got homesick and we are sending him home. Our whole family was glad to get to know him. Thanks for letting him stay with us!     

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