Monday, June 12, 2017

Pittsburgh Trip

Our nephew and godson Nate graduated from high school this past weekend, so we held a quick lottery to see which Franks would be selected to go to Pittsburgh for the festivities.  Colsen and Miles, sadly, were not chosen, so they remained at Nonna and Poppa's -- where, happily, a super-fun Cousins Camp was planned!

The rest of us headed north and I spent about 87% of the hours in car reflecting on how much easier car trips are without babies, toddlers, and whiny preschoolers.  This was Jinna Rai's first long trip and she did great!  She understood we would be driving allll day, and she didn't complain once.

Meeting all of the family members once we got there overwhelmed her briefly, but after spending some time playing with little tiny figurines (her favorite kind) with Grace in her bedroom, she was ready to handle the rest of the crowd.  By the end of the weekend she knew who everyone was and was thrilled to spend time with any of them.  (Grace remained her favorite, though, by a long shot!)

 On Saturday the whole family spend some time driving around the Burgh, visiting various spots of importance in Nate's life -- his schools, first home, soccer fields, etc.

Then in the afternoon the guys decided to go to a Pirates game while the girls went to a coffee shop and playground.

It was fun to see and experience aspects of the Boyers' life and community, and we're all so proud of Nate!  Now he heads off to Gordon College this fall... New chapters await!


Strider is all grown up!

His 17th birthday was pretty low-key, but he seemed pretty happy anyway.  Pete was out of town, but he left a little gift ahead of time, so Strider used that money to go play with golf with Wayne.  He graced us with his presence for dinner time, which included ice cream cake, and then off he went to work, to learn how to "clean the grill," which is apparently quite challenging and his final frontier in CFA training.

I spent a lot of the day watching old videos of him as a toddler and a little boy.... such a cute little guy he's been. It's hard to believe we only have 1 more year with him here full-time!

p.s. Since I think I forgot to post this earlier, here is a pic of him heading off to his school's spring formal/prom.  So handsome!  (He's crashed this car since the picture was taken.)

p.p.s. I also forgot to note the "superlative" award he won for his school's yearbook:

We're so proud.

p.p.p.s.  Strider is now officially very old... but my other kids who are not comforted me the night of his birthday.  They asked if they could please sleep over in my room (Pete was gone), and after watching all of those old videos and realizing how fleeting time is, I quickly obliged.  I love still having little ones around!

Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend was spent with a few different groups of friends -- our favorite kind of weekend -- but the one I got the most pictures with was a family that we met in China.  They live near Cary and came to visit for lunch on their way home from visiting some friends in Gastonia.

Emma was the first friend Jinna Rai met after we adopted her, so they have a special bond.  JR was soooo excited Emma was coming over!

The other kids had never met each other, but it didn't take long for them all to be off playing and enjoying themselves.

It's a cool thing to see the same friends on 2 different continents!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kids went for the fauna; I went for the flora

The kids have been begging to go to a zoo lately, and since Jinna Rai's zoo experiences have been very limited (and so has Miles' as we later realized), we decided to plan a field trip for this last week of school.  The only reason I agree to go to the Riverbanks Zoo is because it means I get to go to the botanical gardens connected to them!
(Strider stayed home to work)

As usual, the highlights for the kids were the gorillas, the giant turtles, the tiger, and riding the tram.

And Miles thought this new tower was so much fun to go up and down.

The gardens have been expanded a lot! Loved the afternoon portion of the excursion:

Other random items of note

 1.  The girls and I attended the Love Life Charlotte prayer walk in front of the abortion clinic this past Saturday.  What a powerful experience!  We saw spiritual warfare being played out right in front of us as protesters were gathered to protest US.  When our group started to sing, they would sing some random song ("Take me home, country roads..." not sure why??  I wish those roads HAD taken them home).  We heard later that 12 women decided against abortion that day!

2.  Colsen has been asking lately to go to "a fancy restaurant."  He wanted to go where there were real tablecloths and waiters and everything.  When a coupon arrived in the mail for a free entree at Ruth Chris Steakhouse (still can't stand that name), we knew exactly who should go!  Pete and Cole had a nice evening out.

3. Poplar Streams Academy is wrapping up the school year this week, so we decided to have "Backwards Day" yesterday.  We got up, put our clothes on backwards, walked backwards (for a little while anyway), had dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, and did our school day in reverse order.  Miles was the one who got into it the most, even trying to talk backwards sometimes.