Monday, February 5, 2018

Pressure's on!

Colsen just walked up to me and said, "Can you say something really good?  So I can tell my kids, "My mom always used to say....."

(Guess I'd better come up with something better than "Go wash your hands.")

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Big victory

Last night our family played our collective favorite game, Dutch Blitz, for about an hour and kept a cumulative score running.  The competition was getting fierce and loud at times... but guess who emerged as the final winner -- by one point -- at the end......  Rayna!!

This is incredible for many reasons, but primarily because it is a game of speed -- which has never been her forte in the past.  I never, never thought I would see the day when she would be able to beat her very competitive brothers (not to mention her parents, who, I might add, are not too shabby at this game!).

We did realize towards the end that she seemed to be stacking her deck a bit for the beginning of each hand, but even then I was just impressed that she knew how to do that.  We told her to stop, which she did -- and she still won the final round.

Way to go Rayna!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Overheard #happiness

Last night as I was walking past the boys’ bathroom while they were taking a shower, I heard this conversation:

M: Colsen, when was the moment when you were the happiest?

C: I don’t know.  Maybe when we got the dirt bike.

M: Or what about when you got waders?

C: Yeah, that was, too.  And when I got my new yo-yo… and my fishing____ (couldn’t hear all of this)

M: Well when do you think you’re GOING to be the happiest in your life?

C: I don’t know!  We don’t know what’s going to happen.  I might not even live very long.

M: I know. But I know something that’s going to definitely happen no matter what…

C: Oh yeah!!!  HEAVEN!  I can’t believe I forgot about that! That will definitely be the happiest.
M:  Are you sure?

C: Yeah, as long as I’m going to Heaven.  I THINK I am.  No, I know I am. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and He has forgiven my sins, so I’m going to Heaven.

{At this point they come out of the bathroom, having finished their showers, completely dripping because they never remember to take towels in with them.  They see me standing there.}

C: Mom, when was the moment when you were the happiest?

Me:  Right now.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Cheerful Adventurer, Traveler of the world and extensive trekker of the nation, Caretaker, Cheerleader, Faithful journaler, Letter-writer, Grand hostess, Handcrafter, Patient teacher of handcrafts to children, Mariner, Giver of gifts, Cookie baker and bringer, Speedy driver -- even in reverse, Ever-ready co-pilot --prepared with flashlights for late-night driving with no headlights, Friend to someone in just about every town in America, Hard-worker, Green-thumb gardener, Always an optimist, Teacher, Swimmer, Camper, Community walker and greeter, Twinkly-eyed laugh-er, Gray-haired babysitter for many decades, Bridge playing champion in several states, Devoted wife to 2 different mighty and lively men (at 2 different times, of course), Beloved mother, Highly involved grandmother, Cherished Mor-Mor

These are just a few of the things my amazing Mor-Mor was.  Her journey on this side of eternity is over….  I love forward to seeing her again someday.

Audrey Mae Nordquist O'Neill Curtis:  2/9/1921 - 1/8/2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year's/Boxing Day/Cousins Day

January 1st was a big day here!

The Cousins all come over for a MINI Cousins Day....

...And then the adults came for a Boxing Day/New Year celebration.

For Boxing Day, the kids all assembled snack boxes to give to the homeless...

..And we had one of our Family Charity Auctions.  Everyone brought a few things they no longer wanted and then we auctioned everything off to whomever wanted them.  (In Dad's case, he just re-bought a lot of the things Mom had brought to get rid of!)

We raised $230 for Lifesong for Orphans!

To round out the evening, we had the not-so-traditional New Year's dinner of pizza and salad.  It was fun to see the whole family one more time before we all return to our regularly scheduled programming for the semester!

Sunday, December 31, 2017


This year we celebrated Christmas Eve at the Dreschers' house.  It was a merry time of eating, playing the grab-bag game, getting a visit from Grandma Deuce, and singing some carols.  We also took a walk over to Mor-Mor's residence to sing for her as well.  :)

On Christmas Day, Rayna and I stayed in bed with some kind of mild bug, so we missed the festivities.:(

The highlights this year, though, were a new doll and cradle for Jinna Rai, kitchen prep items for Rayna, and a dirt bike for the boys.  Hope we don't regret the dirt bike!!

Filling the house with LOVE

Three sets of our friends have gotten engaged this year -- it's been a good year for love.

For Wendy and Dean we had a reception/party at our house after their honeymoon and Marguerite had her bridal shower here, so when Daniel was getting ready to propose to our lovely friend Rachel, it seemed quite fitting that he wanted to have the surprise party here afterwards.

These girls are some of my favorites!

We are excited for the soon-to-be-married couple!

Lame December Field Trips

Since our CC group takes off for the month of December, I figured this would be a good time to take the kids on some field trips.  We've been studying American history, so the President Polk homesite and the Andrew Jackson/Waxhaw Indian museum seemed like good options.

The Polk site was mildly interesting, but extremely unhelpful in terms of a field trip.  No one was around to tell us anything because they were all attending to a public school group, and we weren't allowed access into most of the buildings or the film because the staff was otherwise occupied.  So we poked around a little and left.

The Andrew Jackson place was only slightly more informative.  We had to pry the docent away from his social hang-out time with the other staff, and by that point our time was limited.

I did, at least, find an effective discipline method for the boys.

The best part of that field trip was heading into downtown Waxhaw afterwards.  We had seen in the museum a photo of some of the buildings there from around 1900, and then we got to not only see, but go IN those exact buildings.  Things have changed a bit - livestock and wagons are no longer sold there.  But very tasty lunch food is!

 Incidentally, the only real piece of interesting information we heard was at BOTH places -- that the youngest walking, talking child in a family used to be responsible for emptying all of the chamber pots in a family's home.  Miles has never been so grateful that Jinna Rai is not a part of our family.  :)

Turning 45

My birthday was a big treat for me this year.  Pete and the kids made it extra special, as they always do!

After an awesome massage (gift from Pete), I went up to visit Mor-Mor.  I can't remember a birthday of mine that I was not with her!  She's been quite sick lately, so I savored these moments with her.

Pete made a fancy dinner that night, and Karin, James and Branson came over to celebrate with us.

The next night, Mom invited us to to her house for my favorite - Cranberry Chicken -- and then surprised me with ice cream cake afterwards!

My forties have definitely been the best decade yet -- half-way through now!

Fun with Wrays

Crazy antics for the airport
John, Keiko, Sammy and Sophie were in town for Christmas this year ,which meant it was a good time for the entire family to assemble for some fun events!

 Jinna finally got to meet her California cousins!

One night we attended a HUGE Keith and Kristyn Getty concert:

 Another day the CA Wrays came over to hang out and we went to the park:

 Another night we went up to Nonna and Poppa's for a lovely dinner:

Everything is fun with this crew!